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Comment Re:Yup (Score 1) 147

That's my point. And yet, every time a new iPhone comes out, inventories are depleted within a few weeks.

How do they "sell-out"? By turning you, the consumer, into the consumed. You're not buying their product, you're what they're selling. Their real customers are AT&T and advertisers and the strategic deals they have with their content providers.

Hell, they could give away their products and still make money.

Comment Re:Same old song and dance (Score 5, Insightful) 332

You think for one minute that Verizon and Comcast want a "free market"?

Is it a free market when there are only a very few players? Are you old enough to remember when there were hundreds of ISPs in every city? When there was actual competition?

The problem is, we're not really Verizon or Comcast's customers. None of us choose them because we like those companies or the services they offer. We choose them because there are no other choices. So now Verizon pays $130billion (with a "B") for Vodaphone, and the only reason they do is because interest rates are near zero (look at the bond prices, not the prime rate). Forget for a moment that if we actually had any enforcement of the law, that merger would get laughed out of court. For that to be worthwhile, interest rates would have to stay near zero for 20 years. But Verizon sees the writing on the wall. They figure they can take out another competitor and then just soak the people who pay them for service (not customers mind. the customers are their "strategic partners", production divisions, advertisers, and the people who they sell your information to).

You're not a consumer, you're the commodity. You're what they selling. You're trapped. Go ahead, move to Comcast and Comcast can say, Go ahead, move to Verizon. They don't give a fuck because they're gonna get paid either way. 'Cause where you gonna go?

Welcome to Corporatism 2013: End-stage Capitalism.

Submission + - The Ig Nobels are tonight (

alphadogg writes: Harvard University's August Sanders Theater will play host tonight to a glittering collection of scientific luminaries, in a ceremony dedicated to recognizing some of the most important research of the year. And it will probably involve stuff like green hair, dead salmon brains, and monkey butts. Yes, it's time again for the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, where the weirdest and least useful scientific discoveries of the year are paraded before the public in a festival of bizarre nerd pageantry.

Submission + - Cisco Can't Shield Customers From Patent Suits, Court Rules (

netbuzz writes: A federal appeals court in California has upheld a lower court ruling that Cisco lacks the necessary standing to seek dismissal of patent infringement lawsuits against some of its biggest customers – wireless network providers and enterprises – being brought by TR Labs, a Canadian research consortium. The appeals court agreed with TR Labs’ that its patent infringement claims are rightfully against the users of telecommunications equipment – be it made by Cisco, Juniper, Ciena or others – and not the manufacturers. “In fact, all of the claims and all of the patents are directed at a communications network, not the particular switching nodes that are manufactured by Cisco and the other companies that are subject of our claims,” an attorney for TR Labs told the court. The court made no judgment relative to the patents themselves or the infringement claims.

Submission + - Study Shows Professors With Tenure Are Worse Teachers

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: We all know the stereotype about tenured college professors: great researchers, lazy teachers. Now Jordan Weissmann writes in the Atlantic that a new study confirms the conventional knowlege that faculty who aren't on the tenure-track appear to do a better job at teaching freshmen undergraduates in their introductory courses than their tenured/tenure-track peers. “Our results provide evidence that the rise of full-time designated teachers at U.S. colleges and universities may be less of a cause for alarm than some people think, and indeed, may actually be educationally beneficial." Using the transcripts of Northwestern freshmen from 2001 through 2008, the research team focused on two factors: inspiration and preparation. The team began by asking if taking a class from a tenure or tenure-track professor in their first term later made students more likely to pursue additional courses in that field. That's the inspiration part. Next the researchers wanted to know if students who took their first course in a field from a tenure or tenure-track professor got better grades when they pursued more advanced coursework. That's the preparation part. Controlling for certain student characteristics, freshmen were actually about 7 percentage points more likely to take a second course in a given field if their first class was taught by an adjunct or non-tenure professor and they also tended to get higher grades in those future courses. The pattern held "for all subjects, regardless of grading standards or the qualifications of the students the subjects attracted" from English to Engineering. The defining trend among college faculties during the past 20 years or so (40, if you really want to stretch back) has been the rise of the adjuncts. "That said, there is something appealingly intuitive in these results," concludes Weissmann. "Professionals who are paid entirely to teach, in fact, make for better teachers. Makes sense, right?"

Comment Re:Yup (Score 1, Troll) 147

...and yet any new repackaging of their material is met with instant sellouts.

Sellouts yes, but those venues get smaller and smaller.

They got 60k at Comiskey when I was a kid and went to see 'em. Now, they get 10k at the United Center, and that's with every radio station in Chicago giving away tickets. Sure, it's a sellout, but it means less and less.

But now that I think about it, "sellout" is a good tag to use for any story about the Stones or Apple.

Submission + - It's Official: Voyager 1 is an Interstellar Probe (

astroengine writes: After a 35-year, 11-billion mile journey, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft left the solar system to become the first human-made object to reach interstellar space, new evidence from a team of scientists shows. “It’s kind of like landing on the moon. It’s a milestone in history. Like all science, it’s exploration. It’s new knowledge,” long-time Voyager scientist Donald Gurnett, with the University of Iowa, told Discovery News. The first signs that the spacecraft had left the solar system's heliopause was a sudden drop in solar particles and a corresponding increase in cosmic rays in 2012, but this evidence alone wasn't conclusive. Through indirect means, scientist analyzing oscillations along the probe's 10-meter (33-foot) antennas were able to deduce that Voyager was traveling through a less dense medium — i.e. interstellar space.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can We Still Trust FIPS?

someSnarkyBastard writes: It has already been widely reported that the NSA has subverted several major encryption standards but I have not seen any mention of how this affects the FIPS 140-2 standard. Can we still trust these cyphers? They have been cleared for use by the US Government for Top-Secret clearance documents; surely the government wouldn't backdoor itself right?...Right?

Comment Re:The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (Score 1) 356

The NSA has had my fingerprints and retina pattern for over a decade now.

Mine, too, with a lot of visits to the US. I wonder if they're doing any sort of analysis of changes over time in fingerprints and patterns in the retina and cornea. More interestingly, would this weaken further the FBI's insistence that fingerprints are unique identifiers which are invariant over long periods.

Submission + - Social Media Is a New Vector For Mass Psychogenic Illness

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: There is an interesting read at the Atlantic where Laura Dimon writes that mass psychogenic illness, historically known as "mass hysteria"—is making a comeback and it appears that social media is a new vector for its spread. Mass hysteria such as the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693, the most widely recognized episode of mass hysteria in history, which ultimately saw the hanging deaths of 20 women, spreads through sight and sound, and historically, one person would have to be in the same room as somebody exhibiting symptoms to be at risk of “catching” the illness. “Not anymore,” says Robert Bartholomew, a sociologist who has studied over 600 cases of mass hysteria dating back to 1566, noting that social media—“extensions of our eyes and ears”—speeds and extends the reach of mass hysteria. “Epidemic hysterias that in earlier periods were self-limited in geography now have free and wide access to the globe in seconds.” says Bartholomew. “It’s a belief, that’s the power here, and the technology just amplifies the belief, and helps it spread more readily.” In a recent case nearly 20 students at a Western New York Junior-Senior High school began experiencing involuntary jerks and tics. Some believe that the Le Roy outbreak was a direct result of videos posted to YouTube by Lori Brownell, a girl with severe tics in Corinth, New York, 250 miles east of Le Roy. The story took off quickly, not just on the local and national news but on Facebook and autism blogs and sites devoted to mental health and environmental issues. Bartholomew warns that there is “potential for a far greater or global episode, unless we quickly understand how social media is, for the first time, acting as the primary vector or agent of spread for conversion disorder.”

Submission + - IETF floats draft PRISM-proof security considerations (

hypnosec writes: PRISM-Proof Security Considerations, a draft proposal to make it harder for governments to implement and carry out surveillance activities like PRISM, has been floated by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The draft highlights security concerns as a result of government sponsored PRISM-like projects and the security controls that may be put into place to mitigate the risks of interception capabilities. Authored by Phillip Hallam-Baker of the Comodo Group the draft is however very sparse on details on how the Internet can be PRISM-proofed.

Submission + - Been groped by TSA agents? Former DHS official blames privacy advocates (

colinneagle writes: Yesterday, on the 12th anniversary of those attacks, a Senate panel heard expert testimony about "The Department of Homeland Security at 10 Years: Examining Challenges and Achievements and Addressing Emerging Threats." Stewart Baker formerly served as DHS Assistant Secretary and NSA General Counsel, and gave his opinion on the source of the real problems within the TSA:

"Unlike border officials, though, TSA ended up taking more time to inspect everyone, treating all travelers as potential terrorists, and subjecting many to whole-body imaging and enhanced pat-downs. We can't blame TSA for this wrong turn, though. Privacy lobbies persuaded Congress that TSA couldn't be trusted with data about the travelers it was screening. With no information about travelers, TSA had no choice but to treat them all alike, sending us down a long blind alley that has inconvenienced billions."

Submission + - Michael Dell to buy Dell Inc. (

awarrenfells writes: After a shareholder vote, Michael Dell is expected to buy out and take Dell Inc. private. This move comes in the wake of plans to move Dell into position as an enterprise computing provider, but some analysts state this move may have come too late, much of the target market being taken by IBM and HP already.

Submission + - Researchers Debut Software That Extract 3D Objects From Photos (

kkleiner writes: Forget about CAD — software developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University called 3-Sweep allows the extraction of 3D objects from regular photographs rapidly and intuitively. Using standard drawing tools, 3D objects are defined by starting with a basic shape and drawing a line through each axis. The software then builds the model allowing the user to transform the object in a variety of ways. When coupled with 3D printing, this method could lead to the ability to create physical 3D models of objects in regular photographs with ease.

Submission + - Satellite images suggest North Korea restarted small nuclear reactor ( 1

mdsolar writes: "Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.

The North had said five months ago that it would restart key operations at its Yongbyon nuclear facility “without delay.” The report from the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies indicates that it is quietly going ahead with that pledge — and facing few apparent problems in firing up a reactor mothballed for six years.

Commercial satellite images from Aug. 31 show two plumes of white steam rising from a turbine building adjacent to the reactor. That steam is an essential byproduct of the reactor’s operation, and its venting suggests the “electrical generating system is about to come online,” the report said."

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