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Comment Re:Use CE, Avoid AD to designate the years. (Score 1) 96 96

What's the point? How about solving 90% of the problem with .000001% of the cost? Changing the numbering system wouldn't just be difficult. It will just not happen. You can tray, but you will fail. At which point you will have only helped preserving the current system of AD/BC. By moving to the CE system you stop using a religious term (which is the problem because to some is usign a fictitious character for a science reference) while continuing to use an arbitrary zeroing point, which is not a problem since unless you are able to count from the big bang or use a moving system that's based on the present time (both quite impractical), all references are arbitrary, and chosing the arbitrary (and inaccurate) date of the alleged birth of some person is as good as choosing anything else. Fundamentalists like you that dismiss battles that can be won in favor of ones that can't are the reason why fairy tales still rule society today. Pick your battles and you may win sometimes.

Comment Re:Brace yourself for flying chairs (Score 1, Interesting) 645 645

Well, to be fair, those claims were never confirmed by anyone else but Lucovosky. He could have perfectly made up the whole thing. It could be real, or it could be false. We have no evidence in either direction, so I wouldn't use that as an argument to support anything.

Comment Re:Out there (Score 1) 645 645

Well, I won't comment on the clown, but Android IS ridiculously complicated. If you are commenting on Slashdot you are unlikely to be able to see it. But take the people thac cannot use Windows on a desktop (that is, the majority of people) and give them a phone with Android. After a few minutes they'll get stuck with something. Android is great, but usability wise is not iPhone or Windows Phone 7.

Comment Re:But.. But... (Score 1) 162 162

No, the fact that there's a significant and obvious conflict of interest means that the paper needs to be dismissed. Do some real research and then make decisions. Put it another way, would you expect Cisco to provide data saying otherwise? If a paper exists which, regardless of the true situation, is expected to claim (and support with supposed evidence) one thing, the fact that the paper claims exactly that adds no information at all. What it says is probably right, but that's independent of the paper's existence. The paper isn't worth the bits on which it is imprinted.

Comment Re:Microsoft? Not SBRI? (Score 1) 176 176

If (and it is a big if) Microsoft was succesful in moving just 50% of its enterprise customers to the cloud, their revenue would go up by approximately 400%. That's assuming no new products, no new releases and no increased penetration. Microsoft is growing in the not-so-low double digits year over year. I don't them as stagnant and the industry itself is growing faster than ever.

Comment Re:What do you mean all female? (Score 2) 176 176

Just keep in mind that Jurassic Park doesn't demonstrate that nature finds its way, it just claims so. In fact, the movie had to resort to the fact that Hammond had used frog DNA to complete the missing pieces, which gave the dinosaurs the ability to change sex when needed, which would be absurd considering that frogs are the last animals you would go for when trying to complete a dinosaur's genome. Also, sex change in an adult dinosaur would be physiologically impossible, unlike in a frog. So don't confuse Holywod with reality. It might be true that it's impossible to contain nature, but I see no real proof of that, and everything we know says that if you take enough precautions you should be able to contain your solution. The question is if a termination solution like the one described is enough, and it might very well not be. But if taken enough layered precautions, risk could be reduced enough that the benefits far outweight the risks.

Comment Re:FUCK YOU SONY (Score 1) 267 267

Consoles are sold at a loss right after launch, but that changes after a few years. The XBox is now sold at a decent profit, and I think the PS3 is almost there. Considering that console manufacturers make good money on the games they (and others) sell for the consoles, I don't see basis to ask them to only sell consoles at a profit. It is simply not good business advice.

Comment Re:Or maybe (Score 2, Informative) 189 189

What's more important, a short time after the interview, the music industry got what they wanted in order "to survive": they got a tax on all recordable media that woudl cover presumed piracy. So they could credibly say that what they say in the video was completely true, that they would have died if they didn't tax everyone that bought a tape (even if it was to record their own voice). Instead of taking down the video they should use it to say that, since that tax saved the industry before, a tax on Internet access and storage devices would save it again. But those dumbasses don't know how to steal even if they have been doing it for decades.

Comment Re:19 miles isn't "space" (Score 1) 243 243

I won't say I would have done a better job than they did (because I certainly wouldn't), but I might suggest an improvement to the experiment for their next launch. Since at 20 miles they still have considerable ascent force (2KG minus the weight of the baloon if my calculations are right) they could add a pressure valve to the baloon, so after it approaches it's maximum diameter it begins releasing small quanitites of gas to keep it close to that volume. Given that the diameter of the baloon is basically derived from the difference in pressures, by setting the valve to release gas after that difference in pressures is reached the baloon could continue to raise until its load is equal to its lift capacity. If my calculations are right you should be able to reach about ten more KM with slow gas release (assuming a payload of 200 grams). You would probably have to switch to hydrogen from helium to get that sort of "mileage" but it sounds like a doable thing. The problem with this approach is that it makes recovering the load more difficult, as you have to have another trigger. But a timer or a mechanical, altitude based release also seems doable. Now, if I were to do this, I would put as a payload a hobby rocket with a timed launch. The rocket wouldn't add much to the total height, but would account for the highest rocket launch by an individual, and that has to be worth something.

Comment Huh? What decade are these guys living in? (Score 1) 511 511

My office (part of a large corporation) has been paperless for probably five years now. And it wasn't even a conscious decision: paper simply does not scale. I haven't used paper for anything other than reading a long document while on a plane for years. And I don't see almost any paper in any office around mine. The paperless office has been a reality for some time for many. Those that have not gotten there yet are living in the past.

Comment Food for conspiracy theorists: (Score 5, Funny) 123 123

Has anyone noticed that since the LHC entered active state, the number of magnitude 7.0 and above earthquakes has doubled (from ten to fourteen a year to two per month)? And that's particularly true in periods where the LHC has been working at high power (where ALL the 7.0+ earthquakes this year have occurred)? Maybe those pesky miniature black holes are not so harmelss after all. (and ducks for cover).

Comment Re:They could go even further... (Score 3, Insightful) 578 578

Hashing would work if the scanners were taking absolute, binary measurements without error. But they are not, not a single biometrics unit has or can have that sort of precision. If you capture your fingerprint parameters with the same device, with the same process, two or three times in a row, you'll see significant changes in the parameters from one time to the next. While the detection algorithms are designed to cope with such scanning errors, hashing would make relative comparisons fail 100% of the time. And there lies the problem with biometrics: once you use them once (or even before you do), your "parameters" are no longer a secret under your control. If you give your fingerpring parameters to your bank, your school and your employer, each of them can in theory authenticate as you to the others. That's why I always say: biometrics are technically useless as an authentication mechanism. They can be used for identification (replacing your username) but not for validation (your password) because they are NOT a secret, they CAN'T be revoked, you don't have the option to use different ones for different organizations and they are easy to fake. Of these issues, only the last one can be improved with better technology, the rest are intrinsic to the concept.

Comment Re:Getting off the train to crazytown (Score 1) 235 235

Actually, it is more due to Google bundling the browser by default with the download for most of its offerings. For example, dowload Google Earth and you will get by default your browser replaced by IE. Yes, you get a chance to opt out from it, but since a desire to run a non-web mapping application is completely orthogonal to the desire to replace your browser, I find the practice a horrible abuse, and it is a sign of what Google is becoming.

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