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Comment: Re:Exinction (Score 1) 72

So by what metric are Neanderthals extinct, if there are Neanderthals who have living descendants with a measurable amount of their genetic makeup?

There is no living population, large enough to produce additional generations of viable offspring, with a full, or substantial, Neanderthal genome.

Comment: Re:If you can't do, sue! (Score 1) 122

by plover (#48209519) Attached to: Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

Nope. Legal protections for intellectual property include patents, trademarks, and copyright. However, all these have limited lifetimes. Having a trade secret means you forgo any legal protection, and you take on defending your secret through your own security systems. That means you can retain a trade secret for as long as you can keep it secret, but once the genie's out of the bottle, too bad. The courts can't help you directly, but you could sue a disgruntled employee if he published the 11 secret herbs and spices in breach of his employment contract.

Comment: Re:If you can't do, sue! (Score 1) 122

by plover (#48209443) Attached to: Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

On the one hand, there is the philosophy that "locks only keep honest people out." If someone is using a hack to bypass their door security, the current legal framework could be used to charge them with trespassing, breaking and entering, illegal use of lock-picking equipment, possession of burglary tools, or some other charge. If a prosecutor wants to file charges against you for using such a device, he will. To that end, HID may feel they have to try to defend their system through the legal system, or the courts may not take their products seriously as a security system.

On the other hand, anyone who has such a system protecting their buildings and grounds is now at Pucker-Factor One. These SLAPP lawsuits are just confirmation that HID acknowledges the threat to their systems is real, and the attack code is already in the hands of vandals and bad guys. If building security was my job I'd be on the phone to HID today, and googling the competition while their account manager lied in my ear about how it's not a crisis.

Comment: Re:Oh, another one (Score 1) 122

by plover (#48209355) Attached to: Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

You have just described the crime of barratry, or of a SLAPP. Neither will get you disbarred.

Remember, the bar is populated by other lawyers, and they like to practice freely. They're won't disbar someone for defending their client through vigorous means - to defend someone in any other way would be unethical to their client. A SLAPP has to be really, really egregious before it sinks to that level.

Comment: Re:But disabling GSM when possible is still smart (Score 1) 23

by Qzukk (#48208523) Attached to: Deutsche Telecom Upgrades T-Mobile 2G Encryption In US

They're eager to do things they can charge for. I bet AT&T charges a pretty penny for the connections to room 641A

They're a little less eager to do things they can't make money on. Of course, if they don't participate they might find themselves like Qwest's CEO, who lost all the government contracts because he wouldn't play ball with the NSA, then got arrested on securities charges for losing stockholders' money by losing the government contracts.

Comment: Re:Dear Canada.... (Score 3, Funny) 475

by ScentCone (#48208119) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

About 6 billion of the world population are muslims, that's around 23% of the world population.

I'm going to bet that even some of the most jihad-obsessed radicals, fresh from what passes for school Taliban-land, are better at math than you are.

If there are 6 billion Muslims, and they make up 23% of the world population, that means the world as a population of over 26 billion people.

Do you know some secret place on the planet where we're hiding almost 20 billion extra, previously unknown people?

Comment: Re:All the movies had women in business (Score 1) 723

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#48204735) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Waterfall vs Agile. Waterfall, you get the spec, go and code. Agile you get lucky to code a couple of hours a day, the rest is ALL spec gathering, and then you stay up all night for the sprint right before you submit the code for user acceptance testing.

Comment: Re:Kinda funny how taxes set back the internet (Score 1) 305

by pla (#48203889) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic
But if it's anything else, taxes are so great.

Wait, what? We reading the same website here?

The same website where we routinely see rants about attempts to tax Amazon? Where people seethe over paying POTS-era taxes on data-only cell plans? Where people routinely complain that we need to do away with SS and privatize all retirement benefits? Where Obamacare causes flamewars and we consider WIC a necessary evil?

Offhand, I can think of only a single pro-tax issue generally considered "great" among Slashdotters - Eliminating the double-Irish-dodge and getting multinationals to pay their fare share. And personally, I'd say that has less to do with "pro-tax" than "anti-corporate". Other than that, we seem like a pretty anti-tax anti-government crowd, overall.

Comment: Re:Nah, this is just stage 1 (Score 1) 305

by pla (#48203781) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic
So why does he get so much credit on slashdot? Is this the new libertarian conservative shithole of the internet?

Nice throwaway slam - Want to borrow a crowbar to get that foot out of your mouth?

Because, for the most part, Libertarians hate Reagan. Despite how you might prefer to demonize Libertarians, laissez faire doesn't mean "subsidize the rich".

Comment: Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (Score 1) 54

Combining A+B and C may not be easy, but it is obvious. This is actually the main problem I see with software patents: idea C is "with a computer", and A+B is some existing invention. Newspapers - on a computer! Alarm clocks - on a computer! Bank transactions - on a computer! Sure it was hard to program them. It's still obvious. But if securing the bank transactions requires new innovations in security technology to glue the pieces together, those innovations could merit patent D. Does not and should not prevent anybody else from making their own secure bank transactions with a different security method because somebody got an A+B+C patent covering the obvious part.

Definitely, and that should be the answer to those:
"Alarm clock, on a computer!"
"That's obvious. Alarm clocks and computers both exist."

"But this was difficult because [intricate problem that's different with computer clocks] and we had to do [intricate solution]."
"Then put that in the patent claims."

Good patent examiners currently do that, but there's a bunch of terrible stuff out there.

Really not understanding your point about pharmaceuticals. How is the benzene ring different from "including a library or function in a program [which] should have an absolutely predictable result"?

Combine a program and a library and even before hitting compile, you should be able to tell exactly what the result is. Combine a benzene ring and a hydroxide compound and even if you done it at one position, move it someplace else and it could have the opposite effect. It's unpredictable.

I do agree though that pharmaceuticals are a bit different than other patent issues, but for a different reason: selling a drug requires round after round of expensive clinical trials because of the FDA. Without exclusivity, there may not be enough incentive for drug companies to pay for those trials if a generic manufacturer can reverse engineer the same drug and sell it on the cheap without paying for the trials. Maybe the FDA should have its own special exclusivity granting system so we can peel off one of the complications of patent law.

True. Pharmaceuticals don't really seem to mesh with patent law anyway - right now, a company will defend their patent application as I did above, saying that the result of any compound is absolutely unpredictable, so therefore, nothing is ever obvious in drugs... and then when they get the patent and some competitors makes a biosimilar drug, that first company will leap up and say it's just an obvious variation on the patent and is covered under the doctrine of equivalents.

Comment: Re:Not a surprise, but is it just one ingredient? (Score 1) 420

by Theaetetus (#48203335) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

In short-- dont let me stop you if you want to look into steak and beer as potential causes of telomere shortening-- but unless theres substantive results there, Im not going to start panicking yet.

Or, as I suggested, we could actually do science and do a whole bunch of tests changing or removing one variable at a time: try cola and then try clear cola, rather than your suggested "try cola, try steak, gosh, different effects."