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Comment Re:Corporate Structure (Score 1) 205

Not a bad idea, but if it is too isolated but without the ability to independently sell or market its products then you get another Xerox PARC situation where you re-invent the world and then nobody at corporate understands what you do or wants to sell something that will compete with the existing bread and butter business. Can also breed resentment with other parts of the organization that are trying to compete internally and externally but with all the corporate overhead that their micro start-up peers do not have.

So, yes spur innovation and create nimble organizational units or subsidiaries, but don't make rookie political mistakes and demoralize all the other people that you hired to build great products and grow the business.

Comment IP theft and corporate spies. (Score 1) 362

IP theft is a real problem and I am concerned that the real effect of a first to file system is that it will reward those companies that have the best corporate spies. Being nearly impossible to prove theft of an invention if one covers their tracks, the real deterrent to this type of theft has always been the risk that the inventor would be able to show an earlier invention date. With a first to file system as long as the thief covers their tracks and creates a false paper trail then they can get away with it even if it goes to trial. I guess with a first to invent system, then it was always possible to create notebooks with false dates, but now you don't have to guess an early enough date you just have to create a believable date. Could be a subtle but important difference.

Comment Re:This is reasonable (Score 1) 844

come on! that's more than funny that you think they carry ANY weight at all.

What do you mean "they" The UN is in NY City and was created primarily as a US institution to keep the peace that "we" won during WWII. We (the US) give our UN treaties lip service to the extent that we want to keep it propped up as a tool of US foreign policy.

The point was that we don't "declare war" because we have signed treaties that outlaw offensive war without security council approval. Doesn't mean we don't go to war, just means we try to say they are defensive or cite old UN resolutions when we do.

That is why weapons of mass destruction was so important in Iraq. Part of the cease fire of the Gulf War was a pledge by Saddam Hussein to give up his WMD. We couldn't get a new UN resolution through so the legal pretense for the Iraq War was in essence a violation of the cease fire agreement. We went to war with Iraq for other strategic, geopolitical, and geopersonal reasons but WMD became the headline because of the US wish to adhere to our treaties.

Not declaring war, but instead authorizing use of force is part of this dance we do with the UN.

Comment Re:This is reasonable (Score 2) 844

It is a bit more complicated than just Congress being spineless.

The treaty that we have signed creating the UN and subsequent treaties basically means we can't overtly declare war in the traditional sense without violating the treaty. So Congress can declare war if they want to, but they instead have chosen to try and live within the UN system. A system that the US largely created after WWII to prevent future wars. That is how we get these use of force resolutions or "police actions" that try to work within the confines of the UN system that pretty much outlaws full fledged offensive wars. It does seem a bit weasely, because on one level war is war, but considering how many people died in WWII and how many people could die in WWIII I am willing to give the diplomats a little bit of credit for coming up with a system that at least makes the major powers think twice and try and restrain themselves militarily.

Comment Re:Its shocking I say. (Score 1) 844

A "secret" classification is one of the lowest (least sensitive) defined.

"Confidential" is actually lower and still considered "classified". My understanding, based on media reports, is that many or most of these documents are actually marked confidential and only some are marked secret.

In contrast to a historical reference like the leaking of the Pentagon Papers which was in fact "top secret" at the time it was leaked and published by the New York Times.

Comment Re:Its shocking I say. (Score 1) 844

The ends do not justify the means

The ends do justify the means when considered holistically.

The prosecution will undoubtedly preface everything by saying that protecting secrets while maintaining an orderly process of declassification is important to the functioning of government and to national security. That is an end which they are seeking through the punishment of Bradley Manning.

To the contrary and an equally valid an argument is that the outcome has been on balance positive in that once it was revealed how US diplomats evaluated foreign leaders it showed to the people of these countries that their governments not only were not respected but were rather the laughing stock of the world.

But it is also fair to say that people have died because of these leaks. Perhaps fighting for a good cause, but still dying. In which case the outcome very much matters. Dying (and killing) for a good cause is better than dying for a failed one.

Also consider the morality of betraying a confidence placed in you. That is an outcome also.

So perhaps one particular end does not justify the act, but a more perfect justice would consider all the ripples from this act and judge and punish accordingly. If I had to call it based on an admittedly incomplete set of information. He is probably guilty of mishandling classified information and should receive some minimal punishment.

I do believe that law and order and national security are important enough to justify some secrets and that people must weigh some serious consequence when deciding to leak. 6 months or 1 year in jail (including time served) and dishonorable discharge would cover it in my mind. And it would wisely balance both the actual and potential harm and the benefits of his alleged act.

Comment Re:Neat (Score 1) 121

I agree. It could work and it might be nice to do. But what is the objective? To do it just because we can?

Effectively and efficiently harnessing and utilizing energy and raw materials in space and on other planets is key to further space exploration. Focusing on robotic exploration and automated mining and manufacturing would give us the type of infrastructure we need in space to build the ships and space stations that people might actually be able to live in self sustainably. And by the time that infrastructure is in place, our robotic explorers will have been continuing to explore the solar system and beyond.

These one-off very expensive missions don't scale well. But some of the types of technologies we would develop for robotic manufacturing and exploration could also be used here on Earth.

Comment Re:Quote from the conference (Score 1) 480

"If the press writes about something long enough and hard enough, eventually it comes true"

They have that kind of superpower and are using it for an iPhone? What about cold fusion, hovercars, faster-than-light travel, and decent tasting frozen dinners?

Oh, and that world peace stuff, too, I guess.

There was a vote and management went for the iPhone. Something about higher margins on the iPhone versus fusion, hovercars and FTL. And they figured nobody would buy world peace.

Comment Re:Ok (Score 1) 480

Honestly, I think people are either making it up or buying really low end hardware and allowing every app they've installed to run in the background.

I am exactly that person. I have loaded up a bunch of apps that run in the background and I have a relatively low end original T-Mobile MyTouch.

I really dislike the iPhone app model of having to go through the iPhone appstore to install new software, but I think to be really great and better than the iPhone Google needs to provide android users the tools they need to really make the experience better even on low end hardware that can't do as much multitasking and background services as this year's models. Otherwise users will be trying to run this year's latest software on last years hardware and judging the platform on that experience.

Comment False Choice (Score 2) 630

Versus what? Leaving the fate of humanity subject to the power of those that control the coercive reigns of government? A power which is ultimately derived from the coercive use of force.

Government power should be employed to balance humanity's worst impulses and not allowed to be used as a vehicle to magnify them.

A free market is not possible without the rules that govern it and the police and courts to enforce those rules. But a free market, with rules that protect people from undo coercion and use of force, is the best tool society has in order to give everyone a chance to choose what they value and what values they wish to exchange.

Yes, there are issues of distribution of wealth to deal with, because wealth does tend to become concentrated over time and I think there is a role government should play in re-leveling the playing field in certain circumstances such as when individuals or entities begin to exercise monopolistic power. But when I hear people attacking the free market or capitalist system I am struck by the omission that ultimately they would seek to replace it with a system directly based upon the power of the gun, whereas the capitalist system provides one level of abstraction away from the power of the gun which allows for far more checks and balances in a society.

No system is perfect and there can be tragic violence in any society, but i think the most tragic outcomes over the last couple hundred years of history have occurred when power becomes more centralized and the use of force rather than use of currency to pursue values becomes the norm.

Comment Re:How about: less people (Score 1) 760

I don't agree with actually penalizing people that have more than 2 children, but we could eliminate the tax subsidies for people with more than 2 children. And scale back welfare for families with more than 2 children.

At some point the population, both the US and world, needs to level off to avoid greater levels of warfare and civil strife over resources and to stop degrading the average quality of life.

We need to come up with a better way to encourage growth through innovation and technological change rather than through increasing the consumer market through baby making.

Comment Re:I'm a believer in net neutrality, but... (Score 1) 315

but the average person certainly won't in any detail. All they're going to say is "What do you mean, stop them from blocking Netflix? I'm having no trouble streaming Netflix over my Comcast cable, so it must not be a problem!"

Their netflix rates are going up as of January, possibly in small part, because Comcast is charging Netflix in order to not get blocked. So, blame Comcast and the lack of net neutrality for higher prices both now and in the future. It is as simple as that.

And throw in the fact that it isn't that Comcast's costs are really going up, it is just that they are double dipping to squeeze more from their customers.

Comment Re:Defaulting is worse! (Score 1) 809

In a fiat money economy, the US does not need to default.
It just needs to inflate itself out of debt.

Sort of. We need the Fed to continue to buy government debt and then to eventually forgive that debt. And we can't run deficits higher than the servicing of the existing debt otherwise the debt burden will continue to go up and we do end up in a situation where we have runaway inflation.

So we don't need to default, per se, but as our own creditor we need to "fix" the balance sheets. If we do it over a number of years then it might be manageable.

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