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Comment The market for this (Score 4, Interesting) 63

A month ago, my department at work held a golf outing (I did not attend, but they are remarkably popular here). Over 70 people participated. Over the course of that Friday, three golf carts were rolled, one badly enough that the driver ended up with a broken arm and had to be carted to the ER.

Several engineers are now permanently banned from that course, and we may end up not having any more golf outings. So there is definitely a market for self-driving golf carts.

The downside, of course, is that they may well end up designed by the idiots who rolled them in the first place.

Comment It's their job. (Score 1) 165

When lawyers do stupid things, it's largely because they are paid to do them. They represent the interests of their clients in regard to legal issues. Client says "we own slide to unlock," the lawyers they pay find ways to make that stick.

This doesn't make me any more fond of the tactics they use in representing those interests, but it's important to realize that they aren't usually the driving force behind it.

People like that nozzle Carreon notwithstanding....

Submission + - Top Europe court bans stem cell technique patents (

gila_monster writes: The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research purposes, a ruling some scientists said threatens important research since no one could profit from it.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said the law protects human embryos from any use that could undermine human dignity.

There are no such restrictions on obtaining patents on stem cell techniques in the U.S. and many other countries.

Comment Re:Not the first middle east nuke (Score 0, Flamebait) 630

There's no logic in this... only antisemitism. Some people have no logic when it comes to hatred.

Israel and Iran are not even close to the same thing. One is a country with a form of democrac, voting, women's rights, and many different peoples and religions. The other is a hardcore extremist Islamic state where they have openly promised to wipe us off the map (in Arabic of course), and they are controlled by a lunatic dictator who believes a world war will usher in the messiah.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of racist people who defy logic. I'm, actually, one that thinks the Israeli government sucks and is controlled by a bunch off asshats but you don't see me comparing Israel to Iran. That's ridiculous and you have some serious bias there.

Comment Re:You're an idealist. (Score 1) 334

>>>it really surprising that any sufficiently complex field has jargon?

Products that are intended to be consumed by the average person on the street should not include jargon - that includes not just user manuals but also laws. The Patriot Act should be written in plain English, so the citizens can understand it and obey it. Or else nullified by a jury on the grounds that the defendant can not reasonably be expected to obey a law he can not read.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 219

Everyone always says, "I can just plug in my dual wizbang monitors and Windows detects it all and everything JUST WORKS!"

Anyone who says that absolutely everything "just works" in any operating system is an idiot.

Generally, what people say about Windows is that most common devices "just work" when you plug them in. In my experience, this is true.

In my experience, this is also mostly true in Linux, but only very recently, and to a lesser extent than in Windows. For example, I still haven't seen a decent "plug it in and it works" distro for dual monitors. Also, it wasn't until Ubuntu 9.04 came out that I finally found a distro that "just worked" for the wireless adapter in my laptop. However, most other devices "just work" quite nicely.

Personally, I use both, but for different purposes. All my servers run Linux, and all my workstations and media centers run Windows (I experimented with Linux media centers, but I found Windows to be a better fit there).

Comment Check the fine print... (Score 1) 454

Sites that post customer reviews typically have something in their policies which indicates that they reserve the right to screen the reviews before they go up. As someone else already indicated, as long as they are not editing your review to make it sound more positive and posting the edited version, they're probably not violating any laws. It is certainly borderline from an ethical standpoint though, regardless of what their official policies are.

I've generally found that the quality of customer reviews at online retailers leaves a lot to be desired anyway. Most of the people posting them seem to be clueless, and sometimes it is even obvious that they're never even bought the product in question! I generally ignore customer reviews entirely. Occasionally I may use them to make a final decision between two otherwise very similar products; but if you are relying on them to give you unbiased feedback about a product, IMO you are asking for trouble.

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