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Comment Re:This is such great news for son (Score 0) 270

My son is 13 years old and has been training to be a pilot since he was 11. He has taken off and landed a small airplane (with the PIC in the airplane with him, of course) quite a few times.

Really?!? You're kid is flying a plane with a PIC? So, he's essentially being trained to fly by a drone. Is there anything a robot can't do anymore?

Comment Re:Where the guilt is (Score 3, Insightful) 239

Yeah, and if you use the word "stealing" instead of "make infringing copies", that makes the latter sound a lot worse. But here on Slashdot, you're not allowed to do that, yet it's A-OK to redefine other words for our own feel-good* purposes, apparently?

MAFIAA bribery (or "lobbying") resulted in corporations "stealing from the public domain". And they have managed to re-defined "fair use" as "DMCA violations". But you keep using whatever terms makes you feel good about that.


Software Patent Reform Stalls Thanks To IBM and Microsoft Lobbying 239

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington post reports on the progress of a piece of legislation many hoped would address the glut of meaningless software patents used as weapons by patent trolls. Unfortunately, the provision that would have helped the USPTO nix these patents has been nixed itself. The article credits IBM, Microsoft, and other companies with huge patent portfolios for the change, citing an 'aggressive lobbying campaign' that apparently succeeded. Quoting: 'A September letter signed by IBM, Microsoft and several dozen other firms made the case against expanding the program. The proposal, they wrote, "could harm U.S. innovators by unnecessarily undermining the rights of patent holders. Subjecting data processing patents to the CBM program would create uncertainty and risk that discourage investment in any number of fields where we should be trying to spur continued innovation." ... Last week, IBM escalated its campaign against expanding the CBM program. An IBM spokesman told Politico, "While we support what Mr. Goodlatte's trying to do on trolls, if the CBM is included, we'd be forced to oppose the bill." Insiders say the campaign against the CBM provisions of the Goodlatte bill has succeeded. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a markup of the legislation Wednesday, and Goodlatte will introduce a "manager's amendment" to remove the CBM language from his own bill. IBM hailed that change in a Monday letter to Goodlatte.'"

The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks 388

itwbennett writes "Dan Tynan noticed something curious when he was reading a TechCrunch story (about Google's mystery barges, as it happens). There was a banner ad promoting careers at the NSA — and this was no ad-serving network fluke. Tynan visited the TechCrunch site on three different machines, and saw an NSA ad every time. In one version of the ad, a male voice says, 'There are activities that I've worked on that make, you know, front page headlines. And I can say, I know all about that, I had a hand in that. The things that happen here at NSA really have national and world ramifications.'"
The Military

Lockheed Martin Developing Successor To the SR-71 Blackbird 160

Zothecula writes "When the last SR-71 Blackbird was grounded in 1998 it was a double blow. Not only did aviation lose one of the most advanced aircraft ever built, but also one of the most beautiful. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has now revealed that it is building a successor to the Blackbird: the SR-72. Using a new hypersonic engine design that combines turbines and ramjets, the company says that the unmanned SR-72 will be twice as fast as its predecessor with a cruising speed of Mach 6."

Comment Re:US lagging behind in pricing compared to world (Score 1) 356

If any company could lay cable in a town, there would be more competition and better prices.

There is little justification for that position. Instead, it is far more likely that there would be no cable laid or prices would be higher. This sort of infrastructure is known as a Natural Monopoly.

Comment Re:Hey look, it's Commodore and company! (Score 4, Insightful) 42

Oh yes in the 1960s all "lab" grade electronics like power supplies, oscilloscopes, whatevers, came with thick manuals with schematics, part lists and theory of operation as well as the basic user manual.

That's still the norm for many Amateur Radio products. What is missing from many products supplied by the big name manufacturers these days is source code for the embedded MCUs.

Many radios and test equipment used to be available in kit form too. But that has gone away since the advent of surface mount technology. Most Amateurs don't have the equipment, patience or eyesight to do SMT at home. Besides, pick and place robots will assemble a circuit board in minutes, reducing labor cost to a few cents per board. So, instead of saving a bunch of money on hand-built hardware as it used to, it actually costs more to offer kits than it does fully assembled boards. The technical support costs for kits is pretty high.

Comment Re:Boulder vs. SF!? (Score 2) 947

Coming from Boulder to Chicago, the difference is insane. The drivers in Chicago are, by and large, a "me first" crowd. They cut off other cars by driving in the bike lanes. Even Chicago's police regularly park and drive on bike lanes, setting an excellent example for the citizens to follow. Delivery vehicles think nothing of blocking a bike lane. But the issue doesn't end with bad drivers. The city streets are so littered with signs (business signs, parking, no parking, street sweeping, snow route, speed limit, school zone, bus stop, pedestrian crossing, tow zone, one way, no left turn, and then two names plus a state route for some streets!) that it is impossible to read them all, making it very likely that you'll miss an important one (was that a stop sign?!?). Lanes appear and disappear without warning. Did I miss a sign that said this lane was ending? No -- there is no sign. (There was no room for that sign.) And some stop lights are placed where it is almost impossible to see until it is too late to stop. It's really insane. And the natives have no clue how bad it is. Drivers are so distracted by the insane signage and roads, that a bicyclist will get lost in the noise.

Comment Re:The Fine was $12 M, but, (Score 1) 192

Right. So the regulations were clear about Knight's responsibilities. The Knight board hired executives to run the company. Either those executives are negligent because he did not meet their obligations under the law or they was prevented from meeting those obligations by actions of the board. If you are saying one or more executives were ignorant of the law, then the board was negligent in their duty to hire competent executives with the proper industry knowledge. The idea that ignorance or willful negligence is an excuse in white-collar crimes is absurd.

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