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Comment: Re:And how is this different than a bank? (Score 1) 436 436

Except banks should be able to transfer all your assets, if not in cash, at least in some form (given a reasonable amount of notice in any reasonably likely situation) by calling in investments. They are constrained by regulations and audit scrutiny, etc., It's going to be hard for privately-held, internationally cloaked Full Tilt to get customers' money back out of their exec's pockets.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1, Interesting) 456 456

The Greater Internet Jerkwad Theory:
Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Jerkwad

As TheGratefulNet suggests, anonymity is very important. At least in the sense that we value intellectual freedom. Sometimes the quality/range/expressive power of the discussion improves too, so I guess we need it as a comunication tool. I don't know that we NEED tons of anonymity to survive as a species, but it does seem like one of the more enlightened human rights and a good thing to try to preserve.

For now, we have plenty of technologies and forums supporting some degree of anonymity, and I don't see them going away just because Google+ landed on the individuation side. Bad news (for + users): Google+ will lose some userbase and some amount of the good things that anonymous communication can foster. Good news (for lovers of aliases-based communication): some other, less-omniscient service will get a market opportunity they wouldn't have had if Google+ allowed aliases.

FWIW, I have a + alias-as-name and will probably drop 'em like Friendster if they make me change it. I already have a RealIdentity-style social network. (On Facebook. For now. Can't wait to try the Great Opensource Distributed Social Network that I know one of y'all is going to invent.)

Comment: Re:Wow, back to the future (Score 1) 180 180

Comparing vector to raster is like apples and oranges, but that's an interesting observation... the choke point for graphics has shifted way up. it's because vectors are like blueprints (and the cpu cycles are like fantastic builders) whereas raster is a less-dimensional structure that can be easily displayed and copied, but not easily manipulated.

Comment: Re:Reality Distortion (Score 1) 476 476

I don't think your black-and-white line test is a good one. The eye treats parallel lines specially.

For me, I can't distinguish lines from gray starting at about 30 inches from my 72-dpi laptop monitor.


By your test, I wouldn't fail to distinguish until 80" away. Or is my math off?

Comment: Re:Four Kinds (Score 3, Informative) 211 211

proprietary connectors make it a non-usb cable in my book.

the different possibilities for ends should be limited to:

A = type A (std) male
a = type A (std)female
B = type B (D) male
b = type B (D) female
mA = mini A male
ma = mini A female
mB = mini B male
mb = mini B female
uA = micro A male
ua = micro A female
uB = micro B male
ub = micro B female

my collection includes:

A - A
A - a
A - B
A - mA
A - mB
A - uA

i am very suspicious of voters with more than 15 types.

Comment: Re:No way. (Score 1) 979 979

The soulless zombie (wikipedia: lacks a soul but is otherwise indistinguishable from a human; this concept is used to inquire to what, if anything, the soul might amount) is useful in that it illustrates the beliefs of many people. it symbolizes romantic/religious/human intuitions about consciousness. i don't think it's especially relevant to the philosophy of consciousness, but it is a useful construct.

Slashdotters would love the challenge of a neurological zombie: Could you invent a beautiful machine that has a living human brain driving it? And if you could, would there be a way it could not have consciousness? I think this zombie supports functionalism, and so do I.

The role of the behavioral zombie (wp: behaviorally indistinguishable from a human and yet has no conscious experience) is again as a useful construct that's not that philosophically relevant. Most nerds don't have much trouble imagining a replicant of their own demising that would be very hard to distinguish from a human, but wouldn't have free will or self-awareness.

The white elephant in the philosopher's office is that the study of consciousness will eventually become more of an empirical discipline and rely less on the linguistic false-distinction or the unrealistic thought experiment.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 675 675

Not to mention USB/PCI and AGP implementations are all hardware devices, presumably to be sold. Your comparison is horrible.

The day Firefox is "taken" by commercial software will be a sad day indeed. The Mozilla Foundation could probably get a reduced price on a license easily enough, but that's not the point.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955