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Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 737

Is there any reply you could give to the question "why would you do that" that wouldn't make you sound kind of gay for Trump?

Why? Because the primary job of a president is to negotiate, coordinate, and manage people, not to solve differential equations. Hillary's performance in dealing with people has been dismal, even those (or in particular those) who know her personally.

Furthermore, the "friendly simpleton" and the "smart man/woman" are merely carefully constructed political personas and don't reflect actual intelligence anyway; Democrats like to present themselves as super-smart technocrats, while Republicans like to present themselves as folksy and down-to-earth. George W. Bush's SAT score (a good proxy for intelligence) seems to have been substantially higher than Bill Clinton's, for example.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 97

... instead you wrote some enormous history of how SCOTUS totally misunderstood Congress's intent in 1885 and Congress stepped in and rewrote the law, even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in hand.

If you read the ruling, it actually does matter, in that the Court looked at it and it made their decision easy here. Reading the ruling is really easy, it is only a few pages of plain English. What Congress did when they re-wrote the law was to make the law consistent with what was already the precedent, that's what the fanbois are getting a bit confused about. Sometimes, the Court smacks down a law, and Congress rewrites it trying to get their way. That is what some smucks would have you believe here. But if you read the ruling it explains it very clearly; that isn't what happened here. Here Congress just fixed the law to say the same thing as what the Court had interpreted the old law as meaning.

And it doesn't take more than five pages to explain "You're doing it wrong...

Granted, it is 9 pages. But these "pages" are a single narrow column of text with large print. A more typical business format would only reach 3 pages. And most of it is spent explaining the dispute; the part explaining the ruling and its reasoning is only three pages, starting with:

The text resolves this case. The term “article of manu-
facture,” as used in 289, encompasses both a product sold
to a consumer and a component of that product.

followed by a detailed explanation. That Congress didn't even try to change the precedent when they last visited the law makes it clear to the Court what their intent was.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 3, Interesting) 97

You're close, but it isn't the incremental profits as it is with other types of IP; here it is 100% of the profit directly attributable to the component. So it doesn't matter how much profit they made, or how much less they would have made had they not infringed.

What matters is the profit that they made from the physical component that infringed. It doesn't matter what the differential would be if they used something else. Unfortunately for Apple, the design patent covers primarily the plastic bezel, for which Samsung probably doesn't even have any profits, and the software screen layout, which is software, and likely don't have any profits from the software either.

The reality is that design patents aren't as useful as Apple claimed; on a decorative item, which is what they're intended for, they offer a lot of protection because the design actually is the value; a decorative plate is the typical example. Complex items that are mostly functional aren't well protected by design patents, because most of the device is functional and by definition isn't covered, and you're not going to get paid for the functional components just because the case copied your case. If a regular functional-but-ugly smarthphone cost $5, and the one with the fancy design code $500, as is the case with decorative plates, then it would make sense to protect it that way.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 97

The really funny part is that 50 years ago Congress rewrote the law to say exactly what the Court said today, which was already the precedent under the old law. So 100+ years ago Congress wrote the law in an unclear way, the Court clarified, and then 50 years ago Congress fixed the law to say the same thing as the precedent. Then a couple years ago, the appeals court made up some nonsense that was exactly the same as what the Court had thrown out 100 years ago. Most slashdot readers are on one side or the other of this issue, and either way, they don't/won't/can't comprehend the basic facts in dispute.

The whole thing is only a few pages, and it was written by Sotomayor so it is easy to read. They upheld the exact wording of the statute here, which is in agreement with precedent. The only thing thrown out was the awful ruling.

The Federal Circuit would have us believe that the word "article" in "article of manufacture" means only things available for sale by themselves. As Justice Sotomayor explains, article actually means any item, it is a very broad word. So an "article of manufacture" is a thing you make; the definition has nothing to do with if it is sold to the end consumer in a single box or not. According to Apple and the Federal Circuit, even the toys in a Happy Meal wouldn't be articles of manufacture, since they're not sold by themselves! A toy in a crackerjack box? Not an article of manufacture. A car stereo? Oh, only if it is a brand available in the store. A brand only sold as an OEM unit would not be an article of manufacture! Complete absurdity.

Also clear in the ruling is that if Samsung had had better SCOTUS lawyers, they could have got more of the issues decided; there were issues briefed by the government that would likely have gone Samsung's way, that are instead being sent back down to the Federal Circuit. But the Court did make clear that they're ready to do more work on this case when it comes back, and it likely will because Apple can't resist asking for the moon, and the Federal Circuit can't resist giving Apple whatever they ask for.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 155

Of course, since the US is all about fair competition-you know, free market and all-then we can safely remove government subsidies to other forms of power such as oil or coal as well. We wouldn't want one segment of an industry working with an unfair advantage now, would we?

Indeed, favor abolishing all energy subsidies (as well as all agricultural subsidies for that matter).

There is some disagreement about US energy subsidies. By one accounting, renewable energy is subsidized by about $7.3b, while fossil fuel is subsidized by about $3.2b, by another accounting (taking into account tax credits, a dubious proposition), fossil fuels are "subsidized" by about $72b, while renewable fuels are subsidized by about $29b. Since only about 10% of US energy comes from renewable sources, that means that renewables are subsidized between 5 and 20 times as much per unit of energy as fossil fuels.

Comment Re:Subsidies and marketing (Score 1) 155

First off the competing fossil fuels receive substantial subsidies from the government

Google is saying that "renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option" taking into account current cost structures. Furthermore, fossil fuels are not, actually, very much subsidized per unit of energy.

Worse, fossil fuels do not have to pay for a large portion of the pollution (including carbon) that they create so their prices are artificially low.

Again, Google is saying that "renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option" taking into account current cost structures, so even if that argument were valid, it would be irrelevant.

Only rich companies like Google can do it today and they do it as a marketing expense more than anything else.

So, in effect, you're saying that Google is lying: renewable energy is still substantially more expensive than energy from fossil fuel. Thanks for clearing that up.

Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 1) 129

When you trade money for news, you tend to get the news that makes the most money. It's human nature, unless controlled by regulation. Just as corporations, utilities, colleges, all mostly get financially out of hand unless regulated, because people are mostly naturally greedy. There's scant sense of fairness, and gross excess of "take the market for all it can bear."

Look, news is all mostly biased anyway. Biased by what they cover and what they choose not to cover; by the editor's influence; by the publisher's influence; by the advertiser's influence; by the stockholder's influence; by ridiculous "equal time for superstitious nonsense" policies (because the news consumers are bewildered, so in order to get their money, they are pandered to), etc. I'm just not going to actually pay for more bias.

It's a complete waste of time to put a paywalled link in front of me. Not going to click it if I know what it is; not going to stay if I am snookered into clicking.

For news, here's what I want: facts and relevance to actual news. Not the Kardumbians, not some actor's opinion, not breathless reporting of some lab result as if it was tech coming down next Friday, Politics, cover the candidates and what they say. Even handedly. Don't leave some out (Sanders, cough) don't over-cover some (Trump, cough), don't report bland, content free remarks as if they were incoming legal doom (Clinton, cough)... you get the idea.

Simple enough, you'd think. Just do a good job. But they don't. Okay then, fine. But expecting me to pay for that crap? Not happening. They oughta pay me for having to fact check every goddam thing they write and speak about.

Comment Re:Civic society implies civil rights (Score 1) 371

Well, depending on how much you believe the rhetoric, anyone who isn't a white male might feel safer in China. I'm hoping that almost all of it is just rhetoric, but I don't feel any certainty about it. In fact if you believe *some* of the rhetoric anyone who isn't a rich white male might feel safer in China. This strikes me as unlikely, but remembering how a prior German democracy fell it's not beyond the bounds of possibility.

OTOH, there are a lot of signs that Trump is not an actual racial bigot, but merely someone who feels right in taking advantage of any power he can get his hands on. I'd feel happier with this interpretation if his cabinet picks were different.

Comment Re:No Innovation in China (Score 1) 371

It NEVER made sense. Not ever. In the early days it took inventors and coerced them into chasing around the country looking for people who might be infringing on their patents. As companies took over it became more and more about getting patents so vague that nobody could tell for sure what what infringing, and getting the legal decisions that meant that was a case that would be found in favor of the patent holder.

The basic idea was reasonable, but the implementation was flawed from the beginning, and my guess is that the grant of a monopoly was the basic flaw. Perhaps instead it should have been a law that the government would only buy from the holder, or a licensee, of the patent.

Comment Re:Thinner (Score 2) 277

Do people really want thinner phones?

In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife; but that doesn't work so well with a tomato. SPLAT! Introducing the Ginsu Phone--chop, Chop, CHOP! (warning, keep phone in sheath when not in use. Works best with Ginsu shaving cream. Do not hold up to face when talking. In case you need to talk for more than four hours, do not use this phone.)

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