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Comment: Very hard indeed. Ask Lydia Fairchild. (Score 1) 559

by jamrock (#40854793) Attached to: The Tricky Science of Olympic Gender Testing

XX = Woman XY = Man

The reality is that it's not nearly as clear cut as you believe. There are individuals with chimerism, in which their bodies contain cells of more than one genotype, i.e., two distinct sets of DNA. See the case of Lydia Fairchild, who was accused of welfare fraud, and prosecutors recommended that her two children be taken into care because testing determined that they weren't related to her, even though she had given birth to them. As she was pregnant with her third child, the judge ordered a witness be present at birth and blood samples taken from mother and child. DNA testing revealed that the child was not hers. Incredibly, it was a member of the prosecution team who recalled a similar case in Boston, and contacted her defense team with the information.

And that's only chimerism. Then there are the truly strange cases of individuals with more than two sex chromosomes, such as XXY and XXXY genotypes among others. Genetically speaking, gender should be considered to be a spectrum, with XX at one extreme and XY at the other, with shadings in between.

Comment: Ridiculous post (Score 1) 424

by jamrock (#40770997) Attached to: OS X Mountain Lion Review
Marco Arment has an "obvious grudge" against OS X? That is the exact opposite of the truth. He has long been an unabashed Apple booster, although he has never been afraid to call them out when they do things he doesn't agree with, and it strains credulity to hear him labeled as having a grudge of any kind against them.

And his review of Siracusa's review was funny; brilliantly so in fact. To suggest that Arment doesn't know about Reader is utterly ridiculous: as the creator of the extremely popular Instapaper, he was concerned about its future when Apple first announced Reader in Safari, which replicates Instapaper's functionality, but has subsequently stated that he has seen no obvious diminution in sales. Arment probably knows a hell of a lot more about Reader than the vast majority of Mac users, seeing as how it's a direct competitor to Instapaper.

I guess you just don't recognize satire when you see it. Siracusa's superbly detailed reviews of the various versions of OS X are considered the definitive word on the subject by Apple watchers and enthusiasts, Arment included,
The Military

How a 1960s Discovery In Neuroscience Spawned a Military Project 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the did-you-see-that dept.
Harperdog writes "This is pretty fascinating: The Chronicle of Higher Ed has an article about a DARPA project that allows researchers to scan satellite photos, video, etc., and have a computer pick up differences in brain activity to tell whether an image has been seen...images that might flash by before conscious recognition. From the article: 'In a small, anonymous office in the Trump Tower, 28 floors above Wall Street, a man sits in front of a computer screen sifting through satellite images of a foreign desert. The images depict a vast, sandy emptiness, marked every so often by dunes and hills. He is searching for man-made structures: houses, compounds, airfields, any sign of civilization that might be visible from the sky. The images flash at a rate of 20 per second, so fast that before he can truly perceive the details of each landscape, it is gone. He pushes no buttons, takes no notes. His performance is near perfect.'"

Comment: When did Flash ever "shine" on ANY platform? (Score 1) 240

by jamrock (#40486787) Attached to: Facebook iOS App Ditching HTML5 For ObjectiveC

Apple just does not want ANY competitive technology to shine on iOS. They dropped Flash not due to "performance and battery" issues, but simply put that Flash would eat away at Apple's walled garden.

Really? Then why did Adobe themselves give up on a mobile version of Flash? Flash has severe performance, battery, and security issues, and Adobe had been unable to produce an acceptable mobile version after years of trying. As Jobs put it in his infamous "Thoughts on Flash" piece, Apple had been waiting for years for Adobe to produce a version with acceptable performance, and was no longer willing to wait after all their promises came to naught.

And it's not about competition. It's about control. Apple makes no bones about being loath to rely on any critical technology they don't control themselves. Apple's memory is long, and they remember how many years it took Adobe to release an OS X-native version of Photoshop, one of the flagship applications for Macintosh, and as Jobs said, it was unacceptable for Apple to have to depend on the update schedule of a third party in order to add features to their own products. It's about control of the vertical stack in order to deliver an experience they deem acceptable, not competition. Locking out potential competitors isn't their major focus; it's just icing on the cake.

Comment: Wrong. Apple's cut was NEVER the issue (Score 5, Informative) 83

by jamrock (#40330077) Attached to: Time Inc. Signs Magazine Deal With Apple
When Apple announced the terms for Newsstand, the 30% cut was not the major bone of contention between the magazine publishers and Apple. It was the fact that Apple refused to pass on subscriber information automatically. Instead, subscribers had to click an "Allow" button in a dialog box asking if they wanted their personal information sent along to the publishers. The publishers were outraged that Apple made the process opt-in, dramatically reducing the treasure trove of information they could sell to advertisers.

I have no idea if Apple made concessions to Time on the issue of subscriber privacy, but knowing them I think it's unlikely. As far as Apple is concerned, folks with iTunes accounts are Apple's customers, and subscriptions through Newsstand are just some of the services that they offer. I'm actually with Apple on this one. The terms for Newsstand make it clear that subscribers should have a choice about the disposition of their personal information, while the publishers treat it as something to which they are automatically entitled.

Comment: Worst search-and-replace fuck up EVER. (Score 1) 185

by jamrock (#40195603) Attached to: War and Nookd — eBook Regex Gone Haywire
In 2008 it came to light that the American Family Association's OneNewsNow website had a filter to automatically replace the word "gay" with the word "homosexual". Hilarity ensued when they reported on Tyson Gay's victory in the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials that June:

Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has. His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn't count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here's what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing. "It means a lot to me," the 25-year-old Homosexual said. "I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me."

Comment: Take off the hate-colored glasses (Score 0) 311

by jamrock (#40131205) Attached to: Apple Fires Back At DoJ Over eBook Price Fixing

I other words they are guilty of price-fixing what other stores may sell the ebooks for

Apple hasn't been shown to be guilty of anything. They've been accused of price fixing, they've vigorously denied it, and their guilt or innocence have yet to be adjudicated. Obviously you've made up your mind as to the facts of the case, never mind the actual facts.

PLUS anticompetitive behaviors such as blocking amazon from target. Guilty guilty guilty.

Except that Apple had nothing to do with it. The decision to yank the Kindle was Target's, and they said so explicitly in a statement. Target was pissed at Amazon for encouraging shoppers to compare prices in physical stores, and said in their statement that they refuse to become showrooms for Amazon.

But nice to hear you venting your hatred by snapping at any anti-Apple sentiment, however untrue. And "Mcirosucks"? Really? It's way beyond stale to refer to Microsoft as "Microsucks", not to mention childish, but you couldn't even spell it right. Pathetic.

Comment: Whoosh! (Score 5, Insightful) 240

by jamrock (#39271555) Attached to: Google, Motorola Ordered To Provide Android Info To Apple

People buy your products because they are original, innovative and useful. Litigation for profit is not original. Litigation for profit is not innovative. Litigation for profit is not useful.

You and so many others here just don't get it. Apple isn't interested in making money off Android. They want to kill it. The revenues from potential patent licenses, while nice, would be a rounding error on their P and L. Microsoft's motive may be partly for the profit (it's likely that their revenue from licensing patents to Android manufacturers exceeds their revenues from Windows Phone), but Apple is most assuredly not interested. Apple's motive is to chill Android's ascent, or preferably, kill the platform outright. There is apparently genuine anger inside Apple that is directed at Google because of Android; Apple feels that Google blatantly capitalized on Apple's hard work in birthing the iPhone and they're prepared to go to the mattresses to right the perceived wrong.

By making Android handsets more expensive to produce, Apple and Microsoft are adding friction to the adoption of Android, and both companies have large war chests they can use to open more fronts in their war against Google, the true enemy of both. Companies contemplating using Android will think twice before facing the two titans.

Comment: Fear and uncertainty, huh? (Score 1) 304

by jamrock (#39133499) Attached to: Microsoft's Anti-Google Video Campaign
From the summary:

And a few days ago Googlighting shows up to spread fear and uncertainty about Google Docs.

The only fear and uncertainty I experienced on watching that embarrassingly cheesy video was the fear that Microsoft would make another one like it, and the uncertainty that they'd ever hire a decent agency to do the job instead of the audio/video nerds from the local community college. Surely that wasn't the work of professionals, was it?

Comment: Alas, no mod points (Score 2) 356

by jamrock (#39087865) Attached to: UK Student Jailed For Facebook Hack Despite 'Ethical Hacking' Defense

Considering that most of the judge from the 21st century are, at most, 12, and not even lawyers, let alone judges, yet kinda makes this tough.

I salute you sir; nicely done. Although the disturbing thought did occur to me that perhaps the GP was in fact calling for the reinstatement of nineteenth century judges to adjudicate these newfangled matters.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.