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Comments

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Patent System Not Broken, Argues IBM's Chief Patent Counsel

eparker05 Re:Well.... really? (152 comments)

Of course he will say that, his job depends on there being patents to work and litigate with.

Yes, let's just ignore his decades of experience in patent law and years of studying patent history that comes with the territory because he has a vested interest. On the other hand, he makes some fairly good points. If we all but abolish the patent system for technology companies they would easily be overtaken by whomever has the largest manufacturing capacity. Ever wonder why Foxcon didn't just grab android and make an iPhone clone? Why be subject to Apple if there are no IP restrictions at all? People bemoan the quandary of the small innovator, and this is a legitimate concern, but it must also be weighed against the benefit patents (software and hardware) confer to large companies who must decide how much to spend on R&D.

Stallman is an activist against tightly controlled intellectual property, copyright and otherwise. That isn't a something to hold against him, it's just a fact that one must consider when listening to his opinions and analysis. Please try to keep that in mind when reading analysis from the other side.

about 2 years ago
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Windows 8 will not play DVD discs anymore, unless you pay for the Media Center

eparker05 DVD CCA: keys cost money (4 comments)

People forget that the content decryption scheme on DVDs requires a licensed key from the DVD Copy Control Association (CCA). Yes, you can download grey-market/illegal decryptors for free, but Microsoft can't bundle this software with your PC legally without paying a fee.

In the past it was usually that hardware manufacturers that paid the DVD CCA, so I wonder Microsoft is changing this practice to encourage WMP uptake or if the article is merely stating that win 8 computers will lack only the MPEG playing software out of the box.

more than 2 years ago
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Could open source governments be successful?

eparker05 We already are on the Debian model (1 comments)

Did you think about what 'open source government' even means?

I think our government is already open-source. The constitution is freely available for all to see, but it can only be changed by a super-majority vote (sounds a little like Debian).

more than 2 years ago
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Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights

eparker05 Apparently (1 comments)

Apparently Richard Stallman knows as little about the nature of the abortion debate as he knows about quantum mechanics.

The cornerstone argument of his paper is that soul's form gradually because they are governed by QM... of course if they were governed by QM, then the current assumption that they form instantaneously is actually more likely to be true since there is no intermediate state. Along with several other broad and inaccurate generalizations he proceeds to use Schrodinger's cat as evidence that his position holds merit (whereas the thought experiment was designed to show the limitations of QM applied to physical systems).

Anyways... doesn't deserve front page, I hope /.ers see through this trash.
(Yes RMS is great and stuff, but being a Free Software guru doesn't make you a meta-politico-physical expert)

more than 2 years ago
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Warp drives may come with a killer downside

eparker05 Pi / 2 (2 comments)

um, arrive orthogonally to your destination.

problem solved

more than 2 years ago
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Rearview Car Cameras Likely Mandated By 2014

eparker05 Drunk driving vs... this? (652 comments)

38k MVA deaths in 2009.
200 deaths caused by backup accidents is 0.6% of the national total.
12400 deaths caused by alcohol impaired drivers is about 38% of the national total.

Rear view cameras = $800
Breathalyzer key lock = ~$1500

For less than twice the price, you can get 62 times the life saving potential. Just food for thought.

more than 2 years ago
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Commercial, USB-Powered DNA Sequencer Coming This Year

eparker05 Re:DNA is not a protein (95 comments)

Perhaps you didn't read my post.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, a target protein would not need to be crystallized in order for an aptamer to be developed. I'm pretty sure they just screen the proteins against a large aptamer library and then sequence the bound aptamers to see what worked. I'm a little fuzzy on this, so somebody correct me if I got that last part wrong.

more than 2 years ago
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Commercial, USB-Powered DNA Sequencer Coming This Year

eparker05 Re:DNA is not a protein (95 comments)

The article and slashdot story claim that the chip can sequence proteins. The video I linked to below shows that their chip 'analyzes' proteins by reading specialized aptamers for recognition (aptamers are a bit like a small nucleotide based antibody; they can bind to target molecules with high specificity).

While this is potentially very useful in many fields, not the least of which is medical, it is not the claimed disruptive sequencing technology. The method proposed by ON requires a great deal of forethought and design; it would only work on well characterized proteins that have been isolated with enough purity for aptamers to be developed.

http://vimeo.com/36909115

more than 2 years ago
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Pharmacy On-a-chip Dispenses Drugs Automatically

eparker05 I'm terrified. (74 comments)

From TFA:
"This avoids the compliance issue completely, and points to a future where you have fully automated drug regimens."

I say this jokingly now, but first they will start using it on psychotic people who will not self administer. Then.... who knows.

more than 2 years ago
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How much of your music/video entertainment is streamed online?

eparker05 Re:HiFi all the way (170 comments)

If you are a paying customer, Spotify has no adds. Juxtaposed with hulu where I basically pay for the privilege of watching their ads, Spotify seems pretty good. Their local storage feature also allows me to have all my music with me and not go over the data cap.

Yes, I love spotify.

As for your hi-fi love, the human ear can barely discern 192k mp3 from CD quality, and 256k is pretty much beyond the ability of all but the most acoustically inclined.

more than 2 years ago
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CES Recap: Gadgets and Blisters

eparker05 Timezone fail? (53 comments)

yep

more than 2 years ago
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Slashdot joins SOPA protest in last minute decisio

eparker05 Re:Hm... stamping our feet in anger? (2 comments)

How many Reddit users are out there pouting because of their move. The impact really has nothing to do with /. readers. This morning the SOPA blackout was covered on my local morning news. People who would never even considering getting info from slashdot or reddit are hearing about this protest. Yes the 800lb gorilla is Wikipedia, but strength comes from numbers and Slashdot is influential enough that local media organizations (many of which rely on sites like slashdot for their tech beat) will take notice.

more than 2 years ago
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ViaSat Delivers 12 Mbps+ Via Satellite

eparker05 Re:Why no LEO? (245 comments)

I don't think the geostationary distance is responsible for the latency. It probably has a lot more to do with the task of transmitting and receiving broadband data from a satelite. The phased array would increase their investment in launches, as well as ground based hubs. In addition, most customers would be priced out of the service since the hardware would need to track the satellite; not an easy or cheap task for something you mount on your roof and never service again.

In summary, geostationary is the only viable option for this sort of service.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

eparker05 Re:Nope, I only care about "alive" human life (639 comments)

Are you saying that an appendix has the same value as a 8 week old fetus. Why then would an assault leading to a burst appendix get somebody a year or two in jail (at most) whereas the same exact assault leading to the miscarriage of an 8 week old fetus could lead to more than a decade in jail in many states?

The Spartans drew the line on abortion some time shortly after birth, I don't imagine you would advocate practice that even if it was conclusively proven that infants are not sentient. What about 1 day before birth? Seems kinda arbitrary doesn't it? If the baby is viable would it not be more humane to just extract it and give it up for adoption, it wouldn't be that much more dangerous medically. Let's go the other way now; should we draw the line on abortion at the moment of conception? That's a tough sell, especially since it would make murderers out of ever woman using an IUD.

What I'm trying to say is that nobody will get anywhere in this debate if we use the slippery slope argument and hyperbole to attack the other side. As a wise man once said, the slippery slope argument works both ways.

more than 2 years ago
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Inductive Charging For EVs To Be Tested In Berlin

eparker05 Re:Low efficiency? (123 comments)

Actually, spilt gasoline is a big deal. Aside from it's detrimental effects on the environment, it's also has mildly toxic fumes and it is highly flammable. Every year many people are burned while pumping gas, we just don't hear about it much because, like car accidents, it is one of those risks that we just accept.

As for 'grandma' using a 300 amp plug. I think a clever engineer could come up with a relatively safe plug that doesn't sacrifice as much efficiency as inductive charging does.

about 2 years ago
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Inductive Charging For EVs To Be Tested In Berlin

eparker05 Low efficiency? (123 comments)

I suppose when you only need a few watts of energy for a cellphone or something, I can understand the use of inductive charging. But if you lower your efficiency by a significant amount in a single step while charging a car (a few dozen kWh), and this is multiplied across a population of EV owning people, this is potentially adding a lot of unnecessary strain to the electric grid.

Is it so hard just to plug the dang thing in? We don't have tubeless fuel transfer do we?

about 2 years ago
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Liquid Metal Capsules Used To Make Self-Healing Electronics

eparker05 Re:a gallium-indium alloy (135 comments)

Neither of those metals are cheap, even in minuscule proportions. Indium is about 80 times the price of copper at current rates, and gallium is not much cheaper.

I suppose in some mission critical applications this would work, but I don't see this coming to consumer electronics, I'll bet it would just be cheaper to replace most devices than it would be to add this technology.

about 2 years ago
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Do Slashdotters Encrypt Their Email?

eparker05 Re:No (601 comments)

I just learned how to encrypt email for the first time in response to this posting;

my method (it's long):
install Mozilla Thunderbird
install GnuPG for windows
install Enigmail extention for thunderbird (a GnuPG plugin)
Make yourself a key using GnuPG
Use that key to sign outbound messages. Distribute it to everybody you know who also uses PGP standard encryption (all zero of them) so you can have two-way signed and/or encrypted messages.

Best of luck finding other people who know how to use it, now I realize how pointless it really all is. If it were more user friendly it would have a chance. That's not happening soon.

about 2 years ago
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HIV Vaccine Approval For Human Trials

eparker05 Re:FP (365 comments)

Attitudes like yours are the reason it took so long for us to get around to curing this disease in the first place. As many of you know, for a long time AIDS was known as as GRID (gay-related immune deficiency). Who would want to cure GRID? Who would want to cure any disease if we can justify that those suffering the disease somehow 'deserved' to get it through karma or some sort of cosmic justice?

I know what you said was a joke, but it highlights a real issue. I hope it's modded up; if only to show people that this mindset still exists even down in the region of our brains where we mask our prejudices with humor.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Slashdot joins SOPA protest in last minute decisio

eparker05 eparker05 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

eparker05 (1738842) writes "The well known tech news aggregator Slashdot made a late Tuesday decision to join the SOPA/PIPA blackout protest. Readers of the site overwhelmingly support the decision and see it as a necessary step to prevent pervasive censorship. Slashdot is known for it's continued support of anonymous posting by users and has come out strongly in opposition of internet censorship in the past. Still, this is the first time that Slashdot has closed it's doors in protest of a piece of legislation.

Note: this has not happened yet! Vote this story up and show the editors that we want them to show solidarity against SOPA/PIPA !"

Link to Original Source
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Imaging the Molecular Orbitals of Pentacene

eparker05 eparker05 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

eparker05 (1738842) writes "Researchers at University of Liverpool have used a scanning tunneling microscope to image the aromatic molecule pentacene. Not unexpectedly, the resulting images showed an astonishingly close correlation to the theoretically predicted molecular orbitals. This incredible set of images reminds me of the group that imaged a single carbon atom in 2009."
Link to Original Source
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Department of Innovation Logo Fail

eparker05 eparker05 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

eparker05 (1738842) writes "The Smithsonian Institute has launched a new blog called “Department of Innovation”. As they describe it; "The Department of Innovation is about people and ideas that likely will shape the way we will live one day." Astute readers quickly noticed that the gears in the original logo were arranged such that they were locked in place. The blog reacted with an updated logo after becoming the laughing stock of conservative bloggers and engineers alike."
Link to Original Source
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Google's Cr-48 making Santa look bad

eparker05 eparker05 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

eparker05 (1738842) writes "When people heard that the Cr-48 was going to be given to beta testers, many signed up, but the expectation of receiving one was low. Now in various Google and IT centric web sites across the internet, hundreds of people are reporting getting one of these on their doorstep. Most intriguing of all, the recipients are never notified that they were selected for the beta. Luckily for you, somebody at addicted-gamer.com developed a hack for the UPS tracking system that can predict deliverys of the Cr-48 to your area."
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Is getting a Ph.D worth my time?

eparker05 eparker05 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

eparker05 (1738842) writes "I am a chemistry student with excellent grades and lots of experience in undergraduate research including a soon to be published paper, and multiple poster presentations/conferences. I will have no trouble getting into a Ph.D program with a specialty in analytical chemistry or biochemistry (I haven't made my final decision). I have been told by my adviser and many of those close to me that I should continue my education. Still, I worry that a Ph.D could be a poorer choice today than it would have been twenty years ago. Between the top-heavy economy with too many highly trained applicants for every job and the time constrains that a graduate education would put on my already delayed plans to settle down with my fiancée, I can see disadvantages of getting a Ph.D. I wanted to know what those on Slashdot thought about my prospects: should I go out and get a job with my bachelors degree or should I continue on to graduate school?"
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Android selling well, does Verizon want iPhone?

eparker05 eparker05 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

eparker05 (1738842) writes "Given that the sales of Android based phones have recently surpassed iPhone sales, perhaps talk of Verizon taking on the iPhone is premature. Sure it has been noted that Verizon is in a better position now to negotiate than it was a year ago and that Verizon customers want the iPhone. Maybe Verizon doesn't want the iPhone. If the iPhone is on the two largest networks, Apple will have a much easier time stamping out the competition putting it in a powerful position over every carrier. Android OS, on the other hand, has already been proven to work outside the confines of Google and it is supported by a myriad of hardware manufactures."

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