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Comment: They are not a charity (Score 1) 228

by larkost (#47362617) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

My read of this is that they applied as a charity, but the IRS's definition of a charity requires that you be serving a distinct, disadvantaged group of people. A quick look at the software that Yorba produces (http://yorba.org), does not lead me to believe that their software would particularly benefit any specific disadvantaged groups more than other people.

So by the rules that the IRS is working on, it does appear that they do not qualify as a charity. And to be honest, this is a correct definition, they are not running a charity. Now there is a valid question about whether there should be a method for them to run a non-profit without being taxes, but they are not a charity.

Comment: Re:It all means nothing (Score 3, Informative) 253

Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

If every single person who said they would vote third party if it wasn't throwing away their vote actually voted third party, we'd see some serious changes. Just accept that it doesn't matter one bit whether a democrat or a republican wins the election. The results will be the same. Once you accept this simple truth, you are free. Now you can vote for a third party candidate without that fear of letting "the other guy" win. Vote third party. Always. I don't care which third party. Just don't vote for the status quo.

Comment: Patent "reform" (Score 2) 139

by tambo (#47223493) Attached to: Why United States Patent Reform Has Stalled

I posted an article describing the "why" a month ago. Totally not surprised that the current reform efforts exhibited the same arc.

That general model is exactly why this initiative collapsed as well. Several aspects of this reform - such as "attributable owner" rules, i.e., implementing laws that require patent applications to reveal the real party of interest in the case, as a measure addressing shell companies - were supported by large interests that benefited from them, and opposed by large interests that didn't. The result is stalemate, just as we've seen countless previous times in the patent "reform" discussion.

The only measures that make it through the "reform" system are mild improvements that don't affect some entities differently than others. And even those can be difficult - e.g., the first-to-file change in the America Invents Act is great for well-funded enterprises, but more problematic for small businesses. In that case, large enterprises simply steamrollered the opposition with lobbying cash.

The upshot is that the "reform" sytem is, itself, deeply dysfunctional. An additional tragedy is that efforts that would objectively improve the patent system for everyone, such as giving examiners more time to perform their examination and implementing more accountability for technically incorrect arguments, get lost in the struggle.

Comment: Re: private market (Score 1) 83

by rossz (#47138403) Attached to: Oregon vs. Oracle: the Battle of Blame Heats Up

The free market isn't always the answer (and I'm somewhat of a libertarian). All the big iron and big database companies have a history of making big promises, then delivering something that isn't capable of doing what the sales people claimed. They're also experts and hiding bullshit in the contracts so they have their asses covered. But if they were given another few million dollars they can fix things. Pinky swear.

Comment: Re:Fucking Casuals. (Score 2) 303

by larkost (#46879007) Attached to: SEC Chair On HFT: 'The Markets Are Not Rigged'

The “within a few seconds of each other” shows that you have not really paid attention here. The problem is that if you are trying to place a single composite order on multiple markets. Unless you time your partial orders to arrive at their respective markets within 10 milliseconds or so, you will find that someone has magicallly swooped in to the markets that got your orders 20 miliseconds later than the others and bought what you were trying to buy and is now offering them for marginally more.

The way that they are doing this is by watching for your orders and predicting that you will go to other markets as well, and then having faster network routes than you can have to all of the markets. While this might not be illegal, it is copletely unfair. And more imporantly this means that people are making money from the markets (sucking money out) without providing anything like a benifit to the market as a whole.

Comment: Not a fan, but... (Score 4, Interesting) 405

by MidnightBrewer (#46803833) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

Golf is about getting your balls into the hole in as few strokes as possible. It's as simple as that.

I'm not a golf guy, but I can appreciate that the original game is fine the way it is. Seriously, 15-inch holes aren't going to magically enable you to get a hole-in-one. The challenge of hitting the traditional hole is something I respect; making it feel like I have training wheels on to pander to me is just going to alienate me further. I think most prefer things tight, not loose. You have to feel like you've succeeded.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito

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