Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Re:The issue is not technical (Score 1) 108

An experienced engineer would give more quality within the same time but at higher budget because it costs more to hire an experienced one :) Either way, from engineering perspective, an in-car audio player of acceptable quality may crash occasionally but obviously it mustn't make the car crash with it. I'm pretty sure that someone in the engineering department pointed that out. But that's not engineers who usually pull the strings and make final decisions...

Comment The issue is not technical (Score 5, Insightful) 108

Engineers who work on steering, brakes, transmission and other core systems in the car are much more experienced than those who code up an entertainment system. The core engineers cost more, use much stricter (therefore longer and more costly) processes and so on. It would be wasteful to throw all that experience, time and money into non-critical system that doesn't need it. Jeep, quite rightfully, did sensible thing there. But running all systems on shared core or bus was asking for trouble. And they got what they asked for.

Maybe next time they should try drive a pacemaker from an Android phone they also use to play games watch kitten videos, you know, to save the cost of the pacemaker's own microcontroller and battery. What can possibly go wrong?

Comment Analogy - "programming" a fridge door (Score 1) 247

A fridge has a door that can be "programmed" to open to the left or to the right. Does it mean that I can patent 2 sets consisting of a "fridge + program" as 2 new machines and than charge everyone who uses left-hand or right-hand "programmed" fridge door a license fee?

Comment Lock the penis owners away first! (Score 1) 578

The penis is used by 99% of rapist to perform a serious crime therefore those dangerous objects should banned first and owners of penises should be locked away imediately, without prosecution. Then ban knifes. Knifes have proven record of deadly behaviour in wrong hands. Clearly, the wide availability of those lethal objects in pretty much every house is a severe threat to humanity. By entering kitchen, even a nicest girl (boys were taken care of already) immediately turns in to killer waiting for an opportunity to attack, merely because the knifes are around. By taking care of penis and knife owners first, the risk of having a person with 3D printed gun out in the wild is minimal so there will be no need to ban 3D printing.

Comment Re:Gravitational tides will kill you (Score 1) 412

The scientists of the day couldn't really use his system for anything productive

Don't be silly. Kepler was, by all means, a scientist and he based his "Mysterium Cosmographicum" on Copernicus' "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium". Do you really find Kepler's work non-productive?

BTW, both Kepler and Newton were wrong too.

Copernicus came up with quite blasphemous idea that the Earth was not the centre of the universe. He changed completely bonkers model of the Solar System to vaguely correct one, with the Sun in the centre. Copernicus' model predicted the observed backward movement of the planets and few other things. Kepler was one of the few scientists who did not reject the heliocentric model. Kepler refined Copernicus' model 50 years later by changing the reference point from the centre of Earth's orbit to the centre of the Sun and by making orbits elliptical. Newton corrected Kepler's big mistake nearly 100 years later, by coming up with the idea that the gravity, not geometry, is the key ingredient.Yet Newton's equations are wrong by giving the certain result rather than the probability distribution, which makes Newton's work useless for quantum physicists.

I don't get the idea why the 3 scientists came up with major milestones in science but only 2 of them are worthy.

Comment Re:New and interesting technology (Score 1) 180

So this basically describes speech (emiting and understanding audible signals). Does it mean one has to obtain a license to speak or listen to someone speaking in a language others can understand? If I speak more than one language do I need to obtain multiple licenses? Wouldn't that patent be violating The Freedom of Speech?

Comment Re:Not as strange as it sounds (Score 1) 976

And assume that the guy on the bus also eats asparagus and brearhes. The real question is whether the difference between normal and heavy breathing outweights the difference beween production and runing a bike vs, say, 1/20 of a bus. Keep in mind that diesel fuel for the bus must be dug out, refined, transported and eventually burned, bus driver breathes and eats asparagus so on.

Submission + - Patents law vs. the laws of physics

t0mek writes: Patent law demands the people to defy the laws of physics. Can an inventor or small company be held responsible for not doing the impossible?

USPTO granted 247,713 patents in 2011 alone. Assuming a full-time job (240 working days and 8 hours a day) this equates to 129 patents per hour. It's physically impossible to read read the monopoly rights granted to patent holders at that rate. Even if that was possible it's still impossible to analyse and understand the selected patents that my be related to the line of business. The court cases show that examining the true meaning, depth and breadth of a single patent can take months or years. There are far more "possibly relevant" patents granted than 1 in "months or years".

It's physically impossible to keep up with the current rate of patent granting. Can anyone be held responsible for not defying the laws of physics? Would that be a sufficient defence line in case of any patent litigation?

Analogy: can a person be sues and found guilty of trespassing if:
1. The forbidden area is not clearly marked, but only described in broad and fuzzy terms,
2, There were millions of forbidden areas and
3. New forbidden areas were added in form of a complex, multi-page descriptions at the rate of 130 per hour?

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?