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Software Lets Scientists Assemble DNA

wanzeo Re:Think I've played this game already (149 comments)

A cool game with more potential than was realized.

On a more serious note, you can build genomes in any molecular editor. Try the open source Coot.

Or, use your favorite text editor (GATACGGTACAT....). This commercial gimmick software is not newsworthy, even here.

about 2 years ago
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The U.S. minimum wage should be

wanzeo Not a real fix (1106 comments)

As someone who has recently worked for cash, I can attest to the supply of workers ready and willing to work at all, even if for less than the minimum wage.

Focusing on minimum wage is a distraction from real solutions to our economic problems.

about 2 years ago
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Strong AI and the Imminent Revolution In Robotics

wanzeo Re:but handling uncertainty isn't easy (242 comments)

That was a very informative post. I am interested in AI and I took Norvig's online AI class back in the Fall. It contained virtually nothing about strong AI, and instead focused rather heavily on algorithms to efficiently interpret sensory/input data. It essentially placed AI squarely into a CS context, which in my opinion will always yield weak AI projects.

I checked out Smolensky, and he is pretty prolific. Are there any specific resources you would recommend for learning about the more abstract math involved in strong AI?

more than 2 years ago
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iOS Tops Android For Number of New App Projects From Developers

wanzeo Re:??? This makes no sense... (122 comments)

I was going to make my app for both platforms, but then I learned you have to buy a mac with os Lion just to be able to use the most recent xcode.

Sometimes Google does evil things, but the android SDK with the eclipse integration and the android virtualization, all for free and cross platform, is really, really nice. You could easily release an app for $0 cost other than time. That is the kind of community support that makes me loyal to a company.

more than 2 years ago
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Machine-Guided Learning Matches Teachers In Study

wanzeo Re:Was the teacher tutoring a single student? (76 comments)

The most valuable part of machine assisted learning is the ability to move at your own pace. There are some OCW lectures I had to watch 3 or 4 times before I got it. Now matter how good a teacher is, no student is going to ask them to repeatsomething four times. The student will just nod and feign understanding, and the teacher will move on.

more than 2 years ago
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60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016

wanzeo Re:For depressed people (293 comments)

Associating large drives with pirates is just the sort of thinking that will lead to a blank media tax, or even requiring buyers to register.

more than 2 years ago
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Who's Pirating Game of Thrones, and Why?

wanzeo Re:A week? (1004 comments)

I call BS. I devote a large part of my free to movies, tv, and internet media. Even so, I was able to go through the entire first year of Game of Thrones without watching it or getting spoilers. Most people will go out of their way to avoid giving away spoilers with a degree of fanaticism rarely seen anywhere else.

No, people torrent Game of Thrones because they can. Maybe this particular example is a little easier to justify because of the absurd notion of actually buying cable + HBO, but everything else is available to torrent as well. Even over-the-air shows, which are essentially free, are torrented because it only takes 1 person in a billion who is willing to capture it and edit out the advertising for the rest of us.

The only business model that can survive into the future is one that clearly connects money raised with future content (think kickstarter, but with mainstream professionals instead of super-niche pipe dreams). If Game of Thrones announced tomorrow they were not making another season until it was paid for, my $20 would be in their paypal account within the hour. They could charge as the market will bear, but only the stuff that people actually want could get made.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Using Linux To Optimize Skype Traffic

wanzeo Re:MS and Linux (396 comments)

Microsoft was in the top 10 corporate contributors to the kernel in 2011. And I am not a shill, check my posts dawg.

more than 2 years ago
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Global Broadband Speeds Dropped At the End of 2011

wanzeo Re:Why is it strange that NJ dominates the USA cit (118 comments)

Would state-wide density really show a bump if everybody was on the same fly over state "old copper, cable or average new optical roll out speeds" vs say massive hardened backhaul?

God I hate the arrogance of the phrase "fly-over state". Here in Indiana we have a higher average connection speed than the both New Jersey and the US average according to the akamai graph generator on the site.

more than 2 years ago
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Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions

wanzeo Re:no. (648 comments)

But you are still using your cash to support the DVD/Bluray model of DRM on plastic disks. I can't see how buying a DVD is any more morally appealing than buying DRM .mp4s off iTunes.

more than 2 years ago
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Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions

wanzeo Re:Of course (648 comments)

The obvious reply to this argument is that the companies know exactly how much customers are willing to happily pay, and it is less then they have been paying for the last 20 years of cable. So yes, there are plenty of potential business plans out there that appeal to consumers and still bring studios cash, but they are getting killed because they represent an overall decrease in profits.

more than 2 years ago
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VeriSign Could Add 220 New Top Level Domains

wanzeo Re:transliterations of .com and .net (116 comments)

Domain squatting and name exhaustion has gotten so bad, it is nearly impossible to create a website brand that doesn't use either some crazy portmanteau or a whole sentence strung together. I welcome the idea of adding hundreds of gTLDs, because over time it will make any one of them less important.

No more will I contemplate shelling out $7,000 because the domain I really want is being squatted. Instead, I will just add one of the hundreds of gTLDs, and make that my brand name.

Also, dibs on http://slashdot.dot/

more than 2 years ago
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NY Times: Microsoft Tried To Unload Bing On Facebook

wanzeo Re:The fundamental differnence between companies (230 comments)

Take away any two Apple products, even product lines, and you still have a viable company.

Really? Take away iPhones and iPods, and what do you have left? Without those, Apple would just be a slightly-more-expensive Dell

I would extend that to Google, Facebook, and really any tech company. The reality is that many of these companies are one-trick ponies, and despite their best efforts, they are unable to expand. Google really went all out to clone Facebook for G+, and a year later it's a ghost town. Similarly; I can remember when Dell and Sony were the epitome of consumer hardware, and now they've been almost completely eclipsed. There is just no room for second place, and no one stays on top for long.

more than 2 years ago
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Will IBM Watson Be Your Next Mayor?

wanzeo Re:NYC has been doing it for years (148 comments)

But those examples are only replacing simple machines with more automated machines. What is really interesting, and what the summary hints at, is the possibility of replacing jobs that have traditionally been thought to require critical thinking.

Imagine a day when I can take my medical concerns to a computer with access to far more expertise than any doctor, or rely on a computer as a lawyer with far more knowledge than any human lawyer. Hell, you probably recoil from the idea of electing an AI president simply because you watched 2001: A Space Odyssey or Terminator and then made up your mind. You racist.

more than 2 years ago
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Asteroid the 'Size of a Minivan' Exploded Over California

wanzeo Can't we detect something that size? (279 comments)

NASA tracks space debris the size of a golf ball, why didn't they see this? This is yet another example of how asteroid detection need a higher priority.

more than 2 years ago
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Sergey Brin Says Facebook, Apple and Gov't Biggest Threats To Internet Freedom

wanzeo Re:glass houses (500 comments)

"Without piracy, there is no freedom" ~Descartes ~Michael Scott

more than 2 years ago
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Millions of Subscribers Leaving Cable TV for Streaming Services

wanzeo Re:Seems about right (380 comments)

There's really no need to have cable anymore unless you want live sports. Practically everything else is available online for free.

That and cable news. I would love to get my parents to switch, it kills me to see them sending $100 to Comcast every month. But they are absolutely addicted to the talking heads. I have tried to introduce them to online news, but so far online news is mostly text based with short video clips. Until there is a mainstream site that streams 24 hour news presented by a human, they (and many others) will never give up their precious cable.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadians Protest Wind Turbines

wanzeo Re:There's always a downside (533 comments)

No No No, every argument about Solar/Wind energy is so far away from meaningful topics. You are going to get nowhere protesting their ugliness when compared to oil and coal. You will also get nowhere with numbers, as many people stop listening as soon as you quote a figure. This is a proper way to frame your argument:

1. In order to get off the hydrocarbons, we will need to increase our electrical consumption many times.
2. Solar and Wind power will never provide a base load. What if a volcano erupts and you have a decade of bad weather?
3. Solar and Wind suck raw materials at a rate that does not justify their wattage offering. Nobody in their right mind would call intensive mining "green".

This way, you don't get bogged down in arguments about whether Solar/Wind can replace our future need at year X, if they are deployed over area Y, and meet efficiency Z. The three arguments above illustrate to anyone why we should focus on modern nuclear first, and only afterwards be considering Solar/Wind in certain areas for peak demand.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Countersues Yahoo Over 10 Patents

wanzeo Re:look at me lookatmeeeeee (80 comments)

I'll be very happy when corporate controlled social networking dies a natural death and there is an open-source, easily manageable solution for attention whores.

You know what is hilariously ironic about that statement? Slashdot is a corporate controlled social networking platform, and has been since long before Rob left. Only after this community is able to produce an open-source, easily manageable, non-corporate alternative will I begin to pay attention to people who claim that Facebook is replaceable.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Raspberry Pi Launches

wanzeo wanzeo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wanzeo (1800058) writes "The much anticipated Raspberry Pi launches today. The website explains that only the more fully featured £22 ($35) model B will be shipping at first. The official website has switched to a temporary static page to handle expected traffic, but specs are available from wikipedia. The two distributors licensed to handle the sales have been experiencing heavy load, and reports on the twitter page indicate both distributor sites have been effectively unreachable during the early hours. Also, purchase is currently only available in the EU, with a US release postponed in response to strong EU interest."
Link to Original Source
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In-Vitro Muscle Cells. It's What's For Dinner

wanzeo wanzeo writes  |  about 3 years ago

wanzeo (1800058) writes "Within the last decade, many of us have experienced the encroachment of ethics into our mealtime. Phrases such as vegetarian, vegan, organic, bST, GMO, etc. have become part of common grocery store advertising. The most recent addition to the list of ethically charged food is in-vitro meat, or meat that was cultured in a petri dish, and was never part of a live animal. The project has been brought to fruition by Mark Post, a biologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Grown using animal stem-cells on a nutrient medium, the nearly see-through strips of muscle would need to be stacked nearly 3,000 times to approach the thickness of a burger. The practice promises to be more humane, sustainable, and efficient than conventional meats, with one analysis suggesting it would, "use 35 to 60 percent less energy, emit 80 to 95 percent less greenhouse gas and use around 98 percent less land". In a world where nearly half of all crop production is used to feed livestock, a move towards artificial meat may be inevitable."
Link to Original Source
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Canary Islands Eruption Could Create New Land

wanzeo wanzeo writes  |  about 3 years ago

wanzeo (1800058) writes "An undersea volcano is erupting off the coast of the Canary Islands with the potential for new land formation. The lava peak has grown 100 meters from the ocean floor, and is now just 70 meters from the surface. It has been seen ejecting rocks from the sea and producing jets of water 20 meters high. Increasing seismic activity has been monitored since July, an indication that magma is rapidly moving towards the surface. Local residents have been evacuated because of the potential danger from falling rocks or violent steam explosions if the lava gets too close."
Link to Original Source
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Life Sentence For Posession of Child Pornography

wanzeo wanzeo writes  |  about 3 years ago

wanzeo (1800058) writes "A circuit court judge in Florida sentenced a 26-year-old man to life imprisonment for the possession of child pornography. The defendant was charged with 454 counts of possession, each count representing one image found on the computer. While this case was not tried in Federal Court, federal child exploitation laws stipulate a life sentence may be appropriate for cases involving prior convictions. This decision places child pornography consumption in the same bracket as first-degree murder, and further blurs the distinction between the act of creating the material and act of viewing it."
Link to Original Source
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Bill Gates Advocates Tax on Financial Transactions

wanzeo wanzeo writes  |  about 3 years ago

wanzeo (1800058) writes "With the current G-20 summit dominated by global financial uncertainty, previously unsuccessful tax strategies are getting new attention. In a short interview with the BBC, Bill Gates explains his support for a potential tax on financial transactions. The concept is sometimes called the Tobin tax after its originator, Nobel Laureate economist James Tobin, who first put forth the idea in 1972. Gates points to the success of Britain's Security Settlement Tax, and suggests that large economies like Germany, France, and the U.S. have expressed interest in his plan."
Link to Original Source

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