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Comment: Re:Translation (Score 4, Interesting) 362

by Mortaegus (#40998765) Attached to: Samsung: Apple Stole the iPad's Design From Univ of Missouri Professor

I think the article misinterprets the situation. Samsung showing evidence like this could be taken that they are trying to say that they copied the ideas (perhaps even with permission) from the professor, and NOT from Apple. IANAL, but that would have a firmer legal position than challenging Apple's patent with prior art. If the court is willing to view the case in such terms they would, de facto, accept that Samsung's position (that they are not infringing) is valid.

Comment: Re:NHK World is reporting serious emissions (Score 1) 752

by Mortaegus (#35466996) Attached to: Nuclear Emergency Declared At 2 Plants In Japan

1k uSv per hour is not that bad really. The 'safe' level is low for the reason of protecting small children and pregnant mothers who are more at risk to low dosages. In truth, 20k uSv per year is considered safe for workers at nuclear power plants. The leak is not good, but not as bad as it is made out to be.

Also, these reactors are build differently than Chernobyl was. That was a fast reaction method, these are not. If they can control the temps then it will be fine.

Comment: Re:I have never understood this. (Score 5, Insightful) 276

by Mortaegus (#32784988) Attached to: Internet Sales Tax Gets a New Champion

The reason why this is stupid is because the tax would be going to the wrong place!

If I purchase something online, then the tax, if I am required to pay it, should go to that small city in Pennsylvania where their warehouse is located, not my local municipal. That's the place I am buying from, anyhow. The internet is like a magical doorway that teleports me into their store, all the way across the country, where I browse around and make a purchase. Then the internet teleports me back and I wait for them to ship it.

If the states wanted to argue that they needed to tax goods coming in from other states that would be one thing, but that isn't within their constitutional powers. Interstate commerce is governed by the federal level of government. Which makes the whole argument even more ridiculous.

Comment: Re:The Internet is less free... in Brazil. (Score 5, Interesting) 484

by Mortaegus (#31982398) Attached to: In Brazil, Google Fined For Content of Anonymous Posting

The problem with this trend is that the internet isn't like real life. In real life, stealing your information is difficult. The thief would have to dig through your trash and other distasteful things, maybe even break into your house. And if they wanted to see what kinds of things you were doing, or what you liked to buy, maybe so they could sell that information to an advertising company; they would have to hire a private investigator.

And that's just for you. What about everyone else?

The internet, and the way most people use it, leaves us all much more exposed. The simplest tracking cookie can tell someone everywhere you've been, from the items pages of amazon to your private social networking profile. Anonymity on the internet keeps us safe by making it that much harder to mine accurate information.

Remember that (Brazilian) woman who had her insurance revoked after the insurer learned that she had pictures on (a friend's) facebook account, wherein those pictures she was smiling and having a good time, so she (obviously) must be cured of her major depression. Reality is much different. The not-drug treatment for depression is socialization, and everyone smiles for the camera. I hope she sued the balls off of that company, but I never followed up on that story.

This is just an example of the damage that a company (which most people would agree is a legal one) can cause by abusing the exposure people face on the internet. What would less scrupulous individuals do if the internet lost anonymity? I'm sure it wouldn't affect anyone using it criminally. They'd simply get a proxy service or make their own. Suddenly, your information would become even more valuable, and you might get blamed for crimes you didn't commit if someone used your information to slander another person.

The internet allows anonymity for a reason. It must stay free and open and anonymous.

Demanding to change that is folly, and the laws that allow for this kind of criminalization of the service providers are trying to do just that.

Comment: Re:You slave away at this for years (Score 1) 80

by Mortaegus (#31829890) Attached to: Former Infinity Ward Bosses Sign With EA

Am I the only one that doesn't see where it is a problem that they would court other job offers?

I mean, seriously, if they are being offered better money to go develop games for another company, why should they be prevented from seeking gainful employment there? That kind of contractual obligation means that programmers might not get a raise, since their employer knows they can't leave, and isn't otherwise motivated to offer them anything more. Among other practices, like working them halfway past death for no reason other than increased productivity, because they're cheap bastards.

I might be a little biased here, but isn't this a free market? Isn't this what capitalism is supposed to be? Why are they allowed to impose limitations on their employees? It would be one thing if they stole something and sold it to a competitor. They have no right to that. But their ideas, and their own personal creativity, is something they should be allowed to sell to the highest bidder.

Is there something I'm missing here? They apparently aren't allowed to discuss other employment with their coworkers? If that kind of infringement upon free speech actually wins in court, we have much more serious problems to worry about.

Comment: Re:"Not for ________ use" (Score 1) 422

by Mortaegus (#30803258) Attached to: Wii Balance Board Gives $18,000 Medical Device a Run For Its Money

Profit margin is the percent of the whole that is profit, not the amount that you multiply by to reach the sell price of something. So a CD spool that costs $5 and sells at $10 has a profit margin of 50%. It is NOT POSSIBLE to have a 100% profit margin on anything that costs money to make.

Like the speed of light, you can approach it but not achieve it.

Also, the link in the parent is calculated after costs. I have never managed a brick and mortar store that had an average margin of less than 40%. In my current location, 37% is the break even point to cover fixed costs. Rent alone is $13700 a month, and we have to cover all maintenance inside the building as well as HVAC. Still, my store averages close to a million dollars a year, with about $350000 in profit. About half of that will pay for corporate costs incurred from our store, from human resources to customer service calls. But that cost varies. Then figure that our over-glorified executive gives himself a big bonus.

Comment: Re:Boom. (Score 5, Insightful) 325

by Mortaegus (#30544774) Attached to: "Home Batteries" Power Houses For a Week
The idea really isn't to backup your power during an outage. The idea is to store power collected with on-site measures such as solar/wind and use the battery during times when these local power measure's aren't supplying enough. Another point would be to purchase power from the electric company when demand is low, and store for use when demand is high. Power companies could signal that demand is too high and the load is about cause problems, and people could switch to their reserves, in order to prevent damage to the grid. (Such as happens frequently when everybody runs their air coolers in the summer). I think that this would be a good measure to prevent the problems that cause blackouts, but I don't think it should, in all cases, be the consumer putting forth the effort to fix things. (At least in the US they need fixing). The power companies should put a few of these in the ground, and THEY can activate them when the need is there, rather than asking customers to handle it for them. Else they can damn well charge us a lot less than 60 cents per kilowatt hour. (Newark).

Comment: Re:You get what you pay for (Score 3, Interesting) 253

by Mortaegus (#30442550) Attached to: Extended Warranty Purchases Up 10% This Year
It depends entirely upon the warranty provider and the terms within. Some of them really are worthwhile. Radio Shack had a great warranty about five years back (they've changed it now). And it used to be one of the best anywhere. Now, of all places, Officemax has a well thought out warranty offer. (Which I bought and used last year). Look at how the pricing is done, because that is where you can determine whether it is worth the extra purchase. They usually bracket the prices, in sections like $0-50 and $50-100 and so on. If the product is near the top of that bracket, it's going to give you the best warranty for your money. If it's in the middle, or near the lower end of the bracket, it probably would be best to walk away from it. I know it's hard, but if you read the terms and conditions, you can see precisely which ones are worth the money.

Comment: Re:Screw Up Or Forced Upgrade? (Score 1) 247

by Mortaegus (#30431858) Attached to: Office 2003 Bug Locks Owners Out
Printers make a really bad example. The vendors sell printers at a loss, because they know you will have to buy ink for it, and the ink is where they hide their margin. Forcing the customer to buy a new printer would cost them money, as well as you, and so be in neither party's interest. Worse still, printers or brands that accumulate bad reputations will be avoided, and if the product isn't sold at all, how will the company make money. Add that to the fact that printer vendors have real competition with each other, unlike microsoft, and it works even less in their favor, since the customer has alternatives. What makes microsoft so bad is that there really isn't an alternative. They have usurped control of an entire section of the market and can force their customers to comply with unreasonable demands if they so choose, and their customers lack ANY alternative to such measures, aside from not participating, which isn't an option at all. Monopolies need to be destroyed, and microsoft is the worst example of such.

Comment: Re:Of course they will (Score 0, Flamebait) 55

by Mortaegus (#30298032) Attached to: NASA Nebula, Cloud Computing In a Container
Not necessarily. I wouldn't want military weapons systems to use open-sourced software, and I believe that any work that takes time, effort, and an investment in resources should be properly rewarded, so not releasing the source-code in such instances is entirely forgivable. Provided, of course, that it is released within a reasonable time frame. I'll freely admit to stealing other people's work in the past and adapting it to my own ends. The difference being that I understood what was done and was capable of doing it myself if I had the time and resources to invest in making it, but without their original work I would have lacked the foundation upon which my own is built. It's called evolution, and it applies to more than physiology. Keeping code closed forever is like making a species extinct. Something else might come in and fill the void, eventually, but it has been removed from the gene-pool. But maybe that's a bad example.

Comment: Re:Of course they will (Score 2, Insightful) 55

by Mortaegus (#30297820) Attached to: NASA Nebula, Cloud Computing In a Container
It doesn't matter what the reason is, the fact that they are doing it at all is what matters to me. I'd accept a company bragging and boasting about themselves for doing something good in a heartbeat, as long as they did something worth doing. Likewise, I don't care what the motivating factor is in this instance, as long as it gets done, and really is open-sourced.

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