Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Garmin (Score 1) 138

The newer GPSs are getting better about voice assistance, before they totally vanish from the market. Also, they're not telling Google/Amazon/Apple everything you're saying at home (yeah, I know, theoretically they don't usually do that) or letting TV commercials order bags of dogfood sent to you (really big bags, because Alexa knows it was a Labrador Retriever barking.)

Trade shows used to raffle off iPads and such. Now it's mostly Amazon Echo variants, which I actively don't want in my house, as opposed to drones, which I'm not interested in but not annoyed by.

Comment Re:So? (Score 2) 122

I've been staying at places through VRBO for nearly 20 years, I doubt that anyone knew I was a temporary renter unless they're really familiar with their neighbors or were directly involved in the rental activity (I've been told to "see Clara next door for the keys" type of things multiple times). Just because there are assholes out there doesn't mean we should try to shut down an entire industry.

Comment Re:The solution is also a problem (Score 1) 208

Identity verification is not necessary for moderation. It is simply necessary to give new users a probation period during which their posts are invisible until cleared by a moderator. This -- and moderation in general -- is labor-intensive, but labor is the difference between a forum and a dumpster fire.

The echo chamber effect happens when moderation goes beyond preventing abusive and uncivil behavior. Most community moderation systems tend to fail in this way, especially on political blogs. There's an old saying about management that a fish rots from the head down, and this is just as true for moderators as it is for any other kind of management.

Maybe AI will eventually automate this but, for now, if you want a fair, unbiased forum full of polite, well-informed participants, you need human moderators with those same qualities putting in time and effort. It's not magic, but it is hard work, so we rarely see it.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 4, Informative) 266

Seriously though, how can a golf ball have 11 patents on it?

Read Costco's reply to the court, in which each patent is listed along with Acushnet's claims and Costco's rebuttal. You can look the patents up online at the USPTO web site. Let's look at a few, shall we?

Patent# 6,994,638 - Golf balls comprising highly-neutralized acid polymers.
Abstract
A golf ball comprising a core comprised of a polymer containing an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt, a cation source, or a suitable base thereof, the core having a first Shore D hardness, a compression of no greater than about 90, and a diameter of between about 1.00 inches and about 1.64 inches; and a cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, or cationic ionomers.

What is claimed is:

1. A golf ball comprising: a core comprising a center and an outer core layer, the center comprising a thermoset polybutadiene rubber composition having a first hardness; and the outer core layer comprising a polymer comprised of an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt of the organic acid, and a cation source or a suitable base of the cation source; and having a second hardness; and an inner cover layer and an outer cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, polyurethnnes, polyureas, polyurethane-ureas; polyurea-urethanes; or cationic ionomers; wherein the first hardness is from about 50 Shore A to about 55 Shore D and first hardness is less than the second Shore D hardness by at least about 10 points.

Here's Costco's rebuttal:

11. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,994,638 (“the ’638patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 1 of the 638 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS golf ball do not constitute infringement of claim 1 of the 638 patent, however, because, among other things, the Shore D hardness of the center core of the KS ball is not “at least about 10 points” less than the Shore D hardness of the outer core.
12. The 638 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Patent No. 6,468,169 and other prior art publications and activities

Clearly, a lot of chemistry work went into this patent to make the balls have a certain elasticity. Costco says that their balls do not have the same properties, therefore they did not infringe upon this claim.

Here's another:

Patent# 8,123,632 - Multi-layer golf ball
Abstract
Golf balls consisting of a dual core and a dual cover are disclosed. The dual core consists of an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition.

Here's the claim in question:

"17. A golf ball consisting essentially of: an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and having a diameter of from 1.100 inches to 1.400 inches, a center hardness (H.sub.center) of 50 Shore C or greater, and an outer surface hardness of 65 Shore C or greater; an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition and having an outer surface hardness (H.sub.outer core) of 75 Shore C or greater; an inner cover layer formed from a thermoplastic composition and having a material hardness (H.sub.inner cover) of from 80 Shore C to 95 Shore C; and an outer cover layer formed from a composition selected from the group consisting of polyurethanes, polyureas, and copolymers and blends thereof. "

While a multi-layer golf ball is nothing new, this patent builds on an older patent for a multi-layer ball. Acushnet claims this is a new innovation that Costco violated. Costco claims otherwise:

15. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,123,632 (“the ’632 patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 17 of the ’632 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS ball do not constitute infringement of claim 17, however, because, at the least, the surface hardness of the outer core of the KS ball is not 75 Shore C or greater.
16. The 632 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Publication No. 2007/0281802 and other prior art publications and activities.

So Costco again says that because their balls don't have the same properties, they aren't violating this patent. This is all pretty standard legal wrangling.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 1) 266

Just another reason to SHORTEN the length of patents for none drug inventions. There is NO reason on earth that a patent on a golf ball needs to be 20 years

Why not? Is the research into the aerodynamic characteristics of a golf ball more or less worthy than the research into the hydrodynamic characteristics of a blood vessel stent? For that matter, someone who keeps active as a golfer is likely to be healthier longer than someone who is sedentary and requires drugs and other medical interventions to live. Certainly you'd agree that the sporting goods companies have done more good for public health than Martin Shkreli ever did as CEO of a drug company.

Research is research, and the law says that inventors can profit from their inventions. I'm sorry you don't like that.

Comment Re:Second rule of business (Score 1) 115

Your business has absolutely nothing to do with what you want to sell... it has absolutely everything to do with what your customers want to buy.

"But we can shift that paradigm! This time, we'll plan better, we just need to educate our consumers."

Well, at least they taught their consumers a valuable lesson: Sony, famously guilty for shitting on the rights of virtually everyone through their crappy DRM-enabled hardware, still sold way more consoles than Microsoft.

Microsoft just has never excelled at building what customers want.

Nokia and everyone else had phones with Java, so Microsoft shipped WinCE phones - that didn't sell.
Apple came out with their DRM-encumbered iPod, so Microsoft followed it up with the DRM encumbered Zune - that didn't sell.
Apple came out with the iPhone with the walled app garden; so Microsoft shipped Windows Phones with a walled garden - that didn't sell.
Steam and Sony and Nintendo came out with DRM encumbered games; so Microsoft shipped the XBox One - that sold quite a few, but sucked.

Their two biggest problems are that they want to use services as license enforcement gateways, and that their stiffest competition to their Software V3.0 is their own Software V2.0. Nothing new in Office has been worth buying upgrades since about 2007, yet they have managed to convince some people to upgrade to Office 2010, 2013, and now Office365.

And people are getting more and more fed up with the constant greed. LibreOffice has caught up to about Office 2007 in terms of maturity, which is good enough for a lot of people and companies. Linux has caught fire in the corporate world, overthrowing WIndows Servers by the millions. Cloud computing is moving companies to outsource their hardware data centers. Azure is competent in this arena, but cloud computing is already close to a commodity - there's not a lot of value Microsoft can add over the other big players.

It's weird, but at the core it's an existential crisis for one of the world's largest companies. They are desperately trying to figure out something to sell that will still be in demand 10 years from now.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 395

I do the same when looking for a restaurant - find a negative review and they'll tell you everything good about the place that they don't understand.

This. I use this same strategy when evaluating any product. Read a few good reviews, sure, but I need to read a few of the top negative reviews to figure out if the product actually has weaknesses that matter to me, or if it's just been purchased by a few users with unrealistic expectations.

The good thing about negative reviews is they usually aren't placed there by the business or by a sock puppet/SEO, so the dishonest reviews are at least more transparent. If some jerk with a grudge posts a 1 star review, they'll often include a whole sob story about how this company was unfair to them because they didn't immediately replace the broken thing the user dropped on a concrete floor.

Comment Re:But which kind of stroke? Too thin or too thick (Score 1) 41

To throw another wrench into the decision matrix, an ischemic stroke is caused by a clot that has been jammed into a narrow blood vessel. If the patient is not particularly healthy he may have fragile arterial walls, in which case the clot can damage the artery. Ironically, this may lead to the clot doing its intended task, becoming the thing preventing the damaged artery from hemorrhaging. In these rare and undiagnosable cases, responsibly using tPA (or spider venom) to dissolve the clot can actually lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Comment Wait until they discover the comments (Score 1) 76

This is probably a function of the age of corporate executives, i.e., older folks who don't actually browse the web very much. Advertising around unmoderated comment sections is like placing ads in bathroom stalls. It's done, and it can be done successfully, but generally for local businesses and only in certain categories.

Comment Re:What do you expect? (Score 3, Insightful) 151

Just think about how many movies have come out in the last 20 years, and even RECENT TV shows/Movies whose plots break down immediately if a true Panopticon/Big Brother society exists.

CallerID would have wrecked 25% of Columbo episodes if it had existed back then. "Won't somebody please think of the screenwriters" is an unusual take on technology changes!

I recently rewatched the original Day of the Jackal from 1973. The entire movie was the suspense of the police chasing him via a paper trail of hotel registrations and phone calls, and I couldn't help but think that the whole movie would have been over in about three minutes if SQL existed.

Comment Buyback of Cars (Score 1) 115

Well, I submitted my buyback in December and haven''t heard a word from Volkswagon on the issue.

On top of that, when I call about my car they consistently tell me my signed papers aren't in order, or my papers are blank, or my papers are not received from their settlement portal or they are notorized wrong...the excuses are endless, and of course all false.

It is starting to get sorta irritating and although I signed papers to not pursue further damages, I didn't sign papers with the intention they would lie to me on the phone, obfuscate the return or just simply ignore my phone calls, which I am starting to consider that the offer was in bad faith.

They better start responding to my inquiries about my 2015 TDI or I am going to get an attorney and sue them based on bargaining in bad faith.

Slashdot Top Deals

"We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb your cities." -- Robin Williams, _Good Morning Vietnam_

Working...