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Comment Free software assistant... already exists (Score 3, Informative) 35

Free software assistant... already exists

http://mycroft.ai

They've got an RPi image you can download, slap on a card, and be up and running with a USB mic and something to handle the audio out.

Seems to me like the FSF should pay more attention to what is already going on.

Comment Re:But the Qualcomm product is worth it (Score 1) 61

Absolutely not. Consider -for example- the crime of manslaughter. The relatives of the slain can often press civil charges against the killer for his conduct. That fact has _absolutely no bearing_ on the criminal charges available to and evidentiary standards for The State's criminal case against the killer.

That's an entirely different situation. In a case of man slaughter, the victim is dead (so he cannot seek relief). The state does not brings criminal charges to correct the wrong done to the relatives. It does it to correct the wrong done to the victim.

It actually _does_ mean that.

That would mean that by agreeing to a "reasonable compensation" they agree to not have any say in what is or isn't "reasonable." "Non-Discriminatory" is also difficult to parse because it has to mean like compensation in like situations. But every company's business model is different so it would be hard (although not impossible) to find 2 "like" situations.

You should also read at least the first few sections of the law that establishes the FTC's mandate to understand what it can and cannot do.

I am fairly sure this would be the 1st time that FTC brings monopoly abuse charges against someone trying to re-negotiate licensing of a granted patent.

Comment Re:Good idea, bad name (Score 1) 116

The name "autopilot" isn't confusing at all if you think of it as an analogue of the autopilot in a commercial airplane

Yeah, it's not confusing, all I have to do is think about it for a bit, then read the article you linked to, and everything will be clarified.

As a software developer, I can tell you that all my users are totally willing to put that kind of effort into understanding. They really try to understand I'm not being sarcastic here at all.

Comment Re:Good idea, bad name (Score 1) 116

Because if they come up with a better name, all problems are solved. They don't have to go around with complicated explanations telling people about their misconceptions. Or maybe you think it's easy to go around telling people they have misconceptions about what words mean?

Rename it, it's just easier.

Comment Re:Squirrels spread their attacks conveniently (Score 1) 129

I feel like you have a reasonable assessment of the security problems the country faces, but I think you underestimate the resources required to exploit them. It's probably takes more than five malware assisted spies to take down the infrastructure (say, the power grid). It takes a lot of training, expertise, and if you want to target SCADA systems, a lot of expensive equipment, and if you want to attack hardware that is properly air-gapped, then even more effort and a bit of luck, too. It's not a cheap operation to take down a big system (which is why no hacker has done it yet for the lulz although maybe they are trying?)

Comment Re:Squirrels spread their attacks conveniently (Score 1) 129

ok, someone modded it down, but the push with "cyber security" and power is not a new thing. Remember when they wanted an 'internet kill switch?' It's not about Russians, or Chinese, or fat people in the basement, it's about people using excuses to increase their power. This theme has been going on for as long as the 'invade Iraq' thing was going on........many years before the invasion actually happened.

Comment Re:Squirrels spread their attacks conveniently (Score 2, Insightful) 129

How many spies and saboteurs with well-placed bombs (or high-powered rifles) would it take to disable the power grid? Not many, I would think. There are a lot of threats besides 'the cyber.'

Security is something for professionals like us to think about always while we're working, but it's not something to panic about. A lot of these news stories like this one are designed to spread panic, and to increase power to those who are spreading panic.

Comment Re:The death spiral is continuing. (Score 3, Informative) 153

At the same time, efforts to diversify into other areas have not been, to put it charitably, as successful as they would have liked.

No, they making money by the bucket-load. Check it out, the new face of Microsoft. They missed mobile, but they've managed to diversify sufficiently into other areas that they are now more profitable than any time in the company's history.

Good riddance to Windows, though. May it die a quick death.

Comment Re:Shipping and Handling (Score 1) 284

Somebody forgot about shipping and handling.

And Economics 101. If you somehow managed to bring that much iron to the Earth, it would completely change price structures. Iron would become essentially free as a raw material, with only transportation and processing costs. People would develop all kinds of new applications for raw meteoric iron to take advantage of its low price, etc.

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