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Comment: Re:Yep. Yer boned. (Score 1) 162

by cenc (#32445442) Attached to: India Attempts To Derail ACTA

Yea, I don't buy that political bs distinction. It is a completely none-derogatory and officially used term used throughout Indian / Native America / guys that got here first groups.

I know certain political groups would like to make "Indian" the "n" word, but it is not. Now, asserting that I am somehow less of a "native" than someone's else, even though my family has lived in the Americas for the last 350+ years is offensive. If that is the case, then strictly speaking there is no such thing as a "native" American.

But, not really too interested in getting in to that discussion at the moment.

Comment: Re:Yep. Yer boned. (Score 3, Interesting) 162

by cenc (#32439930) Attached to: India Attempts To Derail ACTA

Yea, you are going to want to spend some time digging through all the supreme court rulings in that last 40 years or so regards Indian treaties. Granted, the Indian treaties are a very different legal animal from say treatise over copyrights with other countries, but treatise do in fact carry more weight than the constitution in at least very important cases.

If you are not up for the time to do that here is the basic legal theory upheld by the supreme court on the subject (and I am sure there are better ways of putting it):

The territory that the U.S. occupies was found by recognition of a set of treaties that in many cases predate the territorial space of the United States. Thus, the existence and enforceability of those treaties makes everything else contained in the constitution possible. The most important of which is the territorial definition of the U.S., along with lots of nice things like mining rights, water rights, hunting rights, and so on.

For example, this is why Indians have casinos and the individual States in most cases can not really do a whole lot about it. Essentially, most of the United States is under some sort of lease to another government, and if you ignore those "rental" agreements the whole legal mess called the U.S. starts falling apart. Even when the U.S. breaks those treatises, they still have to pay up in court for the damages. One that comes to mind would be things like the Black Hills land claim at the moment. There are hundreds if not thousands of other rulings, and why the U.S. government tends to get its rear eventually handed to them in a court room over breaking those treatise sooner or later.

Comment: Not getting there methods (Score 2, Informative) 256

by cenc (#32433262) Attached to: New Estimate Suggests 5.5M Species On Earth, Not 30-100M

Let me see if I understand their methods. If we take some sort of statistical sample with trees common to the deserts in Africa (let's say two Beatles named Ringo and Paul live in all of them), we can also determine the number of species on Earth? What happens if we pick a tree species where no Beatles or any species lives? Hell, what if we start with a desert with no trees or life at all? How about the poles? How many Beatles live in them apple trees?

The statistical likelihood of BS seems very high.

Comment: Philosophers, "we told you so". (Score 2, Insightful) 342

by cenc (#32078944) Attached to: Rest In Peas — the Death of Speech Recognition

I have been flamed more than a few times around here for suggesting Computer Science has not got a clue what they are doing when it comes to AI. Philosophy has been at this problem and more for the better part of the last 400+ years (more like a 1,000 years) in a serious way. The stock b.s., I get from the science fiction fan boys is that somehow natural language is a problem that can just be brute forced as if you were trying to figure out the password you forgot to your email account. Good luck with that.

By the way, language "recognition" by a computer is likly the easy part of the problem for AI researchers to crack. It is still not going to yield any real AI, just better cars and toasters.

Comment: Re:Hi (Score 1) 118

by cenc (#32028644) Attached to: The US Continues Its Reign As King of Spam

I recently went through my email stats to see what IP's where sending email that was being rejected the most. I found only about 10 ip's in countries I have never had a reason to deal with composed about 70-80% of the waisted rejected email (thousands of emails each). I then either banned the country or the ip address. Not so much a solution, as saving some resources.

     

Comment: Chile Volcano (Score 1) 673

by cenc (#31974384) Attached to: Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

The Chilean government and most airlines avoided flying around a volcano in Southern Chile a couple years ago. They did not however restrict small planes. In the course of about 4 months, 3 small planes crashed including a military flight. They were all prop planes with more than one engine. No one every officially linked the crashes to the volcano, but it was definitely outside the statistical norm for crashes in the area (like one every 2-3 years normally).

Comment: Re:Is it really that different than programming? (Score 4, Informative) 539

by cenc (#31922352) Attached to: Photos of Chinese Sweatshop Used By Microsoft

I worked as a teacher in China a couple years ago and was only paid $350 US a month, plus housing, and still managed to save money. So, that is not exactly slave labor wages by Chinese economy standards at $0.50 x 15 hours a day = $7.5 a day. That is something like $180 US a month. The working hours suck by western standards, but that is fairly normal working hours in China.

Also I don't buy that photo. When I was teaching at the University, I would go in to a room and there would be like 50 students all sleeping between classes. It is not unusual for Chinese workers to catch a catnap on breaks, because they work long hours.

Comment: I Taught Research Writing at a Chinese University (Score 1) 338

by cenc (#31894716) Attached to: China's Research Ambitions Hurt By Faked Results

I taught research writing at a Chinese Agricultural University for a year. I am not even sure where to start about the plagiarism.

Kids would bring in things so obviously stolen that the authors name was still in the text.

Chinese react to public shame and to threats well. I likly would not have been allowed to use most of the tactics in the States or Europe. I did finally get them to write real papers after almost a year (even if they were mostly bad), and reference their sources. I just told them, "this is how we steel others ideas in the West."

I also learned a thing or two about how Chinese view theft of ideas. For several thousand years, copying famous work was a sign of respect. After all, it is all "owned" by the Emperor or the States anyway. In a sense it is all public property, and copy rights means you have a right to copy.

Now, that is fine in the old days, but not in a modern China. At the University I was at, they were doing things like genetic engineering knew super strains of rice. There was no rigid testing going on. Students were all but being encouraged to take it home to their families to plant in the rural areas. Other foreign researchers told me how labs and experiments were contaminated in all sorts of different ways; yet, everyone was being pushed to publish. Publishing was the end, and not the means to science for many of them.

After what I seen, I am certain sooner or later we are all going to pay the price for China's great experiment with Science.

Comment: I found one factor they overlooked (Score 0) 561

by cenc (#31732700) Attached to: Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs

They studied 20,000 people that joined the military. That would indicate they already could care less about their life or were already shown to be inclined to accept training or participate in activities that would make them disregard their own life. How about a control group among say something like university professors? At least compare that to 20,000 university students of the same age. There is a certain sweet spot for stupidity among those age groups (the superman factor).

   

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

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