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Comment Re:Google, get your house in order first (Score 1) 198

That's why they introduce a NEW router. Forget about the old stuff.

Google brought in their own gear. It should be their latest-greatest. If it is, it is worse than the Ciscos AT&T had in these locations; if it isn't, they must have weird ideas about customer service. Either way, I would be wary.

Comment Google, get your house in order first (Score 5, Informative) 198

Comparing various Starbucks locations (suburban and next to college campuses) where AT&T wifi networks were replaced with Google wifi, I would not buy a Google wifi router at present. In each case, the Google service is worse than its predecessor. This surprises me, but all I have to do is listen to the complaints of the students around me to know that I am not alone in this feeling.

Comment You can't, in general (Score 3, Insightful) 213

I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.

You can't in general prove that something published post-1923 is public domain. We do not have (any more) a requirement to register copyrights, plus we now have very long copyright terms. Either would be bad, the combination is (quite deliberately) pernicious. It means that, while you may have good reasons to assume that something is PD, you can almost never know for sure. There are two major exceptions - works that have been declared to be PD by their owner, and works by the US Government (which are PD from birth). US Government works are generally pretty safe, but works declared PD are not always (as you have no way to prove the donor actually owns them).

If you think that this implies that our copyright laws need to be changed, you are IMO correct. I would go for a term of 14 years, one renewal possible, with registration required. The wailing from the rent-seeking entertainment industries would, of course, in that case be something to behold, but that would have some entertainment value in its own right.

Comment Them's the Breaks (Score 1) 392

Seriously. Here is a little history lesson for the august prosecutors from Manhattan, Paris, London and Spain

No matter where you set the bar, some cases will remain unsolved.

There is no procedure, no matter how heinous or how intrusive, that couldn't be justified on these terms. Come up with other reasons for what you want; this one is no real reason at all.

Comment Stupid (Score 1) 458

So, Larry, if the Congress ignores your "mandate for the fundamental change," and presents you with a hacked-up, watered down Bill (or no Bill at all), what are you going to do? Resign in shame having accomplished nothing? Or, stay on and violate your pledge to resign while you try and make tweaks and recover something of what you want?

This is the same sort of bright thinking that lost him the Eldred copyright-extension case.

Comment Not Totalitarian (Score 1) 75

Yugoslavia under Tito was not a totalitarian state. Dictatorship, yes. Keeping the ethnic tensions that later exploded in the 1990's repressed, yes. Totalitarian? No, at least, not by the 1970's.

(And, yes, I did go there and did know people there. It was the sort of place where people could travel abroad and dissidents could get their convictions thrown out on appeal. Tito was no Mao.)

Comment Not true (Score 2) 30

The most conspicuous organisms have long since been cataloged and fixed on the tree of life, and the ones that remain undiscovered don't give themselves up easily.

Certainly not true if by "conspicuous" they mean "ones you can easily see with the naked eye." Most insect and beetle species are not cataloged yet, and for smaller critters the situation is even worse. Heck, you might even find a new frog species in Manhattan.

Comment Let's go nuclear! (Score 2) 108

Oh, wait, we already did.

Carbon 14 dating hasn't been reliable (usable) for wood or other biological material formed since 1950, as open air nuclear testing put a lot of C14 into the atmosphere. This C14 has been slowly leaving the atmosphere, but it's not gone yet.

I think that the writers of the original article were just eager to get some attention, as they surely must have known this.

Comment Re:Key points about AI (Score 1) 236

The Turing test is farcically out of date. AlanTuring couldn't have known this, but we humans are full of wetware that assumes that things that appear to be communicating are in fact communicating. Thus we can be fooled by programs such as Eliza (and its successors), which have no understanding of anything at all.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.