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Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 252

by Dan East (#47565449) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

You can do illegal things with a pen and a piece of paper, or a kitchen knife, or any computer, tablet, or cell phone. It is not the responsibility of the manufacturer to attempt to engineer a product that it is impossible to use for an illegal purpose. There is a legitimate use for what Ford and GM has done - people who own music on one media format can time-shift that music for later playback with less manual handling of physical media which is dangerous while driving.

Comment: Re:Yes it should ship! (Score 2, Insightful) 104

by Dan East (#47553777) Attached to: Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch

Apple didn't come from behind in the smartphone market. They created the market. Microsoft and Blackberry had the bulk of the market share, both based on old OSes that had been stagnant for quite a while with no real innovation. Blackberry didn't even offer a touch screen device yet, and Microsoft's could hardly even be used without a stylus.

Apple introduced revolutionary new hardware - capacitive based multitouch technology - which IMO was one of the primary reasons for the success of the iPhone. The other was an OS UI built from the ground up for touch interface. That was a knockout combination.

So no, Tizen doesn't have much chance unless they can bring revolutionary advancements, either hardware or software, like Apple did (and they brought both at the same time).

Comment: Confusing things together (Score 4, Informative) 194

by Dan East (#47507099) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

The research paper discusses two entirely different things: Canvas fingerprinting, and "Evercookies & Respawning", which are two entirely different things. Canvas fingerprinting is just another method of trying to determine which browser the user is running, by looking at differences in the way the canvas renders text and the like. "fingerprinting doesn’t work well on mobile" because of the homogeneous nature of mobile devices - 90% of iOS devices are running version 7.1, for example, so they are all using the same web browser version and rendering code, thus they are going to draw canvas fingerprints exactly the same. Nothing in the research article says anything about canvas fingerprinting being used to track people.

Now the other topic "Evercookies & Respawning" is about tracking users. That is using multiple storage vectors to try and keep users from deleting cookies. For example, using tiny hidden Flash apps which have their own caching, actual cookies, HTML5 persistent storage, embedding unique identifiers directly in the HTML so when the cached page is pulled up the identifier is once again active.

So at this point canvas fingerprinting isn't about tracking, but browser identification. The leap to "A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting", as described in the Pro Publica article:

A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.

First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.

Well that's completely wrong - the bold text should read "this type of tracking, called Evercookies & Respawning". The persistent tracking has nothing to do with the canvas fingerprinting. It's mainly due to Flash (which also explains why it too is ineffective on mobile devices).

Comment: Re:Wait for it... (Score 2) 752

by Dan East (#47478657) Attached to: Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Actually, the FAA told US airlines not to fly over Crimea, because in April Russia claimed they controlled air traffic over that airspace. The FAA told US planes not to fly there because it was a convoluted, disputed mess which could lead to accidents. It had nothing to do with risk of being shot down, and that area does not (or did not until today at least) cover the area over Ukraine where this flight was shot down. That flight path would not have been restricted by the FAA.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 1) 158

by Dan East (#47428925) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Everything is a continuum. Humans divide the continuum up using acts of selective attention

Your generalization is quite wrong. Humans classify organisms based on the evidence in front of them. Can you show me this continuum between a platypus and some other animal? How does that fit into the "everything is a continuum" that you speak of?

"Species" do not have particularly crisp boundaries in the general case:

Uh, they most certainly have extremely crisp boundaries. Species are classified by the ability of two organisms to breed with one another. There isn't any "crisper" boundary than that. Once two lineages are different enough, it is no longer possible for them to reproduce sexually with one another. That is a quantum leap, a boolean yes or no situation (at least in 99.9% of the cases). Humans have nothing to do with defining that boundary. It is merely what we have observed and appropriately classified.

Comment: Re:Rotation (Score 5, Interesting) 79

by Dan East (#47421891) Attached to: Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different

But really, did the earth stay hot enough for "a few million years" - hot enough to affect the locked side of the moon more than the other?

The moon has no atmosphere, thus radiation from the earth cannot affect the far side of the moon at all. So obviously, even to this day, the earth still affects "the locked side of the moon more than the other". The question is simply how much. The moon and earth were both molten after the collision, so it was not a matter of the earth being hot enough to melt the moon, but merely the earth imparting energy to prolong the cooling of the near side. No matter what, the near side must have cooled slower than the far side - it's a straightforward matter of thermodynamics. One side of the moon was receiving energy from the earth while the other side was not. The near side didn't need to stay so hot it was incandescent, but merely "softer" so that small impacts would heal more on the near side than the far side, and the duration only needed to be long enough to result in some degree of visible difference, which is what we still see today.

The whole thing sounds plausible to me.

Comment: Pascal (Score 3, Interesting) 415

by Dan East (#47410073) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Wait!!! What happened to Pascal?!?!? On a more serious note, Pascal was the premier teaching language back in the day, but it really wasn't used much in the real world. It was a stepping stone for learning C, which is where the real power was at and what "real" applications were developed in. I believe there is less disconnect today between the popular learning languages and what is actually utilized in the real world.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 4, Insightful) 454

by Dan East (#47333511) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

...which indicates that the gun was bought specifically for that purpose in those 50% of handgun suicide deaths. It wasn't the other way around - people didn't die because they happened to have bought a handgun, which is the way you phrased it. They wanted to die, so they bought a handgun. I've owned my handgun for over 20 years, and I've not wanted to die, hence I'm not dead by it.

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