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Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks the Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car

Nerdposeur Totally worth it (599 comments)

"Suppose a stadium is holding an event; knowing how much traffic is making its way toward the arena might help the venue change its parking lot resources accordingly, he said."

Suppose you wanted to cut some carrots, but they were really thick. Wouldn't it be nice to keep a raised guillotine in your house for such occasions?

about 9 months ago

Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral?

Nerdposeur Re:The main issue (495 comments)

"This leads to all sorts of peculiarities like less experienced, new starters being paid more than old hands."

Which probably leads to the old hands leaving, disgruntled, which leads to wasting money hiring and training new people and losing the knowledge of the old ones. Maybe not such a great strategy after all?

more than 4 years ago

A File-Centric Photo Manager?

Nerdposeur Re:Windows Live Photo Gallery (326 comments)

I *like* the fact that the changes aren't saved in the file immediately - it gives me infinite undo, even months later. And if I click the save icon on a folder, it *does* save the changes in the files, and makes backups, too. Best of both worlds, I think.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook Calls All-Hands Meeting On Privacy

Nerdposeur Re:Zuckerberg's attitude is clear (302 comments)

No, this IM shows that deep down, Zuckerberg _does_ care about privacy, and that he thinks other people should too. He disparages people for giving up that privacy.

Um... what? If this exchange is genuine (the source is extremely vague), it shows that, yes, he probably values his own privacy, but not anyone else's. If he thought "other people should too," he would be campaigning to inform people about privacy concerns, not actively destroying their privacy for his own benefit.

If you're a burglar, you'll probably make fun of people for their weak home security. You don't want your house broken into, but you sure don't want everybody else getting smart. This hardly shows that you "care."

more than 4 years ago

FCC To Make Move On Net Neutrality

Nerdposeur ISPs biting the hand that feeds them (232 comments)

"Web sites should pay us to reach our customers" is the maybe the dumbest thing I've heard from ISPs. Hello? Your customers are paying you to reach web sites.

Forget double-dipping; this is about biting the hand that feeds you. Without those web sites, an ISP literally has nothing to offer. "We offer you a high-speed connection to"... to what, exactly?

That's right. Youtube. And all the other sites you claim are victimizing you by flooding your bandwidth. As if that weren't exactly why your bandwidth exists and can be sold.

I don't want government censorship, so I'm uneasy about regulation. But seriously, ISPs shouldn't be allowed to even try some of the garbage they want to do.

more than 4 years ago

Does HP + Palm = Facepalm?

Nerdposeur Re:You may have heard of this thing (236 comments)

Or you could decide to be a hardware maker instead of a software maker. Don't customize Android, but use the free OS and spend more money making awesome, solid, fast hardware with great signal quality, etc.

Maybe it doesn't differentiate you much, but it wouldn't be a bad reputation to have, either. "Makes a really solid Android phone and doesn't muck with how the OS works."

more than 4 years ago

Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Review (Lucid Lynx)

Nerdposeur Re:I heard the same about 8.10 and 9.04 and 9.10 (567 comments)

Well, I dumbed Ubunto and went to Fedora, dumped Fedora for Gentoo, dumped Gentoo for Red Hat, and dumped Red Hat for Ubuntu.

I plan to keep this up at a rate of one OS change per month.

more than 4 years ago

World's Fastest Robot Versus the Wiimote

Nerdposeur Re:really impressive (92 comments)

I took him to mean 'all the items are the same type.' As opposed to, say, having to assemble a sandwich from a random assortment of ingredients coming down the line.

more than 4 years ago

After DNA Misuse, Researchers Banished From Havasupai Reservation

Nerdposeur Blaming the victims (332 comments)

Look, I don't lend my car to strangers, either. But your position is a bit sociopathic.

Just like what these people did. They gave over samples apparently with no written guaranty of how they would be used, and now they're stunned that they have been used for other things.

Yes, they were naive. But they were misled, too. Why are you blaming the victims? If somebody tells you they're doing something to help you, whether that's analyzing your DNA or installing an internet connection or doing your taxes or removing your gallbladder, then they violate your trust, that's wrong. Whether you should have been suspicious of them is a different question.

Universal mistrust doesn't scale. I can't get through a single day without trusting a bunch of strangers not to veer into my lane and kill me, trusting my landlord's employees not to go into my apartment with their maintenance keys and steal my stuff, and trusting my bank not to steal my money. These are calculated risks, but I can't be right all the time. I'd say that trusting researchers from a legit university to do what they said is a pretty reasonable thing to do. But these people got burned.

Yes, we all have to be careful, and try not to get suckered. But traditionally, we don't punish suckers. We punish deceit. I don't know how you can have a sane society otherwise. And I think you'll want more sympathy than you've shown here on that distant future day when you make a mistake and find that you're the sucker.

more than 4 years ago

After DNA Misuse, Researchers Banished From Havasupai Reservation

Nerdposeur Re:Damn them! (332 comments)

So if I say "may I borrow your car to go to the grocery store?" and we don't sign an agreement saying "and nowhere else," then it's OK for me to take a cross-country road trip? Your fault, eh?

Also, after that, you and your neighbors would continue to trust me, right?

(Slashdotters, take note: I used a car analogy.)

more than 4 years ago

Extremists Warn South Park Creators Over Muhammad In a Bear Suit

Nerdposeur Early Christian != Catholic (1131 comments)

um, wasn't Catholicism the original christian religion from which all denominations of christianity derived?

As a Protestant, I'd say that early Christianity wasn't Catholic, and after it became so, some people protested and branched off. Which is why that event is called the Reformation - saying, "this church has strayed from its roots and must be reformed."

more than 3 years ago

An Early Look At Next-Gen Shooter Bodycount

Nerdposeur Re:Space Invaders (238 comments)

Hahaha! So true.

My *favorite* thing about Halo for PC was that there were places where you could bypass part of the board by doing something unexpected. There's a bridge in one place, for example, were you are supposed to fight your way across, into the mountain on the other side, and emerge in the valley underneath the bridge, then fight your way up another mountain at the end of the valley. OR you can steal a banshee, if you're fast enough, and fly straight to the other mountain. OR you can slide down to the valley and get slightly hurt, then grab a health pack.

Non-linear play is awesome. I'd love to see more of that, and less "you must get item X in order to do Y." More exceptions and clever workarounds, please!

more than 4 years ago

US House Passes Ban On Caller ID Spoofing

Nerdposeur Legitimate caller id spoofing (171 comments)

I've got a Google Voice number which forwards calls to my actual phone(s) based on rules I set up. One rule is "do you want to see the caller ID as the actual caller's, or as your Google Voice number?"

This is useful, but only because of the limited nature of caller id - it can only display one number. If it had slots for things like "original caller # and name" and "name of routing service", I wouldn't need to make that choice.

Also, it's unique in that *I* am deciding what information *I* want to see. I don't see any reason why someone should be able to call me and disguise their identity from me.

more than 4 years ago

Apache Foundation Attacked, Passwords Stolen

Nerdposeur Re:Naturally, the passwords were not in clear (214 comments)

Needless to say, I'm quite disgusted with the Apache foundation right now.

Fair enough. On the other hand, they told you what happened, admitted fault, and clearly explained how this might affect you and what to do about it.

How many organizations would do that? I'm actually impressed.

more than 4 years ago

In EU, Google Accused of YouTube "Free Ride"

Nerdposeur Re:Seems perfectly reasonable to me... (449 comments)

A very interesting point. There have been stories lately about Google offering cheap fiber service in select areas.

It sounds to me like the same tactic they used releasing Chrome: not to get everyone to switch to their product, but to shame the the other browsers or ISPs with their superior quality, generate buzz, and make the other guys improved. End result: better browsers, better ISPs, and more Google traffic.

more than 4 years ago

In EU, Google Accused of YouTube "Free Ride"

Nerdposeur In other words... (449 comments)

"How dare you provide the interesting, high-bandwidth content that help us sell our high-priced internet connections! We want a piece of that action!"

Yes, ISPs, it's time to demand your rights! And the movement is growing:

  • Electric companies are suing air conditioning manufacturers for creating demand for electricity. "Our power plants can't keep up with these cooling freeloaders," they complain.
  • Beer companies are suing bars for creating demand for beer. "If you didn't push beer so hard, our drivers wouldn't have to make so many trips," they say.

Justice will roll like a mighty tide!

more than 4 years ago

Aussie Tech-Focused Wiki Launched

Nerdposeur Verticals (155 comments)

...leading to the question of whether more such small Wikis should be created for certain verticals.

The first time I heard a sales guy use the term "verticals," I stopped him because I had no idea what that meant. He said that verticals are markets - health care, construction, etc. I said, "so a vertical is an industry?" Yep, he said.

I still hear the term a lot and think it's useless. To me, "vertical" implies a chain of processes leading towards a finished product. For example, the old railroad tycoons would get vertical monopolies by buying up the mines, the steel forges, the rail car manufacturers, etc, so that no competitor could threaten (or access) their supply of railroad ties and trains.

Competing businesses in the same field are not in the same "vertical" in that sense. It's easier for me to visualize them side by side.

But the main thing is, we already have a perfectly good word for this: "industry," or in certain contexts, "market." I'm preaching to the wrong crowd, I know, but please, let's avoid useless business jargon.

more than 4 years ago

Adobe Flash CS5 Exports Animations To HTML5 Canvas

Nerdposeur Re:Next step: Apple bans HTML Canvas (166 comments)

Animated banners in HTML5 are not better than in Flash. But with a better model, these will be more easy to control, limit, optimize.

This is a great point. Flash is obtuse - you can tell what domain it comes from and that's about it. It's hard to write smart blocking for it. HTML is much easier to figure out and deal with, from a user/browser point of view.

This is why HTML is preferable to Flash fonts and image fonts, and why HTML animation is preferable to Flash animation: it's more webby. The web has a philosophy that the user can control their own experience and see the source for what they're viewing. This is a Good Thing for developers and users alike.

more than 4 years ago

A Wireless Hotspot For Your Car — Why Not?

Nerdposeur Not new (135 comments)

I work in the cellular industry, and this isn't new, other than being kinda small like the MiFi. If you wanted WiFi with a cellular backhaul in your car, you could have gotten that from Linksys, Cradlepoint, or JBM (now Sixnet) and others anytime in the last few years that I've been in this industry, probably much longer. If you were content to get an Ethernet connection and add your own WiFi hotspot, the list expands to Airlink, Bluetree, Digi, etc. And that's just off the top of my head.

Of course, geeks will always find a way. A friend of mine in high school created a dash-controllable MP3 stereo system for his car in 1999. He had an entire PC running Linux in the trunk and the display was re-purposed from a home security system. But that's not exactly a consumer-friendly setup.

more than 4 years ago

Ubuntu One Gets iPhone App For Contact Sync

Nerdposeur Re:Available only to subscribers (115 comments)

Product for free, support for $. Lots of companies solely thrive on this concept of support ( of others products ).

Why isn't this self-defeating? If you're supporting someone else's product, what's the incentive for them to make it? If you're supporting your own product, what's the incentive to improve it?

The more you improve your product, the less support you can sell. Doesn't that make you want to have an enticing, yet difficult-to-use product?

Unless all your support involves customer-specific modifications that can't be merged back into the trunk... which would be a huge headache in itself.

more than 4 years ago



FCC Starts work on Net Neutrality Rules

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Nerdposeur (910128) writes "According to the New York Times' Bits Blog, the FCC is starting working on its Net Neutrality rules.

[Chairman] Genachowski, however, offered more questions than answers on what may be the biggest philosophical debate: whether a telecommunications company can give preference to services it offers over those of rivals. Communications companies want to offer services that take advantage of some of the capacity or features of their networks. This might be offering Internet video services, improved voice mail or text messaging, or faster connections to Internet sites that pay for speedy service.

Maybe you'd like to weigh in on the commission's own web site?"
Link to Original Source


How to use an intranet on a resume?

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Nerdposeur (910128) writes "In my current job, I have built a pretty nice intranet from scratch. I'd like to show this off the next time I go job hunting. With a little work, I can remove all company-specific info, and there is still plenty of functionality to demonstrate. Our company is too new and small to have any rules about this.

If you were hiring, would this look good or bad? Do you think it's ethically questionable? Would it matter whether it were posted online or brought in on a laptop?"

Cory Doctorow draws line on net neutrality

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Nerdposeur (910128) writes "Cory Doctorow has a compelling piece in The Guardian today, arguing that network neutrality is not only crucial for the future of the internet, but is what the ISPs owe to the public.

If the phone companies had to negotiate for every pole, every sewer, every punch-down, every junction box, every road they get to tear up, they'd go broke. All the money in the world couldn't pay for the access they get for free every day... If they don't like it, let them get into another line of work — give them 60 days to get their wires out of our dirt and then sell the franchise to provide network services to a competitor who will promise to give us a solid digital future in exchange for our generosity.

Does anybody else feel like waving a flag after reading this?"
Link to Original Source


Wal-Mart to Market Digital Health Records System

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Nerdposeur (910128) writes "Using the technology from its own health care clinics, Wal-Mart now plans to market patient information systems — installation, training, and maintenance — to clinics nationwide.

"We're a high-volume, low-cost company," said Marcus Osborne, senior director for health care business development at Wal-Mart. "And I would argue that mentality is sorely lacking in the health care industry."

Will this lead to better health care or rock-bottom privacy standards?"
Link to Original Source


Dvorak Likes Linux

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Nerdposeur (910128) writes "John C. Dvorak says he'll be installing Ubuntu on all his machines now. Besides Windows' malware and "never-ending deterioration," he specifically cites Microsoft's anti-piracy measures as a reason.

And of course, the biggest differences between Ubuntu and Windows are the cost and the subsequent headaches, because Microsoft is constantly fretting over bootleg copies. The company monitors machines to make sure they are running legal copies of software. There have already been instances of computers shut down by Microsoft HQ because of some glitch in the cloud. This is simply unacceptable. I don't want to rely on a system like that.

He's not ditching Windows entirely, but he is endorsing Ubuntu. Could this finally be The Year of Linux on the Desktop?"


Senator on antitrust panel questions SMS prices

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nerdposeur writes "Text messaging charges in the U.S. are pretty incredible — byte for byte, four times more expensive than getting data from the Hubble by one estimate.

Apparently the rising costs, implemented across carriers, has drawn the attention of at least one Senator.

The chair of the U.S. Senate's antitrust panel sent a letter to four top cell phone companies on Tuesday asking them to explain what he said were a doubling in the price of text messages in three years..."Also of concern is that it appears that each of companies has changed the price for text messaging at nearly the same time, with identical price increases," he wrote. "This conduct is hardly consistent with the vigorous price competition we hope to see in a competitive marketplace."

What are the chances of the carriers paying attention?"
Link to Original Source


More efficient solar- to-fuel-cell conversion?

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nerdposeur writes "Could this be a boon for solar energy storage? According to Reuters, an MIT researcher has developed a more efficient, less expensive method for splitting water using electricity.

Nocera's catalyst is made from cobalt, phosphate and an electrode that produces oxygen from water by using 90 percent less electricity than current methods, which use the costly metal platinum.

The system still relies on platinum to produce hydrogen — the other element that makes up water.

"On the hydrogen side, platinum works well," Nocera said. "On the oxygen side ... it doesn't work well and you have to put way more energy in than needed to get the (oxygen) out."

The researcher hopes that this will prove a better way to store energy than chemical batteries."


EU Commissioner Blasts Microsoft, Praises OSS

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nerdposeur writes "European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes sided strongly with open source software in a speech yesterday in Brussels, and cited security concerns for groups who use a single software supplier.

Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the last four years, accusing the company of defying her orders and fining it nearly 1.7 billion euros, or $2.7 billion, on the grounds of violating European competition rules. But her comments were the strongest recommendation yet by Ms. Kroes to jettison Microsoft products, which are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run computers.

'I know a smart business decision when I see one — choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,' Ms. Kroes told a conference in Brussels. 'No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one.'
Could this be the year of Linux on the desktop... in Europe?"

Link to Original Source

Google, Sprint, Comcast, to build data network

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nerdposeur writes "Google has announced that it will partner with several other companies to build a high-speed mobile data network.

The consortium includes a disparate group of partners: Sprint Nextel, Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner and Clearwire.

The partners have put the value of the deal at $14.5 billion, a figure that includes radio spectrum and equipment provided by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire, and $3.2 billion from the others involved.

They expect the network, which will provide the next generation of high-speed Internet access for cellphone users, to be built in as little as two years, but there is no timetable on when it will be available to users and the price is not determined. The partners are seeking to beat Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless to the market.

In a separate but related deal, Google will become the default search provider for Sprint, including having one-click search access and Google Maps pre-installed on some Sprint phones."

Link to Original Source

Google Looks to "White Space" Spectrum

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nerdposeur writes "After maneuvering the major carriers into agreeing to open access rules via the recent spectrum auction, Google appears to be looking into a new area of spectrum that could provide internet connectivity.

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Internet leader outlined plans for low-power devices that use local wireless airwaves to access the "white space" between television channels. A Google executive called the plan "Wi-Fi 2.0 or Wi-Fi on steroids."
Interestingly, Google has Microsoft, Intel, and others on their side in this one. Was this spectrum their target all along?"

Link to Original Source

Scientists create embryonic stem cells from skin

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nerdposeur (910128) writes "Scientists from Kyoto University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have independently a method for giving adult human skin cells the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. According to the New Scientist story,

Both teams used viruses to insert four genes comprising the transcription factors into skin cells, and demonstrated that brain, heart and other tissues could be created from cells created this way.
From the NPR story:

If the work holds true to its promise, it would largely bypass ethical issues that have dogged research on human embryonic stem cells. It could also allow scientists to tailor the cells to specific individuals, eliminating the possibility of rejection.
Could this put some of the ethical questions around stem cell research to rest?"

Link to Original Source

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Nerdposeur writes "Can the Disney copyrights trump this? The Discovery Channel reports on a Mickey Mouse look-alike that dates back to the Iron Age. Oddly enough, this thing is supposed to represent a lion.
From TFA:
"Similar shaped jewelry representing lions originated in France around 700 A.D.," he said. "After 200 years, some French artist, who probably never saw a lion in his entire life, came up with this fantasy version.""

Link to Original Source



Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  about 9 years ago Gasoline costs a lot, smells bad, is flammable, pollutes the earth, and entangles us in world politics in nasty ways.

Solar power is available nearly everywhere, is clean, and will never run out as long as the Earth is inhabitable.

Why aren't we researching like mad to make it cost-effective? Why don't we have more incentives to use it? If a home solar system could be subsidized to pay for itself more quickly, more people would use it. If they did, there would be a bigger market, and more competition for it. Better products, lower costs, etc etc. The whole world would benefit, and we'd be energy-independant.

I know it's not easy to make this happen, but it seems to me that it ought to be the #1 priority of anyone planning for our nation's energy needs.

Fossil fuels, geothermal, wind power, hydroelectric, and everything else depend in some way on solar energy to start with: fossilized creatures got energy from the food chain, which gets it from the sun, and the earth would be frozen and motionless if it weren't for the sun's heat. Why don't we get our juice straight from the source?


Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  about 9 years ago

Caress brand soap has a little slogan on their box: "Nature's Silk."

I find this amusing because, as far as I know, soap is made by humans in strong-smelling factories. You know what nature's silk is? SILK. Made by the 100 percent natural silk worm.

Dove is also silly, with their fixation on how "pure" their soap is. What does that even mean? It's not like soap is a chemical element. If I buy, for example, pure water, I know that I should be getting two Hs per O, and very little else.

I mean, I'm glad they're not putting bacon bits or bee parts in there, but really, I don't know what soap is made of to start with.


Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  about 9 years ago

I'm not a vegetarian, but I think it's a little weird to have the animal you're eating represented as a cartoon character that wants you to eat it.

There is a BBQ joint near here called "Oinkers," where happy pigs are all over the menu, licking their chops for a cannabalistic feast.

That's freaky.


Cell Phones - How about some real features?

Nerdposeur Nerdposeur writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Huge personal gripe: cell phones try to do too many things. My cell phone wants to play games, take pictures, surf the internet, etc etc.

What about call management? I had one phone that let me group all my contacts into Friends, Business, etc. Then I could put it on, for example, Vacation mode, and it would send work calls directly to voicemail. Beautiful! Why don't all phones have this?

And as long as we're grouping contacts, why can't I used tabbed browsing to scroll through the lists? With a little joypad, I'd click left and right to see the list of Friends, Business, Musicians, Church, etc. One tab, of course, would be All.

Or how about the ability to send a "calling card?" If I call someone and they want to save my number, they have to key in my name. I should be able to hit a button and send them all my contact info and name while we're talking.

And what about if I don't want to be disturbed, except in case of emergency? My phone should have an "emergency call only" setting, so that if I'm asleep, someone will get a message saying, "Hey, I'm probably asleep. If it's an emergency, press one and my phone will ring; otherwise, leave a message." Then I don't get woken up, other people don't feel rude, and important messages get through. Bingo!

In general, more people are using cell phones as their only phones and their only phone books. Managing our contacts and controlling who can call us when are logical, important needs - much more so than the ability to download pop songs as ringtones.

Then, of course, if we're going to add "non-communication" features, the first logical thing is a dictaphone, to leave myself voice memos. The device already has a speaker and internal memory; a dictaphone is obvious. Still, not all phones have this.

And if I AM going to have a camera and whatnot, I should be able to USE the phone as I see fit - I.E., download those pictures to my PC. My current phone will snap pictures, but to get them off the phone I have to e-mail them to myself at 25 cents a pop. Sucks for the customer, great for the company.

I do have my own silly wants, of course. One "fantasy feature" - online management of my voicemail. Generally not important, but personally, I'd like to be able to UPLOAD my voicemail greeting as a .wav file rather than record it over the phone. I've got a bunch of professional audio recording and editing stuff, and could make a darn cool message with sound effects and music if I wanted. But the only way to use it would be to play it back through my speakers and hold the phone up to them, which sounds terrible.

They're already storing my voice as a digital file on their network. Why not let me edit the file directly? It's MY voicemail.

(whew) I guess that's about all for now.

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