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Comment Re:Please put the word "space" in quotes (Score 1) 121

"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

Got to love Tom Lehrer. These lyrics are now 50 years old and predate Apollo 11. The last line seems prophetic now:

"in German oder English I know how to count down,
Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun.

Comment Re:Oh good, more contention. (Score 1) 173

The 2.4 Ghz spectrum was opened up for general use because it has relatively poor long distance characteristics thanks to it being absorbed strongly by water

Note that 2.4GHz is absorbed pretty much the same as 2.1GHz, 2.2GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, 2.6GHz, ... There are no blips or surprises if you plot it out. The 2.4GHz ISM band appears to have been chosen just because some experimenters had built heating equipment that happened to use that frequency.

Comment Re:Not wasted (Score 3, Insightful) 178

Just as a matter of basic freshman physics (Rayleigh criterion) humans do not have the optical hardware to see sub-arcminute sized detail.

Yes, they really do. Arcminute resolution is only 20/20 vision (by definition) whereas more people manage 20/15 (corrected, better eye)[1]; that's 45 arcseconds. Almost 1% of people manage 20/10 or 30 arcseconds.

Staying with 45 arcseconds, viewing distance to see the pixels on this display is then 9". If it were a 4K display of the same size the number would be 18".

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1, Interesting) 311

How many people do you think read all of the T&Cs? How many people do you know who have read the Facebook T&Cs, for example (I know two, but I don't know anyone who has both read them and agreed to them)?

So you're going with the "I didn't read the contract before I signed it so I'm not bound by it" defence?

Whether you read them is not very interesting legally. What matters is that you agreed to them which, if you signed up, I'm betting you must have done. Typically the only protection you have in one-sided T&Cs like these is that they're interpreted as much as possible in favour of the consumer. That's in addition to "unconscionable" clauses being void.

There really needs to be some stronger consumer protections that stop Apple et al. from having 43-page T&Cs that change every few months that nobody has time to read. Even being "plain language" doesn't help when they're that long. Is there any jurisdiction in the world with a sensible approach to fixing this?

Comment Re:Of course. (Score 1) 172

Sorry, but yes; self-plagiarism can be a copyright problem. Publishers usually have you sign away your copyright to them before they will publish your work. They can then legally prevent you from publishing your work with another publisher or yourself. Sure, the author usually retains a moral right to be identified as the author, but the right to profit from the work can be sold to others. If the author creates another work too similar to the first, i.e., they plagiarise themselves, then that can be just as much a problem as if anybody else plagiarised them.

The only entity that can't plagiarise a work (from a legal, copyright perspective), is the copyright owner, and that entity is often not the author.

Note that I don't believe this is a factor for Prince and Mooney since it seems that neither of them have sold their copyright.

Comment Re:471 million? You may want to think about that. (Score 2) 247

471 million potatos is a lot of potatos.
471 million .2mm bits of plastic is enough to cover in plastic all of the living rooms in California.
Wait - no - one living room. Or about a dinner-plates worth a day.

If the beads are 0.2mm in diameter then, by my maths, that comes to about 1 (one) (US) gallon of them. Did someone leave off some zeros?

Comment Flawed Comparison (Score 0) 42

I don't think this is a good comparison to make. As I understand it, the restrictions of the 1990s did not require a back door to be inserted; they just limited the strength of the cryptography, presumably to a level breakable by the NSA even then. The old Clipper-chip back door fiasco was not responsible for logjam et al. and the new proposals are not intending to limit key length.

N.B.: I still definitely think that the current noises about mandating back doors is very worrying. My hope is that it won't happen due to the major privacy and security issues it presents. Perhaps our saviour will be the inability of different governments to trust each other.

Comment Re:BYOD in the NAVY??? (Score 2) 68

You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons.

But no where does it say "launching". Launching should be fine.

I'm not sure you understand what "without limitation" means.

The first version always gets thrown away.