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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Lets be frank (Score 3, Interesting) 99

by ADRA (#49516259) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

They're a company that wants to stay in business. TV's about as locked in as can be and even they're draining audiences in one form or another. The internet is an amazing levelling field, and even if terrestrial TV packed up and quit tomorrow, there'd be no firm reason NetFlix alone would dominate the internet markets. They're playing the same game by locking up good content behuind their platform so that if/when the sh hits the fan, they'll have something to keep loyal customers paying well for their services.

Comment: Re:True boolean search, ability to vote on results (Score 1) 261

by ADRA (#49501623) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

#3 Who has more time to manipulate an open source web engine index? A do gooder looking to relfect bad SEO in a search result, or an SEO not looking to pump their own numbers floating their own crap to the top (through whatever carrot/stick-like measures implemented).

Google had some extremely bad queries some years back due to every SEO on earth trying to game the system. The only reasonable solutions on the top of my head are:
1. some sort of real-id-type verification system that requires actual investment in an acocunt being considered having weight (even then, it makes compromized systems a lot more valuable to hackers)
2. Devise a systemic pattern manipulation which is known to specifically target and down-rate results (like results that only get linked through blog comments or reuse heavily from their referenced pages for instance) -- Google seems to do some form of this
3. Individualized / group based blackack-lists -- Pain in the butt to curate, causes false positives to be burried (forever?), relies on people with associations comparable to their own (eh, ban all GBLT/alternate religions / pre-xyz sites / etc..) and of course having individualized search curation is a butt ton of extra data that needs to be floating around on servers waiting for your specific user ID to hit said server. I think that is may have been one reason blocked sites died in Google. Its just a pain in the ass to distribute the user's search preferences to every possible hosting node (or having slower responses due to limited numbers of nodes being able to respond to them).

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 699

by ADRA (#49479223) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Meh, not even necessary. Church attendance is hitting rock bottom throughout the world. In Canada, already like 25% are self-ascribed non-religious (agnostic / atheist / etc..). Times are changing, and given a few more generations and there may not even be a majority of religious people period. Once they lose the majoirty, do you really think people will support tax exemption for a special society?

Hey Religious orders do great things, and I'm generally content with them in our communities. They bring joy and satisfaction to those in them, often help the most socially fragile people and if that was it, I'd be the first one to support them. The sad side is the all too common exploitation, special interest politicalization, and other people's moral codes (all of which are perpetuated through their religious leaders' position of power) which seems so repugnant to me.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 2) 699

by ADRA (#49479105) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Any organized religion operating in any country are required to operate within the laws of the lands they reside in, just like people. Scientology is often considered a cult / secret organization because of secret doctrine, non-transparent rules for church structure, and the fact that you pay to elevate yourself in the order. I'm sure there's more, but I don't spend much time caring about the org.

They are fine in calling it a secret order and have all the right to do so, but its no a religion just because people rely on the org to fix their sad lives. Germany isn't the only one either. The UK also doesn't consider them a religion.

http://www.economist.com/blogs...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...

Comment: Re:Since when... (Score 1) 291

by ADRA (#49453755) Attached to: Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses

Any % is relevant. 5% drop in economic output and a countries can sway from economically stable to chaos. 5% increase in mortality rate is a hell of a lot more dead babies. 5% more cases of cancer, 5% swing easily chooses the next American president, etc... Your lack of care to any statitistical measure is rather short-sighted. I hope you're not employed somewhere where your decisions matter.

Now the quesiton which you tossed away with your drivel: Does a 5% drop in student graduations cause material harm to society?

I would actually say that its probably a lot less worrisome than it represents. The fact that they couldn't hack post-secondary with easy access to (an admitently low severity) drug probably means they weren't cut out for school to begin with.

I'm sure there were plenty of failures that could've gone on to better careers if they had just hung on, but I believe a lot more would've found little opportunity for just-marginal post-secondary education entering a now very constrained jobs market.

Comment: Re:Disturbing. (Score 2, Insightful) 106

"It's not libel if it's true, and just because the doctor who was negatively reviewed says "nuh uh, am not" does NOT establish anything at all resembling libel."
If you go to a court of law and the anonymous party doesn't defend themselves then 100% its libel. If you don't stand up for your point, it has zero credability.

On the flip side, Google should honour the japanese take-down in Japan while allowing for the clinic to follow similar law suits in other nations if they find it necessary for a similar ruling. Having a carte-blanche international force on any entity isn't great without international level of oversight. Japan, the US, China, Tajikstan, etc.. shouldn't carry unilateral control over information that may be politically or economically damaging without reasonable oversight.

Comment: Re:still ? (Score 1) 298

by ADRA (#49439967) Attached to: Did Natural Selection Make the Dutch the Tallest People On the Planet?

Well, the advent of Medicine specifically targetting genetic disorders and human empathy go a long way into fighting the systemic success of certain people in our society that would of otherwise been dead before they had a chance to reproduce.

We as a species have decided that supporting the weak and helpless is important even though it leads to some generically inferrior stock carrying on their 'bad/junk' genes. That doesn't mean everyone follows that philosophy clearly.

Comment: Connection (Score 1) 141

by ADRA (#49426187) Attached to: Why CSI: Cyber Matters

"Shad Moss, has more followers than the entire top one thousand information security professionals "

So this translates into value how? If you assume that a TV show is more popular than security researchers then you're absolutely correct. In terms of "does this make our future technology users more safe?" then I'd say there's no clear connection. The more apt question, are the people who watch this show in industries where ciber security makes a difference? I suppose if it prevents a little bit of fraud for the ignorant then great, but I've found that the greatest security issues we've ever had has always been between the ears (pros and laymen alike).

Comment: Re:Work in the right direction (Score 1) 39

by ADRA (#49424129) Attached to: Getting Started Developing With OpenStreetMap Data

Yeah, relations capture the net of the geographic region, but I find the individual node's contain better hierarical town/region/state/country layering which was more correct (at least in Canada where my test data was running against). Politically based relations are great when they exist, but far too often you'd have a relation representing X but no explicit connection besides the fact that the node was geographically found in the region. You may have a relation, but you often don't have relations that point to containing relations which is part of what my specific use case requires. If it isn't done upstream, it means more work for people like me to piece together a hierarical relation based on political or simple associative connections. Eg. The Bronx is in New York, but there's no explicit link in the data to describe that association.

Comment: Work in the right direction (Score 4, Informative) 39

by ADRA (#49423819) Attached to: Getting Started Developing With OpenStreetMap Data

For a project I'm working on, I started to play around with the OpenStreetMap data as a source for locations (from a guy who's never used GIS info systems), so I think I'd be a good insight into getting started with using this great resource.

Notes:
- I develop in Java mostly, but I have a generally well rounded skill set.

Firstly, I had to make the jump to Postgress and PostGIS, which are annoying to setup if you're not familiar with them. I had a MySQL instance running, but for the life of me, I couldn't get osmosis to import before getting the setup just right, which unfortunately wasnt' as simple and stright forward as I'd have liked to see in any docs. So after finally banging PostGIS over the head enough to accept the import, I was hit with a huge knowledge gap on how to actually access spatial and hstore based data. Admittedly, once you get the handle of them, the SQL access the data is quite expressive and powerful.

For DB imports, I used Osmosis for data import. I couldn't find any stand-alone Java based libaries for actually using the DB data which would help a lot (maybe I'll end up writing an open source one if it doesn't already exist). So, I basically dropped down to writing PostGIS based SQL queries, which is really quite expressive and well structured when the data is good (depends on the world region, mostly good for North America from what I found so far).

Secondly, there was the OpenStreetMap data itself. As someone who primarily wants to work on geographic barriers and political boundaries, there's a big disconnect between the polygons of the system and the political ones. Generally, there's always a node (think of a pin on a map) to represent a proper place name (New york city for instance) and a polygon that encompass what New York's political boundaries are, but quite often there won't be explicit ties between the two, so you're left with bridging the two yourself constructing queries for where nodes are within city / state / country / etc.. Anyways, thats as far as I've gotten so far, so good luck!

Some links that helped me:
http://www.postgresql.org/docs...
http://postgis.net/docs/manual...
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/... (Make sure to read carefully, becase its rather unforgiving and terse about bad environment setups)

Comment: Re:Maybe because the movies were not that good? (Score 1, Interesting) 360

by ADRA (#49383161) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

The harry potter kids are still making in-roads. The twilight guy made his break from Harry potter ironically. Who knows what's coming for the rest. Shay la bouf or whatever was a tool before transformers and he was a tool afterwards. Although well known before Titanic, Leonardo certainly became a household name from the movie. Kate Winslet is a good actress, but nobody would've known her if it wasn't for the movie. Practically the entire cast of Saving Private Ryan became significantly more marketable after the movie. Go back and watch all the stars who really broke out from it.. amazing.

If nothing else can be said about it, a AAA movie will get you screen exposure. What you turn that into has a large part on your abilities, the parts you take, and who you know (and a ton of luck).

"If you own a machine, you are in turn owned by it, and spend your time serving it..." -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, _The Forbidden Tower_

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