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Comment Re:Dear Mr Abel (Score 1) 305

Cows are remarkably resilient too. Sort of funny story - my dad grew up on a farm with cows roaming around freely, and they also used to mix red ochre with old engine oil for painting buildings.. Yeah, you can see where this is going. One day one of the cows drank a bucket of the paint. The cow survived, but for the next 3 days it was excreting red dung all over the yard.

Comment Who has the most to gain by competing? (Score 4, Interesting) 159

It seems to me that part of the dynamic here is that highly skilled programmers in the US have less of a need to prove themselves in a competition like this - they probably already have good salaries and good jobs. Programmers in poorer countries are probably not as fortunate, though, and taking part in an international programming competition could provide a ticket to a more lucrative future working for a Western company.

Submission + - Adobe Releases Sandboxed Flash Player for Firefox (

Trailrunner7 writes: Adobe has released a new version of the Flash player that now gives Firefox users the additional security of a sandbox and also includes a background update mechanism for Mac users. Flash has run in a sandbox on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer for some time already.

The big security news in Flash player 11.3 is the addition of the protected mode sandbox for Firefox on Windows. That's a major change for Adobe, which has been adding sandbox to its main product lines for a couple of years now. Adobe Reader X has run in protected mode--which is what Adobe calls its sandbox--since its release, and the company also added a sandbox to Flash on Google Chrome. The sandbox is designed to prevent attackers from using vulnerabilities in Flash to break out of the application and move to other apps or the OS itself.

Comment Stupid ideas die with older generations (Score 3, Insightful) 1359

I've watched debates on this topic for almost two decades and they never seem to go anywhere. People who believe in supernatural entities tend to justify their beliefs through less logical arguments, and people who do not believe in them have logical reasons to support their view; ergo there's no satisfactory middle ground - there's no common language between believers and non-believers.

This is a case of a belief that'll die with their adherents, as new generations seem to hold less superstitious world-views than their parents. Hallelujah to that.

Comment Re:uh.... (Score 2) 59


“So although you might not really notice the problem after one year or two years, after five or ten years it can become a huge problem,” he explains.

This area definitively warrants further research - if nothing else, it could mean that Iris scans will have to be re-done every 5-10 years (a bit like passport renewals). Depending on the specifics of the cumulative degradation (i.e. how exponential the effect is), you could be looking at a 2,000,000% failure rate increase in 11 years.

Comment Get-rich-quick greed backfired (Score 4, Insightful) 267

To be fair, in the days and weeks ahead of the IPO I can't remember anyone thinking USD 38.0 was a reasonable price for this stock - it was obviously overvalued in relation to the company's revenues and arguably overvalued in relation to its growth potential. Everyone I know knew this, so I can't imagine people purchasing the stock at the opening price except for greedy speculators who hoped they could make a quick buck on the FB bubble before it popped. Regardless of what Jim Cramer et al will say in the coming days it's very difficult to feel bad for anyone who lost money betting on this overvalued IPO.

Comment Solution looking for a problem (Score 1) 60

The medical industry has been using 3D voxel based imaging for a long time now, and this looks like a neat extension of existing techniques. The output looks quite grainy but this is probably partly down to kinect resolution, and partly down to compression. Based on the video my guess is that the voxel resolution is somewhere between 128x128x128 and 256x256x256 so worst case you could be looking at 10x more data than HD video at full frame rate.

This looks like a great little R&D project, but one has to wonder what the best market for this kind of live 3D videoconferecing would be - perhaps getting feedback on your golf swing or dance steps by a remote coach? It likely won't come cheap, and a decent (say 10 Mbps) network link is almost certainly going to be a requirement at both ends for decent performance.

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming