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Comment: Re: How is it (Score 3, Insightful) 176 176

That depends. This may be an unpopular point of view to some here, but the value of people depends on supply and demand, just like the value of goods. To lower the value of people in a country, all it takes is a large increase in population way beyond the required workforce and the available resources. Below a certain value, people will become disposable entities just like the slaves in Roman times. In some of the poorest countries around the world, this is partially happening. In the richer countries around the globe, this could also happen, either because our mix of resources and work changes too radically for our population at some point, or because the poor from other countries flee their homes in extreme numbers at some point.

We can't assume that human life will always be valued in the future like it is now.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422 422

I think that being able to recover "trivially" is the issue here. If you fire all the employees one moment, arguing that once you've paid their entitlements the company will have zero operating capital left, then it's going to be difficult to "trivially" recover and start operating as before. Anyone who's hired people knows that the upfront cost of hiring is much higher than the incremental cost of paying an ongoing employee's salary. It's much more likely that the company would be sold off to new owners while the employees are still emplyed, as the owners can inject more operating capital, and the upfront costs of hiring everyone don't apply.

In any case, this has little to do with unions, whose purpose is rather different.

Comment: Re:Probably a more useful metric than social netwo (Score 0) 102 102

12 billion users is not that hard to get. For example, the Mormon church has at least 12 billion members by now too.

In truth, these numbers of users are really quite small. The current upper bound seems to be about 108 billion, so there's still a ways to go.

Comment: Re:stupid (Score 1) 172 172

So what you're saying is that when I bring a physical print into the digital world by taking a photo and displaying it on my website with a pink frame and blinking title text, my work is transformative because I am messing with random surfers' state of mind?

Sounds weak.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422 422

Sounds like he'd have happily left them with nothing if he'd had the chance. I can't see any reason why the former employees would have done anything but fight for their severance.

If he had done that he might have gone to prison so he should be happy. I'm gonna say this in capitals because it's true. A COMPANY DIRECTOR IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE A BUSINESS WHICH IS UNABLE TO PAY ITS BILLS AT ANY MOMENT. That's a nono in any modern country.

As soon as a company is unable to pay a single bill, even if it's just for $5, the directors must shut it down and stop operating it. In other words, if you're a company dierctor and you intend to fire anyone, you MUST fire them before the company funds dip below the employee's entitlements. Period.

Comment: that's what spy agencies do (Score 5, Insightful) 175 175

It's a bit creepy to see all the photos that Google still has on tap, including many that I've since deleted on my phone

That's what spy agencies do. They keep your photos for 20 years after you've already forgotten about them, and then POW. When you step out of line and vote for the wrong person or support the wrong cause, they'll dredge them back up, and blackmail you on the basis that you were sitting together in the same bar as a known bad guy one day while you were both in college.

TANSTAAFL.

Comment: Re:I don't understand Scalia's logic here. (Score 2) 87 87

So the question before the Supreme Court was in the case of induced infringement, what if the defendant had a good faith reason to believe the patent to be invalid? I tend to agree with the majority here: if the patent wasn't declared invalid by a court, the usage of product would be infringing,

Trivially wrong. And I'm surprised you haven't thought about this. There are criteria for a patent to be valid. Some criteria are hard to judge, and need a court to decide. Some are easy. For example, actual prior art can be trivial to prove, so trivial that no court would be required at all, except as a time waster.

The point is that, *sometimes*, a patent beind invalid can be obvious, therefore it is by no means *always* nececessary for a court to make a determination, therefore it is not always true that a product would be infringing unless a court specifically stated otherwise.

Comment: Re:Court Rules in Favor of Patent Reform (Score 3, Interesting) 87 87

I disagree. Good faith that a patent is invalid should be the default position of all legal systems. The fact is that the world is full of scientists who can duplicate each other's work. The fact that some guy from company A invented X only means that at the time, other companies didn't have the same priority, not that they didn't have employees Y capable of inventing the same thing X did.

We have to get off this stupid idea that inventors are unique snowflakes who invent unique stuff that nobody else could ever discover and we therefore owe them. The default position should be that a patent is probably invalid, and it should be up to the patent holder to prove otherwise, or pay costs trying. Also, examiners who grant invalid patents should be penalized. The chilling effect of patents and the amount of money being wasted and the lost opportunity costs on the economy are stifling.

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis

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