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Comment Re:What can be done about it? (Score 1) 126

Well, what could be done is obvious and simple: get rid of the patent office altogether. The problem with that is really in how to do the above, which is really hard and there's actually two issues: One, most people think a patent office helps, especially in areas other than computers, like medicine, when in fact the same problems exist there. It's just that in our industry, it moves much faster so we can see the problems more clearly, but they do exist in all industries as well. It's also mentioned in the Constitution rather directly, in one of the very few mistakes the founders made. Article 1, Section 8: "Congress shall have the power ... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries". Now of course, having the power and using it are two different things, but call me a little skeptical on the ability of Congress to restrain itself.... Two, there's the issue of all the time and money spent now on acquiring and defending patents, so those companies which have patents and patent lawyers would be a heavy and focused lobby group against eliminating the patent office. And they would definitely use the people who foolishly believe the office helps to spread the word, couched no doubt in terms of, "But what about the small-time inventor?".

Comment Re:First off... (Score 1) 774

*If* we take your definition of gunfire crime only, then yes, I'd agree. The problem with that definiton is that the pro-gun stance is that *all* crime, especially violent crime, would be at worst the same, but probably lower, if gun ownership was encouraged. From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/5712573/UK-is-violent-crime-capital-of-Europe.html :

It means there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe. Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland. By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population. France recorded 324,765 violent crimes in 2007 - a 67 per cent increase in the past decade - at a rate of 504 per 100,000 population.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

Well for starters:

Sherman anti-trust Glass-Steagall Minimum Wage Act Wagner Act The Clean Air Act The Clean Water Act the OSH Act FMLA Sarbanes-Oxley

Pretty much all of those do actually help entrenched interests more, at the very least with cost of compliance if nothing more. Bigger companies and what not pay a smaller fraction of their total income to comply with laws (Sarbanes-Oxley for example), which makes it extra hard for newbies on a shoe-string budget to come in and challenge the old order, and the bigger interests will have a further legal/political line of attack against smaller ones to boot. You can be rest assured that ATT and Verizon will throw that 'net neutrality' book at any newcomer trying to get into the business. Beyond cost, which is bad enough, some are downright harmful in their own right, like minimum wage laws, that were originally enacted in the US with the help of the then predominately white unions in an effort to keep cheaper minority laborers from undercutting them. Basically, since companies had to pay more for workers anyway, all employers generally kept the higher skilled of their workers and fired the rest. More interestingly, there is evidence that minimum wage also allows employers to be crueler even to those that aren't fired. link: http://divisionoflabour.com/archives/006523.php So all in all, some very bad examples you gave here, but hey, you already got your +5 insightful from the slashdot crowd.

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