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Comment: It's all about ratings (Score 1) 365

by EmagGeek (#48915817) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

It's purely about ratings. That's it. It's not politics, climate change, incompetence. It is willful stretching of the weather models to generate more severe predictions, and hence more ratings. And, I would not be surprised to learn that makers of emergency supplies provided incentives to weather forecasters to predict more extreme weather.

The simplest explanation tends to be the correct one. The simplest explanation for everything is money.

Comment: Re:Spying on the world is unconstitutional in the (Score 1) 260

by EmagGeek (#48913501) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Indeed, the Bill of Rights is an enumeration of basic human rights that are to be protected for everyone, not just US Citizens. This nuance seems to be lost in the halls of government, though.

If you are on American soil, regardless of your Nation of Citizenship, you are entitled to have your basic human rights protected.

Portables

Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video) 32

Posted by Roblimo
from the slip-me-some-of-that-juice-Bruce dept.
First we look at Skiva Technology and their Octofire 8-port USB charger that pulled in nearly five times the requested amount from a Kickstarter campaign. (The 'pulled in X times the requested Kickstarter amount' is becoming a common product boast, isn't it?) Then, for MacBook owners who are tired of having their chargers or charger cords break, we take a brief look at the Juiceboxx Charger Case. These two power-oriented products and WakaWaka, which we posted about on January 9, are just a tiny, random sample of the many items in this category that were on display at CES 2015. Timothy was the only Slashdot person working CES, so it's shocking that he managed to cover as many (hopefully interesting) products as he did, considering that even the biggest IT journo mills don't come close to total coverage of the overwhelming muddle CES has become in recent years. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Re:"A hangar in Mojave" (Score 3, Informative) 38

by Bruce Perens (#48908157) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

That's actually what it's like at "Mojave Spaceport". Hangers of small aviation practicioners and their junk. Gary Hudson, Burt Rutan, etc. Old aircraft and parts strewn about. Left-over facilities from Rotary Rocket used by flight schools. A medium-sized facility for Orbital. Some big facilities for BAE, etc. An aircraft graveyard next door.

Government

Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition 254

Posted by timothy
from the never-let-the-government-define-words dept.
WheezyJoe writes Responding to the FCC's proposal to raise the definition of broadband from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, the lobby group known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday that 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary for ordinary people. The lobby alleges that hypothetical use cases offered for showing the need for 25Mbps/3Mbps "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user", referring to parties in favor of the increase like Netflix and Public Knowledge. Verizon, for its part, is also lobbying against a faster broadband definition. Much of its territory is still stuck on DSL which is far less capable of 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds than cable technology.

The FCC presently defines broadband as 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, a definition that hasn't changed since 2010. By comparison, people in Sweden can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. The FCC is under mandate to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely way, and the commission must take action to accelerate deployment if the answer is negative. Raising the definition's speeds provides more impetus to take actions that promote competition and remove barriers to investment, such as a potential move to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband projects.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score -1, Troll) 151

by EmagGeek (#48903265) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

"I work in a cosmology department."

That's pretty cleverly-worded there. You could be a sophomore year co-op student, or a janitor for all we know. You've made an appeal to authority (fallacy) on an incredibly vague claim of authority, and then supported your argument with Internet comics.

Weak-ass..

+ - Brought to You by the Letter R: Microsoft Acquiring Revolution Analytics

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Maybe Bill Gates' Summer Reading this year will include The Art of R Programming. Pushing further into Big Data, Microsoft on Friday announced it's buying Revolution Analytics, the top commercial provider of software and services for the open-source R programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics. "By leveraging Revolution Analytics technology and services," blogged Microsoft's Joseph Sirosh, "we will empower enterprises, R developers and data scientists to more easily and cost effectively build applications and analytics solutions at scale." Revolution Analytics' David Smith added, "Now, Microsoft might seem like a strange bedfellow for an open-source company [RedHat:Linux as Revolution Analytics:R], but the company continues to make great strides in the open-source arena recently." Now that it has Microsoft's blessing, is it finally time for AP Statistics to switch its computational vehicle to R?"

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48897151) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

There is no reason that we have to pick one and abandon work on the others. I don't see that the same resources go into solving more than one, except that the meteor and volcano problem have one solution in common - be on another planet when it happens.

The clathrate problem and nuclear war have the potential to end the human race while it is still on one planet, so we need to solve both of them ASAP.

+ - White House Deputizes Zuck's Tech Billionaire PAC to Implement Executive Action

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "On Friday, the White House announced steps it would be taking to implement the President's Executive action on immigration in cities across the country, which includes turning to Mark Zuckerberg's tech billionaire-backed FWD.us PAC to help the nation's mayors get it done. "Cities have taken significant steps to defend and prepare for the implementation of the President's executive actions on immigration," reads the White House Fact Sheet, "which will strengthen border security, hold potentially millions of undocumented immigrants accountable, and boost wages and our economy. Cities United for Immigration Action (CUIA) and Cities for Citizenship are two initiatives helping to organize mayors to partner with business, faith, and law enforcement officials; and host information sessions. Over the next few weeks, in partnership with the National Immigration Forum, Fwd.us, and CUIA, mayors will host over 14 informational sessions in cities across the country including Phoenix, AZ, Boston, MA and Austin, TX." The White House announcement comes just days after Senator Jeff Sessions, who blasted "Master of the Universe" Zuckerberg over immigration last fall, was named to Chair the Senate Panel on Immigration."

Comment: I have an even better idea (Score 5, Insightful) 304

by EmagGeek (#48892417) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Let's just enforce existing laws and get dangerous drivers off the road. THERE IS NO RIGHT TO DRIVE. If you are a dangerous driver you can and should be taken off the road.

A coworker of mine was hit a couple of weeks ago by a woman who, after fleeing the scene, was discovered to have had caused FOUR injury accidents in the trailing 12 months, had been dropped from her insurance two months prior, and who, despite all of that, had not had her license suspended, and was not even ticketed for leaving the scene of the accident she caused with my coworker.

It's our complete unwillingness to hold people accountable for their actions that has created the need for EVAN M0AR government regulation to "protect us from ourselves."

People who are incapable of driving shouldn't be driving. Period.

Businesses

Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11 65

Posted by timothy
from the not-to-mention-deal-extreme-and-amazon dept.
alphadogg writes SkyMall, the quirky airline catalog, looks as though it may be grounded before long. Parent company Xhibit has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and seeks to sell its assets. In an SEC filing, Xhibit explains that it has fallen victim to an "intensely competitive" direct marketing retail industry that now includes the likes of eBay and Amazon.com. Smartphones and tablets are largely to blame for SkyMall's downfall, according to the SEC filing. "Historically, the SkyMall catalog was the sole in-flight option for potential purchasers of products to review while traveling. With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog."

Comment: Re:And let someone into my garage? (Score 1) 85

by Roblimo (#48889215) Attached to: 'Never Miss Another Delivery' - if You Have a TrackPIN (Video)

1) You could use the last 4 digits of the package tracking number as the delivery driver's PIN, and tell him or her what to do in a note stuck to your front door. Well, *you* could, anyway. These insensitive clods forgot that a lot of us don't have garages, which means their product is useless to us.

2) Leave packages with neighbors, and if they're not home leave them at the trailer park (or apartment or condo ass'n) office. You can stick a note on your door telling the delivery driver what to do. Of course, this would require the invention of post-it notes or masking tape. Oh, wait....

2 pints = 1 Cavort

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