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Comment: Re:The idea was a good one, the execution poor (Score 1) 187

by squiggleslash (#49169035) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

I'm pretty sure that my analogous hypothetical contract with my cleaning service doesn't include a clause about being allowed to deliver an unsolicited U2 CD, but nonetheless if they did it I wouldn't be upset in the way the other people on this thread are being.

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Reply to: Re:The idea was a good one, the execution poor </pre>

Comment: Re:Deja vu all over again (Score 1) 87

No, I'm not confusing the two, they're not the subject of this discussion which is ARM vs ix86. It's certainly correct that you also need the hardware to be open, but that's another entirely unrelated issue, and has nothing to do with ix86's legacy software compatibility.

Comment: Re:not the first time (Score 5, Informative) 71

by stoborrobots (#49167423) Attached to: Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

The wave-particle duality is not a quantum superposition like you're describing (which would break down under measurement), although the caricatured manner in which we teach it might lead you believe that. It's a little more simple than that.

In our world, we are used to two kinds of things: particles, and waves. We are used to this distinction, and describe most things in one of these manners. Sound is a wave, a billiard ball is a particle, vibrations are waves, bricks are particles. If something is a particle, it has certain properties, like position, size, and shape. If it is a wave, it has certain other properties like wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. In addition, there are some common properties like velocity and direction.

When it came to studying light (and many other quantum stuffs), we can't directly see what it's made of. But we can take measurements of each "puff" of light, and infer its properties that way. When we do this, we notice that puffs of light have some properties which are particle-like, and some which are wave-like. So the term "particle-wave duality" became popular to describe this new material that was behaving simultaneously like a particle and a wave. It doesn't make sense to ask which one it is - a "puff" of light is neither a particle, nor a wave, but a different kind of stuff which has some properties of each.

Comment: Re:Did *everyone* miss the point here? :-( (Score 1) 356

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49166827) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

It remains the case that either my original statement is true, meaning a counter-example for the reliability of fact-based ranking has been identified, or my original statement is false, in which case the statement itself becomes a counter-example because it is widely repeated but incorrect.

Comment: Re:The idea was a good one, the execution poor (Score 1) 187

by squiggleslash (#49166239) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

Apple didn't break into a house though, they had an arrangement with you where they had the keys. It'd be more like the cleaning service (OK, I know, you don't have one, I don't either, but bear with me, the point is it's a commercial entity with permission to enter your home) coming into your home one day and leaving a U2 album, with a sticky on it saying "Thanks for being our customer - the maid", prominently on your CD shelf.

In order to receive the music, you had to already have an arrangement that newly bought music would be automatically downloaded and installed on your iDevice. If you didn't have that enabled, no U2 album. You'd already given permission to them to "put (other) music on your iDevice", what you hadn't necessarily done was given them permission to put this specific album on it. They had a key. You gave them the key.

Did it matter that they used it? They used it to give you a free gift. Why is this a major problem?

Comment: Re:Deja vu all over again (Score 1) 87

Not being cruel but being open source and ARM a recompile away was supposed to be their big boon

Yeah, but you and I and the rest of the world knows that this isn't true in practice. Developers are familiar with x86, some ports don't simply recompile flawlessly (though 99% do), and there are benefits to having a single base of binaries that need maintaining - if there wasn't, we'd all be running Gentoo. There's also some binary-blob stuff out there, Flash plug-ins, "official" builds of Chrome et al, some video codecs, and, of course, Wine.

Pretty much the only person who can happily hope from CPU arch to CPU arch with merely a recompile is Richard Stallman, because he's really the only person in the world who actually doesn't run code unless he has the source code to it. But he's not going to be buying a 3G tablet anytime soon so...

Comment: Re:The idea was a good one, the execution poor (Score 2) 187

by squiggleslash (#49164735) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

I think terms like theft are a little over the top when we're talking about intentionally linking a device to a third party's download service, especially when that third party is delivering a service that barely impacts you in any negative way whatsoever.

Honestly, I'm still baffled so many people were upset about getting a few album from a popular, well respected, rock band, simply because it found its way directly onto people's devices. It's not as if it woke you up at 3am and started playing it!

Comment: Re:Deja vu all over again (Score 4, Interesting) 87

There wasn't really a legacy software advantage for x86 in the Mac arena either. In fact, of the three major tablet OSes, one actually does have a bit of a legacy software advantage if run over x86. I'll go into that in a moment but first:

As far as performance goes, I got an HP Stream 8 a few months ago. It's running Windows 8.1 and has a recent Atom in it, but obviously not a top-of-the-line thing because it's a really cheap tablet, despite supporting 3G. And I have to say I have no complaints whatsoever about performance. It's running everything I throw at it at a decent speed.

Now I'd admit, mentally I'm comparing it to Android. The fastest Android device I've used was a Galaxy Nexus, and the Stream is easily smoother and more responsive than that. It may well be the difference is, in part, Windows and Metro - I get the impression Google really doesn't understand the importance of UI responsiveness. But the truth is with the Stream I really, really, have no complaints relating to speed.

Back on x86 legacy advantages: The other issue I'd raise is that there are quite a few "tablet operating systems" that are languishing in "Not Android" land that might well do well if more hardware comes out supporting x86. The stuff Ubuntu and GNOME are trying to make work might, for example, end up turning into something very, very, powerful if they can get the UIs fixed and if a surfeit of x86 tablets comes out.

Comment: Did *everyone* miss the point here? :-( (Score 1) 356

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49164283) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

Oh, the irony!

Erm... It was intended to be ironic. Well, paradoxical, technically. Compare my final sentence

Remember, not so long ago, the almost-universal opinion would have been that the world was flat.

with the classic "This statement is false".

If my statement were true, it would illustrate a problem with Google's proposal.

But as my statement is false, it is itself a demonstration of the problem, because it perpetuates a myth sufficiently popular that it even has its own Wikipedia page. I was a little surprised that I couldn't also find it on Snopes.

Anyway, it's disappointing that no-one seems to have noticed that. Were none of you even a little suspicious about a post that in one paragraph said "Just because something gets repeated a lot, that doesn't make it factually correct" and then repeated one of the most popular myths there is? Really?

Comment: Re:FEO (Score 4, Insightful) 356

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49161057) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

"Fact optimization" is already behind more than one multi-billion dollar industry: advertising, political lobbying...

And this is why I fear this initiative, no matter how well intentioned, is doomed to failure. Just because something gets repeated a lot, that doesn't make it factually correct. Moreover, censoring dissenting opinions is a terrible reaction to active manipulation and even to old-fashioned gossip, because it removes the best mechanism for correcting the groupthink and promoting more informed debate, which is introducing alternative ideas from someone who knows better or simply has a different (but still reasonable) point of view.

Remember, not so long ago, the almost-universal opinion would have been that the world was flat.

Google

Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links 356

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-the-facts dept.
wabrandsma writes about Google's new system for ranking the truthfulness of a webpage. "Google's search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them. Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. 'A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,' says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings."

Comment: Re:What do HD viruses actually _do_ ? (Score 1) 308

by Etcetera (#49158517) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

Are these root vectors playing the odds and assuming they'll be installed on an x86 machine running Windows7, so they put that payload in the firmware?

It's not like the firmware has an IP stack.

It doesn't take very many bytes to make one. And your hard drive is communicating over a bus. You'd be surprised what types of communication protocols are recognized over various internal data paths... How do you think those old Ethernet-over-SCSI adapters worked?

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