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Comment Re:damages calculated? (Score 1) 103

im curious why they owe $20 million on a product which is given away for free?

Because damages are calculated using lost profits or at the very least a reasonable royalty for the use of the patent. Patents cover "making, using, or selling", so the patented invention doesn't have to be sold for there to be infringement and damages owed. Given the number of Chrome downloads, $20 million really isn't a lot of money. I'm not saying I agree that the patents in question should be held valid, just pointing out that no money has to change hands for there to be an infringement.

Comment Re:I thought not all US carriers use LTE (Score 2) 105

Them's weasel words - it's not covering where the customers are, it's also covering where they aren't, like on a rural highway.

For sure, and it doesn't even have to be a rural highway. I have T-Mo, and I call my wife every day on the way home from work along U.S. 1 on the east coast of Florida, one of the busiest highways in the state. I get calls dropped 100% of the time - always at least once in a particular location, and often 2-3 times.

Comment Re:Today Marks 50th Anniversary of Fatal Apollo 1 (Score 5, Informative) 87

Continuing this sad tale, we saw the loss of a launch because of faulty O-ring design caused by small, but significant, warpage from the weight of the vehicle resting on its side during the O-ring installation.

That's not what caused the O-ring failure, and the vehicle was attached vertically in the VAB, well after the SRBs were fully assembled and mated to the tank. The temperature at launch was below freezing, and about 25 degrees lower than any previous launch. The O-rings lost most of their flexibility due to the cold and failed to seal the joint as a result.

And then, there was the loss during re-entry from another vehicle because of icing issues - even though NASA had a waiver to continue using freon for de-icing which would have eliminated this problem, but changed to a different, less effective, but MORE Politically Correct compound. Granted, the actual icing issue didn't cause the loss, but the ice build-up and the impact of the ice-chunk DID result in another senseless, tragic loss.

The Columbia accident wasn't caused by ice either - it was a block of insulating foam that broke off from the tank and struck the orbiter. Very little ice ever formed on the external tank due to the insulation.

Comment A day late (Score 4, Informative) 87

Actually, yesterday (1/27) was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire. Today (1/28) is the 31st anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I know the story was probably posted yesterday and took a few hours to get through the queue, but BeauHD should have edited the headline to reflect that.

RIP to the men and women of both tragic missions.

Comment Re:It's the "Me too!" approach to UI design (Score 3, Insightful) 489

Take Facebook's "infinitely scrolling" page design for example

I'd like to take it and throw it off a mountain somewhere. Uses *tons* more memory than a paged layout, and makes it damn near impossible to find anything that's more than a few hours old without scrolling your hand off.

Comment Re:Easy answer (Score 4, Informative) 489

Back in the day Apple had Human Interface Guidelines. And I understand that Microsoft did too.

IBM had "Common User Access" (CUA), and Microsoft had "Consistent User Interface" (CUI) guidelines, which were roughly comparable to Apple's. Following those guidelines might not be as visually attractive as some of the crap being designed today, but at least it meant that people could get acclimated to your product quickly and with a minimum of confusion. In the world of UIs today, there's way too much frosting and not nearly enough cake.

Comment Re:IDK, but... (Score 4, Interesting) 225

I mean, I'm aware the DMCA is awful. They should just do something about that.

It'd be nice if it were that easy, but the controversal parts of the DMCA are implementations of two treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory. The U.S. would have to revoke the treaty in order to remove the offending parts of the DMCA. To those that say it's the Republicans' fault that we have this law, please note that the DMCA was signed by a Democratic president and passed in the Senate unanimously - all 45 Democratic senators wanted this.

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 2) 501

the PC's openness was really a result of Compaq's careful cleanroom reverse engineering of the BIOS, rather than any legal constraints on IBM

I would say that the PC's openness at least equally due to the fact that they offered full schematics, theory-of-operation documentation, and BIOS source code for a small fee prior to Compaq's entry into the market. The main competitor at the time in the business space was the Apple II, which also had schematics and ROM source available, along with a thriving industry for expansion hardware. Also, both machines were built with completely off-the-shelf parts.

Comment Re:3d fails about every 10-15 years. (Score 2) 435

This could possibly be worked around using a depth-of-field encoding/display technology similar to what Lytro does, tied to a sensor that somehow monitors the eye's lens to continually determine the eye's focal length, and adjusting the image(s) accordingly. I don't see something like that happening any time soon, but I wouldn't say it's impossible.

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