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Comments

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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

maroberts Re:It was a big mistake (469 comments)

The question is whether you could tell the sound output in a blind test, not whether you approved of the construction quality.

about two weeks ago
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Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

maroberts Helium drives (147 comments)

...work at a very high pitch!

about two weeks ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

maroberts It was a big mistake (469 comments)

...not to include a couple of clunkers in the test; the sort of violins the average student may possess at high school.

about two weeks ago
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Interview: John McAfee Answers Your Questions

maroberts Re:charming guy (124 comments)

He may be right about literacy rates etc. His comments are probably embellished for entertainment, and it really worked in that sense, but I suspect that it's not totally divorced from the truth.

about two weeks ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

maroberts It's... (440 comments)

Peanut Butter landfill time....

about three weeks ago
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Kim Dotcom Launches Political Party In New Zealand

maroberts Signed copy of Mein Kampf? (133 comments)

So passe - you only have real street cred if you have a copy of The Downfall DVD signed by Adolf....

about a month ago
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Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI

maroberts Re:Age (217 comments)

Both these guys saying stupid and crbbing about battery life must be 40 plus?

Your point is? As a 49 year old I love my all singing all dancing Samsung Note, I like tablets (my family has 3), I like laptops (2). But because of the crappy battery life of all of them I keep a very basic mobile switched off close to hand just in case of an emergency. All of the rest aren't happy unless their charging port has a USB cable/ charger in its ass.

about a month ago
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What Would You Do With the World's Most Powerful Laser?

maroberts Q: What would you do with ... (143 comments)

Q. What Would You Do With the World's Most Powerful Laser?
A: Fit it to the head of the worlds largest shark

about 2 months ago
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Major Internet Censorship Bill Passes In Turkey

maroberts Re:Erdogan? All powerful? (104 comments)

As far as I'm aware the difference is that elections in Turkey are reasonably free and fair. In Iran you have to be an approved person to stand for election, and with Mugabe election fixing and intimidation appears to have been rife.

about 3 months ago
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Major Internet Censorship Bill Passes In Turkey

maroberts Erdogan? All powerful? (104 comments)

The last I heard was that he was Prime Minister of a party fairly elected in elections which were probably fairer than those of the US. Also his policies have not been without opposition as the riots last year have shown.

about 3 months ago
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Google's Motorola Adventure: Stinging Defeat, Or Semi-Victory?

maroberts Re:The numbers (139 comments)

You're not wrong, but what often happens is that new patents are acquired by the company as they research their golden goose further. The original patents may have expired, but Motorola almost certainly had a library of patents covering years of research and improvements in the field.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform?

maroberts Because of Android (281 comments)

..it can be argued that Linux is gamings #1 platform already

about 3 months ago
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UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

maroberts This has happened before (273 comments)

...and normally appears to be the Government trying to force Microsoft to discount its licensed to the UK Government or invest in the latest boondoggle.

about 3 months ago
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Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

maroberts Re:Rhubarb (131 comments)

...and Custard!

about 3 months ago
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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines

maroberts Re:Hmmm (323 comments)

GPS is quite good nowadays so navigation shouldn't be a problem at any altitude. A large drone would not have a big radar cross section if made of the right materials, which don't have to be super advanced. I suspect making the body out of something like Kevlar and shrouding the engine would go a long way to making an effective drugs drone. The main problem would be landing it, probably best achieved by manual control at the far end.

about 3 months ago
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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines

maroberts Re:Solution (323 comments)

I think we should have all drugs legal, controlled and taxed, so that they can be part of the real economy instead of the black economy, as well as making problems such as addition a medical issue instead of a criminal one (to an extent)

about 4 months ago
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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines

maroberts Re:Hmmm (323 comments)

Why not use drones?

I would guess the size of the drugs packages they have in mind would dwarf the capacity of anything but a proper Predator drone to carry.

about 4 months ago
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Cartels Are Using Firetruck-Sized Drillers To Make Drug Pipelines

maroberts Drill Baby Drill! (323 comments)

Was this what Palin had in mind, one wonders? :-)

about 4 months ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

maroberts This one time, in Band Camp (894 comments)

I wonder if he's gettin' kinda antsy?

about 4 months ago
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Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses

maroberts Point of no return (303 comments)

I'm not sure, but I think if they've actually dispatched the goods at the agreed price, then the companies have no legal redress. If they find the error before dispatch, then they're perfectly entitled to correct the problem.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Was Sandy good for New York and the people?

maroberts maroberts writes  |  about a year and a half ago

maroberts (15852) writes "Whilst sadly more than 40 people have died as a result of Storm Sandy, my colleagues and I are debating whether the storm is actually beneficial in terms of employment and mortality rate. For instance, we argue that deaths from murders and traffic incidents will be way down, as will injuries from the same.

Similarly all the renovation work will be a source of jobs for less skilled manual workers, and we will genuinely witness income flowing from rich to poor. Insurance companies will pay out, reducing their dividends.

So overall, should the US be wishing for more or less bad weather?"
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Do you want to play a wee game?

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

maroberts writes "No, the spelling isn't a mistake; you can now play games when you're in the toilet/ john/ bathroom (delete as applicable). The only question is whether a large "joystick" or a small one makes a better game controller....."
Link to Original Source
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Violent Games reduce levels of Crime

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

maroberts (15852) writes "According to this paper produced from a collaboration between the University of Texas and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), violent video games may induce aggressive behavior, but the incapacitation effect outweighs this and produces a genuine reduction in violent crime. This paper was referenced in aBBC news story giving reasons why the US crime rates are falling (at least outside the prisons!)"

Journals

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Why Donte has his name

maroberts maroberts writes  |  about 2 years ago

Someone asked why my son had an unusual name and even suggested that Donte is due to the parents not being able to spell. Anyway its not a spelling mistake, although some muppet who registered the birth did put Donate instead!

There's no typo; my (ex) g/f chose it, and since his ancestry is black English on mummys side, I see little wrong in him having a name associated with African ancestry.

Dante may be the possible Italian/Latin original of the name. As I have a degree plus college level English I don't think spelling is a problem for me (with a few exceptions).

Donte has a sensible middle name (which I chose) which he can use if he wants, and there's little wrong with shortening Donte to Don if he wants later. But having said that, having an unusual name also makes you memorable which can be an advantage.

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Freedom of Speech v Privacy

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

The argument about whether the press can publish about relationships and gossip is not an argument about public interest; it is clear that the public don't really have a need or right to know who is shagging who, at least not directly.

However, it can be argued that the injunction conflicts with Freedom of Expression. Essentially the injunction brings into play where the balance between a right to Privacy and Freedom of Expression lie.

The European Convention on Human Rights gives states a wide "margin of appreciation" on where they may place the dividing line. For example, should the US ever become a signatory, it could legitimately claim compliance with the convention even though Freedom of Speech is regarded as a more important right than Privacy. In France, on the other hand, more importance is given to privacy. As long as both rights are protected to some extent, both nations would be regarded as compliant in terms of their implementation.

Censoring the Web is fraught with difficulty and could be challenged under those same rights.

When the UK implemented its Human Rights Act, which effectively ratified the ECHR in the UK, it was openly stated by Parliament that a high threshold would be required for matters of Privacy to overcome matters of Free Speech, i.e. Parliament wanted a Human Rights implementation closer to the US than France. Unfortunately, legal rulings have been quietly lowering the bar in clear contravention of this intention.

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A14: The Road To Hell

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I would just like everyone who is thinking of living near Cambridge to forget the idea unless your idea of fun is sitting in stationary traffic.

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