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Comment: Summary is a bit misleading (Score 4, Informative) 48

by sandytaru (#48654043) Attached to: Hot Springs At Yellowstone Changed Their Color Due To Tourist Activity
I RTFA. These pools have ALWAYS been colorful. That's partially why Yellowstone was made into a national park, after all. It's the composition of colors that has changed in the last century, due to a slightly lower temperature and thus a slightly different bacterial makeup. The summary sort of implies that it was pollution that made each pool colorful to begin with, which isn't the case. Instead of "Researchers say that the different colors of the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park are caused by human contamination" it would be more accurate to say: "Researchers have done a simulation that shows how human activity may have altered the colors in several hot springs at Yellowstone."

Comment: Re:who cares? (Score 4, Insightful) 168

by Guppy (#48589729) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

an idiotic remark that is inconsequential to anything.

Is it? I'm really surprised that Airbus had the chutzpah (or political naivete).

You see, Airbus gets quite a bit of help from the governments of Europe -- subsidies, contracts; I wouldn't be surprised if they had a major hand in the mergers that formed the company in the first place. Most likely, the lawmaker is thinking of Airbus as being little different from some wayward administrative division in his own bureaucracy, now in need of a rebuke for not supporting the government's agenda.

Comment: Make it convenient for me and I will pay (Score 5, Insightful) 251

by sandytaru (#48565739) Attached to: Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down
I think another reason TPB isn't as necessary as it used to be is because the convenience gap it filled has slowly been replaced by paid services, in many instances. Getting an entire season of a TV show used to involve hunting down disks or even VHS tapes, a lot of waiting, a lot of headache, and the cost - when a pirated torrent of the same thing could be had in a few hours. Even renting a movie involved going outside. What if you didn't want to leave the house - or couldn't?

With the rise of on-demand services like Netflix/Hulu/all their friends, and the availability of most content for a reasonable cost, the laziness factor for torrenting is not as prevalent. For $2 and basically no effort I can buy a streaming movie off Amazon and watch it on my PS3. If I wanted to pirate it now, I'd save $2 but it would not necessarily be any easier or faster.

Same also applies for music. I pirated a lot of MP3s a long time ago because the songs were not readily available on CD or anywhere else (usually because of regional licensing bullshit.) These days, I can pay a dollar to whichever music service of my choice that carries the song, and have the MP3 without having to buy the whole album.

There will be other services along the lines of TPB, but they're more likely to stock 3D makerbot blueprints than they are cheaply available mainstream media in the future.

Comment: Re:Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1) 368

by Guppy (#48543773) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Hey, you know what else won't be the same? Language!

The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi would be a good example of a story that pushes that boundary (within the constraints of being able to still communicate with the reader). Not just choosing to invent silly terms for familiar things, but creating a culture-shock effect, where new slang is invented to reflect a new culture.

Comment: Re:Spending too much, reserves good, SW improves c (Score 5, Interesting) 274

by sandytaru (#48506735) Attached to: A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?
An example of what they've done would be the recent Monuments project. They built a back end, complete with a Google maps API interface, to tell you exactly where they needed photos of which historic monuments, in relation to a given ZIP code. Based on that, I learned there was 200 year old farm house about a half a mile from my office, and I spent a productive lunch break driving over there and photographing it. Their website handled the upload, licensing, and then distributed the new photo to the Commons as well as the Monuments project. There were no errors during this entire process which means the entire thing was rigorously tested and properly coded. It was a painless user experience, if a bit dry because of the spartan aesthetics of Wikimedia, but my "generated content" was incorporated seamlessly into their project in about five minutes. That's good website engineering.

Comment: Re:Summary of Trailer (Score 1) 390

by Guppy (#48488619) Attached to: First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

This seems like canon, I thought all the stormtroopers were clones of Jango Fett

Presumably at some point the clone tanks get blown up, or maybe conscripts ended up being cheaper than clones.

Although it would be more interesting if some random strain of the common flu ended up adapting itself perfectly to that nice monoculture of Fetts, and killed them all off (except for Boba, who got a flu shot).

Comment: Re:Google also has a plan (Score 2) 334

by Guppy (#48437653) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Practically, the EU branch of their offices needs to be little more than a cubicle with a lawyer and desk.

But oddly enough, on paper it seems a huge portion of Google "exists" in the EU, legally speaking. As far as revenues and expenses go, a huge portion of Google's revenues and expenses are "generated" there, (specifically, Ireland), thanks to an international tax dodge.

Memory fault -- brain fried

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