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Comment Re:Estimates (Score 4, Insightful) 299

If you can't produce a reasonably accurate estimate you may not have asked the right question.

How long will it take you to do this thing that nobody has ever done before

This is not the right question. The right question is: how long will it take you to assess this thing that nobody has ever done before, and devise strategies for doing it, and develop them to a point that you can estimate how long executing these strategies will take.

Nothing wrong with saying, "I need four weeks to research this before I'll be able to give a reliable estimate on implementation."

Comment Re:Judge didn't say public domain (Score 1) 102

Remember: copyrights aren't patents. Grant of a patent means the government agrees you own the techonology. A copyright merely reports your claim of ownership -- you still have to prove it in court by producing artifacts from the copyright's creation such as drafts, notes and earlier versions.

Comment Judge didn't say public domain (Score 4, Insightful) 102

This is a misreport. The judge didn't say that the Happy Birthday song was in the public domain. What he said was that the folks who claimed to own it failed to prove that they owned it. No one could produce an evidence trail substantiating that the folks who filed for copyright in the 1930s actually owned it. That makes the claimed copyright invalid but it doesn't preclude the existence of a copyright.

Comment Re:$250k per homeless person per year in services? (Score 1) 1291

Why is this not a completely winning argument in favor of a safety net for the homeless? I genuinely want to know.

Because short-term homeless already get enough help to stop being homeless and long-term homeless tend to be homeless because they're insane and incompetent. Too crazy and too stupid to successfully prove citizenship and establish a mailbox at which they can receive a check.

It's generally better if expensive solutions to problems actually solve the problem.

Comment Re: Don't we (the US) already have that... (Score 1) 1291

If you were hit by a car, lost both legs, lost your job, spent your savings looking for a new one.... Okay, I'd buy that excuse. And as it turns out, the government already has programs to help with that.

But merely losing your job? People lose their jobs and get new ones all the time. Don't have children until periodic loss of employment (plus children) won't break you financially.

How come everyone's going so slow if it's called rush hour?