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Comment Re:Me too! (Score 1) 172

Most of those have merit, but I will say:

* Sun released Java for others to use. You [read: the courts] can argue about the terms of said release, but it was released for free use on computers if not phones [as if they were different...sigh...]. If Google had developed a language called Microsoft J++ that was similar and pushed it as their alternative, you would have a point. Google uses Linux too. That's what it's there for; use.

* Altavista, yahoo, etc did classical AI methods relying heavily on human labeling. Google used what we now call modern (read: statistical) AI, and did not offer paid placement [I don't recall if Yahoo/Altavista did paid placement but it was common practice back then] To a former AI researcher you might as well say that Google is unoriginal because they and Microsoft both use computers, or that the automobile is unoriginal because horse and buggy also has wheels.

* Hotmail had 2 MB quota when Gmail came out with a gig. Google's innovation was the archive, the UI, and not having to delete mail. Also not selling your email address and personal data to external spammers, keeping all their privacy invasion inside the company and being upfront about it with an [at the time] clear, easy to read privacy policy. (I once changed my language to French on the hotmail UI and suddenly most of my spam was in French...hmmm....)

Other than that, I can see your point.

Comment Re:Amazing observation (Score 1) 283

Stallman et al view the GPL as a transitional measure -- as long as copyrights exist, they need to use the system to protect themselves. Once it's gone (haha) they are well aware their GPL will be gone too. This is their plan.

Now I think they're crazy, but I get mildly annoyed at people who can't see beyond the length of their own nose thinking that if you are against an institution like copyright or patent then you are somehow morally bankrupt if you also use it. Patents in particular, you need defensively if you want to do anything remotely new.

Comment Re:Que the environmental wackos! (Score 1) 937

Please don't confuse the fossil-fuel funded anti-nuclear hysteria with those of us who actually understand how the environment works and wish to protect it. We tend to be in favor of nuclear energy as a bridge technology until something longer lasting can be developed. After all, it's safe, clean, and effective.

Comment Re:Fishy smell (Score 1) 414

It's possible they wanted to get primacy fast and, knowing how good their work was, weren't concerned about the venue. Or perhaps the journal had favorable IP policy. Or maybe their methodology is crap but they "just know" it works, and this is a gambit to get primacy while they have time to nail down real results. Maybe they care a great deal about open access and know that with work like this they can get away with publishing anywhere. Or maybe it has a favorable submission deadline (primacy). Personally I'd publish on arXiv and then apply to a prestigious journal if I had results as good as they claim, but I don't know the customs of their field.

Or maybe they're crackpots. That said, LL is very well respected in scientific circles so I doubt they'd hire this guy if he weren't at least somewhat legit. The advocacy-style of writing and working in multiple fields is a bit unusual, but the very top scientists do tend to be active in more than one field (Feynman, for example).

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