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Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 3, Interesting) 406

by Whatsisname (#47793615) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

if the US wanted the contents of a safe deposit box in Europe they cannot legally seize it, doing so would be a violation of europan law

They can't take the box by force, but the US can instead throw you, the owner of it, in the slammer until you cough up the requested evidence. Where the evidence is, is irrelevant.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 406

by Whatsisname (#47793329) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Can any internet company be publicly ordered to break laws in other countries, regardless of where it is based?

Why shouldn't they? MS is a United States company. Why should MS, or any other corporation, be able to only abide by US law when it is convenient for them, and break it other times? If the laws of two jurisdictions are incompatible with each other, the corporation should have to make a hard choice and only operate in a single jurisdiction, and use other avenues to expand business to the other.

This is not a case of the US trying to compel a European Company into doing something, it is compelling Microsoft, subject to US law, to turn over data it holds, albeit in a different company. If an American individual is subpoenaed for information relating to a crime, resisting turning it over because it's held in a safe deposit box abroad, is no more an acceptable excuse than "it's in my other pants".

An individual in the United States must abide by US law even when abroad, in addition to abiding by the rules of the foreign country. It's still illegal for an American to smoke weed or solicit 14 year old prostitutes abroad, despite those being legal in some places of the world. If American persons have to play by United States rules 24x7, why should a corporation get to pick and choose?

Comment: Re:Hence, "Software Engineer" == MYTH (Score 1) 430

Your scenario only seems ridiculous because car companies don't share all their mechanical drawings. It would not be unreasonable to be expected to look up the torque in the mechanical schematics if that information was readily available to you.

You don't expect the manual for a computer motherboard to list the resistor values of every resistor on the motherboard, do you?

Comment: Re:Recycling (Score 1) 152

by Whatsisname (#46982319) Attached to: Is Carbon Fiber Going Mainstream?

While it is true Aluminum doesn't have a fatigue limit, the breaking point depends on what the stresses are in the material. "will eventually crack" can translate to 20 minutes of riding, or 20 million years of riding. An aluminum frame can be made where its fatigue life well exceeds the practical life of the bicycle.

If it takes 4.54 billion years of knocking the frame with your fingernail for the frame to fail, there really isn't a problem with it.

Comment: clunky software? (Score 4, Insightful) 143

by Whatsisname (#46686833) Attached to: A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

One of the main obstacles between 3D printers and consumers has been clunky, unintuitive software

More like the fact that CAD software packages cost many thousands of dollars, and no good free alternatives exist.

Or that the printers themselves for commercial grade machines also cost many thousands of dollars.

Or that mechanical design is inherently challenging and is an expensive skill to develop.

But nope, just have some big buttons on a touch screen and everything will be groovy.

Comment: Re:Now the next step... (Score 1) 143

by Whatsisname (#46049903) Attached to: US Supreme Court: Patent Holders Must Prove Infringment

The idea of the patent system was that anyone could patent their grand idea and then have legal backing to protect it in court from someone that uses the idea without consent. The filing fees were also designed to be low to keep the barrier of entry low enough that "the little guy" could get the same protection as the big corporations.

This is completely false. Patents were never about the "little guy". Their purpose is to benefit society by providing an advantage to disclosing the secrets of invention so society can learn. Prior to patents, technology was often a closely guarded secret, belonging to individuals or trade guilds, secrets that were often lost with the deaths of the people involved. By making disclosure a more attractive option than secrecy, society could benefit by learning from the details of the inventions.

That is the idea of the patent system. "Little guy" doesn't mean shit, all that matters is having useful knowledge disclosed to society, whether its individuals or mega-corps.

Comment: Re:Depends (Score 1) 937

by Whatsisname (#45908513) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?


Also, not all failures are caused by "not doing there job right", especially when venturing into new territory. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a classic example of a disastrous engineering project, pushed the envelope and collapsed, but not because the engineers didn't do their job right. There hadn't been a bridge of that size with that design before, and aerodynamic concerns weren't taken into account. If that bridge hadn't collapsed and taught the lesson, some other bridge would have.

You can never remove all risk. You may call that 'passing the buck', but blaming all failures, regardless of cause, as "not doing there job right", forces a stone-age technological capability.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)