A "hostile takeover" merely means that non-owners (the management) are opposed to the owners (shareholders) choosing to sell.
A "hostile takeover" merely means that non-owners (the management) are opposed to the owners (shareholders) choosing to sell.
When I think about the "dark future" of coal, I'm thinking about strip mines that dig into historic towns in Germany (oh, boo hoo, relocate the church and everyone get on with life, right?)
To me, that's the whole problem with massive industry built on non-renewable resources. When the coal is just lying around on the surface of the desert, sure, pick it up and use it. But, that runs out - then we start digging for it in places that don't really matter, but those run out, and then we get a little closer to towns, streams that feed recreational lakes, and other places that you might rather not mine, but, hey, we need the coal, right?
You like electricity? How about heat? Air conditioning? Rapid transportation? How about food?
All of those things depend largely on "non-renewable resources". Coal, oil, and natural gas, mainly. Shut it all down, and we go back to a life primitive, brutish, and short.
If OLPC wants a new mission, it should be to develop FREE educational software that runs on standard Android tablets.
Sure. They give away all the software they write already, and I assumed that they would give away any Android software they write. It seemed so obvious that I didn't feel the need to put in the word "free" but I guess I should have. Thanks for the comment.
one of the largest problems is that there are not a lot of books printed in the languages of 3rd world countries. and absolutely no advanced education texts.
I agree. IMHO that is the "killer app" for the OLPC devices, or for Android tablets. It's great that they can run software, but it's essential that they serve as textbook reading devices.
I think the ultimate educational tool for developing countries would be a ruggedized Android tablet with an e-ink screen. Color is a nice-to-have rather than essential, and the dramatic increase in battery life would be the win.
This suggests another idea for OLPC's future: they could make a deal with Amazon and ship a customized Kindle e-ink reader. Or maybe make a deal to ship a customized Nook. But either way, ride the coattails of a company that already spent the R&D and focus just on adding educational software.
I disagree with your analogy in which you compare stealing a car with patent grabbing.
Um, no. I said that stealing a car with the keys inside is still stealing; despite the fact that the car owner "enabled" the theft by being careless with the keys.
In the same way, being a jerk with patents is being a jerk, despite the fact that the USPTO "enables" patent jerks by granting patents that should not be granted.
Even if Apple were to have freed every one of their smartphone inventions, there would still be lawyers arguing that those inventions are not comprehensive, that their client has patents that fall between the gaps.
Your language loads the question here. You presuppose that Apple "invented" everything that they patented; I think some of it has prior art, some of it is obvious (like the patent on dialing a number by touching the number on the touchscreen), and some of it is probably genuinely new and interesting but by now I'm predisposed to assume Apple is a jerk.
And as for your main point, you are simply mistaken. If Apple had not patented anything, but just made a public demo of the iPhone, nobody would be able to file a patent after that and use the patent to hammer Apple. Apple's iPhone would now be prior art. If you disagree, please post some sort of reference to any example that would disprove this idea.
I work at an IP company, and it has been hammered into me not to disclose anything that might be patentable, because once the idea has been publicly disclosed, it becomes not patentable. I'm not a lawyer of course.
the analogy here is a defense system vs having weapons of your own.
I understand the possible use of patents as a defense. For example, Google: I am not aware of any case where Google tried to shut down a competitor using patents. This despite the fact that they own many patents.
However, Apple has been trying to use patents to prevent Samsung from selling phones. I have a problem with that.
you can't blame one company for doing it in a world in which everyone has the bomb.
Um, the whole point of my comment is that I do blame one company for doing this. I blame Apple, I blame Microsoft, I blame any company that is getting egregiously bad patents and enforcing them.
Then they decided that it needed to run some form of Windows.
The XO laptop was a product of the western media lab and a take-it-or-leave-it constructivist philosophy of education that proclaimed that teachers were of no consequence and that kids and their families could teach themselves.
There have been a bare 1.8 million OLPC laptops distributed
Most to Uruguay and Peru and almost none outside the Western Hemisphere. The notion that anyone could have believed OLPC was a culturally neutral ---- truly global solution ---for primary education seems laughable in retrospect.
From the beginning, OLPC was competing against simplified versions of the generic Windows PC with MS Office.
From the point of view of the third-world education minister, these were marketable skills that prepared a student well for the higher grades and vocational education, SUGAR was always going to be a question mark.
More importantly. these stripped down Windows systems systems did not attempt to dictate teaching methods or courseware generally.
It seems like every liberal idea is missing about 10 steps that they forgot to consider in their overly-simplified view of the earth.
Better to forget ten steps than crassly define them as unworthy of notice.
If OLPC wants a new mission, it should be to develop educational software that runs on standard Android tablets.
You can buy "white box" Android tablets at amazingly cheap prices because they are mass-produced in China. While these tablets fall short of the ideal devices imagined by OLPC, there is absolutely no way for OLPC to get their costs down to match.
You can buy at least three Android tablets for the cost of one OLPC device. You could bundle tablets with a keyboard, a carrying case, and maybe a solar panel, and still massively undercut the OLPC's custom hardware.
Cheap Android tablet's don't have great battery life. But I bought one of the original XO-1 laptops and it only had a few hours of battery life, so clearly OLPC must consider even the limited battery life of a cheap tablet to be sufficient.
One of the nifty things about the OLPC custom design is that it's easy to repair. But with the massive cost advantage of a generic Android tablet, whole spare tablets could be shipped.
The promise of Sugar never was realized. For example, one of the reasons I bought an XO-1 laptop was that I was excited by the thought of the "show source" key, where you were supposed to be able to go anywhere in the system, hit the "show source" key, and find some kind of editable Python source code you could tweak. I never did find any source to tweak before I gave away my laptop. (It's in India now!)
Another part of the OLPC custom hardware was the "mesh" networking, which aimed to make it possible for multiple students to cooperatively share limited networking resources. Did that ever actually get used? All the photos I have seen show students in classrooms, and if the classroom has WiFi then an Android tablet would work fine. If the "mesh" networking is valuable, then maybe OLPC should invest in a one-off gadget that just does that, and plugs into the USB port on an Android tablet.
That was my immediate thought. Any decent system needs to ensure that it isn't running at a loss. To make that happen, they need an accounting system in place.
Rather than a loss, they managed a significant profit. The profit didn't go to the company.
I've seen lots of affiliate systems (sign up for a sight, the referring webmaster gets x%). In the adult industry, it's called shaving. The referring webmaster has a percentage of their sales (I've seen up to 25%), where it isn't recorded that they got the sale. Instead, it is credited to another account. The owner of the system doesn't always know. They see sales come in. They see payments go out. The shaved sales go to one of the developer's accounts (usually to a difficult to trace 3rd party).
If I were the developer, I'd have a friend in another country set up his affiliate account. The "lost" sales get paid out to him. He keeps a percentage, and pays me the rest. It can be very difficult to trace until there is a code audit. The audits don't usually come until the boss knows there's something funny going on. As long as the boss is getting a large profit, they have no reason to audit.
In the rest of the corporate world, it's skimming. Accountants can make it look like the missing funds are going to nondescript costs.
In both skimming and shaving, it becomes obvious when the person doing it gets too greedy. Like, it's difficult to justify that $1M/yr goes to miscellaneous custodian costs. And yes, I've seen exactly that, in a company that only made about $3M/yr profit. Sometimes it goes to consumable costs. It can be tricky to track if they're smart. When they get greedy, smart falls out of the equation.
You need to read up more on economics. Maybe swing by a local college and audit some economics courses.
No, most (all?) of the current in use today is backed by nothing. Well, nothing more than the idea that it's worth something.
I have a $20 bill in my pocket. It's not worth anything. There is a perceived value of it, so I can exchange that piece of paper for goods and services.
If it were backed by anything, there would be an obligation by the issuing party to exchange it for the commodity it was backed by. You can't go to the federal reserve and say "I want to exchange my $20 note for $20 worth of gold". Best case, you'd get a smile, pat on the head, and be sent on your way.
We effectively work with a bartering system. The perceived value of one service or object, for another. You can barter drugs, ammunition, or sex. That doesn't make any of them a currency, even though they'd each be good examples in your description. Actually, I think I like my examples better than the ugly paper in my pocket.
The WOC folks are attempting to use force
If someone offers you a pile of money for your home, and you decide to sell it, it's wild ideological nonsense to say they're taking your home by force.
If only his assets were all in bitcoins, then the US government wouldn't be able to freeze them.
What makes bitcoins different from any other asset, real or intangible, that can be converted into cash?
Tell that the the families of passengers on Flight MH370.
That's the best way to proceed. Ask the person who has recently suffered an extreme loss, who won't be paying for the decision with his own money. What could go wrong?
Apple is not the problem. The patent system is.
Can't we agree that both are?
If you leave your car with the keys in the ignition, then it is partially your fault when someone climbs in and drives away. However, the person who stole the car is also to blame. It's not a valid defense to say "He left his keys in the car so it wasn't stealing."
If all Apple wanted was to make sure nobody else got patents on all this UI stuff, they simply could have fully published the details of how their phone worked, and nobody filing after that would be able to claim to have invented it. And I'm not a lawyer but I think Steve Jobs's public "one more thing" demos would have sufficed to make all those UI features unpatentable by anyone else.
But that wasn't enough for Apple. "Patented!" crowed Steve Jobs. Apple patented everything they thought they could get away with, including totally obvious stuff like squishing your fingers together to make things get smaller on the screen, and spreading your fingers wide to make things get bigger on the screen. Come on, that is totally obvious and there even was prior art on it. So we return to where we started: the USPTO is a problem because it let Apple patent obvious stuff, but Apple is part of the problem for trying to patent obvious stuff. (Fortunately the "pinch-to-zoom" patent was in fact invalidated, due to Samsung winning in court against Apple!)
Samsung is going to go scorched earth on this new lawsuit. Millions for defense and not one cent for tribute. And Samsung has the millions. I hope Samsung wins big and invalidates all of Apple's patents.
(And then, as long as I'm dreaming, Samsung can go invalidate Microsoft's mobile patents next.)
One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.