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Comment Re:Idea for anti-troll group (Score 3, Insightful) 172

Not so much, the patent office gets paid to grant capricious patents

As technology has gotten more complex, the patent office's ability to properly evaluate applications has diminished. As such, the patent office has become a registry, leaving it to the courts to decide. Unfortunately, that is a very expensive and inefficient way to evaluate innovation. Although the litigants do pay substantial court fees, it would still cost taxpayers less to allocate more money to the patent office to hire more AND better patent examiners.

(Partially because corporations will just deduct court (and other litigation) costs, and partially because the cost will be passed along to the consumers. So, no. Shifting the court costs to the litigants won't save taxpayers' money, only change the route the money follows when it leaves the taxpayers' accounts/wallets/whatever.)

Comment Re:I'm not worried about it (Score 1) 171

Let 'em look. I've got nothing to hide.

You really think so?

Just because what you are doing isn't illegal, doesn't mean there isn't someone who doesn't like what you are doing. And if that person is in (or knows someone who is in) a position of power, he can cause you a lot of grief.

Comment Re:Distinctions (Score 2) 166

In this case, it's emergency managers that were appointed under a law that was repealed by a voter referendum, then re-enacted by attaching it as an addendum to a "must pass" appropriations bill (which also makes it immune to referendum). Basically, the governor and treasurer, acting together, took Flint's elected officials power away.

Comment Re:Distinctions (Score 5, Informative) 166

I have friends in MI - and, I actually read the news.

If you were paying attention, you would know that (a) Flint, MI is, and has been for several years, under the control of a series of emergency managers appointed by the current governor (now in his 6th year in office) of MI. And (b) the current and previous mayors of Flint attempted to raise the issue with those emergency managers and the state government, to no avail. Those mayors (and the city counsel) had no voice in the decisions that lead to the problem and were in fact among the people being lied to by the emergency managers and the state government.

The emails you mention are to/from the emergency managers and the state government. The participation by the mayors was to raise the problem and ask for help.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 82

I do not use my tablet or phone for company business (other than short phone calls). If the company really wants me to use such a device for company business, they will have to provide it. I've told them this when they've said "just use your tablet". And their response has, so far, been "Oh. Then don't worry about it." the customer liaison "engineers", "resident" engineers, their managers and department directors (and above) have company issued phones and tablets. The rest of us don't, despite the fact it would benefit the company if we did.

Comment Re:First Build Safeguards into the FBI (Score 1) 347

and an adversarial relationship between bureaucrats and their legislative overseers.

We have an adversarial relationship between them. But, the legislative overseers are also under surveillance.

Remember, just because you aren't doing something wrong, doesn't mean there aren't enough people who won't like what you are doing to make life miserable for you when what you're doing is exposed.

Comment Re:Or you know... (Score 1) 556

Games use client-server encryption to make it difficult to cheat. Carrying in-game chat over that encryption costs them nothing extra. Enhancing that to provide end-to-end chat encryption is a small cost beyond that. Some of my friends tell me that some games explicitly offer OTR-style end-to-end encryption.

Comment Re:Or you know... (Score 1) 556

Turns out Illinois has now passed a law which makes it illegal (potentially) to leave any child under 14 home alone.

When I was 6, my "baby sitter" was a 12 year old girl who lived nearby. I wonder how many of the legislators had similar experiences that they are now denying to todays' young children?

Comment Re:Sensationalist summary (Score 1) 151

The listed behaviors are very typical of any teenage nerd - some are typical of any teenager.. If anything, it does more damage by scaring non-nerds, who will then increase the level social isolation imposed on nerds.

As long as there's no presumption of "my kid might be a criminal" there's no harm in conversation. If you presume they are (or might be) doing something wrong, they will pick up on that and react defensively (which is normal for anyone, not just teenagers).

Comment Re:stupid adults (Score 1) 151

Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?

So were I and my girlfriend. So did we. We are now senior product developers (and team leaders) in highly rated companies.

 

Do they have irregular sleeping patterns?

Both my daughter and I are diagnosed as being nocturnal. We are forced to function in a world of diurnal people. Of course we have irregular sleeping patterns.

As a kid, I did a lot of camping with the only technology brought along being flashlights and walkie-talkie 2-way radios. We minimized using the flashlights and radios. We even put out our fire at sunset. Did not "reset" me in to being diurnal. Actually made me more nocturnal. We've taken our daughter camping many times, following the same "rules". Like me, our daughter didn't become diurnal. Even a week in a medically supervised sleep lab didn't change either of us. And we know many others who are also nocturnal and we have plenty of face-to-face social contact with them.

 

Do they get an income from their online activities, do you know why and how?

Both my girlfriend and I did. Again, we turned to be productive good citizens.

Have they become more socially isolated?

Social isolation is not limited to nerds. The fact that nerds are more likely to be socially isolated is far more a problem with how our society treats technically competent people. Things like this list of "signs of potential cyber criminality" just re-enforce the problem.

 

Are they resistant when asked what they do online?

Both my girlfriend and I were. Normal for kids, especially teenagers. Our daughter was/is less so - but she knows (some of) what we did online at her age.

If either my girlfriend or I had turned criminal, why would it not have been cyber crime? As a kid, I had a friend who was a very good magician. She could have turned out to be a very good pick-pocket thief. Instead, she's a pediatrician who's very good at distracting her patients from pain.

Criminal specialization is no different normal work specialization. Also, there are far more non-nerd criminals than nerdy ones.

 

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