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Comment: Re:Guiltless thief. (Score -1, Troll) 329

by bkeahl (#33148638) Attached to: Why Recordings From World War I Aren't Public Domain
News flash: Copyright existed, and should exist, to allow an individual to profit from their creation. It has not a damned thing to do with producing useful art. The production of useful art is a result of the desire to PROFIT.

That being said, the legal system is imperfect and this is just another example of attempts to "do the right thing" even when it appears to not be.

But hey, go ahead and use it as an excuse for theft. That's certainly the right thing to do. Yeah, just unilaterally decide something is unfair and then justify your own illegal actions with it.

Why not burgle your neighbor's house? After all, he's probably making more money than he deserves and that pesky little right to private property wasn't really intended for his undeserved income to allow him a flat-screen television that would serve you better in your living room.

Comment: Re:I don't understand this.. (Score 1) 166

by bkeahl (#33137540) Attached to: Letter To Abolish Software Patents In Australia
That's not really an accurate representation of the facts. People who cheat often become rich if nobody calls them on it. However, our country as a whole did not attain the level of overall wealth it did as a result of such acts.

Our current tax system confiscates money from one group and gives it to others, along with a massive amount of borrowed money, and our overall quality of life is not increasing at nearly the rate it had over the previous 100years.

Slavery was most certainly wrong, but hardly free. The economics of it certainly played to the plantation owner's advantage, but a weak/nearly dead (or dead) slave was of little use to the plantation owner. In reality, he had to decide how much to invest in the care of his slaves. Much as government run healthcare does. Like the government, once the ROI on the slave/citizen goes negative you stop investing in them. The plantation owner, however, had to go buy another slave, so the model breaks down there.

As for patents, the idea is, and was, to protect intellectual property so the person who created/invented/discovered whatever was patented can have a window of time to recoup their investment and gain some reward for it. That, along with a very small and limited government, is what made our country take off.

Unfortunately, it seems the patent system has become so abused that very minor variations of an existing patent suddenly become "new". In other cases similarities can often appear to be infringements. It seems to me this is a trial lawyer issue. In the end, it's the attorneys and accountants that profit from the legal battles.

Comment: Re:None of them should be making any money (Score 1) 1018

by bkeahl (#33083446) Attached to: High-Frequency Programmers Revolt Over Pay
Using that logic nobody should be able to buy a house, live in it for twenty years, and sell it for more than they bought it for. After all, you can't buy anything else, use it for years, and then turn a profit on reselling it. So it must be wrong.

The reality is our government, back in the 90's, forced banks to make risky loans because of so-called "red-lining" (Community Reinvestment Act). Fannie was willing to buy many of the loans but the banks still needed a way to mitigate the risk, so they came up with the investments where bad debts were bundled with good debts and traded. Eventually too many bad debts were bundled together. As things started collapsing marginal debts became bad debts and then "safe" mortgages became bad because of the lowering prices of homes as a result of the glut of empty houses.

No, this was caused by the Community Reinvestment Act and all the actions taken to continue to prop up a financial market forced by law and political pressure to make loans that should have never been made.

Millisecond trading will make and lose money for investors. Smart investors know it's safer to collect good stocks and hold them. But shorter trade cycles had nothing to do with what happened to our financial market. It was bad government policy and the people's natural response to it that made the mess.

I couldn't care less what the programmers and/or managers make or don't make. The market will work itself out. If the services are desired both will continue to make money. If not, the programmer can walk away with a small pile of money and the manager will be living in a cardboard box. If people want what these people are selling then the programmer will still have a small but growing pile of money and the manager will probably die of a drug overdoes in a hotel room with a couple hookers.

Comment: Even more evidence? (Score 1) 1657

by bkeahl (#33074006) Attached to: Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says
So far all I've seen is anecdotal evidence, fabricated evidence, and manipulated evidence. Oh, an conspiracy to suppress contradictory evidence. Now we have "even more" evidence. I wonder which of the above categories it'll fall into?

I'm willing to entertain the notion that we might be directly influencing global temperatures in a way the planet can't deal with. But I'm getting tired of the newest "Flat Earth" philosophy of the Global Warming alarmists. It's "undeniable", list like the Earth being flat was. Why? Because there's no funding for "Global Normal" research.

Comment: Statistics don't lie ... (Score 1) 635

by bkeahl (#33069684) Attached to: Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar
but people do. Or, in this case, bend the heck out of the truth.

The first thing is the "increasing cost" of nuclear is primarily a regulatory factor. The "decreasing cost" of solar is largely due to government subsidies. It isn't hard to make one industry less financially viable than another when the government can burden the "undesirable" industry with higher regulator and safety costs while offering tax incentives and subsidies to the favored one.

Yes, nuclear is more immediately hazardous than the components of solar power and will require greater costs for safety. However, you get plenty more energy out of a single nuclear plant than you will from a solar field ten times bigger.

Did they factor land costs? Taxes on the land and corporate taxes on the land as an asset? Did they factor maintenance? Solar panel life (they do need replacement)? What happens when the government starts more heavily regulating the manufacturing of the solar cells (manufacturing utilizes hazardous materials - and the panels themselves contain some)? After all, manufacturing is dirty and bad for the planet. You know they will come after them.

What happens after dark (when we all turn our lights, washers, driers. televisions, and video games on)? Store daylight power in batteries ... oh, oh ... batteries (costs, environmental impacts, hernias from lifting the heavy suckers)!

If there was money to be made in solar then the energy industry would be running for it like crazy. After all, they're all about money right?

Comment: Re:No, ham radio won't work for you (Score 1) 376

by bkeahl (#33018304) Attached to: Amateur Radio In the Backcountry?
Who cares if he came from the CB world? I don't really know and it seems unimportant in discussing the theoretical capabilities of someone who passed the Amateur Extra test.

My point is that anyone who actually has the knowledge the Extra test supposedly requires would know unmodulated SSB would result in no power output. Proof that memorizing the answers does not equate to proficiency or capability. Another Technician class operator explained the theory behind SSB to the new Extra class amateur. I wanted to let him fret another day or two. This is a clear example that memorizing the answers to a test does not equate to retained knowledge.

Your remark regarding calculations required to pass the General or Extra test completely misses the point. The above referenced individual, and most people who take the test, couldn't even identify the formula from a line-up because They're memorizing the questions and answers from the pool.

Comment: Re:No, ham radio won't work for you (Score 1) 376

by bkeahl (#33016906) Attached to: Amateur Radio In the Backcountry?
I agree that in theory Joe-Sixpack would be overwhelmed understanding the technical details required to get an General or Extra class license.

However, many seem to get the license anyway by understanding how to memorize answers to question pools.

I had an entertaining discussion with a new "Extra" (I was still a Technician) where he was concerned because when he dead-keyed his mic on SSB he wasn't reading any power output ... yeah, he really understood the technology! :)

Comment: Look at the FT-817 or an ELT (Score 1) 376

by bkeahl (#33016882) Attached to: Amateur Radio In the Backcountry?
Look at the FT-817. It isn't a hand-held, but it is designed for backpacking. The advantage is it covers HF (long distance) and VHF (line of sight), so you can hit a local repeater if one is around OR you can go to the "HF" bands and yell for help there - of course, you may be speaking to someone 600 miles away!

The downside is it's not a hand-held ("HT"). Also, you'll need to string up an antenna for HF communications and if you're hurt that'll be tough - heck, it's a pain to put one up in ideal circumstances!

If you're primarily concerned about calling for help in an emergency then you could consider a personal Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT). You can't communicate with anyone other than letting the world know you need rescuing though.

Comment: Re:From TFA, wind is fine. (Score 1) 506

by bkeahl (#32965546) Attached to: In Oregon, Wind Power Surges Disrupting Grid
Actually, the grid was designed to carry a maximum load, which the surges are exceeding. Blaming the power grid for this would be like the water department blaming you for not being able to take the 300psi they accidentally pushed down the water lines.

Windmills will need to have the ability to self-regulate output and/or gradually ramp up the energy put into the system so the more consistent and reliable systems can adjust their output downward to offset the changing energy supply.

Frankly, we should have embraced nuclear energy rather than listen to the Chicken-Littles of the world. We could then move on to the next generation of power systems in an orderly manner. Solar and wind is just not viable yet.

Comment: Re:I kept hoping ... (Score 1) 195

by bkeahl (#32957156) Attached to: Windows Phone 7 Hits Technical Preview Milestone
Well put! I'd hate to think how many different ROMs I loaded on this puppy, along with various apps, until I cobbled something together that fit my needs.

Perhaps the problem now is there is very little more I need of the phone, so it's hard to one-up.

The problem is, of course, the newer environments are not backward compatible, mostly on purpose, so I lose functionality by "upgrading".

Anyhow, I think you described the implications of the W7 release quite well. Unfortunately, I don't have mod points to give :).

Comment: I kept hoping ... (Score 1) 195

by bkeahl (#32951578) Attached to: Windows Phone 7 Hits Technical Preview Milestone
I'm running Windows Mobile 6.x on my HTC and have been holding out waiting for 7 to see if they were going to jump the other players in the game.

It looks more like they stumbled, tried to avoid the mud puddle, and landed in the horse manure instead.

I much prefer the 6.x interface with the HTC Home front-end. I only stuck with the Windows platform because of the ability to email sync with a PC-based client (Outlook).

Great. I'm also running XP and 2k because Vista and 7 seemed to toss the good and introduce more trouble.

Too bad Linux hasn't come up with a worthy GUI/WinAPI package. If it weren't for supporting clients I'd walk away on the PC side. Windows Phone 7 has pretty much convinced me the to leave them on the PDA side.

Comment: It's the truth ... but maybe not the whole truth (Score 1) 438

by bkeahl (#32895342) Attached to: Electric Cars Won't Strain the Power Grid
The idea that the grid won't be overloaded is probably true, since most cars will charge overnight. Off-shift workers will be charging during the day, but I'd still tend to think this part is true. Of course, given the continued destruction of our economy and movement of jobs off-shore we may not have to worry too much about such things.

My real concern is more along the lines of efficiency. How much power do we push into the cars vs what we get out? And once we have a larger population charging we'll be drawing more than the "minimum" generated power. That power is provided increasingly by ... oil.

Now, if we made the leap to nuclear (the only currently viable large scale power production technology) to provide electricity until we can really get the alternatives (or something entirely new) providing power, I'd be more inclined to think we're making progress.

After all, what's the point in moving the burning of fossil fuels from our cars to some remote power plant and then potentially losing energy in the conversion process in and out of the car batteries?

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