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Comment Re:Poor comparison (Score 1) 236

I dont think he meant that all software used by the government must be built by the government coding office, but rather that all software created for government should come from the theoretical government coding office. If that is what he meant, it makes sense to me. Most shops wouldnt let the marketing department, for instance, hire a group of programmers to build some software for them without at least involving IT, and really most shops would require that the software be created by developers in the IT department. Having programmers or contractors working for every government agency imaginable, reporting to people who dont specialize in managing software development, is silly.

Comment Re:This is BS Voodoo (Score 1) 110

This is why any serious test gives you probabilities and not yes/no answers. Of course any scientist is aware that most diseases are not linked to a single gene that acts as an on-off switch and that in most cases a cluster of multiple genes might influence the susceptibility for certain diseases, which, then is further modulated by environmental factors. You are perfectly right in that this has no place in the drugstore - even if it gives results in the form of possibilities, this will only instill unjustified panic in people who get told that they have an increased probability to come down with, say, colon cancer, but who have no idea what this actually means.

Comment Re:Who reads the manual? (Score 1) 457

In a case where a garage door vendor sued a customer for using a different opener than the one delivered by the door vendor, the vendor claimed patents (memory may fail me here, what other kind of IP could it be?) on the specific codes to activate the mechanism. The judge found that one had to assume the customer had bought the permission to use the patent when he bought the door.

That is fair enough. But, what happens when the patent holder isn't the same entity as the one that sold you the product?

What if the patent wasn't available to be read (ie. unknown, and still sitting in the 2 year processing cycle at the patent office)?

Now, both they guy that sold you the device and you are infringing the patent. The patent holder has legal recourse (which is the purpose behind the whole patent system) to stop all parties from infringing on their patented process.

Note: this only applies to process patents that describe a method that just happens to be implemented by a device. Likewise, it probably doesn't apply to a patent for direct physical attributes of the device itself. ie. what the device does versus what the device is.

Comment Re:Ken Cuccinelli (Score 0, Troll) 617

I am sorry but those "academics" allowed themselves to become political and the consequences are they now get treated like politicians.

No matter if you think the climate change theories have merit or if you are a "denier" you must admit there has been a great deal of poor scientific practices and fraud where climate change research has been concerned. Its provable that lots of data is coming from stations to close to man made radiators by standards set and then ignored by the same researchers. Some of the climate-gate allegations were true; even though most of the worst were not; and the hockey stick theory was shown to be total bunk and the people who put it forward knew it.

The scientists and academics allowed themselves to become political; and now the existing body politic no longer sees them as off limits and will subject them to their rules. Welcome to the dark ages 2.0 regardless of who brought it on.

Comment Re:Hold bonuses in escrow for two years (Score 1) 172

The problem with these schemes is that managers can manipulate events to keep them off the books until bonuses are dispersed... in a way that could seem reasonable.

Fresh out of college, I had a friend who quit a job as an accountant at the local instance of a fortune 500 company because of exactly these kinds of shenanigans. The managers and accountants were all "in" on it, but not explicitly. They would just talk about when the proper time was to put things on the books. It happened to work out to maximize bonuses, shaft certain people, and displace blame. My friend thought it was unethical. Oh, to be young and idealistic again!

Comment Re:I wouldn't quite call it transcoding... (Score 1) 277

Actually, is it even in an FLV container? I don't watch video on Facebook, so I don't know. What I do know is that H.264 in a MOV or MP4 container, works just as well in Flash as H.264 in an FLV container. If historic content is in an FLV container, perhaps for new content they just changed the default container, so no remuxing is necessary at all.

Comment I got to the point this year.... (Score 1) 2

...that doing anything on a motherboard, setting jumpers or whatnot, I have to use the stevie wonder method, touch based only."Is that the right set of pins..let me check..bump..one..bump..two" etc. I really can't see the darn tiny stuff like I used to. Have to rely on memory and then muscle memory. If it is out of the case and I can throw a really bright light on it and then use a magnifier that isn't so bad, but inside the case..not so easy, need to be three handed and three eyed...

Now distance though, with my glasses, still seems OK enough. Astigmatism I have always had, but that more shows up at night than during the day. I still can see tiny movements in the woods pretty fairly. I'm red / green deficient, and I think that is my DNA compensation, to see odd shapes and very subtle movement. Some old hunter/gatherer thing, where the subtle movement good gene made you more a hunter than a gatherer. The gatherers with better color vision could spot the "food-good-eat" verus the "might be food-bad color-no good eat" deal. The hunters would go "see eye flicker-deer" whereas the not so great hunters see "many colorful leaves and flowers and branches" in the same exact spot. I try to train myself to do both, but have to more rely on plant shapes than colors for identification. Makes it a little harder.

What are you building?

Comment Re:How Companies Work (Score 1) 316

You sir deserve every last one of 5 score points for this post. I would add, though, that capitalism could work much better with stringent ethical and moral requirements for top executives and politicians. These would rule out the corruption and over-valuation that destroys so many businesses and even entire industries. The hard thing to understand is that both thriving and failing companies are wealth opportunities for certain people. An executive I know once told me that heavy compensation during a time a failure may be nothing more than hush money to protect the board of directors. I don't know if that is true, but it makes sense. Why else would you fire someone then give them millions of dollars?

Comment Re:Nooo ! (Score 1) 440

> a lot of people (ie older parents/grandparents)
> buy a Mac because it's "easier" and are more
> inclined to be on a 5-10 year cycle.

In the Windows world, a lot of people are on an 8-12 year upgrade cycle.

I wouldn't be terribly surprised if more people are still using Windows 98 than the total number of Mac users, all versions combined (actual general-purpose computers, I mean, not handheld music players and such). Obviously there's no reliable way to get actual numbers for how many Windows 98 systems are still in use, but I bet it's a lot higher than most computer geeks realize. People's tendency to upgrade promptly increases (more or less) geometrically with their level of computer knowledge, and the people whom an IT professional knows personally tend to be significantly above average.

Comment DNA microarrays are likely highly superior (Score 2, Interesting) 71

DNA microarrays (also know as DNA chips) can already identify every virus ever discovered, and it can even identify undiscovered viruses by recognizing genetic sequences that are highly conserved among viruses. This type of chip first proved its worth in 2003 when it was used to identify SARS. The New York Times interviewed the inventor Joseph DeRisi about it:

We had just finished building the full version of our ViroChip, when we read about SARS in the newspapers. We literarily begged the C.D.C. to send us samples of the virus. Once we had it, we immediately put it onto a chip. In less than 24 hours we confirmed that this was a novel coronavirus. We confirmed the ViroChip’s finding by subsequently sequencing this virus’s genome. This had never in history happened before.

It is not yet evident what, if any, advantage this other chip that hopes to identify viruses by their size will have.

Comment Re:More concise... (Score 5, Insightful) 149


Actually, I watched that review a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. That guy echoes a lot of observations I had quietly held as my own, but also provides very tangible explanations of where George Lucas utterly failed to craft a proper story. It's so much more than a "What were you thinking, man! Jar-Jar?!?! You IDIOT!" rant. I think it's kind of funny that this commentary piece is nearly identical in size to the subject it's based on, and that's why I made the "concise" reference. But I agree it's fully worth watching for anyone who is interested in films as more than an excuse to eat popcorn in the dark. It's one reason I'm eager to see the People vs George Lucas.

Skatepark Builder

Comment Re:Who is he working for? (Score 1) 218

A senator with his seniority in Australia pretty much has his multi-million dollar pension secured if he's reached the top of the Victorian Senate ticket. The only way to take away his power is to get the opposition party in power. (who, last time they were in power, had protect-the-childrens-from-childporn on their minds, but at least did so by giving people software they could voluntarily use (but didn't seem to care about)

Comment Re:Manners (Score 1) 1142

I have to admit you have a point there. I grew up in Missouri, but I lived in California for a while and I'm currently living in Ohio, so can I say from experience that even in the US there is a difference in what is considered good manners. I think the Missouri manners must've stuck with me though, as it is always sir/ma'am there. It was something of a culture shock moving from Missouri to California, as they are definitely less formal out there. Ohio is somewhere in the middle; not quite as formal as Missouri, not quite as relaxed as California.

It is probably worth pointing out that I also did the whole Scouts thing when I was growing up (Cub, Boy, and Sea), so that probably had a lot to do with my manners in general.

Comment What ever (Score 1) 569

I can type fast enough to keep up with a normal speaker (not auctioneer). My handwriting can't cope with the speed that people talk. For diagrams do both pen and computer perhaps, or use a drawing program. Very personal preference. We didn't have laptops when I was in school so it was moot. I used ultra-short hand and then transcribed.

Comment Flash based solution - Simple and FREE (Score 1) 170

I have a customized solution that I am willing to provide for FREE to any U.S. educational institution. Others may be considered on a case by case basis.

- Flash based (no installations if you already have Flash Player 10), any browser, any OS
- Small and fast (client is ~150kbytes, server is ~300kbytes), minimal setup
- No registration (pick a nick, a room name, and a key string if you want to limit access to the room)
- No personal info required, nor stored (completely anonymous)
- Up to 5 participants per conference room
- You can join multiple rooms simultaneously (share a single webcam or select different webcams), or join the same room multiple times (allowing you to broadcast multiple webcams from a single computer)
- Pause video and/or audio when privacy is needed
- Manual quality adjustment (you control the quality of each individual video stream sent to you)

Let me know if you are interested in

1) Test drive it via my personal website/server
2) Setting up your own website/server

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