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Comment: Re:This is the dumbest research I've seen this yea (Score 2) 473

by c (#49336383) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

Pretty much my thoughts. Writing to disk is slow, but it's also semi-async operation (in that much of the time, the job is offloaded to the I/O subsystem before the write is complete), which generally means the sooner you start writing your results the sooner you'll finish, and if you start early you can do computational work while the I/O is happening rather than spinning wheels while trying to write the whole thing in one go. All they seem to have done is add a pile of latency and may even have introduced other impacts such as garbage collection or VM swap.

Comment: Re:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

I can't understand the fuss, since the iWatch and a Swiss watch are two different markets.

Mostly. However, there's going to be a large intersection in the people who buy a $device in that price range mostly to show off how much money they have, and the iWatch is probably going to own that market.

People who care about Swiss watches aren't going to buy an iWatch. People who care about the functionality of an iWatch probably aren't going to buy an iWatch. But people who want an excuse to flash an expensive piece of wristwear are going to buy a gold iWatch and set their phone to send a notification to the watch every few minutes so everyone can see them checking their wrist.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 1) 367

by c (#49216301) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

Death/mass violence threats are not a political correctness issue. They are a criminal issue.

Sure. And if speech crosses the line to become a real criminal matter, then by all means treat it as a criminal matter.

That doesn't change the fact that in 99.99% (or more) cases the motivation is to get a rise out of society rather than the aggression or hatred the parent post was blaming.

At the same time, institutions hyper-sensitivity where even perfectly innocent and reasonable behaviour gets perceived as a threat ("OMG! Someone's walking towards the art department carrying something in a long bag! Call 911!") and the complete lack of sanctions for gross over-reactions has basically turned trolling into an instant denial of service.

There's gotta be a balance. Right now, the way things are structured, we're letting the trolls run the show and just reacting. Poorly.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 1) 367

by c (#49215163) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

I don't object to references to raping my daughter and leaving her in a bloody pile in a ditch because it's politically incorrect.

No, but you also don't issue a press release saying how the entire community is just aghast at the whole business and how you're going to host a conference to talk about "healing", do you?

If they said something sufficiently heinous, you might try to track the fucker down and kick his ass (i.e. how "talking shit" was generally handled up until around the 70's), or perhaps something like Curt Schilling. In other words, a response based on going directly after the perpetrator. Direct threats are something for law enforcement to handle.

A "politically correct" response, on the other hand, is rooted in the idea that all we need is a bit more education and a lot more censorship.

Education will probably work in the very long run, unless it's so ridiculously heavy-handed that it becomes parody and propaganda. Censorship will work for a short while until the next mole pops its head up. The gaps in between the short and long term is where the trolls live.

I don't know what the ideal solution to trolls is, but I'm positive that ineffective hand-wringing isn't it, nor is trying to engage them in healing dialogue.

I'm pretty sure that effective, but not excessive, discipline where they can be caught is one necessary aspect (we tend to fail pretty badly as "not excessive" when discipline actually happens). Having society be just generally more resilient to offensive (and particularly anonymous) speech is absolutely critical.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 4, Insightful) 367

by c (#49214225) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

...an anonymous way for people to let out the aggressions and hatreds that they already had, and are just afraid to announce...

I doubt it.

Most of them are just trolls. You know, bored assholes who've learned exactly which buttons to press to get the most reaction out of society.

That being said, the root of the problem is the same; political correctness is fundamentally just a way to tell the trolls which buttons are the best.

+ - Lockheed Martin Claims Sustainable Fusion Is Within Its Grasp-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Imagine a source of electrical power that uses water for fuel, produces byproducts that are totally safe and releases no air pollution. Then imagine that once it's up and running, it'll be so portable that an entire power plant could fit into the cargo hold of an airplane. Now, imagine that it'll be running in prototype form in five years and operating commercially in ten.

The fusion is powered by a combination of two isotopes of Hydrogen, Deuterium and Tritium, both of which occur in nature and which can be extracted from water. "Our studies show that a 100 MW system would only burn less than 20 kg of fuel in an entire year of operation," a Lockheed Martin spokesperson told eWEEK. "Tritium fuel is continually bred within the reactor wall and fed back into the reactor along with deuterium gas to sustain the reactions."
In other words, the fusion reactor creates most of its own fuel as part of its operation. The Deuterium gas is simply a normal hydrogen atom with an extra neutron, creating what is sometimes called "heavy hydrogen." Deuterium can be extracted from the hydrogen obtained from electrolysis of water. This may sound complicated, but it's a process that has been routinely performed in college physics projects.
While the fusion reactor does create a radioactive byproduct, it's recycled for use in the reactor itself. There is no radioactive waste problem such as exists with nuclear fission power plants. "The waste footprint is orders of magnitude less than coal plants which require huge landfills to contain the toxic ash and sludge wastes," the spokesperson said in an email.
"A typical coal plant generates over 100,000 tons of ash and sludge containing toxic metals and chemicals each year. The first generation of fusion reactors will run on Deuterium-Tritium fuel, but successive generations would use fuels that could eliminate the radioactivity altogether," she said.
Currently Lockheed Martin is in the process of testing a magnetic confinement bottle, where the Skunk Works team has apparently made significant progress. In terms of how a fusion reactor would be created, the magnetic bottle is the primary hurdle.
If that's accomplished successfully most of the science and engineering is known. However, that doesn't mean that building the prototype fusion reactor is a done deal. Lockheed Martin is looking for industry partners to help develop the Compact Fusion reactor into a real product.
The goal is to create a fusion reactor that can generate heat to use in existing power plants, where the reactor would replace existing fossil fuel combustion. This means that existing power generation and distribution infrastructure would be retained, which will dramatically reduce the cost of implementation and dramatically speed up deployment.
The existence of cheap, portable power will transform the world in many ways. A statement from the company envisions ships and aircraft with unlimited range, spacecraft that could reduce the travel time to Mars to less than a month.
Perhaps most important to the most people, it could bring vast amounts of power to anywhere on earth, providing among other things economical water desalination to developing regions of the globe, which are not only poor, but short of clean water, by removing energy scarcity as an insurmountable problem.
If Lockheed Martin can pull this off, and given the reputation of the Skunk Works for routinely doing the impossible, I suspect it will, the results will be transformative.
While it doesn't mean free energy, it does mean that the cost of nearly unlimited energy is very low, and with unlimited energy, there's no end to what can be accomplished. To say that the Skunk Works is on the verge of changing the world is an understatement. This development could well define the future."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49186121) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Then you fall into the second category. Or you're just ignorant.

Well, I'm a copyright lawyer, so I doubt I'm "completely and totally ignorant of the law." Have you considered the possibility that your analysis is wrong?

Since we're talking about works that haven't been around long enough to have their copyrights expire, that's totally irrelevant.

Just thought I'd mention it, since you did make a rather broad statement suggesting that works cannot enter the public domain unless deliberately placed there by the copyright holder. While copyright holders can put works into the public domain, it's not true that that is the only way for works to enter the public domain.

"Um, no. That would not be the scenes a faire doctrine."

The scenes a faire doctrine, which I don't have to google for, thanks, permits people to copy without fear of infringement, stock elements from works, which are typical, if not indispensible, for works that have a particular setting, genre, theme, etc.

In this case, where you have a show about teenagers fighting monsters with martial arts and giant robots, it would not infringe if you had a five person team, each member of which had personalities as described above, and where the members of the team were color-coded. It's simply expected of the genre, and therefore fair game, even if you copied it from another copyrighted work.

Now if the specific thing you copied was a very detailed example, and you kept all the details, you might then have a problem. So it depends on how much Power Rangers embellished on this standard device, if they did, and if so, how much of that embellishment, if any, was used in this case.

If you disagree as to my explanation, please feel free to actually say what you think the scenes a faire doctrine is.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49186033) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

I didn't say Disney's Peter Pan. I was talking about JM Barrie's Peter Pan, which Disney's Peter Pan is based on.

A new version of Peter Pan, based on Barrie's, could still tarnish the character well enough (if done right, and if widely published) so as to harm Disney's Peter Pan merely by association. But it would be lawful to do this. Disney's copyright on their version of Peter Pan does not extend to stopping other people from making their own derivatives of Barrie's work, even if they're very unwholesome derivatives.

+ - Technology's Legacy: The 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times Magazine has an insightful article putting into words how I've felt about information-age culture for a while now. It's about a phenomenon dubbed the "loser edit." The term itself was borne out of reality TV — once an outcome had been decided, the show's producers would comb back through the footage and selectively paste together everything that seemed to foreshadow the loser's fall.

But as the information age has overtaken us, this is something that can happen to anyone. Any time a celebrity gets into trouble, we can immediately search through two decades of interviews and offhand comments to see if there were hints of their impending fall. It usually becomes a self-reinforcing chain of evidence. The loser edit happens for non-celebrities too, using their social media posts, public records, leaked private records, and anything else available through search.

The worst part is, there's no central place to blame. The news media does it, the entertainment industry does it, and we do it to ourselves. Any time the internet gets outraged about something, there are a few people who happily dig up everything they can about the person they now feel justified in hating — and thus, the loser edit begins."

Link to Original Source

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