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VLC Running Kickstarter Campaign To Fund Native Windows 8 App

Trintech Re:Not for me (252 comments)

The regular VLC works just fine in win8 so basically they're raising money to more or less create a VLC skin...

If you read the kickstarter page, you will see it is much more than a skin for windows 8. They are planning a native ARM port for tablets as well and, as they note on the page, there is currently no toolchain available that supports all the feature they need for that port so it will be quite a bit of work. Plus, they also expect to run into problems with Windows RT's new sandboxing system.

about a year and a half ago
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Neil Young Pushes Pono, Says Piracy Is the New Radio

Trintech FLAC (361 comments)

Isn't FLAC already lossless? What makes Pono better?

about 2 years ago
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NASA Voyage To Explore Link Between Sea Saltiness and Climate

Trintech Re:Isn't this more NOAA's job? (44 comments)

Goto the site and click Overview > Sponsors. You will see that, while NASA is the one carrying out the mission, its sponsored (ie funded) by several divisions of the NOAA and NSF, etc so think of it more as NASA is being contracted to do this research and not a whole lot is coming directly out of their own budget.

about 2 years ago
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US Patent Regime Is Absurd

Trintech Re:Too much rhetoric over the wrong things. (202 comments)

You must have misunderstood me or gotten my context wrong, because I do not (and did not) disagree with any of this.

Sorry, I should have clarified my point after the except. Basically, what I was trying to point out is that, per the new policy, the addition of an 'apparatus' makes an idea novel. Thus, adding the word 'the internet' to another patent already granted is technically a valid, patentable idea. While anyone with common sense can see its not novel or can think of similar things that have already been done, the fact is the USPTO must follow these ridiculous policies and blaming them for this mess when there is little they can do about it, i feel, is unwarranted.

about 3 years ago
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US Patent Regime Is Absurd

Trintech Re:Too much rhetoric over the wrong things. (202 comments)

But aside from the bad decision of allowing software patents, the big problem has been the apparent incompetence of the Patent Office itself: issuing patents for things it never should have (because of things like prior art for example).

History paints a slightly different story. The Patent Office initially refused to allow software patents and the total number of patents granted per year was fairly small. After being overruled by the supreme court in Diamond v. Diehr, the Patent Office was forced to change its policies. From the wikipedia article:

In the 1981 case of Diamond v. Diehr, the United States Supreme Court upheld the CCPA's reversal of the USPTO, and ordered the grant of a patent on an invention, a substantial part of which involved use of a computer program which used a well-known formula (the Arrhenius Equation) for calculating the time when rubber was cured and the mold could therefore be opened. The Supreme Court stated that in this case, the invention was not merely a mathematical algorithm, but a process for molding rubber, which was therefore patentable. In the Diehr case, there was no concession that the implementation was conventional, and the process did effectuate a transformation of substances (from uncured rubber to cured rubber). After this point, more patents on software began to be granted, albeit with conflicting and confusing results. After its creation in 1982, the CAFC charted a course that tried to follow the Diehr precedent. Patents were allowed only if the claim included some sort of apparatus, even rather nominal apparatus at times, such as an analog-to-digital converter front end, or in one case a scratch-pad memory for storing intermediate data. A representative decision from this period is In re Schrader, in which the CAFC set forth probably its best and most detailed formulation of the rule it was attempting to follow. Dissatisfaction with the perceived artificiality of this rule erupted, however, in rulings beginning with the en banc 1994 decision in In re Alappat, in which the CAFC majority held that a novel algorithm combined with a trivial physical step constitutes a novel physical device. Therefore, a computing device on which is loaded a mathematical algorithm is a "new machine", which is patentable. This ruling was followed up in In re Lowry, which held that a data structure representing information on a computer's hard drive or memory is similarly to be treated as a patent-eligible physical device. Finally, in State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group, the CAFC ruled that a numerical calculation that produces a "useful, concrete and tangible result", such as a price, is patent-eligible.

about 3 years ago
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A Court's Weak Argument For Blocking IP Subpoenas

Trintech Great Analogy Actually (220 comments)

So again: Huh? Why is a rental car agency liable for an accident caused by one of its renters? Obviously if the rental car agency was negligent in the maintenance of one of its vehicles and that negligence led to the accident, they might be liable — but not simply if their customer did something reckless over which they had no control (which would be analogous to an ISP subscriber committing a copyright infringement that the ISP didn't know about).
...
"The analogy between an ISP and a rental car agency is inappropriate, because a plaintiff could sue the rental car agency in order to subpoena the identity of the renter that hit them, but a copyright owner could not do the same to an ISP." [Judge Baker's argument.]

I think this is actually a great analogy because, you see, the rental car company could install cameras and GPS in all of their vehicles to make sure that the people driving their cars were not breaking the law (speeding, texting while driving, driving under the influence,etc) and law enforcement could then subpoena these records anytime they think some rental car driver might have been breaking the law, but since the rental car companies don't do this, they are clearly being negligent (/sarcasm). This is very much akin to many of the arguments being made by copyright holders in court against ISPs / certain websites.

more than 3 years ago
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Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

Trintech Re:big loss (1251 comments)

If all the slot machines in a casino hit jackpots at the same time, it's much more likely that they were interfered with than it happening randomly.

True but, as I tried to point out in my first post, evolution happening quickly (interference) does not prove ID. There are any number of things that could cause perceived 'interference'. For ID to be right though, God must be the source of that interference and I guess I don't see how you are going to prove or disprove that. I approach the argument from this angle because there are already known periods of 'interference' such as the Cambrian Explosion, so the likelihood of your statistical analysis showing no interference at moderate confidence levels is fairly slim.

more than 3 years ago
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Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

Trintech Re:big loss (1251 comments)

Basically, when you boil it down, ID does make a quantifiable claim.

I wish, but I really don't think that their claim is quantifiable in a useful way because random chance is exactly that, random. To use your slot machine analogy, it is entirely possible for every (fair) slot machine in the world to hit the jackpot at the same time. While this event is extraordinary unlikely, the fact that it happened doesn't lend support either theory because, according to both theories, it is possible. I also don't think that their claim is falsifiable either because even if you do show that beneficial mutations happen at random intervals and form an expected distribution, pro-ID people will just say that it does that because 'thats the way God wanted to do it'. I think an important part of the ID argument that you don't address is that their claim is more than just 'God is messing with the numbers', its really 'God guided evolution to produce humans' and 'features like the eye are too complex to have formed naturally through evolution' (aka. 'Irreducible Complexity). The latter seems to be the one you're trying to address but, to me at least, I don't think you can truly prove that its false without also proving the former is false as well. Richard Dawkins has made several arguments against ID along the lines you are talking about, you should give them a read if you haven't as well as the rebuttals given by the pro-ID folks.

more than 3 years ago
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Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

Trintech Re:big loss (1251 comments)

3) To put it in probabilistic terms, consider the world as being a giant casino filled with slot machines, and every time a jackpot is hit in a slot machine, a new species evolves. ID is the claim that someone is interfering with the odds on the machines, evolution is the stance that enough jackpots will be hit without interference.

5) It is possible to develop a statistical method that determines to an arbitrary level of confidence, if species A could have evolved from species B given time duration T.

I think you have a few misconceptions about evolution. First, evolution involves tiny changes over a vast period of time, there is no 'jackpot'. If you were able to look at every single link in a evolutionary chain, you would find the task of classifying them into species to be nearly impossible. Second, the rate at which evolution occurs varies wildly depending upon the environmental conditions of the time, how fast the organism reproduces, how the organism reproduced (sexually or asexually), natural selection, etc; so, with just the fossil record, it would be nearly impossible to determine, with any sort of confidence, how long it would take for any organism to evolve. Evolution happening quickly != ID.

If you are interested in this sort of stuff, I would suggest you check out the field of population genetics. Their models and statistical methods deal a lot with what you are talking about in your post.

more than 3 years ago
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Sony Planning Serial Keys For PS3 Games?

Trintech Useless... (283 comments)

PS3 hackers have already decrypted game executables and modified them with custom values. Its not gonna be much harder for them to find these "internet key check" calls and jump over them. Given Sony' previous record though, they will probably do something stupid like implement this internet serial key checking function as a syscall which the hackers will just patch over to always return "the key is valid" leaving legitimate game owners the only ones who will have to deal with this crap.

more than 3 years ago
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British Aircraft Carrier For Sale On Auction Site

Trintech Re:WOOOOOSH! (224 comments)

What do you mean? If it were amazon you could 1-click it!

Because Amazon patented 1-click shopping they would have to license it from Amazon to offer a 1 click buying option just like Apple has to for iTunes.

more than 3 years ago
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What's the Oracle Trial Against SAP Really About?

Trintech Re:What is it with technology companies? (160 comments)

Do you think the Roman empire grew to its size by being nice?

No, I wouldn't say they were necessarily nice but one of the major reasons the Romans succeeded in creating such a vast empire was because they absorbed the culture of the people that they were conquering. This made the transition easier and made revolt far less likely because, in general, people don't care what ruler they are paying tribute (taxes) to; they only care if the amount goes up or it changes how they live their lives.

I think Oracle et al. could learn a lot from the Roman approach.

more than 3 years ago
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Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions

Trintech Re:Not just Microsoft (650 comments)

Washington State is one of the few states in the US without a personal income tax (the sales taxes here are very high to make up for the revenue deficiency).

Correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding of the problem was that there are a large number of fairly rich people who live in Washington along the south border and do most of their shopping in Oregon (which has no sales tax but a very high property tax). This has allowed them to 'dodge' a lot of the taxes that both these states rely on for revenue. One of the main reasons they were looking at an income tax was to alleviate this problem.

If this is the case, since this measure was shot down, what are the alternative proposals to make up for this loss in revenue?

more than 3 years ago
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2010 Election Results Are In

Trintech Re:Gridlock FTW (1530 comments)

As a pro-choice, pro-gay rights atheist, who was almost punched by his father (he missed) for saying "the government isn't inherently evil and neither is Obama", I have found that people do some stupid things when they are angry. The rhetoric behind this election has been unbelievable. How can we possibly expect any sort of sane, rational discourse on our problems when everyone is trying to make their opponent out to be Hitler (Godwin be damned). Gridlock for the next two years may help spending, we'll see, but I doubt it is going to calm the electorate at all and may help to polarize it further.

more than 3 years ago
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Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

Trintech Re:Open Notes & Well-Designed Exams (870 comments)

Training can make a doctor better at handling the familiar, but won't help when the doctor is faced with the unfamiliar. In some cases training can even be harmful -- if you have extensive training in recognizing a particular condition, you are biased towards it, and are likely to score more false positives for the diagnosis than you otherwise would. The typical scenario is the young idealistic doctor who takes a course in [moderately rare disease], and then sees that disease behind every bush for the next few months.

Yes, I'm sure many people here know the old adage 'If you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail ' but I think you are misapplying it here. The first thing any real doctor does when faced with the unknown is get a consult (aka. get another doctors opinion). If the unknown occurs during a procedure (eg. surgery, etc) the response is this: Could not operate due to complications. Any other response than this (atleast in the legal world) is called: Malpractice. I'm sorry but doctors don't invent new procedures on the fly, there is simply too much to account for. Even emergency room doctors adhere to this as well (I know this because my neighbor is one and I just asked him about this).

Getting back to the main point of this thread (of which we are woefully offtopic) the debate that seems to be taking place is between conceptual and operational knowledge (aka. why vs how). Ideally, professors want to test conceptual knowledge because this is what best indicates your understanding of a particular idea. Open note tests are a great way to do this because, for instance, lets say you're being tested on some chemistry principles; you may understand all the principles but forget how many atoms are in a Mol (or any number of other unit conversions). In a closed note test, you would get the answer wrong despite understanding the principles but on an open note test, all non-conceptual (aka. only memorized) material is freely available and you can quickly check it. Operational knowledge is exactly like it sounds, follow a procedure to get an your answer. Any slight change in the problem requires a different procedure to be memorized, etc.

more than 3 years ago
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Newspapers Cut Wikileaks Out of Shield Law

Trintech Re:Thin end of the wedge (602 comments)

While this is certainly true, that list is more a matter of meeting the broad definition of religion and being non-profit rather than having to meet a focused set of criteria. For instance, there are many secular institutions on that list of 'approved churches'. This is only possible because there isn't a focused criteria of things like: must worship a god(s), must hold a worship service, etc that one must meet. If, to be a journalist, one only had to meet the definition of journalism (ie. the act of reporting news) then these two cases would be the same.

more than 3 years ago
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Old People Enjoy Reading Negative Stories About Young

Trintech Re:Control Group? (122 comments)

As I pointed out in another post later on, the physorg writeup of this story was much more thorough.

From the physorg article:

This study came about because a previous study by the same researchers, using this same data, had produced unexpected results, Knobloch-Westerwick said. The original study had hypothesized that people prefer media messages that portray people like themselves - people of the same age and the same gender, in this case. Overall, the original study found that was indeed true. However, the researchers were puzzled by the fact that older people in that first study seemed as equally interested in stories about younger people as they were in stories about older people like themselves.

This is what makes the study interesting and why it can't be chalked up to 'I don't like people who disagree with me'. Its too bad the summery failed to mention this.

more than 3 years ago
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Old People Enjoy Reading Negative Stories About Young

Trintech Slashlag (122 comments)

Physorg.com covered this story two days ago. Here is a link to the original article from Ohio State University which sponsored the research.

more than 3 years ago
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Teacher Asks Students To Plan a Terrorist Attack

Trintech Re:I'm tired of this... (412 comments)

Think like the enemy is a good way to empathize. The enemy is made of people, just like us, and just like us they have their issues and problems that drive them to terrorism.

Thank you for bringing this up. Often, if you are able to actually empathize with the enemy, you realize that they are just a symptom of a bigger problem. As of late, our society has spent far too much time trying to treat symptoms (Root out and kill all terrorists) instead of tackling the real underlying problems (why they hate us in the first place).

about 4 years ago
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The Pirate Bay Forced Offline

Trintech Better Summary (3 comments)

Just in case kdawson posts this.

The Pirate Bay's website is currently suffering an outage due to a court injunction against its German infrastructure providers. The lawsuit was filed by a number of major Hollywood studios over the copyright infringement of several new blockbusters, notably Alice In Wonderland and The Bounty Hunter. Torrentfreak is reporting that site admins are already working on getting it up and moving again and hope to have it back up within a few hours.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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NAB, RIAA seek mandate FM radio in mobile devices

Trintech Trintech writes  |  about 4 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "

Music labels and radio broadcasters can't agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics. The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity," thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is "not in our national interest." "Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do." But the music and radio industries say it's a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide "more music choices."

"

Link to Original Source
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Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved in Oakland

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "

The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year. The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it. The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.

and yes, you read that right. MSNBC just compared computer chip fabrication to pot cultivation. The High Times has also written about this as well"
Link to Original Source

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Lab-on-a-Chip Can Carry out Complex Analyses Quick

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "Two years ago we read about a team of BYU engineers and chemists that created an inexpensive silicon microchip to reliably detects viruses, even at low concentrations. Now it seems a new Lab-On-A-Chip system, developed by Fraunhofer research scientists, can carry out complex analyses on the spot and will soon be ready for the market. The core element of this new chip is a disposable cartridge made of plastic which can be fitted with various types of sensors. To perform an assay, the doctor only has to place the relevant substances (reagents, etc) into the cartridge and the test then takes place automatically. It is the researcher's hope that, by using this chip, medical patients will be able to get their lab results in a matter of minutes instead of days."
Link to Original Source
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Apple switching to quanity over quality?

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "Apple has reportedly placed orders for 100 million 8Gb NAND flash chips. (Note: The chips hold 8 Gigabits which equals 1 GigaByte) This is an odd move for Apple because they generally use much higher density chips even in small storage products like the 4GB iPod shuffle which uses a single 32Gb NAND chip. There has been some speculation as to what Apple might do with all these low density chips and, as usual, Apple refuses to comment.

1GB iPod Femto anyone?"

Link to Original Source
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New iMac screens show 98% fewer colors

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "
According to the new suit, filed in a San Jose court Monday by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP, Apple is deceiving consumers by concealing that its new 20-inch iMac monitors are inferior to the previous generation's and those of the new 24-inch iMac. Specifically, the firm takes issue with a marketing claim from the Mac maker that both the 20-inch and 24-inch iMac are capable of displaying "millions of colors at all resolutions." While this claim holds true for the current 24-inch model and previous generation 20-inch model — both of which display 16,777,216 colors on 8-bit, in-plane switching (IPS) screens — the new 20-inch iMac display is said to be capable of 98 percent fewer colors (262,144).
"

Link to Original Source
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Apple, Starbucks sued over custom music gift cards

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "A Utah couple acting as their own attorneys have filed a lawsuit against Apple and Starbucks over the retailers' recent "Song of the Day" promotion, which offers Starbucks customers a iTunes gift card for a complimentary, pre-selected song download.

In a seven-page formal complaint, James and Marguerite Driessen of Lindon, Utah say they developed in 2000 (and successfully patented in February 2006) a utility dubbed RPOS, or retail point of sale, for Internet merchandising. The concept, which forms the heart of the infringement lawsuit, would allow gift cards for pre-defined items that can be sold at a brick-and-mortar store but used online; customers could redeem a card for a dining room set or a DVD, for example."

Link to Original Source
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China pressuring US for cheap green-technologies

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Trintech writes "At a U.N. conference on climate change, China is asking developed nations like the US to offer cutting-edge renewable technology to poor developing countries at a reduced price. American companies though are not receptive to selling their technologies at a reduced price and also worry that countries like China will not respect the intellectual-property rights of their technologies. China argues that this is for the public good and will help combat climate change."
Link to Original Source
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BBFC says violence not caused by video games

Trintech Trintech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Trintech (1137007) writes "In the ongoing case against Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 in the UK, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has admitted that there's nothing to suggest that video games should be linked to anti-social and violent behavior.

"The board's position is that there is insufficient evidence to prove, as a fact, there is a causal connection between violent games and behavioural harm," says Andrew Calderott, Director of the BBFC."

Link to Original Source

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