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Comment: Re:What exactly are these patents? (Score 1) 361 361

Based on the published newspaper articles so far, though, I must say it looks as if patent law is being used to accomplish the exact opposite of its supposed intent.

Software patents have always been like this. Most software developers hate them with a passion. I should know, I am one.

Comment: Re:It makes sense (Score 1) 298 298

Google. Apple. Facebook. Oracle. Red Hat. Microsoft. Biggest names in tech...and all do their software development in the US. That should tell you something. You don't turn over development on your mission critical software to a bunch of people you don't know in a foreign country. It's just stupid, and the only people who seriously consider it are a bunch of idiot business majors who don't know any better.

Note, this is not meant as a slam on programmers from India; the reality is that there aren't enough good programmers on the planet to meet the demand for them. Outsourcing companies make up the difference by hiring crappy programmers, who inevitably end up being a net drain on productivity.

Comment: Re:A republican in favor of free speech ? (Score 1) 467 467

The practical issue here is that not everybody has the same idea about what constitutes a "human right". And people's concepts of rights often conflict with each other.

If we let the U.N. decide what is a right, they would censor anything that criticizes a religion.

Comment: Re:Impact (Score 1) 125 125

It's the art of creating botnets made of human minds.

Computers can be turned into botnet zombies only because they have no will of their own to begin with. Arguing that humans can likewise be "programmed" presumes that people are purely deterministic, and cannot make independent decisions. Even if you believe that's true, it raises serious issues from an ethical standpoint; human rights are based on the assumption that humans have free will.

In other words, arguing that the media constitutes mind control is the same as arguing that there are no inherent human rights, and governments/corporations/the System/whatever are totally justified in exploiting people.

Comment: Re:Two sides of the same coin (Score 1) 122 122

I see two good reasons to split the NSA, neither of which is really discussed by the article: 1.)Computer security is not part of the NSA's mandate. Currently its stated purpose is just spying; it's being pressed into a cybersecurity role because it's the only agency with the talent needed. That means security is secondary to spying. We could change this, but the current system is not optimal from a security point of view. 2.)Perception. The NSA is widely known as a spy agency and that is intimidating. Companies need to trust an entity to seek network defense help from it and an agency that only handled security would probably be viewed as more trustworthy.

Comment: Re:devil's advocate (Score 1) 286 286

Someone invented something which otherwise would not have existed, and in return they got paid money in a chain of payments which ended up with this company. That's how capitalism works - the free trade of commodities.

Yeah, but patents aren't just based on capitalism. They're based on intellectual property legislation, and the point of that legislation is to encourage technological development. The moment that patent laws no longer bolster innovation and research, they become illegitimate. Patent trolls are clear evidence that current law does not produce innovation. If software patents had any actual value, people would use them for more than just lawsuits.

Comment: Re:PC gamers think they should get games for free (Score 1) 1027 1027

Compromise Solution: Why don't you guys put in nasty DRM for the first couple weeks (when games tend to make the majority of their money), and then just patch it out of existence once the game inevitably gets pirated? You'd still have the protection while it matters, and the gesture would help assure gamers that you aren't going to rip them off by remote deactivation.

Comment: Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136 1136

For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable; so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

It would take a net decrease in the Earth's average temperature over an extended period of time. Cyclical climate variations should make that happen eventually, if human activities are not having an impact.

You're at Witt's End.

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