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Comment Re:Privacy in my pants? (Score 1) 179 179

Every once in a while, a court rules in a way that seems like an attack on privacy, but in fact is just reiterating current standards of (non) privacy in certain weird conditions, because some plaintiff or defendant is trying to wildly re-construe privacy to include some bizarre condition they got caught up in.

If you butt-dial someone, the call is not private to the exclusion of the recipient the same way that if you accidentally email a sensitive document to the wrong person and then try to sue them for possessing the sensitive information.

Sometimes a court opinion makes sense. I had a boss who said "Don't act surprised when it works*," but that's hard to do with the modern legal system.

*He meant this in the context of customer demonstrations of our software, but the principle is broader than that.

Comment Re:Stop it. Stop it right now. (Score 1) 191 191

I dunno what your criticism is. It's factually accurate, which is (by Slashdot standards) pretty remarkable. In fact, the "bored housewife" angle is actually the primary difference between this story and lots of other "start computer company up in (garage|basement|warehouse) in the late '70s, get stomped flat by IBM in the early '80s" stories.

Is this a SJW thing?

Google

Google+ Photos To Shut Down August 1 152 152

An anonymous reader writes: Now that Google Photos exists separately from Google+, the company is shutting down the Google+ version of Photos starting on August 1. The Android version will be the first to go, followed shortly thereafter by the iOS and web versions. Fortune calls the old Photos app "a relic of the times when the search giant thought its social network Google Plus could become a huge hit."
AI

An Organic Computer Using Four Wired-Together Rat Brains 190 190

Jason Koebler writes: The brains of four rats have been interconnected to create a "Brainet" capable of completing computational tasks better than any one of the rats would have been able to on its own. Explains Duke University's Dr. Miguel Nicolelis: "Recently, we proposed that Brainets, i.e. networks formed by multiple animal brains, cooperating and exchanging information in real time through direct brain-to-brain interfaces, could provide the core of a new type of computing device: an organic computer. Here, we describe the first experimental demonstration of such a Brainet, built by interconnecting four adult rat brains."
Biotech

Video Help Save Endangered Rhinos by Making Artificial Horns (Video) 202 202

Black Rhinoceros horn material sells for $65,000 per kilo. The rhinos are rare, which helps up the price, but the horn is also prized "as a fever-reducer, a cosmetic, an aphrodisiac, a hangover care. And so people highly value it in the Vietnamese and Chinese cultures. So we are trying to reduce that value by increasing the supply," says Jennifer Kaehms of Pembient, a company that's working to make artificial rhino horns that are not only chemically indistinguishable from the natural variety, but are 3-D printed to look the same. The idea is that if they can flood the market with human-made rhino horns, it will cut poaching -- which is a big deal because there are only about 5,000 black rhinos left in the whole world.

They have a crowdfunding appeal on experiment.com looking for help in sequencing the black rhino genome. At this writing, it has two days to run and has only raised $12,831 of its $16,500 goal. The results will be open sourced, and once the black rhino is on its way to salvation, they plan to work on the white rhino, then move on to killing the black market for ivory and tiger pelts, which don't sell for as much as rhino horns but are valuable enough to keep an international horde of poachers in business.

Comment Verizon knows that's no bargain (Score 1) 123 123

"Absolve Verizon of customer service responsibilities"?

Why would Verizon take that deal? As far as they're concerned, they already aren't particularly responsible for customer service. But they can rake in the fees from their captive customer base.

What NY seems to be asking Verizon is "Pretty please, lay in the last mile of fiber and then step away."

You'll have to seriously sweeten the pot (such as extortionate wholesale service fees) to make it more profitable for Verizon to do this, vice continuing to squeeze its current copper-service victims for sunk-cost mostly-profit revenues. And for companies like Verizon, "less profit" is a non-starter.

Operating Systems

People Are Obtaining Windows 7 Licenses For the Free Windows 10 Upgrade 172 172

jones_supa writes: Windows 7 has quickly started increasing its market share of desktop operating systems, nearing 61%. If you're wondering why this is happening when Windows 10 is almost here, the reason is this: Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for those running Windows 7 and 8, and the new OS will have the exact same hardware requirements as its predecessor, so the majority of PCs should be able to run it just as well. Because Windows 7 was launched in 2009, a license is more affordable than for Windows 8, so many users are switching to this version to take advantage of the Windows 10 free upgrade offer.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.

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