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Comment Such a nice way to sum up Patent trolls (Score 3, Insightful) 150

"Rockstar produces no products and practices no patents. Instead, Rockstar employs a staff of engineers in Ontario, Canada, who examine other companies’ successful products to find anything that Rockstar might use to demand and extract licenses to its patents under threat of litigation." this statement sums up nicely how patent trolls are a stain on our modern patent laws and actually hinder innovations rather than promote innovation as patents are supposed to do.

If you don't make a product using your patent, you really shouldn't have the right to tell others not to. To have an idea is one thing, but to actually bring it to market is something else entirely. To have an idea that could enhance the lives of everyone but do nothing but sit on it is counterproductive to the advancement of society as a whole. One good idea pompts many more good ideas, if all these patent trolls had actually been producing products instead we'd be much further ahead in terms of product innovations. Just in user interface design alone, there's stupid patents like "pinch zoom" for touch screens, How many other concepts never hit the market because of royalty fees or patent lawsuits?

It boils down to the basic idea that information wants to be free, anything else is an un-natural restriction on the life force of the universe!

Comment Platform investment locks people in + Mobile ads (Score 1) 382

I think the reason many websites haven't updated is that they're too invested in a platform to just scrap the design and start over. So much goes into first getting a system for a site setup, to start over or create a second system is no small ordeal.

Seperation of content and layout is good design but seldom exists in the real world.

One site that is a pet peeve of mine for this is androidheadlines.com. Click a news article link from facebok or G+ to go to a news site about mobile platform and you're presented with a desktop site that you need to zoom to read. I don't know where they'd put all the as though if they did re-format for mobile which leads me to the other reason - lack of advertising revenue on mobile sites... sure you can have ads, just not great big tower and banner ads. Then when Mobile sites try those full screen ads that pop up when you go from page to page or first hit a site they loose audience.

And Mobile is still NEW, no-one wants to build out a site and then find out that flash no longer exisits on mobile, things need to be around for some time before big companies will want to spend the money to support all the bells and whistles.

on a related note, where I work we're finally taking the mobile plunge, and sunbuggy.com wil soon look like sunbuggy.org (the .com in beta) . We're doing this because we're seeing the same mobile traffic increase and many of our customers find us on mobile devices now.

Comment is there a mass dulling of awareness? (Score 1) 1532

I don't know if it's a product of my time in this life which has given me the perspective of age (I'm 41 ) , or if society as a whole is actually getting dull. It would appear in situations such as the government shutdown that grown men are incapable of making rational decisions either for:
lack of moral incentives (the desire to do the right thing succumbs to political advisors demanding that they take some drama based action to appeal to the emoitional minds of voters)
or lack of awareness (they are so oblivious to their surroundings that they cannot percieve any other way to act, logic has broken )

I see this in my everyday life where people are rather oblivious to their surroundings, and while I'm no mental superhero, I don't understand why it's so hard to comprehend what your eyes can truly see. Are we as a society- Emotionally stunted? Chemically Muted (Monsanto?)? or perhaps the progressing of radio frequency communication has somehow scrambled our senses in a subtle and progressive manner? Does Carbon based fuel in the air or Radiation make us dumb? That the greatest leaders we can find and send to washington can't figure out how to balance the books and keep the lights on is ridiculous, so much so that I fear darker times are still to come from this madness.

Comment Why do people think the IPhone started it all? (Score 1) 278

There were PDAs, There were PDA enabled phones, then there were Smartphones. I don't see where IPhone "Created the market". Didn't everyone see it coming? What about the IPaq? the Palm Pilot? We've had Linux on smartphones sine 2003- the A780.

it was just about smaller, more powerful, better battery life, better touch screens, such that we could have the smartphones we have today, but to jump in and say the IPhone started a smart phone revolution is ridiculous.

Comment $8 million robots (Score 1) 33

The last meaningful America's Cup races were held in the late '80s. Somebody squinted hard enough at the 12-meter rules and entered a multi-hull. Now it's just a matter of who spends the most money on a carbon fiber boat with a wing sail. This is a sailing race of fundamentally unseaworthy vessels. It would be literally be safer to cross an ocean in a dinghy than in one of these monstrosities.

Come September, do yourself a favor. Watch Deep Water on Netflix. Read any book on Ernest Shackleton. Read any Lin and Larry Pardey book. You'll finish all three before the America's Cup race is over, and you'll know more about sailing than watching every second of the America's Cup races.

Comment Re:OS X Upgrade Fear (Score 1) 362

I have a late 2008 15" MBP on Mountain Lion. It's fine.

Upgrade to the maximum RAM you are capable of. (A good practice at all times.) Mavericks will be a different beast, and it's well worth waiting to see on a 5+ year old machine, but you're probably fine.

Comment We need a new class of 'ultralight' cars (Score 5, Interesting) 353

We have very safe cars but they're also very heavy as a result. Granted gains can be made with expensive and exotic materials, but how about CHEAP and LIGHT cars that could be had for just a few grand, and get 80-100MPG? before you think no-one would want to drive something without airbags and side impact beams and crush zones, what about motorbikes? I really think it would be a big hit with consumers who don't wish to be exposed to the elements or have to balance a motorcycle, but would opt for BASIC transportation with a 500cc motor, 3 or 4 wheels, and enclosed cab. Current safety standards for 4 wheeled vehicles make basic and light car not an option.

Comment ulimately this will erase barriers (Score 1) 678

that there are 50 states and 50 different tax laws, and that's just domestic commerce is a huge problem. The benifits of internet commerce will ensure that online retailers don't go away, but ultimately there will emmerge a new system of state taxes that erases barriers between interstate comerce. The power of the internet is not going to be ignored, rather the world will eventually adapt to several billion people becoming virtual next door neighbors.

Comment Quit using windows? (Score 1) 572

Ubuntu has a guest account that gives limited priveleges and doesn't require a password. It never ceases to amaze me all the BS people put up with to keep using windows, perhaps you shold dual boot and leave Ubuntu as the default so if a guest boots up a PC they get a Ubuntu Guest account unless they know the magic keystroke combo to switch to windows.

Guests shouldn't need to install software anyhow, that's something you'd do on your own machine, not someone else's.

Comment If Linux Distros were airlines.... (Score 3, Funny) 573

This is somewhat dated, but just for fun:

If Linux Distributions Were Airlines

Red Hat Airlines:

The standard in air travel. Most people have flown Red Hat Air at one point
or other. Some people like it and some people hate it and move on to one of
the other airlines. Passengers are all treated the same; they get stuck in
their seats and told not to ask questions -- everything will be taken care
of for them. They should just sit back, relax, and not touch of the fancy
controls under any circumstances, lest they send the plane into a tailspin.
Red Hat Airlines is fabulously rich.

Mandrake Airlines:

Mandrake bought a truckload of planes from Red Hat, put new engines in them,
re-painted them, and now run their own airline. Considered by many to be the
most friendly airline for first-time flyers.

Corel Airlines:

A new player on the scene, Corel Air thinks it can be the airline of choice
for a new generation of first-time pleasure flyers, and maybe even lure in
some business travelers too. Their planes are big, brightly painted, and
like Red Hat's they protect the innocent, clueless passengers from the
dangerous buttons, switches and blinkenlights of the cockpit.

SuSe Airlines:

An airline out of Europe that tries to be everything for everyone and
succeeds -- to a degree. Recently paid a huge sum of money to use a comic
strip in its promotional material. (And after they finally named the
lizard...)

Caldera OpenAirlines:

These guys go out of their way to make things comfortable for the business
user. They've got a pretty terminal, pretty planes, really good in-flight
movies, etc. But I had a bad experience with these guys once. They lost my
luggage. Quite a mess, really. Ah well, such is life. I never flew with them
again.

SlackAIR:

>From a distance, their planes look just like everyone elses. But up close
you can tell that they haven't been painted and little bits of wire stick
out here and there. But onboard, the seats are comfortable enough and there
are plenty of stewardesses available to help you readjust your seat if you
manage to break it. There is no in-flight movie but if you get bored you are
always welcome up in the cockpit. The pilots will be glad to let you try and
fly the plane and are happy to let you push whatever buttons you want, even
if you don't know what you're doing. Generally, novice flyers avoid SlackAIR
as they've heard horror stories about newbies pressing the wrong button and
causing the plane to explode.

Debian Airlines:

They have a single type of airplane; a huge sucker weighing 2400 tons and
carrying just about everything you can imagine. They've got kitchen sinks,
massage parlors, a paintball arena, and 294 types of cheese for sale in the
onboard, 24-hour supermarket. You can see from the terminal they have a huge
team of technicians working on their fleet, poking and prodding. Debian Air
is the only choice for some: everything onboard is built 100% by union
workers -- no shoddy, possibly dangerous, imports here.

Comment Re:We should build software like we build software (Score 1) 432

It's actually fairly common for construction projects to run into changes. While nobody requests to turn a shed into a skyscraper, large changes that touch many disciplines occur quite regularly.

The difference between AEC and programming projects is a long history and legal framework that deals with these changes. Projects are given a budget, and that budget is often paid out at milestones--design development, 95%, construction documents, etc. If the owner requests a substantial change, or if a change is required because of unknowable circumstances, the budget is either revised or the work is value-engineered to fit--and this reality is reflected in the contract signed at the beginning.

The problem with programming projects is that there are not very many really good programmers, and programming is not suited to throwing more warm bodies at the problem. AEC is plate spinning, while programming is juggling. You can hire a bunch of folks to help keep the plates spinning, but you can't just send in somebody to help juggle.

Comment Only Love can kill the demon (Score 1) 366

What you have are people who are apathetic about the quality of their work and who are in-fighting among each other. You already have formed an "Us and Them" (you mentioned that "2 or 3 of us" know what to do) situation which projects negative energy at the them side (works both ways) and further feeds the lack of a cohesive and collaborative space.

Here's how you fix it, find something beautiful about the people you work with and compliment them on it. Look for the positive in people and let them know what you appreciate about them, love the people around you. Give this positive energy to everyone around you and watch how the situation changes, watch how people feel compelled to connect rather than divide. Resist the covert struggles for energy and maintain your positive focus, eventually you will be surrounded with positive people who will all work well together and good ideas will materialize as if delivered by a higher power.

in essence, only love can kill the demon.

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