Funny, Eurostile was one of the fonts I toyed with when building it - but I decided against it since, to my mind, it's passed from "chic" into "vastly overused". I'm sorry you don't like the font ("Furore", if you're curious), but I *think* you're in the minority.
The goal was always a simple design, and it's been extremely popular so far - but if there's more interest in a fancier version, we may create a 2.0 at some point.
Before patents, advances and inventions were often kept completely secret -- in some cases, entire secret societies grew out of that tendency. This was, in the long run, terrible for society at large.
That's the story we are told. But it is, at best, a half-truth.
For one thing, patents were around for some 400 years as simply a form of government-granted monopoly, before even being talked about as a form of "intellectual property". And throughout all that time and beyond, there's basically no example of a period in which patents served the idyllic purpose they are supposed to according to the "secrecy" narrative. From the very start, they were a means of wheeling and dealing with governments granting patents to "inventors" solely on the basis of making everyone involved a bunch of monopoly money, not any sort of reasonable rationale.
There wasn't any requirement to publish the details of a patent for the first several hundred years of patents. The notion of having to examine a patent application for things like prior art and obviousness before granting it is even newer than that.
Nevertheless, let's look at the notion of patents as a way to prevent secrecy seriously for a moment, and assume it's the true intent: where's the evidence that this was a problem, or that patents fix it? As we see throughout the world today and throughout history, most things are invented contemporaneously and independently by multiple people in different places - because most "inventions" are in fact natural innovations based on what has come before. So, where are the great inventions that were lost because they were secret? Where are the great patents that were published to a cry of "thank god they revealed that and we can all use it in couple decades", as opposed to the cry of "fuck so now we have to wait a couple decades before we can use that?"
I don't know of any. And even if you can make the case that this was true historically, to me that has little bearing on the situation now. Now, the reality is that keeping a patentable invention secret is basically impossible anyway - there are enough smart people with enough resources that any invention is reverse engineered and fully understood, or else simply reproduced, within moments of hitting the ground. There are endless real examples of patents restricting innovation, and only vague hypothetical examples of how they promote it.
I'm not saying the notion of patents necessarily has to be entirely rejected, but it certainly has to be re-evaluated from the ground up. And in order to do that, we must look at the reality, not the myth of secretive guilds and the glorious publishing of patents. The reality is that they have always been a means of building monopolies in order to make business-shrewd individuals rich first, and a means of promoting innovation second if at all.
You do realize there are plenty of companies making cola, right? And thousands of restaurants big and small making fried chicken? Some worse, some better, some preferred by some and not by others, much indistinguishable in blind taste tests?
If this is your example for how trade secrets are worse for innovation than patents, I think you've chosen a bad one. There's been no shortage of innovation in the cola beverage and fried chicken fields. Also neither of those things are eligible for patent protection in the first place.
Recipes for Coca-Cola and KFC are like that. If you happen to copy them, even by accident, say goodbye to your life savings and any hope of a career as an inventor.
That's not true. Trade secret protection (now made uniform across most of America by the UTSA) only applies to "improper means" of learning a secret (corporate espionage, theft, misrepresentation, etc). If you uncover a trade secret by reverse engineering or independent invention, those are considered "proper means" and are perfectly legal. Indeed, you can even gain trade secret protection yourself for something you've developed by "proper means", and benefit from the same protections as the original inventor.
It also seems important to note that much of the corruption in many of those agencies is exactly that: corruption caused by private sector interests steering regulators away from the public good. But to react by eliminating all regulation would simply hand more direct control to the private interests - the very people guilty of nurturing the corruption you complain about.
The difference is I don't take the presence of corruption in many regulatory bodies to mean that regulation itself is bad in principle. I think that there are many things that will always require regulation, and though I'd certainly like to see that regulation function better than it does in many ways currently, it seems clear to me that some sort of regulatory mechanism will always be necessary - as in, some form of democratic process whereby a populace can create and enforce rules about things that effect everyone.
The FCC may be corrupt, but I still can't envision an efficient modern society that doesn't have a means of, for example, allocating radio spectrum — nor can I envision a way that could happen equitably and with maximum benefit if it was controlled entirely by private entities. The FDA may be corrupt, but I still can't envision a modern industrial food chain that effectively feeds hundreds of million people without some sort of public health control, or a modern health care system that doesn't involve some sort of public monitoring of pharmaceuticals. I can't envision a modern city that doesn't require public regulation of things like traffic, sewage, and zoning — and more broadly I can't envision modern humanity's long-term survival on the planet without some form of environmental and resource regulation.
I have no problem with you saying you think the majority of regulation is bad — though "majority" doesn't mean a whole lot here, as regulation is not just directly quantifiable on some simple scale, considering that tiny pieces of regulation can often have widespread effects and hundred-page-long regulations can often prove impotent and ineffective.
What I fail to follow, though, is the logic of the leap from there to assuming that "regulation" is a concept is thus inherently problematic. Speaking realistically, we have no examples of a wholly regulated or wholly unregulated society - every society everywhere has existed with both, and each has numerous examples of both good and bad things caused by both regulation and a lack of regulation, plus even more examples where the exact causation is debatable and involves a wide variety of unique or specific factors.
The only sensible conclusion I can see is to focus on creating smart, effective, efficient regulation applied where necessary, and minimizing the negative consequences of both bad regulation and lack-of-necessary-regulation where those exist.
Blindly opposing "regulation" - and even discussing "regulation" as one giant, general, homogenous topic - is equally foolish, and far far more common. I've never seen anyone claim "all regulation is good, regulate everything in every way" - but I've seen plenty of people rail indiscriminately against any and all forms of regulation as you do here.
As you note, the real original weapon/tool is a sharp stick - or a stick with a spearhead mounted on it. It's actually quite hard for me to envision many situations where a neolithic hunter would find an axe more useful for either hunting or combat. Hunting is all about range. Axes in war are all about close combat and are especially useful against armoured opponents (and such axes tend to have very small heads, for puncturing power).
It is not entirely intuitively clear to me either, but it is true that almost all prehistoric axes uncovered by archaeologists appear to have been agricultural tools (found on farms alongside ploughs, etc.), and there are few if any examples - specifically of axe-heads for mounting on handles - that predate agriculture. And so this one raised some eyebrows. Archaeologists generally try not to just guess what a tool was used for (or at least not assert that guess as the definite truth).
Aha - thanks, this actually clarifies a lot. I knew there was a distinction between how Java and languages like C++ are compiled, and that Java had a runtime aspect which is what enables it to move so easily between platforms. But I have always been pretty unclear on what exactly that meant and what the real distinction was :)
Definitely. And I should clarify here that I'm a light coder not an experienced software architect - personally I much prefer working with dynamically typed languages (and most of the coding tasks I do are more suited to that anyway). But I'm also well aware of the strength and necessity of stricter languages for many purposes. I like your example here though, as I've definitely enjoyed that kind of thing - for example Wordpress (which I work with a fair bit) provides some great dynamic functions for time/date stuff that accept all sorts of formats from full UTC timecodes to plain language statements like "last 7 days".
Sidenote, I did not know what you brought up above about modern IDEs maintaining a database model of the code and doing such rigorous compile-checking as you type. That makes me want to go back and try to learn C++ again :)
If you change something in Java, which makes it the wrong type to be passed to a function -- then that is a COMPILE TIME error, not a RUN TIME error.
Furthermore on that front - there are times when the lack of strictly typed declarations won't even produce a runtime error, but just bizarre and potentially hard-to-track bugs. For example, if you were to use the example python "max" function here with the numbers 2 and 10, but accidentally passed them as strings instead of integers, it would return 2 as the higher "number" and not generate any error at all.
despite the theoretical requirement for the one filing a DMCA claim to swear under penalty of perjury that they attest to the accuracy of the claims made
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the deviously worded DMCA does not in fact require that, theoretically or otherwise. The "penalty of perjury" portion only applies to the statement that the notice-sender is (or represents) the copyright holder of the work that is allegedly infringed upon. The remainder of a DMCA notice requires only a "good faith belief". This is not only true of the template notice text, but true of the requirements as set out in 512(c)(3):
(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Frankly, I have to tip my hat to the people who devised that wording. Nearly everybody, when discussing DMCA notices, assumes that a penalty of perjury technically applies to the entire thing - but that's simply not the case, thanks to the subtle positioning of those words mid-sentence in point (vi) -- after the requirement of a statement that the information is accurate.