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Comment Re:Wow! Just Wow! (Score 1) 354

That happens all the time.

I am just about to cash in a large chunk of stock I got for being on a company's letterhead for four years.

They had a scheme that they were looking to do, they needed to line up investors. My name showed the investors that they had the necessary experience and knowledge on tap if they required it.

Once they were funded the actual work was done by the guy i told them to get to do the actual work, which was the plan all along.

The problem here seems to have been fraud. And you could sue for that in Texas or any other state where the laws are written to help employers exploit low paid positions.

Its like the GOP rep who just went to congress and is upset that his health insurance does not start on day one after spending a year campaigning against public healthcare. Those rules are only for the little people like you. He wants his government healthcare but if you get sick you are going to die and the miserable bastard wont care. He is also going to make sure he gets his government pension even as he plots to spend your social security pension fund giving tax breaks to wall street bankers (who else earns a million a year). This guy is not the type of employee the laws are meant to allow to be treated this way.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 354

I think Segate should be held liable but the amount is highly suspect. If the skills are in demand he is going to be able to find employment after a one year break without difficulty. Women take one year career breaks and longer all the time. The problem might well have been that TI are not willing to take him back if he might leave and take proprietary knowledge with him. But that amount might have inluded punitive damages. We dont know what the evidence was in court.

Comment Re:What are the negative consequences? (Score 1) 436

Precisely

In what universe does dropping support for future versions of Java stop existing products from running?

The eclipse developers know that a very large fraction of their users are Mac based. It would not surprise me if a majority of their users had a mac laptop. When I go to IETF these days over three quarters of attendees have MacBooks.

So why would the eclipse maintainers switch to a version of Java that stops people running on the Mac?

Jobs knows that he has the market power here. If Oracle wants future releases of Java to be viable they are going to have to support the Mac platform. So either they are going to have to put more of their own money into it or they are going to have to open up the Java platform with a genuinely open license, not this license that claims to be open but lets them sue people.

Comment Re:What are the negative consequences? (Score 1) 436

Last time I installed a Java application it was a three phase install. First I had to download the app, then found out that I had the wrong VM and then had to hunt to find the right one. It was a total waste of my time.

When are people going to wake up and realize that Java has become a proprietary platform that is only as open as Larry Ellison decides it should be?

Apple, Google and Microsoft have all had run-ins with the owners of Java now. That makes all three of the market leaders. Something is going to have to give before long.

When Java first appeared, the reason it was interesting was that it was the first language you could teach a course in structured programming for that was actually useful as a development platform. Before that you had a choice of Pascal which was broken as designed or C which was dressed up assembler. C++ was and still is a poorly designed hack. Objective C only ran on one machine that cost $10,000.

Since then Java has been increasingly confined to server applications. You can't write a good Windows application in Java and you can't write a good OSX application either. So that pretty much confines its use to Linux or server code. Apple stopped their rackmount server product some time ago.

I gave up Java for C# after the Microsoft lawsuit. It was clear to me then that it was a matter of when not if similar suits would be filed against others who might threaten the interests of Sun. Now that they are owned by Oracle, it is clear that we are not going to see the emergence of any data binding technology that might threaten the industry position of SQL.

It will take them some time to realize it, but Apple, Google and Microsoft could make common cause here and develop a next generation language that could superset C#, Objective C and Java and serve as a common platform for the whole industry. This is of course what Microsoft has been attempting with C# anyway. They have even started to take features from F# and the functional programming world.

There would still be major user interface differences of course.

Comment Re: Just to pre-empt it... (Score 1) 408

BTW, every mainstream flavor of Christianity teaches that Satan's fall happened before the Genesis 1 creation did.

That is a rather odd claim, since the opening line is 'In the beginning there was the word and the word was with God and the word was God'. This is almost universally interpreted to mean that God wills himself into existence and existence into existence. There is nothing, not even nothingness before.

Satan is a rather minor character in the Old Testament. I went to a CoE cathedral school and cannot once remember the headmaster (a CoE priest) mention Satan as a literal being in his daily sermons. Apart from Ezikiel and Revelation, Satan makes only incidental appearances and in the early church would interpreted as being the personification of evil rather than necessarily a literal being.

The modern Pentacostal/Evangelical interpretation of Satan is pretty much a throwback to the medieval belief in a constant invisible war between angels and daemons taking place in the heavens which is itself a throwback to the pre-Christian Roman Paganism. Historically, Baal was the God of the Carthiginians who appeased him with infant sacrifices. The Punic wars only ended in 146BC so they would be as close for the Gospel writers as the Napoleonic wars are to us.

What is rather odd about people who think that their belief is rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible is just how much of their central beliefs have no literal basis at all. We are all taught the story of the nativity and the three wise men &ct. The same narrative first appears in about 200 BC as the birth of Mithras.

Comment Re:Just to pre-empt it... (Score 1) 408

No, that was not the point of the reformation at all. The point of the reformation was that Man needs no intermediary with God.

Luther's protests against the corruption of the church were based on practices such as the sale of indulgences and the claim that the intercession of a priest was required for salvation.

Bible literalism is a much later development and mostly associated with the non-conformists which start about a century later.

Comment Re:V-1 with turbojet (Score 2, Interesting) 574

Looks alot like a V-1 or Loon but with hard points on the wings and turbojet instead of pulse jet. So late 50s technology designed with CAD. Probably a 30-40% failure rate on them too, that's standard for first or second generation cruise missiles/drones.

Oh goody, so 60-70% of them will hit their target?

As for late 50s technology designed with CAD, doesn't that describe NATO planes these days? Has there been a major breakthrough since the jet engine? Apart from fly by wire guidance systems which they will certainly be using. .

Comment Re:Oh, the timing of this (Score 5, Interesting) 574

No, it is pretty obvious that Ahmedinejad has calculated that he will gain from provoking a war with Israel. And he is probably right.

His behavior only appears to be irrational if you believe that either Israel would win a quick victory in a war with Iran by itself or that the US would quickly enter the fight to defend Israel in a war that it started against the express advice of the US. I don't think either is very likely to be the case. Iran clearly has a much higher tolerance for civilian casualties. They can accept casualties in the hundreds of thousands while the Israeli government could hardly survive if Israeli casualties reached the low thousands in an unprovoked war that it began without any immediate threat.

China is heavily dependent on Iranian oil. Both China and Russia would come out with uncompromising condemnations of Israeli aggression. The choice facing Obama would be to force an Israeli ceasefire or start World War 3.

it is a fairly obvious trap and it is highly unlikely that Israel is going to fall for it. The consequences would be catastrophic if it did.

Instead, Israel appears to be trying to invite a preemptive strike by Iran on Israel which would be disastrous for Iran for much the same reasons.

Comment Re:US abuse (Score 1) 966

I believe you'll find that Britain and Rome had military bases in far less countries than America does.

Only because the British Empire regarded most of the Empire as British.

At its peak the British Empire covered all of India and Pakistan, most of Africa and much of the Middle East and Caribbean. Plus Canada and Australia. In contrast the US has significant troop concentrations in Japan, Germany, England, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea plus a handful of major naval bases such as Guantanamo and Diego Garcia.

In addition, a British Admiral, Cochrane led the military campaigns which led to the independence of most Latin American countries from Spain and Portugal and there were two invasions of China which might well have turned to occupation had there not been easier ways to obtain the commercial concessions sought.

Comment Re:US abuse (Score 4, Insightful) 966

You don't think that maybe the US and Russian nuclear stockpiles have encouraged the proliferation by other states? Now certainly from the US point of view, the US is safer if other countries do not have nuclear weapons. But is the same true of Iran? We can be pretty sure that the US would not have attacked Iraq if it genuinely believed that Saddam had acquired WMD for the simple reason that he would have been able to retaliate. Iran's nuclear program began in the days of the Shah and was a joint program between Israel, Iran and South Africa. Israeli nukes are made with uranium from Iran. The deal was that Israel would provide the technology (stolen from the US), Iran the uranium, South Africa the test facility. After the Iranian revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeni shuttered the nuclear program. The main reason that it is now believed Iran is building a nuclear bomb is that they would be utter fools not to after George W. Bush's 'Axis of evil' speech, a speech that was widely considered tantamount to a declaration of an intent to attack Iran. One of the predictable consequences of the invasion of Iraq was that it would almost certainly result in Iran restoring its nuclear program. It was also fairly predictable that Iran would emerge stronger with the elimination of its main Shi'ia rival in the region as an effective military force. The Bush administration took a similar line with North Korea. Clinton's approach was deemed to have been 'too soft'. So trash talk took the place of diplomacy and the carefully negotiated deal in which the US paid North Korea not to finish its bomb was reneged on. But only after the US had parted with most of the cash. As a means of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons by unfriendly powers, the Bush administration could hardly have acted more disastrously.

Comment Re:Fundamental technology (Score 1) 197

Should have mentioned that was in '95, plenty of prior art to mine there.

But the claims at issue are likely more complex. It is really easy to point out issues in the independent claims of this type of patent. But when you have to go through several hundred dependent claims it gets reeaaaalllly teeeeeeddddiiiiooooouuusssss. Which is why very few people who have the credibility do that type of work and those who do tend to charge a lot.

Comment Re:Fundamental technology (Score 1) 197

Unfortunately it is not as simple as that. The claims are rather complex and even though the patent is almost certainly garbage, proving it is garbage is going to be very expensive.

I am a professional forensic expert specializing in patent cases. This is unfortunately nowhere near to being the most abusive case I have seen. At least there is no dispute that the defendants were sending email. I have seen cases where the plaintiff clearly knew that there was not the remotest possibility of infringing the patent claims even if valid.

As a matter of prior art, Rohit Khare and I tried to send email via RF on a plane after MCI unwisely gave us both an unlimited calling card which turned out to work on the plane system. We didn't have the adaptor but I know people who did.

The claims in question are likely rather more specific though. Which is where it becomes expensive.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong ... (Score 1) 276

That is what Sun claimed at the time. But if you bother to read the lawsuit you will see that actually Sun abandoned their original breach of contract line of attack and instead were making claims in copyright and trademark law.

The reason for that was that the contract had a clause that specifically prohibited Sun from going to court for an injunction over interpretation of the contract.

Of course you would have known that if you had bothered to actually read the source documents rather than relying on Sun's own claims and flamewars out on Slashdot.

You know it is entirely possible for Microsoft and Sun to both be wrong. The fact that you don't like Microsoft does not mean that anyone who sues Microsoft is automatically doing it for the best of motives or that it is in your interests that they win.

The reason Sun signed the deal with Microsoft was that they needed Redmond's support to make Java the industry standard programming language. The outcome of the lawsuit was that Microsoft would no longer support J++ and the VDM would be frozen for the next five years and eventually discarded. So instead we have four industry standard languages and three object frameworks.

I can't really write code in either Java or C# without portability issues. If I write in Java I can't use the Windows or Mac platforms to the full. If I code in C# I have to wonder if the code is really going to work on other platforms.

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