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China

Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing 1

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-your-words dept.
HughPickens.com writes Abby Phillip reports at the Washington Post that that Mark Zuckerberg just posted a 30-minute Q&A at Tsinghua University in Beijing in which he answered every question exclusively in Chinese — a notoriously difficult language to learn and particularly, to speak. "It isn't just Zuckerberg's linguistic acrobatics that make this a notable moment," writes Philip. "This small gesture — although some would argue that it is a huge moment — is perhaps his strongest foray into the battle for hearts and minds in China." Zuckerberg and Facebook have been aggressively courting Chinese users for years and the potential financial upside for the business. Although Beijing has mostly banned Facebook, the company signed a contract for its first ever office in China earlier this year. A Westerner speaking Mandarin in China — at any level — tends to elicit joy from average Chinese, who seem to appreciate the effort and respect they feel learning Mandarin demonstrates. So how well did he actually do? One Mandarin speaker rates Zuckerberg's language skills at a seventh grader's speech: "It's hard not see a patronizing note in the Chinese audience's reaction to Zuckerberg's Mandarin. To borrow from Samuel Johnson's quip, he was like a dog walking on its hind legs: It wasn't done well, but it was a surprise to see it done at all."

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 10

by pudge (#48215759) Attached to: Way to go, Republican loser

You really think that people who "donate" to political campaigns don't expect a return on their investments?

I didn't mention donating to campaigns, unless you're referring to collective bargaining leading to politicians giving handouts to employees in exchange for donations and votes ... which is obviously true, which is one of many reasons I say Democrats are more anti-capitalist.

But I don't think you're talking about that, so I don't have any idea what you think I said here, but it seems to me that I didn't say it.

Scott Walker is taking money just like all the others

Yes, he accepts donations, like all politicians do.

... and lot of it from a somewhat famous Las Vegas casino owner. What's up with that?

What's wrong with that? This isn't an argument, it's just an attempt to imply something negative, without actually saying anything that is actually negative.

So funny that you think one group of gluttons is different from another.

I gave specific examples. Do you have any counterexamples? If not, then you're not actually making an argument here, either.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 10

by pudge (#48215707) Attached to: Way to go, Republican loser

Further, the Republicans' policies are generally much more pro-capitalist (against raising the minimum wage, against collective bargaining with govt employees, and so on).

You have fallen for the Republican trick.

False.

Under capitalism, there would not be any minimum wage, and government employees wouldn't even exist because there would be no such thing as public property or public services that require public employees.

You're correct on the first point, and incorrect on the second point. There would be far fewer government employees, but no, they would still exist.

But I didn't say these are the correct capitalist positions. I said they are "much more pro-capitalist" than the Democrats. Clearly, if there should be no minimum wage under capitalism -- which I agree is clearly true -- then being against its increase is more pro-capitalist than being in favor of its increase. Further, the one person I mentioned -- Scott Walker -- said just recently that he thinks the minimum wage serves no purpose.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 10

by pudge (#48213933) Attached to: Way to go, Republican loser

The GOP isn't any more pro capitalist than the Dems. They just like a different set of cronies.

Yes, the GOP -- as a whole -- does pay off its cronies. But there are a significant number of prominent Republicans in office who oppose these practices (e.g., Scott Walker). There is not a significant number of Dems who oppose these practices. Further, the Republicans' policies are generally much more pro-capitalist (against raising the minimum wage, against collective bargaining with govt employees, and so on).

So ... no, the GOP is significantly more pro-capitalist than the Dems. Very clearly and easily. They are not, however, as pro-capitalist as I am, or Scott Walker is, etc.

The Internet

The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll 454

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticks-and-stones dept.
HughPickens.com writes James Swearingen writes at The Atlantic that the Internet can be a mean, hateful, and frightening place — especially for young women but human behavior and the limits placed on it by both law and society can change. In a Pew Research Center survey of 2,849 Internet users, one out of every four women between 18 years old and 24 years old reports having been stalked or sexually harassed online. "Like banner ads and spam bots, online harassment is still routinely treated as part of the landscape of being online," writes Swearingen adding that "we are in the early days of online harassment being taken as a serious problem, and not simply a quirk of online life." Law professor Danielle Citron draws a parallel between how sexual harassment was treated in the workplace decades ago and our current standard. "Think about in the 1960s and 1970s, what we said to women in the workplace," says Citron. "'This is just flirting.' That a sexually hostile environment was just a perk for men to enjoy, it's just what the environment is like. If you don't like it, leave and get a new job." It took years of activism, court cases, and Title VII protection to change that. "Here we are today, and sexual harassment in the workplace is not normal," said Citron. "Our norms and how we understand it are different now."

According to Swearingen, the likely solution to internet trolls will be a combination of things. The expansion of laws like the one currently on the books in California, which expands what constitutes online harassment, could help put the pressure on harassers. The upcoming Supreme Court case, Elonis v. The United States, looks to test the limits of free speech versus threatening comments on Facebook. "Can a combination of legal action, market pressure, and societal taboo work together to curb harassment?" asks Swearingen. "Too many people do too much online for things to stay the way they are."
AI

Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
First time accepted submitter agent elevator writes In a wide-ranging interview at IEEE Spectrum, Michael I. Jordan skewers a bunch of sacred cows, basically saying that: The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges. Hardware designers creating chips based on the human brain are engaged in a faith-based undertaking likely to prove a fool's errand; and despite recent claims to the contrary, we are no further along with computer vision than we were with physics when Isaac Newton sat under his apple tree.
United Kingdom

U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines 156

Posted by samzenpus
from the me-and-more-me dept.
Lucas123 writes Walmart-owned ASDA supermarkets in the U.K. are beta testing 3D full-body scanning booths that allow patrons to buy 6-in to 9-in high "selfie" figurines. Artec Group, a maker of 3D scanners and software, said its Shapify Booth, which can scan your entire body in 12 seconds and use the resulting file to create a full-color 3D printed model, is making its U.S. debut this week. The 3D Shapify booths are equipped with four wide view, high-resolution scanners, which rotate around the person to scan every angle. Artec claims the high-powered scan and precision printing is able to capture even the smallest details, down to the wrinkles on clothes. The scanning process generates 700 captured surfaces, which are automatically stitched together to produce an electronic file ready for 3D printing. Artec offers to print the figurines for booth operators (retailers) for $50 for a 6-in model, $70 for a 7.5-in model, and $100 for a 9-in figurine.
Microsoft

New Microsoft Garage Site Invites Public To Test a Wide Range of App Ideas 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-it-a-spin dept.
An anonymous reader writes Microsoft today launched a new section on its website: The Microsoft Garage is designed to give the public early access to various projects the company is testing right now. The team is kicking off with a total of 16 free consumer-facing apps, spanning Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, and even the Xbox One. Microsoft Garage is still going to be everything it has been so far, but Microsoft has simply decided it's time for the public to get involved too: You can now test the wild projects the company's employees dream up.
The Internet

Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide? 276

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-and-have-nots dept.
First time accepted submitter dkatana writes Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream. This is creating another "digital divide." Not having the virtually unlimited bandwidth of all-fiber networks means that, for these populations, many activities are simply not possible. For example, broadband provided over all-fiber networks brings education, healthcare, and other social goods into the home through immersive, innovative applications and services that are impossible without it. Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber.
Space

Two Exocomet Families Found Around Baby Star System 22

Posted by samzenpus
from the across-the-universe dept.
astroengine writes Scientists have found two families of comets in the developing Beta Pictoris star system, located about 64 million light-years from Earth, including one group that appears to be remnants of a smashed-up protoplanet. The discovery bolsters our theoretical understanding of the violent processes that led to the formation of Earth and the other terrestrial planets in the solar system. "If you look back at the solar system when it was only 22 million years old, you might have seen phenomena that's a like more like what's happening in Beta Pic," astrophysicist Aki Roberge, with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., told Discovery News.
Google

Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles? 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the flop-or-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes The better question may be whether it will ever be ready for the road at all? The car has fewer capabilities than most people seem to be aware of. The notion that it will be widely available any time soon is a stretch. From the article: "Noting that the Google car might not be able to handle an unmapped traffic light might sound like a cynical game of 'gotcha.' But MIT roboticist John Leonard says it goes to the heart of why the Google car project is so daunting. 'While the probability of a single driver encountering a newly installed traffic light is very low, the probability of at least one driver encountering one on a given day is very high,' Leonard says. The list of these 'rare' events is practically endless, said Leonard, who does not expect a full self-driving car in his lifetime (he’s 49)."
Government

Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales 238

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-in-my-town dept.
An anonymous reader writes As many expected, Michigan Governor Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that bans Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to buyers online in the state. When asked what Tesla's next step will be, Diarmuid O'Connell, vice president of business development, said it was unclear if the company would file a lawsuit. "We do take at their word the representations from the governor that he supports a robust debate in the upcoming session," O'Connell said. "We've entered an era where you can buy products and services with much greater value than a car by going online."

+ - Michigan latest state to ban direct Tesla sales

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As many expected, Michigan Governor Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that bans Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to buyers online in the state. When asked what Tesla's next step will be, Diarmuid O'Connell, vice president of business development, said it was unclear if the company would file a lawsuit. "We do take at their word the representations from the governor that he supports a robust debate in the upcoming session," O'Connell said. "We've entered an era where you can buy products and services with much greater value than a car by going online.""

Comment: Re:Um... okay...? (Score 1) 44

by Roblimo (#48199847) Attached to: The Bogus Batoid Submarine is Wooden, not Yellow (Video)

i kan(t) read:

You know very well that Tim hits various events and videotapes whomever or whatever he considers interesting. If we were paid for running "video ads," each one would be clearly marked "ad" or "sponsored content."

Should we interview you? Know someone else we should interview? Email me with contact info. Maybe we will.

Build

The Bogus Batoid Submarine is Wooden, not Yellow (Video) 44

Posted by Roblimo
from the some-people-build-ornithopters-and-some-build-machines-that-flap-their-wings-underwater dept.
This is a "wet" submarine. It doesn't try to keep water out. You wear SCUBA gear while pedaling it. And yes, it is powered by a person pushing pedals. That motion, through a drive train, makes manta-style wings flap. This explains the name, since rays are Batoids, and this sub is a fake Batoid, not a real one. It's a beautiful piece of work, and Martin Plazyk is obviously proud to show it off. He and his father, Bruce, operate as Faux Fish Technologies. Follow that link and you'll see many photos, along with a nice selection of videos showing their creations not just in static above-water displays, but in their natural (underwater) element. Meanwhile, here on Slashdot, Martin tells how Faux Fish subs are made. (Alternate Video Link)

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