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Doctor Slams Hospital's "Please" Policy

ricree Liability Issues? (572 comments)

I have to imagine that this would open the hospital up to some liability issues. The first time someone dies because a test wasn't run in time, I have a hard time seeing a jury accepting "the doctor didn't ask me nice enough" as an excuse for not running the test the doctor ordered.

more than 4 years ago

What Would Have Entered the Public Domain Tomorrow?

ricree Re:Cool (331 comments)

The best compromise would probably be to treat extended copyrights more like trademarks. For the initial period, it could work much like copyrights do now, but after that it has to be actively registered (and then refiled periodically. Say, every ten years or so?) and utilized. Unless a work was actively registered, then it would be presumed to be in the public domain. So since the burden would be on the copyright holder to maintain, there would be no need to worry about monitoring royalties or distribution rights.

about 5 years ago

Target.com's Aggressive SEO Tactic Spams Google

ricree Re:Easy response (241 comments)

I disagree. While using another search engine certainly gives google and inventive to improve the search, it doesn't really help them to do it.

People switch services for all sorts of reasons. Fashion, apathy (if, say, they switch computers and it has a different default engine), etc. Dissatisfaction is just one reason, and since the process of leaving is silent, they have little enough way to tell why.

Reporting the trouble to them gives them the reason you're dissatisfied in a way that switching doesn't. Of course, they're always free to ignore it, but at least if they do then switching can be an incentive for them to improve rather than an enigma they have to puzzle out.

more than 5 years ago

In Britain, Better Not Call It Bogus Science

ricree Re:What constitutes libel in England? (754 comments)

As I understand it, an english court ruled that using the word "bogus" meant that he was claiming that they were knowingly engaging in fraud. So now since Sigh has no presumption of innocence, he must not only prove that the treatments are ineffective, but that they knew that and were fraudulently selling them anyways.

more than 5 years ago

While Coding, How Often Do You Refer To Language Docs?

ricree Re:What? (303 comments)

In addition to Python, which has already been mentioned, I've found Erlang's doc to be decent. However, my experience in the language isn't that comprehensive, so there could easily be gaps I've missed.

more than 5 years ago

While Coding, How Often Do You Refer To Language Docs?

ricree Re:Whoa Now (303 comments)

I don't know about C++, but I've found intellisense to work pretty reliably for C#. I don't know offhand why they would be that much different in experience. Could just be better supported in C# since that's Microsoft's pet language.

more than 5 years ago

US Finalizes Stem Cell Research Guidelines

ricree Re:Bad Summary (249 comments)

As I understand it (and I'm sure someone will correct me if i'm wrong), the ban didn't just mean that researchers were unable to receive grants for stem cell research. They were also forbidden from using any equipment that had ever had been paid for with federal funding. For many labs, then, this was effectively a ban.

more than 5 years ago

NY Court Says Police Can't Track Suspect With GPS

ricree Re:Did he still steal stuff? (414 comments)

There is a legal principal known as Fruit of the poisonous tree. Essentially, any evidence that has been found due to an illegal search, even if it wasn't found during the search itself, is inadmissible.

So if the stolen property was discovered because of the gps, then it is likely inadmissible. The article didn't say one way or another, so it is tough to tell. If it had nothing to do with the gps, then it can still be used in court

Remember also that the judge merely ordered a new trial with the bad evidence excluded. If they still have enough evidence that was discovered independent of the illegal search, he may still be convicted.

Ultimately, there is no better way to defend our rights that to completely bar any evidence that has been found in violation of them. It sometimes has the unfortunate side effect or letting the guilty go free, but so long as police maintain their professionalism and act legally it should be a rare occurrence.

more than 5 years ago

Battlestar Galactica Comes To an End

ricree Re:Clarke's Third Law (852 comments)

That's what I figured. My take on it is that they're related to the Lords of Kobol, and since they started off the whole cycle by creating humanity they tried to work behind the scenes to end it peacefully.

more than 5 years ago

Blizzard Asserts Rights Over Independent Add-Ons

ricree Re:QuestHelper (344 comments)

Have you tried to directly contact someone at Blizzard about this? For regular players, or even small time mod makers, getting someone there to seriously communicate with you would be an iffy thing. But as you pointed out, you are maintaining one of the most popular mods in their game right now. I have to imagine that you would be taken at least a little seriously if you contacted them to try to explain the position that the new policy puts you in.

more than 5 years ago

Solar Panels Reach $1 a Watt

ricree Re:$1 per Watt or per kW? (381 comments)

I'm guessing that you're thinking of the price of a kiloWatt hour, the measure of energy used by power companies to bill customers.

In this case, they're talking about the cost to manufacture a solar cell of a given instantaneous power output.

more than 5 years ago

Hubble Repair Mission At Risk

ricree Re:Except that (224 comments)

In the long term, it is clear that we will need space colonization to survive as a species. The thing to remember, though, is that the long term here is really really long. The sort of threats that colonization would defend us from are the sorts that will not likely come for many centuries or even many millenia. So while I agree with those who say that off world colonization must someday be a reality, it does not take precedence over the many other issues that we need to conquer to succeed as a species.

I also tend to have my own thoughts on what is the best way to proceed with the idea of an off world human presence. Many people use this goal to justify the manned space program, and while it has uses, I don't think that the current manned space program will be able to bridge the gap to real sustainable colonies for us.

I believe that we should be devoting more time and resources towards the goal automated fabrication in space. It's clear that the one hurdle that we will never truly escape is the massive energy cost to put something into orbit. Given this, it is essential that we learn how to build as much as possible off the surface of earth where we don't have to deal with the huge launch costs.

Obviously, this isn't something that we can do overnight. We don't have that sort of automation yet on Earth, much less the technology to do it in space, but it will be necessary if we want to do any sorts of large scale off world construction.

If the US really wants to set a meaningful goal for the space program, I think that it should ditch the talk of human missions to Mars and other similarly pointless goals, and set a strong but realistic goal towards achieving off world production. We should decide that by 2030, for example, we should be able to take the raw materials off of an asteroid, refine it into high grade metal or some similar material, and shape it into simple but useful forms.

This would greatly move us towards space colonization, and would also provide a lot of research into automated production that could be used with great benefit on Earth.

more than 5 years ago

Arctic Ice Extent Understated Because of "Sensor Drift"

ricree Re:Rocket science? (823 comments)

The decision not to vaccinate puts more people besides yourself at risk. For one thing, vaccines are not 100% effective. This isn't a problem when there are enough vaccinated people to stop the diseases from spreading enough to infect those whose vaccines aren't fully effective, but when enough people refuse the vaccines it puts even those who have been vaccinated at risk.

Also keep in mind that there are those who cannot get vaccinated for various reasons. Besides obvious examples such as newborns, it is my understanding that certain types of childhood diseases such as some forms of cancer prevent those children from receiving normal vaccines. When people who are able to get the vaccines refuse them, it also puts at risk those who do not have the option to vaccinate themselves.

more than 5 years ago

Hellgate: London To Be Closed, Possibly Saved?

ricree Re:Open Source the server code! or possibly the ga (91 comments)

Actually, the game assets were put into escrow as assets against investment from other companies. I don't remember if this "Redbana" is the investor, but there's someone that is interested and has a claim against the assets. So, no open sourcing for this game.

There is a bit of precedent for something like this. Blender came to be in a similar situation. When the company failed, their creditors agreed to open source it for a payment of around $100000, which was met by community donations. Now, I doubt that Hellgate: London could get the same level of donations that Blender did, but if the company is looking at a total loss they could possibly be persuaded to let it go relatively cheaply.

more than 6 years ago


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