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Comments

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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

ClickOnThis Re:Walmart is used to this (232 comments)

Happened where I live. Hell, at one point there was a sign up "Walmart, coming soon to this location" and then the sign came down. Turns out, a selection of the local 'elite' pushed the city council into doing *something* and now the closest walmart is over a 2 hour round trip. Much to the annoyance of just about anyone under the age of say, 25.

The problem is, with WalMart on your doorstep, the surrounding economy turns into one that can only support jobs whose pay is suitable for someone under the age of 25.

about a week ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

ClickOnThis Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

Let's not forget that AI stands for Artificial Intelligence.

The key word is Artificial.

about a week ago
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"Double Irish" Tax Loophole Used By US Companies To Be Closed

ClickOnThis Re:Of course they're giving a 6-year transition (259 comments)

Sorry for the follow-up. I forgot to say that the Scottish kilt is not just casual wear. It is also used in formal morning and evening wear, with the appropriate highland-style jackets.

about a week ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

ClickOnThis Re:They'll have rights (385 comments)

Sorry. I'm not disagreeing with you, and regret that it seems like I am. I join with you in rebutting the OP.

In short, I'm on your side. I just found that what I wanted to say fit well as a reply to your post.

about two weeks ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

ClickOnThis Re:They'll have rights (385 comments)

1) Animals already have something resembling rights, in the form of animal cruelty laws; the question here is whether those rights should be expanded to include some of the things guaranteed to humans.

There is a spectrum of opinion on what "animal rights" means. At the very least, I think animal rights include the right not to suffer needlessly at the hand of humans. I doubt anyone would argue that is also a human right. So, continuing in that direction, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that many human rights can be accorded to animals also.

Arguably, what we humans call animal rights are really just human-law restrictions on our own behavior (and good ones IMHO.) However, I think it captures their intent to call them "rights" so I embrace the term.

2) Plenty of humans (children, or, as someone else pointed out, the handicapped) can't hold down jobs or feed themselves. Chimps and dolphins, on the other hand, typically are able to feed themselves. So what you're saying is, chimps and dolphins should have more rights than children and the disabled?

I don't think it's a question of "more" rights, just different ones, and with the qualifier I mentioned above that we're really talking about human laws, not animal rights. I would say that animals have their own innate sense of rights and justice, and what we think of as their rights is an idealized picture of our relationship with them.

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth. -- Henry Beston

about two weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

ClickOnThis Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (652 comments)

Actually you only need to pear the population down by about 20 million. The top 2% of the world's population consume something like 90-95% of the resources, they are extremely expensive to have around. Remove them and everyone's standard of living jumps significantly.

Except standard of living = energy consumption (or nearly so). So removing the top 2% to increase someone else's standard of living doesn't solve the problem, it just changes who is causing it.

Mod parent interesting. This kind of sounds like the environmental equivalent of Karl Marx's theory of class struggle: when revolution eliminates the privileged class, the lower class rises to take its place. Of course, this hypothetical environmental version of Marx's "worker's revolution" would not solve the environmental problem any more than the political version has solved the class problem, but for a different reason: the planet can't sustain a 2% that consumes like this.

about two weeks ago
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US Navy Develops Robot Boat Swarm To Overwhelm Enemies

ClickOnThis You had me at... (142 comments)

...heat ray.

about two weeks ago
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Engineers Build Ultrasmall Organic Laser

ClickOnThis Re:GMO (22 comments)

Apparently, yes. Gluten is a specific plant protein, it's not present in organic semiconductors. Which by the way, also contain no nucleic acids, thus are also not GMOs.

That's good to know, 'cause I kant wait to eat them. :-P

about three weeks ago
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Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

ClickOnThis Re:Now if they could only fix... (278 comments)

With proper design of the hardware and protocols, congregation of people should be an advantage, as it is right now for the Hong Kong protesters and their mobile devices.

about three weeks ago
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Laying the Groundwork For Data-Driven Science

ClickOnThis Re:Horrible attempt to communicate to a broad audi (55 comments)

This sounds suspiciously like something written by someone with an online MBA: "Each project tests a critical component in a future data ecosystem in conjunction with a research community of users," said said Irene Qualters, division director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF. "This assures that solutions will be applied and use-inspired."

If we want the public to continue to support federal funding of the sciences we have to do better than this. I understand the point, but it this needlessly laden with buzz-phrases and it is clumsy.

I understand your point about the technobabble. However, Ms. Qualters' résumé appears to be somewhat less fluffy that the quote would suggest.

about three weeks ago
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Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

ClickOnThis Re:I give up. (137 comments)

Basing it on the game was an enjoyable element, to a point. What ruined it for me is the ridiculous way the aliens sunk the ships: by hurling these bombs that were peg-shaped (per the game) so that they spun end-over-end, yet penetrated the ship at various points in more-or-less correct orientation (also per the game.) For a species that was capable of interstellar travel, that seemed like a spectacular technological fail.

about three weeks ago
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Statistician Creates Mathematical Model To Predict the Future of Game of Thrones

ClickOnThis Re:What about recursion? (127 comments)

This reminds me of a friend of mine who used to flash his high beams erratically as he came up to red lights because he knew thats how the fire trucks signal to give them a green. I tried to tell him that there was no way this was going to work, but he was convinced it did because....of course.... fairly often he would flash his lights and the light would turn green for him....

I think your friend is influenced by this.

about three weeks ago
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2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

ClickOnThis Re:Simple fix. (269 comments)

Why would they put Braille on the drive-up ATMs if they didn't expect me to drive there?

1. ATMs probably come standard with Braille. It's not worth it to create a special non-Braille version for the drive-ups.

2. Lots of people use drive-up ATMs without actually driving up to them. I know I have.

3. An AC poster already pointed out that blind people can take a taxi to the ATM.

about three weeks ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

ClickOnThis Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (385 comments)

When someone says "wasting food" It implies they mean actually wasting the food, as in not eating it all. Not that they are putting it in the incorrect bin, or recycling the food.

Corn can be used to create ethanol fuel. Is such corn "wasted" because it is not eaten?

Uneaten food that is diverted from landfill serves a purpose when it is rescued for composting, albeit one that was not intended when it was sold in the grocery store. Also, it reduces the use of valuable landfill space, thereby lowering the cost of trash disposal. So I would contend that it is not wasted (at least not entirely) when it is diverted from landfill.

about a month ago
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

ClickOnThis Re:Jerk (142 comments)

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

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

about a month ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

ClickOnThis Re: Huh? (122 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.

about a month ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

ClickOnThis Re:Huh? (122 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...

about a month 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 month ago

Submissions

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Giving a voice to ALS patients

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 8 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 2 years 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  |  more than 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  |  more than 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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