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Comment Re:Yes and no (Score 4, Informative) 338

It seems to me you are assuming that the RFID is the only method being used to track someone. I don't track people but it seems trivial to me that a device that identifies a single person out of a mob would be extremely useful.

Instead of setting my head on a swivel and looking around suspiciously I need only keep my gaze directed at my open book (hiding my tracking device) while I walk around keeping track of my subject.

Yes, alone, the device is useless; however, people in the business might find plenty of uses for it that you and I cannot imagine.

Comment Re:Good thing (Score 1) 372

Secondly, and most important, software patents are only really valid in one country with particularly skewed laws, the USA. Even there you'd need to spend minimum US$1 million on a patent lawsuit to see if the patent is even valid, let alone whether it applies to someone using it privately on a home computer.

I don't know about Ubuntu but for Opensuse the patented media codecs are hosted by the Packman project, a perfectly legitimate packaging project based in Germany that provides around 5000 extra packages that aren't in the main Opensuse repo.

The MPEG-LA claims patents in Europe just as in America. Here are some of the ones they have in Germany, following that link: 69129595, 69130329, 3767919, 50306371.1, 50305419, 50311129.5, 69127504, 69109346.6 . . . well, that's going up to page 8 out of 56, and I got bored.

Hey, maybe these are all so frivolous that the MPEG-LA wouldn't even bother suing. But I wouldn't bet on that unless a German patent lawyer has told you so. If the patent office granted them, you'd think a judge would uphold at least some of them, and you only need one to be in big trouble. Packman probably gets away with it because it doesn't have enough money to be worth suing, not because it's actually abiding by the law.

Comment Re:Auto Stereoscopy... (Score 2, Interesting) 419

You might be right, but I think they are just following the recent trend in movie theaters

Movie theaters must move to 3-D! Television screens and sound systems are approaching the point where the theater experience has nothing to really offer the viewer. 3-D gives us a reason to go to the theater.

Totally anecdotal, but my wife actually went with me to see Avatar twice! We usually wait for movies to be released on DVD before we see it a second time if it was any good. We don't have 3-D so we must go to the theater.

With the popularity of 3-D soaring this last year - it was not just Avatar, there were many good 3-D movies: Monsters Vs. Aliens, Up and probably some more I don't remember right now - the television manufacturers AND the cable stations will all want to jump on the band-wagon.

Will it work?

At first thought it seems like the 21st Century version of quadraphonics to me, especially if I have to wear dorky glasses with a cable! The glasses I saw on the news this morning had a cable. That ain't gonna' wash with me or anyone I know.

Comment Re:Invite only? (Score 4, Interesting) 284

Consider yourself fortunate that you are not on the invite list. Remember the dorks who bought the iPhone when it first came out? Remember those same dorks just a few months later when Apple dropped the price? :)

I suspect this invite only thing is just to drum up interest in the phone. Soon, everyone and his brother will be able to buy one just like Gmail.

Comment Re:It all depends on the hypothetical technologies (Score 1) 361

One example I could think of is if the ship's primary armament is a big gun running the length of the ship necessitating the entire ship be maneuvered to aim it.

One of the most influential battles of the United States Civil War arose from the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac. The Monitor had a turret which swiveled, thus freeing the Captain to manuever the ship as he wished while allowing his crew to aim and fire at the Merrimac without interruption. The Merrimac had fixed guns which required the ship to be aligned with the target for any effective firing. I read somewhere that the Monitor fired four rounds for every single round the Merrimac got off.

The battle was a draw because the munitions of the day could not penetrate the metal hulls, but everyone realized the superiority of the turret and adopted them into new ship designs.

Comment Re:Ideal shape (Score 1) 361

I suggest you take a look at tank design from the first British tanks in World War I to the Soviet tanks used to breakout of Stalingrad.

The Soviets started the modern practice of using angles in their tanks to deflect munitions aimed at them. Boxes are easier to build, but they are also easier to score a hit against.

Comment That's the BAD economy! (Score 2, Insightful) 297

The same thing happened during the 1970s. That's how shows like Barreta and The Dukes Of Hazard stayed on the air so long.

Back then, when TV was mostly over the air and free I watched commercials. Now that I pay for TV I won't tolerate commercials. I DVR any show I watch that has commercials and watch it at a later date when I can skim through the commercials. It is a rare commercial that I watch. I stop only for those that seem interesting, i.e. have pretty chicks featured prominently! :)

Comment Re:Its justified price (Score 2, Insightful) 536

And to be honest, they $60 price isn't that much if it's a great game. You pay atleast $15+ to go the movies, probably even more if you make a night out of it. You might spend the same amount in bars too. Both of those give only a few hours of entertainment value, and to be honest aren't all that fun all the time. Good games give a lot more entertainment and fun hours.

When was the last time you got laid taking a chick to a video-game?

Value is where you find it, my friend. :)

Comment Re:Newspaper (Score 1) 517

I'm surprised you don't understand that most journalists, as most people, need someone else to tell them of something important enough to write about and inform the people. Not everyone will be on hand when an important event occurs unless you restrict it to scheduled events such as press conferences. So, it should not surprise any one that, "Professional Journalists know nothing of the news of the day, unless someone else tells them".

Freedom of the press is important, but I hope you are not willing to forego the responsibility that comes with any right. Newspapers can and do print retractions. I am not claiming that they always do so, only that when it is obvious they were wrong, they will. Unfortunately they never print the retraction with the same type-size, or on the same page(s) as the original article(s). This should have been addressed early. My hope is that this will be corrected as news drifts to electronic forms. When someone publishes something wrong, whether it causes harm to someone else or not, a retraction in the same font, size, and position as the original article(s) should be mandatory.

Also, less of the Fox News hysteria would be appreciated, but I understand that crap like that comes from allowing anyone to publish.

Comment Re:Newspaper (Score 1) 517

Of course, I'm not exactly sure why a juror should need to sign something for your iPhone but not a newspaper.

You beat me to it so I'll just add my two cents. :)

Newspapers are supposed to be written by professional journalists with professional standards. The articles those journalists write are then supposed to be edited by editors with years, if not decades, of experience. The internet, in contrast, is full of air-bags with no professional standards.

Allowing jurors to be exposed to what is written on the internet is far more likely to bias jurors than what is written in a newspaper, in theory or course.

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