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Comment: Re:Bad sign. (Score 1) 212

by Tx (#48425929) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

I think this speaks a lot about how companies and the population are increasingly thinking in rather short terms and how little respect the modern tech elite have for those who came before them. There seems to be this attitude that difficult problems are only unsolved because the 'wrong' people have looked at it and flush with arrogance for solving comparatively simple internet related ones they believe that they are smarter and thus will quickly tackle what those 'researchers' and 'old fogies' could not.

I don't think that accurately reflects the attitude, although it might sometimes seem that way. There is nothing wrong with thinking that coming at old problems from a new direction, with fresh ideas, and bringing the latest science and technology to bear on the problems, might throw up new solutions. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Having respect for "those who came before" doesn't mean assuming that problems can't be solved just because they haven't been solved already.

Comment: Re:jury (Score 1) 200

by Tx (#48333099) Attached to: Amazon's Luxembourg Tax Deals

There is a big difference between an allowance and a loophole; where you are allowed to write down xyx against your tax bill, that is an intended tax allowance by your tax authority, put in play for whatever reason - balancing the tax system, encouraging certain types of spending, buying votes, etc. Such allowances are all part of making sure everyone pays a fair amount of tax, and everyone ultimately benefits.

A loophole however is not intended; a loophole is legal only because governments have not figured out how to close it. Clearly Amazon is expected to pay some tax on its non-US earnings, and it's not. This is not in any way the intent of the governments of the countries in which Amazon operates. Taking advantage of such loopholes benefits nobody except Amazon; taxpayers in the countries that Amazon operates in are deprived of tax revenue that would benefit them directly, and local competitors to Amazon who do pay their taxes are squeezed and put out of business, ultimately again to the detriment of everyone except Amazon.

Comment: Re:Finally a unique, original idea from Microsoft (Score 1) 135

by Tx (#48277999) Attached to: Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market With 'Band'

To be fair, nobody has really hit a mass-market sweet spot with this class of device yet, so it's worth a shot for Microsoft, normally they are later to the party than that. Although personally I think they've gone too niche with the health focus and the $200 price tag, and I wouldn't bet against you on the Microsoft Band being discontinued in a couple of years. Maybe they just wan to dip their toes in the water of the wearables market for now, and this is a fairly low-key, unambitious start that will pave the way for the Microsoft Watch :).

Comment: Re:Scripted content (Score 1) 40

by Tx (#47918095) Attached to: Browser To Facilitate Text Browsing In Emergencies

Umm, did you read the article yourself?

"The backend takes the url, gets the HTML source of the website, minifies it, gets rid of the css, Javascript, and images, [...]"

That's quoted in the article from the projects own gihub page. CSS, JavaScript, and images are removed. Hardly "rendered normally".

Comment: Re: So-to-speak legal (Score 5, Interesting) 418

by Tx (#47907941) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

"Then TOR will be wrapped by a VPN service, and Comcast will be fscked."

Let's not forget that rights holders are already calling for VPN users to be assumed to be criminals. So it's far from impossible that what they're doing for TOR now, they may do for VPNs later. Sure they would have to have some sort of system to allow "approved" VPN connections, so that people who need them for work wouldn't be screwed, but I wouldn't rule it out.

Comment: Re:What is a customer? (Score 1) 290

by Tx (#47888099) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

FTA: " This doesn't mean that every incoming email should now be checked and processed individually by a Google employee, the court said. But the company has to provide the possibility for users to contact it via email, it said. It was left up to Google how to deal with future incoming email."

So it seems to me that the court is not saying every customer email has to be individually checked. Maybe it would be sufficient for someone to have responsibility to look at a sampling of emails to that mailbox, that would satisfy the "possibility" of users contacting Google that way.

"If Google does not change its conduct, it could be fined up to €250,000 about US$323,000), the court said."

Alternatively since that fine is so small in Google terms, if it's a one-off, maybe they should just pay it and carry on. I wonder how long it would take for further action to result if they did that.

Comment: Re:What they don't tell you (Score 4, Insightful) 588

by Tx (#47805843) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

Easy to make such glib statements, but the whole point is to find out what is the ideal balanced diet. Both the groups in this study were eating all the things you'd include in your balanced diet, however the low carb group took a greater proportion of their calories in the form of fat, whereas the low fat group too a greater proportion in the form of carbs.

Comment: Re:Ecosystem (Score 5, Insightful) 108

by Tx (#47799653) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

"If the Passenger Pigeon has been extinct for this long, it's safe to say that ecosystems have adjusted to their demise."
If the ecosystems can adjust to their demise, then surely they could equally well adjust to their return?

"Let's not see what the consequences of re-introducing them are."
Why not? I'm curious.

"There is no way to predict the effect."
There 's no way to predict the effect of any given action or inaction. For all you know, reintroducing passenger pigeons could be the best thing ever to happen to the North American environment.

"If they are planning and engineering these hybrids just to study their work in captivity, well, that is just as wrong."
Why is it just as wrong? Something isn't true just because you say it is; try to provide some rationale behind the statement. You've stated concerns about re-introducing the critters to the wild, so surely studying them in captivity is the perfect solution.

Comment: Re:Leapmotion anyone? (Score 3, Insightful) 31

by Tx (#47654189) Attached to: Microsoft Research Brings Kinect-Style Depth Perception to Ordinary Cameras

It is apples and pears on one hand, however the fact that the camera needs a modification, however small, means that you will still be buying a special bit of hardware to make your gesture control work, so in that sense it is in the same boat as the Leap. Except of course that the piece of hardware in question should be a lot cheaper, and could easily be included in laptops/tablets/monitors at minimal extra cost, if it really works that well and the idea takes off.

Comment: This kind of thing confuses me (Score 1) 214

by Tx (#47474733) Attached to: Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

This kind of subject always leads to a cascade of stupid questions in my head that I can't answer, leaving me feeling even dumber than usual. Does negative mass necessarily imply negative weight? What about momentum and kinetic energy? If a lump of matter with negative mass hit something, would it actually absorb energy from it rather than imparting energy to it? Would a negative-mass planet have an anti-gravity field? Is it even meaningful to talk about matter with negative mass, or is some physicist going to pop up and explain to me that negative mass is a property of some sort of field, and not something that could actually be expressed by anything that I would recognise as matter?

Comment: Re:News? (Score 2) 126

by Tx (#47431393) Attached to: Child Thought To Be Cured of HIV Relapses, Tests Positive Again

Umm, they couldn't find any trace of the HIV virus, or specific antibodies to it. It seems reasonable to hope that someone is cured of a disease if you can't find any trace of said disease in their body. And it's not like they jumped the gun on it, she was supposed to be on anti-viral drugs because they weren't sure the virus was gone.

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