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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Whatsisname Re:LaserJet II and LaserJet 3 (603 comments)

It's also known as Survivorship Bias. Old stuff seems like it was better built because all the crappy stuff already made it into the dumpster and subsequently forgotten long ago.

yesterday
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A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

Whatsisname clunky software? (143 comments)

One of the main obstacles between 3D printers and consumers has been clunky, unintuitive software

More like the fact that CAD software packages cost many thousands of dollars, and no good free alternatives exist.

Or that the printers themselves for commercial grade machines also cost many thousands of dollars.

Or that mechanical design is inherently challenging and is an expensive skill to develop.

But nope, just have some big buttons on a touch screen and everything will be groovy.

about two weeks ago
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US Supreme Court: Patent Holders Must Prove Infringment

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

The idea of the patent system was that anyone could patent their grand idea and then have legal backing to protect it in court from someone that uses the idea without consent. The filing fees were also designed to be low to keep the barrier of entry low enough that "the little guy" could get the same protection as the big corporations.

This is completely false. Patents were never about the "little guy". Their purpose is to benefit society by providing an advantage to disclosing the secrets of invention so society can learn. Prior to patents, technology was often a closely guarded secret, belonging to individuals or trade guilds, secrets that were often lost with the deaths of the people involved. By making disclosure a more attractive option than secrecy, society could benefit by learning from the details of the inventions.

That is the idea of the patent system. "Little guy" doesn't mean shit, all that matters is having useful knowledge disclosed to society, whether its individuals or mega-corps.

about 3 months ago
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Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

Whatsisname Re:Better helmet design? Excellent. (317 comments)

In the US, more than 1/10th of traffic fatalities are pedestrians. Clearly, helmets should be mandatory for walking then, too.

about 3 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Whatsisname Re:Depends (937 comments)

*their

Also, not all failures are caused by "not doing there job right", especially when venturing into new territory. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a classic example of a disastrous engineering project, pushed the envelope and collapsed, but not because the engineers didn't do their job right. There hadn't been a bridge of that size with that design before, and aerodynamic concerns weren't taken into account. If that bridge hadn't collapsed and taught the lesson, some other bridge would have.

You can never remove all risk. You may call that 'passing the buck', but blaming all failures, regardless of cause, as "not doing there job right", forces a stone-age technological capability.

about 3 months ago
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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines

Whatsisname Re:US jobs depend on cartels (323 comments)

They correctly identify the number of people who would remain productive members of society while consuming drugs as very small.

Right, there are very few productive people that drink alcohol in the US. Very small group indeed.

about 3 months ago
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Google Bots Doing SQL Injection Attacks

Whatsisname Heard this before (156 comments)

I vaguely recall an article years ago on something like TheDailyWtf where some idiot webmaster wrote a web application with links instead of buttons to perform tasks, and was confused why his site and data was getting trashed repeatedly, until he figured out it was the crawling bots.

This is nothing new: unskilled developers using the wrong methods and getting burned.

about 5 months ago
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Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Against Apple, Google and Others Given the Green Light

Whatsisname Re:Where's the union? (172 comments)

The 50s and 60s need to be erased from memory concerning policy decisions, because the prosperity at that time is heavily biased by the fact that Europe and Japan were destroyed, and the United States was the only shop in town.

about 6 months ago
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Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

Whatsisname Re:Fundamentally flawed (871 comments)

The United states does not have a criminal justice system. It has a criminal legal system.

It is an important distinction to make.

about 6 months ago
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Open Source Mapping Software Shows Every Traffic Death On Earth

Whatsisname A better map (322 comments)

Map is disappointing. Whomever decided that color scheme should be slapped.

I was expecting something like this: http://map.itoworld.com/road-casualties-usa but for all countries.

The map linked has every traffic fatality in the United States, and the age, sex, and classification of each death.

about 8 months ago
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Billion-Pixel View of Mars Snapped By Curiosity

Whatsisname Re:camera greatness?? I think not... (32 comments)

It's quite a bit more than an 'entry level' DSLR. Bring an entry level DSLR to a high-radiation environment like outer space and see how well it keeps taking pictures.

about 9 months ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

Whatsisname Re:There goes the industry... (540 comments)

If those industries cannot survive without a large pool of free labor, then they should go the way of the dodo.

about 10 months ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

Whatsisname Re:Internships are hard work! (540 comments)

By having them unpaid, you are essentially making those jobs only be accessible to people from wealthy families. Only people from wealthy families can afford to pay the bills while working for free. Everyone else has to find a paying job, which would then exclude them from being able to gain entry into those fields.

about 10 months ago
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EA Responds To Its Appearance In the 'Worst Company In America' Poll

Whatsisname Worst Company in America? Really? (208 comments)

When a "worst company in America" competition doesn't have corporations such as Monsanto, Phillip Morris, etc, as contestants, then you know it is a load of shit.

1 year,13 days
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Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment

Whatsisname Re:A sad justice system failure (429 comments)

Your first mistake is thinking that the US has a 'justice system' at all. The US has a legal system. It is concerned with order, it is not concerned with justice.

1 year,15 days
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Uniloc Patent Case Against Rackspace Tossed for Bogus Patents

Whatsisname Re:One of these days .... (76 comments)

The little rubber boot is not even remotely something that patents should protect. You are subscribing to the faulty, revisionist "dibs" model of patents.

The bargain made in patents is that society provides protection, in exchange for the inventor disclosing how their machine works. The alternative, as was the case prior to patents, was that guilds were very secretive about their processes and technologies, and if something happened to the guild, the technology disappeared along with them. The patent bargain was made to bring their technological secrets into the public domain.

In the case of a rubber boot on an ethernet cable, there is nothing to disclose. You can figure out all there is to it by looking at it for 2 seconds. There is nothing consequential for society to reverse engineer in lieu of a patent. Protecting a rubber boot with patent protection is a terrible deal for society.

1 year,22 days
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In Wake of Poor Reviews, Amazon Yanks SimCity Download

Whatsisname Sounds like a story I heard before. (511 comments)

Wasn't there a similar backlash over Spore, another EA title?

What I want to know is why people still give money to EA when they pull these sorts of shenanigans.

about a year ago
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Best Buy Follows Yahoo in Banning Remote Work

Whatsisname Re:Real motive (317 comments)

Best Buy is headquartered in Minnesota, an at-will employment state. They can eliminate anyone at any time for any reason, and don't need a bogus excuse to do so.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Purdue-Stanford team finds radioactive decay rates

Whatsisname Whatsisname writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Whatsisname (891214) writes "A team of scientists from Purdue and Stanford universities has found that the decay of radioactive isotopes fluctuates in synch with the rotation of the sun's core. Purdue researchers Ephraim Fischbach, a professor of physics, and Jere Jenkins, a nuclear engineer, reported observing a drop in the rate of decay that began a day and half before and peaked during the December 2006 solar flare and an annual fluctuation that appeared to be based on the Earth's orbit of, and changing distance from, the sun. In general, the fluctuations that Jenkins and Fischbach have found are around a tenth of a percent from what is expected. Jenkins and Fischbach suggest that the changes in the decay rates are due to interactions with solar neutrinos, nearly weightless particles created by nuclear reactions within the sun's core that travel almost at the speed of light."
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