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Could Twitter Have Stopped the Media's Rush To War In Iraq Ten Years Ago?

einstein4pres Ratings (456 comments)

Going to war makes for some exciting news. But so does debunking senior officials. It's just a question of which one makes for better ratings.

about a year ago
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Should Composting Be Mandatory In US Cities?

einstein4pres Re:Why is municipal composting better than landfil (861 comments)

Organics in landfills produce methane, which is more potent than carbon dioxide. Also, there's no chance to reclaim the nutrients, as pretty much everything in a landfill ends up toxic.

As for the jobs claim, it might be silly, or not. The soil is sold, so there might be some relative value to those jobs compared to landfill jobs. And there are other positive externalities, such as reduced need for landfill space (which is a different ongoing cost than labor).

http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/food/fd-basic.htm

more than 2 years ago
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The Mystery of Mars' Bizarre Plumbing

einstein4pres Re:Everyone knows the answer ... (62 comments)

Crap, I've been going all the way to Arrakis for my spice. Those blue-eyed pilots must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

more than 2 years ago
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Teacher Union Tries To Block Online Courses

einstein4pres Re:NEW tried this and failed (608 comments)

I had a conflict with BC calculus first semester, so I sat in the AB calculus class. After a few weeks of listening to lecture, I sat in the back and worked the BC calculus homework, learning from the book. I loved it, and got a great grade in the class. Though I'm sure I did spend some time talking with the teacher (who was good) as well.

more than 2 years ago
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US Wants Drivers To Test Wireless Auto Safety Tech

einstein4pres Off Topic-Bicycles (137 comments)

Well, that varies by cyclist, as you can imagine. Some cyclists obey the law, just as some drivers do. I can't control what other cyclists do, just like you can't control what other motorists do.

There's a lot of confusion between both cyclists and motorists about how to treat cyclists. Laws vary a lot by state (and city). And a lot of people (on both sides) just don't seem to understand that bicycles are vehicles and should obey the laws of vehicles on the road. And be on the road, not the sidewalk (by law in many jurisdictions)

I stop at stop signs and yield to traffic with right of way, and occupy the lane when it's necessary for safety (and get over to the right if not).

I do not stop completely at stop signs if no one is around and I have good sight lines. Bicycles are much slower, have much better visibility than cars (higher, no near-field distractions) and therefore get a much better view of intersection. And they've got a lot more skin in the game if they make a mistake. Coming to a complete stop with a bicycle is almost never necessary for safety reasons. Idaho allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.

Probably 70% of drivers incorrectly yield to me when I approach a 4-way stop, though. Even after I come to a full stop, and put my foot on the pavement, they'll sit there and wait for me to go. Not to mention the aggressive, unsafe overtaking and other problems that drivers seem to have sharing the road with cyclists.

about 3 years ago
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Historic Pairing: Shuttle Docked To the ISS

einstein4pres Photographic tools (133 comments)

Shot in aperture priority (@ f8, ISO 200) with a Nikon D3X with 24-120mm f3.5-f5.6 zoom. Looks like it was focused at infinity.

Full resolutions photos available via link in article, or here.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Your Electricity Meter Spying On You?

einstein4pres Re:Privacy (405 comments)

Since it is our data, why can't we demand a cut of the profits?

Well, in theory, selling that data should allow your electricity provider to provide service for less money, but that's not a given by any means.

Also, while the data is about you, the data was collected by another party. (at the risk of bad analogy) If you participated in a study, you wouldn't expect to own the results, or even the data collected on yourself.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

einstein4pres Re:Ooma (208 comments)

You can disable the automatic premium online without a tedious call. I'm actually being billed the $3.47 I expected.

The OP isn't clear on whether he wants mobile coverage or not, just that he only wants to pay 1 ISP and still have a phone number, and be able to connect with his phone and computer, both of which could be over wifi/wired.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

einstein4pres Ooma (208 comments)

I bought an ooma device, which allows me to hook up my phones to the internet over a VoiP connection and provides a telephone number with free domestic calls. There's a non-trivial up front cost ($120-$200), and a very modest monthly fee to cover taxes (~$3.50/mo). So far, it's been really easy, and I have no complaints.

I can get data only service from my provider (Frontier, was Verizon), though they don't seem to be able to bill me properly...

more than 3 years ago
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First Ever HIPAA Fine Is $4.3M

einstein4pres Portability, not security (197 comments)

I'm surprised that the first fine is due to the portability aspect of the law, not the security portions of the law. Of course, either is a win for consumers!

more than 3 years ago
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Study Calls Craigslist 'a Cesspool of Crime'

einstein4pres Re:misunderstandings (316 comments)

Don't drink and craigslist!

more than 3 years ago
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Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

einstein4pres Re:The first step (517 comments)

A cow and a dozen chickens would be a vast overpayment for an iPhone. Cows cost something closer far to $1000 than $500, though chickens are pretty cheap. Unless of course, we're talking about a younger cow.

Maybe if you got a few months of service on that iPhone...

more than 3 years ago
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'Death By GPS' Increasing In America's Wilderness

einstein4pres Roads in other countries. (599 comments)

Not that this story needs more anecdotal posts, but I was walking around in the Czech Republic wandering around small towns. My wife and I decided to check where we were on our GPS-enabled Nokia N810. Lo and behold, we were on a marked "road" that was no more than a wide footpath through trees. We weren't certain that an ancient cart would fit down the path.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Art Project Brings Galleries To Your PC

einstein4pres Pixel-peeping verus art (103 comments)

While I'm sure that Gigapixel images are great for pixel-peeping, they don't seem all that useful given the available real-estate on a standard computer monitor (around 1680 x 1050 these days). I'm not sure what great advantage the extra pixels do over a well-constructed JPEG or TIFF for viewing the artwork as a whole -- as it was intended to be viewed.

Not to mention that most computers would drag to a halt moving around an image that large.

more than 3 years ago
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Stem Cell Research Running Into IP Brick Walls

einstein4pres Public domain (131 comments)

Projects which accept federal grant money should require their products [patents, papers, etc.] to be placed in the public domain.

I'm not particularly happy with private companies patenting stem cell research, but if they're patenting actual functioning procedures, then I might rescind my objections.

"When I came to ACT to try to do it with stem cells I couldn't because the rights to use embryonic stem cells for diabetes had been exclusively licensed to Geron," he said."

I hope that this is a poorly worded quote. "Using stem cells to cure diabetes" doesn't sound patentable to me. Perhaps they patented using the most logical path to curing diabetes? If it was so logical, how did it meet the patentability criteria? If it was so vague, how again?

Lanza said his company has spent around 100 million dollars of investor funds on its research, and has had to play the game of securing intellectual property (IP) rights in order to compete.

"I am coming from a company where we have blocking IP as well," Lanza said. "In order for us to get money we have to file patents to protect our rights otherwise we get prohibited from even pursuing our own technology.

That's not how it's supposed to work. Of course, it might be cheaper to patent than defend against infringement claims, but that's also not how it should work.

Are we hitting the point where patents are being held defensively here also? I hope that at the very least, cross-licensing will become common enough to not prevent research. Additional expenses will be passed onto consumers and move research overseas, which can hardly be good for the US.

more than 3 years ago

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