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Comment: Re:Much faster clone time (Score 1) 536

by FiveDozenWhales (#31838940) Attached to: WePad Tablet Will Use Linux To Rival the iPad
You... understand that Linux is just a kernel, right? And that the interface on a Linux-running device has little to nothing to do with the kernel itself? The WePad page says that it's built on Android. If you've ever used Android, you know that it's very much an interface designed for a mobile device, and that it has next to nothing in common with GNOME, KDE, or any other Linux-based user interface. Heck, unless you were curious or technically inlined, you'd never know your Android device was running Linux.

Comment: Re:Liquids on planes (Score 1) 560

by FiveDozenWhales (#29891235) Attached to: Laptop Fires On Airplanes

Oh yes? And what if they wanted to stipulate that only white people could fly on their planes? Or only men? Or only the non-handicapped?

Well, those wouldn't be okay, because such discrimination is illegal, even for a private company. Why is it illegal? Because the people being subjected to discrimination stood up and fought against it. Which is exactly what needs to happen if this further infringement on our constitutional rights is to be stopped.

Comment: Re:Explained by a Simple Formula (Score 2, Interesting) 944

by FiveDozenWhales (#29847579) Attached to: When Libertarians Attack Free Software

I posit that one of the most prized products of Capitalism and the
free market is to reduce the cost for the end consumer and raise
the quality of the products and services.

Funny how a system designed to concentrate wealth in those who already control is does so little for the end consumers.

Funny how most of the time, an unregulated market increases the cost of items taht should be dirt-cheap, until they're an unaffordable luxury to most people.

And how the quality of the products and services doesn't matter, so long as you can dupe or force people into buying it.

In fact, non-free software (e.g., Windows and other Microsoft wares) is a great example of this. Is Office 7 worth $400? Nope, but because it's a free market, the price gets inflated to this point. Is Vista a good product? Nope, but because the industry is regulated only by those in control of it (i.e. Microsoft) hundreds of thousands of people were essentially forced to buy it anyway.

I fail to see how capitalism, a system which places power in the hands of those seeking only to promote their own profit, and who see the people in the system simply as another resource to be exploited, is supposed to benefit anyone other than those who control the wealth, and hence the power.

Remember, the "free market" is not free. It is manipulated like a puppet by those who hold the reins, those who do not care about your wellbeing or options in life.

Power

Sony Prototype Sends Electricity Through the Air 240

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the efficiency-is-overrated dept.
itwbennett writes "Sony announced Friday that it has developed a prototype power system based on magnetic resonance that can send 'a conventional 100 volt electricity supply over a distance of 50 centimeters to power a 22-inch LCD television.' Unfortunately, Sony's prototype wasted 1/5 of the power fed into it and additional losses 'occurred in circuitry connected to the secondary coil so the original 80 watts of power was cut by roughly a quarter to 60 watts once it had made its way through the system.'"

Comment: Re:This is great! (Score 2, Insightful) 174

by FiveDozenWhales (#29599371) Attached to: Google Wants to Map Indoors, Too

Soon, the human race will never again need to have a sense of direction, thanks to our GPS-and-wifi-triangulation-capable overlords!

Right, just like how Plato said in Phaedrus that writing would rid us of our need for a memory.
Or like how radio ended the era of live musical performances.
Or like how cars and elevators have made walking obsolete.

Honestly, technology does change our lives, but it doesn't make such integral parts of them a thing of the past... technophobes just like to squawk that they will.

Hardware Hacking

Revisiting DIY HERF Guns 425

Posted by kdawson
from the scrambled-not-fried dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HERF guns have previously been regarded as nothing more than an interesting project with uses ranging from at-home experiments to malicious pranks. But the deployment of 'morally gray' forms of high-tech crowd control, such as the recent use of a sound cannon against domestic protesters, along with the likely future unleashing of the pain gun on more than just 'foreign terrorists,' creates a new purpose for these relatively easily assembled devices. Could HERF guns become a new method to counter the silencing of protesters via these sophisticated attacks, or is there any other way to prevent such efficient, convenient crowd dispersal?"
Science

Cooking May Have Made Us Human 253

Posted by kdawson
from the steak-on-the-barbie dept.
SpaceGhost writes "Anthropologist Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human believes that the discovery of cooked food led to evolutionary changes resulting in a smaller and different digestive system based on a higher-quality diet, mainly relying on cooked meat. In an interview on NPR's Science Friday (text and audio), Professor Wrangham explores concepts such as the digestive costs of food, the benefits (or lack thereof) of raw diets, and a distinct preference in Great Apes for cooked food over raw."

Comment: Re:Missing option: (Score 2, Insightful) 804

by FiveDozenWhales (#29531491) Attached to: In 100 Years, Health Care Won't Be An Issue Because ...
The thing is, 99 times out of 100 it ISN'T the right choice, but it may seem, in moments of depression, like the ONLY choice. Would you stop an incredibly drunk man from jumping in front of a bus? Depression can be just as perception-altering as any drug. By enabling medics & police to restrain someone about to make what is literally the biggest mistake of their life, we can prevent those 99% of cases in which is outcome is just as tragic as a murder.

However, I do agree that there should be processes in place in which the sound of mind can legally consent to suicide, and be able to do so i the most painless way possible.
Google

Google SideWiki Brings Comments To Everyone 221

Posted by timothy
from the obvious-things-are-hard-to-get-right dept.
Rophuine writes "Google has launched a product called SideWiki. It takes the form of a plug-in to Firefox and Internet Explorer which allows users to mark up the web by adding comments which can be seen by anyone else running SideWiki." Google's version joins a long line of attempts to impose a layer of comments on the Web, including Microsoft's Smart Tags and Third Voice.
Communications

Cursive Writing Is a Fading Skill — Does It Matter? 857

Posted by kdawson
from the something's-gained-and-something's-lost dept.
antdude sends along an AP piece on the decline of the teaching of cursive writing in schools — ramifications of which we've discussed a few times before. "The decline of cursive is happening as students are doing more and more work on computers, including writing. In 2011, the writing test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will require 8th and 11th graders to compose on computers, with 4th graders following in 2019. ... Handwriting is increasingly something people do only when they need to make a note to themselves rather than communicate with others, [an educator] said. Students accustomed to using computers to write at home have a hard time seeing the relevance of hours of practicing cursive handwriting. 'I am not sure students have a sense of any reason why they should vest their time and effort in writing a message out manually when it can be sent electronically in seconds.'"
Mozilla

Mozilla To Protect Adobe Flash Users 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the helping-those-who-don't-help-themselves dept.
juct writes "Beginning with versions 3.5.3 and 3.0.14 of Firefox, Mozilla is going to check the version of installed Adobe Flash plug-ins and warn users if it discovers an outdated version with potential security holes. Mozilla confirmed this new security feature and said that the Flash version check was part of a wider commitment to 'protect users from emerging threats online.' Just recently, a study confirmed that 80 per cent of users surf with a vulnerable version of Adobe's plug-in."
Security

Code-Breaking Quantum Algorithm On a Silicon Chip 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-small-chip-for-man dept.
Urchin writes "Shor's quantum algorithm, which offers a way to crack the commonly-used RSA encryption algorithm, has been demonstrated on a silicon chip for the first time. The algorithm was first demonstrated on large tabletop arrays 3 years ago, but the photonic quantum circuit can now be printed relatively easily onto a silicon chip just 26 mm long. You can see the abstract from the team's academic paper in the journal Science; the full text requires a subscription."

"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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