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Comment: Not even a Partial Fix. (Score 1) 135

by Sir Holo (#49654795) Attached to: Dropbox Moves Accounts Outside North America To Ireland

Note, the announcement states that North American users are not able to opt into the Irish Terms of Service.

Moving servers doesn't address the real problem, even if NA could opt in to the Irish TOS.

DropBox indexes every file that is synced through their service. They are reading and cataloging everything that users sync via DropBox. But don't take my word for it — their CEO said so a year or two ago.

Comment: This is how it goes (Score 1) 177

by Sir Holo (#49502939) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

Someone makes something great.

They are first-to-market.

Big Corp. buys them out, desiring only their IP.

All of the engineers who actually made the product (& company) valuable are fired.

Big Corp. squanders that first-to-market advantage to gain short-term profits.

Customers who've bought prior-generation products versions beg to have important improvements made to the line of tools.

Big Corp. ignores customer pleas while simply juicing the IP they bought, for every nickel they can get.

Big Corp. refuses to implement any improvements, new features, etc. because they can't. They fired the innovators and implementers to save on salary costs.

Yep, they essentially just find a ripe piece of fruit, and then juice it.

This is what small businesses in the US have been reduced to: fruit trees. Small companies take the risk of being inventive. When something proves to be valuable, it is bought-out, everyone fired, and the market for the product stagnates. I have been on both ends of this stick. I pleaded with a certain company, who sold a $650k tool, to make two minor engineering improvements that would essentially double the market for the device (it would be a tool for two markets, not just the one). These changes would have cost about $500 per tool. The end result? Well, since they had bought-out the small company that originally designed it, fired all the engineers and control-system programmers, the Big Corp. was literally incapable of implementing any improvements (or even bug-fixes) to the system. Recall that they fired all the engineers and programmers, and simply bought the IP and the market the small biz. had cornered.

To cap off this specific example — Another company that truly does innovate has, well, devised a tool that does "the thing" better, and costs 1/3 of what the Big Corp. is charging. They listened when I detailed to them engineering specs. for what customers needed in a next-gen tool. Well, the Big Corp. is about done juicing their piece of fruit, and this other company will soon take over the market . The Big Corp. made their millions, so they move on. I just hope that this "other company" isn't bought-out.

The sad result of this cycle is that American innovation in products is stagnated by Big Corps. that choose to simply juice innovative products, rather than actually improve them to grow the market. In the end, the customer & consumer lose. Oh, and the US as a whole.

Comment: Re:Yes. (Score 2) 385

by Sir Holo (#49501125) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Oh, also: Genius is simply raw potential. What someone does with that 'potential' is a different matter entirely.

As said long ago, "Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration." I am loathe to quote that weenie, Thomas A. Edison, but the idea of his quote is accurate. It is what you do with that potential that matters.

Comment: Re:Woop Di Do Da! (Score 4, Insightful) 265

In the US it is newsworthy. "Mined energy source" lobbies are very powerful here.

Recall that Germany, at the same latitude as Maine, USA, had one day where 52% of the electricity was supplied by renewable energy sources.

So, yes, this is embarrassing news that this is news in the US, but at least it's a step in the right direction

Comment: Re:Passport numbers (Score 1) 140

Isn't an email still, as always, essentially a post-card? How many servers were in the chain between sender and recipient?

TFA states that, "The Immigration Department described the incident as an "isolated example of human error and said the risk of the breach to be 'very low'," and "the immigration officer recommended that the world leaders not be made aware of the breach"

Sounds like someone might need an attitude adjustment.

Comment: Re:AKA as Database Syndrome (Score 1) 112

by Sir Holo (#49353169) Attached to: Scientific Study Finds There Are Too Many Scientific Studies

I shouldn't feed the trolls, but just for the record:

This is extremely and wildly not true. The most basic part of doing literature review is following original sources and everyone I know does this. You have to, because reviewers pick this stuff up.

Actually, what I said is true. As a reviewer I DO pick this stuff up. And manuscripts with inadequate citations are rejected. Many submissions come in lacking any citation to a source (say, from 25 years ago). They will instead cite one of their buddies who parroted the primary 2-7 years ago. If it is a new interpretation or whatever, of course the more recent (primary source) who did so should be referenced.

Also, you're fooling yourself if you think that just because something was done 30 years ago, there's no point in citing more recent sources. A lot of more recent work is nothing more than just repeating old ideas but with slight modifications that nevertheless reveal new insights.

Whoever FIRST reported a specific observation, measurement, or hypothesis should be cited. Credit where it's due. All science is built upon previous work, so intelligent researchers cite the appropriate sources.

Finally, when writing a paper, there is no need to cite everything that has been done right back to ancient Greece. The audience of a scientific paper is assumed to be the scientific community which is already familiar with the body of work.

Ancient Greece? Thanks for the straw-man. RULE OF THUMB: If it is in books, there is no requirement to cite the originator.

If, OTOH, you are extending the theory of so-and-so, you had better cite the primaries (or the most recent in the Ref. chain who modified it). Otherwise your manuscript WILL be rejected, by me or by anyone other referee.

Last, if you're writing for submission to Science or Nature, targeting a broader audience than your specific field, it is imperative that you cite proper sources. I have a feeling that you've never published in either place, in any other prestigious journal, or probably never in any archival, peer-reviewed journal.

If you ever get to the point in your career of being asked to referee, you will see the huge volume of 'minimal-effort' submissions that must be screened-out to maintain the quality of a given journal. Copying and failing to cite is the hallmark of bad (rejected) journal submissions.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 262

by Sir Holo (#49341629) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction

Nope. I paid for the products and they have no right to search me.

Even at Costco, if the line is too long, I just walk out without letting them search me.

You walk out as you should, even if THERE IS NO LINE. It is a citizens arrest, and unless they have documentation (video) that you have shoplifted, their detaining you is flat-out illegal.

People, however, are for-the-most-part sheep, and will submit to such transgressions. DON'T.

Comment: Don't they mean... (Score 2) 126

by Sir Holo (#49323581) Attached to: Boeing Patents <em>Star Wars</em> Style Force Field Technology

Don't they mean Star Trek?

What 'reporter' says it's like "Star" anything? The claimed invention is dependent upon a shock wave traveling through air (by laser beam-induced plasma local heating). . . No one can hear you scream in space, y'know.

Oh, I see, it's the same 'reporter' that can't tell the difference between a preposition and a gerund. FTA: "Just liking the luminescent shields seen in the film...

Comment: Re:AKA as Database Syndrome (Score 1) 112

by Sir Holo (#49263285) Attached to: Scientific Study Finds There Are Too Many Scientific Studies

And how do you find the books? Personally, I'd start with the latest papers that I could find online, and then I'd follow the DAG. There might be some room for topical proximity searches of unreferenced works, though.

It helps to get to know the guys who did the original work. They often have books they will share –books that had tiny print runs.

And yes, good scientists trace back via References in articles. Lazy ones don't/

Comment: AKA as Database Syndrome (Score 2) 112

by Sir Holo (#49262987) Attached to: Scientific Study Finds There Are Too Many Scientific Studies

The crop of PhDs from the last 10 or so years are either unable or unwilling to 'hit the books'. If they can't find it in an electronic database AND easily download a PDF, they will ignore the existence of the work.

Such work often includes seminal publications, REVIEW articles of a field, and things like conference proceedings before 'everything-PDF' – all of which contain a wealth of information.

It really bugs me when I see cited references from "whoever did something like that most recently," rather than drilling down to the original source. Unfortunately, there seems little we can do about it, aside from good scientists not referencing lazy scientists.

Comment: The 'peaceful enjoyment of liberty' (Score 4, Interesting) 160

by Sir Holo (#49251019) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

The 'peaceful enjoyment of liberty' of hundreds of innocent citizens is being infringed to prevent a few car break-ins.
These copters are LOUD. And in these 'pre-crime' patrols, they make liberal use of their spotlight, essentially treating ordinary citizens as criminal suspects. They even invade Santa Monica (independently incorporated city), circling endlessly for 3 hours at a stretch in the middle the night, depriving entire neighborhoods'-worth of a restful night of sleep.

Oh, the best part, was on a radio interview show: The LAPD guy justified the practice on economic grounds! Wah, we just don''t have enough officers to patrol... Really? How much does a helicopter cost to operate? Maybe $300-500 per hour? Plus the two pigs along for the ride are getting salary. Could that money not be spent on neighborhood patrols on foot, or at least in squad cars?

It's ridiculous.

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