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Comment Re:Well intentioned but poorly implemented (Score 2) 70

If their motives were so pure, they might have considered passing a law to deal with kiddy porn and child rape(which would now be in effect) rather than tying action on that issue to successfully ramming through a variety of much more dangerous and ill-considered changes(because of which they now don't have any progress on the issue).

Tackling serious issues is a good thing; but tying them to getting your way on much more controversial(or simply frivolous) issues is about as overt a sign of bad faith as you can exhibit...

Comment Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (Score 3, Insightful) 70

Nothing particularly requires that 'performance art' only include things that are legal and/or unobjectionable. However, punishing people for doing things that are illegal for other reasons during the course of producing 'art' is not generally considered to be a restriction on freedom of speech, any more than the illegality of sacrificing babies to satan is considered an infringement on religious freedom...

There are some edge cases that get tricky(mostly on the side of people totally incidentally banning things that are required for speech or religions they don't like); but it isn't a terribly difficult conceptual distinction. Banning a speech act as such is a clear infringement of speech rights; but that doesn't confer any immunity from any other relevant laws on the speaker, should their speech involve breaching them.

Comment Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (Score 4, Informative) 70

We have 'zero proof' that building legal and technical mechanisms suitable for the suppression of a given flavor of content leads to the use of those mechanisms being used for the suppression of other flavors, sometimes including your 'actual speech' category? Srsly?

Mission creep is a well known phenomenon, and it's both easily historically observable that people's descriptions of political and social commentary they don't like frequently ends up tinged with the same vocabulary of condemnation as that used for porn('that's obscene' actually means that that includes some sordid fucking surprisingly infrequently).

On the architectural side, technical and legal mechanisms for efficient content takedowns are virtually content-agnostic. Blacklists, wordlist filters, DMCA takedown forms, any of those can be trivially re-targeted just by dropping some new parameters in to the configuration.

Lest this be dismissed as theoretical, observe the Russian experiment.

As for the babble about 'meaning' and 'the sacred', I'm just going to have to admit complete bafflement about what you are talking about.

Comment Re:TFS... (Score 1) 148

The study certainly does suggest that mice(and some mouse findings) are much more troublesome than previously suspected. On the plus side, the methods that they used to establish that there was a real problem with mice(the examination of gene expression under the various conditions) seem like they might also be broadly applicable for examining the problem of what is and isn't a good model organism for a given problem...

Obviously, in an ideal world further research would confirm that you are on the right track and everything is just wonderful; but by our non-ideal world standards, a paper that hints at how animal models may be more accurately chosen or excluded for given lines of research seems like it could be quite handy.

Comment Re:Rejection (Score 1) 148

Aren't there some quotas for printed pages? If there are many good candidates, what do they do with the leftovers? Those don't necessarily have to be bad papers.

My understanding is that researchers shop them around, and that the large number of available journals, some more prestigious than others, and some more narrowly focused than others, is supposed to handle that(there has been some concern, especially regarding papers with negative results, that it may not do so optimally in some respects). If a paper is rejected from the very high prestige, relatively broad journals, it can work down the list toward journals more narrowly focused on its exact topic, and/or work down the list to less selective journals(or other selective journals where their luck is better).

Comment Re:Peer review (Score 4, Insightful) 148

Being rejected by Science and Nature might also be indicative of being bad science. Not reading the report yet, the options seem to be intellectual dishonesty from some of the most respected sources of science, or the mice findings are fundamentally flawed. On the outset, I think being rejected by big names in science is usually pretty telling.

PNAS isn't exactly some chickenshit vanity press...

Comment Re:Why do these phones always suck? (Score 1) 142

That's the part I don't understand: it makes sense that 'luxury' electronics can't actually afford to be much better than much more modestly priced consumer gear; but it is quite mysterious why they are actively worse when the same people who OEM the good stuff would be more than happy to sell you the same guts that you can then cover with artisinal hand-tanned tiger foreskin leather or gold-encrusted ivory or whatever.

Comment Re:Im not the target market for these.. (Score 1) 142

Oh, you proles will just never understand what quality really means. In particular, the sapphire-coated screen is much less likely to scratch when your butler or nubile trophy wife is preparing a line of coke for you.

Glass isn't nearly as bad as plastic; but I probably went through 3 iPhones a week back when I was snorting coke off those...

Comment Re:Why do these phones always suck? (Score 3, Interesting) 142

I get it they are to show off how rich you are, but seems like for $10k I would want something a little better specced.

Why do they then always suck? You could get a real top of the line phone and have a custom solid gold body made for it for less and have a better device.

Tech is a pretty brutal market to do 'luxury' goods in. R&D and design costs are extremely high, while manufacturing is (relatively) cheap per unit. So, the guy who is stamping out several million pieces of consumer shit can spend more on making the software not suck and the case(while possibly plastic) elegantly designed than the guy stamping out 1,000 'luxury' devices. It doesn't help that phones are harshly power constrained, so you can't even make something 'better' by splurging on fancy silicon(at least with a desktop, you could shove the fastest i7 that Intel makes and several times as much RAM as the customer could ever need into the chassis as a value-add). The thermal envelope and battery size are so small that mass-market junk, made in huge volume on refined processes, will offer a better experience than any custom or super-overclocked, or 'just-plain-excessive-amounts-of-RAM' configuration would.

This still doesn't explain why 'Vertu' hardware is actively worse than generic Nexus gear, since they could probably just buy Nexus hardware at retail and rip the case off for less money than designing their own hardware; but tech in general is pretty hard to do 'luxury' in.

Comment Re:It's crap (Score 2) 102

That only works on rooted phones

I can't imagine why a modification to the behavior of a device driver(or possibly the replacement of a device driver, depending on the features of the shipping driver) might require root access... Those lazy developers, they should have just built ad-hoc 802.11 mesh networking support in HTML5 or something.

Comment Re:Bypassing authorized carriers? (Score 4, Insightful) 102

I suspect that they aren't wildly concerned:

For users on contract or fixed-price month-to-month, carriers often have an incentive to encourage them to use wifi(unless they think you'll upgrade to a more expensive data plan, or get whacked with overage fees, the less data you use the less you cost; but you still pay the same for the service). So long as they want to continue paying, the carriers would probably be delighted to have them drop off the grid and go mesh out to their heart's content.

Also, internet access in itself doesn't provide a phone number(though you can generally get a VOIP line more cheaply than a cell or landline), so only users who don't actually phone with their phones, or are willing to have phone access only when within range of the wifi or mesh, or who are willing to put up with having both a cell and a VOIP number, are likely to jump from their voice plan.

Plus, wireless meshes can, unless conditions are good, exhibit some pretty tepid latency and packet loss numbers. Well worth what you (don't) pay for bulk data transport; but cuts the utility for latency-sensitive applications.

This is hardly to say that meshes are useless(indeed, they are pretty neat, and certainly a good thing to have in place for resilience purposes and various other things); but they aren't a terribly effective direct competitor to contemporary cellular data standards, or to a one-hop wireless link to a hardline of some sort.

Comment Re:Enforce ethics codes. (Score 3, Funny) 63

Good for this judge. If someone is systematically benefiting from unethical behavior, we don't want them in our legal, political, medical or other professional systems.

I dunno, there's a lot of risky medical testing that we are currently forced to do on imperfect animal models... Might be the only way that these people could make a positive contribution.

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