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Comment Re:But the real question is (Score 3, Interesting) 139

Actually, a detective who had been investigating the OJ case for 30 or so years came to the conclusion that the probable killer was OJ's oldest son Jason - his son from his first marriage. I think the tile of the book was something like "OJ was innocent and I can prove it".

Allegedly, Jason had been treated for mental illness involving violence at least twice. At the time of the murders he was on probation for attacking his former boss with a knife, out of the set of chef's knives he always carried with him. He was also a friend of Nichole and spent a fair amount of time in her company - On the evening of the murders, she was supposed to be a guest at the restaurant where he was a chef.

The book documented all of his theories in detail (about 600 pages worth) and appeared pretty convincing.

The interesting part is that no one tried to rebut the contents of the book. The people you would expect to care simply ignored the book completely.

It's kind of like the original trial where the defense claimed that the LAPD was bigoted and framed people for crimes they were not guilty of. Then we had the Rampart scandal where a member of the LAPD testified that they were bigoted and framed people and planted evidence to convict the not guilty.

And most of America decided screw the evidence, he's guilty.

Comment Re:Does it or does it not (Score 4, Interesting) 203

In Las Vegas, Circle Park was shut down because some people were feeding the homeless.

(The park had become a place for homeless people to congregate, and there were other problems caused by some of the homeless in the neighborhoods surrounding the park.)

The courts said it was illegal to prevent feeding the homeless so they shut the park down completely.

Comment Re:So how does the US patent system actually work? (Score 5, Insightful) 192

There was a time when parts of the federal government actually did an honest job - most of the time. Drug regulators actually blocked marketing of drugs that were dangerous to your health. The SEC kept crooks from selling dishonest investments. The Bureau of Land Management kept people from buying horses and selling them to slaughterhouses.

Some time in the last thirty or so years, large parts of government (and private enterprise) became thoroughly corrupt.

The patent office is just one more example where a bought-and-paid-for-congress (along with the patent office bureaucracy) modified the rules so they no longer protect the public interest - they protect Corporate America.

  If you have a valid patent, you can't afford to defend it. If some corporation has a completely bogus patent, you can't afford to challenge it.

Read up on the Enclosure acts of the early 18th Century. At this time the aristocracy essentially invented our modern form of private property. Intellectual property is a modern day way of inventing something new - Intellectual property rights that didn't really exist until someone bought the right politicians. Much of it is a form of governmental theft covered up by a concept (patents) that was once honest and a benefit to everyone.

Comment Re:-1, Sensational (Score 5, Insightful) 192

Another brilliant thinker who can't tell cause from effect. The patent system is not broken because of this patent. This patent was approved by the patent office BECAUSE the system is broken.

The article doesn't tell us what to think or how to think. It's just a wake-up for those who are already capable of thinking.

Comment hello -- (Score 4, Informative) 51

This is actually a fairly important discovery. The poster of the article seems to be completely clueless as to why it is important.

Without going into all of the details, being able to predict the shape of proteins is one of the things needed to make nanotechnology fulfill its potential - to build a nanotech "assembler".

If you want all the details you would have to go back to "Engines of Creation" by Eric Drexler.

Proteins of the right shape can be used to create complex structures - anything from a virus to a nano-computer. Construct some RNA, feed it into a cell and get back as many copies of the protein chain as you please.

Do this for several different proteins.

Leave all of these proteins in the same chemical soup and they will combine on their own to form the more complex structuresl

But if you can't predict the shape the protein folds into, you can't get started. This has been a key problem in nano-tech going back to the 1970s.

Comment Re:Big mistake (Score 3, Insightful) 430

Of course, almost none of the liars' loans made by the brokers and banks fulfilled the requirements of CRA, but it makes a good story for those who want to excuse the thieves and blame it on the government.

I know one former investor who lost $3M dollars (75% of his net worth) because of what the banks did to him - and he wanted to blame it on Obama (who wasn't even in office when most of the theft occurred). I wouldn't care that much if you need your deluded beliefs, but your delusions keep the crooks out of jail and that is a shame.

Comment Re:OK, stick a fork in them, they're done. (Score 5, Insightful) 743

Way back in the early days of the Mac, Apple should have been able to rule the world. Unfortunately Apple was run by and anal-retentive asshole who actually tried to rule the world. The Developers and hardware manufacturers who could have participated in Apple's success figured out really quickly that Apple didn't want anyone to share in their success.

So the developers and hardware companies made Microsoft and PC's a success. Apple would have lost out completely, but they actually built a decent graphics display and a few software developers were able to build some very desirable products that couldn't be run on a PC clone.

MS could have run Apple out of the marketplace at any time, but they didn't have to because Apple had already cut their own throats. And the bean-counters were unable to make Apple competitive company again.

When Jobs was invited back (out of sheer desperation on the bean-counters part) he invented the iToys and revitalized a dying company, but in 20 or so years he had never learned a thing and was still an anal-retentive asshole.

Android has already captured 50% of the smartphone market and once it becomes possible for developers to make a buck (without all the walled garden BS) Apple is once again destined for a 5-10% market share - unless the marketing guys for Android think they can make a buck with their own walled garden.

Unless they finally learn something, that high-flying Apples stock might turn into an excellent opportunity for short-sale speculators Rim used to make more money than god. It didn't take much to turn that around...

 

Comment Re:School is worthless... (Score 1) 309

It's almost certain that a technical school associates degree will be worthless as far as employment goes. If it does (by some kind of magic) help you get an IT job, it will most likely be a job that will bore you spitless. In the long term it will be useless for promotion into senior jobs or into management.

If you've been out in the real world for ten years starting on a real education could be personally beneficial, but I wouldn't think of it as a way of getting IT employment (or any other kind of employment). Unless the game has changed again, when you hit age 30 or so they want to replace you with someone younger who will be willing to work 12 hour days for low money.

A full four-year diploma might be a little more helpful. If there is any way you can get into a four-year program at a state institution (with grants or scholarships rather than loans), I would recommend a math major with CS as a minor. That probably won't get you a job directly, but it will be a lot more satisfying.

The person who recommended law was trying to be helpful, but there is currently a crisis among law school graduates who have passed the bar but can't find a job. Getting a diploma in most professional fields is likely to be similar.

Even careers like health care may not be outsource-able, but are likely to be dumbed down. Imagine nurses and physician's assistants with an iToy on their hip that tells them what to do next. Great job if that were what you wanted, but the paycheck may not be there.

If you are currently affording your outrageous tuition with loans, jump ship. If you are paying on your own, put the money in a bank or in your mattress and after a few years you might have enough to buy a place in a small business - if you have self-educated yourself in the meantime.

That's today's advice. It might be better in a year or two or it might be worse. In either case, a bucket full of money can't hurt.

Comment Nice Daydream (Score 5, Interesting) 123

"We" have been here before. Politics never seems to change. The following is a very loose description of a complex process over a few hundred years. It's hardly exact history, but it's reasonably true and close enough for government work.

Somewhere between 1750 and 1850 the Brits invented the Enclosure Acts as a way of throwing people off the "commons" (and off of their own property). It's not the only time when this occurred, but it was significant.

The dumbed-down version is that to keep the crappy little piece of land that had been in your family for a couple of centuries you had to build a fence or plant a hedge around it. Of course the cost of either of these was more than the value of the land.

A lot of people became dispossessed and their decedents wandered the roads of Great Brotain for two or three generations begging and starving. The smart guys sold out for the few pennies they could get and bought a boat ticket to the colonies.

When they arrived, many of them had one simple goal - to find a piece of ground, draw a circle around it, and make sure that no one ever gor to f%ck with them again.

The Native Americans never had a chance.

For those who need the still more dumbed-down version: The 16th and 17th Century British Aristocracy invented property and made sure that they got to keep most of it. Currently, Corporate America invented "Intellectual Property". In order to do this they corrupted the Patent Office and the Patent Court.

Prior to the Enclosure Acts, any peasant could raise a goat or a cow on the commons. It was part of their livelihood for a lot of years. Once they got thrown off their own land and the common land the got the "opportunity" of working for one of the pre-industrial revolution factories.

By the time of the American Revolution, British Manufacturing had become so sophisticated that no one in the colonies had a chance of setting up a competing factory. (Kind of like us and China btw).

And all this intellectual property crap does make a difference. When Lotus sued Borland, claiming that Borland's Quattro Pro spreadsheet emulated the "look and feel" of Lotus 1-2-3, it took ten years to get the judgment overthrown. During that period of time, one of the most creative companies in the US was unable to get financing. The couldn't even sell the company.

By the time they got out from under the judgment, the bean counters wound up in charge of Borland and Microsoft had moved on to the .Net platform. Borland's Delphi was a significantly better RAD development tool than Microsoft ever dreamed of, but by the time Borland was again able to compete, it was too late.
   

Comment Re:About time! (Score 3, Insightful) 140

You can care all you please about the multi-resistant bugs those people are training, but it's mostly a waste of outrage. The bugs are being trained by corporate agriculture, and the residue from those antibiotics are being served up with every hamburger or pork chop you eat.

And at the same time, you are supporting a pharmaceutical industry that charges US consumers as much as the blockaded free market will bear.

In a corrupt system it's silly to pick sides - when there are no rules. there are no rules.

Comment Re:Keep nuclear tech out of the hands of the unsta (Score 3, Interesting) 131

Unfortunately, you can't believe the translations of Ahmadinejad's remarks. He says one thing and the published translation is very often a complete lie. On a number of occasions, he said that the Zionist government of Israel should be abolished (regime change) and this was immediately translated as "Israel should be destroyed".

By the way, Ahmadinejad' is kind of a nut case, but he is hardly the supreme dictator of Iran. He has very little real power. They keep electing him because his major talent is pissing off the US and Israel.

Comment Re:Keep nuclear tech out of the hands of the unsta (Score 1) 131

For a supposedly unstable culture, Iran hasn't declared war on anyone for several hundred years. Iraq, with our encouragement, declared war on them. Israel, on the other hand has been threatening war against Iran continuously and since Israel does have nuclear weapons, they seem to be a lot more of a threat to world peace than Iran.

For all of that, leaving Iran alone might be a "solution", but we have been taking actions like Stuxnet and economic sanctions which amount to a declaration of war by the United States and it's stooges.

They are a different culture and I dislike much of that culture, but I kind of wish my country would stop acting like a third-rate empire and begin living up to our professed ideals.

Comment Lets hear it for the "free" market (Score 2) 180

The free market doesn't work that way. What would happen is that some private equity firm would start a deal to sell new taxicabs to any schmuck who thinks he can make a living driving a cab. Once the contract is signed, the new owner/entrepreneur is locked in. If the market shows less demand for cabs, he can't quit. Well actually he can, but the payments continue. Then they foreclose on his cab, drive him nuts for the next few years with a deficiency judgment, and sell the cab to the next schmuck who didn't hear what happened to the first guy.

The free market is a great system as long as you keep your gonads out of the hands of the kleptcrats.

Comment Re:Attributation (Score 1) 292

The original idea was badly stated and your response was clueless. When the police catch a burglar, on of the things they do is to take every open case in their file cabinet and blame it on the guy they caught. It improves their solved case average even if there is no way the guy is to blame for the other stuff.

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