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Comment: Re:Clear Cut Collusion (Score 2) 73

by Etherwalk (#47429771) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

collusion, n., secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others.

It is not secret.

Can you point to an illegality? I suppose you can argue that they are restraining trade. But I think most courts would be okay with it. (All contracts restrain trade on some level; the motives behind this one aren't colluding to prevent competition so much as agreeing not to engage in an unproductive patent war.)

The patent system has a lot of problems. But just because we disagree with parts of it or how it's used doesn't make the people who are using it criminals.

Comment: Innovation in Markets (Score 1) 489

Markets compete on quality until the cheap stuff becomes good enough; then they compete on reliability; ultimately they compete on price. So long as there's a market people will keep making expensive high-quality stuff, but they'll *never* be a part of the mainstream market again.

Comment: Re:$507.03 (Score 1) 150

Lets say me and my friends decide to harass you, so I grab your iPhone and spike it on the pavement. You threaten to sue so I peel off a couple 20s and a 10, stuff it in your shirt pocket and say get lost. Do you feel compensated or insulted further?

Class actions are usually more about incentivizing the company not to do it again than they are about paying people a few bucks.

Comment: Simple Process (Score 1) 128

by Etherwalk (#47299703) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software

What's to escalate? When the schedule flat out doesn't work, and your calls to customer service get handed over to a customer svc agent's voice mail, unless they want to talk to you, and they don't... that was what happened with us, I have no idea what happened with them... escalate doesn't help.

1) Escalate to the purchasing decision-maker on your end.
2) As purchasing decision-maker, call one or more decision-makers on the other end. Service, but if you don't get through right away, then whoever at the company you have a relationship with (sales rep? development engineer?), who will know who to call.
3) If that fails, call and email company CEO. 3a) if that fails, company board of directors.
4) Document, document, document, succinctly, what occurred in terms of the company's response. If they are still being unhelpful, send them that document.
5) If they continue to be unhelpful, point out that it will be necessary to share said document in your press release about why prisoners are free.
6) If they continue to be unhelpful, do so. Run press release past your lawyers first to be sure you will win any defamation lawsuit to follow.

Comment: Re:$507.03 (Score 1) 150

Not even close reasonable; the lawyers are going to take half.

Then the government is going to take 33%.

That leaves the engineers with about a week of salary--probably actually less.

6 months salary for the ones who didn't loose their jobs+ 1 year of compensation for any who lost their job because of this + lawyers fees would be reasonable.

Lawyer's fees generally come out of the pocket of the side hiring the lawyers--it doesn't go into the calculation, unless we change that rule on a systemic level.

Six months *may* be reasonable, but it's a math problem, and a very speculative one--what would their salaries have been *without* the anti-competitive practices?

Comment: No (Score 2) 164

by Etherwalk (#47282245) Attached to: US House of Representatives Votes To Cut Funding To NSA

I'm keenly aware this statement by the US House can be circumvented in some fashion. These folks they're dealing with are secret agencies.

At the very least the representatives still have to pay me some lip service. Hell, some of them may have retained the ability to care.

Either way, it's a small victory for the Republic.

Forget the lip service. Just forget it. When you get involved in power politics at the level you're talking about, what happens *in the meeting* is what matters, and what you talk about outside the meeting is the window dressing.

Personalities change when you go into the back room. So do goals. People beg, borrow, steal, lie, blackmail, and it's all about what you can do for me, what I can do for you, what we can deliver, how we can ensure goal X gets done, and goal X isn't what we tell the people outside the room.

You're selling a narrative to people outside the room.

Comment: Re:$507.03 (Score 2, Informative) 150

$324.5 million / 64000 workers = $507.03

These tech workers are getting fuck either way.

$5070. It almost certainly isn't enough to make the engineers whole, but it is more than nothing and not completely unrespectable. (They didn't lose their entire salary, but did lose some money.)

It is a *settlement* proposal, though. It's not supposed to be enough to make them whole--just more reasonable for both sides than fighting.

Comment: Re:Competition Sucks (Score 1) 507

by Etherwalk (#47214531) Attached to: Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

If Uber were really offering legitimate competition, I would be more sympathetic. But they're partly undercutting existing taxis through ridiculous things like using drivers who lack commercial vehicle insurance, which is rather irresponsible.

Competition doesn't have to be fair to be legitimate. Cab companies also generally underinsure to the extent permitted by law. In New York, they carry some ridiculously low number like $25,000 of insurance, and each cab is incorporated so that there's no way to get to the company that actually owns them.

Fundamentally, if Uber can insure at least comparably to cab companies, are roughly as reliable, and can offer an equivalent service cheaper, they *should* win.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 519

by Etherwalk (#47209533) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Tenure exists to ensure that professors can pursue unpopular lines of inquiry without being troubled by university politics. It makes no sense in primary or secondary education.

Tenure exists because senior faculty exerts substantial political power at universities and those universities compete for faculty. The theoretical reason--unpopular lines of inquiry--is mostly a crock. Tenure is much more likely to protect an incompetent professor than a dischordant one.

At the secondary or elementary level, the only real rationale is job security. Teachers don't get paid as well as they should be and tenure is something they can be given that doesn't show up as a big item in the budget.

Comment: Hard Science v Soft Science (Score 1) 432

by Etherwalk (#47190727) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

Next you'll say that Turing machines were a thought experiment and never meant to perform calculations in the real world.

the Turing Test is much more of a soft science test. It's at least as much about psychology as it is about math.

Turing machines are about math.

Thought experiments about math have no need to be applied to the real world.

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong