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Comment: Re:At least Princeton... (Score 3, Interesting) 193

by kilgortrout (#46056635) Attached to: Facebook Mocks 'Infection' Study, Predicts Princeton's Demise
The big three Ivies, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, have unbelievably huge endowments. Harvard leads with $40 billion, and Yale and Princeton have about $20 billion endowments each. As a result, they can afford to offer very generous need based financial aid. In fact, the only financial aid available from the Ivies is need based. If the family makes under about $75K, the student gets a free ride; that's tuition, books and room & board. The financial aid awards go down on a graduated scale based on income and don't cut out until family income is in the $250K range. They appear to intentionally peg it so for a middle to upper middle class family the financial aid award is large enough to make going to the Ivy slightly more affordable than going to an in state public university.

Comment: Re:Because they had the money to become entreprene (Score 3, Insightful) 61

by kilgortrout (#44132135) Attached to: Why the MIT Blackjack Team Became Entrepreneurs
Absolutely not true. Those kids made money, but not nearly as much as the Hollywood version of the movie "21" depicted. Their winnings certainly weren't large enough to fund a tech startup. For example, I know for a fact that Solidworks was initially funded by a venture capital group, not from the personal assets of the founder, Jon Hirschtick, a member of the MIT blackjack team.

Comment: Re:How much "building time" is actual building? (Score 1) 307

That's not true. A technique called "fast track construction" was developed in the 1960s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast-track_construction For the last 25 years, pretty much any large construction project has utilized some form of fast track construction, i.e. the final plans for the entire project are not completed prior to construction commencing.

Comment: Asus Sells Ubuntu For Less Than Windows (Score 2) 403

On identical hardware, Asus sells Ubuntu laptops for $38 less than the Windows 8 laptops: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012095/two-new-asus-laptops-offer-an-ubuntu-linux-option.html So why can't Dell? I think the obvious answer is that Asus is not nearly as beholden to Microsoft as Dell.

Comment: Re:Helping to Keep it Secret... (Score 1) 288

by kilgortrout (#41528699) Attached to: Scientists Want To Keep Their Research Work Out of Court
I imagine the purpose in keeping these communications confidential is to encourage frank discussion and the open exchange of information among scientists. Similarly, our society recognizes the privileged nature of communications between a doctor and patient and between an attorney and client for exactly the same reason. When a scientist's emails and preliminary results become routinely subject to subpoena for use in litigation by politically and/or financially motivated parties, this only discourages scientists from revealing and discussing preliminary results with his peers. Science suffers when open communication is chilled by the prospect of being dragged into court on every preliminary comment made by a scientist.

Comment: Re:Sure, I'll take 'em (Score 1) 211

by kilgortrout (#38717478) Attached to: Putting Medical Records Into Patients' Hands

As a doctor, I really think of your medical record as mine

And as an attorney, I can tell you you are wrong; your patients' medical records belong to your patients, not you. Similarly, my client files belong to my clients, not me. How anyone could get through medical school or law school and not understand this is beyond me. I think one factor that accounts for a doctor's or lawyer's reluctance to release their records to their clients or patients(and I've experienced both) is that free records access empowers the consumer to seek the opinion of another professional. Placing road blocks and hassles to free record access is also used as a client/patient retention mechanism.

Comment: Re:Statute of Limitations? (Score 1) 758

by kilgortrout (#36535012) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Scrub Pirated Music From My Collection?
Civil actions for copyright infringement have a 3 year statute of limitations under section 507(b) of the Copyright Act. However, uploading an illegal copy of a song to "the Cloud" would be a separate act of infringement and the statute of limitations would start to run from the date of upload. Under copyright law, each unauthorized "copying" is a separate infringement. Also, while the law is not settled, most jurisdictions adopt a "discovery rule" approach to determine when the statute should start running. Under the discovery rule, the statute starts running when the copyright owner knew or should have known that an infringement occurred.

Comment: Re:I live in Seattle. (Score 1) 650

by kilgortrout (#34149176) Attached to: Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions
I live in Illinois, Chicago to be precise. Around here, we consider Wisconsin to be a tax haven somewhat like the Cayman Islands. All people can talk about is someday moving to Wisconsin to escape the Illinois/Cook County tax burden. And we consider your highways to be a dream compared to our Illinois roads. Walk a mile in my shoes. I don't know what you guys are complaining about.

Comment: Re:Supposed to do? (Score 1) 799

by kilgortrout (#34074306) Attached to: New York Judge Rules 6-Year-Old Can Be Sued
I think you have to look at the underlying economic reality. The 4 year old is only the nominal defendant here - she probably has no assets and is judgment proof. The real defendant is her parent's umbrella insurance carrier; that's who is going to pay if the plaintiffs are successful and that's who is undoubtedly defending this lawsuit. The problem for the insurer is that senior citizens tend to be overrepresented in juries - they've got nothing better to do and most younger working people try to get out of jury duty.

Comment: Re:WDE? (Score 1) 225

by kilgortrout (#33149608) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Wins GPL Case Against Westinghouse
This isn't a court proceeding. A General Assignment, i.e. an assignment for the benefit of creditors, is a private out of court transaction where the debtor assigns all his assets to an assignee that he has chosen who takes the property in trust for the benefit of all creditors. The assignee is charged with the responsibility of liquidating all of the debtors assets and distributing the proceeds to the creditors on a pro rata basis subject to whatever creditor priority laws may exist under state law, if any. A General Assignment is frequently done by those not wishing to have the independent scrutiny of a bankruptcy trustee or bankruptcy court.

Comment: Re:Disturbing? (Score 1) 215

by kilgortrout (#32277676) Attached to: Nine Chip Makers Fined $400M In EU For Price Fixing
At least in the US, governmental fines are just the beginning of a price fixing cartel's troubles. They are also subject to private civil class action lawsuits brought on behalf of consumers. In fact, most price fixing civil class action lawsuits are spinoffs of governmental FTC investigations in the US. For example, there are currently pending several private class action lawsuits for LCD price fixing and the recoveries there will be in addition to the hefty FTC fines already leveled against the members of the LCD cartel.

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