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World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

quarterbuck Wrong Aircraft (85 comments)

The picture in the Aerospace-Technology website is wrong. The red rising sun on the tail would have made it obvious, if not for the fact that Wikipedia picture of the ShinMaywa is actually identical http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S....

about 3 months ago
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Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

quarterbuck Re:Youtube Comments (238 comments)

Actually this probably means that people will use youtube again.
It was a pain to set up an alias to comment or upload a video - even when you had an alias, it would keep prompting you to pick between them all the time. And if you chose to not log-in to a google account while using youtube, your search results changed and you could not create playlists (earlier you had a seperate youtube account on which you could create playlists). I like to watch british version of top gear, so I would often create playlists of those on youtube and then watch it on my internet connected TV. Now that I have to use a trace-able account, I no longer do - I don't want cable companies tracking my account and banning it permanently. Clearly, people who watch copyrighted content is not youtube's target audience, but I think there are many other scenarios where youtube-google tie-up is bad.

about 3 months ago
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How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

quarterbuck Re:The same way many global warming papers got pub (109 comments)

The biggest difference is that science accepts it's lumps and corrects them.

Yes but... Science has bigger problems correcting them, and takes much longer to do so, when political and financial pressure tempt people to look the other way. Scientists are people too.

Beg to differ. go to retraction watch.com.

As far as I can tell, there is no correction mechanism for politically based incorrect assumptions. Just as example - the job creator myth. It's still cited as gospel by many, while the evidence is clear it doesn't create jobs.

You are making the error in assuming that Economics or Finance is a science. It is called a social science , but it doesnt' work like one. People make assumptions and then form theories. The assumptions like "General Equilibrium Model" or "Rational Markets" are normative rather than what actually see to be the practice in the world. Then based on these assumptions theories are formed. These theories cannot be falsified because experiments are notoriously difficult to set up (you need entire countries) and even if a set-up is made there are 10 other possible hypothesis that explains the results.
Economics is like trying to explain ocean currents without using wave mechanics or Newtons laws.

about 4 months ago
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Solar-Powered Electrochemical Cell Used To Produce Formic Acid From CO2

quarterbuck Re:Amazing technology (133 comments)

That path doesn't directly produce formic acid. Plant trees->Grow Aphids on them ->Feed Aphids to ants -> Harvest ants->Voila! Formic acid.
Once you have your formic acid, bury the Plants,Aphids and Ants and you have sequestered tons of carbon under ground, clearing up the air.

about 4 months ago
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What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

quarterbuck Re:Not the data I was looking for... (148 comments)

Full time salaried job versus burger flipper
A lot of policemen, career military, plumbers,firemen,sanitation workers,postmen/women,secretaries, dentists assistants etc. too. Some of these fields pay pretty well. The Burger flipper vs salaried job difference is easy to calculate($10 an hour vs $20+ an hour), but high school vs college does need a paper.

about 4 months ago
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The Lithuanian Mob Was Smuggling Cigarettes Into Russia With a Drone

quarterbuck Re:Russia to Lithuania? (81 comments)

It was being used to smuggle cigarettes into Lithuania by gangs operating in both countries, though the police claim that was not the only thing that was being smuggled.
More details and pics are in an Ars article . Seems pretty nifty, small gasoline engine, has all the control surfaces (rudders, ailerons etc.) , camera and an automatic GPS controlled route (making it a true autonomous drone rather than a remote controlled airplane).

about 5 months ago
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Designer Creates a Water Bottle That You Can Eat

quarterbuck Re:Pointless? (171 comments)

You can just funnel the salt water to a coconut palm.

about 6 months ago
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Google Plus Now Minus Chief Vic Gundotra

quarterbuck Re:Please... (93 comments)

Do you work for Google ? In that case here is my complaint in specific.
Well I have a "page" already because I had a youtube account which had a different name and I got grandfathered in. So now everytime I even visit youtube, I get asked "do you want to browse as RealName or this nonRealName?" ",Are you sure you did not change your mind?". And everytime I try to comment on a video (usually trying to help with peoples tech annoyances) it asks me "Do you want to post it to your Google+"? .
This is a hundred times more difficult when I try to use the new "Google Hangouts" from my mobile phone - it always gets confused what I should have as my profile pic. Why is it so difficult for Google to know that a pic I use to chat with my friends is not the one I want to have when I use gmail (because there is work related stuff there), which is different from what I want on Google+ (which has people who are more aquaintances than people I would video chat with)? Why does google keep trying to import people from my mail into my old grandcentral account (which became google voice) ? I use that account on Google voice to buy stuff on craigslist (I worry about spammers/con artists) -why would I want to mix up my family/friends with those people or vice versa ?

about 6 months ago
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Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy

quarterbuck Re:terms not disclosed (108 comments)

Wall street journal is saying that the deal is worth about $325 millio, which is about a tenth of what the lawsuit was aiming for. Assuming the lawyers take a 25% cut, each individual in the class of 64000 should get about $2500.

about 6 months ago
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New White House Petition For Net Neutrality

quarterbuck Re:The customer always pays (248 comments)

The effect you describe are correct, but the intermediate steps will be different in my opinion.
If I follow what you say , Customers pay more, Cable companies become more profitable and internet companies pass on the cost and remain about the same in terms of profitability.
The situation will probably be worse. All the larger companies (established ones) will be able to pay (And probably not take a serious hit). Any new entrants will find it a barrier. So will any non-US website. So, other than Netflix,Hulu and Amazon, the market will have no movie streaming business. Youtube will be free from tiny competitors. Facebook and Google+ will have no alternatives. There will be one or two streaming music companies (not 10 or 15 as today). As a result, they will be able to charge you monopoly profits. So the actual results will probably be that established internet companies become more profitable, innovative start-ups die, consumers pay more and cable companies collect more. This is a far worse outcome for US innovation than what you describe.
Actually what surprises me is that Google actually supported net neutrality. Traffic shaping would actually allow them (through these bribes) to kill all competitors. Just pay Comcast a large enough amount and they will gladly throttle anyone else to death.

about 6 months ago
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Google Plus Now Minus Chief Vic Gundotra

quarterbuck Re:Please... (93 comments)

Well, they'd have to fix the real name policy and allow it to be separate from youtube/gmail etc.
I don't want all my gmail contacts getting notified through Google+ that watzinaneihm liked the latest pop video on youtube.
I don't think I do that many controversial things, but after what happened to the Mozilla CEO, I realize that what is acceptable in the future has no relation to how it is perceived today. I am not saying that donation to anti-gay-marriage was ever right, but I don't think doing what the president of the country was doing at that time was a fire-able offense either.

about 6 months ago
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Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

quarterbuck Re:LOL ... (367 comments)

X-raying is not standard inspection criteria. It is a test for probability of failure under repeated test (automotive vibrations on a load bearing part, airplanes etc.). For most applications a single load test suffices.

about 6 months ago
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Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

quarterbuck Re:LOL ... (367 comments)

The Wall Street Journal article is wrong. There is no state in the US where even the top quartile of the welders earn anywhere near $150,000. You can look it up on DoL website .
The author is using anecdotes for evidence and appealing to commonly held assumptions (like yours) for theory.

about 6 months ago
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OnePlus One Revealed: a CyanogenMod Smartphone

quarterbuck Re:impressive specs (196 comments)

They have a "careers" page on their website and all the jobs are in Shenzhen. They have two caucasian looking guys on their employee website, but they could be from Hong Kong for all I know.

about 6 months ago
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Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

quarterbuck Re:Meh (129 comments)

Precisely. Cropping, change of tone/color adjustments are OK. Also note that Dodging/Burning are basically blurring out areas that the photographer/editor does not want to focus on.
That said, they say blurring of backgrounds is not OK. Maybe this will require that the editor focus all visible elements of the photo and then change the color to hide the background again - this is also possible with Lytro since it does have the information available. But it is a strange way of hiding "information" to first focus and then decrease the intensity.

about 6 months ago
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Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

quarterbuck Re:Meh (129 comments)

trained photo editor could take the raw illum files gathered by print reporters and refocus them appropriately. I'm not sure that this would end up being ethical, though.
Why? They use filters all the time and often post-process for lighting both of which changes the amount of electrical engineering "information" in the picture. Post-focusing does not remove any information, it is information-wise similar to cropping a picture.

about 6 months ago
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Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

quarterbuck Re:Meh (129 comments)

It isn't about throwing out light or not. It probably doesn't do the art you want either.
But I would buy it if gets comparably priced (or the same order of magnitude) as regular cameras. Going to a kids football/baseball game and getting a shot of touchdown or a runner being tagged out is worth a lot. My mid level SLR does not auto focus fast enough (or I can never set it right in manual mode properly to get many of the shots).There are many more soccer moms/dads in the world than serious photographers.

about 6 months ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

quarterbuck Re:I must be in the minority. (467 comments)

If your investment growth keeps tracks with inflation, then they balance out. If you can save 15K in 401(k) a year and put in an equivalent amount into a house, that is 30K a year and by the time you retire, should make you millionaire equivalent (zero inflation adjusted growth).
Add to this the fact that the profile of a millionaire is very similar to that of a Developer .
Average millionaire is educated with atleast college degree, earns about $100 K (which according to Dept of Labor) is what developers earn, own homes,work 40-50 hours a week etc.
Add to this the fact that most millionaires are very near retirement age and it makes it highly probable that a developer is highly probable to retire a millionaire.

about 6 months ago
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GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

quarterbuck Re:Hero ? (236 comments)

As usual the Slashdot summary is incomplete on the verge of being incorrect.
Reuters has a longer story that explains the background. Digrigio testified in the Senate that he did not know of the issue. Later senate dug up documents implying the opposite.Altman did something similar (but not nearly as bad) in front of a Jury.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Excel error causes austerity

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  about a year and a half ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "Many politicians, especially in Europe, have used the idea that economic growth is impeded by debt levels above 90% of GDP to justify austerity measures. The academic justification came from a paper and a book by Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart. Now researchers at U Mass at Amherst have refuted the study — they find that not only was the data tainted by bad statistics, it also had an Excel error . Apparently when averaging a few GDP numbers in an excel sheet, they did not drag down the cell ranges down properly, excluding Belgium.
The supporting website for the book "This time it is different" has lots of financial information if a reader might want to replicate some of the results."
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Carmen Ortiz loses high profile forfeiture cae

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  about a year and a half ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "The Federal Government , Carmen Ortiz and Special Agent Vincent Kelly sued Russ Caswell of Massachusetts in a civil forfeiture case to seize his motel and home. They claimed that since the Motel was connected to drug cases, it could be seized.The judge rejected the case, saying that the prosecutors did not prove that the hotel was subject to forfeiture,and that Caswell is an innocent owner of the property. The judge found that many of the drug cases alleged to have happened were never prosecuted, Caswell did co-operate with police when needed, took reasonable action to prevent crime and that punishing Caswell did not hurt the crime-doers. Wall Street Journal has been covering this story for a while , so has the business and local news .
Darpana Sheth for libertarian oriented Institute of Justice (pro-bono) and Schlossberg, LLC defended Caswell."

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Artists sue for resale royalties

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 2 years ago

quarterbuck writes "California has a law called "California Resale Royalties Act" which requires artists to be paid a 5% cut of resold art, iff the artwork appreciates in price on resale.
Now lawyers are suing auction houses to disclose the names and addresses of both buyers and sellers, so that they can be sued if either are based in California."
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Anonymous accuses Chinese Company of Fraud

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  about 3 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "The online group Anonymous, through its arm AnonAnalytics has accused a Hong Kong listed company Choada of fraud.
Financial times (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/3434c82a-e8c5-11e0-902c-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1ZGZXijFZ) has a story regarding recent allegations of fraud against this company and mentions another fraud at an unrelated agricultural company called Sino Forest."

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John Sculley on Steve Jobs and Apple

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 3 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "Janet Guyon writing on "How I got there" has an interview with John Sculley. Those who remember Apple Lore would remember Sculley as the guy who Steve Jobs hired by saying "You can stay at Pepsi and sell sugar water or come with me and change the world" but then ended up firing Steve Jobs. He explains that one thing he probably did wrong was to run Apple like Pepsi, ie fighting a computer war with IBM like the Cola wars."
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Motorola's most important 18 patents

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 3 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "Bloomberg has a story on Google's acquisition of Motorola and quotes IP lawyers who claim that 18 patents dating to 1994 are probably what Google is after. These patents cover technology essential to the mobile-device industry, including location services, antenna designs, e-mail transmission, touch- screen motions, software-application management and third- generation wireless."
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Music Copyright War Looming

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 3 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "When copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, musicians, like creators of other works of art, were granted “termination rights,” which allow them to regain control of their work after 35 years, so long as they apply at least two years in advance. Recordings from 1978 are the first to fall under the purview of the law, but in a matter of months, hits from 1979, like “The Long Run” by the Eagles and “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer, will be in the same situation"
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Apple's plan for life after Steve Jobs

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 3 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "Fortune magazine recently ran a story (pay walled) regarding Apple University, Apple's internal education program. They seem to have hired an ex-Yale Dean to write case studies on how Jobs runs Apple . The aim is to devolve authority down from Jobs while ensuring that everyone at Apple can make decisions like Steve Jobs
Other publications have the same story too."

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A Linux Touchscreen computer for Seniors

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 3 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "Journal has a review of the Telikin, an all-in-one desktop, with a touch screen, that starts at $699 and comes from a small Philadelphia-area start-up called Venture 3 Systems.
It is much simplified (no powerpoint editing for eg.) and the hardware is thought through (two microphones), but the review is claiming that the software is still buggy."

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Cheap mobile data plan

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 5 years ago

quarterbuck writes "I have been traveling around a lot, so I currently have a GSM phone which I use through T-Mobile. But recently T-mobile stopped offering their data plans on unlocked phones (now only for their locked Sidekick phones). I am trying to find out the cheapest data capable plan. I would prefer no/limited lock-in since I travel a lot (and hate the idea of linking my phone to the plan). I would also like to be able to hack/add apps to my phone, so a Linux/Windows Mobile/Blackberry device support would be nice. I found a story online (I am not affiliated with them) and the story, while true seems outdated.
So far I have checked out Boost Mobile — AFAIK, the cheapest, but has limited support for phones.For $50 I can get unlimited data+voice but the only phone that meets my specs is Blackberry 865i. The data is also not particularly fast.
T-mobile stopped offering prepaid internet.
Verizon has data plans, but they are infamous for their Verizon Math and have no cheap unlimited plans.
Any other suggestions ?"
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India's biggest opposition party supports OSS

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 5 years ago

quarterbuck (1268694) writes "India's biggest opposition party (BJP) has announced its plan to promote Free/Open Software in all parts of the government if it comes to power. With the left and extreme left already pro-FOSS, it appears that FOSS has pretty reasonable odds in India.
Background on Indian politics. Indian elections are set in May and India has three main groups of parties. The Indian Congress led UPA (currently in power), the BJP led NDA and the third-front of which the Communist parties are a part of. We only have to hear from UPA on software policy so far."

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Who writes Wikipedia anyway

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 5 years ago

quarterbuck writes "Silicon Valley Insider has a nice post that analyzes a study by Aaron Swartz that analyzes wikipedia edits.
Jimbo Wales had earlier commented that 1400 "insiders" really edit Wikipedia. Turns out that may not be true — Millions of outsiders really make the edits, but these 1400 edit them into a complete article. This also explains why Knol seems not to have worked out very well — without millions of users scribbling their knowledge, the experts have not much to work with."

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Yahoo promises to anonymize and limit user data

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 5 years ago

quarterbuck writes "While Google is saying that personalization is the key to search, Yahoo is taking a different view of the topic. Yahoo announced plans to retain user data for no longer than 90 days and to anonymize data. Even if Yahoo is not your favorite search engine, it is a good move in the direction of online privacy if it will force others to follow suit."
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Malaysia frees blogger.

quarterbuck quarterbuck writes  |  more than 5 years ago

quarterbuck writes "The Malaysian blogger who under arrest on sedition charges has been freed by the courts. Raja Petra Kamarudin's comments were represented by the government as being anti-islam and anti-government and he was under arrest under Malaysia's Internal Security Act.Now a court has ruled that the government was overstepping its limits in what is being called a landmark ruling."
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