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Pavegen To Tap Pedestrians For Power In the UK

onion2k Re:Laws of Thermodynamics... (197 comments)

Perhaps walking on these tiles costs the same amount of energy as regular tiles, but some of the energy that is normally wasted as heat and sound is captured and turned into something useful...

more than 3 years ago
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Tennessee Makes it Illegal To Share Your Netflix Password

onion2k Re:Limited number of simultaneous connections? (495 comments)

This isn't about simultaneous connections. This is about people sharing the account _regardless_ of whether someone else is actively using it.

more than 3 years ago
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Woz Says Android Will Dominate

onion2k Features? (416 comments)

Woz is arguing that it's the featureset that will lead Android to victory. I don't agree. Features don't sell the phones. So long as it covers all the most common bases the extra stuff is just nice to have, it's not a key decision point. Any smartphone could become dominant at the moment so long as it has a good interface, looks ok, gives the user access to the software they want and, crucially, is marketed well enough. Even if iOS lags behind on features Apple won't be lagging behind on marketing. It's what they're good at, and ultimately it's what will keep them on top.

about 4 years ago
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The Beatles On iTunes

onion2k Re:Cheaper to buy CDs (551 comments)

I'm not a Mozart guy at all. I'm under 250 years old.

about 4 years ago
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Americans Less Healthy, But Outlive Brits

onion2k Re:Well, duh (521 comments)

It's called ale, and it's supposed to be served warm (room temperature, as opposed to chilled). It actually tastes of something. It has substance. That's why we like it. In fact, this reminds me of a joke.

Why is American beer like sex in a canoe?
Because it's fucking close to water.

It's funny because it's true. ;)

about 4 years ago
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US Monitoring Database Reaches Limit, Quits Tracking Felons and Parolees

onion2k 2 billion... (270 comments)

Assuming that's a normal "US" billion, and assuming it's a journal of historical data going back a few years, I don't think it's unreasonable to think there could be information in there on a couple of hundred thousand people each of whom has been track for an average of at least 6 months. So, approximately and with some guesses, that's around 55 records per prisoner per day. 1 update every 30 minutes? That sounds about right, maybe a little on the low side if anything.

What is surprising is that they were running some sort of database process that maxxed out at 2 billion records, and that it just stopped once it hit that limit rather than failing over to a backup process. But then, this is a government IT contract, so maybe it's not too surprising.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Engineer Spied On Teen Users

onion2k Happens on every website. (338 comments)

Someone always has access to the data, and they're going to look at it at some point. The expectation that no one will be nosey when they're bored one day is just naivety (or stupidity). In this case the motivation is a bit creepier but on other websites people will be looking through "private" data when they're bored - be it Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, GMail emails, or Slashdot private journals.

If you want it to remain secure and unread by other people, don't put it where other people might access it.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Twitter's T.co Is a Game Changer

onion2k Re:*shrug* (109 comments)

Honestly, Twitter traffic is fairly useless for anyone as the visitors tend to be one-time flybys who spend less than a few seconds on your endsite and just end up lowering your time on site and raising your bounce metrics. If you want engagement you better be using some other network to get your funnel working the way you want.

Going by my own experience I'd say that isn't unique to Twitter traffic at all. Most social network traffic tends to be interested in a single content element rather than exploring the site. It up to you as the site owner to grab their attention well enough to change what the user does. That's down to designing the site in a way that interests users within a couple of seconds, pushing relevant items, and so on. Ignoring the traffic because it's not already doing what you want seems a bit silly - the users are coming to your site, which is half the battle, so why not try to engage with them?

more than 4 years ago
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Tool Use By Humans Pushed Back By 800,000 Years

onion2k Evolution (189 comments)

Nearly three and a half million years of humans using tools, and I can't even put up a shelf. If you want evidence that evolution isn't all it's cracked up to be, there it is.

more than 4 years ago
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First GNOME Census Results

onion2k If you want to get paid.. (175 comments)

If you want to get paid for what you do then charge for it. I don't mean money necessarily. There are lots of ways of getting paid. But charge something.

In this case the reciprocal amount of work people are demanding from Canonical is a form of payment. If you want to claim it's not "fair" that one company is doing more for a project than another you've got to set up the system to stop them, otherwise you have no grounds for your complaint. You can't set up a stall with a big sign saying "Free, please take what you want, no need to give anything back in return" and then moan when someone takes you up on your offer.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Engineer Decries Complexity of Java, C++

onion2k He's both right and wrong. (878 comments)

For an engineer working on the sort of massively complex computing problems that face the likes of Google he is entirely correct that the likes of Java and C++ are over-engineered and unnecessary for what he faces. That's spot on (I imagine, I'm not a Google engineer).

But most of today's computing problems aren't like that. The software industry has exploded in the past couple of decades, with close to every single business now demanding bespoke development in the form of websites, desktop apps, etc.

Those tasks are carried out by "code monkey" level people. People who need the over-engineering of a modern language because they're not really capable of writing code anywhere near the processor layer. They're puzzle solvers - people who glue together cookie-cutter libraries with the minimum of thinking. The people who use the languages Pike is decrying aren't the ones who're writing the frameworks and libraries that make it all so complicated, they're the ones who have to use libraries because they can't write code to do what the library does for them. It's hand-holding. It's necessary. Maybe not in the offices of Google, but definitely in the offices of "Joe Random Web Design Inc".

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Wants To Share Your Location With Others

onion2k At least they tell you.. (248 comments)

What the update means is that they've relaxed the application vetting so apps that use the geolocation API aren't scrutinised as much as they used to be. Apple are telling users that apps can, and will, collect and store your location data, and that they're not going to stop them even if there's no reason for the app to be doing it. The app will still ask you if you want to share your location as it always has done.

Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone? Or if you install a browser that enables the geolocation services of HTML 5 on your PC (eg http://html5demos.com/geo )? No one. They don't have to. They can't really, because there isn't a "gatekeeper" controlling it all.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Releases Wi-Fi Sniffing Audit

onion2k My big sign. (198 comments)

I've printed all my private data on a giant sign that I've put on top of my house. If you read it you can expect a visit from the authorities. Please, while I might not have bothered to secure my data, I do expect you to respect my privacy.

more than 4 years ago
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More Evidence For Steam Games On Linux

onion2k They're working on it. That's all. (256 comments)

Someone is obviously working on the idea, which is grand, but that's all we can tell at this point. The number of projects that are started and eventually canned because they're either to hard to finish, too costly, or just too expensive to bother marketing that they won't turn a profit is pretty vast.

The fact code exists does not necessarily mean we'll ever get to play the games.

But let's be optimistic. A native version of Steam would be pretty awesome. Here's hoping whoever is behind the project is successful. :)

more than 3 years ago
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History Repeats Itself — Mac & the iPad

onion2k Either this is wrong, or it's wrong. (514 comments)

The article states, with a distinct air of knowledge and authority, that the working conditions of an Apple engineer on the core iPad team are this and that. Take the "90 hours a week" claim as an example. The author then goes on to state that they work in total secrecy. Well, which is it? Either it's known to be, for example, 90 hours a week, and therefore Apple isn't working in complete secrecy, or it is completely secret and noone knows what the conditions are like.

It can't be both.

more than 4 years ago
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UK ID Cards Could Be Upgraded To Super ID Cards

onion2k It's not a kick in the teeth for anyone. (197 comments)

No one thinks 'well, we've sold a bunch of these, we'd better stop innovating now in case we annoy the people who bought Version 1'. Buying something, then a few years later a better version coming along is not a "kick in the teeth". It's progress.

If the best argument you can come up with against "super ID cards" is that they're not fair on people with ordinary ID cards then you need to go back to Civil Liberties School.

more than 4 years ago
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The Movie Studios' Big 3D Scam

onion2k I am an audience member. (532 comments)

I go to the cinema a lot. I watch pretty much all the new releases. I always have. I don't agree that all 2D-to-3D releases are bad. I've rather enjoyed them. Ok, Avatar's 3D effect was better than Alice's. Nevermind, I paid my money and I walked away at the end of it feeling I'd had a good time nonetheless.

I certainly wasn't under the impression anyone had scammed me. I've read the article. I'm still not. I got what I paid for.

more than 4 years ago
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William Shatner Takes On Social Networking

onion2k Re:I would but..... (294 comments)

If that comment was on any other website besides /. I'd think it was a joke, but I'm not so sure here...

more than 4 years ago

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