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US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

iluvcapra Re:track record (290 comments)

Yeah, but what political system made it possible for such a person to do that better than the richest nation of the planet?!

The AC is sarcastic, but I'd point out that Elon Musk is a South African who got most of his education in Canada. As a matter of fact, of the five founders of PayPal listed on the Wiki page, only one of them is from the US...

yesterday
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US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

iluvcapra Re:track record (290 comments)

This is approximately the same arrangement "our" astronauts use at the moment.

Boeing makes a lot of passenger planes, and the US has really expensive new fighter jets, but apart from that the US aerospace establishment is kinda earning a C+ at the moment. The US doesn't make any of the current highest/fastest/heaviest aircraft, our military procurement system is completely sclerotic and over-managed, the best thing we have going for us is a PayPal billionaire who's building rockets effectively as a hobby...

yesterday
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The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

iluvcapra Re:15K per job in App economy (135 comments)

Hollywood job pays on average 27K. (Using the numbers in the summary).

I'm not sure about the methodology in the summary, but if you look at the scale rates for most Hollywood entertainment unions you'll see the weekly rates even for entry-level job classifications will be around $2000/week. Actors are only a small part of the puzzle and they aren't really representative of the entire employment picture of the film industry. For every professional actor in the film industry there's gotta be a dozen people in behind-the-scenes crew positions.

Even then I'm not really sure how much more "broad" the App economy is, since it seems to be dominated by "star" apps, particularly in gaming, productivity and social networks. Also consider that Apple takes a 30% agency fee for all apps while CAA and William Morris Endeavor only take 10% of their client's salary, and even then Hollywood talent agents are seen as the acme of largess and venality.

2 days ago
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The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

iluvcapra Re:Wait... (135 comments)

I honestly don't think "wannabee" counts towards these things. :-P

There are a lot of professional actors that still wait tables. You can be SAG, book semi-regular walk-ons on TV and the occasional film and still need a second gig-- people wait tables, but they also code, sell stuff on Etsy, write, work as realtors...

Even really successful actors end up having a lot of free time, Josh Brolin is known for, apart from acting, being a really successful high-frequency trader in the mid-aughts.

2 days ago
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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

iluvcapra Re:Not real chess (199 comments)

Crow:~ iluvcapra$ pbpaste | wc
    1059 8005 57450

487 bytes of of source, 57k of commentary.

3 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

The problem with the electoral college is not that it exists, it's that it's being used improperly as a flawed proxy for the popular vote instead of as it was originally intended, which was to reflect the will of the individual states, not the people.

Are you sure that's how it was intended? The EC has state-apportioned representatives because the constituents of the Continental Congress and later the Convention were colonies, later called states. Neither the US constitution, nor does any commentary I'm aware of, state that electors are pledged to represent the interests of their state.

Of course, at every crucial point in history prior to the 1860s, somebody suggests reducing the power of states in favor of either democratic populism (Jackson) of federal power (Hamilton, Washington...), and the argument against goes something like, "You're just trying to abolish slavery!" American federalism was invented as a pretext to sustain slavery in the colonies where it was economically entrenched.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

"Whatever the boss says, goes" is still a constitution. The Fürerprinzip is a constitution.

Even if what the boss said went in Saudi Arabia, they still needed a way of picking the new boss, and their method has remained codified for over 70 years. If there's a government, there's a constitution.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

Just going empirically, the U.S. would seem to be democratic DESPITE its republican government, not because of it.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

Academically, governments are categorized by their instiutions, not by whether or not they are living up to some abstract ideal of how they "should" operate.

Maybe Democratic Republics are the exception, not the rule, and maybe the US is a sham republic and Baathist Iraq is the real one. This is the problem with your approach. If you just go by the numbers, almost all presidential republics are undemocratic, and fall to coups.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: What rights does government have? (392 comments)

"In the UK however, rights DESCEND from government. This is philosophically far different from the situation in the USA."

Google "Magna Carta."

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

The United States is definitely a democracy in that we constantly have elections and the franchise is open to most people.

If you wanna get technical and definitional, this thread is about the UK, and the UK is a Westminster-style parliamentary monarchy, which is an explicitly democratic order. But this definition extends to states that I think would be problematic, like Israel, which is a republic with a parliamentary democracy, except they don't let big swathes of the population vote. Also most Communist states are, constitutionally, democratic Council republics but in practice they are so corrupt that the franchise is meaningless.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

What criteria are you using to distinguish a nonconstitutional state from a constitutional one?

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: Translation ... (392 comments)

I think, if they can indict you and bring you to trial, it's still a "problem" even if the jury sees it your way.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

iluvcapra Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (392 comments)

It's not a "constitutional republic," EVERY government has a "constitution," written or otherwise.

The United States is a "Presidential Republic." I believe the CIA World Factbook's literal description is "Presidential Republic (with democratic tradition)."

Governments are distinguished by wether or not the separate the Head of State from the office of Head of Government- presidencies do not, parliamentary states generally do. And then they are distinguished by wether they vest their sovereignty in a monarch or in a people at large (a "republic").

4 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

iluvcapra Re: Missing (476 comments)

Why don't we just put MANTIS and Super Force on the list while we're at it...

5 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

iluvcapra Re: X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (476 comments)

"STNG fans can't cope with anything that doesn't have a patronising explanation..."

You're confusing TNG with Voyager.

5 days ago

Submissions

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Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Functionally Illiterate

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 2 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Ryan Britt at Tor.com makes a bit of analysis that I think we'd have some fun with, in agreement or otherwise:

Not once in any Star Wars movie does someone pick up a book or newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or chapbook handmade by an aspiring Jawa poet. [...]As early as the 1990s-era expanded Star Wars books and comic books, we’re introduced to ancient Jedi “texts” called holocrons, which are basically talking holographic video recordings. Just how long has the Star Wars universe been reliant on fancy technology to transfer information as opposed to the written word? Is it possible that a good number of people in Star Wars are completely illiterate?

Read the whole thing,"
Link to Original Source

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Google Allows Carriers to Ban Tethering Apps

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Google, in its continuing struggle to provide phone carriers (if not its end users) with an open platform, is now banning tethering apps from the Android market. These apps haven't disappeared and can still be sideloaded, insofar as your carrier doesn't lock this functionality or snoop on your packets."
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Google, Handset Vendors at Odds over Openness

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 2 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "It would appear that now that Android has achieved a commanding share of the smartphone market, openness for the sake of openness is no longer a driving priority. Ashley Vance and Peter Burroughs report for Bloomberg on the latest phase of Google's consolidation of the Android platform:

Over the last couple of months Google has reached out to the major carriers and device makers backing its mobile operating system with a message: There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software. No more partnerships formed outside of Google's purview. From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google's most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google's Android group.

"

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Google Delaying Release of Honeycomb Source

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "BusinessWeek reports that Google will not be releasing the source code for Android Honeycomb "for the forseeable future." Android lead Andy Rubin is quoted, stating that if Google were to release the source for Honeycomb, Google would be unable to prevent it from being installed on mobile phones and "and creating a really bad user experience.""
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Apple/Verizon in Talks for iPhone-Like Devices

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 5 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "For those of you waiting vainly to get an iPhone that works with Verizon's service in the US (you know who you are, we won't make you admit it here), there comes this interesting story in BusinessWeek

Verizon Wireless is warming to the idea of an Apple (AAPL) partnership. Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple to distribute two new iPhone-like devices, BusinessWeek has learned. Apple has created prototypes of the devices, and discussions reaching back a half-year have involved Apple CEO Steve Jobs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an "iPhone lite." The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos, the person says. It would place calls over a Wi-Fi connection.

"

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Audit the Stimulus at Home with RSS

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 5 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "In a remarkable provision of Peter Orzag's instructions for implementing the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act, the Office of Management and Budget has instructed all government units responsible for disbursing stimulus money to provide its weekly reports, communications and block grant information on an RSS feed. From the memo(PDF):

For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription. Note that the required information can be supplied in the feed or the feed can point to a file at the agency using the convention noted below. If an agency is immediately unable to publish feeds, the agency should post each near term information flow (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) to a URL directory convention suggested below: ...

"

Link to Original Source
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Apple Open-Sources Leopard Garbage Collector

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Apple has open-sourced AutoZone, the garbage collector used in Mac OS X Leopard's Objective-C runtime, under the Apache v2 License. Despite its current use case in Objective-C, the engine itself is implemented in C and C++ and is described as "a fairly generic scanning, conservative, generational, multi-threaded, language agnostic, collector.""
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iPhone SDK Announced, Exchange, OpenGL Supported

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Apple has just wrapped up their iPhone development roadmap and here are the features to be presented with version 2.0, due in June: Push email and contacts, ActiveSync supporting Exchange, remote wipe. Several video games were demoed using the iPhone accelerometer and OpenGL on the iPhone, such as Spore and Super Monkeyball. SDK with development in Xcode was announced, performance suite and remote debugging of iPhone apps over the sync cable. Apple will sell apps through an iTunes-style store, that will work OTA from the iPhone or with the host computer. They will exercise control over which apps are vended over the system, and will split the sales on the system 70/30 with the developer (dev gets 70%)."
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NORAD's Santa Tracking Goes Web 2.0

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "NORAD Tracks Santa 2007, NORAD's perennial mission of tracking the progress of Santa's sleigh as he makes his yearly sortie, has gone Web 2.0 this year, including a Google Maps mashup showing Santa's current position on Earth (at time of submission, Keetmanshoop, Namibia), a KML link to let you track Santa on Google Earth, and plots and keyhole imagery on youtube.

My only question: When Santa crosses into the ADIZ, what does he set his squawk to?"

Link to Original Source
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US Democrats Accidently Publish Whistleblowers

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "The US House Judiciary Committee recently emailed all of its potential whistleblowers information about how it was restructuring its whistleblower program. Unfortunately for its sources, it emailed them this information with their addresses in the "To:" field (and not the Bcc: field). It also cc:'d this email to the Vice President.

I'd like to think think this is some sort of ingenious subterfuge, but I'm doubtful."

Link to Original Source
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9th Circuit Very Skeptical of NSA Surveillance

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Yesterday before a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the US government argued that two class action lawsuits against the government and AT&T should be dismissed, because to litigate them in open court would cause the revelation of state secrets. The lawsuits allege that the government has installed a vast system of electronic surveillance gear at internet gateways along the US west coast to monitor all internet traffic, and that this information is monitored without a warrant, even when both endpoints are domestic. The panel was extremely skeptical of the governments argument:

"Is it the government's position that when the country is engaged in a war, that the power of the executive when it comes to wiretapping is unchecked?" asked 83-year-old Judge Harry Pregerson, one of the court's staunchest liberals, of a Bush administration lawyer. "The king can do no wrong, is that what it comes down to?"


The government was unwilling to even provide a sworn affadavit that the eavesdropping was only of foreign correspondence. If the 9th Circuit allows the lawsuits to proceed, the government will appeal to the US Supreme Court."

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Google Cookies to Expire After 2 Years, was 30

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Google has announced that the cookies set on clients visiting its websites will be set to expire after 2 years, instead of the previous value of 30 years. It seems like a big difference, but does it really matter if you go to google 5 times a day?"
Link to Original Source
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "I recently came into the possession of about a hundred paper handwritten pages with tabular data, which I'd like to get into some kind of computer format (tab-delimited or XML would be fantastic, but any open database format would be good too. OCR wouldn't work, the handwriting is a little too fiddly, and I don't think I could hack a program that would properly interpret.

I'd rather not type the data in myself, I'd be happy to pay someone to do it. Is anyone aware of services on the web or in general that would take my stuff as a PDF and send me back a text file? I know there are services out there, but they seem to be oriented toward bulk and repeat business, and I'm really just looking for a one-time deal, and particularly I was looking for a reference and a story about how it all worked out."
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 8 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Cocotron today released their MIT-licensed re-implementation of the Mac OS X Foundation and AppKit frameworks, which together form the dynamic libraries and resources that form the Cocoa environment on Mac OS X. In simple terms, this means a developer can write a program in Objective-C on Mac OS X with Xcode, and as long as he uses Cocoa widgets and objects, he can cross-compile a Windows version of his application; a bit like WINE in reverse. Here is a screenshot of TextEdit running on OS X beside TextEdit running on Windows."
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 8 years ago

iluvcapra writes "This news is a little late, but on November 20th WarGames 2: The Dead Code began filming in Montreal, produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (distributor of the original WarGames) and directed by Stewart Gillard (apparently the director of such gems as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.) Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes, the team behind the original film, are not involved, and the plot revolves around a hacker breaking into a terrorism-simulation computer.

I only became aware of the new production when I read MGM was suing the rightful owner of WarGames.com for his domain name."
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 8 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Computerworld reports that in a 2004 company email read in the Microsoft-Iowa anti-trust trial, Jim Allchin, at the time head of Microsoft's Windows unit, would have bought a Mac if he wasn't currently working for Microsoft. "In my view, we lost our way," he writes about Microsoft. He continued:
"I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products."


It was also revealed by prosecutors that Bill Gates has an assistant who's primary responsibility is to "make sure no permanent record of Gates' e-mail existed.""

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