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Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

tunabomber Re:Asking the wrong questions (465 comments)

The problem isn't corporate money in campaign finances, the problem is stupid, lazy voters who can't be bothered to find out what or what they're voting for, and just doing what the Magic Box in their living room tells them to.

Lessig persuasively rebuts this point in Republic, Lost by arguing that while campaign spending might not significantly influence the result of elections, THE PERCEPTION THAT IT DOES is enough to poison the whole democratic process.

Politicians fear that commercial interests will donate to their opponents, so they endorse policies favorable to those commercial interests. It almost doesn't matter whether dumb voters fall for a barrage of attack ads- the threat is scary enough that politicians feel like they need to be fundraising at all times.

about 4 months ago

Google Android Studio Vs. Eclipse: Which Fits Your Needs?

tunabomber A painful transition, but worth it (barely) (140 comments)

I switched to Android Studio right after it came out, mostly because my Eclipse install needed to be updated- which usually means having to reinstall the Android SDK and re-import my projects (a chore).
It ended up being some serious work to import my projects to Android Studio. I wouldn't recommend it if Eclipse is still working smoothly for you.
The main thing I like about Android Studio is that I heavily use RubyMine for server-side work and the interface is nearly identical.
The other big advantage is that all the config files are a lot more transparent and repairable than those used by Eclipse.

Gradle is much more transparent and portable than Eclipse's build system, but it's still pretty frustrating how slow it is. I think moving to Android Studio/Gradle doubled my build times.
Finally, Android Studio is still pretty unstable and it usually takes an hour or two of surgery to get my project to run again after an upgrade.

about 6 months ago

Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

tunabomber Re:Not a Nazi Plane (353 comments)

...but the Nazis could have found it since they were occupying France at the time.
In order to find the parts of a cutting-edge racing plane, you just have to THINK like the parts of a cutting-edge racing plane.

All joking aside, I saw this plane at the EAA museum in Oshkosh a number of years ago and despite whatever complaints people may have about its utility as a combat plane, if nothing else it is an incredibly beautiful machine. It looks like something out of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, except more curvaceous and birdlike.

about 6 months ago

Lawrence Lessig Wins Fair Use Case

tunabomber Re:Is the settlement open for all ? (89 comments)

As others have mentioned, there is no need for precedent because once the plaintiff actually started reading the laws, there wasn't much legal ambiguity- Liberation Music was wrong and Lessig was right. I think he got the upper hand here. From TFA:

In winning this tussle, Lessig was also able to score a larger victory for his cause. Liberation Music agreed to adopt new policies around issuing takedown notices. The label has promised to work with Lessig to improve its YouTube and copyright policies to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Being in the right is never enough to avoid being sued or legally threatened, but at least this settlement is an attempt to fix that problem in the context of YouTube. Oh- and all the settlement cash is going to the EFF.

about 7 months ago

Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

tunabomber Innovation DOES Destroy Jobs (754 comments)

...but it also spurs further consumerism which creates jobs that should (in theory) replace those that were lost.

However, there are still two losers when this happens:

1. unskilled or moderately-skilled workers

        The new jobs created require more education and specialized skills than the ones that were eliminated. This is resulting in a wealth gap, which will further exacerbate things by reducing the size of the consumer class that creates those jobs in the first place.

2. the environment

        Oftentimes, efficiency gains come at the cost of increased energy requirements. Consumerism brought on by technological advances is almost always centered on goods rather than services, which increases overall demand for natural resources. Say what you will about the out-of-control health care spending in the U.S., but it is an exception to this trend in that it is service-centered consumerism.

about a year ago

For Obama, Jobs, and Zuckerberg, Boring Is Productive

tunabomber Other Examples (398 comments)

Dean Kamen is also know for wearing the same outfit every day.

This also kinda reminds me of how Buckminster Fuller defended his sterile architecture by suggesting that its mass-produced homogeny would encourage people to differentiate themselves by what they do rather than where they live.

It's a vaguely communist-sounding notion that bland equality can make us more free. Perhaps this is why most public schools in the U.S. don't require uniforms.

about 2 years ago

Man Pays For Cross-Country Trip Using Bacon As Currency

tunabomber complication (176 comments)

I have a feeling that this will come to an abrupt end once he reaches bear country. The bears are really hungry where I live (in the southwest), which is kind of on the way to L.A.

about 2 years ago

Why There Are Too Many Patents In America

tunabomber Another Simple Solution (189 comments)

Just cap the number of patents issued each year (to say, 2000), and develop a much more thorough review process to ensure that only the most novel, useful and non-obvious applications are approved. Every patent we issue represents an increased burden on our legal system and a roadblock to other inventors who need to worry about infringing upon it, so it makes sense that the government shouldn't be making an open-ended offer to protect everything that can be protected.
This also means we wouldn't have to continue the futile search for a consistent set of guidelines of what constitutes "novel, useful and non-obvious". Instead we can just settle for deciding whether one invention is more novel, useful and non-obvious than another invention, which should be much easier.

more than 2 years ago

The Science of Santa

tunabomber Re:Obligatory (223 comments)

...would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force

No wonder my stocking had a big diamond in it this morning. It USED to be a hunk of coal.

more than 2 years ago

The Science of Santa

tunabomber He's got... (223 comments)

... an O(1) solution to the Traveling Salesman Problem, but he ain't sharing it. Which is a bummer, since that's all I wanted for Christmas.

more than 2 years ago

Minor Quakes In the UK Likely Caused By Fracking

tunabomber Re:Interesting idea: (318 comments)

I was thinking the same thing. I think the main problem with this would be the legal issues. Unlike a controlled burn or avalanche control work, it would be very hard to predict the duration, magnitude and scale of the quakes being released. Just releasing the earthquake in the first place would be hard, and if you finally score and manage to release a lot of tectonic pressure, you wouldn't want to be the one that everyone could point to as the source of the resulting damage.

Project Stormfury ran into the same issues: difficult to predict whether it works, but assuming it does work, you're an easy blame target for things that are most likely Mother Nature's mistakes rather than your own.

more than 2 years ago

Augmented Reality's Disruptive Potential

tunabomber Re:Fascinating (126 comments)

Yeah, but they're looking at text messages, facebook, email etc. An AR app will have to fight those things for a person's attention.

more than 2 years ago

Chinese Couple Sells Kids To Fund Online Gaming

tunabomber Meanwhile... (223 comments)

...a gold farm is shopping for more child slave labor to produce more virtual crap to sell to negligent parents.

more than 3 years ago

Text Messages To Replace Stamps In Sweden

tunabomber Re:Fraud (249 comments)

Ok, I guess the postman (or anyone else) could just find a new package with the same destination zip code as his package in order to defeat my suggested system. Their are further measures that could be taken to prevent this, such as incorporating an account number that is associated with a specific sending address in the code and maintaining a database of all packages sent during the day to prevent a code from being used twice in the same day.

Also, what 91degrees said. Scamming the postal service is a lot of risk for little gain.

more than 3 years ago

Text Messages To Replace Stamps In Sweden

tunabomber Re:Fraud (249 comments)

This is avoidable with a well-engineered system. To make it difficult for a scammer to generate a viable code, they could require that the user supply some information specific to the package, such as the destination zip code and the date that it is being mailed. Then, the postal service could concatenate this info with a short randomly-generated package ID and sign it with a private key to generate a code.
The post office could then verify whether the code matches the characteristics of the package of itself. If there is ambiguity in the way the code is written on the package (say, a character that could not be completely discerned) the system could come up with multiple possibilities for syntactically valid codes and then attempt to verify each one and use the first one that matches.
If the generated codes are made of a limited alphanumeric charset instead of just digits, they should be able to carry enough information that the system can both be forgiving to human error and robust against attackers.
Also, with any system it would be possible to build a phone app that would let the user verify a newly-written code just by taking a picture of it with their phonecam.

more than 3 years ago

Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

tunabomber Re:Keep in mind, this is (499 comments)

To clarify here, I only reuse passwords for accounts which could not be used for anything too nefarious if they were hacked. My logins for more important sites (like /.) have unique passwords.

more than 4 years ago

Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

tunabomber Keep in mind, this is (499 comments)

Is it even worth the effort of coming up with a secure password for that site? If I had for some reason found it necessary to register with such a vapid site I would have just re-used one of my low-security passwords (which many other sites have access to). It isn't too surprising that nobody cares whether someone else is using their account to steal their noisy, eye-burning flash videos. What is far worse is if people are re-using passwords from much more important sites. In this case, it doesn't matter if your password is a random string of letters, numbers and special characters.

more than 4 years ago

Using a Toy Train To Calibrate a Reactor

tunabomber Spherical Torus? (120 comments)

Those two surfaces are fundamentally different, topologically speaking. Would a spherical torus would look something like a 4-sided triangle? Or sound like one hand clapping?


more than 4 years ago



tunabomber tunabomber writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tunabomber (259585) writes "Whenever a review of the latest cellphone/camera/MP3 player/GPS receiver/fish finder/tazer convergence gadget is posted on Slashdot, the first posters are usually quick to chime in by saying they just want something with decent battery life, reception, ergonomics, etc. Those posters' prayers may now be answered, because Motorola's new "dumb" phone has been designed with these traits in mind. Notable features include an E Ink display and dual antennae to improve reception. The phone is slated to become available before the end of the year."


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