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Comment: Re:I now know what age Russell Edwards is (Score 1) 135

This is slightly off-topic, but why this?

...businessman Russell Edwards, 48, bought the shawl...

Why do they throw his age in there? Why does it matter? Is that in any possible way related to the story? I'm not calling out this story in particular, I see this all the time. I'd like to know the motivation behind the trend.

I'm going to speculate that you probably don't get much dead-tree journalism in your diet, which is why you seem to think this is some kind of trend. This was Journalism 101 prior to the advent of HTTP. Journalists used the 5 W's -- who, what, when, where, and why -- to establish a consistent framework for their audience. Including the individual's age helps establish the who and (possibly) the why part of the context for the audience. Unfortunately, the context-free environment made possible by HTTP has pretty much rendered conventional journalism protocols moot; establishing a consistent framework for the audience is kinda pointless, if the audience can switch contexts by simply clicking on a link. You can occasionally see some journalism online that still uses pre-HTTP conventions, but it is getting rarer, not more common.

Comment: Re:More "elite" players? (Score 1) 170

If they require all these cheats (let's call them what they are) to play, how in the name of Hell are they "more elite"?

hmmmm...interesting definition of cheat there. rocket jumping and jump strafing are possible within the rules of any quake game, including the single-player campaign. If the rules don't forbid it, how is it cheating? Being elite means (among other things) being able to recognize and exploit useful emergent behavior. That is one of the things that made the quake engine great -- it was complex enough that interesting (read: novel) phenomenon like rocket jumps could emerge from the fixed and extremely limited physics of that engine.

Comment: Re:Should void warranty (Score 1) 208

If you jailbreak your car, however, and inadvertently change something that impairs reliability, you're compromising the safety of everybody else on the road. Everything (including braking) in Tesla cars is tied into the software, and this is not something you should mess around with.

Compromising safety and reliability in the name of performance is a tradition in car culture. "Jailbreaking" is a relatively new term; but functionally, I don't think it is all that different from what we called "hot rodding" back in the day.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 769

by rocket rancher (#46462129) Attached to: The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

Is it really so hard to just grind the beans and brew it yourself? I do this every morning.

Yes, it is hard to grind the beans, because it wakes up everybody in the house. If you are living alone, it's not an issue, but when you are sharing your life with somebody (especially somebody who likes to sleep late) It's hard to ignore the convenience factor of a Keurig. My wife brought a Keurig into my life when I first met her. The coffee tastes like boiled dirt, of course, but the ease (and silence) with which you can produce a cuppa is stunning.

Comment: Re:"Not Reproduclibe" (Score 1) 618

Science paid for by the public, or science used to make government regulations at public expense, should be available to the public. Period.

If science isn't "reproducible", it isn't science. If you want to call that a "loophole", so be it. But if the truth is a loophole, learn to live with it.

No. You are wrong on both counts.

First, not all science is useful to the public, and in fact some science has the potential to harm it greatly, if it were furnished to the wrong people. I certainly don't want the science gained by government bio-warfare researchers, atomic weapons specialists, and neuroscientists studying torture methodologies to be readily available to anybody who wants it.

Second, climatology is not reproducible. It is a strictly observational science, like astronomy -- you can't do reproducible experiments on the climate, anymore than you can do reproducible experiments on a galaxy a billion light years away. It is still science, but it can never produce reproducible results. By demanding reproducible results as a matter of law, Schweikert is making it impossible for the EPA to cite climate models to support regulations aimed at curbing emissions. It will also make it possible for industries to challenge and overturn existing regulations that were supported by these now-illegal climate models.

Comment: Re:Cable Cutters don't care (Score 1) 169

by rocket rancher (#45852051) Attached to: ABC Kills Next-Day Streaming For Non-Subscribers make a great point. But the change in viewing habits that you refer to has to be countered because it is eating into broadcast TV's primary revenue stream. The national broadcast companies can sit back and watch their profits get time- and/or format-shifted to oblivion, or they can do something about it. The writing is on the wall -- it seems pretty clear that people would rather pay a subscription to avoid commercials. As long as consumers can control how the content is presented to them at their end, they are going to continue to lose advertisers. Tivo's 30 second skip pretty much was the first nail in that coffin -- I haven't seen a broadcast commercial since I bought a Tivo a decade ago. Companies are not going to continue to waste their advertising dollars on broadcast ads. Pretty much the only option for broadcasters is to adopt a streaming model ala Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu+. Broadcasters are going to have to control the pipe from end-to-end for their revenue model to work -- they have to eliminate a consumer's ability to avoid commercials.

Comment: Re:Jailbreakingg (Score 0) 210

by rocket rancher (#45777125) Attached to: The iOS 7 Jailbreak Fiasco
Hmmm. I'm not calling you a hypocrite (at least, not yet) but you'd be up in fucking arms if somebody violated the GPL, right? But not Apple's ToS -- that doesn't apply to criminals. It's just words on a page that a criminal has to scroll past to get to the "I Accept" button so that he can start cracking the device that he just agreed not to crack. You make some (weak) rationalizations for why it's ok for criminals to break the ToS, but you just highlight the real problem. Here's a clue: You can't maintain one ethical standard for hackers and a different standard for everybody else, dude. Not if you want to be taken seriously, anyway.

Comment: Re:will be interesting to see what they do with it (Score 1) 104

by rocket rancher (#45695423) Attached to: Google Acquires Boston Dynamics

But defense contracting would be a bit of a shift in how they like to do business, and I'm not sure a positive one. Alternately, they could just repurpose the acquired tech and expertise towards Google's own robotics projects, and dump the military clients. That would be leaving quite a bit of money and existing business on the table, though, not to mention possibly annoying some politically powerful folks.

Boston Dynamics *is* a defense contractor, so by extension Google is one too, now. I am going to try to remain optimistic about the positive effects that Google can have on human advancement. Science and engineering seem to leap forward much farther and much, much faster when they are deployed in the service of armed conflict. Companies like Planetary Resources, Armadillo Aerospace, and SpaceX are going to have to be able to defend their extra-terrestial ventures, and NASA has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that robotic missions in space are far more cost-effective in terms of results than manned missions. The minute Planetary Resources starts exploiting the asteroid belt, they are likely going to need a way to defend against claim jumpers, and I'm hoping that by hoovering up all these robotic companies,Google is positioning itself to defend these companies in their (hopefully) peaceful occupation and exploitation of the solar system.

Comment: Re:Free Software (Score 1) 194

I think there's a big future for a testing company, like Underwriter's Labs is for physical goods, to do just that. Anyone big or small can send them code to review, and pay a fee, and they'll certify the resulting binary as trouble-free, at least to level of confidence you's expect from a good app store or distro (acknowledging that sufficiently clever malware can hide anywhere, but forcing it to be really clever would probably fix 99% of the problem),

This. So what if some company certifies the code as non-toxic? For every legit code certifying company that goes online, there will be a hundred phishing sites popping up over-night to take advantage of it. The problem is not toxic code --- the problem is the toxic levels of foolishness and naivete of the vast majority of users on the net.

Comment: Re:Waiver of rights (Score 1) 249

by rocket rancher (#45560437) Attached to: Woman Fined For Bad Review Striking Back In Court

Just because you can't prevent anyone from doing something (murder, rape or holding a speech) doesn't make it a "right".

Try arguing your "right to life" with a hungry lion, rights only exists between entities that recognize those rights. If your government doesn't recognize freedom of speech, the difference between having it and not having it is entirely philosophical.

Hmmm. Excellent post. But I'm having trouble reconciling these two assertions.

From the point of view of a warlord, superior military force confers the right to murder and rape. Indeed, it confers any right the warlord chooses to assert. Ditto your hungry lion -- his right to eat me stops at the muzzle of my rifle.

It would seem to me that you need something more than just the other party recognizing that you have rights. You have to be able to successfully assert those rights. In French, it is "preter main forte" or "show the strong hand." In English, it would be "might makes right."

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.