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Comment Re:At what point does 'improvement' become a downs (Score 4, Interesting) 96

My son is the same, he's 11 and wanting to create Minecraft Mods has caused him to:
  - Learn Java (he had a few brief experiences with Processing but now he's reading the Nutshell books)
  - Decompile Minecraft
  - Find and follow instructions on how to do all this (Web and YouTube it seems)
  - Write his own mods

He's currently at the stage where he's letting his brother have his mods, and we're starting to talk to him about the implications of distribution (support, licensing etc.).

I'm doing very little except providing the right tools at the right time (IntelliJ has been excellent for navigating the code base).

Very impressed with Minecraft and how much he's been motivated to learn. I had tried to teach him some programming before but never really got anywhere, now he's so deep into aspects of Java that I can't really help him... and I've not had to utter a single word of encouragement or assistance.

Minecraft feels like it is the BBC Model B of his generation.

Comment Re:nightmares (Score 1) 495

If you research into 100 different ideas, and take them all the way from "Conception" to "Reduction to Practice" then you have a decent chance of winning a patent fight on them.

However, if you conceive of 100 different ideas, put them in your desk drawer, and then only pay attention to them (and reduce them to practice) when someone else has done something cool, you'll struggle to prove "Diligence" and hence won't be able to knock the other guy out.

The US patent system most certainly has flaws, but it does rewards inventor for inventing stuff, as opposed to people who can fill forms out. Alternatively, you can reward people who share (by filing a patent).

Neither first-to-file or first-to-invent are perfect (and the tradeoffs are to some extent unavoidable) but the founders of the US felt sufficiently strongly about the whole thing that it got a mention in the Constitution... having crossed the Atlantic more than a few times, my conclusion is the US has made a choice which is congruent with other aspects of American life.

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