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Comment: First Link in Article Bullshit (Score 1) 206

What's with the first link? BS? The second link is about DEA. We all know DEA is chasing marijuana crime because the legislative branch needs to pass better pot sale laws. Do I think the DEA is tracking my political opinions? No. Could they with this software? Yeah. But let's fix the marijuana laws before we freak out and tell the government to stop tracking "crime".

Comment: Track Yourself on Android Here (Score 3, Informative) 74

Here is a website where you can see how your android phone tracks your movement. You have to be logged in, which means it's about as private as a gmail account, however private that is. Tracked me in Europe last month, where I only used the wifi and GPS (but drew point-to-point crow flies lines, as compared to USA highway lines) https://maps.google.com/locati...

+ - Burger King Announces Possible Move to Canada, Eh?-> 1

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "The announced merger discussions of Burger King and Canadian Burger-Coffee Chain Tim Hortons sets the stage for an "inverse acquisition", where the smaller company winds up the HQ. This tactic has long been used in domestic markets (waste giants BFI and Waste Management both had inverse mergers with smaller waste hauling firms more than a decade ago). http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03...

The spin on the Burger King — Tim Horton's deal is that it would allow Burger King itself to move to Canada, where corporate taxes are lower. Similar "big pharma" deals are cited in the WSJ coverage of the BK-TH deal. WSJ notes that since 2010, Burger King has been owned by a Brazilian company, 3G Capital Management, which took BK stock private, and purchased Heinz (the ketchup chain) and Anheiser Busch... so making an example out of Burger King could put Obama (who has publicly professed a willingness to "take action" on inverse mergers and expatriation) could take the USA out of the frying pan and into the flame broiler. WSJ http://online.wsj.com/articles..."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Grandfather Clauses vs Hostage Negotiations (Score 4, Insightful) 272

by retroworks (#47746495) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

I have a non-profit association which uploaded dozens of videos of repair geeks in several countries on Viddler.com, a "free" video storage back in 2007, 2008. Viddler, like Youtube and Vimeo, was in the video storage space, and had trouble making any money vs. Youtube. First thing they had to do was to drop "source files" in 2010, when all the original quality was lost to make space. Then last April they gave members about a month to either pay up monthly or lose all their videos.

This was really disturbing and it's my main concern about dropbox. If they suddenly change the price, and we have years of space stored, how realistic is it to download? Viddler did not offer any mass-download, we had to do it file by file. They cut us a break in the end but it would have been very appreciated if the EULA agreements allowed for something other than retroactive storage negotiations. At this point we choose where to put files not just based on monthly price, but the future monthly price and the ease of moving out. The latter is the most important, I'd never put material on the cloud again which took 2 minutes per file to get back off.

Comment: Re:End state and private capitalism. (Score 1) 331

by retroworks (#47688227) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?
And we reduce resource consumption as well for the sake of achievement? Keep in mind that cost savings have driven most of the conservation as well as most of the extraction of earth resources. Risking capital investment for the sake of achievement isn't something many would buy into.

Comment: Re:To be fair... (Score 0) 160

by retroworks (#47669445) Attached to: Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body
Thanks, and thanks tandis, anubus iv, and exomundo. Slashdot editors can't really be blamed for letting this slide through, as it was reported as such even if the reporter was a UF grad or something. Shows the worst and best of the internet. Worst is someone composes a tweet or thought or joke or stereotype and it's reported as "news" EVERYWHERE. Best is that fellow nerds on /. are essentially acting as background checkers and via internet have the tools to out the hyperbole quickly.

Comment: Re:Politically Correct Science (Score 1) 541

by retroworks (#47649399) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

"There is a wide consensus that the racial categories that are common in everyday usage are socially constructed, and that racial groups cannot be biologically defined" - wikipedia

There's simply no scientific basis or definition of "race" as Nicolas Wade uses the term. People in the bookstore will presume he's talking about melanin. Three hundred years ago Spaniards were considered a different "race" than Anglo Saxons or Greeks. To suggest that the "learning gene" is somehow incompatible or cannot be passed on in combination with a certain skin color / melanin gene seems obnoxious if that's not what the data show. Most "races" as defined by book-buying public are hetero-genetic, it may indeed seem to some either reckless or cynical of Wade to work "melanin and intelligence" into the book title. If I inherit dark melanin from my father and intelligence from my mother, I'd be more than just "politically correct" to be pissed off at Wade for implying that my dad's skin color negates mom's smarts.

It is controversial enough that tendency for intelligence can be inherited. The fact that skin color can also be inherited is true. Height can also be inherited, and hairlines. To insinuate, through the title of the book, that "race" is more correlated than height/hairline may be true (or not, I don't know), but if it's not determinative of intelligence, it doesn't belong it the title. Some people objecting may indeed object out of so-called "political correctness", but unless the skin color gene is somehow genetically incompatible with intelligence, it's just creating a non-useful stereotype.

Since there is no link to the letter of objection, those /.ers whining about "political correctness" are merely guessing at the motive of behind the letter of objection. My personal guess is, "don't take years of our scientific data and pick two traits - melanin and learning - and imply that those two traits, out of thousands of other traits, are tied together in some way just to promote your book sales."

+ - Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons ->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Meat is in 2nd Link (Score 1) 82

by retroworks (#47496503) Attached to: High School Students Not Waiting For Schools To Go Online

The blog about the second link (2013 in particular http://www.heri.ucla.edu/brief...) doesn't really add much value.

The UCLA report, however, is pretty interesting. Many of the application strategies described were the same my daughter (entering college in September) and wife and I adapted. We told her that the mortgage crisis of 2008 was triggered by a bunch of adults who were told at 17-18 that signing student debt notes for university was rational and wise, and that it so confused people that it's no surprise they never saved to buy cars or houses and brought the whole economy down. We figured that more and more applicants were coming from overseas, which is a good thing as otherwise the middle tier colleges in the USA will collapse. Like the averages in the report, we told her to apply to many more colleges, as the cost of the application (about $100 per college) was probably less than the standard deviation between financial aid offers from the 1/4-1/3 of institutions she'd get admitted to.

If you are going to apply to college, or have kids headed that way, the report is definitely worth reading. We managed to find a way to get the full cost down to about $15K including room and board. All the things people were told to consider in choosing a college 20-30 years ago don't matter. You can choose based on selectivity, class size, strength of degree programs, etc. but aside from geography the only thing you will remember is people - roomates, classmates, bandmates, workmates, and professors - and there's no way to analyze that in advance, so just take the deal you can afford.

Comment: Tinkerer's Blessing vs. Resource Curse (Score 2) 145

The "curse of natural resources", also known as the paradox of plenty, refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. The skills to succeed are in government control of billion dollar resource control contracts, and being related to people with sharp elbows.

By contrast, nations which have succeeded despite having few natural resources - Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. - usually develop from import for repair and refurbishment. Fixer economies reward problem solving skills and education. "Good enough" tech. I like Hartree's phrase "like locking the toolbox until the car is fixed" (mod him up please)

"Every man is, no doubt, by nature, first and principally recommended to his own care; and as he is fitter to take care of himself than of any other person, it is fit and right that it should be so." - Adam Smith

Comment: Bigger blackness (Score 1) 238

I moderated /. (emitted my energy). But the world is not more enlightened, because I was counter-moderated (anti-doesn't-matter). We may need this device/material to more accurately graph our lack of enlightenment, given the energy (carbon) submitted. Already available, BTW, on /. beta.

Comment: "It's just matter of time, money, and effort." (Score 5, Interesting) 91

It's well established that plenty of consumers discard or donate hard disks without taking any precautions, and are playing roulette with their identity. It's also well established that hundreds of millions of tons of this equipment is replaced, resold, stolen or discarded, and most people who wind up with the secondary device lack either the time, money, or effort to scavenge data off the phone. If in fact someone is in the identity theft business by buying phones on ebay, they'd profile themselves pretty well after a dozen phone purchases (what do these data-theft-victims have in common?). And who knows how many phones they'd have to buy which had been wiped in some way (and required more time, money and effort)?

This isn't a bad article in that it birddogs simple things you can do before selling your used phone, and if it elevates the perception of risk in order to get people to do something easy, that's appropriate. But in response to people who are shooting and burning their devices to be "100% sure" that no one spends the time, money and effort to follow them... that's appropriate if you are a high risk target. If you have stuff on your phone of interest to the FBI or KGB, the amount of time+money+effort may be less than or = the amount of risk. Your call.

But there is a lot of hyperbole out there about the percentage of identity theft which is traced to secondary market devices, and the billions of dollars in secondary market sales on sites like ebay represent time+money+effort interest in new product makers to spend fanning flames. Again it's appropriate that the article raises concerns and then points to simple efforts a consumer can take to increase the barrier-to-entry to their personal data. But the army of ebay buyers getting their porn fixes by buying and then de-encrypting cell phones to retrieve ugly selfies seems exaggerated. Warn people about sharks if they are swimming in shark infested waters, don't tell people that most swimmers will be attacked by sharks.

Tear your mail in 8 pieces and someone could dig it out of the trash and tape it together, but the time+money+effort that represents is significant. I remember people selling paper shredding equipment in the 1990s who described armies of Iranian students or Chinese peasants who could be buying torn paper and taping it back together. If they know it's the President of the USA's mail, they no doubt will expend that time+money+effort... Presidents should assume they are swimming in a shark tank. For most of us, ebay resales are a swimming pool, and warnings of shark attacks get tiresome.

+ - Dubai's Climate-Controlled "Dome City": Members Only?->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "Motherboard.vice reports on Dubai's planned 7Km "pedestrian city", complete with retractable air conditioned dome. The mega-project is projected to open at the United Arab Emirates World Expo Trade Fair (2020). Dubai's demographics — 85% expatriot imported labor (mostly Asian) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... — is already one of the most polarized by income level, and Motherboard finds the air conditioned cityscape artwork "dystopian". Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Rasheed, on the other hand, sees it as a move towards a tourism economy, and part of the kingdom's plan for post-petroleum. "We plan to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region around us; and we are determined to achieve our vision," Bin Rasheed explains in a press release. http://www.dubaiholding.com/me...

Details of the "Mall of the World" project include:
- World’s largest mall occupying 8 million sq. ft. connected to 100 hotels and serviced apartments buildings with 20,000 hotel rooms
- Temperature-controlled covered retail street network spreading over 7 km
- Largest indoor family theme park in the world
- Wellness district catering to medical tourists in 3 million sq. ft."

Link to Original Source

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon

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