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Comment what a load of crap (Score 1) 381

Congress probably does understand the law of supply and demand but just doesn't have the spine to resist billionaires.

As mentioned in prior notes, H-1B is unmistakeably a tool to flood the programming market with cheap labor to keep wages down.

What surprises me most, given all the high minded rhetoric one hears about helping "the developing world," is no one ever seems to mention that US immigration policies work to strip poor countries of their intelligentsia and commercial talent.

Comment undetectable torture (Score 1) 768

Duh, what if there were undetectable, unprovable ways to torture or coerce you into confessing? Like,say, you suspect the authorities will whisper that they'll kill your mother next year if you don't confess now. Duh, couldn't you invoke your 5th amendment right to remove their incentive?

Comment Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

You seem to think somebody is giving points on debate technique. No one is. And I kind of like a little fist pounding now and again.

You're just argumentative like so many others here. When you have something to add, some hair to split, some fine distinction you think cries out for elaboration, you don't have to start out with stuff like "not quite." There's also "another aspect is," "also" or even just " ."

Patents are supposed to be what I said and also what you said. There's no argument. There's just you, pursuing your strange little hobby.

Comment Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

Let me see if I have this straight. Low-payed but passionate engineers invent for pleasure while living on wages from high-payed MBAs and lawyers who promptly patent any of those inventions they think might actually make money (plus a lot of others just to have ammo to fire back at infringement suits)? Sounds right to me. But that doesn't mean patents aren't meant to incentivise inventors. I think that's even written down somewhere.

BTW I don't think anyone in these 300 or so comments so far has advocated for the present system.

Also, if those engineers are so damned smart why ain't they rich.

Comment Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

Maybe you're the idiot, Mr. Coward. This thread and Slashdot generally has a lot of people saying that people (other than themselves) should give away inventions or just have them taken. But what if the inventor has no one else to pay his bills. What if he has babies to feed and a mortgage on his miserable little hovel. What then, eh.

I'll tell you what: he might not choose to invest the time to invent (there's a lot of trial and error). Or he might treat his invention as a trade secret. Either way you don't get full benefit. Patents are the best thing that ever happened to hypocritical little commie parasites because they get the gizmo now courtesy of the inventor's patent and they get it manufactured under license. And not more than 20 years later it's public domain.

Comment Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

Well, I doubt they know as much about patents as I do.

The problems with US patents mostly arise because the USPTO is operated as a cash cow and flat doesn't care whether the patents they issue are valid or not, where valid means something like "issued according to law, defensible under the law, not obvious, not already patented, not existing in prior art." They just cash the check and send the money on to Congress. Consequently a US patent is only as valid as its most recent court victory.

Yes there are folks who work just for the common good. Priests, I guess, and of course computer programmers.

Comment there's a reason for patents (Score 2, Insightful) 315

Patents are supposed to be a (time-limited) barrier to competition. They're supposed to be the way the inventor gets payed for his invention. Without patents there's little incentive to develop inventions into technologies --- technologies that would be quickly copied. People who don't understand this probably would really suck as businessmen.

The present patent system is a travesty, a farce, an outrage --- not much more than a license for lawyers to steal. But the answer to a broken patent system is a fixed patent system, not no patent system.

Comment it's the damned gnomes (Score 1) 333

IMHO a root problem with Wikipedia is that there is no effective check on the so-called Wikignomes --- people who mindlessly edit for form instead of content, claiming they are enforcing wikipedia rules. Some no doubt do a good job but many misunderstand those rules, or willfully distort them for their own perverse ends, as happened in the original post. There's no efficient way to police these sick little gnomes, or wasn't the last time I encountered them.

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