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Comment Re:collecting bounced light particles (Score 2) 94

"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."
-- Abraham Maslow

That's all this guy did.

Which guy? Do you mean Ms Akram?

Once those particles exited the garden, they were for anyone to collect.

Not lawfully, no. And if you are going to behave unlawfully, why wait till they exit the garden? For that matter why not break in and steal all the silver that is there "for anyone to collect" (unlawfully)?

If the couple wanted exclusive use of those light particles

The couple were not here engaged in physics research where the construct "light particles" might productively be applied. I doubt the couple were minded even to consider the physics of the situation, much less did they want exclusive rights to any particular set of light particles. The couple simply wanted to be able to speak with each other in the privacy of their own home. That, I would submit, is their right.

Your misunderstanding is the result of inappropriately applying a model which is simply impertinent to the situation. The question here is: were the registration requirements and the data protection principles of Data Protection Act 1998 adhered to? That is not a question of physics, but of law. The construct 'light particles' can form no part of any answer to that question.

Comment Re:do I understand it right? (Score 4, Informative) 94

do I understand it right?

You give no indication that you do.

If CCTV cam now records any part of someone's property its autowin in court?

That would seem unlikely. What gave you that idea?

Did someone think to sue State of London for all those cameras around?

Is the City of London operating "all those cameras" in contravention of the Act?

One or two are bound to record someone's property.

And ...?

In the event this case rested on the failure of the defendant "in her duties as data controller": in the first instance by her failure to become registered as such; and also in "breach[ing] her duty to comply with the data protection principles" under the Data Protection Act 1998. One suspects however, given the dramatic negative impact of defendant's action on plaintiffs' "use and enjoyment of their own home" that plaintiffs could also have succeeded under nuisance.

Comment Self-walking pedestrians (Score 1) 113

I sooooo hope this is humor ...

It is, but the basic idea is sound ...

What is needed is for cars to be tracked at all times (as self-driving cars will be anyway) and then using either data from the centralised tracking server or via proximity to the phone (or both), the smartphone will direct people where, when and how to cross the road safely. I think too that we need to fine anyone attempting to cross a road using such an underdeveloped and untrustworthy bio-tech such as "eyes," ... some people are just so stupid! Unless, of course, said eyes were augmented via connected glasses ...

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 233

Um, no! People at these events still have moral standards of varying levels.

Still?

If "booth babes" of either sex were walking around naked and committing sexual acts as your "pornification" attempts to suggest, people would not attend the event.

Well, depending on the particular legal framework in place, they would, one imagines then reach the floor that the criminal law sets in regard to obscene behaviour in non-licensed premises. In any case "pornification" hardly suggests, and certainly didn't attempt to suggest, full nudity or even intercourse. Maybe that's your personal taste in pr0n, but there's more stuff out there than that ...

There may be some people who enjoy watching a sex show, but the majority of people would be turned off.

Booth babes are a sex show! (Albeit at the softests margins thereof).

Marketing is all about appealing to the majority.

Not really. It's more about appealing to particular demographics. In fact the more sophisticated marketing gets the more finely honed it is towards that miniscule minority which is prepared to open wallets for the particular product being marketed. But this is beside the point. More pertinently marketing is always limited by rules. This is not really that different.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 233

There's a limit for how much of anything you can add of any attractor before it either becomes cost ineffective ...

Which is basically another way of positing the law of diminishing marginal utility. Yes of course that's true. The evidence you present would suggest that marginal utility of booth babes is higher than that of donuts. Of course, the utility of donuts is quickly extinguished since you actually get to consume the donuts (thus satisfying the drive), whereas booth babes arguably don't satisfy, but rather stimulate the drive among their (shrinking) target audience.

Be that as it may, it doesn't deflect the point I was making. These rules create a level playing field where all exhibitors will be able to exhibit their wares without fearing that failing to sex it up might render them uncompetitive. IMHO, that is a GoodThing(tm) ... on so many levels.

[Y]ou may see more skin, but only as a purpose for attracting you, and there is no arms (or breasts) race.

Huh? Which one, more skin or not more skin?!!

Look, booth babes do actually exist, and the outfits have become more revealing over time. True, we have already achieved peak-breast, but the arms race has definitely been there. And this as it has become increasingly inappropriate and unnecessary. In any case, as this practice is now being, and will ineluctably be, relegated to the dust-bin of history, this discussion is somewhat moot.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 233

You may not like that fact, but human nature (that fact) does not care how you feel. (Plenty more citations for you to find if you are interested in those pesky things called studies.

It's the very cultural propensities you cite in those studies which recommends the adoption of dress codes at events like these. Given that sex sells, exhibitors will, absent of any rules of restraint, be forced into an arms race of pornofication of IT events. Applying to all exhibitors equally this sets the floor and relieves any of them of the necessity of engaging in the race to the bottom. I very much doubt the personnel at these events which institute dress codes will cease to be attractive, just a bit less slutty.

Comment Re:Sure (Score 1) 52

Q: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a sheep have?

Let A = 1;

A: Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

A == 1;
=> F

Really?!

IF we call a sheep's tail a 'leg,' a sheep has One leg! ... Unless, of course, we also call other body part 'legs' (eg. those appendages which hold the sheep off the ground which, outside your conditional, we traditionally call 'legs')

There is no property inherent to an object which binds it to the English language noun by which it is called. The meaning of 'leg,' is given by the calling of objects by that label. Thus if we call X, by the name Y, the name Y refers to X.

Comment Re: This doesn't seem that impressive (Score 2) 191

In No Limit Hold'em, there are no 'odds.'

Holdem is a game of playing with odds. How you decide to play them is the question.

Annette Obrestad who, at age 19, won the European championship and she never looked at her cards, not for a single hand

Without wanting in any way to diminish her accomplishment, she didn't win WSOP Europe playing blind. She won something like a 180 seat online tournament playing blind. Also she looked at her cards in several all-in situations. It remains, nonetheless, a super-impressive display of positional play. But here's the point, she won playing blind by laying the right odds in the right situations ... Understanding what a particular bet size means in any given situation requires an appreciation of the odds involved in that situation.

Comment Re:Did it 'cheat'? (Score 1) 191

Because online poker companies around the would would love to get their hands on the software and plug it into their system, so that you'd never know if you were playing a computer or a real person. If you were playing the computer, you'd always lose.

No, with the probabilities involved in poker no player (AI or otherwise) can always win. Rather you'd loose over the long term, but that's already the case for most players.

Moreover, there is no financial incentive for on-line poker companies to have you always lose, or lose in any given hand. Like all effective gambling products (even those, unlike poker, where the house is your counter-party) what they want you to do is to win often enough to keep you coming back for more.

Of course they could program their computers to simply know what you have in your hand and bet accordingly, but still.

Exactly, and thus largely eliminating the chance to which the AI is still subject. But again they wouldn't because they have no financial incentive to do so. They make their money from the rake remember.

If on-line poker companies were to rig the system it would instead be to produce situations which encourage heavy post-flop action. The accusation that they do so is often made by players who have experienced (what they intuit as) more than their fair share of bad beats. But again the probabilities of Holdem will see to frequent bad beats even without undue interference. Now let me tell you about the time I had this perfect read on the villain, I was K full of Qs and he was Q full of As and then the river came a ...

Comment Re:Fake news != Flawed news (Score 0) 406

The term "fake news" has been thrown about -- and misapplied -- far too freely of late. Fake news is a deliberate fiction on the part of the writer, with an intent to deceive. It is not the same as a news story reported in good faith, but with errors.

Indeed! What's more this misuse of the term "fake news" to apply to errors of reporting, is itself a cynical ploy aimed at legitimating outright fiction and bad-faith spin. Thank you for calling this shit out.

Comment Re:Not censorship (Score 1) 60

'Freedom of speech' and 'Freedom of thought' should be basic human rights, not something to be granted or taken away, and any government

On the legal positivist view: A right is that which you can get it enforced in your favour in a court of law. Only those "rights" which have been granted, say by inclusion in a Bill of Rights, are actually rights (as opposed to aspirations). Freedom of speech is indeed a universal aspiration, but it is a right only where either in the course of devising government (i.e. via a Constitution), or statutorily by being enacted by Parliament, that right has been granted.

Alternatively on a natural law view: Chinese citizens have a right of free speech, they simply risk being executed if the exercise it.

Comment Re:Not censorship (Score 1) 60

China doesn't have a first amendment, so it's not censorship.

This may seem like a bit of a fine distinction to you. It is censorship, but since China does not have the equivalent of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, Chinese nationals enjoy no constitutional protection from state, or indeed corporate, censorship.

You will understand, of course, that since this is being done to protect the purity of the young, only those who for whatever perverse reasons want minors corrupted could possibly object. Ahem.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 414

Which of the socialisms was Orwell advocating?

The cited text (Lion & Unicorn) would explain better than I could hope.

From the point of view of Marxism (and I'm obviously not a Marxist) neither of the situations you describe are socialism. The first, I believe would be dismissed as "primitive communalism." The second seems to be a self-defeatingly histrionic* description welfare state ideology. It is a common these days to confuse the welfare state with socialism. Historically, however, the modern welfare state was the invention of conservatives (esp of Otto von Bismarck) and was explicitly an anti-socialist measure. It is an accident of history that the welfare state has become associated with nominally 'socialist' parties (long after the imminent threat of a socialist takeover faded, rendering the welfare state no longer necessary to conservative purposes).

Marxists view socialism as a "transitional state," as a the final form of state power on the path to their utopian (though Marxists would object strenuously to that term) vision of stateless communism. The famous motto "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" which is meant to characterise communism is matched by the starker motto of socialism, "to each according to their contribution" (if memory serves me both come from Marx' Critique of the Gotha Programme). The idea was that the proletariat as the "universal class" (a imho mystical conception Marx inherited from the conservative philosopher Hegel who regard the bureaucracy as the universal class) would set up a self dissolving "dictatorship" in which the fruits of production would be shared only by those whose labour brought them into being. That is the owners of factories etc (the means of production) would be dispossed. Socialism then is most easily defined as the state ownership of the means of production as a path to the eventual state self-elimination which was to be communism. [Note that no country under Communist Party rule has ever claimed to be communist. They did claim to be socialist]

And that was their "scientific" socialism which they distinguished from "utopian" socialism!

But actually my main point was, notwithstanding the dig at the Soviet system, in 1984 Orwell was not so much describing a dictatorship of any political colour, but rather showing a state whose purpose served no ideological agenda at all, other than the exercise of power for powers sake. It is a very worthwhile read.

[*It is more persuasive to define a system first and then go on to show how aspects of that system ineluctably lead to poor outcomes rather than over-obviously writing the untoward outcomes into the very definition. Just an idea if ever you want a good essay mark.]

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