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Comment Re:Obvious takeaway here? (Score 1) 41

They imply it only collects the public data available-- not the private data. It is therefore only useful as a tool to make associations with, and make inferences, using otherwise beniegn data points.

The fact this is publicly available data is key here. An NPR article I heard earlier wasn't clear on that fact. If it's simply data mining what is already out in the public, I can see how it wouldn't be valuable. If it has some sort of high level access that can see conversations marked private, that's a different story.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 2) 894

The jobs aren't going away because people here are being replaced by better technology, the jobs are going away here because people are being replaced by workers in other countries who can work for less. These actions are of course being rewarded by the boards of the companies who are doing this.

Simply not true. Improvements in automation have made it more economical to automate than to send jobs overseas.

Also, the world doesn't have an endless supply of people willing to work for pennies. Sooner or later, people in developing countries will demand a higher standard of living. When that happens, labor costs increase dramatically.

Submission + - D-Wave's 2,000-Qubit Quantum Annealing Computer Now 1,000x Faster Than Last Gen (

An anonymous reader writes: D-Wave, a Canadian company developing the first commercial “quantum computer,” announced its next-generation quantum annealing computer with 2,000 qubits, which is twice as many as its previous generation had. One highly exciting aspect of quantum computers of all types is that beyond the seemingly Moore’s Law-like increase in number of qubits every two years, their performance increases much more than just 2x, unlike with regular microprocessors. This is because qubits can hold a value of 0, 1, or a superposition of the two, making quantum systems able to deal with much more complex information. If D-Wave's 2,000-qubit computer is now 1,000 faster than the previous 1,000-qubit generation (D-Wave 2X), that would mean that, for the things Google tested last year, it should now be 100 billion times faster than a single-core CPU. The new generation also comes with control features, which allows users to modify how D-Wave’s quantum system works to better optimize their solutions. These control features include the following capabilities: The ability to tune the rate of annealing of individual qubits to enhance application performance; The ability to sample the state of the quantum computer during the quantum annealing process to power hybrid quantum-classical machine learning algorithms that were not previously possible; The ability to combine quantum processing with classical processing to improve the quality of both optimization and sampling results returned from the system. D-Wave’s CEO, Vern Brownell, also said that D-Wave’s quantum computers could also be used for machine learning task in ways that wouldn’t be possible on classical computers. The company is also training the first generation of programmers to develop applications for D-Wave quantum systems.

Submission + - Firefox Gets Floating Video Player and Page Screenshoting Feature (

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla announced today three new entries for its Test Pilot program, which include an add-on to move the "Tracking Protection" feature from Private Browsing to the main browser, support for an on-page cross-tab floating video player, and an in-browser drag-and-drop page screenshot and sharing feature.

All features are available via the Test Pilot program, and based on user feedback Mozilla will decide if to embed any in Firefox's stable distribution. The three new features are called Tracking Protection, Min Vid, and Page Shot.

Submission + - Amazon Looking To Abandon UPS, FedEx In Favor of Its Own Delivery Service (

An anonymous reader writes: A report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is building its own shipping service to replace FedEx and UPS, giving it more control over its packages and possibly allowing it to ship packages from other retailers. Amazon has said its own delivery services would be meant to increase its capacity during busier times of the year, like the upcoming holiday season. However, "current and former Amazon managers and business partners" claim that the company's plans are bigger than that. The initiative dubbed "Consume the City" will eventually let Amazon "haul and deliver" its own packages and those of other retailers and consumers. That delivery network would also directly compete with the likes of UPS and FedEx. It makes sense that Amazon would want to sell, ship, and deliver orders on its own. The report estimates that the company spent $11.5 billion on shipping just last year, amounting to 10.8 percent of sales. The shipping process is currently a bit convoluted: packages from Amazon warehouses get sent to one of two shipping routes, either FedEx or UPS, or to a sorting facility that lumps all packages with similar zip codes together. FedEx and UPS handle its shipments and deliver them to customers, while the packages at the sorting facilities either get delivered via USPS or by Amazon employees themselves. If Amazon were to have control over its shipments over longer distances, it's estimated that the company could save about $3 per package—about $1.1 billion annually.

Comment Re:Why do you have to be prepared for it? (Score 2) 474

What is the difference if you are not prepared? Will you fail at it?

I tried to kill myself by jumping off of a building, but I can't even do that right. I ended up doing a double back flip and landing on my feet. On the street next to me were two kittens. One turned to the other and said, "See, that's how it's done."

Slight spin on an old Steven Wright joke.

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