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Facebook Patents Pokes-Per-Minute Limits

nickspoon An Alternative Suggestion (143 comments)

Actions by a user exceeding the threshold may trigger the violation module 240 to take an action. For example, the point 360, which may represent fifty occurrences of trivial patents in a five year period, does not violate any of the policies as illustrated. However, the point 350, which represents fifty occurrences in a two year period, violates the stupid-patent threshold 330 and the blindingly-obvious invention threshold 340. Thus, if point 350 represents a user's actions of obtaining ludicrous patents for everyday things, then the policy is violated. Think I'm on to a winner here.

about 2 years ago
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Philatelists Push Petition For Pluto Probe Postage

nickspoon Re:What a waste... (79 comments)

Philatelists Push Pro-Pluto Probe Postage Petition

more than 2 years ago
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Nintendo 3DS Battery Is Quick To Die and Slow To Charge

nickspoon Re:Sad (183 comments)

We've come to expect the 9+ hour battery life we got from the DSi and its ilk. It has to be said that there's no real comparison for a handheld 3D device, but if 3D is off then I would expect at least to get a similar battery life to the DSi, given that the functionality is equivalent. It makes me wonder what it is that Nintendo has included which saps batteries so quickly, if it's not the 3D hardware.

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Flaw Lets Password Variants Through

nickspoon Re:hat tip? (159 comments)

Shouldn't this even be considered basic knowledge for any advanced UNIX user?

Let's assume for the moment that I'm not - what is the flaw involved?

more than 3 years ago
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Switzerland's Mega Tunnel Sets Record

nickspoon Re:Holy irrelevant comparison, Batman! (163 comments)

If I were trying to think of another famous Swiss tunnel I'd be hard pressed to come up with anything except the LHC.

more than 3 years ago
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Dell Drops Ubuntu PCs From Its Website

nickspoon Re:Recently been searching for a new job (473 comments)

Dell want to guarantee that the machines they sell bundled with Ubuntu are functional out of the box. They have to make sure that the wireless chipset doesn't need funky drivers, that whatever audio drivers get configured correctly, etc. Which is a reasonable thing to aim for, but it does mean that they have to test systems with Ubuntu, and some of their systems will inevitably have some incompatibility (although it's been a while since I've had that issue). Couple that with their tendency to swap out hardware with cheaper equivalents and you've got quite a difficult situation.

more than 4 years ago
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What Developers Think About Apple's iAd

nickspoon Re:Flashlight ads? (263 comments)

I mean, download it. Because it's free. (Whoops.)

more than 4 years ago
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What Developers Think About Apple's iAd

nickspoon Flashlight ads? (263 comments)

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't buy a flashlight app that requires a data connection. :/

more than 4 years ago
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Local Newspapers Use F/OSS For a Day

nickspoon Re:For a day? (460 comments)

I knew someone was going to point a case like this out, which is why I said it doesn't always work; yes, this happens. Occasionally there are decisions made by developers which seem stupid to users, perhaps are stupid (in this case it does look to me like the developers made a mistake in ignoring the bug). These cases are, in general, annoying problems faced by a minority of users.

But that doesn't mean that the general ethos is "oh, the user is stupid, the developer knows best". That is largely down to individual developers and - in the case of big projects like Firefox - project managers, who are often developers themselves.

In addition, I think it's a little unfair to apply this only to FOSS projects. If there's a (non-security) issue in Flash, for example, sending an e-mail to Adobe is unlikely to make them fix it. In practice I imagine that commercial consumer software is just as bad, if not worse (given that there is often no public bug-reporting system at all).

more than 4 years ago
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Local Newspapers Use F/OSS For a Day

nickspoon Re:For a day? (460 comments)

With non-commercial Free Software the developer is making the decisions and requests by users are either ignored or even actively blocked.

While I would agree that it's quite easy for this to happen with smaller projects (where you have one or two developers writing code to fit their own needs and just happen to release it too), all FOSS projects worth their salt have a bug tracker designed explicitly for this purpose. If a user can submit a detailed bug report (which is being made easier all the time) then the problem can be effectively communicated to whichever developer wishes to tackle it. Okay, it doesn't always work, but it's not as though the developers are sitting in their ivory towers completely ignoring the people who use their software.

more than 4 years ago
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Fatal Flaw Discovered In Invisibility Cloaks

nickspoon Re:Disappointing (255 comments)

"We have discovered that when applied to humans, all it does is make your clothes invisible!" said one scientist at MIT, before winking and disappearing into a nightclub.

more than 4 years ago
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A Balanced Look At Cellphone Radiation

nickspoon Re:Luddites (171 comments)

Yes, that is what I said. I think you might agree that a psychological condition is a type of phenomenon. If you were to read my whole post carefully you would realise that your 'correction' is unnecessary; at no point do I suggest that EHS is anything other than psychological.

more than 4 years ago
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A Balanced Look At Cellphone Radiation

nickspoon Re:Luddites (171 comments)

Name-calling isn't going to help anyone. The fact of the matter is, to some people hyperelectrosensitivity or whatever the buzzword is nowadays is a very real phenomenon. It has been shown pretty conclusively that the electromagnetic radiation itself does not cause the issues (in one study researchers used an inert box with blinking lights on it to produce the same effect), but that does not mean that the condition is unimportant, or not to be taken seriously. That would be like telling a schizophrenic "none of that stuff is real, shut up".

Rather than laughing at these people, we should consider their problem a mental disorder and treat it accordingly. This does, of course, mean that you consider the condition the problem, not the EM sources.

more than 4 years ago
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Another Study Attacks Violent Video Games, Claims To Be "Conclusive"

nickspoon Re:Or maybe (587 comments)

a Google search of "Girl Fights" returns 3.9 million hits.

Very puzzling. Very puzzling indeed. I think further research is needed here.

more than 4 years ago
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Unfriendly Climate Greets Gore At Apple Meeting

nickspoon Re:Who are the denailists? (572 comments)

The linked article seems to equate the number of scientists who saw colleagues fake data with the number of scientists who actually faked data, which is clearly a false assumption; if one scientist in a facility fakes data, then more than one other scientist is likely to know about it. If one does not read the article carefully, one might think that one in seven scientists fakes results, which is not a conclusion supported by the data.

more than 4 years ago
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The Science Credibility Bubble

nickspoon Re:And that's bad how? (1747 comments)

And of course, everybody everywhere has the time and the intellect to assess all the evidence of every scientific theory they want to form an opinion about and then form a judgement based on that evidence.

Very often when it comes to science the issues are so complex and the evidence so voluminous that one has no choice but to defer to experts: people whose lives have been dedicated to understanding and making such a judgement. They are likely to be more qualified and make a better judgement given the available evidence than me.

more than 4 years ago
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Computers To Mark English Essays

nickspoon Re:Especially bland form of English, a bad thing? (243 comments)

Besides constructed languages, this is the case for practically every language there is. There are always irregularities; this is down to the inherently human nature of linguistic evolution. If you learn English without a single irregularity, what you have learned is not really English, but some other English-derived language which English speakers will be unlikely to understand at all - at which point, you may as well force everyone to learn Esperanto.

I also rather doubt that getting rid of odd past tense forms would really make learning English a great deal easier.

more than 4 years ago

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