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Comment: Re:Rap isn't free speech. (Score 1) 436

by Albanach (#48493417) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

The only time when the idea of free speech should be trumped, is when there is intent to cause harm, like yelling bomb or fire in a crowded area

So what exactly is the difference between yelling fire in a theater and yelling "I'm going to murder $ex_girlfriend" in a song lyric?

Are you suggesting that to be guilty of the former, the police must show there was a specific intent to start the fire? If not, why is using speech to place a number of people in fear problematic, but it's okay if the target is an individual?

Comment: Re:RFID/card scanner (Score 5, Interesting) 127

by Albanach (#48471075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

An AC first post hits the nail on the head. I'd have thought RFID would be faster, less intrusive and possibly more reliable. Pretty sure it would be cheaper to implement too.

Unless you're worried about people using someone else's card to authenticate, this seems like the smart solution. Still, I can't believe you haven't thought about this, so maybe there's some reason you feel RFID wouldn't be suitable.

Comment: Re:How are we covering the shortfall/defecit? (Score 1) 323

by Albanach (#48397687) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

According to this EU Report from 1997, there was at that point in time a 1,250,000 tonne reserve of cocoa (50% of production), and the estimated consumption deficit for 1996-7 was 225,000 tonnes.

It looks to me like cocoa deficits are not new, and that the industry already uses large reserves to ensure continued supply until such time as higher prices increase production. Unless they are suggesting some other change, such as climate, will prevent new supply I can't see a long-term issue other than price fluctuations that the market has routinely encountered in the past.

Comment: Re:Okay, so (Score 2) 245

by Albanach (#48365639) Attached to: ISPs Removing Their Customers' Email Encryption

It's well known that email is not secure for the purposes of attorney/client privilege.

Do you have citation for this? A single court that has found there's no privilege simply because a communication was sent between attorney and client by email?

After all, you say it's well known, yet all the lawyers I know use email pervasively to discuss client information.

Comment: Re:Simple fix. (Score 3, Insightful) 269

by Albanach (#48002977) Attached to: 2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

It's a Corvette. You think a Corvette owner wants a label like that on the dashboard?

Perhaps a better solution would be a 'valet key' that when used limits access to the boot, reduces acceleration (like the Eco mode you get on lots of modern cars and limits speed to say 60mph), When the valet key is placed in the ignition the stereo could announce that video and audio recording will be enabled when the car is started.

With a key like that, some folk might even let their kids drive the Corvette!

Comment: Re:Great news (Score 3) 269

by Albanach (#47881397) Attached to: Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

A significant portion of the book is based on statistical correlation. The book makes multiple references to Mankind Quarterly.

The issue is not whether science can or should study this. It is the dangers of doing so using bad science then packaging up unsupported results and presenting them in a way that justifies harmful division in society on a foundation built of sand.

If it were serious science, it would surely have looked beyond Caucasian Americans and investigated the intelligence of Asian Americans too.

Comment: Re:Wait: Genes do not strongly determine height??? (Score 1) 269

by Albanach (#47880273) Attached to: Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

This is from the New Yorker, not a scientific paper certainly, but it's interesting and relevant nonetheless. It may explain some of the comments regarding genetic and environmental factors.

Height variations within a population are largely genetic, but height variations between populations are mostly environmental, anthropometric history suggests. If Joe is taller than Jack, it’s probably because his parents are taller. But if the average Norwegian is taller than the average Nigerian it’s because Norwegians live healthier lives.

Comment: Or, Apple could be fearful of comoditization (Score 5, Interesting) 405

The last thing Apple wants is for any tablet to be identified as and referred to as an iPad. For their laptops, you get the huge light up apple logo to make sure everyone looking at you knows just what you're using.

The last thing Apple's marketing office will want is for anyone who sees a tablet to refer to it as an iPad. I don't see the name become generic at any point soon, but it's a big fear of many companies. With Apple so reliant on branding and recognition I'd expect them to be more concerned than most.

Comment: Re:Waaah. (Score 1) 338

by Albanach (#47736393) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

Electric kettles are becoming more common - I know many in the US who have them now. When I moved here a decade ago, it was an online only purchase, whereas today you can pick one up in Wal-Mart etc.

But yes, kettles here take an age to boil. Some are more efficient at doing the job, but compared to a 240 volt UK kettle it's slow. I just start the kettle for my next cup when I've added milk to the current one.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 95

by Albanach (#47669479) Attached to: Student Bookstores Beware, Amazon Comes To Purdue Campus

I believe I linked to both copies that included the MasteringBiology. The only difference seemed to be that US one might have a copy of the text as an e-book. I doubt making an encrypted PDF or equivalent merits the huge price difference.

Still your comment about the probability book is interesting. I wonder if this is particular to mathematics?

Here' s another example from Chemistry: Organic Chemistry by Bruice. In the US it's hardcover, in the UK paperback.

Amazon UK price $99.96
Amazon US price $240.60

it's possible that the difference is the publisher. Coincidentally, the two books I list are published by Pearson who are headquartered in the UK. It may be they price their books for the independent markets, whereas US publishers are more likely to stick to one price? That's pure speculation though and we'd need quite a few more data points to figure that one out.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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