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Comment: Re:Innovation patents are not true "patents" (Score 3, Informative) 33

by pipedwho (#47421541) Attached to: A Brief History of Patenting the Wheel: What Goes Around Comes Around

The system is not so silly when you look at how it works in practice,

The greater flexibility does not restrict innovation, and that should be the key test of it's usefulness.

This is because an "innovation patent" is not examined until it is challenged, at which point, the ones that don't meet patentability requirements will only be rejected at that point and not before. The duration of an Innovation Patent is also much shorter than a standard patent.

Comment: Re:This is scary (Score 1) 284

by pipedwho (#47395729) Attached to: Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Right, but anesthesia or a wrench is not exactly the "kill switch" that this seems to be .

More precisely, both are more likely to be actual 'kill switches' than this new method. In both general anaesthesia and the old wrench to the back of the head, there is a non-trivial likelihood that both will end in the recipients death. This new technique is theoretically attempting to target the required part of the brain with far more accuracy and less collateral damage than existing methods of rendering a person unconscious.

I perceive it more like a virtual machine suspend.

Comment: Re:Useless (Score 5, Informative) 234

by pipedwho (#47381611) Attached to: Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

It's not that the driver thinks it's a motorbike and gives extra consideration. It's that with multiple co-linear lights, a driver is far better able to judge how far away the cyclist is. As another poster noted, if a driver thinks you're a motorbike, they'll also assume you are travelling at or faster than the traffic flow.

On a bicycle, a single point source of super bright light will let a driver know that you're somewhere in that direction - while partially blinding them if you angle it up like I see done far too often.

Whereas, a wider (multi-element) lamp that isn't overly bright will let the driver's eye far better estimate and track how far away you are - while not blinding them to the other surrounds.

Comment: Re:Well, sort of. (Score 3, Interesting) 109

by pipedwho (#47381501) Attached to: Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

There's also the off-peak hot water signals that are modulated on the line (at around 1kHz) in some places. Those signals are generated at the local substation. Their purpose is to activate various hot-water systems to load balance the area's power use. Where the final goal is to minimise the peak usage during 'peak' periods of use.

It is conceivable that if an 'interview' is made when that type of noise appears on the line, and that an accurate time reference is available, it may be possible to use this to narrow down the search region.

Still not going to pin-point a location, but could definitely narrow it down far better than just using the 60Hz line frequency. Which is far too narrow band to provide any useful information beyond what country you're in.

Comment: Re:Dislike function is positive reinforcement (Score 1) 293

The prediction of operant conditioning predicts that positive reinforcement will increase behavior and negative reinforcement will reduce behavior. The report is not contesting operant conditioning it is only determining what sort of reinforcement the like and dislike function provide; reporting that the like function of these sites actually has little or no reinforcement and that the dislike function has a positive reinforcement toward unwanted behavior. This shows that it would be appropriate to say that there could be some debate on the meaning of like and dislike functions and what some appropriate alternatives may be.

    - Corbett Dehring

In addition to this, I'd suggest that trolling can be likened to bullying in the sense that the negative response of the victimised party (or group) encourages continued trolling behaviour. And negative in this context is really about the negative feelings of the reader being communicated through the use of the like/dislike up/down vote.

Without that communication or feedback, the trolling/teasing/bullying behaviour has no reinforcement path, and the troll/bully moves on to greener pastures.

Comment: What about devices with no RTC? (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by pipedwho (#46997513) Attached to: Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?

If a device does not have a way to keep track of time (eg. in built real time clock, with backup battery that will last for the duration of the device's 'lifetime'), then it becomes vulnerable to permanent denial of service when something spoofs a fake future date and time. What happens when a hundred thousand devices go offline because someone spoofed an NTP response?

You may as well force every device to have a kill switch and remotely shut it down when it's too old. At least that'll probably require some kind of public key signature from an authenticated service (in the same way you'd authenticate a remote firmware update).

What I'm trying to say is this is one of those 'management ideas' that sounds great in the philosophical sense, but fails in technical merit.

Comment: Re:Autoimmune disorder... (Score 5, Informative) 350

1. Pay phono
2. Voip over someone else's wifi
3. Someone else's phone while they're too drunk to notice an outgoing call
4. Hacked remote computer, then install and use Voip service
5. Stolen cell phone
6. Break into someone's house and use their land line phone
7. Burn phone
8. etc.

Comment: Re: Dangerous (Score 1) 490

No idea about your local regulations, but in most places cyclists are allowed to ride down the curb side of stationary vehicles. Especially so when there is a bike lane marked. Cars are only allowed to do this if the vehicle is stopped and indicating to turn left (or right in places that drive on the left side of the road). Many places also allow motorbikes to filter between lanes to get to the front when traffic is stopped at lights.

Naturally this maneuvers can be dangerous if the cyclist isn't paying attention to motorists that are also not paying attention.

Comment: Re:enforce existing laws? (Score 3, Insightful) 490

Actually, bicycles that don't roll through intersections are more likely to hold up traffic behind them, while having motorists make unsafe overtaking manoeuvres to get around them right near the intersection itself.

Any time someone uses a car (or any object for that matter) to intentionally cause an accident, that person is open to prosecution. Whether it be a douche bag pulling in front of a 30 bike peloton and slamming on their brakes, or opening their door while queued up a traffic light just to stop a motorcyclist from filtering through to the front. That shit is illegal simply because it is someone intentionally causing harm to another person. Just like someone running over an old lady that was taking too long to cross the street; the light goes green on them, and a driver thinks 'fuck it I have right of way, I'll just blow right over the top of her in my oversized SUV'. They definitely don't have the 'right of way' to injure or kill someone.

I'm sure there are many assholes out there who just claim they did what they did for some other idiotic but 'unintentional' reason. But, that doesn't make it right, nor does it guarantee a jury will believe them.

Maybe I'm misreading your post, but If you can't see that road safety isn't just about blindly following regulations, then you should definitely not be driving on the road. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before you end up in court wondering how you got there.

Comment: Re:Dangerous (Score 5, Insightful) 490

There is nothing in the regulations that say treating a stop as a yield or a red light as a stop sign somehow gives you any additional right of way. All it means is that you don't have to wait as long to determine if the intersection is safe to cross.

The Idaho Stop / California Roll is all about going slow enough that you can gauge the traffic heading towards the intersection for the other directions to determine if it is safe to move. A stop sign simply 'forces' cars to stop even if it would be otherwise safe to only slow down to a few miles an hour. And a red light forces cars to stop even when you can see for miles in both directions that there is nothing coming.

A car moving slowly can easily kill or do heavy damage to a pedestrian (or another road user). Whereas a bicycle has a much smaller cross section, lower kinetic energy, and a rider that is far more likely to come off badly no matter how small the object/person is that they collide with.

You can't be serious saying it is more dangerous to give way at slow speed versus coming to a complete stop and then having to huff and puff back up to speed, while simultaneously being overtaken with inches to spare by a bunch of impatient motorists because you can't outpace them.

In fact the article gives clear statistics showing the exact opposite. Just about every cyclist I know treat 'right of way' as synonymous to 'enter at your own risk'.

Comment: Re:What I want Blu-Ray for (Score 1) 477

by pipedwho (#46924819) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

I agree on the TV seasons point, but I'd much prefer a full season on one piece of media. Blu-ray works like this in some cases, but only for short seasons, or where the video quality isn't high definition.

For backups, what you really want is the whole backup to fit on one piece of media. Backing up with a dozen blu-ray disks seems pretty lame to me, when I can just pull out a USB3 portable hard drive and run a full backup unattended in less a quarter the time.

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