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Comment Re:In favor of paid copyright protection (Score 1) 93 93

Their lobbying clearly indicates they want indefinite copyright. I'm simply asking them to put their money where their mouth is - and in the process stop bothering the rest of us with ridiculous copyrights on ancient works that have no economic value whatsoever. It is not at all an unreasonable request that the user pays, so to speak - that copyright holders who want protection beyond a reasonable timeframe, also get to pay for enjoying that protection.

It is precisely those continuous extensions that I want to put an end to. Instead of extending copyright for _every_ work, do it my way: let the copyright holder choose, but also let them pay for the privilege. Mickey Mouse will be under copyright for a long time to come, but works that are no longer economically viable shouldn't simply be locked into a cupboard and forgotten. My proposal sets them free.

Comment In favor of paid copyright protection (Score 2) 93 93

This is how copyright should be changed: give every 'work' ten years of free protection - plenty to understand whether it is making money or not. And beyond that, allow for infinitely repeatable five-year terms, paid for at a progressive rate. That way everyone can be happy: basic protection is in place for free, and anything that is valuable can be protected up to its economic value but not beyond.

Copyright owners can be happy: they finally have their infinite copyright - or at least as it makes sense economically.
The public can be happy, as older works will eventually fall into public domain.
The government can be happy, as copyrighted works become a steady source of income.

See, everybody is happy!

Comment Parts of AmigaOS of course (Score 1) 484 484

Assigns (randomly named identifiers for things in the file system). ARexx (fully integrated, comprehensive scripting support, don't care about the language, throughout the OS and all applications). Screens (the ability to group windows and more importantly tasks together). A design that doesn't require constant disk access and thus remains responsive at all times. I'd also choose any windowing environment that is not X11, and since we're talking Amiga anyway I'll choose Intuition (a sane windowing environment).

You can sort-of pretend all of these things exist in Windows or GNU/systemd, but in reality they are pale imitations of the original. Screens for example - that works because applications have knowledge of them, and use them intelligently, not because you just happen to be able to assign windows to a workspace manually.

Comment Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 494 494

I love how you have to go back 1600 years to find an example of Christians being assholes. Meanwhile, today, _every single day_, islam kills, tortures, maims, and rapes.

Not good enough for you? Christian faith requires that you love each other; killing is one of the worst imaginable crimes. Islam requires that you hate all who are not muslim; killing others is mandatory according to the quran.

DON'T pretend that "all religions are equally wrong"; they are not. Most of the world's religions are (relatively) peaceful, and will generally leave non-members in peace (neither Boeddhism nor Christianity requires the death of non-believers, and you cannot even become a Jew or hindu except by birth even if you wanted to). There is one major exception to this rule: islam, the very name means "submission", requires that _everyone_ submits and becomes a muslim. And its followers are not only required to use violence to make it so, they are also more than happy to commit atrocious acts to get their way.

The greatest weapon against islam is education. A succesful, educated woman who has become a public figure simply cannot be suffered to live; her example threatens the entire power structure of islam. And that, in a nutshell, is why this poor, courageous woman was murdered.

Comment Re:It's pretty much a given that they saved money (Score 1) 232 232

Instead of going with a licensed OS like Windows or VxWorks, they saved tens of dollars. Smart thinking and good use of money in these tough economic times.

It would be nice to see other departments try to realize these types of gains.

Vxworks is tens of thousands of dollars, not tens of dollars. Second, what exactly is the added value of vxworks in this? It is good if you need hard realtime operations, which typically implies a solution with hardware in the loop. If you don't have that (and a flightsim doesn't need it) you can use a non-realtime OS like Linux just fine.

Anyway, how is this news? Where I work we have been writing spacecraft simulators for years on Linux... In the past all that stuff used to run on Sun, but really, what's the point in getting a slow, expensive Sun machine if a cheap Dell box loaded with Suse will do the job faster and cheaper?

Comment Re:Back out of Plan Affirmative-Action (Score 2) 153 153

Really reliable except for a series of Soyuz spacecraft that nearly burned up on reentry, due to the thrust unit not being released properly. They still have no idea what is causing it. See for example: http://www.universetoday.com/2008/04/20/soyuz-crew-safe-after-a-violent-re-entry-and-landing-400km-off-target/

Any landing you can walk away from is a success, and the crew survived, didn't they? How would a shuttle deal with this sort of punishment, you think?

If given a choice to travel on either a Soyuz or a shuttle, I'd fly on a Soyuz in a heartbeat. Not that anyone will ever ask me of course...

Comment Re:Lol (Score 1) 451 451

There's an interstate in Washington State that has an exit in DuPont (yes, the city and the company). The state was going to build the exit and charge DuPont for the privilege. DuPont said, 'if we can build it to your specs, can we do it ourselves?' The government said yes and DuPont built it for half the price the state was going to charge them.

When corporations do something for themselves it is simply to obtain a service, and the work is done as cheaply as possible.

But when corporations do something for someone else (such as the public), it is a for-profit activity and it will be charged at the usual rates.

Do not mistake the ability of corporations to do something for cheap, for their willingness to do it cheaply for you. Especially on long-term services, where a corporation gets entrenched and other potential bidders face much higher startup costs if they were to take over the contract.

As far as health care, there's a lot more to be said about it than just comparing the government's job of doing other things. I don't know what the answer is there. I think that we've lost the 'insurance' aspect of health care. People want their insurance company to pay for everything (why don't we have car insurance cover tuneups?). If people paid for all the little, routine things and had the insurance for catastrophic things (like cancer, or having a limb reattached), then there probably wouldn't be any "crisis". And I think the whole system would probably be in much better health if 64% of American's weren't overweight/obese. Perhaps you shouldn't get insurance if you've caused your own demise through negligence.

Because everyone is negligent in their own way. You should have looked before crossing the street, you would have seen that car coming. You should not have run 20 miles every day of your life, you knew it would give you bad knees. You should not have visited that hotel, it is well known that large international hotels attract terrorist bombings. It is the ultimate cop-out for insurance companies.

Comment Re:What they mean: (Score 3, Insightful) 343 343

There are some major differences between all those shared resources you list, and those of ISP's though:

1. With ISP's, you pay for different speeds. If you pay for (say) 1000kb/s but it is known in advance that you will only ever receive 333kb/s, that effectively means they have just raised their prices by a factor three.

2. Rather than giving everyone _at least_ one third of their paid-for speed, and then spreading the remainder evenly over the various customers, you are simply capped. In fact I suspect that even that promised one third of the paid-for speed is on an "if available" basis.

3. The phrase "abuse" is thrown around lightly, and there is a clear undertone of "illegal". These are probably the kind of people downloading illegal movies and childpr0n all day long! Cap them, before they do even more harm! Or... Maybe they have subscribed to a legal movie download service? One that competes with UPC's own TV offerings? (UPC is actually a cable TV provider, that also does internet on the side!)

Simple fact: UPC is advertising certain speeds, but not delivering them. And it's not even because of oversubscription (as in the examples you gave), but simply because they don't want to.

Comment Re:The US isn't all first world. (Score 1) 337 337

while you are reasonably correct on the causes of the great depression, you fail hard.

1. is over already

That doesn't invalidate his point though. It is a list of steps that are taken in order, not a list of conditions that must all be true at the same time.

2. paying off loans isn't what causes contraction of money supply.

If taking out a loan increases the money supply (as argued in a great many documentaries), then paying it off decreases it. Go see "money as debt" or something similar.

3. if you want to single out houses as the only asset, then yes.

4. yes, there's no getting away from the fact companies have taken a hammering

5. most places have had a fall in profits, there are some standouts though. gold producers are one of them.

If you are trying to deny what he's claiming, you are doing a lousy job. And gold producers as standouts... Could that be because investors are no longer willing to invest in coin?

6. here is your big fail. jobless rate in 1933 was 24.9% http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/cm20030124ar03p1.htm

Indeed, and that may yet save us. Or it could be a difference in counting methods, or it could be that the hammer is yet to fall for many.

7. here is your biggest problem - doomers like yourself who are still claiming the sky is falling when their are CLEARLY signs of recovery worldwide.

You mean, "the people who caused the problem in the first place are telling us everything is fine now in the faint hope that we will believe them and start spending like crazy again. But given that they have no credibility left, no one actually believes them, thus perpetuating the downwards spiral."

Not that that is a bad thing. Restarting the spending spree will just start another bubble, making the problems worse in the long run.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Moon! (Score 1) 137 137

Guys, you are all making the same mistake: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Arianespace and all those others did not invest their own money to build its own launchers, they were all paid for by national agencies. Without that investment we wouldn't have _any_ heavy launchers at this time.

When you say that NASA needs to stop wasting money on launchers, what you are saying is that it needs to stop paying those companies for providing launchers. Because that is the _only_ thing that NASA does: it hands out contracts to industry for developing the capabilities that they need.

Letting industry take over, and stopping all money from NASA, as the original poster suggested, will simply result in those companies shrugging and withdrawing from the launcher market. The end result will not be "cheaper launchers", but rather "no launchers at all".

Comment Re:Welcome to the Moon! (Score 1) 137 137

Which commercial toy rockets do you refer to ? Delta IV, Ariane 5, Atlas V, Zenit or Proton ?

Do you want to compare these toys to spectacular successes of NASA-designed NASP, X-33, X-34, X-38, 2GRLV , Shuttle-II ?

Delta 4, Atlas 5: paid for by US taxpayers.
Ariane 5: paid for by european taxpayers.
Zenit, Proton: paid for by USSR taxpayers.

It is not commercial development if it is the taxpayer footing the bill. Show me a company that invested its own money.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Moon! (Score 2, Interesting) 137 137

As much of a fan of NASA as I am (and have been, since the mid-70s), I am seriously beginning to doubt the agency's ability to get back into the business of taking big trips. Even if NASA gets us back to the moon, we're likely to be greeted by the Chinese, or some commercial operation's management (welcome to Bigelow at Tranquility!).

It seems almost silly to be developing a return to space program, when commercial space is doing the same thing, for less money, and is closer to actually ACHIEVING it.

How can commercial entities, who have so far demonstrated only toy rockets, possibly be closer to achieving space flight than NASA, who demonstrated that capability decades ago and has since done it countless times? If it were so easy for commercial entities to do this, why aren't the skies bustling with commercial space stations and commercial flights?

You are arguing to stop investing _before_ there is a credible alternative. The only result of that will be the total loss of access to space for your country.

Comment Re:the list Before a karma whore can... (Score 1, Insightful) 282 282

So where are Microsoft and SCO? Both have contributed so much knowledge (in the form of patents) and code, yet they remain completely uncredited. I'm deeply disappointed.

(guidelines for modders: this is supposed to be funny. It is not really that funny, so I'd aim for +2 funny or possibly +3 insightful if you want to give me some karma as well. I'll promise to do better next time when aiming for a funny)

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben

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