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Comment Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (Score 2) 362

I think the GP may be referring to the lender's actual financial risk in lending to you. It's very complicated. Essentially though, financial institutions loaning you $300,000 to buy a house don't actually need to have that $300,000 themselves in order to loan it to you. They can essentially loan it to you on a margin and more or less create the money out of thin air. It only starts to become real cost to them if enough people don't pay back their loans.

Comment Re:IP Rights (Score 1) 119

The vast majority of people who watched Armageddon took what he said at face value.

Naturally. Just like the asteroid being "the size of Texas" yet still vulnerable to a nuke, or the entire premise of drilling into it to plant a nuke that would blow it apart along a fault line. There's a lot of really cringe-worthy movie science in that movie. Really, really a lot. Somehow it manages to be watch-able anyway. It certainly had a lot more replay value than _Deep Impact_.

Comment Re:IP Rights (Score 1) 119

Despite somehow managing to be a decent movie to watch, Armageddon really is a very stupid movie in a lot of ways. This one, for example. Why would they need to "steal a key to the patent office". If it's patented, or patent pending, it's a public record. Anyone can build one. They can also quite legally build one for research and experimentation purposes, and train their astronauts with it without owing anyone license fees. That's even if they're a private entity and not a government agency. If they were a private entity and they actually used it commercially, then they would have to have licensed the technology, but It's been firmly established forever that government agencies can simply ignore patents and use whatever technology. Also, there's a pretty strong argument that using it for the public good would be a protected activity even for a private entity.

Comment Re:isn't music already open source? (Score 1) 183

Are you a university student who wants to do a faculty-sponsored research project that uses Windows? Congratulations, the Windows Research Kernel [microsoft.com] may be available to you:

Of course, the license conditions you state here are far from the unrestricted openness required by the term "open source".

Comment Re:Of course there can. (Score 1) 183

Quite aside from the cultural ubiquity, the lyrics of the first part of the song (which is the only part many people sing) only contains five (or six if you consider birthday to be two words). The lyrics are the only part under copyright since the original "Good Morning to You" is not in copyright. So all that's left is an incredibly generic birthday song consisting of a highly generic birthday greeting repeated with a slight alteration and the substitution of "dear" plus the name of the subject in one of the repetitions. It's simply too short and derivative a work to deserve a copyright.

Comment Re:I hear they're outsourcing it... (Score 1) 200

Or maybe instead of arguing against using their organs we should argue against this instead? Why throw the baby out with the bath water? I don't get this whole "If we make the leap to A, then there is a chance we make a similarly big leap to B, which is bad, therefore no A." How about just making sure B doesn't happen? If you are afraid you can't prevent B, then how do you expect to prevent A in the first place? Why not draw the line at the place with the actual problem, instead of drawing it some arbitrary point ahead of time, at the risk of people now ignoring you.

I'm not quite sure what magic you plan to apply there. It's already been demonstrated that juries are swayed by whether or not defendants come into court in a prison jumpsuit. It's not a small effect either, it makes a major difference in conviction rates. How exactly do you think you're going to stop people from more readily convicting and more harshly sentencing defendants when they start to see them as selfish organ hoarders. How are you going to stop ulterior motives from taking over as they clearly have in collection of traffic and other fines and civil forfeitures? Most municipalities quite clearly look at these things primarily in terms of revenue generation. What safeguards do you think would possibly prevent allowing the harvesting of prisoner organs from turning the justice system into a a butcher shop?

Comment Re:Don't do it! (Score 1) 183

I was only responding to:

Pharma conspiracy nutters. Heroin has never been prescribed, nor has marijuana

Clearly you're a bit more informed than those sentences imply. Personally I find it very interesting that the Bayer chemists who developed heroin apparently intended it to be a cure for morphine addiction. It probably worked very well at curing morphine addiction, for that matter. Actually, it probably worked very well as a cough syrup and as a sedative, etc. as well. It also has very few side effects aside from the chemical dependence. Ultimately, it's not really any more dangerous than plenty of other allowed pharmaceuticals. Obviously it's a really bad idea to start taking recreationally, but it clearly was prescribed by perfectly legitimate doctors in the past.

Comment Re:Everyone a donor (Score 1) 200

On the other side of the spectrum the opt-out system has its own share of horror stories: doctors not doing their best to save certain people and pronouncing them dead, because the patient's organs are compatible with someone on the waiting list who offered a sizable bribe.

Are any of those horror stories actually true though? Or even plausible? It seems like it would be really, really, really hard to get the timing right.

Comment Re:I hear they're outsourcing it... (Score 1) 200

Actually, all hyperbole aside, my thoughts were "why are they stopping this and why aren't WE in the US doing this?"

It seems like, if you're going to kill people anyway, that there shouldn't be a problem with this. The problem is, are you really going to kill the people anyway? Sure, it might start out that way. Pretty soon though, appeals for prisoners awaiting execution are going to be influenced by arguments that their organs could be saving lives. Same for the criminal trials in the first place. Same with the laws and mandatory criminal penalties, etc. It wouldn't take long for it to become like traffic tickets or civil forfeiture which virtually no-one can argue aren't abused to boost revenues. I was about to write that with prisoner organs it would be a matter of saving lives rather than revenues, then I realized that it's not as if they would just give these organs away, so it would be a matter of revenues after all.

Frankly I don't think it would be too long before people with compatibility factors for rich and politically powerful people in need of transplant organs would find themselves being railroaded off to prison on capital charges.

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