Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 106

and really, we're better off that way.

Photographic and video evidence are already incredibly compelling. We don't need some forensic expert telling the jury it can't be faked. We need the photographer telling the jury he didn't fake it.

Comment Re:Top Gun (Score 2) 252

National currency is overrated, you just have to have a good bond rating. With a good bond rating it doesn't matter whether you fire up the printing presses because that Sword of Damocles means you wont. Without a good bond rating it doesn't matter whether you can print your own money or not, no one will lend to you in your own currency without collateral.

For that matter, nukes are overrated too, you just need a friend that has one.

Germany is doing pretty good without either, Pakistan, not so much with both.

Comment Re:Top Gun (Score 2) 252

You mean the one that stopped being good law during the Carter administration?

The only thing sillier than the assertion that a dead treaty would draw us into combat with China is the idea that China has any interest whatsoever of stirring that particular pot of worms. The only thing China has been interested in for about two decades now are markets for its labor force. Sure China likes takes the opportunity to use Taiwan for some elaborate posturing, but there is no way it would risk its economy over that tiny island.

If the Shanghai factories can't ship lawn chairs to Walmart, China falls from the inside without the US launching a single cruise missile.

Comment Re:Too big to fail doctrine (Score 1) 105

The whole point of this case is that patents aren't subjected to a presumption of validity. The law, as it currently stands, is that it is jurors job to decide whether the patent office was right or wrong in granting a patent by a preponderance of the evidence. If SCOTUS rules for microsoft, it may change that and give patents a presumption of validity.

What I said in the GGGP is that this is really irrelevent, because while the law may say that jurors are to basically give no presumption to the patent office's judgement (i.e. they decide a patent's validity based on the preponderance of the evidence) in reality, juries already strongly weigh the PTO's decision so effectively it already takes "clear and convincing evidence" to invalidate a patent.

Comment Re:"It won't matter to juries" Juries still matter (Score 1) 105

well, the E.D. Tex. is chosen by plaintiffs least as much for the speed at which litigation is resolved (which is nominally a good thing and a function of judges) as for the jury pool. Additionally while E.D. Tex. has very knowledgeable judges on patent issues, if you are a senior user it is very open to debate whether you want E.D. Tex.'s particular variety of knowledgeable judge.

Comment Re:I like paying taxes (Score 1) 642

That's the worst of both worlds approach. Nobody is happy with how ERs are financed. Not free market conservatives, not government intervention liberals, not the doctors, and not the patients. The only people who like ER's cost structure are insurance companies, because they only pay for healthy people who don't cost money and pass the buck to the government on sick, poor, and old people.

Extending your analogy, if we took the ER model to firefighting, rich neighborhoods would be hugely profitable and have plenty of fire fighters (because they're willing to pay and don't burn very often) and poor neighborhoods would either burn or be covered by government subsidies, meaning the rich people pay for fire service twice, once directly (for which they get very little) and a second time through taxes to subsidize the poor (for which they get nothing). Everyone would be better off if everyone paid into the same pool, since now the fire companies aren't taking a cut off the top for the minimal service they deliver to the rich, while not reinvesting for coverage to the poor - because there's nothing in it there for them.

Comment Re:I like paying taxes (Score 1) 642

Government's most important role is that it doesn't answer to anyone when it use force. In order to maintain that monopoly it has to prevent non-governmental entities from using force. This means a police force or army. A police force or army costs money. Money has to come from somewhere. Without a restriction on the use of force, the thug who shakes down your business doesn't answer to anyone.

This also means that governments will inevitably arise spontaneously in power vacuum. They may not be benevolent or efficient governments, but as soon as they exercise control over a population, they are a government. The first thing a nascent government does is to charge taxes (i.e. extort protection money) the second is that excludes others from taking your money (i.e. restrict the use of force) - because if someone else has a claim to your money, that's less for them, and it flouts their authority - if competing entities try to take resources from the same area you get a war.

This scales from warlords in Somalia to welfare states in Scandinavia.

Comment Re:I like paying taxes (Score 1) 642

In the gilded age many fire services were privately run and competition was fierce. Strangely, this did not result in the best service for the lowest cost.

Imagine you have fire coverage with Fire Company A and your neighbor has coverage with Fire Company B.

Your neighbor's house catches fire - Fire Company B promptly responds, but not before the fire has spread to your house. Fire Co. B could put out your house - but you haven't paid them. However for a one time fee of $extortion, they'll be happy to put out your house as well - or you could just wait until Fire Co. A arrives - but then again Co. B is using the fire hydrant and blocking the street, so they may not be able to get here at all.

Heck, if it were a competitive industry, the firemen would be racing to be first on scene!

And sometimes sabotaging each other on the way. After all, your house is on fire, are you going to wait for the company you contracted with (and paid a retainer to) to show up? And you'll pay anything you can afford to the guy who gets their first - especially after he parks his fire wagon in the middle of the street so no one else can get to your house.

Comment Re:Too big to fail doctrine (Score 1) 105

Probably not a big deal, and here's why:

Juries have a strong preference for senior users, so when you bring an infringement suit, you demand a jury trial.

Juries make gestalt decisions - seriously, can you explain what the difference between "clear and convincing" and "preponderance of the evidence?" Technically, clear and convincing may be higher, but can you think of a situation in a jury room where the jury deliberates and decides - you know what, I really feel like the preponderance of the evidence was on Microsoft's side, but I'm not sure it was clear and convincing.

This might have some small effect on bench trials, because judges tend to like to wax poetic about small legalistic differences, but all that means is that there are likely to be fewer bench trials as junior users try to take this out of the hands of the judge.

Comment Re:The truth (Score 1) 370

Then fuck them. Nuclear power doesn't exist to placate a bunch of luddites. It exists to fuel a highly advanced technological society. Any society which has accepted the risk of automobile traffic or the innumerable other risks we take every day and ignore, should have the stomach for nuclear power. I'm not going to coddle someone who gnashes their teeth over the dangers of nuclear power, but ignores the far greater dangers of their drive to work.

And which society to you live in?

Telling people you know better then them (even if it is true) doesn't get policy made. The fact of the matter is that nuclear power is a great idea even for, and maybe especially for, luddite societies that can't be bothered to worry about things like greenhouse gasses and dependence on foreign oil. But unless you can explain to them what we're doing different post-Fukushima, and be able to do so convincingly, we're going to be starting new "state of the art" coal plants, and never see new nuclear technology unless we fly to China.

The news and hysteria will eventually die down. I figure inside of three months. ... But in the end, people will remember that Fukushima just didn't turn out that bad.

I see, you really must be living in some alternate society where the Three Mile Island "disaster" didn't derail the nuclear industry.

Comment Re:Legislative Bypass... (Score 1) 268

From your link:

Evidence of appellant’s computer usage and the presence of an encryption program on his computer was relevant to the state’s case. We affirm the district court’s evidentiary rulings.

Outrageous - someone was convicted for having encryption on their computer. ...

At trial, S.M. [the victim] testified that appellant first asked her if he could take nude photos of her when she was eight years old, and she agreed to allow such photos when she was nine years old. S.M. also testified at trial that appellant would ask her to pose on the bed or “[s]itting on a stool with my hands like this, pushing on the stool, and my legs out,” while wearing nothing, and that appellant asked her to take “the gymnastics” pictures without her clothes on “[f]our or five times.” And S.M. testified that appellant, on numerous occasions, offered her between $5 and $100 to pose nude for him.

Yeah ... I bet that the fact that he had PGP on his computer made all the difference. Maybe the fact that PGP was installed on his computer is borderline irrelevant - but it's a judgment call. A judge would probably admit evidence that the door to the apartment where 200 kilos of cocaine was found was a reinforced steel door with five deadbolts - even if the door was open at the time the cops entered. And it would carry approximately equal weight with the jury as the presence of PGP did in this case.

Slashdot Top Deals

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken