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Comment: Re:1990 called (Score 1) 104

Raised again.

The initial plan called for a ditch and wall with 80 small gated milecastle fortlets, one placed every Roman mile, holding a few dozen troops each, and pairs of evenly spaced intermediate turrets used for observation and signalling.

And more details on another page:

Each tower was in sight of the next in the line, and a simple system of semaphore signalling was used between them.

Comment: Doesn't mean it's not quantum (Score 1, Insightful) 119

by Ken_g6 (#47278031) Attached to: Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

This could mean that D-Wave isn't quantum. Or it could mean that quantum computing in general isn't faster than normal computing. I seem to recall some physicist making a bet that quantum computing would be proved equivalent to classical computing.

Comment: Re:Goodbye 1Click (Score 1) 220

by Ken_g6 (#47273249) Attached to: US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

So, that leaves something like 1-Click subject to patent claims as a "business method", but according to the above ruling, there is an argument that it lacks sufficient substance as a method to be patentable.

Thus, someone needs to attack "business method" patents and obtain a similar ruling.

Well, that's the question, isn't it? I don't think this completely invalidates "business method" patents.

This is an extension of the argument that "$process on a computer" is not patentable separately from $process. A previous ruling said that if $process was already patented, "$process on a computer" did not constitute a new patent. This ruling says that if $process is not defined specifically enough to be patented, then "$process on a computer" does not add enough specifics to make the whole process patentable.

So, I think that leaves something like 1-Click subject to patent claims as a "business method", because it is sufficiently specific: The business identifies you, stores your payment info and address, and both charges you and ships stuff to you with one action. To invalidate it would require a similar process in use before the patent, whether or not it used a computer.

Comment: I take something else from the study (Score 4, Interesting) 53

by Ken_g6 (#47249305) Attached to: Humans Not Solely To Blame For Passenger Pigeon Extinction

In discussion about potentially cloning passenger pigeons, there were concerns that the species needed huge flocks. As a result, there were concerns that cloning just a few wouldn't be enough to bring back the species.

Since this study showed that passenger pigeons had population crashes before and came back, this should alleviate the flock size concerns.

Comment: Re:What alien would think to look here? (Score 1) 686

by Ken_g6 (#47246579) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

It seems you haven't read this:

Huh, I either didn't read that or discounted it. Something similar happens in our own solar system. A planet either needs a thick atmosphere (Venus) or a strong magnetic field (Earth) or it loses most of its atmosphere (Mercury, Mars). And I think tidal locking could be an advantage, preventing wild climate swings.

Comment: What alien would think to look here? (Score 1) 686

by Ken_g6 (#47218691) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

I currently subscribe to a variant of this climate change theory. (Natural, not anthropogenic.)

My variant is that all, or almost all the civilizations the aliens know about formed around red dwarf stars. It's nice and stable there for very long periods of time. We're only stable here by luck - and our big moon helps some.

Another fun thing to think about: If you look at our system as a whole, from a very long distance, we look like we're still a pre-multicellular world. Sure, there's free oxygen and water (Earth), but there's lots of iron still to be oxidized (Mars), and lots of free CO2 (Mars and Venus). I imagine there are a lot of pre-multicellular worlds (like Mars IMHO) orbiting yellow stars, so we don't stand out. (But for our radio transmissions.)

Comment: Why not an address market? (Score 0) 197

by Ken_g6 (#47212691) Attached to: Latin America Exhausts IPv4 Addresses

Why does the transition to IPV6 have to happen immediately after all IPV4 addresses are allocated? Why can't someone set up a market for IPV4 addresses that can then be bought and sold? At that point, the transition to IPV6 wouldn't happen very quickly, until the cost for IPV4 addresses exceeded the cost for IPV6 equipment. Then it would happen very quickly.

Comment: Re:still speculation (Score 1) 475

by Ken_g6 (#47143039) Attached to: The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

Actually it could be both. TFA doesn't say "warrant canary"; it says "duress canary". Duress could be anything from NSA to Russian Mob to simply getting sick of working on the project.

Furthermore, if the "duress canary" was set up right, inaction would cause it to appear. So it would be the default result of a "rage quit". And maybe they were too sick of the project to bother with anything better.

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. -- Sinclair Lewis