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Comment Unsurprising (Score 1) 38

Patents have become another "must-have" item in a scientists resume. It presumably shows you're able to create practical applications from otherwise abstract research results.

In practice, of course, you can patent pretty much anything you want if you put your mind to it, and the vast majority of granted patents are never implemented in an actual product and never make any money at all. So researchers just jump through another set of hoops to pad their CV with, usually, a completely worthless patent or two.

The researcher is happy since they got another item on their career-critical CV. The university is happy since granted patents counts toward university rankings. The granting agencies are happy since it shows their research grants are producing tangible results. Too bad the actual end result - the patent - is utterly worthless.

Comment Re:False assumption (Score 3, Insightful) 202

The point is, getting around encryption is too costly to do it on a mass scale, so they can only really do it for the small portion of targets judged worth it.

It's like with door locks. Your door lock is good at stopping casual probing, but pretty much useless against a determined attacker. If a government agency (any government) decides that they really need to enter your home then they will enter. It may be with a warrant, with an armoured bulldozer or with a covert penetration team. But it's much too costly and much too risky to do so unless you have really good reason. They can't do it for every house in the city, on the off chance somebody might have something interesting stashed away somewhere.

Same thing with crypto: it may not stop them if they decide you are a high-value target. But it stops mass surveillance dragnets in their tracks.

Comment Data transfer cost (Score 1) 74

One limitation of "the cloud" (also called "other peoples' servers") for many HPC applications is the data transfer costs. Transfering data in is cheap or free, but getting your data out again is anything but. Even if the cpu-hours would be cheap enough, it's usually cost-prohibitive to transfer a few tens of gigabytes of results out of the server and back home for each job.

Comment Re:Reasonable (Score 1) 180

It specifically says SatNav is allowed. But just like speed limits you still have a responsibility of your own. You can drive the speed limit and still be prosecuted if your speed is excessive for the current conditions. And if you use the navigation in a way or at a time when it is dangerous you're still responsible for that.

Comment Re:Reasonable (Score 2) 180

So, we should see advertising billboards along roads removed because they are specifically designed to grab peoples attention.

I don't know about where you live, but here there are rules for how big and close they can be to a road, where they can and can't be placed, design limitations (no flashing lights, etc) and so on precisely for that reason.

Comment "free trip" (Score 1) 195

Places I've interviewed with always pay the travel costs for the interview. At my current employer we regularly interview people from around the world and paying the costs is a given. If the NZ tech companies have not been paying it so far then no wonder they can't attract people from abroad.

With that said, NZ is fairly high on my list of places I could accept living in. Not exciting, but comfortable and pleasant.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 61

If VR takes off you'll have plenty of other uses besides gaming. Scientific visualizations, vertical applications and whatnot. You'll want to support Linux as an OS just like NVIDIA supports it for GPGPU, workstations and embedded applications. That it gives Linux desktops 3D gaming ability is just a small bonus.

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