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Comment Re:So by forced, they mean chose (Score 5, Insightful) 174

It sounds like a lose/lose/win... Either you get the phone ringing, taking up your time and business and pulling you away from your customers walking in the door, to the point you change your name... or you take advantage of the opportunity, and open yourself up to being sued for the name.

...or you set up an automatic answering machine:

"Welcome to the Apple Shop. We specialize in cider and cider related products.

If you would like help with your computer, press 1.

For any other enquiries regarding cider products, press 2.

...

1. "The Apple Shop does not sell computer products. Please wait to be transferred to Apple customer service in Norwich. You will be charged 30p for this transfer."

2. "Apple Shop. Hello, how may I help hou?"

There, FTFY.

Comment Re:'Sup Dog? (Score 1) 252

Yo, I heard you like to put text editors in your friends' text editors, when you hear that they like text editors, so they can edit text while they're editing text. Here's a text editor you can put in the text editor you put in your friends' text editors, so you can put text editors in text editors while putting text editors in your friends' text editors which they can use to edit text while they edit text.

Comment Re:A real-name policy is GOOD for privacy (Score 1) 85

Let's give a 5 year old a really sharp knife. With a really sharp knife, the kid can't delude himself, thinking it's a toy when it's not. With a really sharp knife in his hands, the danger is rubbed in his face so he doesn't forget it, ever, after he stupidly puts the blade in his mouth on an assumption that it's a popsicle. Not.

The flaw in your argument is this: There will always be a whole bunch of inexperienced people on the internet, and they shouldn't be penalized permanently just to teach them a lesson (you think 10 years from now, everybody will know about privacy? What about the kids who are born today, and will be surfing the net 10 years from now? They sure won't know).

Comment Re:Solutions, not problems (Score 1) 130

The immediate problem with the EFF's proposal is that there are lots of coding languages out there, at varying levels of abstraction and convenience. Do you have to submit a program in C, or can you submit a program in Matlab, or maybe is a UML diagram enough? In fact, it can be argued that the formal lawyer-speak that is used for describing patents today are already a form of executable code, that is intended to run on a patent examiners' hardware.

Then there's the question of what should the outputs and inputs look like. If say I patent a method of optimization, ie to find the maximum of a function. Should I write a small test program that uses my method to find the maximum of the curve y = x - x^2 ? That's a trivial problem that merely _illustrates_ one trivial application of the claimed method. It doesn't even _prove_ that my claimed method of optimization is bug free, since it might well give the wrong value for some other function that I conveniently didn't code for. Now think about how a patent on face recognition could be coded up...

No, patents are simply a bad idea, and should not be granted, period. Any interim suggestions to improve the signal to noise will only encourage the pro patent lobby. If requiring code turns out to improve patent quality just a tiny bit, they'll use that to claim victory: "see, patents aren't evil, the rules just have to be tuned a little bit".

Comment Re:Err ... (Score 0) 230

Not all awards are for risking ones life.

Yeah, we know. And these days, all kids are winners and get medals just for showing up at a sporting event. That's what's wrong with this country. It's all feel good crap and devaluing genuine excellence, because god forbid some fat loser might feel left out.

I'll get modded down for this, but those drone pilots and keyboard cowboys _should_ feel left out. They're doing work that any 15 year old kid could do if you told them it was just a video game. That's not impressive, that's not medal worthy. If they want recognition of their peers, they should get off their ass and become real fighter pilots, or real tank commanders, or real platoon leaders and _then_ do something medal worthy. People do it every day - hell, even in real life there are cops and firefighters out there who deserve their medals.

When you promote mediocrity, then you _encourage_ mediocrity.

Comment Re:Who owns the asteroid? (Score 0) 265

so the materials wouldn't be taken back to earth, they'd be used in space.

Like I said, it doesn't matter where they'd be used. As long as the metals remain on the asteroid, their actual value is zero. It's only when delivery occurs to some client who pays for them that their actual value becomes nonzero. That client takes delivery some place convenient, where it's going to be cheaper to steal/confiscate/tax those materials. Thus, there's no need to control mining operations all the way out there.

BTW, it's only expensive to send raw materials up the gravity well. It would be rather cheap to deliver raw materials such as metals from space down to Earth, albeit quite dangerous if the reentry trajectories are miscalculated.

Comment Re:Various reasons (Score 1) 736

There's a bunch more reasons, but namely the progress bar's main purpose is to show you that the whole system isn't locked up, which they've been doing well for the past 30 years or so.

Well put. When faced with a tool that has been around for 30 years, the question shouldn't be "why is that tool still failing to do X?". The mere fact it's been in use for 30 years shows that it's doing _something_ right. So the question should be "what has it been doing right which can explain why it's still around after 30 years?"

Comment Re:Who owns the asteroid? (Score 2) 265

Why would anyone stop them? Just wait until they try to bring any of it back down to Earth (*), and then take it off them by force.

(*) or anywhere else they would want to send the metals. Basically, metals are useless if they stay on the asteroid, and they can only become valuable if they are brought to some location where there are (or will be) people. Take the stuff off them wherever that is.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs???? (Score 1, Funny) 120

Well, Steve Jobs didn't want a keypad on his iPhone, so I guess he didn't think it was cool enough for a phone, directly contradicting John Karlin's life work in the psychology of telephone design. But we know Karlin was cool too, so now there's the obvious question, who was cooler? Because I need to know if keypads on a phone is hot or not.

Comment Re:A lot of this BS is just Daniel Berg's fiction (Score 1) 266

Why should you ask me whom you should trust? I know whom I trust, and I expect you to know whom you trust. Trust is a personal thing, a device that helps you organize your own knowledge. Facts are external, verifiable things.

In any discussion, feel free to complement any verifiable facts being discussed with other verifiable facts you know are missing and relevant. Others will appreciate your effort.

Comment Re:A lot of this BS is just Daniel Berg's fiction (Score 1) 266

At that point, how do I know he didn't leave out other important data which completely changes the meaning of the data?

The same way you know *anything*. All facts are incomplete in some way. You go through the facts *you* have and make sure they are all consistent. Any inconsistencies get put on a separate pile to be questioned or ignored. As time goes by, new facts emerge, and some of these allow you to move some things from one pile to the other.

You didn't think critical thinking was something you can just get by watching a TV program and drinking beer, did you?

Comment Re:A lot of this BS is just Daniel Berg's fiction (Score 3, Insightful) 266

I'd mod you up if I could. The media focus too much on personality cults, and will try to create them if they don't exist. That misses the point completely. Only facts create a strong reason for people to act. One guy's personality alone doesn't.

Wikipedia's great contribution is to be among the few outlets that give us raw unadulterated facts, not some journalist's idea of a good story. As long as they continue to do this, they deserve full support. Nothing else matters.

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