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Comment Re:That's the police for you (Score 1) 277

Imagine the law enforcement resources that would be freed up and made available for real crimes (i.e. those with a victim) if we never prosecuted anything that happens among consenting adults. I bet a lot more thieves, rapists, and murderers would be behind bars.

I can't honestly believe this was considered insightful. Holy unsubstantiated argument, batman. You remind me of the Republicans when they argued government inflated the cost of healthcare. Obama's reply was that "we could reduce the price of meat substantially tomorrow. All we have to do is get rid of the food inspectors." I can only imagine all the ways in which your logical fallacy can be dissected.

Comment Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 1) 744

Unfortunately there's no such thing as a "climate scientist" within whose mind the vast set of data is held and considered. Climate science is a consortium of many different disciplines, including biologists, to arrive at the word you used above: consensus. No one discipline dominates the field, it's a cooperative effort to arrive at something everyone can agree on (based on the available evidence of course).

So while Lovelock may be a loud voice in a sea of loud voices, his biology background is--popularizing aside--a perfectly valid field in which to contribute to climate science.

Comment Surprising? (Score 3, Insightful) 268

It's only surprising if you believe Hollywood hype. The halls of the White House are not bristling with people hell-bent on preventing the next disaster. Life is extraordinarily mundane. The majority of the people in government are moving pages and pages of some of the most sleep-inducing content available. I'm far more apt to believe Tom Clancy's novels depicting CIA, FBI etc getting their intelligence from CNN.

Comment Re:Google admitting problem and trying to fix it (Score 5, Insightful) 128

Fragmentation refers to modifications of product lines such that they are no longer compatible, interoperable, or familiar. You are merely referring to thematic differentiation across the product line. Android remains compatible from a developer standpoint, interoperable as they all run the same fundamental OS, and as such they are also familiar to most users of an Android product.

People often use words that cross gray areas to draw emphasis to their point but in this case they are wrong. Android lacks complete UI consistency across all of its products, but that's called differentiation. All of the fundamental elements of the Android experience are still consistent.

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 411

Not exactly made up. From "The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate." No other official is the primary diplomat, though Clinton may right now appear so she is merely a proxy for the president.

Comment This guy slaughtered almost 100 people... (Score 1) 343

...and you are going to take his word that he's not addicted to video games? Should we trust anything else in the manifesto? You think he's a pretty insightful guy? Has he somehow demonstrated a level of intelligence to which we should all pay attention? Would I be somehow enlightened by reading it?

Seriously, people. So many of you talk about sheeple, then you turn around and grasp at _anything_.

Comment Re:Is it really that hard? (Score 1) 60

You have to think about what you do when you walk. It's very rare that any two of your steps are precisely the same. You are constantly adjusting the length of the stride, the roll of the foot, the vertical position of your toes, the angle at which your knees bend, etc. You don't think about it consciously, but if you tried you might find you have a hard time walking smoothly :)

Like Smauler says, we have not only awareness of these parts independently but also in relation to each other and to the ground. It's very difficult to make those kinds of connections in software. If you disagree you are always welcome to challenge the robotics experts at, for example, MIT.

Comment Runs only on big hardware (Score 2, Informative) 104

From the ca site ({40FB2A1D-9B09-429E-9D52-123477B87E97}):

It is a high-performance, multi-user relational database management system based on z/OS and VSE host platforms.

Unfortunately, although clients can access it from any platform, it's not available for anything else.

Comment Re:Do not attribute to malice ... (Score 1) 360

The second example--a general optimization of the engine that over-optimizes a corner case--is very difficult to pull off in these engines. When you consider that the over-optimization only occurs when the source is aligned a certain way things become very suspicious, because the engine isn't running against the source but an abstract representation of the code.

In today's engines there are also routines to strip out unnecessary and unreachable code, which is relevant because the code snippets added by the tester were extraneous and (slashdotted, so going from memory) unreachable. This means the bytecode would either have been generated and stripped or not generated at all.

Then consider that these engines are not actually running the bytecode but machine-optimizing it. So now you have a case where:

1. Extraneous and unreachable code is added
2. Extraneous and unreachable code is removed by the compiler to bytecode
3. The bytecode is further optimized to machine code
4. The code is executed

Step 4 is where the optimization is lost. This is why it's extremely unlikely that someone checked in code to attempt to optimize the engine which resulted in an over-optimization of the corner case.

Comment Re:The British Way... (Score 1) 213

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Timothy makes an excellent point about who we . Here's what Mr. Chambers originally said:

"Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

Here's what Mr. Compton said:

"Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really."

Neither one has the ring of a joke, neither one is in good taste, but the former is defended while the latter is fodder for criticism. Now, back to your comment:

The judge's ruling was based on the idea that an "ordinary person" would not recognize the joke, take it seriously, and be terrified. The point of this campaign is to demonstrate that that's nonsense.

If a complete stranger (and Paul Chambers is a complete stranger for 99.999% of the world) posted the bomb threat on Twitter and you were inside the airport you would probably want to know whether it's a real threat. It doesn't matter what the medium is: Twitter could simply be part of a new MO for a modern brand of terrorist.

In summary:

  • No indication of a joke
  • Posted on what amounts to a popular public forum
  • Threatens death for potentially hundreds of people

That's not even considering the possibility that Paul really was setting up a secret plot to bomb the airport and the evidence simply hasn't been discovered and his friends simply didn't know. That would be rather embarrassing for these kinds of "I'm Spartacus" campaigns..


Nintendo 3DS To Be Released In February/March 131

angry tapir writes "Nintendo's 3DS, the first portable game device with 3D graphic technology, will go on sale in Japan on Feb. 26 next year. The 3DS will cost ¥25,000 (US$298), Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, told a packed news conference in Chiba, Japan. It will launch in Europe, Australia and the US in March." Nintendo also detailed a number of games that will launch at or near the same time, and they said the online shop would get some improvements

Comment Re:Less protection for free speech? (Score 2, Insightful) 383

I believe the individual was referring to such bodies as the Alberta Human Rights Commission. These bodies have the ability to prosecute an individual for speech outside of the normal judiciary and without any of the normal protections you might expect from a judiciary. In that sense free speech takes a hard hit, especially when you have to wonder what solution the AHRC (and others like it) provide that the courts could not.

Comment Re:US abuse (Score 5, Interesting) 966

Not recently, and there have been a push to make the world a non-corrupt and peaceful place.

Precious few, if any, governments have these goals at the top of their list or anywhere in their list -- ignore the rhetoric and watch what they do. Corruption is the nature of nearly all governments simply because it's how business is done. You'd be amazed at how much of your priviledge of owning a computer and having electricity is the result of bribes and blatantly unethical behavior. Nor is peace their goal. The only goal is economic stability. Whether that means a non-combatant posture today or a brutal attack on certain citizens the next, the goal is only stability for the economy and outside investment.

There is many countries that haven't had war in many many years now. It was different in the pre-modern times.

Besides, the issue is the hypocrisy and hiding it from the public. US has done over and over again the exact same things that they accuse the current terrorists and countries that support them doing.

I agree the US is guilty of the same atrocities they accuse terrorists of committing, but so are many countries. Your memory may be short, but history is quite long, and just because a few years have gone by without major war reporting doesn't mean they're suddenly pure and will never use weapons again.

So let's not be naive about anything here. Much of the criticism against the US is deserved, but it is not the only deserving country.

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