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Comment: Re:Privacy Risks (Score 4, Informative) 157

by rollingcalf (#46134205) Attached to: Rome Police Use Twitter To Battle Illegal Parking

A picture is often more useful than a verbal complaint when the police are evaluating whether a given parking situation actually is a violation, and the exact location where it occurred.

And for citizens armed with a cellphone camera and Twitter, it's faster for them to post a pic than to sit on the non-emergency line for several minutes, first on hold for 5 minutes, then some more minutes to describe the vehicle and the location.

Comment: Re:Why not look? (Score 1) 125

Maybe they don't have the source code from the 1988 version any more. They claim they weren't using that source code for subsequent versions of the game, and they couldn't release a patch on the Internet if they found bugs after it was released, so there wasn't much perceived value in preserving the source code. And they certainly didn't expect to have to preserve it for 25 years.

Comment: Different response due to difference in losses (Score 1) 303

by rollingcalf (#45806147) Attached to: Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses

When Delta sold seats at large discounts, some of those seats would have gone empty if the discount glitch didn't happen, and without the discount Delta would have eaten the costs of flying with those empty seats anyway. For some flights, selling the heavily discounted seats may even have been a net gain financially for Delta.

But with the furniture retailer, they had bigger real losses from the discount glitch because without the huge discounts, the items would have remained available for somebody else to purchase at full price.

So Delta is willing to bear the losses because their losses from this were less severe or perhaps nonexistent, whereas for the furniture retailer the losses are too large for them to accept without trying to recoup what they can.

Comment: Re:But do they have a working model? (Score 1) 51

by rollingcalf (#45379959) Attached to: Motorola Patent Uses Neck Tattoo As Microphone

Under the rule I proposed, the patent holder can't sue before the working model is demonstrated. While the patent is provisional, its 20-year expiration clock is ticking, the information is public, and others can't be sued for infringing it. So there would be advantages to the public and disadvantages to the patent holder for acquiring a patent before the working model is ready.

Comment: But do they have a working model? (Score 5, Insightful) 51

by rollingcalf (#45379747) Attached to: Motorola Patent Uses Neck Tattoo As Microphone

Without a working model, all they have is words and diagrams on paper that might not work in practice. But that piece of paper gives them the right to sue somebody else who implements the concept and makes it work.

They need to bring back the working model requirement. If there is no working model, grant the patent provisionally. Don't let the patent holder sue before they have a working model, and if they don't build a working model by a specific deadline (say 5 years) the patent goes up for auction, with proceeds going to the patent owner. Or they can sell the patent before the 5 years are up. The new owner must have a working model before they can sue.

That way inventors can still get paid for a useful invention even if they don't have the resources to build the working model themselves.

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

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