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Comment Re:Translation ... (Score 1) 60 60

I think that software patents could be a bit more palatable if they also had to provide source code that was proven to compile and work as describe in the patent. As it stands right now, source code is not necessary, and only a vague description of what the functionality is necessary for software patents. That means, even if somebody else finds a better algorithm for doing what is covered in the patent, then the patent might still apply.

This very much stifles innovation. Let's say somebody invents a wood chopping machine and patents it. Now I discover something that is slowing their machine down, or making it unreliable. If I find out a solution to that, I can patent my fix and start selling a better wood chopping machine. With software, if somebody patents the idea of compressing a video, and I come up with an algorithm that compresses it at 10 times the speed while achieving the same end result, then my algorithm would probably already be covered by the existing patent.

Comment Re:No Compromises (Score 1) 147 147

My only problem with slide out keyboards is that it's just something extra to break. I've had 5 or 6 phones in my lifetime, and all the ones with moving mechanisms like flip phones or slide out keypads have died a premature death in the connection in the moving part. The first phone that I had that lasted until I actually wanted to upgrade (not counting my first analog cell phone), was a device which only had a touch screen, power and volume inputs. Every other phone suffered from keys that stopped working. I'm sure it's possible to build a phone physical buttons that doesn't break down after a year or two, but from my point of view they are inherently prone to failure.

Comment Re:Kickstarter forever (Score 1) 90 90

But the problem I see is that you'll never get more than your initial investment back. With the Ouya kickstarter the buy in was $100 if you wanted them to send you a console if they ever eventually released one. The problem was that when they eventually did end up releasing the console, it was $100 even for those who didn't invest initially. So there is nothing to gain by being an investor. You'd be much better off just putting your money in a bank and then buying the product when it ultimately comes out. Unless the product was something that didn't exist anywhere and provided some new functionality, then it might be worth it just in case your investment is the one that makes it a reality. But with products like Ouya, there's already plenty of other video game systems out there, and had the Ouya never been made you could have just spent your $100 on some other video game system.

Comment Re:Kickstarter forever (Score 2) 90 90

I don't actually think I've ever seen a kickstarter that I would qualify as an investment. For me, an investment is something where I give somebody $x and at a future point in time there's a reasonable chance that I could end up with cash or negotiables worth $x+y. Of course, there's always some risk that the investment doesn't work out and I end up with $x-y or even when x=y and you get $0. But there should be a chance of actually increasing your money.

For every kickstarter project I've seen, the buy in amount is very close, if not exactly equal to the retail price of the product. Because of this, you're almost always better off waiting until they actually have the product completed, and then just buying it when you know that it's actually worth the money. I don't think I've ever seen a kickstarter where they give you a significant discount on the retail value of the item. If there was a reasonable chance that you could get the product for half price, for investing in the product in the early stages, then I could see a lot of incentive to pitch in. But there's no way I'm paying full price for an item that doesn't exist yet and that I may never actually get.

Comment Re:Deliberate 'overextraction'? (Score 1) 67 67

I think this is exactly where most people go wrong. It's very hard to not overeat, especially after working out. I'm into cycling, and after a big ride, I feel absolutely famished. I could very easily eat way more calories than I burned in a ride. And people also overestimate their intensity and how many calories they've burned. 20 minutes on a treadmill really doesn't burn that many calories. It would probably be completely offset by a single sports drink. Personally I really like cycling because it's really good at keeping the intensity up for a prolonged period of time. Went for a 2 hour ride tonight, and apparently burned over 1100 Calories (yes, I'm aware the numbers are probably not completely accurate). I don't think I could maintain that level of intensity for that period of time with any other sport.

Comment Re:Who makes these decisions? (Score 1) 627 627

How did you manage to get updates for Android? That's not the experience I've had. I switched to Windows Phone because last time I bought an Android phone I didn't get a single update for it in the 3 years I owned it. It was released 6 months before ICS came out, and it never got the update. Stuck on Gingerbread for 3 years because of the abysmal state of Android updates.

Also, iOS is just as bad. My wife has an iPad, and my kids have iPods. Every time you need to update the OS, you have to clear off tons of space on the device because it insists that it needs 4GB of free space just to install an update to the OS. That's a lot to ask for on a device that only has 12 GB accessible to the user out of the box. I don't know why they can't upgraded the OS incrementally like it does on my Surface 2 (RT). Upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1 without needing a whole bunch of free space. Mind you, getting free space on that device isn't such a problem since it supports SD cards and has a more reasonable amount of free space when you're starting out.

Comment Re:Who makes these decisions? (Score 1) 627 627

I recently bought a new computer and decided to go straight to Windows 10 rather than install Windows 8 only to upgrade the OS in another month once Windows 10 goes final. It's amazing how fast it boots up. I have a basic solid state drive, and an AMD A8-7600 with 8 GB of RAM. Not a spectacular machine by any standards, From the beep of the PC speaker to the time I see the Windows 10 login screen is only 10 seconds. I haven't seen a computer boot so fast since the days of DOS, and even then, I don't think it was as fast as it is now. Definitely never saw a windows machine boot so fast.

Comment Re:I've said it before (Score 1) 391 391

There are still a lot of jobs that don't require people to be literate. That's not to say we haven't made big strides, and that a vast majority of people are literate, but that doesn't mean that many jobs don't actually require literacy. They might required that you have a high school diploma, but that's more to prove that you have a decent enough work ethic to finish high school. The don't particularly need you to be able to read. You don't need to know how to read to be flipping burgers at McDonald's. You don't need to be able to read to be a greeter at Walmart, or for most of the positions that only require stocking shelves. You could probably have somebody working the cash who had no basic reading skills if you had the register show them the correct number of each coin / bill to give people for their change.

Comment Re:Windows Phone. (Score 1) 119 119

It's actually kind of interesting that a lot of apps don't have an official version for Windows Phone. Even the Facebook app isn't made by FaceBook. It's made by Microsoft. There's no app for Strava (very people among cyclists, used to track your rides), but there are a couple third party apps that work great. I think it's just the fact that larger companies don't seem to be able to do anything without getting 50 people involved, so they don't see it as worth their time to develop an app for a small platform. But really it doesn't take that much time to make an app, and therefore people can get the job done by themselves with minimal effort. Of all the mobile environments, I'd have to say that Windows Phone is the easiest to develop for.

Comment Re:And where the hell's my leisure time? (Score 3, Insightful) 391 391

The owner of the robots got a very nice pay raise. The robots are the ones who actually increased the productivity, so it's only natural that the owner of the robots would get to reap the rewards. Why should the human workers get a pay raise, they aren't the ones who are actually increasing productivity.

Comment Re:I've said it before (Score 4, Insightful) 391 391

While I generally agree, what happens when the only jobs left are those that require creativity or critical thinking. There's a lot of people out there who can't do anything more complicated than repeating a few simple tasks over and over again. These jobs are going to be replace by robots. When the only jobs left are jobs that require high levels of thought, there's going to be a lot of people who simply can't hold down a job. I don't think that changing the way we educate people or making education free or anything else is going to be able to change the fact that some people don't have the cognitive ability to do the high level jobs that robots won't be able to do.

Comment Re:Concorde 2.0 (Score 1) 238 238

By your own numbers it's easy to see how much speed makes a difference. The Tesla at 120 km/h only requires 19.4 horsepower to maintain speed, and at 100 km/h only requires 11 horsepower. So if you travelled 300 km, at 150 km/h, you would use 111.6 HP-h of energy, while travelling at 100 km/h, you would only use 33 HP-h of energy.

Comment Re:Concorde 2.0 (Score 1) 238 238

The same rules of physics apply to many aspects of transportation. It would be nice if we could all travel 150 km/h down the highway, but even if the roads were safe, it would still be very inefficient to do so. I'm a (recreational) cyclist, and it really helps me appreciate how much air resistance really matters. Going 25-30 km/h the air resistance doesn't have a huge effect, but at 35 km/h you really start to feel it.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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