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Comments

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

ClickOnThis Re:Jerk (141 comments)

Y'know, I could say Larry Ellison can go fuck himself.

But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if he married himself.

3 days ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

ClickOnThis Re: Huh? (121 comments)

The reference to 4G limits has exactly what to do with this story?

I suppose about as much as a Space Shuttle has to do with a person standing next to it. I took it as a scale-comparison, but I understand your point about the story creating a potentially false impression that this is an evolution of 4G.

4 days ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

ClickOnThis Re:Huh? (121 comments)

transfer data at the speed of 32 gigabits per second, which is 30 times faster than 4G LTE wireless technology in use today.

Exactly which carrier offers gigabit 4G LTE?

Some 4G implementations have a theoretical upper limit of 1 Gb/s for low-mobility agents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4...

4 days ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

ClickOnThis Re:Tesla's taking a cue from Apple (155 comments)

This is only partially true. You have to remember that Apple products used to suck. People did not want them.

In my modest experience with older Apple products, I have found that they were about the same as others in quality. They didn't "suck" any more or less than their competitors.

about a week ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

ClickOnThis Re:Throwback (155 comments)

a throwback to the days when Detroit tried to undercut its franchise dealers by opening company-owned shops.

This seems to indicate that the same laws were good then & not good now. How?

Back then, Detroit was trying to pressure their own retailers to sell their cars at a lower markup. The law was Good (TM) for the retailers because it protected them from their suppliers. There were plenty of retailers to drive prices down through competition; they didn't need the suppliers to compete in the retail market.

Now, Tesla doesn't distribute to independent retailers, and they want to keep it that way, because they're not keen on having their products in the same showrooms as retailers showing other products. As far as they're concerned, Tesla is revolutionary, and would look queer and out-of-place amongst other vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Tesla doesn't trust retailers to present their product fairly in this context. And I can see their point: if their only contact with the consumer is the conventional auto retailer, you can bet all the other car manufacturers would freak out at having to share the showroom with Tesla, and would put pressure on the retailers to sing their own song.

In short, Tesla doesn't think the market will be fair to them unless they sell their product through their own stores. And since the retailers aren't selling their product, they're not competing with them, and so the law is an anachronism in this context.

about a week ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

ClickOnThis Re:Here in Massachusetts (155 comments)

I think part of that is also from a "morality hurdle" mentality. Many religious people don't want the alcohol market to be efficient in order to squelch consumption. It may not merely be old-fashioned protectionism of mom-and-pop stores.

I can imagine that explanation being plausible in a Jesus-belt state, but not Massachusetts.

about a week ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

ClickOnThis Re:Waaa? (914 comments)

T(not-so)FA attempts to equate science with Spock, and fails.

Sorry for self-replying. Hit enter too soon.

The article attempts to equate an atheistic view of science with Spock. And it still fails. I don't think atheists see science in the way the author describes.

about a week ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

ClickOnThis Re:Waaa? (914 comments)

Also, Bones was the canonical antagonist for Spock, not Kirk.

Indeed. McCoy is a scientist by trade. Kirk, is not.

Well, Spock and McCoy were both scientists. And as far as I recall, none of their conflicts were ever about science per se.

T(not-so)FA attempts to equate science with Spock, and fails.

about a week ago
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The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

ClickOnThis Re:Why should it NOT exist? (120 comments)

Heck, even certain knowledge is illegal for the general public to own, let alone internalize, like plans to make nuclear bombs.

Designs for nuclear weapons are not too hard to find online. The hard part (thank God) is obtaining the materials to make one, such as enriched uranium, plutonium, deuterium and tritium.

That said, I agree it would be illegal for a member of the general public to possess classified documents of any kind, without authorization.

about a week ago
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The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

ClickOnThis Re: This technology *will* exist... (120 comments)

There's lots of cameras deployed without microphones. Also pretty sure sound doesn't make it to geosynchronous orbit strata of the atmosphere...

You're implying we could read lips from GEO. Good luck with that. Even if the Hubble Space Telescope (which is at low earth orbit, not geosynchronous) were pointed at the earth, the best resolution you could manage would be about 30 cm.

http://www.spacetelescope.org/...
https://what-if.xkcd.com/32/

In theory it might be possible to read lips at GEO, but you'd need a HUGE telescope, or smaller binocular-configured telescopes with a wide-enough baseline, to get the job done.

And nitpick: there's really no "strata of the atmosphere" at GEO. Contributions there from the Earth's atmosphere are miniscule. It's pretty much plasma and magnetosphere from a few hundred km altitude on upwards.

about a week ago
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The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

ClickOnThis Re:Too bad (120 comments)

In the end, I suspect we'll decide that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and pass laws to protect people from the disadvantages. I'm not saying this will be ideal, but it will be the best we can do.

We have faced, or are facing the same issue with other technologies such as face recognition, profiling, genome sequencing, etc.

about a week ago
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Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

ClickOnThis Re:Sounds like mystical BS (100 comments)

I think DirePickle was aiming his post at others besides gweihir.

BTW, somebody please mod DirePickle's post as Informative.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

ClickOnThis Re:um, ok. (100 comments)

Typo. TFS meant Nobel goal.

about two weeks ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

ClickOnThis Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

You don't get to opt-out of being the subject of other people's freedom of speech.

But what if the "other people" are anonymous and unscrupulous competitors? Their freedom of speech is being exercised in bad faith.

Just sayin'.

about two weeks ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

ClickOnThis Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

Freedom of speech. I can say anything I want about anyone.

Within reasonable limits. There are laws that cover libel, slander, nuisance, needlessly yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, etc.

I'm allowed to have an opinion.

Absolutely 100% true. But nobody is obliged to help you express that opinion. And IANAL, but my understanding is that your ability to express an opinion can be affected by any contract you sign, including the click-through contracts these companies are foisting on their customers at the time of purchase.

BTW, I wholeheartedly support what California is doing here. What these companies are doing is unconscionable, but possibly tenable. This law closes the door on it.

about two weeks ago
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Intel Launches Xeon E5 V3 Series Server CPUs With Up To 18 Cores

ClickOnThis Re:Earth (105 comments)

Unfortunately cores this large, powerful and complex all stand excellent chances of spontaneously self-triggering SMEF (Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure).

That acronym is a fine example of Onomatopoeia.

But is that really true? GPUs have far more than 42 cores, and they don't SMEF very often, do they?

about two weeks ago
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Intel Launches Xeon E5 V3 Series Server CPUs With Up To 18 Cores

ClickOnThis Re:Earth (105 comments)

That would be almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a retro-gen GPU.

And highly improbable.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

ClickOnThis Re:Mixed arithmetic in Matlab (729 comments)

Do you really want this:

        A = ones(10000, 10000, 'int8'); % 10000-by-10000 matrix each entry of which is 1, stored using the 8-bit signed integer type
        B = 1; % double precision
        C = A+B;

to blow C up into a 10000-by-10000 matrix of doubles, requiring eight times as much memory as A?

Obviously not. But it should be my choice as to whether precision is thrown away, not Matlab's.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

ClickOnThis Re:Mixed arithmetic in Matlab (729 comments)

What I'm saying is this (pardon my Matlab, it has been awhile):

a = int8(1);
b = 1; % double;
c = a + b; % c is type int8, not double

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

ClickOnThis Mixed arithmetic in Matlab (729 comments)

This was a stunner for me when I first encountered it. When you mix double and int types in Matlab, it demotes the double to an int! Same with float and int.

Of course, you must create the int explicitly as such (double is the default) but I mean, WTF Matlab??

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Giving a voice to ALS patients

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 7 months ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "We are all familiar with the speech synthesizer used by Stephen Hawking, famous physicist and ALS patient. He has heard the synthesizer's accent described as Scandinavian, American or Scottish although he has learned to identify with it. But what if an ALS patient could speak with her/his own voice? Former helicopter mechanic and now ALS patient Cal Moore can do just that. Moore, with the help of speech pathologist Roberta Kelley at Seattle's Virginia Mason Hospital, began recording his own voice years ago, before the disease began to affect his speech. He can play back, in his own voice, phrases such as "I feel tired", "You know what? Your driving sucks" and others. The process, known as voice-banking, was invented by speech pathologist John Costello at Boston Children's Hospital. Granted, it's not exactly a synthesizer, and obviously it requires sampling of the patient's unaffected voice in advance. But couldn't this be a precursor to other technologies that could synthesize arbitrary phrases in a patient's own voice, from pre-sampled phonemes?"
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Programmer Outsources His Own Job to China

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "A USA-based programmer with Verizon oursourced his own job to a third-party contractor in Shenyang, China. He got away with the ruse for months until Verizon became suspicious of the traffic on his home-office VPN, and noticed that his in-office activities were perfunctory. From the article: "[T]he employee — identified only as “Bob” — used his 9-to-5 hours to peruse Reddit, watch cat videos, update his Facebook profile and shop on eBay." He paid the contractor $50,000 of his six-figure salary annually, and pocketed the difference. What is particularly irksome is that many blog posts on the Verizon website are praising him for his "business savvy.""
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Laser Technology May Reduce Military Friendly-Fire

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN has a story on the use of laser-based identification technologies to reduce friendly-fire incidents. From the article: 'The DCID-TALON works when its user spots a target in his or her scope. The shooter aims the device, which sends an encoded message by laser beam. If the target is friendly, the message will reflect off of the target’s retroreflectors (they are the size of a postage stamp and can be embedded in the soldier’s helmet and uniform; each soldier would be outfitted with multiple retroreflectors), and the device will display the word "friend."'"
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Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "BusinessWeek.com has an article on a speech given by Dr. Ari Jaaksi, VP of Nokia, at the Handset World conference. He claimed open-source software developers need to be "educated" on how the mobile industry works, particularly on the "business rules" that they need to obey, which include embracing "DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models." From the article: "Why do we need closed vehicles? We do," he said. "Some of these things harm the industry but they're here [as things stand]. These are touchy, emotional issues but this dialogue is very much needed. As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too." There is also some discussion about Maemo, the Linux OS that runs on Nokia's N800-series tablets, as well as Nokia's recent acquisition of Trolltech (makers of the Qt widget kit) and possible consequences for the mobile application market."
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Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" [rev

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "[a few corrections and additions...]

Candidates I'd like to see on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

OJ Simpson
Jenna Jameson
Richard Stallman
Kevin Mitnick
Alberto Gonzales
Uwe Boll
Hello Kitty Robo
The "Duke Nukem Forever" development team
A Beowulf cluster of Cowboy Neals"
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Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "People I'd like to see on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

OJ Simpson
Jenna Jameson
Richard Stallman
Alberto Gonzales
Uwe Boll
Hello Kitty Robo
The "Duke Nukem Forever" development team
A Beowulf cluster of Cowboy Neals"
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FCC opens door for US media consolidation

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "The Guardian has a story about Tuesday's 3-2 vote by the FCC in the USA to relax significantly the media ownership rules set in 1975. These rules were put in place to prevent a single individual or company from controlling too many sources of information in a city. Critics are understandably concerned with the effects of such consolidation on minority businesses and the public interest, not to mention the suppression of dissenting viewpoints. Of particular concern is the Commission's decision to have a short 30-day period for public comment, instead of the usual 90 days. From the article: '"The agency has treated the public like children allowed to visit the cockpit on an airliner," Democratic commissioner Michael Copps said, "not allowed to fly the plane but allowed a brief false moment to believe they are".' Curiously, the story has had no discernable coverage in the US media. One wonders why..."
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OpenOffice 2.3 released

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 7 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "Surely I'm not the only one who noticed that OpenOffice.org has announced the release of version 2.3. From the website: "Available for download now, OpenOffice.org 2.3 incorporates an extensive array of new features and enhancements to all its core components, and protects users from newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It is a major release and all users should download it. Plus: It is only with 2.3 that users can make full use of our growing extensions library." You can download it but be kind and use a P2P client instead, such as bittorrent."
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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN reports that the space shuttle Discovery will be launched on December 6, in part to avoid concerns about operating the shuttle through midnight on New Year's Eve. From the article: The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1. "We've just never had the computers up and going when we've transitioned from one year to another," said Discovery astronaut Joan Higginbotham. "We're not really sure how they're going to operate." The article goes on to explain that the decision was simply one of prudence, because the shuttle hasn't been certified to fly in that time period."
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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 8 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN reports that Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara have announced the development of a hybrid silicon laser that could lead to dramatic improvements in the speed and cost of computer systems and data networks. From the article: "The development makes it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, addressing one of the major hurdles in advancing the use of so-called "silicon photonics" in computers and data centers". The press release on the Intel website has additional details."

Journals

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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Electronic voting machines have been an incendiary topic on Slashdot for a very long time, and for good reason. Software errors, cheesy hardware, political patronage to put them in place, strong-arm tactics by the manufacturers to cover up flaws, not to mention the impossibility of verifying results...there's not much to like. And it seems that any technically-minded person is (rightly) well aware of the vulnerabilities of e-voting, and is unequivocally in favor of a paper trail to verify voter intent.

Obviously I come to bury e-voting, not to praise it. But there is something that continues to trouble me as very strange: the consistent reports of unreliability in the software that runs these machines. How can it be that difficult to write software that simply counts votes? It seems like a straightforward exercise in software engineering. Yet the problems with voting machines appear to be far out of proportion to their inherent technical simplicity.

Only for the sake of argument, let's ask: are the programmers that write this software blissfully incompetent, brazenly reckless or have they embraced a covenant that is unwholsomely against the mainstream of democracy? I can't accept any of the above as true. So, what's going on? Are these machines (or the process that manufactures them) "broken by design", and if so, why?

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