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Comment Re:Not just Microsoft (Score 1) 79

Our company attends conferences but not trade shows anymore. We used to have a big rush to get our marketing material and booth ready every year for the Design Automation Conference (DAC) but even the big vendors have long pulled out of that one and we abandoned it before that. It's just too much effort (and expense) for very little benefit. The only people going to the trade shows in the last few years were existing customers who would come by for a chat. New customers just go to the web.

The Internet

Congress's Techno-Ignorance No Longer Funny 477

pigrabbitbear writes "Since its introduction, the Stop Online Piracy Act (and its Senate twin PROTECT-IP) has been staunchly condemned by countless engineers, technologists and lawyers intimately familiar with the inner functioning of the internet. Completely beside the fact that these bills, as they currently stand, would stifle free speech and potentially cripple legitimate businesses by giving corporations extrajudicial censorial powers, there's an even more insidious threat: the method of DNS filtering proposed to block supposed infringing sites opens up enormous security holes that threaten the stability of the internet itself. The problem: key members of the House Judiciary Committee still don't understand how the internet works, and worse yet, it's not clear whether they even want to."

Comment Re:Excellent Team (Score 1) 152

Finally someone in the field!

Maybe you can help me with this. I've always wondered why space launches have always been from a vertical take-off. From what I know about Harrier jump jets you can get a heavier payload into the air from a horizontal take-off (assisted in the Harrier's case by a ski-jump deck on the ship). When I first saw the Pegasus launch system I wondered why that hadn't been a standard launch method before. Is it down to the size of aircraft needed to get the heavy rocket stage to a high enough altitude? IIRC the Pegasus system could only lift very light payloads.

Thanks.

China

Chinese Government Ramps Up Weather Control Efforts 139

formaggio writes "China's government is intervening with nature by rolling out four regional programs to artificially increase precipitation across the country by 10 percent before 2015. The program is anticipated to bring in an additional 230 billion cubic meters of precipitation per year by 2015. This is on top of the 50 billion cubic meters of precipitation China already artificially creates annually in the northeastern province of Jilin."

Comment Re:Sounds like a good thing (Score 1) 159

Why, oh why is it a good thing?

We are allowed less freedoms every day, and if you want out, we are even going to be denied that?

Everything is illegal. You can barely do anything without the approval of a government and/or bank. And if you are sick of it, it's not even legal to kill yourself!

Let the motherfuckers die in peace.

Hey idiot! Suicide is no longer illegal!

IBM

IBM Watson To Battle Patent Trolls 93

MrSeb writes "IBM's Watson is made of many parts: speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, and data mining. All of these factors were perfectly combined to beat Ken Jennings in Jeopardy, and now each of these components are slowly finding their way into other applications. Health plan company WellPoint, for example, is using Watson to investigate patient records to improve diagnosis, and in a self-referential, possibly universe-destroying twist, IBM itself is using Watson to help sell Watson (and other IBM products) to other companies. Now, using Watson's data mining and natural language talents, IBM has created the Strategic IP Insight Platform, or SIIP, a tool that has already scanned millions of medical patents and journals for the sake of improving drug discovery — and in the future, it's easy to see how the same tool could be used to battle patent trolling, too."

Comment Re:Reminds me of Moon (Score 1) 422

I agree. I always preferred the models in the original Star Trek movies, I really had a sense of a giant spaceship. I never quite got the same sensation from later Star Trek incarnations. TNG's ship was cool to look at but in my mind there was something cartoonish about it. I hear that that was a model too but there must have been something about the way they did their post production that put the wrong kind of shimmer or light on it. There was something about the Enterprise D that never quite sat well with me, and I suspect it was the light. It was always the exact same colour no matter how deep into space it got, whereas NCC 1707 showed the light sources because they were built into the model.

The Star Wars prequels are terrible. The CGI edits are so easy to spot, and as the guy on youtube says they just keep showing more shit into your face to distract you. Luke and Obi-Wan sitting in a non-descript room on Tatooine had far more character development going on than Chancellor Velorum sitting in the oppulent senate chamber surrounded by a squillion muppets.

Speaking of muppets, why did every single alien and bad guy in the prequels have to be a monster? I seem to remember the bad guys in the original Star Wars only needed an English accent and a bit of arrogant bickering going on between them. They were far more interesting. Remember the admiral of the imperial fleet and one of the commanders of the Death Star getting into a pissing contest over who's weapon was bigger? That was freaking awesome! And it took place in a drab grey room with simple but sinister looking high backs on the chairs. Genius.

Space

Voyager Probes Give Us ET's View 166

astroengine writes "For the first time, scientists have been able to measure a type of radiation streaming out from the Milky Way that in other galaxies has been linked to the birthplaces of young, hot stars. There was no way to make our own galaxy's measurement of the radiation, known as Lyman-alpha, until the Voyager probes were about 40 times as far away from the sun as Earth — any closer and the solar system's own emissions drowned out the fainter glow from the galaxy."

Comment Re:How about (Score 0) 59

Starting with Web Pages That Suck and learning there before doing anything.

Did they nominate themselves for any award? I went hunting for the list of 2011 contenders and it took about four clicks of links, each of which promised me I was going to get to the 2011 contenders. Every time I clicked a link it opened it in a new window. The ads were so intrusive I didn't know if they were bitching about the companies advertising on their page or something else.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 381

As others have mentioned, it slows down their program by making them dig deeper to hide it. This is especially important in Iran's case because its regime is on borrowed time. The longer the mullahs and their presidential puppet hang on to power, the more the pressure builds from the people who are increasingly disaffected by the dictatorship they're living under. They're especially frustrated after the last "election" when they defied the regime and protested but didn't succeed in having Ahmedinijad "Mubaraked". Maybe next time. Iran may not be an Arab country but the Arab spring will have certainly lifted the spirits of the Iranian opposition. The hope is that the regime will fall before it arrives at nuclear capability.

Comment Re:Laid off (Score 1) 485

He had worked on Flash for many years since Macromedia owned the project.

Is he one of the people I can blame for the bugs from back then that still exist today? I kind of feel like a dick for saying it, but maybe if his team were better at their jobs then they would still have them.

As well you might. Do you write perfect bug-free code?

Comment Re:uh (Score 1) 485

Why does everyone think that HTML5 is the answer when even desktop browsers can't get it uniformly implemented? Mobile browsers are still mostly shit from a compliance and capability perspective compared to the desktop browsers that still can't get it right. Not sure where all this pie in the sky idealism comes from

It comes from open source fundamentalism. Anything proprietary is evil in the /. mind. Flash has taken a lot of flak here over the years for that reason. In fact Flash is probably one of the most unfairly maligned products I've ever seen mentioned on /.

HTML 5 has taken a long time to come around, Flash was a great interim measure that allowed us to spend the last 5 years watching video and enjoying interactivity on the web in the days when a HTML page was written in stone once it was rendered. Sure, some people abused it with annoying "skip intro" pages and springing audio on the unsuspecting user, but that's not the technology's fault. JavaScript has been abused a whole lot more (popups, pop-unders) but it never seemed to generate the same amount of vitriol. I think it was just a personal thing. Flash was beloved of the more artistic types and the engineering types didn't like it or their creations.

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