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Comment Re:Laurels (Score 1) 27

The Nobel prize is 8.000.000 SEK this year or ~960.000 USD. Divided by three that's $320k each. That you are very likely to only get once for a career in research stretching over decades. I suppose you could say it's a whole lot more than nothing, but if you wanted to make money you should have become a NFL quarterback or something.

Comment Re:Guaranteed to put stress on any car? As if. (Score 1) 106

Yeah, I have to agree. Autobahn has very strict rules about not passing someone to their right, and people actually follow them.

Because it's the slower car's job to get out of the left lane so if there's space and they're impatient they'll be sure to blink or honk to get you out of their way. I guess it's a cultural thing, if it's the faster car's job has to find a free lane to pass that system works too. Mixing the systems don't though, if both switch lanes at the same time the result could easily be a crash. And then there's the systems where lanes are fluid or non-existing including but not limited to opposing lanes, if it fits do it and if it doesn't then honk and do it anyway. There are countries the Google car won't touch with a ten foot pole.

Comment Re:So what, nothing new. (Score 1) 106

Highways are very simple, continuous lanes, very little complication, city roads are a whole different story. Non-story.

On the other hand... if you have a bunch of depots in conjunction with the Autobahn, you just pick up/drop off goods at the one closest to you and automated trucks bring it to the depot closest to the destination that could be a much quicker road to implementation than dealing with inner city traffic. Also much easier to map out, assuming you need that. The point is to start somewhere.

Comment Re:Not wasted (Score 2) 159

Back in the real world, The Martian was mastered in 2K and hardly anybody noticed. I have a UHD monitor and using RAW still photos I can tell the difference between a photo natively cropped to 3840x2160 and one that's between downscaled to 1920x1080 and back at my typically sitting distance but you need to watch some fine detail. There's no way I'd see anything past 4K. In theory a person with 20/10 vision (yes, they do exist) sitting in the middle of a large screen cinema should be able to see 7K, but that's only when trying to read one of those eye charts at maximum contrast.

Most of the comparisons you see are not apples-to-apples comparison, they show you one 4K screen and one not-4K screen and surprise surprise the one they want to sell looks much better. I look forward to 4K BluRay though, in addition to resolution with HDR, Rec. 2020 and 10 bit color it will improve contrast, colors and banding All three of those are probably just as noticeable as the change in resolution, though I suspect it'll take a while before we have TVs that can take full advantage of it.

Comment Re:Symbiotic parasite (Score 5, Interesting) 296

The answer you end up with depends on who you think started it, yes some websites took advertising too far and users hated it. But instead of using the sites that had "acceptable" ads and stop using the sites that had "annoying" ads, the solution was to start blocking ads. Now I don't subscribe to the whole "blocking ads is stealing" tripe but obviously the whole point of ads is that people see them. If everybody blocks them, there no point in paying for them and so the sites don't get any funding and the model breaks down. And it was the low-hanging fruit that mostly got hurt, the scummy sites with annoying ads were also the ones who'd most quickly resort to circumvention techniques to shove the ads in your face anyway.

The assumption here is that at least some users will be nice and accept to see som ads, if you're going to do that why not go for a real opt-in system? Tag all the advertising elements on your page with an <div class="ad">(ad goes here)</div>. Publish an advertising policy, like robots.txt Kindly ask ad blockers to replace ads tagged as such with "This website relies on advertising revenue to operate. You are currently blocking ads. Please click here to unblock and support our site."

If you click it, you get a dialog saying:
"This site has requested you to unblock ads. Their advertising policy is as follows:

Banner ads: Yes
Animated ads: No
Ads with sound: No
Interstitial ads: No
Pop-ups: No
Pop-unders: No

[Unblock ads] [Cancel]

You may at any time block ads again by.... (explanation)"

Of course you could have dick ad blockers that just remove the ads, but I think the popular ones could be convinced to play nice. Sites wouldn't have to get on any approval list tied to any particular blocker and everyone would decide for themselves what sites they want to support. No money for just being click bait, users have to actually like you enough to unblock. Not sure it'd work, but if that won't work then "acceptable ads" won't either.

Comment Re:fair competition (Score 2) 200

Their PR arguments also hold no water. Let's assume that all their arguments about safety, quality, crime, and so on are all true. Why should we not have the choice anyway to pick who drives us? I am happy driving a friend to a location, they are happy to drive me, people drive themselves, yet somehow cabbies have twisted this into licensed uber drivers as being the best way to get yourself killed. So the regulations that largely exist for all drivers such as not being drunk, having insurance, having a safe car, having a licence, all make sense for normal drivers; so why don't they make sense for Uber drivers. Does the uber app somehow make them worse drivers?

You might say pretty much exactly the same about cooking, but I still think it's fair to hold professional food serving businesses to a different standard than me inviting a friend over for dinner. As for insurance, the rates reflect the risk and letting commercially operated cars pool with your average commuter unfairly shoves their risk over on us. I don't see a problem with Uber being required to check if you are properly licensed to transport strangers for money before you're allowed to participate. This isn't a phone book, Uber is taking a cut for every ride. Imagine a P2P program with a central server that charged you to pair up, if you want to download game of thrones season one that'll be $0.50 of which we'll take $0.10 and the uploader $0.40. Oh and the peers are legally responsible for whether the files are legal, we're only a matchmaker. How long do you think they'd be in business?

Comment Re:Brave polling, but in real life? (Score 2) 176

Well, it depends on what passwords. Most passwords, well they can go to my webmail provider or bank or whatever and gain access regardless, most people at customs just want to know you haven't modded it to be a bomb so in reality I'm probably not going to refuse them but they're also not going to get access to anything I really want to keep secret. If you can avoid it then it's better to make them think they "won" rather than pick a fight, it's a fairly decent tactic against assholes of all shapes and sizes. Life's too short as it is so I'd rather just get on with it, even if I'm not really doing the right thing.

Comment Re:Great Flood (Score 1) 53

As is the idea that he was 950 years old when he died. Also totally believable.

Well, we have reason to believe some trees are over 5000 years old so if you believe in the creation myth and that Adam and Eve were created by divine touch that diminished over generations that is actually one of the less incredible parts. That we don't live longer is probably a compromise between reproductive age and retaining experience and knowledge between generations as giving birth to a new healthy generation might be more evolutionary "fit" than growing longer life spans, not any true kind of hard limit. Having seen how long we have and haven't gotten in medicine I don't think we'll see it in my lifetime but within the next few hundred years of science I think a thousand year life span is possible. Which doesn't mean that I think ancient people of the past lived that long, but still far more in the realm of the possible than some of the other stuff.

Comment Re:Airstrikes on population centers (Score 1) 380

Note, by the by, that helping Assad against ISIS allows Assad to use more of his own troops against, say, the Kurds, who are our nominal allies in the region.

I might be wrong, but my impression was that Assad's strongholds were in the west/southwest and the Kurds in the north with ISIS in between so they don't really have any common border to fight on. It's the other rebel groups in Syria that are taking the piss with Assad's forces on one side and ISIS on the other. And now possibly Russian death from above, they must start to feel somebody up there hates them...

Comment Professional event organizer abuses Pokemon IP (Score 1) 208

That would be a more appropriate headline. The $2 admission their company charges is basically the cover charge to get into a party with sale of alcoholic beverages. Does this sound like your typical fan gathering?:

Defendants boast that the "5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party" will feature among other things, "Pokemon themed shots and drinks - Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize - Dancing - Giveaways - Cosplay Contest and more," and an "AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP."

This sounds like a typical commercial "theme night" that bars and clubs might have, only instead of using a generic unprotected theme like Halloween they made a Pokemon party. Not surprised their lawyers got angry, They managed to put a very good media spin on it though, clearly they as event organizers know how to get media attention and manipulate it. I hope they get to pay every dollar.

Comment Re:I doubt it (Score 1) 70

Color me skeptical; I don't think this is going to happen via private industry for another 20 to 50 years at the very least.

A moon shot is only marginally more difficult if at all than a GEO satellite. Or for that matter a Mars shot, it's just a slightly longer rocket burn. The difficult part is what the fsck do you do when you're in orbit, it's the descent/landing that is challenging. That SpaceX can land rockets is obviously to save costs here on Earth but it's also to fill a major gap in our capability to go to Mars. I don't think a dedicated lander will ever get sufficient private funding, a spin-off technology of landing rockets here on Earth just might. It's not like the private industry is 50 years behind Apollo in technology, it's that they lack a business plan for going.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 2) 302

The GPL does not prevent you from learning from the source code to implement a compatible version under a different license.

No, but "derived from" extends further than implementing the exact same thing with different variable names that you typed up yourself. It's the same for all copyrighted material, you don't need direct quotes to infringe on a book, the exact samples to infringe on a song's melody or using cutouts to infringe on a photograph. It's not a patent, it doesn't get a monopoly on every implementation. But you have to show it's not the same implementation, because that will infringe copyright.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 3, Insightful) 302

The reference implementation is under GPLv3. Everyone is of course still free to create their own implementation and license it under whichever license they want.

And any time the reference implementation changes you have to alter your implementation in a non-copyright infringing way. That is a lot harder than it sounds because any time you get a little bit lazy and copy-paste, literally or practically your implementation is now legally fishy. Creating the clean room implementation and paper trail proving you've actually come up with your code independently is actually a lot worse when there is available source code than when it's not. Did you see how much shit Oracle managed to stir up over a few Java interface definitions and trivial bits of code? No company with a sane legal department is going to touch this with a ten foot pole.

Comment Re:We've been to Mars already (Score 1) 148

Yes. And I've been to Paris, because one time I saw a picture of the Eiffel Tower.

Well, 99.999999% of us aren't going to Mars anyway. Of all the reasons we sent Neil Armstrong and friends to the Moon, giving them the "authentic Moon experience" wasn't one of them. With the budgets for a manned mission to Mars we could do way more unmanned science than today, quite possibly more than with a manned mission. What it really boils down to, which is perhaps hard for many to swallow is whether sending humans will be pioneers exploring and settling new land or just an annoying radiation sensitive, temperature sensitive, pressure and atmosphere sensitive, resource intensive burden for a small army of robots to sustain while they're mostly cowering in their habitat to avoid the extreme climate outside.

For example, I doubt it will be possible to survive a night outside the habitat in any kind of mobile camp site so most likely the action radius is at most half a day's travel from where you landed for the entire trip. And if you want faster vehicles than we have, well they'll also need more energy. Not that there's roads suitable for driving very fast anyway, in double the Lunar Rover's gravity it's all going to take a more powerful engine and construction, more wear on the wheels and suspension and all that. The nice thing about rovers is that we can drop several, where we want them to be while a human mission is one site and that's it. And it might need to be a practical one, not an interesting one.

Never trust an operating system.