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Comment Re:An example of this (Score 1) 115

No more pointless than the original activity. Coding AIs is its own form of entertainment, and if you enjoy that more than minesweeper (Who doesn't really? Minesweeper? Ugh!) you've successfully entertained yourself for a significant chunk of time. And maybe improved your coding skills a touch.

Comment Re:Of course it protects the small investor (Score 1) 267

The landscape may have changed, but the law has not. I was speaking to the law.

This cuts to the core of my original ('poor attitude') comment. International royalty / licensing fees increased from US$2.8 billion in 1970 to US$27 billion in 1990, and to approximately US$180 billion in 2009 – outpacing growth in global GDP. When you have a nut that skips an order of magnitude every decade, based upon intellectual property alone, we're left with crazy disparate ownership of IP on the side of businesses.

IIRC, around 1980, only about 60% of US companies were IP based. Now its over 95%. Basically, the entire US economy now runs on IP. Its not individuals who are benefiting from this increase in business owned IP. Enforcing your patent, on a big business, is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. They would likely settle out of court, or bury you depending on how much your asking for, perhaps both. Yes, the law is on your side if you are victim of legitimate patent infringement, and in the 1980s, you might have had a shot at enforcing your patent, up to and including jury trial. But now, the court system itself is where enforcement of ownership now comes to die, instead of an reasonably affordable and speedy trial.

Its turned into a poker game, where big business holds all the chips, and individuals barely have enough for the blinds to even play.

Comment Re:Of course it protects the small investor (Score 2) 267

On the other hand, if you saw something you thought could be improved and worked on it in your own time, that is yours.

Until you realize that the court fees will bankrupt you because you're being sued by McDonald's. I think this thread has totally lost the spirit of the article.
If you patented an invention that was remotely related to McDonald's, while on the clock or off the clock, while being employed by them or not; you LOSE in court. Period.

Comment Re:"Real World" conditions (Score 1) 700

When was the last time you got the MPG that your car's manufacturer promised? If you answered anything other than "never", either you're lying or you live in some wacky parallel universe where all roads run downhill.

Actually in three different cars with manual transmissions I've driven. I commuted about 55 miles each way in primarily flat, highway driving, and could repeatably beat the EPA figures in Fall and Spring. The best was a Saturn SL2 with a manual, which could easily beat the manufacturer by 4-5 mph. Of course snow/ice/AC and all bets are off.

Comment Re:CEO Switchout (Score 1) 700

You know the same things affect endurance in standard cars as well, right? Windows-up vs. down, wind, air-conditioning/heating all have sizable effects on range, and you just get a feel for how it drives in your area. It's really estimating by neural network, but it works.

Of course, range is a bigger issue due to fewer fueling stations for a Tesla, but the estimation of range is actually easier (electricity doesn't vary in octane, for instance.)

Comment Re:Who cares if we are hungry... (Score 1) 419

It really depends on how high the standard is for a lie. Unambiguously incorrect statements are easy to come by:

"The entire north polar ice cap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade." [1]

Clearly not true; the percent gone was actually closer to 24%, and the worst-case projections only show the ice cap nearly disappearing in summer. OTOH, I'm not about to call them lies either; 40% would have been right two years earlier, and I can see forgetting to mention the detail about being ice-free only in summer. Furthermore, that was in a live interview; easy to make mistakes.

Perhaps more damning would be:
"The melting of ice in either West Antarctica or Greenland would result in a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet in the near future." (From An Inconvenient Truth)

Just no. Projections of sealevel rises of 20 feet tend to be looking at millenia-scale warming; for no conceivable definition of "near future" is that true. Worse, it's actually in a movie; presumably the script was edited with a finetooth comb.

You could argue it's still only twisting the data, as it is based on actual research; but it's based on claiming that research says something it really doesn't, which is roughly equivalent to Monckton's shenanigans.

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