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Comments

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Open Source Music Fingerprinter Gets Patent Nastygram

thesolo Re:Patent and disclosure... (487 comments)

Weirdly, Shazam have published a fairly thorough paper on how their search algorithm works. While devoid of any actual code, it doesn't seem as though the blog in question has given away any trade secrets that aren't easily derived from this paper and other bodies of work online.

Of course, by threatening the guy Shazam & LDS have created their very own Streisand Effect; this is front page on /., Digg, Reddit, YCombinator, etc., which means millions of people have now seen the "infringing" code, with many saving it or tweaking it. I'm certain someone will mirror it in a country that doesn't validate software patents as well. One also wonders if they're going to sue Google or demand they clear the cache.

As for me, I won't be using their software, and I will be contacting them to register my disgust, though it probably will make no difference in their attitude.

more than 4 years ago
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Colleges Risk Losing Federal Funding If They Don't Fight Piracy

thesolo Full text of the provision. (285 comments)

You can read the full text of the bill on the Library of Congress website. Here is the offending piece:

Section 493:

29 The institution certifies that the institution

A has developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including through the use of a variety of technology-based

B will, to the extent practicable, offer alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property, as determined by the institution in consultation with the chief technology officer or other designated officer of the institution.

That said, language about it has been in there since the very first draft in 2007, Section 485:

An annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;

2 a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws;

3 a description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system; and

4 a description of actions that the institution takes to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on the institution's information technology system.

The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. George Miller, doesn't appear to get any funding at all from the RIAA/MPAA according to OpenSecrets, so I'm guessing that language was put in place by one of the other 29 cosponsors, or by committee. I'd love to find out where that provision originated.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Attackers Identified as Chinese Government

thesolo Re:No, Seriously... (651 comments)

What I have not doped out yet to my own satisfaction is whether the tepid response from Washington is the fault of the current administration, confusion regarding the digital nature of the breach and assets, or a little of both.

Oh for fuck's sake...

What you see as tepid, I see as extremely diplomatic. There's an open investigation into this, the Dept. of State surely doesn't have all the details yet. What would you prefer they do, issue a hawkish, threatening letter? Or perhaps demands?

8 years of poor foreign policy and unnecessary demands got us very little sympathy or friends on the global stage. I think maybe you should give the Dept of State time to process all the details before they issue an ultimatum.

more than 4 years ago
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Tynt Insight Is Watching You Cut and Paste

thesolo Re:A comment from Tynt (495 comments)

Why not an opt in?

Do you really need to ask? Because no one would opt-in for it! But just do it without telling anyone, and most people outside of tech groups don't even know what it is or that it's operating in the background.

Quoth Grace Hopper, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."

more than 4 years ago
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A Video Ad, In a Paper Magazine

thesolo Is this necessary? (295 comments)

in an increasingly competitive market, advertisers have realised that it is more important than ever to create attention for their product. The first clips will [...] show adverts by the drinks company Pepsi.

So Pepsi needs to create attention for their product? Is there anyone on this earth over the age of 2 that doesn't know what Pepsi-Cola is? I mean, I rarely drink cola as it is, but if I open up a magazine and a Pepsi ad starts shouting at me, you can be damned sure I will never drink that brand again.

about 5 years ago
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Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City

thesolo Re:Vaporware (1006 comments)

And what's to say that electricity prices won't jump up dramatically with people suddenly charging their cars on the grid every day? Also, assuming that a GM car will last for 10 years, particularly a first-generation plug-in hybrid, is a pretty tall order.

about 5 years ago
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Tesla Motors Turns a Profit For the First Time

thesolo Re:Customer is a sucker... do the math (248 comments)

Besides, $109k for any car that does 0-60 in less than 4 (and has a chassis designed by lotus) is not a bad a deal

It's actually a terrible deal, considering you can buy a used Lotus Elise for under $40,000 USD, and then add a turbo kit by Force Fed for around $10k. That puts it in the 4.0 or less area for less than half the cost of a Tesla.

Similarly, a BMW 1 or 3 series (x35i) with modified boost will run at those speeds, for even less. You can pick up a base 135i for under $40k, then add in a JB3 unit from Burger Tuning for $600.

Frankly, I think the Tesla Roadster is vastly overpriced. I'd love to own one, but it's just so far out of the realm of possibility, it's ridiculous. I could even afford an Elise/Exige, but not the all-electric equivalent. Shame.

about 5 years ago
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Expedition To Explore an Alaska-Sized Plastic "Island"

thesolo Re:Harvest that stuff! (325 comments)

Water all over the monitor...nicely done!

about 5 years ago
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iPhone App Tracks Sex Offenders

thesolo Tired of scare tactics. (358 comments)

They know where you and your family are...now it's time to turn the tables so that you know where they live and can make better decisions about where to allow your kids to play.

That's great for the very stereotypical creepy, mustachioed child molester, but ever-increasingly the phrase, "sex offender" has nothing to do with children at all. That same title now applies to people convicted of statutory rape, even if they were 17 & 18 at the time. It applies to people who streak, people who are caught skinny-dipping, people who are caught having sex in public (including in their car), and even people who happened to urinate behind a tree in some places. Yet they have the same social stigma & registration entries in the database as people who raped children.

So yeah, it might help protect your children, or it might just show you the house of a guy who really needed to take a leak, and happened to get caught. But hey, feel free to use it and get extremely paranoid at the rapidly growing number of people it shows...

about 5 years ago
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Northern Sea Route Through Arctic Becomes a Reality

thesolo Re:Yeah right (373 comments)

Obviously the confusion is stemming from the fact that the submitter used the wrong abbreviation.

Lowercase "nm" is nanometer. NM, Nm or nmi are appropriate for nautical mile. Neither of which are to be confused with the newton-meter, which is N m. (N.B. there is a space between N and m for newton-meter.)

about 5 years ago
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FOIA Documents Detail iPods Overheating, Catching Fire

thesolo Remember the "Home on iPod" feature? (314 comments)

Back when 10.3 was coming out, Apple announced a feature entitled "Home on iPod", that would let you take your home settings, etc., with you on the iPod, so that you could recreate your home operating environment on any mac. It was in developer builds, and then was suddenly dropped. For those of you who don't remember it, here's a bit on it from Apple Insider.

There was a lot of speculation at the time that it disappeared because it was overheating iPods, but Apple said nothing about it. I can't help but wonder at this point if that's exactly what happened.

more than 4 years ago
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Computerized Election Results With No Election

thesolo Re:Nice biased link in the summary. (433 comments)

For the record, I've complained the same about links to DailyKos that were completely out of line.

more than 5 years ago
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Computerized Election Results With No Election

thesolo Nice biased link in the summary. (433 comments)

That link to Babula Blog...really, we couldn't find a non-partisan site talking about this event? Instead, we have to read this kind of crap:

The results of this fraudulent vote was tilted heavily in Zelaya's favor, ensuring he could go ahead and illegally change the constitution so he could remain in power for as long as he wanted to. ACORN, I'm sure, is taking notes.

It doesn't matter what Zelaya's politics were, if this is true then he clearly had no problem with electoral fraud. People on both sides of the political spectrum, from the extremists to the moderates, have shown time & time again that they will do whatever they can to stay in power. It is not limited to only the left or only the right, and making silly jabs at the "other" side like that is not only distasteful but juvenile as well.

more than 5 years ago
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Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females

thesolo Re:Research (347 comments)

Only on /. could this comment get modded up to 5, Insightful.

more than 5 years ago
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Bugatti's Latest Veyron, Most Ridiculous Car on the Planet?

thesolo Re:Top Gear Veyron goodness (790 comments)

I think it must have been 8 miles or more because they commented that the far end was out of sight due to the Earth's curvature!

For the record, Ehra-Lessien's main straight is exactly 9 kilometers in length.

more than 5 years ago
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Ad Networks the Laggards In Jackson Traffic Spike

thesolo Re:Mashups in general (176 comments)

First thing I did with NoScript was block google analytics. They're on about 99% of the sites that I visit on a daily basis, and I'm really not comfortable with them tracking me from site to site like that.

more than 5 years ago
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With regard to living in a basement ...

thesolo Re:Basements (487 comments)

In my case, it was for living in my mom's basement for 6 months while I finished paying off the lease on a rental with my recent ex-girlfriend.

I was 19 and had just moved to Virginia to be with her, and after only a few months of living there together, we realized it was a mistake, and by the time we hit the 6 month mark, we had a VERY messy breakup.

Unfortunately for me, I was on the lease for a year, and the lease stated that I had to pay until a replacement roommate was found. Since the ex now hated my guts, she thought it would be good payback for me leaving her by never finding a roommate and having the place to herself for six months. So I got completely screwed over, and couldn't afford to rent a place back home while paying for the lease down there, not while paying tuition and working part-time. It was a really low point, but I joke about it a lot now, it just seemed like something every college-age kid should go through, a period of geeking out and sleeping on a futon in a basement.

more than 5 years ago
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Will AT&T Charge Extra For MMS & Tethering?

thesolo Re:Then don't buy it! (326 comments)

I don't like their terms, so I'm not buying an iPhone. Not that Verizon is great by any means, but through them I have unlimited voice, data, and 1000 texts per month for about $65, after taxes & fees. The same deal with the iPhone would cost me about double that per month. I'll keep my crappy WM phone for the time being.

more than 5 years ago
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Teen Diagnoses Her Own Disease In Science Class

thesolo Re:Hmm (582 comments)

Thank you, I was thinking the exact same thing, one sentence in. Maybe it's because I know people who do have Crohn's, but it seemed to me that it would be something you'd bring up as a possibility to a patient with recurrent symptoms.

more than 5 years ago
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Comcast Intercepts and Redirects Port 53 Traffic

thesolo Comcast results in PA. (527 comments)

Here are my ICSI results.

Direct UDP access to remote DNS servers (port 53) is allowed.
Direct TCP access to remote DNS servers (port 53) is allowed.


My office is just outside of Philadelphia, so southeastern PA, for regional results.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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The Metric System Actually Invented by the English

thesolo thesolo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

thesolo writes "According to an article in today's Daily Mirror, the metric system was actually invented by an Englishman!
'John Wilkins, founder of the Royal Society, first published his ideas for a metric measure in 1668 — 120 years before the French adopted the metric system. Wilkins' system was complete in that it was based on decimal numbers (10s, 100s, and 1000s) and its measurements were to be based on an internationally agreed 'universal measure', which would become the basis for other measures.'"
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thesolo thesolo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

thesolo writes "Despite past efforts of the 1970s and 1980s, the United States remains one of only three countries (others are Liberia and Myanmar) that does not use the metric system. Staying with imperial measurements has only served to handicap American industry and economy. Attempts to get Americans using the Celsius scale or putting up speed limits in kilometers per hour have been squashed dead. Not only that, but some Americans actually see metrication efforts as an assault on "our way" of measuring.

I personally deal with European scientists on a daily basis, and find our lack of common measurement to be extremely frustrating. Are we so entrenched with imperial units that we cannot get our fellow citizens to simply learn something new? What are those of us who wish to finally see America catch up to the rest of the world supposed to do? Are there any organizations that we may back, or any pro-metric legislators who we can support?"

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