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Comment: Click bait headline (Score 5, Insightful) 88

by An Ominous Coward (#47997857) Attached to: John Carmack's Oculus Connect Keynote Probably Had Samsung Cringing

Samsung cringing? Because Carmack referenced hardware limitations of the current display technology that anyone who could follow his speech either already knows or could have gleened from reviewing the basic specs? And the display technology is still is (or is equal too) the best available in industrial quantities?

It's not like he said "Company X's displays are so much better, it's stupid we didn't go with them." That might have induced some cringes. The actual speech? Not so much. It was interesting enough for the technical material, don't try to spoil it with melodramatics.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 5, Informative) 460

by An Ominous Coward (#47947271) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

No, because if that is what the poster was referencing, "going on a tear" was actually saying "guys, don't do that", with the context being: sexual propositioning a stranger in an enclosed space in a foreign country at 4 AM after having just listened to the person you're propositioning give a presentation that included discussion on how the constant sexual propositions she received at these conferences made her uncomfortable.

THAT in turn led to her receiving a never-ending wave of abuse, including rape and death threats, and including having one of the most prominent male voices in the movement insultingly state that women in the west shouldn't complain about sexism because women in Islamic countries have it a lot worse.

It was after all THAT, that she, quite rightly, started going on a tear.

Comment: Re:Whelp. (Score 2) 139

You can always take the So Long and Thanks for All the Fish view:

Mrs E. Kapelsen of Boston, Massachusetts was an elderly lady, indeed, she felt her life was nearly at an end. She had seen a lot of it, been puzzled by some, but, she was a little uneasy to feel at this late stage, bored by too much. It had all been very pleasant, but perhaps a little too explicable, a little too routine.

With a sigh she flipped up the little plastic window shutter and looked out over the wing.

At first she thought she ought to call the stewardess, but then she thought no, damn it, definitely not, this was for her, and her alone.

By the time her two inexplicable people finally slipped back off the wing and tumbled into the slipstream she had cheered up an awful lot.

She was mostly immensely relieved to think that virtually everything that anybody had ever told her was wrong.

Or the obligatory: http://xkcd.com/1104/

Comment: Re:Doesn't jive for me (Score 4, Informative) 100

by An Ominous Coward (#47319469) Attached to: Mysterious X-ray Signal Hints At Dark Matter

It's the ambiguity of language that's at fault here. The key to the sentence you mentioned is "like normal matter". Normal matter absorbs electromagnetic radiation, increasing its energy level, and drops back to lower energy levels by emitting electromagnetic radiation. Thus, normal matter interacts with light. This is a different physical process than the emission of light due to decay of the particle itself.

And while we haven't pinned down dark matter by any means, it's much more than a stab in the dark. For one, there are known particles--neutrinos--that do not interact via the electromagnetic force, so the idea of unknown particles with the same property isn't unrealistic.

Then, there are clues from many different directions that point to something consistent with matter that interacts gravitationally but not electromagnetically. These include calculations concerning the total matter in the universe, galaxy cluster formation, the rotational speed of stars on the out edge of galaxies, etc.

Comment: Re:Surprise, anyone? (Score 1) 300

by An Ominous Coward (#46900335) Attached to: Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings

Commercial search engies must skate a fine line between fair use and copyright violation. There is at least some potential that ignoring robots.txt could land them in legal trouble.

At the moment, lacking contrary legislation, user-identifiying information that is transmitted to a server is considered property of that server owner. If there was legislation defining that information as property of the user, much like Canada (among others) defines metered electricity usage information as belonging not to the utilites but to the resident, then Do-Not-Track might have some teeth.

Even then, though, it's probably a lot harder to legally demonstrate a violation of that setting than showing a search engine has cached a page it wasn't given permission to cache.

Comment: Zigbee (Score 2) 336

by An Ominous Coward (#45947069) Attached to: New Home Automation?

Zigbee's the best option for home automation ecosystem. Zero-conf mesh networking for great range even through walls/floors, and lower power so all these devices don't bust your electricity bill. And if your utility installs a smart meter with home-area networking, it'll probably be Zigbee, so smart appliances can get usage and price data from there.

Comment: Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (Score 1) 435

by An Ominous Coward (#44436313) Attached to: Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses

Exactly!

Customer: All your power supply units are no-name, inefficient Chinese or Vietnamese crap with high failure rates. Can't you stock some decent equipment?

Local Computer Store: I've got mine. Fuck you.

or

Customer: All you have here is NYT best seller list schlock, New Age Oprah garbage, and Christian testimonals. Can't you stock some decent science fiction or popular science books?

Local Book Store: I've got mine. Fuck you.

Comment: Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (Score 5, Funny) 45

All PDF readers have their exploits, no reason you can't make one document that targets them all. That's why I trained myself to read PDF in binary. Yes, obviously it's a bit challenging but there's something immensely satisfying about being able to visualize the document based on the raw input and, until the NSA gets into wet-ware hacking, it's the one reader technology that's guaranteed to be perfectly sa.... MUST. INFILTRATE. PUTIN. ADMINISTRATION.

Comment: Re:Kuhn Paradigms (Score 1) 265

by An Ominous Coward (#42528119) Attached to: Does All of Science Really Move In 'Paradigm Shifts'?

Depends on if we want to include cultural norms as part of how the world works. Consider the experience of moving across the country for a job or to attend university. Even with communication technologies that have parallels in the Internet age (POTS, Fax, and the postal service), there was definitely the cultural expectation of weakening social bonds with your parents and completely breaking social bonds with all your peers. You'd only see your parents occasionally for holidays, and quite likely would never see anyone from high school again. That's just the way the world worked.

But thanks to widely deployed IP networks we not only have incremental improvements on old technology (mobile phones with no long-distance charges and telephone numbers that follow you, instantaneously delivered email) but also new tools such as video chat, media sharing services, and social networks. There are real options for maintaining long-term social bonds, options that did not previously exist. For single, childless persons, major relocations are not really a big deal anymore. That's arguably a big change in how people view the world working.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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