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Comments

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How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

hawkinspeter Re:How the Patent System Destroys Innovation (70 comments)

I think the premise of the study is flawed. Spending on R&D is not the same as innovation although there is some correlation. e.g. Companies might be able to get away with spending less on R&D as they are able to license the relevant patents rather than having to duplicate the research.

However, most patents aren't any use as most of them ARE obvious to someone skilled in the relevant discipline.

3 hours ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

hawkinspeter Re:Safety vs Law (413 comments)

Possibly. I suppose it depends on what kind of wavelengths they use.

yesterday
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

hawkinspeter Re:Safety vs Law (413 comments)

I reckon that autonomous cars will have some kind of radar that can easily see through rain and fog, so they should be able to carry on driving, but maybe at a reduced speed to allow for the conditions.

yesterday
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AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

hawkinspeter Re:This is something I wanted for a long time (63 comments)

I thought AMD chips are competitive in some parts of the market (not top-end, though). The last chip I bought was an AMD A10 - 4 cpu cores and 6 graphic cores on the one die. It saves having to buy a separate graphic card and the graphic cores have full access to the same memory that the CPU cores use which I think is an interesting architecture.

yesterday
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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

hawkinspeter Re:Good for music, movies and ebooks (82 comments)

Absolutely. I typically purchase e-books when I want to support the author (e.g. Warren Ellis, Charles Stross) or when it's easier than finding an illegitimate source. However, a lot of the books I read are by dead authors, so I don't feel much guilt in depriving their heirs of a few pennies.

yesterday
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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

hawkinspeter Re:Good for music, movies and ebooks (82 comments)

I like the convenience of ebooks as I don't have to worry about carrying around a dead-tree book and can instead just use my phone (or kindle etc) which is generally lighter. I recommend using Calibre to transfer e-books around if you don't mind breaking the Ts&Cs.

yesterday
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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

hawkinspeter Re:Good for music, movies and ebooks (82 comments)

I hope that'd be the case, but I worry that it's not considered "digital property", but just "digitally licensed to you".

yesterday
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

hawkinspeter Re:Well I for one (108 comments)

How dare you say that! We've been more inept for much longer than the USians. We'd make sure that a random doctor loses his unencrypted laptop with all the data on it.

yesterday
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Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

hawkinspeter Re:Good for music, movies and ebooks (82 comments)

Unfortunately, that's not the case. Bruce Willis raised a fuss a while ago about not being able to leave his iTunes music collection to his children. The Ts and Cs state that the license to listen to the music is strictly non-transferrable. (He should have just "pirated" it instead).

yesterday
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

hawkinspeter Re:For some it was just a plain black screen (292 comments)

He's referring to Australian Woolworths which is a big supermarket chain. Over here in the UK, Woolworths as a general/department store has been out of business for a few years. I believe the companies are unrelated, but I haven't looked into it.

yesterday
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

hawkinspeter Re:Will not matter. (235 comments)

I just can't see that autonomous/AI cars will be any worse than human drivers and I think they'll be at least an order of magnitude safer.

With unusual situations, the AI car should be programmed to find a safe (don't hit anything) route and if that's not possible, it should reduce speed/stop in a straight line as that will allow the speed to be reduced quicker and safer than by swerving. I can't see how stopping in a straight line would lead to increased liability for the manufacturer unless the vehicle was really badly made.

It's possible to think of situations where stopping in a straight line isn't necessarily the best course of action, but then human drivers make really bad choices all the time and they don't generally have trouble getting insured.

2 days ago
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Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

hawkinspeter Re:Offtopic: Messages and Karma Lost (114 comments)

Well, we really missed all your insightful, on-topic posts in the months you were gone. Thank the lord that you're back here with some more of your erudite posts.

2 days ago
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Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

hawkinspeter Re:Apologies from Australia (114 comments)

Don't forget about Rolf Harris and his wandering hands.

2 days ago
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Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

hawkinspeter Re:It's absolutely NOT worth it (126 comments)

I never used to wear a helmet on my bike either, but have taken to wearing one as I started doing longer distances. In truth, the safety aspects of cycle helmets are over-stated as they don't really provide that much protection against typical bike accidents. I always think that gloves are far more important on a bike than a helmet as pretty much any time you come off a bike, you'll use your hands.

Anyhow, as I wear clear protective glasses when cycling, I wouldn't have any problem with a similar design for a HUD. I imagine that the higher speeds of a motorbike might make a difference, but I've seen bike riders wear prescription glasses under their helmets, so I don't think it's an insurmountable problem.

5 days ago
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Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

hawkinspeter Re:It's absolutely NOT worth it (126 comments)

I'm not a motorbike rider (although I have ridden one as a teen and did spend several years working in a big motorbike shop/warehouse), but I do a lot of cycling and would really love to get some kind of separate HUD. I'm thinking of something like Google Glass, but with swappable lenses (e.g. clear, high contrast yellow, shaded) that could link up with other instrumentation via bluetooth.

It'd be great to have a HUD displaying a rear view camera, GPS info and other cycling specific info like cadence, heart rate and speed. If the front and rear cameras also stored video onto micro-sd cards, there'd be great evidence for use in any traffic incidents.

If it's in a separate form factor, then you could wear them under a motorbike helmet as well as wear them on a cycle which makes more sense if you do want to replace your helmet. I'm sure there's a lot of similar functionality that you'd want for both modes of transport.

about a week ago
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Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers

hawkinspeter Re:I love competition. (112 comments)

I usually just try to find a version without Cinavia (smaller DVD rips) myself.

about a week ago
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Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers

hawkinspeter Re:I love competition. (112 comments)

You may well be right. I know with cinavia infected films, you can't just go to the 20 minute position to check to see if it works or not - you actually have to play the film for 20 minutes for the error message to appear.

about a week ago
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Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers

hawkinspeter Re:I love competition. (112 comments)

Apparently, if you hit that problem, you can work around it by putting the system date/time forwards a day (and then get another 20 minutes with sound). Alternatively, the DVD rips don't usually hace Cinavia, just the Blu-Ray rips.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

hawkinspeter Re:Microsoft cannot fool all the people all the ti (337 comments)

The one constant in the computing industry is "change". 1998 was a heady time in computers as they were completely changing entire businesses - how could anyone think that there would never be any more change even after Windows was overtaking the unixes that had previously prevaled (despite their incredible cost)?

It amazes me just how short-sighted so many people are. If you use something that didn't exist 10 years ago, then it's likely that something better/different will be around in the next 10 years.

about a week ago
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New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One

hawkinspeter Re:Wyvern = Wyrm (306 comments)

Also, you can use a metal detector. Or some kind of x-ray machine.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Philip K Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" to be produced by Ridley Scott

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about three weeks ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Amazon has given the green light to produce the Hugo award-winning "The Man in the High Castle". This is after the four-hour mini-series was rejected by Syfy and afterwards by the BBC.

Philip K Dick's novel takes place in an alternate universe where the Axis Powers won the Second World War. It's one of his most successful works, probably due to him actually spending the time to do some editing on it (most of his fiction was produced rapidly in order to get some money). Ridley Scott has previously adapted PKD's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" as the film "Blade Runner", so it will be interesting to see how close he keeps to the source material this time.

This news has been picked up by a few sites: International Business Times; The Register and Deadline.

So, are any PKD fans excited about this and is this story already Godwinned?"
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BBC ignores 50000 austerity protesters outside BBC in Portland Place

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "It seems that the BBC didn't notice a crowd of 50,000 protesters right outside their front door on Saturday. The march was organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity on their one-year anniversary and was led by comedian Russell Brand who has become a figure head for the movement. He called out for a "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution".

The protesters started their march outside the BBC to protest against the broadcaster ignoring the impact of the cuts on the impoverished. Sam Fairbairn (the national secretary of the People's Assembly) spoke to the crowds at the end of the march, outside Parliament, saying "Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations".

Although this event seems to have been ignored by a lot if the UK press, it is covered by a few of them: Daily Express, The Independent and The Huffington Post."
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China rejects 545,000 tons of US genetically modified corn

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 8 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that US corn that was found to contain an unapproved genetically modified strain. Although China doesn't have a problem per se with GM crops (they've been importing GM soybeans since 1997), their product safety agency found MIR162 in 12 batches of corn.

"The safety evaluation process [for MIR162] has not been completed and no imports are allowed at the moment before the safety certificate is issued" said Nui Din, China's vice agricultural minister.

The Chinese are now calling on US authorities to tighten their controls to prevent unapproved strains from being sent to China after the first batch of corn was rejected in November due to MIR162."

Link to Original Source
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Doom comes to Kickstarter boardgame project

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  1 year,23 days

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Kickstarter backers are up in arms and accusing the head of developer The Forking Path Erik Chevalier of fraud following the cancellation of a tabletop game that successfully brought in nearly $123,000 on the crowdfunding website.

According to Chevalier, the project — a game called The Doom that Came to Atlantic City — ran out of money following 13 months of development despite earning nearly four times the amount originally asked for through Kickstarter. Chevalier began the Kickstarter campaign in May 2012, asking for $35,000 to create the title.

"The project is over, the game is cancelled," he wrote. "Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though, these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person."

Chevalier added he hopes to personally refund the full amount to his backers beginning with those who pre-ordered the game through its official webstore.

"Unfortunately I can't give any type of schedule for the repayment as I left my job to do this project and must find work again.

"Again, I never set out to con anyone or to perpetrate a fraud but I did walk into a situation that was beyond my abilities and for that I'm deeply sorry." A number of backers since claimed to have reported Chevalier to the Oregon Department of Justice. According to the designer, he has contacted the department himself in response.

"While they gave no promises their agent didn't feel that I'd committed any fraud. I am going to provide them with more information and work with them to see what I need to do to make this right in their eyes. I will also be contacting any other agencies who receive reports in order to provide them with a transparent view of the scenario from all angles."

Angry backers are of the opinion that the project money was used to fund Erik's move to Portland and to set up a video production company (formerly Suicide Pact LLC and now renamed as Intrinsic Gray). Additionally, it appears that Erik had to have legal action threatened by the game designers themselves before agreeing to come clean about the wasted money."
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MIT blocking release of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service files

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Lawyers representing MIT are filing a motion to intervene in Wired's Kevin Poulsen's FOIA lawsuit over thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz.

It looks like MIT are afraid of the public finding out about the individuals who thought that sending Aaron to prison (for the digital equivalent of checking out too many library books) was a really good idea. Does that justify a non-governmental interfering with a FOIA request?"

Link to Original Source
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Ruby-on-Rails allows remote-code execution on over 240,000 websites

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Popular programming framework Ruby on Rails is affected by two critical security vulnerabilities — one allowing anyone to execute commands on the servers running affected web apps.

The bugs both involve the parsing and handling of data supplied by visitors to a Rails application. The CVE-2013-0156 hole is the more severe of the two because it allows remote-code execution against any Ruby on Rails application that has the XML parser enabled — a feature switched on by default. According to security tools firm Sourcefire the flaw allows hackers to run system commands on the server with the same level of privileges as the app.

Both vulnerabilities can be resolved by updating to the latest version of the Ruby on Rails platform.

But what makes the holes particularly nasty is that, until the patches are applied, every application running on the insecure open-source framework will be vulnerable — like castles built on sand and the tide is rising: at least 240,000 websites powered by RoR are thought to be at risk."

Link to Original Source
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Caught on camera: quantum mechanics in action

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Scientists at the University of Glasgow have captured images of ‘quantum entanglement’ on camera for the first time.

In quantum mechanics, entanglement is one of the bizarre behaviours exhibited by particles where the rules of classical physics are broken and seemingly impossible events are a reality.

Described by Einstein as ‘spooky action at a distance’, entanglement is the phenomenon whereby two particles act as one system even when separated by immense distances.

The entangled particles are in a superposition where their individual state isn’t known. However, as soon as one of them is measured or observed the other will take on a correlated state instantaneously, seemingly violating the speed of light.

Being able to exploit such behaviour would have major applications in communications encryption and could underpin the next generation of computer technology, known as quantum computation.

Their paper is available from Nature"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft drope 'Metro' name for Windows 8

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is dropping the 'Metro' name for the new Windows 8 UI. Apparently, the catchy new name they've settled on is 'Windows 8 style UI'! This has happened due to a (potential) trademark dispute with Metro AG , a German retail giant.

I'm wondering if Microsoft planned this to get publicity for their new OS and UI or whether they just forget to check on how 'Metro' is used around the world."

Link to Original Source
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Man claims cell phone taken by DC police for taking photos

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Just one day after Chief Cathy Lanier made it illegal for MPD cops to take recording equipment, a 26-year-old local man had his phone taken as he was trying to record a violent arrest. They eventually gave back his phone, but without the memory card which also contained photos of his daughter along with the record of the alleged police brutality."
Link to Original Source

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