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Comment Don't be too ambitious ! (Score 2) 149

My main comment is to to do anything too big or to complicated - if you start something too big, you will probably never finish it and maintenance will occupy a disheartening number of hours.

If you like scenery, look for a copy of Model Railroading with John Allen so see what one modeler built in a suburban basement half a century ago. If your a lone wolf this is probably about as big you can sensibly make a line on your own. There is also a set of DVD's of pictures of the line," John Allen's Gorre and Daphetid Railroad", unobtainable now, but there is a torrent of them on Kat at the moment.

Comment Re:Time to worry? Not yet... (Score 2) 262

Isn't the whole point that WE are effectively that program.

We are getting closer and closer to being able to write something more intelligent than ourselves, make sure it's working properly, and then letting it loose.

The concern is that this might only happen once...

Comment Printing useful things too (Score 1) 62

I have to disagree, there are certain areas where 3D printed items are usefully filling gaps in the market.

One group is model railway people who now have many previously unobtainable items made this way. Interesting the first hackers were model railroaders too ! See

I'm one of the small scale manufacturers who makes his living by selling 3-d printed model trains, both direct to public through Shapeways ( ) and reselling things I get printed through eBay and other outlets.

Because there is so little up-front costs involved it's possible to cater for market segments where it would not have been economically viable before and make items profitably that may sell in tens rather than thousands - this is the beauty of 3-d printing.

It's just finding those niches - spare parts for household items is probably another one, it just needs someone to start designing them and then workout some sort of online database so the rest of the world knows how to find them.



Tiny Pacemaker Can Be Installed Via Catheter 57

the_newsbeagle writes "About four million people around the world have pacemakers implanted in their bodies, and those devices all got there the same way: surgeons sliced open their patients' shoulders and inserted the pulse-generating devices in the flesh near the heart, then attached tiny wires to the heart muscle. ... A device that just received approval in the EU seems to solve those problems. This tiny pacemaker is the first that doesn't require wires to bring the electrical signal to the heart muscle, because it's implanted inside the heart itself, and is hooked onto the inner wall of one of the heart's chambers. This is possible because the cylindrical device can be inserted and attached using a steerable catheter that's snaked up through the femoral artery."

Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months 382

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like nobody is quite sure how long it will take to fix the health insurance marketplace website. '"One person familiar with the system's development said that the project was now roughly 70 percent of the way toward operating properly, but that predictions varied on when the remaining 30 percent would be done," the Times reported yesterday. "'I've heard as little as two weeks or as much as a couple of months,' that person said. Others warned that the fixes themselves were creating new problems, and said that the full extent of the problems might not be known because so many consumers had been stymied at the first step in the application process."'"

Comment Some one has to do it (Score 5, Informative) 56

Patent Trial Ends in Total Loss for MoFo Client

By Julia Love Contact All Articles
The Recorder

August 26, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — After a two-week trial, Nuance Communications Inc. came up empty Monday when a jury found that a Russian competitor had not infringed any of its patents or trade dress.

Nuance had accused ABBYY Software House of infringing three of its patents and mirroring its packaging. Both companies market software that uses optical character recognition technology, or OCR, to convert scanned images of text so they can be searched and edited digitally.

Represented by a team of lawyers from Morrison & Foerster and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Nuance argued that ABBYY's FineReader was little more than a copy of its signature product OmniPage. The Burlington, Mass.-based company also sued Lexmark International Inc. for its use of ABBYY's products and sought more than $100 million in total damages from the two companies.

Nuance did not prevail on any claims in Nuance Communications v. ABBYY Software House, 08-0912. MoFo partner Michael Jacobs, who is co-lead counsel for Nuance with fellow MoFo partner James Bennett, declined to comment.

From his opening statement to his closing, ABBYY's lead lawyer, Gerald Ivey of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, urged the jury to honor the American spirit of competition.

"That's what [this verdict] does," he said in an interview Monday. "It allows ABBYY to continue to compete fairly and on equal footing with all the other companies that are interested in the OCR technology that ABBYY is a real leader in developing."

The trial before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White revolved around Nuance's U.S. Patent No. 6,038,342, which covers a "trainable template" that is updated during the process of converting scanned images into searchable text. The technology was roundly applauded when OmniPage debuted in 1988, Bennett said during his closing argument.

"It's not often in a patent case where you have the kind of widespread, third-party corroboration of the breakthrough, revolutionary... nature of an invention," Bennett told the jury. "And that's what we have here."

Bennett took ABBYY to task not only for infringing Nuance's patents but also for eroding the prices his client could charge for its products with deep discounting.

"OmniPage and Nuance, from the time that ABBYY entered this market, have been targeted," he said.

But Ivey insisted that the technology underlying ABBYY's products bears little resemblance to its competitor's. In contrast with Nuance's trainable template, ABBYY's program relies on a system of weighted guesses to determine word variance in context, he explained in an interview Monday.

"That is a very different philosophical and technological approach," he said.

Nuance also cried foul over ABBYY's packaging, which for a time made use of similar colors and images. During his closing argument, Ivey questioned the distinctiveness of Nuance's package design. He noted that there had been no documented cases of consumers mistaking the two companies' products. . And he took issue with the suggestion that his client was trying to masquerade as another company.

"ABBYY has proudly displayed its name on its packages since it entered the U.S.," he said in an interview.

During his closing argument, Ivey recounted ABBYY's beginnings as a startup, a story reminiscent of many Silicon Valley companies, though it unfolded in Moscow. The company's founder and CEO both testified in English, though it is their second language.

"Jurors had an opportunity to hear from them directly," he said. "I think that mattered."

Comment Is everybody scared of the NSA ? (Score 3, Insightful) 297

Interestingly, out of the first 13 posts on this topic, only 2 have been by named individuals, the rest by anonymous cowards.

Is everyone so scared of getting on the NSA's "of interest" list, no one want's to be identified? Maybe our new tyrannical overlords have won already.

Comment USA perspective = bizarre (Score 1) 1719

She had 2 handguns, completely reasonable for self defense. A standard .223 carbine... standard rifle you can get at walmart, fun to shoot and then a shotgun, pretty typical for hunting small game.

You do realise that to most people in most parts of the civilized/first world, this sounds completely insane, right?

Two handguns for self defence? Insane. Guess what I have for self-defence in the first world country where I live? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even a bat or knife. Times I have been violently murdered or robbed so far: 0.

A "standard" .223 carbine... that you can buy at a neighbourhood variety store. Insane.

A shotgun, "pretty typical for hunting small game". Insane.

Even more insane, though, is this idea that your hobby/paranoia (which are the two reasons you implicitly think people should have guns) outweighs other people's safety.

Where I live, you actually don't see guns, other than small handguns, in holsters, carried by the police. That's it.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Guns just make people way more effective at killing each other. That's what they are for. Take up archery, buy a can of mace, and stop being so completely ridiculous about your weapon-infested society.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."