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DRM

An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-that's-what-the-world-needed dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Jorge Lopez had always wanted an automatic cat litter box, and finally found one called the CatGenie, a fully automated self-washing litter box connected to water, electricity and the sewer that cleans itself with water and soap. "It's the Rolls Royce of cat litter boxes, a hefty device that scoops, cleans, and disposes of the waste all on it's own. It's completely automated, even senses when a cat poops and cleans up afterwards." But there's trouble in paradise. "Life with the CatGenie was great, but not quite perfect," writes Lopez, after discovering that CatGenie uses a smart cartridge that is only available from the manufacturer. "I found that the "Smart" in SmartCartridge is that it has an RFID chip inside of it to keep track of how much solution it has, and once it runs out, well, you can't refill. I honestly did not believe this and tore one of the cartridges apart, and there it was, looking back at me, a tiny chip holding up it's little metal finger." Fortunately there are some amazing people helping the CatGenie community who have released products like the custom firmware CatGenious and CartridgeGenius, which allows you to use whatever solution you want. "The cost savings is great, but isn't the biggest driver for me, it's mainly the principle that I don't own the device I paid for, and I'm really tired of having cat litter everything in my home."

Comment: Re:Information density (Score 1) 150

by Grishnakh (#48649587) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Here's some more handy links about this research:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/re...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_...

Unfortunately, Latin was not one of the languages they investigated in this research, but I do find it very interesting how Latin, which is one of Spanish's parent languages, is far, far more efficient (in dI/dS terms) than Spanish is, and in fact is probably more efficient and complex than any of its derivatives.

Comment: Re: Sorry, not corporate enough. (Score 3, Informative) 69

You're probably unaware that the GP specifically used 'HSBC' because they were caught laundering trillions of dollars of drug money and nobody was indicted.

He probably isn't unaware of that. He may well have actually read the indictment itself or a detailed summary of it, which made clear that the US case was very weak to the point of hardly working at all. In particular, not only did they fail to clearly establish that drug money was really moving (their case was "there is so much cash, some of it must be from cartels") but in particular they failed to show intent by HSBC execs to help drug cartels. Actually their case boiled down to HSBC didn't try hard enough, they weren't suspicious enough, etc. (I'm ignoring the Iranian transactions here which gets into issues of international jurisdiction, as you only brought up drugs).

The reason you think the are guilty is twofold. Firstly US anti money laundering laws are unbelievably extreme. The PATRIOT Act removed the need to have intent to be found guilty of money laundering. Bankers can now be found guilty of AML violations even if they genuinely tried hard and had no intent to break the law. Hence the accusations from the DoJ that were of the form "HSBC should have designated Mexico as high risk", etc. Secondly as part of the plea agreement HSBC had to act guilty and accept whatever the DoJ said about them. So you only heard one side of the story, the prosecutions side (except there was no court case). No surprises that you think the whole thing is cut and dried.

It's no crime to be ignorant of such things, but just try not to hold any policy positions on the subject.

Given that there was never any court case and HSBC was never able to defend themselves, pretty much everyone is ignorant in this case because we never heard the full story. But I'm pretty sure if DoJ had emails from HSBC execs that looked like the ones from BitInstant there would indeed have been prosecutions.

Comment: Re:Information density (Score 1) 150

by Grishnakh (#48645143) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Everything I've ever seen in both English and Spanish looked about 1.5-2 times longer in the Spanish version.

Don't take my word for it; some linguistic researchers actually looked into this, which you can read about here.

Here's an excerpt:

For all of the other languages, the researchers discovered, the more data-dense the average syllable was, the fewer of those syllables had to be spoken per second — and thus the slower the speech. English, with a high information density of .91, was spoken at an average rate of 6.19 syllables per second. Mandarin, which topped the density list at .94, was the spoken slowpoke at 5.18 syllables per second. Spanish, with a low-density .63, ripped along at a syllable-per-second velocity of 7.82. The true speed demon of the group, however, was Japanese, which edged past Spanish at 7.84, thanks to its low density of .49. Despite those differences, at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 0) 396

by Grishnakh (#48644603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

but I'm guessing a lot of it is from open source fanboys that love to hate Microsoft and have never taken time to use the recent (last 3-5 years) iterations of it's products.

All you have to do is try out Windows 8/Metro to renew any hatred for MS products that may have subsided.

Comment: Re:people still watch that crap? (Score 3, Interesting) 105

by Grishnakh (#48643693) Attached to: Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

Enterprise was actually surprisingly good, with a few exceptions; I only watched it a few months ago, since I had turned my nose up at it when it was new. It did start out a big rough and had a little too much gratuitous sexuality at first, but when it settled down it was pretty good. The main problems with Enterprise are: 1) the opening theme music. It's absolutely horrible. I don't know WTF they were thinking with that whiny emo crap. But there's an exception here: the two mirror-universe episodes in Season 4 had excellent music and intro scenes of humans blasting everything and conquering. And 2) the whole Xindi attack plot arc in Season 3 was too much. It was an obvious parallel to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and just didn't go over that well.

I also didn't bother with the second Abrams movie; the first one was too much of a disappointment.

Google

Google Sues Mississippi Attorney General For Conspiring With Movie Industry 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the getting-googled dept.
ideonexus writes: Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has called for a "time out" in his perpetual fight with Google in response to the company filing a lawsuit against him for conspiring with the movie industry to persecute the search giant. Leaked Sony Pictures Entertainment emails and documents obtained under FOIA requests this week have exposed how the Motion Picture Association of America was colluding with and lobbying state prosecutors to go after Google, even going so far as to "assigned a team of lawyers to prepare draft subpoenas and legal briefs for the attorneys general" to make it easier for them to persecute the company. Here's the full complaint (PDF).

Comment: Terciles (Score 1) 215

by tverbeek (#48633445) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

It's a simple matter of terciles and life expectancies. Average life expectancy in the post-industrial world is about 80 years. Dividing that into three equal categories, you get (roughly) 0-26 = young age, 27-53 = middle age, 54-80 = old age. Of course with increases in life expectancy (and to make the math easier), you could use 30-59 as the middle group, and save a bunch of late-20s people the anxiety of already being "middle-aged", but it's still a bit silly how that term has become (in some people's minds) a euphemism for "old".

(And for the record, I'm 49: very accustomed to being "middle-aged".)

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson

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