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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

milbournosphere Re:There are none (175 comments)

ViaSat-2 is planned to hit some areas of northern South America. (http://www.viasat.com/news/viasat-announces-next-generation-broadband-satellite). Granted, it's not until 2016, but the roadmap is there. Perhaps carrier pigeons will be a viable alternative until then?

about 6 months ago
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Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising

milbournosphere Re:Shell gas stations, usa, ca. 2008 (212 comments)

The ones local to me are playing ads all the time now. These pumps you refer are also slower, both to pump gas and to swipe your card and enter the needed data. I don't go to Shell stations anymore because of them.

about 6 months ago
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What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

milbournosphere My top three (222 comments)

Perhaps the open source tool I rely on most is Subsurface, a SCUBA dive logging application. It's the best for me as it will interface with pretty much any dive computer, and export the data in a simple CSV file.

Plex is another big GPL-licensed tool I use, but at least part of the code is closed source, so I'm not really sure how to rate that one.

TWAIN-SANE is another excellent project. It allows me to support my legacy USB scanner. Perfectly good hardware, but Canon stopped supporting it years ago.

about 8 months ago
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Energy Production Causes Big US Earthquakes

milbournosphere Size of Quakes Correlates With Water Used (211 comments)

It appears that the smaller quakes are triggered by the water movement, the size of which correlates with the amount of water used:

Now, scientists have known that geothermal power plants cycling water from underground can cause small quakes. But Brodsky's research actually matches the amount of water moved to the frequency of the quakes.

However, they're still not sure what causes the larger quakes. The hypothesis is that the really big ones might be triggered by other unrelated tremors.

So what van der Elst wanted to know was: "What prompts that slip?" Sometimes it's just all that water building up. However, he discovered that in three cases in the past decade — in Oklahoma, in Colorado and in Texas — the trigger was yet another earthquake, a really big one, thousands of miles away. In each case, the large earthquakes set up large seismic waves that traveled around the surface of the earth "kind of like ripples," van der Elst says. "You can even see them on seismometers, going around the world multiple times."

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/07/11/200515289/wastewater-wells-geothermal-power-triggering-earthquakes

about 9 months ago
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Steve Ballmer Reorganizing Microsoft

milbournosphere Continuity across platforms (387 comments)

Microsoft will consolidate all its major operating systems, including Windows, Windows Phone and the software that powers the Xbox, under Terry Myerson, who handled engineering for only Windows Phone before.

I wonder if this will lead to any significant rethink of things on the desktop side. Windows 8 has a bit of an identity crisis going on; perhaps Win9 or whatever they decide to call it will solve that problem now that all of the OS design groups are under one tidy grouping.

about 9 months ago
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Tesla Faces Tough Regulatory Hurdle From State Dealership Laws

milbournosphere Re:Rentseeking (309 comments)

It was a time haunted by bigness, as Americans stared at the giant corporations that had swelled to dominate the economic landscape and feared that consumers would soon become subject to whatever whims the companies cared to impose on them.

A poignant quote, considering how well corporations and large donors have integrated themselves into the government and its regulatory systems since the Reagan administration. It ended in a crash last time...how will it end this time?

about 10 months ago
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

milbournosphere Sure... (749 comments)

Just in March, Clapper testified to congress that such a program didn't even exist. On March 12th:

[Wyden]"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
[James Clapper]"No, sir."
[Wyden]"It does not?"
[Clapper:]"Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect -- but not wittingly."

There have been too many lies and half truths for me to believe anything that the NSA, Obama administration, or upper congressional committees have to say on the matter.

about 10 months ago
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Verizon Ordered To Provide All Customer Data To NSA

milbournosphere Re:Which amendment would you like to lose today? (609 comments)

It's currently at the top of several news sites at the moment, and is topping my Google news feed. Given the privacy concerns in the news recently involving the IRS and targeted drone killings of US citizens, in addition to the TOP SECRET status of this order, I wouldn't be surprised if the press and opposition party has a field day tomorrow. And rightfully so; this is a gross violation of the fourth amendment. At the very least, one would hope that it leads to the order not being extended by the court come July.

about a year ago
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Amtrak Upgrades Wi-Fi

milbournosphere Re:I believe I speak for a dozen people when I say (164 comments)

Amtrak doesn't do horribly in the southern coast region, either. With the upgraded wifi, the only real argument against taking the train is the time required to move anywhere. From LA to San Luis Obispo is around 6 hours, vs 4 at the most via automobile. From SLO to San Diego, the end of the line, can take almost 10 hours at times. I can drive there in a little over half the time.

That said, the seats are comfortable, the cars are relatively quiet, the wifi seems to be improving, and I've had worse free coffee. It beats driving on cost, and beats flying on both cost and convenience in that I don't need to give up my civil rights to get on the train (yet). I yearn for the day that CA and other places have high speed rail.

about a year ago
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Why Local Is So Damn Hard For Startups: Foursquare Borrows $41M To Try Again

milbournosphere Re:Yelp is fine (121 comments)

I've yet to go into a venue and not have the overall Yelp opinion be far off from the truth.

Doh! Typo. Scratch the 'not' from that sentence.

1 year,10 days
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Why Local Is So Damn Hard For Startups: Foursquare Borrows $41M To Try Again

milbournosphere Re:Yelp is fine (121 comments)

This. Yelp does the local job just fine. I've yet to go into a venue and not have the overall Yelp opinion be far off from the truth. I don't need all that social capability, I just need to know if anybody got sick from the food at this Chinese takeout place.

1 year,10 days
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Automated System Developed To Grade Student Essays

milbournosphere Sample Admittance Essay (253 comments)

Why I want to goto Harvard By P Q Student Up up down down left right left right B A

1 year,18 days
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Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times

milbournosphere Re:Barbara Streisand Effect? (700 comments)

Let me clarify: I do think he over-reacted. That said, not fully charging an electric car's battery before doing a range test is somewhat irresponsible of the reviewer, and it's not hard to see why Tesla might not be happy with the results of the test. Perhaps the NYT should fully charge the car over night, then re-run the test.

about a year ago
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Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times

milbournosphere Barbara Streisand Effect? (700 comments)

I hadn't read the review until Musk started talking about it. This alone made more news than the article. In the end I don't think there will be a large effect on sales; those who can afford to buy a Tesla will buy one whether or not it runs a little shorter in the cold. That said, if the logs reflect that the car wasn't fully charged, then Musk does have a valid reason to complain.

about a year ago
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Connecticut Groups Cancels Plan to Destroy Violent Games

milbournosphere Re:Similarity to gun buybacks? (350 comments)

I agree with the points you make about video games, their 'effect' on violence and their use as scapegoats. However, the program IS (well, would have been) voluntary and could potentially serve as a resource for parents of younger children who don't, for some reason or another, feel comfortable with their (non teenage) kids playing violent stuff. I'm simply trying to point out the hypocrisy of the NRA calling for a program like this one while lambasting voluntary gun buyback programs. I find it hilarious that they're making the same points about the 'video game scourge' in support of a program like this one, while fighting those exact same arguments made in favor of gun control.

If they are allowed to do this without protest, people will assume that their pseudo-science is actually legitimate.

I hadn't considered that angle...I appreciate the food for thought.

about a year ago
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Connecticut Groups Cancels Plan to Destroy Violent Games

milbournosphere Similarity to gun buybacks? (350 comments)

I can't really take issue with the program as they would have implemented it. It's a voluntary program, the person with the game is reimbursed for the game, and the game is destroyed. It's stated up front, everybody knows what the endgame is. At the end of the day, it sounds just like a sponsored gun buyback program. I wouldn't take my games personally, but at the end of the day it's a good potential resource for concerned parents out there. If the NRA is willing to sponsor a program like this one, I fail to see why they'd be protesting a gun buyback program in Tucson (http://www.npr.org/2013/01/09/168926749/nra-vows-to-stop-tuscon-from-destroying-guns).

about a year ago
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Android Hits 73% of Global Smartphone Market

milbournosphere Re:I had anticipated this a long time ago (601 comments)

I decided to do some hunting and found some good testing done by MacWorld. Link: http://www.macworld.com/article/2010286/lab-tests-ios-6-and-ios-5-performance-differences.html

Their testing seems to show flat or slightly better performance on an iPhone 4 running iOS 5.1.1 vs iOS 6.0. If there's any code designed to slow the older devices down, Geekbench, Javascript and HTML5 benchmark tests can't find it.

about a year and a half ago
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Android Hits 73% of Global Smartphone Market

milbournosphere Re:I had anticipated this a long time ago (601 comments)

...introduced artificial slowing down of the phone to make you upgrade...

Have a source for that one? It's news to me and I'll hold off on upgrading to iOS 6 on my iPhone 4 if that is indeed the case.

about a year and a half ago
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Gabe Newell Confirms Source 2 Engine

milbournosphere Re:Next Valve Game (88 comments)

They may be loosely related NOW, but one could predict that there might be a crossing of plot-arcs in HL3. Episode 2 seems to imply that players will soon be visiting the Borealis, which may or may not contain a trip to a testing chamber of some kind. Will we meet GlaDOS? Probably not. But if I had to guess, I'd think that we'll be seeing a lot more than references to Aperture Science in Half Life 3.

about a year and a half ago
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John McAfee Accused of Murder, Wanted By Belize Police

milbournosphere Re:UPDATE (353 comments)

Mod parent up, please.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Japanese Telco Near Deal To Purchase 75% Stake in Sprint

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  about a year and a half ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "Sprint has confirmed that it is in talks with the Japanese Telco Softbank to sell off a reported 75% stake in the company. If the deal goes through it could add substantial monetary backing to Sprint's US business, and add the Japanese company an entry into the US market. From the article:

Buying Sprint would give Softbank an entry into the American market, one of the largest and most profitable in the world. The Japanese company has steadily surpassed rivals in its home country, in large part through acquisitions. Earlier this month, it agreed to buy a smaller competitor, eAccess, to become the second-biggest service provider in Japan.

Sprint's stock is currently up around 17% on the news."
Link to Original Source

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On Wall Street, the Rising Cost of Faster Trades

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  about a year and a half ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "It appears the benefits of high speed stock trading are starting to level or even move backwards. The New York Times has posted an article talking about data showing that the yeilds of millisecond trading are starting to decline, and perhaps disappear. From the article:
"Research from the broker Abel/Noser indicates that the total cost for an investor to get into and out of a single share of stock fell by more than half between 2000 and 2010, to 3.5 cents. Since then, though, the cost has leveled off and then ticked up in the most recent quarter to 3.8 cents, confirming a trend that has also been visible in recent data from Credit Suisse Trading Strategy and from Celent, a consulting firm specializing in financial markets. "
This data comes as digital high speed trading is under increased scrutiny after Knight Capital lost $440 million in under an hour due to faulty software."

Link to Original Source
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Judge Rules IP Addresses Are Insufficient Evidence To Identify Pirates

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  about 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "New York Judge Gary Brown has found that IP addresses don't provide enough evidence to identify pirates, and wrote an extensive argument explaining his reasoning. A quote from the judge's order:

        'While a decade ago, home wireless networks were nearly non-existent, 61% of US homes now have wireless access. As a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals.

        Different family members, or even visitors, could have performed the alleged downloads. Unless the wireless router has been appropriately secured (and in some cases, even if it has been secured), neighbors or passersby could access the Internet using the IP address assigned to a particular subscriber and download the plaintiff’s film.'

Perhaps this will help to stem the tide of frivolous mass lawsuits being brought by the RIAA and other rights-holders where IP addresses are the bulk of the 'evidence' suggested."

Link to Original Source
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Steve Jobs' Idea for an Ad-Supported OS

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  about 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "It looks like Steve drew up an idea for an ad-supported OS. A patent was filed back in 2009 detailing how it was done. From the article:
Rather than charge the normal upgrade price, which in those days was $99, he was thinking of shipping a second version of Mac OS 9 that would be given away for free — but would be supported instead by advertising. The theory was that this would pull in a ton of people who didn't normally upgrade because of the price, but Apple would still generate income through the advertising. And any time an owner of the free version wanted to get rid of the advertising, he or she could simply pay for the ad-free version. Steve's team had worked out the preliminary numbers the concept seemed financially sound."

Link to Original Source
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24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  about 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "Here's an interesting article going into some reasoning as to why 24bit/192kHz mixes are unnecessary. The article goes into some of the science behind the idea. A very good, rather technical, read. From TFA:

Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young's group several months ago. Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space. There are a few real problems with the audio quality and 'experience' of digitally distributed music today. 24/192 solves none of them. While everyone fixates on 24/192 as a magic bullet, we're not going to see any actual improvement.

"

Link to Original Source
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Joint Russian/NASA Moon Colony in the Works

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "Russia and NASA are reportedly in talks to create a colony on the moon. They're looking to create either a base on the moon itself or a permanent space station in orbit around the moon.
"We don’t want the man to just step on the Moon,” agency chief Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview with Vesti FM radio station. “Today, we know enough about it. We know that there is water in its polar areas," he added. "We are now discussing how to begin [the Moon’s] exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency.""

Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Publi

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "It looks like even public domain works aren't safe from copyright legislation. In a 6-2 ruling, the court said that, just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”
In the majority opinion, Justice Ruth Ginsburg said “some restriction on expression is the inherent and intended effect of every grant of copyright.”
The legislation, [dissenting Justice] Breyer wrote, “bestows monetary rewards only on owners of old works in the American public domain. At the same time, the statute inhibits the dissemination of those works, foreign works published abroad after 1923, of which there are many millions, including films, works of art, innumerable photographs, and, of course, books — books that (in the absence of the statute) would assume their rightful places in computer-accessible databases, spreading knowledge throughout the world.”
As an editorial note, I find it interesting that 1923 is also the year the Walt Disney founded his company and started producing his works."

Link to Original Source
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FCC Passes CALM act, lowering advertisement volume

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "The FCC today adopted the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or the CALM act. From the FCC press release:
"The rules adopted today require that commercials have the same average volume as the programs they
accompany. The rules also establish simple, practical ways for stations and MVPDs to demonstrate their
compliance with the rules. They carry out Congress’ mandate to give viewers relief from overloud
commercials while avoiding unnecessary burdens on television stations and MVPDs."
The CALM act will take effect on 13 December, 2012, which gives networks and TV stations one year to become compliant.
Link to FCC press release: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db1213/DOC-311479A1.pdf"

Link to Original Source
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Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. Dies at Age 92

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "Arthur C. Nielsen passed away Monday at the age of 92. He's known for ratings company holding is name, and has no doubt helped to shape television as we know it.

From the article:

'"If you can put a number on it," Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. said his father once told him, "then you know something."

It was a lesson the younger Nielsen — who died Monday at age 92 — never forgot. His lifelong efforts remade his father's once-obscure Chicago market research firm into a sprawling, worldwide measurement giant with a brand name that, in the U.S. at least, became a household synonym for television ratings.'"

Link to Original Source
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Steve Jobs Passes Away

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "It appears that his death is not being exaggerated this time. Apple has confirmed in a press conference that Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56. Rest In Peace. There might have been those who disagreed with his practices and ideologies, but there's no denying that he changed the world he lived in."
Link to Original Source
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FCC Finalizes US Net Neutrality Rules

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "The FCC has finally finalized their proposed rules regarding net neutrality. They go into effect on 20 November, a year after they passed in a 3-2 vote.

FCC's summary of their rules:
"First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic."

It should be noted that some of the language is a little ambiguous; who is to decide what constitutes 'unreasonable discrimination'?"

Link to Original Source
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Netflix Cracks Down on Concurrent Streaming

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "Over the Labor Day Holiday, Netflix has started to crack down on concurrent streaming. Unless you have a plan that allows for 2+ DVDs out at a time, you will be limited to watching only one movie at a time:
"Some membership plans allow you to watch simultaneously on more than one personal computer or Netflix ready device at the same time. If you are on the 1 disc out at-a-time plan [or stream-only plan], you may watch only one device at a time. If you are on the 2 discs out at-a-time plan, you may watch on up to two devices at the same time. Members on the 3 disc plan can watch on up to three devices. The maximum is four devices simultaneously, and that is available for members on the 4 or greater discs out at-a-time plans."
It looks like this text has always been in effect, and that Netflix is just now getting around to enforcing it."

Link to Original Source
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GameStop Offers $50 Certificate for Coupon Fiasco

milbournosphere milbournosphere writes  |  more than 2 years ago

milbournosphere (1273186) writes "It appears that GameStop has a guilty conscience. They are offering a $50 gift certificate to any person who bought the new Deus Ex at GameStop. You may recall that GameStop has admitted to removing the OnLive codes good for one free game from new, unopened copies of the game.

From GameStop's email communication:
"For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from GameStop.com and present it to a Game Advisor.""

Link to Original Source

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