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Comment: Might even be pragmatic sometimes (Score 5, Interesting) 144

by Sockatume (#47669819) Attached to: Telegram Not Dead STOP Alive, Evolving In Japan STOP

Quite aside from tradition, which is great, there are situations where you need to send a message to a physical address. Maybe the occupant doesn't have a phone or email, or you don't know their contact details, or whether they even have a phone or email. If that message has to get there within three hours rather than overnight, then the $4.30 rate is pretty competitive with getting an express courier to carry a post-it note.

+ - How Shark Weeks screws scientists 1

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "The Verge has an article on Discovery's hugely successful Shark Week, discussing how the increasing sensationalist special event misrepresents science and exploits nature and local history for shock value. Scientists who appeared in and were misrepresented by the channel's programming are beginning to encourage their peers to stay away from the Discovery network, which stands by the programming's viewing figures."

Comment: Football Manager (Score 1) 39

by Sockatume (#47669353) Attached to: Soccer Talent Scouting Application Teams Up With Video Game Publisher

I should explain for those unfamiliar with Football Manager (nee Championship Manager): it's not really like a game. It's more like an enormous spreadsheet crossed with a fanatical religion. There was uproar when they added a little simulation of the matches playing out using coloured dots... in 2003.

You kind of suspect that there's some huge archive of historical data about football in the back of a project like that, to parameterise the players and teams, but it never occurred to me that they had 1300 of their own scouts performing observations.

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 220

Customisation. Pre-2010 there was a lot of aesthetic variety in devices' shape, size, materials, colour, etc. However phones are basically big rectangles these days, while logistics and manufacturing approaches in consumer electronics favour doing fewer models in bigger numbers. There's a desire to be able to reshape these devices to something that suits its owner a bit more.

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 220

by Sockatume (#47663619) Attached to: Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

It's not plastic that's the issue; it's metal-effect plastic. The mutton-dressed-as-lamb factor of pleather, wood veneer, chromed plastic, and the like is tacky in itself, but a bit of an affront in a gizmo that costs a good part of a month's wages. In a market where all your similarly-specced competitors are using actual metal, being the guy who sends out fake metal sends a message to your customers along the lines of "you'll pay the same, but you'll get less".

Comment: Re:Jealous of Google and Facebook (Score 1) 161

by Sockatume (#47662109) Attached to: New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

Why would they need a database of your preferences? I mean, it's something they could gather by data-mining what you put in there if they wanted to, but the same's true of Slashdot, and in neither case is it's something that their system actually uses to get its job done. (Their worked example uses a mixture of the contents of the query, your local address book, a couple of cookery sites, and a routing service.)

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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