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Comment Re:No kidding (Score 1) 183

Remember that companies aren't evil, they are just amoral.

Amoral + Near-term-focused = Long-term-evil

Atlantic Richfield, Amoco, Exxon, and Mobil all purchased photovoltaic technologies in the late 70's and soon thereafter lobbied for the repeal of tax credits for solar power. Now why would they do that? Because once they've hedged their bets with IP acquisitions, they can go right back to protecting their core business. Yes, it's perfectly reasonable if all you care about is the fiscal year, but it's perfectly evil if the larger community is running out of time to develop and transition into oil alternatives.

If oil companies had sincerely developed and promoted these technologies when they acquired them 35 years ago, we would now see much wider adoption of solar in the US, and we would be significantly less dependant on oil.


Ranking Soccer Players By Following the Bouncing Ball 142

sciencehabit excerpts from an interesting report on statistics for soccer, in the stats-obsessed world of sports: "Only a handful of soccer ranking systems exist, most of which rely on limited information: the number of goals scored in a match, the number of goals assisted, and some indices of a match's difficulty and importance. ... So researchers turned to an unlikely source: social networks. Applying the kinds of mathematical techniques used to map Facebook friends and other networks, the team created software that can trace the ball's flow from player to player. As the program follows the ball, it assigns points for precise passing and for passes that ultimately lead to a shot at the goal. Whether the shot succeeds doesn't matter. Only the ball's flow toward the goal and each player's role in getting it there factors into the program's point system, which then calculates a skill index for each team and player."
Emulation (Games)

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video 189

An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"

Comment Re:MS Liability? (Score 1) 333

That's not what I'm suggesting. To know that a price is less appealing you would have to comparison shop. I think it's possible that MS is trying to exploit it's nonsavvy aol-like users under the assumption that most will either fail to comparison shop through other search engines, or will think that non-bing vendors' prices are too good to be true. I also think it's possible, and more likely, that participating vendors are just ensuring their bottom line without complaint from MS. In either case, as a later poster points out, discriminatory pricing is illegitimate and should merit some policy response from MS.

Comment Re:New Zealand (Score 0, Troll) 1359

Oh god, don't believe the hype about NZ. Freer perhaps, if you don't count the social incarceration of the Anglo-regressive bigots who run the country. That country is SOLD OUT, and you will be too if you go there with anything less than a fortune of investment capital. You'll find your job options very limited as well, especially if you're asian or some other less white race. Immigration Services likes to talk about how they have lots of jobs and too few Kiwis to fill them--but they neglect to mention that most Kiwis are reluctant to hire foreigners, no matter how good their qualifications. Also know that you can be free with your opinions in NZ, so long as you don't criticize NZ or the Kiwi way of life. Believe me, not even a humble helping of constructive criticism goes down easy in New Zealand...not when it's offered by a foreigner. Finally, consider the freedom afforded you by your information infrastructure. NZ's is as antiquated as its building codes.

Comment First shot in a War of Independence...for the Web? (Score 1) 263

All of this is starting to feel like more than just an Iranian power struggle. I wonder if we might look back in a decade and see this moment as a first sign of Web Sovereignty--and realize that for all our hand-wringing over the BRIC countries' economic rise, the next truly global power will not be national in origin, but technological. Even if the popular protests "fail" in Iran, the comraderie, the sense of identity and belonging, as *citizens* of the Web, is likely to persist.

Submission + - Intel says EC's antitrust case is wrong (

SplatMan_DK writes: According to this article at, The European Commission relied on incorrect assumptions and mistaken conclusions to bring antitrust charges against Intel, the company's top attorney said Friday. Europe's antitrust watchdogs notified Intel of the charges Thursday, alleging that the world's largest chip maker abused its dominant position by trying to exclude AMD from the $33 billion semiconductor market...

NZ MPs Outlaw Satire of Parliament 282

mernil writes "New Zealand's Parliament has voted itself far-reaching powers to control satire and ridicule of MPs in Parliament, attracting a storm of media and academic criticism. The new standing orders, voted in last month, concern the use of images of Parliamentary debates, and make it a contempt of Parliament for broadcasters or anyone else to use footage of the chamber for 'satire, ridicule or denigration.' The new rules are actually more liberal than the previous ones, but the threat of felony contempt is new."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Our ATM is broken, so you go to jail? (

Actually, I do RTFA writes: A short while ago, slashdot featured an article about possible criminal prosecution for people who took advantage of faulty slot machine software. At the time, many people drew an analogy to an ATM that dispensed too much money. Well, apparently, that too may result in criminal charges. Interestingly, although they suspect that someone may have tampered with the ATM, they are considering charging anyone who withdrew money from the ATM.

This also provides an interesting rejoinder to 'if they can build a secure ATM, why cannot Diebold build a secure electronic voting machine.'

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