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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Webcast (Score 1) 63

by Pigeon451 (#47705209) Attached to: Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

I would mod you up against the storm of patent-hating middle-aged techies here if I had points. Unfortunately any post suggesting patents are good will get modded into oblivion.

The real issue is the plight of the middle income person trying to fight the corporation. Even if the patent is totally off base, we just can't afford it.

Comment: Patents are useful, but the system is flawed (Score 0) 240

by Pigeon451 (#47653825) Attached to: Patents That Kill

Without patents, most people wouldn't have the drive to develop their product. Money drives people, unfortunately. A larger company with more money could come in, take an idea and run with it, leaving the patent-less inventor empty handed. I agree the patent system is flawed and needs correcting, but, entrepreneurs absolutely need to protect their ideas.

Most people seem to think you have a great idea, patent it and develop it and make money. HA. First of all, patents generally cost $10-50k each by the time they're approved. Second, only 0.01% or so of all patents are actually useful and make the inventor money. Third, an inventor has to continually improve on their product, and write new patents to protect themselves. Another company can come along and submit a patent as an improvement on the original patent, thereby skirting the original patent or forcing the original company to license it.

Finally, even if you have a great idea, a great team and good financing, an idea still has a good probability of failing. Writing a patent is pretty easy. Developing the patent into a product, including manufacturing, marketing, etc. is damn hard. If it was easy, everyone would be rich ;).

Comment: Re:Universities should have no patents (Score 2) 130

by Pigeon451 (#46652849) Attached to: Details You're Not Supposed To See From Boston U's Patent Settlements

You obviously have no idea how research at a University works. The money from students, etc. goes to running the school. The vast majority of funds for "research" is acquired through grants and collaborations by faculty, many of which have value in the millions. The school provides the infrastructure, and graduate students. Undergrad students may work in the lab, but they do not really contribute to novel research.

Also blame the textbook costs on the publishers, not schools and requiring new books each year. What a racket.

Comment: Wazhack (Score 1) 669

by Pigeon451 (#46286217) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

Combines Nethack and a 2D platform scroller. Not nearly as complicated as Nethack, but much more fun IMHO. Also has a unique multiplayer component. The developer is active on Reddit, and fixes bugs quickly.

Website: http://www.wazhack.com/
Just released on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/...
Reddit page: http://www.reddit.com/r/WazHac...

Comment: Re:Not very surprising. (Score 1) 117

by Pigeon451 (#46111295) Attached to: Study: Some Antioxidants Could Increase Cancer Rates

Yes, in many tumors that grow too big too fast, the central region becomes necrotic (it dies). Doesn't affect things much, there are still plenty of cancer cells outside of the dying core. Some tumor therapies try to kill off the new blood vessels made by the cancer, which helps slow growth, but other therapies must be used to kill it off.

Comment: Re:Bollocks (Score 2) 366

by Pigeon451 (#45874719) Attached to: Why a Cure For Cancer Is So Elusive

so a productive approach may be to find what it is that is causing people's bodies to fail to continue to detect and correct cancers in the body. Unfortunately, that has more to do with diet than drugs and so there isn't a strong profit motive to take that vector seriously.

There is plenty of research trying to determine why a person doesn't see the cancer, and plenty of research to train the immune system on how to fight the cancer.
See: http://www.mayo.edu/research/discoverys-edge/training-immune-system-fight-cancer

Diet has an effect on cancer but it's not how you state it. Drugs are all very powerful ally in the fight against cancer.

Comment: Content not available on this device (Score 1) 211

by Pigeon451 (#45827715) Attached to: Are Tablets Replacing Notebook Computers? (Video)

I'm using a blackberry playbook to browse the intertubes this morning, and the video says content not available on this device. I suppose the summary is asking about real tablets though, I got this one for free and would never buy one.

Tablets are great for browsing and reading pdfs, but prefer a laptop to writing documents and productivity things,even if I was to use an eternal keyboard. It depends on the application.

Comment: As usual, summary is inflammatory (Score 5, Informative) 183

by Pigeon451 (#45754771) Attached to: DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years

Title copied from Boing Boing, and the article there is full of hyperbole. T3 is providing digitization to the over 1 million physical media, organize and catalog everything, and then will charge a fee for access (however access for authorized government personnel is FREE). T3 is NOT claiming copyright, they just have an exclusive license for 10 years.

Check this out:
300,000 physical videos (300,000 hours!)
37,000 films (11,000 hours)
40,000 audio clips (1.5 million minutes)
700,000 still images
1.2 million digital images.

Seems reasonable to me. HALF the library is not even accessible on the internet as they are physical only. This is a good way to preserve what has been accumulated, and a lot of it is very old.

A much better summary is here:

Comment: Re:What about contributers? (Score 1) 133

I thought people generally contributed to open source to help everyone out and get a better product, not to share potential revenue. Cyanogenmod is open source and must remain so. Now that the maintainers have raised funding to really get Cyanogenmod into the mainstream, you're backing off? Sounds a bit backwards to me. If you really want some cash, maybe see if you can get hired by them...

Comment: Re:Oh, great. (Score 1) 133

Google has full control over android. ALL purchases and a lot of activity is "logged" by Google. You don't think a more transparent OS would be beneficial to the community? The OS would have to remain open source also. Look at what canonical has done for Linux in the past 10 years...

Comment: Re:FDA is doing you a favor (Score 1) 371

by Pigeon451 (#45526175) Attached to: FDA Tells Google-Backed 23andMe To Halt DNA Test Service

While 23andme is a for-profit company, I think they will really accelerate genetic-based medicine. They will find many new insights into how people are predisposed to certain diseases, and ultimately open the door for better medical treatment. Once they've created their massive database, they can use their algorithms to find relations that regular academic researchers could not find due to time and cost constraints. I bet they're going to eventually become a very profitable company.

Take for instance certain genes that are known to cause cancer or other diseases with high probability -- I bet there are many more. They discuss specifically Parkinsons, who Sergey Brin has a 30-75% chance of getting according to stats (this will likely be narrowed down as they do more tests and find better correlations).

Comment: Nanostation for wifi (Score 1) 285

by Pigeon451 (#45323889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

For those who have a neighbour across the street or a few houses down, we use a Nanostation as a wifi link. Easily get 40-60 Mbps. We used to use WDS on DD-WRT but it would consistently drop packets and lose connection. Our connection is so solid now that I actually canceled my internet service and we share a better package with faster speeds.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.