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Comment Re:Prototyping (Score 1) 432

case in point
TCP/IP vs OSI

TCP/IP was quickly created by some students and released into the world, and then improved on. OSI was developed over years of specifications before even attempting to be implemented, and then it was so difficult to implement it took years before a working version even existed (I believe it was 7 years before they had a working model in a lab after the spec was finalized, and that spec took forever as well). Networking engineers think OSI is vastly superior from a design standpoint, but TCP/IP does the job and easily controls the market.

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

In this case, I'm not so sure, especially if the software guy wasn't shown the patent in the first place. In 2000, when Micron first filed for the patent, there were no smart phones and few touchscreen "mobile" devices (like drawing tablets - usually those were tethered like a traditional keyboard or mouse). To draw a squiggly (or even as simple as a straight line) to unlock the touchscreen rather than, say, enter a numeric code or a password would seem rather novel. The touchscreens I used back then all had me enter a numeric code to unlock (for instance, my PIN at the ATM for the few that had touchscreens). What could be said is this patent is over-broad, however, as I don't think they meant unlocking in the same way Apple does, as Micron's was meant in lieu of a password and Apple's is meant to prevent butt or purse dialing, not as protection.

For some reason this thread made me think of the figure of speech "patently obvious," in which patently means unmistakeably and not having anything to do with patents.

Comment Re:One Day... (Score 1) 159

North Korea's conditions for a peace treaty would be this
1) South Korea surrenders all of its territory
2) The new Korea is allowed to nuke Japan in retaliation for occupation
3) If America intervenes in the nuking of Japan, they agree to 5 random cities getting nuked in retaliation for each Korean death

Comment Re:So who wants to go visit? (Score 1) 159

Yeah, China is the back door to North Korea just like Mexico is the back door to Cuba. Though I don't personally know anyone that has gone to North Korea, I know personally and have met several Americans that have gone to Cuba through Mexico, many for the diving, which is supposed to be some of the best in the world, despite the fact that under the Helms-Burton act this is a felony (I am fairly sure, as the law is vague and tourism can easily be interpreted as "doing business with Cuba"). What I find funny is Mexico passed a counter-law specifically in response to Helms-Burton that makes it against the law to not allow doing business in a third country. Specifically, that means they can provide tourism and trade cigars and such for Americans.

Comment Re:North Korea does serve as an example ... (Score 1) 159

The truth is, the rights of the people in Korea were gone long before the Soviet occupation of the north - Japan ruled Korea with an iron fist for 75 years before that, and even annexed the peninsula. Human rights were hardly a concern and they were known to torture and imprison anyone that showed any sign of dissent and forced men to do forced labor and woment into prostitution. In a way, Japan created North Korea more than the USSR ever could - all the Soviets really did was prop up the dictatorship and the Koreans took over from there with the only way of life they knew - repression.

Comment Re:Windows 8 and Failure (Score 5, Insightful) 913

My two bits are, after running the 8 betas and using a surface tablet is if you have a tablet with it or even a desktop with touch, it isn't too bad. If you don't have touch, it is a horrible interface paradigm and you need to tweak it to make even the basics usable (not extensive tweaking or anything, but I would go nuts to use it on a non-touch surface as designed).

What kills me is touch surfaces on laptops are insanely expensive, and start around $500 for 780p, and you are still at 780p in the $1000 range. At about $1100, you can find one with touch, 1080p... and Intel dedicated graphics. Somewhere around $1300 start the touch with dedicated graphics. Meanwhile, dedicated 1080p laptops with dedicated graphics start at around $500. Even some tablets have higher resolution and dedicated graphics better than the Intel GMA 4000 (but yes, Intel, you're finally not completely crap). Conclusion? The touch interface has too little bang for the buck at this time, and progress in LCD panels for computers is WAY behind phones (worse resolution, much higher price).

My niece really wants a touch screen laptop with DVD drive. She doesn't care about graphics resolution or hardware. Cheapest I found? $750 with an i5 and 780p graphics. The identical laptop configuration sans touch? $350. Is touch worth $400? Even throwing in intangibles (I don't know the RAM CAS, for instance), does touch add $300 in value? $200? I don't think I could justify more than $100 (and I've seen USB aftermarket for that for TV screens).

Comment Re:A strange game.... (Score 1) 597

Yep - that is exactly the reason - in fact, China ended the Korean War and North Korea didn't have much say in it; China wanted to push on and win the war, but they didn't have the logistics to extend their supply lines beyond Seoul and the mostly US provided UN force had the bombers and the bombs to bomb those supply lines. China probably would have won in the end, but they were looking at a protracted war with millions dead, mostly on their side, and possibly getting themselves nuked in the process for millions more casualties.

North Korea seems to have the delusion that with America out of the picture, South Korea will just fold and reunify under their Dear Leader, or be overrun in a quick conflict like the first time (when the south had a small army of poorly equipped troops and was about as economically powerful as the north is today, which is to say not at all), which clearly isn't going to happen.

Comment Re:A strange game.... (Score -1) 597

China is not too keen on getting into a nuclear war, particularly not on their border, but definitely not inside their border, and it probably was one of the key reasons they chose to end the Korean War rather than continue the conflict with a truce when they had essentially won by driving America back and capturing Seoul. Now that China has nukes of their own and long range missiles, buffer countries really are less important than they once were. Unfortunately, North Korea still desires reunification at any cost, which is why it attacked the first time, and America is still standing in its way. Honestly, even without America's help, I doubt the north can capture the south, as neither side really seems to agree with the other (holding territory would be a bitch, and total army size is basically a wash - they have the two largest armies [with reserves] in the world).

Comment Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (Score 1) 400

Me on abortion - don't care, let states decide
Me on same sex issues - don't care, let states decide
Me on wiretapping US citizens without a warrant - NIMBY, require warrants
Me on weed - don't care, decriminalize federally, end the war on drugs, and let states decide. Federally fund rehabilitation/treatment for drug abuse with war on drugs money. Give no federal funding for prison construction to hold drug offenders (if your state wants to enforce drug crimes rather than treatment/rehabilitation, you pay for the prisons).
Me on fiscal responsibility - this is paramount. Serious austerity needed now.

This is why I don't have a candidate, at least in my state. I voted for a party that vaguely followed those, but they were pro-legalization at a federal level and I am not, and I am in favor of decriminalization of all drugs at a federal level and they were not (and no, not Libertarian - I don't believe in returning to a commodities/gold standard until after the current money has collapsed; I do believe we should have a concurrent currency locked to commodities that can be exchanged for dollars, and use a cash card to make the dollar purchase/commodity sale.

Comment Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (Score 1) 400

I believe the copyright issue was he was protesting JSTOR libraries paying the publisher but not the author. What both of these guys are being raked over the coals with is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), though, which is a 1980s era law that existed before the internet.
this is the criminal code (taken from wiki, but it exists elsewhere):

(2) intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains—
(A) information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or of a card issuer as defined in section 1602 (n) [1] of title 15, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer, as such terms are defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.);
(B) information from any department or agency of the United States; or
(C) information from any protected computer;.

another section makes that last one a little more specific

The CFAA defines a “protected computer” under 18 U.S.C. 1030(e)(2) to mean a computer:
exclusively for the use of a financial institution or the United States Government, or any computer, when the conduct constituting the offense affects the computer's use by or for the financial institution or the Government; or which is used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication, including a computer located outside the United States that is used in a manner that affects interstate or foreign commerce or communication of the United States...

This was meant for ATMs. What it is being used for is terms of service breaches, which is why Zoe Lofgren, D California, has drafted Aaron's Law to ban Terms of Service breaches from using the CFAA.

I personally think the entire law needs to go - if you read the law further, it essentially bans using any computer without authorization, which can be interpreted as making the internet illegal, so congratulations on committing felony wire fraud today along with the rest of us ;)

Comment Re:Injuries? (Score 1) 45

I/my friends did crazy elaborate things in high school too... too bad there was no YouTube back then (or much of an internet), though I think I may have some 8mm movies at my parents' house. I mostly stuck with explosives and smoke bombs, but one of my friends built a portable rail gun that put a 6" nail through a 2x4 board (the 2" side) and fully embedded it into a cinder block (at least a couple of inches deep), and that wasn't even at full power. In fact, the AP physics teacher nixed a full power test, but we did fire it a few times "in the field" - aka in the forest, firing it through an old abandoned car and oak trees. The bad was it weighed about 45 pounds (actually, iirc it weighed almost exactly 20kg) not including the car battery backpack. He made that thing look pretty bad-ass, too, since he had to keep busy in class and essentially had finished the project about a week early (in the aforementioned class, we had a month to create any project we wanted to demonstrating physics - it was a pretty awesome class). Makes me wonder if he still has it, but I haven't been in touch since the late 1990s.

Comment Re:What is this crap? (Score 4, Informative) 390

The thing is, they don't even need SOPA - as it is now, you could read the same 1980s CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) section that was being used to prosecute Swartz even more liberally and make the internet itself illegal because it essentially requires a user to get permission to visit any site (for Swartz they interpreted this section of the law as a violation of Terms of Service).

For that matter, this post is a felony in the United States; under the CFAA, I am technically committing wire fraud by using an alias to (falsely) represent myself. Yep, the CFAA wording is that broad - if we had internet in the 1970s/80s (a failed precursor existed in 1979), we'd have killed it with a massive protest.

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