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Comment: Re:Microsoft? (Score 2) 144

by sfsp (#48457309) Attached to: Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

"Unfortunately, Rachel's maneuver placed the car in the intersection, going the wrong way. Her sudden appearance in the cross-lanes caused cars to veer in all three dimensions and windshields in at least a half dozen cars turned blue as the auto-pilots went into spastic fault-mode."

from "Let's Go to Prague!", by John Ringo.

In the Honorverse timeline, this is about 4020 AD.

Comment: Re:The Average Cat (Score 1) 66

Well, I did read the article. I did not immediately watch the video, and now that I have, I'm still not impressed.

The strength of the tool is NOT the averaging of multitudes of shapes, which is what is essentially advertised. Instead, it is in finding images in the set that conform to what the user selects: filtering, not combining.

So, the "average" of blue butterfly wings with this shape is that they are blue and have this shape. You're not AVERAGING, you're FILTERING.

Or, given this "average" nose, find the "average" ears.

This tool is not as demonstrated primarily an averaging tool, but a filtering tool to eliminate everything that is not arbitrarily close to the arbitrary average. I'm sure there are cases where that is useful, but it's NOT the described function.

Automatically correlating equivalency points is nice, but not new. Morphing between the images is fun, but not new. Autoalignment of equivalency points is nice, but not new.

Putting it all in one tool is good, though.

Comment: The Average Cat (Score 3, Insightful) 66

So...what the software demonstrates is that if you line up all the pictures of cats by centering them on their noses, you will CLEARLY see...

...that the average cat has a nose.

The rest is blurry and remarkably uninformative.

There needs to be a LOT more intelligence, either machine or human, applied to this before it is remarkable.

Comment: You're IN the militia (Score 2, Informative) 1633

by sfsp (#46768537) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

You're probably ALREADY serving in the militia, by US law:

"UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 10 - ARMED FORCES
Subtitle A - General Military Law
PART I - ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS
CHAPTER 13 - THE MILITIA

                Ã 311. Militia: composition and classes

                (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

                (b) The classes of the militia are --

                (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia;

                and

                (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."

Comment: Here's my specialty use... (Score 1) 1146

by sfsp (#45703355) Attached to: US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month

I have an unheated chicken coop. 100W is just enough to keep the ice on the water bowl thin most mornings, and the light is what triggers the hens to keep laying into the winter.

If I use a lower-wattage light, I get less heat. For my purpose, an incandescent bulb is 100% efficient.

Should I be installing a heat pump in my coop? I don't think so...

Comment: Re:it tells you one thing, at least (Score 1) 1719

by sfsp (#42326643) Attached to: Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

> What the founders intended is that those that exercise their right to bear arms be members of a regulated militia.

"Regulated" doesn't mean what you think it means. In the context of the language in 1787, "well regulated" essentially meant "using standardized equipment".

>If all gun owners were compelled to be members of a militia...

You have this entirely backwards. By US law, you are probably already a member of the Militia:

"UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 10 - ARMED FORCES
Subtitle A - General Military Law
PART I - ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS
CHAPTER 13 - THE MILITIA

        Â 311. Militia: composition and classes

        (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

        (b) The classes of the militia are --

        (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia;

        and

        (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."

As always, your "rights" have associated "responsibilities". Along with the right to bear arms, you have the responsibility to know how to use said arms and be prepared to take them up in defense of the nation and the Constitution.

As a militia member, do you know how to secure, maintain, and operate your arms? Do you even HAVE arms?

> tell the NRA they, as a group, will now be held responsible for the actions of their members...

Do you really think that all gun owners are members of the NRA? I assure you, they're not. NRA membership is about 4.3 million; number of gun owners in America, about 52 million. Further, the NRA is by no stretch of the imagination a "militia".

Further, the number of criminals with guns, compared with the number of responsible gun owners, is such a small percentage as to be ignored in most common circumstances.

> The meaning has been twisted over the years, but the original intent is obvious because it is literal.

The 2nd Amendment has not been twisted; it's a complex sentence, but not hard to understand. It is a dependent clause, followed by the independent clause. The independent clause, which stands alone, is:

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

If you don't LIKE this, you have only one choice: have an amendment passed repealing the 2nd Amendment. Good luck with that.

Comment: The Problem with Mr Evans' Assertion (Score 1) 352

by sfsp (#39301451) Attached to: Publishers Warned On Ebook Prices

From the BBC article:
"The perception is that publishers are saving a fortune because they are not physically printing a book," he said. Actually, said Mr Evans, printing costs were a small fraction of the total outlay required to produce a book.

"All the costs are the people in the publisher's HQ and the writer's mortgage," he said, adding that these had not changed significantly with the rise of ebooks."

========
The PROBLEM with Mr. Evans' assertion is this:

Most of the other costs are one-time. Printing and distribution, though, go on and on, as long as the book is in print. But with ebooks, that cost is essentially ZERO. And distribution, as can be seen below, is NOT insignificant.

For example, there is this article:

http://ireaderreview.com/2009/05/03/book-cost-analysis-cost-of-physical-book-publishing/

From the article:

"A Simple Model of Book Costs and an Example

The very simple break-up is -

                Author - Creation. 8-15% Royalties.
                Publisher - Being the Curator, Polishing, Manufacturing, Marketing. 45-55% (includes Author's Royalties). Note that Printing accounts for just 10% of the book price.
                Distributor - 10%.
                Retailers - 40%.
                Consumers. Just the paying part ;)

An example found at BookFinder states a cost break-up that closely matched what my research turned up -

                Book Retail Price: $27.95.
                Retailer (discount, staffing, rent, etc.) - $12.58. That's 45%.
                Author Royalties - $4.19. Exactly 15%.
                Wholesaler - $2.80. Exactly 10%.
                Pre-production (Publisher) - $3.55. That's 12.7%.
                Printing (Publisher) - $2.83. Translates to 10.125%.
                Marketing (Publisher) - $2. That's approximately 7.15%."

========
So, here's my take:

The wholesaler and retailer are handling REAL, PHYSICAL BOOKS and moving them around. That cost gets dropped.

And the cost of PRINTING the book goes away, too. That's another 10% or so.

That's 65%!

So an ebook should be about 35% the list cost of a hardback.

That's for popular fiction, essentially. Other markets have other margins. But eBooks are FOCUSED on popular fiction right now--the other markets are speculative niches so far.

Geez. What are they thinking, other than, "Let's abuse the public and steal their money!"?

Comment: Re:Wizard's Bane by Rick Cook (Score 1) 1244

by sfsp (#39275421) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

Read this a long time ago and just recently figured out what the title was.. not sure where you would find it though. Full of Unix puns.

Baen Books.
Get it as a free download, or read it online. You can probably convince them to accept your money, too.
Baen does eBooks RIGHT.
http://www.baen.com/library/0671878468/0671878468.htm

Comment: Re:Developed != Civilised (Score 1) 751

by sfsp (#30693226) Attached to: Full Body Scanners Violate Child Porn Laws

Try again. You are comparing the city of Atlanta to the entire Greater London metropolitan district.

If you want to compare apples to apples, try comparing the city of Atlanta to the City of London: 520,000 Atlantans as compared to 8000 Londoners, or 340,000 commuters.

Or try it this way: 5.4 Million in the Atlanta Metropolitan District, compared to 7.5 Million in Greater London.

I grant you, "Atlanta" is much larger than "London". Not as crowded, overall.

You know you've been spending too much time on the computer when your friend misdates a check, and you suggest adding a "++" to fix it.

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