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Comment False dichotomy (Score 2) 215

The absurdly long duration of copyrights, from the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension act, is indeed absurd.

A good discussion, how can we fix copyright without telling artists that they don't own their own work, would be useful.

The fact that copyright law has problems, however, does not mean that it has no value and should be discarded entirely. Except on slashdot, where any problem whatsoever can only be seen in black or white, a complete dichotomy: if copyright law isn't perfect then it's useless, no other possibilities.

Comment Who is the defendant (Score 1) 215

Samsung is, for the moment ay least, a multi-billion dollar company with huge pockets. Win or lose the cost of this type of court case is a blip in their budget. However for the defendant the financial risk is huge: he could lose his life savings on a case like this.

Isn't Youtube the defendant here?

No, it's not.

Comment Before copyright, no credit and no money (Score 3, Insightful) 215

Creative writing/art/etc was doing well before anyone thought of copyright.

No, actually it wasn't. Before copyright, writers got no credit and no money for their work. Most of the works surviving from the middle ages we don't even know who wrote them-- the authors are called things like "the Pearl poet" by scholars, because all we know of him (?) is that he (or she) wrote the Pearl sequence (and Gawain).

Copyright law might be broken, but no copyright is not the solution.

Comment Re:Ten (Score 2) 208

Hang on - how come Namibia's not on that list? Don't they have a US military base halfway up their coastline?

I think you're confusing the US with China.

The US doesn't have bases there, but China is interested in building a naval base in Namibia:

Comment Sooner science-- (Score 1) 6

Interestingly, by not doing the burn they will get more science on this orbit, not less, since most of the science instruments would have been off if they had been doing the perijove burn for orbit lowering (but can now be turned on, to make this a science pass instead of a burn.)

Of course, they will have to spend a later perijove pass for the burn instead of doing science (most likely on the December perijove), so over the whole mission they don't actually get any more science-- but this change means that they get earlier science.

Comment Re:Climate change? (Score 1) 25

Climate change simulations?

You're aware that the most of the generally-used General Circulation Models (what you call "climate change simulations") do have the source code publicly available, right?

Here are some links (For the most part, they run on supercomputers, so don't expect to compile them for your little Windoze box.):

Comment I like the term "Social Justice Warrior" (Score 1) 756

I like the term "Social Justice Warrior". Anybody to whom the term accurately applies is always proud to have the term applied to them. I like the fact that the social conversation is using a term of which the targets of the term agree it applies to them.

Anyone who brings up SJW is an idiot. It's a manufactured name tailor-made to offend beck beards.

It does seem to be true that when somebody uses the term SJW, you aren't going to learn anything from them. It seems to be mostly used as a tag to say "I disagree with these other peoples' political opinions but I'm going to call them names rather than discuss any issues."

(and I don't know what a beck beard is, or why that's an insult.)

The SJWs themselves coined the phrase.

I would love to see a citation to this.

Comment The problem is not-- (Score 1) 64

The problem is not that decisions are being made by machines with little human input. The problem is that humans are getting very little insight into how the decisions are being made, and thus very little input into the decision making processes, and even less ability to find and correct errors.

Machines making decisions can be a very good thing. Machines making decisions for reasons that humans are not given enough information to follow is likely to be not.

Comment Prediction: Ice free Arctic by 2050 (Score 2) 275

Maybe some scientist may have predicted ice free by 2016, but most predicted the date as much later.

"Many scientists have attempted to estimate when the Arctic will be "ice-free". They have noted that climate model predictions have tended to be overly conservative regarding sea ice decline.[2][13] A 2013 paper suggested that models commonly underestimate the solar radiation absorption characteristics of wildfire soot.[14] A 2006 paper predicted "near ice-free September conditions by 2040".[15] Overland & Wang (2009) predicted that there would be an ice-free Arctic in the summer by 2037.[16] The same year Boé et al. found that the Arctic will probably be ice-free in September before the end of the 21st century.[17] A follow-up study concluded with the possibility of major sea ice loss within a decade or two.[18] The IPCC AR5 (for at least one scenario) estimates an ice-free summer might occur around 2050.[3] The Third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA), released May 6, 2014, reports that the Arctic Ocean is expected to be ice free in summer before mid-century. Models that best match historical trends project a nearly ice-free Arctic in the summer by the 2030s.[19] However, these models do tend to underestimate the rate of sea ice loss since 2007. A 2010 study suggested that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free sooner than global climate models predict. They chart the summer of 2016 as ice-free, but show a possible date range out to 2020.[20] This assessment was reported in the press as "US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016" [21] In a study from 2016, the prediction uncertainty of an ice-free Arctic was quantified to be at around two decades, based on model simulations [22]"

Comment So just don't (Let the House decide) (Score 2) 157

If everyone who doesn't like Hillary but are voting for her because they are afraid of Trump and everyone who doesn't like Trump but are voting for him because they are afraid of Hillary voted for third party candidate like Johnson or Stein, then neither Hillary or Trump would get elected.

Very likely. The result would be that nobody would get an electoral college majority, and nobody would be "elected": instead the presidency would be chosen by the House of Representatives from the top three candidates, according to the procedures in the Constitution.

Since the House is majority Republican, this would result in Trump becoming president.

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