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Reviews of Kindle Fire Are a Mixed Bag

blamanj Re:We are getting one (381 comments)

IPad (and others) allow you to switch to white text on a black background. For book reading indoors, I find that more comfortable.

more than 2 years ago

Google Unveils Flight Search

blamanj Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (69 comments)

From the Google blog:

You may notice that at the moment we include a limited number of U.S. cities and show results for round-trip economy-class flights only.

about 3 years ago

Will Microsoft Release Its Own Windows 8 Tablet?

blamanj Re:Why not? (207 comments)

Yes, MS can get Samsung or some other vendor to put some hardware together for them, and throw a copy of the Windows 7 phone OS on it, but that's not really a product. You're going to need the set of applications (Kindle, etc.) that make a tablet interesting and some form of integration as well. Some of them may exist for the phone already, but unless they're optimized for the table screen, the user experience will really suck.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Logging Locations of All iPhone Users

blamanj Find Your iPhone (591 comments)

Apple has a service that allows you to find a lost or stolen iPhone. Presumably, the phone logs its position so it can upload it when asked. Nothing scary here, though the fact this data is available means people will try and extract it. My guess is that the next iOS release will wipe this data every seven days or so.

more than 3 years ago

Carbon-14 Dating Reveals 5% of Vintage Wines May Be Frauds

blamanj Not much data (336 comments)

That story doesn't leave much to go on, it's pretty low information content. However, it should be noted that a vintage wine can contain up to 15% of its grapes from another year. That would obviously skew any carbon dating results.

more than 4 years ago

Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

blamanj Re:huh? (137 comments)

That's not an unreasonable point of view, however, there's a "truth in advertising" issue going on. If Amazon said, "We'll sell you this book as a physical object for $X or rent it to you for $Y" there would be little argument about the issue. However, that's not what they're doing. They are claiming to sell you the ebook. But if you buy an ereader that's better than theirs, you can't take the book with you. If they decide you don't deserve the book (the 1984 fiasco), they can take it away without due process.

So if Amazon wants to get into the book renting business, more power to them. But that's not what they're claiming to do now.

more than 4 years ago

Supreme Court Rolls Back Corporate Campaign Spending Limits

blamanj Re:Right of free speech + right of association (1070 comments)

It's not clear the constitution protects. All the protections enumerated in the Bill of Rights are granted to individuals.

more than 3 years ago

Google's Nexus One Phone Launches

blamanj Re:gaming? (568 comments)

Not overkill at all. I have an iPhone 3G and the browsing experience is passable. Using the NexusOne was like using a desktop computer almost. The web pages snapped right on screen. If I didn't have so many iPhone apps I like, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

more than 4 years ago

Making Sense of the Cellphone Landscape

blamanj This would make Apple very happy (185 comments)

I don't think the competition between Google and Apple is the issue here, but the point about telcos as commodities seems spot on. Apple could sell unlocked phones just as easily as Google, there have been rumors about a Verizon iPhone for months. Also, having the telcos as commodities doesn't hurt Apple's ability to be an "experience company." Apple's machines plug into the same internet, the same power grid, the same USB connectors, etc. as all the rest. The way Apple controls the experience is buy selling both the hardware and the software together.

more than 4 years ago

Russians Claim More Climate Data Was Manipulated

blamanj Re:Why is there even a debate? (715 comments)

Not only is the CO2 data available, it's easy enough to compute with only high school algebra. Burning one gallon of gasoline generates 19.4lb of CO2. In the US, we went from almost zero gasoline burned in 1920 to around 160,000,000,000 gallons in 2000 and the usage graph is conveniently linear. Thus we can compute the area inside the triangle to find that we have pumped 1.24 x 10^14 lb of CO2 into the air in the last eighty years. 62 billion tons from the US alone.

Unfortunately the global consumption of fossil fuels has grown to the point that the world is now emitting around 30 billion tons per year. There's absolutely no question that we humans are changing the atmospheric makeup of the earth.

more than 4 years ago

Engaging With Climate Skeptics

blamanj Re:I'm a climate sceptic, but not how you think... (822 comments)

You think it would be cheap or easy to move the displaced from the Maldives, Bangladesh, and even Florida to Siberia?

Billions for one city. Now increase the scope to entire globe. It's going to cost trillions anyway, the question is, how many people are going to die in the process.

more than 4 years ago

Engaging With Climate Skeptics

blamanj Re:I'm a climate sceptic, but not how you think... (822 comments)

The point about whether it's better for you personally is not the issue. The issue is that there are millions of people who will be affected, not just you. A 1m rise in sea level (deemed possible by 2100) would destroy farmland near coastal areas, salinate fresh water supplies, displace entire populations, and cost billions to build seawalls to protect cities like London. A country like Bangladesh could lose as much as 17% of it's land.

Problems of this magnitude can only be solved by political action. The data that humans are changing the climate is quite unambiguous, despite what you've been reading above, which is focusing on a few fractions of a degree in temperature. Other measurements, such as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere are much more starkly descriptive.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch-Microsoft Deal In the Works

blamanj Re:Clearly Rupert just made a ton of money (468 comments)

Yeah, he's crazy like a fox.

1) He gets lots of free publicity complaining about Google (and some people will buy into his point of view.)
2) He gets Microsoft to pay for him for his extortion.

Despite holding movie studios (20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight), TV networks (Fox, STAR), cable (Fox, FX, National Geographic) and internet properties (Hudu, MySpace, Rotten Tomatoes, IGN) and publishing companies (Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins), he can's switch to a paid model alone. There's too much competition. Only WSJ works behind a paywall because it's a tax writeoff for so many subscribers.

So instead of getting subscribers to pay, he's out hunting for other deep pockets. Google has turned him down, but Microsoft is desperate for leverage so they're willing to pay. Murdoch will sign a time-limited agreement with them and take the cash. If the experiement fails (he loses too much revenue) he contract ends and he's no worse that he was to begin with. If he wins, and other media companies take their content off line, or require payment in some way, he laughs all the way to the bank.

Still don't want him running the country, though.

more than 4 years ago

Why Computers Suck At Math

blamanj The irony of /. moderation (626 comments)

Assuming that most of the /. crowd are programmers, I find it rather ironic that most of comments moderated up to 5 talk about needing better QA and the comments about learning numerical analysis are down at 1 and 2. Blaming someone else may feel good, but learning intricacies of the profession are what it takes to actually fix the problem.

That said, as someone who's actually studied NA, I don't apply it often enough, because the tools we use day to day don't help very much.

more than 4 years ago

Will Google and Android Kill Standalone GPS?

blamanj Re:Another reason (439 comments)

This has already changed (in the US). If you look at the copyright in Google Maps, it now showing data copyright Google, as opposed to the providers they previously licensed their data from.

more than 4 years ago

GMail Experiences Serious Outage

blamanj Re:Eating their own dog food (408 comments)

It's a good idea as long as your allowed to do something about it. At some companies, you just use it and suffer. From what I've seen, the culture at Google allows people to make contributions (e.g., Labs) to fix things.

about 5 years ago



Ron Paul: Closest Creationist?

blamanj blamanj writes  |  more than 6 years ago

blamanj (253811) writes "While the libertarianism of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has been a big draw to the on-line community, he hasn't received the same scrutiny from the media that the high-profile candidates have. However, now that his fund-raising abilities have been noted, people are taking a closer look, and it's not all pretty. For example, when asked about evolution, he recently said, "I don't accept it, you know, as a theory". Potentially even more damaging is his column in the Ron Paul Political Report from 1992 where he said (in reference to Washington, DC), "I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.". Will the science-friendly internet supporters remain true in the face of such stupidity?"

First Evidence of Another Universe?

blamanj blamanj writes  |  more than 6 years ago

blamanj (253811) writes "Three months ago, astronomers announced the discovery of a large hole at the edge of our universe. Now, Dr. Laura Mersini-Houghton thinks she knows what that means. (Subscription req'd at New Scientist site, there's also an overview here.) According to string theory, there are many universes besides our own. Her team says that smaller universes are positioned at the edge of our universe, and because of gravitational interactions, they can be observed, and they're willing to make a prediction. The recently discovered void is in the northern hemisphere. They contend another one will be found in the southern hemisphere."


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