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Comment: Re:Double-edged sword (Score 3, Insightful) 118

by rgmoore (#47892587) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

It doesn't decrease the incentive to produce software nearly as much as the threat of being sued for violating patents that never should have been granted. There's plenty of software out there that attracts customers by being good and doesn't need the threat of patents to succeed.

Comment: Re:One Sure Way (Score 1) 275

by rgmoore (#47876525) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

The contract terms will only work against actual customers, though. They won't do a thing to stop an enemy or prankster who hasn't actually bought the product or service, and consequently hasn't entered into the contract. All it will do is prevent people who are actually well informed from commenting.

Comment: Re:Context (Score 1) 228

by rgmoore (#47852017) Attached to: DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

How they've managed to make so many people believe that's the way coffee is supposed to taste is something I'll never know.

The best explanation I've heard is that darker roasts stand up better when you add stuff to the coffee. If you drink your coffee black, you probably want a mild roast or it will be too bitter to drink. If you dilute it with a bunch of milk, flavored syrup, and maybe drink it cold, you won't be able to taste the coffee unless it's roasted almost black.

Comment: Re:A camcorder is a camcorder, even up your bum (Score 1) 206

by rgmoore (#47841621) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

That simply isn't true. The 4th Amendment says that:

no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

IOW, they can ask for a warrant when they have a strong reason to believe that something contains evidence; they don't have to be absolutely certain. That's what "probable cause" means: enough evidence to convince a skeptical individual that something is probably true. It's a fairly strong standard- the person asking for a warrant needs to present some kind of evidence rather than just a hunch- but it doesn't demand certainty. That's why people who ask for warrants are not routinely punished when the warrants don't pan out; they only get in trouble if it can be shown that they materially misrepresented facts they used to support their warrant request.

Comment: Re:There are no new legal issues (Score 1) 206

by rgmoore (#47838643) Attached to: Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

You're thinking about the 4th Amendment right to avoid unreasonable searches and seizures, but cyborg implants potentially invoke the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. If the implant is actually a part of the person, some lawyer will argue that forcing the person to divulge the information on it is forcing them to testify against themself. When does the information in the cyborg implant stop being like information on a device like a phone and start being like information in your brain?

Comment: Re:Chess (Score 1) 274

by rgmoore (#47697323) Attached to: Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Nobody knows for sure. There was a recent analysis that purported to show that the King's gambit is a loser for white, but even that wasn't a completely exhaustive analysis. Instead, the analysts decided to prune any line that resulted in a sufficiently lopsided position as presumptively winnable, which reduced the analysis to something tractable. But even that was for just one possible line of play, and one that was considered relatively easy to analyze. Nobody has come anywhere close to solving the whole game.

Comment: Re:Chess (Score 1) 274

by rgmoore (#47695715) Attached to: Of the following, I'd rather play ...

You must not have looked very far, then, because checkers- also on the list- has no random element, at least when played from the standard starting position. In some tournament variations, the starting position is chosen randomly from a few positions with the first few moves already made, but beyond that it has no random element.

In any case, it's not clear that inclusion of a random element is a bad thing. One of the drawbacks of chess is that the lack of a random element allows it to be analyzed in depth in advance. That places a huge emphasis on memorizing standard opening libraries, which seems counter to the point of individual strategic skill. In contrast, games with a random element can't be analyzed to the same depth in advance. That forces players to adjust their strategy on the fly rather than relying on somebody else's analysis.

Comment: Re:And when you include end-of-life costs? (Score 1) 409

All of which are difficult and expensive due to protests and alarmist by the anti-nuclear crowd.

Yeah, those crazy alarmists worried about what might happen with nuclear power. Everyone knows that nuclear power is perfectly safe, and people who suggest accidents might leave large regions uninhabitable for generations are a bunch of stupid hippies.

Comment: Re:Sure, but... (Score 1) 502

by rgmoore (#47610953) Attached to: Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

I don't think the gigafactory is really what you need to solve the storage problems for practical off-the-grid solar. Electric vehicles are hauling their batteries with them wherever they go, so they need ones that are as light as possible for the energy capacity, even if that drives up the price. That's why Tesla is concentrating on expensive lithium technology. Off-the-grid storage couldn't care about weight, since the batteries are just sitting there. It mostly needs batteries that are as cheap and reliable as possible, which mostly means old-tech lead-acid.

Comment: Re:Out of the public domain? (Score 1) 96

by rgmoore (#47550541) Attached to: Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

If you can see it from public property and tell what it is, it's (effectively) in the public domain, isn't it?

It may be practically difficult to prevent that information from getting out to people who want it, but that doesn't make it legal to do so. Plenty of governments continue to try keeping stuff secret even when there's no real hope of doing so.

Comment: Re:Multiple service entrances are not allowed (Score 2) 124

There are other cases when you can have multiple service entrances beyond different voltages. A building may have more than one by special permission if it has multiple tenants and no common areas where a common service could be located, or if it's too big to be practically served by a single service. And a building can always be served by multiple services if the electrical demands are larger than the utility can provide with a single service. A quick look says that multiple services are always allowed if the demand exceeds 2000 amps at 600V, which could happen pretty easily in a building large enough to hold 5000 workers.

Comment: Re:n/t (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47484067) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

You add steps to your debate that aren't in debate. Everyone accepts that there is climate change, and everyone accepts that it is due to natural causes (e.g. ice ages).

This is both sophistry and demonstrably untrue. Some people deny that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, so they don't even believe in the ice ages. This isn't just a bunch of isolated cranks, either. Young Earth creationism is popular among Evangelical Christians, including ones who have been elected to important positions in the US government.

More importantly, saying that everyone accepts climate has occurred naturally in the past is a distraction rather than an answer to scientists who are saying that humans are changing the climate right now. There is massive amounts of evidence showing that the climate has changed significantly in the recent past, that there are no known natural factors that could have caused that size of climate change, and that there is an obvious, human-created environmental factor that can account for the observed climate change. Bringing up the ice ages is classic climate denialism.

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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