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Comment Re:Scotland just announced a post-Brexit independe (Score 1) 550

But Scotland isn't a new entrant. They are already members of the EU, albeit through association with Great Britain. If Scotland votes for independence the EU can just interpret that not as the UK leaving and Scotland applying as a new member, but England leaving while Scotland retains it's current membership.

As I understand article 50, legally it's too late for that. Even if Scotland got independence tomorrow there is no provision to abort the exit process and if an agreement is not reached the treaties expire automatically. They can get more time, but only by an unanimous vote by the council. Other than that "If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49." where article 49 is the general application process. Which means Scotland would essentially have to qualify as a new country. I'm sure that if Scotland acts quick enough the EU could fast track the process so the beginning of their membership starts as the UK's end, but to formally follow the Lisbon treaty it'd probably have to be "new" which means they'd have to fulfill the current eligibility requirements. Besides the EU would probably want that, they hate the special deals some countries have.

Comment Re:Europe is the one that should be scared. (Score 1) 550

Not only have Europe's demographics been utterly destroyed, but their overall EU economy and that of the member states is in utter turmoil. Greece has been a disaster for about a decade now. Spain is only slightly better off than Greece. Italy is barely hanging on. There are numerous banks, including at least one in the economic powerhouse of Germany, that are on the brink.

Sorry, but this is pretty much made up. Unemployment peaked around end of 2012 and is for the EA-19 (eurozone) now within 1% of the normal levels in the early 2000s. The full EU-28 is actually doing even better. Yes, a lot of big spender economies had to change things when Germany refused to let inflation run rampant but it also meant the government stopped skimming value from the private sector through printing money. All the other PIIGGS except Greece have sweated it out and taken steps to cut down public debt.

And despite what you might hear about Greece, they're a fart in the whole EU economy. Germany alone could clear out their entire public debt by increasing their debt/GDP ratio from 67% to 77%, still very much within financially solid levels. They just don't want other countries running around with credit cards and sticking Germany with the bill. I too have a great many concerns about the future of Europe culturally and demographically, but as an economic bloc the EU is doing just fine.

Comment Re:Scotland just announced a post-Brexit independe (Score 2) 550

Scotland just voted to have a post-Brexit independence referendum. Without Scotland, there is no UK. Just the greater Welsh Hegemony.

Well it would get interesting as the EU doesn't let new entrants in on legacy deals. It's the euro, Schengen, full package if Scotland wants to rejoin. Which would mean they'd have to leave the pound and put real border control on the UK border.

Comment Re:If I owned it (Score 1) 53

I install qBittorrent about once every six months, then uninstall it again because it just doesn't do what I want it to do (specifically in terms of the interface and its handling of RSS feeds). I actually kept it installed for a while before died, specifically because it was whitelisted there.

May I ask what you feel is missing? It got an RSS feed reader, you can set up automatic download filters - simple and regex, pick what feeds each rule applies to, you can set quite a few other options for your RSS downloads than your regular downloads. I see it doesn't really have a smart filter to prevent multiple versions of the same episode from getting downloaded, but usually I just amend the filter until there's only one version in practice.

Comment Re:Too Late? (Score 2) 53

What is going to make the next version of uTorrent preferable to what's already there? I'm thinking that uTorrent's best days are behind it, and as long as 2.2.1 lives on Oldversion or OldApps, that is its legacy.

That's what I'm thinking too, I switched to qBittorrent that is open source and... it's done? Or well I see there's lots of tiny little enhancements and bugfixes in the release notes but honestly I can't think of a single noticeable change in the last couple years... nor any that I'd want, really. They'd have to pull off some entirely new non-torrent downloading functionality out of the hat to make me go back to uTorrent, which then begs the question.... why is it mixed up with uTorrent in the first place? Then again, looking at my peer logs a lot of other people use it (and by far most use 3.4.9), so I guess they have an audience. Whether they have one that'll let itself be monetized, well... whatever. There's plenty good alternatives if they get intrusive or obnoxious.

Comment Re:What will happen to humans? (Score 1) 373

What will happen to humans displaced by these robots? We live in a society that expects everyone to work, but what will happen when there are no jobs? Crime? Extreme poverty? Mass protests? Political or religious extremism?

Probably all of the above, to some degree... but there's still huge differences between Russia 1917 and Greece 2017. Maybe Venezuela is getting close to the "fuck it, I got nothing to lose" level but as long as society is keeping people from really hitting rock bottom I think most poor people will simply be poor. Absolute poverty is in strong decline, the "third world" isn't nearly as primitive as it once was, even if the US middle class has been stagnant since the 70s the world hasn't moved backwards. Just like if global warming kills the Gulf Stream some places can get colder, not warmer - it's the big picture that counts.

Consider it this way, even if you're really poor the OSHA won't let companies kill you at work. The FDA won't accept dangerous food, you probably have clean hot and cold water, decent sanitation and so on. Medical science moves forward, people live longer and longer. Building codes keep getting stricter, cars safer and my impression is that people throw more and more away because they don't like it anymore or it looks a bit shabby, not because it's broken or useless. If you just accept being a bum and collect cheap or free second hand stuff from thrift stores and flea markets and eat Ramen noodles you might not be living it up by today's standards, but it's nothing like being genuinely poor 100 or 200 years ago. Or the worst hellholes today.

So 43 million Americans are on food stamps today, if we get (more) robotic tractors, robotic delivery vans, robotic shelf stockers, robotic checkout counters, robotic this, that... people go out of a job, some get new work others go on welfare. And if you think that's a problem, you can always replace one bulldozer with 1000 people with a spoon... it's not worth creating jobs just to have jobs. Expect it to be just barely enough to calm the masses though, it won't be given freely or easily. But I doubt they'll let it slide so far that people take to the streets with "give me UBI or give me death" slogans, there's always the "viva la revolution" or "Soylent Green" endings. But I think "bread and circus" is more likely.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 4, Informative) 260

Seriously though, how can a golf ball have 11 patents on it?

Read Costco's reply to the court, in which each patent is listed along with Acushnet's claims and Costco's rebuttal. You can look the patents up online at the USPTO web site. Let's look at a few, shall we?

Patent# 6,994,638 - Golf balls comprising highly-neutralized acid polymers.
A golf ball comprising a core comprised of a polymer containing an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt, a cation source, or a suitable base thereof, the core having a first Shore D hardness, a compression of no greater than about 90, and a diameter of between about 1.00 inches and about 1.64 inches; and a cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, or cationic ionomers.

What is claimed is:

1. A golf ball comprising: a core comprising a center and an outer core layer, the center comprising a thermoset polybutadiene rubber composition having a first hardness; and the outer core layer comprising a polymer comprised of an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt of the organic acid, and a cation source or a suitable base of the cation source; and having a second hardness; and an inner cover layer and an outer cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, polyurethnnes, polyureas, polyurethane-ureas; polyurea-urethanes; or cationic ionomers; wherein the first hardness is from about 50 Shore A to about 55 Shore D and first hardness is less than the second Shore D hardness by at least about 10 points.

Here's Costco's rebuttal:

11. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,994,638 (“the ’638patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 1 of the 638 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS golf ball do not constitute infringement of claim 1 of the 638 patent, however, because, among other things, the Shore D hardness of the center core of the KS ball is not “at least about 10 points” less than the Shore D hardness of the outer core.
12. The 638 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Patent No. 6,468,169 and other prior art publications and activities

Clearly, a lot of chemistry work went into this patent to make the balls have a certain elasticity. Costco says that their balls do not have the same properties, therefore they did not infringe upon this claim.

Here's another:

Patent# 8,123,632 - Multi-layer golf ball
Golf balls consisting of a dual core and a dual cover are disclosed. The dual core consists of an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition.

Here's the claim in question:

"17. A golf ball consisting essentially of: an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and having a diameter of from 1.100 inches to 1.400 inches, a center hardness ( of 50 Shore C or greater, and an outer surface hardness of 65 Shore C or greater; an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition and having an outer surface hardness (H.sub.outer core) of 75 Shore C or greater; an inner cover layer formed from a thermoplastic composition and having a material hardness (H.sub.inner cover) of from 80 Shore C to 95 Shore C; and an outer cover layer formed from a composition selected from the group consisting of polyurethanes, polyureas, and copolymers and blends thereof. "

While a multi-layer golf ball is nothing new, this patent builds on an older patent for a multi-layer ball. Acushnet claims this is a new innovation that Costco violated. Costco claims otherwise:

15. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,123,632 (“the ’632 patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 17 of the ’632 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS ball do not constitute infringement of claim 17, however, because, at the least, the surface hardness of the outer core of the KS ball is not 75 Shore C or greater.
16. The 632 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Publication No. 2007/0281802 and other prior art publications and activities.

So Costco again says that because their balls don't have the same properties, they aren't violating this patent. This is all pretty standard legal wrangling.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 1) 260

Just another reason to SHORTEN the length of patents for none drug inventions. There is NO reason on earth that a patent on a golf ball needs to be 20 years

Why not? Is the research into the aerodynamic characteristics of a golf ball more or less worthy than the research into the hydrodynamic characteristics of a blood vessel stent? For that matter, someone who keeps active as a golfer is likely to be healthier longer than someone who is sedentary and requires drugs and other medical interventions to live. Certainly you'd agree that the sporting goods companies have done more good for public health than Martin Shkreli ever did as CEO of a drug company.

Research is research, and the law says that inventors can profit from their inventions. I'm sorry you don't like that.

Comment Re:Second rule of business (Score 1) 114

Your business has absolutely nothing to do with what you want to sell... it has absolutely everything to do with what your customers want to buy.

"But we can shift that paradigm! This time, we'll plan better, we just need to educate our consumers."

Well, at least they taught their consumers a valuable lesson: Sony, famously guilty for shitting on the rights of virtually everyone through their crappy DRM-enabled hardware, still sold way more consoles than Microsoft.

Microsoft just has never excelled at building what customers want.

Nokia and everyone else had phones with Java, so Microsoft shipped WinCE phones - that didn't sell.
Apple came out with their DRM-encumbered iPod, so Microsoft followed it up with the DRM encumbered Zune - that didn't sell.
Apple came out with the iPhone with the walled app garden; so Microsoft shipped Windows Phones with a walled garden - that didn't sell.
Steam and Sony and Nintendo came out with DRM encumbered games; so Microsoft shipped the XBox One - that sold quite a few, but sucked.

Their two biggest problems are that they want to use services as license enforcement gateways, and that their stiffest competition to their Software V3.0 is their own Software V2.0. Nothing new in Office has been worth buying upgrades since about 2007, yet they have managed to convince some people to upgrade to Office 2010, 2013, and now Office365.

And people are getting more and more fed up with the constant greed. LibreOffice has caught up to about Office 2007 in terms of maturity, which is good enough for a lot of people and companies. Linux has caught fire in the corporate world, overthrowing WIndows Servers by the millions. Cloud computing is moving companies to outsource their hardware data centers. Azure is competent in this arena, but cloud computing is already close to a commodity - there's not a lot of value Microsoft can add over the other big players.

It's weird, but at the core it's an existential crisis for one of the world's largest companies. They are desperately trying to figure out something to sell that will still be in demand 10 years from now.

Comment Re:The are cashes FOR hard drives (Score 1) 109

Intel dabbled in this (as did others) years ago when SSDs were too small for most people. As far as I know, it was kinda shitty and only kinda worked and everyone abandoned it because hybrid drives were simpler (even though they too sucked) and SSDs kept getting bigger, faster, and cheaper. They called it "Smart Response Technology" when it launched. Maybe it's back? Maybe it never went away? Maybe Windows ReadyBoost has risen from the grave? (I've NEVER seen ReadyBoost in actual use.)

It's the same as far as I understand, just optimized for a lower latency high performance SSD. But to be honest, except for gamers I think almost everyone has space enough on the SSD these days. And even most gamers could if Steam only offered them two storage areas so they could put 1GB on the SSD and the other 29GB with all the media files on a HDD. I've gone all SSD anyway even though it's a waste.

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