Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

Exactly! How the hell do you tease out what part of the profit was derived from the shape of the phone case and the arrangement of icons?!? Especially since the phone may not have sold, or sold as well, without those properties? Samsung's analogy about an 18-wheeler with an infringing cupholder is just absurd -- without A/B testing, there's no way to know whether buyers chose the 18-wheeler based on the cupholder or some other factor. But if the cupholder was the deciding factor (as, in actuality, it often is), then *all* of the profits were derived from that infringement.

Now I think design patents are problematic, especially when things are merely similar rather than indistinguishable, but I agree that this verdict was the worst possible outcome.

Comment Re:stupid and too late (Score 0) 291

Do you know how to hitch a horse to a wagon? And do you think it should be a fundamental requirement of education? Driving proficiency has only been a basic necessity for about a century, and there's no reason it should continue to be important. Removing useless knowledge allows us to focus on more important things.

Comment Re:time to dial back the shill (Score 1) 299

There's no reason a software-controllable button can't also be reliable. It's called a failsafe. Maintain contact for X seconds, and a completely separate circuit takes over and switches off the power. I'm willing to bet that Apple engineers thought of this.

Comment Re:Set up correct secondary DNS servers (Score 1) 351

Wouldn't it be subject to the same weaknesses of cryptocurrencies -- namely that an enormous amount of energy has to go into otherwise useless computation, that anyone with sufficient computing power can assert that they have the correct blockchain, and that the blockchain quickly becomes large and unwieldy?

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 917

Well, I can't argue against your internal dialog because I don't know you, but for people who truly don't want to work, those people get jobs because they have to, and then work as little as possible. In many cases, they're counterproductive. For people who are simply intimidated by the job-seeking process, not having to worry about failure would probably ease those fears considerably at least, or give them more time to find a job that's a good fit for them. Perhaps there truly are people who are simply intimidated by the application process to a degree that they would never try if they didn't have to. I suspect, with no data to prove it, that this set of people is very small relative to the whole, and that policy decisions should not be made based on corner cases.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 917

That's fine though. Less motivated people are less productive anyway, and we don't lose a lot, collectively, when they remain on the sidelines. They shouldn't be penalized for that though, at least not beyond not being less successful than they could be.

What we're really talking about is the threshold for how low we let people fall, and to me, that threshold should be a place to live, food to eat, and some spending money to contribute to the economy. Assuming most people agree (which is a huge assumption, granted), then it just becomes a question of the most efficient way to provide that. In my view, we currently do that by letting them work at McDonalds or WalMart, with mixed results, but a UBI might be a better way, particularly as low-skill labor becomes less and less necessary.

This taboo against "freeloading," like premarital sex, is mainly a moral judgment, not a practical one. Sure, they were both born of practical objections to the potential (even likely) consequences, but when those consequences can be easily mitigated or avoided, then the objections become less relevant. That's what progress looks like.

Comment No they won't. (Score 1) 75

Both sides in a conflict have a vested interest in preventing live coverage of their operations, and at least one of those sides usually has control of the local infrastructure, with the other side usually trying to destroy it. Satellite is the only viable option, and even that can be spotty and jammable, and is exceedingly expensive in any event. Sneakernet will always work, but not for live streams.

Comment Re:This doesn't prove what they were hoping to pro (Score 1) 192

we truly are only in the beginning of the era of machine learning, and currently, there is no upper bound to what it can possibly do.

Of course there is. Machine learning can't change the laws of physics, for example, so we can use that as a starting point, and then use linear regression and K-means clustering to.. oh god damnit.

Slashdot Top Deals

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun