top US Intelligence Unit Launches $50k Speech Recognition Competition
So, who wants to be the one who improves the automatic speech2text capabilities of automatic wiretapping systems in the US for a few bucks?
top American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens
For a long time now several banks (I'm talking EU here, I never saw this in the US, but that doesn't mean they don't have it) offer services where you can generate a temporary card number for a one-time single transaction, and the generated number becomes invalid after that single transaction. It's meant for online payments - you generate the number with a specified sum that can be spent, you make the transaction after which the number disappears. This, combined with a two-layer online banking login (password + single-use token sent by text to your phone) seems pretty solid to me. At least, I never heard anyone using it having their card data stolen.
top Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales
the legality of a manufacturer-owned dealership"
I understand that sometimes a manufacturer doesn't want to deal with the upkeep related to a self-owned dealership chain. However, I don't understand why it shouldn't do it, if it wants to do it. Oh well, I understand, but I don't 'understand', since it's a stupid law (i.e., franchise laws related to vehicle sales). Who the hell care about protecting franchises? Yes, stupid question, obviously lots of people care, they're just not common people like you or me. The best compromise would be to allow any manufacturer to sell directly, if they want to, and let franchises survive by the rules of the 'loved' capitalist market rules - if they can't make enough profit, let them die off, simple as that. They can't beat manufacturer prices? Hell, who cares, I wouldn't mind buying cheaper cars. They could beat the prices? That'd be great, I'd buy from them. Unfortunately things are never that easy, but it would be nice if they would be, for a change.
about a month and a half ago
top Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux
Never having been involved in Linux development, but following it since the early days, I always had the feeling that without Linus' strong leadership - including sometimes strong language - Linux would've been derailed and forgotten years ago. He is right in many aspects, including the need for a strong hand in some cases in the FOSS world, especially when you're developing something as important as the Linux kernel. Such an important piece of tech/sw can't be rapidly and consistently improved with constant debates about directions. Of course, Linus' leadership might not be the best possible, but I think a lot of us is willing to accept his sometimes strong language and style given the results he produced over the years. The end doesn't always justify the means, but in this case I think it does.
about a month and a half ago
top Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights
As someone who read groklaw and loved it, I have only one question: aside from the sensationalist point of view, why would anyone ask anything from this guy? And
/. above all, giving him even more traffic...
about a month and a half ago
top Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem
Most of these women encountered this abuse..."
So, not to discriminate or anything, but what about those 6% men?
Anyway, to the numbers, I'd only say that 26% (or even 6%) of 666 is staggering. The authors should have gone to great lengths to work with law enforcement provide a means to gather anonymized data in such a way that still could be used to discover the offenders. Otherwise I don't think this paper has any more value than some article in a tabloid.
top Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction
Both sets of information â" from the car and phone â" are sent to Katasi's servers. Then, an algorithm weighs the incoming data with other information, like the location of the phones belonging to all the people who drive the car and the starting point of the trip; if the trip starts at Junior's high school, and mom and dad's phones are at work, the driver has been identified â" Junior is driving."
I mean come on. In order for you cell phone to not allow you texting while you drive, you and everyone in your family would need to share their location with some crap company with no data privacy regulation at all (we are talking about a U.S. company after all). I wouldn't be interested in such a product even if it was free. Its stupid and idiotic and ridiculous.
The only, I repeat ONLY situation when access to the phone or the navigation should be restcieted while the car is moving is when there is a single person in the vehicle, and that could be checked with seat sensors and cameras, no external company would need to collect you and your family's locations just to decide whether it's you who's driving the damn car.
top How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms
the Outdated TI-84 Plus"
That's stupid: it's not outdated, it's just old, but nevertheless, it works quite well. I still have my 83, haven't used it for many years now, but still check the batteries in it from time to time to be sure it'll never die :) I guess it's more nostalgia at this point for me, but still, these things were/are quite great. Yes, pricey, but I don't mind paying some extra for a tool that lasts forever (and they seemingly do).
top Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year
" each user would have to pay about ÃÂ£140 ($230) to make up for the lost revenue"
This sounds crazy, I hope someone realizes that. "Lost revenue" in a businness which only has any revenue at all, because soeone somewhere thought that choking the Internet in a tide of ads must be a good businness model... "Losing" that "revenue" would be lost to those companies who built on this idiotic assumption, also this businness is one of those who drive the whole web into sh*t in the long run.The Internet would function fine, their only problem is that they've grown used to the high revenue stream and reducing or losing it would hurt them. But saying that they couldn't live with a reduced ad revenue and they'd need to push all that revenue's source onto customers to survive is also idiotic - who says they need to have the level of revenue they actually have, or that they actually need to survive at all? :)) I wouldn't mind seeing some of them disappear, they are no friends of mine, that's for sure.
top T-Mobile To Throttle Customers Who Use Unlimited LTE Data For Torrents/P2P
While I can understand T-mob. in this case, they - and others as well - could just do what my mobile internet provider in Europe (not T-mob.) does: I got a data package with 10GB of monthly limit with all the constraints (e.g., no torrent use) for average use, but from midnight to 8:00am in the same package they give a separate 100GB monthly allowance without any restrictions at all (and at LTE speed). This way they can force the heavy users out of the more crowded intervals, and everyone can be happy. Oh, the best part, the whole thing costs only ~$20/month....
top MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated
My view of university education (having an MSc, a separate BSc, and a PhD) has always been that up until MSc (or until BSc, that very much depends on the country and on the followed traditions of education) the point is to get a fairly diverse _introduction_ into as many related [to your main subject] topics as possible, from people who are somewhat knowledgeable in the area, with more deeper knowledge in a lower number of specific areas. Not to make you a jack-of-all-trades in CS for example, but to prepare you to know where to do and where to look and where to start if you'll require deeper knowledge in some other area of your field than the one in which you got deeper intro earlier. That, and survival, i.e., get you acquainted with an environment where you don't only have to learn and be good in one specific topic, but be able to quickly pick up superficial and sometimes deeper knowledge in a related field as well, and be able to produce some results in a short time period. Plus, add the networking possibilities, the opportunity to meet people and gather connections for your later professional life (if you get lucky). You don't get these if you get your degree by doing online courses and from libraries.
Given the above, I don't think longish courses are doomed, they have their places, but one has to have the ability to judge which ones do, retain them, and complement them with some others which have shorter periods and get you more diversified knowledge, which don't necessarily require face-to-face presence or on-site experience. They have to find the proper balance.
I wouldn't support to give total control in the hand of the students when preparing their courses and modules, since that might result in a too diverse graduate pool - some which have very narrow and deeper knowledge, and some who only have very shallow knowledge in several areas but none actually usable for anything. They simply don't have the necessary experience to be their own guides.
top Android Wear Is Here
:) while I agree, I can't easily place my version in the list, so here it goes: I'd like it to not be bigger than a regular watch, to have looks closer to some jewelry than some nerdy toy thingy (i.e., no plastic, not rectangular), to be waterproof (at least to the extent as regular waterproof watches are), and the battery to last at least 24 hours straight (normally don't need that much, but I'm also thinking about long flights, e.g. LHR-SIN-SYD).
I don't even care if it's just a 'dumb' watch relaying every and each function and command to the phone and displaying notifications, don't need it to be any smarter than that, but until the above properties are met, I couldn't care less.
top Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?
Yeah, rumors are above $200  so good luck with that.
I've been wearing watches all my life, and no phone could change my habit of checking the time on my wrist. The first thing I'd expect from any watch (smart or not) is to last at least a semi-comfortable 4-6 weeks on a charge. I just want to use it more than I charge it, I don't think that's unfair to ask, and be able to go on extended trips without worrying that I won't be able to tell the freaking time.
Also, I'd never want a smartwatch that's dumb - i.e., it doesn't really do anything, it's just a clunky extension of your phone... thanks, but keep it.
top Mozilla Introduces Browser-Based WebIDE
If it were an add-on, I'd have nothing against it. Do not integrate unnecessary crap into the browser, history has made it clear it's not going to end well.
top Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy
human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals," shouldn't be included when computing "science literacy."
Very roughly, IMHO, believing in someting based on available provable facts, data and information stands closer to science, and believing in something even without (or despite of) them stands closer to religion [*]. However, without definitive proof for the quoted statement, if only yes-no can be chosen one might answer 'no' even when not being a religious fanatic. Thus, I'd say not asking the question is a good compromise (vs. starting yet another religion-science debate).
That said, the above question could've been left to be part of the test, if formulated more correctly [i.e. scientifically, yes], e.g. including something like 'based on currently available scientific data and information, human beings, as we know them today, likely developed/originated from earlier species of animals' - or something similar, you hopefully you get my point.
top On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google
the modern Web does not incentivize quality"
No, people do. And it shows. Enough said.
top Ask Slashdot: Can
Star Wars Episode VII Be Saved?
If it's J.J. Abrams, then the central theme will be around time travel. Maybe Luke will become evil and travel back in time to kill himself. There you have it
top Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside
a novel 3:2 aspect ratio"
Yeah, it's so invigorating to see what novelties this new age of innovation in computing produces.
Next they will present the novel larger version of it, that you can put on your desk for viewing stuff.
top The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say
'problem' was on the list as well"
Well, as everyone knows, there are no problems, only challenges :))
top Can Google Influence Elections?
Or a rather huge rock of salt. If lots of people are interested in a subject, create pages that link to pages dealing with it, tweet about it, post about it, etc, that will - or should, at least - create a change in ranking, regardless of it being about politicians, or snakes (oh, sorry, they just might be the same
:P). Calling the changes in rankings that reflect people's interest - or lack of it - about a certain subject 'influencing' sounds to me very largely misinterpreted. Anyway, if some people can really be influenced by the rankings of a search engine, that's more a testament of those people's intellect or ignorance, than anything else. Plus, the numbers in the mentioned study, and how they were obtained, can't convince me of any 'science' behind them, let alone make me even consider their significance - if any. Especially this one: 'Biased search rankings also changed the extent to which participants indicated they trust the candidates' - which, to me at least, simply sounds crazy stupid.
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