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Comment: "Up to the minute" but seemingly less accurate (Score 1) 397

by planetoid (#37954206) Attached to: Google Tweaks Algorithm As Concern Over Bing Grows
The + operator used to be reliable on Google, including ONLY pages that HAD THE TWO OR THREE GODDAMN WORDS I'M LOOKING FOR.

Now, it seems to ignore the + operator, and just gives me "here's a page with this word, here's a page with that word, here's a page that only had two out of the five words you wanted".

Shitty, Google.

Comment: Re:fucking. win. (Score 2) 138

by planetoid (#37185728) Attached to: <em>Deus Ex: Human Revolution</em> Released
As a left-handed-mouser I'm disappointed the engine can't tell the difference between up/down/left/right/insert/delete/pgup/pgdn on the arrow-columns of my keyboard vs. the equivalents on the numpad. So I can't map everything onto those keys for actions as I do in Source games, thus I have to take my hand off the mouse to do certain functions. But I play in the dark, so I don't always hit the correct key when I do that.

I hope Eidos patches this.
Open Source

Do Build Environments Give Companies an End Run Around the GPL? 374

Posted by timothy
from the technical-compliance dept.
Malvineous writes "I have two devices, from two different companies (who shall remain nameless, but both are very large and well-known) which run Linux-based firmware. The companies release all their source code to comply with the GPL, but neither includes a build environment or firmware utilities with the code. This means that if you want to alter the free software on the device, you can't — there is no way to build a firmware image or install it on the devices in question, effectively rendering the source code useless. I have approached the companies directly and while one of them acknowledges that it is not fully GPL-compliant, due to other license restrictions it cannot make the build environment public, and the company does not have the resources to rewrite it. I have approached the FSF but its limited resources are tied up pursuing more blatant violations (where no code at all is being released.) Meanwhile I am stuck with two devices that only work with Internet Explorer, and although I have the skills to rewrite each web interface, I have no way of getting my code running on the devices themselves. Have these companies found a convenient way to use GPL code, whilst preventing their customers from doing the same?"
Government

Can We Legislate Past the H.264 Debate? 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the presuming-a-lot-about-our-legislators dept.
Midnight Warrior writes "We could solve the H.264 debate if a country's legislature were to mandate that any patents that contribute to an industry-recognized standard were unenforceable in the application of that standard. Ideally, each standard would also be required to have a 'reference design' that could be used without further licensing. This could also solve problems with a ton of other deeply entrenched areas like hard drives, DRAM, etc. RAND tries to solve this strictly within industry, but both the presence of submarine patents and the low bar required to obtain a patent have made an obvious mess. Individual companies also use patent portfolios to set up mutually assured destruction. I'm not convinced that industry can solve this mess that government created. But I'm not stupid; this clearly has a broad ripple effect. Are there non-computer industries where this would be fatal? What if the patents were unenforceable only if the standard had a trademark and the implementer was compliant at the time of 'infringement'? Then, the patents could still be indirectly licensed, but it would force strict adherence to standards and would require the patent holders to fund the trademark group to defend it to the end. In the US model, of course."
Medicine

Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs 561

Posted by kdawson
from the correlation-is-not-causation dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports on a study that has determined that young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their non-smoking peers. In the study, conducted with 20,000 Israeli Army recruits and veterans, the average IQ for a non-smoker was about 101, while the smokers' average was more than seven IQ points lower at about 94, and the IQs of young men who smoked more than a pack a day were lower still, at about 90. (These IQs all fall within the normal range.) 'In the health profession, we've generally thought that smokers are most likely the kind of people to have grown up in difficult neighborhoods, or who've been given less education at good schools,' says Prof. Mark Weiser of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychiatry, whose study was reported in a recent version of the journal Addiction. 'Because our study included subjects with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, we've been able to rule out socio-economics as a major factor. The government might want to rethink how it allocates its educational resources on smoking.' Prof. Weiser says that the study illuminates a general trend in epidemiological studies. 'People on the lower end of the average IQ tend to display poorer overall decision-making skills when it comes to their health,' says Weiser. 'Schoolchildren who have been found to have a lower IQ can be considered at risk to begin the habit, and can be targeted with special education and therapy to prevent them from starting or to break the habit after it sets in.'"
Math

Help Me Get My Math Back? 467

Posted by kdawson
from the we-can-forget-it-for-you-wholesale dept.
nwm writes "I am trying to refresh my math skills back to the point that I can take college-level statistics and calculus courses. I took everything through AP calculus in high school, had my butt kicked by college calculus, and dropped out shortly thereafter. Twenty+ years later, I need to take a few math courses to wrap up a degree. I've dug around some and found a few sites with useful information, but I'm hoping the Slashdot crowd can offer some good resources — sites, books, programs, online tutors, etc. I really don't want to have to take a series of algebra-geometry-trig 'pre-college' level courses (each at full cost and each a semester long) just to warm my brain up; I'd much rather find some resources, review, cram, and take the placement test with some confidence. Any suggestions?"

Comment: Actually (Score 1) 57

by planetoid (#31174172) Attached to: Blender 3D Incredible Machines
This article's title, the mentioning of the book's name... just gave me an idea... finally an idea...

I wonder... I bet it's possible... to make a Rube Goldberg machine in Blender and literally let its physics handle all the stuff that should be handled by physics in such a device. Holy crap, I finally have an idea of something interesting to keep myself occupied, instead of sitting at the Blender menus with nothing but blank noise in my brain for the "What should I make?" department.

Comment: Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (Score 1) 189

by planetoid (#30318622) Attached to: Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video
If that were true, they couldn't release it on the VC in Japan, either -- which they did. The Beatles' creations aren't copyrighted and trademarked in only the US and Europe, after all. It's one of Nintendo's bullshit excuses, much like their reason for not including Peach as a playable character in NSMB Wii ("the hardware isn't powerful enough to render her dress").

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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