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Comment: Take the money and run (Score 2, Interesting) 54

When the settlement was first announced (works out to $1-2K/defendant) I sent a complaint about the small amount to the generic email address at the plaintiff's law firm. Much to my surprise, one of the lawyers on the case contacted me back. He pointed out the defendant's legal budgets are essentially infinite, and they are more than willing to fight the case to the supreme court. Once you get there, a victory by the plaintiffs are not assured. Remember, these are the guys who handed down Citizen's United. Do you want a new TV now, or a very(!) small chance to get a new car 5-10 years from now? That's what it comes down to.

Comment: Be careful what you wish for (Score 2) 215

by (#46985503) Attached to: Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement
I was also annoyed by the possible $3B win vs. $324M settlement, so I contacted one of the class action plaintiff's lawyers. He called back and I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with him. Among other things, he pointed out the defendants in the case (Apple et. al) have monster legal budgets, and the case will very likely (after many years) be fought all the way to the Supreme court. The current SCOTUS is more corporate than citizen friendly (witness Citizens United, etc.) and a win there is -not- assured. It is sickening to see the lawyers get a big payday, while you (the class member engineers you) are getting a new TV instead of a new car. But the TV is a sure deal, the car most likely is not.

Comment: Graphics doesn't scale well (Score 2) 876

by (#46191967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?
Graphical programming languages were a popular PhD topic 25-30 years ago. You can find them today in systems targeted at kids or non-technical users. But you won't find them anywhere near serious software development. Text is an incredibly dense and powerful medium for communicating with machines. The problem with graphics for programming is they do not scale well. Consider a moderately complex problem, solved in, say, several thousand lines of code. The same thing expressed graphically starts using dozens of pages (or bubbles, or nodes or whatever graphics) to express the same thing. It gets ugly quick.

Several years ago, I did the side by side experiment of expressing the same non-trivial digital circuit (a four digit stopwatch with a multiplexed display) as both a schematic diagram, and as text with Verilog. The graphic (schematic) version was much more time consuming, and *much* harder to modify than the text-based Verilog. It became very clear why digital circuit designers abandoned graphics and switched text for complex designs.

+ - Congressmen Invite Schneier to Brief them on the NSA->

Submitted by (771661) writes "Six members of Congress invited security expert Bruce Schneier to brief them on the NSA. Why Bruce? Because, with access to the Snowden documents, he's more forthcoming about the NSA's activities than anybody at the NSA itself. He writes:

Rep. Lofgren asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn't forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me — as someone with access to the Snowden documents — to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course I'm not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it's extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.

Ironic: Even though the contents of top-secret, unpublished documents was discussed, the meeting was held in a regular conference room, because Bruce didn't have the necessary security clearance to enter a secure government facility."
Link to Original Source

Comment: How can they sue companies who don't make LEDs? (Score 3, Insightful) 129

I'm puzzled. The patent (at least the one cited in the article) details a very specific method for creating the crystals in LEDs. I can see BU going after various LED manufacturers (Cree, Philips, Panasonic, etc.). But Apple? Microsoft? Those companies re-sell those components, they don't manufacture them.

Antigua Looks Closer To Legal "Piracy" of US-Copyrighted Works 327

Posted by timothy
from the that'll-be-interesting dept.
Mark Gibbs writes "Shiver me timbers: Antigua and Barbuda's 'WTO Remedies Implementation Committee', is said to be recommending the establishment by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda of a statutory body to own, manage and operate the ultimate platform to be created for the monetisation or other exploitation of the suspension of American intellectual property rights authorised earlier this year by the WTO ... Additionally, an announcement regarding the opening of tenders for private sector participation in the operating of the platform should be announced shortly. Arghhh ... matey!" See also this Slashdot post (from 2007) for some background.

Comment: Re:Not really (Score 3, Interesting) 159

by (#45031245) Attached to: Facebook Building a Company Town
Ironically, the FB headquarters is right next to East Palo Alto, one of the poorer neighborhoods in the Bay Area. In the early '90s it had the highest (per capita) murder rate in the US, but that's since come down. Still, maybe not the place the average FaceBook nerd want's to send their kids to school at.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein