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Comments

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We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

gurps_npc Social networks area compilation of free tools (241 comments)

They are a blog (your 'page' has words and pictures, time stamped, aka a BLOG).

Connected to an email service.

With some automated responses (like) and mass mailing features.

Connected to some games

All held together by exclusivity That is, they won't let you someone's blog, email them, or get emails, unless you join them.

Well, I did leave some extra stuff out - but basically the other stuff is all the privacy killing back office things that no users wants - i.e. the ability to tag other people's photos, the ability to track people viewing, etc. etc.

If you make a distributed version of it, it's called THE INTERNET.

P.S. It already exists. Frankly, the entire thing is just a simplified way for non technical people to get involved on the internet. Not everyone realizes how useful a blog, mass mailings, etc. are so they packaged them up as a "Social Network" and suddenly people that never heard of a blog are blogging.

yesterday
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Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

gurps_npc Re:Wow, just wow. (163 comments)

Oh NO!. I better go into hiding! Who knows what they willl do to me!

yesterday
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Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

gurps_npc Wow, just wow. (163 comments)

That law is so vague it applies to ANYTHING.

"damage to human welfare, the environment, the economy or national security in any country"

First note that it allows for damaging the national security in any country. So the UK is now the world police? Hey, I thought that was the USA's job! Also, does that mean they will protect ISIL? Or North Korea? Does that mean when the government of South Korea attempts to defend itself from a cyberattack from North Korea, they are violating the UK's law? It's damaging the National Security of North Korea by preventing them from undermining South Korea!

Human welfare, the environment, the economy or National security pretty much covers ANYTHING. And the word damage is similarly vague.

When I use Hack BP's computer and find out they are illegally dumping oil in Scotland, isn't that damaging the economy by revealing BP's crime?

When the FBI pretends to be a criminal on Facebook, isn't that damaging the 'welfare" of the human criminal?

This is a law designed to let the UK selectively arrest anyone who does anything on a computer that is 'unauthorised'.

Worst law ever

yesterday
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Judge Says EA Battlefield 4 Execs Engaged In "Puffery," Not Fraud

gurps_npc I didn't lie, I just gave false statement (91 comments)

Wow, the ability to come up with "he did it, but it' wasn't bad enough to warrant legal action" excuses has had a huge renaissance.

2 days ago
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DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

gurps_npc Re:Well ... duh! (78 comments)

I disagree. You don't have to harden your internet connected refrigerator against malicious attacks.

Why? Because when you ask "what could possibly go wrong?" the answer is your food will spoil, and you will have to throw it out. It's not like spoiled food is not instantly recognizable.

But when you ask that company about medical equipment, the answer is PEOPLE WILL DIE.

The problem is obvious, it just takes half a second to think and you know you need security.

Actually, the real problem is that idiot manufacturers refused to think at all.

2 days ago
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The Future of Stamps

gurps_npc Re:Shipping companies.... (130 comments)

1) This is prettier and cooler.

2) Easier to use for one off jobs, where you have one letter. 3) They envision ending/greatly reducing the physical stamp program. This will piss off the collectors a lot.

4) They get paid for it, rather than the company that makes the QR codes etc.

Basically, I don't think it has enough advantages to catch on somewhere where they already have stamps. But ISIL might want it for their new country, I bet they want to replace Syria's and Iraq's old postal system.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Event Sign-Up Software Options For a Non-Profit?

gurps_npc Use socratic method. (104 comments)

Specifically, ask them questions.

Start with:

Is this software related to our industry?

Do we need some advantage over our competition or can we just use the same stuff they do?

What's our back up plan if we discover that our self created software ends up making the Obamacare website rollout look good?

How much money do you think we will save?

If it ends up costing more money, how much we will sink into this project before quitting?

2 days ago
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

gurps_npc Re:We need to do it lke Europe. (120 comments)

Monetarily yes, but not legally. That is, when you buy a used car, it may have been repaired, or not. No way for you to tell.

Why? Because they are not legally required to FIX the car, just legally required to offer to fix it.

But that can't be a big problem right? I mean, most cars get fixed, right?

No. They don't. Most cars are never fixed. The problems are often small - so it has a half second delay in the brakes, who notices/ Or it has a small tendency to roll over, no big deal.

In Europe, that is not the case. If a car is recalled, ALL the cars are fixed.

2 days ago
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

gurps_npc Re:We need to do it lke Europe. (120 comments)

No. They notify you and you can decide to come in or not. They pay for it only if you ask.

So if you refuse to do anything - or the car company says they can't fix your car for another 90 days, your car remains broken.

Chances are you won't stop driving the vehicle until then and they won't pay for a replacement.

Quite a few people ignore the recall and then sell the car to some poor shmuck who never received the recall note.l

2 days ago
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

gurps_npc We need to do it lke Europe. (120 comments)

Specifically, they need to make the car company responsible for every single repair of every single recalled vehicle.

As in, if they sold a faulty product, they have to fix it, whether it is a a set of brakes that don't work, or a window that won't open.

Basically, we end the 'buyer beware' system for new cars.

2 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

gurps_npc Auto cancelling contracts anyone? (394 comments)

Is it that hard to put in a requirement that

1) Do the installation in phases

2) Only move on to Phase 2 if Phase 1 works without any problems, as expected.

3) Require third party testing to be sure that Phase 1 is done fairly

3 days ago
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Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

gurps_npc I like CVS drugstores (242 comments)

Why would I want to get ride of them?

P.S. PRSVP or STF, because NAWE are SAaD

3 days ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

gurps_npc Re:Fantasy based laws. (470 comments)

The original stats (pre internet) came from the Kinsey Reports (via wikipedia: D. Richard Laws and William T. O'Donohue: Books.Google.co.uk, Sexual Deviance, page 391. Guilford Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-59385-605-2. )

New studies suggest that the Kinsey estimates are no longer accurate (if they ever were). There is no clear evidence that the internet caused it, but I am not the first person to suggest it.

3 days ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

gurps_npc Re:Fantasy based laws. (470 comments)

Psychiatrists have found that they can not end any sexuality, but that they can in fact add new perversions, mainly be slowly introducing the desired perversion into sexual fantasies. Some have theorized that while they can't 'cure' gay, they can convert to bisexuality. I am not sure about that, but it is definitely not absurd to shift sexuality from kids to something else

3 days ago
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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

gurps_npc Food is not the limiting factor (394 comments)

The real problems for long distance space travel is not food, air or mass.

Instead it is: Radiation and muscle loss

Long term travel exposes humans large amounts of radiation, in particular from cosmic rays, and from

In addition, living in a low gravity environment destroys your bones.

These two issues are far more problematic than food, air, and water.

3 days ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

gurps_npc Fantasy based laws. (470 comments)

There are people in this world that think they can legislate away bad things. Pass a law, and boom, it goes away. They tried it with alcohol and marijuana, and look how well that worked out.

That is not how the real world works. Here, there is the law of unintended consequences.

Sometimes the law results in good things - for example, the existence of internet porn has pretty much ended bestiality. Before the internet, farms had an estimated fifty percent bestiality rate. Around 8 % and 3% for the general population. After the internet, all of those numbers dropped like a stone. Why? Because a pretty picture of a girl is more satisfying than bestiality.

Why do I bring this up? Because outlawing behavior doesn't stop it. Some people are and and will be attracted to kids. You can't turn off sexuality (ask any gay man or lesbian woman from an anti-gay tradition). Better that they read manga than buy actual child pornography.

Just as we use a lesser opiate (methadone) to treat addicts, we should use Manga to treat others.

Manga looks to me like a great way to:

1) wean them off child pornography

2) protect real children from being hurt by the industry

3) slowly shift their sexuality from kids to something more acceptable.

This should be required treatment for people interested in children, rather than outlawed.

3 days ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

gurps_npc Why do they have a counter? (335 comments)

Look, if moving the ice to the counter is taking up that much time, don't take the table.

Just sell it from the back of a truck.. Have a guy taking money right there.

The only reason shops usually have a counter is 1) to display MULTIPLE items.

and 2) to discourage grab and run.

They are only selling ice and ice is not easy to grab and run.

3 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

gurps_npc Is the FBI willing to give up their encryption? (284 comments)

Because if encryption is bad, then they should give it up, right?

Unless, they think they deserve privacy but don't want to give it to other people.

What about reporters investigating corruption among FBI? Will they be allowed encryption? Will the reporter have to admit they are investigating FBI, or will all reporters be allowed encryption?

about a week ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

gurps_npc Re:Three things you can tax, and consumption is ba (838 comments)

This is nothing more than a consumption tax, based only on air. It is a horrible idea. It is designed to tax the poor far more than the wealthy.

It is NOT fair in any way shape or way. It simply refuses to admit the many many benefits that the wealthy get from the government, that the poor don't.

The poor don't care if the government is overthrown and someone confiscates half the wealth. The wealthy do.

The poor don't care if their house burns down (and no one dies), the wealthy do. (at least not to the same extent - they are left as poor as they started).

The poor don't benefit from police as much as the wealthy do. (Think about what happens when they are both arrested for a similar crime, or how much you lose if someone steals from you.)

The poor don't benefit from transportation infrastructure, the wealthy do, they don't travel or ship as much.

The wealthy can call up government officials and get stuff done, the poor can't.

Your idea is ultimate regressive, and you fail to see the problem with it. Worse, arguing with someone like you is irrelevant because you don't care about right and wrong, and your sense of fairness is so radically warped that you have no idea that the far majority of people in the world disagree with it. It's like you said you don't see anything wrong with slavery.

The basic problem is you do NOT understand the very concept of 'fair'. Fair means an equal chance. That means when you get more, you pay more, and the wealthy get SO much more, they have to PAY so much more. It means that children are not penalized for mistakes or stupidity of their parents. No that child gets nothing because his parents had a big family, or just couldn't afford college.

Until you learn the real meaning behind the world 'fair', the rest of the world will laugh at what you think is fair.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Unpowered Navy Exoskeleton being tested

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about two weeks ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "A very interesting article about an unpowered exoskeleton system called Fortis. Unlike the more famous TALOS system, this exoskeleton uses zero electricity, so it does not need batteries or an extension cord. Power requirements have always been the problem with powered exoskeletons, as batteries are heavy.

The system consists of lightweight aluminum and heavy tools connect directly to it. The weight of the tools is supported by the exoskeleton, so your arms, back and legs don't have to carry it. You only need to use muscle to move the tool, not simply carry it.

The exoskeletong does not make you stronger. Instead it effectively increases your stamina by relieving fatigue caused by carry the heavy tool."

Link to Original Source
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How Google has been implenting "Forget Me" requests.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about two weeks ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "CNN Money has a short, interesting piece on the results of Google's implementing Europe's "Right to be Forgotten".

They are denying most requests, particularly those made by convicted criminals, but are honoring the requests to remove salacious information — such as when a rape victim requested the article mentioning her by name be removed from searches for her name.

All in all, they seem to be doing a good job of respecting privacy, the law, and free speech."

Link to Original Source
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Great Ted Talk about Privacy

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about two weeks ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Glenn Greenwald gave a great TED talk about why privacy matters.

The basic argument he gave against the standard "Only bad people need to worry about privacy", is that we don't live in a black and white world, there are shades of gray. The absence of privacy forces everyone to avoid the gray area, resulting in a society conforming to it's culturally accepted behavior. Not only does this prevent totally legal actions that are too close to the gray line (i.e. taking pictures of your own children wearing bathing suits), but that it also prevents society from evolving and growing. That is, no one tries marijuana out of fear of getting caught, so no one ever realizes it is harmless and in fact has health benefits.

He points out that because shades of gray exist, EVERYONE has something to hide and requests you give him all your email addresses if you think you don't have something to hide. No one has ever taken him up on the offer.

Finally, he talks a bit about Snowden, providing some great thoughts on the controversy."

Link to Original Source
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Secret App poorly designed

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The app "Secret" is supposed to let you tell your friends secrets, without them ever knowing it was your secret. Basically, you sign up, connect at least 6 friends, and post a secret. Your secret does not get sent to people unless they have at least 7 friends that have posted secrets and then it does not identify which friend posted which secret.

This has an obvious problem that a child could figure out. Your "friend" (and I use this term loosely) could sign up themselves and also create six other fake accounts, all posting six fake secrets, and only connect to one real person — you. If your friend does this, then they know that any secret they don't post comes from you.

The real silly thing, is that anyone slightly intelligent could have solved this problem, simply by having the app send secrets to two levels out, not one. That is, my secret is told to both my friend and my friend's friends. That way, even if you only have one 'real' friend', you don't know who the secret came from."

Link to Original Source
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New way for Spys to listen in on us

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 3 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Sound is just vibrating air. When it hits glass, it vibrates the glass and it is well established that a laser aimed at the glass can detect those vibrations and computers can turn it back into sound. Now, we don't need the glass or the laser. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have shown that by analyzing a video that contains something vibrating — say a bag of chips — a computer program can work figure out what noise caused those vibrations, even to the point of reconstructing speech."
Link to Original Source
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Is there an app that ignores stupid headlines

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 3 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "You know the ones I mean "This one trick...", "You won't believe...", ANY headline that asks a question (and you know the answer is 'no' because it always is), anything headline that tells you to 'never' do something, any headline that describes someone that invented something using a family word (dad, mother, son, etc.)

Yes, we know that humans are attracted to these headlines and pay attention to them.

Similarly, we pay attention when someone yells "FIRE" in our face. That doesn't mean it is ever appropriate to do so.

If we can't outlaw the idiots using this 'one genius trick — that I never believe', is there an addon that blocks these crap-lines from google news and other aggregators?"
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FBI concerned about criminals using driverless cars

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 3 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "As per the Guardian, The FBI is concerned about dirverless cars. It discussed such issues as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command), the use of such vehicles as guided bullet, (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc."
Link to Original Source
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Untrackable cellphone?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 7 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "We all know how easy it is for the NSA to bug and track your cellphone.

Does anyone sell a cellphone with:

1) Hard wired bright light that always comes on when the cellphone has power.

2) With a physical power on/off that connects and disconnects the battery?"
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US miltiary base in Ukraine?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 7 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "There is a petition to ask the Ukraine to lease land near Crimea to the US as a naval/air base.
Assuming it gets created, If this happens, it would be an ideal location for electronic espionage. No longer would the US have to send submarines secretly off the coast of Russia, we could have them openly sitting within yards of Russian controlled waters."

Link to Original Source
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Best Idea for a Universal Translator (FreeSpeech tm)

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 7 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)

In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator. Their web site includes a link to his TED talk."

Link to Original Source
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Looking for a good holster.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "I have seen several technology holsters. There are a lot of good ones for cell phones, but I am looking for something larger — for a tablet (Nook/Kindle/Nexus/Ipad).

There is however a direct trade off between discrete and carrying capacity. Anyone found an ideal balance?

I would love to hear from people with direct experience. Do you look like the worst kind of geek hipster wearing it? Any feature I should look for?

I found one from a company called techslinger, but it looks a bit too geeky for me, (double sided makes it really stand out)."

Link to Original Source
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Cancer Ray terrorist plot foiled

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray machine. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel.

But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting.

They caught and arrested the terrorists before the machine was in working order."

Link to Original Source
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Nanocoating finally lives up to it's promise

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc writes "A company called UltraTech has created a new nano-coating. They sell you two chemicals, which you spray on (in the right order) practically anything. Once you do this, as the attached vidoe shows, water considers the coated area to be something akin to a rabid lion infected with AIDS. It literally can not get wet — and that includes all water based liquids. Mud? No problem. Water based paint? Flees like a coward. The coating lasts about a year indoors (half that time outdoors). Note, you can buy it from amazonsupply.com — though ti costs about $500 for a gallon of the stuff."
Link to Original Source
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Replace teachers with computers? Or just add them!

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc writes "Recently there was a poorly designed study that claimed computers don't help teaching. Here with the opposite point of view is Sugata Mitra's TED talk. He went to a tiny village in India, put a computer there with software — in English even though they did not speak or read English — about DNA replication. When he came back months later they said "We don't understand anything — except that mistakes in DNA replication cause diseases."

At heart, his argument is that the old style of teaching derives from Victorian England's need for bureaucrats so it creates minimally competent people that know how to read, write, and do math in their head. He wants to update our teaching methods with more creative and technological solutions."

Link to Original Source
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Company planning on mining asteroids, public announcement at 10:30 PDT

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Th Bad Astronomer wrote today about a press conference happening at 10:30 AM Pacific time. He thinks the company Planetary Resources is going to announce at that they will be mining asteroids. They have the money (James Cameron, Google), the science (Ex-NASA people,including engineers and astronauts). The first step would be setting up depots. That is mine the stuff and keep the materials in space for delivery in space. It is far cheaper to go get water from an asteroid and give it to a space station than it is to lift it out of Earth's gravity well."
Link to Original Source
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Florida thinks their students are too stupid to know the right answers.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Robert Krampf, who runs the web site "The Happy Scientist" recently wrote in his blog about problems with Florida's Science FCAT. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is an attempt to measure how smart the students are. Where other states have teachers cheating to help students, Florida decided to grade correct answers as wrong.

Mr. Krampf, examined the state's science answers and found several that clearly listed right answers as wrong. One question had 3 out of 4 answers that were scientifically true. So he wrote to Florida's Department of Education' Test Development center.

They admitted he was right about the answers, but said that they don't expect 5th graders to realize they were right. For this reason they marked them wrong. As such, they were not changing the tests.

Note, they wouldn't let him examine real tests, just the practice tests given out. So we have no idea if FCAT is simply to lazy to provide good practice questions, or too stupid to be allowed to test our children."

Link to Original Source
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Flying Car - OK, boat, now available

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "In the Aero 2011 expo in Germany, they unveiled the FlyNano. Basically it looks like a jet ski with wings and a propeller. Hard wings (not para-foil), selling for about $36,000. The creator said that if you can fly a microlight, you can fly the FlyNano."
Link to Original Source
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How to make a living playing scratch lottery ticks

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "A great article from wired about lottery tickets. It's main focus is the fact that many of them can be beaten. That is, you can look at numbers printed on a scratch lottery ticket before removing the scratch off and figure out which ticket will win and which will lose. Yes, this article tells you how to do this. It also touches on organized crime and the psychology of the system."
Link to Original Source
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Google algorithm now punishes bad reviews.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The New York Times recently published a story (warning, login needed) accusing an internet retailer of intentionally providing bad service. The theory was that every bad review generated increased their google score, placing them higher in the rankings. While a Google search for the company name resulted in the bad reviews, if you searched for a brand name, that company came up very high because of all the bad reviews. So people would search for brand name products and end up using the company with the worst reputation.

Google apparently took this to heart because as per PCworld article, they recently announced a new algorithm that will punish a store if they get too many bad reviews. Right now, the algorithm just punishes "an extremely poor user experience", but they say they will continue to work on the issue.

In the (paraphrased) words of Coots and Gillespie:

They are making a list, And checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice"

Link to Original Source
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Sony using 3D TV for split screen gaming

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The Kartel has an interesting article about a recent patent Sony filed. Basically they want to hack a 3d tv set up with 2 paris of 3d glasses. They want each seperate glass to display a seperate view (so instead of each pair of glasses having a left eye different from the right eye, one is set to see the "right eye" view to both eyes, while the other is set to show the "left eye view".

This way, two people can watch the same TV and see a different picture — peerfect for head to head racing games. Right now they just split the screen, but that has two problems. First, you can see your opponent's screen, and second, your own view is half the possible width. It is an interesting idea.."

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