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Comment Why not host a shared task instead? (Score 1) 53

There are plenty of machine translation conferences/shared tasks going on that are targeting patent translation (e.g. PatentMT - http://ntcir.nii.ac.jp/PatentMT/). Instead of just handing this patent task to Google, why didn't the European Commission host an MT shared task and give a prize to the winner? There are a lot of decent systems being designed by universities and research laboratories, especially in Europe. Oh, well, at least the European Commission is starting to adopt machine translation.

Comment Re:Much as I love Linux .... (Score 1) 222

A fridge IMO is one of the white goods in which the KISS principal definitely should apply.

But what if your fridge could eventually adjust its temperature, based on the contents inside? Assuming that the fridge could have regulated compartments, you would no longer have to worry about your vegetables freezing while you're trying to keep your beer cold. Or, alternatively, maybe your beer doesn't have to be so cold when you're on vacation. One more way to help the average consumer save on energy costs.

Comment Re:I call PC BS (Score 1) 362

What the HELL is wrong with a factually depicted game? Telling an accurate story is very respectful of those who served.

The question is: how do we know that the story told in this Medal of Honor release is accurate and not over-sensationalized? The allure of the previous Medal of Honor releases is that it takes a historical event of the past and enables the player to enter the story with a perspective of what it might have been like. In the case of the newest title, at best they only have a small picture of what has happened in the "War on Terror". Has the military released their classified documents on war strategies and their outcomes? What about war crimes?

A title like this comes at a time where we're dealing with wikileaks divulging information about the war. Also, what effects does a title like this have on public opinion about the war? Are people going to take sides or frame their perspective on the perspective of this video game? The advantage of the previous titles was that there was no possibility of the games being used as propaganda to affect people's opinions on a present event. A title like this certainly couldn't be taking a neutral stance.

Finally, I'm not a huge proponent of censorship, but is it the best idea for soldiers in the war to be playing games on their free time where they are killing their enemy? Yes, our soldiers are responsible people, but will such a game desensitize soldiers and civilians to the severity of this war?

Comment It's not as dramatic as you think. (Score 1) 393

I worked for an IT organization that supported the IT functions of many energy suppliers in deregulated markets. While some people might complain about these programs, they are typically opt-in programs, and if you're a savvy energy customer, you will understand how these programs can save you money in the long run. While many people might be concerned that the utility will turn off their electricity, in reality, it is much more likely that the utility will just turn up your thermostat a couple of degrees. Chances are, they will probably first target the thermostats of the households whose thermostat readings deviate from some average temperature. Many people would not find a degree or two warmer as big of a problem, if they understand that they will be saving a lot of money on their bill. The idea is to reduce the on-peak demand on the utility's infrastructure, to prevent brown-outs or power failures.

That being said, the customer deserves to know on their bill when the utility has adjusted their thermostats. The customer should be able to review their usage each month and make decisions either to change their usage habits, or change their pricing plan to better meet their needs. Time of usage interval billing is a good strategy to save a customer money -- but only if they are willing to take the time to understand their usage patterns and it allows suppliers to avoid purchasing/generating more electricity than their territory needs. In a given month, an energy supplier has to supply as much electricity as the highest demand at a given time. This is an oversimplification, but it basically means that the supplier could end up generating energy that nobody needs. Since they generally can't store the energy somewhere, it will go to waste.

Also, in many places, customers are allowed to shop around and go with an energy supplier that gives them a lower rate. I'm not certain about Arizona's legislation, but places like Texas and areas in the Northeast allow competition and the suppliers generally try to create pricing plans that factor in time-of-use billing to reduce their costs and save certain types of customers money. Though, most competition targets the Commercial and Industrial sector, since that's where the money is generally made.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 582

No, Bing links to a Yahoo answers page in which the actually text of the article contains the search terms several times("Windows" once, "Mac" once, "expensive" once, and Microsoft" twice).

It looks like the Yahoo answers page is actually bashing Microsoft, not Apple.

I am well and truely fed up with Windows and Microsofts global domiantion plans and want to return to mac (I had one years ago before replacing with a PC), but I have been having a look around and even 2nd hand ones are really expensive? If Apple want to cut Microsoft down, they should lower their costs?

If M$ was trying to make themselves look good, I doubt that they would want that to be in their top 10 results.

Comment â30 or â30.000? (Score 1) 255

In a totally unexpected ruling, a Dutch court has decided that The Pirate Bay should block visitors from the Netherlands within 10 days or face a fine of â30,000 per defendant per day.

FYI, if you write â30,000, you really mean â30, because the EU swaps comma notation with decimal notation. According to the article, the fine is â30.000 per defendant per day, which is a ridiculously high number.

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