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Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 2) 129

Their argument is based on the premise that the long-standing "First Sale" doctrine doesn't apply, and that their patent rights extend to any subsequent use of their patented product

...which is fucking absurd on its face! After all, do people have the fundamental right to own property or not?

And that is the real issue here: with the DMCA, and now with patents, these fuckers are trying to create some sort of bizarro-world where Imaginary Property is not only no longer imaginary, but somehow actually superior to the right to own actual property! They want to enslave us into perpetually renting everything we use, which is no less a tyranny than being paid in scrip and being forced to buy from the company store, or being a serf indentured to the land. It is nothing less than digital Feudalism, and must be stopped at all costs!

Comment Re:Just stop incrementally (Score 2) 181

As a civil engineer (albeit not a wastewater one), I was thinking about this issue too. On one hand, flushing unused medicine does add to the downstream contamination. But on the other hand, even if it were used it (or its metabolites, which might be equally bad) would still end up being flushed anyway. And even then, medicines aren't the only (or even the largest) problem: there's also pesticides, detergents, etc. to deal with. this study (which, it should be noted, measured streams as opposed to treatment plant outflow, which means some pollution sources were untreated runoff) has this to say:

The most frequently detected chemicals (found in more than half of the streams) were coprostanol (fecal steroid), cholesterol (plant and animal steroid), N-N-diethyltoluamide (insect repellent), caffeine (stimulant), triclosan (antimicrobial disinfectant), tri (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (fire retardant), and 4-nonylphenol (nonionic detergent metabolite). Steroids, nonprescription drugs, and insect repellent were the chemical groups most frequently detected. Detergent metabolites, steroids, and plasticizers generally were measured at the highest concentrations.

IMO, the only complete solution would be to change the treatment criteria on its head: currently, we only even consider treating for substances that are proven to be harmful (i.e. default-allow with a blacklist, to use a computer firewall analogy). Instead, we should switch to a default-deny policy and use better wastewater treatment techniques to remove all non-H2O chemicals from the water. The trouble is, it would be a lot more expensive.

Comment Re:When can we expect a ban? (Score 1) 202

To be honest, people like OP are right to be suspicious. It really is always a possibility any sort of claim about an adversary's capabilities could be a ruse to lull you into a false sense of security.

However, when the claim matches up with the independently-verifiable evidence (in this case, the mathematical proof that the algorithm is unbreakable before the heat-death of the universe), I tend to believe it.

Comment Re:clearly the truckers are right (Score 1) 331

First of all, I acknowledged that the history must be preserved. Re-read the second paragraph of my previous post. What I'm saying is that you if you want to know what the law is on any given date -- whether that date is today or sometime in the past -- it should be written/stored/organized in such a way that you can retrieve it and just read the thing from beginning to end without having to cross-reference other documents or piece together stuff like "subsection X is hereby repealed and replaced with language Y." Instead, it should just replace subsection X with language Y and not tell you about it. (If you want to know about that, you can use the version control system to figure out how it changed, who changed it, when, why, etc. -- but that's a *different* kind of operation than retrieving a copy to read.)

Second, I would *hope* that if an act were legalized before the case had a chance to get to trial, that the prosecutor would have enough common decency to drop the case. That's probably asking too much, though...

Comment Re:clearly the truckers are right (Score 1) 331

Sometimes a new law is explicitly a diff. "Repeal The Idiot Act of 1822 and add "new text" in the place in the criminal code, 4.2 (1)A(2)(c). The law is a diff.

That's exactly the sort of cruft I'm complaining about. Making a law like that is *fundamentally stupid* because it leaves the entire history of the law embedded in the code so that you have to step through all the changes just to figure out what the *current* law is.

Instead, laws should be repealed by *actually deleting the old law* and keeping track of the history separately. (I mean, I realize you need to be able to look up historical laws in order to, for example, understand cases that were prosecuted under the old version... but that doesn't mean you need to clutter up the current version by keeping it all mixed together!)

Comment Re:Potential Damages? (Score 1) 318

The F-35 is sadly one of the best military R&D projects of the past 20 years, as it's actually somewhat usable for its intended purpose.

What about the F-22? I admittedly have not paid much attention, but I was under the impression that it's good at what it does and is only over-budget because the military bought fewer of them than was intended (because they tried to inappropriately substitute the "cheaper" F-35, screwing up that program too by trying to expand its mission scope too much).

Comment Re:Potential Damages? (Score 1) 318

One of the strategies that's been core military doctrine since the US-Soviet conflict in Afghanistan (and Vietnam before that) has been to try to make your enemy outspend you by a large margin.

Core military doctrine among the victors (i.e., not the US), you mean, right?

Incidentally, I watched an interesting lecture on Youtube the other day comparing the tank manufacturing strategies of the US, Germany and Russia during WWII. It turns out that all three were different: the US used efficient assembly lines and precise tooling to mass-produce standardized tanks of mid-range cost/complexity, the Russians zerg-rushed low-quality tanks using massive amounts of cheap labor and simple tooling, and the Germans used skilled craftsmen to build high-quality tanks and constantly improved the design (so that each tank was pretty close to unique). Guess which strategy was least successful...

Comment Re:clearly the truckers are right (Score 3, Informative) 331

First of all, I'll agree with you.

However, at the very least, this could have been easily solved by using a bulleted list instead of writing it out in a sentence. Non-standard syntax is not necessary in this particular case.

Second, law-making bodies (and the general public, as they ought to be able to access the law conveniently too) need better software tools for dealing with legislation. For example, they need better version-control -- I'm involved with local government, and getting a diff-like representation of the proposed changes to a law is way more of a pain in the ass than it should be. Another issue is that laws are structured like computer code, with external references, but there needs to be a better way to "inline" the other clauses being referenced so that it's easier to see the whole law without having to jump around and reference multiple sources. Finally, lawmakers need to be introduced to the concepts of "refactoring," "technical debt" and "removing unused code."

Comment Re:Lots of work to do (Score 1) 160

I thought one's project to become a professional had to be done with hobbyist tools in order to afford professional tools for the next project. The only ways I can see around this are A. to earn money for the required tools in a day job in a different industry, or B. to release hobby projects to establish one's reputation and then crowdfund the tools needed for a simultaneous 5-platform release of one's first professional project. Which one is more practical?

C. Become a professional and save up money by working at an established company before striking out on your own, D. get venture capital and/or a small business loan, E. go ahead and release on one platform first to get money for proper testing on the others, although that's not ideal), etc.

I thought it was copyright infringement to run macOS in "VirtualBox (or whatever other emulator/virtualization system is applicable)" on anything but a Mac.

You run Linux and Mac VMs using a Mac OS host. Obviously.

Do you consider it a desirable state of affairs to give Apple a monopoly over computers used by developers?

No, which is why I'd just release on Windows/Linux/Android and fuck Apple. You're the one who predicated this sequence of strawman arguments on wanting to release on Mac and iOS.

Regardless of all this, the fact remains that writing native code (even if it takes multiple times and testing everywhere) is infinitely better than balancing your game on the gigantic Jenga-tower of excessive abstractions and security holes that is Javascript/WebGL!

Furthermore, WTF is wrong with you? I've read your posts on Slashdot for many years now, and you're not usually this trollish and stupidly argumentative. Are you ill, or did somebody else take over your account or something?

Comment Re:Lots of work to do (Score 1) 160

First, an individual developer graduating from hobby projects to a first revenue-generating project is unlikely to have the financial resources right off the bat to purchase five different devices for which to build and test: a Mac, a Windows 10 PC, a GNU/Linux PC, an iPhone or iPad, and an Android device.


There are only two possibilities: either the programmer in question is a hobbyist, or a pro. If the former, then Virtualbox (or whatever other emulator/virtualization system is applicable) would be fine. If the latter, then two phones and a Mac Mini is affordable.

Besides, even writing platform-specific code from scratch is less complicated and time-consuming than you'd think.

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