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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Wescotte Re:I'm shocked! (278 comments)

Nope.. 20% are just all telemarketers.

about a month and a half ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

Wescotte Re:Computer Chess (285 comments)

Are you aware of any games with fixed set of rules/movements that can't use an IBM like strategy (looking up known games combined with brute force) to beat a human? What about games that have rules that can evolve while you play? I assume adding a random element, like having to roll dice, can lead to no win situations for some pretty simply games though.

about a month and a half ago

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Earns One Million Dollars In Less Than a Day

Wescotte Re: Two Problems (164 comments)

They should probably bump it up to a $20,000 donation then.

about 3 months ago

Netflix Plans To Raise Prices By "$1 or $2 a Month"

Wescotte I prefer honesty than their old methods... (202 comments)

Several years back Netflix scammed me into paying more for their service. The rising costs of fuel just made sense they had to do it but I was upset with the tactic they used and wish they were just honest about it. Their service was still way cheaper than renting locally and they had started to add more value with the streaming content. I'm sure somebody crunched the numbers and made a decision that deception was probably result in retaining more costumers but it still doesn't sit well with me.

About five years ago now they started putting up ads to upgrade your plan for a really low rate. If I remember correctly it was under $1 to upgrade my 4-disc plan to 5-disc. It turns out the rate change listed was the cost for the only remainder of the billing period and the actual cost of the upgrade was closer to $10. However, this information wasn't given to you until AFTER you finalized the upgrade. I didn't want to pay that much for just one disc so I downgraded back to my 4-disc plan but the current 4-disc rate was more expensive (around $5 more) than what I was paying currently paying. I contacted them about this and was told I could not get my old rate back.

I didn't press the issue and maybe I could have gotten them to cave if I threatened to cancel since I had been a subscriber for nearly 10 years at this point. However, I was also guilty of kinda scamming them too... Their mail service was significantly slower when it first started and it wasn't uncommon to send a disc back and have to wait more than four days to have it marked received in order for your next queue item to ship taking another 3+ days to finally get the disc. I learned you could just click the "sent back already" button (any time after they marked a disc as shipped) which would cause the next movie in the queue to ship. At first I would do it just when it was taking unusually long but I admit a few times I didn't want to wait and clicked it the same day they shipped discs allowing me to have 8 discs out on my 4 disc plan. It took them a year to prevent you from taking advantage of this little trick. In the end I called it even and downgraded to a 2-disc plan and am still a Netflix customer and their service is still valuable to me. I can justify paying a little more for and increased streaming library and original content.

about 4 months ago

GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

Wescotte Re:perception (320 comments)

Interesting point of view. Why can't/doesn't a government can't care? Also US homeless are still selling you something. Perhaps in the US a sob story is more appealing/profitable than other products?

about 4 months ago

P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

Wescotte Re:NP vs. P doesn't exist in the real Universe (199 comments)

There's nothing saying some sort of natural process can't do something NP-hard fast, as long as it doesn't do it in some way we'd call computation.

This reminds me of a video where they use soapy water to solve Motorway/Steiner problem. Anybody else know of any other problems that can be solved using physics rather than computation?

about 5 months ago

Mathematician Gives Tips On How To Win $1 Billion On NCAA Basketball

Wescotte Re:Model Worship (76 comments)

I would argue that professional baseball is ripe for statistical analysis because they play tons of games per season and players have very long careers. College basketball play very few game per year and the players are out after four years no matter what. You probably just don't have enough data to find anything meaningful before the team is comprised of completely new players rendering your data useless.

about 5 months ago

Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

Wescotte Re: multi-options (458 comments)

4. the coin explodes in the air

about 7 months ago

HIV Tracking Technology Could Pinpoint Who's Infecting Who

Wescotte Re:Grammar (203 comments)

Uh, wouldn't you want to solve the easier problem first? World health is going to be a hell of a lot easier to work at then teaching the world grammar.

about 9 months ago

Does Software Need a Siskel and Ebert?

Wescotte Re:We need reliable reviews (169 comments)

Isn't a bean counter pretty much exactly the type of person you want doing your taxes?

about 10 months ago

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Review

Wescotte Re:Nothing about colour accuracy? (222 comments)

I think there were some legitimate gripes about FCPX at launch. Things like no XML support, no support for tape media, and no backwards compatibility with older projects. Third parties had to release applications solve most of these problems and they weren't available for quite some time.

However, I agree that people bitching about how FCPX is just iMovie on steriods because of the new UI probably are just overly resistant to change. From the little I've seen it has some very nice features and should make big mistakes harder to do as well as managing media significantly easier.

about 10 months ago

MIT Develops "Kinect of the Future"

Wescotte Re:military applications (76 comments)

Maybe flailing your limbs around is asking too much. However, if we're lucky just the acting of breathing itself will produce enough of a change to detect a person?

about 10 months ago

Disney Algorithm Builds High-Res 3D Models From Ordinary Photos

Wescotte Re:Primitive, useless tech (80 comments)

Just say enhance a few more times....

about a year ago

What Wi-Fi Would Look Like If We Could See It

Wescotte Re:Huh? (120 comments)

Would be pretty cool to have a CCD/CMOS sensor that captured the entire spectrum and you could just add filters to the lens (or in post) select the range you wanted to view. I'd imagine you could produce some pretty interesting images.

about a year ago

Google Patents Image-Capturing Walking Sticks

Wescotte Re:anyone find that creepy? (117 comments)

Google pays people to go hiking in remote areas of the globe? sign me up!

about a year ago

Canon DSLR Hack Allows It To Shoot RAW Video

Wescotte Re:im confused here (171 comments)

The onboard microphones on DSLRs pretty god awful. You probably shouldn't use them anyway and would be wise to invest in separate audio recorder/mixer. Even if the microphone was decent you still lack decent gain control, it's usually stored in a lossy codec, and most of the other components are lower quality and introduce lots of additional noise to your recording. It's just not capable of recording good audio.

about a year ago



Independent feature film released for free - "The Amateur Monster Movie"

Wescotte Wescotte writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Wescotte writes "The Amateur Monster Movie is the first feature length film by King's Tower Productions and writer/director Kyle Richards, all filmed within an hour of Milwaukee, WI over the course of 57 days during the summers of 2009 and 2010. It was shot as a "no-budget" film and the entire cast and crew worked for free on owned or borrowed equipment. Only food, fuel, and minor prop expenses were incurred throughout the entire production. The film premiered at Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre on midnight of January 1, 2011 to a record crowd of over 700. After a few film festival appearances, highlighted by the Wisconsin Film Festival and, a cast and crew favorite, the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival, Richards decided to release the film for free online, a move intended to encourage more movies and media to do the same and allow free media access to everyone online.

The film can be streamed from Vimeo and Youtube or download via torrent at Pirate Bay, KAT, and magnet link.

PLOT SUMMARY: After a group of boy scouts are mysteriously killed by a wolf-like creature on Cadaverous Island, Walter Romero, whose best friend was among the killed, sets out to find exactly what happened. In order to reach the island, Walter teams up with Johnny Mason, neighborhood stoner, to smoke up Ashley Valinski, neighborhood hottie, and get her to take them out on her father's boat. But soon after arriving on Cadaverous Island, a horde of zombies steals their boat, leaving them stranded, and the three are forced to team up with two cops, the mayor, and a team of botanists to either kill the monsters... or be killed themselves....

More information and production stills can be found at the Facebook Page, IMDB, and the official web site

Hope you enjoy the film!"

Link to Original Source

"The Amateur Monster Movie"

Wescotte Wescotte writes  |  about 4 years ago

Wescotte (732385) writes "As a Slashdot reader for years I wanted to share with you guys the trailer for a film I've been working on for the past year. I know it isn't your typical Slashdot news article but it's my turn to shamelessly promote something damnit! Anyway, I feel like I'm doing you a favor because there is no article to read.

It's a zero budget comedy called "The Amateur Monster Movie" and was filmed in/around Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What do you guys think?

Brief Synopsis:
"After a group of boy scouts are mysteriously killed by a wolf-like creature on Cadaverous Island, Walter Romero, whose best friend was among the killed, sets out to find exactly what happened. In order to reach the island, Walter teams up with Johnny Mason, neighborhood stoner, to smoke up Ashley Valinski, neighborhood hottie, and get her to take them out on her father's boat. But soon after arriving on Cadaverous Island, a horde of zombies steals their boat, leaving them stranded, and the three are forced to team up with two cops, the mayor, and a team of botanists to either kill the monsters... or be killed themselves..... DUN-DUN-DUN!!!""

Link to Original Source

Scaling algorithm bug in Photoshop/GIMP

Wescotte Wescotte writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Wescotte (732385) writes "There is an important error in most photography scaling algorithms. All software tested have the problem: The Gimp, Adobe Photoshop, CinePaint, Nip2, ImageMagick, GQview, Eye of Gnome, Paint and Krita. Also three different operating systems were used: Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. These exceptions have subsequently been reported: the Netpbm toolkit for graphic manipulations, the developping GEGL toolkit, 32 bit encoded images in Photoshop CS3, the latest version of Image Analyzer, the image exporters in Aperture 1.5.6, the latest version of Rendera, Adobe Lightroom 1.4.1, Pixelmator for Mac OS X, Paint Shop Pro X2 and the Preview app in Mac OS X starting from version 10.6.

Photographs that have been scaled with these software have been degradated. The degradation is often faint but probably most pictures contain at least an array where the degradation is clearly visible. I suppose this happens since the first versions of these software, maybe 20 years ago."

Link to Original Source

Action against Netflix's on demand service w/ DRM

Wescotte Wescotte writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Wescotte (732385) writes "Defective by Design has created a simple printable message to be included in every film you send back to Netflix. The card essentially says you can't (or refuse to) use their video on demand service because of the required DRM. The goal being to get the attention of Netflix and have them remove DRM from their services."
Link to Original Source


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