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Comment Re:And meanwhile, in TN... (Score 1) 502

I would suggest that the 'one unifying factor' in terrorism is their extreme disenfranchisement and hopelessness at changing their situation through legal means. Islam is not a unifying factor for all terrorists.. only Islamic terrorists.

There are non-islamic terrorists who kill people and blow up buildings. And there are peaceful and even feminist Muslims. I'm not sure that their religion really has a meaningful impact on terrorists' thought-processes. It's more of an excuse to commit terrorism against innocent civilians than a cause. They would be terrorists no matter their religion.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 416

Yeah, it should be just like computers! Sure the computers of yesteryear were slow, but at least they were cheap! And complaining about how long it takes to get a computer is stupid. After all, the free market isn't intended to provide better products at cheaper prices! It is, of course, intended to make people who collude together to rig the market as rich as possible! Everyone knows that... you idiots.

Submission + - Google Earth adds citizen balloon images (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: "The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science announced today that community-generated open source maps — captured from kites and balloons — have been added to Google Earth. The 45 plus maps are the first aerial maps produced by citizens to be featured on the site, and are highlighted on the Google Lat Long Blog.

The Public Laboratory is an expansion of the Grassroots Mapping community. During an initial project mapping the BP oil spill, local residents used helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate highresolution D.I.Y “satellite” maps documenting the extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — at a time when there was little public information available. Expanding the toolkit beyond aerial mapping, Public Laboratory has been growing into a diverse community, both online and offline, experimenting with new ways to produce information about our surroundings. The lab’s DIY kits cost less than $100 to assemble."


Submission + - Fark.com founder Drew Curtis links patent trolls with 'terrorists' (foxnews.com)

Velcroman1 writes: Other than the shifty eyes and faint smell of cheap aftershave, it’s often hard to identify a patent troll. The derogatory term "patent troll" describes a company established as a legal entity solely to make cash through patent lawsuits — stifling creativity and emptying the bank accounts of even the smartest Silicon Valley start-up. According to a 2011 report by the Boston University School of Law, patent trolls have cost U.S. companies about $500 billion in lost capital. Drew Curtis, the founder of Fark.com, calls them terrorists to be avoided at all costs. “It boils down to one thing: don’t negotiate with terrorists,” Curtis said during a talk at the TED 2012 conference in Long Beach, Calif. He explained how he won a patent dispute over e-mail newsletters by refusing to settle.

Submission + - Physicists detect elusive orbiton by 'splitting' electron (nature.com)

ananyo writes: Condensed-matter physicists have managed to detect the third constituent of an electron — its 'orbiton'.
Isolated electrons cannot be split into smaller components, earning them the designation of a fundamental particle. But in the 1980s, physicists predicted that electrons in a one-dimensional chain of atoms could be split into three quasiparticles: a ‘holon’ carrying the electron’s charge, a ‘spinon’ carrying its spin and an ‘orbiton’ carrying its orbital location.
In 1996, physicists split an electron into a holon and spinon. Now, van den Brink and his colleagues have broken an electron into an orbiton and a spinon (abstract).
Orbitons could also aid the quest to build a quantum computer — one stumbling block has been that quantum effects are typically destroyed before calculations can be performed. But as orbital transitions are extremely fast, encoding information in orbitons could be one way to overcome that hurdle.

Open Source

Submission + - Open Source Electric Cars, Good Idea or Not? (greencarreports.com) 1

thecarchik writes: Many are keen on the concept of open source electric cars --that is, electric cars where the built-in software can be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and in theory, the cars can be improved. Only it's a really, really bad idea.

If a car has been designed to do its job, but an open source system lets people tweak it, what happens when the car shuts down in the middle of the highway and causes a pile-up? Or decides one day that it won't open any of the doors for you?

Even carmakers themselves have trouble with software--Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma --so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea. Changing the characteristics of an electric car isn't as simple as re-jetting the carbs or swopping out the air filter..

Comment Re:Sony? (Score 1) 247

Perhaps I'm completely moronic here, but if I cannot judge a company's products by my past experience with this company's products, what exactly is a good metric to use?

Perhaps I should just buy one of everything and then return all the devices but the one I like best? I'm guessing you buy an eMachines brand PC regularly, or a (insert least favorite car manufacturer) when you go looking for a new car?

Sure, you should read reviews and make a judgement, but if you had two equal reviews, making your decision based on past business practices seems like a perfectly reasonable criteria.

Comment Re:Few to admit it, but a lot of parents teach thi (Score 2) 1208

I agree wholeheartedly about the prison culture in the U.S. being completely out of whack. There is an interesting talk by Bryan Stevenson where he describes the need to discuss things like this and not just ignore it. There are a lot of personal anecdotes in his TED talk, but the overall point is very similar to yours. Bryan Stevenson at TED

Comment Re:HotS (Score 1) 435

My point was that it was a gamble for him, as he described in several interviews. He funded the entire thing out of his own pocket, from the show, to the DVD, to hiring a couple of guys to do the website and finance side. He didn't have ANY publisher support because they all swore to him that it would be pirated all over the internet and it would lose him a million dollars.

If you think he would be pirated LESS because he is super popular, I think you may not be 100% sure what you're talking about.

He was pirated less because it cost 5 dollars and was downloadable immediately.

Comment Re:HotS (Score 1) 435

Obviously you and I have rather divergent understandings of the pirate culture. We'll have to agree to disagree on the idea that piracy will not fall dramatically as the price lowers. Give a kid 60 bucks a week for an allowance, and he'll never pirate. People naturally prefer to do things legally if they can. $60 games make that decision harder for a LOT of people.

Now, to your point about lowering the price not being worth fighting piracy, well, I would challenge your idea that if that is, in fact, true, then piracy isn't much of a problem at all. There are upsides to piracy of software of course. Word of mouth advertising being a major one. Piracy is effectively the Black Market of software. And just like the Black Market for so many other things, the legitimate price of a good or service being too high causes that market demand to get satisfied in a different manner. Abortions, Designer Purses, Software. All are cheaper on the black market, and with each you are taking your chance that you'll get ripped off.

Comment Re:HotS (Score 2, Interesting) 435

God help me for not going AC with this reply, but here goes: Piracy is a direct result of the cost of digital goods.

If game companies want people to stop pirating their games, lower the price. That is the silver bullet. In general people don't pirate games because they are too lazy to go to the store (or even better, the website) and buy it. The VAST majority of piracy is due to people not seeing the cost/value ratio of that entertainment within acceptable parameters.

Obviously people don't necessary consciously think those things. But if you look at Louis C.K.'s latest gamble with his DVD. Charging a fair (or beyond fair) price makes piracy almost completely disappear. Louis made money hand over fist, and piracy was almost non-existent.

$60 dollar games cause piracy. It is that simple.

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