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Comments

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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

wile_e_wonka Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

This factory is expected to be gargantuan and will employ a great many smart people with good paying jobs. The factory will have a great many trucks going in and out. The money going to pay these people is coming from the income from a California company. So, well paid engineers will receive California money to purchase houses and furniture and food, etc. in NV. The engineers will pay sales taxes, property taxes, and will spend money in the casinos (I almost mentioned income taxes, until I remembered that NV doesn't have a state income tax--they have casinos instead). The calculus that NV is making with this deal is that the tax revenue it is giving up from Tesla will more than be made up for by the cut of the income they keep from the money that Tesla will pay to its employees and to NV truck drivers and suppliers, etc. The thought is that this will be a net positive for NV.

about a month ago
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Black Hat Researchers Actively Trying To Deanonymize Tor Users

wile_e_wonka Re:Black Hats shoot themselves in the foot. (82 comments)

If Black Hats don't hack it then the NSA will. But the NSA will quietly keep the vulnerability(ies) to themselves and use them to collect data. Whereas a Black Hat looking to rely on TOR will be best off figuring out its weaknesses in order to make it more effective.

In other words, people who rely on TOR would be completely stupid to not try to hack it to determine its vulnerabilities. The only odd thing about this isn't really odd at all when you think about these hackers are--they're exposing vulnerabilities in a particularly spectacular fashion.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

wile_e_wonka Re:Not likely. (365 comments)

What he means, I think, is that most computer companies make "consumer grade" machines and "commercial grade" machines. I've not has an Asus or Lenovo, but I've had Toshiba, HP, and Dell. With respect to Dell, I've had both consumer and commercial grade machines, built to higher specifications. Most recently I purchased a Dell Latitude 5000 series laptop--in Dell's explanation of this computer in comparison to the 7000 series, it gave the 5000 series a build quality of 3 out of 4 stars, it gave the 3000 series 2 out of 4 stars (still Latitude--which implies the consumer grade stuff is 1 out of 4 stars for build quality). The consumer grade machines seem to be designed to last about 2 years or less. The commercial grade machines are designed to last more like 4 years.

The problem is, you have to pay a premium for the commercial grade machines.

With Apple, there is no "consumer grade" and "commercial grade"--they're all made to high specifications.

about 4 months ago
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It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

wile_e_wonka Falls over when it runs out of juice? (218 comments)

So, if you take the thing to its limits, you'd better remember to get out before the battery completely dies. Because when the gyro stops turning, you can't put your feet down (since there is a vehicle body in the way) to keep the thing from falling over.

Not that I think the idea is a bad one in general.

I saw a Kickstarter campaign just the other day using this concept to replace training wheels in kids' bikes (a gyro goes in the front wheel). Personally, I think it was a better idea in the kids' bike than on a motorbike. And that Kickstarter video had actual footage of the concept in action, with kids riding bikes, and a shot of the bike rolling with no one on it and self correcting when somebody smacked it several times in a manner that would normally knock a bike over).

about 4 months ago
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Glenn Greenwald: How the NSA Tampers With US Made Internet Routers

wile_e_wonka Re:I think this relates: (347 comments)

Two things:

1) According to the picture on the tracking thing, this was not a Dell, it was a Lenovo Thinkpad, which is a Chinese company, which Chinese company probably does not install "special firmware" for the NSA.

2) However, the picture actually doesn't say it is a Lenovo Thinkpad, it actually says it is a Lenovo Thinkpad KEYBOARD. I guess I haven't dismantled a Thinkpad lately, but it doesn't make as much sense to me to intercept a keyboard as it does to intercept a computer.

about 5 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

wile_e_wonka Re:Help! Help! (865 comments)

This is why, as of late, manufacturers have realized that the brake must mechanically override the throttle.

about 5 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

wile_e_wonka Untested Lethal Injection Drugs (1198 comments)

How does one test a lethal injection drug?

about 6 months ago
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Google Using Self-Driving Car Data To Make Cars Smarter

wile_e_wonka Re:Still waiting to see 3 things (174 comments)

The summary says that Google is testing cars in Mountain View. According to this website, with respect to Mountain View:

During the cold season, which lasts from November 26 to March 6, there is a 34% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (57% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), moderate rain (31%), and heavy rain (11%).

I think it is safe to say that it rains there, as compared to, for example, Disneyland (18% of cold season days have precipitation) or Las Vegas (12% of cold season days have precipitation).

about 6 months ago
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Male Scent Molecules May Be Compromising Biomedical Research

wile_e_wonka Re:Captain Obvoius (274 comments)

If by "imtimidating" you meant "sexy", and by "stress" you meant "erections", I'm right there with you, buddy.

This only applies to a small percentage of women.

Women are intimidating and cause stress.

This applies to approximately 100% of women (including the subset of sexy women), so, no, coinreturn had it right.

about 6 months ago
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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

wile_e_wonka Re:Public Work should not be "proprietary" (348 comments)

Why would any reputable scientist want to replicate the fudging of data that discards large swaths of the climate history without adequate justification?

I haven't read the paper to say whether or not this is true, but, if it is, why does that justify getting this guy's emails? What will his emails say? "I decided to leave out a medieval warm period...." His emails have not been released and yet you know these flaws in the paper. You can show the flaws in the study and produce a better study. That does not require accessing somebody's emails or other underlying work product.

about 6 months ago
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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

wile_e_wonka Re:Public Work should not be "proprietary" (348 comments)

My understanding of the idea and purpose of an academic research paper is to lay out a hypothesis, method to collect data to test the hypothesis, data (results), statistical analysis of data, and conclusions. A properly written research paper will not be published in a peer reviewed journal unless the method of data collection is clear. This makes the research reproducible. The publication of reproducible research is a crux of the scientific process.

What the proponents of the FOIA request are doing is trying to cheat. If you want to disprove research, you may:
- Show that the method of data collection produces biased data
- Show that using the same method of data collection produces different data than that shown in the original research
- Show that statistical analysis was not done properly
- Etc.

All of this is done by hiring experts to analyze the methodology and statistical analysis and by commissioning a study to reproduce the original research. If the research is not reproducable, then there is something wrong.

That is how science works--you make reproducible research and then other people reproduce it. When they can't, the scientific community tries to figure out what went wrong. Maybe the underlying scientist made an error, maybe s/he made up data, maybe there is no explanation.

But this idea that you can cheat by looking at the researcher's emails? That's new. And not useful. If the study was not done properly, then reproducing it will catch that. If the research was done properly, then it needs to be reproduced anyway in order to determine the strength of the conclusions. So, don't try to cheat the system, just do this the old fashioned way--reproduce the research.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

wile_e_wonka Re:Anything built before 2001 (702 comments)

Mod parent up. This is absolutely true. For example, listen on Car Talk to "Click and Clack" discuss how cruddy cars used to be and how much better and more reliable cars are nowadays. Compare a mid-90s Hyundai Excel to Hyundais now, for example.

about 6 months ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

wile_e_wonka Re:It's California (723 comments)

UPDATE: I just signed up for insurance through the Obamacare exchange with the very insurance company that rejected me for "question of Marfans."

about 6 months ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

wile_e_wonka Re:It's California (723 comments)

I totally feel for you. I am lucky enough to be insured, but when I was shopping around for cheaper insurance, I also was rejected for trivial stuff. My grandmother (who is not a doctor) said to me several years ago: "I think my mother and uncle might have died from the effects of Marfan's Sydrome (which can cause aorta rupture), and I think I have some of the symptoms, so you should consider getting checked out." At my annual checkup I ran it by my doctor, and he said: "I doubt it, but there are a couple cheap tests I can do to be more sure." In the end he concluded that I do NOT have Marfan's Syndrome.

Fast forward 2 or 3 years. I apply for insurance with a company other than my current insurer. They request permission to do a medical history check. "No problem," I think, because I've been given a clean bill of health by my doctor.

Insurance company decision: Coverage rejected for reason--"Question of Marfans." In other words, they don't trust what my doctor said with enough confidence to risk taking me on....

Part of the idea of Obamacare is that crap like this shouldn't happen anymore.

about 6 months ago
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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

wile_e_wonka Re:Doubt it. (282 comments)

I think that "negotiation" was in quotes there because it isn't really negotiating. If you can negotiate a price lower than the sticker, it is because the dealer had no intention of charging you that price unless you were stupid enough to not ask for a lower price. The sticker price bears little relationship to the actual value of a vehicle.

about 7 months ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

wile_e_wonka Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (490 comments)

Also, I think the author fails to consider the idea that Netflix likes to keep things simple. If a move studio said "Netflix, you can license this movie for streaming, but only if it has the following limits on viewing..." or "...only if you charge an additional $___...," I think Netflix would say "No." Otherwise it would have to segregate its movies into categories with viewing limits and those without. And it would be a slippery slope. Some movies would have strict limits, others would get looser limits, and before long very few movies would have no limits. I think Netflix wants to keep things simple--if a movie shows up in instant view, it is available to watch all you want without paying extra. Period.

If you would like evidence that limits would be a less good (I won't say bad here, just less good) business move, I can only provide anecdotal evidence with a very small sample size, including only myself and my immediate family members: Amazon Prime--Amazon has a ton of content on there, some of which is free and some of which is not. Where do I go first when I want to watch something? Netflix--because I know that if it is there, I can watch it all I want for free. On Amazon, it might come up when I search, but that doesn't mean it will be free, and if it isn't free, I probably won't watch it at all.

about 7 months ago
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Gracenote, Privacy, and the Rise of Metadata As a Valuable Asset

wile_e_wonka Slashdot making news? (33 comments)

'We do have big hopes for that part of our business going forward,' Gracenote president Stephen White confirmed to Slashdot.>

Since when is /. in the news-making department rather than just the news aggregating department? Maybe I'm just out of the loop on this....

about 8 months ago
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FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft

wile_e_wonka This isn't the best way to handle the problem (445 comments)

The laser incidents are so numerous that it will be impossible to deal with the problem by prosecutions. It seems to me that a problem that cannot be solved by stopping the perpetrators needs to be solved a different way, such as designing planes to not be vulnerable to the lasers.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Opera may win Acid3 Race

wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "Opera has achieved 100/100 on the Acid 3 Test using their latest internal builds. The company plans to release a technical preview of the build shortly.

I'm beginning to wonder about the meaning of "winning" the Acid 3 race. Release an early barely functional piece of software that displays Acid 3 correctly and you've "won"! Focus on broad standards support and stability rather than on the specific items in Acid 3 and you lose. Perhaps the tests are distorting the goals of browser developers and losing meaning.

(Full disclosure: I use Opera 9.5 alpha as my primary browser.)"
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Pop a pill: forget bad memories

wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "
An amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories is under development by researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal). The technique seems to allow psychiatrists to disrupt the biochemical pathways that allow a memory to be recalled.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the drug propranolol is used along with therapy to "dampen" memories of trauma victims. They treated 19 accident or rape victims for ten days, during which the patients were asked to describe their memories of the traumatic event that had happened 10 years earlier. Some patients were given the drug, while others were given a placebo.

A week later, they found that patients given the drug showed fewer signs of stress when recalling their trauma.

I feel like I have seen this somewhere."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "From Yahoo! News:
"This is an extraordinary development," said Dr. Kevin de Cock, director of the
World Health Organization's AIDS department. "Circumcision is the most potent intervention in HIV prevention that has been described."

Circumcision has long been suspected of reducing men's susceptibility to HIV infection because the cells in the foreskin of the penis are especially vulnerable to the virus."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka writes "Searching for nearby Zunes... None found.
Searching for nearby Zunes... None found.
Searching for nearby Zunes... "Lola" found.

Sending "Hello" by Lionel Richie

Receiving "Hi There" by Killdozer

Sending "Do You Come Here Often?" by The Tornados Ridin' the Wind

Receiving "I Get Around" by The Beach Boys

Sending "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns 'N' Roses
Sending "What Brings You Here?" by Sandra Knight . . ."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "A 16-year-old boy being sued for online music piracy is fighting back. He has accused the recording industry on Tuesday of violating antitrust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats. In papers responding to a lawsuit filed by five record companies, Robert Santangelo, who was as young as 11 when the alleged piracy occurred, denied ever disseminating music and said it's impossible to prove that he did."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "The NYTimes reports that Microsoft has agreed to pay a percentage of the sales of its new portable media player to the Universal Music Group.

The articles hypothesizes that "the deal may provide leverage for Universal to insist on a cut of future iPod sales when its existing contract with Apple expires next year," noting that "[a] recent study estimated that Apple has sold an average of 20 songs per iPod a fraction of its capacity. The rest of consumers music files 95 percent or more come from ripped CDs, possibly including discs from their own collections, and illegal file-trading networks, the study said."

Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.

So, I guess the Zune player comes with paid-up subscription to the file sharing network of your choice.
"
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "The largest study since Kinsey's regarding sexual behavior appears this week. Scientific American reports that, according to the results of the study, "[c]ontrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that young people are engaging in sexual intercourse at earlier ages — the first instance of sexual activity for both genders generally occurs at between 15 and 19 years of age globally."

One of the study's "surprising findings" was that "married women are actually at greater risk of unhealthy sexual behavior-they find it harder than single women do to convince their partners to use condoms." I'm at a loss on this one though..."

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