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Comment Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (Score 1) 183

You are assuming that he wants to maximize his personal return. The amount of money is so huge usually they don't worry about maximizing their returns. They usually start thinking about leaving a lasting legacy so they cash out to fund a charity or political organization. Everyone has exactly 24 hours a day. He might decide to spend more time on a cause that is dear to his heart than managing a tough highly competitive business that keeps everyone on their toes.

Comment It is not first to invent, it is first to file. (Score 1) 365

USPTO changed the patent definitions. It is not first to invent that covers patentability. It is first to file. So even if the milkman has invented it first, it is not enough, the first to file will get the patent. If the milkman can demonstrate he had been using it before the patent was filed, he can't be sued for patent violation. But all others folks who can not prove they had been using it earlier, are out of luck.

Well, that is my understanding of the patent law. Hope it is wrong.

Comment Re:I know the English term. (Score 2) 330

This is very much true for many Indian languages. Some languages accept English words transliterated into an Indic script (some variant of Devanagari). But some languages have this "purist" mentality and insist on translating them into their own languages. There is a common joke that one purist of Hindi language translated the word "signal" as, "the machine that makes the vehicle that runs on rails go or stop by showing green or red light". Similarly I have seen in Tamil language the word "bus" translated as "large self propelled vehicle". Now what is going to be the "USB" port? Technology is creating terms and usages at a furious pace that many languages can not keep up with. So at times it makes sense to keep these terms in English.

Anyway, Jared Diamond says in his latest book, in the next 100 years, of the 6000 languages extant today, 5000 will be dead or moribund. So it might not even be worth all that effort to translate it to New Guinean Highland pidgin.

Comment INBD. let German absorb an English word. (Score 2) 330

English is borrowing words and phrases from other languages left right and center. So here is the deal, if there is no short German word for "Cancel", let German accept Cancel as a German word and update its equivalent of OED. English belongs to the old Germanic languages family. Many German words are accepted as English words from the KG level. Look up the origin of KG.

I wish at least the programmers and coders will be less parochial and be more catholic and be open to words/ideas/concepts "not invented here".

Comment What about Caveat Emptor? (Score 4, Insightful) 251

I am no fan of S&P rating agency and what they did was horrendous. There was clear conflict of interest in rating a bond/secutiry/instrument and getting paid by the sellers of the very same instruments. But on the other hand the people who were "duped" by the practice are not tiny small investors, without the means to do independent verification or the means to do due diligence on the rating agencies. Heck, the very same big banks that claim to be "duped" by the inflated ratings given by S&P actively participated in the very same rating rigging scheme. They know very well every body is doing it. These banks that bought the bonds were also repacking the very same bonds and putting them back on the market, and they paid the very same rating agency the very same "commissions" to get them inflated too.

Look, at the height of madness, these derivatives which no one could possibly understand, derivatives so complex even God Almighty could not understand were given the same rating as US Treasury bonds or just a microscopically lower ratings. If these banks really believed the ratings by S&P they would have bought them at the same yields as US Treasury bonds, (or microscopically higher yeilds). But these derivatives were yielding a full percent, and then they were shooting up.

Why? These bastards knew, no matter, what lipstick S&P and Moody's slap on these beasts they are pigs. If small investors were taken in, that lone retiree conserving his/her nest egg, despairing at the ridiculously low interest rates they were getting, buying one lone bond for 12000$ and losing it all, they have my full sympathies, and wish they would be able to take on these bastards and send them to jai.

But, the buyers were the big guys. Why are they buying bonds, whose rating was paid for by the sellers?. Why can't they come up with a plan to pay for the ratings themselves? The bankers could have decided the buyers of bonds would chip in a few dollars and create an agency that will never be paid by the sellers of bonds and would be totally funded y the buyers of the bonds. They still have not done it.

What is playing out in the courts is something like a lovers spat or falling out between the thieves.

Comment ah.. That explains it. (Score 0) 66

I was wondering how the $party [See below to get the value of $party] is able to defy the public opinion and try to impose its autocratic will on the population, despite electoral defeats. Looks like the bubbles they are living in is strengthened by the electricity!

if ( $myparty == "republican") then
$party="democratic"
else
$party="republican"
endif

Comment Virginia has always stood for states rights. (Score 1) 198

Virginia led the confederacy and the secession. CSA's army was called "The Army of the Northern Virginia" for that reason. They will not stand by and have a federal President usurping the authority to kill its citizens without due process. No sir. The Constitution of the United States reserves all the residual rights, not specifically enumerated in the constitution to the states. Thus only the Governor of Virginia can kill its citizens without due process.

Comment 2 billion vs a nickel. (Score 3, Funny) 270

It has been recorded that once a great unix guru tossed a nickel at a hapless engineer and said, "here, get yourself a real operating system".

After some years, another great CEO tossed a couple of billion dollars (and a chair?) and said, "here, don't get yourself a real operating system".

Comment It is worse on the liberal arts... (Score 3, Insightful) 470

Not only every breakthrough that could be made has already been made, it gets worse for the liberal arts. All the Great American Novels that could be written has already been written. Same with great poems, great opera, great screen plays and great musicals. Nothing more to invent. That is all folks. The last guy to leave please turn off the switch.

Comment WatFor77 IDE for fortran in 1984 (Score 1) 181

I used to use a FORTRAN77 IDE in PC-XT back in 1983. It had an integrated editor, compiler, step through debugger. It supported all the ASCII escape character codes to move the cursor on the screen of a EGA display (640 x 480). I wrote a cross-word puzzle grid generator in fortran using it. Move the cursor, click to toggle squares to black/white, with automatic symmetry squares kept in synch. Some minor snow flake simulation, and a Laplace equation solver using finite differences, and a 2D contour plot program. Pretty nice and powerful, for something that runs on a PC-XT.

Comment Come on we put up with gate rape by TSA, (Score 5, Insightful) 800

This is the country that sings "Land of the free and home of the brave". Talk about second amendment and the right/duty of the citizens to guard against tyranny. Then we go to our airports to be gate raped by TSA agents. The lunacy of the procedure is beyond comprehension. There was a picture of a returning war veteran removing his belt and boots to place on the conveyor belt, while a friendly smiling helpful TSA agent was holding his service rifle for him. The stupidity of the situation seemed to escaped both of them.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 2) 472

See here: Apple: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=AAPL+Profile Microsoft: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=MSFT+Profile Some small company with just 600 m market cap: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=RMBS+Profile In each company you get to see the pay of top five people. Some big company exec top five compensation could be larger than the market cap of some small and tiny companies. Actually it could even exceed the GDP of small countries! But all the remaining executive compensation are confidential. There would be more "insiders" who are barred from trading on inside info. All their trades on that company stock must be disclosed. In that process the stock option compensation and stock compensation will become public. But not their base pay, bonus, non-stock compensation, reimbursement to country club memberships, usage of corporate jets, usage of corporate get-aways, use ski resort lodges etc etc.

Again, for each company, no matter how big or how small, the top five executive compensation is public. All the remaining compensation are confidential.

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