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Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 81

I never said that, and responded to your other post explaining that I never said that. If you want to insist I did say it, please copy-paste from my post.

OK, if you say so. That makes about 90% of your original post completely irrelevant to any point you were trying to make. You could have just said "Congress passed the latest law that applied to this in 1952, and this appears to be at odds with how I interpret it", but instead you wrote some enormous history of how SCOTUS totally misunderstood Congress's intent in 1885 and Congress stepped in and rewrote the law, even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in hand.

My insults to them were an explanation of why they voted 8-0 and issued an opinion that only had 5 substantive pages and punted the creation of any test to the Federal Circuit: they really don't care much about patent law. This was to address your contention that, because they're "deeply divided" on Constitutional issues around, say, privacy or the federal-state divide, it's highly unusual for them ever to agree on something (that happens to entirely unrelated to those issues).

You're implying that this isn't normal. SCOTUS doesn't usually write long essays on all the possible things it wants to overturn, and nearly never prescribes how a lower court should resolve them. This is a fairly standard case of a trial participant appealing a ruling over a technical error, and SCOTUS agreeing with them, explaining why, and telling the lower court to rethink.

And it doesn't take more than five pages to explain "You're doing it wrong, you should be basing profits on the articles of manufacture, like the law says you should, rather than the entire finished product."

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 81

. I said they're disregarding the explicit language of a long-standing statute and previous Congress-slap of the court, and replacing it with "you want a test? Go make one up."

Absolutely untrue, and after you made a big song and dance about how they're somehow reversing Congress's wishes, it's hard for me to take seriously the notion you were never arguing that.

Flip over a carpet sometime. You'll see a standard mat that the fibers are woven into that is the same, regardless of design. That mat is a substantial part of the carpet, literally holding it together.

Nobody's arguing any different. If there's a practical way to separate the components of a carpet into articles of manufacture (and they must be items you'd make separately) in such a way that only one part violates the patent, then only that one part violates the patent, and the damages can be assessed. That's entirely within the keeping of the 1952 act, which explicitly codifies the "Article of manufacture" language.

but it's not necessary to redefine article of manufacture.

Sotomayor isn't redefining anything. The term has always had a meaning. Congress's intent is preserved by this ruling. The reason all eight justices agreed that this was the original intent, and original meaning of the term, is because legally it is.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 2) 81

Nope, you're just wrong about what they did. I explained here, but to summarize:

Your claim: they went back to 1885 and changed the profitability criteria to "incremental value added by patent."

What they actually did: they said that the profits due to the infringed upon party need to be those applying to the component that was sold, rather than the whole of the smartphone.

To put it another way: If Samsung makes $200 on profits per a $1000 phone, and would have made $199 in profits if it didn't have rounded corners, and case makes up 5% of the total cost of the phone, then:

In 1885 (we agree): Samsung would pay $1 per phone to Apple.
In your interpretation of the law: Samsung should pay $200 per phone to Apple.
Eight supreme court justices: Samsung should pay something similar to 5% of $200, eg $10 per phone (or a similar formula.)

Your insults to the Supreme Court Justices are noted and hardly do your case credit: they may not know much about technology, but this case wasn't about technologies, it was about the criteria needed to measure compensation. You bet Scalia's fat dead ass they all know the law on that better than anyone else.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 81

You're misrepresenting the opinion. The opinion is not "Oh, let's go back to the incremental value added by the patented technology as the yardstick for profitability", it's "Let's recognize that this device is made up of separate parts ("articles of manufacture"), and only one part violates the patent. The profits that need to be turned over to Apple are those applying to that component."

What's the difference?

In the carpet's case, 100% of the carpet violates the patent, regardless of whether you compare it to a beige carpet or not. In the phone's case, the phone has a case, a screen, electronics, and so on. Only the case, for example, violates the rounded corners patent.

Reading the opinion, they're not just making up that criterion. The "article of manufacture" concept is long standing in the patent world, and it would certainly mean a complete shake up of patents if patents ceased to apply to components, and only to the whole of a completed product. (Whether that's a good or bad thing I'll leave to the lawyers.)

This hopefully explains why 8 justices who rarely agree on anything outside of which branch of Applebees to have lunch at all agreed with one another this time.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 81

I'm finding it somewhat improbable that an 8-0 decision would be made on a deeply divided Supreme Court with justices having dramatically different views of the constitution if there's such a compelling case in opposition to the decision they made. Can you put forward a theory that explains why all eight justices rejected this argument?

Comment Indulgences (Score 4, Interesting) 126

And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.

What exactly does that mean? Buying green power isn't really all that green: the renewable power you are consuming is power that is not going to be consumed by someone else. To be really green you need to work towards significantly increasing green energy [\production, not consumption. True, what they do does increase demand which may help drive investments in renewables. But I'd be more impressed if they would actually generate most of the power they need themselves. At the scale they use it, that should be economically feasible too.

Comment Re:China's Trump is named Xi (Score 1) 288

Well, I don't think anyone thinks many non-Chinese speaking Americans are going to move there. I think this is targeted at the top tier of immigrant talent, particularly people who may have come from China to the US for school and stayed. For them the equation is more complicated than the one you present, particularly if they feel unsafe, or even unwelcome in the US.

Just to put some perspective on this, as I write this there are 328,547 current graduate students in the US from China. Ten years ago nearly all of these people would have remained in the US -- and these are valuable people to have. Today far fewer do because it's become harder to get a green card, and opportunities.

Likewise there are 166K Indian graduate students in the US, many of whom China would like to lure away when they graduate. It would be better for us that they stay here, but China would very much like to obtain the services of these bright young people with shiny new graduate degrees from American universities.

I'm not talking about the cheap contract labor your IT consultant uses to run your Exchange server; I'm talking about the intellectual elites who create technologies, companies, and jobs. China may be a police state, but that doesn't make them stupid; they value these people. America... not so much. In fact there are places in this country where being an educated white American makes you the object of suspicion.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 701

The great virtue of Democracy is not in ensuring good government, it's in getting rid of bad governments.

The fact that Congress is so reviled yet stable indicates we're no longer a functioning democracy. We're a plutocracy, where elections are determined by overwhelming advantages in fundraising.

Comment Re:Tempests and Teapots (Score 4, Insightful) 235

US kids don't need more computer science, US companies are already (still) offshoring tech jobs as fast as they can.

Well, it's not so simple as that. Let me illustrate.

The average salary of a software engineer in San Jose is $110,000. The average salary for a software engineer in Omaha NE is $77,629/year. So why aren't software companies setting up shop in Omaha? Possibly, they should. But the size of the talent pool around San Jose is immensely larger, making it more likely you can find exactly what you need if you're an employer. The market says that's worth paying a 42% salary premium.

Software is almost unique in its ability for workers to create the need for even more workers. If you are producing washing machines, the demand curve for washing machines doesn't shift because you make more of them. But the demand for software as a whole can. Software isn't like washing machines, because it isn't just one thing that addresses a single need. It's many things, some of which create new needs. The 130,000 people working for Oracle create many times that number of tech jobs -- for good and bad reasons. Who knows how many jobs the 700 people working for Canonical create, both users, app developers, and even developers of derivative distros.

I happen to agree that US kids don't need computer science, but for different reasons. You can't really learn much computer science until you've had at least high school math, so what they're really talking about is vocational training for programmers. That's an utter waste of time. Employers want at least *some* college, if not a degree, and if you're talking about middle school kids the training you give them is likely to be obsolete by the time they enter the workforce.

Which doesn't mean I think teaching kids to program in Python or (depending on their age) Logo isn't a good idea. A little programming is a useful skill across many professions. But there are only so many class hours in a child's education, and you have to look very sharply for anything resembling diminishing returns. In my state Kindergartners are being assigned homework, believe it or not, because of the curriculum pressure in higher grades. Kindergarten is covering material that used to be covered in first grade, and day care providers (even small operations run out of the provider's home) are expected to take early childhood education classes and do what used to be done in kindergarten.

There's just no room to put more stuff in unless it's extremely useful.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 5, Insightful) 701

Slashdot is a forum where the majority of users are IT professionals, our brains able to deal with some unbelievably complex problem solving that people outside of IT consider a type of magic. Most of us have been hailed as geniuses by our friends and family.

Stray outside of IT related issues however, and the comments here vary widely from occasionally insightful to completely idiotic. You know it. I know it. Everyone here knows it.

And it's not just us. From Thomas Edison to Richard Dawkins, remove them from their field(s) of expertise and they end up being advocates of really shitty ideas.

The point is Carson is intelligent in his field, but that doesn't make him qualified in anything else. I'm not saying it precludes him from being smart in other fields, but it explains why in many areas he's said some really dumb stuff.

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 2) 264

If you're talking about things that happen with p < 10^-5 you can can't test to any kind of reasonable confidence level. Engineers have to use the collective experience of the profession as a whole as a guide, in addition to actual testing.

Since phone design is interdisciplinary -- involving marketing, industrial design and engineering -- engineers will just have to push back when the designers and marketers try to take that half millimeter away. This case will be a touchstone for future generations of EEs, the way the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is for civil engineers and Therac-25 is for software engineers.

Comment Re:Dangerous (Score 1) 358

I'm pretty sure I'd see features like independently powered exit row lighting, emergency exits, inflatable slides/rafts, life vests etc.

In design and engineering you can't make things failure-proof, but you can plan for certain failure-modes. Yeah, if you lose a wing at 10,000 feet or do a nose dive at Mach 2 into the ground nobody is going to survive. But there is plenty of design that goes into an airplane that is aimed at very rare situations like the loss of all engines.

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Journal Journal: Some post election clarifications 4

1. No, Liberals were not "in a bubble". Our reaction isn't because we were surprised by the Trump victory, we knew there was a chance of one, pretty much every liberal I knew in a swing state voted for Clinton because we knew how close it was. Our reaction post election is horror, not surprise. Insofar as we expected a Clinton win, it was because the opinion polls seemed to suggest that. Those of us who trusted Nate Silver knew there was a one third chance of Trump winning.

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