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Comment: Re:It's effected me about as much as the sequester (Score 3, Informative) 1144

by bieber (#45055923) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

This is all for show. The government quite literally prints money. They don't need a budget, they don't need dept. All of the money they bailed out the banks with was quite literally created out of thin air.

Gotta love getting modded up for repeating complete nonsense. In theory, yes, the government can just "print more money," but they still couldn't legally spend any of it without a budget in place. And of course in reality they can't actually do that because it would completely destroy the value of the dollar...and as a consequence our economy as well. The government introduces more currency to keep the pool of available currency more or less consistent with the amount of goods and services available in the economy (which you may be surprised to know increases every year) and give people some incentive to keep money moving around instead of just hoarding it all to profit from deflation, rendering our currency useless as a medium of exchange. Believe it or not, there's a lot more to fiscal policy than just "lol why don't they just print more money amirite?"

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 125

by bieber (#44643831) Attached to: Ubuntu Edge Draws Nearly $13M, But Falls Short of Indiegogo Goal
Considering that hasn't happened with laptops yet, I'd be very surprised to see it happen with phones, at least in the near future. Just like with laptops and desktops, just because you can mostly get the same performance in a much smaller form factor doesn't mean everyone's going to want to pay the premium for the smaller size.

Comment: Not only intrusive, but completely unnecessary (Score 5, Informative) 122

by bieber (#44627189) Attached to: Florida Town Stores License Plate Camera Images For Ten Years

I grew up about a 15 minute drive away from Longboat key. Incidentally, I ran a camera at some of their city council meetings back when I did live video work, and they were about the most boring things I've ever sat through in my life. I literally watched them debate what kind of sand they should use to replenish their beaches for two hours on one occasion. On another I saw an argument go on for the better part of three hours, in which a new guest dock was being built at a gated community and the resident whose yard it was adjacent to was very much concerned that boats parked at the dock would obscure his view of the gulf. In a truly political compromise, they finally agreed that the dock would be built, but boaters should only use one side of it.

The reason I remember these anecdotes is that they were by far the most exciting things I saw happen at any point in their city council meetings. Longboat key is a quiet community of mostly elderly, very wealthy retirees. Not only is it populated almost entirely by senior citizens, but the island is well enough isolated that there's essentially zero risk of almost anyone ever deliberately going there: the only reason I've ever been to it was for the aforementioned jobs and to drive through it to get to Sarasota. Basically, to anyone who's ever been near Longboat Key, the idea that they need any automated license plate scanning system, let alone one that retains records for a decade, is laughably absurd.

Comment: Re:Proof or STFU (Score 3, Interesting) 419

I don't doubt the number, but it's a meaningless figure. Think about it for a moment, they have this huge database of phone data they've scraped from all the major carriers, they have it available at the touch of a button (effectively, with a secret court to rubber stamp requests), so of course they're going to use it in any and all terrorism investigations they have going on. Then, when the program comes under fire some years later, they can say "Well look, we used that program to help thwart all these terrorist plots," complete with a number that looks impressive but is really just the count of every single major terrorist investigation they've undertaken since the program came into existence. Of course they won't tell you exactly what role the program played in those investigations, or whether it would have even been more difficult to bust the plots without that data, let alone impossible. And that's not even to begin getting into how many of those "terrorist plots" never would have happened without FBI agents getting them going in the first place...

Comment: Re:Bigotry (Score 1) 814

by bieber (#44019271) Attached to: Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles
Umm, yeah. When you spew bigoted nonsense and then other people in your life alienate you/refuse to associate with you, that's exactly how free speech is supposed to work. You're perfectly free to show everyone what a hateful douche you are, and they're likewise free to not associate with you, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do when you find out that someone you thought was a decent person is actually, say, a raging transphobe.

Comment: Re:im confused here (Score 2) 171

by bieber (#43847985) Attached to: Canon DSLR Hack Allows It To Shoot RAW Video
The difference is that recording audio through your headphones gets you crappy audio that technically works and is a pain in the rear to capture. With a hack like this you get really great video quality (and audio is something you're ideally recording with separate equipment anyway), but it's a pain in the rear to capture. In the headphones-as-microphone case the only real motivation is desperation, but in this case you actually have a really great end product to show for it, and you can get it out of relatively very cheap gear. So if you don't have a lot of money and you really need video at that quality, then working around the restrictions of a hacked DSLR may very well be worth it, and can open up possibilities that wouldn't otherwise be accessible to you.

Comment: Re:hackathon? (Score 4, Informative) 49

by bieber (#43637703) Attached to: Facebook's Hackathons Get a Rethink
Truly optional. It's very informal, employees kind of organize themselves into teams centered around ideas they've come up with: what you're working on for the hackathon won't generally have anything to do with your day-to-day work, so if your manager is at all concerned with your hackathon project it will likely only be a matter of personal curiosity, not to evaluate your performance. And it's pretty much a given that you're not going to be in any shape to get a significant amount of work done the next day (the all-nighters have typically been Thursday nights), so it's not like you're being pressed to squeeze in an extra day of work, it's more like rearranging your existing working hours.
Apple

Private Collector Builds Apple Pop-Up Museum 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the exhibit-in-the-hallway dept.
David Greelish, Founder of the Atlanta Historical Computing Society, has taken it upon himself to "tell the story of Apple.” Greelish partnered with Lonnie Mimms, a local computer collector, with a museum-quality exhibit dubbed the "Apple Pop-Up Museum." From the article: "...Mimms wanted to focus specifically on Apple—partly because of Steve Jobs' recent passing, but also because of Apple's 'overwhelming success and stardom.' And so the two teamed together to create the Apple Pop-Up Museum, which will be part of the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 1.0 when it opens in Atlanta on April 20 and 21, 2013. In a twist of historical fate, the show will be held in an old CompUSA store, with 6,000 feet of the CompUSA regional corporate offices being used for the Apple Pop-Up museum. '[Mimms] and his staff are literally building a museum within the separate rooms,' Greelish told Ars."

Comment: Re:Mo it is 7.5 time larger larger (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by bieber (#43076925) Attached to: Canon Shows the Most Sensitive Camera Sensor In the World

Of course this means that sensor is physically larger

The sensor isn't physically larger. The specs say it's a full-frame 35mm sensor, and the photo of the prototype camera shows it with a standard EF lens mounted: a larger sensor would need medium or large format lenses, and it would be pretty much dead on arrival in the market if you had to go out and start buying medium or (God forbid) large format lenses to feed the thing. Half of the allure of Canon for video, after all, is that you can reuse your still EF lenses, and demanding huge format glass for HD video would be absurd.

The reason the photo sites are so much bigger in this sensor, presumably, is because the resolution is much lower than Canon's still SLR cameras. It doesn't give the resolution, but since it was only described as capturing "HD video," I wouldn't be surprised to find that the sensor's native resolution is that of 1080p video: 1920x1080 pixels, or about 2 megapixels. The 1Dx, on the other hand, has a native resolution of 18 megapixels.

So far, Canon (and more recently Nikon), have been allowing users to record HD video on their SLR cameras by scaling their massive native resolutions way down to a size that you can reasonably encode and cram onto a memory card in an SLR form factor. This approach, on the other hand, seems to be to build a sensor with a lower native resolution suitable for HD video at the same size as the larger SLR sensors, so you don't have to do any down-scaling and you get massive photo sites, which gives you a huge advantage in sensitivity.

Comment: Re:You are naive (Score 4, Insightful) 152

If you're that worried about obscenely uncommon edge cases, you might as well just lock yourself up in your house (the location of which you'll presumably permit no one to know) and never see the light of day again. Every time you go out in public people get the chance to see you, to interact with you, to find out who you are. And you know what? The vast, vast majority of the time that's exactly what you want: community is the most basic element of our existence, and we thrive on being connected to other people.

Facebook is just one more means to share information that I want people to know. Is it remotely possible that some creep could end up using information shared on Facebook to stalk or harass me? Sure. However, it's an absolute fact that being able to rapidly share photos, events, even just amusing little quips for friends to see, respond to and comment on is a great boon. For the price of a couple minutes spared glancing through my newsfeed every now and then, I can get a quick overview of what the people I care about (and even ones that I only peripherally care about) are up to. Instead of contacts going stale when people move away and get preoccupied with their new lives, I'm able to keep in at least light contact with dozens of people from my past who would have otherwise been all but forgotten by now, keep track of what they're up to and find out when our locations happen to coincide.

Is listing your home address on FB next to photos of your children and setting your privacy level to "public" a great idea? Certainly not, but taking a reasonable, measured approach to social networking certainly is. If someone on the Internet is able to somehow find a photo of my face with my name attached to it, I'm sorry but it just doesn't seem like too hefty a concern to me.

Comment: Re:No, it'll just be an OPTION (Score 4, Insightful) 650

by bieber (#40642221) Attached to: Will Speed Limits Inhibit Autonomous Car Adoption?
I don't know why everyone seems to be under the impression that these things are just going to blindly follow maps and GPS, but that's not how it works at all. They're equipped with all kinds of sensors and cameras that let them examine their environment, and they're not going to turn onto a "road" that isn't actually there. Will there be some freak accidents that could potentially have been avoided by manual controls? Sure there will, but they'll be far, far outweighed by the avoidable accidents that will result from letting humans take control.

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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