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+ - Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding to "Glassholes" 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "As Google Glass goes on sale to the general public, GeekWire reports that Bill Gates has already snagged one patent for 'detecting and responding to an intruding camera' and has another in the works. The invention proposes to equip computer and device displays with technology for detecting and responding to any cameras in the vicinity by editing or blurring the content on the screen, or alerting the user to the presence of the camera. Gates and Nathan Myhrvold are among the 16 co-inventors of the so-called Unauthorized Viewer Detection System and Method, which the patent application notes is useful "while a user is taking public transportation, where intruding cameras are likely to be present." So, is Bill's patent muse none other than NYC subway rider Sergey Brin?"

Comment: Re:Heading off the Republic Pedants (Score 1, Insightful) 805

by cpm99352 (#46764597) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
Technically I believe the United States is a Constitutional Republic.

Danger: anecdote ahead...I listened to an NPR interview recently where it was stated there was significant fear during the Irish/Italian immigration waves that the immigrants were not capable of appreciating US' liberty, and would effectively dilute it. I now think that was accurate, and came to pass.

One cannot argue that in today's United States we have liberty - cutting down a tree requires a permit, even when there are no safety considerations. Growing various plants is illegal. Operating a hair-cutting business without the proper permits is illegal. The list goes on...

Republic? Long gone... One can debate, but I would nominate Wilson at the latest. FDR is the common scapegoat, but Wilson certainly set the stage. There may be earlier contestants, but this is not my area of expertise.

+ - Study Finds U.S. is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance', 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'"

+ - Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked at Age 24->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "StarCraft II is popular among competitive gamers for having the depth necessary to reward differences in skill. A new study has found that your ability keep up with the game's frantic pace starts to decline at age 24. This is relevant to more than just StarCraft II players: 'While many high-performance athletes start to show age-related declines at a young age, those are often attributed to physical as opposed to brain aging. ... While previous lab tests have shown faster reaction times for simple individual tasks, it was never clear how much relevance those had to complex, real-world tasks such as driving. Thompson noted that Starcraft is complex and quite similar to real-life tasks such as managing 911 calls at an emergency dispatch centre, so the findings may be directly relevant. However, game performance was much easier to analyze than many real-life situations because the game generates detailed logs of every move. In a way, Thompson said, the study is a good demonstration of what kinds of insights can be gleaned from the "cool data sets" generated by our digital lives.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Cringely on Big Data and AI

Submitted by squideatingdough
squideatingdough (1679060) writes "Once again, Robert X. Cringely provides an insightful (and somewhat scary) vision of the future: He describes how today's Artificial Intelligence is so very different from the vision of those IT folks working in the field back in the 80's. And then he goes on to posit how algorithms are improving at a rate that exceeds Moore's Law for hardware. A very interesting read."

+ - Now you can get an Office 365 subscription for $6.99 a month 1

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has launched Office 365 Personal, a lower-priced subscription option for users who want to use Office on only one PC. You can even use it on the iPad or a tablet. Office 365 Personal is priced at $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for a year. Previously, the company offered a package that costed $10 a month or $100 a year for five PCs."

Comment: Marbury v Madison (Score 1) 141

Marbury v Madison was pulled out of the air from the Constitution to define the Judicial branch's power.

So, what is the use of the Supreme Court these days? Certainly Roberts is no Marshall, instead he seems a throwback the original ineffectiveness of the Court.

Just as the Court was extremely courageous in deciding Korematsu only once the war was over, the Supremes appear to wish to sit this one out.

I'd love to hear O'Conners', Thomas', and Scalia's opinions of this milque toast decision.

Comment: Unfortunately, Seagate's reliability is garbage (Score 4, Informative) 147

by cpm99352 (#46691377) Attached to: Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium
There was a time when Seagate was a gold standard, but nowadays certainly not. I would not trust a Seagate drive if someone gave it to me. A truly sad state of affairs. I just pity the consumers who don't know any better. Even worse that they're now tarnishing the Hitachi brand.

Comment: JD Salinger (Score 1) 276

by cpm99352 (#46426075) Attached to: Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?
Hmm, very similar to JD Salinger (

For all of you arguing that college requirements for non-technical courses are BS, this is a great counter-example. If you have no idea of what _Catcher in the Rye_ is, nor who Salinger is, then you are at a disadvantage vs. the Harvard (etc) graduates.

Comment: Re:First blacks, (Score 1) 917

by lmnfrs (#46342761) Attached to: Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

Is there a connection between homosexuality and anal sex, where if you are gay you are predisposed to it? Or is it a "second best" option that allows two men to experience intimacy, and thus is welcomed?

Similarly to what rearden said, no, there is no direct connection. Some people like some things, others are disgusted by those things. It's the same as everything else; what is it about women that is attractive to a straight man? It depends on the man.

For an unrelated comparison, do you prefer Coke or Pepsi? Personally I don't drink much cola, but when I do, it's RC :)

Comment: Have the golf courses been shut down? (Score 2) 362

I will take this seriously when they cease watering golf courses. Until then, it is just theater.

"...each course each day in Palm Springs consumes as much water as an American family of four uses in four years. "

Comment: Old School (Score 1) 669

by cpm99352 (#46283985) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?
I play Nethack, FreeCiv and Morrowind (and very rarely, Oblivion). I rotate them out as I get bored with each game. For the Oblivion series, the player add-ons are what kept me hooked - there are some truly awesome player expansions out there, where the player is able to make a contribution in the first place.

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.