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Comment pluses and minuses (Score 5, Informative) 1191

Well it certainly looks more modern and pretty.
But the part where 70% of my monitor is blank white space sure isn't a step forward.
And not being able to see any comment info on the home page is another step backwards.
But it doesn't look antiquated. That's sure a plus. It looks like the default wordpress theme.
Hey it's like a hot sorority chick! Sexy as hell for an hour. Then frustrating and mostly empty. But hey it shows real well at homecoming.

Comment Correction: The Republican party shut off the USA (Score 3, Insightful) 1532

The Republicans shut down the government; the government did not shut itself down. Only one Republican voted "no".

They want the President neutralized. His only "victory", passing Bob Dole's idea of national health care (insurance by private companies in fenced markets), is baneful and hurts their very souls to behold. They will kill people to negate that minor win.

This isn't a government malfunctioning. This is a coup. The second one in six years. This, ladies and germs, is a test of national memory. Can we remember what happened only a couple of years back, at least, if we can't remember Gingrich doing this in the 90s?

As for Jon Stewart and all the other False Equivalency pundits: NO, this is not a failure of "Congress". Congress is furious, except for the representatives of the Confederacy still trying to win the Civil War.

Comment Re:Designer Prescott Harvey... (Score 1) 376

The problem is the story line, with respect to Episodes I-III and VII-IX isn't about the frontier. Episodes IV-VI could be about the frontier, because that was the story line- the time after a civil war, when nobody could afford anything new, and all the good guys had to hide from the big bad evil empire.

Unless they blow up Coruscant in Episode VII, they're going to be stuck with having to incorporate urban planets into the New Republic.

Comment Re:Just like Google with Android (Score 1) 271

Yeah, right now I have one Windows computer that I use solely for games, and I'm really only playing steam games. The problem is, those Steam games aren't available on Linux, at least not yet. If Valve gets enough of the games I'm interested in running on Linux, I'll reformat and switch to SteamOS (or Ubuntu, or whatever is convenient at the time).


3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators 113

AaronW writes "Scientists and engineers at the US DOE SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It is currently accelerating electrons at 300 million volts per meter with a goal of achieving 1 billion EV per meter. It could do in 100 feet what the SLAC linear accelerator does in two miles and could achieve a million more electron pulses per second. This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices."

How Your Smartphone Can Spy On What You Type 77

mikejuk writes "We all do it — place our phones down on the desk next to the keyboard. This might not be such a good idea if you want to keep your work to yourself. A team of researchers from MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology have provided proof of concept for logging keystrokes using nothing but the sensors inside a smartphone — an iPhone 4 to be precise, as the iPhone 3GS wasn't up to it. A pair of neural networks were trained to recognize which keys were being pressed just based on the vibration — and it was remarkably good at it for such a small device. There have been systems that read the keys by listening but this is the first system that can hide in mobile phone malware."

Comment Re:Transcript please (Score 4, Insightful) 376

1. The setting must be gritty. Star Wars needs to happen in the "frontier," and city settings and government intrigue are an anathema. (Apparently no one's ever set foot on the Death Star or Cloud City.)

Both the Death Star and the Cloud City seem, to my mind, are outside the usual milieu for Star Wars action and development. The Death Star was hyper-polished and space-age minimalist, unlike the maximally baroque surfaces of the Millennium Falcon or the claptrap hulls of the rebel alliance X-Wings. In a sense, the Death Star was the home of the Other, the mirror world of the Empire that (arguably) was one part of a two-chambered narrative setting that was "A New Hope".

The Cloud City seemed even more a "respite" from the action of the Star Wars narrative. It was a political and environmental paradise and the Star Wars narrative resumed the moment Calrissian revealed he had purchased the safety and sovereignty of his city by selling Jabba Solo.

tl;dr: The Death Star and the Cloud City in some ways are exceptions that prove the rule that Star Wars "happens" on the frontier.


Steve Jobs Video Kills Apple Patent In Germany 100

An anonymous reader writes "Today the Federal Patent Court of Germany shot down an Apple photo gallery bounce-back patent over which Cupertino was/is suing Samsung and Motorola. A panel of five judges found the patent invalid because the relevant patent application was filed only in June 2007 but Steve Jobs already demoed the feature in January 2007 (video). While this wouldn't matter in the U.S., it's a reason for a patent to be invalidated in Europe. For different reasons someone thought the iPhone presentation was a mistake. It now turns out that when Steve Jobs said "Boy have we patented it!" his company forgot that public disclosure, even by an inventor, must not take place before a European patent application is filed. But Apple can still sue companies over the Android photo gallery: in addition to this patent it owns a utility model, a special German intellectual property right that has a shorter term (10 years) and a six-month grace period, which is just enough to make sure that history-making Steve Jobs video won't count as prior art."

Comment Re:What a waste (Score 2) 452

That room full of insightful, creative people gets their money from venture capitalists/angel investors. The only role the stock market has is making it easier for venture capitalists to exit from successful investments. Without the stock market, there could still be investment made in early stage companies, but investors would have be more discerning about what they invest in because they'd have to make their money back through company stock buy backs, dividends or acquisitions.

The way that investment happens would most certainly change but, in some ways, it would change for the better. There would be far fewer photo-sharing apps and other such nonsense that really doesn't need to exist. And I'm still not convinced that tying our retirement savings accounts (401(k), IRA, etc) to the stock market is such a good thing. The stock market continues to go up and up, in part, because of the millions that flow into it each month from workers saving for retirement. This has a Ponzi-ish feel to the same way that Social Security will run into problems when the baby boomers retire, the market will also start to decline as withdrawals from retirement accounts outpace contributions. The whole thing feels like a Social Security that Wall St gets to skim large amounts of money off of.

The stock market is A mechanism for investment. It's not the ONLY mechanism. We should be able to separate stock market criticisms from the ad absurdum argument against all investment.

Comment Re:Piracy rationalizations in 3... 2... 1... (Score 1) 348

You kind of have two arguments there: 1) people should have stuff for free and...

but strongly disagree with the first one. I think it's reasonable that the time and effort a creator puts behind a work is rewarded appropriately...

Well really you have two different issues contained in just your first argument: (a) People should be able to enjoy art for free; and (b) Artists should be able to receive compensation for their contributions to society.

Those are two different things, and they may both be true. But you know, maybe we need to make concessions on both sides. It may be that we can't get everything completely free whenever we want, but it may also be that we can't have copyrights be too restrictive or abusive. You can say that people aren't *entitled* to free art, but you can also say that artists are not *entitled* to make money for their work. There has to be some give and take.

And when you get down to it, copyrights are a relatively new invention that were designed to sway things in favor of the artist. It's an experiment that has had many many problems in its short history, enough that it can't be considered an unconditional success. It's time that we reevaluate.

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