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Comment Re:A few very general, some very specific (publici (Score 2) 104

First, there ARE software patents. They describe ideas that can be implemented on a general purpose computer without any specialized hardware.

Second, pretty much NONE of software patents are useful. Most of them are filed for defensive purposes or to show "value" for investors and are never asserted or licensed. During the recent years 20 years or so the cost of patent litigation exceeded the licensing revenue for software patents ( ).

Third, there ARE useful patents. Pretty much none of them are purely software ones. A novel agent for extinguishers would be a great invention. However, in software patent speech it would be described as: "An agent consisting of chemical matter that utilizes heat-sensitive decomposition reactions to rapidly terminate the free-radical heat-driven chains reactions", - without any actual chemical structure specified in the patent.

Comment Re:give them green cards (Score 0) 271

I hate misconceptions about H1B and GC. H1B holders can change work easily. A new employer simply applies for an H1B transfer that is granted more or less automatically, and the old employer has no knowledge of this until the worker quits. There can even be multiple concurrent H1B transfers (and the worker chooses which one to complete).

GC is pretty much full citizenship. Obtaining GC is complicated and can take any amount of time from 1 year to 10 years depending on type of GC and the applicant's home country. And the GC actually binds the candidate to the workplace, as the process has to be sponsored by the employer.

Comment Re:Maybe train the American kid first (Score 1) 660

Honestly, from what I see the problem is societal. The whole society in the US disdains engineers and scientists and instead focuses on performers and athletes. It's not important to study "maths", and it's much better to study "people skills". If you live here you might not notice this, like a fish doesn't notice water.

In the US the most popular BS degrees are: business, healthcare, social studies, psychology, education (source: ). Engineering is on the distant 8-th place, number of math graduates has actually decreased since 70-s ( ).

It hits you like a punch in the face if you visit China or (to lesser degree now) Japan. They actually show state-sponsored motivational ads on TVs with engineers building rockets, dams and automobiles! And the whole attitude towards humanities (history, language, literature) is different - it's seen as an occupation for truly interested people rather than a checkbox "higher education" item on job applications.

I've studied the US public schools (to see if I ever want to educate my children here) and its... adequate. If you live in a good location then the public schools offer enough flexibility for motivated students to succeed. But the problem is that the parents are not really motivated themselves and this rubs off on their children.

Comment Re:I don't get it either. (Score 1) 437

The question is not about additional vetting and checks. The question is about the ban - it affects people who ALREADY hold visas and/or green cards.

Nothing terrible would have happened if Trump announced 80 days from now new rules to apply to new visa applicants. Instead we got an unexplained ban designed to throw red meat for Trump's rabid base.

Comment Re:Rotary wings are not very energy efficient. (Score 1) 63

Yeah, so you build a craft with rotating wings that takes off vertically and then transition into regular airfoils. Electric motors are ridiculously powerful so it's not a problem at all to provide peak thrust for takeoff, they just need enough electric power.

The problem is the amount of energy available. This can be overcome with hybrid designs and theoretically there are engines that are lightweight enough to (at least) provide enough power for the horizontal flight. It's around 40kW for Cessna 172, probably a bit more for a less-streamlined VTOL car. I crunched the numbers for this a couple of years ago and it's definitely possible. Would be interesting to see if some company finally bites the bullet and does this.

Comment Re:Malignant narcissist upset, news at 11. (Score 0) 760

Well, TFA reading is a weak point here, but you should have at least read the summary:

Wu catalogued more than 180 death threats that she said she received because she spoke out against sexism in the game industry and #GamerGate misogyny

Nah, nothing special. No need to investigate. And there was also staling involved.

But I guess you are not worried about being a target of massive harassment or stalking.

Comment Re:What bugs me about USB power (Score 1) 152

The whole USB-C is a burning trash fire. The standard got overcomplicated and is essentially unsafe - a bad USB-A cable can at most damage your data and/or devices it's connecting. A bad USB-C cable can burn down your house, easily. Just throw in a defective cable claiming to support 50W power transmission and wait for it to catch fire.

They should have specified that the cable resistance must be monitored by the endpoints and the charging must stop if it's too high (i.e. the wire is heating up or is too thin).

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