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Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 145

I have grown really weary of this attitude that just because certain people are abusing the system, then the system itself is bad. That's a wrong-headed and dangerous approach to problem solving. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater, as the saying goes.

Which 'system' are you talking about? The patent system, or the larger military-industrial corporocratic political system which has undermined, perverted, and co-opted the patent system, (along with so many other things), in a manner which probably has its founders spinning in their graves?

Since many big corporations today have been shown to be corrupt, should we get rid of corporations?

That may be necessary in the short term as the only means to counter the massive power they have usurped. Yes, we need corporations - but they need to be society's servants, not its masters as they are now.

It's a people problem, not a system problem.

No, it's definitely a system problem - unless your definition of 'people' agrees with the law's definition, which extends personhood to corporations.

And the ultimate answer is: the patent system exists for YOUR benefit. And you DO benefit from it. We need to stop abuses of the patent system, not scrap it altogether.

The patent system no longer serves MY benefit - it primarily serves those who are already rich enough to defend their patents and to use them as weapons in patent wars which stifle innovation and waste tremendous amounts of resources with no net benefit for society. I agree that we need something like what the patent system used to be; however, trumpeting the cause of 'patent reform' is rather like crying out for a Band-Aid as a treatment for disembowelment. The brokenness of the patent system is a symptom of much larger problems, not a root cause. The real work needs to be done much higher in the pyramid - then things like a sane and functional patent system will follow naturally.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 3, Informative) 448

by jenningsthecat (#49084749) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Time to make a Faraday Cage wallet.

Time to permanently disable contactless payment on all your cards.

Apparently the banks and credit card companies in some countries will send you a new card without the RFID on request. But here in Canada at least one company simply refuses to do this. My bank DID disable contactless payment on my new debit card in their records, but of course the RFID is still physically intact so there's no guarantee that it won't suddenly start working as a result of some administrative fuckup. I'm going to call about my new credit card, but I'm pretty sure they'll tell my politely to piss off. At that time I plan to get out my drill, put a hole in the appropriate place, and test. If it disables Tap and Pay, then all of my cards will get the same treatment.

Comment: Re:Tab Mix Plus (Score 2) 353

by jenningsthecat (#49084653) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Useful Browser Extensions?

Yes, Tab Mix Plus is essential for me. I use it extensively to do things like manage saving and restoring of sessions, change the font and text colour of tabs for instant identification of state, undoing a Close Tab command, closing a tab by double-clicking the tab, and opening a new tab by double clicking the tab bar. When I'm forced to use a browser that doesn't have it I go a little bit crazy and my efficiency drops enormously.

Aside from the usual security and privacy addons, another one I find indispensable is Flashblock. I tend to have many YouTube tabs open at once, and Flashblock calms my urge to strangle and dismember whatever fuckwit decided that videos should play automatically as soon as the page loads.

Comment: How about USB sticks? (Score 2) 251

by jenningsthecat (#48916271) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

The USB 3.0 sticks are pretty fast and 128GB sticks are getting cheaper all the time, with cheap 256GB units on the horizon. They are light, small, have good retention, and make it easy to divide your data types into separate physical units so if you only want to retrieve the family photos you don't need to pick up the tax returns and such as well.

Comment: Better to teach people to "program"? (Score 1) 200

Let's teach more Americans to code.

Everybody and his dog who happens to be an Excel whiz or a Word macro expert is arguably a coder. As are a lot of people who call themselves programmers. Do we want more of that skillset? Or do we want more people who can take a longer, more structured, project-oriented view and who write maintainable, extensible programs? I'm asking the question in all seriousness.

Comment: Books and curtains do not a terrorist make (Score 2) 174


According to the prosecutor, the evidence against them includes finding numerous copies of a book called “Against Democracy”...

By the Spanish judge's logic, closing the curtains in your house and owning a copy of Mein Kampf would also cause him to view you as a potential Nazi.

Perhaps those who control the police are the only ones who are allowed to be "against democracy"...

Comment: Re:How many attacks will it take? (Score 0) 257

by jenningsthecat (#48826853) Attached to: Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

One thing I don't get - why is the West - Europe and Americas - continuing to poke their noses into other countries' business? Yes, terrorists need to be stopped - but how about we just stop creating terrorists? If the US and other countries hadn't been massively interfering in Middle East politics for decades, propping up dictators in the name of Big Oil, causing wars, and doing all sorts of other shitty things, do you really think even the batshit-craziest of Muslims would be so upset about some cartoons that they'd come to our countries to commit suicide just so they could kill us? I sincerely doubt it. No, we went out of our way repeatedly to make enemies in the Middle East long before Charlie Hebdo added one more insult to a long list of grievous injuries.

Have you ever read Frank Herbert's 'Dune'? The Fremen are an object lesson in what happens when people with an extreme religious streak whom you've oppressed for a long time finally acquire the wherewithal to fight back. And interestingly enough, Fremen culture was clearly modelled on Middle Eastern cultures.

Comment: Re:Prepare for more (Score 1) 257

by jenningsthecat (#48826659) Attached to: Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

I was getting ready to tell you that bullshit flag wasn't gonna fly, as I also was under the impression that Japan would have surrendered soon even if the bombs hadn't been dropped. But it seems there's still quite a bit of controversy regarding the point:

So your call of bullshit may or may not be correct, but we'll probably never know definitively one way or the other.

Comment: Re:Dupe (Score 2) 840

At least for automobiles, there's a simple legislative fix for this - if only government had the guts. Mandate that EVERY automotive engineer be forced to spend two months every year, (or one year in every four, or whatever), working in a dealership garage as an auto mechanic fixing the cars his company produced. A few experiences with having to lift an engine to replace an oil filter or a spark plug, (all the while listenening to the taunts of the 'real' mechanics he's working with), and that kind of design stupidity would stop right quick.

Yeah, I know it's a fantasy - but sometimes imagining a world where the government looks out for the interests of its citizens and the future of our planet by actually calling corporations to heel is all that keeps me going - especially when I'm faced with how determinedly stupid the human race can be...

Comment: Commercials (Score 1) 400

by jenningsthecat (#48720495) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

I often want to see a new movie at the cinema. But then I think of the car and bank commercials, trivia games, and other assorted pre-movie corporate crap that has become part of the standard cinema experience, and I decide to wait for the DVD release. I gotta wonder how many other people are staying away for the same reasons.

Comment: Progressives totally didn't work for me (Score 1) 464

I have had myopia since I was 12, and now have age-onset presbyopia aw well. I tried progressives for a week, then took them back and exchanged them for my normal ~-5.5 diopter prescription. Even for regular use just walking around, I found the weird distortions that varied drastically as I turned my head were just too obtrusive and disorienting. And I haven't been able to find contacts that don't make my eyes gum up and blur. But if I could wear contacts, I would have my optometrist prescribe them to under-correct for distance, so I could leave my glasses off for computer work and most casual situations. Then, for driving, or anything else that required good distance vision, I would have glasses with a small negative diopter value such that the combination of glasses and contacts would provide the necessary distance correction.

The more normal approach would be to have contacts to fully correct for distance and have reading glasses. But during the short time I wore contacts, I'd get panicky when I couldn't lay hands on my readers and was unable to see well up close, whereas being unable to see well at a distance bothers me much less. Now I just have two sets of glasses, and really need three sets. It sucks, but so far I've been unable to find a better solution.

Comment: Finally! (Score 2) 51

by jenningsthecat (#48639135) Attached to: T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills

A penalty that stands a chance of getting the offender's attention, rather than one that's considered simply a cost of doing business. The fine should have been higher though - perhaps an additional $90M as purely punitive damages. Companies need to learn that wilfully screwing over their customers really, really hurts their bottom line. Also, an award approaching a fifth of a billion would likely piss off enough shareholders that several heads would roll.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke