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Comment: Re:I won't upgrade. (Score 1) 667

HP don't seem to have ditched Windows 8 in the UK, at least not for consumer machines you buy in stores. (Source: Multiple friends and family have recently been in the market for laptops and we looked at several HP models via multiple suppliers. I can't comment on what their on-line or business sales are doing right now though.)

Comment: Re:I won't upgrade. (Score 3, Interesting) 667

I do think they care about hardware OEM's shipping old versions of their OS.

That seems to be one area where Microsoft have actually been successful so far. I know a handful of friends and family who have bought new desktop/laptop PCs since Windows 8 was released. The ones actually running Windows 8 are those who didn't have a reasonable alternative, because what they bought came with version 8 preinstalled by the manufacturer and for one reason or another upgrading to Windows 7 wasn't a practical option. Several of them have been extremely vocal about their views on Windows 8, which are typically not things you would repeat in polite company, but buying a good laptop that even has the option of Windows 7 preinstalled instead of 8 now seems very difficult, at least here in the UK.

Comment: Tired? (Score 2) 131

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47344417) Attached to: Facial Recognition Might Be Coming To Your Car

There is already technology available in some high-end models that will monitor the driver and take steps to warn them if they appear to be losing concentration. That technology is surely going to save lives sooner or later, given the amount of road accidents caused by tiredness or falling asleep at the wheel.

I'm as concerned about creepy surveillance and illusory security as much as the next geek, but image recognition technology does have positive applications as well.

Comment: Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (Score 2) 268

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47340591) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you -- in fact, I suspect from your choice of phrase that we would very much agree on the basic principles of how laws should work -- I'm just saying the law should apply equally to everyone. If certain areas are acceptable for this kind of hobby, they should be acceptable for other similar "drone" flights. Equally, if for whatever reason certain areas are not acceptable in law for general "drone" flights or if the default in law is that these devices aren't considered acceptable but they are then allowed under specific conditions, the same rules should apply for hobby aircraft with similar characteristics.

Comment: we'll see if this cures my ten-year Slashdot habit (Score 1) 453

by epine (#47333441) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking


@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain("slashdot.org") {
div, p, h1, span, table, footer, header {
      display: none !important;
}
body:after {
    content: 'CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking';
    color: #FF0000;
    display: block;
    text-align: center;
    font-size: 1.5vmax;
}
}

Comment: article headline sucks ass (Score 5, Insightful) 453

by epine (#47333011) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

This does not deserve to live on Oprah, much less Slashdot. Not on Fox News, not on Rush Limbaugh, not on Howard Stern, not on Jerry Springer. On its own, exactly as it stands, it would set a new standard for outright stupidity in any legal jurisdiction that has yet to legislate pi = 3.

Oh, but wait, there's a footnote: preventable deaths among working-aged adult Americans. THAT'S NOT FUCKING FINE PRINT. My credibility circuit assigned six zeros (0.00000% chance of being true) before I managed to read the next line.

In all the many long years I've been here, I can not recall a single story headline that revolts me to this degree. I was reading recently Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics by Michael Ignatieff. At some point during his election campaign he said something stupid about the Middle East. His campaign manager pulled him aside and explained to him: "Politicians have nine lives. You just burned eight."

I have a finite amount of all-caps to expend on Slashdot outrage. I just burned 80% of my lifetime supply. Next time I resort to all-caps, I'll never post here again.

Comment: Re:Why not? A crime is a crime (Score 1) 135

They're saying after you've been accused x times, you go to jail. I think they missed a few steps.

And for that reason alone, there is absolutely no chance this is going anywhere.

No British government is actually going to pass a law saying you can be sent to jail without having your day in court less than a year before a general election. They get enough flak for pushing in that direction with terrorism-related laws that are only used against a tiny number of people in practice, because of the principle and the risk of later abuse, and that's a subject where a significant fraction of the population will give them a free pass for one reason or another.

Even if some British governments might try anyway, the current administration is a coalition, with a junior partner desperate to prove they are still politically relevant in the face of potentially being wiped out for a generation at the next election. A juicy civil liberties debate would play right into their hands.

And even if they did somehow manage to pass such a law, the chances that it would stand up to the inevitable human rights lawsuit the first time anyone actually tried to use it are slim to none.

This is almost certainly just a relatively unknown MP trying to make a name for himself in the run up to the aforementioned general election. In this case, he's pandering to potential donors from Big Media, possibly because there are finally some changes coming into force that make copyright laws (marginally) less anachronistic in the UK and Big Media inevitably don't like them (despite having managed to water them down to being almost meaningless anyway).

Comment: Re:Well, this won't backfire! (Score 1) 268

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47316339) Attached to: Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Wikipedia won't go anywhere just because some celebrities have opinions.

It doesn't have to, nor should it. But to create a potentially chilling effect on future contributions to Wikipedia, all you really need is for one life-destroying lawsuit against one contributor to succeed. That would remove any doubt that contributors are still responsible for what they say and can't hide behind the Internet, and in particular that Wikipedia has to cooperate in identifying contributors who break the law.

Frankly, being subject to legal action if you illegal defame someone is what should happen, because being on the Internet is not an excuse to be a dick. Still, several legal systems in the West can and sometimes do impose severe penalties for defamation, and rather like the threats of suing people for made-up copyright infringement in the US, there is unwelcome scope for abuse here even if there is also an underlying grain of truth and the intent of the law being abused is not in itself unreasonable.

Comment: jumping off FTW (Score 3) 268

by epine (#47314145) Attached to: Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

It's only good for a jumping off place.

So totally true. But once you allow that 99% of modern life is jumping off, I'm not sure what you're griping about.

Just as one comparison, take every organization prominent enough to have it's own article in en.Wikipedia, go to their own websites (the vast majority will have one) and scrape all of the "about us" web pages these organizations authored about themselves, and imagine these as a collective "About Us"-apedia.

This "About Us"-apedia would make MySpace's worst year look like an exercise in design consistency. I for one can live without the metric fuckton of Flash-based incoherence as my standard point of departure on the agencies of the world.

It seems to me that all the people who hated Wikipedia on first sight share an underlying belief in knowledge as an authority network. The reason Wikipedia succeeded is that knowledge isn't what we thought it was. For the vast majority of purposes, authority is a boundary condition, not the thing itself.

The first step in assimilating a new body of knowledge is to survey the field's lexicon: What words are used and roughly how are they linked together? This cognitive process takes place long before factual assertions amount to a hill of beans. When the facts do begin to matter, most smart people are well aware that in this world we're all fed baloney 24 hours a day. Wikipedia is one of the places where it becomes especially clear how the baloney is made. That doesn't make it worse baloney than Superbowl Sunday—America's national slick-baloney celebration day. Is iOS somehow less Orwellian than the IBM PC? So we were told through a non-linguistic medium.

On Wikipedia, when I spot baloney, I click the magic button called "History" where I scan for edit wars and substantial discards. For the vast majority of articles, it's all there in plain view. The mythical, Orwellian-smashing parentage of iOS is harder to trace.

In the upcoming era of Deep Watson, those Wikipedia crumb trails of sturm und churn will suddenly become interesting resources to expose to automated data mining. Perhaps then the present surface form of the articles will begin to fade in importance. There's nothing stopping this, except for the will to go there, which is depressingly thin in the general public for the 99% of the time they're merely jumping off.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by epine (#47313417) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Apparently over a 168000 light year stretch this adds up to a 0.0005 light year detour

After scanning TFA, the first thing I looked up was the distance to SN 1987a, which the author somehow regarded as beneath notice. Perhaps he was preoccupied with the correct keyboarding of "orthopositronium".

Call me old fashioned, but I think that a person bleating away about an esoteric footnote of astrophysical revelation ought to first muster basic magnitude mastery.

Comment: Re:More expensive for whom? (Score 0) 183

by epine (#47305033) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

There is reason to believe that Intel has done CPUs for quite a time at a loss in order to ruin AMD. The effects of AMD being reduced are also blatantly obvious with massively retarded innovations.

That's the danger in posting so soon after being woken up from a long sleep by a handsome prince. You need to shake your head and check out the competitive landscape in 2014.

4 Cores @ 2.5GHz Qualcomm Krait 400

Intel might wish to rethink sitting on their innovative thumbs.

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