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Comment: Re:Wow, (Score 1) 61

by NormalVisual (#49184741) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off
Perhaps if Blue is smart, they will offer X a free license to use their 'technology' in exchange for dropping any attempt to squash the patent.

Wouldn't it kind of defeat the purpose of patenting the idea if the only company that would have the need to use the patented invention was given permission to use it for free? Granted, the patent still has 15 years to go before it runs out, but SpaceX is likely to be the only company using the technology in the near future.

Comment: Re:There is no engineering. (Score 2, Informative) 323

My suspicion is that the term railroad engineer for the guy who drives a train derives from the fact that the first men who drove trains were the same men who designed trains.

I think it's probably more that the engineer was responsible for controlling primary aspects of the locomotive's engine back in the early steam days (boiler pressure, signalling, etc.), much as the fireman's role was maintaining the fire that heated the boiler, and the brakemen's job was controlling the brakes on one or more cars.

Comment: Re:There is no engineering. (Score 5, Insightful) 323

Me, I'm just a programmer - thank you very much. I am not an engineer because I do not have an engineering degree, the experience or the exams that says I am.

I actually feel the same way. I've got a few decades of professional coding experience, and would like to think I don't completely suck at it, but I much prefer the title "programmer", "developer", or even "analyst". The title "engineer" implies training and responsibilities that the vast majority of code monkeys like me don't have.

Comment: Re:Well, that makes things better (Score 1) 129

by NormalVisual (#49003531) Attached to: CrunchBang Linux Halts Development
Have you installed Windows recently? OK, I haven't since Windows 7, myself, but that install just asked me for timezone, language, and maybe which keyboard I was using (but the default was right), and the rest was just "next, next, next" and that was it, it ran for a while and rebooted 2x and was done with no further input.

It's more or less the same now with 8, except for the extra non-intuitive steps you have to take to avoid signing up for a Microsoft user account. Unfortunately there's still the continued lack of an option in the setup process to create a regular user account for everyday use in addition to an account with admin privileges (and no, UAC doesn't count because people still blindly click through the dialogs asking for permission to do stuff).

Comment: Re:What if they'd stuck with it? (Score 3, Interesting) 294

by NormalVisual (#48994901) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy
The Internet is killing a lot of the traditional retailers like Radio Shack and Sears

IMO Sears is doing more to kill Sears than the Internet is. When you order an item that costs several hundred dollars, and not only does it not get shipped to the store for pickup but no one even follows up on the order, you can't expect to keep very many customers.

Comment: Re:Sad... (Score 3, Interesting) 242

by NormalVisual (#48964743) Attached to: RadioShack Near Deal To Sell Half of Its Stores, Close the Rest
Sears will be next.

And I won't be the least bit surprised when it happens. Last year I ordered a drill press from Sears online, to be picked up and paid for at the local store. No confirmation of the order via email, and when it was supposed to have arrived, the store said they hadn't received it but would call to make sure it was delivered the next week when they received their regular shipment from the warehouse. Called the next week, still not there. I went out and bought a press from another place, and never heard back again from Sears.

When someone orders several hundred dollars' worth of product and you can't even be bothered to follow up on that order (or even deliver it), you don't have a sunny financial future ahead of you. Sears used to be a great store, but management at all levels seems to be a pack of idiots hell-bent on driving it into the ground.

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 1) 825

I take it Apple 'leeched of the society' by creating production lines and products that provide them with all their earnings around the world?

They certainly do avail themselves of the protections of intellectual property law, ultimately enforced by government intervention. Apple's owners also avail themselves of the protections of a corporate charter, provided by that same government. "Free market" is truly nothing of the sort, and there's always a line that free market advocates aren't willing to cross when it comes to getting the government completely out of the market. It's like the people that scream to "keep the government out of my Medicare!".

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant