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Comment $3 million is just pocket change (Score 2) 84

Given that this case has gone on for six (6) years, a $3 million verdict probably won't even cover MobileMedia's legal fees (which, I suspect, the judge will not grant to them on top of the aware; it's unusual for the plaintiff/patent owner to get legal fees on top of damages in these cases). Patent litigation is very expensive, especially if you go to trial; I remember being staggered at what the cumulative per-hour billing rate must have been for one such trial where I testified as an expert. ..bruce..

Comment Re:Courage (Score 1) 761

Given the iMac was released in 1998, and the lightning connector in 2012 (4 years ago), the correct question would be: "How many USB Mice were there in 2002?" and the answer to that is: quite a few! Windows XP came out in 2001, and I distinctly remember new computers being delivered with USB mice and USB keyboards. For the record, USB 2.0 was released in 2000, and it's really with USB 2.0, that USB took off.

Comment Re:Microsoft broke my scanner once... (Score 1) 220

More people need to be made aware of VueScan. Cross platform, acceptable price, unbeatable scanner support. My father has a SCSI Minolta Dimage with APS support. Drivers up to Windows 2000, XP worked with a bit of hacking. SANE doesn't want to know about it.

VueScan? Just works.

I have no stake in this. I am just a happy customer.

Comment Been hearing this for, oh, 40 years or so (Score 4, Insightful) 140

Not to be an old programming fart (but, hey!), but this comes up about every 5-10 years. Someone has created a system for automatic program generation that is going to replace programmers (4th generation languages, anyone? How about "The Last One"?), and it turns out to have only limited usefulness.

Of course, code generation programs exist. They've existed almost as long we've been programming computers. The most common are assemblers and compilers, which take in text specifications and generate running code (or sometimes bytecode to be interpreted). And if you stop and think about the difficulties that most of us who code have with making source code that we write produce running code that meets our needs, you can immediately see the issues with replacing or bolting on top of that system a 'source code generation' system. It can work very well as long as you don't exceed what it can actually do and only if the code generation system itself is well-written and reliable. (This is why developers feel a sense of betrayal and anger with compiler bugs more than any other kind of tool bug.)

So, yeah, like strong AI, self-coding systems are always 5 to 10 years out and have been for half a century. ..bruce..

Comment Re:Lots of citites still run windows (Score 1) 166

It's been a while since I did any Java programming. Actually, it's been over 7 years, but that does mean I was around the 1.5 days. I was one of the few who used Linux, and boy did I find bugs due to assumptions that you shouldn't make when working on cross platform applications. At typical one was using a hardcoded "\" as a path separator instead of the System.getProperty("file.separator") value.

Maybe the underlying libraries now catch these things, but back in the day it didn't. Even with Java, writing platform independent code does require some care.

Comment Re:A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Democracy in the US is a funny thing. You don't want to follow the money, you don't want to spend too much time thinking about the effective two-party system, and you don't want to reflect on the meaning of your choices boiling down to an empire-building felon and an equally empire-building megalomaniacal moral vacuum.

But Hillary seems to be the best of the choices because Trump manages to look like a bit of a dick wherever he goes. I particularly found him funny when he waltzed into Scotland, where people hate him anyhow on account of some, eh, real estate decisions, on the day of the Brexit, and said how wonderful the democratic process is while standing on soil inhabited by 70% nay-sayers who seem to be unhappy about their English overlords for the past 700 years.

If anyone ever deserved the moniker "You insensitive Clod", he'd be the prime candidate.

Submission + - How (and why) FreeDOS keeps DOS alive (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: In August it will be 35 years since of the release of version 1.0 of MS-DOS (or PC DOS as it was known at the time). Despite MS-DOS being long dead, the FreeDOS community has kept DOS alive, with the open source project having been founded some 22 years ago. I caught up with the founder of the project about the plans for the next version of FreeDOS and what keeps the open source OS alive.

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