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Comment Once they prove commitment .... (Score -1, Offtopic) 132

Once the company shows its commitment to continue the support for the platform, they will come. Who will come?

Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers,

Some hack to overcome the lameness filter:

The seax was found in the River Thames near Battersea by Henry J. Briggs, a labourer, in early 1857.[note 1] Briggs sold it to the British Museum, and on 21 May 1857 it was exhibited at the Society of Antiquaries of London by Augustus Wollaston Franks (an antiquary who worked at the Antiquities Department of the British Museum), when it was described as "resembling the Scramasax of the Franks, of which examples are very rare in England; and bears a row of runic characters inlaid in gold".[2] Since then the weapon has usually been called the Thames scramasax; but the term scramasax (from Old Frankish *scrâmasahs) is only attested once, in the History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours, and the meaning of the scrama- element is uncertain,[3] so recent scholarship prefers the term long seax or long sax for this type of weapon.[4][5]

Comment Re:Metal working mastery ... (Score 2) 47

For an individual, yes, smithing is very hard. I think we had smithy in my third semester, I think and probably made a C. For a society? Smithy does not require great flights of imagination or crucial insight. People have been making stone tools for 2 million years, fire for half a million years, constantly looking to harden stone/wood/bone tools by charring them in fire etc. So they would have noticed, unlike flint, the meteorite rock bends, but it could be beaten into a sharp edge repeatedly.

On the other hand, it boggles my mind how they discovered smelting. Definitely by poking around the remnants of campfires serendipitously started on ore rich ground would have been the starting point. But still that is the difficult part, identifying ore deposits and coming up with a process to make the metal without fully understanding the chemistry, purely by trial and error. That was incredible.

Comment Metal working mastery ... (Score 5, Informative) 47

The metal working mastery consisted of basically heating the damn thing and beating the hell out of it with a hammer. Finding iron ore, smelting it down and extracting the metal are the difficult thing to do. Once you have the metal, beating it into shape is no big deal. For example the legendary Viking swords +Ulfberht were made by the Vikings by importing high carbon steel from the Middle East via the Volga trade routes. (Of course, the Viking might have discovered and then lost the technology to produce high carbon steel, but the facts Viking were trading with Middle East via Volga, and the Middle East was making high carbon Wootz steels by that time lends credence to this theory).

Making the metal from ore require mastery, making non load bearing artifacts out of metal requires just muscle.

Comment Fake blackberry skin has some value. (Score 4, Funny) 176

One of the old posts in slashdot suggested people with desirable phones like iPhones and Samsung androids to get fake blackberry like skin to make the phone less attractive to thieves and snatchers. So if Blackberry copyrights the skin design they can actually make some money off their own suckitude.

Comment No senior exec is going to be held accountable (Score 3) 179

No matter what happens, some one else faces the consequences, when it comes to these banks. There is bad security, bad implementation, total lack of understanding of how their systems could be breached. They will fire a few techies, for poor security. But the bigwigs drawing big salary, even their bonus would not be touched. May be they will get more bonus for taking a firm stand and firing these techies who show up to work in jeans and ear rings.

Even when they lie through their teeth to sell junk as gold to others they don't end up in jail. We all will pay, through more bank fees, more insurance costs, more taxes to bail them out. And they will dance all the way to their own private bank.

Comment People don't understand legalese either. (Score 2) 277

The idea of making computers understand humans is like using vernier calipers to measure the thickness of cotton candy. The yardstick is too precise for the quantity being measured. Just look how horrible and convoluted things get when some one human being tries to define some unambiguously for another human being. This is the situation in legislation, tax code, insurance contracts and wills and testament. Harder you try to define it without doubt or ambiguity, harder it gets, and creates more "loopholes". Fixing loop holes creates more loop holes. The imprecision of human language is like a mandlebrot set, zoom in and zoom in again and again, and still things are as imprecise as the previous levels.

Comment Student loans are not forgiven in bankrupcy. (Score 4, Interesting) 827

Exactly like the housing bubble. Then they gave out loans to people clearly unqualified, clearly unable to pay back the loan, low-documentation loans, no-documentation loans, interest only loans, negative amortization loans, etc etc. Now they colleges are egging on the students to assume enormous loans for useless degrees that will never get the student a job that could pay back the loan.

We should put the onus on the universities, to certify that if the student completes the degree he/she is seeking, there is at least some reasonable chance the loan will be paid back. They universities should disclose the mean and median starting salaries of the majors they are offering. Like the home loans used to have some basic rules like, "not more than 27% of gross for mortgage, not more than 34% for all loan payments, 20% down". Similar easy to grasp metrics should be made available.

But in a free market economy, if some people want to shoot themselves in their foot, there is nothing to stop them. But at least we someone should be telling them, they have a gun in their hand pointing to their feet and if they squeeze the trigger they will get hurt. Instead we are incentivising the bullet peddlers .

Comment There are easier ways to use renewables. (Score 3, Interesting) 385

Blythe believes the long term success of Hyperloop will lie in its ability to be powered entirely by solar panels. "The compelling argument today is that the energy to run this could be generated from renewable resources, so the energy cost and the CO2 emissions are low - that probably gives it a bit more of an interesting argument whereas 15 years ago we didn't care about stuff like that.

But it far cheaper to electrify a conventional train track. And far cheaper to install just solar panels on top of all highways and rail tracks. In fact if we put a "roof" over all the highways in the northeast and install solar panels on them, the savings in snow removal costs in winter and the electricity generated in summer could pay for the whole project. Putting gables over highways and directing the snow to fall on the sides instead of on the lanes is a far cheaper project than this.

The home construction industry still reeling from the 2008 financial shock could use a shot in the arm. Regular conventional structures, gables and trusses, oriented to face the South, over I-90 between NewYork and Boston. Why not? We shoveled 800 billion dollars to the greedy banksters in just three months in 2008. A steady 10 billion dollar a year to put roof over highways is probably a better idea.

Comment Don't be evil or Don't see evil? (Score 2) 52

The researchers obtained permission from Twitter to conduct the research but were denied by Google, Yahoo and Facebook to conduct an investigation into scam accounts over their respective networks.

So only Twitter cooperated with an independent researcher trying to identify fake accounts. There is conflict of interest here, big companies have no real incentive to crack down on fake accounts. We should really commend Twitter for being open.

Comment This is quite common in India (Score 1) 372

Almost all the tech companies in Bangalore, Chennai, Bombay and Pune do this. Not just for top techies, for their entire work force. This practice started ages ago when factories were built far from the city but with major work force coming from the city. So factories would build "quarters" for essential staff who had to come at all odd hours, and bus the workers in for day shifts. The bus fleets of big public sector companies in Bangalore like BEL, HMT, ITT, HAL etc used to be comparable or even bigger than the city bus systems. Further the city bus systems are notoriously over crowded and wont be able to handle peak loads of shift changes in big factories.

Comment Limit Lawyer fees to the actual compensation (Score 3, Interesting) 212

The problem with these class action lawsuits is that, it is mostly started by lawyers. If they win or settle, they first take out all their, "costs" which is highly inflated. Wish some of the class members would sue their own lawyers for malpractice when the costs are inflated, fraudulently. That is a different line. But then they take their fee of 30% or 40% of the total award, regardless of how much is actually distributed to the claimants.

If the lawyer fees are limited to 30% of the amount actually distributed to the claimants, it would go a long way in creating an incentive for the lawyers to actually make sure the claimants get some money. Right now, once the settlement is done, they lawyers collect all their money and send a form letter to claimants and move on to the next target.

I think we should make lawyers subject to malpractice laws too when they usurp the right to represent a class of claimants. Due diligence in locating all possible claimants to the class, making sure they all get due compensation, making sure the costs are not inflated etc all should come under malpractice provisions. If the lawyers screw up, the claimants should be able to sue them for malpractice.

Comment Re:Undo Gerrymandering? (Score 2) 93

To Congressdorks: Remember Arab Spring. It can happen here.

Really? The way Occupy Wall Street succeeded? One important characteristic of Arab spring is having a few leaders, self-appointed mostly, who are recognized by many followers. These leaders represent their followers by proxy and leaders accumulate followers. In OWS you had All-Chiefs-and-no-Indians problem. The congress critters know it. They are not scared. The NRA has stood by them election after election, turning out votes repeatedly. That is the kind of track record you have to rake up if you want to be taken seriously.

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