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Comment Re:On the fly/road measurements (Score 3, Interesting) 203

because most people can't afford to keep cars of that age on the road at all

If we assume the average new car is $20,000 today, it works out to close to $450/month over four years. I don't know too many people with older cars that are having to spend anywhere near that much on maintenance.

Comment Re:Not an exclusive lock (Score 1) 372

There's no such thing as "exclusive rights" on a drug that's off patent.

Yeah, there is, in the U.S. at least. The FDA's Unapproved Drug Initiative, among other things, grants pharmaceutical manufacturers the exclusive right to sell the drugs they test under the program. It's the reason that colchicine, which had been around for hundreds of years and was cheap and common prior to the program, is no longer available as a generic. Another screwed-up situation is that of albuterol, which was also cheap and widely available. In that case, mandated changes to the drug's delivery system to remove CFCs (even though using CFCs was otherwise legal in this application) allowed manufacturers to patent new delivery systems, and albuterol is no longer available as a generic even though the drug itself is not patented.

In both cases, it was administrative action by the FDA that was solely responsible for forcing drastically increased drug prices on people.

Comment Re:Why bother? Get insurance. (Score 1) 212

And bars on the windows if you're already going to that much trouble. Rose bushes immediately underneath the windows are a nice touch too. It's amazing to see so many houses that are built with full-length windows on either side of the front door nowadays. You might as well not even lock your door if you have those.

Comment Re:Monitoring isn't peace of mind. (Score 2) 212

I'm a concealed weapons permit instructor. I'm all in favor of defending your life, and firearms are the best tools for that. But don't ever think that it's a good outcome. Killing an intruder is a better outcome than being killed by one, but it's still very bad.

Very wise post, and as a CCW holder myself I couldn't agree more. There's an old saying, "every bullet that leaves your gun has a lawyer attached to it". Except for range time, of course, which anyone that carries should be getting plenty of.

Comment Accountable? I think not. (Score 3, Insightful) 403

FTA: Rogers said, "I don't think we have fundamentally destroyed the public's trust. Some feel that way, but we are accountable to the citizens of the nation, and the nation is counting on us. The nation needs the insights we generate and our computer expertise."

No, you're not accountable to the citizens of the nation, Mr. Rogers. If you were, many of you would be in jail right now. Was James Clapper "held accountable" for the felony crime of lying to Congress?

Once you understand that you're not above the law, and once you truly become accountable to those you ostensibly "serve", then the cynicism will die down. Until then, you're continuing to reinforce that cynicism on your own by your actions, your attempts to hide them, and your willingness to lie about them. You have no one else to blame for it other than yourself.

Comment Re:DRM is code for You Are Serfs (Score 1) 215

It's not just a dodge to make citizens feel like corporations are paying their fair share, as it is in the US.

Corporate taxes in general get rolled into the purchase price of the item. You and I are de facto paying the taxes, regardless of what the legalities are, and the same is true for any other taxes or fees that are assessed prior to the sale of the finished item to the ultimate customer.

Comment Re:Makes as much sense as any patent. (Score 2) 215

Patent law does not prevent you from arranging anything in any configuration you want. It only prevents you from selling the result.

Very first paragraph of 35 USC 271:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

Patent law (in the U.S. anyway) covers more than what you might believe.

Comment Re:Who thought Jobs *was* involved? (Score 1) 440

No, the cases were usually hand-made by either the owner or whoever they bought the board from. There were only a couple hundred of the Apple Is made, so while it was an important machine historically, it wasn't that instrumental to the company's success. Mike Markkula probably had more to do with the early success of Apple than either Woz or Jobs. Woz provided the technical know-how, Jobs was the salesman, but Markkula wrote the checks and provided the business knowledge.

nohup rm -fr /&