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Comment: Re:Libraries are one thing Amazon is not (Score 5, Insightful) 165

by mendax (#47666249) Attached to: Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

The fact that the public library is an actual place is important. Libraries are not just places to get information. They are sometimes positioned to be social centers of communities, places for those without Internet access to get that access, a quiet place to avoid the hustle and bustle of life, a place to meet friends, a place to hold a meeting, a place to do homework and study, and so on and so on. Libraries have long since been simply a place to get the latest novel or some old classic.

Comment: Re:Jungles, but I'm too scared (Score 1) 246

by mendax (#47658373) Attached to: I'd most like to (personally) explore:

In the UK there is pretty much nothing that can hurt you by way of flora and fawna (bee stings and bramble prickles aside).

I seem to recall running into (literally) some poison ivy (or something resembling it) in the remains of Sherwood Forest off the A1 (I think) on a visit to the UK many years ago. I didn't think it grew in the UK but my skin said otherwise. It's a bit worse than having to deal with bramble prickles.

Comment: Embargo emshmargo (Score 1) 254

It would be interesting if this "embargo" lasts any length of time. Given the importance of Java in today's IT world, it would be interesting if our colleagues in St. Petersburg would produce another clean-room implementation of Java. But it'll never happen. All trade embargoes are leaky. Consider, for example, Kim Jong-il, the North Korean un-leader, and the iMac on his desk. That certainly wasn't bought at the local Pyongyang Apple store

Comment: Re:Nobody kills Java (Score 1) 371

by mendax (#47632017) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

I think the problem is Oracle isn't innovating, isn't advancing the technology, some aspects of it are essentially dead, the Java Community Process is largely ignored ..

And Sun was innovating the Java platform? How long did it take them to implement closures and lambda expressions? When did Microsoft implement them in C#? Groovy, the scripting language that was intended to be a "groovier Java" had them from the beginning. I was at the Java One when Sun announced that they would be added in Java 7. Well, that didn't happen. Java 7 was simply lame.

Comment: Re:Amazing Technology (Score 1) 790

It knows it's evil stuff because it matches one of the MD5 tags. They don't have to look at it. I suspect that it's more of an automated process they have which spots these things and sends off info to the DOJ that then looks at it. Why do law enforcement's job more than is necessary?

Comment: Re:Amazing Technology (Score 1) 790

RTFA....

The Google rep said:

Since 2008, we’ve used 'hashing' technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. ...

We’re in the business of making information widely available, but there’s certain 'information' that should never be created or found. We can do a lot to ensure it’s not available online—and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted.

The U.S. Justice Department is almost certainly giving Google the MD5 tags of the images they have in their child pornography database and those of new images that are discovered by law enforcement, and Google is using them to identify such images in web pages they index and in the e-mails and report it to law enforcement. They do maintain one, you know.

Comment: Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (Score 3, Insightful) 140

The government is corrupt, morally bankrupt, and will do what those with the most money want them to do. As someone suggested above, if the EFF was the NRA of Internet it would be a different matter. But, in the end, since this really is an issue of two conflicting corporate interests, and one of these interests just happens to mirror that of the people.

Frankly, I think net neutrality will win out in the marketplace because of the things some companies, e.g., Google, are doing to let their users know that the ISP's are throttling them. The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance. Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

Comment: Re:Really now (Score 4, Insightful) 145

While reading this a thought occurred to me. Assuming that our African friends are ingenious in their use of this computing power and do a lot of good with it, in a few years perhaps more decommissioned government supercomputers, like the one that replaced Ranger which is 20 times faster, will head in their direction and bless other African universities. African universities are full of very clever, brilliant people who will make use of this gift, and likely do it in ways that will surprise us.

Comment: Re:Really now (Score 1) 145

Do those countries really have the resources to invest in that research?

When I came across this article I immediately called my dad, a person who has lived and taught in Africa and maintains an interest interest in the place. His thoughts were along the line of what projects do they have which demand supercomputing power. My response was, "If you build it, the demand will come." These computers are going to be placed in an academic environment, where brilliant people who have not had access to such computing power are now, all of a sudden, going to have it. The ideas will come forward quickly enough. Give our friends in Africa a few years and they may surprise us with their ingenuity.

Comment: Not dark enough (Score 1) 238

by mendax (#47445099) Attached to: Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

My evil black cat is far darker than that. She is a sink of evil, absorbing all light in a room. If she were much blacker I'd suspect I'd have a tame black hole living with me before, jumping up onto my bed, waking me up to be petted, and then proceeding to try to bite me. Things just don't get blacker than that!

Comment: Re:This post is an advert (Score 3, Informative) 231

by mendax (#47413407) Attached to: Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

I don't know what you're doing. I tried several times without success. soylentnews.com was always replaced with slashdot.org.

D'oh! I'm an idiot. It helps if the href contains an "http://" as part of the URL. Ok. No more conspiracy theories now, at least not on this issue.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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