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Comment: Re:This seems unnecessarily complicated. (Score 1) 127

by Anubis IV (#47532563) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Based on this AC comment, it sounds like it would actually hurt at either high or low speeds, hence the morphing aspect to it. The dimples would only be present at the speeds at which they'd actually help.

So, stamping them in for typical cars may be counter-productive, and racing teams are unlikely to benefit from it.

Comment: Re:What do I think? (Score 4, Interesting) 217

by Anubis IV (#47528057) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

A few months back, I sprained and fractured the thumb on my writing hand. It was almost a week before by thumb was strong enough to even allow me to grip an empty soda can without dropping it, so you can imagine it took awhile before I could write again (nearly two months before I could write more than a few lines, in fact). I also work at a software development shop where a key part of our culture is our use of notebooks. To say the least, I was a bit concerned, since writing seemed like an essential skill.

Because writing by hand was out for me, I turned to taking notes on my iPhone, simply out of necessity. I write by hand at around 30 wpm, I'd guess, which I was able to get on par with almost immediately, without any of the annoying hand cramping that happens after awhile when writing on paper. Plus, the notes are much more legible (even with the occasional auto-correct mishap), have the ability to be searched more easily later, can be synced to other locations, and are "written" using an object I'm keeping with me all of the time anyway. I'm actually seriously considering ditching notebooks altogether at this point, now that my thumb is mostly healed, since I can type just as fast, and if someone throws up a picture on a whiteboard, I can snap a photo more easily than I can copy it to paper anyway.

Which is to say, I'm not convinced that writing by hand remains an essential skill, or else that it will be one for much longer. Useful in numerous situations? Absolutely. Something I'd teach my kids? Without a doubt. But essential? Other than legal and old-world business forms that haven't moved online yet, I can't remember the last time that I had to write by hand, and those are both a dying breed.

Personal note: Just to put it out there, I'm not someone with years of experience as a prolific typist on phones. I'm averse to text messaging and get frustrated when trying to type out e-mails since I'm still, of course, much faster on a full keyboard.

Comment: How to explain my reasons... (Score 3, Interesting) 524

by Anubis IV (#47525617) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Somewhere around 10-15 years back, I was in the Robonaut lab at Johnson Space Center (a friend of mine was being promoted to full colonel, and because she helped oversee the Robonaut lab, they were having Robonaut pin her insignia on her; side note: having to pin it was absolutely terrifying the operator, since Robonaut had no sense of touch, and he was petrified that he'd stab his boss with her own insignia pin). From what I could see, Robonaut's head at the time was a seamless, translucent, amber-colored, resin material that was visibly hollow on the inside. I asked one of the engineers how they managed to do that, since I wasn't aware of any manufacturing techniques to make a solid object that was both seamless and hollow. As I recall it, he basically explained something along the lines of a liquid resin bath with multiple lasers shining into it, and where they intersected, the resin hardened. Basically, a form of 3D printing using lasers.

Why do I bring that up? I bring it up to illustrate the fact that what we're doing with lasers is advancing all the time. Likewise, the hardware, software, and techniques for laser eye surgery are constantly getting better. Yet despite that, they have yet to address the fundamental source of most complications: the creation of the flap so that the laser has a surface onto which to do its work.

But Robonaut's resin head tells me that the technology should be possible to not need that flap at all. I figure it's just a matter of a few more years before we have better imaging of the cornea or new techniques for using the lasers, meaning we can make the necessary adjustments to skip the flap. And if we did that, it'd mean that the halos from shallow flaps, dry eyes from cut nerves, or flaps getting detached years later after traumatic impact will all be things of the past. Moreover, it also means that if in a few more years something even better comes around, I won't have a giant incision that never fully heals that might exclude me from being a candidate for that procedure.

If I was confident that the current state of LASIK was as good as it'd ever get, I'd go for it immediately, since it's already "good enough"...the rate of serious complications is remarkably low with modern techniques. But with better stuff almost certainly around the corner (just look at where laser eye surgery was in the '90s compared to today and the trajectory will be apparent), why risk missing out on it by permanently damaging my eye now?

Comment: Re:soddering (Score 0) 63

by Anubis IV (#47513127) Attached to: Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

While I too pronounce them as you describe, I specifically chose all of those words after confirming their pronunciation using multiple references online. As I said in my post, others, including myself, may pronounce them in non-standard ways, but the accepted pronunciations for all of those words involve silent Ls.

Comment: Re:soddering (Score 0) 63

by Anubis IV (#47511677) Attached to: Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

(aka sodder for the US people)

I'm from the US. I'm fluent in English. "Sodder" ain't real English.

Trying to capture the phonetics of a local dialect when writing dialog is one thing, but it's an insult to others when you provide a dumbed down misspelling of a word and suggest that it's for their benefit. Besides which, the silent L is well-establish in both of our dialects (e.g. could, would, alms, calm, half, and folk all have silent Ls in accepted usage of either British or American English, though obviously there are non-standard pronunciations out there). The way the L softens the vowel sound in those cases is no different than what happens in American English with "solder". Besides which, regardless of which side of the Atlantic (or Pacific!) you prefer, the English dictionary is rife with spellings that in no way resemble the actual pronunciation.

TL;DR: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Comment: Re:US wars with Congressional approval since 1945: (Score 1) 503

by Anubis IV (#47483427) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

You don't need a formal declaration of war (i.e. to put the nation itself in a "state of war") to be engaged in a war, but I do agree that there is not a one-to-one correlation between military engagements and war. Saying we've been engaged in 13 wars with Congressional approval since 1945 is bit of an overstatement on halivar's part, since many of those were minor encounters in the grand scheme of things, but your seeming suggestion that none of those military engagements were also wars is a misstatement on your part. We may not have made a formal declaration of war against Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but we were still engaged in the Vietnam War, Korean War, Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan, all of which were done with Congressional approval.

Suggesting otherwise is just playing semantics and missing the point, since the OP's implication was that the President hasn't received Congressional approval since 1945 for these sorts of things, which is patently false.

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 4, Informative) 390

by Anubis IV (#47483187) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Verizon to level3: "Our traffic from netflix moved over to Level3 last night... very strange, anyways we need to increase our capacity..."
Level3 to Verizon: "Ok, that will be $X"
Verizon to level3: "um... That's 300% higher than any other provider out there..."
Level3 to Verizon: "suck it... your monies are belong to us"

Except that this fictional exchange you've created, in which Level 3 is extorting Verizon for more, is easily refuted by using either blog post. For instance, from Verizon:

Netflix did not make arrangements to deliver this massive amount of traffic through connections that can handle it.

[...] Netflix is responsible for either using connections that can carry the volume of traffic it is sending, or working out arrangements with its suppliers so they can handle the volumes. As we’ve made clear before, we regularly negotiate reasonable commercial arrangements with transit providers or content providers to ensure a level of capacity that accommodates their volume of traffic.

Which is a nice way of saying, "Level 3 is refusing to negotiate rates for more capacity with us, so we've refused to give them more." Level 3's blog post also affirms that the issue is Verizon's refusal to act:

Verizon has confirmed that everything between that router in their network and their subscribers is uncongested – in fact has plenty of capacity sitting there waiting to be used. Above, I confirmed exactly the same thing for the Level 3 network. So in fact, we could fix this congestion in about five minutes simply by connecting up more 10Gbps ports on those routers. Simple. Something we’ve been asking Verizon to do for many, many months, and something other providers regularly do in similar circumstances. But Verizon has refused.

Even without the blog posts, it should be obvious your notion makes little business sense. Level 3 is in no business position to play hardball like you've suggested. If they sacrificed on performance as a ploy to double-dip (i.e. get both Netflix and a lower-tier ISP* like Verizon to pay), Netflix would simply take its traffic to a different Tier 1 ISP that doesn't play those sorts of games, since the double-dipping would be hurting their bottom line. Or, at the very least, they'd be calling out their own ISP, rather than calling out the customer's ISP.

On the other hand, as a lower-tier ISP, Verizon has a monopoly on its own end users: if you want to reach them, you MUST go through them. If Verizon tries to double-dip by getting money out of both the higher-tier ISP and its end users, the end users won't understand what's going on, and in many cases they lack any viable alternatives anyway. Meanwhile, the higher-tier ISP can't switch out for a different peer, since Verizon is the only way to get to those end users.

Besides which, it's not like Netflix's switch from Akamai to Level 3 took Verizon by surprise, as you suggest, since it happened way back in 2010 and has been working fine for most of that time. If there was a problem resulting from the switch, it would have come up before now. Which is to say, this isn't a "Wow! Level 3's traffic is suddenly skyrocketing and we can't keep up!" situation. Rather, it's almost certainly a, "Hey, that Comcast company had a good idea to try getting money out of both sides...let's see if we can do it too!" situation, given the timing of it all.

* A quick aside: I'm well aware that Verizon also maintains a Tier 1 network, but Tier 1 networks rarely connect directly to end users. That's what lower-tier networks do. Moreover, the defining characteristic of a Tier 1 network is that it enjoys free peering with other Tier 1 networks. As such, the Verizon network being discussed here is clearly not their Tier 1 network, but rather a lower-tier one they control (e.g. a Tier 2 or 3 network) that has direct access to their end customers.

Comment: Re:LMAO (Score 1) 91

by Anubis IV (#47472111) Attached to: Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

By no means was I suggesting Amazon's actions absolve Apple of anything.

That said, you're only considering the one side of the market (i.e. whether they are abusing their near-monopoly), whereas I was addressing the other side of the market (i.e. whether they are abusing their near-monopsony). Just as it's illegal for a company to abuse their dominant position to force prices up since people lack alternative choices to purchase, so too is it illegal for a company to abuse their dominant position to force down the prices they're paying when their suppliers lack alternative choice to sell to. Negotiating is fine, but when you're essentially the only company buying, you have a legal responsibility to not abuse your position in those negotiations. The danger there is that they can keep forcing prices down to levels that are unsustainable for their suppliers.

Amazon does not seem to be abusing their near-monopoly, but they are almost certainly abusing their near-monopsony.

Comment: Re:LMAO (Score 3, Informative) 91

by Anubis IV (#47470811) Attached to: Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

Setting aside Apple for the moment, there's nothing "theoretical" about Amazon engaging in actions of this sort. They've been doing it as long as Apple has, at least.

Using most favored nation clauses and the agency model, which is exactly what got Apple in trouble: http://www.selfpublishingrevie...
Leveraging their near-monopsony to try and gouge the publishers: http://www.teleread.com/ebooks...
Making hard-to-implement immediate demands when the publishers pushed back: http://www.thepassivevoice.com...
Delisting multiple publishers during re-negotiations: http://time.com/110412/amazon-...
Jacking shipping times from a few days to 3-5 weeks: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
The author's guild is outright accusing Amazon of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/...

Spend 30 seconds Googling around. You'll be shocked at what all Amazon has already done when it comes to this industry, and it's only been getting worse in recent years. It's like looking inside the door at a sausage factory: you'd have wished you never looked.

Comment: Re:Cost of doing business (Score 2) 91

by Anubis IV (#47470633) Attached to: Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

He's partially correct. A large part of the issue was that they were accused of colluding in this regard. Another part, however, was that they combined Most Favored Nation clauses and the Agency Model for doing business. Neither of those latter two are considered illegal, in and of themselves, but together with the each other and the collusion that was alleged (e.g. there's a story about the execs from the publishers and Apple all getting together at a boathouse to talk), they were considered a form of price fixing. Effectively, the case made against them alleged that the publishers were being told, "You all get to control your own prices. All we demand is that you make sure we have the lowest price, or else that you jack up other's prices to match ours. Oh, and *nudge nudge* you're all making these decisions at the same time as each other."

Negotiating en masse isn't illegal, nor are MFN clauses or an agency model. But combining them all together, particularly if you suggest to the folks on the other side of the table that they work together for their mutual benefit? You run into some issues doing that.

Comment: Re:Cost of doing business (Score 3, Insightful) 91

by Anubis IV (#47470569) Attached to: Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

My guess is that they benefited far more than 450 million dollars from this.

The entire eBooks market was only making $3 billion in revenue in each of 2012 and 2013. And I think we'll all agree that the market of today is much larger than it was back in 2010, when Apple and the iPad entered the scene with their combination of an Agency Model and Most Favored Nation clauses, which were deemed to be anticompetitive when used together.

  Apple's share of the market in 2010 was somewhere between 10% and 20%, depending on who you believe (most suggest it was 10%, but let's go with 20% for the sake of argument, since it'd mean they'd have made more money). So, if we use 2012's numbers (which, again, will be larger than 2010's actual numbers), their revenue would have only been $600 million at most during that time. I'll admit that I am not an accountant, so I may be misusing these numbers, but as I understand it, their 30% cut for the agency model would be taken out of the $600 million, meaning they'd receive roughly $180 million in a year.

To say the least, you'd have a hard time making the case that the $180 million they made was somehow $450 million or more greater than the amount they'd have made had they not engaged in anticompetitive practices. Though, if I recall correctly, treble damages were being pursued, so that may explain a large chunk of the discrepancy. Even so, it is highly doubtful Apple benefitted by anywhere even in the ballpark of the amount they are being fined.

Comment: Re:Illegal to profit from your crimes. (Score 3, Interesting) 83

by Anubis IV (#47469571) Attached to: Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Call of Duty

Some jurisdictions do have Son of Sam laws that are designed to keep criminals from profiting from their criminal pursuits, but from the Wikipedia entry, it sounds like they may be of questionable constitutionality (and that the court has been willing to throw them out), depending on how they are phrased and enforced.

Comment: Re:bullshit (Score 1) 533

by Anubis IV (#47469385) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Ok, for the sake of argument, let's say that the union president misread Tesla's management and that they are, in fact, neutral towards the idea of unionization. What of it? A large piece of what I said was that the OP had completely glossed over unions fighting against Tesla outside of the factories, and I provided an example of a large and well-known one doing so. Even if the employee's union isn't fighting Tesla, the point still stands: trade unions are attacking Tesla.

Comment: Re:bullshit (Score 1) 533

by Anubis IV (#47467253) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

You're (I believe inadvertently) painting an inaccurate picture when it comes to Tesla's stance towards unions. Even if they are neutral towards employee unions (more on that in a minute), NADA is still one of the largest unions in the automotive industry, and has made no bones about the fact that they are opposed to Tesla's business model. Unions have been attacking Tesla from the start and continue to do so even now. Factory employee unions may not be a part of the fray yet, but they're hardly the only type of trade union.

Moreover, on the topic of employee unions, Musk may say he's neutral, but Tesla's actions make it clear that it is hardly neutral. From another article (emphasis mine):

Musk's opinions on unionization aren't clear. When he announced the Fremont factory's purchase from Toyota, Musk told The Chronicle that "on the question of the union, we're neutral." [...]

Tesla's last annual financial report struck a far less welcoming note. It listed the possibility of union activity under "risks" to the business.

"The mere fact that our labor force could be unionized may harm our reputation in the eyes of some investors and thereby negatively affect our stock price," reads the report, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Additionally, the unionization of our labor force could increase our employee costs and decrease our profitability, both of which could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations."

[...] Other Tesla managers, [UAW President Bob] King said, seemed to be opposed. Musk, he said, was "very open and said he would respect what the workers wanted. But his operating management has done the opposite."

And, contrary to your claims regarding Uber, it has been facing issues from trade unions, namely taxi, limo, and other professional driver unions across the country that have been campaigning extremely hard to keep Uber out. I'll grant that they are almost entirely operating against Uber at the city and state level, but that pressure on the governments is originating from the unions. Without the unions campaigning, the city governments likely wouldn't be getting involved at all.

That said, I do agree with you that the summary grossly missteps by suggesting that the issue of state-level protectionist regulators has much of anything to do with the complaints of small-government folks.

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