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Comment: Computationally Speaking: This is garbage (Score 1) 513

by ryan.onsrc (#42839069) Attached to: MS Targets Google With Another Smear Campaign

computationally speaking, Microsoft's "Scroogled" Campaign it utter garbage.

Here's why (from a high-level technically stand-point):

Privacy is only truly violated when there exists some form of device IO of private information, in clear-text. For gmail to have code that performs in-memory comparisons of email text and advertisement content, to be considered a breach of privacy is complete crap. Yes, you can start nit-picking with issues such as whether buffers of data are not being left hanging around memory, or if gmail's method of requesting data from ad-servers can some how provide clues in logging files somewhere that could allow Googler #247 to infer that Johnny is sending emails about ant-farms. But, it all comes down to whether or not personal information is being written out somewhere for humans to read (whether indirectly or directly).

Having worked at software companies that jump through all kind of hoops to ensure that data is sanitized ad naseum: I highly doubt that Google is allowing their employees, let alone third-parties to freely spy on users.

Comment: Re:Too much for an online class. (Score 1) 177

by ryan.onsrc (#42525325) Attached to: UC's For-Pay Online Course Draws 4 Non-UC Students

... Especially for Pre-Calculus.

It's not until one takes Calculus that everything in Intermediate Algebra and Trigonometry all comes together, and actually makes sense. Now if $2,400 bought you a high-quality, well-taught series of online courses that cover Calculus I, II, Diff. Equations, Vector Calculus, and Linear Algebra --- *then* we're talking.

I can see paying as much as 3-4k for something like that.

Comment: Re:I say go ahead ... (Score 1) 342

by ryan.onsrc (#42184689) Attached to: Cops To Congress: We Need Logs of Americans' Text Messages

That's what I said until I got divorced and started dating again. Thousands of text messages. Yes, thousands. You don't tell a hot chick to switch to gtalk, just because it's free. Nope, you're better off being a man and spending that $10 a month for unlimited text without mentioning it. I'll never regret that choice.

You make a damn good point.

Comment: Yes, this ban is absurd, but ... (Score 1) 820

by ryan.onsrc (#40774255) Attached to: Feds Ban 'Buckyballs' Magnets

Firstly, I want to say that I have enjoyed many hours of entertainment with these Buckyballs. I even bought two more sets so I could make some real cool structures with them. Since when did all products have to be safe for humans to ingest? It seems to me like all household cleaners, motor oil, industrial lubricants, hell ... even integrated circuits would have to be yanked off the market now.

All of that being said, I'm actually surprised no-one else has mentioned a particularly troublesome issue with bucky-balls that poses for even intelligent adults: peeling metal. After having fumbled with these bucky-balls for a long time, tiny slivers of metal have been peeling off, which would be fine if they didn't end up on my fingers. Just imagine a wooden splinter, only way smaller and more rigid. I've found them to be impossible to remove deliberately. Basically you have to go several hours, sometimes even a day or two, with the shavings on your finger and eventually they will fall off (either by being washed off or just falling off after awhile). Fortunately, I've been careful not to ingest the slivers or scratch my eyes but after having the slivers end up in my fingers a few times I've stuffed the bucky balls into a box and tossed them aside.

That doesn't mean I'm going to go complaining to the company about it like a cry-baby. I do realize that rare-earth magnets are quite brittle and they must be treated with care (which I thought I did -- but apparently not enough so). Perhaps I'll pick up some gardening gloves and give the bucky-balls another go.

Comment: Re:Scotty in Trek's Voyage Home (Score 1) 1200

by ryan.onsrc (#35458626) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Worst Computer Scene In TV or Movies?

The fakest looking keyboard skills are when Scotty inputs the formula for "transparent aluminum" into the computer in the movie Voyage Home (the one where they go back to modern day LA). He just kinda hovered his hands over the keys and randomly smacked his fingers over the buttons very fast. Will have to give props to the funny bit of talking into the mouse first, though.

Blasphemy I Say! ... Scotty just had too much charm to call that *bad*.

Besides, that whole scene was too "tounge-in-cheek" to be taken so seriously. The world would be missing something without it.

Comment: The Real Motive here ... (Score 1) 112

by ryan.onsrc (#34998512) Attached to: Microsoft Sues TiVo

... is to give Apple some more reason to hesitate before entering the DVR market (by leveraging the AppleTV and possibly acquiring TiVo out-right). At this point, Apple's dominance in mobile computing and its ability to further extend its domination into Television programming puts a squeeze on Microsoft's ability to hold its ground.

If I were wrong, Microsoft is simply wasting their time (or just being plain mean) filing a lawsuit against a company that has a single niche product and little, if any, risk extending themselves into other markets (unlike Apple). At this point, I wouldn't put it past them to be blundering bullies but my gut tells me they are actually being sneaky this time.

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

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