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Comments

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"G-Prize" To Recognize Innovation In Synthetic Biology

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:Hmmm (16 comments)

I was thinking it was a prize offered by a certain Mountain View, California company.

more than 2 years ago
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Economists: US Poverty On Track To Hit Highest Level Since 1960s

k(wi)r(kipedia) Poverty level (696 comments)

The news report quantifies the US poverty level as a pair of statistics:

The 2010 poverty level was $22,314 for a family of four, and $11,139 for an individual, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income, before tax deductions.

But it doesn't go on to describe the lifestyle of a person in that income group. I mean, suppose a person chooses to live without a car, a yearly vacation abroad, or the latest iDevice. Surely that person's poverty level would be different from a person who chooses to have a car, take yearly vacations abroad, and buy the latest iPhone?

more than 2 years ago
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Jack Daniels Shows How To Write a Cease and Desist Letter

k(wi)r(kipedia) Fair use, free speech (402 comments)

Especially since it's not in the same line (and scale) of business. Besides fair use, parodies (such as the cover if not the book itself) ought to be covered by freedom of expression laws.

more than 2 years ago
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Nanoparticle Completely Eradicates Hepatitis C Virus

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (104 comments)

The difference here is the buzz word nano. If the new treatment is a true nano cure, then the difference between this and the old "magical cures" would be the difference between using a drone strike to target the headquarters of a terrorist group versus bombing the village where the headquarters happen to be found.

more than 2 years ago
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Poison Attacks Against Machine Learning

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:this is not ai (82 comments)

Real AI doesn't exist yet (and I'm not sure it will).

more than 2 years ago
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Poison Attacks Against Machine Learning

k(wi)r(kipedia) Will AI's become too smart for us? (82 comments)

The security implications aside, one problem I see is a possible arms race between the poisoners and the AI designers. The only way for the designers to win is to build tests that are less tolerant of the poisoned data. This is good if AI systems are built to interact only with other AI systems. But what if humans are the end users?

At some point, the increase in data precision will come up against the natural imprecision of human users. Fewer humans will be smart enough to pass the Turing test. A practical example: I've noticed how Google's recaptcha puzzles have become more difficult. I now need to magnify the page view in order to make out some of the letters.

more than 2 years ago
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Japan: Police Arrest Journalists For Selling DVD-Backup Tools

k(wi)r(kipedia) Anime fansubs (252 comments)

If the news is true, then it should end all doubt that the Japanese authorities are somehow tolerant of the unlicensed distribution of media, including Japan's number one entertainment export, anime. Even if it might be argued that Japanese copyright law doesn't apply outside Japan (or that Japan wouldn't dare to conduct a Megaupload-style enforcement action), this does raise the question of how anime can be fansubbed at all if the episodes can't be recorded and shared with the "outside world."

more than 2 years ago
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Europe Gets Pay-As-You-Go Satellite Broadband

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:Conspicuously missing: the actual price (58 comments)

Total billing might be indeterminate, but shouldn't there be some sort of rate cost either per unit (Mb/Gb) of data transferred or per duration of connection? Otherwise what's to prevent the provider from demanding your right arm as payment?

more than 2 years ago
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Linux 3.5 Released

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:Look better (277 comments)

True. Apple is better than most at starting a trend. So now suddenly hardware-based keyboards are seen as less cool, at least as far as smartphones are concerned.

more than 2 years ago
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Linux 3.5 Released

k(wi)r(kipedia) Look better (277 comments)

As usual it was Apple coming in doing something people have done before, only much better.

Apple's implementations "look" better than the competition. It's kind of like having a beauty contest where the winner isn't the brainiest but the cutest kid on the ramp. Example: the lack of a built-in hardware keyboard on the iPhone.

more than 2 years ago
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Harvard Study Suggests Drone Strikes Can Disrupt Terror Groups

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:But what about the kids of dead parents? (429 comments)

Some may call drone strikes terrorism but I do not. In my mind the difference is intent.

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

I can hear an al-Qaeda leader having the same debate in his head. Okay, he's more radical with what he thinks is the solution to the damage inflicted on Islam by the US (e.g. "corrupting" the minds of the Islamic youth). But that's why he's a radical. To his own twisted mind, his intentions are "good".

Other posters have already mentioned the way the founders of al-Qaeda (or maybe al-Qaeda itself in an earlier incarnation) received assistance from the US military. The intentions at the time were arguably "good", stopping the spread of Soviet influence in countries like Afghanistan.

Ultimately, it's the consequences that matter. When drone strikes or nuclear bombs kill far too many civilians, then maybe it's time to change the means, the tools used to carry out your intent.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Releases Jelly Bean Updates For the Nexus S

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:Wasn't that the whole idea? (104 comments)

It makes it an absolute pain to figure any settings out for someone else unless you have the exact same phone.

If that's true, then smartphones have become the new PCs. Only smart people can (con)figure them (out). But really what's so hard about a smartphone once you know that the World icon obviously means World Wide Web, while the thing that looks like a window means, rather less obviously, Applications?

more than 2 years ago
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Asus Delivers Speed Boost With USB Attached SCSI Protocol

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:USB as RAM? (93 comments)

With speeds now comparable to DDR memory, what's to stop blank USB sticks being used as a temporary RAM boost?

As soon as they get (at least) SSD-class wear levelling? Having noticed that my longest lived thumb drives tend to be the ones I don't use that often, I'm assuming that such drives aren't as durable as SSDs when it comes to rewrite operations. An SSD in a USB 3 thumb drive form factor, now that would be something for an ultimate Linux Live Distro.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Says Some Apple Inventions Are So Great They Should Be Shared

k(wi)r(kipedia) Wrong title (347 comments)

Right. The title of the summary and article should instead read "Google says some Apple inventions are so obvious they should be shared". Apple's insistence that designs should differ vastly goes against the long tradition of artistic emulation and imitation. How many can really tell the difference beween Raphael and Michelangelo?

more than 2 years ago
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Gooseberry Launches Android-based Raspberry Pi Rival

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:List of more tiny Linux PCs (170 comments)

Lots of toys to fondle and play with!

I'd get a puppy or a teddy bear if I were you.

more than 2 years ago
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Lenovo CEO Gives His $3M Bonus To 10k Workers

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:More clan-controlled corporations in the East (267 comments)

I'd say that this still has overall beneficial effect: people who view the company as their fief, rather than merely a convenient but disposable source of income at this particular moment, are far more likely to manage it well and look at long-term effects of what they're doing.

Having the company as your private empire may well have the opposite effect. Since effectively nobody can fire you, your only enemy being an overly ambitious relation, you have no incentive to do well on the job. On the other hand, if you're a hard worker, you may prefer to do things by the book, fearful of innovation, since you don't want to be known as the guy who ruined the family dynasty.

more than 2 years ago
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Gooseberry Launches Android-based Raspberry Pi Rival

k(wi)r(kipedia) List of more tiny Linux PCs (170 comments)

While we're on the subject here's an overview of other tiny Linux PCs, including handhelds like the Pandora and the Ben Nanote. The list of course excludes what potentially could be the most widely deployd tiny Linux PCs, cellphones and 7-inch tablets running Android.

more than 2 years ago
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Lenovo CEO Gives His $3M Bonus To 10k Workers

k(wi)r(kipedia) More clan-controlled corporations in the East (267 comments)

The difference in the east and the U.S.: the CEO is considered important but not necessarily above the other workers. In the U.S. they are in an ivory tower. That's a problem and that's what so much of us have a problem with.

Since we're both [citation needed], let me counter you with my own theory about why Asian CEOs appear to be less fabulously compensated. Many of the larger corporations in Asia tend to be family or at least clan-controlled. I mean, take a look at Microsoft and Apple. If Microsoft were an Asian corporation, Bill Gates IV or V would now be in charge. Apple would now be led by Steve Jobs's wife or sister. Similar to the way some US execs enjoy working for the pauperly sum of $1, Asian CEOs (I'm generalizing, okay?) are willing to work for much less than their US counterparts since it's the family business anyway.

more than 2 years ago
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Why You Shouldn't Write Off Google+ Just Yet

k(wi)r(kipedia) What social network existed in 1998? (286 comments)

I'm just curious what CmdrTaco is alluding to in the following paragraph:

Of course, Facebook is doing more or less the same thing. You probably just don't care as much, because Facebook was always doing it. You weren't using it anonymously in 1998, so your expectations are different.

One way to read that passage is that he got his dates horribly wrong (theFacebook started in 2004). I'm inclined to think it's a hint to another (anti)social networking site.

more than 2 years ago
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In Advance of Ramadan, Indonesian Gov't Starts Massive Censorship Push

k(wi)r(kipedia) Re:Maybe I'm missing something (184 comments)

Isn't Ramadan a Muslim holiday? How is it "the country's holy month"?

Ramadan isn't the holiday, since it lasts more or less a month. Now even if you're not familiar with Islamic religious feasts, just imagine the consequences of an entire nation taking their vacation at the same time. The holiday (and holy day) is called Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan.

Eid ul-Fitr has been compared to Christmas. I think it's closer to Easter Sunday, since both holy days mark the end of some sort abstinence, Lent in the case of Easter. Nowadays fasting is a word not general associated with the Christmas season.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Facebook "Like" system devalued by fake users

k(wi)r(kipedia) k(wi)r(kipedia) writes  |  more than 2 years ago

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) writes "A BBC investigation has found evidence of fake users skewing the results of Facebook's "Like" recommendation system. The BBC set up a Facebook page for a fake business called VirtualBagel and invited users to "like" it. The page reportedly attracted "over 1,600 likes" within twenty-four hours. The test appeared to confirm the claims of a social media marketing consultant who contacted the BBC after he noticed a disparity in the distribution of users "liking" the products of his clients. "While they had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their 'likes' appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt.""

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