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Comment Parkour is nuts (Score 1) 46

When a couple Americans went to Japan to compete on Ninja Warrior, the show included a few clips of them doing Parkour. All I can say is - I wouldn't want to be their insurance company! But some of that is seriously impressive. ... Which is why this robot video was so disappointing. If they hadn't gone out of their way to mention "Parkour" I might've found it cool - but while the robot traveled quickly, other than the backflip (which apparently was some set piece) everything else was mundane. Okay it went up some shallow stairs and slightly uneven ground - I'm not sure that's considered Parkour.

Comment Re:You know what would be nice? (Score 1) 31

Agreed on all points - but until people start quitting these services when they pull stunts like this, there will not be much pressure for action either internally or externally.

For what little it's worth, I quit Facebook after that shadow profile revelation. But they're hardly alone - Google+ announced some time ago that they basically do the same thing, and I don't see a lot of outage over that.

Comment I like iOS's solution (Score 1) 31

On iOS, when an app tries to access, say, your contacts - at that point you are given a pop up that asks you to allow or deny that action.

There are several apps that I've found useful, but which want to do things for which there's no good reason (like the aforementioned contacts access). It's also nice with apps like Twitter or LinkedIn, where I might want to use them occasionally but don't want them spamming me with unwanted notifications or "services".

Comment Re:Have these people never heard of IEEE754???? (Score 1) 240

When floating point roundoff errors grow big enough to affect the outcome of the simulation, you have long since reached the point where you are not predicting anything useful any longer. It is not exactly a problem if the results differ at that point.

Weather model forecasts are run as an ensemble, not a single run. Generally forecast modelers, like climate modelers, start with numerous small variations in the initial state, run the model multiple times, and average the results.

Thing is, reading the abstract (since the article is paywalled) - its not clear that the summary here is correct. To me, anyway, it seems like they may be saying that, in practice, ensemble forecasting solves this problem even though it's present in individual runs.

Comment (Score 3) 96

Please, Slashdot devs, update your code so submission links are flagged with the website's domain - as has already been done in the comments for as long as I can remember. It's annoying to have to hover over each link to check whether it's another click-bait attempt to inflate traffic on a site.

Of course, a flame-bait summary like this one is probably a reliable indicator as well.

Comment Re:How Annoying (Score 3, Informative) 195

Based on what little info is on ByteLight's website - wouldn't you, as a customer, have to be running the store's app on your phone for this tracking to work? If so, just don't run the software.

The other tracking method they listed was wi-fi fingerprinting. Annoying, but not very accurate - and you can completely defeat it just by turning wi-fi off, I assume (something I usually do anyway).

That said, I'd still complain loudly to the management of any store I shop at if I found they were using the technology.

Comment Re:I'd pay for... (Score 1) 106

Our local paper (The News Tribune, based in Tacoma, Washington) has an iPad app that, while it doesn't have the "sliders" you mention, divides the stories by categories - local news, national/world, sports, entertainment, etc. it's simple to see what you want to see and skip what you don't.

There is a "top stories" section that, like a newspaper front page, contains a hodge-lodge of items from all the other sections... but it's just a section like every other, and can be trivially ignored if you wish.

It's a reasonably well-designed app, using a framework from some company named Spreed, where someone put thought into how it would work well on the iPad rather than trying to mimic a printed paper. That seems like it should be obvious; but I've seen more newspapers inexplicably try to force their print design on the web (like the gosh-awful "Olive" framework many papers use) than not.

Comment We subscribe to the "paper" paper (Score 1) 106

We only get the "paper" edition on Sundays, but I read the digital version (as they refer to it) daily. I was going to give up the print version completely; however there's essentially no cost advantage in doing so. Oh well, having newspaper around occasionally turns out to be useful, anyway.

I'm the only one who reads it, though. I don't really get why my wife and daughter aren't interested in the news (especially local news, which isn't effectively available elsewhere) - but it's obvious there are more people like them than there are people like me.

Comment Clever strategy (Score 4, Funny) 128

1. Make a splash with all the tech review sites by announcing your new $35 product comes with three free months of Netflix, guaranteeing that you'll get tons of press.
2. Stop the offer after one day, without warning.
3. Profit! By taking advantage of all the people that will only find the initial review when they check out your product, and so won't know the deal is off.

4. Whisper "don't be evil" al the way to the bank...

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