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Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 187

Indeed, on both counts. And in particular I like the word "rogue planet". Again you have an adjective imparting additional information about another object ("Rogue X"), "rogue" can be readily quantified ("Not in a stable orbit around any particular star or cluster of stars"), and it's a very evocative term. And rogue planets are absolutely expected according to our current models. They'll be incredibly difficult to find, but they're out there.

We're also coming to the realization that there's a lot of objects, potentially including large ones, that are only tenuously bound to our solar system. And it's likely that we readily exchange this mass with other nearby stars over cosmologic timescales; parts of our solar system (primarily distant ones) likely formed by other stars, and things that condensed during the formation of our star system are likely now orbiting other stars.

Comment Re: Why is Amazon/Alexa even saving recordings? (Score 1) 106

Not quite true. The hardware detects a simple sequence of phonemes that might be Alexa. It then wakes up some software to try to parse the word. The data might still be shipped off to the cloud service for spurious wakeups. Names like Siri and Alexa are intentionally designed to have sequences of phonemes that don't appear commonly in English to minimise this.

Comment Re: Why is Amazon/Alexa even saving recordings? (Score 2) 106

I don't particularly worry about Amazon intentionally violating privacy with Alexa, but when you have something like that it's a wonderful target. The mute button is entirely software, so there are all sorts of things that an attacker can do if they compromise either an individual machine or the Amazon software update server. For example, it would be a trivial patch to make it stream the audio to a different cloud service when you press the mute button. Those thousands of people working at Amazon on Alexa also make it relatively easy to sneak someone into the company to exfiltrate user data. Even if their software is entirely bug-free, what happens when someone manages to do a dump of everything that Alexa has learned about a few million users?

Comment Re:R&D (Score 1) 101

Apple does a lot of Research that isn't directly product-oriented, too; a quick look at their patent portfolio will show that.

Sorry, no. It may not be tied to products that they're currently shipping, but there's a huge spectrum between initial idea and final product, and Apple has far less investment towards the idea end of the spectrum than any of their major competitors. By the time you can patent something, it's already towards the product end (and have you actually looked at the Apple patent portfolio? They patented a more efficient take-away pizza box, for example, which doesn't really tell you anything about pure research spending).

But if you think that R that is D-oriented doesn't "count", you are nothing but an intellectual effete.

It doesn't count because it's playing accounting games. The line between development and product is very blurry. Apple classifies a lot of things are R&D that other companies count as product development. This inflates Apple's R&D spending on the balance sheet, but means that you can't really compare. R&D is a pipeline and things always have to start closer to the pure research end. Most of Apple's R&D is building on pure research done by other organisations. This has changed a bit recently (particularly in machine learning), but they're still a long way behind most other big tech companies on research spending. Microsoft, until they restructured MSR a year or so ago, had the opposite problem: they were spending over $5bn/year on research and turning very little of it into products. Neither extreme is particularly healthy for a company. You need the research end to feed the pipeline, but then you need the pipeline from research to product.

Disclaimer: I work in a university and collaborate with Apple, Google, and Microsoft on several projects.

Comment Re:It's just a power grab (Score 3, Informative) 97

Wait, do, do you think that an 80% failure rate is good just because there are courts with HIGHER rates?

Let me slow it down for you:

Only about 1.01% of the circuit court's rulings go to Supreme Court. By definition, these are cases that SCOTUS has looked at and seen enough of a problem that they granted a writ of certiorari. If they didn't see a problem, they'd just bounce it back.

So, of the 1% that goes to SCOTUS, 80% of those are overturned and 20% are affirmed. That means the true rate of 9th Circuit cases being overturned is closer to 0.8%, not 80%.

I mentioned Breitbart, because you will only find this spurious claim of "The 9th Circuit gets overturned 80% of the time" will only be found in websites that cater to alt-Right jackoffs. And they will never mention that the courts with the highest rates of being overturned are in solid red states.

Now, do we have some clarity on this issue?

You're still looking bemused. Let me put it more simply: 80% of the 9th Circuit's rulings are not overturned, you stupid sonofabitch.

Comment Re:It's just a power grab (Score 3, Informative) 97

Bwahaha, you mean the fucking Ninth Circuit? The one that, on appeal to the Supreme Court, gets overturned a whopping 80 percent of the time? Yeah, I think any court with that kind of failure rate should be disbanded, as well.

There's some supreme nuttery going on out in California these days...

I often see this repeated by people who don't know shit.

First of all, when the Supreme Court takes a case, it overturns the Appeals Court decision in over 70% of the cases. They only grant a writ of certiorari in cases where they see an issue and it usually means they will be overturned. And despite what you read on Breitbart, the 9th Circuit is not the most overturned Appeals circuit. Kentucky/Ohio/Michigan's 6th Circuit has that distinction with an 87 percent rate of being overturned. Then comes Alabama/Florida/Georgia's 11th Circuit with a record of 85 percent. But the fact is, if your case goes to the Supreme Court, it's odds-on that it will be overturned.

6th Circuit - 87 percent;

11th Circuit - 85 percent;

9th Circuit - 79 percent;

3rd Circuit - 78 percent;

2nd Circuit and Federal Circuit - 68 percent;

8th Circuit - 67 percent;

5th Circuit - 66 percent;

7th Circuit - 48 percent;

DC Circuit - 45 percent;

1st Circuit and 4th Circuit - 43 percent;

10th Circuit - 42 percent.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 2) 47

Not to mention that Valve knows well enough that Microsoft is working hard to throw as many obstacles between their feet to make Steam as unusable as possible in Windows to promote their own game store.

Valve, of all companies on the planet, has a VERY good reason to push for full blown Linux support in gaming. And that's basically what Linux needs if it wants to take off.

Because, face it: What reason does Joe Average still have to use Windows? Internet? Nope. Every major browser, mail system, video player you might want is available. Document writing? Nope. Libreoffice is good enough for personal use.

What's left for Joe that ties him to Windows is gaming. Yes, there are a lot of other applications that are not available on Linux, or not at the same quality. But they are mostly things that are niche products that are interesting to a very small subset of users. The only big issue that remains is actually gaming.

Comment Re:Only Tech? (Score 1, Insightful) 146

The major headlines in America today (Feb 23rd) are not about war, famine, or plague, but about whether school restroom usage policy should be decided by the federal government, or left up to locals. I don't mean to belittle the issue, but that is hardly an existential crisis for humanity.

Yet it appears to be a focus of the current government.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1, Offtopic) 187

The concept of a "planet" has been around for millennia, and the moon (and later Jupiter's Galilean moons) have never been considered planets.

Right, and if there's one thing I know, it's that the things that people thought millennia ago should never ever be challenged, ever. Tradition is sacrosanct and if they thought it was true 2,000 years ago, then damnit it's still true today. This is why everyone still prays to Zeus up there on Mt. Olympus, and why we always will. It's also why I know that the heliocentric model is bullshit, because for millennia we knew that the sun goes around the Earth. It's just common sense.

I also know that the so-called "theory" about micro-organisms is bullshit, they don't exist. If they did, we would have known about them millennia ago. Everyone knows that if you make a hole in a brick, put some sweet basil in it, cover that brick with another brick, and leave the bricks out in the sun, then that basil is going to transform into scorpions. Everyone knows that. It's how the world works.

Oh, what's that, you don't want scorpions, you want mice? Fine, have it your way. Take a dirty shirt and stuff it into a vessel containing a little corn. The ferment proceeding from the dirty shirt will mix with the odor from the corn, and in about three weeks it will transmute the grain to full-grown mice of both sexes. Boom, now you can feed your snake.

I don't want to know how you got that snake though, those things are just unnatural.

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