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Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

JBMcB Re:Get Out of Your Bubble (199 comments)

You need Fox news so Democratic administrations are held accountable.

You need MSNBC so Republican administrations are held accountable.

There are blowhards and static on both channels, but there is some useful information to be gleaned amongst the chaff.

11 hours ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

JBMcB Re:So basically.. (295 comments)

No, the taxi drivers are arguing they can be the only ones to drive people to their destination and charge them for the ride.

Not quite. In Detroit a church started running a free van to help people who couldn't afford a car. The free bus was shut down by the taxi commission. Taxi commissions, in general, are against anyone giving anyone else a ride who isn't a taxi driver.

about a week ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

JBMcB Re:Wrong conclusion (269 comments)

My Archos 43 died enthusiastically. First the headphone jack blew out for no apparent reason, then the touchscreen stopped working. Never dropped or mishandled - usually hung out in my shirt pocket or on the passenger seat of my car. Support was garbage, too - there were a half dozen known issues with video playback that were fixed in base Android system updates that Archos never bothered to release. Before I could root it and do Cyanogen it died on me. Oh well.

My Nexus 7 is faring much better, but it's not really a "portable" sized mp3 player.

about a week ago
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Feds Plan For 35 Agencies To Collect, Share, Use Health Records of Americans

JBMcB Re:FUD and kneejerk reactions (209 comments)

You don't quite understand. This is guilt through probability - there's no actual evidence you're guilty of a crime. This is a real problem in criminal justice right now. They grab the most convenient suspect - whomever is easiest to prosecute. They may or may not have any real evidence a given person committed a crime. There's a bunch of circumstantial evidence, usually very technical or scientifically advanced evidence that takes an expensive expert to refute. You can cough up the dough to hire your own expert, or just take a plea deal.

This isn't how criminal justice is supposed to work. If there are no good suspects - the police don't get to create one using statistics.

about two weeks ago
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Feds Plan For 35 Agencies To Collect, Share, Use Health Records of Americans

JBMcB Re:FUD and kneejerk reactions (209 comments)

So we're not talking about the FBI or NSA using this to find out you have irritable bowel syndrome.
(chances are they already know from other sources like Facebook anyway...*tin foil hat*).
and they likely wouldnt care anyway (life is not a hollywood movie).

No, here's what will happen.

There will be a murder somewhere. There will be blood left at the scene. They'll type out the blood and find it contains an uncommon antigen. They'll search out the health database looking for people who knew the victim with that antigen. If that fails, they'll look for people who just lived near the victim. They'll cross reference cell records and find out you were in the area when the murder occurred (which doesn't prove you were there, just that your cell phone was within a few miles of a cell tower, which of course it was as you live in the area.)

Boom - you're a suspect in a murder case.

This is, granted, a limited example, but the possibilities for abuse are nearly limitless.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

JBMcB Re:Ireland is a tax haven for corporations (192 comments)

"Just because a US consultant in Ireland mentioned Puerto Rico's economic successes in passing, does not equal an endorsement of US tax evasion by the American government."

If the state department didn't think it was a good idea it probably shouldn't have been in the report recommending economic stimulus for Ireland, no?

"It's amazing to me how American society will look with suspicion at anything the federal government does, but give corporations a pass for taking and giving nothing back at all."

This is the issue. Federal government puts out a report saying tax havens seem to work as economic stimulus. Country enacts tax haven rules. Federal government flips out at companies taking advantage of tax haven status of said country.

The government just looks incompetent. Listening to Planet Money, which is by no means a crazy "wingnut" media outlet, will reinforce this view pretty regularly. Look up the debacle involving cotton subsidies in Texas, where the federal government violated a treaty it created, and ended up having to subsidize cotton farmers in Brazil as well. 'Cause that's a good use of tax dollars, right?

about two weeks ago
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Spectrum Vega: A Blast From the Past

JBMcB Re:The thing that made the Sinclairs popular ... (110 comments)

What are you talking about? I think some very early plasma screens cheated on the horizontal resolution a bit, but otherwise any HDTV (720p or 1080p) uses square pixels.

You're right - I had it stuck in my head that monitor manufacturers were upset at the original HD spec as it didn't *require* square pixels, and the first HD sets used rectangular pixels - mainly early plasmas and CRTs.

I'll still contend that staring at a TV to type in a bunch of text isn't an ideal situation.

about two weeks ago
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Spectrum Vega: A Blast From the Past

JBMcB Re:The thing that made the Sinclairs popular ... (110 comments)

On the other hand, modern TVs aren't the best thing to program on. Granted, they are sharper than old analog TVs we used to hook our 8-bits (bitters?) up to, but they still have non-square pixels making text fuzzy, and are usually situated in a family room in a spot nonconducive to sitting in front of and staring at for long periods of time.

A much cooler feature would be the ability to develop a game on your Win/Mac/Lin laptop, and bluetooth it over to the Speccy to play, with full remote debugging support. Stepping through code and immediately seeing the results on the system itself would be awesome.

about two weeks ago
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Cisco Slaps Arista Networks With Suit For "Brazen" Patent Infringement

JBMcB Cheaper, too (96 comments)

And, since Arista didn't have to pay anyone to actually write the manuals or develop the command syntax, they can charge less for their products.

about two weeks ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

JBMcB Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (455 comments)

The idea that an ameoba displays intelligence in excess of our current ability to simulate is frankly a little ridiculous.

That quote bothered me, too. We've been simulating simple insects for decades, back when neural networks were clusters of transistors on flip-chips. We're at the point where we can build machines that can learn to move and navigate on their own. There was a Slashdot article a week ago about a fully mapped nematode neural network wired into a robot.

about a month ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

JBMcB Huh? (455 comments)

What is the point of this article? You would think that people have learned better by now than to attempt to make predictions as to where technology will go.

about a month ago
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US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive

JBMcB Re:Other fugitives (173 comments)

Er, McAffee is wanted for murder in Belize. Knox is wanted in Italy and will be tried in absentia.

But neither have extradition requests pending. McAfee has charges pending but they've never made it to a judge. Knox is probably going to be extradited but hasn't yet.

Until the U.S. government gets an extradition request they aren't required to, and shouldn't, do anything.

about a month ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

JBMcB Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (143 comments)

The problem with nuclear, without even going close to the radiation boogeyman, is that:

- it requres huge investement before nothing happens
- it takes years to construct a power plant
- the nuclear plants require a lot of sweet water for cooling, 24/7, and the world is running out

I'm a fan of the mini-nuclear reactors. These are about the size of a bus, can be mass-produced to make them cheaper, and require no maintenance or cooling. They are extremely fault-tolerant - they only operate in a narrow thermal band, if they get too hot or too cold the reaction shuts itself down. One produces enough energy to power a small city, or a large neighborhood in a big city. You sink them in a concrete vault and forget about them for a decade or so. When their nuclear fuel is spent, you pull them out, get rid of the waste (about the size of a softball) refurbish and refuel the reactor and put it back in the ground.

The bonus side-effect is a more stable and efficient electrical grid with fewer long-haul high voltage power lines running all over the place, more redundancy and less centralization.

about 1 month ago
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US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive

JBMcB Re:Other fugitives (173 comments)

There are no outstanding extradition requests for McAfee or Knox, so I'm not sure what your point is.

about a month ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

JBMcB Re:Summary is misleading, you can work around (327 comments)

Can't you run TRIM manually as well? Back when Linux TRIM support sucked you just ran it as a CRON job every once and a while.

about a month ago
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How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

JBMcB Chemicals! (377 comments)

Chemicals are *everywhere*, in all of our food, and many will kill you! I only eat chemical-free food, mainly neutrons and assorted leptons.

about a month ago
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Amazon Robot Picking Challenge 2015

JBMcB Re:Pay me once, shame on me. (106 comments)

I'm sure you had your secretary type out your message for you. Or are you using a job-destroying computer?

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

JBMcB Re:While I find it amusing... (184 comments)

Many Canadians *support* this idea and we're not too fond of an American company trying to wreck the system of local content production.

In what way is Netflix wrecking local content? They are making something available. You can choose to pay for it and use it or not.

about 3 months ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

JBMcB Re:This is not a new or unique problem (124 comments)

Work reviews - like code reviews. Everyone "shows their work" to everyone else, and everything gets reviewed, every week. Less optimal than individual workers working at peak efficiency, but more optimal than most people screwing around with no oversight whatsoever.

about 3 months ago

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