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Comments

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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

Sir Holo Cell Phones (311 comments)

I live in a beach community, which attracts the homeless for its nice weather and numerous tourists.

A few years ago, I watched a visiting friend's mother give a fiver to a "homeless" couple, living in a park with an ocean view.

I stepped in and berated the homeless woman for having a cell phone that she deigned to stop talking on while she accepted the pity-money, after which she went back to the phone. It was quite a scene, and I did my best to impress upon this visitor that she should not "feed the bears."

I also get tired of seeing their dirty laundry on the sidewalk. This occurs when they get a new, free, donated set of clothing from some charity. Not even an effort to put them in the trash can 10 feet away!!!

Homelessness, a symptom of the squeeze on the middle class, is indeed a problem. But why should the homeless get to live in a beach paradise for free, while I pay extra taxes for social services, recycling collection (which they thieve from), and so on? It's not right.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Sir Holo Here are a few (277 comments)

The Economist
Harper's Magazine
The Atlantic
Lapham's Quarterly
Foreign Affairs

yesterday
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The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information

Sir Holo Re:I don't CONSUME content (107 comments)

Well, I said 15 years ago — and I'll say it again — Anyone who is in the business of selling media containers is in for trouble.

Media containers = CDs, books, magazines, newspapers, and so on. Manufacturing and distribution are costs that have been trending toward zero since the early 90's.

And, just to reply: a rose is a rose, etc. Sure. Theft is stealing a physical object — book or a CD. Those are really media containers that come with a limited license to use. I don't think you'd want to see any of my food after I have "consumed" it.

4 days ago
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The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information

Sir Holo I don't CONSUME content (107 comments)

I don't consume content. No one does.

If something is "consumed," it is no longer there after consumption.

Viewing content, whether over the air or internet, is not "consuming." Viewing, subscribing, or using — maybe — but consuming, it is not.

Similarly, "stealing" something (an MP3 or CD) means that IT IS NOT THERE AFTER THE ACTION. It may be copyright infringement, or fair use, but is is definitely NOT stealing.

5 days ago
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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

Sir Holo Re:bullshit (214 comments)

Actually, quite a bit of the phenomenon of big-oil hoovering up renewable energy patents is a tactic to lock up the technologies (patents are good for 20 years).

about a week ago
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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

Sir Holo Re:What does it mean to divest? (214 comments)

Mark commenter up!

The decisions of established institutions are indeed made based upon time-scales longer than the individual participants' life-spans.

A faculty community willing to back a position that will ultimately bear its fruit after they are dead is to be respected, or at least soberly considered.

about a week ago
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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

Sir Holo Re:Meh, not this guy again. (291 comments)

Gavin Scott: Horgan has been going on about stuff like this for years. He wrote a book in 1997 called "The End of Science" which I read and thought was completely ridiculous. ...

I agree completely about the nay-sayer making a career of it, and yours is about the only post in-thread to make this specific point, versus the numerous historical anti-examples of "It's all been discovered" types of quotes of the type frequently noted to precede scientific revolutions..

All commenters should be aware that the "Nat. Geo. attribution of the OP is misleading. That is the typical abbreviation for Nature Geoscience, a scientific journal. The linked article was printed in National Geographic , a middle-low-brow rag, aimed at the masses. It is a magazine not known, ever, for anything more rigorous, or higher, than "general interest."

It is a picture-book magazine with simple articles. It has no business pretending to discuss big ideas.

about a week ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

Sir Holo Re:Hardware requirements (641 comments)

geogob: This actually creates a lot of frustration and administrative problems, as after the end of the XP support, those computers are not allowed to remain on the institution network anymore. A clear solution has still to be found.

A workable solution is to buy a second machine, install Linux and two networking cards. Let the XP-based system only connect to the Linux box, and to only allow file transfer to and from the Linux box from the XP box.

I know many labs with multi-million dollar pieces of equipment that have no drivers or software above XP. One can give their IT department the option of buying a new milti-million dollar instrument due to their imposed restrictions, or they can turn their head on the above solution. Or, just don't tell them.

Technically, the XP box above is not "on the network."

about two weeks ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Sir Holo Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

A relevant fact that I've seen nowhere is whether this video, and its ideas, were ever made publicly available, or whether Apple knew of the work.

There have been instances of near-simultaneous patenting of the same, or nearly the same, inventions. That does not seem to be the case here, where the parties involved appear to have abandoned good work (whether or not it's anticipatory prior art).

As a fun side point, the video also demonstrates Microsoft's long history of dismissing good ideas or trending technologies, like that "internet" thing and "web browsers," only to have to buy their way into the market a couple of years after everyone else.

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Sir Holo Re:Not only for Tesla or videos (544 comments)

The solution? Manufacturers actually add speakers next to the engine, exhaust and inside the car. You sometimes get V8 sound out of a V6 car :)

I want a BMW X6 M. 550 HP V-8 w/500 ft-lb of torque in a mid-size. Yet, despite this ridiculous amount of power, BMW felt the need to pipe in engine noise through the stereo system. Do they think we're all that dumb?

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Sir Holo Defamation (544 comments)

IANAL, but that's gotta be defamation of character.

They claim accidental error by a worker. OK, maybe that's true. But that person has a manager, and that manager has a boss, and so on. And someone surely "proofed" the segment before it aired — all media organizations, if they have any sense, do that.

about two weeks ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

Sir Holo Blame the Victims (518 comments)

We should blame the victims. It's a whole lot cheaper.

about two weeks ago
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West Nile Virus May Have Met Its Match: Tobacco

Sir Holo Drug or food? (54 comments)

Someone, please tell me the difference between a "food" and a "drug."

I'll wait.

Also, who begins a scientific journal article's abstract with an adverb? And then fails to describe the new work until the last sentence of the paragraph?

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

Sir Holo They will have to extend it... (423 comments)

The UCLA Medical System, a gigantic organization, required all hospitals, providers, etc. to standardize on a single, integrated medical record-keeping system. Medical history, diagnoses, prescriptions, appointments — the works. This was within the last 12 months.

It runs on XP.

Happy privacy!

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad: Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Sir Holo Re:Odyssee II (184 comments)

MS Word has bugs that are at least 18 years old.

For example, endnotes/footnotes and cross-references inevitably screw up with "Bookmark not defined!" if you move them around. Same for Figure numbering, etc.

Example 2: PowerPoint (at least on Mac) will take minutes to open a PPT file if it contains any EPS images. This bug is just as old. And god forbid you copy-and-paste a graphic from Word to PowerPoint. It will fail to render, not for you, but for the customer you sent it to.

Completing the list of bugs >10 years old is left as an exercise to the reader.

about three weeks ago
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Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

Sir Holo Many pharmacies carry these (173 comments)

I got marked troll last time I said this, but it is true.

Several of my local pharmacies have "homeopathic cures" sections.

A pretty clear violation of ethics, I would think.

about three weeks ago
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TSA Missed Boston Bomber Because His Name Was Misspelled In a Database

Sir Holo Re:No (275 comments)

They missed the Boston bombers because they are spying ON EVERYONE instead of focusing the spying, based on probable cause, on the correct folks.

Well, yes. But, paradoxically, failure earns the spy agencies more funding.

"If we had been provided with enough resources, we could have caught the bad guys!"

The solution is to limit (yet again) exactly who they can spy on. These children need to be spanked, not rewarded with ice cream.

about three weeks ago
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TSA Missed Boston Bomber Because His Name Was Misspelled In a Database

Sir Holo Re:Get rid of the TSA! (275 comments)

Mod parent up.

TSA was created not only a gigantic practical-joke on the middle class. It was also created as a means to mask growing unemployment. All for political points.

"Fiscal responsibility" indeed.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Develop Solar Cell That Can Also Emit Light

Sir Holo Re:Yin and Yang (79 comments)

Absolutely brilliant comment. Also, you are correct.

For those who didn't get this post: A transducer is a transducer. It can go either direction, as the physical mechanism is the same, whether one direction or the other. For example, electromagnets move a speaker cone to create sound. Yell at a speaker, and the sound pressure will generate a small voltage (a microphone).

When poster called it a "one way street," he was referring to the way we engineer and design these transducers. They are optimized, for example to produce sound accurately. This inevitably leads to design trade-offs and optimizations for a particular application. That's all. No one is threatening the second law.

When land-line phones were wired (not cordless), I discovered as a child that I could yell into the earpiece, which modulated the voltage on the line, and a faint sound could be heard at the other end. The implications for eaves-droppers was that removing the microphone from your phone handset would not render you undetectable to the other people on the line, precisely for the reasons above.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Opposite of Superconductors Discovered

Sir Holo Sir Holo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Sir Holo (531007) writes "Superinsulation may sound like a marketing gimmick for a drafty attic or winter coat. But it is actually a newly discovered fundamental state of matter created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with several European institutions. This discovery opens new directions of inquiry in condensed matter physics and breaks ground for a new generation of microelectronics.

When they tried to pass a current through the material, the researchers noticed that its resistance suddenly increased by a factor of 100,000 once the temperature dropped below a certain threshold.

Superinsulators could eventually find their way into a number of products, including circuits, sensors and battery shields.
"

Link to Original Source
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Sir Holo Sir Holo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sir Holo (531007) writes "Is Time-Warner Cable intentionally degrading the internet service of customers who own cable modems, in order to force them to install a TWC-owned and throttled modem? Is this legal?

I have Time-Warner Cable service in the Los Angeles area, who inherited me from Adelphia through Comcast, and I own my own cable modem, a Motorola SURFboard. This week, my connection suddenly began exhibiting an odd behavior. A normal connection will exist, and if I use it initially (load a web page), it works fine. But then, any further usage will result in a failed connection. The connection stays off for several minutes, and eventually the modem will re-establish the connection as the line of idiot lights comes on in series. The result is a repeated, "Ah-ha, it's back on! ..... Awww, it's back out."

Upon calling Time Warner Cable tech support, I'm given a story that my modem "is on its last legs," and that I "probably have a bad modem." This is first suggested before the rep knows my account number! After "running some tests," I learn that a replacement modem is available for pickup and install from TWC office, as they don't offer a discount for customer-owned equipment. The rep does admit that it will have throttling, etc.. His pitch sounds very practiced.

Here's the odd part. Now, immediately after the call, with no "resetting the system" on TWC's end, and my same old modem installed, the connection is solid. The problem has evaporated.

As a scientist, I know that solid state electronics hardware doesn't generally "go bad" or "wear out." And non-cutting edge hardware doesn't have performance that degrades and fails over time, either.

I don't feel very good about having lost most of a day of work due to this issue. Even worse, that it might have been done on purpose.

Is TWC intentionally dropping the connection to coerce me into getting one of their modems? Wouldn't that be illegal? Will they do this intermittently until I give in? Will I notice any difference once I do? Or, is there indeed something about cable modems which can "wear out?""

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