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Comment: what a load of crap (Score 1) 381

by John_3000 (#45509329) Attached to: Code.org: More Money For CS Instructors Who Teach More Girls

Congress probably does understand the law of supply and demand but just doesn't have the spine to resist billionaires.

As mentioned in prior notes, H-1B is unmistakeably a tool to flood the programming market with cheap labor to keep wages down.

What surprises me most, given all the high minded rhetoric one hears about helping "the developing world," is no one ever seems to mention that US immigration policies work to strip poor countries of their intelligentsia and commercial talent.

Comment: Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

by John_3000 (#41529137) Attached to: Another Call For Abolishing Patents, This One From the St. Louis Fed

You seem to think somebody is giving points on debate technique. No one is. And I kind of like a little fist pounding now and again.

You're just argumentative like so many others here. When you have something to add, some hair to split, some fine distinction you think cries out for elaboration, you don't have to start out with stuff like "not quite." There's also "another aspect is," "also" or even just " ."

Patents are supposed to be what I said and also what you said. There's no argument. There's just you, pursuing your strange little hobby.

Comment: Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

by John_3000 (#41519461) Attached to: Another Call For Abolishing Patents, This One From the St. Louis Fed

Let me see if I have this straight. Low-payed but passionate engineers invent for pleasure while living on wages from high-payed MBAs and lawyers who promptly patent any of those inventions they think might actually make money (plus a lot of others just to have ammo to fire back at infringement suits)? Sounds right to me. But that doesn't mean patents aren't meant to incentivise inventors. I think that's even written down somewhere.

BTW I don't think anyone in these 300 or so comments so far has advocated for the present system.

Also, if those engineers are so damned smart why ain't they rich.

Comment: Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

by John_3000 (#41519319) Attached to: Another Call For Abolishing Patents, This One From the St. Louis Fed

Maybe you're the idiot, Mr. Coward. This thread and Slashdot generally has a lot of people saying that people (other than themselves) should give away inventions or just have them taken. But what if the inventor has no one else to pay his bills. What if he has babies to feed and a mortgage on his miserable little hovel. What then, eh.

I'll tell you what: he might not choose to invest the time to invent (there's a lot of trial and error). Or he might treat his invention as a trade secret. Either way you don't get full benefit. Patents are the best thing that ever happened to hypocritical little commie parasites because they get the gizmo now courtesy of the inventor's patent and they get it manufactured under license. And not more than 20 years later it's public domain.

Comment: Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

by John_3000 (#41505903) Attached to: Another Call For Abolishing Patents, This One From the St. Louis Fed

Well, I doubt they know as much about patents as I do.

The problems with US patents mostly arise because the USPTO is operated as a cash cow and flat doesn't care whether the patents they issue are valid or not, where valid means something like "issued according to law, defensible under the law, not obvious, not already patented, not existing in prior art." They just cash the check and send the money on to Congress. Consequently a US patent is only as valid as its most recent court victory.

Yes there are folks who work just for the common good. Priests, I guess, and of course computer programmers.

Comment: there's a reason for patents (Score 2, Insightful) 315

by John_3000 (#41503687) Attached to: Another Call For Abolishing Patents, This One From the St. Louis Fed

Patents are supposed to be a (time-limited) barrier to competition. They're supposed to be the way the inventor gets payed for his invention. Without patents there's little incentive to develop inventions into technologies --- technologies that would be quickly copied. People who don't understand this probably would really suck as businessmen.

The present patent system is a travesty, a farce, an outrage --- not much more than a license for lawyers to steal. But the answer to a broken patent system is a fixed patent system, not no patent system.

Comment: it's the damned gnomes (Score 1) 333

by John_3000 (#41274633) Attached to: When a Primary Source Isn't Good Enough: Wikipedia

IMHO a root problem with Wikipedia is that there is no effective check on the so-called Wikignomes --- people who mindlessly edit for form instead of content, claiming they are enforcing wikipedia rules. Some no doubt do a good job but many misunderstand those rules, or willfully distort them for their own perverse ends, as happened in the original post. There's no efficient way to police these sick little gnomes, or wasn't the last time I encountered them.

Comment: Re:It's called an idiot box for a reason ... (Score 1) 210

by John_3000 (#39159433) Attached to: Your Next TV Interface Will Be a Tablet

The reason for a"second screen" GUI is that the first screen isn't big enough. To serve well as a GUI a distant TV screen should subtend a solid angle comparable to that of a (close) computer monitor screen. At 10 or 15 feet distance that's a pretty big TV screen. Bigger than 60 inches. So big that what you really want instead is a projector TV shining on most of a wall.

I think that rather than watch TV on an otherwise pretty much useless tablet, I'll wait for that projector.

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