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Comments

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The Case For a Safer Smartphone

Dan East Statistics (183 comments)

Until someone can explain to me how the number of accidents per million miles travelled has steadily declined for almost two decades, yet cellphones are supposedly causing people to drive like they're intoxicated or worse, I won't put much stock in these "safety-critical events" claims.

4 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

Dan East Force her out! (313 comments)

Quick, let's boycott Dropbox so we can force her out of the company. Then after we've succeeded we can have a another Slashdot story lamenting how intolerant we've all become and we can point fingers at everyone else.

about a week ago
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Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield

Dan East No (152 comments)

Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?

No, because Tesla never had a problem in the first place, so this improvement wasn't really necessary.

about a week ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Dan East Other animals (351 comments)

Wouldn't the same thing happen to pretty much any other species of animals, if one small group had been isolated for several hundred years and a much larger group came into contact with it? The only options are to absorb into the larger group, or die out from disease, starvation or direct fighting.

about a week ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

Dan East In other words... (179 comments)

In other words, people with little emotional self control over themselves in general, also have little emotional self control while playing games. Surprise surprise. Just because video games can place a person in a "stressful" situation in which failure happens often, and thus triggers the person's natural behavior that may not occur as often in less-stressful day to day real-life situations, does not mean video games *caused* that person to have that tendency.

about a week ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Dan East Re:I have this "problem" (224 comments)

I have the exact same "history" as you do (18 years old in 1990), and starting when I was 16 I got into dialing up BBSs and reading lots of messages in that kind of format. Then of course on to usenet and email in college and prolific reading of thousands of messages a week. My ability to read "books" hasn't been affected at all. I don't know if it was because I was already a prolific reader (I read the Hardy Boys books as fast as I could get my mom to buy them for me when I was younger - she made the mistake of saying she would keep buying them as long as I kept reading them, but eventually had to limit me to 2 a week). I still read a fair amount (just finished the Dark Tower series), and again, I've not had any ill affects from my daily large consumption of online fragments of information.

So this must affect different people in different ways.

about a week ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Dan East Re:Ltetres odrer (224 comments)

I wrote a script to do that:
http://dexsoft.com/wordscrambl...

Thing is, once you start throwing lots of more robust text in there (excerpt from a book, etc), it becomes very apparent that it really only works with simple, common words. Once you start using proper nouns and more diverse vocabulary, it becomes very difficult to read the scrambled text. Also, the way the words are scrambled makes a big difference too. I ran your text through my scrambler a few times, and some of the results were harder to read than others.

Here's the summary scrambled, and there are parts that can be read pretty easily, but then there are words that simply can't be read "automatically" and you have to sit and think about them.

Meiahcl S. Rlwosnead rtoreps in the Wnasitgohn Psot taht, adrnioccg to covniitge ntesenucoiirtss, haumns seem to be dopnvileeg daigtil binras wtih new crtiuics for simnkimg torhguh the trneort of irfianoomtn oinlne at the eespnxe of taadinrtiol deep ridneag ctucirriy... Mraaynne Wlof, one of the wlrod's fsmoroet exptres on the stduy of rnadieg, was stretlad last yaer to divseocr her bairn was aertpnalpy antiadpg, too. After a day of srincollg tghoruh the Web and hdedruns of e-malis, she sat dwon one enenvig to raed Hearmnn Hsese's ciannlhgleg nvoel The Galss Baed Gmae. 'I'm not kniddig: I cdluon't do it,' syas Wlof. 'It was troture getitng touhgrh the fisrt page. I cdouln't fcroe msyelf to solw down so taht I wsan't siknmmig, pciinkg out key wdors, ognranizig my eye moetvnems to geantere the most ifianotromn at the hsiehgt seped. I was so digsutsed wtih mylesf.'

The bairn was not dseengid for riaendg and trhee are no geens for radenig lkie three are for lauaggne or vioisn. ... Bfeore the Irntneet, the barin raed mtlosy in leianr wyas — one pgae led to the nxet pgae, and so on. The Inntreet is deneiffrt. With so mcuh iorfainomtn, hpyernilked txet, vedois asldgonie wdors and ireittntavciy eewvhrerye, our branis form suothcrts to dael wtih it all — snnicang, sinhcaerg for key wdros, srlclnoig up and down qilkcuy. Tihs is naneoilnr rnieadg, and it has been dmteucnoed in amcadiec sduetis. ... Some rseahrcrees bilveee taht for mnay polepe, tihs sytle of rneaidg is bnngiieng to idnave our abiltiy to dael wtih otehr mdeuims. 'We're seinpndg so mcuh tmie tincohug, psuinhg, liinnkg, sinlolcrg and junipmg toughrh txet taht wehn we sit dwon wtih a nveol, yuor daliy hbatis of jpmuing, ccilnikg, lniikng is jsut iareingnd in you,' syas Anerdw Dloiln."

about a week ago
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3D-Printed UAV Can Go From Atoms to Airborne in 24 Hours

Dan East Other way around (77 comments)

3D-Printed UAV Can Go From Atoms to Airborne in 24 Hours

And even more impressively, it can go from Airborne to Atoms in only 2 seconds.

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

Dan East Virulently? (564 comments)

The link to the text "virulently opposed to Proposition 8" has nothing do with backing the claim that behaved "virulently". Weasel words: score -1 for the summary.

about two weeks ago
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Japan Orders Military To Strike Any New North Korea Missiles

Dan East Sounds good! (107 comments)

If North Korea wants to provide Japan with some awesome real-world testing of missile defense systems, then so be it. The data to be gleaned from both successful and unsuccessful missile intercepts is invaluable, and Kim Jong-un is extremely ignorant to give his "enemies" such wonderful opportunities to fine tune their defenses against his small variety of missile assets.

about two weeks ago
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It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

Dan East Dangerous territory (470 comments)

Any time you are trying to tell someone what not to think, or what not to believe, you are entering dangerous territory. This is even more important when state sponsored - aka the public educational system. If schools do their job right, then students will be able to make their own informed choices on what to believe or what not to believe, and even if a student does not adhere to what the school "wants" them to believe, that is okay - the school has done their job either way. Direct comparisons against things schools do not espouse is not necessary or appropriate in any shape or form.

To be perfectly clear, let me explain what I'm NOT talking about. Take cigarette smoking for example. There are hard scientific studies showing that smoking causes specific health problems, so it is appropriate for a school to teach that smoking is bad and then provide the evidence. Now on the other hand, suppose there are people in the world who believe smoking is beneficial (and certainly those people are out there). Is it the school's job to incorporate that into their anti-smoking teaching and attempt to specifically discredit or call out the opposite viewpoint? No. That isn't necessary or even feasible. What this story is talking about crosses far into this kind of territory.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Exposure To Morning Sunlight Helps Managing Weight

Dan East Lack of correlation is even worse (137 comments)

The other problem is lack of correlation for this hypothesis. There are large numbers of people whose work shifts that have them awakening at night to work during the night. If this study's conclusion is correct then the vast majority of these people should have a very high BMI, and the effects of working such shifts would have been noticed decades ago.

Then there are people at the high latitudes who have months of very reduced sunlight, and thus wake up in the dark for weeks on end. Again, do we see the same correlation there? This type of thing should be easy to study in places like the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, where those that stay over winter experience little sunlight for a few months non-stop.

about two weeks ago
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Subversion Project Migrates To Git

Dan East Two for one (162 comments)

Nah, they're just lumping April 1 and April 20 into one event: an Easter Egg hunt for April Fool's jokes.

about two weeks ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

Dan East Re:And so this is Costco's fault? (440 comments)

Your logic is not sound. The profit margin to be lost over one shipment of peanut butter is small change. Even if they made a 50 cents profit per jar, we're only talking about $475,000 in profit to be lost. But let's look further. The peanut butter would be donated to food banks and the like, for people who can't afford enough food. Did you know that Costco, like Sam's club, requires membership to shop there? So are you suggesting that these people with such a low income that they cannot afford food actually have a Costco membership, and that's where they purchase their peanut butter, and so that's why Costco would not accept the peanut butter? In other words, giving the peanut butter away would have Costco's competitors (Walmart, grocery store chains, etc) far more than it would have hurt Costco. That $475,000 in potential profit would have come out of the pockets of regular grocery stores, and not Costco.

Although it's fun to always beat up on corporate America, the evil motive you suggest is laughable in this case.

about two weeks ago
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Mt. Gox Questioned By Employees For At Least 2 Years Before Crisis

Dan East Wrong on many levels (134 comments)

You know things are really screwy when Japanese cars are being imported from Britain to Japan.

about two weeks ago
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What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble

Dan East Form factor (97 comments)

I've said this in the past in regards to Glass, but I feel the watch is the ultimate form factor for wearable electronics. I feel that it should be the core of the mobile computing paradigm, once the technology has matured enough for that kind of miniaturization (mainly battery and WLAN). Then devices like Google Glass, and even the cell phone / tablet form factor, would all just be display and input / sensor peripherals for the core system (the watch). So in other words, I hope Apple gets it right (but most likely they won't - they'll probably go the same route as Samsung and make the device dependent upon an iPhone to do anything non-trivial).

about two weeks ago
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How Ford's Virtual Reality Lab Helps Engineers

Dan East Frame rate (49 comments)

The rendering frame rate of their system leaves a lot to be desired. The VR hardware looks good for their needs and usage, but that frame rate totally kills the immersion. That's inexcusable in this day and age - people have better gaming rigs than that. My guess is they have a very poorly optimized modeling system that has to pull data from whatever CAD systems they use.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers: Rats Didn't Spread Black Death, Humans Did

Dan East Terrible article (135 comments)

What a terribly written article. What did the later deaths in the early 1900s have to do with the medieval plague? Did they find DNA on the victims from the 1900s or from the actual plague outbreak? What does DNA on the teeth have to do with and what does it indicate? Totally worthless crap article, through and through.

about two weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

Dan East Re:Troi (512 comments)

There was at least one really awful episode involving Beverly Crusher too. So you could say both female leads had some zingers.

about three weeks ago
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The Highest-Flying Wind Turbine

Dan East Re:Helium (143 comments)

This system isn't designed for general or widespread use. The article specifically mentions industrial and construction use, and the artist's rendition shows them in use at a bridge construction site. So it would be in place of diesel generators and the like, and launched only when needed daily as weather permits to save money over using expensive diesel.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Facebook HTML Escaping Broken?

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "It appears that Facebook's HTML escaping has been bypassed or otherwise hacked. Currently this is being used to embed tags in regular FB posts to display gaudy animated GIFs. However this technique should work for any other HTML tags. The user Facebook Art's wall is the current source of these annoying posts, which other FB users are in turn sharing on their own walls."
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Zuckerberg's Generosity

Dan East Dan East writes  |  about 3 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire founder of Facebook, has decided to share some of his wealth with dedicated FB users, who were ultimately responsible for his fortune. Each time you enter the following key presses into Facebook (max once per hour) you will receive a $5 credit on your FB account (part of the advertising system):
UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A ENTER
Please repost — it is for TODAY only!"

Link to Original Source
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Thousands of blackbirds fall from sky dead

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, yesterday blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
Link to Original Source
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$1 million to find Toyota acceleration problem

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Amid the controversy over Toyota's runaway cars, the Edmunds.com web site is offering a $1 million prize to any tinkerer who can figure out the cause of the phenomenon. The prize will go to a person who can "demonstrate in a controlled environment a repeatable factor that will cause an unmodified new vehicle to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly." Edmunds will make details of the competition available later this month."
Link to Original Source
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Avast! Antivirus reporting massive false positives

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Due to a problem with the antivirus definition update 091203-0 on December 2nd, Avast! Antivirus began reporting that many applications were infected with the trojan Win32:delf-MZG. There are widespread accounts of this on the net, and Avast's support forums have been down for close to 12 hours due to the massive amount of traffic from users seeking more information on the problem. The problem has reportedly been corrected with the 091203-1 update, but many installations may not update automatically in time to receive the update before end users are affected. Avast typically prompts end users when infected items are found, asking them how to clean it. If the user selects "Delete" then software, or the entire OS, could be rendered unusable. The Avast! Blog is still silent on the matter."
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DVD Saves Firefighter's Life

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dan East writes "Fire Chief Barry McRoy credits a DVD with saving his life — literally. McRoy was trying to leave a restaurant when two men, fighting over a gun, entered. During the fray the gun went off, and Chief McRoy's stomach started hurting. At first he thought the pain was from the percussion of the shot, since he was so close to the men and they were all enclosed in the small glass foyer together. However, upon reaching into his pocket he found, amongst the shattered DVD pieces, the bullet that had just been fired. In the video still it is clear the disc is a DVD-R, but the brand is not visible."
Link to Original Source
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Fake Wikipedia edit predicts murder

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "In a bizarre twist of fate, a bogus news post to Wikipedia predicted the death of WWE wrester Chris Benoit's wife 14 hours before her body was discovered in a presumed murder / suicide. Police believe Benoit murdered his wife and 7-year-old son before committing suicide by hanging himself in a piece of exercise equipment. The fake news posting to the Chris Benoit article read "Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy". The person responsible for the posting later confessed that his edit was speculative as to why Benoit canceled a scheduled appearance at a wresting event on Sunday. The editor's computer equipment has been confiscated while police try to determine if he was actually involved in the murder."
Link to Original Source
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Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "I volunteered to speak at my daughter's school for Career Day, and have been asked to give presentations to three different classes tomorrow. As a software developer, how can I pique the curiosity of 4th graders, while generating interest in an occupation that will need an even larger workforce in the future? I mainly do application development in the health care arena, but I've also created a 3D game engine, ported Quake and Quake2 to various platforms (Pocket PC), developed backends for a few web sites, and created a number of embedded solutions using microcontrollers. Should I limit myself to the "cool" stuff like gaming so they can at least relate to what I do? If you had to get up in front of a bunch of 4th graders, what would you say?

I know that today children are exposed to computers more than ever in school. Unfortunately, students are not introduced to software development at all in most school environments. When I was in 7th grade (1983) every class spent time in the computer room (full of TRS-80s) and were taught rudimentary programming. Yes, all of us, every single student, had to write software. Even prior to that I learned to program on my TI-99/4A by typing in BASIC programs listed in the monthly Compute! magazine. Children today are taught text editing, how to surf the net, and other very "generic" computer skills, and of course take tests and "play" various learning games on computers. Perhaps I should demonstrate some simple BASIC programming, or what that be too much?"
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Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Researchers at Cornell University have determined that moderate strength solar flares can disrupt the GPS system. A graduate student first noticed the effect in 2005, and additional studies have correlated solar flares with reductions in GPS signal strength. The researches express concern over the use of GPS in "safety-of-life" situations like air travel, especially during the solar cycle peak in 2011 and 2012.

From the article:
solar flares are accompanied by solar radio bursts. Because the bursts occur over the same frequency bands at which GPS satellites transmit, receivers can become confused, leading to a loss of signal."
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Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East writes "Bob Dillian, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, bashed modern audio technology while showing an indifference to file sharing. A few key quotes, "There's no definition of nothing, no nothing, just like... static". Regarding illegal file sharing Dillian mused "Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway." Finally, even the physical form-factor of the CD medium is an issue with Dillian, "CDs are small, there's no stature to it". I can't wait to hear his remarks when he learns music can be stored on SD cards."

Journals

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Mod points...

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I think this is the most mod points burnt on one of my posts so far. Looks like 20 or so mod points were used on one post.

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Normal (2).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

A user had given a moderation of Insightful (+1) to your comment, Re:Make it static., attached to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort. That moderation has now been undone, probably due to the user posting in the discussion after moderating in it. Your comment is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Underrated (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

A user had given a moderation of Overrated (-1) to your comment, Re:Make it static., attached to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort. That moderation has now been undone, probably due to the user posting in the discussion after moderating in it. Your comment is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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