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Comment Re:You're damn right it is too broad (Score 1) 232

I can patent a method of using IRC to arrange the delivery of baked goods and that would be a valid patent (actually, it's probably already patented).

No idea whether it would be valid legally because the patent office is out with the fairies but it shouldn't be valid. That's just a particular instance of the use of IRC which is a general purpose communication medium. Because it is a general purpose communication medium no patent for a specific instance of that communication should be possible. An "instance of" relation not a "use of" relation. An "instance of" relation should never be patentable because there is always prior art.

The patent office, and you to some degree, seem to be confused about the difference between words and ideas (is a file system a database?), whether ideas are the same and different (are two shades of the color orange the same or different?) and whether one idea is contained by another (is using a car to move something different from using a vehicle to move something?). The patent office doesn't seem to understand even simple concepts like Venn diagrams and the fact that words and meanings have varying overlaps and relationships. Specifically, patenting something simply because somebody has renamed and reduced the coverage of an existing concept should not be possible.


Every new patent is a new law; another opportunity for a lawyer to make money at the expense of the wider community.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 169

I'm not sure which exhaustion counter you've been looking at. I've been keeping an eye on a number of exhaustion predictions for the past few years and they have been reasonably consistent (i.e. +/- 6 months). The allocation policies have been changed over the years and this has extended the amount of time we have, but not by much. Obviously exhaustion predictions can't take into account policy changes until they are at least visible on the horizon, so I do expect it'll be extended a bit more, but I'm honestly not expecting that extension to be more than a few months. New policies will also probably start making it much harder for people to get IPv4 addresses, so increasing the pressure to migrate onto IPv6 before the IPv4 addresses are exhausted.

there are no even halfway accurate estimates of that date.

And _that_ is why ISPs need to act now (actually, several years ago) to prepare themselves. This *is* going to happen, the longer they leave it, the more chance they will be caught with their pants down when it actually happens.

There are certainly short-term gains to be had by sticking your head in the sand and pretending that there isn't a problem. Unfortunately the cost of having to drop everything and roll out a whole new network at crunch time is going to be very expensive, far outweighing those short term savings. Sadly, business these days seems to be all about short term gains at the expense of long term viability.

Comment Re:HIPAA - SHMIPAA (Score 2, Informative) 319

I wonder how it came to be that one would be permitted to check web-based email in the hospital's pediatric cardiac surgery department?

And exactly why wouldn't be allowed? It's not like the computer is sitting in the surgery theater.

It's connected to sensitive hospital records. That's more than enough reason to lock it down and not allow web browsing or the execution of arbitrary programs.

Comment I thought RAID was about spindle count (Score 4, Insightful) 444

I admit I'm not an expert, but I was under the impression that RAID was mainly about ensuring you a large number of spindles and some redundancy so you can serve data quickly even if a couple of drives fail while the servers are under pressure. Surely you would not rely on a RAID to avoid data loss since you should be keeping external backups anyway?

Comment Re:ITS? (Score 1) 875

I think you may hold the record for most progress on a real KS! Well my email address is the same as always (the one I have for you is 4 years old) so if you'd really be interested in the RM80, let me know. And I'd love to hear about the SCSI project!

Comment Re:We prefer to be called "Chromatically Challenge (Score 1) 197

Very cool story, I have heard about similar things happening before. Have you ever tested to see just how much better you can "see through" camouflage etc? I feel a little silly asking, but do you think its something you could describe to someone who is "not colour blind"? Funny huh, a "blind" person can see the truth :)

Comment Re:MOD UP (Score 4, Insightful) 754

trying nearly anything beats sitting on your ass and suffering.

Depends. Some "alternative medicine" practices aren't merely useless, they're actively harmful. Further harm comes when people believe they will be magically cured, and ignore traditional medicine entirely, all while illness progresses to the point where some effects are already permanent (or, sometimes, fatal).

Comment Re:toposhaba (Score 1) 792

And a GPS can't be removed and left at home? Slightly harder but come on. ...

GPS is not a perfect solution either. I have used several different models including the Pharos GPS with Streets and Trips. They often jump temporarily to another state or place on the globe and then after a few minutes jump back. So are we going to be able to challenge the 3000 mile trip we supposedly took on our way to grocery store? I have an idea just give me a check for 150million and I'll tell them it won't work.

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