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Comment: Re:The party of anti-regulation (Score 1) 176

by Caspian (#42029335) Attached to: GOP Study Committee Director Disowns Brief Attacking Current IP Law

They only take stances against regulations that impact the ability of the very rich to get richer. For example, they're against evil evil anti-pollution restrictions, because those cost rich companies MONEY. However, the ever-extending copyright terms MAKE rich companies money-- so it stands to reason that they'd be all FOR those "restrictions".

Comment: Re:of course (Score 1) 176

by Caspian (#42029303) Attached to: GOP Study Committee Director Disowns Brief Attacking Current IP Law


No, the GOP is NOT "more closely aligned with the ethos that could back copyright reform than the Democratic party." While the Dems may be more heavily entrenched in big media circles, the Repubs are most DEFINITELY in favour of "helping the 1% get one-percentier". Ever-extending copyright terms definitely benefit the 1%. As long as it's making the rich richer, it's in the GOP's interest, even if it's primarily being pushed by people from the Dems' camp.

Comment: Re:The GOP is very divided. (Score 1) 176

by Caspian (#42029259) Attached to: GOP Study Committee Director Disowns Brief Attacking Current IP Law

It's also worth noting that, as instituted by the government, 'marriage' is HARDLY a religious sacrament. You go down to City Hall and fill out a form. It's a legal contract.

(Also, there are plenty of religions ready, willing and able to marry gay couples, so, yeah, your "ERHMAGERD GUMMINT IS REDEFINING RELIGIOUS TERMS!1" argument just don't fly. Which religion is the benchmark? Yours? I see, then. So you want the government to enforce the terms of YOUR religion for a secular institution. Yes, marriage is now a secular thing. You don't need to enter a place of worship to get married. Get with reality.)

Comment: Re:Do Not Want! (Score 1) 254

by Caspian (#41687187) Attached to: Former Australian Cop Wants Jail For Internet Trolls

I'm sorry, but-- having been a long-time VICTIM of trolling-- I must point out that most trolling is unambiguously INTENDED to harass and to cause emotional distress-- "for the lulz". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read some of the shit kids post on 4chan and recognise it IMMEDIATELY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY as deliberate bullying, plain and simply-- harassment, which (yes) SHOULD be illegal.

Comment: Great. Just what kids need. (Score 2) 729

by Caspian (#41218681) Attached to: Do We Need a Longer School Year?

No time off from mindless busywork which doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, prepare anyone for the real world.

No time off from senselessly time-consuming homework. (Why is it that students are given homework anyways? In the real world, your boss doesn't generally give you 'homework'; you work your 8 hours and you're DONE FOR THE DAY.)

No time off from cruel and sadistic bullies.

No time off from incompetent and disinterested teachers.

No time off from the mind-numbingly uncaring bureaucracy of the school administration.

No time off from waking up before dawn to trundle out to the school bus, alone and half-awake.

I'm 33 years old, and I look back at my school years as some of the worst times of my life. The suggestion of eliminating the summer respite would only make an already grueling and unpleasant period of every person's life significantly worse.

Now, there ARE ways to improve our school system. They don't involve adding more time to the school experience. They involve, among other things, tailoring the curriculum to the needs of each student, reducing the focus on mindless drilling for standardised tests, reshaping the curriculum to focus on useful real-world skills, transplanting money currently spent on sports (which should have no place in an academic environment anyways) and other non-academic things such as ROTC into better textbooks, better teachers, and perhaps even undoing some of the damage idiot parents in this country routinely do to their children (such as teaching them that Earth is 6,000 years old and was created in six literal 24-hour days, for example). They also involve treating students like human beings and not mere items on an assembly line, and ensuring that every student is treated with dignity. (The epidemic of school bullying needs to end NOW.)

Comment: You take the good with the bad. (Score 1) 464

by Caspian (#30500924) Attached to: Charities Upset Over Chase Facebook Contest

Is this really surprising, people? REALLY? They're just playing CYA. Chase obviously doesn't want to step on any political "hot buttons" on either side of the aisle, so they're somewhat arbitrarily disqualifying charities affiliated with both "liberal" causes (less restrictive laws on marijuana) and "conservative" causes (anti-abortion). Although I'm sad to see the former disqualified, if it means one of my banks (full disclosure: I am a Chase customer) doesn't give money to some anti-choice lunatics, I'm happy.

Chase might not have predicted that highly politically charged charities would make it into the top $foo list. Not every charity is something everyone can get behind, like the Stop Grinding Baby Kittens Into Soup Foundation. (I will now stand back and wait for one of you knuckleheads to talk about how you support the grinding of baby kittens into soup...)


Building 3D Models On the Fly With a Webcam 93

Posted by kdawson
from the do-you-see-what-i-see dept.
blee37 writes "Here is an excellent video demonstration of a new program developed by Qi Pan, a graduate student, and other researchers at the University of Cambridge. The 'ProFORMA' software constructs a 3D model of an object in real time from (commodity) webcam video. The user can watch the program deduce more pieces of the 3D model as the object is moved and rotated. The resulting graphics are of high quality."

3-D Virtual Maps For the Blind 50

Posted by kdawson
from the see-me-feel-me dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes to let us know about research into producing palpable maps for the blind. Scientific American has the story of Greek researchers who produce 3D "haptic" maps that "use force fields to represent walls and roads so the visually impaired can better understand the layout of buildings and cities." Two separate systems produce haptic output from standard video and from 2D maps. The systems have been tested on a small number of users. Currently the devices that interpret the "force fields" for sight-impaired users are not portable, and so the systems are most appropriate for doing research before, e.g., visiting a new city.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.