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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 840

Is dressing childeren in a particular clothing that is offensive to some immoral? Is it immoral to teach them religion or a specific (minority) first language? Should children be given boys or girls toys or no toys at all? Must you learn a child to play the piano when it is five? Or is reading and writing more important? Is it immortal to make you child immortal? May you kill to feed your child? And if so, only plants or also animals and perhaps other humans?

Parents in modern society have responsibility for the welbeing of their childeren. The welbeing is defined very broadly. Malnourishment and violence is not allowed, but smoking while pregnant or refusing vaccination is permitted. Children are designed or at least formed by their environment. The genetic makeup (genotype) is just one aspect of the outcome (fenotype). Today parent have the ability to steer the genotype more than ever and many will use this ability, be it to steer the sex, the skin color or simply to avoid hereditary diseases.

This is a very interesting development and I'm eagerly awaiting the spectacle. We have plenty of humans and a large portion will eagerly make use of the new possibilities. The companies that provide these services will need to improve their marketing though.

Comment Page switching speed (Score 2) 61

e-paper is nice way of reading. The only reason why i do not own an e-reader is that the time to go from page to page is too long. With these improved speeds (12 fps or 80ms) this last drawback is being solved. That is very good news. Playing video well on these screens will take longer, but already the speed improvement will really help selling e-readers.

Comment Re:Fears of this (Score 1) 93

You can use identica or tweeter for seeding and logging. Get the most recent message of a public source and use that to prove that there was no prerecording. While recording, push a hash to a public server regularly. To the readers, these hashes will be unintelligible and when you publish them at regular intervals regardless of what you are doing, you are not even letting know that you are currently actively awake.

Comment Re:It's from Microsoft and this is Slashdot... (Score 5, Informative) 1027

Here's some irrational hate for you based on my use of a Lumia 800 Nokia gave me for free.
1) i cannot write software for it without a license to develop, because the phone is locked down
2) once i write something for it, it cannot share that code with my friends even if they also had a windows phone, because the phone is locked down
3) the phone cannot work as a usb drive, it is locked down and can only sync data via closed protocols or closed applications
4) the battery drains very quickly, this is just a problem for this model
5) there is no decent browser on the phone, it has internet explorer that does not handle many of the basic things a browser should do like implement createElementNS()
6) i cannot write c++ code for this phone, this phone need C#, or javascript or maybe some other CIL based programming language
7) this phone is product of a company with a very bad track record which uses the profits of its other monopolies to bully itself into this market
8) because windows phones are so locked down, like apple devices are, they are the bringing about the end of digital freedoms for consumers
9) the phone is riddles with licence agreement and dialogs that want you to give away all your data. for example, the first time you run Internet Explorer on Windows Phone, it will ask you: "Do you want to share you browser history with Microsoft so we can [...]? {YES) (CANCEL)." The use of 'CANCEL" implies that IE wont start, thus bullying people into clicking YES.

As a Free Software and more generally digital freedoms advocate, many of the problems I have with windows phone, I also have with iOS, which is shiny and has a nice UI but also a horrible lock in model and many features that cannot be modified.

I have been using a Nokia E75, a N900 and an N950 as phones and they are all pretty nice, but not perfect, but neither are any of the closed alternatives. For any future phone I might buy, I will go with openness primarily. That means the phone should be able to run an open version of Android, Mer, maybe Tizen or the Mozilla phone operating system.

Is there anything positive about Windows Phone? Not really. It is not that much different or better than the alternatives. It has a home screen, you can put widgets on it, it has an app store. Nothing revolutionary there.

Comment environment modelling (Score 2) 559

There is a lot of modelling you can do on water levels that uses rainfall, erosion, climate models. This modelling is not just useful for academics, but also useful for governments that want to improve their water management.

You could go and model the decline of rain forests. There are many agencies that keep track of this. These are not acadamic jobs either.

And of course you could go into modelling the climate or dynamics of ecosystems (how do amounts of organisms change in time).

All of these topics are very challenging and very relevant for society.

Comment Patent trolls are get high damages in software (Score 1) 58

Chart 6d on page 22 shows that patent trolls (non practicing entities) receive vastly higher damages in software. The median for software is ~$143, while that for the runner-up (computer hardware) is ~$48.

Combine this with unavoidability of accidentally using obvious software patents and you can see why there are only a few big players that control the software market.

Chart 2c shows that the Lucent got awarded over $1500 million in damages from Microsoft for MP3 techology. I was not aware of this case from 2007 before. The damages are larger than the Eolas and i4i cases combined.

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