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Comment Their partners in crime (Score 1) 252

I think a very significant accomplice in this 'crime' is the film industry, who very rarely produce anything that you would want to watch twice, really. Maybe I'm just too critical, but I can't really think of anything out of Hollywood that I cared to watch more than once - well, maybe there are a couple from long ago, but what I nearly always find lacking is something that is a bit original and feels convincing; regrettably, what you mostly get is a rehash of the same, old plot with a bit more in the way of spectacular (but strangely unconvincing) effects. That being the case, why would you actually want to have a stack of DVDs cluttering some shelf? Netflix and similar are perfect for this: you watch a film once and forget about it; incidentally, cinema is well suited for this as well, plus you don't need to have a spectacular home-cinema taking up space. This is probably why cinemas haven't disappeared, and why they may be seeing a bit of a renaissance atm.

Comment Re:... move to a shared, distributed database ... (Score 1) 88

Blockchains solve the double-spend problem. Great, but banks don't typically have that problem in the first place because the currency is not the record.

It could be another strategy for getting to a cashless economy. If the money is digital it can be cut off, confiscated, or pretty much anything the controlling authority decides. The only way it would be allowed to go forward is if there's a way for government to control and track it.

Strat

Comment Re:The US can only do this by Phasing out CDMA. (Score 2) 28

Qualcomm holds patents in all kinds of things. In 5G, it holds Standards Essential Patents in the Radio Access Network (RAN), modulation & waveforms, and core networking.

In RAN, centimetre wave (10GHz-30GHz) and millimetre wave (30GHz-300GHz) radio, beam steering or beamforming techniques, and massive MIMO IP are held by Nokia, Ericsson and Qualcomm.

In modulation, 5G requires non-orthogonal transmission schemes, rather than the OFDM of LTE-Advanced. Some schemes under consideration include Filter-Bank Multi-Carrier (FBMC) transmission, Universal Filtered Multi-Carrier (UFMC) transmission and Generalised Frequency-Division Multiplexing (GFDM).

In networking technologies, Network function virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN), Inter-Node Coordination and backhaul, Access Link Integration, Self Organising Network (SON) technology, Context Aware Networking, Information Centric Networking, not to mention good old WiFi. Nokia, Qualcomm, Cisco, Intel and Ericsson are the top IP holders.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 525

That's what sex means in a medical context, though: your equipment. Your doctor is on the short list of people who have a need to care about that, because it's one of the rare places where anatomy matters.

I'm fairly far right on a lot of matters (and just spent a few ammo boxes hunting the elusive wild skeet this weekend). I'm socially liberal in the classic sense, though, in that I don't care what people do if it doesn't affect me. Want to smoke pot? Marry your gay partner? Go by a gender different from your biological sex (or even something totally different)? I couldn't care less. That's between you and your loved ones.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Informative) 525

They are not medically or legally different things.

I grew up in a medical family and I've worked in healthcare in various capacities for a couple of decades now. In any organization I've dealt with, "sex" or "biological" sex explicitly refers to your anatomy. That's important because biological males can't get cervical cancer and biological females can't get testicular cancer, for instance. They're the words used on the occasions when anatomy are relevant. Most medical organizations I've been around in the last decade or so distinguish between "sex" and "gender", which is what the patient presents themselves as. Sure, they're most commonly the same value, but they are separate database fields referring to different concepts.

But what you and other extreme liberals

LOL. You presume much, and wrongly. But con/lib aside, I've never encountered a single problem with referring to someone by their gender. The people who care to distinguish between sex and gender appreciate the respect, and understand when medical decisions require healthcare providers to discuss their sex instead. It's easy to be nice to people, so why not do so? It doesn't cost us anything.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 5, Insightful) 525

What special privilege is Chelsea asking for? She wants to be called by her gender (not biological sex; those are medically and legally different things). She's not asking to go to an all-girls high school or otherwise do anything controversial. In what remote sense does her request harm you in any way?

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 4, Informative) 525

A definition of "clemency" says:

Leniency or mercy. A power given to a public official, such as a governor or the president, to in some way lower or moderate the harshness of punishment imposed upon a prisoner.

Clemency is considered to be an act of grace. It is based on the policy of fairness, justice, and forgiveness. It is not a right but rather a privilege, and one who is granted clemency does not have the crime forgotten, as in Amnesty, but is forgiven and treated more leniently for the criminal acts. Clemency is similar to pardon inasmuch as it is an act of grace exempting someone from punishment.

Barring contrary definitions, the President granted her clemency. I strongly suspect Assange is far too little to live up to his promise, but this is exactly the situation the Wikileaks tweet described.

Comment That's not a loop-hole (Score 1) 77

That a business can use google's services for free, isn't a loop-hole. That's google's business model.

That google offers free hosting for your business's private web-site isn't a loop-hole. Again, that's google's business model.

That google doesn't ID or take down private-yet-infringing content isn't a loop-hole. Again, that's google's business model.

Looks like we've found the loop-hole after-all: google is allowed to provide free hosting of illegal content. I guess that's in-line with most pimps -- pay the girl.

Comment Re:Edge supports VP9 (Score 1) 95

That leaves Apple as the holdout supporting only codecs that require payment of a royalty to a patent pool.

Alternative, that leaves Apple as the holdout of supporting a codec whose intellectual property is not well understood, and might infringe on some submarine patents waiting to surface...

Comment This. (Score 1) 148

I have close knowledge of one project in which a codebase performs an action using an initial human-supplied table of data, then records the result as either a positive or negative outcome and adds that result back into the table. Then it performs another action based on the table data, records the result as a positive or negative, and adds that back into the table. Over time, of course, the table entries with the highest positive rate rise to the top and influence the actions that are chosen. It's CS101 stuff on a fairly mundane dataset.

But the codebase is hosted on Amazon and it's a marketing-led company, so they went to press with "Our innovative new artificial intelligence system uses a deep machine learning algorithm running on new exascale computing platforms to determine the best course of action to take in each case."

The engineers in the room were not happy about this. The marketing person said, "Don't sell yourself short. You developed a system that records data about what has already happened, remembers it, then makes decisions about what to do next based on what has already happened. I call that artificial intelligence."

One of the engineers shot back with, "When I was in college, we just called that 'computation.'"

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 438

Infrastructure, buliding it, maintaining it, ensuring it. Electricity's great, like most things, once everything before and after it is perfect. It SUCKS until then.

You can't have a transmission cable running along someone's property, without years of legal. You can't have someone maintain that cable without territories and depots and service contracts and safety legislations.

Forget about the existing everything in a city. Start with the 500 miles between cities. There's already a road. That's a given only because without that road, we don't need any fuel to drive it. So we have a road, 500 miles long, between two cities.

A gas station is very easy. It's easy because it's in one place. It gets serviced occasionally (re-filled, let's say weekly). That's it.

A charging station is psychotic. You need to tear apart bridges and sewers and overpasses and crossings and railways to install that cable. You now need 500 miles of LEGISLATION!

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