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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

zippthorne Re:Unions (151 comments)

So, you're going to solve being fired en-masse by banding together and refusing to go to work? Good luck with that plan.

10 hours ago
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Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

zippthorne Re:Possibly Worse Than That (211 comments)

...What you're probably thinking of is "ignorance of the law is no excuse"...

Which is it's own level of BS when you think about it. It's predicated on the idea that you're responsible for making yourself aware of the law, so that you won't violate it in ignorance. But today's body of law is so great that I'm not sure it's possible for a person to read it all within a single lifetime, let alone piece together all of the cross links and understand everything that applies to you.

The authors and passers of the law bear some responsibility for violations when the law is so verbose and numerous as to be an impediment to understanding.

yesterday
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

zippthorne Re:Lobbying aside (415 comments)

Meanwhile if everyone did this....

3 days ago
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Guardian and WaPo Receive Pulitzers For Snowden Coverage

zippthorne Re:Good (78 comments)

Well, it's called the peace prize, not the freedom prize or the opposed oppression prize.

3 days ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

zippthorne Re:Surely ironic (275 comments)

The game changer of the iPhone wasn't features. It was UI and updates. Prior to iPhone, you typically would never receive software updates for your phone. After all, why bother, it doesn't sell more phones. The opposite, even. Bug frustration was a reason why people would "upgrade" by buying new phone whenever they hit the end of the contract period.

Apple was big enough to force the phone companies to allow updates to happen.

3 days ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

zippthorne Re:It was a "joke" back then (275 comments)

The slide would still be pretty neat, though...

3 days ago
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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

zippthorne It's more about the proof than the practice (307 comments)

I think maybe it's not about the shotgun itself, but more about the proof. The basic part is pretty easy to understand, and I'm pretty sure is already a known method for determining pi, and is useful for teaching math students about different ways of calculating pi. The abstract hints that there are methods of mitigating the less-than-fully-random nature of the shot spread, which is the only bit that seems paper-worthy to me.

One of my favorite statistical methods of determining pi involves dropping sticks over a ruled surface. The derivation is quite interesting, although still not useful in a post-apocalyptic world where we have forgotten so much that no one remembers a good approximation to pi.

4 days ago
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Private Keys Stolen Within Hours From Heartbleed OpenSSL Site

zippthorne Re:https is dead (151 comments)

Just like Apple stopped using certs signed by the compromised Comodo Root certificate to sign patches?

Oh wait.. they they kept using it for years. They might still be using it, even.

Certs are window dressing. Companies only care enough about them to make sure they don't throw warnings. If they can get away with it, they will invariably "solve" the issue by telling the users to reduce security settings.

4 days ago
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Most Expensive Aviation Search: $53 Million To Find Flight MH370

zippthorne Re:Tracking` (233 comments)

$200,000 * 1,200 (approx # of 777's built) = $240 Million. Add in the other models of aircraft that make ocean crossings and you can certainly be discussing amounts in the billions.

about two weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

zippthorne Re:Worst: when they use magic (512 comments)

That episode isn't a refutation, it's just another example of what the writers think would happen. Also, the lore of the episode includes a fairly long divergence period, which you would obviously not have if you're talking about duplicating a bunch of physicists to solve a pressing problem immediately.

about two weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

zippthorne Re:So...? (240 comments)

Why pin them to DST? Why not pin them to something with astronomical reality, i.e. solar noon.

about two weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

zippthorne Re:So...? (240 comments)

This is still easily solved without messing with the clocks. You could, for instance, start at 7am, or even 6am!

Personally, I'd prefer that the start times be more spread out, anyway. I think that traffic and traffic frustration are bigger ills than whether it's dark or light when you're sitting in that traffic.

about two weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

zippthorne Re:So...? (240 comments)

Why not just call it what time it really is and have work start at 8 instead?

about three weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

zippthorne Re:Enough of the stupidity (240 comments)

The only problem is that there is no evidence that any energy is saved. The only studies I have seen reported have been either inconclusive or show a slight increase in energy usage.

about three weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

zippthorne Re:Oh really. (240 comments)

One would assume because slashdot doesn't recognize ·

about three weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

zippthorne Re:So...? (240 comments)

DST doesn't change the amount of daylight. The earth's orbit and axial tilt change the amount of daylight.

If the problem is that businesses do better when there are more daylight hours after people finish work, that could be solved without having a DST at all - just provide an incentive for employers to change hours or offer flex time to employees.

In fact, I think we would do far more for the economy and the environment by encouraging businesses to stagger hours such that there is no more "rush hour." The time and fuel people waste sitting in traffic could be put to better use doing pretty much anything else.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

zippthorne Re:TNG good and bad (512 comments)

Have you read Ender's Game?

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

zippthorne Re:Worst: when they use magic (512 comments)

The writers might think that solved the problem (and there were several transporter duplication episodes....), but I'm not so sure. You'd end up with 100 physicists that all think the same way, so other than getting parallelizable portions of the problem done at the same time, I think it might be the same as one physicist....

about three weeks ago

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Putting your money where your keyboard is.

zippthorne zippthorne writes  |  more than 6 years ago

From my comment here:

Clearly, there are a number of people here and elsewhere that desire for easily duplicatable artistic works to be available for as large a number of people to enjoy as the ease of duplication makes feasable. At the moment, the regular market is not providing this, leading some to resort to black market solutions.

But the problem with the black market solution, and also the "get rid of copyright entirely" solution is that the pendulum swings too far the other way. Removing the ability for people to become professional artists would reduce the amount and quality of such works.

Creative Commons addresses part of this issue by providing a means for artists to donate all or part of their work to the public domain, but their scope and means are not adequate to the problem at hand.

What we really need is an organization (or many) charged with the task of buying works into the public domain. It should not be too difficult to estimate the total monetary value of the various works and thus the total remaining monetary value. If a rights-buying organization offered the remaining monetary value, a rights-holder would be irrational not to sell and realize the remaining value *now* rather than letting it trickle in.

Since there is little profit in this area, such organizations would probably have to be funded mostly by donation, and with limited budgets, would have to carefully choose the works purchased. I propose that one method would be to maximize the total lifetime monetary value of works purchased. Such an organization would eventually snap up the more popular works, but mostly quite a ways into the tail due to limited budgets. Another organization could buy "good" works, for whatever value of good that they choose, etc.

Such organizations could be established right now under the current copyright framework, and if people are as opposed to perpetual copyright as they claim to be, donations should be available in spades. So, where are they?

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