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Comment Odd (Score 4, Interesting) 249

I was under the impression that Birth, Death, and marriage information was publically available in California.

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic...

It would seem that this law is in violation of the existing laws, but IANAL, nor am I a rich 'celebrity'. Hollywood folks seem generally above most laws, or at least shielded from them.

Comment Re:Internet of (some) Things (Score 1) 114

Or you could say, just give the kid a key to the front door like everyone has for years and years. My car is connected to the internet, and I get an email report monthly regarding fuel and engine performance, tire air pressure and other generally simplistic things that anyone who maintains a car should know how to do. I have numerous automated things in the house, lights, auto watering systems, a proximity opening pet door and the only one that really needs or benefits from internet connectivity are the cameras on my alarm system, and I can never be sure it is really secure, though I've checked it out thoroughly and monitor the firewall closely. When I am home I disable the cameras and leave the exterior sensors on.

Comment Re: The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 526

He doesn't appear to understand the meaning of the word free trade because support for free trade were words out of his mouth after talking about implementing tariffs, though

He understands it very well. What he means when he talks about free trade is not free movement of goods or labour (which benefit poor people), it's free movement of capital (which benefits rich people). He wants to clamp down on free movement of goods and labour but continue to allow free movement of capital, because that's good for him.

Comment Re:Neat! (Score 1) 161

Here's the problem: there is far more of a shortage of smart people than of money in medical research. That's okay though, because while $3bn sounds like a lot, it's actually a really tiny amount. I couldn't find the most recent figures, but in 2003 the US alone spent $94.3bn on medical research. That's around $123bn, adjusting for inflation. Even if Zuckerberg spent all of the pledged money in one year, he'd only be promising to increase this amount by just under 2.5%, for a single year. Can you think of a single large project where a 2.5% increase in funding for one year has made a large difference, ever? It sounds like he's actually spending the money over 10 years though, so that's a 0.25% increase in funding. I'm being generous there and only counting the US budget. The EU spends a similar amount, Russia and China both spend a lot, so in total it amounts to well under a 0.1% increase in funding for medical research over 10 years. How much more productive would you be if I offered to pay you 0.1% more over the next 10 years?

Comment Re:People tend to think others will behave as they (Score 3, Insightful) 133

Not necessarily. As the grandparent posted, and I've said many times before, creating is hard, copying is easy. You need a business model where people pay for the creation, not the copying. For example, you release a beta version of the game with most of the game world missing for free, then you ask for funding to finish it. Once you've received enough to cover your development and distribution costs and make a decent profit, you release the game for free. Then you start asking people to contribute to developing the next one.

This sounds weird, but it's actually exactly the business model that many TV shows use. They produce a pilot and send it to the networks for free. The networks watch it and if they like it then they fund the development of the first season. If the first season does well, they start asking the network for money for the second, and so on. The only difference is that you'd ask the customers directly, rather than having a middleman who wants to sell adverts.

Comment Re:Distorted justice (Score 4, Insightful) 133

You don't even have to go that far. If I go into a shop, steal a DVD, and give it to you, the penalty is lower than if I buy the DVD, make a copy, and give that to you. I suspect that part of the reason that people don't take the risk seriously is that it's hard for a moderately sane person to imagine that a court would uphold a penalty for copying an object that's greater than the cost of stealing it.

Comment Re:How to fix that? (Score 1) 187

While five years seems a bit long, that's so streaming and rebroadcast doesn't cut too deeply into the DVD/BluRay sales

Studios used to wait six months between cinema release and DVD sales because they were scared that DVD sales would cut into cinema ticket sales. Now they often do simultaneous releases because they learned that if you don't make content available in the format that people want then they'll pirate it (and now we have large statutory penalties because it's hard to argue actual damages when you're refusing to sell the thing that's been pirated). People won't buy the DVD if they can't stream it, they'll either go without or pirate.

Comment Re:You Really Want To Go Down This Road MS?? (Score 1) 470

Also, take a look at Google's Pixel device or Apple's Mac. Both of those are locked down in similar ways, possibly even more severely.

I'm not sure about the Pixel, but from what I've read it's expected to support dual boot out of the box. Apple Macs come with a tool called Boot Camp that will partition your disk and aid installing MS Windows (it provide drivers for various bits of hardware and installs the required BIOS compatibility optional bits in the UEFI partition for non-EFI-aware operating systems).

Comment Re:The Self Reward Syndrome (Score 1) 210

It is impossible to lose weight if you eat more than you burn, even if all of those calories are "healthy".

That's assuming that 'eat' and 'digest' are equivalent. They're not, and various things affect the efficiency of your digestive system. It's perfectly possible to eat a lot more calories than your body absorbs (though it's not possible to eat fewer unless you learn to photosynthesise).

Comment Re: I claim prior art (Score 2) 201

If you ever visit Apple, go to their cafeteria. Order a pizza. Look at the box: it comes in a custom Apple-designed cardboard box (actually, a very nice design that is smaller than a normal pizza box and stacks better). Look carefully, and you'll see the Apple patent number listed on it. I wanted to take a photograph, but apparently Apple is very strict about people not taking photos anywhere on their campus.

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