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Comment RACTER (Score 3, Insightful) 187

We've had programs writing poetry for a while now. The earliest I'm aware of is RACTER with The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed, 1983. I found much of it to be banal, but I found some of it to be amazing. It wrote:

More than iron, more than lead, more than gold I need electricity.
I need it more than I need lamb or pork or lettuce or cucumber.
I need it for my dreams.

Comment De- & Redamaged (Score 4, Interesting) 259

I'm not sure if the NSA seeking to exploit technology is particularly damaging to US firms. The NSA is seeking to exploit all technologies, not just American-based ones.
I think the part that does damage American firms, was the end of the second article. It read that the NSA has been redirecting the shipping of some computers to their address, installing software or hardware, repacking the device, and shipping it to the purchaser.

Comment Blognews (Score 1) 474

I'm disinterested. I tried one link: Department of Fisheries & Oceans muzzles its scientists. The article is a long tirade against

Under revised Fisheries and Oceans Canada rules, scientists working in its central and Arctic region cannot be involved in publishing research until a DFO division administrator has reviewed it "for any concerns/impacts to DFO policy."

It goes on for fifteen paragraphs about how George Orwell would love it, the government is awful, this is an attack on science. Eventually they included a paragraph to give at least some information:

Kevin Stringer, DFO ecosystems and oceans science assistant deputy minister, said the aim of the "minor modifications to publication procedures" are to eliminate duplication of peer reviews and ensure government intellectual property rights are respected in third-party publications. "Publishing and communicating scientific work is a crucial element of what we do," he wrote in an email.

I didn't check out the large number of links, but a large number newsbending links does not a journalist make. Don't use blogs to get your news.

Comment Re:Unfair (Score 1) 278

I'll be happy for you to point out a single instance of me trolling

Awww, apparently I hurt somebody's feelings! I'd apologize, but then, I'm not sorry. I stand by my original statements: the police didn't arrest him for no reason, these were NOT trumped up charges, this man was NOT railroaded into jail because police wanted an arrest. This was a case of a man deliberately setting out to probe the efficacy of security for the G-20 summit by purchasing chemicals used in bomb making, again - *in an attempt to prove that the security for the G-20 summit was ineffective.* In essence, he was betting that security wouldn't take notice of his activities... and he lost his bet.

The short explanation is that he didn't do anything illegal, so you're trolling by pretending:

these were NOT trumped up charges

If he didn't do anything illegal, they must be trumped up charges.

Comment Re:Unfair (Score 1) 278

I'd apologize

For what, exactly?

It was you that was being quoted for apologizing. It seems pretty straight-forward what you were apologizing for.

I'm a trolling jerk

My posting history here will put that misconception to rest pretty quickly.

Your comment history doesn't absolve you of anything. If you replied to a thousand comments that were in no way trolling comments, that doesn't mean your one-thousand and first comment couldn't possibly have been a troll. Each comment is judged on it's merits. But I acknowledged you seem to be unfamiliar with legal logic to have been aware of that.

Comment Re:Unfair (Score 1) 278

This is a shameful response.

It's not illegal to purchase chemicals, even if they are chemicals related to bomb-making. I might give you that it's merit to interview someone, but performing legal activities is not a reason to incarcerate someone, even if it's temporarily. You're defence didn't illustrate any reason to suggest incarcerating him for a year was merited.

I think it's pretty intuitive you yourself would be outraged for being incarcerated for a year because of the coincidence of performing several legal activities.

Comment Re:who's over-inflated idea of his own importance? (Score 1) 425

Artist's have _always_ been willing to take credit for their own work. We know of plenty of authors prior to the last few hundred years: Livy, Homer, Aquinas, you name it. The fact that some authors opened their work by honouring their muse, or inspiration, has nothing to do with them taking credit for their own work. Some of them, certainly not all, worked in the tradition of honouring the inspiration, but they still took credit for their work. Otherwise, how would we know who wrote what.

The only exception is author's who wrote in culture's that pre-date writing, or did not have reasonable access to writing, such as the Beowulf poet, or the Green Knight poet. Even then, I'm sure the only reason authorship wasn't recorded was because those that orally passed on the story, excluded the original author's credits.

Comment Re:Slower Work, Less Risk (Score 1) 835

None of the above. Receiving email with potentially malicious content would be so devastating for some organizations that it's not worth the security risk. While it's unlikely their security would be breached by an unknown vulnerability, if they were breached, the data loss would be devastating. Thus, when they can receive documents through a secure fax which could not breach their database, they will sometimes opt to receive transmissions through fax.

Comment Slower Work, Less Risk (Score 1) 835

In organizations that have access to large databases of sensitive information, the security risk makes secure faxes preferable. For instance, the Internal Revenue Service has access to nearly everyone's financial information, a security breach, however unlikely it might be, would be devastating.

Comment Re:Derhythmed (Score 5, Interesting) 408

True, but if Bing will produce customized searches equivalent to holding a mirror up to someone's face, people might opt for Bing instead of Google's "high road." I agree with you that it's better for society to have an opt-in system, I just imagine it might be too risky for a company to implement such a system.
These two systems revolve around how badly people want their mirrors.

Comment Derhythmed (Score 3) 408

"I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions, [Eric Schmidt] elaborates. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."

Google has mentioned a number of times that customization is a major feature of their searches. While this summary isn't without cause to be nervous about such a thing, instead of algorithms to correct algorithms, it's no major feat to allow users to disable some of the non-spam related algorithms. In fact, it's no major feat to disable algorithms by subcategory: geographical location, operating system, language, search history, etc.

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