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Comment Re:While I think damore is an idiot, (Score 1) 1174

And that means he's a terrible engineer, since he doesn't understand that "if X, then Y" doesn't also mean "Y, therefore X." That alone would be reason to fire him, because you sure as fark can't trust his code.

This is the part where you're wrong. He understood those hypothesis correctly, even evolutionary psychology professors...

Those are the people you buy crystals from in the mall, right?

Evopsych. How sweet.

Comment Re:While I think damore is an idiot, (Score 0, Redundant) 1174

Reading the memo will only make you dumber,

If you read it, you wouldn't pretend things like :

His opinion being that google shouldn't recruit women because they might have on average less aptitude than men for some tasks.

The actual quote :

Note, Iâ(TM)m not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these differences are âoejust.â Iâ(TM)m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we donâ(TM)t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and thereâ(TM)s significant overlap between men and women, so you canâ(TM)t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

So yes, you can disagree, you can argue the science he used and the studies he cited are wrong, or that he misunderstood them, but trying to depict the memo as vile while not having read it is malicious.

Well, yeah, the strongest argument is that the memo shows that Damore is a terrible engineer who shouldn't be employed, because he doesn't understand the distinction between correlation and causation.

Specifically, Damore attempted to argue a hypothesis that gender differences in STEM are due to inherent biological factors, and therefore cannot be addressed by social engineering. He cited studies that showed that when adult, post-college men and women are surveyed, they self-report different levels of interest in STEM fields. Issues with those studies (e.g. limited populations, self-reporting, no controls, etc.) aside, they don't even begin to prove Damore's point regarding biological inherency. And that's the biggest issue with the manifesto - Damore clearly has no understanding of the difference between correlation and causation. Yes, there are fewer women in tech. Yes, on surveys of adults, they report different levels of interest in the field. But only someone really unclear on logic and science would say "this difference exists, therefore genetics."

And that means he's a terrible engineer, since he doesn't understand that "if X, then Y" doesn't also mean "Y, therefore X." That alone would be reason to fire him, because you sure as fark can't trust his code.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 1174

They also didn't refuse services or products. They offered the couple to purchase a pre-made cake, simply stating they would not do custom work that promoted beliefs outside their religious dogma.

That's not exactly true - they refused to sell them any cake that would be used in a wedding. There was no discussion of writing on the cake or a rainbow interior or hers and hers cake toppers - just that it was a wedding cake, and the bakers refused. They offered to sell any other "baked good".

Comment Re:Finally (Score 2, Insightful) 1174

As an Oregonian, that case really pissed me off.

A business owner, outside of a few essential things (like housing) should have the god damn right to choose to take on a client. It's a fucking bakery for Christ's sake, in western Oregon you'd have to *try* very hard to find a religious, conservative baker.

This was simply a case of someone who got butt-hurt over the business owner having the temerity to stand up for their beliefs, and decided to try to make an example out of the bakery. Essentially the outcome was that they lost their business, and have to pay around $100k in fines because they didn't want to bake a cake.

A sane, rational person would cowboy up, and find another bakery that would be happy to take your money. But nope, gotta make a court case out of it!

Fuck the plaintiffs. Seriously. Fuck Them.

Allow me to offer an analogy... Rather than a cake baker, say you owned a lunch counter. A lunch counter in a Woolworth's Department Store. And then one day, some uppity negroes come in and ask to eat lunch, despite your very clear "whites only" sign.

You're a private businessman, and you should have the god damn right to choose whom you serve, right? You should be able to restrict service only to your Aryan friends, and if they're butt-hurt about it, fuck them. Seriously. Fuck Them.

Would you agree with all that? It's the same situation, but lunch rather than a cake, and a battle 50 years ago instead of today. But you're on the side of discrimination, yes? I just want to be clear whether you're consistent or not.

How about going to a halal butcher with a pig and demand that they butcher it for you, religious beliefs be damned?

Halal butchers don't butcher pigs at all, for anyone. Cake bakers do bake cakes. The couple here didn't go to a cake baker and ask for a roast rack of lamb - they asked for a cake, selected out of a catalog of cakes that the baker provides. This would be the same as going to a halal butcher, pointing to something on the menu, and saying "I'll take number 3." And, in such a situation, if the butcher said, "my religious beliefs don't let me serve you number 3- hold on one second. Mr. Smith, your number 3 is ready! Sorry about that- I was saying that my religious beliefs don't let me serve a number 3 to you specifically," you'd probably be more than a little upset, and justifiably so.

Comment Re:A solution (Score 1) 94

If a competitor simply reverse engineers it and rewrites it, copying all of your ideas but not your specific variable names, then they are not infringing your copyright.

Yeah, in economics, that's what is known as "competition," and it's generally regarded as a good thing.

Not when it involves copying your ideas. See, economists would say that that creates a disincentive to do R&D... Or conversely, that it creates an incentive to lock everything up in trade secrets, with NDAs and restrictive contracts that prevent customers from using the products they buy in any way they want. And society generally regards that as a bad thing.

Comment Re:A solution (Score 1) 94

The fact that Zynga can rip off indie titles AND the fact that they have tons of patents should speak FOR elimination of software patents, not against it. The world is not perfect or fair, but software patents only make it less so. Indie developers can't afford patent projection, nor should they have to do so.

So because some indie developers can't afford patent protection, Zynga should get to walk roughshod over all developers? That makes no sense, unless you're part of Zynga's management team.
And patents really aren't that expensive. About $25k over 3-4 years to get a patent, and what's the value of having a Zynga-proof monopoly, rather than merely being Dream Heights to their Tiny Tower?

And as an indie game developer myself, I believe there's a special place in hell for Zynga. What they do is beneath contempt, but is technically not illegal. And as much as I hate to say it, trying to prevent them from doing so goes down a slippery legal slope that I think would be devastating for the game industry. Could you imagine if the litigation nightmare if a company managed to "patent" the basic game mechanics of a simple first-person shooter? If no one could copy game ideas, Stardew Valley could not have taken inspiration from Harvest Moon.

Or they could come up with their own IP, or they could take a license for any elements they were reusing...

Comment Re:A solution (Score 1) 94

Software can be copyrighted...

Yes, but that only protects you against pirates: copyright only applies when someone makes an exact copy of your code. If a competitor simply reverse engineers it and rewrites it, copying all of your ideas but not your specific variable names, then they are not infringing your copyright.

Copyright is great for music and movie companies*, because people want to see the Avengers movie or listen to Kanye's new album rather than the "Revengers" knock-off version or my new album - they want that specific work. But it's terrible for software, because no one says "gosh, this word processing suite may be identical to that word processing suite, but it doesn't have my favorite variable name." Heck, look at Zynga, ripping off every indie game developer they can find, and making millions at it. And, of course, note that Zynga actually has a ton of patents, since they know from personal experience that copyright is inadequate.

*not for anyone else, but that's besides the point

Comment Way #1 and #2 are inconsistent (Score 1) 94

-The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is funded by fees -- and the agency gets more fees if it approves an application.
-Unlimited opportunities to refile rejected applications means sometimes granting a patent is the only way to get rid of a persistent applicant.

Contrary to point #1, and as shown in point #2, the agency gets more fees if they reject an application and allow applicants to refile the rejected applications - really, not so much "refiling", but filing a "request for continued examination" and a fee. Specifically, the issue fee paid when a patent application is granted is currently $960. But if an application is rejected and "refiled", then the request for continued examination fee is $1200 for the first RCE and $1700 for each one after that. Plus the agency will still get the issue fee, if the application is eventually granted.

Point 2 is also misleading (or ignorant, hence their use of "refile rejected applications" rather than "pay a fee to continue examining the same application"). The rejected application isn't simply being refiled over and over - the applicant makes amendments, narrowing the claims. Like, maybe originally, it was a patent on "a car", and then they amend to "a car, comprising an electric engine," and then "a car, comprising an electric engine, a gas engine, a drivetrain, and a three-axis planetary gear wherein a first axis of the gear is driven by the electric engine, a second axis of the gear is driven by the gas engine, and a third axis of the gear is connected to the drivetrain," etc. Since the applicant has to pay those high fees every single time, the only person they're harming is themselves.

-Patent examiners are given less time to review patent applications as they gain seniority, leading to less thorough reviews.

This is the one point that's actually correct. There's some efficiency gained through experience, but that may mean going from 20 hours to examine an application to 15. Not 20 down to 5.

Comment This suggests a brilliant idea... (Score 1) 47

... some new form of public communication system in which people could publish text of any length! It would be accessible over the web, and for an analogy that Slashdotters will understand, it would be similar to an event log or other extended data file. Why, we could call it a "web-log" or "blog" for short!

Alternately, we could just start refusing to read any multi-tweet Tweets, or perhaps begin delivering personalized cockpunches to their authors.

Comment Re:I think all reality is in jeopardy (Score 1) 291

Soon we will not be able to determine real from fake. Nothing can be proven real. We will have to suspect everything.

'bout time. It was about 20 years ago that ABC did the first live replacement of video, during the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Times Square - they dynamically swapped out real billboards with their own advertising. Now, it's done routinely for sporting events.

Comment Re:This is already avaliable (Score 2) 370

" if you never want to receive sexy pictures or video from a significant other. As most people would like to receive such"

That's a pretty big assumption there! I get along fine without sending nudy pics to my wife, and vice versa.

The rest of us appreciate them, though, so pass on our thanks.

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