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Comments

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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

gurps_npc Re:Figures it would not be the US (90 comments)

US states have already proposed it, although I am not sure if they have passed it.

2 hours ago
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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

gurps_npc Re:A Progression of Complaints (90 comments)

Oh, I guarantee you that they will have a ton of cameras and they will always be recording.

The real benefit will be when some cop that has 'failed to report the broken camera in his car', stops one of these and the camera in the car records him screwing up.

2 hours ago
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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

gurps_npc Re:Dark? (76 comments)

It's not just the visible spectrum, it's all radiations levels.

Different amounts of mass result in different star types which give up different types of light. non-star objects - dust, planets, etc. block light and radiate out the energy they absorb as heat.

So by looking at any point, we can tell how much mass it has by the amount and type of light it gives off, including the non-visible spectrum, i.e. heat.

There are a few assumptions made, but it makes a lot of sense, mathematically.

None of it would have been possible before we understood the formulas behind fusion.

4 hours ago
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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

gurps_npc Re:Dark? (76 comments)

Dust blocks light and turns it into heat, which it radiates. So it shows up on infrared telescopes you mentioned.

4 hours ago
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What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

gurps_npc Re:Heh, nice poll (152 comments)

Percentage is the worst one. It is at heart a simple mathematical concept that way too many people don't understand. X percent of Y - Divide Y into 100s, and the number of hundred's you are talking about is X.

Sometimes I think that should be the one question every job interview above minimum wage should ask. If you fail, you shouldn't be allowed to be paid anything more than minimum wage.

If they complain, tell them they will get a 100% pay raise in one year automatically, but there might be a 50% pay cut across the board after that.

yesterday
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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

gurps_npc Re:When I was born... (113 comments)

You are correct about the specifics. I did make a bad comparison. (Note we are budgeted for 11 carriers active at any time - the 11th is the new Ford class, Electric powered catapult sitting in Newport, expected to be finished next year. ) That said, we do spend far more money on maintaining our military than we do on scientific research.

yesterday
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How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium

gurps_npc Re:There have been attempts before (40 comments)

Ever hear of the "jinx" tradition? It is when you say something at the exact same time you have to do "x". X is irrelevant (sorry math teacher). The point is that if two or more creatures are intent on doing the exact same thing - say eating grass while looking out for predators, they are very likely to spot something strange at the exact same time, both reacting at the exact same time. It is not telepathy, because the creatures are not reacting to each other.

The same thing often happens in flocks. All the creatures sense and react in the exact same way (herd animals are not noted for their individuality), at the exact same time. Even if the herd is large, they see, or hear/

Now, if they smell the creature, or if the herd is so large that some creatures can not see or hear the stimulus, then the herd starts to react to itself. But quite a lot of the time, an entire herd will become aware of the stimulus at the exact same time and react at the exact same time.

2 days ago
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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

gurps_npc Re:When I was born... (113 comments)

Fusion drive is not the only technology we need. We need a lot more technology to live in space. The problems of radiation, bone-loss due to low gravity, recycling air, water and food all need a lot more work.

As for what we would invent, the thing about research is if we knew what we would invent, we would already have it. Research is a surprise. It always has been and always will be.

Einstein did not know he was inventing GPS, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, etc. etc. when he figured out relativity. Tesla had no idea he would invent, well, basically our entire electrical world.

If you fund it, we will INVENT. If we don't fund it, we don't invent.

2 days ago
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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

gurps_npc When I was born... (113 comments)

When I was born Mankind had not set foot on the moon.

By the time I was five, we had been there, done that and decided to never go back again.

If aliens do exist, they are sitting back saying "What the f?ck man, you want to meet us but don't have the energy to get off the couch and answer the door?"

Mankind does not deserve space travel. We had our chance and refused to take it.

We spend less than 5% of our national budget on space travel. Whoops, sorry make that less than 0.5%. It is a joke.

Science and technology have funded our industry for hundreds of years - yet we refuse to spend more on space industry than we do on our aircraft carrier program (old Nimitz class cost about 4.5 billion - and we have 11 of them).

25 billion? Double that and make it a real scientific program. 50 Billion is a reasonable price to pay. Not the paltry less than 20 we currently pay

3 days ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

gurps_npc Re:If dimples have this big an effect (136 comments)

1) The effect varies tremendously at different speeds. At really high speeds it does nothing.

2)The aircraft itself is designed to carefully redirect the air in a very specific manner to create lift, not to reduce drag. The dimples,. even if they were helpful on lift (which is not discussed at all here), would make this far more complicated. Maybe someday someone will do the research to figure out if they help lift, but we don't know that yet.

5 days ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

gurps_npc Re:Your next supercar. (136 comments)

Uninformed. Ever hear of Tesla? They are the definition of electric supercars/

5 days ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

gurps_npc Re:11% fuel efficiency improvement (136 comments)

Bull. It does not look ugly. It looks strange to you only because you have never seen it before. Let them start making it and all the young kids will say how cool it looks. (Look at what the silly things like in music!)

As for your argument about 11%, you are a very ignorant. It is not about replacing your car, but about making the NEXT car you buy 11% more fuel efficient.

5 days ago
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UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

gurps_npc Re:Logically (115 comments)

It is easy to block porn and adult content. Simple - see cable going to your PC from your ISP? Cut it.

There! You blocked porn and adult content.

The problem is not 'finding a filter that works'. It is finding a filter that works AND lets in in 'unobjectionable content'. Which is what my entire post is about. There is NO way to define 'porn and adult content' that everyone can agree on - because those things are NOT bad for kids. Which is what my entire argument is about.

Kids on a farm grow up watching animals having sex. It doesn't harm them.

Your personal beliefs are just that - yours. They are not based on reason and logic. They are not 'real'. They are old wives tales told to you that you believe.

If you were correct that some kind of porn and adult content is bad for kids, then we could make a good definition and then we could make a good filter.

The very fact that you can't find a good filter to stop what you dislike let allow in what you do like is proof that you personally are wrong about what you personally are afraid your kids will watch.

5 days ago
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Researchers Print Electronic Memory On Paper

gurps_npc Magnetic strip? (78 comments)

Electronic memory printed on paper - how is that different from a magnetic strip - the same thing we used to call an 'audio tape'.

about a week ago
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UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

gurps_npc Logically (115 comments)

The reasons why no one likes these things is exactly why they should not even be considered - even if they worked.

That is, the concept of 'objectionable content'' is itself objectionable. There is NO SUCH THING! That is why certain countries have things called freedom of the press.

What happens is quite simple - certain people (Group A) dislike something. They don't want to see it or hear it. They falsely and incorrectly believe that even seeing said things is damaging - despite zero scientific evidence to it (instead they make up badly designed studies that talk about tendencies and thoughts as if they are actions). Other people (Group B) do want to see it. This makes group A angry. So they try to make a law against letting anyone see it. But the people making the law argue about what exactly is objectionable. They quickly find out that Group A(a) wants to stop people from seeing things that most of Group A thinks is fine. Or they quickly realize that their 'objectionable' content has valid reasons to be seen - such as medicinal and political discourse.

They get angry and try to work out a logical way of differentiating between what is really objectionable and what isn't. The problem is their original hypothesis is totally illogical. There was no real problem with what they thought was objectionable so as soon as they try to apply logic they find it doesn't work.

You can't use logic to decide something when logic says your base assumption is wrong.

about a week ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

gurps_npc Re:Mission creep. (285 comments)

This is not Mission Creep.

Mission Creep is when the mission changes to something new. That is a bad thing.

But people use that term whenever a government program expands.

Often missions start small and grow big. That is because 1) The scope of the problem was not realized when the program started.

2) The program's scope was realized and they correctly decided to start small (which they may or may not have informed everyone ) and make sure they got it right before then went big. Often people doing this intentionally do not mention this to their enemies - as the enemies will use it as an excuse to not do the work. Why should we save the entire environment? Why should we get rid of ALL of polio? Those things cost too much!!!

The worse case is when the people against the original program complain about 'mission creep' when the plan to save the few people who lived to 65 from abject poverty suddenly becomes saving all the many many people that live to 65.

This is not mission creep. This is simply maintaining the original program and making sure it worked, even though the problem is now a lot bigger.

about a week ago
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New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

gurps_npc Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (253 comments)

Studies have shown that:fat is addictive. Worse than tobacco.

Specifically, it is harder to lose 30 lbs than to quit smoking. That is why people call it a disease, it acts like one.

If you want to lose more than 30 lbs, you have three choices:

1) Get a gastric bypass. This works over 95% of the time.

2) Hire a personal trainer AND a personal chef to cook most of your meals. This works most of the time - and is the method that Hollywood stars use, not whatever they claim on the advertisements for weightloss products.

3) Give yourself a severe psychological complex. Basically you have to drive yourself insane where you obsess about eating and exercising.

Jenny Craig, Weightwatchers, etc. can work for short term periods - but they fail over 99% of the time when talking about years, rather than months.

about two weeks ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

gurps_npc Re:Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

Do you know how many regular treadmills people have bought? And not used, of course.

about two weeks ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

gurps_npc Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

The Virtuix Omni is basically an omnidirectional treadmill.

You use it in a VR environment and to move forward, you walk forward on the treadmilll.

This should solve the simulator sickeness issue.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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FBI concerned about criminals using driverless cars

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about two weeks 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 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  |  about 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.."

Link to Original Source
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USSC ruled Business patents OK

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "While the court did affirm the lower courts decision that this particular business patent was not valid, it also ruled 5 v 4 that the lower court was wrong and that it IS possible to patent a business process, not just a machine.

Justice Kennedy said that while the "Machine or Transformation" question was important, it could not be th3e exclusive test. Specifically it said that processes and methods not tied to a machine may be patentable."

Link to Original Source
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GOP wants to hear from Americans - not New Yorkers

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The Republican Party has set up a web site to hear your ideas. But whoops, they got bombarded by a bunch of Liberals, instead of the loyal conservatives they are so desperately hunting for. Worse, a simple review of the comments shows that a majority of the "lunatic" comments are from the few conservatives that signed up (I love the conservative guy that insists that his school teach children that dolphins are fish). So what do they do? They modify the registration process so that New Yorkers can't register. Try it. Log in, and give a NY zip code such as 10128. You will wait forever to get the confirmation email that completes the registration process. But if you give a Texan zip code (77001), you will get the confirmation email right away."
Link to Original Source
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Book Review of "59 Seconds"

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "59 Seconds, by Richard Wiseman, is a different kind of self-help book. Most are full of hype and 'positive' thinking and short on science. His is the other way around, long on science with tons of footnotes, and short on hype. It is written by a psychologist/professor, not a marketer. As such, every single bit of his advice is backed by scientific studies.

Much (but not all) of his advice runs contrary to the typical self help book. Imagine yourself overcoming problems, not as an instant success. To get creative solutions, do it individually and get together after you write them down, no group brainstorming. He is not a total skeptical, as he does sometimes suggest rather strange advice (naming your children with the letter A or B to get them better school grades).

He goes through most of the standard self book types, including dating, career, interviews, relationships, and child raising. The title, "59 Seconds", refers to a comment by a friend of his that asked for advice in less than a minute. Most chapters start out de-bunking the standard self-help fare, and then quickly move on to his advice, backed up by studies. Then, at the end of each chapter he puts a short '59 second' summary, along with some exercises to help you follow up on the book.

While I don't think everything he says is true, he definitely offers a different perspective than most self help books. If you are interested in a skeptical perspective on how to do deal with life's little challenges, then this book is something you might enjoy. I found it to be a very good skeptic's self-help book."

Link to Original Source
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Dell introduces laptop that charges wirelessly

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Dell introduced a new laptop that charges via a wireless charging station. You can read more about it here. As someone that had to replace the connection on two different laptops, I find this to be very well worth it. Better than Apple's 'magnetic connection'. In addition Dell's new pc includes an instant on capability that is basically a second mini-motherboard that does not run windows. It lets you do do email and web surfing at low power — greatly extending the battery life."
Link to Original Source
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Apple rejects Google Voice App

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "According to PCmag, Apple has rejected Google Coice App that lets you combine multiple phone numbers. The reason Apple gave was that it duplicated existing Iphone functionality. Of course, Google let you do it for free while the Iphone charged for it.

I think that Apple may be taking a few too many lessons from Microsoft."
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Software guess your Social Security Number

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "PCworld has a blog about a computer program that can guess your social security number. It is based on a research project from Carnegie Melon. It uses your birth date and birth location, both of which are routinely given out to websites to make the guess. It is not close to 100% accureate, but such a system could easily cause massive problems if applied en-masse. At the very least this could make spam look a lot more official."

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