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Comment Re: How is Norway going to know? (Score 1) 245

To follow up, and make the point even more explicitly, the same logic holds for foreign currency. if I hold Euros for more than a year and the Euro gets strong, I have to pay cap gains on that profit.

Wait, how does Norway tax foreign currency now? Does Norway treat other foreign currencies as normal income / loss? Were they NOT taxing foreign currency gain at all?

Comment Resolution (Score 1) 271

At one point I got curious about what resolution would have to be before it no longer pays off. So I went to a retailer and looked at 1080p monitors of various sizes from a distance at which I usually look at a screen (36" or so). I found that I can tel pixels for screens larger than about 25" class. So I looked up specs and it seems that my eyes are OK at 100 ppi but not below. So for my screen preference (36"x64") that translates to 3600x6400 resolution. As soon as eyefinity can drive 3 4K monitors at 60 fps from a single card (http://www.tested.com/tech/gaming/456899-triple-monitor-4k-gaming-15-billion-pixels-second/) I will upgrade my computer, buy 3 UltraHD monitors and never have to upgrade again since my eyes are only going to get worse.

Comment Re:Short version (Score 2) 233

I did a five year postdoc. The money is not bad. Above poverty level. If all you do is go to lab, go home to sleep and go to the lab then this is plenty. If you you do _anything_ besides the above two then you are doing it wrong. I put in 100 hours per week for five years with no breaks or holidays and I have a good reputation and a faculty job now. I would have been happy with the former alone.

Comment Short version (Score 3, Insightful) 233

Long article to say: postdoc is a lot of work for low pay and iffy career prospects.

Well duh.

On the flip side, if you are doing it, chances are "a lot of work" is a plus not a minus. As Aldous Huxley said: "An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex." Yes, the pay is low but you get to use someone else's money to fund your research. If you want to worry about science and not administrative issues then postdoc days are the golden days.

Patents

Steve Jobs Video Kills Apple Patent In Germany 100

An anonymous reader writes "Today the Federal Patent Court of Germany shot down an Apple photo gallery bounce-back patent over which Cupertino was/is suing Samsung and Motorola. A panel of five judges found the patent invalid because the relevant patent application was filed only in June 2007 but Steve Jobs already demoed the feature in January 2007 (video). While this wouldn't matter in the U.S., it's a reason for a patent to be invalidated in Europe. For different reasons someone thought the iPhone presentation was a mistake. It now turns out that when Steve Jobs said "Boy have we patented it!" his company forgot that public disclosure, even by an inventor, must not take place before a European patent application is filed. But Apple can still sue companies over the Android photo gallery: in addition to this patent it owns a utility model, a special German intellectual property right that has a shorter term (10 years) and a six-month grace period, which is just enough to make sure that history-making Steve Jobs video won't count as prior art."

Comment Re:This is what the Surface RT should have been (Score 1) 151

Did not want to reply to myself but...
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2048511/hands-on-with-bay-trail-intels-latest-best-hope-for-tablet-relevance.html
This says that prices are likely to drop even lower. With a projected price floor of $200, there is no reason a $300 device would not have a Wacom stylus.
Microsoft horrendously mis-priced Surface Pro.

Comment Re:Holy buzzword Batman! (Score 2) 227

"However, it's clear from this report that most organizations fail to properly consider security risks when making day-to-day business decisions. Changing this will require security professionals to talk to upper management about security risks in terms that are clearly relevant to overall business goals."

Comment Re:They are in such demand (Score 1) 330

Samsung Note 8 is fast and capable and has a stylus with 16Gb. Microsoft's problem is that to make a similarly capable tablet they need 128Gb and a beefy processor. At which point the cost to manufacture becomes prohibitive.
So you can see their failure either as one of not bringing costs down or as one of not making Windows more lightweight. Either way, competing exclusively on the high end is a losing strategy. MS needs a fully functional device at a $300 price point.

Comment Re:They are in such demand (Score 2) 330

That is not exactly true. I would want a Surface badly. However, the only version that has a worthwhile ecosystem of software is the Pro tablet (full Windows version). And the Pro tablet is about 4X overpriced.

If MS came to market with only 128Gb Surface pro, threw in a cover keyboard and priced the package at $300, then it would fly off the shelves. Just becuase they mis-priced the offering does not mean noone wants it.

Comment Re:One word. Steam. (Score 2) 221

Disagree. Most of entertainment is rarely reused and ultimately disposable.
Do I want to replay a game I already played through? Usually no. So I would rather rent it for a few hours (until I win or get bored).
Do I want to watch a movie again after I saw it once? Usually no. So rent makes sense.
Do I want to play a piece of music again? Usually yes, but if it is not available I will shrug and move on. So rent makes sense but it gets borderline. Some people are attached to their music.
Do I want to use a piece of mission-critical software repeatedly? Usually yes, and in many cases if it is not available then productive life is basically over. So DRM-free ownership makes sense.

Comment Re:Oh, erm, groundbreaking? (Score 1) 210

Or the right way: fund invention process publicly (like e.g. the university research system) and then require that all publicly funded work be fully disclosed to the public. Also require that every good made available for sale (no matter who and how invented it) be fully described (including schematics, source code, and operating principle) in freely publicly available document.

This way you have a stream of inventions on-going and no issues with losing the ideas to secrecy. Further, every good on the market is a commodity from the moment of availability and the consumer gets the benefit of price competition right away.

Comment Avoiding bad outcomes (Score 1) 210

One one end of the spectrum is no patents or copyrights. All innovation is either public domain or trade secrets. With trade secrets, people still innovate, but they keep as much knowledge as possible away from the minds of others. This deprives citizens of shared knowledge. The other end of the spectrum is longer terms for patents and copyrights. As the terms lengthen (beyond a generation, beyond life expectancy) this too deprives citizens of shared knowledge.

Comment Why septic is better (Score 1) 93

Sewer systems are complicated. They have to deal with non-fluid debris besides the effluent. Drinking water is much easier to pipe. The sewer pipes only transfer 70%-90% of the effluent to the treatment plant. What leaks out is full of human pathogens. Possibly animal and plant pathogens depending on what gets sent "down the drain". If we have the available soil at a location, we should use a septic system. The septic tank traps debris and kills pathogens. The septic field returns nutrients to the soil. We should install city sewer only where we cannot use septic systems. Alternatively, perhaps someone can invent a modified septic tank to be installed "upstream" of the city sewer connection.

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