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Comment Re:Maybe that is how we are made... (Score 2) 99

I agree with your core concept, but suggest an adjustment: "in the wilds" the breadth of inputs that matter is narrow and is all part of the purpose at hand. I would compare to the multitasking level of sports activities. A primitive chasing after a hunted animal (comparable to a running football play) requires enough breadth of attention to track the target (receiver/defender), continue running while weaving to avoid stepping on a rock / in a hole, and manipulate a tool or weapon, all of which further the progress of the activity. However, it does NOT involve a phone call from another hunt site asking for details about a hunt for a different kind of animal that occurred months ago, nor does it involve a spreadsheet of plans for hunts in the future.

Comment Re:Don't look now... (Score 1) 294

Good point; there are LOTS of patents for UARTs and DMA systems. But my point is that each of them patents a particular implementation of a particular feature set. And there have been continual legal battles, because of the argument that each of the incremental ideas would be obvious to a person having "ordinary skill in the art". I suppose I weaken my discussion of software patent by comparing it to hardware; should have said: Imagine of someone had patented the concept of "data structure" or "linked list" or "queue".

Comment This is how it USED to be! (Score 4, Informative) 294

When I was in college, software was considered unpatentable, because a software program is an algorithm, and algorithms were unpatentable because they are essentially a "law of nature" or "scientific discovery". At some point the law changed to accept "business method" patents (which led to the "with a computer" patents). Imagine if someone had patented the concept of "an interrupt" or "DMA" or "UART", how everything would be completely incompatible - or there would be a small handful of oligarchies running hardware just as they do software. Oddly enough, at the same time as software patents were being enforced, Intel lost its case that its 8080 instruction set was patentable; the finding split the difference between the DESCRIPTION of the instruction set and the IMPLEMENTATION. So direct cloning of an x86 chip would be prohibited, but making a new chip that implemented the same instruction set (and a few more besides) allowed Zilog to make the Z80 just slightly better than - and upwardly compatible with - the 8080. This begat CP/M, which begat the personal computer industry, which was brilliantly co-opted by the IBM Personal Computer (note the capital letters, that makes it COMPLETELY different). And then in turn IBM lost control of the "IBM-compatible" computer market, which at this point is defined by the motherboard specification from the *software* company.

Comment Re:Either way, Indiana wins. (Score 1) 157

While I can appreciate your problem with your governor - I live in NJ with Christie, and thanks be for term limits - why on earth would you want to take a chance on seeing the guy PROMOTED to a more powerful position? Especially if the old man at the top of the ticket kicks off earlier than his father did?

Comment Re:Good.jpg (Score 2) 149

>> I still want my DVR to keep recorded shows locally stored at my house.

Yes, I even have an extra ESATA drive attached. Except when there was a problem with the FIOS somewhere, and I couldn't get TV, and figured I would watch a DVR recording instead, it WOULDN'T LET ME WATCH because it couldn't get the online approval that I was paid up. So it's not good enough that they encrypt the drive, and use a nonstandard disk format (which I know because it was a pain to recover when my old hard drive crashed), they need internet access for the DRM. It's not good enough that I paid for the service to record the shows, they have to check that I'm still allowed to watch them.

The only solution is to rewrite the regulations and require treating paying customers like CUSTOMERS rather than fleeced sheep. I expect hell to freeze first.

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 1) 290

I would say, more narrowly, that video is better for some purposes than pictures or diagrams. I would rather have the technical documentation with video accompaniment, with the pictures/diagrams being essentially screen grabs from the video. (For music or other performing arts, the discussion is completely different.)

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 1) 290

>>> ... will impart the relevant information in a fraction of the time ....

I have to disagree with this, because I constantly get information-free messages like "I have a question for you, please call me back" (rather than "I wanted to ask you ..." and stating the question). I believe the difference is in the nature of the person doing the communicating.

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