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Comment: Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 1) 187

by epine (#48641759) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

Determinism = fail

With entanglement, we have an FTL coupling that can't be used to convey classical information.

Why can't we have a similarly knackered stripe of determinism, one which can't be used to shatter the illusion of free will? This would be a kind of determinism where even if you sort of know it's there, it makes no damn difference to your interpretation of local space.

Think big, grasshopper, think big.

Comment: Re:Failed state policies (Score 1) 424

by Atzanteol (#48620129) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

That fact doesn't matter nearly as much as you might think it does. He flies in doctors because the Cuban ones aren't as competent and because he can personally afford to. That has zero bearing on whether people have access to healthcare - though it does speak to the quality of the healthcare they are being given.

Comment: the sociology of accidents (Score 1) 174

by epine (#48619309) Attached to: Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

The only "accidental" discovery in science is the discovery one could have stretched out over a great many more research grants if one had better anticipated the scientific windfall.

Of course, we do tend to refer to the outcome of bad planning as "an accident" concerning our hominid prime directive, so perhaps there's no help for language after all.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

by epine (#48618993) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

You do realize that a narrative of this type can be fashioned around the prevailing conditions of all human societies at all points in human history?

America is an especially big and complex society, so one needs a correspondingly large and complex boogie man (though nevertheless, reductive to the core).

In the gospel of the one true fracture, defining yourself as against something only serves to throw more fuel on the fire. In reality, complex systems have hundreds or thousands of fault lines, and it's not always the case that the largest fault line is hovering around the supercritical state. Unless we all agree to obsess about it. Then the story self propels.

The slow march of AI is going to spin our a thousand fault lines. Get yours today!

Comment: Re:The interne cables are tapped... (Score 1) 159

by epine (#48605869) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Next it's not that hard to develop mathematical techniques to analyze text and language in posts ...

Budget projects much? "Doable" and "easy" are not the same words. I'm guessing one person out of a hundred in the general population could take a reasonable stab at developing such an algorithm, and only one person out of a thousand could be considered a natural talent.

The first 20% of the work gets you to sqrt(sqrt(7e9)) as your mean perplexity, which is simultaneously impressive and yet not terribly actionable. And then the difficulty curve shoots off into the exponential regime.

Comment: No kidding (Score 1) 594

by Sycraft-fu (#48603877) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

One of the reasons I live where I do is because I'm close to work, about 4 miles away. Lets me bike in. That way I don't have to deal with the expense and clusterfuck that is parking on a big campus. 4 miles is a very easy, short, ride so it is no problem. You don't need to change or anything, you don't work up a sweat.

Comment: Because Apple has no fucks to give about Windows (Score 2) 161

by Sycraft-fu (#48590571) Attached to: Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

You discover Apple software sucks way less on OS-X. The fanboys will tell you this is evidence of how much better OS-X is, of course, but the real reason is Apple doesn't do a good job on their ports. They really half-ass their Windows ports so they end up not being good software. It is possibly something to try and make OS-X look better but more likely simply laziness and a lack of good Windows developers.

Comment: Windows doesn't stop it (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by Sycraft-fu (#48590561) Attached to: Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

There's a big difference between not going out of your way to support something and going out of your way to prevent it. Windows doesn't have a native POSIX interface (it used to have a basic one) but you can add one if you like. It can be done higher level via something like Cygwin, or it can be done directly in the executive just like the Win32/64 APIs. There is nothing stopping you from adding it, they don't care.

Same deal with DirectX and OpenGL. A Windows GPU driver has to provide DirectX support. It is just part of the WDDM driver. Windows provides no OpenGL acceleration, and no software emulation. However you can provide your own OpenGL driver if you wish, and Intel, nVidia, and AMD all elect to do so. Windows does nothing to stop this and they work great (if the company writes a good driver). Indeed you could develop your own graphic API and implement that, if you wished.

There's a big difference between saying "We aren't going to do any work to support your stuff," and saying "We are going to work to make sure your stuff can't be supported."

Comment: pristine records for a prissy nation (Score 1) 134

by epine (#48585677) Attached to: Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts

My impression is the regret in taking these drunken pictures happens years after the fact, when the drunken college scene has been left behind, and the poster now has a family and a 9-to-5 job and they want to distance themselves from that past.

It shocks me how rarely the cultural underpinnings are made overt in these scenarios. What you depict might actually be the case in America, but I suspect it will be different in France, where when a search pulls up no college revelry whatsoever, cultured individuals might begin to seriously doubt your breeding and character.

Whether posting photos of regular drunkenness counts as bad judgement has a circular basis case. If you get yourself photographed draping and drooling over some chick who looks none too impressed with the group grope, there might be some legitimate flags raised. Multiple binge-ups during school session might also raise eyebrows, even in France. It sure won't accentuate that embarrassing C- you received in Economics 101 because of the "family crisis".

Daryl Hannah's distal indecency. In America, s/irony/context/g.

(I had forgotten that this clip also contains some good geek humour, though slightly dated and with just a hint of cheese.)

Comment: Re:This really is a man's world... (Score 1) 377

by epine (#48578947) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

Artists practice drawing nudes for a good reason: the human eye is exquisitely sensitive to the normal shape of the human body, so you can't draw or paint badly and not have it noticed.

Of course, we have a good evolutionary reason for having developed this proficiency, along with a taste for keeping this proficiency in good working order.

Porn doesn't happen until the rest of the brain takes a holiday (our visual sub-system is by far our biggest neurological subsystem according to a Levitin book I read recently). Big chunks of the human brain taking a poorly planned vacation is endemic to the human condition. That's why I keep a list of twenty different types of cognitive porn, only one of which involves obsessing over the female body. I'm pretty sure "PC porn" must be on my list somewhere.

Comment: Re: Have Both (Score 1) 567

by epine (#48578841) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

A general ergonomic rule-of-thumb is to adjust your monitor's vertical position so that the top edge is level with your eyes and you don't need to look upwards.

Do you go around believing every lazy-ass statement you've ever read?

My gut estimate is that I actively view the 20% of my portrait monitor above my horizontal line of sight about 2% of my total working time. What's up there, anyway? A menu bar, a window title bar, a bunch of FF controls, a bunch of FF tabs, the Slashdot header, some junk about DEALS NEW, "Reply to: Re: Have Both", then the Slashdot story header which repeats "Re: Have Both (Score: 3)", then there's you user information / date / perm-link. Everything else on this screen is below my horizontal line of sight, including the entirety of this input form where my gaze is normally focussed.

That lazy-ass statement almost certainly originates from an era where devoting 20% of a monitor to menu/window/media cruft left you with a painfully small working area.

If you bother to read articles where researchers are interviewed decades later about lazy-ass statements they tend to say: "well, yes, of course we knew that at the time, but at that time hardly anyone had even heard of ergonomics, so we chose to make the message as simple as possible, so as to get 80% of the benefit from 20% of the yammering". Last time I ran into this it concerned one of the BMI formulas (there are several body mass formulas in competition). And then they say, "if you go back and look at my original paper, it actually warns against expanding the mandate of this tool beyond our narrow focus of study". Did you really expect people would respect that warning? "Oh no, but what can you do?"

What typically occupies the bottom third of this screen, below where my gaze is the most comfortable? A tilda pop-up console bound to my Windows keyboard menu key.

I have a custom user style that adds white space to the bottom of every web page so that I can maximize FF on this monitor, pop up the Tilda window over top of the bottom third, and still scroll the bottom of the web page high enough to not be covered over.

And then I have my landscape monitor to the left, all within the optimal attitude wedge. In fact, the combination of the two is much better ergonomically than having them both in landscape mode, which was so wide that I used to sit tilted to one side or the other, putting strain on my back (also pushing more of my pixels into the far margins of my vision). I never been happier with any previous monitor setup, though it did require switching from Ubuntu to Mint with extreme prejudice.

In my opinion, most people persist in using fonts that are much too small, I suppose so that they can crowd more stuff onto their desktops. Small fonts would be a problem with this setup as it would cause me to lean forward sharper reading, and also creating sharper viewing angles toward the edges (my input box is presently displaying three lines per inch; I can read what I've composed without difficulty from six feet away).

A portrait-orientation of your monitor makes that objective difficult to achieve.

I suppose if the sum total of your ergonomic wisdom comes from a fortune cookie ("Eyes level with bezel last a lifetime.") and you have no capacity to think for yourself, portrait mode just won't seem terribly appealing. When one's approach to ergonomics is more holistic, one quickly comes to a different view.

Comment: That's not how it works (Score 4, Informative) 379

The court can't just jump up and say "We don't like that, it goes out." They have to follow procedure which means a challenge has to appear in front of them. That challenge can also only be brought by someone with standing, meaning that this law had a negative impact on you somehow.

That's one of the reasons the government loves the secret gathering so much, makes it harder for it to get challenged. If you can't show this harmed you, then you can't fight it in court.

So someone has to be impacted by this, challenge it, and it has to be appealed up to the SC. Then and only then do they rule on it.

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