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Comment Re:Registered Mail (Score 1) 157

I don't know if you can use registered mail for parcels originating in Germany.

But the real fuckup is that it was sent via DHL. It got fucked in the handover from DHL to USPS (the delivery agent) somewhere in New Jersey.

Registered airmail with Deutsche Post, if even possible, would've cost a fortune. But then the box was worth a fortune, so...

You can send registered mail between most countries these days - many first world ones participate in a worldwide tracking system so you can actually track a package through borders. With other countries, you get a proof of delivery.

And what do you think the "D" in DHL stands for? Yes, DHL is headquartered in Germany, and in every continent outside of North America, is considered to be a top-tier delivery service. FedEx and UPS are considered second rate services.

Anyhow, if you're wrapping stuff for delivery, the postal service is quite good given the volume. (USPS handles more mail in 3 days than FedEx in a year, and in 7 days they beat UPS). It's exceptionally good if you package stuff properly.

And by properly, you have to anticipate the address label falling off. If this happens, they will open the box to see if maybe there's something with an address inside (a packing list inside the box, and not just in a packet on the outside is a good idea, but only if you include both the sender and recipient addresses on it.

If it's particularly valuable, and composed of a lot of pieces, it wouldn't hurt to individually wrap and address each item. doesn't have to be fancy - inserting each cartridge in a plastic self-sealing bag with an address inside the bag works just fine. In case the box gets totally ripped apart because of machinery or handling and all the parts fall out, each one is individually labelled and can be forwarded on.

Comment Re:Why not right away? (Score 2) 148

"We're committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we've decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,"

I'd like to know why they do not implement this right away. It cannot be because they do not know what works well well for both users and advertisers now.

Because of contractual obligations.

People have already bought the ad time and if they haven't shown yet, may still be in production. Should YouTube feel like getting rid of the ad spots, the advertisers might pack up and leave especially if they cannot get compensation for the money spent producting the ad that would not show.

So Google simply looked at the calendar and either no one's bought any ad space for 2018, or it's sufficiently far out that cancelling is not a big deal since the ads would likely only be in the concept stages and thus cheap to adapt to their new advertising format.

Comment Re:100% his fault (Score 1) 141

The guy in question didn't make any arguments about legal privacy protections. He instead made arguments about legal *copyright* protections. He remained the copyright owner, notwithstanding uploading it or broadcasting it. He argued that, as copyright holder, he can deny ABC and other networks from redistributing his video. This in general is a valid legal copyright claim. But ABC argued that it was a news story of public significance, and so when they broadcast a clip of it, that fell under fair use. This is a valid legal exception to copyright, which is why they won.

ABC argued it was a newsworthy story AND that it was fair use - they only showed a 45 second clip of the full video (which was a few hours long, I believe).

There's no test for whether a clip is "sufficiently short", but 45 seconds out of a few hours is generally considered an acceptable length snippet under fair use.

Had ABC broadcast the whole thing, yes, they'd be in violation of copyright (there's no fair use protection for that). But they created a snippet around a newsworthy event - the story itself is copyright ABC, and the video to complement it is considered fair use.

Comment Re:AMaphobia much? (Score 1) 205

AM bands have wavelengths from around 300m-600m, so forget using the headphone wire - you'll need some sort of tuned resonant loop / ferrite rod or similar for even half decent reception. That means more weight, extra power consumption, increased cost and added circuit complexity (you really can't just smash AM with a DSP hammer the way you can FM) for a feature that would (probably) get even less use than the FM receiver.

That's why you just don't see AM receivers in phones.

It's not hard. Most AM receivers actually have a tiny ferrite rod that the antenna is wound around. And it gives a pretty good signal.

No, the real reason is that AM reception is influenced by all the electronic bits inside the phone - it does require a higher-than-average amount of shielding if you want to not overwhelm the AM receiver with noise generated by the phone's own electronics. So manufacturers don't want it because face it, the shielding is crap and the reception will be terrible because the phone's electronics generate too much noise.

Comment Re:FM not as common as the article sounds. (Score 2, Interesting) 205

The way they write this makes it sound like nearly all phones have an FM chip/capability already built-in, which I believe is actually quite far from the truth. Its only a few specific models.

Well, the chips to do it tend to be everywhere - WiFi and Bluetooth chips tend to be triple duty with FM radio thrown in because it isn't hard to add.

The real issue is whether or not it's actually hooked up - usually they aren't. So the phone may have the hardware for it, but not actually be wired up.

The real question is why? I hardly ever listen to FM radio (AM I do a lot). If it was a popular feature, it would be in every phone as a feature. But most people are either streaming or listening to their music.

Finally, given the present administration, what's going on? I don't think it's done out of the goodness of their hearts to give consumers a feature that's sorely lacking.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 4, Insightful) 355

He may be honest, but he's also wrong. Yes, of course "real work" needs to be done to turn ideas into reality, but those ideas are at least as important as the work themselves. "Real work" in service of bad ideas is entirely wasted, and there are plenty of Silicon Valley companies turning out useless apps and software products that won't go anywhere that talented people have spent a lot of time making.

No, ideas are a dime a dozen. You probably come up with a dozen ideas every hour, from the mundane to fantasy.

Execution is key. An idea is just that, abstract. It doesn't mean anything, and millions of individuals will have that same idea. Most of the time, we don't work on the idea - either we realize it's fantasy and thus not worth looking into, or it's pointless, or the ROI is bad. But in the end, the idea doesn't matter. It's the execution of taking that idea and turning it into reality that's important.

And yes, some ideas are totally bad. But behind every useless app was an idea that seemed good, and heck, enough people believed in it to actually bring it to fruition. Now, it could be an incredibly bad idea to begin with, but someone had the resources and means to get it done. Or it could be a good idea executed too early before the market was ready for it (look at streaming music - back a decade and a half, "renting music" was considered a ludicrous idea, now it's a billion dollar industry). Or suffer from poor marketing.

And finally, what seems like a bad idea now might've seemed like a good one at the time.

You really don't know the value of an idea until you try it out.

Comment Re:outside the US (Score 1) 63

Are people actually going to risk being detained at the airport for hours or being put in jail just to attend an Apple Conference. This is not snark. I am really interested if these kind of things held in the US are still viable. I expect to see more North American international conferences held in Canada. I know that most people attending the conference will be light skinned, but still...

Here's the problem. These big events are planned out at least a year or more in advance. You can't just go up and book a convention center with a month's notice. And something like E3, CES, WWDC, Android I/O are generally booked a year or more in advance. So at least for 2017, you're screwed, and some bigger conventions like E3 and CES are screwed in 2018 as well,

Now the convention holders are probably planning for alternate sites and even then it takes time to find and book. Apple and others may very well have to consider booking outside the US, or hold multiple events. (WWDC is very popular and tickets are by lottery system. Even then, all the lottery spots are taken within the hour).

Considering the current political climate, if I was holding a convention, I would consider a non-US location. I might keep the US one on because I'm still on the hook for it (but try to minimize things - maybe instead of using the whole space, use only half) while looking for an alternate location.

And yes, Canada would love the billions of dollars of economic spinoff something like E3 and CES generates (hotel rooms, meals, transportation, you can probably see over a billion dollars of economic activity generated).

Comment Re:Still playing catch-up (Score 1) 113

Unless they allow the disablement of the biometric shit, and allow good old fashioned passwords....I'm not buying it.

Touch ID has always been optional. You're not forced to use it (in fact, you can't enable it without enabling some other more secure authentication first - even a 4 digit PIN is considered more secure).

I would expect iOS 11 to have a new feature to disable Touch ID quickly - not only after reboot, 48 hours or 3 failed attempts (requiring use of the alternate authentication system) so if the police are forcing people to unlock their phones with fingerprints, you can temporarily disable it. Perhaps if you double-click the power button for example which will disable Touch ID until a successful login (using the more secure methods).

So if they come around and ask people to unlock their phones, you can double-click the power and Touch ID is disabled for unlocking purposes until the phone gets unlocked via the alternate means.

Comment Re:SSRIs (Score 1) 47

No, the SSRIs cross the blood brain barrier on a time scale of minutes and inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin leading to a massive spike of serotonin levels on a time scale of hours. But the claimed effect (depression cured) takes place on a time scale of weeks or even months.

Which is why this study is so interesting. It essentially replicated this exact effect. The mice had decreased motivation (locomotion speed) after directly tinkering the serotonin up, but over a longer time scale they had increased locomotion from their base levels. Essentially replicating the human experience, and providing a much more direct way to study the effects of this particular chemical. This is interesting science as we still have very little understanding about Serotonin.

Comment Re:Let's be clear on what we mean by election hack (Score 1) 249

Oh, get serious. The whole "superdelegate" apparatus exists only to thwart the will of the voters.

As does the electoral college. That was created because the elites (say, the Founding Fathers) realized that giving voting control to the peasants might not have been such a good idea, so the electoral college was created in order to better represent their (the elites) interests. The members are unelected and while they only have one job, they have screwed it up.

Comment Re:snarky: managed languages RulZ! (Score 1) 369

Absolutely untrue. I work in a group that does low-level coding on a processor with 48k of RAM and 1MB of storage.

Yes, knowledge of C is essential. But so is Python. I would say that I write about 10x more Python than I do C, partially because there's so little code on the actual platform and so much test code, analysis code and framework code that needs to be written to validate that small amount of embedded code.

So this whole dichotomy is totally nuts.

Comment Re:SSRIs (Score 5, Informative) 47

As someone who's seen SSRI's "work" on people you most find that they lose what they want to do. For some people want they want is unachieveable, but when someone else wants to be a functional person and instead sits around all day and ends up not wanting to get better, that's not an improvement even if they feel better. It'd be interesting to see them continue this in the face of challenges, like shock floors or social situations.

Which is exactly what they did and you clearly didn't read the article.

“But the same stimulation does not have any effect if the animal is already engaged in a specific task such as running to get a reward”

The decreased motivation (physical movement speed) was only temporary. The study showed that over a longer period of increased Serotonin, locomotion speed was up by 30%-40% from starting levels; the researches are looking at this as an explanation as to why SSRI drugs take about 3 weeks to start working.

Comment Re:the real reason theyre arguing it. (Score 1) 306

yep, and changing the oil on my motorcycle could cause scalding hot oil to burn me, but well documented processes from the vendor generally limit this risk. Repairing the power regulator for my refrigerator could have caused a shock, however repair manuals clearly instructed me to unplug and de-energize the appliance.

Tell me, grab a person off the street and ask them to say, replace the motherboard on your laptop.

That's it', you'll walk them though it, but you will not be allowed to comment on what they're doing. You'll demonstrate, they'll mimic. They are allowed to use anything they have.

Would you do it? Would you risk your computer? You can show them how to take it apart and provide all the replacement parts, they can watch you take it apart.

But they probably won't have the skill to. You tell them to use a #0 Phillips screwdriver, and they'll take their butter knife. Ask them to pry and they'll use a chisel.

If you're lucky, you'll just have a scratched up case. But more likely than not, they'll have screwed things up worse.

That's the real problem.

Would you let any driver on the road change the oil on your motorcycle? You know, perhaps the teenagers texting and pretty much oblivious to everyone else on teh road? And expect them to not get burned with hot oil?

The problem is most people are unskilled, and overestimate their skills. You tell them they can fix their phone? Chances are they'll wreck it even worse and make what was a simple $50 fix into not-economically-repairable.

It's why you have those idiotic "warranty void" stickers, moisture indicators, security screws, etc. These at least generally kept the unskilled from making things worse - if you were skilled enough to buy the right tools or brave enough to void warranty, chances are you at least had enough basic skills to not make things worse.

Warranty fraud is a big issue, and if you haven't seen someone lie straight up that it was not soaked in water despite a growing puddle of water on the counter underneath the device, you haven't seen anything. And yes, they'll demand a brand new unit replacement.

Submission + - Aguments for the regualtion of SETI, and METI (Messaging ETI).

RockDoctor writes: John Gertz has been "an active leader in the field of SETI" for many years at the SETI Institute and Foundation for Investment in Research on SETI.

He makes some sober, and frankly dull points on the legal/ policy front ( though the prospect of "the Aliens" having First Contact with ISIS or Kim Jong Un is ... unsettling). However, he also discusses more interesting options.

This author has argued elsewhere that the artificial signal that we first detect may more likely derive from within our own Solar System than from a source outside of it.

Hows that?

Given the widespread of times and possible locations of the origin of life, Gertz thinks that it is plausible that an ETI seeded the galaxy with passive probes that would wait (in shelter) for development of (technological) life within their area, and then initiate communications. If, for our putative ETs, interstellar travel proved impossible for some reason, they might at least have contact with later intelligences by scattering probes around the galaxy which every so-often would "wake up", sample their area for interesting signals, and go back to sleep again for a few generations.

All very "Monolith" (Arthur C. Clarke SF story, later made into several films). But what if a probe hibernating around Sedna were to wake up to I love Lucy? It's response (indeed, it's body) could on the way today, and arrive next week at a DPRK listening post — who choose to reply in secret. To what effect? What could the nuclear power of DPRK do with an alien version of Encyclopedia Galactica 54321 — in comparison to our Encyclopedia 2000?

Gertz raises some probably important policy points, but some really fascinating ideas.

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