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Google Nabs Patent To Monitor Your Cursor Movement

dintlu Re:Good luck with that ... (198 comments)

I highlight text, too.

Some people hover over the text that they are reading, moving the mouse in parallel lines across the screen and indicating to Google the speed at which they read,
Some people don't move the mouse at all while reading.
Some people throw the mouse to the corner of the screen while they're reading.
Some people hover over ads but don't click. Others avoid hovering over ads.
Some people's behavior changes when they use a laptop versus a desktop.

Most of the people I know consistently perform a single mousing behavior on websites, and there's a finite amount of variation between individuals.

The idea to observe people's idiosyncratic behaviors in order to classify them into actionable categories is pretty obvious, though, and I don't see how Google's saying "This *specific* behavior, in this *specific* industry" in a patent application qualifies them to prevent other organizations from performing this sort of analysis.

more than 4 years ago
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Mozilla Reveals Firefox 4 Plans

dintlu Re:Retarded (570 comments)

It doesn't help that the linked article is terrible. A whole pile of performance updates are being made in addition to the UI changes:

JagerMonkey
HTML5 Parser off main thread
64 bit support
Startup timeline optimizations
Reduced I/O operations on main thread
JS threads and GC
DOM Performance improvements
Layers for compositing, scrolling

+

Graphics compositing with Layers
Hardware acceleration using Direct3D
Multitouch support
Aero Peek integration
OSX integration

I'd suggest reading the actual presentation for more information:
http://beltzner.ca/mike/2010/05/10/firefox-4-fast-powerful-and-empowering/

more than 4 years ago
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UK Gov't Wants Facebook To Feature Child Safety Button

dintlu Re:Typical Labour policy (237 comments)

So, have your kid create a Facebook account and visit the profiles of every Labor party representative, employee, and intern you can find, accusing each and every one of them of child abuse.

more than 4 years ago
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Scalpers Earned $25M Gaming Online Ticket Sellers

dintlu Re:Why is it illegal? (574 comments)

It doesn't work, because it's a silly libertarian ideal, based on an incomplete model of rationality.

Calling people idiots because they are either unwilling or unable to mold their behavior to fit your ideal is juvenile, and it doesn't change the fact that your arguments are based on completely unrealistic assumptions.

more than 4 years ago
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Scalpers Earned $25M Gaming Online Ticket Sellers

dintlu Re:Why is it illegal? (574 comments)

Scalpers are rent-seeking middlemen who don't add any value to their product.

Supermarkets and McDonalds and BK all add value to the products they resell, either by assembling them into individual servings of bulk product, or by presenting their products for sale with many other options. Scalpers, in contrast, push people out of the ticket-buying process using unfair automation tactics (in violation of the first seller's TOS, typically), then relist those tickets at higher prices for their own personal gain, taking advantage of people's desire to consume a limited resource to earn money for themselves. Scalpers are a broken window, a drain on society. Their "business" is fundamentally unfair and if it isn't illegal, it should be.

This "vote with your dollars" bullshit doesn't work in the real world.

more than 4 years ago
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What Is Time? One Researcher Shares His Exploration

dintlu Re:Time does not exist (578 comments)

This is the most ridiculous semantic argument I have ever read. Saying that "time doesn't exist" is a cop-out for simple minds.

"Time" is the word we use to describe the chain of causality that human beings can commonly observe. Yes, there are a lot of assumptions inherent in our definition of the word, but that doesn't mean you can say it doesn't exist. All you can do is speculate on the nature of time based on your observations (i.e. "The only thing we have is present-moment memories, etc"), attempt to formulate a testable hypothesis, and seek falsifying or confirming evidence for that hypothesis.

It just so happens that's really difficult to do when every frame of reference you have occurs (or appears to occur) within the very thing you're trying to study.

more than 4 years ago
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FCC Proposes 100Mbps Minimum Home Broadband Speed

dintlu Re:That would be all well and good (461 comments)

I see this is a sign that the government is realizing the importance of the internet to the future of commerce and national security.

Minimum speed mandates are the first step towards government-maintained infrastructure. By setting a target the telcos will be unable to reach, and buoying consumer expectations to expect this level of service soon, the door is opened for the government to implement solutions for upgrading or providing a portion of the telecommunications infrastructure themselves.

Frankly the telcos have nobody but themselves to blame. They took taxpayer money and instead of spending it on infrastructure upgrades to keep the US competitive with other nations, they sat on their collective asses raking in record profits while the quality of their networks and their customer satisfaction went to shit. If market forces worked, this would be unnecessary.

more than 4 years ago
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Google and NSA Teaming Up

dintlu Re:Anonymous Coward Trolls (125 comments)

The NSA and Google are in the same business: information.

They may have different motivations and methods, but at their core they are both organizations that collect huge amounts of information and use that information as a means to an end.

Google's "don't be evil" is a tacit acknowledgment of the power information wields, and seeing them team up with a disreputable organization like the NSA makes the parallels between the two very obvious, generating a flurry of AC comments to capitalize on the memetic opportunity.

more than 4 years ago
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Heavy Internet Use Linked To Depression

dintlu Re:The next line states... (360 comments)

Unfortunately, that article is worthless and I don't know where I can find the actual paper.

While the article describes 1.2% of Britons between 15 and 51 years of age as being "internet addicted, it does NOT tell us how much the likelihood of depression increases among those addicts when compared to non-addicts.

I don't see a discussion of depression rates by age or other socioeconomic factors, either. People under the age of 30 are more likely to have been online their entire adult lives, people from wealthy families are likely to have been online sooner in life. People over 40 have divided experience- life before the internet, and life after - examining the mental health history of this particular subset of study participants would be very illuminating. I honestly would not be surprised if the study discusses all these factors and more.

This moment in history is the ONLY time we will have the opportunity to study differences between people who experienced life without the internet and people who have had access their entire lives, and it's a damned shame that these lousy newspapers distill such interesting science down to water cooler conversation points.

more than 4 years ago
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The Upside of the NASA Budget

dintlu Re:Economy of Scale (283 comments)

NASA's constellation program was ill-conceived waste of taxpayer money. Florida's been a "purple" state for the past three elections, and NASA has a tremendous presence down here. To argue that cutting NASA's budget is politically motivated is to say that Obama's administrations *wants to lose votes* in the state of Florida, which is patently absurd.

What's happening to NASA is like an alcoholic stopping the sauce. Not only do they save a bunch of money, but they also free up a bunch of time and brainpower to pursue better things.

more than 4 years ago
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Review: Mass Effect 2

dintlu Re:Good story? (331 comments)

I hate to break it to you, but playing a game in which your actions have significant consequences for the story and your party is unpleasant for a lot of people, myself included.

I walked away from Dragon Age because I didn't want to have to commit to multiple playthroughs to enjoy all the content the game had to offer. The game was a chore - when you have to look online for character primers so that you don't make the mistake of leveling up characters whose alignment doesn't match your playing style, when you have to sacrifice following interesting storylines because you'll lose the perks or powers that come with strong loyalty, when you have to play the game through 2-3 times to access all the content, it's just no fun!

I've been playing Mass Effect 2 for a couple days now, and and very happy with it compared to their previous titles. The story's interesting, the gameplay doesn't get bogged down with complicated inventory items or repetitive sidequests, finishing a mission deposits you back on the ship (eliminating travel time), and the cutscene renegade/paragon triggers are lighthearted and enjoyable, as opposed to being moral quandaries.

more than 4 years ago
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Super Strong Metal Foam Discovered

dintlu Re:Replacement for air bags? (367 comments)

Airbags and bumpers serve two entirely different purposes.

If this material lives up to the hype (unlikely), your next car will feature both items.

I'm curious to know more about the 28mph -> 5mph assertion. That stat was given to the media because it sounds impressive (grant guff), but how does it compare to the deceleration of a traditional auto bumper.

more than 4 years ago
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Phone and Text Bans On Drivers Shown Ineffective

dintlu Re:Not too surprising (406 comments)

The point is that until car accidents are #1, the motivation to make a sacrifice as significant as the right to drive your own car simply won't exist.

more than 4 years ago
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Phone and Text Bans On Drivers Shown Ineffective

dintlu Re:Not too surprising (406 comments)

You'll see self-driving cars within a decade of cancer being cured.

If the only major cause of death is car accidents, people will wake up to the danger and accept automation.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

dintlu Re:Gestures on the web? (596 comments)

Hmm. When I'm reading something like the editorial from the front article, what gesture do I use to navigate to the next page of the article? back to the previous page? How do i pick a single link, optimized for a mouse click, out of the field of ridiculous links you see strewn across the top and left sides of every text site? What about when I go to a site like the NYT, which spawns popups when I click on the screen? How will I scroll down on a site like that without inundating myself with advertisements?

My point is that web developers aren't thinking in terms gestures and mobile applications when they code their sites, and that a lot of the functionality currently present in websites is completely and utterly geared towards mouse users.

If tablet computing miraculously takes off, it will be because the OS is extensible to the web, allowing developers to tweak their products to behave less like websites and more like applications.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

dintlu Gestures on the web? (596 comments)

One think I've noticed is that websites are poorly optimized for gesture-based navigation? If any novel UI implementations are going to come out of an Apple tablet, this is probably the place to look.

more than 4 years ago
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Body Heat Energy Generation

dintlu Re:A personal airconditioner? (214 comments)

While human core temperature is generally 98.6, our skin temperature is typically between 85-95 F, depending on environment and where on the body the temperature is measured.

more than 4 years ago
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Ford's New Cars To Be Wi-Fi Hotspots

dintlu Re:Use your imagination (196 comments)

Cell plans might become simple data contracts in the near future, and if that happens cell providers will have no problem with letting you run up your bill by tethering. Even if they don't, there are other possibilities:

An ad-hoc network of cars communicating information in real-time about the traffic ahead, able to inform drivers about the average congestion speed so that traffic jams clear up ten times faster?

Social driving, you can cuss out the asshole who cut you off as he speeds away from you, have a good morning chat with people you recognize in other cars along the commute?

more than 4 years ago
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Canada Supreme Court Broadens Internet "Luring" Offense

dintlu Re:So... (596 comments)

Clearly, banning children from the internet is unenforceable and preposterous.

The idea here is that instead of understanding the technology and applying the old laws to the new medium, legislators feel the need to write overly broad laws that make every Canadian who's ever participated in a flamewar on youtube a potential sex offender / felon.

At the very least, passing a law like this would make parents responsible for whatever distress/harm came to their unaccompanied children while they surfed the net, something many here would agree with.

more than 4 years ago
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Canada Supreme Court Broadens Internet "Luring" Offense

dintlu Re:So... (596 comments)

The obvious legislative solution to this problem is to ban kids from using the internet until they are at least 18 years of age.

Much like children aren't allowed in bars, children should not be allowed on the internet.

more than 4 years ago

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