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Comment Re:Very Probably Wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 269

"If we were to snatch the screen-writers out-of-time, they'd be surprised that the world has changed so little."

I'm not sure about that. It's just that the things they imagined are not the same things that have changed. They thought we'd still use Fax-machines and their idea of our video communication and display technology was ludicrously pessimistic. The reality is that they picked funny and visually entertaining ideas of progress. I doubt any of them thought we'd actually have re-hydrated pizza the way it appears in the film, it was just a funny idea that would give the viewers a laugh.

Instead of these ideas we have the WWW, Smartphones, insanely pixel-dense displays, wifi, Viagra, etc. The Internet, while it existed in some form as "Arpanet", was nothing like what it is today and the script writers, if they had even heard about it, surely would not have thought about it much more than as a research tool, as evident by their use of fax machines.

Comment Re:Pre-emption (Score 2) 192

Is the person controlling the drone on the ground not subject to Californian regulation? Granted, if he's is situated out-of-state, he's not, but as long as he's is on the ground in California, it seems to me that his actions could be regulated by California state law. I'm a furriner though, so I may not understand the intricacies of the US.

Comment Mods. The parent is not a troll. (Score 4, Interesting) 192

.. but a legitimate point of argument in the debate. What is the point of this discussion at all if anti-drone posts gets labelled as a "troll"? Perhaps the grand-parent calling drone enthusiasts "twisted perverts" could be seen as a troll, but the parent does not include any abuse apart from what is seen in the direct quote.

I'm not sure what the difference is between a radio operated car with a camera on (surely a form of trespassing, if on your property?) and a drone flying 20 feet above it with a camera. They both have the same implications; invasion of privacy. The drone also adds risk of destruction to your property.

Drone enthusiasts can take their drones to public parks, nature or fly over their own property.

Comment Re:Exceeds state authority (Score 1, Interesting) 192

Although the FAA allows some unlicensed use of low altitude airspace (for model aircraft, rockets, and the like), anything that's not sitting on the ground is under their regulatory authority.

Does that mean a bullet is under FAA authority the moment it leaves the gun? After all, it isn't sitting on the ground.

Comment Re:Difficulty (Score 3, Informative) 270

On the contrary. If you read the article, nobody said being a Boing propulsion scientist makes him all-knowing. The statement was as a response to a programmer's exclamation that "our customers are morons!". The fact that he was a propulsion scientist is a strong indication that he was not a moron, thus making it reasonable to have a look to see if perhaps it wasn't the users there was a problem with.

The goal of the project was to make Windows "discoverable", in essence making it possible for the average person to figure out the most important things without attending a training course. A reasonable requirement for a commercial consumer product. The user tests demonstrated that Windows 3.1 wasn't discoverable.

Comment Re:Drones (Score 1) 176

A passenger aircraft flies much, much higher than drones, only possibly interfering during take-off and landing. They also fly reasonably predictable paths and the airspace around the airports are tightly regulated anyway. A fire-fighting helicopter, on the other hand, flies much lower, and may have to change paths rapidly to account for the situation.

I doubt an MIT study on drones colliding with passenger aircraft would be valid in this case.

Comment Re:Free the papers (Score 3, Interesting) 81

There's always a discussion to be had about funding research and gathering income. What I think most people can agree with is that all this income should not go to some leeches that don't actually fund any of the research, just take the profit because academics need to be in the top journals to further their careers.

When it comes to countries leeching of others, I think there's serious benefit to being among the countries that "do all the research" even if you end up footing most of the bill. You get the best and most ambitious researchers because they all want to be where it happens, and you are far more likely to generate industry that can take economic advantage of this research. Just let public money create publicly available research.

Comment Re:common man (Score 5, Insightful) 194

Others have failed to mention the peasants that worked the land that not only fed Mozart but kept Mozart's patrons wealthy enough to support the arts by commissioning Mozart's works, or indeed made it possible for all Mozart's spectators to enjoy arts rather than spend the day doing subsistence farming themselves. Without them, all arts we'd have would be able to sustain is the odd folk singing after a hard day's work.

Others have mentioned the craftsmen that made his instruments, but also keep in mind the folk that made and gathered paper, ink and quills he used to write his music. Or even the millions of ordinary people of his past that helped shape the language he used, without which it would be impossible to sustain human civilization.

Thus Mozart, stood on the shoulders of millions of completely ordinary folk.

The lesson here; next time you believe the bullshit of "self-made man" and "I didn't receive no help from nobody", think of what steps are actually necessary for the life we live today.

Comment Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 5, Insightful) 484

"Colorado already proved that with the tax revenue they brought in from legalized marijuana"

Colorado probably got significantly increased business from being the first, surrounded by neighbours where it is still illegal. They probably even have increased secondary trade from people travelling in to get marijuana and then buying other stuff. Also, there's probably the effect of the novelty. I'm not saying there isn't a permanent increase, but it will be less if Nebraska and Oklahoma also legalise it.

Comment Re:lol (Score 1) 250

"Who in their right mind would pay a whole fucking dollar for each track???"

Someone who thinks a dollar is a drop in the ocean? There's quite a few of us out there that don't buy fucktons of music, just a small amount of music per month. I, for instance, probably buy an album every 2-3 months. It costs me £7 to buy this album from iTunes. That is less than the price of a pint of beer where I live. Or it means I spend around £50 per year on music, which isn't even a factor in my budget. The automation in the process easily makes it worth it for me. You can keep your torrents with thousands of songs on them, I'd only listen to 50 of them before forgetting I even had the other 950 taking up disk space.

Comment Re:How is their infringment? (Score 1) 268

GroupOn's software is most definitely "downloadable", since it is most certainly installed over a network (and frankly, even a data transfer over cable will probably be legally seen as a "download"). An iPad is also certainly a "computer". The GroupOn software also most definitely is used as a "Graphical user interface". So there now exists a second downloadable computer GUI software called "Gnome" which is also being agressively trademarked by GroupOn.

What happens when GNOME the desktop environment eventually runs on a tablet (which is entirely possible)? If GNOME hasn't successfully defended their trademark against GroupOn, it is not at all implausible to envision GroupOn suing GNU for using the GNOME name, which they had much longer than GroupOn, but just not used on a tablet.

I doubt that you would get away with registering trademarks for POS software called "Windows" or "Excel".

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