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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.

Comment Public domain? (Score 2, Interesting) 309

Does anyone know if *any* work has become public domain in the last few years in US and Canada? From what I see it just sounds like anything that's was copyrighted will now forever be copyrighted as copyright gets extended by X years every X years (with X=20 here).

Comment Re:Then ID would be required (Score 1) 1089

Having lived in Australia for a few years (though not a citizen), I have to say I wish we had that voting system back in Canada (both compulsory voting and preferential voting). What most surprised me in the elections that were held when I was there was that the day before the vote, the candidates would still be campaigning "normally" rather than just trying to convince people to actually get out and vote like they have to do in Canada (and I assume the US too). I also don't recall hearing "A vote for [3rd party] X is a vote for Y [because it divides the vote]", which is also a good thing. Of course, it didn't prevent you guys from electing Howard, but I guess nothing's perfect :-)

In a five year period we can get one superb programming language. Only we can't control when the five year period will begin.