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Nokia Buys a Chunk of Panasonic

c Re:Nokia still has products? (48 comments)

I hear the cultural assimilation process went pretty well until he tried the salmiakki. That experience turned out to be the impetus for the "burning oil platform" memo.

9 hours ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

c Re:Confusing position (489 comments)

I pray, when they die, the ghost of MLK spends eternity bitch-slapping the both of them day in and day out.

I'm pretty sure they're going to a different place than MLK.

yesterday
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An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

c Re:it's not that hard to use Wikipedia (173 comments)

If you see a statement in a Wikipedia article that you are thinking of repeating or relying on for something, look first to see: does it cite a source?

The problem being that Wikipedia's been around long enough that (like in this case), it's entirely possible to point to a source which got its original erroneous information from Wikipedia.

Which leads to a much harder secondary problem: how to determine/rank the quality of Wikipedia sources.

yesterday
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Old Apache Code At Root of Android FakeID Mess

c Re:Thankfully those will be patched right in a jif (127 comments)

should I have to throw away a $300 paid for phone that still works, electrically (at least)?

Well, there *is* an unofficial CM11 port. It sounds like the limited memory and storage was a bit of a deal-breaker for everyone trying to support the Nexus One (even the alternate ROMs) until KitKat came along with its reduced resource needs. I suspect installing the Google Play Services stuff to get the app scanning might be asking a bit much.

But yeah, generally speaking I don't disagree with your premise. The Nexus series, of all devices, would be something I'd expect Google to go above and beyond to keep working. I can sorta understand OEM's dropping their flagships pretty much as soon as the conveyors on the production lines stop spinning (and fuck-you-very-much HTC), but I'd hope that platform champion number one could do a little better than that.

2 days ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

c Re:Duh (157 comments)

Perhaps you mean something different with the term 'muscle memory' then?

Hmm. Yes.

I'm talking about it from a cognition perspective, which I think is also termed "motor learning". You're using a definition which describes my second point, which is that (in a nutshell) the body undergoes a physical change which adapts it to better performing those rehearsed movements.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure it's meaningful to talk about those separately, though. If you repeat a physical task often enough to change the body at a physical level, you're almost certainly going to rewire the brain to repeat that task efficiently as well.

4 days ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

c Re:Duh (157 comments)

Most important: muscle memory as I pointed out above is 'stored' - more precicely: hardwired - in the neurons/nerves directly attached to the muscles. Not in the brain.

It's in the brain. They don't really know exactly where muscle memory is stored, but it's in the brain. Most likely in optimized synaptic networks in or around the motor control area, but the specific location and mechanism hasn't been nailed down.

That being said, there's a certain amount of muscle "memory" in the muscles themselves, in the sense that elasticity and power will become optimized for the patterns of motion they perform frequently (i.e. if you perform circular movements calling for short muscle fibers, you'll probably have a harder time with linear movements calling for long muscle fibers), and obviously nerve pathways for those repeated actions will be strengthened. This would reduce the amount of higher level neural effort needed to perform those kinds of movements and the actions would "fire faster". But really, there's not enough neural meat down there to handle the processing necessary for anything substantial enough to call it a "motor skill".

4 days ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

c Re:Duh (157 comments)

TFA makes the discussion that it's all about a highly efficient foot-motor control area that can operate with minimal external input (i.e little conscious thought), which pretty much describes muscle memory. There's no mention of "special neurons", just regular motor control areas that are wired for efficiency and operate with less noise.

Where someone might conclude that it's different from "muscle memory" is that muscle memory is usually focused on specific motor tasks, while this research is basically saying that entire areas of the brain related to motor skills which have a highly developed muscle memory work more efficiently. Which, I'd think, would be pretty obvious. Developing expert-level muscle memory is in practice about learning entire repertoires of movements, not just a single specific movement, and a consequence of having muscle memory for a large set of similar movements means the brain is wired such that anything resembling those movements will be handled at about the same skill level with about the same amount of conscious thought. If you've spent your entire life practicing all the 50 different ways to kick a ball under all possible conditions (different balls, ground conditions, shoes, lighting, angles, etc) then its unlikely you'll ever need to put any conscious thought into making your feet connect with anything ball-like.

5 days ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

c Duh (157 comments)

I guess that's a sexier headline than "Expert Soccer Player Has Good Muscle Memory", and it does tie into that recent bit of excitement down in Brazil, but otherwise I'm not seeing anything in the summary that comes as a surprise... Is it that part where they quantify the differences in neural activity between "expert" and "amateur"?

5 days ago
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AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

c Re:Boring (52 comments)

Most of us drone users stay well away from houses.

As I said, I live in the country.

Most ATVers, snowmobilers, boaters, hunters, etc are perfectly respectable people who go out of their way not to bother anyone, and I have no issue with them.

Those other fuckers, however... I have absolutely no doubt that drone technology will become simple and ubiquitous enough that the sort of asshole who enjoys annoying people with expensive toys will inevitably discover and abuse it.

about two weeks ago
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AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

c Re:Arguments based on drone range (52 comments)

It's possible to connect a controller to an antenna that vastly extends its range. Is your property extensive enough to give you a 2-kilometer perimeter around your house?

I specifically said "the signal range of my house". Stock antennas on a router in the basement. If my network can see the drone, it's going to be pretty close.

about two weeks ago
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AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

c Re:Boring (52 comments)

The owner will see all this, and might take umbrage at your stealing their drone. Which almost certainly wouldn't be flying over your roof anyhow.

Well, I live in the country. If a wifi-controlled drone gets within signal range of my house, the owner is very likely trespassing and almost certainly snooping on my property in particular.

about two weeks ago
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AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

c Boring (52 comments)

I want to see a security tool which hijacks the drone control connection, lands it on my roof, and shuts it down so it won't leave.

I can't quite decide if the followup should be "call the police", "hold drone ransom" or "just keep it", but I'm sure I'd think of something.

about two weeks ago
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

c Re:Don't buy cheap android (290 comments)

but any other area where the experience is worse than stock android of the equivalent version just seems weird.

Most of the genuine bugs described (versus the braindead design decisions) appear to be related to hardware integration (i.e. the input stack) and/or the carrier part of the experience.

Am I surprised that the hardware integration on a cheap phone might be crap? Nope. Am I surprised that the carrier integration might suck? Nope. Am I surprised that the more a device deviates from the mainstream, the weirder the problems would be? Nope. Is it likely that the experience would actually be *worse* if the vendor had just shipped AOSP? Very.

about two weeks ago
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

c Some tech reporter... (290 comments)

I bought the LG Optimus not because it was the cheapest or because I didn't expect it to have bugs, but because it was the only offering with a slide-out keyboard, and I've become addicted to the precision of physical keys.

So, in a nutshell, the answer to your question about why this stuff happens is "I want something so badly that I'm a captive market who won't explore decent alternatives (is the built-in slider on a 4" phone really that much better than an S5 bluetooth keyboard case or Swype on a phablet? Really?) and will stick with the phone in spite of it being a piece of shit"?

Honestly, I have to give kudos to LG for gauging how desperate the potential users of this phone would be for a physical keyboard and saving themselves a little cash on testing. It seems to have worked out okay for them.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

c Re:Black box data streaming (503 comments)

Why haven't all airplanes been upgraded so the black box data is streamed to satellites/ground stations?

In general, I don't entirely disagree. In this case... I'm not sure how useful the black box would be in the event of a missile strike. I wasn't aware the civilian aircraft had the kind of gear to track a missile, or that the kinds of collision sensors they have would be fast enough to catch it. It's definitely not going to be able to tell who shot the missile or where it came from. Heck, I'd be surprised if the black box could tell the difference betwen a missile strike and a large suitcase bomb in the cargo hold. So unless it actually was an mechanical or aircrew failure (and I highly doubt it), I think the black box is a red herring.

about two weeks ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

c Re:Listening to keystrokes + HMM = Profit! (244 comments)

Passwords have been stolen just by listening to keyboard click noises. Why could a typewriter be any different?

A much stronger mechanical action which generates multiple (the keypress itself plus the imprint on paper action) strong and distinct signatures. I'd expect it would be far easier to pick up than even the loudest Model M keyboard...

I'd be curious how much a highly sensitive seismic sensor on the ceiling below the typewriter would pick up, or even on the foundation of the building.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

c Re:A larger legal question arises here (749 comments)

There simply MUST be a clear distinction maintained over where something is located, or country borders don't mean anything.

The question to ask is, is the data stored in another country as easily available to a
Microsoft employee in the USA as data stored in the USA would be?

There's a compelling argument, and multi-national corporations in particular make themselves vulnerable to it, that if you ignore borders in your day-to-day operations then you can't exactly point at the border as an insurmountable issue when someone is making you do something you don't want to do.

The recent case where a Canadian court ordered Google to censor results globally is another example of this. People argued that the court only has jurisdiction over google.ca results, but conveniently forgot that google.ca is hosted in the exact same server farm as all Google search services. So where do you draw the line? Surely not where the corporation decides it's convenient in that particular instance.

about two weeks ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

c Re:foolproof (244 comments)

It would also significantly cut down Slashdot comments if they had to be typed on paper and mailed.

First posted?

about two weeks ago
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New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

c Re:My last post was roundly criticised. (204 comments)

I keep the following quote pinned in Google Keep to remind myself of what happens when corporate communications becomes completely divorced from reality:

In other words, better execution and innovation through strategy and goal and discipline and engineering coherence.

From the previous Microsoft CEO. Nice to see that Ballmer's ghostwriters are still with the company.

about three weeks ago

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