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

When I worked for a big R&D firm, their basic rule of thumb was that a patent that you care about needs between £100,000 and £1,000,000 of capital sitting around to protect it. For a big company, you can amortise this, because you are unlikely to need to defend more than a few patents at a time. If someone infringes your patent, and you don't have a million sitting around to take them to court, then your best (financial) bet is to sell the patent to a patent troll that does. The big companies know this, and so won't have a problem infringing patents owned by small companies - if it becomes a problem then they'll offer to buy the company for less than the value of the patent, knowing that the smaller company doesn't really have a choice. They'll also offer very one-sided cross-licensing agreements (license this one patent to us and we'll let you use 10 of ours. Yes, ours are all likely invalid, but it would cost you more than you can afford to get them invalidated in court...).

Comment Re:Um, why? (Score 5, Insightful) 252

Emacs scripting is better than that in vim. Vim's scripting language is an abomination, and although it has some scripting bridges to other languages, they are not always installed and bring in big external dependencies. On the other hand, emacs' user interface works on the assumption that a 105-key keyboard means a 105-fingered user. Being able to use emacs' scripting facilities with vim's interface might be quite tempting.

Comment Re:Idiots gives suspended taxes (Score 4, Insightful) 297

Did they benefit? How many other companies went out of business because they couldn't compete with a big company that had a tax exemption? How much did they actually pay per job (some tax breaks for datacentres have worked out to about $1m of tax exemption per job - even over a decade that's unlikely to be a good deal).

Comment Re:27" FTW (Score 2) 375

A widescreen 27" monitor is fine for portrait windows. I typically have some terminal windows, web browsers, and PDF windows open, and most of them are portrait. The advantage of the landscape monitor is that I can fit them side by side easily. There's easily space for a couple of portrait-A4 windows on the screen for documentation / procrastination and for my terminals floating either below or between them.

The main reason for landscape monitors is that most humans have two eyes that are next to each other. This means that they have a field of view that is much wider than it is tall. You need fewer eye (and head) movements to see all of a wide monitor than a tall one.

Comment Re:Missing option (Score 1) 283

I think that only applies if you drink coffee black

Coffee is black. Milk with a hint of coffee bean is an entirely different drink. Places like Starbucks put a lot of milk and sugar into their drinks to disguise how bad the coffee is, but if you get a decent blend (I'm particularly partial to 50:50 mocha and mysore) then you have a rich - and not too bitter - drink that you can sip enjoyably.

Comment Re:Missing option (Score 1) 283

It varies a lot from person to person. If I forget to drink coffee for a couple of days, I spend a day or two with a splitting headache, no energy, and a sick feeling all over. I'm then fine. Some people have the same symptoms for longer, others just have mild lethargy.

Comment Re:Linux == rounding error (Score 1) 290

Because they understand economics. A good strategy for any industry is to commoditise complementary markets. If you make films, you want the equipment required to watch films to be cheap so that people wanting to spend money on films give the majority of it to you, and the best way of making this happen is ensuring that there are a lot of competing manufacturers of film-playing equipment able to play the recordings you produce. DRM can only work by restricting access to keys that are shipped to clients, so you artificially limit the number of people creating the playback hardware or software. The artificial scarcity reduces competition and pushes the cost up. Worse, it makes the holder of the authoritative keys more powerful. Remember when the iTunes store had DRM for music? Anyone wanting to sell music had to agree to Apple's conditions. The reason the music labels ditched DRM was that it was the only way of breaking Apple's monopoly. The movie studios, with their insistence on Silverlight DRM, are trying to put Microsoft in the same position.

More importantly, it prevents the creation of new and innovative players by anyone other than the existing manufacturers. In under 20 years saw the normal way of playing back music shift from shiny disks to tracks on a large storage device. We haven't seen the same shift for movies, because they had tighter DRM and so there was nothing like iTunes for DVDs (open source tools exist, but any time they are shipped in something that looks like a commercial product the studios sue the manufacturer out of existence).

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