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Comment Re:What are "reasonable" legal fees? (Score 1) 197

It's easy. That's 5 hours for an IP lawyer.

Even for a garden variety lawyer, it's only 10 hours at a partner level. The fresh-outs are billing at $250-350/hr. There's two hours just to check conflict of interest and set up your file ($500). Send one of those briefs to go look up case law and type up a briefing for a half a day ($1000-1400), let the partner review it and consult for 2 hours with the client ($1000), then write and opinion (2 hours, $1000) and then send a brief to type/proof/file it with the court (4 hours, another $1000-1400) and you've easily popped a $4000-5000 bill.

Comment Re:Oops! (Score 1) 170

The problem is that you've spent $50,000 on lemonade taste testing and recipe development. Making a $5 glass of lemonade using a recipe which uses $0.35 of raw materials instead of $0.60 isn't going to allow you to make a bigger profit if you have to sell it for $4.75 or less.

They have two plans:
1) Sell their VR headsets for $500 and pray they sell enough
2) Declare bankruptcy, buy the tech back at liquidation, and start a new company selling the same headset for $200

Note: this is how golf courses get built. It generally takes two developers to go bankrupt before a golf course can turn a profit.

Comment Re:Engineering is expensive (Score 1) 170

Tech doesn't magically appear. It occurs because of engineering. It may not be your engineering budget, but somebody spent the money, time, and research costs to develop what you will eventually use.

And, just for the record, a lot of positional tracking DID come from rocket science (and the closely associated aeronautical work). And we spent a shitload of money on that kind of engineering just to get to the starting blocks where mobile phones could even consider them.

Comment Engineering is expensive (Score 3, Insightful) 170

The parts of cheap. Make 100 Million headsets and you could sell them profitably for $150. They've got a mountain of engineering debt to pay off, though, and they're sure as hell not going to sell 100 million.

People (and research) are expensive. That's why it's going to cost so much.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 0) 1136

A place where guns are prohibited but enforcement is not complete. Airports and courtrooms are gun-free zones. Everywhere else that guns are prohibited but every occupant is not subject to a rigorous search prior to entry, and all entrances and exits are not guarded, is only "technically" a gun-free zone.

This can be viewed as either a place where people shouldn't need to be worried about being harassed or bullied by armed citizens, or a place where the temporary physical superiority offered to you by carrying a firearm is suspended and you have to interact with humanity on a nominally equal footing. A cynic might say that this is either a "target rich environment" or a place where those of weak minds and hearts despise because the ability to deprive someone else of their life via a gun is the only way the can find value in themselves.

Comment Re:So let me get this straight... (Score 1) 483

Your analogy is entirely flawed. If you sell guns to the government, you expect them to be used in a war (police action, call it what you will). If you sell computers to a TLA, they're going to use it for spying.

It's not like they came to HP and said - we need to monitor every private citizen's communication in a way the is highly illegal and intrusive - what can you sell us for that? They said "we need X machines, it's a black project, can you deliver?"

Comment Re:Not a concern when you use uBlock Origin (Score 1) 251

I gave up on using hosts - well, pi-hole actually, but the same thing - blocking at the DNS level. Frankly, it's a huge headache to keep up on either blocking all the site you want to block, or constantly having to manually update whitelists to get through when you do want to see that gets axed by the major aggregators (like blocking all of by default), and there are some ads on site I prefer to go to that simply don't get blocked because they're self-served (i.e. Google, Facebook).

Comment So let me get this straight... (Score 3, Insightful) 483

The government calls up your company for a big order of you product, and you make it happen and get the product delivered, and now you're going to crucified for it?

Carly was a horrible CEO and I want to see her ripped to pieces by rabid monkeys and dance about on the incinerated remains of her entrails. But I'm having a hard time seeing how - as a businesswoman - delivering a product for money makes her somehow worse because she happened to sell to the NSA. I'll still hate/mistrust her for the moral support of the questionable practices of the spook community in the 00s, but not for selling stuff.

Comment Re:No microSD slot. No, thanks. (Score 1) 208

You know, it didn't even need a "slot". An internal - can't-be-easily-user-replaced SD slot would be fine just so that you could buy your phone and the amount of storage you need; even if it means replacing requires a special software procedure.

I think I've taken the SD card out of my G3 once - to replace the 64GB card (96GB total) with a 128GB card (160GB total) when I needed more space.

Comment Roughtly $2T for the mission in today's dollars (Score 1) 211

Apollo: 25B
STS: $200B

It's not unreasonable to estimate that a major space undertaking will be an order of magnitude larger by the time things are done. I could be shy by 20-30%, but I think 2 Trillion is a fair over-under cost.

It will never happen with the current budgets. Even if you stripped out all the pet projects and tail chasing and gave over all the launch vehicle research to private industry you'd still only have 3-5 Billion to spend. There are many technical challenges which exist which still need to be solved in parallel for this to happen, and my predicted $2T isn't going to happen at $5B/yr.

The second mission to Mars will be quite a bit easier, and the 100th will be as simple as putting a comm satellite in GEO. Note that GEO is still a wickedly expensive endeavor, but it's so routine now that private industry can do it. It is worth noting, however, that supersonic flight - though pretty much perfected by the government, still isn't practical or affordable for commercial use.

Comment The cheap way to Mars is through Hollywood. (Score 4, Insightful) 211

You want to go to Mars? How about Saturn? Or a neighboring star or galaxy? Maybe even skip to an alternate universe all together?

Hollywood does it every year for $50-200M a pop. Most of the people in this country believe all the impossible stuff they do in the movies is real anyway, and couldn't tell if even the basic physics was so screwed up as to be laughable. Heck, even the school systems and police - you know, the "smart ones" we let teach our kids and the experts on explosives - get all their bomb identification training from Hollywood.

You want these people to fork over real money for real science when fake science that makes them feel good can be had for $11.50 a seat and a $4 soda?

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.