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Comment Violating contracts is a dangerous idea (Score 2) 52

I strongly oppose patent trolls, but retroactively breaking valid contracts and nullifying sales of patents because you don't like who the patent was sold to is a truly horrible idea. If you don't want patent trolls to have university patents, don't sell them to them. And fire everyone at the university involved if they do sell them. Letting the university enter into a contract and then back out with no consequence because the purchaser is engaged in a vile but legal practice does damage to our legal system that far outweighs any possible benefit. This is just a bad idea generally. The EFF should spend their time trying to get patent trolling itself banned, not damaging the sanctity of contracts generally with cheap stunts because they like some of the short term outcomes.

Comment Source Control (Score 2) 61

I don't honestly care if the software is open source, use what works best regardless of whether RMS approves or not. What I really want to see instead is publicly accessible document management for the laws and regulations. I want to be able to determine exactly who entered in every single word, made every single edit, and when they were committed to the document. No more "I don't recall who added that" or "I have no idea who made that change". And make sharing a login a felony, so a member of Congress can't give out their login credentials to their entire staff and then disavow personal responsibility. If someone pastes in 5 pages from a lobbyist late at night hours before the vote, I want to know precisely who did it and under what circumstances. Full transparency, right down to the single word or punctuation mark. The technology is cheaply available right off the shelf, they could implement GitLaw across the entire government by year's end for less than they spend on lawyers to defend FOIA lawsuits in a single quarter.

Comment Some people just read fast (Score 1) 207

Reading fast is not the same as speed reading. I have a naturally high read speed. If undisturbed, I can read a typical paperback novel in 1.5 - 2 hours, often while eating lunch. I can skim much faster, that's my normal speed for pleasure reading. I honestly wish that books took longer for me to consume, my book habit is fairly expensive. The limiting factor for me is mechanical, not cognitive - my speed is more affected by page and font size (how far do my eyes need to travel, time spent turning pages) than the density of the material. Don't lump in everyone who reads faster than you as somehow cheating or just showing off but not actually understanding the work.

Comment Stop using "moonshot" (Score 2) 49

I really wish folks would stop using "moonshot" or anything related as a metaphor for an open-ended research project leading to an unknown answer. Getting to the moon wasn't *easy* - which is why the world can still be broken down into nations that use metric, and nations that have walked on the moon - but ultimately it was a straightforward ballistics problem.

Comment Be nice with some device support (Score 4, Insightful) 47

I'm still waiting for someone to sell me a webcam that will work with Hello. There are a tiny number of laptops and tablets with one built in, but despite the technology being announced more than two years ago, there isn't a single stand alone camera that supports it. Supposedly Razer will be offering one in Q2, but no firm date. It doesn't really matter what apps the feature will unlock if no-one has the hardware to ever use it.

Comment Re:Good luck with the barnacles and weed etc. (Score 2) 67

If they've come up with an economically viable, environmentally friendly way to keep barnacles off for extended periods of time, that's a much bigger discovery than their little drone. Boat manufacturers would be pounding on their door and waving bags full of cash. So I'm guessing they're just hoping it won't be a problem and moving on rather than something they've seriously considered and have miraculously overcome.

Comment excess strain on CA grid (Score 2, Informative) 313

Can California's electric grid hold up if VW really did replace all those vehicles with electric cars? Electric cars aren't actually zero emissions - they just don't emit anything at the point of use. There's still plenty of emissions (or other environmental concerns) from the site where the power for them is generated, which is why CA has tried very hard to push most of their generating capacity out of state. Even hydro capacity has decreased, as more dams are broken than built because they apparently bother the fishies. So a massive surge in electrical demand from plug-in vehicles may genuinely hammer the local grid, a grid that is already prone to widespread brownouts. It's great to suggest that everyone go electric with their vehicles, but someone somewhere must actually generate the electricity first. It's like pushing the benefits of dairy products while banning anyone in the state from raising stinky cows.

Comment Where is he getting the government funding? (Score 2) 56

Elon Musk is a brilliant man, but he won't hand you a hanky without finding some way to get a government grant or subsidy out of it. Every one of his businesses gets at least some money shaken out of the taxpayers somewhere in the process. So where is he getting the federal or state money for this venture? I can't believe that he has broken with his long practice of finding a way for the government to pay him to do what he was going to do anyway, that would be a bigger story than the AI thing.

Comment A nice step (Score 2) 543

I just want a company officer to sign off, under penalty of perjury, on the supposed prevailing pay for the position they are seeking to fill. Right now the company gets to essentially make up a number, which no one checks and carries no penalty if anyone were to find out that they massively lowballed it. Put a company officer on the hook for it and suddenly those wages are going to jump up to a competitive level. Putting an artificial floor on the pay for visa holders is a nicely simple step that is hard to evade, but I'd really rather we just force the companies to pay the real wage for the job or have someone high ranking head to jail. There might genuinely be a job at a lower pay level that we simply can't get enough qualified Americans to fill. I don't know what it might be, but I don't want to close the door, I just want to cut back on the abuses.

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