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Comment: Re:Uh ...wat? (Score 2) 434

If you were into the whole "reading comprehension" thing, you might have understood a list of three alternatives to the action he took.

Or you might have gone ahead and done the clueless Anonymous Coward thing anyhow, as some sort of Kaufman-esque meta-performance-art schtick.

Comment: Re:I read some of the comments to her (Score 1, Insightful) 434

What's your plan that doesn't somebody else (likely us taxpayers) having to support them for the rest of their lives? Are you comfortable with angry people walking around with no money, nothing to do, and completely desperate?

Perhaps that's something they should've thought about before they applied for that cushy Object Lesson opening.

How much vile and inexcusable behavior are you ready to tolerate "so taxpayers don't have to support them"?

Comment: Re:Here's hoping they bought it to close it down. (Score 2) 206

by jeffb (2.718) (#49172693) Attached to: What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft?

Minecraft is one of the things I like least on the Internet right now. It epitomises everything I dislike about the environment given to the young generation, their imaginations torn from them, pushed into building artificial worlds because making in the real one is hampered by a perfect storm of regulation and fear under the umbrella of crony capitalism.

I'm sorry that your children don't get to build their own meth lab.

No, actually, that's pretty close to the non-snarky truth. I was an avid chemistry hobbyist as a kid. Already in the 1970s it was getting harder to obtain some of the materials I wanted -- all the 1950's "chemical magic" books said to go to your pharmacy for nitric acid or carbon tetrachloride or white phosphorus, but the pharmacy was having none of that. Fortunately, I had science teachers who wanted to encourage my enthusiasm, and they arranged for me to order stuff through the schools. I managed not to do too much damage to the house, the environment, or my health.

Today? Schools and pharmacies are even more locked down, but now we've got search engines and e-commerce. On balance, it's probably easier to get stuff than it used to be. But with "chemistry sets" disappearing from the shelves, fewer kids are ever getting started in the hobby.

As for having "their imaginations torn from them", though, I think you're still way off-base. My kid spends a good bit of time on Minecraft and related online pursuits, but they still haven't come for her hot-glue gun, and her tower of miniature houses, characters, and gadgets continues to grow steadily. So do the stories that she's writing, both alone and in collaboration with former classmates. It would be cool if she took after chemistry or electronics like I did, I guess, but those aren't the only fields in which to become a maker.

Comment: That can't possibly be accurate. (Score 1) 279

According to Wikipedia 0.075 ton/year is produced of monocrystalline silicon for use in integrated circuits.

That can't possibly be accurate. Here's a paper reporting that total consumption of fully-refined silicon for chip manufacture in 1988 was 750 metric tons. I don't think increasing process efficiencies would have reduced that figure by four orders of magnitude since then...

Comment: Material cost is largely irrelevant (Score 3, Insightful) 279

The cost of the raw materials is completely dwarfed by the cost of processing. Even a very large chip (2 cm x 2cm by .5mm thick) masses less than a gram. It's also likely that these high-performance III-V chips will be built on a cheaper substrate, meaning the thickness of the expensive stuff will be much, much smaller.

Comment: That's how today's voice recognition WORKS. (Score 5, Insightful) 309

Competent natural-language voice recognition is still too hard for a handheld or embedded device. So, these devices digitize your voice (OMG recording!), ship it off to a server farm for interpretation, and receive the results. Because voice recognition is still a challenge, it's usually farmed out to one of a few firms (Nuance comes to mind) that do this as a third-party service. These firms can "retain" that information in the sense that it trains their voice-recognition algorithms, but they probably aren't building a huge dossier of your private conversations.

I'd certainly like to know if Samsung retains the voice information it collects. I'd even more urgently like to know if they sell it to other "third parties" besides whoever's doing the voice recognition. The initial panic I'm seeing around this looks ill-informed, but Samsung definitely has to get out in front of it. If they can't -- if they can't provide a simple, clear explanation of what they are and aren't doing -- it's going to cost them.

Documentation is the castor oil of programming. Managers know it must be good because the programmers hate it so much.