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Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 131

"I build a house without a contract. If you like my house and want it you have to pay me for it."

*If* I want the house. Nobody owes you nothing just for having built the house.

"Patents are just a bank for your ideas."

Unluckily, no, it's not "just" a bank for your ideas. On one hand, no, patents never have been about ideas, but about implementations. On the other hand, somehow you have an upper hand even if I reach to the same implementation by myself.

"Otherwise all the smart people that come up with ideas have to spend the majority of their time marketing/finding buyers"

You see? just like any other company out there. "Oh! but I don't wanna spend my time marketing/finding buyers!". Well, that's what being salaried is about.

"Patents, when granted to things that are non-obvious/prior art etc, can be a huge time saver freeing up the creatives to continue to innovate"

Hirings, when granted to [engineers, beancounters, clerks...] can be a huge time saver freeing up the engineers, beancounters, clerks... to continue to go with their engineering, beancounting, clerking...

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 131

"you spend your time coming up with good ideas that someone else can use to do so, why should you work for free?"

Don't work for free. Just work for whatever you arranged in a contract.

"Are you saying working with your hands/mouth is more valuable than working with your mind?"

No. I'm saying that unless you agreed in contract a compensation for your hard work, nobody owes you nothing for your hard work.

Comment Re:Lost ability? (Score 1) 308

"How anybody could expect them to go to Mars when they've not demonstrated the ability to go to the moon in 43 years?"

NASA already demonstrated that *with a ton of money* and *limited political interference* can go from basically zero to the Moon in about ten years... on technology from the sixties.

It seems not such a big leap to think that NASA could send people to Mars in a decade on XXI century technology. The highlights above, on the other hand, are what seem to be lacking.

Comment Re:What could go wrong (Score 1) 405

"It has, in fact, the simplest of ways: legislation.

I take it you have zero experience with trying to pass any legislation even remotely controversial?"

I do. That's why I tell it's easy; it just depends on the moment and the government: it just takes for an absolute majority in congress.

"Now you're on the right track, carrots usually work better than sticks with these types of things. Although this can also backfire too since anything involving tax incentives will get twisted by the opposition as "welfare for the rich""

Now, it's me the one saying it is you the one with zero experience. We are talking here about the French government but you seem to be talking about USA. Need I to remember that current French government is a coalition of a socialist majority with a far left minority? I don't think the right wing on the opposition wold use a "welfare for the rich" argument, given the case.

Anyway, my argument is that for a government to do something, there's always an easy path: legislation -that's exactly what governments are for, not that such a path is sensible or even doable, given a government in minority or how it is "sold" to the public, nor -much less, that passing a legislation on forcing solar panels on new (or old) buildings would make any sense.

On the other hand, maybe the French government hasn't pass legislation forcing solar panels but they already passed legislation on energy savings for new buildings (i.e. increased thermal isolation) so it isn't so far fetched.

Comment Re:Electronic Engineer Here (Score 1) 220

"You may as well be very honest developers, I have no reason to doubt that. But in some industries, things are simply very subtle."

And even those very honest developers demand the biggest/fastest computers available and automatically think everybody else do the same: you end up with "hello worlds" that require 4GB of RAM a two-core 2GHz CPUs just to boot up.

Comment Re:Electronic Engineer Here (Score 1) 220

"I've designed electronic products for over 25 years, and not once have I ever purposely designed obsolescence into a product, nor have I known an engineer who has (We are talking industrial/scientific equipment)"

Maybe that's the reason.

"I'm not sure how you would do it for an electronic product short of firmware date methods."

Easier than it seems. On one hand, pay attention to the target audience for these devices: a lot of times a dying battery is enough reason to trash away a phone, or just adding more and more resident apps and claiming the phone is "too slow for modern times". On the other hand, there's no need for sophisticated analysis, just designing for the "good enough". I.e.:
-This chipset is too packed and it'll run 20ÂC over its designed temperature, so it'll eventually fry.
-How soon?
-Probably somewhere between two~three years.
-Good enough.

-This component is quite sensible to voltage variabilities: once the battery starts getting old, it'll fry it.
-That gives us about two to three years, right?
-Probably yes.
-OK: go ahead.

-This micro-usb is low quality: if somebody uses it frequently to charge the phone or to take it in and out of his computer, it'll brake in no time, I mean 1000 to 2000 extraction cycles.
-That will give us two to three years: ahead with it.

Comment Re:What could go wrong (Score 1) 405

"Simple hint: the houses and hence the roofs you are talking about are: private owned. The government has no simple way of "forcing" citizens to build solar plants on such roofs."

It has, in fact, the simplest of ways: legislation.

And, since you used "forcing" between quotes, you can also add tax benefits and grants as "forcing" tools.

Comment Re:This doesn't surprise me at all (Score 0) 149

" I suspect what really slowed down Go progress was that Chess was simply more popular
Almost certainly this has never been true"

OK, let's rephrase it: I suspect what really slowed down Go progress was that Chess was simply more popular... among those that mattered.

While Go seems to stress different ways than Chess, and it's even acceptable to say it's more difficult to approach by a computer, it also seems true that chess was chosen because it was popular among those in computer sciences. Go may be played by more people, but those didn't hold doctorates on AI.

"I've been proselytising for Go since 13 years before I got a phone line, let alone dial-up internet access. What would I know?"

You don't even need to proselytize for something already popular, right?

Comment Re:Gibberish (Score 2, Interesting) 121

"Either way, the experience of consciousness must be objective because what the thinker experiences IS the consciousness."

So can I observe that very consciousness and say "yes, that's the consciousness you described to me"? Because, lacking that, your definition of objectiveness is quite useless, both on its definition (objective implies verifiable, which can't be done if not repeatable by a third party) and its operative value (you can't inject -not even theoretically, consciousness into an object if you can't objectively set what's the thing).

Comment Re:More than five centuries (Score 1) 235

"Without reading TFA, I have to point out that if Tyson tweeted that the rapper was "five centuries regressed in your reasoning" in order to indicate that five centuries ago people all thought that the earth was flat, then Tyson's statement is ironically also uninformed. There's a common myth that Columbus "discovered" that the earth was round."

Maybe Tyson was not referring to Columbus but Elcano, you know, the first guy that factually rounded the Earth about five centuries ago (1522), setting forever the question (if someone still had any doubt).

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