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Rare Astronomical Event Will See Triple Moon Shadows On Jupiter

eepok Re:And if I were on Jupiter, I still wouldn't care (53 comments)

Some people are just different and have vastly different concepts of importance.

For the VAST majority most people, rarity in and of itself has no importance. Three black dots appearing on an orange blob that themselves have no effects on the lives, health, or entertainment of people on Earth will get almost no coverage. If it shows up on the local news, they'll focus on the people who gathered at the local observatory (Check out these nerds, eh?) and not the event itself.

Even rare silly calendar dates (11/11/11) have more significance because people impose major importance (however irrational) on those rare, tangible events (http://goo.gl/Wg1Q23).

I wasn't yet born when Neil et al. first tread on the moon, but I've seen the video. I've seen video of people watching it live. I understood the awe because of the example it served a marvel of achievement. I'll probably be shown an image of the 3 black dots on Jupiter. And like Venus' transit of the sun, it's "neat" at best, but will not affect people.

How about some more appropriate context.

Mars Spirit Rover Landing: "Remember when the first Mars Rover landed and started sending images back from Mars? It was SO AMAZING to see photographs from another planet!" (http://youtu.be/MWk-umZm86U?t=7m38s)

Jupiter Gets Beat Up: "Remember when Shoemaker-Levy crashed into Jupiter? That was a really big boom!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiLNxZbpP20)

Jupiter is Temporarily and Slightly Shadowed: "Remember when three of Jupiter's moon all cast a visible shadow on Jupiter at the same time? Ya. It happened."

2 days ago
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Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

eepok Not Enough Resources to Make Reality (224 comments)

It's really great that someone can get press for shooting rainbows out his behind (yes, you too, Elon).

The reality is that this is still science fiction-- and may forever be. If we were to make a genuine internet of things, the use amount of plastics, rare metals, and toxic batteries would need to be absolutely immense. Like, apocalyptically immense.

This fantasy world that Schmidt presents is one of extravagant waste and irrationally exuberant spending that it can only be done for one reason-- PR for new or continuing tech. He's probably just out pounding the drum for Android-based smartphones and their "potential" to be used as life-control devices.

2 days ago
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Rare Astronomical Event Will See Triple Moon Shadows On Jupiter

eepok And if I were on Jupitor, I still wouldn't care (53 comments)

Seriously-- rarity in and of itself isn't worth noting. It's particularly not worth noting if something doesn't really happen "to" anyone. And (ignoring the harm to all life as we know it) even if you were on Jupitor, you wouldn't be able to see all the moon shadows because Jupitor's so freaking huge.

Is this something for birder-type people? People that just want to check something off the list?

2 days ago
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Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing

eepok Teleporter Discussion! (161 comments)

What actually defines a teleporter?

Does an object need to be smashed down to molecular/particle level and those remnants sent to another place to be reassembled?
Is it sufficient, as in this research, to simply clone the object and destroy the original?

What about live matter? Does the destructive process kill the live matter? If it's a person, does one need to record the death?

Is the Star Trek universe full of clones whose previous iterations back to the original are long dead?

3 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

eepok If we can vote on reality... (661 comments)

If we can simply use the vote to determine reality, why are we bothering to vote on climate change. I say we treat the senate gavel like a genie's lamp and vote on the realities of cancer, aliens, death, and god.

4 days ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

eepok Blame The Parents (479 comments)

This conversation rationally and logically devolves into the following:

Companies
"Our company doesn't discriminate against females for any position. The problem is that there aren't enough competitively qualified female candidates. Blame the universities."

Univerisities
"Our University's STEM programs don't discriminate against females. Hell, we have multiple support programs for females, an Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and outreach programs into K-12 education to encourage young ladies to explore STEM subjects! If anything, we're doing the work that the secondary schools should be doing."

High Schools
"Our high school is pressed for money. We can't afford the teachers we need, PE has been cut, and there is absolutely zero funding for programs within STEM to do anything but prepare students to take tests. Do you even know what it's like to shove STEM education into the minds of teenage girls? Maybe if they had some earlier primering, we would have a chance, but their interests are formed far earlier than high school."

Middle Schools
"Junior high is too weird for anything purposeful to happen. Every day is a mix of hormones, fights, and liability risk assessments. Try the elementary school."

Elementary Schools
"Us? Seriously? We can't even teach real American history without receiving wrath from Tea Party Parents or teach evolution without getting sued by the religious right. We can't send home technical projects because it ends up being homework that Mom and Dad end up doing because they don't want their child to miss soccer practice or kid's cheer. Try getting the parents on board with education, first, then come to us."

Parents
"Hell yes, I voted against the new taxes to fund schools! I have a mortgage, two car payments, and a $150/month cable bill. The kids both have braces, I'm on anxiety meds, and Bill, when he gets to come home, just doesn't have time to deal with anything. The dog has renal failure. Did I mention that? It's costing $300/month to keep the dog alive. So, no. I don't feel bad for voting against overpaid teacher scam artists getting more money. And to top it off, then send home these computer projects that require Jessica to learn some foreign computer language to show she can make a computer add "2 + 2". This isn't right. We have calculators already. Now, I have to call my brother (he's a computer whiz) to help my daughter do the homework that's meant for boys. And that's another thing! Why don't they just let girls be girls?! My Jessica has loved dolls and dresses since she was born! I'll not have her become some sad computer nerd, dressing in black flannel and black denim only for her to get teased at school. NO WAY. My kid's going to be a cheerleader like I was. And I turned out pretty damn well, thank you very much."

about two weeks ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

eepok Minimal Actual Risk (778 comments)

I was in elementary school (K-6) from 1987 - 1994. I lived in non-rural Southern California for all that time. I lived in high crime areas. From 3rd grade (age 8) all the way through graduating highschool, I found my own way to school. It was walking, taking the bus, or riding a bike. The shortest "commute" I had was in walking in 3rd grade-- 1.0 miles as Google Maps reads it now.

For 4th grade (age 9), I bused half the year until it was too expensive. Then I walked and biked for half of 4th grade and the rest of 5th and 6th (ages 10 and 11). That distance was 1.9 miles each way. There was never a problem. I knew how to cross a major intersection and a 2-way stop. I knew my way home and I knew how to ask old people which way a particular street was if I ever got lost trying to find a short cut.

I'm sure most of us know that crime in California was at a relative high in the late '80s to early '90s. Crime is very low today. Moreover, the risk of kidnapping by strangers (what everyone is actually afraid of), has never really been a genuine risk.

"Only a tiny minority of kidnapped children are taken by strangers. Between 1990 and 1995 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children handled only 515 stranger abductions, 3.1 percent of its caseload. A 2000 report by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs reported that more than 3/4 of kidnappings were committed by family members or acquaintances of the child. The study also found that children abducted by strangers were harmed less frequently than those taken by acquaintances." (http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/stranger-child-abductions-actually-very-rare-130514.htm)

Now let's contrast this with a genuine danger: automobiles.

In 2003, the 0-14 age group accounted for 2,136 of traffic fatalities. In addition, children under 15 years old accounted for 1,591 of all vehicle occupant fatalities, 253,000 of all the people injured in motor vehicle crashes, and 220,000 of all the vehicle occupants injured in crashes. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809762.pdf)

Before we put irrationally short leashes on children thus stunting their maturation, let's put speed limiters and automatic breaking on automobiles so they actually reach maturity.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

eepok Re:My mother told me... (873 comments)

But it doesn't work for all. And that's the Pope's message. Not everyone is so self-controlled, so don't be *surprised* if they react.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

eepok Re:Freedom of speech means freedom to offend (873 comments)

Freedom of speech has its limitations-- very little within enforcement of the law but quite a bit within legal liability.

For example, it is illegal to impose a panic by false statements (bomb hoaxes).

Within the doctrine of "fighting words" (Chaplinksy v. New Hampshire), the liability of an attack is shared between the attacker and the person who intentionally goaded the attack. For example, if the Westboro Baptist Church is picketing the funeral of a homosexual Marine and Marine's father goes ape shit on the protestors, the father will be held accountable for his actions with adjustments made for the effects of the fighting words.

(It's worth noting that a Westboro Baptist Church has a well-known case that went to the Supreme Court. Their rights to free speech were upheld, but still, if they are ever attacked in direct response by someone grieving, that grieving attacker would not be held 100% liable for his actions under the law.)

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

eepok He's Not Justifying Retribution (873 comments)

To all the hyper-sensitive reactors;

The Pope is not suggesting that those who insult another's religion should be harmed or that harming an insulter of another's religion is a justified act. He's saying, "Don't be surprised if..."

Here's another way to look at it: You start dating a known rapist. You're alone with the rapist. You get raped. You are not at fault-- all fault lies with the rapist. But you shouldn't act surprised.

The Pope is simply suggesting that if we don't don't want to get shot by nutters, we shouldn't attempt to piss off the nutters. While the Pope isn't advocating "THE LIMITATION OF" the freedom of speech, he's suggesting "WE LIMIT OURSELVES INDIVIDUALLY" in the form of tact and conscientiousness. It's the difference between law and self-control. He's advocating self-control.

about two weeks ago
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Uber Will Provide Transit Data To Cities

eepok OMG! Stop calling it RIDESHARE! (32 comments)

Uber and Lyft is NOT Rideshare!

Rideshare is transportation by carpool, vanpool, and, in many implementations, bus, train, bike, and walking. The term "Rideshare" has been in use for DECADES to describe the use of low-emissions/fuel consumption transportation! (http://goo.gl/DXTYul)

Uber and Lyft are taxi companies who try to use the term rideshare to get around taxi regulations and to convey a veneer of sustainability. Even the Associated Press has edited their Stylebook so as to instruct media agencies to cease calling them rideshare and start calling them "ride-hailing" services.

http://greatergreaterwashingto...
http://www.buzzfeed.com/charli...

about two weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

eepok Kickstarter-esque Method to Affect Content (448 comments)

I used to love the once-named Sci Fi channel. Doctor Who, Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Dresden Files, The Outer Limits, Sanctuary, Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis, Sliders, Warehouse 13. These were all beloved shows.

What Sci Fi turned into (SyFy wrestling and reality shows) is painful. I'm fairly certain that the audience watching SyFy is not the same audience that watched Sci Fi.

What if we could make that known loud and clear. If people CHOOSE not to subscribe to SyFy and can give a 3-month subscription commitment pending the development, launching, or re-running of X, Y, and Z shows, those people could affect change in SyFy. If everyone was to go unbundled, imagine the absolute panic fest some of the more inane stations would face. "OMG!! Why aren't people picking us up!? We're doomed!! PLEASE CHOOSE US!! TELL US WHAT YOU WANT!!"

And that's the power of unbundling. It allows actual demand to genuinely affect supply.

And it may mean that I can get a new Stargate series. And that's what matters in the end.

about three weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

eepok That's Kind of The Point - Fee for Service (448 comments)

If all features or options in a flight were to be bundled with every ticket, the cost per person would be outright extravagant. Free checked baggage, enough room to cross your legs, a simple meal when flying cross-country, wider seats, onboard wi-fi-- you'd be buying all of that whether you like it or not. Since there's insufficient demand for flights at that price point and the businesses know that some willing are willing to pay more (though not max price), you get the fee-for-service system. That way, those who need less pay less and those who need more pay more.

Taking it to the discussion of unbundled cable, ya, if you divide your monthly cable bill by the number of channels you get, you're not likely going to come up with the price you're going to pay per channel that's going to eventually be offered a la carte. If you pay $100 per month and get 890 channels (450 of which are duplicates of other channels in different qualities), you're NOT going to be charged 11.2 cents per channel. It will likely be sub-bundled like this:

The Super Package: $100

Base Fees: $25
(Admin, Connection, Taxes, etc.)

Local Bundle: $10
--- Antenna-based TV

24-Hour News Bundle: $10
--- CNN: $5
--- MSNBC: $5
--- Fox News: $5
--- C-Span Bundle: $5
--- Other: $5

Sports Bundle: $20
--- $5 for each type of ESPN
--- $5 for NFL
--- etc.

Cable Super Bundle: $25
--- Bravo, TLC, Discovery, Food, HGTV, SciFi: $15
--- All the Rest: $15

Premium Bundle: $40
--- HBO: $15
--- Showtime: $15
--- Cinemax (Is this still a thing?): $10
--- Etc.

Chinese Bundle: $5
Arabic Bundle: $5
Spanish Bundle: $5

In the end, if you want it ALL, you'll be offered the $100 package (First Class). If you want nearly everything (AKA every option they offer in the Coach section short of moving to first class), you'll probably pay more than $100. The real benefit is for the tightwads who want Local, 24-Hour News, and Sports. They'll pay $55 instead of their previous $100. Sure, they won't get to watch Honey Boo Boo or reruns of Battlestar Galactica on TV, but they'll get their DC Comics shows, breaking news, and follow their favorite sports teams. And for a lot of people, that's all they care about.

about three weeks ago
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GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

eepok Gotham Ciy PD (229 comments)

I read the headline as "GCPD Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals" and immediately thought to myself "Damn it! Someone call Batman!". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotham_City_Police_Department)

about a month ago
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Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

eepok Depends on the method of swapping... (133 comments)

If they're using the existing Tesla Model S with the intention to have them pull over open bays in the ground and have robots remove battery packs built into the undercarriage, then it will fail. On the other hand if they were to make a new EV that had multiple bays from which you can pull out and swap rails of cells, then they'd have a good chance.

The only future for EVs is to go battery-swapping and to make swapping possible with human muscle.

about a month ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

eepok The Batman, Theater Attack Comparison (580 comments)

In the article, the Peter Singer states, "Someone killed 12 people and shot another 70 people at the opening night of Batman: The Dark Knight [Rises]. They kept that movie in the theaters. You issue an anonymous cyber threat that you do not have the capability to carry out? We pulled a movie from 18,000 theaters."

In some ways, the comparison between the response to this current threat against movie theaters and the rampage that happened 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado is appropriate. Both target movie theaters and the people in them. But that's where it ends.

The Aurora shooting has gone down in history as an unforeseeable tragedy the fault of which lay entirely with the shooter. Everyone said, "This was very sad," and no one's expecting any victims' civil suits to win anything.

In fairly extreme contrast, ***IF*** Sony were to allow the movie to be shown in theaters and ***IF*** someone attacked a movie theater for any reason relating to the showing of the movie, then Sony would be very publicly acknowledged as having fault in the harm done to theater-goers and would be sued out of existence.

Everything in this decision has to do with LIABILITY. Even if the probability is extremely low, the potential liability is astronomical. It doesn't make financial sense for Sony to allow the movie to be shown.

Aside: Notice who the puppets and the puppet-masters are here. Those making the threats hold the strings, but they're not playing Sony. They're playing the American public. They know that the American public are so unhappy with their opportunities to be super-rich that they see legal liability as one of their few chances to get MILLIONS! As such, the nation is extremely risk-averse thus thoroughly negating out espoused resolve to not be susceptible to terroristic threats.

To be cliche, the enemy is us.

about a month ago
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Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

eepok Good! (270 comments)

Keurig coffee, with all their DRM, just adds to our waste-plastic problem and costs about twice as much as coffee you grind at home. (http://goo.gl/NiVJ8D)

Get yourself a stainless steel cup, throw some coffee in there, and use the pilfered K-Cup tag to make it all work together.

about a month and a half ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

eepok I use AdBlock and here's why... (699 comments)

I use AdBlock not because I believe no one with a website shouldn't have the opportunity to make money via advertising, but because of the METHOD of advertising.

Flashing ads, quick movements, anything with Flash that can crash and stall my use of my browser, or any ad of more than 600 KB in size is intrusive. I don't mind being advertised at, but if you DEMAND my attention via tactics instead of attempting to CONVINCE me to buy a service or product with the facts of that service or product, then I will turn off and walk away.

Example of good Slashdot-based advertising for me: "Newegg - 15% off orders $25 - $100. December 8 ONLY. We know there's a couple things you've been meaning to buy. Be smart about it and buy them now. CLICK HERE to apply coupon." The coupon could take effect only via clicking in from Slashdot.

Also, I pay for my bandwidth and if you want to advertise to me, cool. Just don't take liberties with the size of your advertisement. Keep it small. Maybe a 2-3 frame gif changing every 20 seconds.

Lastly, I don't like the tracker cookies. I know some people say that tracking one's surfing habits enables more relevant ads to be used, but I don't like being tracked at all. Why not just use advertisements relevant to the site content? It's Slashdot -- post tech stuff. Slashdot builder? Then push 3D printer filaments.

As a result of some really BADvertisers, no one gets to put advertisements in front of my web-surfing eyes. I don't even know if a site has changed to less-obtrusive ads unless they tell me. (And if they do, I turn off AdBlock.) It's as simple as that.

about a month and a half ago
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Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

eepok Re:Droid needed (167 comments)

My kingdom for mod points! (+1 Funny)

about 2 months ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

eepok Re:Not Sharing (237 comments)

Yes, please.

Lyft's use of the term "Rideshare" is a knowing and willing deception. Lyft's creator, John Zimmer, actually made a Ridesharing webapp that is still in use by many Universities (Zimride). Zimride facilitates the creation of carpools and vanpools-- not rides on a confederated taxi service. Of course, Zimmer saw the big money in a taxi service and with his history in actual Rideshare and has tried to re-write the definition so that (hopefully) he could side-step taxi regulations.

By the way, "Rideshare" is a federally recognized term that describes an entire industry whose job it is to reduce the number of automobiles on the road by convincing people to take transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, and walk instead of driving. (Check it out: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd...)

about 2 months ago

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