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Comment Re:My view of this (Score 1) 662

the public response isn't because he is some amazing boy genius.

the public response is a big FU to the authorities who try to criminalise someone for tinkering.

they are _not_ saying

"we think this kid is the best tinkerer"
If they wanted to invite the best tinkerer to the white house / nasa / etc, then they'd hold a competition to find her.

they _are_ saying

"FU for being asshats to this kid. We want to make the point that his _kind_ of behaviour should be encouraged. We are inviting him to our place of work because we think the kid has had a crappy time and could use some good news - but more importantly to show publicly that we stand behind the principle of freedom to tinker/invent/repackage/etc"

This is not an over-reaction by MIT, NASA, Obama. It _is_ important that people stand up for the right of kids to tinker whether they are geniuses or not.

Comment Re:My view of this (Score 5, Insightful) 662

Clearly he didn't 'invent' the clock - but I don't think anyone really thought he did.

After all - we already have clocks.

He likes to tinker, and he calls the result his 'inventions'. Not the most nuanced use of language - but he is 13.

Whether he just took apart and repackaged an existing clock, or did something more technically challenging, your implied charge of misleading us over his 'invention' seems rather ungenerous in spirit.

Comment Re:They still have a 90 day gag (Score 1) 81

the justification is along the lines of:

If it becomes public knowledge that we can collect XXX from an ISP, then terrorists will know that XXX is unsafe and start to use alternate means to do YYY.
As a result, we'll be less likely to catch them.

It's not an illogical argument. The question is whether it is constitutional and/or proportional.

Comment Re:So which use was it? (Score 1) 127

this ruling didn't address whether the specific video was fair use.

It merely decided that Universal are required to consider whether the usage was fair use.

It is perfectly possible for this ruling to stand, and for the next court to decide that the dancing baby was infringing Universal's copyright.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 3, Informative) 127

Isn't it already in the DMCA laws that complaints must have some merit with regards to fair use?

not explicitly.

the complainer has to assert under penalty of perjury that
“We have a good faith belief that the above-described activity is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”

Universal argued that fair use didn't count as authorization - but was more like an excuse which protected a user from the normal consequences of their infringing usage.

The court disagreed - they declared that fair use was an explicit authorization under the law.

the ruling is here:

Comment Re:US Bill is only 4 Trillion? (Score 1) 528

What of all those people in India and China (and other parts of the world) who burn organics like wood or straw or animal dung for heat, cooking, etc? That puts out far more pollution than a gas or even coal-fired power plant per capita.

probably not the case.
For heating/cooking, it is probably more polluting to run your own kerosene stove than to use electricity generated at a power station.

However, if you're using 3rd world heating/cooking methods, you're not driving a 4x4, you're not running a/c, flying, having food delivered by trucks to stores, etc, etc.

Which is why per capita carbon output is much lower in the third world.

Comment Re:How is it Ukraine's fault (Score 1) 249

Allow me to help you comrade.

I have never understood the blatant lies coming out of the Russian military or their proxies when they claim it was Ukrainian forces who shot down the airliner. I can only presume they believe people around the world are as gullible as the average Russian, and possibly just as drunk, because they have never answered any of the following questions.

>> All these questions have been comprehensively answered. I will repeat the answers here.

If Ukraine was the only one who had helicopters and jets, why would they need anti-aircraft weapons against farmers and miners (the term Putin has used to refer to his troops in Ukraine)?

>> In order to cast false accusations on Russia, thus justifying intervention by the west in the Ukranian citizens' fight for their freedom.

If the plane was coming from the West, meaning it was flying into Ukrainian airspace from a known location, why would Ukraine, if it had anti-aircraft weapons deployed, target then shoot down an aircraft not coming from the East?

>> This question has already been answered.

How does Russia and their proxies explain the fact postings were made on known Twitter accounts and radio intercepts recorded of Russian proxies bragging about shooting down a Ukrainian jet?

>> No such postings have been made. These are part of the extravagant western propaganda campaign.

Why is it that pictures of a Buk missile system were taken near the shoot down site, the same system which was then tracked on its way back to Russia AND which had one missile missing?

>> The freedom fighters did shoot down some Ukranian military aircraft. These photos were probably of those buk launchers.

How does Russia and its proxies explain that people in the area witnessed the launch of the missile from territory under Russian control? Not just one person, but several, all pointing to the same general area?

>> Lies and propaganda

Why did Russia and its proxies prevent investigators from entering the crash site for days afterwards? What evidence were they trying to hide?

>> They were merely ensuring the safety of the remains, and making sure that this provocation could be properly recorded before western spies messed with the evidence.

If Russia or its proxies did not shoot down the civilian airliner, why did Russia veto a UN resolution to fully and openly investigate the incident? If Russia is innocent they should have been happy to have an investigation to prove their innocence.

>> The west has clearly demonstrated that it will lie and deceive in order to misrepresent Russian support for Ukranian self-determination. Such a biased western-run investigation would be used as a vehicle for further propaganda.

It is quite clear Russian troops and/or their proxies shot down a civilian airliner, then bragged about it, yet beyond all reasonable comprehension they stubbornly cling to the fantasy they are not criminally responsible. It's as if the they've learned nothing over the last 100 years since the coup.

>> It is only clear to those who are deceived by the corrupt western media.

Remember that Putin doesn't really need to convince the western audience. He cares more about convincing his home audience, and throwing enough doubt into the game to limit direct repercussions.

Russians know not to trust the news - particularly the western news which is so obviously a corrupt mouthpiece of the western governments.
The west clearly wants to impose their will on Russia (you can see the sanctions, and the falling oil prices as clear evidence of this) - but plucky Russia won't be cowed.

The western hypocrisy is simply staggering; While the west interferes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria where they have no citizens, and no defensible interest, they condemn Russia for defending Russian citizens against attacks in their own land where all they want is the right to self-determination. (for example - see the democratic referendum held in Crimea).

The west (and the USA in particular) want to cripple Russia - but Russia will not be cowed. Russian citizens are smart enough to recognise that their nation is under economic and political attack, and they will not fall for the western smears and outright lies.

[Do you get the idea?]

Comment Re:Apple Watch is useful for quick interactions... (Score 1) 213

I'm not convinced by the complication story.

My guess is

% of users who bother to customise the watch face
* % of users who add my complication to the face
* % of users who even find that useful

~= 0%

essentially, you're describing using complications as a launcher, but it is a launcher with 4 (?) launchable apps, and it is still a tap/load away from actually using the app.

Comment Just not useful for apps (Score 5, Interesting) 213

- I'm a developer on iOS.
- My apps seem like good fits for apple watch (VLC Remote and VLC Streamer).
- I wear an apple watch.

Approximately nobody uses my apple watch app.
I don't use any apple watch apps.

My thoughts:
Having bought the watch, I can see why. It just isn't useful for quick interactions.
The default setting on the watch is that when you drop your wrist, it resets to the watch face, so every time you lift your wrist, you need to go to the launcher, find the app, launch it (wait some seconds) and then interact with the small screen.

There is an option to make the watch return to the point you left in the app - but in most cases, that isn't what you want for your watch. You do want it to show you the time when you lift your wrist 10 mins after you last used it.

On top of this, the things that could be useful like siri interaction are weak. Siri just doesn't work nearly as well as google now.

I keep wearing the watch because I like the activity monitor, but I don't even use my own apple watch apps.

Comment Re:Outside help (Score 2) 431

actual interest payments are somewhere around 2.6% to 4.3% of GDP (depending on your calculation method)

greek tax revenue as a proportion of gdp is about 30%

so greek interest payments are approx 10% of tax receipts

Comment Standard deviation has a value. (Score 1) 480

The argument that lottery tickets are bad value is based on the expected (mean) return.
For example, for every $2 ticket, you might get $1 in prizes on average.
On average, you're losing on every ticket.

However - this completely fails to value the fact that you have massively increased the standard deviation of your return, so although your expected return is $1, there is some chance that you'll get $1million.

We recognise that reducing standard deviation on negative events has value.
For example, your expected return on your insurance payments of $1000 is less than $1000. However, you have reduced the standard deviation of the expected return and (hopefully) negated the possibility of losing $1million.
On average however - you lose money whenever you buy insurance.

If we are willing to pay (on average) to avoid losing $1million, then it is is equally logical to pay (on average) for the opportunity of gaining $1million.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson