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Comments

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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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 3 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 3 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 months ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

DM9290 Re:The Lawyers for NhRP are racists (370 comments)

Isn't that precisely what modern pro-choicers also think? That different classes of persons should have different rights? The difference being that most aren't willing to call fetuses people....

Nope. I didn't have a right to embed myself into my mother's body when I was conceived, nor when I was 4 months a fetus, 4 months a baby, or 40 years old.

I think nobody has the right to be embedded into any woman's body without her continuing consent EVER.

The instant a mother wants to retract her consent from a fetus is the instant she has a right to an abortion and it absolutely trumps any claims the fetus has.

So - go ahead and call a fetus a human being or a person or whatever you want. I'm still pro choice.

about 4 months ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

DM9290 Re:so how will they earn a living (370 comments)

Exactly, well put. It is entirely moral for me to torment a retarded child, who can't understand or return respect to me.

Thanks for clearing that up!

Not so. Because humans have empathy and you can't torment a "retarded child" or a dog or an ape without indirectly tormenting yourself.

the child or animal would exhibit symptoms of distress which you can understand on an instinctive level because you are a human being and you would want to provide assistance to relieve the suffering. If you didn't feel such motivation then arguably it is YOU who don't understand respect and can not return it.

Furthermore there is an entire legal process that would be triggered by such an action which necessarily entails a great deal of unpleasant labour by other people to deal with your actions, perform a criminal investigation, etc and so you are tormenting other moral agents as well.

The rest of us, having every reason to believe you have empathy and understand the consequences of those acts would judge your acts as immoral. And if you proved you felt felt no empathy or understanding of the concept of law we would judge you as being criminally insane and thus not a moral agent yourself.

about 4 months ago
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UK Retailer Mistakenly Sends PS Vitas, Threatens Legal Action To Get Them Back

DM9290 It is not your property. (617 comments)

As a general rule you are not the owner of property sent to you in error.

If someone _deliberately_ sends unsolicited property to you, then the usual rule is this is presumptively a gift.

If someone _accidentally_ sends property to you then the usual rule is that ownership is not transferred automatically.

However if you reasonably assumed it was a gift then you might have lost it or sold it thinking it was your own, and since the error was not yours, you would not be liable. On the other hand, it is unreasonable to think a store would send you a video game system for no reason. And a reasonable person who orders something from a store, and recieves the wrong product would first suspect an error on the stores part. If you contact the store and they say "nope it is a gift!" then you can keep it.

about 4 months ago
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Sony Issues Detailed PS4 FAQ Ahead of Launch

DM9290 Re:Brazil charges prohibitive import duty (312 comments)

Protectionism is nativism. Nativism is racism.

Honestly, your example of "Germany became strong due to these tactics and without which couldn't have tried to take over the world" doesn't really help your cause. With a weak, divided Germany there would have been no World Wars and millions of gentiles and Jewish people would be alive today.

How is protectionism racism? I have to live with the people in my community and they are the ones who are going to cry on my shoulder when they lose their homes. It has nothing to do with their race.

refusing to allow immigrants into my community might be racism, but that is NOT what an import tariff is about. Import tariffs only refer to products and services, not people.

refusing to allow cheap imports is just a method of helping my neighbors have a competetive advantage (even if unfair) so they can continue to do something productive rather than sit around being unemployed.

when they have money in their pockets they are more likely to buy stuff from me. far more likely than somebody on the opposite side of the planet.

This keeps us both busy and feeling happy about our lives. We feel like we are working together with out immediate neighbors. this is the source of much happiness in the world.

More over - there are certain labour and environmental practices that I consider to be immoral and should be banned regardless of the cost. Doing business with my neighbors allows me to ensure for myself that they are behaving in a way I consider to be ethical. If products come from mystery factories overseas then I have no clue who is being exploited or how much pollution is being created.

about 6 months ago
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Sony Issues Detailed PS4 FAQ Ahead of Launch

DM9290 Re:Licenses purchasable separately? (312 comments)

I've never been able to get the PS3 to play my remote media (or even the same media off a USB stick). It won't even recognise my MP3 files.

Getting it to work with my Harmony remote was a pain in the butt, too. This was before Harmony released the bluetooth bridge which I refuse to use on general principle.

strange because I use my PS3 to play off a my Netgear router/media server almost every day. I even used it to play off my Acer tablet. And MP3s are no problem at all.

about 6 months ago
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Sony Issues Detailed PS4 FAQ Ahead of Launch

DM9290 Re:Brazil charges prohibitive import duty (312 comments)

Depends on how you define "works". If you mean funds the state pretty well and protects some industries at the expense of everyone else, then yes they work great.

not at the expense of "everyone else". That is an over simplification.

For instance, If the price of imported electronics goes up (via an import tariff), this creates an opportunity for local electronics producers to benefit. The local cost of electronics increases, and the profit margins of local electronics producers increase. But the only people who have any increased expense are those who buy electronics.

If you don't buy electronics then your costs are unaffected. And if you buy electronics your costs are affected only in proportion to that specific item.

However the local manufacturing of electronics creates jobs, and creates demand in many sectors, not only electronics (for instance a factory requires construction and machines which are not necessarily made exclusively of microchips). the people with those jobs are now going to spend their money throughout the entire local economy, which in turn benefits everybody locally. In turn this creates more incentive for local investment and even greater local prosperity.

Protectionism has a proven history of working. And every wealthy powerful nation started off as very protectionist. There is not 1 single example of a country becoming wealthy and powerful by starting as a completely open free trade zone.

about 6 months ago
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Most IT Workers Don't Have STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Degrees

DM9290 Re:Personally (655 comments)

Touch typing speed is irrelevant for programmers.

yes. just like being able to play a musical instrument is irrelevant for composers.

( that was sarcasm)

about 6 months ago
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Robots Join Final Assembly Line At US Auto Plant

DM9290 Re:Coming Soon (223 comments)

Sounds like it would be better to have everyone work one day a week, while everyone benefits from social welfare. Though it also sounds like severe taxes on having too many kids should be in order too.

So tax the kids. makes sense.

about 7 months ago
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Robots Join Final Assembly Line At US Auto Plant

DM9290 Re:Coming Soon (223 comments)

Nope, we're approaching 3 classes, Robot Slaves(who don't mind), super wealthy robot owners, and people who are expected to work in a world where work is done by robots.

You forgot the 4th class. The permanently underemployed.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

DM9290 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Privacy vs Private Property

DM9290 DM9290 writes  |  more than 8 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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