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Meebo Discontinuing All Services Except for Meebo Bar

Robert1 IMO.IM (121 comments)

Check out http://imo.im/. It has integration of practically every messaging service, as well as a great and android app.

more than 2 years ago
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Iranian Government Cuts Off Internet Access Again

Robert1 Here come moral relativists (374 comments)

Sorry, no. Moral relativism is complete bullshit. Some things are morally wrong ABSOLUTELY. One of them is supressing your populace's ability to communicate. I'm sick and tired of people justifying morally corrupt behavior just because it's state-sanctioned. Sorry, forcing women they have to wear a head-dress is absolutely not acceptable. Denying them basic human rights is absolutely not acceptable. Persecution of homosexuality is absolutely not acceptable. EVEN IF ALL THESE THINGS ARE STATE SANCTIONED. I'll take that one step further and say that it is even absolutely morally unacceptable for a radical state to possess nuclear weaponry, even more absolutely morally unacceptable for such a regime to have such unabashed hatred based on another people's religion.

The difference between a state and a mob is that one controls the military and one does not. Simply being a group does not magically grant anyone moral superiority or the ability to redefine basic human rights. Saying that its ok for ANYONE to do that is fucking retarded, and something that is continued by apologists. Your moral 'relativism' is the reason why atrocities like this are allowed to perpetrate.

more than 3 years ago
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Creating a Quantum Superposition of Living Things

Robert1 Is this necessary? (321 comments)

I was under the impression that there was nothing to be gained by doing the schrodinger's cat experiment. The idea is that in collapsing the probability wave of any object, the "observer"-object (really anything that the collapsing object interacts with, conciousnes not required!) essentially becomes a superposition of states. This forms an outward expanding wave of super position with the individuals caught within the wave observing it as collapsed and those outside the event observing all those that interact with the superpositions becoming superpositions themselves.

For example scientist-A is in an isolated box and has a cat in an isolated box. The cat is a superposition either dead or alive, is definately one or the other when he opens the box. Let's say for him, the cat is dead when he opens it and that makes him sad. However the scientist-B, outside the larger box which contains scientist-A can now say that the box is filled a superposition of A-with dead cat (sad scientist), and A-with live cat (happy scientist). This is because scientist-B does not know the result of scientist-A opening the box,only that room now contains a superposition of a sad or happy man with a dead or live cat. Only when B opens this larger box does it the superposition of A collapse for scientist B. Now B is in the same position - he is now be a superposition of states of scientist-B seeing sad-man with dead cat, and scientist-B seeing happy-man with live cat. So the idea is that ALL quantum events function in this way. Performing this on any object, be it virus or molecule or cat. Of course because the real world has no such isolation boxes, these wavefronts of collapse and local superposition happen continuously and undetectably.

So what will happen is they'll go through all this difficulty to superpose two states. Then view the virus, seeing it in one state - all the while oblivious that they are now intertwined with that superposition to an outside observer.

more than 4 years ago
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Movable Clouds Migrate To Chase Tax Breaks

Robert1 Nothing new here (151 comments)

This is a basic business fact, has been known for decades, and is one of the big reasons why people are justifiably against increased taxes.

It happens on every level of government - city, county, state and finally country. Tax increases at any of these levels tend to drive away businesses, lower taxes and incentives draw them in. The only thing that makes this news-worthy is that cloud-computing is a fairly new industry. Surprise, surprise they react to taxes like any other business.

Of course, every level of government NEEDS taxes, but tax increases to pay for various social services ultimately have to be finely balanced between driving away business with the need for those services. Heavily taxing business to provide for such services helps the community in the short term, but drives away the business and hurts the community through job loss in the mid to long term. Did the social service help the community greater than the loss of the jobs hurt it? There-in lies the delicate balance that is illustrated by the issue of taxes and business migration. Again, nothing new.

about 5 years ago
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Company Denies Its Robots Feed On the Dead

Robert1 Typo (154 comments)

I think there's a little typo. When they wrote Cyclone they actually meant Cylon.

more than 5 years ago
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Noctilucent Clouds Spread and Mystify

Robert1 Re:Space Shuttle? (227 comments)

Obviously I mean the fact that shuttles have had a hand in making them "become increasingly visible." I'm sure there's some natural processes that can create them, but are more rare than shuttle launches - i.e. large volcanic eruptions (such as the one in the late 1800s) or something else we haven't identified.

more than 5 years ago
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Noctilucent Clouds Spread and Mystify

Robert1 Space Shuttle? (227 comments)

Aren't they caused by the space shuttle? I could swear there was an article a couple weeks ago on slashdot about it. Basically they found that they tend to form hours after the shuttle launch, particularly around Antarctica. The shuttle's boosters release X tons of water into the high atmosphere, at altitudes water can't regularly attain, which gets caught by high moving winds that drive it south, where they crystallize.

Interestingly enough we just had a shuttle launch just a couple days ago.

more than 5 years ago
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Cure For Radiation Sickness Found?

Robert1 Re:I doubt it... (385 comments)

No it won't. The damaged is caused by radiation which destroys DNA. Radioactive particles that are helium or larger are stopped by your skin. Smaller particles ionize organic molecules within your body producing highly reactive radicals. Maybe its these radicals you call energetic particles? Anyway even if you remove them the DNA damage from the radiation is still there, and often the extent of the radical damage is beyond the coping mechanism of the cell. Acute damage is in the radiation, radical damage is the slow damage of aging.

Like the GP said, the methods of radiation damage are diverse, it is impossible for there to exist a single pill that treats it from all these aspects. The pill would need to be a cluster of several different types of DNA repair enzymes (to repair DNA damage from all the possible ways of bond damage), as well as being an antioxidant (to absorb radicals) and some sort of protein 'digestant' (to remove the denatured proteins). Since the body took 3+ billion years to come up a couple dozen enzymes to fulfill these purposes, it seem unlikely (downright impossible!) that a single molecule could be created to take their place.

more than 5 years ago
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Wikipedia Debates Rorschach Censorship

Robert1 Re:I thought they.. (635 comments)

I really don't know why your post is filled with such vitriol. Anyway there is nothing secret about the "scientific means" behind it (as much as you wish there was by the fact that you used quotes...). The test is valid because they used an enormously large sample size and a library of several hundred pictures, which through its massive sample size, were able to distill down using statistics to those 10 pictures which had the highest positive predictive value!

Those 10 pictures were specifically chosen because they were the most deterministic pictures. If I took all of Pollock's works and showed them to tens of thousands of people, and recorded all the responses I'm sure I could produce a handful of pieces by Pollock which have a high correlation among viewers to a specific object - i.e. that one piece is viewed as a 'bat' by 80% of viewers. Taking it one step further, Pollock's art was never even designed to be used in such a way, however the inkblots were from the onset intentionally designed to maximize their correlation, and thus future predictive value.

I've taken the exam myself with a group of about 10 others as a learning experience. On average, the answers correlated completely except for one individual. By the end, it seemed each person had answered one "wrong" i.e. hadn't seen the "right" image. However, that didn't mean the group had any psychological pathology, as the incorrect answers were not given consistently. A 90% correlation means on average, the average (healthy) person will agree with an image 90% of the time. If a person answers 6 out of 10 wrong, the statistical likelihood of that occurring in a healthy individual becomes suspiciously small.

That is the power of the inkblots and the science behind them - science without quotes.

more than 5 years ago
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Wikipedia Debates Rorschach Censorship

Robert1 Re:Are the images important? (635 comments)

You were really really close...

      1. Get a series of inkblots together
      2. Gather and correlate data on how healthy people describe blots
      3. Gather and correlate data on how people with known problems describe blots
      4. Show inkblots to patients
      5. See how their results line up with previous correlations
      6.1 Verify validity of inkblots with strong correlation thus establishing the utility of the inkblots
      6.2 Sell to to psychiatrists/psychologists as a diagnostic tool
      7 profit

      Or conversely
      6.2 Doctor uses statistical results on real patient.
      6.3 Results help to diagnose patient.
      6.4 Payment from patient for services rendered leads to:
      7. profit

more than 5 years ago
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Wikipedia Debates Rorschach Censorship

Robert1 Re:I thought they.. (635 comments)

Incorrect. There actually ARE correct answers to the inkblots - no quotes necessary around that 'correct'. The correctness is assigned a number which aggregates over the course of all the blots and assigns a statistical analysis of the level of pathology of the patients psyche. It's actually very robust scientifically and leaves no room for psychological interpretation and is comparable to recall, spelling, or reverse counting tests.

Rorschach inkblots are not used for projection - on TV they are however. In real life, projection is used as an evaluative tool using a different kind of test. The projective test involves pictures with a very open setup and the patient is allowed to fill in the circumstances of the picture. For instance, one image can be of 3 people sitting around a table with a tree outside, the patient then can fill in what they believe to be occurring, what the characters are saying etc.

more than 5 years ago
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How Heavy Is a Petabyte?

Robert1 Re:Minimum mass of a Petabyte (495 comments)

Yup, easiest diet in the universe. Also, hot water has more mass than cold.

more than 5 years ago
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Steve Jobs Had a Liver Transplant Two Months Ago

Robert1 Re:It is astounding .... (436 comments)

I know, incredible right? All those people from just 2 counties!

more than 5 years ago
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Google Voice Grabs 1 Million Phone Numbers

Robert1 How big is the market? (198 comments)

It seems to me that the same people that would be all for a techy solution like this are the very same people who are unlikely to even own a landline. Nearly universally, everyone who I know in their mid 20s - early 30s don't have a landline and have only one number - their cellphone.

I can see a market for this for intense businessmen who might have 2 lines at home, a private line at work, and another line at their second home. But is there a demand from the tech savy young google user?

more than 5 years ago
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iPhone Shakes Up the Video Game Industry

Robert1 Re:Question for you gamers (325 comments)

As an aside for something I just realized:

The video game market crash of the early 80s was caused by the quantity of poor titles and lack of quality control - eventually driving away costumers who had been burned too many times buying shitty games. Of course, this took years to occur since games were expensive and it took a certain threshold of shitty games before the consumer just gave up.

In this way the digital distribution actually hurts iPhone brand as a gaming machine, because you can reach the point of no longer purchasing games much faster due to ease/low cost of downloading games. You can rack up 5 terrible games in a row within the course of a day/week and swear off purchasing anymore for the 'system.' What took Atari gamers years to realize an iPhone gamer can realize in a matter of days.

Or in my case was about 1 month.

more than 5 years ago
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iPhone Shakes Up the Video Game Industry

Robert1 Re:Question for you gamers (325 comments)

The games are pretty incomparable. Xbox360/PS3 games are entirely apart from the hand-held games both in terms of graphics and gameplay.

Compared to the DS, iPhone games are terribly shallow and comparable to regular cell phone games. They are designed to be played for 1-2 minutes at a time and not touched again for days. The games have no "continuity" in that they rarely have progression - tending instead to be levels that you can choose from or the same objective over and over again.

I've always found the iPhone games to get boring very quickly both due to the lack of complexity and lack of depth. They've burned me enough times that I'll only download free games, play them a handful of times and move on.

An apt analogy would be comparing internet based flash games to multimillion high budget PC games. Sure they're both "games" but I would be pretty hard pressed to actually consider flash based games what I call "true games," since high budget and flash games have no overlap and usually completely separate audiences (gamers vs non-gamers). In the same sense, iPhone games are the flash game of the hand-held world; I feel the don't really represent any sort of actual competition for "real games," rather serving as a quick time waster when you're bored and you have your phone handy (just think of it as every other phone based game).

more than 5 years ago
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Biotech Company To Patent Pigs

Robert1 Re:patents and insanity (285 comments)

"put their teeny tiny custom dna in the water supply"

"Also keep in mind, logic, common sense"

Maybe you should heed your own advice :)

more than 4 years ago
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Why Republicans Won't Retake Silicon Valley

Robert1 Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (445 comments)

Did everyone lose their mind when a democrat President got elected?

"Public education benefits the rich more than the poor"
Seriously, what?

"In order to gain the benefits of a society, you have to follow that society's rules. If a society required you to perform five jumping jacks in order to get police protection, say, it might be silly but it wouldn't be amoral if it was voluntary. If you don't like it, leave. Same goes for higher taxes on the rich. It isn't amoral, it's just how we do things here. If the rich don't like it, let them go someplace else."

As recently as 6 months ago we railed against republicans for their "you're either with us or against us", "if you don't like it, get out!" Suddenly post election of a democrat president our underlying morals have been so radically changed that shit that the republicans did is not only acceptable but recited by us. Or as I paraphrase what you said:"if you loser rich people can't stand getting unfairly treated you should leave, its just how it is, I don't need to justify myself because we won."

WHAT THE FUCK?!

more than 5 years ago
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Google Launches Free, Legal Music Downloads in China

Robert1 Re:Again, I compete with people who pay less (141 comments)

Yes, thank you. This is exactly the problem with free-trade, it seems to be designed entirely to sap the wealth out of richer countries and give them to poorer countries. Free-trade in principal would be a great idea, except for the fact that it seems the US (and a very few other western nations) are the only countries that actually practice the 'free' part of free-trade.

Oh yeah, sure export your foreign vehicles, do you mind if we send some to you Japan? Oh what's that, you put giant tariffs and unit limits on your American imports? That's ok, we won't do anything to combat it, nor put tariffs in place ourselves, cause we play nice.

Another great example was an article from the Economist a few years back. Basically it was an American bike company saying they were going out of business because Chinese bikes could be sold for less. They explained that although they had harder workers per hour, greater output, and greater efficiency, the (justified) environmental laws put into place in the US to prevent pollution added enough of a burden to the bike manufacture that bikes made in China which had no environmental oversight could be produced and shipped cheaper than the native bike. They also showed that if China had proper anti-pollution in place, the bike could be produced for CHEAPER in America than in China.

But I guess we're the only ones that play by the rules.

more than 5 years ago
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AP Considers Making Content Require Payment

Robert1 Re:Its like watching an animal drown (425 comments)

A few million people can't filter shit for me or anyone else with a desire to learn what occurs in the world, rather than someone's stilted take on it. Filtering by the masses just guarantees that whichever is the prominent political or social viewpoint of the people is the sort of article that is recommended. It basically becomes one colossal circle-jerk of individuals with identical ideals reinforcing their viewpoints.

At least professional media - and I'm talking network news rather than the sensationalist swill that's become of cable news - have a sense of duty, legacy, and [b]professionalism[/b]. Individuals who have devoted their entire lives and careers to uncovering news and attempt to repress their bias as much as they can (though it is impossible to be completely without some bias, conscious or otherwise).

Media by the masses is essentially the exact opposite, and often bold in their declaration of bias. Most 'reports' are indistinguishable from opinion pieces and rife with political commentary when none is necessary. What reporting is done uselessly superficial, as the individual neither has the learned capacity, experience, nor the connections to delve into a subject and uncover some semblance of the "real truth."

As it stands, blogging is comprised of two camps of individuals. The first is essentially a walking camera, and merely states what he witnessed, but has no capacity to elucidate the reasons it occurred. The blogger sees a plane crash, reports on it, but it is the network news organization that contacts the FTC, contacts the airport, talks to survivors, obtains black box transcripts etc. The camera-blogger is worse than useless as they serve only to muddle the truth by putting themselves as an emotionally charged intermediary between the actual event and you as the reader. These individuals have always been relegated - and rightfully so - by network and newspaper media to eye-witness accounts, to add a sense of humanity to the incident, but not to serve as the sole source for a story.

The second sort of blogger is the opinion-writer. With little and often no journalistic, professional, or even higher education, this blogger perceives his opinions to be worth more than the next person's. But they have no more credibility than your neighbor, your co-worker, or anyone else for that matter. If the individual does have some credentials, then they are already writing for, or at least submitting articles to legitimate news organizations rather than ranting online. The internet is a giant soapbox, allowing anyone to express whatever opinion they may have. However, having an internet soapbox gives an individual no more credibility than if they spouted their opinions off a real soapbox on the corner of the street.

If you cannot see the difference between what the reality of what blogging is, how the masses distort it, and which necessities of a free-society large media fulfills, then you're doomed to a future in which we can say good-bye to what transparency we have in our understanding of our world.

more than 5 years ago

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