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Comment: Some Public Records ... You Know ... Just in Case (Score 5, Informative) 448

by eldavojohn (#47304885) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now
So a domain name lookup on their site yielded nothing. And there are suspiciously no patents mentioning "wetag" or "ifind" and the names they listed (Dr. Paul McArthur) are in patents but for cold fusion BS in California.

Surely, though, they must have registered the "iFind" trademark? And if you search on TESS we find:

Owner (APPLICANT) WeTag, Inc. CORPORATION TEXAS 3309 San Mateo Drive Plano TEXAS 75023

With an attorney listed as "Richard G. Eldredge" which corresponds to a local attorney. Before you deploy the door kickers to lynch somebody, that address is just somebody's $200,000 house and could possibly be a random address used by a jerk. Remember that it's entirely possible that this is all a front by some other actor and someone was paid western union/bitcoin to register this trademark through this attorney without realizing they were just being used by literally anyone in the world ... of course, kickstarter should have even better transaction details (hopefully).

+ - Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Officially Announced->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "Word was leaking this week of some familiar faces in London hanging out together. Finally today an official cast listing was handed down from on high to us mere mortals (Google Cache and Onion AV recap available). From the short release, "Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film." Let's not bicker and argue about who shot first but instead come to an agreement on expected levels of almost certain disappointment. No, this will not feature the Expanded Universe (EU) — you can now refer to those tales as "Legends" which are not part of Star Wars canon. Instead prepare yourself for what will likely be the mother of all retcon films."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Several Corrections from Someone in the Field (Score 5, Informative) 384

by Colonel Korn (#46860079) Attached to: How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

Let me correct several points, some of which have already been pointed out by other posters:

1) Davies, who is an excellent scholar and shouldn't have to be associated with bizarre out of context fundamentally broken articles like the one linked from the summary, says that construction of public concrete buildings was a political tool used by Pompey and Julius in an escalating bid for political power. She points out that this was a factor in the end of the Roman REPUBLIC because Julius and later Augustus eventually collected enough power to bring about the establishment of the Roman EMPIRE. So while TFS, and indeed the terrible article in the ridiculously trashy "International Business Times," state that concrete led to the downfall of the empire, their source instead says that concrete was one of many factors that led to the FORMATION of the empire. In otherwords, TFS and TFA both state exactly the opposite of what the source stated.

2) This statement about concrete contributing to the founding of the Roman Empire has been present in high school textbooks for at least a hundred years. It's not news.

3) The real news that prompted the article is also misrepresented. French scholars recently published a paper pointing out that the level of lead in Roman drinking water wouldn't have had significant side effects. Both TFS and TFA state that the previous theory on the fall of the Roman Empire was that it was due to lead poisoning. This isn't even remotely accurate. Yes, crackpots have published claims that lead poisoning led to degenerate Romans. In no way has it ever, not even for a moment, been accepted by scholars as "the cause" of the Roman Empire's fall. There is no single cause of the fall of the Roman Empire. It wasn't an asteroid or aliens or disease - it lasted for a ridiculously long time and eventually fell apart over the course of about 1500 years. The number of scholars who believed that the Roman Empire "fell" because of lead poisoning was similar to the number of paleontologists who believe the dinosaurs died out because of Noah's flood.

It's too bad that the simple debunking of this crackpot theory in the study published by the French team was reported in the International Business Times by such an unintelligent reporter, and even worse that Slashdot picked the story up without recognizing the inaccuracies that any 8 year old with a 100 IQ would be able to detect.

A couple months ago Slashdot went through a transition. It became useless for awhile because every article was flooded with complaints about the new site design, but I think that there was a simultaneous shift toward poorer editing and lower quality story submissions. Maybe the cleverer Slashdot posters did what I have and mostly stopped paying attention. I've spent 10 years laughing at the people who post about how Slashdot declined since the good old days, but recent evidence shows that the decline is real and undoubtable. Perhaps the editors suffer from lead poisoning.

Or concrete.

+ - Meet The Magician Who Can Fix Your Crappy No-Bars Cell Signal->

Submitted by Colonel Korn
Colonel Korn (1258968) writes "In 2006, CNET editor James Kim and his family were lost in a snowstorm in Oregon. After several days without food or heat James set out on foot to find a phone signal. His family was rescued, but James died of exposure. Upon hearing the story, semi-retired electrical engineer John Wilbur, designer of some of the first coin operated video games, the first WYSIWYG graphics card for Apple computers, and first solid state disk for PCs, began looking for an answer.

People get lost and die a lot more than you might expect: last year there were about a thousand search and rescue cases in Oregon alone, leading to about a hundred deaths. John realized that a key problem was the difficulty of efficiently finding a phone signal when you're standing in a dead zone and he came up with a software solution, which he's coupled with unpowered, cordless hardware that gives a 15 dB increase in signal strength to make dead zones useable. The hardware and software are being sold under the brand DOTS911 and are up on Kickstarter now."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Clarification (Score 1) 90

by Colonel Korn (#45988795) Attached to: Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project For Diabetics

Before anyone gets the idea that Google did meaningful research, know that the real science and technology here has been demonstrated in labs for 20 years. The quotation from Google in TFS makes it look like Google solved a "mystery" and did science, but what they did is normal Google work: they packaged other people's publicly funded and disclosed work, slapped patent protection on it, and commercialized it. To some people this is the heart of innovation, but whether or not you think it's impressive, at least recognize that Google did polishing and packaging here, not an iota of science.

Comment: Re:is Google turning evil? (Score 1) 195

by Colonel Korn (#45318511) Attached to: You're Only As Hirable As Your Google+ Circles

What you do is you delete both and switch to an email provider who is less insane and has a better idea what you want.

I'd love to do so. To answer the GP, I think Google has been hellbent on being evil since it was founded. On the other hand, I'm lazy and I like the Gmail interface, plus the nearly instant push of new messages to my phone. Does anyone have a recommendation for a much more privacy-focused email provider with a Gmail-like interface (even better if it's like Gmail from a couple years ago) and two-factor authentication?

Comment: Since No One Has Pointed It Out Yet (Score 5, Informative) 348

by eldavojohn (#45098595) Attached to: The W3C Sells Out Users Without Seeming To Get Anything In Return

'What do we get for that DRM?'

Did "we" vote on this? Let's look at their members list: Apple, AT&T, Facebook, Csico, Comcast, Cox, Google, Huawei, HP, Intel, LG, Netflix, Verizon, Yahoo!, Zynga and ... The Walt Disney Company. Seriously, are we really so daft that we sit here scratching our heads wondering why a consortium of those players and THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ended up including DRM? REALLY? There is a bill known as The Mickey Mouse Act in regards to excessive copyright that was passed into US law. And we're wondering how Disney might have influenced DRM as an option in a standard ... they're on the list, folks! Pull your heads out of your asses!

And those are just the companies I recognize that have a serious amount of money to be made on DRM (hello, Netflix?!). If I examine closer, there are much smaller players like, say, Fotosearch Stock Photography and Footage that sound like they would gladly vote for DRM in order to "protect" their products/satiate content owners.

Comment: I Thought It Was Clear (Score 3, Informative) 324

by eldavojohn (#44970255) Attached to: Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades

only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere. Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040

Do they honestly believe there is some total quantity of emissions that can be tolerated? I mean as opposed to a rate of emissions - like annually. We know that the system recycles carbon taking it out of the atmosphere, and we know that the rate it's removed increases as the concentration increases. So if we assume there is a limit, it should be on the rate of carbon emissions and not the total emitted over time.

If you read the "Summary for Policymakers" PDF document linked in the summary, there is no talk of "total quantity of emissions tolerated" or any of this trillionth ton idea. Instead it appears to be talking about . In fact, it appears to reside solely in that New York Times article that very clearly says:

To stand the best chance of keeping the planetary warming below an internationally agreed target of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels and thus avoiding the most dangerous effects of climate change, the panel found, only about 1 trillion tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas spewed into the atmosphere.

Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at current rates of energy consumption, the trillionth ton will be released around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report.

(emphasis mine) So to answer your question: The trillion tons is an estimate of what we would need to burn in order to hit an internationally agreed limit that would likely produce the worst effects of climate change. The number of tons we burn is even an estimate. It's all estimates because we don't have parallel Earths where we can keep controls and change one variable to see what happens. If you don't accept the ability of making estimates with levels of certainty, there is no way to make any statements about the effects of putting carbon into our atmosphere on a global scale.

These guys are looking dumber all the time.

I suppose it would appear that way if you only get your information from The New York Times and throw away everything they're actually saying.

Comment: Re:So what you're saying... (Score 1) 659

by Colonel Korn (#44802839) Attached to: Should the U.S. bomb Syria?

Please provide some evidence to support that statement. I think that the Iraq War, waterboarding at guantanamo bay, and illegal wiretapping under the Bush administration are areas in which the Obama administration is not measurably worse.

Obama (who I voted for once) looks like his military legacy will be similar to Bush's, he's gone nuts with not just torture but also murder of US citizens with zero judicial oversight, and he's vastly, dramatically, improbably, and astonishingly expanded the illegal wiretapping he complained about when it was done under Bush.

Comment: Re:Slow scrolling... (Score 1) 172

by Colonel Korn (#44758499) Attached to: Yahoo! Sports Redesign Sparks Controversy, Disdain From Users

The redesign isn't the worst I've seen, but damn it scrolls slow. There seems to be about a one second delay between me hitting my scroll wheel and the page actually responding. I didn't have this issue on the old player pages.

The scrolling wouldn't even be that huge of an issue, but they have forced all the relevant information (stats) down below all of the pointless crap (I don't really care where Buster Posey was born). So now the first thing I have to do on their player pages is... scroll down to the bottom, which now takes forever.

What type of education does it take to develop and design websites; highschool? GED?

It's not just that they've added pointless crap above the useful info, but even if you scroll down to see the useful info it now requires about 2000 vertical pixels to do something as simple as see what's going on in a baseball game, which means constantly clunky scrolling. Even that might be justified if the lower information density made it less cluttered and easier to read, but with the pointless crap additions and the busy backgrounds, it's very difficult to quickly parse the data right in the middle of your screen.

From an objective "how much time and effort does it take for me to get the information out of this page?" perspective, this is the worst redesign of any product I've ever seen, and I'm including non-computer products. In all of recorded history, I'm not aware of a bigger design mistake.

Comment: Re:someone's gotta start the show (Score 2) 175

by Colonel Korn (#44697895) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Loony Cheerleading Culture Is Out of Control

I think that much of the 90% failure rate has to be blamed on the venture firms, which are very reluctant to invest in any idea that isn't the 10th clone of an already highly visible and possibly successful idea. If you make the 100th photo sharing app with geotagging and integration with Facebook and it looks like it has a clean interface, you can probably find an investor. If you come up with a truly new concept you'll be met with blank stares and FUD based on the lack of a proven market.

13. ... r-q1