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Comment: Re: Patents cause progress stoppage (Score 4, Informative) 87

by electrofelix (#44161589) Attached to: FTC Chairwoman Speaks On Growing US Patent Problem
Not completely.

One of the abuses with patents is the continuous application for patents on the same area with minor adjustments on previous patents in order to essentially prevent the original invention patented from being free from patents once the initial one has expired.

It's certainly more limited in scope because they can't just wait until the initial patent is almost expired, but it is a problem that could easily be solved if examiners were willing to say that minor alterations do not a new invention make.

Comment: Re:wayland (Score 4, Insightful) 259

by electrofelix (#43836739) Attached to: Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland
X11 on linux is network capable but really can no longer be classified as network transparent. None of the main rendering engines for X11 on linux are network transparent.

The talk on the state of X11 and Wayland/Weston given by one of the lead developers is a bit of an eye-opener about just how munged up X11 is at this stage.

Comment: Re:Read the PDF (Score 1) 412

Being battery powered suggests that they operate at a much further distance than the standard 5-10cm (or 40-50cm if you decide to create rogue scanner) than the passive version of RFID.

Also considering they mentioned that it wouldn't tell them exactly which classroom the student was in, but rather in more general terms, which wing of the school, seems like reading distance might more likely to be upwards of 20m.

Comment: Re:Cloning is portrayed as complicated?? (Score 1) 116

by electrofelix (#42104705) Attached to: Book Review: Version Control With Git, 2nd Edition
You haven't been using it long enough so. There was a point in time were svn supported using merge but failed to record any information about what had been merged to where. So if your repeated the operation, you got a giant clusterphuck of a result. Same thing applied to subsequent merges, since there was no information stored in subversion you had to know beforehand which revisions were previously merged.

The consequence of this was that many teams ended up having to create custom tools to perform the merge and record the information somewhere else, or require that developers recorded which revisions were merged in the commit message.

The subversion developers eventually realised their mistake and added internal metadata to handle, so that if you merged r100 of branchA to branchB, and then subsequently tried to merge r200 of branchA to branchB, subversion would realise that everything prior to, and including r100 on branchA was already merged, and it need only merge the differences between r100 and r200.

Oddly enough though, by then most devs had already abandoned it for just about anything else that had sane merging.

Comment: Re:Problem: DirectX lock-in (Score 1) 880

I don't think that will be as big as problem as you think. PS3, Mac, Andriod and iOS are all OpenGL based devices. Xbox and Windows PC's are the only ones that are DirectX. Anyone developing games these days that use an engine that can only compile a game for DirectX is locking themselves out of a sizeable market.

I think the Mac is what has tipped things, enough titles are starting to support OSX on the desktop/laptop, that the hurdle to making the game work on Linux becomes much smaller. I see quite a few that are quite a few already on steam (~380) that support OSX.

Of course any of the older games using dosbox, will be straight forward to port :)

The real difficulty will be in building into steam the necessary diagnostics to determine, what needs to be configured correctly on the various distributions to allow the ported games to work perfectly without the various developers getting inundated with complaints as to their game being a big ball of crappiness on Linux.

Comment: Re:Blame Obama! (Score 1) 820

by electrofelix (#40774777) Attached to: Feds Ban 'Buckyballs' Magnets
Also perhaps they are focusing on the wrong problem

Let's see - item sold to parents that results in 12 surgeries should be banned
Item sold to parent that resulted in ~5000 deaths among children per year in the US is just fine and dandy

http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/557291/Thousands-of-children-are-killed---.html

Comment: Re:Another case of "do what i say, and not what I (Score 1) 220

by electrofelix (#40683627) Attached to: Anti-piracy Group Fined For Using Song Without Permission
They did pay him for the work he did, but they attached that it would only be played at one event to the terms and conditions, ostensibly to keep the price down.

They could have negotiated an agreement to be able to reuse his composition as often as desired, anywhere in the world for a flat initial fee. Obviously that would have been more expensive, but it was an option they decided not to take.

In lieu of such a world wide reuse as needed agreement, the default is that they pay royalties. There is nothing and has been no restriction against groups hiring musicians and composers for work that is signed over to the payee for a flat fee. But since in most cases they don't know if it will be worth the investment, the companies involved generally don't and instead opt for paying royalties. After all what would have been the point of paying a significant fee for a worldwide infinite reuse (sign over copyright) on his work if it did only end up being used at a small event.

Comment: Re:Skeptical != Scientific (Score 1) 409

I noticed that they also neglected to mention just how much height had been added to the peaks in the last 10 years. From wikipedia "This leads to the Himalayas rising by about 5 mm per year, making them geologically active". So that would be somewhere around 5cm of extra height, which over the size of the Himalayas is a fair chunk of land moving up past the snow/ice line.

For there to be less ice + snow on the peaks it would indicate a drastic change in climate that moved the snow line up more than 5cm. It should be growing, the question is, is the increase in line with the snow line remaining at the same point on average, or is the growth in the Himalayas just sufficient to exceed the movement of the snow line.

Comment: Re:work an election before you tout pen and paper. (Score 1) 241

by electrofelix (#38684286) Attached to: 7000 e-Voting Machines Now Deemed Worthless By Irish Government
We (Ireland) use the Proportion Representation system, which means for election of officials you enter your order of preference. There are multiple counts where either someone exceeding the required quota (rare) has their excess redistributed or the person with the lowest number of votes (starting with 1st preference) at the end of the count is eliminated and their ballots are redistributed based on the second preference listed. This continuous until the threshold for all the seats (1 for a presentational election, 2 or more per constituency for any government elections) has been reached, or the remaining candidates match the number of seats available.

In summary you don't mark the candidate you want elected with an X, you put a number beside each candidates name in order of preference (1 to x) that you would wish to see them elected.

Only for a Referendum is there a simple yes/no option.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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