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Comment: Are you too happy? Facebook is the answer. (Score 1) 223

by Futurepower(R) (#48217833) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Who needs social networks online?

Facebook solves a very serious problem. Are you too happy? Is it uncomfortable being happier than everyone else? Facebook is the answer. Read Facebook use predicts declines in happiness, new study finds. Or download the scientific paper.

+ - Google might poach Windows Phone's biggest app developer->

Submitted by Molly McHugh
Molly McHugh (3774987) writes "Rudy Huyn is a French app developer and an avid fan of Windows Phone. Huyn has created more than 20 apps for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, and including mobile apps for Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Wikipedia, 9gag, Secret, and Dropbox. He has also created his own apps like Fuse and TV Show. With a developer showing this much commitment, you’d think Microsoft would have taken notice and hired him. Not quite."
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft exec opens up about Research lab closure, layoffs->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "It's been a bit over a month since Microsoft shuttered its Microsoft Research lab in Silicon Valley as part of the company's broader restructuring that will include 18,000 layoffs. This week, Harry Shum, Microsoft EVP of Technology & Research, posted what he termed an "open letter to the academic research community" on the company's research blog. In the post, Shum is suitably contrite about the painful job cut decisions that were made in closing the lab, which opened in 2001. He also stresses that Microsoft will continue to invest in and value "fundamental research"."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 394

by Ash Vince (#48216623) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

You could also decrease speed limit to something unreasonable. For example, 15mph and issue tickets at 21mph.

You can also hide a max speed sign behind something, like a bush, and install it in otherwise higher speed zone.

You can also install speed trap on the down-slope road, where drivers would naturally speed up without any conscious input.

You can also offer "early payment" discounts on tickets, where if you pay and plead guilty your fine reduced to the point of not worth the time fighting it.

You can establish a ticket challenge procedure that would conflict with working hours, making it logistically difficult for people to challenge.

You can intentionally mail tickets to old addresses, then rake up late fees and interest.

Oh, all of these happened in one or another municipality at some point in time.

The truth is that very few speed limit signs are hidden in the manner you describe. Lets be honest, the vast majority of the time us drivers exceed the speed limit we do so knowing we are doing it, we just do not think we will get caught. We know what the speed limit is on most roads we drive down, we just sometimes push them as we are in a hurry. We are probably driving in a generally safe manner, we are just doing it too quickly.

The thing is though, speed limits do exist for a reason. They are there to force us to account for the unknown: children running into the road, morons pulling out of side streets and not looking, us getting a blowout due to something to small to see in the road. The chances of these things happening are all pretty minuscule but since we all drive everywhere so much these small odds multiple so it always happens to someone in the end and the fallout can be catastrophic and expensive for the city to clean up afterwards.

Speed limits are also actually a way of us being more flexible with other driving rules, like paying attention to where you are going. Sometimes people do some really stupid crap on the roads. Like trying to find a CD to put on and veering on to the wrong side of the road, answering the phone in our pocket that is awkward to get to, looking at maps, turning round and shouting at the kids in the back, this list could go on for ever. As it is we can do this with a certain degree of impunity as the worst that would happen is we wrote off our car and someone else's the vast majority of the time. If everyone could drive everywhere as fast as they liked the police would have to be far more ruthless at enforcing other aspects of the traffic laws, maybe even down to banning persistant offenders until they got the message.

Sometimes I actually think this might be a better idea, then I catch myself doing some of the stupid crap I describe :)

Oh what a surprise, the fucking moron mod crew disagree.

+ - Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing 1

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Abby Phillip reports at the Washington Post that that Mark Zuckerberg just posted a 30-minute Q&A at Tsinghua University in Beijing in which he answered every question exclusively in Chinese — a notoriously difficult language to learn and particularly, to speak. "It isn't just Zuckerberg's linguistic acrobatics that make this a notable moment," writes Philip. "This small gesture — although some would argue that it is a huge moment — is perhaps his strongest foray into the battle for hearts and minds in China." Zuckerberg and Facebook have been aggressively courting Chinese users for years and the potential financial upside for the business. Although Beijing has mostly banned Facebook, the company signed a contract for its first ever office in China earlier this year. A Westerner speaking Mandarin in China — at any level — tends to elicit joy from average Chinese, who seem to appreciate the effort and respect they feel learning Mandarin demonstrates. So how well did he actually do? One Mandarin speaker rates Zuckerberg's language skills at a seventh grader's speech: "It's hard not see a patronizing note in the Chinese audience's reaction to Zuckerberg's Mandarin. To borrow from Samuel Johnson's quip, he was like a dog walking on its hind legs: It wasn't done well, but it was a surprise to see it done at all.""

Comment: Re:The Cult Leader will solve the problem! (Score 1) 90

by bill_mcgonigle (#48215969) Attached to: Leaked Documents Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Ebola Vaccine Issues

There's a rapid diagnostic test that is developed and can be at West African airport departure gates in less than three months if the FDA gets out of the way. I know, it's only nutters like the NPR health sciences correspondent going on about this - was Dr. Paul also saying crazy things like the government is making the situation worse? Instead, they should totally go ahead and implement a travel ban so people sneak into the country with ebola instead of coming through the airports.

Meanwhile nobody in the US is infected with ebola and cattle are still far more dangerous, right? Wait - fear, fear, fear! Give us power and ... fear! Talk about cult leaders.

Comment: Wrong criterion (Score 4, Insightful) 91

No, the government's job is infrastructure, and other things that can be described as natural monopolies. If the start-up costs for a business are in the tens- to hundreds-of-billions, there isn't going to be much in the way of competition no matter what the industry is. If it's actually vital that said industry exists, it makes sense to nationalize it.

However, if competition is possible, it should be encouraged. There's no reason to nationalize SecureWidgetCo if a dozen people could take their place tomorrow, even if they only sell to the government.

It's clear that if the US Government wants to be sure of its chip supply, it needs to be in business for itself. The ultimate reason is not however that it's inherently inefficient for the government to enter into contracts with private companies, but that large scale microchip fabrication is so expensive that no (private, US) company is willing to do it.

P.S. With respect, if your response to this is that natural monopolies do not exist, please save yourself the trouble of responding.

Comment: Re:Boycott ASDA (Score 1) 157

by jareth-0205 (#48212513) Attached to: U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

Plenty of other employers around, the staff don't have to work at ASDA if they don't want to.

Ah yes, in a country with permenantly more people than jobs (only recently dropping below 7%) is clearly a country with plenty of other employers around. Some people do not have a great deal of choice over their employer.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.