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Comment Re:Oh, that's ironic (Score 1) 578

There a lot more variability between individuals then between ethnic origins. Sure, the Olympics have demonstrated that at very high levels, black people win much more often than white people at a 100m race. But pick one black guy and one white guy completely at random on this planet. What's the likelihood of the black guy winning a 100m race? I'd say about 50%. The variability across individuals is just too much. Even if you had a precise way of measuring intelligence and managed to prove with 99.9% confidence that people of origin X are on average more intelligent than people of origin Y, it would mean absolutely nothing at the individual level.

Comment Re:It might finally be time for this (Score 1) 1291

Farmers (primary) have moved to become manufacturers (secondary). Then manufacturers are (mostly) moved to services (tertiary). Some of us have then moved to R&D (quaternary), but at this point it's far from clear that everyone can move there. So in the longer term, we'll really have to figure out how to make sure everyone can earn a living somehow.

Comment Re:missing tidbits.... (Score 3, Informative) 99

I suggest you read the Mozilla post. Basically, the output *will* be free, with open-source software under the Apache 2.0 license, and the patents being licensed according to W3C rules. So it doesn't get any more free than that. As for DRM, it's not a property of the codec. There certainly won't be any in the codec itself, but people can put DRM on top of anything they want (including ASCII art).

Comment Re:No Apple (Score 1) 99

Keep in mind that:
1) Apple can still join this effort. All the reasons why Microsoft, Cisco, Mozilla, and Google want a free codec also apply to Apple.
2) Even if Apple doesn't join the Alliance for Open Media, they would still benefit from using the codec
3) Even if they don't join and don't ship the codec, there's more than enough players already involved to make the resulting codec successful.
That being said, 1) would still be the best outcome.

Comment Re:DRM on rentals isn't the same... (Score 2) 260

The problem with DRM on "rental" content isn't so much that it goes away (that part is the same for a book I borrow). The problem is that the only way to actually *implement* DRM is to have your machine is now obeying the content owner rather than you. To me this is like renting a DVD and leaving the key to your house at the store so that the clerk can enter your home when it's time to get the DVD back. The problem isn't that the DVD's going away, it's letting someone sneak into your house.

Comment Re:There is no such thing as non-empirical science (Score 1) 364

What I was essentially pointing out is there there's no clear binary decision between testable and untestable. There's stuff that's very hard to test, stuff we may be able to test in 1000 years, stuff we don't know if we'll ever be able to test, ... And then when you have two theories that are "correct" wrt all the tests so far, then you have to use Occam's razor and pick the simplest. When you have hundreds of theory that all agree with experiments, then all the debate shifts to "Occam's razor-type arguments over which is most elegant/simplest". It's kinda unavoidable.

Comment Re:WHAT! (Score 1) 94

I googled "chinese cheating": got 22.6M results, top results are about exam cheating.
I also googled "americans cheating", got 14.8M results, top results are about marital cheating.

So, China, with 4.2 times the US population has 1.5 times more cheaters. I guess the irrefutable conclusion from your data is that Americans cheat 2.75 times more than the Chinese, right?

Comment Audio (Score 2) 227

Audio detection isn't nearly as broken as the article pretends. Sure if all you have is a single mic, then you have no hope. OTOH, with multiple mics, you can *localize* sounds, which means you don't need to recognize the sounds of a drone, just realize that there's some noise coming from something in the air where there shouldn't be anything. With a microphone array, you can actually pinpoint sound sources much weaker than ambient noise. It's certainly not trivial, but within the realm of what's realistic (assuming there aren't simpler solutions).

Comment Re:It's kinda cute (Score 1) 445

I do not know a single politician outside the US who would think that even remotely considering pushing an agenda as harebrained as creationism is anything but political suicide. ...well, except in Canada these days. A couple years ago, our minister of *science* was refusing to answer questions about whether he believed in evolution. More recently, Alberta also had a creationist minister of education.. So unfortunately, some of the madness has escaped North of the US.

Comment Re:Installation Issue - Try telling Comcast that! (Score 2) 120

Similar here. One day the connection went out and I called tech support. I told them it was probably related to the technician I had just seen in the neighborhood. They couldn't even track that there was a technician around, so they couldn't help at all. Eventually (with tech support on the phone), I just opened the door and yelled "are you the one that took down my connection?" to the technician outside and he shouted back "yes". Cause identified.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes