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Comment An interesting study in modern ethics (Score 4, Insightful) 263

Is it still right to punish those who in good faith believe there is a pressing need to leak certain information? Entrapment aside, this really will have the most damaging chilling effect yet known in the information age. First no whistleblower protection for gov. employees, and now an active campaign to make sure fucked people stay fucked. Proud to be an American!

Comment A few things... (Score 2) 684

1. The power company (very likely) already knows your power consumption habits. Lots of meters send automated reads every 15 minutes anyway. This is not new, at all. The processing power and manpower to actually mine this data does not yet exist, and if power companies wanted to put this in the pipeline they'd have to spend bazillions of dollars doing so.
2. The EM radiation emitted by smart meters (especially those in the 900MHz range) is comparable to a cell phone, except for the fact that it's not placed directly against your ear, and it chirps for a few ms every few minutes, as opposed to constantly against your head

The crazies who spout nonsense about cancer and privacy are of the same sort that believe in homeopathy. You will notice that they don't cite their sources, and make generalized, unsupported claims.

Comment Trim the fucking trees (Score 5, Informative) 813

I sat in on a town hall meeting where JCP&L fumbled majorly in explaining themselves after taking a week or more to restore power in northern NJ. They gave all manner of excuses, and the meeting attendees pointed out endless examples of dead branches hanging over wires. Their policy? Then don't touch the branch unless the branch is *hanging* on the wire. How's that for foresight? The moment a strong wind kicks up, they lose power. They're so fucking cheap that they fired all their linemen, and now out-of-state emergency support has become the ONLY support.

Shame on them.

Digital

Submission + - Time Warner Cable patents method for disabling fast-forward function on DVRs (fiercecable.com) 1

antdude writes: "FierceCable reports "Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) has won a U.S. patent for a method for disabling fast-forward and other trick mode functions on digital video recorders.

The patent, which lists Time Warner Cable principal architect Charles Hasek as the inventor, details how the nation's second largest cable MSO may be able prevent viewers from skipping TV commercials contained in programs stored on physical DVRs it deploys in subscriber homes, network-based DVRs and even recording devices subscribers purchase at retail outlets...""

Hardware

Submission + - New film renders screen reflection almost non-existent (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sony has used the SID 2012 conference to demonstrate a brand new combination of conductive film and low-reflection film that promises to render screen reflection almost non-existent in devices like smartphones and tablets.

Sony achieved such low reflections by combining its new conductive film with a moth-eye low reflection film. The key to the low reflectance is the formation of an uneven surface, which consists of both concave and convex structures (tiny bumps) that cover the entire film. The uneven surface means that light won’t just bounce back off the screen creating a reflection, and therefore making the screen usable in a wider range of lighting conditions.

Submission + - The Physics of the Knuckleball 1

snoop.daub writes: R.A. Dickey, pitcher for the New York Mets, has been in the news this week after two dominant pitching performances in a row, holding opponents to one hit in each of the games for the first time since Dave Stieb did it in 1988. He has taken over as the league's only knuckleball pitcher after Tim Wakefield retired last season. But just what is it about the knuckleball that makes it hard to hit? Conventional wisdom has it that the lack of spin on the knuckleball causes it to move in completely unpredictable ways, even changing directions in mid-flight. In the last few years, there has been a lot of good science done to understand baseball pitch trajectories, and a few months ago Prof. Alan M. Nathan showed that knuckleballs aren't really so different from other pitches. It turns out that the same 9-parameter equation that can be used to describe other pitch trajectories applies just as well to the knuckleball. The difference appears to be that, like in a chaotic system, knuckleballs depend sensitively on the initial conditions, so that small changes can cause randomly different forces at the start of the pitch which determine the resultant trajectory. Much of this and similar work depends on the Pitchf/x tool, which has recorded the complete trajectory, spin angle and spin rate of every MLB pitch since 2007! Baseball really does have the best sports stats geeks.

Submission + - Chatting with a Diablo 3 hacker (avg.com)

CharlieSanchez writes: Interesting piece describing an encounter with a hacker while investigating a Diablo 3 keylogger.

The chat functionality is actually built into the backdoor and the hacker himself appears and talks to an AVG employee attempting to debug the keylogger.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 2) 710

Motion blur can be artistic. It's mostly a matter of perception, but to me high frame rates remind me of handycam footage and generally low production value.

And apparently I am not the only one who finds this to be the case: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/9225905/The-Hobbit-previews-to-mixed-reactions.html

In any case, it'll probably end up to be a generational thing, and I'll be screaming at these 48p weirdos to get off my screen.

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