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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

NetCow Re:Are you patenting software? (224 comments)

Those patents disclose algorithms. Basically, applied math. Which should have never, ever been allowed as claims in a patent since they are antithetical to the compromise between the inventor's and society's benefit the patent system was designed to facilitate. So, yes, they are pretty much what one would call "software patents".

Whether or not they describe revolutionary ideas, and whether or not they required creative thought to invent is completely beside the point. Patenting algorithms runs against the very worldview that built the research scaffolding which allowed you to come up with these ideas (the old adage about standing on the shoulders of giants--and now imagine a world where those shoulders could only be visited if you paid the piper.) Math isn't invented, it's discovered.

That being said, under no circumstances would I recommend a client to hire you if I caught wind that you owned patents applicable to the field in which you would be working. That simply screams "conflict of interest", "subsequent lawsuit", and "humongous liability."

about 2 months ago
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Comparison of 4 FREE different methods to ensure OnLine privacy.

NetCow There are exactly zero methods to ensure this (1 comments)

There are exactly zero methods to ensure online privacy.

Now, if one were to be talking about improving online privacy, it'd be a different matter entirely.

about 10 months ago
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Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

NetCow Re:*Shrug* (304 comments)

I.e. DRM doesn't work. Moreover, it has the opposite effect, rather than preventing copying, it encourages more copying!

I actually take issue with your assertion that DRM doesn't work. I posit that DRM works exceptionally well - it's just that most people aren't aware of exactly who DRM mechanisms are mostly aimed at: the distribution channel, the software and hardware vendors. Not the end users.

I urge you to read Ian Hickson's most excellent post on the matter. It's well worth the couple of minutes invested, but if you're impatient, this is the main takeaway:

DRM's purpose is to give content providers control over software and hardware providers, and it is satisfying that purpose well.

about a year ago
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US Government Shutdown Ends

NetCow Re:153 GOP voted to default (999 comments)

What amazes me is that those people seriously considered a situation that could have had a devastating economical effect on the US. Things like this cause nations to implode. A bankrupt, non-functional state has time and again led to violent overthrow and civil war. This is what their game of chicken was risking. And when you listen to some of their backers they would welcome this in the hopes to build a different state from the ashes. Only their vision is really frightening.

Indeed it should be, but I hope you're not under the impression that this is anything unprecedented in any way, shape or form. The actions of the Tea Party are perfectly rational given their underpinnings. Here's a thought-provoking (and well-researched) analysis about their origins, motives and strategies: Tea Party radicalism is misunderstood: Meet the "Newest Right"

about a year ago
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Star Citizen Takes the Crowdfunding Crown, Raising More Than $4M

NetCow Re:Yes we need a reboot because... (123 comments)

Works perfectly fine under Wine, and there's a very active multiplayer community, too - significantly expanding upon the original game. Take a look at Discovery Freelancer.

more than 2 years ago
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The Three Pillars of Nokia Strategy Have All Failed

NetCow Re:Blogspam, on my Slashdot? More likely than you. (409 comments)

You're correct, we did read it differently :) I read it as pretty much making fun of Ahonen.

While I wholeheartedly agree that the consequences of Elop's "strategy" were quite obvious, Ahonen did more than speculate - he tried (and, for the most part, succeeded) to back up his statements. He provided hard data, several possible market share collapse forecasts (which turned out to be faily accurate - much closer than the projections issued by any other ratings agency), and several ways to try and fix Nokia's decline.

That's why I was a bit miffed - I dislike other people's actual work to be brushed aside with a shallow joke. I know this kind of belittling "humor" is endemic, but it's representative for the pernicious "bah, big deal, I could've done the same thing if I'd only bothered to work at it" mindset.

more than 2 years ago
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The Three Pillars of Nokia Strategy Have All Failed

NetCow Re:Blogspam, on my Slashdot? More likely than you. (409 comments)

Woah, he predicted Windows Phone would not succeed at the level of iPhone and Android? Better tell James Randi to hang it up, because we got a real god damned psychic right here!

Bra-vo, very sarcastic and blasé, but unfortunately it makes you look quite ignorant. Ahonen predicted this in February 2011 right after Elop's announcement. For example:

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Issues Workaround For IE 0-Day

NetCow Re:Tired of the IE hate... (101 comments)

Sure it can:

The enterprise MSIs are patched in sync with the other updates. Managing Chrome via LUP + the Chrome ADMs is a breeze, since if an "uncontrolled" (LocalAppData) Chrome instance starts and there's a MSI on the machine, the uncontrolled instance will respect the GPO settings.

more than 2 years ago
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FTC Approves Microsoft's Takeover of Skype

NetCow That's pretty much it for Windows Phone 7 then... (153 comments)

... since carriers love Skype so very much due to its ability to shift their revenue from the extremely profitable voice calls to the much less profitable data transmission channels, and since nobody will believe Microsoft should they claim not to have any plans to integrate Skype's technology in WP7. This is irrespective of whether WP7 has technical merit or not. Carriers make or break a mobile OS - they can simply refuse to subsidize phones running an unwanted OS thus forcing it out of the market.

more than 3 years ago
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Dropbox 1.0 Finally Released

NetCow Re:Where's the linux love? (307 comments)

The VERSION file in mine says 1.0.10. The About box in my client says 1.0.10. You might have stale files laying around - I recommend you close the Dropbox daemon, delete (or safer yet, rename) ~/.dropbox-dist, start the Dropbox daemon again and let it redownload.

about 4 years ago
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Dropbox 1.0 Finally Released

NetCow Re:Where's the linux love? (307 comments)

The current Dropbox version for Linux is indeed 1.0.10. What you're downloading there is nautilus-dropbox, the Nautilus integration package. The actual Dropbox daemon is proprietary, it will be downloaded into ~/.dropbox-dist the first time you start it.

about 4 years ago
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Windows Phone Permanently Modifies MicroSD Cards, Warns Samsung

NetCow Probably ExFAT (426 comments)

BS. It probably just formats it using exFAT if it's not formatted already, or when the user formats it. It's not possible to permanently make a card unreadable on other systems - reformatting and/or repartitioning the card will do the trick. Even if that were possible, this would be too blatant a bug to have slipped through QA.

more than 4 years ago
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Nokia Reasserts Control Over Symbian OS

NetCow Re:They're still around? (135 comments)

Sorry, my bad. I meant developer adoption rate.

more than 4 years ago
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Nokia Reasserts Control Over Symbian OS

NetCow Re:They're still around? (135 comments)

Market share is an iffy thing - it's here one day, gone the next. Unfortunately the Symbian adoption is not only slowing, it's negative (I say unfortunately because you can pry my beloved E72 out of my clammy, dead fingers.) Hopefully Nokia will be able to turn it around.

more than 4 years ago
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WordPress Creator GPL Says WP Template Must Be GPL'd

NetCow Re:Can someone clear up a misconception of mine? (571 comments)

The linking issue is tangential - the real issue is the notion of a derivative work, linking is just an instance of that.

more than 3 years ago
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Serious Apache Exploit Discovered

NetCow Re:Note: Apache ON WINDOWS (160 comments)

It can help you avoid SQL Server. Shoehorning SQL Server support into common web apps is... frustrating, to say the least, and SQL Server has a habit of sucking you into an ever-growing cost spiral.

more than 4 years ago
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Serious Apache Exploit Discovered

NetCow Re:Note: Apache ON WINDOWS (160 comments)

although I have no idea why you would run Apache on a Windows server.

Because sometimes you're forced to use a Windows server platform yet at the same time are under budget constraints and can't afford Microsoft's licensing models.

more than 4 years ago
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ARIN Letter Says Two More Years of IPv4

NetCow Why? (266 comments)

They can pry IPv4 from my tired, RSI-affected-due-to-:-overuse fingers. I'm not about to rely on DNS when debugging and testing my networks. Sure, it's a petty, localized, small scale view, but I don't care.

more than 5 years ago

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