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Comment Terrible summary (Score 1) 129

The summary absolutely mischaracterizes the blogs it references. The blog relating to Bacebook's bankers doesn't saw anything more than that they can't rule out unsound financials. However, the author himself goes on to say that he doubts this, instead suspecting that the planned delay most likely relates to market conditions. He's likely correct. While the likes of Goldman Sachs may have over paid, Facebook appears to be a solvent venture. Groupon would love to say as much... But don't worry, if they just get big enough they'll start raking in the cash. Never mind the fact that as revenues grow at Groupon, so do loses.

Comment Re:Yes, if you must (Score 3, Informative) 536

Correct, but to be fair the original point of copyright law in Europe was to regulate and control printers. The crown got control over what could be printed and printers got a monopoly (limited time, could be reissued). It's much easier to monitor the printing of seditious materials when only a handful of people can legally print. I like the new purpose better than the original...

Comment Not a partisan issue (Score 1) 623

Say what will about Liberals vs Conservatives, Democrats vs Republics, that isn't the issue here. The issue is whether or not California, a state, has the right to collect sales tax from an entity that, legal speaking, isn't selling there. SCOTUS has pretty clearly said that it doesn't have this right. Now, in an effort to raise revenues, California has tried to tax them anyway. Why? Because many of the roughly 25 thousand affiliates "forgot" to include their affiliate income. California would like to have this money and the online retailers are easier to come after than all of those affiliates. Frankly this isn't Amazon's problem, at least so far as California is concerned. California is trying to control interstate commerce. And as much as I don't like the over application of the commerce clause, this is EXACTLY why it's part of the constituation.

Comment You get what you pay for... (Score 2, Insightful) 534

As much as we might like to think otherwise, software development is a business. And like all businesses the goal is to generate profit by increasing revenue and decreasing cost. As such an inherent bargain is struck between consumers and software shops as to proper ratio of cost to quality. High volume consumer applications get a lot of attention to quality though less to security. It's all a matter of threat assessment verse the cost of securing against such threats. Sure we all want perfect software where the software engineer is held accountable for every bug. But we also want software whose cost is comparable to a 20 dollar an hour sweet shop programmer. The software that results is really an economic compromise between the two. Running a space shuttle or saving patients lives? You probably are willing to shell out for the high cost software engineer. Putting up your hello kitty fan club blog? You might settle for something a little bit less... high class. I've been in this business for awhile now and as much as we like to wax poetic about quality we are still just trying to have our cake and eat it too. Better, faster, cheaper. Pick two.

Comment The debate ended long ago (Score 1) 590

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, and the WHO have long since agreed that there is no credible proof for link between autism and vaccine. The 1998 study has been under intense fire for over a decade, with most of the doctors having pulled their names from it long since. We've been at the point of next to zero proof for a long time and yet the "debate" drags on. I would postulate that the cause is tightly linked the timing of childhood vaccinations in relationship to the symptoms of autism first becoming apparent. Unfortunately, I think that means that the debate is far from over.

Comment Re:human brain (Score 1) 286

Not sure about the number of cores, a number of experts say that around 20 petaflop should do it. We should see computers capable of doing this by the end of the decade. Of course creating the AI or brain scans necessary to accomplish this is going to be the more challenging problem. What will be fantastic about simulated brains is that their neurons will be significantly faster than standard human neurons. This means that your simulated brain can produce orders of magnitude more work despite being no smarter.