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Comment: Re:Forensic evidence should not be subjective (Score 1) 80

You might be able to solve the problem(at the expense of a great deal of additional workload) by larding the caseload with samples specifically constructed to be non-matches; but then blinded and packaged the same as any other sample, to identify people who just lean positive; but that would probably require a lot of additional work to do in enough quantity to counteract the obvious pressure.

Comment: Re:Easy to fix (Score 1) 80

Why on parity?

In their capacity as (ostensibly) trustworthy, neutral, expert testimony, they both victimize the defendant and betray the public's trust in the criminal justice system and the duties of their office.

Punishment-on-parity seems like the absolute bare minimum, with no acknowledgement of the aggravating circumstances of abuse of authority, the corrosive effects on rule of law and public trust in the existence of rule of law, and so on. I am sympathetic to arguments that mounting their heads on spikes outside the courthouse might constitute a public nuisance, because of the smell of decay; but that would bring the requisite gravity to the situation.

Comment: That's a...polite...way to put it. (Score 4, Insightful) 80

Is there any reason, aside from the reflexive deference to allegedly legitimate authority figures, why they use the phrases 'gave flawed testimony' and 'overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors' rather than the more honest 'committed a fuckton of perjury'?

Comment: Re:Too busy to rip the radio out of my car (Score 1) 193

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49503511) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017
I don't know why anyone bothers, given that DJ spew is one of the most insufferable aspects of radio, without even the crass-but-compelling monetary justification of ads; but odds are good, on many channels, that there isn't even necessarily a DJ specific to that station. Once you can their obnoxious chatter, you can programmatically sprinkle it into the playlists of multiple stations in different markets. You only really need to be more specialized if the chatter is supposed to have some 'local' flavor, in which case you do need recordings matched to the appropriate market.

Comment: Re:Oh FFS (Score 2) 193

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49503479) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017
If you want to be pedantic about acceptable variations choosing something with such a long history and such wide use in various disciplines is a terrible plan.

"Percent" is probably the most common flavor currently; but 'per cent', 'per cent.', 'pct', 'pc', and likely others are still within the realm of accepted use. Hell, the '%' sign isn't even entirely settled, unicode has something like four defined variants. And that doesn't count the archaic, but historically used and still recognizable, specimens that cropped up between Latin and the present day.

I take it that you were exposed to basic literacy and only basic literacy, none of that messy intermediate stuff.

Comment: Re:So much for long distance Listening (Score 2) 193

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49503395) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017
It also doesn't help that digital transitions are when broadcasters usually give in to the temptation to squeeze in a bunch of extra channels. When they get really greedy, the results are so bandwidth starved that they sound like horribly compressed crap(because they are) even under ideal circumstances. Even if they don't push it that hard, they haven't typically been very conservative about building in a lot of margin for degradation.

Comment: Re:Less accessible (Score 1) 193

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49503367) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017
This probably has something to do with the fact that 'HD Radio' is a proprietary non-standard that is whatever iBiquity Digital Corporation say it is, and costs whatever they say it does. They obviously want it to be adopted, because they get nothing if it dies; but that's pretty much the only incentive encouraging them to cooperate on licensing or keep prices reasonable.

There is a pitiful veneer of 'standardization', courtesy of the NRSC; but 'NRSC-5c' is more or less a very lightly de-branded generic descriptions fleshed out by the incorporation-by-reference of the iBiquity documentation.

It makes the various MPEG standards and dealing with the MPEG-LA look like some kind of FOSS hippie commune by comparison.

Comment: And on the minus side... (Score 3, Insightful) 170

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49501301) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society
While this sometimes pays off, when circumstances line up correctly, it is vital to keep the limitations in mind:

Lower cost has made it much more likely that random bystanders have some level of video recording, rather than none; but entities with ample resources also take advantage of reduced costs, which is why, say, nontrivial areas of the developed world are effectively saturated with automated LPR systems. There is a win for those cases where it previously would have been the word of someone who counts vs. the word of some nobody; but elsewhere reduced costs and improve capabilities make having a big budget and legal power even more useful.

Improved surveillance only changes the game at the 'evidence' stage. If legal, public, or both, standards aren't sufficiently in your favor, improved evidence is anywhere from irrelevant to actively harmful. You can have all the evidence you want; but if the DA refuses to indict, or the 'viral' pile-on targets the victim rather than the aggressor, it doesn't help you much. Had McHenry's tirade been a bit cleverer, or her target a shade more unsympathetic, odds are good that the attendant in question would be being hounded as we speak.

Comment: The important question... (Score 3, Interesting) 143

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49498339) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt
The article does not mention where the cost of this error is going to fall. This seems like an important detail. On a sufficently complex project, one of the bevy of subcontractors fucking something up isn't a huge surprise; but I would be very, very, disappointed if NASA wasn't able to contract sufficiently vigorously to make the vendor eat the cost of delivering the goods as specified, rather than paying them for their effort no matter how well or badly they do.

Comment: Re:Yeah, why not looking for ant-tools? (Score 1) 88

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49495677) Attached to: World's Oldest Stone Tools Discovered In Kenya
Alas, the only known emergent sentience is the one that exists in the neuron colony inside each of our skulls; but there are some pretty damn cool sub-sentient emergent behaviors even in quite limited organisms. Bacteria in biofilms do some very impressive things, as do slime molds when they form masses.

It's too bad that (to the best of my knowledge, and I've hunted a bit), no organisms have evolved to exploit RF signalling. It's not inconceivable, loads of organisms use electrical signalling internally, a fair number have magnetic sensory structures, and a variety of common metals are amenable to biological chemistry if you need a better antenna; but that's the sort of thing that would make linking multiple nervous systems with reasonable speed and without direct contact possible.

Comment: Re:Buyer's remorse (Score 1) 321

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49495603) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan
I would hope that, should any impropriety be found in the contracting process, that the superintendent and any collaborators are dealt with as harshly as possible.

As for Apple, I'd be curious to know how much terminating the deal would involve for them. Obviously they'd rather have the sales than not; but there is a big difference between 'not making sales we had previously expected to make' and 'large piles of used inventory being returned and/or inventory prepared for this specific contract now without a destination.'

Particularly if it is only the former, Apple might well cave(not for honor's sake; but because an 'iPads in Education Program a Giant Clusterfuck; Lawsuits Fly!' is not a headline that Apple PR wants running any longer than necessary); if it's the latter they might be harder to convince.

Comment: Re:Sign off. (Score 1) 321

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49495547) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan
In fairness to Apple, they have been working to improve the situation, and things are better now; but the state of the possible when this program started(~2 years ago) was rather less pleasant. They started tightly wedded to the 'device basically has one user, who has an account directly with Apple and a CC number on file' model; and it has been a rather slow path to getting support for a model where things like 'applications owned by the institution' actually works smoothly.

Apple's first-party support for remote management is still better than Android's; but their grip is tight enough that it is them or nothing, while Android is all over the map; but 3rd parties can actually offer options without the keys to the OS.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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