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Comment: Re:Easy fix (Score 1) 247

by speedplane (#49573805) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

... there was not excuse for what they did. All engineers do have to make trade-off decisions, but the fucking deluxe fix was $11, that is it.They could have built that into the car price with virtually no impact. TFA picked one terrible example...

The problem is that there were probably hundreds or even thousands of $11.00 fixes to the car that would have made it incrementally safer. At some point the engineer has to prioritize which to implement and which not to implement.

Comment: Re:If this works, everything will change. (Score 1) 132

Cars with autonomous freeway driving will be out in just a couple of years, according to automotive manufacturers. Nearly all the major players are predicting fully autonomous cars will be a solved problem sometime between 2020 and 2025.

Why is every cool technology always exactly ten years away?

Comment: Re:Or will it? (Score 1) 132

AI will not write books, do programming, etc. Strong AI is a myth.

Unless human brains have some magical powers (like a soul blessed by God), there is no logical reason that machines shouldn't eventually be smarter than humans. The only question is how far off it is.

Not necessarily. It's entirely possible that if we build smarter machines, they will, in turn, make us smarter. If we start implanting computer chips in our brains and nano-electronic optics in our eyes, humans themselves can change and advance, and it's entirely possible that we can "beat" computers indefinitely.

+ - SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails to Take Off->

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane writes: As was previously discussed on Slashdot, back in September SpaceX challenged a patent owned by Blue Origin. The technology concerned landing rockets at sea. Yesterday, the judges in the case issued their opinion stating that they are unable to initiate review of the patent on the grounds brought by SpaceX.

Although at first glance this would appear to be a Blue Origin win, looking closer, the judges explained that Blue Origin's patent lacks sufficient disclosure, effectively stating that the patent is invalid, but not on the specific grounds brought by SpaceX:

Because claim 14 lacks adequate structural support for some of the means-plus-function limitations, it is not amenable to construction. And without ascertaining the breadth of claim 14, we cannot undertake the necessary factual inquiry for evaluating obviousness with respect to differences between the claimed subject matter and the prior art.

If SpaceX wants to move forward against Blue Origin, this opinion bodes well for them, but they will need to take their case in front of a different court.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:he dodged the good vs evil question (Score 1) 53

He didn't dodge it. He said "We're not worried about lawlessness. Our job is to make the most secure product we can. Our job is not to help enforce laws" It's a rejection of the premise of the question, sure. But it's not a dodge. It's a clearly articulated moral stance.

Your paraphrase would be a moral stance, but he didn't actually say that. His answer ignores that Tor is used for Evil, it doesn't come out and say that any evil created by Tor is a necessary byproduct of the good that it creates.

Comment: Managing Good and Evil (Score 1) 61

Tor can be used for both obvious good (e.g., subverting oppressive regimes), obvious bad (e.g., murder for hire, child porn), and a semi-bads (purchasing contraband, hate speech). Despite all of the good that Tor does, how does Tor morally justify itself in light of all the bad that occurs on its networks? Is there some way of weighing the good and bad (i.e., if it got bad enough, would you shut it down)? Or does it decide to not justify itself (i.e., it's just a tool, people will use it how they wish)?

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by speedplane (#48229243) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
I'm all for free software, but this reasoning sounds insane. When people buy a PC, it says "comes with windows", you know what you're getting, and to require manufacturers to return half of it seems nuts. It's like ordering a cheeseburger, and then demanding a refund for the cheese. Why didn't you just order a hamburger?

+ - Did Obama Already Solve the Patent Troll Problem?->

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane writes: A relatively new patent-only court celebrates its second birthday this month, and may be sounding the death-knell for the biggest abusers of the patent system:

After a slow six month ramp-up, the number of petitions challenging patents under the new system has grown significantly, reaching nearly 200 new filings a month. It takes 18 months for a patent challenge to make its way through the PTAB, and we are now finally seeing the effects of the influx. Now, with 75% of all trials resulting in every challenged patent claim being invalidated, it’s clear that the PTAB will have a very broad reach in patent litigation.

Some observers have seen this development coming. A (now retired) Judge at the Federal Circuit, commented that the PTAB is a patent "death squad".
Link to Original Source

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson