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Comment: Re:Baseballs... (Score 1) 265

A jeweler once told me about why platinum is a considered such a precious metal. He said the platinum industry used to sell almost exclusively to the military for fuses in bombs. Somewhere in the 20C the demand dropped off as bomb-makers found cheaper alternatives. Having lost their biggest customer, this idea that platinum was as/more precious than gold for jewelry was created in the public mind, though he himself found it to be a much worse metal for the purpose. Your link at "Platinum Today" might not be an unbiased view of how useful the metal is.

Comment: Re:Intellectual Property (Score 1) 527

by al3 (#42520029) Attached to: Richard Stallman Answers Your Questions
I'm thinking here of ACTA that uses the intellectual property label around counterfeiting and lumps in copyright violations. I think I'm with you on the idea that copyright has its set of legal rules and counterfeiting another. Increasingly they seem to be talked about in the same terms though that doesn't sit right with me.

Comment: Intellectual Property (Score 1, Interesting) 527

by al3 (#42505801) Attached to: Richard Stallman Answers Your Questions
"I want to encourage clear thinking about copyright law. Separately, I want to encourage clear thinking about patent law." I have also seen (in these days of international trade pacts) counterfeiting lumped in with copyright infringement and patent violations. I am unsure of how the law looks upon this, but to me it seems different enough. If one illegally downloads a song or a movie and violates copyright, they know it is not an official copy, and are getting an exact copy of the original. I think of counterfeit products as in-exact copies being passed off as official ones. I don't want to put a value judgement on these scenarios here, but point out that grouping this too under "Intellectual Property" is a barrier to clearly thinking about these activities and how they should be dealt with.
Transportation

+ - Toyota abandons plans for all-electric vehicle rollout->

Submitted by Soultest
Soultest (1542905) writes "Toyota has given up on plans to sell any significant number of all-electric vehicles. Citing 'many difficulties' with the project, the company says it will only sell about 100 of the battery-powered eQ cars it has been working on for several years. 'By dropping plans for a second electric vehicle in its line-up, Toyota cast more doubt on an alternative to the combustion engine that has been both lauded for its oil-saving potential and criticized for its heavy reliance on government subsidies in key markets like the United States. "The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge," said, Uchiyamada, who spearheaded Toyota's development of the Prius hybrid in the 1990s.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Exporting software (Score 1) 187

by al3 (#32850074) Attached to: Microsoft Opens Source Code To KGB's Successor Agency
I once signed up for a license to distribute the Acrobat Reader on a CD-ROM my organization was using as a give-away, and I had to agree not to let the program end up in places like Cuba. Now, in the same week I learn about Russian spies being arrested and swapped with the USA, I hear that Microsoft is giving out the source code to Windows 7 to the Russian spy agency. Wow.

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

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