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Comment Re:Good, now... (Score 1) 146

NO!!!! the whole point of peer review is to judge a paper BEFORE it is published. whatever. I'm sick of this thread. a bunch of egghead wannabees thinking they know what goes into academic work. I'm in academia, and I know

Considering what you've been posting, your claim, that you are in academia, is not believable.

Comment Re:Good, now... (Score 2) 146

Yes, but without journals, how will we per-judge the quality of others' work? This may sound facetious, but it's not. Any fool can write a journal article, and many fools can write compelling article. A journal offers getting and review by members in the field. How else can I judge the validity of a paper, especially if I'm not in the field myself?

We are talking about science.

You know, testable explanations and predictions about everything.

You judge the validity of a paper by testing their explanations and predictions. That's essentially what the scientific community does for a living. Some person finds something odd, some other person comes up with an explanation, others test that explanation to see if its valid, and in the process might find other odd stuff. Rince and repeat.

If you are worried that, without journals, you might not get a conforting authority dictating what you should and should not believe then rest assure, because organizations such as universities and research institutions are more than willing to put their logo on the cover of their member's papers, and also distribute them to the public.

So, it's safe to say that the sky isn't falling.

Comment Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (Score 1) 585

I see what you meant, but I have to point out that certainly you didn't actuallly meant "closed source". You can only freely access a copy of a software package without paying anyone anything if the license explicitly states that you are free to do it.

For that, the right to access the software's source code is irrelevant, as you are granted such a right by using either freeware, which doesn't necessarily provide the source code, or free software, which does.

This is one of those cases where clearly open source software != free software, and the difference between those licensing terms, particularly in this case, are extremelly important.

Comment Re:Simple math, silly! (Score 1) 260

Average people DO have a use for the "supercomputers" under their desks. Otherwise, everyone would still be buying sub-gigahertz semprons. But software continues to get more bloated, and "managed code" imposes even more of an overhead.

For sub-gigahertz semprons? Maybe.

Yet, if we do a realistic comparison and consider, for example, an AMD Athlon X2 (which is the cheapest CPU that was available at a local hardware store) then exactly what do people actually get by purchasing a beefier CPU? Do they get a better user experience exchanging emails, browsing facebook and seeing youtube clips? They don't.

After a certain threshold, it's irrelevant if you get to run your computer games any faster, and you can't possibly justify spending twice as much on a piece of hardware if the only thing that gets you is the ability to run a computer game at 200fps instead of 150fps. Sure, it might look good in a marketing blurb to claim that your product is 33% faster than the competitor's, but the practical result of that is perfectly irrelevant for any user.

Comment Re:Simple math, silly! (Score 4, Insightful) 260

It makes the assumption - always wrong - that people don't want more cpu. People ALWAYS want more cpu.

Your assertion is dissociated from reality. It completely ignores the netbook phenomenon, not to mention the inception of smartphones and tablet computers.

People don't buy these devices because they "want more CPU". After a certain level, the "CPU" amount is irrelevant and its practical effects are completely unnoticeable. There is a good reason why hardware companies rely on artificial benchmarks designed to push the hardware in completely unrealistic, useless and impractical scenarios to be able to compare their hardware against the competitor's offering, and therefore justify a higher asking price.

To drive the point home, I can tell you my personal case. My last two hardware purchases were a netbook and a smartphone, which, by today's standards, are considerably lacking o the "CPU" department. Yet, they are by far the two pieces of hardware which I use the most. I also have a desktop and a laptop which I've purchased a few years ago, and I actually use them for serious stuff which actually require real CPUs to crunch real numbers. I'm talking about structural analysis and CAD work. In spite of actually having to use a computer to actually do some serious number crunching to actually get a meaningful result, unlike calculating pi to the nth digit after the decimal point, the fact is that both my archaic desktop and laptop are more than capable of handling heavy workloads required for practical engineering work.

And this without even relying on OpenCL to take advantage of the hardware which is already present in the system and basically never leaves the idle state.

So, in short, contraty to what you said, people actually "don't want more cpu". People actaully know that they can't notice it after a certain point, which was actually passed about half a dozen years ago, and people are also aware that the inflated price tag associated with having "more cpu" actually doesn't justify the diminishing returns they get with that purchase. What they want is cheaper stuff that is actually good enough to get the job done, and if the job in mind is checking email, facebook and any other mundane tasks then people do know that the price tag of a supercomputer is completely unjustified, when they can easily get away with it by purchasing a glorified cellphone, with or without an embedded keyboard.

Comment Re:They still don't get it. (Score 1, Informative) 663

The thing about Piracy is, the people who pirate are not people who would have paid for it in the first place.

That isn't totally correct.

I've spent about 5 years not listening to any music, but a while ago I decided to check out what the bands I knew and liked have been up to in all these years. Some ended, which made me die a bit inside, others kept going without releasing any new album but others actually put out a couple of them.

So, I've decided to check these new albums.

One of these bands was The Atomic Bitchwax. The band recorded a couple albums since I stopped listening to music, and so I set forth to download them. I did that, and on the .rar file which packed the latest album was a small text file which mentioned that the band's entire discography was being sold via download through the band's site. I've checked them out and lo and behold, they were selling a pack with their first 6 albums for 5 dollars. They were also selling the latest album for 5 dollars as well.

So, I've spent 10 dollars and purchased both of them. Quite nice.

At least in my case, I've only shelved 10 dollars on music, my only music purchase in the last 5 years, because I've downloaded some mp3 albums and stumbled on a good deal. I may not represent a lot of people, but as I happen to exist then it certainly must mean something. At least now, when I see someone claiming that people who download mp3 don't purchase music, or that music downloads hurt business, I know enough to call it like it is: a load of bullshit.

Comment Re:Why wasn't it returned? (Score 4, Informative) 130

They removed the kidney from her brother because they believed it was already broken. So, they instead transplanted it to the desperate 67 year old guy who prefered getting a diseased kidney, hoping it could extend his life for a little bit, instead of passing it to a perfecly healthy person, which might put her life in jeopardy.

Or so I believe.

Comment Re:Er, Your Statement and His Don't Quite Mix (Score 1) 744

"Large scale" does not mean what you want it to mean.

I don't know what imaginative definition for "large scale" you are using, but if you wish to claim that Portugal's energy production doesn't fit your definition of large scale then, by your own definition, the energy needs of at least 145 out of 192 countries in the world also don't fit your definition of large scale.

Also, it also wouldn't matter to you that the energy produced in Portugal from renewable sources alone would be more than enough to fulfill all the energy needs of 128 countries in the world.

And, finally, Germany generates around 17% of it's energy needs from renewable sources. Maybe the 7th largest energy producer in the world also doesn't fit your definition of "large scale".

Or, possibly, you are desperately trying to move the goal post to avoid looking like a fool with your bullshit assertions.

Comment Re:Er, Your Statement and His Don't Quite Mix (Score 5, Interesting) 744

Japan has just finished turning off all nuclear power over a "disaster" that proved just how safe modern nuclear can be. Wind, hydro, tide .. these are all bullshit: they will never matter in the big picture, they'll feelgood measures that's don't actually accomplish anything large scale, just like most green initiatives.

According to wikipedia, Portugal produces 52% of its energy from renewable sources, with a combination of hydro, solar, wind and geothermal. Do you see 52% of the energy produced in a country with a population of 11 million as "all bullshit" and a failure to "actually accomplish anything large scale"?

Comment Re:Is there more to say? (Score 1) 74

How about we hold people liable when we discover they actually violate a particular copyright, rather than trying to extent tort coverage to criminal concepts like "aiding and abetting". Seriously.

Because in some jurisdictions, which at least until a few years ago consist of the entire world except the US and a hand full of puppet states, distributing a copyrighted work for personal use without the copyright holder's authorization is perfectly legal, and it is so very legal to the point that it is even explicitly authorized in the copyright code. So, these copyright trolls can't touch the people covered by those jurisdictions, and hence they are free to distribute any copyrighted work as they see fit.

yet, in some cases the distribution channels are still covered by a jurisdiction which they can corrupt. So, as they can't touch the end user, they do try to eliminate the distribution channel. It's cheaper that way, more cost-effective in terms of legal costs and, more importantly, they eliminate any potential competitor that may enter the media distribution business. If there is any doubt in that then just look how the US thugs are handling the megaupload fiasco, and notice how they only managed to pull that mafia-inspired racketeering stunt once kim dotcom was investing in a media distribution business backed-up by a string of A-list artists.

Comment What a great CV (Score 2) 288

It appears that one of the previous job held by Paramount's worldwide VP of content protection and outreach was working for Saddam's information ministry, where he provided Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf with material to use in all those insightful broadcasts. Do you know the "there are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!" quote? It must have been this guy who was behind it.

Comment Testicles in a vise (Score 1) 103

Then I guess that every Facebook executive, along with each and every lawyer at Facebook's service, won't mind placing their testicles in a vice operated by me. After all, just like they claim their intentions to be regarding CISPA, I also have absolutely no intention to abuse the vise in any way. So they can trust me, honest.

But but will they wilfully agree to that? I doubt they will, because they know very well that it is a risk which is simply not acceptable by any standard.

Data Storage

Portugal Is Considering a "Terabyte Tax" 353

An anonymous reader writes "As a proposal to avoid becoming the 'next Greece', a Portuguese opposition party has proposed a tax on storage. The party claims that the tax will not effect the average citizen and is mostly levied at business users, but internal storage on mobile phones means a 64GB iPhone could be €32 more expensive. From the article: 'The proposal would have consumers paying an extra €0.2 per gigabyte in tax, almost €21 extra per terabyte of data on hard drives. Devices with storage capacities in excess of 1TB would pay an aggravated tax of 2.5 cents per GB. That means a 2TB device will in fact pile on €51.2 in taxes alone (2.5 cents times 2048GB). External drives or “multimedia drives” as the proposed bill calls them, in capacities greater than 1TB, can be taxed to the tune of 5 cents per gigabyte, so in theory, a 2TB drive would cost an additional €103.2 per unit (5 cents times 2048GB)."

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