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Comment Re:a chemical explosion in a school bathroom is ok (Score 4, Informative) 1078

According to the incident report, "Mr. Durham advised Kiera told him she was conducting a science fair experiment... Wilmot advised she did not know what would happen when she mixed the ingredients. Wilmot advised she thought it would just cause some smoke." There were no injuries, no damage, not even clear intent. Where is the felony crime here? It's only in the mind of Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty.

Comment Turn a deaf ear to DRM demands (Score 3, Insightful) 394

Netflix is facing some hard choices. With Microsoft abandoning Silverlight on its own sites, the writing is on the wall. I say, let Netflix demand anything it pleases, and ignore all such demands. Eventually, Netflix will have to switch from Silverlight to something, and HTML5 is the obvious choice. If Netflix can't get DRM in the standard, they'll still have to find a way to keep streaming using existing standards.

Comment Google Glass records, too (Score 3, Interesting) 496

Google Glass doesn't just present information; it can record, too. And if you record every little thing you see, it's possible to review and discover small, but critically important events later. For example, one of my college instructors has a child with autism. Video from his child's second birthday party helped make the diagnosis, but more and earlier footage would have helped diagnose it sooner. If my instructor had been wearing and recording with Google Glass every time he saw or watched his child, he would have had a wealth of material for evaluation and diagnosis.

Comment Open != Free, but that's OK (Score 1) 433

Google never said Android was free software. Google does maintain that Android is open, and they'll release the source code when they think it's ready. Android does not have to meet the FSF's strict definition of free and open source software; it doesn't even use the same license. A reality check by Brian Proffitt: http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/204973/more-partisanship-free-software-leadership

Comment Second-hand markets support new product prices (Score 1) 547

digital downloads have the secondary effect of entirely cutting out the popular market for second-hand films and games — a plus for publishers, but a big negative for the consumer

It's a negative for publishers, too. Just as with cars and many other products, a healthy used market supports high prices for new products. Buyers are more willing to pay full price for new when they know they can trade it in or resell it for a substantial portion of the purchase price. Eliminating the secondary market reduces the overall demand for new products, reducing prices, unit sales, or both.

Comment Re:Lost sales? (Score 1) 350

I wonder about this, too. My suspicion is that pirated commercial software currently impacts the spread of FOSS, too. If commercial software really were locked down, much of the current base may instead turn to other free software options, including FOSS. If that change is sufficiently widespread, we might see a rapid adoption of FOSS as standard software, and commercial software as a lesser used alternative.

Comment X-Ray backscatter blocking clothing (Score 1) 821

Back in 2002, Slashdot reported on Demron, a lightweight fabric that blocks radiation as well as lead. It's $600 for a medical apron that would effectively cover the torso, but worthwhile for some, perhaps. Such clothing might even become popular and reasonably priced if, say, it was designed to include a message or image viewable only on an X-Ray backscatter scanner.

Comment Determinism is consistent, but not supportable (Score 1) 610

This is the best summary I could tease out of the follow up paper:
Although, as we show in [1], determinism may formally be shown to be consistent, there is no longer any evidence that supports it, in view of the fact that classical physics has been superseded by quantum mechanics, a non-deterministic theory. The import of the free will theorem is that it is not only current quantum theory, but the world itself that is non-deterministic, so that no future theory can return us to a clockwork universe.

See it? At a certain level, future events are inherently unpredictable. These small uncertainties bubble all the way up to our level. So, while we can predict with confidence that the sun will rise tomorrow, certain other smaller events are inherently unpredictable. That's a a circular way of saying that subatomic particles and big things like people have free will, because at least some of their actions cannot be determined by past events and circumstances.

They do this with a proof that first assumes such a model of events exists, and then go on to prove such a model is mathematically impossible. There are no hidden variables or forces, because quantum mechanics won't allow any. The world is non-deterministic, and it's no longer possible to prove that it is deterministic.

Comment MS, you forgot to round to the nearest tenth (Score 1) 532

Differences of less than a tenth of a second aren't generally noticeable to users, so it makes no sense to measure down to the nearest 0.01 seconds. If all of the numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth of a second, then 4 sites are a dead heat, and Chrome is the overall winner.

Single winners (>0.1 seconds difference):
Chrome: 7
FF: 1
IE: 6

2 winners (=0.1 seconds difference):
FF, IE: 2
Chrome, IE: 2
Chrome, FF: 2

Dead heat: 4 (=0.1 seconds difference)

Comment Re:Like Android, don't like the G1 (Score 1) 546

The phone is tied to one, and only one, Google account. That account is the only one the phone can use for GMail, GCal, Google Docs, personalized Google Maps, Picasa, etc. The only way to switch to another Google account is to reset the device to factory defaults. Even if you do get the account without providing any information, if you actually use your Google account, eventually it will have far more important personal information fed into through the phone. You'll be de facto tied to that anonymous GMail account.

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