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Comment: Patent still requires novelty (Score 1) 110

You're correct, as far as I can tell. First to file changes only how conflicts are resolved when two patent applications pending at the same time claim the same invention. It does not remove the novelty requirement, which means that an inventor is still not entitled to a patent if someone else publishes the invention before the inventor applies for a patent.

So I have two guesses as to how the Windows CE thing came about. Either Fingerworks licensed the patent to Microsoft before Apple acquired Fingerworks, or Microsoft released Windows CE less than 18 months after Fingerworks applied for the patent.

Comment: Not allowed to quote MISRA C rules (Score 1) 110

I would recommend MISRA C, but it's impossible to make a conformance checker under a free software license because quoting the rules in error messages appears to require an incompatible copyright license. Source: presence of the word "prices" in the section "I am a tool vendor" in the official FAQ.

Comment: I define restrict (Score 1) 110

I understand your fear of falling into a definition trap. I define restrict as A. refusing to make an API for reasonable uses of hardware features, such as no way for an app to see which SSIDs are nearby or no way for web apps to draw 3D scenes or upload data types other than photos and videos, or B. requiring a recurring fee or an organizational background check to run software that you compiled on a machine that you own.

Comment: Type system helps find bugs early (Score 1) 110

Our add features to a language that help the programmer prove that certain defects are not present. Bounds checked arrays are a big one compared to plain C, but others exist. Rust, for example, has separate types for "pointer that can never be null" and "pointer allowed to be null", and it is a compile-time error to pass the latter to a function expecting the former outside of a construction that means essentially "if null then do X else do Y".

Or research methods of containing the damage that a defect can do. Android, with its overly broad permissions, has tended to fall at this.

Comment: Games are underspecified (Score 3, Informative) 110

Why does anyone install an app on Android that didn't come from F-Droid?

I can think of two reasons. One is that someone might be using a hand me down Android device from the first year that AT&T sold Android phones, and these devices support only Google Play Store, not Unknown sources. But though I have a cousin whom this affects, I imagine few others are still on a Galaxy S 1 Captivate. A more common reason to use non-free Android apps is that free software has shown itself to be poor at producing compelling original video games. Free software works when there's a clear spec, which is true of libraries and productivity apps. But apart from maybe roguelikes, games are less specified up front unless it's a clone of an existing game, such as Aisleriot, Frozen Bubble, or StepMania. A non-free game's developer can afford to put more time into creating both the spec and the implementation.

Comment: Re:Correct yet misleading (Score 1) 165

It's not just traditional "W-2" employment relationships. If someone is self-employed, clients and suppliers may do background checks on the company's key people. And if one of those suppliers is a monopolist or one of those clients is a monopsonist in the relevant market, too bad.

...this is an awesome sight. The entire rebel resistance buried under six million hardbound copies of "The Naked Lunch." - The Firesign Theater

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