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Comment Re:Simply put... No. (Score 2) 589

They had another V1/V2 countermeasure.

The Germans had no direct way of knowing where each missile hit. They could rely on their calculations, which were not going to be reliable in predicting the impact site, or gather information on impacts from what intelligence they could access.

Therefore, by working with the newspapers, reporting V-weapon attacks, they reported impact zones significantly different from the real ones, to pull German aim from London to the countryside.

Comment Re:iterative innovation (Score 1) 417

The transistor was a fundamental invention, okay, but in the 1960s the visible impact was small radios. Sure, computers used ICs, but computers weren't all that important to daily living. They were commercial infrastructure and research tools, nothing more.

The laser was a fundamental invention. For quite a few years, it was a lab instrument only, useful in doing some research. Holograms were a neat thing, and if you could get access to the right sort of lab you could see one yourself.

There have been a fair number of things invented recently that have no current commercial use. That doesn't mean none of them will be seen as groundbreaking around 2030 or so.

It's also possible to create new things without fundamental inventions. There's a device in my shirt pocket that really has nothing fundamentally new in it (materials are better, the battery is a new sort but still just a battery, some of the manufacturing techniques are revolutionary, that's all), and it accesses a system that's a scaled-up version of stuff we had decades ago. It gives me fast access to a tremendous amount of the world's knowledge, and that is a fundamental change.

Comment Re:The USPTO is holding roundtables (Score 1) 211

Sure, you can express any program mathematically. In doing so, you're going to lose concerns like performance (in other than the O() notation; and that doesn't necessarily hold; expressing a program as a Turing machine can increase the time complexity noticeably), maintainability, reliability, accuracy, and other things. Moreover, a program is easier to understand as a program than the equivalent mathematics.

Similarly, you can express a machine with the laws of physics. In doing so, you lose concerns like ease of manufacture, reliability, accuracy, etc. It's also easier to understand one as a machine than as laws of physics.

Software is to computer science as machines are to physics.

Comment Re:Great.... (Score 1) 272

You do realize that at least 99.99% of potential customers would have absolutely no use for that information, I hope. Is it your contention that Apple store employees should be able to answer any product question that could come up out of ten or a hundred thousand customers? Or are you simply saying that your questions are more important than those of the other 9,999 or more customers? I a geek, and I know what most of your questions mean (I'm really fuzzy about this "audio driver impedance" thing), but I don't care about any of them.

There are several things you can do. You can see if you can find specs on Apple's website. You can probably ask questions on an Apple support site. You can hit Google and see if any other person has found out the information, because the Net in general and Google in specific are very good at allowing one-in-a-millions to get together. You can bring your own headphones and ask to listen to the audio output. If you can't judge the audio from listening to it, it really can't make that much difference.

You are going to be disappointed if you think that the world should wrap itself around you, or your point of view. Accept that you have unusual information needs that don't concern anybody else who's been in that Apple store this year, and don't expect people to know exactly what you want them to.

Comment Re:Bought it yesterday (Score 1) 241

Because self-publishing is getting easier and easier. It used to be that making a book involved tons of expensive equipment, and it wasn't generally worthwhile to make small quantities, so it made sense to hire professionals to do the actual book design. Nowadays, you can provide a computer file to an on-demand printer.

It's still something of a niche case, but self-publishing in some manner has become extremely popular.

Comment Re:The microsoft problem (Score 1) 196

How about the ability of an OS to use all Windows-compatible software, and the ability to get the computer without OS as cheaply and conveniently as one with Windows?

For many Windows-compatible products, I can do as well or better on Linux (one example: the kernel). For many, there is no satisfactory FLOSS equivalent. This is particularly true of a lot of niche products, which can be crucial to many businesses. Also, many people need something Microsoft-Office-compatible, and there is no such thing. Other office suites might suit them better for their own work, but they need to exchange Word documents with others.

If I need a computer now, and go to a store, I've got a choice of Windows, and maybe MacOSX. I haven't found a local store that stocks Linux or no-OS computers. If I shop on line, I am a lot more likely to get what I specifically want for at least as low a price if I buy it with Windows, wipe it, and install the Linux distro of my choice. I'm not allergic to putting my own desktops together out of components, but I'm not assembling my own laptop.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 136

It's a marketing thing. The Apple image isn't consistent with getting porn FROM Apple. If you use Mobile Safari to get porn, it isn't coming from Apple. Apple isn't trying to stop people from getting porn, they're stopping people from getting it from Apple.

This is one of the disadvantages of maintaining a walled garden: if everything there has to be approved, every approval and disapproval has political and marketing impact.

If you want to change this, you need to convince enough of society that porn is a good thing, and that somebody supplying good-quality porn is looked on favorably. If you can accomplish that, I guarantee that Apple's porn policy will publicly change, about as fast as it went from "web apps are really all you need" to "here's the iOS SDK, submit your apps to the App Store".

Comment Re:Patent troll? (Score 1) 259

Okay, you come up with a patented idea that will be worth tens or hundreds of millions, once it's up and going. Since you're trying to implement it, or something, you can only pay $5K. Big Company, Inc. copies everything, makes tens or hundreds of millions, pays you $100K.

Comment Re:Cue Alarmists (Score 1) 468

The greatest predicted temperature increases are in the northern taiga forests and tundra. That would make a lot of arable land.

If it's warmer, will it be usable farmland? Have there been any studies?

Usable farmland has to have halfway decent soil, not-too-awful soil chemistry, reasonable amounts of water, that sort of thing. Has somebody done a study on random taiga, to see if all it needs is to be warmed up?

There's no evidence that anyone has been inconvenienced by AGW.

All over the world, we've been having a large amount of weird weather, some of it destructive. Hurricane Sandy is a good example, and the flooding was exacerbated to some extent by rising sea levels, which are due to global warming. Now, we can't definitively point to any given incident and say it's because of global warming, but the theory predicts wonky weather, we get lots of wonky weather, and some of it has been pretty darn inconvenient. All together that amounts to evidence of inconvenience.

One problem with the climate change going on is that we don't know what specifically is caused by global warming and what's just flukes (until, of course, it's Too Late). That means that people who have some interest in denying its effects have no difficulty in doing so.

Comment Re:My Question (Score 1) 175

It was probably not a good idea to involve himself because of his condition, but I imagine he probably had little idea of exactly what sort of pain he would call down on himself.

He did what he thought was right regardless of the depression, and that takes guts and determination. He presumably thought he could take whatever the authorities threw at him, and either underestimated it (the prosecutor was piling on disproportionate pressure, AFAIK), or his ability to resist. In any case, I have to admire him.

It's quite possible that he was headed into deeper depression when he killed himself. That can make suicide very tempting, and if he wasn't sure he'd be free to do so later I can easily imagine him taking the only sure preventative action.

Comment Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (Score 1) 377

It surprised me when I learned that Federal law was different in different places. How it works is that the Circuit Courts make rulings on ambiguous parts of the law (and there are almost always ambiguities) and they aren't necessarily the same. Unless and until the Supreme Court rules or one or both Circuit Courts change their minds, the law is different.

I got this from a friend who worked in accounting for a large company, and complained about having to keep dual accounts, one by federal law in the circuit Florida is in, and one by federal law in the circuit Minnesota is in.

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