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Comment Re:The coping mechanism is to fix the room (Score 1) 95

Parabolic mics pointed at the participants?

Neither parabolic nor super-cardioid mics would work very well in an echoey room. The sound reflections from the walls would still get picked up pretty well.

Wireless body mics?

Expensive. You'd not only need a bunch of wireless mics but also a mixer to channel them all through at the same volume ratios to the person/people at the other end. Personally, I like the "talking-stick" mic idea. It'd be a great way to manage the dynamics of turn-taking in conversations that some people seem to have difficulty with.

Comment And Google's epistemological basis is? (Score 3, Interesting) 375

I wonder what the Google staff's and consultants' philosophy of epistemology is. What do they mean when they say fact? What assumptions underly that definition? Are they naive positivists or social constructivists? Ultimately, it requires people to decide what constitutes truth, fact, and knowledge - machines are nowhere near being able to do that and perhaps never will. Do they expect to automate this ranking system with an algorithm? I can't wait to see it trip up over criteria-matching random string generators that regurgitate scraped "facts" off the web (by simply following Google's own "fact" ranking results) to push their porn, malware, and sales/scam/phishing sites up to the top of Google's page rankings.

This post was brought to you by Carls Junior, makers of Brawndo, the thirst mutilator. It's got electrolytes.

Comment Re:What presure? (Score 4, Informative) 136

What they meant was that use end-to-end encryption and users hold the keys, not Mega. It's impossible for any government to put a gag order on Mega and then force them to hand over the keys, because they haven't got them to hand over. Like Silent CIrcle and LavaBit before, if a service provider offers real privacy and security, the govt. do whatever they must to compromise it or shut it down. Once you understand this, you understand that Google, Apple Inc., etc.'s talk about encrypting stuff and protecting their users' privacy is ineffectual hot air.

The five eyes; USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and Australia; believe we have no right to privacy. And if they can get at our online accounts, so can hackers and criminals.

Comment Re:Don't dismiss RMS (Score 1) 248

This is the usual argument against taking steps in more positive directions; "Because it is insufficient, it is pointless." It implies dichotomous, binary states of win or lose, good or evil, us or them. The real world is never so simple and such dichotomies are merely constructed arguments to frame and force decision making in a particular direction. If someone ever offers you an A or B choice, ask them why they've narrowly and manipulatively framed a complex situation in that way. We need FOSS, we need transparency of people in positions of influence and power, we need privacy for the rest of us, we need democratically organised and controlled regulation.

Comment Re:Bring on the lausuits (Score 4, Insightful) 599

Dave Steer of the Mozilla Foundation said, "We've been outspent, outlobbied. We were going up against the second-biggest corporate lobby in D.C., and it looks like we've won."

Mmm... why are the only asking the "little guys" for statements in support of net neutrality. The whole fiasco has been a power struggle between two groups of corporate giants from the start. Those who profit from providing the infrastructure (telecoms) and those who profit from using the infrastructure (content providers). The winners here are Google, Microsoft, Apple Inc., Netflix, etc. and now they don't have to pay even more of their share of the profits to the telecoms monopolies. The US public just happen, by sheer coincidence, to be on the winning side.

Comment Google and censorship... (Score 3, Insightful) 285

Google's usual spin to try to sound equitable and egalitarian. They're anything but. Remember the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill? Remember when Google took payments from BP to redirect search queries to results that pointed to pro BP (PR agency) websites and religated real journalism and articles about public concern to the back pages of search results that rarely, if ever get seen? Isn't that efectively censorship that's against the public interest?

Comment Industrial scale use right at home (Score 1) 224

Erm... aren't we using the world's most popular chemical weapon on a massive industrial scale right in our own countries against our own populations? Yes, tear gas is a chemical weapon. It's the 1%'s chemical weapon of choice these days. We're not even allowed to calmly and peacefully protest our oppression.

Comment Re:Fixed that... (Score 1) 44

Yes, don't like how they slipped "whistleblowers" who take great personal risk to do the right thing and bring important issues to the public's attention purely as a civic responsibility and for no personal profit whatsoever (I guess they can sell their story when it's all over though). Despite the Whitehouse's claims to the contrary, whistleblowers aren't criminals, deviants, seditionists, terrorists, or perverted sex fiends.

Comment Don't dismiss RMS (Score 4, Insightful) 248

Richard Stallman is spot on regarding free and open source software (FOSS). He warns us about how proprietary, closed source software can be abused and that our dependency on it is a danger to civil society. In case you didn't see it the first time round: Only an idiot would dismiss the concerns he raises.

Comment Re: Nothing is possible. (Score 1) 249

It has been proven over and over that the only people who always behave according to game theory are economists and sociopaths.

Yes indeed! What's more, economists and psychopaths (sociopath isn't a recognised term in psychology) require the cooperative aspects of the rest of the population in order to take advantage of them. All mamals, from birth, by definition are cooperative and altruistic in nature. Otherwise young wouldn't get nutured, fed, and protected. Anyone recall Maslow's hierchy of needs?

I do with these idiotic game theorists would refine their claim that their hypotheses describe only competitive and/or psychopathic behaviour.

Comment Re:Or how about no jobs? (Score 1) 307

I think IT is unlikely to change the consumerit nature of our economies. After all, it's their bread and butter. Perhaps they'll destroy themselves by making so many people unemployed that there's no longer sufficient demand for their services since nobody would be able to buy their advertising clients' stuff. People would give up wasting time on the internet and paying connections fees to telecoms giants while trying to find ways to feed, shelter, and clothe themselves and their families. Mass-market, advertising and consumer service-based IT could evaporate quite easily.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist