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Submission + - Have The Robots Broken The Stock Market?->

walterbyrd writes: The markets were sloppy last week, and we went out on a bad note. Sentiment was very negative. And when Chinese stocks continued to crash on Sunday, it looked like we might be on the verge of something nasty. Uncertainty was everywhere. And then the robots took control. I watched the futures market almost all night on Sunday, and we were seeing 100-point moves in the Dow Futures contract within a few minutes. This was not human controlled. And it was not rational.
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Comment Re:123D Catch? Autodesk already has an app doing t (Score 4, Informative) 48

The differences are significant:

1) The Microsoft app works in real-time on the phone, rather than 123D Catch processing in the cloud
2) The Microsoft app shows real-time results, so you can see where there are issues, and continue to photograph until they are resolved. With 123D Catch you patch errors in post.
3) The Autodesk 123D Catch app actually exists, and the earlier web-based version has been around for about four years.

I'm kind of surprised that Microsoft isn't using the acceleration and magnetic sensors in the phone to help determine the camera position. It's one of the features that phone cameras have that DSLR's don't.

Submission + - Oracle: Google is a willful infringer->

walterbyrd writes: Florian Mueller: Google is a willful infringer. Google copied and distributed without authorizationSun/Oracle’s 37 Java API Packages (and RangeCheck and the eight decompiled files, for that matter). Google knew full well that this was copyrighted material, that it needed to take a license,and that its failure to do so subjected it to legal liability. Indeed, Google’s employees were instructed to conceal the scope of the infringement for as long as possible as they “scrubbed the js” from Android. At no point did anyone inside Google ever suggest that its unauthorized copying was “fair use”—nor does it have an opinion of counsel justifying its actions.
Google simply didn’t care that it was willfully infringing Sun’s (and later Oracle’s) copyrights. Sun was weak and Google needed to get to market with a mobile solution. When Oracle acquired Sun, Google again had the chance to do the right thing—and this time it faced an opponent that was not hemorrhaging revenue and watching its market capitalization drop throughthe floor. At that point, Google’s executives candidly acknowledged that they needed the Java API Packages, because “the alternatives all suck.” Google believed it would be “out of business in 10 years” if it did not succeed in mobile. Still, Google did not do the right thing and take a license. Google stands alone among large companies who commercially exploit the JavaPlatform without complying with the license terms.

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Comment Re:No, not economics at all (Score 1) 185

I don't have to apologize for national fiat currency, it's silly too, and I don't keep my assets in cash. My problem with Bitcoin is that it is even less credible than "the faith and credit of the United States government", which has been the justification of the Dollar since it was allowed to float. It seems to be nothing but "wish and it will come true".

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the small-aircraft owners aren't at risk of messing up their avionics. They are, however, consciously messing up the cellular network for everyone else. You see, you are supposed to be in range of just a few cells when you use your phone, so that we get frequency reuse between cells. If you are at altitude, you are in line-of-sight communications with all of the cells out to the visible horizon on all sides. And the frequencies you are using are probably locked out from reuse over that entire vast area. It would not take very many phones at altitude to disrupt the entire system.

Comment No, not economics at all (Score 4, Insightful) 185

People who received a play-money system from a mysterious unknown person and actually convinced themselves that it has value are now facing a schism over the money market failing to grow without bounds. Unless, that is, the software is modified in a way that might, over time, disincent people from playing the game.

I can't be the only one who is thinking that the only problem is that these folks believe bitcoins have value.

Hell, I thought that the fiat currency of nations was a bad deal. This is an order of magnitude worse.

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the real problem is that you have line-of-sight communications to every cell site until the visible horizon. This tends to use up frequencies over a very large area. In general the antennas have been engineered not to work at high angles, but this can't be complete and the ones on the horizon may see you at the same angle as their regular users.

Submission + - USPTO finds Apple iPhone design patent invalid->

walterbyrd writes: The USPTO is also not allowing Apple to claim benefit of filing date related to two previous patent applications covering the same design, which are thus cited as prior art. As seen in the image above, taken from the USPTO's decision, D'677 shows different design attributes from Apple's own prior art and therefore does not meet requirements of patentability laid out in Title 35 of the U.S. Code. A pair of non-Apple patents, one from LG and another from Japan, are the basis of the USPTO's other two rejections for obviousness.
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Comment Wish we'd built the F-20 (Score 2) 731

Northrop built the F-20 back in the late 70's. It had better dogfighting performance than the F-16, and was cheaper and simpler. To some extent, it's dogfighting performance was too good; of the three that were built two were lost due to the pilots losing consciousness during high-G maneuvers.

They built it because the US government had said that they wouldn't sell F-16's to the rest of the world, as it was too good. Unfortunately for Northrop, they changed their mind -- and as the F-16 was so well known it won out.

The remaining F-20 is hanging in the California Science Center in LA, it's a beautiful plane.

Comment The problem is usually video (Score 1, Insightful) 378

Think of how we use video devices. Not just in Linux, in pretty much all current systems. In the name of "efficiency" we memory-map them, and we let the user process directly mess around with the internals of a hardware device.

This is the way a set-top video game box works, not a secure and reliable operating system.

Until the video is firewalled off from the user the way other components of the operating system are, it's not going to be safe, secure, or reliable. Obviously we'll need new hardware designs to make this work fast enough.

"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman

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