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Submission + - $40 million torture report getting buried so no-one reads it (

sandbagger writes: A 6,700-page report that cost $40 million to produce is being blocked from circulation by the US Department of Justice by relabelling it as a Congressional Record, even though it isn't. Why? Congressional records aren't necessarily subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Submission + - Shopping mall operator says images found online are free if not watermarked (

sandbagger writes: A photographer walked into a shopping mall and saw one of his own images used in advertising by the mall operators. According to his story on Petapixel, the mall's position is that if the image can be found without a watermark, that means it's free. And using it in their advertisings is 'not commercial'. Google image search is a wonderful tool but how do content creators protect themselves in the US and abroad?

Comment Rotten Tomatoes I've suspected of Payola (Score 4, Interesting) 184

A friend is in the movie biz and his reaction to any criticism of the recent Star Trek reboots is Rotten Tomatoes is an objective measure. I can forgive him the logical error because he's in the industry and the financials are more important to him than say to you or I. So aggregated movie reviews that drive customer purchases to him indicate success.

However, as far as I know, Rotten Tomatoes never publishes its weighting formula
And it's opened by a movie studio.

This seems to me perfect for abuse.

Comment Re:The necessary question. (Score 1) 217

An issue is that random typically doesn't mean what it's taken to mean in plain language. True randomness is actually hard since you've got to have some mechanism chugging away spitting out numbers. Understanding how (pseudo) random is defined goes a long way to reducing the reducing the size of the haystack in your search for the needle.

Comment Everyone stop kidding themselves (Score 0) 822

There is not, nor will there be any further debate about gun control. The NRA has won unequivocally.

The US, as a people, will continue to heap the dead onto the altar of the second amendment barring a supernatural event. The deaths of first graders at Sandy Hook should have proved that for what ever reason, Americans are comfortable with massacring themselves.

The gun debate is dead and the US will brag to itself that it's the free-est country on Earth. They're actually convinced this is evidence of how great and exceptional they are. Stop wasting your breaths.

Submission + - Deep web searches are used to dig up dirt on political enemies (

sandbagger writes: With Canada's election in a tight race, political parties are doing deep searches for every impolite social media posting made by candidates of the other parties in the hopes of knocking out them out of the running. While the piece is a bit breathless about what the reporter thinks is magical technology, the larger issue facing digital natives is should every Facebook post from your drunken undergraduate years be held against you politically?

Submission + - Study links mental illness and vegetarianism (

sandbagger writes: This 2012 study in the Int International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity may have escaped some comment, but the analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.

Submission + - Scientific freedom is a Canadian electoral promise (

sandbagger writes: Canada's Conservative government has made a practice of preventing scientists from discussing their — even when peer reviewed — with the press and the public. Increasingly discontent, the nation's government scientists have taken to the streets to protest this. And now the leftist candidate hoping to head Canada's next government has made scientific freedom part of its electoral platform.

Submission + - Delete, dump and destroy: Canada's Conservatives don't like data (

sandbagger writes: Stories about government data and historical records being deleted, burned—even tossed into Dumpsters—have become so common in recent years that many Canadians may feel inured to them. But such accounts are only the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg. A months-long Maclean’s investigation, which includes interviews with dozens of academics, scientists, statisticians, economists and librarians, has found that the federal government’s “austerity” program, which resulted in staff cuts and library closures (16 libraries since 2012)—as well as arbitrary changes to policy, when it comes to data—has led to a systematic erosion of government records far deeper than most realize, with the data and data-gathering capability we do have severely compromised as a result.

Submission + - Evolution shown in real time (

sandbagger writes: "People think of evolution as historical. They don't think of it as something that's happening under our nose. It is a contemporary process. People are skeptical; they don't believe in evolution because they can't see it. Here, we see it. We can see if something makes you better able to make babies and live longer," University of California, Riverside biologist David Reznick says. Working in a river in Trinidad, he and colleagues determined which male guppies would contribute more offspring to the population as well as which would live longer and which would have shorter lifespans.

Submission + - Epson's 'empty' cartridges can have 20 per cent of their ink remaining! (

sandbagger writes: It is said that printer ink costs more than champagne. You might expect that printer companies help you squeeze every last drop from an ink cartridge before you’re forced to replace it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The folks over at Bellevue Fine Art in Seattle recently decided to find out exactly how much ink their high-end Epson 9900 printer wastes. Prepare to be amazed.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."