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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

DM9290 Re:Dark? (119 comments)

If, however, the "dark matter" does not interact with electromagnetism, but only with gravity and the weak force, (which would be an extremely odd, and frankly, a not very believable aspect of cosmology) things would get a bit tricky.

That is EXACTLY what most of the dark matter is suspected to be and that is what makes it tricky.

2 days ago
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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

DM9290 Re:oh boy (274 comments)

...The world is running out of hellholes that tolerate slave labour, ...

This. Exactly that. People are not made to work like machines until they die of exhaustion, people are made to live as people. And the work is only a means to live, not the reason of the life.

you can work now and die in a few years of exhaustion, or else not work and die in 3 weeks from starvation. What did you say about human beings? I couldn't hear you over the sounds of all the other people lining up to beg for your job.

about a month ago
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Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

DM9290 Re:Trust but verify (211 comments)

Well the blog post is really all they need now. he is the CEO of the company, which means what he writes there is what it is. If they sue now there will be some massive fees for them..

The question I would have though is what it means to be in good faith...

'good faith' is a legal term that is understood by courts. It is no more vague than "causing a public nuisance".

good faith: building and selling your own standards compliant electric cars for profit.
good faith: trying to build or design an improved version of the electric car based on tesla's technology.
good faith: making a standards compliant legal cell phone with a longer battery life.

not good faith : using the patents to operate a mobile meth lab.
not good faith: building substandard cars that have a 50% chance of bursting into flames and immolating the driver.
not good faith: building electric vehicles to smuggle weapons of mass distruction.
not good faith: building illegal bombs for criminals (as opposed to building legal bombs for a national government that is part of NATO).
not good faith: building fake tesla cars in order to dupe the public into buying your vehicle when they think they are buying a brand name Tesla vehicle.

about 1 month ago
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EU Launches World's Largest Civilian Robotics Program; 240,000 New Jobs Expected

DM9290 Re:240,000 jobs for robots? (171 comments)

Maybe your job goes away. As a roboticist, I get even more job opportunities. Sorry you chose the wrong field. For those who were made obsolete by robots, well that's progress. Maybe they can retrain as someone who repairs the robots that replaced them.

Or they can train to learn how to take your job. Maybe design robots that never need to be repaired during their practical lifespan.

Of course they would have to be willing to work for less pay than you since there are hundreds of them competing for 1 job. Using new virtual reality human resources algorithms, its not unreasonable to filter through all 500 candidates to find the 5 perfect replacements for you.

about 2 months ago
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Games That Make Players Act Like Psychopaths

DM9290 Re:Or, we could just be playing a game (212 comments)

If you naturally are repelled by psychopathic behaviour, then performing it could strengthen that revulsion.

so logically then the healthy portion of the population should be directed towards playing more violent games and watching more violent movies repeatedly in order to strengthen their revulsion to psychopathic behavior.

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan

DM9290 Re:The National Security Agency (241 comments)

Here is a reality check for all of us: our freedom, liberties and way of life often come at at the cost of denying someone else of their freedom, liberty and sometimes their life.

So what you are saying is that it is Our Way of Life that is evil?

about 2 months ago
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New Semiconductor Could Improve Vehicle Fuel Economy By 10 Percent

DM9290 Individual parts (119 comments)

"The future could be shaped by individual parts, and this new semiconductor tech is one piece of that puzzle.""

Apart for the fact that this new semiconductor tech isn't an individual part, then sure.

about 2 months ago
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Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

DM9290 Re:Just Tack on a Fee (626 comments)

Not consuming more fuel than necessary is a worthwhile goal if you believe that markets are more efficient when market failures such as negative externalities (air pollution, etc.) are corrected.

or if you prefer not to breath somebody else's air pollution regardless of how efficient or inefficient it makes the market.

about 2 months ago
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Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

DM9290 Re:Next target, please (626 comments)

Dunno if you heard this one but "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" have always seemed like perfectly fine inalienable rights to me, we should work on implementing that inalienable part.

And because alcohol, of all things, is proof that God wants us to be happy, Americans pretty much have a constitutional defense against prohibition, right? ;-)

American's did. Which is why prohibition required a constitutional amendment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

DM9290 Re:Troll (451 comments)

sorry. the term 'hate' was hyperbole. 'Indifferent to civilization' would have been a better term.

Imagine someone wanted to pay you to do those things you say you do in your "non working hours". In that case you would be "working" for reasons other than money. And it would not feel like work. It would simply feel like free money.

not everyone works merely for money. Some people do what they love and it happens to generate revenue as a side benefit. I just figure there has to be at least some activity you enjoy doing that is worth something to somebody. In which case you would be able to work for reasons other than mere money.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

DM9290 Re:Troll (451 comments)

Money is the only reason one works a job. Money to live, money to retire.

Don't forget money to pay for your funeral!

Money is not the only reason one works. I happen to have unpaid jobs that are "work" in every sense except that I lose money on them. In all cases I do what I do for the satisfaction and prestige I get from being good at it, improve my skills (to get even better), solve interesting challenges and to improve the lives of others. It just so happens that 1 of my life long hobbies pays the bills so that I don't have to have a job "just for the money" so I can spend practically all of my working time for pleasure. And in many cases I enjoy the paying hobby far more than the unpaying ones.

If my primary hobby wasn't worth money, I would have to do something else, but I enjoy doing any number of things very much that people get paid to do. Most of my hobbies that I do for free are things that other people do professionally. I got sucked into 1 of them primarily because people seemed to need it more and I had a better knack for it.

I you think money is the only reason to work then I encourage you to ask yourself why you don't seem to enjoy doing anything worthwhile. Perhaps you hate civilization?

about 5 months ago
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US Supreme Court: Patent Holders Must Prove Infringment

DM9290 Re:Now the next step... (143 comments)

Prior to this ruling (ignoring the shake downs by trolls) an individual or small company had a chance of winning a patent case against much larger entities (motions and legal wrangling aside) as the process of discovery forces the defendant to show their cards and prove they aren't infringing with no upfront cost to the plaintiff.

With this ruling, if you come up with the next great search algorithm (software patent absurdity aside) and Bing/Google/Yahoo steals it you now have to foot the bill for the discovery. Without the court order you also aren't going to get very far in that process as they aren't exactly going to welcome you into their office, sit you down at a console, and give you access to their code.

If a company files a motion against you to for a declaratory judgement that it is not violating your patents, that motion would only be able to cover the material that it disclosed to the court. A judgement could never cover anything that they refused to disclose to the court.

You can't get a court to rule that something it has no knowledge of was legal. It has no jurisdiction to make such a ruling.

The burden of proving they infringe may rest on you, but only in terms of the subject material they are trying to get a declaratory ruling about. Perhaps a specific device or product or component. Presumably you would understand your own technology enough to be able to find the infringement or else be able to make a request for disclosure for whatever document you need to show it was infringing. And there is no principle that says that an adverse party requesting disclosure from the other side must pay costs.

I am not a lawyer, but any sane judge would refuse to make rulings about facts not in evidence before the court.

about 6 months ago
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Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

DM9290 Re:So the USA is all libertard? (374 comments)

Yes, we do think those rights should apply outside the US. Mainly because we've thought those were natural (or god-given, depending on preference) rights, not privileges provided by government, since our country's conception.

Actually not quite. The American Constitution is a contract between american citizens (aka The People) of what you promise not to do to each other. The US Government is not conceived of as an independent entity with its own identity but an emergent property of The People consenting to collect their rights together for the benefit of all The People, based on the pooling of their individual sovereignty. 'We The People' refers to American citizens.

Consequently, since people in other countries didn't sign on to The American Constitution, they haven't made any promises to you of which of your rights they wont violate and you have absolutely no expectation of your contract with your fellow Americans being honoured, also you are not bound by the Constitution to respect the rights of foreigners.

There is however an expectation that anything the American Government has promised to do towards foreign nations it will honour, because The People of 1 nation can freely enter into an agreement with The People of another nation, which is why American Treaties actually form part of the law of the land (and it says this in the Constitution). This, for instance, means the US government must honour the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights inside the borders of any nation that is a signatory to it because the US is a signatory to it.

The bottom line is that the Constitution is a written contract between The People. The US government doesn't claim to be bound to always respect inalienable rights, but only whatever it expressly agreed to respect.

At the very most some foreign government can violate your so called inalienable rights and you could launch a civil lawsuit (or a revolution) against it for being wronged and a US court might agree with you. But nothing in the Bill of Rights claims that all of the rights contained therein are all inalienable rights.

about 7 months ago
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Mars One Selects Second Round Candidate Astronauts

DM9290 Re:And if they fail -- so what ? (216 comments)

We'll learn that there are some things that are simply too expensive to fund by voluntary donations and advertising dollars.

about 7 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

DM9290 Re:Moral Ambiguity (415 comments)

Alan Turing, like Oscar Wilde, had some sexual partners who were working class youth.

Back in those days, homosexuality was homosexuality, all homosexuality was illegal, and age wasn't much of an issue.

While the Gay Movement celebrates the unjust persecution of Alan Turing for "Homosexuality," they gloss over the fact that today, we would lock him up, throw away the key, and denounce him as a pedophile for consensual sex with teenagers.

It's lovely that he's been pardoned, but it's a bit hypocritical how today's Gay Activists grandfather in for Historical Gay Icons, behavior they would be the first to loudly condemn in their contemporaries.

I think at the time the age of consent was 14. Are you sure he was having with sex with anyone below the age of consent?

about 7 months ago
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Alan Turing Pardoned

DM9290 Re:ex post facto (415 comments)

If you can quash a conviction even though it was perfectly correct by the law at the time it happened then you can prosecute someone for something they do today if it's made illegal next year.

Retroactive law is a dangerous box to open.

It is a determination that the previous conviction was in fact NOT perfectly correct by the law.

There is no specific reason why humanity has to worship the stupid choices of past generations and pretend our ancestors knew everything. We can abolish old laws and declare that they were always unjust from the start. That isn't the same thing as punishing people for past technically legal actions.

about 7 months ago
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Proposed California Law Would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch

DM9290 Re:Federal Communication Commision (252 comments)

Federal Communication Commision regulates cell phones. Federal law preempts state law. Any California law could be nulified by the FCC.

Federal Law only pre-empts state law when there is a contradiction. Is there a federal law that specifically says cell phones must not have a remote killswitch?

about 7 months ago
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Army Laser Passes Drone-Killing Test

DM9290 Re:Reflective Armor (173 comments)

No, reflection from a plastic with aluminum powder embedded in it is only partial, the remainder of the energy is turned to heat. These high powered lasers can bore a hole through a normal household mirror, by the way, for the same reason.

1. they don't fire the laser at the reflective side of the mirror. the non-reflective side of a mirror is usually tarnished and pretty dark colored.
2. the metal in a mirror is very thin.

not saying it is impossible, but it strikes me that the development cost of a laser resistant mortar would be far far less than the cost of a laser system that can reliably destroy such a mortar.

I don't think mylar is a good material to use either.

about 8 months ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

DM9290 Re:intelligence (370 comments)

Considering that chimps are as intelligent (at least) as two and three year olds, I think they should be given the same sort of rights. The right not to be tortured, and mistreated for one.

Oh but they are beasts and awful, and rape and stuff. Yeah, humans are horrible aren't they.

Humans aren't special. Get over yourselves.

intelligence is not the ONLY reason we give 3 year olds rights.

the other reason is that 3 year old grow up into 4 year olds, then 5 year olds, then 20 year olds etc. Chimps never grow up into adult humans.

the differences don't stop there.

about 8 months ago

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Privacy vs Private Property

DM9290 DM9290 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

My opinion on privacy and private property:

(these are not arguments. They are statements of opinion at this time. My opinion is subject to change as new information comes to light. Call me a "flipflopper" if you will.).

Privacy does not derive from private property rights.

Private property rights derive from the right to privacy.

Privacy is a fundamental human right. It goes with the person and surpasses the "private property rights" that others may claim against the person.

To the extent that objects, land or material possessions are a matter of privacy, you OWN them by moral right. They are a part of your psychological being, and it is prima facie wrong for that to be disturbed against your will.

To the extent that objects, land or material possessions are merely a matter of "wealth" then you only own them by accident and not by any kind of moral right.

You can't defend property by saying "it is MINE", because "MINE" is only what is written on a receipt or deed somewhere. The argument "it is ME" however is morally persuasive.

And by "it is ME" I mean, the the object or property is of personal, sentimental, value. You use it in a personal way, and it affects your experiences of the world around you. It may be a record or your personal identity or it may transmit information about your self or merely an expression of your personal tastes, and thus, for you to share or keep private as you will.

I believe if people can not have these things, their lives will be uninteresting, insubstantial, irrelevant and unbearable.

Consequently, that kind of personal property should be considered to be protected as a fundamental human right.

The less personal privacy interest in a particular object you have, the less "ownership" is a matter of "rights" and becomes a matter of legal technicalities or accident.

Society does not owe you any protection of mere legal technicalities or accident. Any property laws which exist to maintain or propogate mere technicalities or accidents, are not moral. To the extent that they interfere with the fundamental human right of privacy, they are immoral.

We are slowly erroding personal privacy rights, and restricting them to those who own property. This is wrong. It should not continue.

The position taken by many, that someone on "public property" has no right of privacy, is falacious because whether or not property is public or private is a mere technicality. The landless (i.e. the majority of the human race) by that argument have no right to privacy at all. This is immoral.

Property advocats defend private property because they argue that without private property, personal privacy and liberty is an impossibility against state intrusion. I would take it a step further and say that without private property, personal privacy and liberty is an impossibility against the intrusion of other individuals as well.

However, the argument goes to far when it is used to justify treating employees or customers or citizens (and people in general) as mere objects and less than human beings when you violate their privacy on "your" property.

Morally, I say that your property is yours to protect your privacy and enhance your life. It is not yours to invade the privacy of others' and diminish their's.

Just my $0.02.

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An idea for fixing patent law

DM9290 DM9290 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

The scope of individual patents are often to broad, and applicable to inventions of dubious creativity or insight.

It seems to me that the mere non-obvious requirement is too subjective (and perhaps too low of a threshold) to justify a state granted monopoly and the threshold should be changed to something more objective.

I propose for your consideration, the the following threshold: an invention that would have been useful for some significant amount of time, but has eluded invention until now is worthy of the reward of a temporary state enforced monopoly (i.e. a patent) in the hopes of encouraging active investment in its discovery.

This threshold insures that most of the inventions which would be invented by default (because they are obvious enough to occur without any promise of monopoly) do not get monopoly protection, and go immedietly into the public domain.

As to the question of what is a significant period of time? That is somewhat arbitrary. It could be different for different types of inventions, or it could be 20 years for everything.

Once the general principle itself is accepted, then defining "significant time" is a seperate exercise.

The actual amount of time which would be considered "significant" should be set to something proportionate to the duration of the monopoly protection. Long terms of monopoly protection should only be rewarded for ideas which solve age old problems.

However regardless of how "old" a problem is, the duration of a monopoly should still be finite and clearly temporary. The durations of monopolies rewarded today are apparently long enough to encourage invention (as new inventions are constantly being created).

I only propose a means to discriminate between inventions worthy of monopoly and inventions which should immedietly go to the public domain (due to their obviousness). A system which does not rely on the subjective ability of a patent clerk to discriminate between "obvious" and "non-obvious", but merely the ability to discriminate between "useful" and "useless", and the ability to judge durations of time. I believe these are more objective measures than the measures currently used.

Patents should be a system to encourage inventions which would otherwise not occur. Patents should not be a system of inventor welfare. A patent should not be applied to an invention which is so obvious someone would voluntarily invent it for FREE.

Such a system, as I propose, would also have the benefit of reducing the practice of "evergreening". That is the practive of patenting a slight improvement on a currently patented invention. As the improvement was not needed until the underlying invention existed upon which the improvement itself was invented. The improvement would not be patentable if it was invented in less than a certain amount of time considered "non significant". The non patentability of the improvement leaves the field open to all who would invent such an improvement as long as they invent it within a period of time that would be considered not "significant".

If anyone invents that improvement (in that time) it would be free to all who were able to use the underlying invention (the underlying invention itself still benefiting from patent protection and being a prerequisite to using the improvement).

Such a system would also remove the incentive for the inventer to hold back on the improvement and "invent" a slightly crippled invention for the purpose of "inventing" the improvement several years later and in effect extend the duration of the patent. The inventor could hold onto the improvement for a period of time in a hope that no one else will invent the improvement themselves, however there is a risk. If someone else does invent the improvement within a non significant period of time, then that improvement will not be a patentable invention and will go to the public domain.

Of course both the original invention and the improved version become available upon the original patent's expiration.

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