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Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyright extenstions... (Score 1) 163 163

Extending it won't encourage the dead author to produce more work, but it can (theoretically) encourage people who are alive now to create works they wouldn't otherwise have done because they'll be able to better provide for their descendants.

Are the laws designed to fulfill this theoretical justification? Do they say that copyrights are extended for extremely long terms on the condition that the copyright remain with descendants, and pays them revenue?

No, they do not. If a corporation acquires a copyright then they receive any revenue, not descendants who may exist. Laws must be designed to fulfill the purpose that is used to justify them, otherwise you are just pulling arguments out of a hat.

Comment Re: Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 0) 163 163

Because copyright law only affects this one cartoon?

I am surprised you published such a foolish, shillish argument under your username "jones_supa". Usually only ACs post such lameness.

(And the "ignore this issue, cause there are other (unspecified) more important issues" is a meaningless, all-purpose bit of demagoguery, as it can be thrown out at any time on any issue with no investment of thought. Weak, weak, stuff.)

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 0) 163 163

Accepting the very notion that an intangible intellectual creation should be owned by an immortal corporation forever shows that decades of corporate propagandizing has had its effect. Why should the government provide the service of locking up our culture forever to a private interest? Accepting the very notion is perverse, quibbling about the terms is nothing but surrendering to a corrupt arrangement.

This is what people mean by "rent seeking" - using the law to secure perpetual control of revenue for which you do nothing. "Intellectual property" has become a gold mine of rent seeking by corporations, "creating" wealth out of thin air* by getting legislation passed that awards it to them.

*It is not really out of thin air, laws extending copyrights retroactively are producing it by stealing it from the rest of society.

Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 1) 593 593

A shame that you did not name Smedley Butler, nor expand upon his relevance to this situation.

A man of unquestionable honor and valor who served his nation in all that it asked of him - he also blew the whistle on the (likely hare-brained) "business plot" to replace a democratically elected administration that threatened big business interests. The result was that the (big business owned) newspaper chains ridiculed what he had to say, even though Congressional investigation found there was substance to it. But of course no action was taken against the conspirators.

"Going to the press" would have served Snowden no better. No American media outlet would have touched his revelations, and in this case the perpetrators were the government itself.

Comment Re:Because titan has ice, pluto isn't even a plane (Score 2) 98 98

Technically the Pluto-Charon system is not a primary with a satellite, but a double system. The center of mass of the system is not within either body, but in the space between them. .

As I love to point out, the problem with this definition is that it also applies to the Sun-Jupiter system.

This is true and will remain true for another billion and a half years at which point the Sun will have expanded enough to put the barycenter under the surface of the photosphere. The barycentric point (as it is known) if at 1.068 solar radii.

The location of the barycentric point is of some interest, but isn't really very meaningful in defining the properties of two body systems.

Comment Re:Motorcycle Safety Perceptions (Score 1) 236 236

The 6 mile wide rock from the sky? Nothing you can do about that.

Untrue. With enough detection time even very slight changes in orbit will prevent a collision. Humans need to take on the task of "sheep herding" the big risky rocks int he solar system, making sure they stay in nice stable non-Earth-intersecting orbits.

Comment Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 3, Informative) 236 236

Right, and this is one threat that if we do detect it far enough in advance, we can actually prevent it from happening! And having a good detection system is the key, if we detect the threat many decades in advance even the largest "planet killers" can be deflected for modest amounts of money.

Comment Re:The bases have to be built from local material (Score 1) 46 46

Wait, scratch that. The majority of the dwellings will need to be underground to avoid the radiation. Instead of a 3D printer, take a tunnel boring machine.

You can't make everything you need out of holes. Your tunnels will need doors, partitions, tables, etc., etc. No IKEA on Mars and the shipping charges are horrendous. There are lots of things besides main structural walls to be made.

Comment Re:Cost bigger issue than sonic boom (Score 1) 73 73

Thanks for all your calculations, but you entirely neglect auditory acoustic response issues, or the fact this energy is coming exclusively in rapid rise impulses.

There is more direct information in this readily available. We read here that the
"Concorde's sonic boom noise level was 105 PLdB. The PLdB that researchers believe will be acceptable for unrestricted supersonic flight over land is 75, but NASA wants to eventually beat that and reach 70 PLdB."
The measure PLdB is "perceived level of decibels" which takes into the account that impulsive, rapid rise sounds appear louder to humans. A 105 dB sound is a very loud sound to anybody. There would be hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of supersonic flights coast-to-coast a day if this became commercial. If you were under a common flight corridor, you might hear one of these every few minutes all day long.

The NASA article discusses though the fact that aircraft design can lessen sonic booms, and that is real key to making this a viable transcontinental technology.

But where we really need supersonic flight is on trans-Pacific flights! Where are the hypersonic trans-Pacific airliner projects these days?

Comment Re:What's with all these "kinds" of music? (Score 1) 361 361

There are exactly two different kinds of music - good music and bad music. What makes music good or bad is left up to the individual - everybody has different opinions. I'm 62, from a small town in Alabama, a child in the fifties, high school in the late sixties, college in the early seventies, and guess what? I like it all! From classical to the latest, there's good to be found (and a LOT of crap). There's even good and bad music from the same artist, e.g. Eric Clapton early was great, but kinda lame later. I usually listen to music played randomly from my collection. You could hear an old bluegrass song followed by Nirvana followed by Bach followed by a gospel song followed by a Disney tune. The only thing all the songs have in common is that they're only the good ones. On the road I listen to XM. The presets are Symphony Hall, Met opera, Lithium, Classic Rewind, Bluegrass Junction, and BB King's Bluesville.

Amen to this! I like everything - if it is good. I enjoy discovering new styles, genres, bands. I have been around awhile, but I was one of Pentatonix's first fans for example. Went to one of their concerts a few months back - Cello/beatboxing was showcased and it was cool! Check out Mattisyahu: his Hassidic/Reggae/Rap fusion is brilliant. Here's a tip - listen to an unfamiliar style/genre more than once. I listen to music from all over the world. It takes time to appreciate the nuances that each style/genre brings. (Bluegrass is one of America's greatest contributions to music.)

Comment Re:A Lot of Software Defies Easy Explanation (Score 1) 244 244

I am a big proponent of agile methods (see the agile thread today), but here I disagree. A UI is part of the system architecture, and architecture fundamentals do need to be defined early in development (but then refined and evolved as development proceeds). Agile is definitely not "making stuff up as you go along".

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.