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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Panoptes Re:Meet Streisand (306 comments)

The 'charge' for a negative review is a 'minimum of pds 100'? I'd like to see this stand up to legal scrutiny.

about a week ago
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High Speed Evolution

Panoptes Re:Is that unreasonable? (282 comments)

"Is that unreasonable? If there were evolutionary pressure (ie, short people kept being killed before reproducing), and tall people got multiple mates, I could see this change happening within twenty generations."

Twenty generations sounds like guesswork, as it doesn't take into account regression - tall parents tend to have taller-than-average offspring, but not as tall as their parents. Likewise, short parents tend to have children who are taller than they are. The same, some experts argue, applies to measured IQ.

about a month ago
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Dubai Police To Use Google Glass For Facial Recognition

Panoptes Re:Enforce (122 comments)

Turn this on its head. Facial scans for ID cards, credit/debit cards, passports, driving licences etc. become the norm: a scanner fails to identify you at an airport, so you are a suspicious individual - guilty until proven innocent.

about 1 month ago
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Bangladesh Considers Building World's 5th-largest Data Center In Earthquake Zone

Panoptes Re:As long as they don't... (65 comments)

Indonesia is preparing to build a nuclear power plant. Those of us who live with its antiquated electricity supply network, third-world standard railway infrastructure, a national airline that was banned from landing at European airports until quite recently, more shipping disasters than possibly any other country, plus world-ranking corruption, look on in bemused wonderment.

about 2 months ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Panoptes Re:Oh good (907 comments)

"the cake referred to was dough that was caked to the sides of the baking oven during the baking process"

Citation needed. The French expression is "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche." Brioche is bread with milk and eggs in it.

about 2 months ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Panoptes Re:A solution in search of a problem... (326 comments)

"Generally only the case if your car has an automatic transmission. Rather hard to do that if you are taking a test with a standard transmission."

Nonsense. The only time you can't do it is when you're changing gear.

about 2 months ago
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Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

Panoptes Re:something tells me... (173 comments)

I presume that the simulation programmers are US-based and will create scenarios of American traffic conditions. For real-world testing, just put a few of these vehicles in a downtown Jakarta rush-hour and see how many survive. Here we've got every motoring madness know to man - and then some. I'll be first in the queue to buy any driverless car that can get from north to south Jakarta unscathed.

about 3 months ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Panoptes Re:The slippery slope (391 comments)

The British police have long since crossed the Rubicon of public trust and support. It is tragic to see a once respected and admired group of public servants become a venal, corrupt and despised bunch of bully-boys, despotic and arrogant beyond belief. In my more cynical moments I reflect that post-Thatcher Britain has at last got the guardians it deserves.

about 3 months ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Panoptes Re:Self Serving Story? (267 comments)

"It's not really that alt coins destroy bitcoin's credibility, it's that bitcoin itself has no credibility in the first place"

So 'real' currencies have intrinsic value and credibility? In the modern topsy-turvy world of economics, all debt is magically transmuted into credit, and duff debt is magically turned into 'sub primes'. It's all a financial sausage factory.

about 3 months ago
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Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

Panoptes Re:Would YOU be able to sleep in space?? (106 comments)

"I'd want to soak up every minute of it. Maybe they should look into the mechanism called: "It's frickin awesome" How on earth did such a vacuous comment get modded +5 insightful?

about 4 months ago
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UK Police Won't Comment On The Tracking of People's Phone Calls

Panoptes Re:Where was Orwell from? (52 comments)

Pen name taken from the river Orwell.

about 4 months ago
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"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Panoptes Re:Expert:Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People A (390 comments)

"And while many of its people and countries are not well off at all, there are some nations that are doing quite well financially, and should be able to create the infrastructure (including organizations and facilities) necessary for such research."

Have you ever lived and worked in Sub-Saharan Africa? If you had, I don't think you'd be asking this question.

about 4 months ago
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FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

Panoptes Re:Transparency (139 comments)

"The amount of information available to the public today that wasn't when Obama was elected is staggering."

Never confuse quantity with quality.

about 4 months ago
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Australian Government Moving Forward With Anti-Piracy Mandate For ISPs

Panoptes Re:Australia Deserves it. (128 comments)

It's good to see that the spirit of Sir Les Patterson lives on. Looks like Ozzy politicians are even more short-sighted and dumber than the sorry bunch of venal no-hopers currently running Westminster.

about 4 months ago
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

Panoptes Re:And yet, who is charging who? (200 comments)

"Whom". It is ". . . who is it that is actually paying whom?"

Correct - in formal usage. But 'whom' is in decline, and for many writers is mandatory only when governed by a preposition.

about 4 months ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Panoptes Re:Ads are good for the internet. (418 comments)

"People seem to forget, the internet RUNS on advertising money."

Only people who have been successfully brainwashed believe this Big Lie. In olden times businesses had budgets for marketing and promotion which included advertising. Selling yourself and your services was an overhead cost.

Along comes the Internet. Personal interest, hobbyist and fan sites then come along, and tech sites that share their knowledge and expertise altruistically, for the common good. Then we hear the magic word 'monetize', and all hell is let loose.

Next is born that spawn of the devil, the notion that businesses have a God-given right to force us to watch advertisements, and fight tooth and nail to stop ad-skipping, ad-blocking, and the like. So don't feed me any crap that 'the Internet runs on advertising money'.

about 4 months ago
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By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

Panoptes Re:AI is always "right around the corner". (564 comments)

"semi-autisitc fuckwitted word salad"

When a computer can come with such linguistic inventiveness, we may truly say that AI has arrived.

about 5 months ago
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Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:I wanted to like it.... (75 comments)

" I get the impression they just have a list of possible ways of phrasing the translation of a phrase." Yes, that's one way of doing it - but long-winded and slow to develop.

I write tests and quizzes using Moodle. Regular expressions are an economical and elegant way to parse short answers and award part-marks until an acceptable threshold of correctness is reached. And very simple to edit when exceptions need to be added.

about 5 months ago
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Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:Wife (75 comments)

"The theory is that you are being taught as a child learns" Bad theory. Childhood language acquisition is different from adult acquisition.

about 5 months ago
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Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:I wanted to like it.... (75 comments)

I just signed up and had a crack at the French lessons. My reaction? It's interesting, but limited. On the positive side there's some very nifty use of regular expressions in parsing the input answers - but on the negative, quite a few of the recordings are fuzzy and unclear. One example: the word 'diner' was completely unrecognizable. Its main limitation is that it's not communicative; everything is chunked into simple expressions without context. It's mechanical learning. I could see a use for it in my own teaching as a remedial/diagnostic tool, but I wouldn't recommend it as a primary means of learning French.

about 5 months ago

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