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Comment: Inventions vs. Engineering (Score 1) 60

I heard the acute problem aptly summarized recently: "Patents are supposed to cover inventions, but what they're being issued for is mere engineering."

This is a better metric than the "obviousness test" - what is the essential and genius inspiration that led to a the idea of putting a delivery message in a SMS message? There is none - no patent.

I realize the entire system has evolved into one giant mechanism to enrich entrenched corporate interests, but it's still a good insight into how maybe the system could have been designed less-wrong from the beginning.

Comment: Re:39/100 is the new passing grade. (Score 1) 174

Is there a valid reason we accept studies that have not been reproduced at least one more time to truly vet them before the community?

The point of papers [in real science] is to say, "we did this, here's what we found". It's not to announce a beacon of new Revealed Truth. That's largely the fault of science "reporters" looking to sell advertising space.

The papers are themselves the invitations to replicate.

The problem is the government science-funding model is largely based on fame and popularity, and doing replication studies is felt to be beneath most researchers except for the most extraordinary of claims, or those that threaten the Orthodoxy.

None of these problems will go away until the incentives of the funding model change. To assume anything else would be economically ignorant.

Comment: Finance::Bank (Score 1) 72

by bill_mcgonigle (#49594417) Attached to: How an Open Standard API Could Revolutionize Banking

Other posters have already demolished the idea that banks will do this voluntarily or by edict.

The engineering approach is to not involve them. The Finance::Bank collection is the closest you're going to find to a workable solution.

Anybody who has money to spend on a government "solution" should send it to these developers instead.

Comment: Re:Try again... 4? (Score 1) 224

by bill_mcgonigle (#49594319) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

Think about it. You may love the open source movement, but how would you like it if you wrote software at your day job for a salary...and then one day the government said "Hey, we decided that all software is free now. So you can't charge for it, even if you worked hard to make it and invested tons of money in the software-making process."

That's a nonsense argument. Absent monopoly grants, software goes to the person who paid for it, and they have the choice of whether to release it or not.

It's when it's released to the public, do you have Men With Guns threaten the People for making copies of that software or not? That is the ethical question. Do predictions of purported benefit from social-engineering justify threats of murder?

You, or at least anyone reading this who fits this profile, should think carefully about the foundation of your own ethics.

*Yours* is based on threats of violence for duplication (not stealing) of information. It abolishes a portion of _real_ property rights for imaginary ones, when there is no demonstrable harm other than a postulate of diminution of earning potential.

The reduced argument is "murder for profit".

Comment: Re:Choice, not force. (Score 0) 320

by bill_mcgonigle (#49594205) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

I doubt it. Their vision for the future is sound, but they're not strongly connected to the reality of maintaining a good browser for the present at the same time. Mostly chest-beating rather than doing the hard work required.

Mozilla has gotten brazen lately about forcing questionable changes on users

Right. I have to manage $1200 PDU's that use SSLv3, so to use Firefox I had to re-enable SSLv3 for all sites. That's the only choice Mozilla felt like giving users. That's not bold, it's lazy and worsens overall security for the Internet.

If they think I'm going to get $30K to replace working gear "because Firefox" they're delusional.

Comment: Re:Show me the math on the Tesla. (Score 1) 279

by bill_mcgonigle (#49588731) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

and don't forget that most wealth is generated by engaging in activities with energy requirements.

That Tesla 80D Insane Edition that I want takes $115K worth of economic profit to acquire, which in most industries requires 5-20x as much revenue. So over a million dollars worth of economic activity on average to just get that Tesla before you can drive it. Is that greener than a Fiesta?

Comment: Re: Maybe they will move to court instead? (Score 1) 137

Just so you know, Microsoft did a lot of shitty deals back then and screwed over a lot of people.

Why wasn't the contact enforced when Vista or 7 came out? One party is a nuclear-armed sovereign - don't tell me Microsoft refused... the courts would surely order cooperation if that were the case.

Comment: Re: gosh (Score 1) 162

lemme guess, American public school student?

It's rich since the government in the region of Iran hasn't attacked another country since the 1820's but jingoistic Americans insist that they need to be attacked before they strike again. The irony is laid on thicker than the blood of the millions of victims of American imperialism. Or the women in Iran who have been repressed and murdered since the US overthrew the Shah there and installed theocratic thugs 40 years ago.

Even the CIA admits that all the imperialists are doing is creating more terrorists. We need to take down these morons - for our own safety.

Comment: Re:Very tricky issue indeed. (Score 3, Insightful) 373

by bill_mcgonigle (#49577233) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

the state steps in and forces support for the benefit of the child

Humans respond to incentives. What the State actually accomplishes is encouraging mothers to get rid of the father because she'll get his money anyway (in the vast majority of the cases) without having to deal with him. While this outcome is predictable, empirical evidence has borne it out too. Broken households don't benefit the child, in the vast majority of cases (the empirical evidence bears this out too).

Besides, parents are the holders-in-trust of the child's rights, not the State. The State is a legal fiction and as such cannot hold any natural rights, so it's a non-sequitor. Yeah, they can send the boys in blue to enforce any arbitrary rule, but that's not sound moral reasoning.

Comment: Re:The Earth has been warming since the Ice Age en (Score 2) 700

by bill_mcgonigle (#49577157) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

On the other hand, even if global warming were not caused by humans, shouldn't we be trying to mitigate its effects anyway? Should we be planning for the effects of rising sea waters, instead of (as the skeptics want) just do nothing and let the waters rise?

Is that their claim? The seas have risen by something like 200m in the past 13000 years.

I thought their claim was that human-produced CO2 is a minor contributor and that the vapor feedback cycle is limiting, so humans should focus on adaptation to change rather than trying to prevent it since they can't.

Is this a misrepresentation of the claims?

Comment: Re:Its about time (Score 1) 314

by bill_mcgonigle (#49571027) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

In scandinavia, kids are also given fluorine pills

With their school lunches? Baloney.

Xylitol has very little - if any - effect on dental health. It's just a sweetener that is not sugar (does not cause karies).

Nope - plaque uptake the xylitol and try to process it as a sugar and fail, exhausting their metabolites and ultimately starving off. Here's the most cited link on PubMed but you're welcome to search all the others, including more recent ones.

The schools aren't investing in the program because somebody's brother owns a chicklet factory - they've demonstrated success with it.

Source: I read peer reviewed real scientific reports.

Except the ones on the topic that are easily to find?

The earth is like a tiny grain of sand, only much, much heavier.