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Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 1) 224

by rlwhite (#48158471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Unfortunately, it is often far too easy for prior art to go unnoticed. Having it on file in the patent system does help determine that prior art exists because that's the first place the lawyers and patent clerks are going to look. Having patents on file and donated to the Open Invention Network is the best way to be sure a technology remains freely available under the current system.

Comment: Re:Purely academical interest (Score 1) 178

by rlwhite (#48092437) Attached to: Ebola Vaccine Trials Forcing Tough Choices

The mortality rate of the current outbreak vs. past outbreaks is different. Some of that difference may be caused by micro-evolutionary changes in the virus during this outbreak. Some of it may be related to lessons learned in carrying for patients. Applying a historical average doesn't make sense here.

Comment: still on Verizon but no longer unlimited (Score 1) 209

I've been limited for 15 months now, and I haven't changed my habits. I only use about 0.5 GB per month because I'm always on WiFi at work and at home and I rarely play videos while I'm out. I haven't missed unlimited, and I haven't felt restricted.

My wife's usage was basically the same as mine until the past few months, when she started using Spotify and YouTube to entertain our toddler on the go. If she's careful not to use YouTube much while she's out, she now uses 1.5-1.8 GB per month. This weekend she forgot she had disabled WiFi and used YouTube for an extend period. Now she's at 1.5GB with 2 weeks to go.

Comment: Re:yes, but (Score 2) 75

by rlwhite (#47949693) Attached to: Intel Putting 3D Scanners In Consumer Tablets Next Year, Phones To Follow

Someday you may be able to:

Got a non-barcoded product you can't identify? 3D scan it and automatically identify the make/model and shop for it.
Get sized for clothing without stepping into a store, and then get tailored clothes straight from a factory via an Internet order.
View 3D models of everything as you shop online.

That's just a few retail-centric ideas. I imagine there's also applications possible in the arts, gaming, etc.

Comment: Re:PCI-DSS (Score 1) 217

You aren't accredited to be following PCI because nobody is. There is no certificate. There is no special seal of approval. You provided security information to your acquiring bank(s) and you were allowed to process credit card transactions. There's no such thing as certification or accreditation for PCI.

No, there's no certificate, but there is a process of documentation and testing commonly referred to as "certification" before you are allowed to process credit card transactions. I work in point of sale software development and have had to help retail chains overcome problems found in their certification tests. You either don't know what you're talking about, or you're playing a pointless semantic game.

Comment: Google's intent (Score 1) 236

by rlwhite (#47350721) Attached to: Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

1. Patents on tech that will have consumer demand, which Google can profit from licensing to automotive manufacturers.
2. How will the consumer use new-found free time while captive in a self-driving car? Google's internet services and mobile devices!
3. The navigation needs of a self-driving car will dovetail nicely with the robotics businesses that Google has acquired. Eventually autonomous robots may free up more of your time to enjoy Google and their advertisers' products.

Comment: Re:The can of worms... (Score 1) 265

by rlwhite (#47324615) Attached to: Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo

The females and minorities I've worked with have had equal ability. It seems that there's just far more white men in the US that are inclined to be software developers than there are females and minorities who are inclined to do so. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and many others are merely reflecting the demographics of the broader industry.

Sure, you can emphasize females in computer science education as Google is doing, and you'll likely see some improvement in the numbers, but we'll probably never see a 50/50 split because these inclinations are part nature as well as part nurture.

Comment: Re:If they can... (Score 1) 390

by rlwhite (#46151977) Attached to: Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication

They already do. You don't think they use that GPS on your phone? A state DOT official told me he uses it to plan and prioritize roadwork. The state DOT buys it anonymized from various companies in monthly batches. If the DOT can do that, you can imagine what they let law enforcement do. We recently had a convict escape a mental health facility, and they located and caught him in another state via his cellphone GPS. Again, a legitimate use in that instance, but as you say, if they can do it to you they will.

Comment: Re:I feel you. (Score 2) 533

by rlwhite (#46122393) Attached to: The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

These ads make me feel this way too. To me, leaving coding at my job and doing other things in my off time is very important to avoid burn-out. Pursuing something else I'm passionate about is refreshing, and being knowledgeable in other subjects should further a programmer's career because programming is ultimately about codifying knowledge. This career field is fundamentally cross-disciplinary.

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