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Comment: Re:This is why patent reform must outlaw suppressi (Score 1) 377

by boutell (#35773324) Attached to: New Gasoline Engine Prototype Claims 3X Current Engine Efficiency

Patents last 17 years, not forever. You can't "suppress" something permanently by patenting it - quite the opposite really because the patent is now published and once it expires others can begin to use it. The point of patents is to let those who developed an invention have a chance to profit from them and be glad they shared the idea at all; in software that mostly doesn't work but I'm not convinced it's such a bad idea with expensive machine parts.

Comment: What a dumb way to spin the story (Score 1) 212

by boutell (#34876104) Attached to: Amazon EC2 Enables Cheap Brute-Force Attacks

WPA-PSK is insufficiently secure... and it's Amazon's fault? Stupid. Did they crack https? No. So clearly there are sufficiently secure technologies. Use them. Don't prop up crap technologies by calling in the Feds. Honestly, invoking the law to resolve a problem that clearly doesn't require it is an actively dangerous habit of thought. And I'm hardly a libertarian. I just know a bad idea when I see one.

Comment: Re:150 in one (Score 1) 458

by boutell (#34297836) Attached to: Thought-Provoking Gifts For Young Kids?

I had one of these too. You can still get similar kits from Radio Shack. For younger kids they have versions that just snap together from modules. My daughter enjoyed these. The newer kits do feature ICs, which is fine, but the snap-together sets came with disappointing instructions that seemed to give up on explaining how things work when they got to the ICs.

Comment: Re:Good for everyone (Score 1) 186

by boutell (#33519642) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games

Okay, so what should we do with North Korea, exactly? They have nuclear weapons, complete control of the information available to their populace, a crumbling food production system and a huge army as well as hordes of mortars aimed at Seoul. Good luck...

I am a constant critic of my own country's policy but when it comes to North Korea I rarely point the finger because I really don't know what can be done.

(I made an exception when Bush actually taunted them without the slightest ability to back it up. THAT actually managed to make matters worse, which is an accomplishment.)

Comment: Active Directory (Score 1) 365

by boutell (#17066812) Attached to: Is Microsoft An Innovator? - The Winer-Scoble Debate
I'm not a huge Microsoft fan, but Active Directory is one innovation of theirs that's tough to argue with.

All things considered, Active Directory is a very well-thought-through directory system that doesn't seem to be a mere refinement of a competitor's system. At least not when you consider its most innovative features like multimastering. Linux and Unix in general are still playing catch-up with AD and it's been out for years.

Yes, I know about NIS/YP, but it's more appropriate to compare simplistic flat systems like that to old-style NT domains. AD is several quantum jumps beyond that. Who had a really usable enterprise-class distributed hierarchical directory service before Microsoft?

AD does so much so well that it's possible to, for instance, set up intranet secure web servers and have them get their keys automagically through AD. Compare that to the hoops you jump through to do anything similar on Linux.

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud