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Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

Anubis IV Re:soddering (62 comments)

I take it you're new to the Internet then. Well, let me welcome you to Slashdot, land of pedants and others of that sort.

yesterday
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Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

Anubis IV Re:soddering (62 comments)

While I too pronounce them as you describe, I specifically chose all of those words after confirming their pronunciation using multiple references online. As I said in my post, others, including myself, may pronounce them in non-standard ways, but the accepted pronunciations for all of those words involve silent Ls.

yesterday
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Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

Anubis IV Re:soddering (62 comments)

(aka sodder for the US people)

I'm from the US. I'm fluent in English. "Sodder" ain't real English.

Trying to capture the phonetics of a local dialect when writing dialog is one thing, but it's an insult to others when you provide a dumbed down misspelling of a word and suggest that it's for their benefit. Besides which, the silent L is well-establish in both of our dialects (e.g. could, would, alms, calm, half, and folk all have silent Ls in accepted usage of either British or American English, though obviously there are non-standard pronunciations out there). The way the L softens the vowel sound in those cases is no different than what happens in American English with "solder". Besides which, regardless of which side of the Atlantic (or Pacific!) you prefer, the English dictionary is rife with spellings that in no way resemble the actual pronunciation.

TL;DR: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

2 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Anubis IV Re:US wars with Congressional approval since 1945: (503 comments)

You don't need a formal declaration of war (i.e. to put the nation itself in a "state of war") to be engaged in a war, but I do agree that there is not a one-to-one correlation between military engagements and war. Saying we've been engaged in 13 wars with Congressional approval since 1945 is bit of an overstatement on halivar's part, since many of those were minor encounters in the grand scheme of things, but your seeming suggestion that none of those military engagements were also wars is a misstatement on your part. We may not have made a formal declaration of war against Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but we were still engaged in the Vietnam War, Korean War, Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan, all of which were done with Congressional approval.

Suggesting otherwise is just playing semantics and missing the point, since the OP's implication was that the President hasn't received Congressional approval since 1945 for these sorts of things, which is patently false.

about a week ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Anubis IV Re:I disagree (390 comments)

Verizon to level3: "Our traffic from netflix moved over to Level3 last night... very strange, anyways we need to increase our capacity..."
Level3 to Verizon: "Ok, that will be $X"
Verizon to level3: "um... That's 300% higher than any other provider out there..."
Level3 to Verizon: "suck it... your monies are belong to us"

Except that this fictional exchange you've created, in which Level 3 is extorting Verizon for more, is easily refuted by using either blog post. For instance, from Verizon:

Netflix did not make arrangements to deliver this massive amount of traffic through connections that can handle it.

[...] Netflix is responsible for either using connections that can carry the volume of traffic it is sending, or working out arrangements with its suppliers so they can handle the volumes. As we’ve made clear before, we regularly negotiate reasonable commercial arrangements with transit providers or content providers to ensure a level of capacity that accommodates their volume of traffic.

Which is a nice way of saying, "Level 3 is refusing to negotiate rates for more capacity with us, so we've refused to give them more." Level 3's blog post also affirms that the issue is Verizon's refusal to act:

Verizon has confirmed that everything between that router in their network and their subscribers is uncongested – in fact has plenty of capacity sitting there waiting to be used. Above, I confirmed exactly the same thing for the Level 3 network. So in fact, we could fix this congestion in about five minutes simply by connecting up more 10Gbps ports on those routers. Simple. Something we’ve been asking Verizon to do for many, many months, and something other providers regularly do in similar circumstances. But Verizon has refused.

Even without the blog posts, it should be obvious your notion makes little business sense. Level 3 is in no business position to play hardball like you've suggested. If they sacrificed on performance as a ploy to double-dip (i.e. get both Netflix and a lower-tier ISP* like Verizon to pay), Netflix would simply take its traffic to a different Tier 1 ISP that doesn't play those sorts of games, since the double-dipping would be hurting their bottom line. Or, at the very least, they'd be calling out their own ISP, rather than calling out the customer's ISP.

On the other hand, as a lower-tier ISP, Verizon has a monopoly on its own end users: if you want to reach them, you MUST go through them. If Verizon tries to double-dip by getting money out of both the higher-tier ISP and its end users, the end users won't understand what's going on, and in many cases they lack any viable alternatives anyway. Meanwhile, the higher-tier ISP can't switch out for a different peer, since Verizon is the only way to get to those end users.

Besides which, it's not like Netflix's switch from Akamai to Level 3 took Verizon by surprise, as you suggest, since it happened way back in 2010 and has been working fine for most of that time. If there was a problem resulting from the switch, it would have come up before now. Which is to say, this isn't a "Wow! Level 3's traffic is suddenly skyrocketing and we can't keep up!" situation. Rather, it's almost certainly a, "Hey, that Comcast company had a good idea to try getting money out of both sides...let's see if we can do it too!" situation, given the timing of it all.

* A quick aside: I'm well aware that Verizon also maintains a Tier 1 network, but Tier 1 networks rarely connect directly to end users. That's what lower-tier networks do. Moreover, the defining characteristic of a Tier 1 network is that it enjoys free peering with other Tier 1 networks. As such, the Verizon network being discussed here is clearly not their Tier 1 network, but rather a lower-tier one they control (e.g. a Tier 2 or 3 network) that has direct access to their end customers.

about a week ago
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Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

Anubis IV Re:LMAO (91 comments)

By no means was I suggesting Amazon's actions absolve Apple of anything.

That said, you're only considering the one side of the market (i.e. whether they are abusing their near-monopoly), whereas I was addressing the other side of the market (i.e. whether they are abusing their near-monopsony). Just as it's illegal for a company to abuse their dominant position to force prices up since people lack alternative choices to purchase, so too is it illegal for a company to abuse their dominant position to force down the prices they're paying when their suppliers lack alternative choice to sell to. Negotiating is fine, but when you're essentially the only company buying, you have a legal responsibility to not abuse your position in those negotiations. The danger there is that they can keep forcing prices down to levels that are unsustainable for their suppliers.

Amazon does not seem to be abusing their near-monopoly, but they are almost certainly abusing their near-monopsony.

about a week ago
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Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

Anubis IV Re:LMAO (91 comments)

Setting aside Apple for the moment, there's nothing "theoretical" about Amazon engaging in actions of this sort. They've been doing it as long as Apple has, at least.

Using most favored nation clauses and the agency model, which is exactly what got Apple in trouble: http://www.selfpublishingrevie...
Leveraging their near-monopsony to try and gouge the publishers: http://www.teleread.com/ebooks...
Making hard-to-implement immediate demands when the publishers pushed back: http://www.thepassivevoice.com...
Delisting multiple publishers during re-negotiations: http://time.com/110412/amazon-...
Jacking shipping times from a few days to 3-5 weeks: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
The author's guild is outright accusing Amazon of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/...

Spend 30 seconds Googling around. You'll be shocked at what all Amazon has already done when it comes to this industry, and it's only been getting worse in recent years. It's like looking inside the door at a sausage factory: you'd have wished you never looked.

about a week ago
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Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

Anubis IV Re:Cost of doing business (91 comments)

He's partially correct. A large part of the issue was that they were accused of colluding in this regard. Another part, however, was that they combined Most Favored Nation clauses and the Agency Model for doing business. Neither of those latter two are considered illegal, in and of themselves, but together with the each other and the collusion that was alleged (e.g. there's a story about the execs from the publishers and Apple all getting together at a boathouse to talk), they were considered a form of price fixing. Effectively, the case made against them alleged that the publishers were being told, "You all get to control your own prices. All we demand is that you make sure we have the lowest price, or else that you jack up other's prices to match ours. Oh, and *nudge nudge* you're all making these decisions at the same time as each other."

Negotiating en masse isn't illegal, nor are MFN clauses or an agency model. But combining them all together, particularly if you suggest to the folks on the other side of the table that they work together for their mutual benefit? You run into some issues doing that.

about a week ago
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Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

Anubis IV Re:Cost of doing business (91 comments)

My guess is that they benefited far more than 450 million dollars from this.

The entire eBooks market was only making $3 billion in revenue in each of 2012 and 2013. And I think we'll all agree that the market of today is much larger than it was back in 2010, when Apple and the iPad entered the scene with their combination of an Agency Model and Most Favored Nation clauses, which were deemed to be anticompetitive when used together.

  Apple's share of the market in 2010 was somewhere between 10% and 20%, depending on who you believe (most suggest it was 10%, but let's go with 20% for the sake of argument, since it'd mean they'd have made more money). So, if we use 2012's numbers (which, again, will be larger than 2010's actual numbers), their revenue would have only been $600 million at most during that time. I'll admit that I am not an accountant, so I may be misusing these numbers, but as I understand it, their 30% cut for the agency model would be taken out of the $600 million, meaning they'd receive roughly $180 million in a year.

To say the least, you'd have a hard time making the case that the $180 million they made was somehow $450 million or more greater than the amount they'd have made had they not engaged in anticompetitive practices. Though, if I recall correctly, treble damages were being pursued, so that may explain a large chunk of the discrepancy. Even so, it is highly doubtful Apple benefitted by anywhere even in the ballpark of the amount they are being fined.

about a week ago
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Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Call of Duty

Anubis IV Re:Illegal to profit from your crimes. (83 comments)

Some jurisdictions do have Son of Sam laws that are designed to keep criminals from profiting from their criminal pursuits, but from the Wikipedia entry, it sounds like they may be of questionable constitutionality (and that the court has been willing to throw them out), depending on how they are phrased and enforced.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Anubis IV Re:bullshit (528 comments)

Ok, for the sake of argument, let's say that the union president misread Tesla's management and that they are, in fact, neutral towards the idea of unionization. What of it? A large piece of what I said was that the OP had completely glossed over unions fighting against Tesla outside of the factories, and I provided an example of a large and well-known one doing so. Even if the employee's union isn't fighting Tesla, the point still stands: trade unions are attacking Tesla.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Anubis IV Re:bullshit (528 comments)

You're (I believe inadvertently) painting an inaccurate picture when it comes to Tesla's stance towards unions. Even if they are neutral towards employee unions (more on that in a minute), NADA is still one of the largest unions in the automotive industry, and has made no bones about the fact that they are opposed to Tesla's business model. Unions have been attacking Tesla from the start and continue to do so even now. Factory employee unions may not be a part of the fray yet, but they're hardly the only type of trade union.

Moreover, on the topic of employee unions, Musk may say he's neutral, but Tesla's actions make it clear that it is hardly neutral. From another article (emphasis mine):

Musk's opinions on unionization aren't clear. When he announced the Fremont factory's purchase from Toyota, Musk told The Chronicle that "on the question of the union, we're neutral." [...]

Tesla's last annual financial report struck a far less welcoming note. It listed the possibility of union activity under "risks" to the business.

"The mere fact that our labor force could be unionized may harm our reputation in the eyes of some investors and thereby negatively affect our stock price," reads the report, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Additionally, the unionization of our labor force could increase our employee costs and decrease our profitability, both of which could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations."

[...] Other Tesla managers, [UAW President Bob] King said, seemed to be opposed. Musk, he said, was "very open and said he would respect what the workers wanted. But his operating management has done the opposite."

And, contrary to your claims regarding Uber, it has been facing issues from trade unions, namely taxi, limo, and other professional driver unions across the country that have been campaigning extremely hard to keep Uber out. I'll grant that they are almost entirely operating against Uber at the city and state level, but that pressure on the governments is originating from the unions. Without the unions campaigning, the city governments likely wouldn't be getting involved at all.

That said, I do agree with you that the summary grossly missteps by suggesting that the issue of state-level protectionist regulators has much of anything to do with the complaints of small-government folks.

about a week ago
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Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code

Anubis IV Re:Security (112 comments)

It's not just a matter of what could go wrong. It's a matter of what has already gone wrong. They've traded the possibility that a vulnerability will be used to compromise the system for the certainty that the system will be compromised from the get-go. The whole point of securing a system such as this one is to ensure the credibility of the results, but security (regardless of the variety) can't add credibility to something that never had it to begin with.

about a week ago
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FTC Files Suit Against Amazon For In-App Purchases

Anubis IV Re:about time (47 comments)

He only claimed that they paid no attention to user experience, not that they're shoddy at engineering things. The examples you provided actually demonstrate that point.

For instance, I read a few years back about how Bezos had then-recently hired designers to redo the website since its design seems like an over-crowded holdover from the '90s, before disregarding their ideas entirely because he couldn't bear to be without all of the stuff that's currently packed in. Likewise, their software for the Kindle Fire line can do some really neat stuff, but everything I've heard and seen indicates that it's sub-par from an experience perspective (e.g. unresponsive/laggy UI, inconsistent app designs/flows, disregard for common and obvious use cases). As for AWS and logistics, what of them? Logistics is entirely internal, while AWS isn't aimed at end users at all.

They can and do make cool stuff that's well-engineered, but there's a big difference between good engineering and good design. I, and I believe the OP, are accusing them of lacking the latter when it comes to their consumer-facing endeavors. Pretty much everything about Amazon feels like a cheap commodity, which is fine when I want cheap cables from their Amazon Basics line that I'll plug in once and never touch again, but isn't so good when it's something I'm interacting with on a daily basis, such as their site.

about two weeks ago
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The World's Best Living Programmers

Anubis IV Re:No exhaustive.. (285 comments)

Kernighan wasn't involved until much later, according to Ritchie's own history of the language. C was a direct successor to B, which was Thompson's brainchild, and he was directly involved in much of the development of C, though Ritchie was the lead on it.

People often assume it was Kernighan and Ritchie because they co-authored the seminal book on the language (the eponymous K&R white book), but that book didn't even get published until almost 6 years after C was already complete.

about two weeks ago
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Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

Anubis IV Re:Netflix rating engine sucks (86 comments)

Teams of researchers from around the globe competed for the $1,000,000 Netflix Prize way back in 2009, that would be awarded to the team that managed to improve the algorithm by even 10%. It took them the better part of a year to accomplish it, and you seem to think that a lone programmer can just get in there and knock out a lot of low-hanging fruit to substantially improve things?

I don't deny that there's always room for improvement (such as the example you provided), but suggesting that it can all be fixed by "hiring a programmer" is a bit naive.

about two weeks ago
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Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

Anubis IV Re:IMDB is full of descriptors (86 comments)

You do realize that IMDb is a type of wiki, right? The tags are user-submitted. They're good for some stuff, but probably not so useful for the sorts of things Netflix likely needs them for. Besides which, IMDb is owned by Amazon, so there's likely all sorts of legal issues in using its data for their service.

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

Anubis IV Re:Absolutely Awesome (200 comments)

I love it too, but just because I love it, doesn't mean that I don't also think it's something that could have turned out really badly. The video clearly shows a number of near misses, and the last thing I want landing on a fireworks barge is a flaming, sparking machine that fell from the sky. Considering these fireworks were all directly over the barges, any near misses he had were also over them.

Even so, that doesn't temper the fact that the video is absolutely outstanding. I'm just glad it turned out okay.

about three weeks ago
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Google Reader: One Year Later

Anubis IV Only thing that's changed... (132 comments)

The only thing that's changed is that I've made a point of getting away from free services and moving over to for-pay services with revenue streams that I understand, since I know they won't disappear in a year or two when they fail to successfully monetize their users or decide it's not worth it any more. Plus, I know how they're monetizing me: I'm putting cash directly into their pockets, without any of the funny business involving targeted ads, opting me in to stuff against my wishes, or selling my data to other companies.

Feedbin is the RSS reader to use. I tried Feedly, but it didn't allow .opml exports of feeds, and the last thing I wanted to do was lock myself into a new service right after leaving the last one. Feedbin is snappy, regularly updated with nice enhancements, and can be accessed from a number of clients. Absolutely love it, and the price is pretty good too.

I also switched from Gmail to FastMail. Again, it's a case of knowing where the money is coming from and getting more control over how my data is being used as a result. It's been a great change so far, and I've had far less issues using it once I got it all set up.

about three weeks ago
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Comcast Executives Appear To Share Cozy Relationships With Regulators

Anubis IV Re:Not a VIP box at the Olympics (63 comments)

Wish I had mod points, since AC has it right. If you check the document attached with the article, page 26 has the actual invitation itself, and it clearly says the event is in D.C., rather than in Sochi, and there's no mention at all of a VIP box or anything of the sort. This story went from "Comcast cordially invited them to an opening ceremony event at the Newseum" in the actual invitation to "Comcast invited them to an event for the Sochi opening ceremony" in the article to "Comcast invited them to a VIP box at Sochi" in the \. summary.

It's a non-story. Just regular schmoozing. Though the fact that regular schmoozing is a non-story might be a story in and of itself...

about three weeks ago

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