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Comment: Re:Latency and neutrality (Score 1) 607

by Tangentc (#35438562) Attached to: US House Subcommittee Votes To Kill Net Neutrality

You're completely right, however, to address these issues is EXPENSIVE. It requires hiring a lot of very skilled workers, who demand high salaries and it requires a lot of time. For a corporation, it is more economical to simply restrict traffic in ways which reduce strain on their network, rather than improving their network.

I don't even mean this in a bitter way. They're behaving as responsible corporations by delivering the highest profits possible to their investors.It's just that this doesn't always overlap with providing the best goods and services to the customers.

Comment: Re:Precisely (Score 3, Insightful) 1153

by Tangentc (#34081258) Attached to: How Much Math Do We Really Need?

Not all of us knew what we wanted to do in middle school.

I thought through middle school and high school that I wanted to be a professional musician, but after one year of that in college I decided to study chemistry, which I wouldn't have known I liked had I not been forced to take it in high school, nor would I be able to study it had I not been forced to go through trigonometry and advanced algebra.

tl;dr You're required to study different subjects in school because there can only be so many firemen and veterinarians in the world.

Comment: Re:Ugh, boring. (Score 4, Funny) 42

by Tangentc (#33743526) Attached to: Songbird Fossil Virus May Help Predict Pandemics

Way to not invent a hover-board again science.

I love that this comment implies that the /. user base would not only like scientific research to favor the production of trivial amusement devices rather than preventing massive death tolls from illnesses, but would prefer that those amusement devices be almost suicidal to use.

Comment: Re:Question, adjusted, remains (Score 1) 866

by Tangentc (#33663964) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

So, you're saying that if we insert money at the top, it benefits the guys at the bottom because high level executives and such create lots of jobs directly from their personal income?

Well, no, the idea is that the wealthy have a higher tendency to invest their money in stocks and startups than those with lower incomes, who, as you said, will most likely spend it immediately. It's related to the idea that part of the reason the wealthy tend to stay wealthy is because they tend to invest and make their money grow instead of putting their money into banks and having it more or less stay the same when adjusted for inflation.

So essentially, the idea is more that the wealthy will use extra personal money to allow new or existing businesses to expand, creating more jobs. It's not completely stupid, but I agree that it doesn't work, if only because the wealthy currently comprise far too small a percentage of the population for the, admittedly disproportionately large, gains from their investments to overcome the stimulating effect of giving 98+% of earners a tax break which they will likely spend on goods or services.

Comment: Re:Possession should never be illegal (Score 1) 774

by Tangentc (#33164632) Attached to: Child Porn As a Weapon

It is probably a bit harder to frame for distrbution, but I wouldn't say too hard. Just upload a torrent of a file (or even download it from one) and you've distributed it.

Also, I think you're overreaching a bit saying that possession should NEVER be illegal. I can definitely agree that possession of information shouldn't be, because in the digital age it's far too easy for anyone to plant files on a computer, but for things like explosives possession laws serve a real purpose. If someone illegally has enough dynamite to blow up New York City, and there is some evidence to give reasonable certainty that they intend to do exactly that, it may not be possible to convict them of conspiracy or whatever, but police would at least have the power to confiscate all of the explosives. I'm not saying they should be allowed to imprison anyone for simple possession, but if possession of everything and anything were totally legal it would kind of render police impotent.

Comment: Re:Crying wolf (Score 2, Interesting) 223

by Tangentc (#32623452) Attached to: Italian MEP Wants To Eliminate Anonymity On the Internet

Governments are only going to get so much mileage out of crying wolf by invoking "Because...well...BECAUSE...CHILD PORNOGRAPHY".

If they keep this up, it's going to dilute honest, real efforts to fight child pornography because people will be conditioned to equate "child pornography" with "government power grab".

I really wish I could share your optimism, but I seriously doubt that will happen.

Even if they do run out of the ability to initiate it at the legislative level, there's always the option to astroturf a community of "concerned parents who really'd like it if you'd think about the children and consider signing this petition to make the internet "safe again" by making sure that anyone who traipses onto any site deemed inappropriate, by any means, will be shot." And it'll work, because child porn really is one of those things that pretty much everyone can agree is a bad thing that we'd like to not exist anymore, and it's easy to rally people for it.

Comment: Re:Hmm.. they already had depicted him before... (Score 1) 1131

They didn't actually show Muhammed in Cartoon Wars. They just made reference to him, which is why there was no controversy over it. They only ever showed him in a season five episode called "Super Best Friends" in which he was a member of the titular group. Which was long before this was really an issue.

Of course, that fact suggests that extremists aren't actually offended by his depiction, because they sure as hell weren't seven years ago, but rather that they're just looking for any excuse to justify their anger. Which I guess isn't really that surprising.

Comment: Re:Sounds cool (Score 3, Interesting) 137

by Tangentc (#31841886) Attached to: Power Beaming For UAVs and Space Elevators

I don't think they're really being that marginalized. The Constellation program (which I assuming is the source of most of the marginalization talk) wasn't making effective use of money and wasn't delivering much. But with no plans to replace it (at least that I've heard of) manned space travel definitely seems to be being put on the back burner.

Beyond that though, holding competitions like this is a great use of their budget. The rewards they give are relatively small compared to what it would take to develop the technology in house, and it gets companies that are flirting with the idea of developing space-related tech to produce when they might otherwise not, because the monetary reward lowers the financial risk of developing it.

Comment: Why is this a good idea? (Score 1) 121

by Tangentc (#31658006) Attached to: Will Your Next Touchscreen Be Touchless?

I don't think that this will die for security concerns, though it does have tremendous potential to cause them. I think this will die because it's unnecessary, impractical, and redundant. Because this requires gestures much larger than would be required with a mouse or traditional touchscreen; and it doesn't really provide much in the way of increased functionality for the cost of the experimental technology. Lastly, it's because we can already make webcams small enough to fit right above laptop LCD screens which could realistically be used in the same way for a lot less money. Think of it like Sony's Eyetoy, both in how it will be innovative and how it will completely flop.

Comment: Watch those conclusions. (Score 1) 427

by Tangentc (#31616508) Attached to: BC Prof Suggests Young Children Need Less Formal Math, Not More

The data is very interesting, but I wouldn't take from this that we should teach the math later, but rather that we should just teach it differently.

TFA says that the kids have a hard time applying the skills learned in elementary school math to real-life situations, which makes sense. Math is abstract and the ability to apply abstract concepts to real life situations is a learned one; which is something a lot of people have a hard time with through adulthood. However, I also know that the algebra taught to me in high school and that some of my friends didn't learn until college is middle school equivalent curriculum in most other first world countries (I'm from the U.S.). These other countries seem to be doing just fine teaching more advanced math earlier on, which suggests to me that we're probably doing it wrong rather than too early.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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