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Town Gets Patent On Being the Center of Europe

asaz989 Great job Slashdot (169 comments)

So apparently the whole of this story is that the village of Frauenkirchen has a trademark for its latest tourism campaign - "Mittelpunkt Europas" ("Centerpoint of Europe", more or less, or more idiomatically just "The Middle/Heart of Europe"). This is a trademark, laying a legal claim to the use of that particular phrase as a brand, not to the idea of being "in the middle of Europe" or anything remotely related to patents. Nice stretch, but no story.

more than 3 years ago
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Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated)

asaz989 New York Times has odd sources (410 comments)

According to this Bloomberg story, the New York Times is only accurate in that Google and Verizon negotiated net neutrality on everything but mobile networks, and hence Verizon will be allowed to do traffic discrimination on those lines.

But I find it a little odd to write up that story as "Google and Verizon negotiating an end to net neutrality" rather than as "Google and Verizon negotiating to preserve net neutrality on most internet connections."

more than 3 years ago
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Afghan Tech Minerals — Cure, Curse, Or Hype?

asaz989 Re:not that much money (184 comments)

20B dollars per year spread over 28 million people just about doubles Afghan income (from $800 per year figure above). When you're talking about that kind of subsistence level of income, that doubling of income means a much larger multiplication of disposable income for investment, which is what Afghanistan really needs - roads, education, police stations, and all the other things that there just isn't enough cash for. The mineral wealth will not do any good if it's just treated as additional wealth to be used on consumption; it will transform the country if used as much-needed capital for economic growth.

more than 3 years ago
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Afghan Tech Minerals — Cure, Curse, Or Hype?

asaz989 Re:Oh so ridiculous (184 comments)

Nobody is going to invest the needed billions of dollars in a country with no real government, no laws, no protection for private property, and every expectation of being taken over by the Taliban as soon as the US army leaves.

The Chinese would. In fact, they already are.

more than 3 years ago
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 Appears As UFO In Australia

asaz989 Re:Sen. Richard Shelby's Comment (143 comments)

Actually, it is special. It's cheap. Which was the whole point, from the beginning.
SpaceX isn't aiming to do anything new, they're aiming to do the same thing for less than half the price (per kilogram, Falcon 9 Heavy compared to the Ariane 5).

more than 3 years ago
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Are Googlers Too Smart For Their Own Good?

asaz989 Let me get this straight... (307 comments)

You're complaining that the API for Google Storage for Developers isn't user-friendly?
This is for developers writing web apps requiring guarantees of security, synchronization, reliability, etc. It's not supposed to be a more "legit" version of Dropbox.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Wi-Fi Data While Mapping

asaz989 Re:Hey, (215 comments)

In reply to 2: The article actually says "These snippets [802.11 frames] could include parts of an email, text or photograph or even the website someone may be viewing." They're explaining what a frame is for people who don't know, not saying that Google was assembling and tracking e-mail traffic.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple's Haves and Have Nots, Around the World

asaz989 Re:Its because doing business in Europe costs more (247 comments)

Except that Israel is also on the no-direct-apple-sales list - not really the same situation economically as Europe. In fact, until about 2 years ago, they weren't even willing to put in the minimal effort to make iPods capable of displaying Hebrews (or Arabic, or Urdu, etc.) song titles. The fact is, they've decided that they're not even willing to put in the minimal amount of effort necessary to break into any new national market. Go figure.

more than 3 years ago
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Ubuntu LTS Experiences X.org Memory Leak

asaz989 Re:Oh Noes!!!! (320 comments)

The problem with using only older, proven packages for an LTS is that then, by the end of the expected service life of the release (which is, by definition, long) the software will be even more ancient than it already was at release time. So there's a trade-off between "it's LTS and hence has to be stable" and "it's LTS and hence needs packages that will still be reasonably current in three years."

more than 3 years ago
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Good, Portable "Virtual" Linux Distro?

asaz989 Re:Virtual Box (261 comments)

When did you last use Linux, 2000?

about 4 years ago
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Electrowetting Promises Power-Sipping, Daylight Readable Color Displays

asaz989 Re:flicker-free? (63 comments)

Yes, exactly; when people say that these devices, and e-ink displays, are "easy on the eyes", flicker-free is what they're talking about. That's because these devices work by moving (by electrical means) little bits of matter in changed pixels for every refresh cycle - black or white beads for e-ink, little bits of colored oil for these displays. So when the picture stays the same, there's no off-and-on cycling, but instead the colored material just stays put. These devices sound perfect for your problem - flicker-free like e-ink, but with a fast enough refresh rate for use as a computer monitor.

about 4 years ago
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Obama Unveils New Nuclear Doctrine

asaz989 Re:Good publicity move (526 comments)

My guess would be increased accuracy (all kinds of fancy digital guidance systems). For example: if you're trying to destroy a power plant, and (for the sake of argument) let's say you need to get within half a kilometer to really paste it, and let's also assume that 70% of ICBMs will land within that distance of their target; if you're aiming for several hundred targets and want really high destruction rates, you're going to need to use more than one device per target. Upping that hit probability to 90% changes the numbers by a lot.

about 4 years ago
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Obama Unveils New Nuclear Doctrine

asaz989 Re:Good and Bad (526 comments)

You can't be in non-compliance with the NPT if you've never signed it. India, Pakistan, and Israel never signed it; North Korea signed it and then pulled out. The policy seems to be that the US is treating North Korea - and potentially Iran - as out of compliance with the treaty (departure from the NPT is of debatable legality), while treating India, Pakistan, and Israel as not bound by its terms.

about 4 years ago
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Japan To Standardize Electric Vehicle Chargers

asaz989 Re:Quick (240 comments)

It's JAPAN, for crying out loud; they *have* no oil industry. Not on the American scale, at least. Instead, they have the giant nuclear-generated electricity industry. The political calculus is a bit different.

more than 4 years ago
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Japanese Researchers Develop World's Fastest Book Scanner

asaz989 Re:Did someone say lasers? (138 comments)

They only solve the easy problems. Automatic page turning they leave to some mechanical engineer (poor sods).

more than 4 years ago
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In Israel, Potential Organ Donors Could Jump the Queue

asaz989 Re:Hey guise (582 comments)

Are you kidding? Us Jews have a nice little story about how proud G-d was when we finally out-argued him on the fine points of His law. (look up the Oven of Akhnai if you're interested in the pretty hilarious details).

more than 4 years ago
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In Israel, Potential Organ Donors Could Jump the Queue

asaz989 Re:pig heart donors however (582 comments)

It's not okay to give one because of all sorts of prohibitions on mutilating your own body - no tattoos, no piercings aside from ear and nose (just cartilage), etc. The saving a life thing applies to *anyone's* life; the more shut-in Israeli orthodox types tend to disregard that commandment in favor of being batshit nuts.

more than 4 years ago
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European Parliament Declaring War Against ACTA

asaz989 Re:Nitpick (307 comments)

Actually, ever since the Lisbon Treaty came into effect on January 1 of this year, the Parliament has to agree in order for ACTA to come into force. The way it looks now, it would fail by a very large margin, and ACTA would be null and void in the world's largest economy.

more than 4 years ago
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Schooling Microsoft On Random Browser Selection

asaz989 Re:Seems like the right solution to me (436 comments)

What ever happened to a programmer's pride in the craft? Or (on a more self-interested level) checking what your interns do to make sure they don't learn bad coding practices?

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Microsoft helps Russia pursue opposition

asaz989 asaz989 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

asaz989 (901134) writes "The New York Times reports that Russia selectively pursues software piracy complaints from Microsoft in order to suppress the opposition — confiscating computers for evidence, searching offices, and the like. Microsoft lawyers usually back the authorities in such cases, even when cases such as that of the environmentalist group Baikal Waves, which went out of its way to buy licenses to prevent police harassment and nevertheless had its offices raided, and its computers confiscated. Microsoft participated in this legal process. Published alongside this story, under the same byline, is a related piece on the collusion of Microsoft lawyers with corrupt Russian police in extorting money from the targets of software piracy investigations. In a responding press release, the company states, 'Microsoft antipiracy efforts are designed to honor both [antipiracy concerns and human rights], but we are open to feedback on what we can do to improve in that regard.'"
Link to Original Source
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Google recognizes Palestine (sort of)

asaz989 asaz989 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Asa Zernik writes "Forget a seat in the UN, or state visits from Presidents — the newest sign of international recognition as a nation (whenever in dispute) is your very own localized Google site. In the latest news, the Palestinian Territories now have Google page. Compare to the observer seats in the UN and the Arab League; which one is going to make the most daily difference?

On a side note, Kosovo, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are missing their own localized Google sites, though this is probably due to their lack of TLDs. Taiwan has one, on its .tw. But a country-code TLD isn't enough to get Google to make you a site — there's no google.su."

Link to Original Source

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