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Comment they have the right idea (Score 1) 75

This is exactly the problem (at least one big problem) with modern VC driven economics. The investors only care about knocking out the other competitors, not building a long term sustainable business. They monopolize one 'vertical' then move on to wrecking the next one. Amazon benefitted from a similar strategy. They want to burn money blowing out the whole 'ecosystem' of services that are at least priced high enough to keep operating. Obviously this has happened in plenty of other sectors of China's economy before, but it's easy to see why they don't want Western investors monopolizing their taxi industry through this strategy (and for that matter they need to get a lot of autos unloaded into the consumer market).

Comment thanks for not really changing much (Score 1) 1839

I appreciate that this site has barely changed since I was in high school. There are some good ideas here like better submission process, shifting some link colors for readability, and adding HTTPS and IPv6 capability. Maybe a larger sense of reviewing and bringing a spotlight to smaller free software projects - it's always been a thing but could be approached more thoroughly. And maybe ask for ad-free subscriptions to help stabilize revenues. IRC chat for editorial.

Keep it old school and lightweight design, don't mess with it for the sake of it.

Comment yet the films are more unlocked than advertised (Score 1) 279

The world of decryption keys in film world is interesting . DCP films have decryption keys that work in a time window. ... they don't actually control how many times the film can be run. This means 'super restricted' digital prints can still get played overnight - and they definitely are.

These nightvision things are to keep management happy - they have thick contracts with studios so 'security theater' in the theater has to be applied.

I was in a early screening movie that had studio security parading around watching people with the scopes after collecting cell phones and wanding people, it was redonk especially since the key was still unlocked overnight - and the movie had a rebellious theme but more physical security than any other.

To deter inside jobs there is definitely watermarking now, it's hard to spot but actually sometimes you can, may be a series of dots around a corner rather than some more carefully hidden signal. (and there may be audio watermarking too, but i think with two clean audio captures from different sites you could diff it out).

Comment Medical paywalls are medieval (Score 1) 414

The real medieval belief system is the idea that medical journals should be paywalled or restricted in any way. Homeopathy is a loosely defined term but access restricted paywalls prevent everyone from gaining from the scientific process, and deserve to be jettisoned to the dust bin where they belong, along with other detritus from the Dark Ages.

Comment This is why we need industrial hemp for victory (Score 4, Interesting) 269

See the original 1942 propaganda film:

There is no reason to focus on wood for the paper supply - except the economics of state-imposed rules driving customers to buy solvents. It would be far better and less impactful to use hemp instead of trees for paper, TP and the rest of it. The consequences are huge!

Comment Sweet entrapment stimulus program (Score 1) 82

Well here is the way out of the economic doldrums. The government just needs to hire a fake terrorist, a fake sex worker and a fake drug dealer to stand outside your door every morning. They spam you with various goodies and opportunities. If you turn them down, you don't get a tax credit but you don't go to jail either. If you do take them up on it, everyone involved gets "statistical accomplishments" and it keeps the lawyers busy!

Synthetic decision tree spam (i.e. entrapment, stings) are pernicious and limitless, but there's no reason we can't use them to fix the economy. It's been working great for decades at a smaller scale.

Comment Western bias in consciousness threshold (Score 1) 244

There is a pretty heavy conceptual bias in defining what counts as consciousness, and as these borderline experiments continue it will only become more obvious. Outside of "the West" a much larger circle of reality is defined as conscious. That may include sacred elements of the landscape, celestial bodies, plants etc. The radical psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich held that everything in the universe was suffused with what he called "orgone" energy that tended to pulse and potentially spontaneously organize into more complex forms. By this logic planets and stars are also alive, the universe is not a dead object, even though they don't usually reproduce, they seem to have other features shared with what we conventionally understand is alive and/or conscious. The Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose also didn't draw such a hard line between dead and living matter, much to the chagrin of the UK Royal Society.

We still struggle to understand what happens at the energy threshold of activity in our neurons, and what is coming and going from the dirac ocean. The different behaviors of observed particles suggests that consciousness, or perception, is some kind of loop that can reach down to the atomic level in an experiment and back up to our human scale again. Perhaps these researchers can determine if that brain can "observe" a quantum experiment somehow, I think that'd be pretty interesting.

I honestly wonder how many people that make all these blanket assurances about how various things aren't conscious have ever hung out with some ferns while on something like psilocybin mushrooms, an experience which arguably discards a lot of ordinary perception filters - the very filters that tell you 'no, that plant is not conscious right now' etc etc. How many of these people also tend to say that animals don't have emotions, which is pretty obviously a false claim.

Comment reverse: impending graceful failures of government (Score 1) 264

I think it would be great if people could just shut down federal agencies because they can be predictively judged to continue being shady balls of fail in the future. Sorry FBI and DEA, we the people predict you will gracefully fail to notice any banksters laundering drug money again in 2016 and 2017 so your appropriations have been pulled. Later!

Comment Alternative tech: Greensock and WebRTC (Score 1) 220

WebRTC is maturing quickly with good vendor support for creating direct audio, video and data connections among browsers with many peer-to-peer possibilities including for example a sort of BitTorrent client: . Already WebRTC is the data conveyor for the Facebook Messenger app for example. I have been lucky to attend a couple talks in recent months about this. Be sure to check out Red5 if you are interested in video superpowers:

For flash-like HTML5/Javascript controls I have been impressed with Greensock - see - it even has a lot of 3D capabilities. Greensock started as a Flash toolkit and moved into HTML5 later, as I understand it.

We are getting to the point where even Unreal Engine can roughly compile for the browser so I think most of the unique capabilities of Flash are finally becoming supplanted in better and more open ways.

Comment Samsung Terminators need a Skynet (Score 0) 75

Samsung is a world leader in the insane killer robot business ( ) and now has robotic Howitzer, ammo and fire control platforms ( ) ... having a network of satellites too. Now all you need is a malicious AI to troll up a war with North Korea and it's game over... or something like that.

Comment dump standardized testing (Score 1) 99

This type of tech - maybe not just in one wave, but things of this nature - should replace standardized testing. To hell with filling in little dots, let the kids actually *create* things and then they are more likely to succeed. Tons of nasty leech organizations grab the kind of money needed for these sorts of initiatives. Swat them away and get creative - and yes 3D printers are manufactured in the US.

Comment A matter for free software (Score 1) 24

One hopes that GPL compatible software can be installed. As Stallman pointed out in his Libreplanet keynote a couple weeks ago, the separate computers are not really designed correctly to defend the other parts from runaway music player components or whatever. Having a Michael Hastings style crash is only a few malfunctions away...

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