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Comment Re:Must be discrimination (Score 1) 444

A few years ago, I realized that I had been valuing other people and myself on a flawed scale. In an nutshell I had placed more value on intelligence than compassion and kindness. I started deliberately trying to think of the world I perceive through a new perspective and it changed me.

This emphasis on income is every bit as invalid. People seem to care a lot about making sure wages are equal, but they don't ask "how worthwhile is the work" when comparing the work of women to men. Women are more likely to be home parents, teachers, health care workers, medical scientists, financial managers, veterinarians, and psychologists to name just a few. All those things I mentioned are about helping other people directly.

I think women are more likely to place the value of their work above the income for their work and frankly I'm a little irritated every time someone breaks out the wage argument like that's all that matters.

You know what else we're probably looking at wrong? We're probably looking at gifted student programs wrong. We're probably looking at the numbers of kinds by race in the end results rather than looking at the things that are successful in transitioning kids from non-achievers to achievers.

Comment Re:Make Blu Rays available from release day (Score 1) 278

I'd rather watch most movies at home than in the theater. If there were copies available for purchase at the same time the movie came out in the theater, there is zero chance people would refrain from making and distributing free copies. It would be very tempting to just download a free copy rather than pay for the official copy or see it in a theater.

Comment Re:Spoilers! (Score 1) 55

Like it spoiled much of anything if you watch the movie. It certainly isn't something like telling people Luke is Darth Vader's son or that Princess Leia is his sister (which really makes watching Star Wars episode IV sort of awkward in some scenes).

I just want to see how many times Matt Damon drops the f-bomb in the movie? Andy Weir uses it about a dozen times in the first chapter and is even the first word of the book.

Comment Re:Where have I heard this before? (Score 2) 255

You're quite right. The good news that instead of only the elite knowing how to read and write as was normal a century ago, now most people can communicate with the written word. The number of interesting things to read and the number of people capable of appreciating it now compared to just a few generations ago is amazing when you stop to think about it. Maybe only one in ten thousand is a great writer, but not that percentage is taken from a hugely larger portion of the population. Likewise with coding, perhaps only one in ten thousand will be a coder with impact, but if that is taken from 318 million instead of 2 million, that's a big impact.

Comment Re:What kind of future.... (Score 2) 255

I can't disagree with your observations, but I do have a positive perspective to add. Imagine that you wanted a way to measure wireless signal strength as you deployed your first wireless network in 1997. You'd need to buy special equipment where today, you just download an app. The 1997 person might want a calculator at the gas pump, requiring planning ahead to have the right equipment, but today you can just pull out your phone to use the built-in app.

Today the average end user doesn't buy a newspaper, consumer reviews magazine, music player, tape recorder, map or a camera. Few drive to the book store or the bank. Anyone can buy household goods while they wait in line at the DMV and catch up with family and friends across the world during their lunch break.

Today the average consumer solves thousands of needs by just knowing there is probably a bit of programming to be added to the ubiquitous pocket computer. It's probably not fair to refer to the end consumer's actions as coding or even programming, but the average consumer today changes what that pocket computer is capable of every day without even thinking about how it works.

Comment Re:Lock-in and dependence (Score 1) 255

1) Each website will inevitably have its own API that is incompatible with every other similar service. With service APIs, no one will bother with standardization on anything but the base protocol, because no generic standard satisfies any individual service's full functionality.

That's pretty much a description of how web pages worked just fifteen years ago. Nobody misses the days when most websites were designed for IE or Netscape and you couldn't make a website that worked well in both without taking quite a few special behaviors into account. Today, Microsoft is pushing Edge, Chrome has a significant market share, and Firefox's trailblazing changes made it normal for a browser to use tabs and block pop-ups by default. Not only has standard behavior improved for the better, the industry leaders are all trying to adhere to standards.

Your instant messaging providers would still be incompatible with each other, for instance, because company A wants a whiteboard mode and company B wants custom emoticons.

Recognizing that is the state of things doesn't mean it will stay that way forever. Consider how many websites have realized that managing their own authentication process is a bad idea. There are still plenty of problems, but it is becoming normal to use an inter-operable system. Right now trapping people into a single messaging system is a business model, but I don't think it will stay that way.

2) Because it's easier/cheaper/faster, everything will depend on some company being in business and providing their service. If somebody makes a service that does text-to-speech extraordinarily well, for instance, and does it as an online API call instead of locally on the device, then if that company goes out of business the service dies with them and everything that depended on their particular text-to-speech engine would stop working.

Unless it's an open source service, then five more will spring up in it's place. If that text-to-speech service is widely desired, an open source version is guaranteed to spring up eventually.

Wait a moment... aren't these types of problems happening today? Business as usual then. Carry on.

Business as usual is widely panned, but we already live in a world where business as usual has radically changed in just a couple decades. I carry a computer in my pocket that is massively more powerful than I could have predicted twenty years ago. Yesterday I talked to it and got an answer. When I was a kid, I couldn't have gotten that answer without a trip to the library and possibly weeks of waiting for the library to get the book exchanged from another geographically distant library.

Business as usual for the average person is change, not measured in generations or even decades, but measured in months.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 146

Which only means that it is pretty well cleansed due to the debate and non-controversial things have been kept out. It is interesting that the alias used by Barack Obama while his family lived in Indonesia, Barry Soetoro, is not listed anywhere in the actual article even though it is even mentioned in one of the sources on the article as the title of the article. Another interesting thing that has been completely removed from not only that article but any sub-articles is anything even remotely mentioning the "birther" debate... as if that never happened at all and never appeared in any headlines or discussions even to have it refuted. Again, links to articles that list that debate are even in the sources, just no mention in the actual article itself is what I find odd.

I agree it is pretty clean with just facts, but it is a pretty cleansed set of facts that are non-controversial in and of themselves and state the dull dry stuff that doesn't get dredged up when real muck racking happens. It is also an extremely orthodox view of Barack Obama.

Mind you, for something like Wikipedia, I think it is likely about as good as it can get. But 80 pages of discussion debates shows it was a highly contentious article for those who helped put together the words you are currently reading there. It also appears to have the usual level of cranks and crazy folks who have edited the page over time, like the guy who replaced the whole article with the word "Gay". It likely would be mostly what you would also see in a typical encyclopedia of even 50 years ago about a similar topic written by professional authors writing for an encyclopedia.

Comment Re:Not bad in principle (Score 1) 146

The way you solve that problem is to require reviewers to not hide in anonymity. There are plenty of very prominent reviewers of all kinds of things, including the movie reviewers Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert who got their named plastered all over so much that even a negative review ("Two thumbs interesting movie with flaws") would still show up on movie posters.

Don't trust an individual reviewer.

Comment Re:socks arent all malevolent (Score 1) 146

more attention needs to be lent to dealing with controversial articles on the RIAA, the trans continental partnership, and the nature of large entities that can afford to muddle their tracks. For example, how many edits to the Coca Cola wiki article have been made and by whom? What edits get made to pages on the gulf oil disaster and on Time Warners article

And you don't think pages like Barack Obama or George W. Bush are immune to these problems by political fanatics either? What about the religious fanatics that get into edit wars over theology, or the Wikipedia pages on Scientology? Frankly what I see for from these shills working for advertising agencies is trivial compared to the huge damage that a well invested fanatic on many other topics can do to Wikipedia articles, most of them not getting any sort of pay for their activities.

It also isn't the famous articles that are the real concern though. It is the articles that have perhaps two or three active editors that have ever worked on that article and then the article is hijacked to support a strong point of view. It might get caught if it is on somebody's active page watch list or somebody aggressively looking at recent changes, but mostly it will slip through the cracks and become mostly permanent to Wikipedia. This includes some rather substantive articles I might add, but by its nature is usually non-controversial (hence why so few people are bothering to edit it too).

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 146

That edit history is already built into the MediaWiki software and has been there for years. it is in fact one of the ways you can track down the activities of a user, and that edit history is for the most part even available to the general public. Here is the edit history of one of the more infamous Wikipedia editors of the past as an example.

Admins get some minor additional pieces of information, and can look up deleted pages (at least pages not visible to everybody) to review what might have happened in the past that got them on the bad side of another administrator or even police bad actions by admins themselves. It is tedious for even one admin to fight another admin (called wheel warring) but it can be done.

Your suggestion already exists.


Mozilla, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Others Form 'Alliance For Open Media' 99

BrianFagioli tips news that Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Intel, Amazon, and Netflix are teaming up to create the Alliance for Open Media, "an open-source project that will develop next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest." Several of these companies have been working on this problem alone: Mozilla started Daala, Google has VP9 and VP10, and Cisco just recently announced Thor. Amazon and Netflix, of course, are major suppliers of online video streaming, so they have a vested interested in royalty-free codecs. They're inviting others to join them — the more technology and patents they get on their side, the less likely they'll run into the issues that Microsoft's VC-1 and Google's VP8 struggled with. "The Alliance will operate under W3C patent rules and release code under an Apache 2.0 license. This means all Alliance participants are waiving royalties both for the codec implementation and for any patents on the codec itself."

Comment Re:Premature much? (Score 1) 24

We have more than enough beautiful drawings and pie in the sky dreams, these do not advance the end goal of having and regularly using cheap manned access to space.

These guys are not just making beautiful drawings, and I fail to see how they are not advancing the end goal of having regular and cheap crewed access to space.

I don't know what their end goal actually is, assuming they can actually put capsules into space. I think that issue is something which legitimately needs to be brought up. There is a history of some "open source projects" (Gracenote comes to mind) where once a pile of money starts flowing and the project gets on a firm footing financially that the volunteers get left behind in the dust. The Wikimedia Foundation is another such project that isn't quite so bad, but Jimmy Wales definitely could have completely sold out the community in the past and definitely did in some ways too so far as there are some people making a huge pile of money off of Wikipedia content, even if indirectly.

I don't mind the fact that Kristian Von Bengston is dreaming big. We need that in this universe, where people who dream big can actually accomplish things. If he tries and fails, he is but one more person who has definitely been in that situation before. Jim Benson was another such dreamer in commercial spaceflight that tried and failed.... but provided the groundwork for others to follow that really did help. I could name a great many others that can definitely fit in that list, including I might add Werner Von Braun..... who even got his start from Hermann Oberth if you want to follow an interesting engineering pedigree. We won't get into space without folks like this. I'll even say that Kristian Von Bengston is leading a resurgance of private spaceflight for the European Union, which I find awesome in so many ways for just that point too.

And the really amazing thing is that Copenhagen Suborbitals is doing all of this with very minimal amounts of tax dollars involved. There is a sort of libertarian side of me that is just screaming "He gets it!" on that point too. This could be a huge government boondoggle with pork flowing all over the EU as yet another ESA project for going to the Moon or something like that. Instead, it is private money that is paying for the bulk of what is going on, even if it is donations. That by itself is proof of some significant support for spaceflight

You will lose an important tape file.