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Comment: Re:Horray! Metro Apps on XBoxOne! (Score 1) 148

by whydavid (#45198459) Attached to: Dell Ad Says Windows 8.1 Apps Will Run On Xbox One

Except moving a cursor around with a controller sucks.

They could win me over, however, if they brought in the duck hunt gun as a tile selection method, made the live tiles move around the screen rapidly, and introduced "whammy" live tiles costing $1 every time they were hit. Getting to the game would be just as fun as playing it, especially if it's a crappy windows store game.

Comment: Re:700 million euros? (Score 2) 202

by whydavid (#45198343) Attached to: Finnish Team Makes Diabetes Vaccine Breakthrough

In one line you managed to span the spectrum from ill-informed to irrelevant. Good job.

1) Cures are not "supposed" to reduce (monetary) costs, and in many cases they don't. [ill-informed]

2) The number of people with Type I Diabetes is in excess of 10 million. A billion dollar clinical trial, amortized over this population, pales in comparison to the costs (monetary or human suffering) of management. [ill-informed]

3) None of this has anything to do with socialized medicine. [irrelevant]

Comment: Re:Type 1 v Type 2 diabetes (Score 2) 202

by whydavid (#45198295) Attached to: Finnish Team Makes Diabetes Vaccine Breakthrough

The methods for manufacturing vaccines are constantly changing. If you wait a generation or two, the vaccine will have changed and you'll need to wait another generation or two. Of course, if you are anything like a typical anti-vax nut, you have no idea how vaccines work, how they are manufactured, or how bad the diseases they are designed to prevent actually are. Just do us a favor an home-school your unvaccinated children.

Comment: Re:SWAT? (Score 1) 478

by whydavid (#44761889) Attached to: Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

I would imagine they came about due to more than one event and that those events would be instances where ordinary police units were outgunned or otherwise unable to handle a situation. In any case, the fact that SWAT units exist isn't a problem, the way in which they are unnecessarily deployed is the issue. And, as was my entire point, this is hardly a ground-breaking finding.

Of course, the author was misguided in including this example anyways: he assumes that we've allowed SWAT team overuse and abusive police tactics to occur in an effort to minimize risk, but I would contend that a desire to see criminals brought to justice is the overwhelming motivation here. For instance, if you google 'police pursuit public opinion' you'll find several stories about citizens demanding MORE vehicular police pursuits (which bring increased risk to society) which would not be the case if the goal was to minimize risk, but is expected if justice/vengeance is the goal. His other examples may be legitimate (though, again, his entire thesis is a boring re-tread of well-known principles), but the SWAT/police example is off the mark.

+ - Leaked Documents Detail al-Qaeda's Efforts To Fight Back Against Drones->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, "Al-Qaeda’s leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones ... In July 2010, a U.S. spy agency intercepted electronic communications indicating that senior al-Qaeda leaders had distributed a “strategy guide” to operatives around the world advising them how “to anticipate and defeat” unmanned aircraft. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that al-Qaeda was sponsoring simultaneous research projects to develop jammers to interfere with GPS signals and infrared tags that drone operators rely on to pinpoint missile targets. Other projects in the works included the development of observation balloons and small radio-controlled aircraft, or hobby planes, which insurgents apparently saw as having potential for monitoring the flight patterns of U.S. drones... Al-Qaeda has a long history of attracting trained engineers ... Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, holds a mechanical-engineering degree ... In 2010, the CIA noted in a secret report that al-Qaeda was placing special emphasis on the recruitment of technicians and that “the skills most in demand” included expertise in drones and missile technology. ""
Link to Original Source

+ - Martin Luther King Jr's Children in Court over MLK IP

Submitted by cervesaebraciator
cervesaebraciator (2352888) writes "Slashdot has reported before about the copyright nightmare of the 'I Have a Dream Speech'. Now questions of intellectual property and the legacy of Dr. King have caused his children to go to court. The estate, run by King's sons, claims the rights to the intellectual property and memorabilia of Dr. King as assets. Accordingly, it has filed suit against the non-profit Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change, run by King's daughter, for plans to continue using King memorabilia once a royalty-free licensing agreement expires, (which the estate says will be in September). As is the case with increasing frequency, one is left to wonder about the implications intellectual property claims have for free speech when they can be applied to so public a figure as Dr. King."

Comment: This just in... (Score 0) 478

by whydavid (#44754609) Attached to: Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

...in response to catastrophic events, people demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice personal freedoms for a measure of perceived safety.

The author of this blog should be commended for this completely novel contribution to society.

Oh well, at least he provided an actionable recommendation: "We need to relearn how to recognize the trade-offs that come from risk management, especially risk from our fellow human beings. We need to relearn how to accept risk, and even embrace it, as essential to human progress and our free society."

Ok Bruce, "We" will get right on that. Thanks for the advice.

Comment: Re:Sounds more like a mockery (Score 2) 40

by whydavid (#44754393) Attached to: IBM Uses Internal Kickstarters To Pick Projects

Ignorant much?

IBM has, according to their website, 434,246 employees. So much for a small employee population...unless you meant 'a small country' or 'a small state.'

In any case, if you even took the time to read the 4-sentence blurb, you would see that they did this with 500 employees at their research center, which would still give 5 times your estimate of '10,000 or so.'

And I don't see why it would make any sense for IBM to give every person $10,000. The idea is to ferret out popular/worthwhile ideas. That doesn't really work if one or two people can fund it, as any of the examples could have been if each had $10,000 to spend.

And finally, your idea of profit sharing with regards to the selected ideas only works if the idea is meant to have some immediate financial impact. Procuring a 3D printer might not directly lead to financial results, but it may help someone rapidly prototype something that becomes a million dollar idea. You will never be able to measure the financial contribution made by that 3D printer, so why bother? Similarly, a disc golf course might provide some intangible stress relief, and employees may be a little more productive as a result, but how are you going to quantify that? IBM is pretty good at identifying business opportunity on their own...that clearly isn't the point of this exercise.

Comment: What is the advance? (Score 1) 196

by whydavid (#44753105) Attached to: Bringing Affordable Robotics To Big Agriculture

I don't understand why this is news. Automation has been used in agriculture for a long time in applications much more advanced than this. Why should we get excited about a simplistic robot which moves pots around according to explicit user instructions and pre-placed guidance tape? Show me a robot that, based on the type of plant, moves it to a suitable area where it will receive just the right amount of sun, or perhaps a robot that will ensure each plant gets exactly the right amount of water/nutrients given varying weather conditions, or a robot that monitors each plant for signs of disease, or really just a robot that does something that robots haven't been doing since, you know, the beginning of robots.

Comment: Don't think he cares what we think.... (Score 1) 169

by whydavid (#44743967) Attached to: Lenovo CEO Shares $3 Million Bonus With Workers
This guy just bought: better morale, free publicity, [some] defense against charges of being heartless/taking advantage of workers a la Foxconn, and probably some warm fuzzy feelings for himself as well. I don't think he'll lose any sleep because Slashdot readers looked at his salary and wondered why he didn't give up the whole thing. Yes, he could have just had the company issue the bonus without any mention of where it came from, or he could have given the bonus but not released a press release about it, but so what? China's economy is slowing down, times are going to get tough, and this guy put a few hundred bucks in a lot of families' wallets; good for him.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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