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Comment Where's the evidence? (Score 2) 72

Let's step back a moment and examine the bigger picture. Lots of people support patents because they believe patents encourage innovation, and indeed that's more-or-less the Constitution's stated purpose in granting Congress the power to issue them:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

But here's the question I have never, not even once, seen a patent advocate address: where is the evidence that patents actually promote innovation (i.e., that they cause a net increase in inventions, discoveries, etc.)? Indeed, there are some compelling arguments being made against patents and other forms of intellectual property, like Boldrin and Levine's Against Intellectual Monopoly, mentioned previously on Slashdot. Should we not demand that such a costly and disruptive regime as the patent system be supported by hard evidence that it actually does what it's intended to do?

Comment Re:Top & Bottom (Score 1, Insightful) 647

A modern iMac is painful to use. Your choice: place every app in the upper-left corner of the screen, or move the mouse over a thousand pixels each way.

Don't ignore Fitts' Law-- the menu bar at the top of the screen has an effectively infinite height, so even though you have to move your mouse farther, you can just slam it to the top of the screen and only have to aim horizontally. This is actually more important with higher-resolution screens, as the UI elements are smaller (at least until we finally get a resolution-independent UI, any decade now...).

Besides, the idea is to use keyboard shortcuts for menu items you use frequently. Much better than having to aim for a tiny rectangle on the screen, wherever it's located.

The OSX dock is unusable too. The fact that an app is running is indicated by a tiny dot under the icon.

For better or worse, Apple is trying to do away with making users know or care about whether an app is running, much like how things work on iOS. For example, there's a new API in Lion called Automatic Termination that allows apps to let the system automatically terminate them when the system needs to free up resources. See John Siracusa's Lion review for more details.

The fact that a second instance is running (rather difficult to do BTW) is indicated by a second icon located nowhere near the normal dock icon. You don't get a second dot. Seriously, WTF?

Oh, come on. How common do you think it is for users to want a second instance of an application, rather than just another window? I mean, I've only wanted to do it maybe once or twice in the five or so years I've had this Mac, and I'm very much a power user.

Comment Re:I Don't Agree with You or Jaffe (Score 1) 313

Your perspective is very hard for me to understand. I couldn't care less about the story, or the characters and their motivations. Take a modern game, cut out all the dialogue/cutscenes, remove all the pretty textures etc., and it would still be the same game as far as I'm concerned. If I wanted story or characters, I'd be reading a book.

It's like when I hear people praising the lyrics of a song-- it's incomprehensible to me, since I view the human voice in song as just another instrument. I don't really care about what the artist is trying to "communicate" to me; it's all about how the music strikes my ear. Otherwise I'd be reading poetry.

Comment Re:The Flow of Money Problem (Score 1) 262

That is so bizarre, you're all for the regulation and legalization of exchanges ... are you seriously that daft that you don't think the government is going to tax that which it regulates?

He's not talking about taxation. He's talking about funding wars through currency manipulation (printing money), which is basically a stealth tax not requiring popular support.

Comment Re:What about the lack of inflation? (Score 1) 768

It's long known that economic growth is severely stunted without some measure of inflation.

Not actually true.

Adopting bitcoins for the global economy would mean that policymakers lose control on money supply, and while there are advantages in this, disadvantages far outweigh them. Additionally, adopting a global currency standard will deny governments ability to influence currency rates robbing them of yet another way to control the economy.

IMO stripping governments of the ability to manipulate the money supply is entirely a good thing, and I'd guess Amir will agree.

Comment Functional programming (Score 1) 196

One more reason why functional programming matters. Many programs become trivial to parallelize when you avoid mutation and side-effects outside of limited, carefully-controlled contexts.

It's truly a joy when you can parallelize your code by changing a single character (from "map" to "pmap"). There's usually a little more to it than that, but you almost never have to deal with explicit locks or synchronization.

Comment Re:Buffering of what? (Score 1) 525

To prevent this, you get your modem/firewall to "shape" your traffic at say 9.5Mbps (leave enough headroom for the initial TCP connection bursts) and choose which packets you want to drop when it goes past 9.5Mbps (for instance drop http packets first instead of your interactive or VOIP stuff, or the other way round if http traffic is more important to you for some reason). This way you control what happens AND the buffers never fill up at the ISP end since the traffic doesn't even hit 10Mbps (if their buffers don't fill up, there is no increase in latency). This also applies to your outbound connections - if your upload bandwidth is 5Mbps, shape it at 4.5Mbps or so.

Isn't is too late to effectively shape incoming traffic by the time it reaches your modem/router? If that were truly the bottleneck, couldn't you get a faster connection just by buying a faster modem?

Comment Re:Think again (Score 1) 402

So what can be done? There's only one solution: strict limits on government power and revenue. STRICT limits, as the founders of the US intended. Of course, strict limits on the scope of government is nothing but a pipe dream for radicals and libertarians, right?

It is a pipe dream, but for different reasons. Who is going to enforce these "strict limits"? Why, the selfsame organization that is supposed to be limited by them! "Limited government" is an oxymoron: once you grant ultimate authority to an entity, any limits you try to place on it are moot.

We keep trying to create "safe" engines of mass subjugation, and somehow they keep getting abused. When will we finally realize that whatever difficulties we might face without a master, it's the only way we'll ever achieve lasting freedom?

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