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Comment: Re:Factory (Score 1) 257

by sbates (#42559551) Attached to: What Did Google Earth Spot In the Chinese Desert?

Parent isn't interesting, it's a string of invalid arguments.

1. "Single payer health care is cheaper and better than what the US has now." Anybody from Canada (and I am) can attest that this is not an absolute truth by any means. Cheaper access to specialists results in sitting on waiting lists for months before essential treatment, because (a) the doctors have moved to more profitable countries; and (b) the state sets limits on the number and qualifications of doctors.

2. "And so many programs like Head Start saves more money...results in a smaller government." This likely refers to the oversight of a product or service, but Obama already addressed this: he could cut the cost of meat by half, if only he fired all the meat inspectors. That any program would be cheaper is debatable, as history has repeatedly seen presidents and leaders of countries around the world promising something would be cheaper, more successful, and result in smaller government. Yet the ideals of one man/woman cannot force all to agree, nor would agreement across all civil servants even result in common principles. Smaller government is unattainable simply by the imposition of different services.

3. "There is apparently no such thing as a libertarian that believes in responsibility" is simply a strawman, and a bad one. Calling yourself a lower-case L libertarian and making such a statement is awkward at best, but generalizations like this are no more effective than those of the rest of the political world.

Comment: Re:That's the police for you (Score 1) 277

by sbates (#40099525) Attached to: Ten Cops Can't Recover Police Chief's Son's iPhone

Imagine the law enforcement resources that would be freed up and made available for real crimes (i.e. those with a victim) if we never prosecuted anything that happens among consenting adults. I bet a lot more thieves, rapists, and murderers would be behind bars.

I can't honestly believe this was considered insightful. Holy unsubstantiated argument, batman. You remind me of the Republicans when they argued government inflated the cost of healthcare. Obama's reply was that "we could reduce the price of meat substantially tomorrow. All we have to do is get rid of the food inspectors." I can only imagine all the ways in which your logical fallacy can be dissected.

Comment: Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 1) 744

by sbates (#39795057) Attached to: 'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

Unfortunately there's no such thing as a "climate scientist" within whose mind the vast set of data is held and considered. Climate science is a consortium of many different disciplines, including biologists, to arrive at the word you used above: consensus. No one discipline dominates the field, it's a cooperative effort to arrive at something everyone can agree on (based on the available evidence of course).

So while Lovelock may be a loud voice in a sea of loud voices, his biology background is--popularizing aside--a perfectly valid field in which to contribute to climate science.

Comment: Surprising? (Score 3, Insightful) 268

by sbates (#39203437) Attached to: Wikileaks and Anonymous Join Forces Against US Intelligence Community

It's only surprising if you believe Hollywood hype. The halls of the White House are not bristling with people hell-bent on preventing the next disaster. Life is extraordinarily mundane. The majority of the people in government are moving pages and pages of some of the most sleep-inducing content available. I'm far more apt to believe Tom Clancy's novels depicting CIA, FBI etc getting their intelligence from CNN.

Comment: Re:Google admitting problem and trying to fix it (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by sbates (#38680924) Attached to: Google Launches Style Guide For Android Developers

Fragmentation refers to modifications of product lines such that they are no longer compatible, interoperable, or familiar. You are merely referring to thematic differentiation across the product line. Android remains compatible from a developer standpoint, interoperable as they all run the same fundamental OS, and as such they are also familiar to most users of an Android product.

People often use words that cross gray areas to draw emphasis to their point but in this case they are wrong. Android lacks complete UI consistency across all of its products, but that's called differentiation. All of the fundamental elements of the Android experience are still consistent.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 411

by sbates (#37994458) Attached to: Technical Glitch Lets Reporters Eavesdrop On Obama, Sarkozy

Not exactly made up. From whitehouse.gov: "The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate." No other official is the primary diplomat, though Clinton may right now appear so she is merely a proxy for the president.

Comment: This guy slaughtered almost 100 people... (Score 1) 343

by sbates (#36878460) Attached to: The Oslo Massacre and Violent Video Games: the Facts

...and you are going to take his word that he's not addicted to video games? Should we trust anything else in the manifesto? You think he's a pretty insightful guy? Has he somehow demonstrated a level of intelligence to which we should all pay attention? Would I be somehow enlightened by reading it?

Seriously, people. So many of you talk about sheeple, then you turn around and grasp at _anything_.

Comment: Re:Is it really that hard? (Score 1) 60

by sbates (#36713168) Attached to: In Robot Soccer, US Team RoMeLa Dominates Robocup 2011

You have to think about what you do when you walk. It's very rare that any two of your steps are precisely the same. You are constantly adjusting the length of the stride, the roll of the foot, the vertical position of your toes, the angle at which your knees bend, etc. You don't think about it consciously, but if you tried you might find you have a hard time walking smoothly :)

Like Smauler says, we have not only awareness of these parts independently but also in relation to each other and to the ground. It's very difficult to make those kinds of connections in software. If you disagree you are always welcome to challenge the robotics experts at, for example, MIT.

Comment: Runs only on big hardware (Score 2, Informative) 104

by sbates (#34350132) Attached to: CA Sues Over DB2 Migration Tool

From the ca site (http://www.ca.com/us/products/overview.aspx?id={40FB2A1D-9B09-429E-9D52-123477B87E97}):

It is a high-performance, multi-user relational database management system based on z/OS and VSE host platforms.

Unfortunately, although clients can access it from any platform, it's not available for anything else.

Comment: Re:Do not attribute to malice ... (Score 1) 360

by sbates (#34254004) Attached to: Internet Explorer 9 Caught Cheating In SunSpider

The second example--a general optimization of the engine that over-optimizes a corner case--is very difficult to pull off in these engines. When you consider that the over-optimization only occurs when the source is aligned a certain way things become very suspicious, because the engine isn't running against the source but an abstract representation of the code.

In today's engines there are also routines to strip out unnecessary and unreachable code, which is relevant because the code snippets added by the tester were extraneous and (slashdotted, so going from memory) unreachable. This means the bytecode would either have been generated and stripped or not generated at all.

Then consider that these engines are not actually running the bytecode but machine-optimizing it. So now you have a case where:

1. Extraneous and unreachable code is added
2. Extraneous and unreachable code is removed by the compiler to bytecode
3. The bytecode is further optimized to machine code
4. The code is executed

Step 4 is where the optimization is lost. This is why it's extremely unlikely that someone checked in code to attempt to optimize the engine which resulted in an over-optimization of the corner case.

Comment: Re:The British Way... (Score 1) 213

by sbates (#34215302) Attached to: UK Twitter Users Declare 'I'm Spartacus'

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Timothy makes an excellent point about who we . Here's what Mr. Chambers originally said:

"Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

Here's what Mr. Compton said:

"Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really."

Neither one has the ring of a joke, neither one is in good taste, but the former is defended while the latter is fodder for criticism. Now, back to your comment:

The judge's ruling was based on the idea that an "ordinary person" would not recognize the joke, take it seriously, and be terrified. The point of this campaign is to demonstrate that that's nonsense.

If a complete stranger (and Paul Chambers is a complete stranger for 99.999% of the world) posted the bomb threat on Twitter and you were inside the airport you would probably want to know whether it's a real threat. It doesn't matter what the medium is: Twitter could simply be part of a new MO for a modern brand of terrorist.

In summary:

  • No indication of a joke
  • Posted on what amounts to a popular public forum
  • Threatens death for potentially hundreds of people

That's not even considering the possibility that Paul really was setting up a secret plot to bomb the airport and the evidence simply hasn't been discovered and his friends simply didn't know. That would be rather embarrassing for these kinds of "I'm Spartacus" campaigns..

Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS To Be Released In February/March 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-with-more-dimensions dept.
angry tapir writes "Nintendo's 3DS, the first portable game device with 3D graphic technology, will go on sale in Japan on Feb. 26 next year. The 3DS will cost ¥25,000 (US$298), Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, told a packed news conference in Chiba, Japan. It will launch in Europe, Australia and the US in March." Nintendo also detailed a number of games that will launch at or near the same time, and they said the online shop would get some improvements

Comment: Re:Less protection for free speech? (Score 2, Insightful) 383

by sbates (#33619890) Attached to: In Canada, Criminal Libel Charges Laid For Criticizing Police

I believe the individual was referring to such bodies as the Alberta Human Rights Commission. These bodies have the ability to prosecute an individual for speech outside of the normal judiciary and without any of the normal protections you might expect from a judiciary. In that sense free speech takes a hard hit, especially when you have to wonder what solution the AHRC (and others like it) provide that the courts could not.

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