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Comments

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When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

hyades1 I've really, really had enough (120 comments)

These cocksmokers are worse than the criminals.

2 days ago
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Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

hyades1 A step in the right direction (77 comments)

They can get back to me on this when it's got THREE extra fingers...and a tongue.

;-)

about two weeks ago
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Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

hyades1 This is excellent news... (238 comments)

Miles O'Toole, Mike Hawke, Man-hung Long, Hubicha Kokov and Hugh G. Rection join me in applauding this long-overdue initiative.

about two weeks ago
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Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

hyades1 This won't "end" well... (106 comments)

Anybody want to bet that when you rip out a real cheek-flapper, your seat's going to assume you're having a heart attack and call 911 or something?

about two weeks ago
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Ancient Bird With Largest Wingspan Yet Discovered

hyades1 Extinct? I think not! (55 comments)

Based on the evidence left behind, one of the bloody things flew over my car just this morning.

about three weeks ago
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Google Is Offering Free Coding Lessons To Women and Minorities

hyades1 Re:Generous effort but... (376 comments)

Very, very well said! I never seem to have a mod point lying around when I really need one.

I'm with a charity that goes into elementary schools and teaches science topics to the students. What they're missing (and what we bring) is hands-on stuff. When you let kids do something besides sit at their desks and be lectured at, they can learn astonishingly fast.

And by the way, I've found that in many cases, learning-disabled kids do much better when they get a chance to use more than their eyes and bums.

about a month ago
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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

hyades1 Re:Yes, but... (274 comments)

"Yes but they will all be dismissed quietly to remote re-education camps...

In Alabama...

;-)

about a month ago
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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

hyades1 It's Official (274 comments)

We all knew it was coming. Alabama has now officially joined the Third World.

about a month ago
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Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

hyades1 Honest, they'll just put the tip in... (431 comments)

The first few shipments of Chinese Volvos will probably have been built by people who know there will be...consequences, if they don't do an exemplary job. And then every car will have been inspected in detail by other people who know they'd better have an exit strategy for themselves and their family if a lemon sneaks through.

But once they've got other auto makers locked into a race to the bottom nobody can win without a ready supply of slaves, standards will change. This is a country that shipped poison dog food and children's toys laced with lead and other heavy metals. The only thing they worry about is getting caught.

I love my family. I'll never put them in a Chinese-made car.

about a month and a half ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

hyades1 Re:Money quote (688 comments)

I'm not even going to dignify your troll with a response beyond that simple statement of fact: you, sir, are a lying sack of shit.

about 2 months ago
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Some Users Find Swype Keyboard App Makes 4000+ Location Requests Per Day

hyades1 Re:Battery Life (191 comments)

You said, almost verbatim, exactly what my friend with the S4 said. And all that garbage is sitting there occupying space that YOU paid for, too. Talk about adding insult to injury! My buddy has now had his S4 rooted for about three months, and he's had no problems whatsoever. Mind you, he was very careful to get it right when he actually performed the operation.

about 3 months ago
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Some Users Find Swype Keyboard App Makes 4000+ Location Requests Per Day

hyades1 Re:Battery Life (191 comments)

You nailed it, my friend! Even worse, most of the frickin' apps kept turning themselves back on, as though there was some kind of "auto-update" function that couldn't be disabled. He actually let me watch while it happened, and I have to say, he wasn't exaggerating. He'd turn an app off, then disable it, then shut off his phone. When he turned the phone back on...guess what.

about 3 months ago
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Computer Game Reveals 'Space-Time' Neurons In the Eye

hyades1 Re:Zoned? (105 comments)

As much as I love Snopes, I don't think the fact that the Longoria incident was staged outweighs the mountain of anecdotal evidence indicating something else is probably going on.

My direct personal experience includes a couple of occasions where the moving object (in one case a puck, in the other a baseball) seemed to slow down to a crawl. Both were heading directly at my face very fast, and both times I got a glove in the way with trivial ease, even before I realized I'd moved.

I'm no stranger to the "catch a falling glass" trick, either, and I've heard many other people say they've had similar experiences. I don't for a minute believe all of them were lying or self-deceived.

If this explanation isn't the right one, I'm quite confident that it's a step in the right direction, and sooner or later we'll have a good explanation of how people somehow manage to react faster than is theoretically possible from time to time.

about 3 months ago
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Some Users Find Swype Keyboard App Makes 4000+ Location Requests Per Day

hyades1 Re:Battery Life (191 comments)

My buddy rooted his Android phone because of this kind of behaviour. He didn't have Swype, but there were at least seven or eight apps that came installed on his S4 constantly trying to phone home.

Once he rooted the phone and got rid of all the crapware, his battery life increased by something in the 5 to 10 percent range. And that's a conservative estimate.

about 3 months ago
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FTC Approves Tesla's Direct Sales Model

hyades1 Re:Will not matter. (328 comments)

The walls may be crumbling, whether auto manufacturers like it or not. A buddy of mine just paid a few bucks for an app and a Bluetooth OBD plug-in.

We didn't talk about it for long, but he basically said it gave him a freakin' TON of data...and he knows his stuff when it comes to cars. If I'd known I was going to stumble on this conversation, I'd have found out a lot more about it.

about 3 months ago
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The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

hyades1 Re:Excuse me... (600 comments)

Your premise is based on the general public having a better education than that possessed by an average 8-year-old European.

In the United States, a huge number of adults would fail that test. Pig-ignorant Americans too lazy or too stupid to take even the most elementary steps to educate themselves have no right to be taken seriously when they question science. These people accept without question any science or technology that makes their life even easier, but rise up in mindless outrage whenever anything threatens their self-indulgent, spoiled-child lifestyle. They deserve nothing but contemptuous dismissal.

And your exercise in pseudo-scientific bafflegab is an excellent example of what sells well amongst the cretinous hillbillies who infest so much of the United States, and who possess such a disproportionate amount of voting power thanks to the excessive representation given to states that have more pigs than people. In many of those places, by the way, the pigs are probably smarter.

about 3 months ago
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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

hyades1 Re:medical industry = rent seeking (288 comments)

What a ridiculous lie! The US is in the grip of Corporate America, and its people are paying for it. The best that could be done under the circumstances is the flawed legislation President Obama managed to force past the utterly-recalcitrant Republican Party, who are still flopping about like gutted trout in a doomed effort to repeal "Obamacare" before taxpayers realize how much better it is than what they had before. It's the legislative version of bridge technology like compact fluorescent bulbs and hybrid vehicles, and a useful first step down the road to universal health care.

Those of us who live in civilized countries can't help but laugh at the ridiculous cost paid into the US health care system by taxpayers who often got no benefit from it in return. For example, in spite of being much larger and colder than the US, and having only a tenth the population as a tax base, your neighbour to the north manages to put two dollars (either US or Canadian) into actual health care instead of paper-shuffling for every dollar you pathetic losers manage. And although it's far better than the US system, Canada's health care isn't anywhere near the best.

The only fleecing going on is perpetrated upon slack-jawed, pig-ignorant conservatives by their intellectual superiors (which is, let's face it, just about anybody with a three-figure IQ).

about 3 months ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

hyades1 Re:Farners Almanac (869 comments)

Because.

about 3 months ago
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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

hyades1 Re:medical industry = rent seeking (288 comments)

What kind of idiot fails to understand that all those nasty government regulations came about because people were getting fleeced left right and centre by quacks, confidence men, grifters, Republicans and other thieves.?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Verizon Intends to Share Your Personal Information

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hyades1 writes "Gizmodo reports that Verizon is sending out notification letters infested with virtually-indecipherable legalese. In their sneaky, underhanded way, they're informing you that you have 45 days to opt out of their plan to share your personal data with "affiliates, agents and parent companies". That data can include, but isn't limited to, "services purchased (including specific calls you make and receive), billing info, technical info and location info."

If you view your statement on-line, you won't even get the letter. You'll have to access your account and view your messages. However, Read Write Web says the link provided there, called the "Customer Proprietary Network Information Notice", was listed as "not available."



No doubt Verizon would like to reassure you that everyone they're going to hand your personal data over to will have your best interests at heart."

Link to Original Source
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Get Out Of Sprint Free

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hyades1 writes "Gizmodo says Sprint quietly tacked 25 cents onto its administration fees. This means you can get out of a contract with them and not have to pay the Early Termination Fee. It's suggested that they'll try to weasel out of it once they realize people are onto them, so you'll apparently have to stick to your guns.



http://i.gizmodo.com/5134918/get-out-of-your-sprint-contract-etf-free-until-the-end-of-the-month"

Link to Original Source
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Location Spoofing Possible with WiFi Devices

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "Location Spoofing Possible With WiFi Devices: Positioning System Used By IPhone/iPod Breached



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414145659.htm



ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2008) — Apple iPhone and iPod (touch) support a new self-localization feature that uses known locations of wireless access points as well as the device's own ability to detect access points. Now researchers at ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have demonstrated that positions displayed by the devices using this system can be falsified, making the use of this self-localization system unsuitable in a number of security- and safety-critical applications."

Link to Original Source
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The New IT Guy Wants Vista

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "Here's the situation: A mid-size Canadian law firm running the usual law software (Amicus or something like it) hires an IT guy from their computer contractor. The guy immediately asks to install Vista as the operating system whenever it becomes necessary to replace a PC. There's zero chance the firm will upgrade all its computers at once, so the change to Vista would take at least a year, more likely two. I'm told the IT guy has no clue about the software needs of the people doing the lawyering, but wants to make the change from XP (which they're happy with) anyway.



Some employees have said they're already run ragged, and don't have the time or resources to deal with the inevitable growing pains of a new (apparently cranky) OS. One has heard me bitch about my few direct encounters with Vista and some of the things I've seen about it on SlashDot.



Among the potential problems I see:



I've heard Vista doesn't always play nicely with older hardware (the firm scans and prints thousands of letters and documents every month). If Vista decided it didn't like some of the printers or scanners, the consequences would be serious, and would put a lot of stress on the secretaries and clerks (especially if the affected hardware was all on one floor).



Vista is quick to shut you out when it thinks you shouldn't be doing something. Telling their major client, "My computer won't let me have that information. I'll have to call you back," would be a disaster.

There's more, of course, but I'm sure you get the point.



My personal view is that the IT guy sees an opportunity for unlimited job security at the expense of everybody else in the company. However, I'm not a computer person and I don't have the chops to question his decision.



Can somebody point me towards "slap it down on the boss's desk" arguments and backing documentation indicating that Vista is not the way for this firm to go? I've done some searching, but have found mostly anecdotal evidence indicating that Vista should be avoided like the plague. That won't cut it against a guy who can lapse into techno-speak. Can the firm keep XP going until Vista's replacement comes along?



Any help will be most humbly appreciated."
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He died HOW???

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 (1149581) writes "UPI reports that the deputy mayor of New Delhi plummeted to his death during a tussle with aggressive monkeys. http://www.newsdaily.com/TopNews/UPI-1-20071022-20513500-bc-india-monkeys-crn.xml Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa was attacked by monkeys while standing on the balcony of his residence Saturday and fell to the ground during the ensuing struggle, CNN-IBN reports. Bajwa was taken to hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Here, for the first time anywhere, is solid, documented proof that spanking the monkey can kill you."
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Computer Vision

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "There may be a revolution coming in the field of computer vision systems. The ability to recognize 3D reality from 2D photographs and the use of context to make reasonable assumptions about perceived objects http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017174328.htm could solve some major problems that have limited the ability of machines to perform visually-oriented tasks humans do without thinking. A major problem with robots that "see" is that they don't use common sense to quickly discard useless alternatives. Using a little-known Google Labs widget, computer scientists from UC San Diego and UCLA have brought common sense to an automated image labeling system. Basically, it's the ability to use context to help identify objects in photographs. For example, if a conventional automated object identifier has labeled a person, a tennis racket, a tennis court and a lemon in a photo, the new post-processing context check will re-label the lemon as a tennis ball. "We think our paper is the first to bring external semantic context to the problem of object recognition," said computer science professor Serge Belongie from UC San Diego.

Carnegie Mellon researchers, meanwhile, have found a way for computers to recognize real 3D objects they have previously "seen" in 2D photographs http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060614091016.htm. Using machine learning techniques, Robotics Institute researchers Alexei Efros and Martial Hebert, along with graduate student Derek Hoiem, have taught computers how to spot the visual cues that differentiate between vertical surfaces and horizontal surfaces in photographs of outdoor scenes. They've even developed a program that allows the computer to automatically generate 3-D reconstructions of scenes based on a single image. "The technique provides an approximate sense of the scene, a qualitative grasp of the structure of a scene," said Efros, assistant professor of computer science and robotics."

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