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+ - You can't patent movies or music. So why are there software patents?->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "To many computer programmers, software patents look a lot like movie or music patents. A computer program is a sequence of abstract mathematical operations. The Supreme Court has long said that by themselves such mental steps are not patentable. And just as musical innovations didn't become patentable once musicians started recording music electronically, so software patent opponents don't think sequences of mathematical steps shouldn't become patentable just because a computer happens to be doing the calculations.

Of course, others disagree with this way of looking at it. Patent attorneys have had a lot of luck re-casting software patents as patents on machines that happen to run a particular type of computer program."

Link to Original Source

+ - MIT's robotic cheetah no longer needs a leash->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "MIT's big-cat-inspired robot has gotten some serious upgrades as researchers continue to improve its skills. It's come a long way since its first treadmill test, during which it was tethered up. It can now run free, and a new algorithm allows it to bound in a peppy manner while navigating the terrain of a grass lawn."
Link to Original Source

Comment: According to Spock . . . (Score 3, Interesting) 880

by walterbyrd (#47899743) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

> “If this is your God, he’s not very impressive. He has so many psychological problems; he’s so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He’s a pretty poor excuse for a Supreme Being.” — Spock, The God Thing, by Gene Roddenberry

This quote was recently making the rounds on Facebook. It’s taken from a newly discovered script, what The Complete Star Trek Library is calling “Gene Roddenberry’s Last Star Trek Novel.” Roddenberry was an ardent atheist and it appears he was constantly working his critique of religion into the series. The God Thing is a testimony to Roddenberry’s atheistic aims.

Comment: Re:Maybe first you can stop pigeon-holing people.. (Score 3, Insightful) 880

by walterbyrd (#47899255) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

> It's like when atheists are dumb enough to treat all Christians alike, or Muslims, ...

No it's not like that at all.

When you join an organization that espouses certain values, then you must agree with those values. Otherwise why would you join?

For example, if somebody joins the KKK, it would hardly be wrong to think that person is a racist. And if somebody joined NAMBLA, then it is fair to believe that person believes it is okay to molest children.

Atheists have no set ideology. For that matter, theists may not either - unless they belong to some organization that has some specified sort of ideology.

But if you are Christian, Muslim, whatever; then you are claiming that you ascribe to those values.

Comment: Re:Atheism offers no values - you have to add them (Score 0) 880

by walterbyrd (#47899223) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

> And of course the excesses of the church pale into insignificance compared with the horrors of Stalin and Mao

Which is "the church?" All religions? Christianity? Catholicism?

Let's remember the Nazis were very Christian, and the holocaust would not have happened without Christianity.

Christianity was also used to justify slavery, and witch burning, among other things.

I have read that throughout Islamic history, about 270 million people were killed for the cause of Islam.

Furthermore, Stalin, and Mao; were not motivated by any sort atheist ideology. If there is such a thing as "atheist ideology."

Comment: Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (Score 3, Insightful) 880

by walterbyrd (#47899187) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

> The problem is even atheists still feel a need to believe in *something*


> with varying details of what they consider "good".

By that you mean: bigotry, misogyny, blood sacrifice, slavery, and war. Also severe punishment for free speech, not worshiping as told. And of course, must give loads of money to those humans who claim to have a direct connection to "god." Finally, do not use reason, do not think critically, just accept everything on faith - that is the ultimate good.

Comment: Why is science to blame for the holocaust? (Score 1) 880

by walterbyrd (#47899147) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

From the article:

> "To which one might reply: Science is all those things. Between holocausts!"

My understanding is: without religion, there would have been no holocaust.

German Christians hated Jews. Hitler was a product of his strongly Christian upbringing. At the time, in Germany, Jew hatred was taught in public schools.

Why on earth would you blame science, and not religion, for the holocaust?

+ - Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll."
Link to Original Source

Comment: MS Access is a nightmare to support (Score 1) 185

by walterbyrd (#47839307) Attached to: Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Somebody creates some MS-Access app that the company comes to rely on, then that person leaves.

Nobody knows the code, or even the password. When you have to upgrade that desktop, you may find yourself in a difficult situation.

You are going to have issues with setting up access rights, and many other problems.

IMO: put databases on the server, where they belong.

That said: it's true, MS-Access is a much better desktop database than anything offered in Linux.

Comment: Re:What do we need systemd for? (Score 1) 613

by walterbyrd (#47817665) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

> The main issue we get reported is the loooooong boot process compared to Windows

Not my experience at all. Far *far* from it in fact.

In my experience, CentOS 6.5 is up and running long before Windows 7. And that is even before Windows 7 begins to bog down, which usually only takes a few days.

Which version of Windows are you using?

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.