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Comment: Re:but but but... Apple (Score 1) 447

by MikeUW (#38077628) Attached to: CarrierIQ: Most Phones Ship With "Rootkit"

I think the main difference is intent - it's one thing to chastise users for being careless about security, when the information needed to do so in a particular circumstance is readily available. In contrast, I've never heard of CarrierIQ before - I'm pretty sure there's no mention of it in the manuals that came with the BB or Android phones that are being sold (certainly not mine), so in this case the onus is on the providers be forthcoming about what their technology is doing and how it's being used. By not doing that, they are deliberately deceiving their users. But we all this is par for large corporations, for which social and ethical responsibilities are at best an afterthought.

So...while I understand why someone might feel that there is a double standard being applied here, that's not quite the case as I see it.

Comment: Re:Sorry (Score 1) 85

by MikeUW (#37852612) Attached to: "Holographic" Desk Allows Interaction With Virtual Objects

That's right - all research and development is done because we already what the ROI will be in the end. In fact, we don't even need to do this R&D anymore...we should just be going straight to the R on the I, and skip all the stuff that comes between ideas and the the final, polished product or implementation. Now if only we could somehow research and develop a way to actually accomplish this feat...anyone have a proof of concept for this?

Comment: Why does a book have to be valuable to everyone? (Score 1) 342

by MikeUW (#37648786) Attached to: Should Book Authors Pursue a Patronage Model?

There are plenty of books I wouldn't pay $0.99 to read. The fact is, there are millions of books I wouldn't read for any price...my time has value, and if I'm not interested in reading a book, I'm simply not going to read it. But that doesn't mean that these books aren't worth the price for someone who *does* want to read them. The author's job in that case is to try to appeal to a wide enough audience to make writing the book worthwhile...or patronage is sufficient if you can find it. Plenty of artists make art to sell, while others are commissioned to do a work for a specific price. Either works, and I don't see why there's a debate about one vs. the other.

Comment: Re:Redundent.. (Score 3, Informative) 206

by MikeUW (#37509270) Attached to: Researchers Create Renewable Carbon Dioxide Sponge

I recall seeing a documentary that included a study of this. IIRC, there was a measurable increase in plant production, but not an increase in nutrients. So, it's not going to help (and may instead degrade) the quality of your vegetables, although perhaps trees/bamboo used for construction material will improve (but maybe other qualitative aspects would be reduced, such as strength of the material). However, I think the increased level of CO2 required to measure this was beyond anything we're likely to see...but it was a long time ago, so I don't remember the details or who did the study.

Comment: Departmental standard format (Score 1) 211

by MikeUW (#37498598) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Copyright Terms For a Thesis?

If your school/department is at least somewhat organized, they will already have guidelines stipulated on the format of the thesis document, and these guidelines would include a pre-defined copyright notice that you must include. That's been my experience at two different Universities, and as far as I am aware, it's not an option to swap in my own copyright notice.

All it really does is ensure that the University owns full rights to republish the work - but so do I.

Comment: Commercial software developers too... (Score 1) 263

by MikeUW (#37490554) Attached to: Why We Love Things We Build Ourselves

The same can be said about commercial software developers. Go ahead...find one company that doesn't say that the software they created is the best tool for the job it's designed for.

The only difference is the general market doesn't 'resist' them. I'd say the general market doesn't 'resist' open source software either...most just don't know about it, or just don't want to put in the time/effort to use it. When any given open source software is appropriate for a particular task, is easy to setup and use, and someone is present to advocate for it, it probably would stand just as much of a chance as any commercial software. But that last ingredient is largely missing in most circumstances.

Comment: Re:Let's see... (Score 1) 511

by MikeUW (#37445594) Attached to: William Shatner On <em>Star Trek</em> Vs. <em>Star Wars</em>

After watching the video of Shatner's interview, I don't see that what he discussed was any more or less 'childish' than my own thoughts...I recognize what he says, but that wasn't the intent of my comment, and there are plenty of facets to discuss. What I stated above was simply the main reason I had for never really drawing parallels between the two storylines. Just because they are perhaps the two most popular/well-known of a given genre doesn't seem like reason enough to equate the two...or is this just more like a boxing match where we're trying to determine which is better overall? If that's the case, the fact that it's the 'humanist' aspect being discussed is somewhat arbitrary; pitting one against the other might be considered a bit of 'childish' act in itself.

Overall, I'd say there's much more depth to Star Trek, but perhaps we should consider the number of hours that Star Trek had to go into the story and character development in that series vs. the Star Wars movies. Without the deep background of Star Trek, the latest Star Trek movie by J.J. Abrams wouldn't have been as great as it was. So again, we're comparing apples and oranges.

Is this adult enough for you? I just feel like this was all far too obvious to warrant all the fuss...and I got that same sense from Shatner (through the video more so than the transcribed text).

Comment: Let's see... (Score 1) 511

by MikeUW (#37441652) Attached to: William Shatner On <em>Star Trek</em> Vs. <em>Star Wars</em>

I haven't read Shatner's comments yet, but there is one main difference that comes to mind immediately to me: Star Wars happened in a 'Long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...' and at best could be taken to be our ancestors, while Star Trek happens several centuries in the future in /our/ galaxy, and is explicitly based on events that involve our descendants. So...not only are they entirely different fictional universes, the stories themselves actually happen in times and places that are temporally and spatially dispersed from each other in the universe (i.e., there is no overlap, barring a reliance on travel across great distances of space and time).

That is enough for me not to bother thinking about it much more, but there are obviously all the other intricacies of the two stories that differentiate them significantly.

Comment: Re:If I stole and destroyed a $75k sports car (Score 2) 388

by MikeUW (#37429872) Attached to: Court Reinstates $675k File Sharing Verdict

Maybe your response was interpreted as an indication that you have a bias towards hard CSI-style evidence as a requirement for a guilty verdict.

My answer to that would be more along the lines of "Not if all other evidence presented is sufficient to eliminate reasonable doubt.", since reasonable doubt is threshold that has to be passed for conviction in US courts (or am I mistaken?).

Comment: Re:Not the worst (Score 1) 145

by MikeUW (#37276320) Attached to: Chemical Cocktail Turns Mice Clear

In the case of lab rats, 'euthanize' is usually just a euphemism for killing them by breaking their necks (having known someone who had this job in a lab once). I don't think that's the method of choice for humans whenever someone wants to be euthanized to end their own suffering. As AC says, the blender is probably less pain for the mouse.

I wonder though, since only the abstract of the TFA is publicly accessible, how long the embryos actually survived after being given this chemical cocktail.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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