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Comment: Re:Would probably be found (Score 5, Informative) 576

by dmcq (#44891563) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux
Have a look at some of the code from the 'Underhanded C Contest' at http://underhanded.xcott.com/ where people write code that looks straightforward and nice and clear but contains deliberate evil bugs. I think that should remove any complacency and the NSA has a lot of money to spend on people posing as developers never mind the ones they stick onto standards bodies.

Comment: Re:Summary (Score 1) 608

by dmcq (#41233623) Attached to: Obama and Romney Respond To ScienceDebate.org Questionnaire

A few disagreements:

Q4: How will you deal with the threat of a pandemic? you said Romney said he would strengthen public health systems. I saw nothing like that, he only talked helping companies innovate in vaccines.

Q14. Vaccination and public health. Obama emphasised the Affordable Care Act and Prevention and Public Health Fund, which are major ways of dealing with that - the implication is Romney would remove them. That is not just a boilerplate answer.

Q10 Ocean Health: This is always an interesting subject to see how somebody deals with the tragedy of the commons problems. I can't say either was really engaging with the problems but at least Obama was going to have federal involvement in trying to fix the resulting problems, rather than just monitoring the situation and giving the results to the people to let them make a bigger mess.

I view Romney's answer's to the food and drink questions as let the vendors say what's good for you and remove the regulations because they cost money.

The Romney answers about education are particularly interesting as they're not immediately obvious After all he can always pay for a good education himself. It seems to be something Romney has actually thought about. As far as I can see the idea is to give more control of teaching to the local community but also talks about better standards. Is children and their future a subject he actually does care about?

Comment: 25 years and exclude trademarks (Score 1) 577

by dmcq (#40016231) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What If Intellectual Property Expired After Five Years?
Basically I agree except 5 years is too short for someone to make a profit from their idea. I think about 25 years would be best. The current situation about copyright is a scandal. However trademarks are not an idea, they are an identity that can be developed and should only expire due to no longer being defended by the trademark holder - and I'd include things like Harry Potter as being a trademark. So after 25 years a Harry potter book would lose copyright, but other people could still not automatically write new Harry Potter books and one could even sell use of the name.

Comment: No problem with the copyright, just the duration (Score 1) 411

by dmcq (#38736686) Attached to: A Copyright Nightmare
I've no problem with the family getting some money from it, I just think the copyright should have expired ages ago. I believe copyright and patent laws should be treated the same and perhaps patents slightly longer so they both expire in about 25 years. Trade marks however could be kept indefinitely or for some years after last use and would be automatically assumed for authors characters so that for instance only Disney could make new Mickey Mouse stories but ones which were older than say twenty five years could be viewed without payment.

Comment: Copyright duration is the problem (Score 2) 206

by dmcq (#38134292) Attached to: Penguin Yanking Kindle Books From Libraries
I have no particular problems with people protecting their investment however they wish and with DRM. My main concern is with the totally obnoxious and excessive duration of copyright and there should be provision for removing DRM when copyright ends. It should last no more than the 20 years of inventions which also are a big investment, often much larger, on the part of the people who make them. People are I think conflating the problems in their minds and it sours the whole business.

Comment: And this is a defence for breaking a contract? (Score 1) 216

by dmcq (#38134186) Attached to: Is HP Paying Intel To Keep Itanium Alive?
Well if I was in another manufacturing company contracted with Oracle I'd be start thinking would I be breaking my contract by shovelling a bit of money to the free alternatives so my customers don't get locked in with Oracle. After all Oracle might find some such other such reason of equal validity for not supporting them.

Comment: Re:Edit Wars are a Problem (Score 1) 533

by dmcq (#36999286) Attached to: Wikipedia Losing Contributors, Says Wales
Yes I would agree this is the main problem. The place is infested with people with a mission to make their view the only view that WIkipedia will show. And not just on the topics you'd expect like climate change and abortion and Israel and evolution etc. Even fairly trivial topics have their local warriors. And many of the people complaining about WIkipedia are edit warriors who they have finally managed to get themselves banned despite the extreme difficulty of doing so if they just remain halfway polite. Admins are not the problem. They have too little power if anything to get rid of troublemakers efficiently.

Comment: I see opportunities for criminals here (Score 1) 389

by dmcq (#35230154) Attached to: Lawmaker Reintroduces WikiLeaks Prosecution Bill
I don't see anything about what these people in the intelligence services are engaged in. For instance if they rob, kill or torture people will publishing anything about that be lawful? Does it mean that the intelligence services can employ lowlife to do their work and if they do a few crimes on their way they get immunity from investigation? Looks like a bunch of opportunities to me. And why anyway are intelligence services so special compared to anybody else? If you know someone is going to be endangered by your actions shouldn't you tell them in advance anyway so they can prepare?

Comment: Little Ice Age (Score 1) 279

by dmcq (#34988026) Attached to: Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror
If that's true then he might have been responsible at least in part for the end of the medieval warm period start of the little ice age. Same as the cooling down again after America was discovered has been attributed by some to the death by disease of so many people there and the regrowth of trees in the Amazon basic. You can have too much of a good thing as far as being green is concerned!
Math

Euler's Partition Function Theory Finished 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-was-quick dept.
universegeek writes "Mathematician Ken Ono, from Emory, has solved a 250-year-old problem: how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers. Ono and colleagues were able to finally do this by realizing that the pattern of partition numbers is fractal (PDF). This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula, which is like striking oil in mathematics."

Comment: I better dumb down a bit (Score 1) 266

by dmcq (#34585074) Attached to: 'Reading Level' Filter Added To Google Search
I just checked two sites I run. Seemingly the site I want to be basic is 60% basic 34% intermediate and 4% advanced. So in parts it's more advanced than slashdot so probably I have failed a little there! The other one is just my general stuff and it works out a quarter basic, half intermediate and a quarter advanced which I guess is probably about right. Thanks Google, I think that can be a great help to me even if I won't be dumbing down my searches. ~~~~

Comment: Opt out? sounds like a spam merchant (Score 1) 102

by dmcq (#34528230) Attached to: Online Tracking Firms To Launch Opt-Out Program
And how often have you replied to some spam saying you want to opt out? It's a recipe for having a hundred times as much spam now they know you read it. It's confirmation that you are a prime candidate for spam. So now they want you to stick your email in a register saying you don't want the stuff. Give me a break. Anyone like that I'll avoid like a plague.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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