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Comment: OKC started as a science project (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by slaker (#47553973) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

The people who run OKC were a bunch of statistics nerds. It runs (ran, anyway) on a custom web server that performs a lot of real time analysis. Their blog is chock full of incredibly detailed information about their users. This shouldn't be news to anyone who has even the slightest clue as to how OKCupid actually works.

Comment: Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (Score 2) 140

by slew (#47535961) Attached to: The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

And yet strangely the two largest language groups are Mandarin and Spanish, the two least successful millitaries of the 20th century.

However, in 200BC, the Qin (aka Chin) dynasty had quite the army, and in the 16th and early 17th century, Spain had quite the military/navy.

FWIW, much of the geopolitical world as we know it wasn't formed in the 20th century. Much of the current geo-political alignments of the world were formed as a result of the Holy roman empire in the 800's, the exploits of Genghis Khan in the 12th century, and early Spanish explorers (and conquistadors) in the Americas. Of course the weapons they manufactured back then were primitive by modern standards, they managed to shape the world as we know it.

Of course no dynasty lasts forever...

Comment: Re:So ... (Score 1) 224

by slew (#47527043) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Seriously, can we get a can analogy (yeah, I know, imagine a perfectly spherical car, bastards! ;-)

Neutron star: imagine what happens when you trade in your Ford Aerostar under the Cash-for-Clunkers program...
Such a car is not massive enough to become a black hole consuming all your gas money, but bigger than a Crown-V (aka Chandrasekhar limit) which is the largest car that ends it's life as a white dud (aka dwarf).

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 2) 535

by NF6X (#47526651) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later
Thank you. I do need correction to see the target at all, particularly at rifle ranges, because I've been nearsighted since at least junior high school. I suppose that once I get bifocals or progressive lenses (probably at my next eye exam), I'll need to learn to find the target first through the long-distance part of the lens, then shift to the near-distance part to focus the sights on the correct blur. I haven't gone shooting since I started to notice the onset of farsightedness, but I can still see well enough at front sight distance without correction. But now I need magnifying glasses to focus on small things like PCB features up close, which is pretty annoying. It's not just that the PCB features are getting smaller I've begun playing around with vintage computers recently, and I even have trouble focusing on the old through-hole stuff now without external optics.

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 2) 535

by NF6X (#47525107) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I'm considering doing that. I'm 45 and my eyes have just begun to change. I'm still generally myopic, but so far the change just requires me to take my glasses off when doing close work.

I'm also 45 and I'm experiencing the same thing. I am overdue for a new set of glasses anyway, but I've noticed my new farsightedness the most when doing work on the test bench. I've had to start using a set of head-mounted magnifying lenses regularly for close-up work. If I was to consider some sort of corrective procedure, I'd need something that's compatible with close-up hands-on work, staring at a computer screen most of the time, and shooting which requires both close-up vision (to see the signs) and long range vision (to see the target). I haven't researched yet whether any of the existing procedures would be a good option for a person of my age with my vision and range of activities.

Comment: Re:Mostly done by 1985... (Score 4, Informative) 224

by slew (#47524519) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Gravitational time dilation affects the falling object, not the observer. If you claim that if I throw a baseball at a sufficiently large star then I'll eventually see the baseball slow down as it approaches it, then you need an explanation for the repulsive force.

Actually you probably won't actually "see" it slow down, it will eventually red-shift to be invisible (which is actually slowing down). Gravitational time dilation makes an object an object approaching the event horizon of a black hole to appear to slow down, taking an infinite time to reach the event horizon.

Comment: Can it be updated and run Free Software? (Score 1) 91

by jbn-o (#47520383) Attached to: Intel Launches Self-Encrypting SSD
If the drive's software were flashable (the device could be updated with different software) and the software were Free Software, there would be no reason to fear Intel's connection to the NSA. Users would have the freedoms they need to make sure the software does what they want it to do. Proprietary encryption, no matter who writes it or distributes it, is always untrustworthy for the same reason proprietary software is untrustworthy—you don't really know what it's doing and neither does anyone you can trust to help you understand what it's doing. Furthermore you can't make it do what you want and you can't help others by distributing improved versions that respect other user's freedoms.

Comment: Server 2012 already looks like Windows 8. (Score 2) 322

by slaker (#47520307) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

The special magic thing is to hit the Windows key + X. That brings up a menu that has pretty much everything you'd want to do from a start menu. Win + X also works on desktop Windows 8.x.

The hilarious thing to me is that the Windows 8/Server 2012 line is ironically the most keyboard centric version of Windows I've used, but all people want to do is bitch about the Modern (Tile) interface that you can completely, totally ignore if you're on something that has a real keyboard and mouse.

Also, Windows RT? It's not awful. Printing and scanning work great and they have real USB and storage support. Surfaces ship with Office pre-installed. RT is missing a lot of media consumption tools that are present on other mobile OSes, but as a device for doing work they're credible. I'd rather have an RT-based Surface than anything that runs iOS, though I'd prefer a good quality Android device to either.

Comment: Yet another reason to insist on software freedom (Score 2) 277

by jbn-o (#47472047) Attached to: Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

Early Tuesday, gamers woke up to find out that they couldn't log in to any Sony Online Entertainment games--no Everquest, no Planetside 2, none of them.

Could the users have used another server to connect with each other? Or is this a case of DRM ("Digital Restrictions Management", when properly viewed from the perspective of its effect on the users) and, more generally, nonfree software restricting users from running the games with other people?

Comment: Re:TripAdvisor (Score 1) 424

by slew (#47464681) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Of course 80% of the reviews suspiciously appeared after the lawsuit was publicized (10% of the most recent reviews are in English instead of French is another clue). The old ones are mostly mediocre, but as you might expect the recent ones are mostly complaining about the lawsuit (and the recent ones posted after the lawsuit publicity appear to be perhaps a bit reality-challenged). Me thinks there might be more lawsuits on the way ;^)

There appears to be only 1/7 reviews on yelp that predate this event and appears to have the common qualities of a yelp review (you can read whatever you want into that assessment).

On the other hand, it appears to be just a generic pizza place in a rinky-dink (pop 7396) coastal town in France. What do people expect?

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