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Comment Re:Idiocracy in action (Score 2) 238

I agree with you up to a point. However, make no mistake that there is a significant difference between a car I don't have to drive and the modes of public transit you have cited. To wit, a car (driven by me or a computer) will take me directly from A to B. No walking, no changing lines, etc. Aside from the fact that most people are incredibly lazy (I'm including myself in that number) the difference in time and convenience is significant. Yes there are cities where that difference is quite small (NYC, London, amongst a few others) but these places are very much the exception and not the rule.

Comment Re:a thought experiment....... (Score 1) 238

Absolutely correct. Investigations of aviation accidents involving autopilot errors, and the study of human factors more broadly, have shown that humans are really bad at passively monitoring while automated systems perform all tasks. This should come as no surprise, I suppose, as doing so is incredibly boring making it very difficult to maintain focus and extremely easy to become distracted.

Comment Re:Evil. (Score 5, Interesting) 390

That this is a stupid patent and may, in fact, be prior art, doesn't mean Google's motivations are nefarious. Indeed, if you are correct that it is prior art, then all the more reason for Google to apply for this patent even if they have no intention of enforcing it. If Google could receive the patent despite prior art (or lack of originality), then another organization could possibly have done the same thing and then turned around and sued Google. If you had billions to lose and were working in a broken patent system, you would apply for some dumb patents too, just to cover your ass.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 324

"Canadians hand count all votes before the nights end. We have preserved one of the cleanest examples of democratic election on the planet." Well said. And online voting would destroy this. Canada does it very well right now. You get a ballot. You put an 'X' next to the candidate you support. Real people count all the Xs. It's not very sexy, but it works, and if there's any suspicion of tomfoolery there's a paper trail to look at. We have a good electoral system not because we're inherently awesome as Canadians, but because our electoral system is based on good and sound ideas. Online voting is a (really cool but) bad idea.

Comment Re:I don't understand it. (Score 1) 294

You're right the patent is on the gene. Ok so they own BRCA1 and BRCA2. Fine so if we want to test for THEIR gene then we have to pay for the privilege. So let's make an analogy to a patent on a device. If I own the patent on a really useful device I have the exclusive right to sell it and reap the benefits of that ownership. But if that device injuries some of the users, well then I'm going to be liable. Well I say apply the same logic to the drug companies, sure we'll pay you for doing genetic tests, but if it shows my breast cancer is being fueled by a BRCA1 mutation, you're paying for my treatment!

Was the Yahoo-Google Deal a Ploy To Weaken Yahoo? 82

JagsLive writes with a link to a BetaNews story about a US Senator who is questioning whether the deal between Yahoo and Google was brokered with less than honorable intentions on Google's part. The advertising deal came under scrutiny from the Department of Justice recently for potential antitrust violations. The deal has now been delayed in order to allow investigators more time for evaluation. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that Yahoo will cut as much as 20% of its workforce after an internal memo from CEO Jerry Yang called for "discipline" and said the company was "getting fit" for the long term. For their part, Google has launched a site endorsing the deal and attempting to smooth the way for its approval by providing facts and positive reactions from experts.

Comment Re:How unfair... (Score 2, Informative) 366

Two points:
1)I don't think we can give too much credence to what we think stupid/crazy people will do in response to a certain policy. Personally, I'd be fine if amputees have a shot at competing in the Olympics and the cost is a few whack jobs cutting off their legs. I'd rather not see anyone lose their legs. But better that than deny these tremendous athletes the chance to compete in the world's most prestigious sporting event (despite having the technology to allow them to do it!).
2)If losing your legs and having prostheses put in is such an advantage how come this guy is over a second slower than the standard to even qualify for the Olympics?

Submission + - I have 38 days until the RIAA files suit (

vile209 writes: "A thread on Something Awful about a user being threatened by the RIAA's lawyers. Something seems fishy though, the user claims he did not download the songs and has a solid alibi. This news story has made the front page of and now has over 50 thousand views on the SA forums. Also Submitted because he is being sued for "Europe — The Final Countdown""

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