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Dell Ad Says Windows 8.1 Apps Will Run On Xbox One

whydavid Re:Horray! Metro Apps on XBoxOne! (148 comments)

Except moving a cursor around with a controller sucks.

They could win me over, however, if they brought in the duck hunt gun as a tile selection method, made the live tiles move around the screen rapidly, and introduced "whammy" live tiles costing $1 every time they were hit. Getting to the game would be just as fun as playing it, especially if it's a crappy windows store game.

1 year,2 days
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Dell Ad Says Windows 8.1 Apps Will Run On Xbox One

whydavid This is so exciting! (148 comments)

I can't wait to use all of my favorite apps with an input device they weren't intended for! This will be about one step up from text input on the Wii.

1 year,2 days
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Finnish Team Makes Diabetes Vaccine Breakthrough

whydavid Re:700 million euros? (202 comments)

In one line you managed to span the spectrum from ill-informed to irrelevant. Good job.

1) Cures are not "supposed" to reduce (monetary) costs, and in many cases they don't. [ill-informed]

2) The number of people with Type I Diabetes is in excess of 10 million. A billion dollar clinical trial, amortized over this population, pales in comparison to the costs (monetary or human suffering) of management. [ill-informed]

3) None of this has anything to do with socialized medicine. [irrelevant]

1 year,2 days
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Finnish Team Makes Diabetes Vaccine Breakthrough

whydavid Re:Type 1 v Type 2 diabetes (202 comments)

The methods for manufacturing vaccines are constantly changing. If you wait a generation or two, the vaccine will have changed and you'll need to wait another generation or two. Of course, if you are anything like a typical anti-vax nut, you have no idea how vaccines work, how they are manufactured, or how bad the diseases they are designed to prevent actually are. Just do us a favor an home-school your unvaccinated children.

1 year,2 days
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Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances

whydavid Re:A patheic thought (213 comments)

Yep, it's the old "fool me once, shame on you, ..."

The federal government is done with all of these foreign nationals running around spilling our state secrets to the whole world.

Oh wait, those were American citizens with security clearance? My bad.

about a year ago
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Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances

whydavid Who cares about the polygraph? (213 comments)

Of all of the things involved in securing top-secret clearance, I'm willing to be the polygraph is the least invasive. Interesting that it would be the only one called out by name.

about a year ago
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Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

whydavid Re:SWAT? (478 comments)

I would imagine they came about due to more than one event and that those events would be instances where ordinary police units were outgunned or otherwise unable to handle a situation. In any case, the fact that SWAT units exist isn't a problem, the way in which they are unnecessarily deployed is the issue. And, as was my entire point, this is hardly a ground-breaking finding.

Of course, the author was misguided in including this example anyways: he assumes that we've allowed SWAT team overuse and abusive police tactics to occur in an effort to minimize risk, but I would contend that a desire to see criminals brought to justice is the overwhelming motivation here. For instance, if you google 'police pursuit public opinion' you'll find several stories about citizens demanding MORE vehicular police pursuits (which bring increased risk to society) which would not be the case if the goal was to minimize risk, but is expected if justice/vengeance is the goal. His other examples may be legitimate (though, again, his entire thesis is a boring re-tread of well-known principles), but the SWAT/police example is off the mark.

about a year ago
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How Africa Will 'Leapfrog' Wired Networks

whydavid Re:Did Africans invent or build any of this? (183 comments)

I guess they didn't have time to get around to inventing wireless communications technology in between being the birthplace of civilization and being invaded and exploited by foreign powers. Shame on them, really.

about a year ago
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Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

whydavid This just in... (478 comments)

...in response to catastrophic events, people demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice personal freedoms for a measure of perceived safety.

The author of this blog should be commended for this completely novel contribution to society.

Oh well, at least he provided an actionable recommendation: "We need to relearn how to recognize the trade-offs that come from risk management, especially risk from our fellow human beings. We need to relearn how to accept risk, and even embrace it, as essential to human progress and our free society."

Ok Bruce, "We" will get right on that. Thanks for the advice.

about a year ago
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IBM Uses Internal Kickstarters To Pick Projects

whydavid Re:Sounds more like a mockery (40 comments)

Ignorant much?

IBM has, according to their website, 434,246 employees. So much for a small employee population...unless you meant 'a small country' or 'a small state.'

In any case, if you even took the time to read the 4-sentence blurb, you would see that they did this with 500 employees at their research center, which would still give 5 times your estimate of '10,000 or so.'

And I don't see why it would make any sense for IBM to give every person $10,000. The idea is to ferret out popular/worthwhile ideas. That doesn't really work if one or two people can fund it, as any of the examples could have been if each had $10,000 to spend.

And finally, your idea of profit sharing with regards to the selected ideas only works if the idea is meant to have some immediate financial impact. Procuring a 3D printer might not directly lead to financial results, but it may help someone rapidly prototype something that becomes a million dollar idea. You will never be able to measure the financial contribution made by that 3D printer, so why bother? Similarly, a disc golf course might provide some intangible stress relief, and employees may be a little more productive as a result, but how are you going to quantify that? IBM is pretty good at identifying business opportunity on their own...that clearly isn't the point of this exercise.

about a year ago
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Team Oracle Penalized For America's Cup Rules Violations

whydavid If a yacht.... (190 comments)

If a yacht is penalized in the America's Cup races, and no one gives enough of a shit to notice, does it still make Larry Ellison cry like a greedy, emotional, hypercompetitive asshole?

about a year ago
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Bringing Affordable Robotics To Big Agriculture

whydavid What is the advance? (196 comments)

I don't understand why this is news. Automation has been used in agriculture for a long time in applications much more advanced than this. Why should we get excited about a simplistic robot which moves pots around according to explicit user instructions and pre-placed guidance tape? Show me a robot that, based on the type of plant, moves it to a suitable area where it will receive just the right amount of sun, or perhaps a robot that will ensure each plant gets exactly the right amount of water/nutrients given varying weather conditions, or a robot that monitors each plant for signs of disease, or really just a robot that does something that robots haven't been doing since, you know, the beginning of robots.

about a year ago
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Lenovo CEO Shares $3 Million Bonus With Workers

whydavid Don't think he cares what we think.... (169 comments)

This guy just bought: better morale, free publicity, [some] defense against charges of being heartless/taking advantage of workers a la Foxconn, and probably some warm fuzzy feelings for himself as well. I don't think he'll lose any sleep because Slashdot readers looked at his salary and wondered why he didn't give up the whole thing. Yes, he could have just had the company issue the bonus without any mention of where it came from, or he could have given the bonus but not released a press release about it, but so what? China's economy is slowing down, times are going to get tough, and this guy put a few hundred bucks in a lot of families' wallets; good for him.

about a year ago
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How To Promote Stage Comedy In a Geeky Way?

whydavid Perhaps we disagree on the meaning of 'free'? (123 comments)

If he is so into giving his stuff away for free, why does his website consist of a couple minutes of youtube clips and a link to, you guessed it, iTunes (where they decidedly do not give away stuff for free)?

about a year and a half ago
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Valve Starts Publishing Packages For Its Own Linux Distribution

whydavid Re:Wish I had a mod point for you. (310 comments)

Either you are exaggerating greatly or your experience as an MCSE is actually harming your ability to learn Win 8. Windows 8 desktop-mode is an evolution from Win 7. The new UI is obnoxious, but there is nothing complex about it. For the lay person, Windows 8 will work out of the box, and they'll be able to buy everything they need from the app store (which is also a seamless experience). In the worst case, you face the minor annoyance of switching to desktop mode to get a similar experience to Win 7, which of course was well-regarded by users. Let's compare this to my experience last week loading Ubuntu 12.04 on my Lenovo laptop. Installation was seamless and the wireless connection was easy to set up. Then, after install, the OS asked to download some updates. Boom. Broken wireless. The solution? Just figure out the exact model of my wireless adapter, download the appropriate drivers on a different machine (a wired connection was not available), load them into Linux, then block the OS from making changes to this driver. Luckily, this issue was easy to locate a solution for, because it has affected many users of the same (Broadcom) wireless adapter and has been an issue for years. The last time Windows Update rendered my machine useless? Never (and really, WU hasn't caused significant issues for users on a wide scale for nearly a decade since the infamous XP service pack issues). I hope and pray Windows never becomes as "user-friendly" as any Linux flavor I've ever encountered. Give me Linux on my server and my development box, and give me Windows on my recreation box. Both are fine, but Linux really isn't anywhere close to unseating MS in the usability space; I don't think the high incidence of Asperger's in the techie crowd and the high incidence of techies who think Linux is as usable as Windows is any sort of coincidence.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software To Help Stay On Task?

whydavid Chronic Media Multitasking (301 comments)

This is called chronic media multitasking, and you are not alone (likely a large portion of those calling you a loser and telling you to get over it are avoiding doing something more important). http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/24/chronic-media-multi-tasking-makes-it-harder-to A single-tasking environment would be helpful, but at what cost? While it isn't good to read your e-mail and surf the net while you are trying to get something done, it IS often useful to look up that related e-mail or useful reference. You might use some measure to block the websites you abuse the most, but who is to say something else won't take their place? What worked for me was simply to recognize and study the problem. Once you see what a common occurrence it is, and how it affects your ability to function even after the fact, it should make it easier to prioritize fixing it. For me that meant hiding most Skype notifications, closing my e-mail client while I worked, and closing out programs that I didn't need for the current task. Your mileage may vary; this is what worked (very well) for me.

about a year and a half ago
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When Google Got Flu Wrong

whydavid Google Flu has never worked, per se (72 comments)

Google Flu has never been used to officially declare a flu outbreak. It's a neat tool, and it has been successfully used in retrospective studies, but until it actually helps us prepare for a flu outbreak in ways above and beyond what traditional surveillance already does, it will continue to just be a neat tool and not a useful one. The same goes for the Twitter flu prediction models. These tools are cool, but unless people actually do things differently to prepare for an outbreak based on their predictions, they don't mean anything. Consider this question: If you were a public health professional and you knew about a flu outbreak 2 weeks earlier, what would you do differently? Encourage people to get vaccinated? Already being done. Shut down schools? You had better be damn sure. Warn local hospitals? You are kidding yourself if you think they are going to start bringing in extra staff in the hopes that your prediction was right. So really, what does that extra week or two get you?

about a year and a half ago
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When Google Got Flu Wrong

whydavid Re:Adjust for the news (72 comments)

As you might imagine, they've already thought of that.

about a year and a half ago
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Lawmakers Say CFAA Is Too Hard On Hackers

whydavid Re:Still missing the point a bit? (154 comments)

I'm not sure how you managed to entirely misinterpret everything I said to arrive at this conclusion. Bravo. The title of my original comment could very well apply to your response.

about a year and a half ago
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Lawmakers Say CFAA Is Too Hard On Hackers

whydavid Re:Still missing the point a bit? (154 comments)

I think you may have missed my greater point by citing only the portion you did. The CFAA might suck (probably does). Revising it doesn't fix what happened to Aaron Swartz. The "chinese hacker" example was just a hypothetical to force readers to think about this not in terms of the situation with Aaron, but in terms of some other hypothetical scenario where the accused won't get (or deserve) as much sympathy as Swartz. There are countless instances of over-prosecution used to make an example out of someone both in and outside of the technology universe. This is one specific instance of a far larger problem, and plugging one hole isn't going to leave us any better off. The CFAA is ill-conceived, but it really isn't the issue. We could look at many of the drug-related prosecutions in the United States as additional instances of this problem; many of those cases deal with an even greater injustice in the form of mandatory minimum sentences. Fixing the CFAA is going to be harmful to this cause. Mark my words: It will be patched and the problem will be declared fixed, despite nothing being truly fixed. It's worse than doing nothing.

about a year and a half ago

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