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Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

Zocalo Re:duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (187 comments)

I didn't say that resources were not the issue (obviously they are), I said that's not the job of the UN panel. Their original purview was to bring an end to the Cod Wars by defining the boundaries of exclusive economic zones (one form of territorial waters, typically set at 200 nautical miles) based on geography in terms of land mass only, not what resources might lie in or under the ocean. Interestingly, looking at the available maps, other than fish, there don't appear to be many known resources in area of the Danish claim - although that's most probably due to lack of surveys.

Shipping is definitely going to be an issue though, although possibly not for the most obvious of reasons; while a nation cannot prevent international shipping traversing its EEZ, it can set legal boundaries on that shipping within certain UN constraints. With this new claim and a little collaboration between Canada, Denmark and Norway it could theoretically be possible for them to legally prevent some classes of Russian warships entering the North Atlantic from the Arctic Ocean. Regardless of the fun and games trying to enforce that would no doubt entail and even with Putin's current posturing like the cold war never ended, I'd expect some serious opposition from them on this, despite them clearly having little or no claim to the same waters.

4 days ago
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Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

Zocalo Re:duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (187 comments)

Yes, it does. If you were to simply divide up the Arctic Ocean as you describe then you'd have no international waters for shipping routes should the Arctic ever become a viable route between the Atlantic and the Pacific. If one nation's waters extended all the way to the polar cap then they would have a huge amount of control over shipping passing through it that wouldn't otherwise exist if at least part of that open water was free for anyone to access. While the resources will no doubt factor into the discussions, the primary purpose of the UN review mentioned is more about ensuring minimal disruption to potential maritime trade.

4 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

Zocalo Re:I find this amusing... (250 comments)

Oh, please, please, PLEASE let them mean that.

If every media outlet there proceeds to print as much as they can about this story then Sony will apparently have NO CHOICE but to hold them responsible and take every single one of them to court. Given David Boies' likely fees that alone will probably end them, let alone any damages that such losing suits will bring, and with the reputation as being the lawyer that drove two companies into Chapter 7 bankruptcy though bad advice it will probably end David Boies too. What's not to like with that scenario?

5 days ago
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Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

Zocalo Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (138 comments)

After a few previous high-profile incidents of this kind of error most online retailers have a clause in their Ts&Cs excusing them from obvious mistakes, errors and omissions, and Amazon is no exception. If they'd had a big banner saying "Special Offer!" or some such, or the price difference was less obvious then it was then the might have had to honour the sales, or done so out of good faith if the damage wasn't too high, but in this case they're pretty much home and dry.

5 days ago
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3D Printer?

Zocalo Re:Meh. (173 comments)

Similar view here, although I doubt the quality I'd want will hit a price point I can justify any time soon, and I have limited access to one via a friend anyway. While a 3D printer would be fun to play with, and if I had one I'd use it for stuff just because it was there, right now I don't spend anything near enough on things that I could conceivably make to justify the outlay. With a CNC lathe on the otherhand I could manufacture pretty much anything I'd be likely to use the 3D printer for, out of far tougher materials if required, plus it opens up all sorts of other creative options when using a block of aluminium, wood, or even suitable rocks like alabaster and soapstone. The more intricate 3D sculpture type stuff might not be possible with a CNC lathe, but it seems to me like they have a far broader range of practical applications whereas 3D printers probably have the edge for more creative artistic projects and rapid prototyping.

5 days ago
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Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

Zocalo Re:Imagine that! (191 comments)

Google needs to play this card more often.

No, they need to play it judiciously lest they get accused of abusing their dominant position in the industry to get their own way. In cases like this, I'd say it's justified, but if it looks like this kind of thing is going to become a regular occurance then they'd better make it clear up front that this is their policy and the expected outcome of any such future legislation. Annoying governments by acting like the proverbial 800lb gorilla is a good way to get sanctions that end up costing you a lot more in the long run, albeit probably many, many, years after the original point became a non-issue.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

Zocalo Software doesn't really matter (259 comments)

Unless you have some really workflow/hardware your source images are going to be in either JPEG, your camera's proprietary raw format, or both. JPEG supports a standard method of tagging via EXIF directly in the image that includes a "Rating" tag that any tool is going to use. If you are tagging raw files then make sure that you write out the tagging information into .XMP "Sidecar" files. This is an Adobe defined "standard" based around XML files, but it's extremely portable and just about any image editor/tagger that supports .XMP files will follow the core Adobe standard tags, including the ones for rating images, and since it's XML you'll always have access to the tag data if the worst should happen and to roll your own tools if need be. As long as you choose software that supports one or both of those formats, then you'll be fine and about as futureproof as it's possible to be.

about a week ago
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Hollywood's Secret War With Google

Zocalo And it all went quiet... (176 comments)

I'm sure there was a lot of laughter over the hack in the offices of Sony Pictures' competitors over the last few days. Now that industry-wide strategy stuff from the leak like this is starting to get attention I wonder if they are still quite so amused...

about a week ago
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Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself

Zocalo Re:Assange is funny! (171 comments)

I think you are overestimating his worth. Clearly even the man himself only thinks he's worth his weight in bronze. :)

about a week ago
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Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

Zocalo Re:Sounds unlikely to me (135 comments)

The key word in the theory is "reseeded" - note the "re". Earth formed, lost any water it might have acquired in the formation of the moon, then got it back from comets and asteroids.

about two weeks ago
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An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration

Zocalo Re:gotta be Bennett (162 comments)

You made it that far?

I just saw "Bennett Haselton writes", mentally inserted "tldr:" in front of it and came for the LULZ in the comments without even registering what he was drivelling on about.

about two weeks ago
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AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

Zocalo Re:Terrible idea ... (285 comments)

I have no issues with the sites I choose to visit knowing what I do there - they could get all that from their logs after all - but I also object to feeding the mill of Google, Quantserve et al so I can become their product on my bandwidth, whatever negligable amount it might be. My tool of choice for this is actually my DNS server, with ABP and NoScript only the second line of defence for all the small fry and locally hosted ad/tracking scripts. Good luck getting tracking information when any host on your domain is configured to resolve to 0.0.0.0 via my local DNS' authoratative version of the zone (you don't actually need all that many to make a huge difference), let alone serving up ads, scripts or any other crap. It's not a foolproof opt out of all tracking, but it sure as hell makes them work for a very incomplete picture of my online habits.

about two weeks ago
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Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

Zocalo Re:I don't understand this ... (184 comments)

At 1/3 the speed of light you'd get noticeable blue/red shift along the axis of travel, which would probably be visibly apparent in the spectra of stars. You wouldn't get blurred stars unless they were passing by really, *really* close, but the pattern of stars would constantly change with the differences apparant over the course of a human lifespan. For instance, if we were moving at that speed and Proxima Centauri were roughly in the direction of travel, then it would go from ahead of us to a similar distance behind in the space of a couple of decades, and with an obvious before/after colour shift.

Any religion and early attempts at astronomy would probably be... interesting. :)

about three weeks ago
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Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

Zocalo Re:I don't understand this ... (184 comments)

It's not just the radiation levels in a galactic core or the overall velocity of the star system that bothers me, we're also quite a way into the territory or relativistic speeds here so there could also be some very odd effects at different points in a planet's orbit depending on the inclination of the orbital plane to the overall direction of motion. It seems like an awfully big strech to expect even the most primitive forms of life to be able to start under those conditions, let alone survive the trip. That badly needs a justification that the paper fails to provide, unless you count a throwaway line and a couple of references, neither of which look like the would explain how life might exist under those conditions.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Zocalo Re:Federal law has an effect, too (413 comments)

Not according to a comment by Justin Levitt, a law professor at Loyola University, in one of the linked articles and acknowledged by Mattingly - he did say that incorporating it might be an option for further research though. This was apparently a "proof of concept" with deliberately simple rules, but given the interest and positive feedback it seems to be generating I'd like to see what happens if this could be adapated to include a more complete set of rules, not to mention be adapted for other countries where this is a problem.

about three weeks ago
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Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies

Zocalo Re:How will I explain this to my children (131 comments)

Do you really have to ask? "Do as I say, not as I do"; the mantra of far too many governments (and parents) for quite some time now.

about a month ago
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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

Zocalo Re:Wow ... (299 comments)

I tend to agree about the media. This doesn't really pass the sniff test for me, it sounds more like the Uber exec in question (Emil Michael who apologised almost immediately for his comments) simply shot his mouth off in front of a Buzzfeed journalist out of frustration at the way Uber is being treated by some members of the media and this in no way represents the official company line. Foolish, sure, but when did the media ever care about a little verbal faux pas when you can take it out of context and spin it into a clickbait story about a hot topic to grab some quick ad revenue?

about a month ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

Zocalo Re:Do they have choise but.... (473 comments)

Technically correct, but that doesn't help those people who expected single player to be a fully off-line mode that would let them play the game when an Internet connection was not available. Some people spend a lot of time travelling and like to have something a little more entertaining the Solitaire or Minesweeper to keep them occupied while they have some downtime, even if they are slightly hamstrung by lack of space and limited control options, so when a game promises a fully offline single player mode that's a big draw - especially given how many SP games require connectivity for their copyright protection schemes these days.

That E:D not only reneged on that initial design goal but left it until the last minute to announce the fact when they must have known about it for months comes across as a deliberate bait and switch to keep the money coming in as long as possible to me, especially when considered with the "Give us MOAR money!" rider on many of their newsletters. Sure, there are no guarantees in crowdfunding and the golden rule is "don't give money you can't afford to lose", but annoying a large chunk of your customers right before a major product launch isn't exactly the best of business strategies either. IMO, Frontier badly needs to offer an olive branch here, including at least partial refunds to those that really want one.

about a month ago
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I'm most interested in robots that will...

Zocalo Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (307 comments)

In terms of mental stimulation perhaps, but plenty of people manage to make a living out of doing mundane chores for others or managing those that do the work. True, a lot of people doing this kind of work are in borderline slave labour or actual slave labour, but that is not necessarily the case. There was an article on Slashdot a while ago about how cleaners could make a pretty good living in some of the Scandinavian countries (well, where else?), and there's nothing to stop you popping on a pair of head phones and listening to educational podcasts and the like to benefit yourself at the same time, or just to think something through.

about a month ago
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LHC Data Generation Expected To Scale Up To 400PB a Year

Zocalo Re:Compared to Facebook (99 comments)

The porn industry would be a good bet, but on a more serious note the SKA will easily exceed that, once it becomes operational. Lots of radio telescopes, listening on lots of frequencies, and able to run 24/7... I found a few articles on likely data sizes and some of the figures are insanely large - the test size, a mere 1% of the size that final project project will reach, spits out raw data at 60Tbit/s and even after compression that's 1GByte/s. Figures for the completed array are in the range of 1EByte of compressed data (1EByte/day uncompressed) every two weeks or so, or about 70PBytes/day, so even allowing for further data aggregation they are going to be *well* beyond Facebook and the LHC in terms of daily data production.

What's missing from the stuff I looked at was any indication of long term storage capacities for retained data. I get the impression that 70PBytes is then processed and a smaller data set is actually retained, but couldn't find any hard figures on how much volume that the processed data might have, which is the value I think should be used for comparison purposes with Facebook. Maybe someone familiar with the project is reading and can fill in the blanks?

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Star Citizen takes the crowdfunding crown, reboots the Space Sim genre?

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Star Citizen, Chris Robert's attempt to reboot the Space Sim genre, hit a major funding milestone earlier today, exceeding the previous record of $4,163,208 secured by the game Project Eternity and more than doubling the initial funding target set by the producer of the Wing Commander series. With Stretch Goals now being passed every few hours bringing new features to the planned game, and David Brabham annoucing a new installment of the classic Elite using a similar funding model at Kickstarter could this be a wake up call for the big game publishers to take another look at the genre?

There's still two days left of Star Citizen funding as well, so if you feel like being a part you can chip in either at the main RSI site or on Kickstarter."

Link to Original Source
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A glimpse at piracy in the UK and beyond

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "The BBC has a fascinating look into the music download habits of the UK population based on stats compiled by Musicmetric. The stats, gathered through the monitoring of BitTorrent swarms and geo-locating the IPs, shows the hotspots for music copyright infringement across the UK and regional preferences for certain types of music. Some of the outliers are somewhat unusual though, suggesting some problems with the methodology or sample size, unless people on the Isle of Wight really do prefer trumpet-playing crooner Louis Armstrong to the likes of Rihanna and Ed Sheeran who top the lists nationwide.

Not in the UK? There are some global stats on the "Most pirated near you?" tab of the story. Better yet, if you want to crunch the numbers for yourself all of the data has been made available at the Musicmatch website under a Creative Commons license and a RESTful API to access the data (free for non-commercial use!) is also available."

Link to Original Source
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CNet / download.com trojaning OSS tools

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  about 3 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "In a post to the Nmap Hackers list Nmap author, Fyodor, accuses C|Net / download.com of wrapping a trojan installer (as detected by various AV applications when submitted to VirusTotal) around software including Nmap and VLC Media Player. The C|Net installer bundles a toolbar, changes browser settings and, potentially, performs other shenanigans — all under the logo of the application the user thought they might have been downloading. Apparently, this isn't the first time they have done this, either.

Fyodor's on the lookout for a good copyright lawyer, if anyone has one to spare."

Link to Original Source
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Free IPv4 pool now down to seven /8s

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  about 4 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "For those of you keeping score, ICANN just allocated another four /8 IPv4 blocks; 23/8 and 100/8 to ARIN, 5/8 and 37/8 to RIPE, leaving just seven /8s unassigned. In effect however, this means that there are now just two /8s available before the entire pool will be assigned due to an arrangement whereby the five Regional Internet Registries would each automatically receive one of the final five /8s once that threshold was met. The IPv4 Address Report counter at Potaroo.net is pending an update and still saying 96 days, but it's now starting to look doubtful that we're going to even make it to January."
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Following protons on a trip to (& through) the

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Ars Technica visits CERN and takes an in-depth look at the LHC, providing details on the extensive array of supporting technologies and science that don't get the same level of media attention as the main ring. The article details the various stages and sub-accelerators that protons go through in their roughly 6 million kilometer journey from CERN's proton sources, through to their entry into the LHC's main 26km ring and then onwards to an eventual high energy collision at one of the four detectors. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of any of Dan Brown's outlandish super-jets and paragliding facilities, but there are plenty of fascinating bits of information about the accelerator and the high degrees of precision involved in its construction and operation."
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KDE Software Collection v4.5 officially released

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Version 4.5.0 of the KDE Development Platform, the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, and many applications are released today. The KDE team focused on the usability, performance and stability of many previously introduced new features and technologies — click on the relevant links for the full announcements. Ars Technica has already posted a quick look at the new release of the Plasma Desktop here."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft to pay providers to delist from Google?

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  about 5 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Slashdot recently discussed Mark Cuban's plan to kill Google which was later revealled to be just a thought experiment, but has Microsoft been taking the idea seriously? According to Matthew Garrahan and Richard Waters of the Financial Times, discussions to achieve just that may already be in the early stages with News Corp., and probably with other providers too. Could getting search engine providers to pay for the "privilege" of indexing their sites be a means for old media companies to survive in the Internet era or does Matt Brittin's (Google's UK director) statement that "economically it's not a big part of how we generate revenue" indicate that Microsoft (and News Corp.) are grasping at straws?"
Link to Original Source

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