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Comment: data set? (Score 2) 157

by whereiswaldo (#38716472) Attached to: Facebook To Share Private Data With Politico

If I put on my I-want-your-data hat for a second, I think giving a data set is the wrong approach. Give Politico a search interface to perform research on. Then I get to collect data on the things that Politico cares about and do my own tertiary data mining. Maybe that's a bad idea, I don't know. I'm not very good at being evil. ;)

Comment: Re:Absolutely (Score 3, Interesting) 495

by whereiswaldo (#38716252) Attached to: House Kills SOPA

I think you hit on some good points here.

Slashdot is a totally different environment than a professional setting: there are CEOs, engineers, high school kids, lawyers, etc.. all here posting their thoughts. They all get lumped into the same bin of comments and moderated without regard to those unseen traits (at least, in theory). One day I might mod someone +1 insightful and the next day -1 troll. I don't risk losing my job by doing so. No one opinion is higher than the others, so there's nobody to target with bribes (well, other than the people selecting the stories to comment on). I'm sure there are groups on /. that moderate certain opinions down which is an issue. Still, I think this site is pointed in the right direction at least.

Comment: Re:Then what? (Score 1) 164

You know, in a free(-ish) market, this is not a choice. You must use the cheapest, most profitable method that is available. The reason is that if you don't, somebody else will, and they will eventually drive you out of business.

Apple isn't leading the market based on price - their products are among the most expensive. It seems that using cheap labour simply maximizes their profit. I'd be interested in seeing a real justification that Apple would go out of business or lose their place in the market if they used more local companies and labour.
Even if they started with an increase of 5% or 10%, that could plant a seed for future local expansion. They have the clout to make "Made in America" something that other manufacturers want (need) to emulate.

Comment: Re:Tough sell (Score 1) 165

by whereiswaldo (#38702352) Attached to: Dropbox Founder Wants To Build the Next Google

I think when someone builds the next facebook and offers an ironclad contract forbidding any sale of personal data, I'd probably be willing to pay $5 or so per month for the service.

Indeed - I'd pay to not have my data pimped around. I don't know what vendors' single-minded fixation with free+advertising is all about.

Comment: Re:Find precious metals on Mars (Score 1) 228

by whereiswaldo (#38646120) Attached to: The Challenges of Building a Mars Base

Mars is fundamentally inhospitable to human life. The rest of our solar system is fundamentally inhospitable to human life. This fairytale notion that we're going to magically whisk ourselves away to another planet, star system, galaxy, etc. and live there is just that: a fairytale notion.

I've said it before but we should first set our sights on propagating life to another planet. Even if we can only get bacteria to live on Mars or some other planet, it's a start. We'll learn from that relatively cheaply and become more prepared for human inhabitation when that time comes. Plus, it's something we can do right now. Let evolution take care of the rest, if that's all we could accomplish before Earth's life is extinguished.

Comment: Re:PC analogy (Score 1) 278

by whereiswaldo (#38301622) Attached to: EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices

What if the coffee cup cost $100 to make but was sold for only $5 on the assumption that the money the buyer spends in Folgers coffee would make up for the cost over time?
Then people start growing their own coffee and using the cup to drink it. Now Folgers is losing $95 per coffee cup.

Is that not one of the arguments that device makers use?

Comment: Re:Serious Questions (Score 1) 230

by whereiswaldo (#38290968) Attached to: Upcoming Changes To 'Ask Slashdot'

Personally I think it'd be nice if large corporations could actually fish for input from their technical userbase. It's not like increased communication would be bad.

Considering the dollars that companies spend lobbying the government, being more in touch with people beforehand couldn't hurt either.

Comment: Re:Have they tried compression? (Score 1) 239

by whereiswaldo (#38283728) Attached to: Genome Researchers Have Too Much Data

Imagine a 1GB file compressed to 25% of the original size (so 250MB).

Decompress the file to memory (not disk!) and process it. My bet is that decompression time will be the least of your worries: the time saved by reading only 250MB of data from disk instead of 1GB will be the more dominant factor in the total time taken.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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