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Comment: Re:Yeah? So? That is how life works (Score 1) 246

by WillerZ (#42624637) Attached to: Aaron's Law: Violating a Site's ToS Should Not Land You in Jail

You are conflating ignorance of the law with ignorance of the facts (and you appear to have copious amounts of both).

A pre-existing patent is not law, it is fact. IBM advises its employees to remain ignorant of other patents while working on products because if those products are later found infringing then their liability is reduced.

I was a Master Inventor at IBM before I quit in 2010 and we absolutely did check for pre-existing patents before filing anything new. Occasionally this would lead to wasted effort within IBM because a proposal would get further through the process than it would if the inventors had looked for relevant patents before starting work.

Comment: Re:more stupidity (Score 1) 109

It will probably stream OpenGL commands, not rendered images.

Doubtful.

If you can stream one rendered image every 16ms you can display 60fps. If you send OpenGL commands you will be better-off on a lot of frames but it will stutter every time you need to send a texture larger than a rendered frame (and most textures are larger than a rendered frame).

The game is to make the peak frame latency 16ms (or whatever your target is), not to reduce the average.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 134

by WillerZ (#42390843) Attached to: BLAKE2 Claims Faster Hashing Than SHA-3, SHA-2 and MD5

A very reliable rule of thumb is that if there are N possible hash values, then you should expect 0.5 hash collisions after hashing N items.

No you shouldn't. You should expect 0.5 collisions after hashing N/2 items. Trivially you are guaranteed at least M collisions when hashing N+M items.

I don't actually know off the top of my head how many collisions you should expect if you hashed N items.

Comment: Re:Prior use (Score 4, Interesting) 354

by WillerZ (#42273583) Attached to: ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112?

the GSM spec contains a special call type 'emergency' which is meant to be triggered when you press that, or dial 112 or 999 (or presumably 911) so the digits really don't matter to the network. The idea was that those calls could kick someone else off the network if it was congested, for an emergency. I don't believe it was ever implemented though.

It was implemented. In the UK at least if you call an emergency number when you have a weak signal it will dramatically improve for the duration of the call as the cell tower reconfigures itself to use up to its maximum power and, as you say, drops any other call that was interfering with the call placed by your handset.

The towers are smart enough not to drop any calls or boost the power unless it will help.

Comment: Re:Jedi was a joke... and still is! (Score 1) 262

by WillerZ (#42270867) Attached to: "Jedi" Religion Most Popular Alternative Faith In England

If being an atheist, Christian or Jedi ever becomes a matter that gets you brought to the attention of the Secret Service in the UK, we're beyond fucked already.

The forms linked from this page give you a good idea of what will bring you to the attention of SIS and friends.

Comment: Re:We are the 30% (Score 1) 724

by WillerZ (#42259535) Attached to: Microsoft To Apple: Don't Take Your Normal 30% Cut of Office For iOS

I agree that a 30% cut is a bit too much...

b) When a company sells digital software themselves, they don't get to keep 100% of the sale price. They have to pay for hosting, bandwidth, marketing, sales processing, manhours involved in all of this, etc., etc., etc.

I own a small business selling apps on the iOS store and I agree that 30% is a reasonable price for what they provide.

Apple do nothing to market or promote your apps, so you should not have included that. You missed a relatively important factor in that they test and validate the apps they sell which gives consumers more confidence to purchase than they have on competitor's app stores.

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 1) 338

by WillerZ (#42259453) Attached to: Text Message Spammer Wants FCC To Declare Spam Filters Illegal

This sounds reasonable to me - the telephone company has no business filtering phone calls, so it should not filter text messages either. Subscribers may choose to employ a spam-blocking service, which could be provided by other people than the phone company.

I agree with this in principle, but I would add that it is a matter between the subscribers and the telephone company; I do not see that any third party has grounds to interfere in that relationship.

If the telephone company's scheme is optional, subscribers are given a clear choice, and subscribers may change their choice at any time without penalty then I would say it's fine. Failing that, if subscribers have a choice of telcos and at least one of them offers an unfiltered option there is no need for any regulator to get involved.

Comment: Re:It can be worse, lots worse (Score 1) 245

by WillerZ (#41932667) Attached to: What To Do After You Fire a Bad Sysadmin Or Developer

It should be relatively easy to bust the myth: what are the capacities of the USB drives? If they are all >4Gb I don't buy that they are from 3 years ago. Drive make and model would also give you a fairly firm point for the earliest point in time at which they could have been purchased.

Comment: Re:First-to-file isn't a problem (Score 1) 183

by WillerZ (#41607587) Attached to: Microsoft Patents 1826 Choropleth Map Technique

The only trouble with the America Invents Act of 2011 is it is not an Amendment to the Constitution, which it needs to be in order to change the original text of the Constitution which clearly specifies (re: "Inventors") the "first to invent" system over the "first to file" system.

No it doesn't. It specifies that the rights over their discoveries shall go to the Inventors but it nowhere specifies the process that inventors shall be required to undergo to secure those rights.

Under first-to-file as it is practiced elsewhere it is still illegal for anyone other than the inventor to secure a patent on a discovery. It is really a very minor change which only makes a difference in the case of near-contemporaneous discoveries. It mostly benefits accidental inventors who are less likely to be able to provide any evidence for the date of invention than the industrial-scale patent-generators who receive most patents.

A secondary effect which may turn out to be rather more important is that the current US system requires that you file within 1 year of the discovery or never file for patent protection; so an invention cannot be kept a trade-secret and used for 40 years before being patented by that same person/corporation when they feel there is a risk of someone else working it out, effectively securing them a 65-year monopoly. First-to-file elsewhere generally allows this; I am not familiar with the US statute in question.

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