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Comment Re:NOT a Patent Troll (Score 2, Insightful) 335

You have a higher standard for non-obvious inventions than the courts do. And I still believe that you will find most "great inventions" simply took existing parts and pieced them together in a useful way. Edison didn't invent the first lightbulb -- his improvement was to use a high resistance carbon as the filament. He didn't invent high resistance carbon. So, he simply pieced together two existing things that happened to work well together.

On you last point: as I said, if it is a solid case of invalidity, then it will never go to jury and be decided by the judge in summary judgment. Even if it did go to jury, whether juries statistically favor plaintiffs is studied quite closely and depends on jurisdiction. So I don't agree with your generalization of bias towards the plaintiff.

Comment Re:NOT a Patent Troll (Score 1) 335

Agreed. Tivo is the posterboy for why the patent system exists. They spent time, money and effort to develop a technology that was then widely adopted by other large companies with little to no effort. This is exactly why patent protection exists. Not every case where someone is sued for patent infringement is a case of trolling.

If you Person A owns a house+property and I decide I want to set up my new restaurant in your front yard because I think you aren't using your property wisely and for the full benefit of society, would Person A be accused of being a "Property Troll" for suing me? Silliness...

Comment My numbers (Score 1) 1137

I am in a similar situation and live in Boston (the focus of the article). We have lived here 3 years and never owned a car. The killer cost is parking both at home and at work:

Parking spot at our condo: $170/month
Parking spot in downtown: $400/month
Insurance in Boston: $300/month
Car Payment (depends on car): $300/month
Gas: $100/month
General maintenance: $100/month
TOTAL = $16,440/year

MBTA Pass: $59/month
ZipCar for occasional trips: $75/month
TOTAL = $1,608/year


Even if some of my numbers are slightly off (insurance, maintenance...I don't know...never owned a car) cars are clearly a waste if you live and work in Boston.

The Military

Submission + - Radical Overhaul for Pentagon¹s High-Tech

An anonymous reader writes: Defense Secretary Robert Gates just proposed the most sweeping overhaul of America's arsenal in decades. Major weapons programs, from aircraft carriers to next-gen bombers to new school fighting vehicles, will be cut back, or eliminated. Billions more will be put into growing the American fighting force, both human and robotic.

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 1056

If 145 children blew up in a school, the nation would morn it as a tragedy. If you could have stopped it with a simple solution, you would.

The fact is that the "tiny risk" of dying from chicken pox (once again...a low risk example; measles and other diseases are much bigger killers) is much greater than than the non-existant risk of dying from a vaccine.

You seem to imply that there is some reason to be distrustful of vaccines. It is fine to be skeptical, but the evidence is not on your side. Each vaccine carries at most 5 or 6 antigens. You are exposed to thousands of antigens every day. Your body can take it -- evolution bred it to. The initial studies of the chicken pox vaccine in the 1980s showed it was safe and new studies are constantly being released that continue to show that vaccines are safe. How much proof is necessary? 30 years of research is not enough?

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 1056

Yes. Poison...because that has been proven.

The question is how many people are saved versus how many are killed by vaccines. Show me the studies that show that vaccines are poison and then maybe there could be a sensible conversation.

Also, we happened to choose chicken pox. Vaccines for other diseases clearly have more benefit.

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 1056

Whatever. When you watch these kids die, 145 is a lot. Laugh all you want, but you are the one making decisions about your daughters health based on irrational fear of vaccines that has no scientific proof.

The US Gov't spends more money and endangers more lives to save fewer lives in the name of fighting terrorism.

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 1056

There has not been one study that shows vaccinations are actually effective.

I don't even know what to say to that.

Let's take the example of chicken pox.

Pre-Varicella vaccine, there were more then 15,000 hospitalizations due to Varicella from 1993-1995. Between 1990-1994, it was the cause of death for 145 people per year.

Post-vaccine, the number of varicella hospitalizations decreased by 75-88%, and decreased by 100% for infants! Only 16 deaths from Varicella were reported in 2003.

I don't know what your definition of effective is, but that certainly qualifies as effective to me.

SOURCE: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5604a1.htm [cdc.gov]

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 1056

You decided chicken pox was not a big deal because it wasn't for you. That does not make for a very good medical study.

Pre-Varicella vaccine, there were more then 15,000 hospitalizations due to Varicella from 1993-1995. Between 1990-1994, it was the cause of death for 145 people per year.

Post-vaccine, the number of varicella hospitalizations decreased by 75-88%, and decreased by 100% for infants! Only 16 deaths from Varicella were reported in 2003.

You might think Chicken Pox is not dangerous, but you are wrong because, like most parents, you are basing your decision on YOUR experience instead of studies done my medical professionals.

MY experience as a child was that I didn't need a bike helmet because I never got hurt. Does that mean I am not going make my kid where a helmet? I hope not.

SOURCE: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5604a1.htm

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 1056

I understand the intention is to help and that I am being a drama queen. And I don't disagree that parents are generally better at parenting.

I dispute that this is a parenting decision and would say it is a public health decision. One of the goals of federal government (that most liberals and conservatives usually agree upon) is to protect the nation's citizens -- they just might disagree on the method: via an army (the GW Bush method) or through healthcare (the dirty commie way).

The other problem I have with your argument is that this is a decision government implements upon the recommendation of doctors. For the most part parents listen to doctors about healthcare decision. For some reason, some people think they know better when it comes to vaccines. I can promise you they don't. They haven't done the research (or even read the research). They are motivated by fear and the false impression that things like chicken pox and measles are not deadly diseases.

Parents can have all the good intentions they want. But when they don't have a) good information, b) reliable data, c) and a brain, they can make bad decisions that harm their children (and society as a whole). And there are certainly times when doctors are allowed to override the parents wishes, but that usually that occurs in more emergent situations like when some idiot does not want to treat their kid because they think god will handle it.

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 5, Insightful) 1056

The problem is that it is not a matter of individual health -- it is a matter of community health. To prevent epidemics, a certain threshold of the population must be vaccinated. By not vaccinating your child you are not just threatening its life, but the communities overall well-being. As the husband of a pediatrician who honestly believes that not vaccinating your child is tantamount to child abuse (perhaps another thing that parents should be able to choose to do to their children?), I think this is exactly the sort of thing the government should dictate.

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