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Comment And in related news... (Score 1) 502

How is an AK-47 like a QWERTY keyboard?

http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/?last_story=/tech/h tww/2007/06/01/ak_47/

Seriously, the linked article is dated 1 June 2007. The World Bank policy paper it covers is from April 2007 (http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDS ContentServer/IW3P/IB/2007/04/13/000016406_2007041 3145045/Rendered/PDF/wps4202.pdf).

Quote from the paper (also quoted in the salon article):

The AK-47's ubiquity [in conflicts in third world countries] could alternatively be explained as a result of a path dependent process. Economic historians recognize that an inferior product may persist when a small but early advantage becomes large over time and builds up a legacy that makes switching costly (David 1975). In the case of the AK-47 that early advantage may be that as a Soviet invention it was not subject to patent and so could be freely copied.

Either this patent story is a joke, or Sergei Ivanov is spending too much time on teh internets...

Comment Re:Not too surprising really; What if? (Score 0) 566

What if someone had an extra million and a half US$ lying around, and decided to pick up a T-Rex, just to train a team of mainframers? How much time are we talking about? My only experience with a mainframe came at BMC, where I was used to help a group of mainframers connect up to the Big Iron through a PC running Japanese OS/2. Loved that green screen.

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