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Comments

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An OS You'll Love? AI Experts Weigh In On Her

sapphire wyvern Movie doesn't consider its own implications (175 comments)

I think Robin Hanson's commentary on the movie's lack of internal consistency is valid. I don't think Slashdot supports spoiler-hiding, so I'll just leave a link rather than quoting plot-relevant sections of the post. But his conclusion is:

This is somewhat like a story of a world where kids can buy nukes for $1 each at drug stores, and then a few kids use nukes to dig a fun cave to explore, after which all the world’s nukes are accidentally misplaced, end of story. Might make an interesting story, but bizarre as a projection of a world with $1 nukes sold at drug stores.

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2014/01/her-isnt-realistic.html#sthash.m9uOR6Cg.dpuf

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Video Streaming For the Elderly?

sapphire wyvern Re:Consider WD TV Play (165 comments)

I intend no offense to you personally feugo451, but taking a few of your words out of context:

though I have no idea what that word means and I don't like it.

strikes me as a rather good recursive definition of elderly in its own right. :)

1 year,10 days
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Mozilla Plans Major Design Overhaul With Firefox 25 Release In October

sapphire wyvern Re:Booo, hissss (250 comments)

Fourth: Tabs under the address bar please. I don't care about your ideas about how it's illogical, I am more likely to want to change tabs than to click on the address bar, and if I need to get to the address bar I can use ctrl-L or alt-D.

I agree that I'm more likely to want to switch tabs. But that's the exact reason why tabs on top is better. When the top of the tab bar is flush with the top of the desktop (with your browser maximised or aligned to the top of the desktop), all the tab buttons are effectively infinitely tall because you can just smash the mouse vertically upwards and only need to precisely navigate in the horizontal axis. This (by Fitz's Law of GUI design) makes it faster to switch between tabs by mouse.

This is the design principle which led to the Mac's use of a fixed menu bar at the top of the desktop for all applications.

about a year ago
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Realtime GPU Audio

sapphire wyvern Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (157 comments)

In English, at least, there's only one s in resonant & resonance.

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

sapphire wyvern Re:Choice of average (374 comments)

Because the test course is a fixed length and profile, and they're comparing the number of gallons consumed between vehicles to complete the standardised course.

M/g with fixed M and varying g means that the denominator is changing.

It would be difficult to test the cars on a fair yet realistic basis if you had to drive along some kind of (varying) course until you have consumed exactly one gallon and then measure the distance you have travelled.

Volume / distance is a better metric anyway because it's easier to correctly compare the performance of two vehicles. Your fuel savings suffer from diminishing returns from increasing MPG. An improvement from 10 MPG to 20 MPG (halving your fuel consumption) is much, much, much bigger than an improvement from 40 MPG to 50 MPG (cutting your fuel consumption by only 20%). But an improvement of 1 GPM, or 1 L/100 km, is always going to yield the same amount of savings no matter what your baseline is.

This is particularly relevant when you consider that for most use cases, the amount of travel a particular person needs to do is a fixed variable and the type of vehicle they drive (and hence fuel efficiency) is the independent variable. People choose a car based on their needs; they don't select their commuting route based on the kind of car they drive.

about a year ago
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Former FBI Agent: All Digital Communications Stored By US Gov't

sapphire wyvern Re:Citizen reply. (621 comments)

Have you written a detailed HOWTO article? That would be more helpful than just helping your immediate acquaintances.

about a year ago
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RMS Urges W3C To Reject On Principle DRM In HTML5

sapphire wyvern Re:What is "GNU/Linux?" (320 comments)

Busybox may well be the most deployed Linux distribution.

But, in terms of actual person-hours of interactive use (as opposed to quiet background service provision), Android would curb-stomp Busybox as the most popular distribution.

Same would apply for most-popular on a brand recognition & loyalty basis. Everyone knows what Android is and it has a lot of actual fans (and fanboys); only a few software and hardware engineers have heard of Busybox.

about a year ago
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Massive Data Leak Reveals How the Ultra Rich Hide Their Wealth

sapphire wyvern Re:Was this the Wikileaks leak we heard about? (893 comments)

Maybe they've been leaked again, via a different channel this time?

If they were leaked once, it's entirely possible the original source would leak again.

about a year ago
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How That 'Extra .9%' Could Ward Off a Zombie Apocalypse

sapphire wyvern Re:You've got cancer! (204 comments)

Actually, that's pretty much the context that the zombie plague answer is given in.

about a year ago
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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

sapphire wyvern Re:What did they think was going to happen? (290 comments)

If you could target Windows RT with win32 desktop code, I'm sure many of the proprietary vendors would happily release arm versions of their products.
But the need to target a whole new set of platform APIs (Metro /Modern) for apps on the Windows Store / WinRT makes the barriers to entry significantly higher for the proprietary vendors.

Access to the source code is only required if the end users need to do the build themselves. Obviously a big advantage of FLOODS is that you're not as dependant on a vendor's business case to target a new platform, but I don't think there's much enthusiasm for targeting metro amongst OSS enthusiasts.

about a year ago
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Can Innovation Be Automated?

sapphire wyvern Why would you want to know about existing patents? (92 comments)

Why would you want to search existing patents, especially in software?

Patents, particularly software patents, are written to be incredibly general and almost entirely devoid of anything that's actually useful.

All you would get from searching for patents would be wilful infringement liability and treble damages when the patent holder sues you.

Maybe patents for physical processes and inventions are more useful to someone doing novel work?

about a year ago
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Florida House Passes Bill To Ban "Internet Cafes"

sapphire wyvern Re:About time... (124 comments)

Sounds like raising the minimum wage would help more than education about budgeting and loan structures. Although I won't deny the education would help at least a bit.

about a year ago
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The Real Purpose of DRM

sapphire wyvern Re:As has been said, (213 comments)

Yes, you're quite right. DRM doesn't manage the user's rights. It "manages" the publisher's "rights", by infringing on those of the users.

about a year ago
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Google and MPEG LA Reach VP8 Patent Agreement

sapphire wyvern Re:VP8 is terrible (112 comments)

How much you'll have to pay Google for the royalty-free license, or whether Google will subsidize the cost for all VP8 users has not yet been announced, as far as I can tell from TFA.

Am I fundamentally misunderstanding some terminology here? It seems to me that a royalty-free licence is, by definition, free as in beer. Isn't that what royalty-free means?

about a year ago
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Cliff Bleszinski: Vote With Your Dollars

sapphire wyvern Re:I dont think user hate DLC (369 comments)

That day 0 DLC was a preorder bonus. They just gave people the option of paying for it later if they didn't preorder. Seems like a reasonable promotional stratagem to me.

about a year ago
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SpaceX Launching Dragon Capsule to ISS Today

sapphire wyvern Re:Broder Strikes Back (79 comments)

Sadly it looks like you're not completely wrong. Word is that the solar panels haven't deployed. It seems that they're trying to figure out if the module has enough battery power to attempt an ISS docking anyway. I don't know if the spacecraft has an ability to charge from the ISS, or if they would conceivably attempt a spacewalk to deploy the panels, but I'm sure they wouldn't risk stranding a capsule with flat batteries on one of the ISS's docking rings.

about a year ago
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iOS 6.1.3 Beta 2 Patches evasi0n Jailbreak

sapphire wyvern Re:The Apple Monoculture: (272 comments)

The primary use case for my tablet is reading documents. For that, the 4:3 retina screen is better than the 16:9 and 16:10 screens on all the Android tablets I'm aware of.

If there's an Android tablet with a 4:3 high DPI screen (1024x768 does not cut it for US Letter or A4 typeset documents in single page full screen mode), I'd be interested to hear about it, because I like Android better than iOS for a variety of reasons.

Also, can anyone recommend a great PDF app for Android? I use GoodReader on my iPad and it renders complex PDFs very sharply and extremely fast. I haven't found anything with that kind of rendering speed on Android yet, and I want a better reader app for my Galaxy Note 2. I don't actually care about all the annotation features of GoodReader - I don't need a feature-complete replacement - I just want something that's blazingly fast, high resolution, and at least supports bookmarks & outlines.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Australians demand more censorship at library

sapphire wyvern sapphire wyvern writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sapphire wyvern (1153271) writes "The Sunshine Coast Regional Council in Queensland, Australia, has received a petition bearing 3,222 signatures demanding additional filtering of the local library's internet connection. Those signatures represent around 1% of the Council's entire population, which is pretty impressive for a petition.

The reason? Too many library users have been using the libary's internet service to beat off to pr0n. (No information is provided as to whether public keyboards and mice have suffered from this indelicacy).

So, Slashdot: is this an acceptable deployment of internet filtering, or does the right of free access to information trump the right to non-sticky keyboards at your local library?"

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