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Comment: Re:Weight (Score 1) 208

by DrJimbo (#47804199) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

Good points. I think the key concept is called Wing Loading which is the ratio of mass to wing area. For example:

Effect on stability

Wing loading also affects gust response, the degree to which the aircraft is affected by turbulence and variations in air density. A small wing has less area on which a gust can act, both of which [I think they are referring to low area and high mass] serve to smooth the ride. For high-speed, low-level flight (such as a fast low-level bombing run in an attack aircraft), a small, thin, highly loaded wing is preferable: aircraft with a low wing loading are often subject to a rough, punishing ride in this flight regime.

IOW, what matters is the ratio of the mass to the wing area and not just the mass (weight) with no context. For example, if you have two round rocks of roughly the same mass and tie a very light wing to one of them (which makes the masses equal). The one with the wing will be more affected by gusts even though the masses are the same.

Comment: The code was available under a commercial license (Score 1) 191

by DrJimbo (#47660505) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

Versata chose to steal the code instead of licensing it under the commercial license or the GPL. Just because the GPL allowed the thieves to legally look at the code or use it unmodified does not magically transform this into a nightmare scenario. They are not being forced to either abandon their project or release their own code. They could just buy the commercial license like any responsible grownup would do.

The claim that this is a GPL nightmare scenario is just a stupid lawyer trick to try to fool people into blaming the victim instead of the unscrupulous bastards who stole the code and who still refuse to pay for it even after they were caught red-handed.

Think for a moment what would happen if the unscrupulous bastards prevail. The implications go far beyond the GPL. Imagine you let me see your commercial code without authorizing me to use it or copy it, perhaps through an NDA. Then I steal your code and put it in my products which I sell to a bunch of people. I get caught red handed and I still refuse to pay. Instead I hire a sleaze-ball lawyer who claims this is a nightmare scenario for commercial software licenses and NDAs. If the UBs win here, my lawyer's job becomes much easier because she can use this case as precedent. ISTM a win by the UBs would create a world where simply letting someone see your code dissolves any rights you have to that code.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 1) 144

by DrJimbo (#47576287) Attached to: More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

In addition to what DamnOregonian said, there is another problem with this quest to know what is ACTUALLY happening. For almost all people who voice this desire, "what is ACTUALLY happening" means a model That matches their intuition based on the non-relativistic 3+1 dimensional, classical world of their senses. This ain't gonna happen.

Maybe you misunderstand what the models in theoretical physics actually do. You say we will never understand the models well enough to make accurate predictions. While this may be true of some string theories, but that is a recent phenomenon and a strong deviation from the past. In general physics theories must make disprovable predictions or they are not taken seriously -- they are not physics, just metaphysics.

Whether you like it or not, the underlying theories of the Universe do not match our classical, non-relativistic intuition. But we can still model what happens and make predictions with these models. And people do develop intuitions based on these extremely non-classical models. Almost all progress in physics and math is based on a combination of intuition and turning a crank on complicated mathematical formalisms. Intuition is used for leaping ahead to a possible conclusion which is followed by the grunt work of turning the crank to make sure the intuitive leap was correct. Intuitive leaps are not always correct.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 3, Informative) 144

by DrJimbo (#47570815) Attached to: More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

I understand the mathematics involved in Fourier analysis, but that is the mathematics -- is the electron ACTUALLY doing that, or was that simply a mathematical/logical proof that correlates highly with what we see?

ISTM your question is meaningless. The best we have to offer on what the electron is ACTUALLY doing is with mathematics that correlates highly with what we see. I don't know what it means for there to be an actuality beyond that.

Even your question/remarks on the "correct conceptual framework" seems to miss the mark. The best we have there is the simplest mathematics that correlates highly with what we see.

All of this mathematical physics has its root in formulas that were derived based on data collected in labs, ..

Actually, a very big part of the theory is predicting new and unexpected results that have not been seen in the lab yet. Another big part is when the same mathematics can describe different phenomenon that were previously thought to be unrelated. Lee Smolin provides an excellent description of how this all works in his book The Trouble with Physics. I highly recommend it.

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 5, Informative) 223

by DrJimbo (#47417371) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

After Ghandi got control of India he ordered _many_ killings in the future 'Pakistan' and 'Bangladesh'. Non violence is for when you don't have the power.

You mean when he personally visited the riot-prone areas to stop the massacres:

Gandhi suggested an agreement which required the Congress and Muslim League to cooperate and attain independence under a provisional government, thereafter, the question of partition could be resolved by a plebiscite in the districts with a Muslim majority. When Jinnah called for Direct Action, on 16 August 1946, Gandhi was infuriated and personally visited the most riot-prone areas to stop the massacres. He made strong efforts to unite the Indian Hindus, Muslims, and Christians and struggled for the emancipation of the "untouchables" in Hindu society.

Read the reasons given for his assassination:

Godse felt that it was Gandhi's fast (announced in the second week of January) which had forced the cabinet to reverse it's earlier recent decision not to give the cash balance of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan on 13 January 1948.

[...] He also felt that Gandhi had not protested against these atrocities being suffered in Pakistan and instead resorted to fasts.

[...] In Godse's own words during his final deposition in the court during the trial, " was not so much the Gandhian Ahimsa teachings that were opposed to by me and my group, but Gandhiji, while advocating his views, always showed or evinced a bias for Muslims, prejudicial and detrimental to the Hindu Community and its interests.

If Gandhi had been ordering murders in addition to his fasts and prayers and actions to stop them, I would imagine this would have been added to the list of reasons given for his assassination.

Comment: Re:Sue them for all they're worth (Score 3, Informative) 495

by DrJimbo (#47357083) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

Lawsuits should be flying in all directions.

Are you suggesting they sue the court? Good luck with that. ISTM the fundamental problem is that the US courts have become the corporations bitches. Who are you going to sue and where are you going to sue them?

The book Econned explains how people with a far right economic agenda have been stacking the US courts for years. The result is what you see, basically a feudal systems where corporations are treated like lords and everyone else is a serf.

Comment: Re:bad logic (Score 1) 263

by DrJimbo (#47285503) Attached to: The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software

... computers most definitely can project themselves into the physical world. To the extent this is true, software should be considered as patentable as any other complex items which physically exist.

That argument is obvious nonsense. The problem is that the same software can run on lots of different hardware. Are you suggesting someone would need a separate patent for each possible hardware the software could run on? I don't think so. You want one patent to cover all possible hardware implementions. That is clearly patenting an idea, not a device/implementation.

[...] when encryption algorithms first came out, [...] they should have been eligible, since they took a non-trivial amount of effort to develop and had a number of practical uses.

Those are not good reasons for granting patents. A lot of effort goes into making many useful things but the effort and the usefulness do not make those things patent-eligible.

Comment: Re:I'm really missing Groklaw (Score 1) 220

by DrJimbo (#47273481) Attached to: US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

For example, in the fine article you linked to, Gene Quinn says:

Software can be described by reference to a series of physical actions operating through gates. This type of micro level description of what happens is going to be required, [...]

This is BS. Software that can run on different architectures cannot be described in terms of the physical hardware the software runs on. At best the patent that resulted would only be valid on the specific hardware that was described. I grant you, Microsoft (IIRC) did argue this nonsense successfully in a courtroom once but just because they were able to buffalo some lawyers and judges, that doesn't make it true.

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.