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Comment Patent system is broken! (Score 5, Insightful) 325

Here's the problem, even ignoring issues like software patents, and the morass they cause. The USPTO has stated that they're overwhelmed, so they're just checking the paperwork, and if its all in order, they rubber stamp it and grant the patent, the courts can sort out what patents are valid, they say. Meanwhile, the Courts are continuing to defer to the expertise of the patent office, and are EXTREMELY "reluctant" to void patents. So we get any invention, no matter how obvious, no matter how old, being patentable. And as long as you're smart about who you sue as a patent troll, (pick targets who can't afford to defend themselves, and file in known friendly courts), you're golden. The system is totally borked.

Comment Re:Fermenting in space? (Score 1) 113

Um, because beer is water, and water is HEAVY? Therefore its enormously easier if you can recycle water you already HAVE rather than shipping the stuff from sea level. Which also is another major problem for beer in space. Beer is unquestionably affected by water quality. And you're going to be producing the equivalent of beer made with distilled water. Which would probably be quite disappointing. To put it another way, Does anyone really think beer produced with last weeks urine that's been run through reverse osmosis or other adequate purification is going to be remotely drinkable? It might be up to bud light standards, but I'd rather do without. Something like vodka is a MUCH better target. Or another distilled spirit that could be (approximately) made from a grain extract. Or just give up and make grain alcohol to mix with your Tang.

Comment Re:Zombies don't need to be dead (Score 1) 320

Rabies causes vaguely similar symptoms, but it has a very long incubation time. A rapidly progressing rabies variant (incubation time of hours, rather than weeks to months) with the same psychological symptoms might be somewhat similar to a zombie outbreak. However, Rabies-Zombie hoards wouldn't be self-sustaining. Death follows onset of psychological symptoms (not coincidentally) in about the time it takes to die of dehydration. Zombie-Hoards are quite difficult to manage without the trick of raising the dead.

Comment RAW (Score 3, Informative) 347

It is called raw, but the other reply is otherwise incorrect. Some older DSLRs (early 2000s) used to have a TIFF option, but that isn't the same thing, just a lossless version of the processed image. RAW output is the data read off the sensor, and is pre-bayer, and other processing (usually with some lossless compression applied). Meta-data is also included, like focal length, and exposure settings.

Comment Re:This is hilarious (Score 1) 421

There is also

C) The person is a threat to others.

However, Mr. Perelman has shown no signs that I know of that he is a threat to other people. Being annoyed at harassment by the press is not a sign of such. He should be left alone. It is not a crime to be asocial, or to turn down an award you do not want.

Comment Re:Annoying (Score 4, Insightful) 380

Ahem. Boo-Fucking-Hoo. My heart is simply rent asunder by my grief for large corporations.

They snatched the property from its owner, extracted economic rent (if you don't know what "economic rent" is, look it up) using it for decades, and now they might have to return control to the creators descendants? What a fucking crying shame.

Where the fuck does this conception that, of all things, contracts must be absolutely fucking sacrosanct come from? Heaven forbid that someone be able to get out from under and abusive and exploitative contract! That'd be the end of society as we know it!

Comment Re:That Analogy Falls Apart (Score 1) 917

In order for it to work, it requires a concerted effort. It would be perfectly acceptable, if for example, several years of supplies had been stockpiled at the landing site in advance, in addition the plan would be for the first arrivals to work on creating the infrastructure to support successive waves of people making the one way trip. Once you get enough gear, and enough people (labor) there, its possible to the colony to start being not only self sustaining, but self expanding.

I think you're also overstating how "rich" the "New World" was for the first waves of colonists. Due to a lack of knowledge, plenty of them starved to death. We have the advantage of enormously greater technology. We can be extremely confidant that starvation won't be a risk.

Granted, there's a big "What if?" there, that IMO is fairly critical to start exploring. We know that people don't handle effective zero-gravity very well for prolonged periods, but we have no data at all on the effects of prolonged exposure to gravity much greater than 0G but noticeably less than 1G. How about reproduction in that environment? Again, we have no idea. That's another task the first colonist(s) should be tasked with: animal studies of reproduction in reduced gravity. If mice and rats can handle it just fine, then full speed ahead! We could have native born martian-humans within a few decades.

Comment Re:Know your market. (Score 1, Flamebait) 964

At the very least, this sort of thing is in remarkably poor taste. Its done in a very unprofessional way, which IMO sends the wrong signals and reinforces a perception of racism. Had they actually substituted in a real picture which had only whites, instead of just "hiding the Black Guy" it would be far less obvious that was the intent. Instead they've crudely modified a picture in such a way that its clear their intention WAS to "hide the black guy."

It definitely reveals racism somewhere, and Microsoft's (Poland Office?) concern about appeasing it, if not acting on internal racism.

Seriously. Its a professionally dressed dark skinned man. Is that so offensive to delicate Polish sensibilities? Why? Even if there's not a single dark skinned man in all of Poland, why should it be a problem?

If you'd care to offer one, I'd like to hear your explanation for modifying a picture to remove a depiction of a person of a specific ethnicity that doesn't fundamentally boil down to racism.

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