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Comment: Re:Que the outrage (Score 1) 136

by aardvarkjoe (#47410885) Attached to: BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

Complaints of "no one is innovating anymore" followed closely by "look at BB, stupids, phones HAVE to be one handed and pocketable! No innovation allowed!"

To be fair, "let's make our smartphone bigger!" isn't exactly groundbreaking innovation. It's exactly what everybody else has been doing for a few years now.


DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue 245

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-some-good-PR-work-there-lou dept.
An anonymous reader writes Jeffrey Baldwin was essentially starved to death by his grandparents. Funds had been raised to build a monument for Jeffrey in Toronto. The monument was designed to feature Jeffrey in a Superman costume, and even though Superman should be public domain, DC Comics has denied the request. "The request to DC had been made by Todd Boyce, an Ottawa father who did not know the Baldwin family. Boyce was so moved by the testimony at the coroner’s inquest into Jeffrey’s death last year that he started an online fundraising campaign for the monument. DC’s senior vice-president of business and legal affairs, Amy Genkins, told Boyce in an email that 'for a variety of legal reasons, we are not able to accede to the request, nor many other incredibly worthy projects that come to our attention.'... For Boyce, it was a huge blow, as he felt the Superman aspect was a crucial part of the bronze monument, which will include a bench. The coroner’s inquest heard from Jeffrey’s father that his son loved to dress up as Superman."

Comment: Re:Earnings reports are in XML now. (Score 1) 29

by aardvarkjoe (#47389497) Attached to: Algorithm-Generated Articles Won't Kill the Journalism Star

Here's the raw XML behind that data. Turning that into verbiage isn't that hard.

Not hard, but does it actually make sense to do so? Serious question, since I don't read the reports in question, but if they're so standardized it would seem like it would be easier for everyone involved to just stick with a tabular format of some sort, rather than trying to translate it into a "written" report.

Comment: Realistic (Score 2) 170

by jdavidb (#47373443) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

You don't have to be "cynical" to expect the government to act in the government's own best interest. The idea that one piece of government will keep another piece in check rather than colluding together to expand power is an unrealistic pipe dream. Honestly we've had over two hundred years of real world experimental evidence demonstrating that checks and balances DON'T WORK. They never did, and never will. The only realistic check on government power is secession.

Comment: Re:A national spy agency spying on other countries (Score 1) 242

by danielobvt (#47360033) Attached to: Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries
In most of other countries in the world there generally is an even tighter association between companies from those countries and their spy agencies(FIS's). The US (and maybe the FVEY countries, I am not sure there) is somewhat unique in that there is basically no real provisions for economic espionage (defined as spying aimed to obtain trade secrets (generally not of military application) and passing those on to the local companies (saving massive amounts in R&D money/time)). And because of that relationship there is often services offered back from those companies to those FIS's. Who needs a court when you are just helping out an organization that has saved you millions of dollars over time (and patriotism is also a factor in that decision as well)? I think you are very naive if you think that this is a uniquely American (or a RUS, CHN, IRN) issue. It is very nuanced and occurs behind closed doors that you will almost never get a glipse of.

Comment: A national spy agency spying on other countries (Score 2) 242

by danielobvt (#47359191) Attached to: Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries
Color me suprised. Not. In all fairness I want all the other countries spy agencies to release a list of countries they spy in (in particular the national intelligence services of China, Russia, France, England, Germany and Israel). I bet you it would be a pretty similiar list.....

'Vampire' Squirrel Has World's Fluffiest Tail 54

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the in-the-dead-of-night-squirrel-bites dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes Few scientists have ever seen the rare tufted ground squirrel (Rheithrosciurus macrotis), which hides in the hilly forests of Borneo, but it is an odd beast. It's twice the size of most tree squirrels, and it reputedly has a taste for blood. Now, motion-controlled cameras have revealed another curious fact. The 35-centimeter-long rodent has the bushiest tail of any mammal compared with its body size.

Comment: Re:The REAL value of the transit system (Score 1) 170

Mass transit subsidies are more obvious, but private transport is massively subsidised by the government and community. Roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, etc, etc. Hundreds of billions is spent on road infrastructure. (Some overlap here, but the great proportion is used by private cars.)
Hundreds of billions on health costs -- car accidents, air pollution.
Hundreds of billions in wars to secure access to automobile fuel.

If all the costs of private urban road transport were added up, maybe we could see which forms of transport really cost more.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 82

If anyone wants to download a bootleg Kindle edition, you can easily find them online very shortly after publication
(And many books with no official ebook edition have homemade versions of varying quality as well.)

Most Kindle books are 500kB or so, less than a hi res scan of a page.

So this scan/print/sign/register/download method is much more work than what you can already do now.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS