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Comment: Move over swatting, here comes Yik Yakking (Score 1) 240

If the police are actually responding to crap on Yik Yak, it won't be long before someone gets their jollies sending the police on wild goose chases. Of course, it isn't like it's easy to pick up a cheap burner phone, hop on an unsecured WiFi network and fake the phone's location. Whoops.

"Tomorrow at noon this place burns to the ground. I'll be driving a hot pink Tesla Model S, come at me, pigs."

Amusement worthy of 4chan ensues.


Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas 959

Posted by timothy
from the unspeakable-acts-undrawable-subjects dept.
cosm writes: ABC news reports that two armed gunman were shot and killed outside a "Draw the Prophet" event hosted in Garland Texas. From the article: "The event, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, featured cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and scheduled speakers included Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who has campaigned to have the Quran banned in the Netherlands. The winner of the contest was to receive $10,000." In light of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, the Lars Vilks Muhammad drawing controversies, and the American show South Park's satirical depiction of the state of Muhammad phobia in the US and elsewhere, is there an end in sight to the madness associated with the representation of this religious figure?

Comment: Re:Gamechanger (Score 1) 506

by Powercntrl (#49595813) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to put solar panels on my house and stick it to the man and all. I just don't happen to have $30K laying around.

If you have access to grid power, photovoltaics are just a piss poor investment. Sure, there's the "going green" aspect of it, but ultimately it's still just an investment - you're spending money now in the hope of making more of it back over a period of time. You'll likely do better investing the same amount of money in the stock market and leave the electricity generation to the people with the big cooling towers.

Comment: Re:What is the obsession with tattoos... (Score 1) 398

by Powercntrl (#49588729) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

Perhaps it is just the way my brain is wired, when I see a tattoo my brain instinctively registers it as "damage" and that the person may be injured or ill. Certainly others must have the same instinctive reaction, yet it seems even more people are doing that these days.

Trypophobia is a real thing, so it isn't far off to imagine the sight of a tattoo evoking a similar reaction in some people.

Comment: Re:Not every tattoo (Score 1) 398

by Powercntrl (#49588653) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

Not all tattoo inks are created equal. Many practitioners use ink from botanical sources.

Obviously, non-GMO botanical sources, otherwise they're not hipster enough.

Somewhere at a Chipotle, there's a hipster who can't order his non-GMO burrito with his Apple watch, because his tattoo is interfering with the security features. Oh, the irony.

Comment: Re:No wifi, less space than a Nomad, lame? (Score 1) 74

by Powercntrl (#49534061) Attached to: Apple Offers Expedited Apple Watch Order Lottery To Developers

Yeah. Must be the buyers who are braindead, not people like yourself (and CmdrTaco) who can't see what Apple actually does bring to the table.

I fell for the hype and bought a first generation iPhone when Apple knocked $200 off the price. Because, what do you know, at the time they weren't actually selling like hotcakes.

Let's not forget, back then it didn't run apps, couldn't record video, had no stereo bluetooth, didn't do MMS and maxed out at EDGE speeds (when even dumbphones were beginning to ship with 3G). The battery life was lackluster, the reception and call quality was abysmal. Sure, mobile Safari was pretty awesome at the time compared to the competition - when it wasn't constantly crashing, that is.

Fast forward to today and while my phone is still technically an "iPhone", it bears only a superficial resemblance to the original model that I frequently found myself cursing at, back in the day. The battery life is tolerable, reception and call quality is excellent. The screen size has been increased and the pixel density has doubled. The cellular data connection is faster than my cable modem at home. Web pages render in the blink of an eye and Safari only seems to crash on me once in a blue moon. I don't feel like I'm missing out on any essential features - stereo bluetooth, MMS, front facing camera, 1080p video recording, the gang's all here. Heck, it even has a feature of dubious value which I don't even use - a fingerprint reader.

The Apple Watch could have some potential, but you'd be idiotic to believe that potential will be realized on first generation hardware. I've been burned enough times on first generation Apple products (Mac Mini, iPhone and the iPad) that I've decided to sit this one out. But hey, the way I look at it is: the idiots buying this thing today are subsidizing the development costs of the future model I might someday actually want.

Oh, who am I kidding? I loathe wearing a watch and I don't need one to tell me to look at my phone. The damn thing may as well be a pocket pager, for all intents and purposes.

Comment: Re:Why all the complaining? (Score 1) 112

by Powercntrl (#49533335) Attached to: Google Launches Project Fi Mobile Phone Service

This deal is good for some people, not good for others. If you think it'll work for you, sign up, if you don't, then don't. It seems more than a bit of a stretch to proclaim that the plan is a colossal failure because it does not meet your particular needs.

Don't know if you missed the part where it requires a Nexus 6. Due to Sprint being one of the network providers, it's also very likely to continue to be limited to "approved handsets" only, going forward. So, even if you think this is a great deal and the plans are up your alley, you still also have to want/already own a Nexus 6.

Personally, for my usage, Cricket's $35/mo plan is still a better deal. Plus, it runs on AT&T's network and I can use any unlocked GSM phone I want.

The Courts

Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet 336

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-have-standing dept.
sciencehabit writes: In a decision that effectively recognizes chimpanzees as legal persons for the first time, a New York judge [Monday] granted a pair of Stony Brook University lab animals the right to have their day in court. The ruling marks the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been covered by a writ of habeus corpus, which typically allows human prisoners to challenge their detention. The judicial action could force the university, which is believed to be holding the chimps, to release the primates, and could sway additional judges to do the same with other research animals. Update: 04/21 21:39 GMT by S : Science has updated their article with news that the court has released an amended order (PDF) with the words "writ of habeas corpus" removed, no longer implying that chimps have legal personhood. The order still allows the litigation to go forward, but we'll have to wait for resolution.

If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller 64

Posted by timothy
from the war-of-concretion dept.
sciencehabit writes It may seem counterintuitive, but life on Earth, even with all the messy erosion it creates, keeps continents growing. Presenting here this week at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union, researchers say it's the erosion itself that makes the difference in continental size. Plant life, for example, can root its way through rock, breaking rocks into sediment. The sediments, like milk-dunked cookies, carry liquid water in their pores, which allows more water to be recycled back into Earth's mantle. If not enough water is present in the mantle about 100 to 200 km deep to keep things flowing, continental production decreases. The authors built a planetary evolution model to show how these processes relate and found that if continental weathering and erosion rates decreased, at first the continents would remain large. But over time, if life never evolved on Earth, not enough water would make its way to the mantle to help produce more continental crust, and whatever continents there were would then shrink. Now, continents cover 40% of the planet. Without life, that coverage would shrink to 30%. In a more extreme case, if life never existed, the continents might only cover 10% of Earth.

Google Ready To Unleash Thousands of Balloons In Project Loon 48

Posted by timothy
from the buncha-crazies dept.
jfruh writes Google has figured out how to produce an Internet-broadcast balloon in a few hours, and is on the verge of unleashing Project Loon onto the world. The project, which will work with ISPs to beam LTE cellular signals to remote regions that don't have Internet access, will be working with local ISPs rather than selling broadband directly to customers.

Scientists Close To Solving the Mystery of Where Dogs Came From 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the evolved-to-fit-the-need-for-a-natural-vacuum-cleaner dept.
sciencehabit writes: For years researchers have argued over where and when dogs arose. Some say Europe, some say Asia. Some say 15,000 years ago, some say more than 30,000 years ago. Now an unprecedented collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists from around the world is attempting to solve the mystery once and for all. They're analyzing thousands of bones, employing new technologies, and trying to put aside years of bad blood and bruised egos. If the effort succeeds, the former competitors will uncover the history of man's oldest friend — and solve one of the greatest mysteries of domestication.

Comment: 2 words: Government Auction (Score 1) 325

by Powercntrl (#49487443) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Sell the iPads at auction and sue the 3rd party software vendor for failing to deliver on their promises. Not sure if the news article is just daft or the school really thinks Apple should take back 120,000 used iPads because of what amounts to a case of very late (the article says this project started in 2013) buyer's remorse.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra