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Comment A Few more things ... (Score 2, Insightful) 842

A few life lessons that may help...

- No matter how smart you may think you are, there are others who are smarter

- In almost all cases, software provides a service to those who need to use the software for their job. So when the customer/user asks or suggests a change, resist the urge to say "Why would you need to do that?" Listen to their needs, take the advice in stride.

- Managers have their own goals and methods that often work against engineering quality (specifically cost, schedule and award fee). No matter how "right" you think you are, you will probably not change their motives or methods.

- Your career and time are valuable. Choose who you work for carefully and don't misplace your loyalty. (See previous point).

Comment Specialized Market vs. Mass Market (Score 2, Interesting) 488

As someone who works in a very specialized market (aerospace), I would be concerned that if Autodesk or any other developer of specialized software were not able to dictate the terms of their licensing, including licensing the individual rather than having the license apply to the copy of the media itself, then many specialized markets would fail.

Why? Because there are limited sales opportunities to support the employee base required to develop and maintain the product. CAD programs are not like a copy of "The Hunt for Red October" largely because virtually anyone can use a copy of a movie, but only a few (by comparison) can utilize a CAD program. There are even more extreme cases in aerospace and helps to explain why there are so few successful COTS software providers in aerospace. But if Vernor's claim is upheld, even those companies would fail as a large organization (like NASA) would simply need to buy a fixed number copies and then pass them from mission to mission.

Second-hand software sales in specialized markets would kill those markets. Just my two cents.


FCC Reserves the Right To Search Your Home, Any Time 589

mikesd81 writes " reports that you may not know it, but if you have a wireless router, a cordless phone, remote car-door opener, baby monitor or cellphone in your house, the FCC claims the right to enter your home without a warrant at any time of the day or night in order to inspect it. FCC spokesman David Fiske says 'Anything using RF energy — we have the right to inspect it to make sure it is not causing interference.' The FCC claims it derives its warrantless search power from the Communications Act of 1934, though the constitutionality of the claim has gone untested in the courts. 'It is a major stretch beyond case law to assert that authority with respect to a private home, which is at the heart of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure,' says Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Lee Tien. 'When it is a private home and when you are talking about an over-powered Wi-Fi antenna — the idea they could just go in is honestly quite bizarre.'"

When Does Gore Get In the Way of Gameplay? 141

Wired is running a story inspired by the level of gore in the recent Wolverine game that wonders: how much is too much? It mentions a study we discussed in February which indicated that violence tended to interest gamers less than other characteristics. "... the longer you play a 'twitch' action game, the less you notice the cultural content — the gushing blood, the shrieks of agony. You're too busy focusing on the gameplay. I noticed this with Wolverine. For the first hour, I found the deranged bloodshed both shocking and exciting; it made me feel like I 'was' Logan, the grunting, killing-machine character from Marvel Comics' X-Men universe. But as I became more expert, the cultural shell of the game boiled away. In a sort of staring-into-the-cascading-numbers-of-the-Matrix way, I found myself looking past the visible aspects of the game and savoring the underlying, invisible mechanics of play. ... The game became pure physics and algorithms: Vectors, speed and collision detection. The gore had become mostly irrelevant."

Comment Re:I don't understand it. (Score 4, Interesting) 294

I have a sneaking suspicion that you are right - this isn't about the gene itself, but how to isolate/observe, etc. That process could very well be an invention and it certainly cost R&D money to the original developer.

I guess the question comes down to whether patent protection for health related concerns should be exempted as some (not myself) consider health care a right (I consider it a need and responsibility to procure, but not a right that I expect others to provide for me.)

The plaintiffs are clearly attempting to use this case to overturn all health related patents (in the article) and in my opinion pull health related research from the private sector to the public sector. This would bolster the advocates of national health care and create another (unwritten) constitutional right.

Comment Chicken and the Egg: Ad Revenue and Content (Score 3, Insightful) 338

The comment above points to ad revenue drying up as one cause for the demise of print news. While reduced ad revenue may cause newspapers to fold (pun intended), it is not the cause of the reduced circulation and therefore lower ad revenue.

Content is everything and as our society has become more politically polarized, the bias in American news media has become more and more obvious. This leads potential readers (like me) to simply not subscribe. Just as when I see movies with certain politically vocal stars, I simply avoid the box office. This is America and actors can be advocates and newspapers can be political advertisements, but choices have consequences and I sometimes wonder if these groups understand that you can't diss half of your audience without consequences.

I am a computer guy, but I hate to read long pieces on line. I would actually like to subscribe to a regional paper if I really did think that I was being offered unbiased news. So although I think that online media contributes to the demise, once again I do not think it is the cause.

The simplest cause for the demise of newspapers: content (or lack thereof).

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