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Comments

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Google Fighting Distracted Driver Laws

sgunhouse Re:Bill specifically about Glass is a bad idea... (226 comments)

And ... can Google Glass be used as a HUD? That is, when driving it shows you pertinent information to your driving. If your "digital devices" law bans GPSs then it may be counterproductive.

As long as a company - in this case Google, but any company - can show how their product assists the driver rather than distracting the driver, there really shouldn't be an issue. There will of course be states that want to ban HUDs, but the public will straighten them out over time. So go ahead, Google, convince us that Google Glass will actually help the driver ...

about 2 months ago
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Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

sgunhouse Re:Missing alternative (587 comments)

My first computer was an RCA VIP (1802 processor - like an ELF) with 2KB, later expanded to 8KB. Mind you, 1 "page" (0.25K) was devoted to the video display. This netbook has 2GB, so I'm ... well really 1.048,576 times as much. I doubt anyone has exactly 1,000,000 times as much ...

about 9 months ago
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Microsoft Files Dispute Against Current Owner of XboxOne.com

sgunhouse Re:Xbox One? Oh my! (381 comments)

Use HTML entities? Hmm ... maybe not, 4π didn't render properly.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Files Dispute Against Current Owner of XboxOne.com

sgunhouse Re:Xbox One? Oh my! (381 comments)

I always wondered why Ad-Aware never checked for that name (it was owned by ADAware, an ADA software site, when I looked at it several years ago). Apparently those two didn't arrive at amicable terms ... last I saw, ADAware had a link to a different ad blocker on their site.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?

sgunhouse Recovery? (397 comments)

The question is ... if the user changes their mind, how easy is it to recover.

I help out with an online forum, we get requests every day from people who requested to delete their accounts and then changed their mind. (Okay, not every day ... but too often.) This isn't something the user can do themselves, one of the administrators has to go into the backups to find the data.

Conversely, we do have a legal requirement to delete user data upon proper request, we can't just make this option unavailable.

So the option is there and is fairly hard to find (I've never used it myself and can't say how hard it is to actually use), that's the best we can do.

about a year ago
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Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

sgunhouse Re:Open set it is! (248 comments)

I gather the comment system doesn't like all those symbols. It removed half of my reply. Let me try words ...

n! is divisible by k for all k less than or equal to n, so n! - k is divisible by k and (if k is not 1) is not prime. So n! - 1 to n! - (n + 1) are two numbers with a difference of n with no primes between them.

The result must show that for any x there are primes p and q with q > p > x and q - p less than 70 million, ...

about a year ago
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Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

sgunhouse Re:Open set it is! (248 comments)

May. There is a trivial proof that there exist gaps larger than any given number ...

Pick any number n. Consider n! (that's "factorial", for the non-mathematicians). Now, n! - 1 might be prime (or not), but as n! is divisible by k for all k x and a prime q > p with q - p = 70 million, not that there will always be a prime within 70 million of x.

about a year ago
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Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

sgunhouse Re:Choice of average (374 comments)

There is also something called the harmonic mean, which is more suitable as it is in fact the inverse of the mean of the inverses.

Leaving out the weighting ...

Arithmetic mean: (25 + 40)/2 = 32.50
Geometric mean: SQRT(25*40) = 31.62
Harmonic mean: (2*25*40)/(25+40) = 30.77

(rounded to 2 decimals)

about a year ago
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Facebook's Android App Can Now Retrieve Data About What Apps You Use

sgunhouse Meaningless permissions (176 comments)

As the example I'm most familiar with, let me consider the Opera Mobile web browser. Since the browser supports GetUserMedia it has to say it accesses the camera, though in reality it will ask you if the website should be allowed to access your camera if the site asks to do so (if you visit some video chat site). Likewise since they support location-aware websites, the permissions say it uses both GPS and network location data - but again, if you visit a website that wants your location (so they can tell you where their nearest physical store is, for example) the browser will ask if the website should have access to your location. The Play Store doesn't have any way of indicating that the app will ask before actually accessing this data.

And for those apps which don't offer a choice, the OS should. All browsers support 3 general settings for cookies - accept, deny (block), and ask. You should be able to say "No, I don't want this app knowing my location today" if you so choose - and still be able to allow it tomorrow. Or still run an app while denying it access to your contacts - ever. It should be part of Android (the browser shouldn't have to ask per se) or whatever OS, so that the developer doesn't have to think about it ... well, okay, an email or chat app always needs access to your contacts, so maybe they should have a "requires" and "can use" in the permissions.

1 year,6 days
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KLyDE: Lightweight KDE Desktop In the Making

sgunhouse Re:KDE and lightweight. (129 comments)

Already been several mini-distros (the whole system is under 100 MB) that do use KDE. Things like Nimblex come to mind, though that's been a few years ago now. Admittedly not sure they kept Plasma though ...

But as KDE is supposed to be able to run on phones now, it should be easy enough.

1 year,8 days
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Automated System Developed To Grade Student Essays

sgunhouse Computers (253 comments)

I've probably been in this longer than anyone - in 1986 I was working with a teacher (High School Biology) who had networked C-64s in his classroom. Of course back then the questions were all multiple choice (we couldn't give it enough intelligence to evaluate expressions), and yes he did the semester tests himself.

If used properly, there is nothing especially wrong with doing assignments or quizzes on computer. That being said, you know there is going to be a tendency to misuse them. They'll assign more work or have to handle more students, and start depending more and more on the computer ...

It's hard to imagine one grading essays except on structure (grammar, spelling, etc.) as it even tends to be hard for humans to grade essays. But then again, I'm a Math and Science guy, so what do I know.

1 year,16 days
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Opera Confirms It Will Follow Google and Ditch WebKit For Blink

sgunhouse Re:Poor Opera (135 comments)

Strange, I thought Bing was the default search engine.

1 year,17 days
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Scientists Study Getting an Unwanted Tune Out of Your Head

sgunhouse FTFY (219 comments)

"... so there is plenty of space left for that infernal jukebox to start playing."

Works for me anyway.

1 year,26 days
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UK Apple Shop Forced To Change Its Name

sgunhouse Re:So by forced, they mean chose (174 comments)

Remember the song Jenny (867-5309) from the '80s? At the time, dozens of people were forced to change their phone number ... though at least one business changed their TO 8675309. But then again. they didn't really have anyone named Jenny answering the phones. In fact, their answering machine message started with "Jenny's not here right now ..."

Or then again there's adaware.com which was an ADA-related programming site, as opposed to the ad-blocking program Ad-Aware (someone forgot to check whether the web address was available). After ADA-ware said who they were, they offered a link to a competing ad blocker - I guess they didn't appreciate the traffic they were getting.

There is somewhat of a lost opportunity in the fact they were getting all that attention - it's a chance to introduce themselves to new people who might not ever have heard of them. But no, they shouldn't branch out or misrepresent themselves ...

about a year ago
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Do Not Track Ineffective and Dangerous, Says Researcher

sgunhouse Re:Legislation (207 comments)

"DNT fails because it leaves the fox guarding the henhouse.. The only way to get rid of web tracking is to kill the scriptable browser."
Scriptable browsers are what makes most ad-blocking features work - and all online "apps", like Gmail etc. Advertisers would love it if you killed scriptable browsers, but online services would hate it. Kill cookies (other than session cookies), sure, but not scripting.

about a year ago
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New Zealand Frontline Police Get Apple Devices in Efficiency Measure

sgunhouse Re:It'd be very interesting (114 comments)

Depends on what they had before ... if the answer is "radios" (and no computers of any kind) then it's fairly obvious how joining the 21st century could help them. Or if - like our locals here - they were still driving around with large 19" monitors in their patrol cars and the hardware to drive such a monitor (both power and data) ... that's fairly obvious too. All depends on what they were using before.

about a year ago
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Printable AR-15 Mag Gets More Reliable; YouTube Pulls Video of Demo

sgunhouse Re:Yanked? (450 comments)

I contacted DD yesterday and reported they had pulled the video, the sent me a link to "part 2" here:

http://youtu.be/xY16r6EkUNY

about a year ago
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New Largest Known Prime Number: 2^57,885,161-1

sgunhouse Re:Uhhh... (254 comments)

If the exponent is not prime, then the number will not be prime.

I don't do HTML, I'll use the symbol ^ for exponent (I don't do C either). Let's suppose c = a*b, then 2^c - 1 is divisible by both 2^a - 1 and 2^b - 1. (That's true with x instead of 2, the difference being 2^1 - 1 is 1 which is not prime.) Whether the definition requires primality or not, mathematics dictates that the exponent must be prime.

about a year ago
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Twitter #Hacked

sgunhouse Re:Safari and Firefox (111 comments)

Sounds to me like they have found Java exploits posted to compromised accounts, at a guess. They're advising people to disable Java so that their personal computers aren't compromised as well..

How much personal information is required to set up a Twitter account? I don't use it, but I'd guess not much. So what the hackers gained is 1/4 of a million places to post links to exploit sites - places that may have a wide audience (twitter followers).

about a year ago
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J.J. Abrams To Direct Star Wars VII

sgunhouse Re:No more time travel! (735 comments)

And Time Tunnel (which wasn't all that good).

about a year ago

Submissions

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NSA datamining Verizon records

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  about 10 months ago

sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired has a story up, originally from the Guardian apparently, about an order for Verizon to turn over 3 months worth of call data to the NSA starting back in April and ending on July 19th. While the data does not include actual subscriber names and addresses, it does include both the originating and receiving phone numbers and various other "metadata" (not including actual conversations).

Strangely, the article says the warrant was granted to the FBI and not the NSA ..."

Link to Original Source
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Drug-sniffing dog = Unlawful Search?

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  about a year and a half ago

sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired is running an article on a Supreme Court challenge (well, actually two of them) to the use of drug-sniffing dogs. The first case discussed involved Florida police using a drug-sniffing dog as a basis for searching a suspected drug dealer's home. The court in Florida excluded the evidence obtained from the search, saying a warrant should be required for that sort of use of a dog.

Personally, I agree — police have no right to parade a dog around on private property on a "fishing expedition", same as they need a warrant to use a thermal imaging device to search for grow houses. I have no use for recreational drugs, but they had better have a warrant if they want to bring a dog onto my property."

Link to Original Source
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Airborne prions prove lethal in mice studies

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  more than 3 years ago

sgunhouse (1050564) writes "Wired has a story up on the lethality of airborne prions. It should be noted that prions (which cause "mad cow disease" and similar disorders) are not normally airborne and take a long time to kill the infected animal, but so far are 100% lethal if something else doesn't kill the animal first. So they are not likely to be useful as a biological weapon (my first thought when reading their headline), but another safety precaution to consider."
Link to Original Source
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NSA releases historical documents on TEMPEST

sgunhouse sgunhouse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sgunhouse writes "Wired's Threat Level has a piece on a recently-declassified document on the history of TEMPEST (the technology used to read computers from across the street and such). Okay, not much on the tech itself, but interesting read."
Link to Original Source

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