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Comment The real WTF... (Score 1) 437

"questions begin to arise about Facebook's impartiality in the political race."

Why would anyone think that [Facebook | Google | Microsoft | Famous Amos Cookies] was supposed to be impartial?
Did I miss something extra in the first amendment about only speaking if you present all views equally?
Aside from the wishful fiction that they are somehow required to be, since when is anyone even claiming to be "fair and impartial"?
(OK, other than the claims of Fox News)
If you grant them any more credit for impartiality than what you allocate the wild-eyed crazy on the overpass with a bullhorn, you deserve what you get.

ALL information you get must be weighed against the source, and if you blindly accept as 'truth' everything from anyone, you are going to get burned.

In this case, of course, when enough of us get burned, we all (U.S. and 'the World') have to deal with the fallout.

Comment Re:One month every four years. (Score 2) 294

To be specific, Article 3 Federal judges are appointed for life, and must be confirmed by congress. These are Supreme Court justices and District Court judges. Other "Federal Judges", including Magistrates and Bankruptcy judges serve specific terms, and are not confirmed.
Thus, to have Judge Haldane Mayer do an about-face on Software Patents is Huuuge, in part because of the influence the Federal Court of Appeals has on lower courts, but mostly since it shows that learning can take place at that level, when presented with cogent arguments.

Perhaps there is hope, after all.

Comment Re:Is it leaked or is it not yet leaked? (Score 2) 165

"The real question"? Really?

You have no right at all to know what is on my "secret list". I have compiled it by digesting every news article published worldwide on the subject of underwater cribbage, and cataloging the names mentioned in any way. My reasoning is that people who have anything to do with that horrible sport are more likely to die by drowning, and I will base my Life Insurance rate quotes to them on that belief.
You want to know who is on the list and why? Tough.

You want to sue me for unfair business practices? Go ahead. But don't whinge about actuarial tables that say middle aged black men are more likely to die of heart disease than young females from the Mediterranean. While liars may figure, figures don't lie.

Any company has a fiduciary responsibility to manage risk. One way to manage risk is by getting as much information as you can and making decisions based on that information. If you have bad information, you're not doing it right. But if you have no information, or are proscribed from making decisions based on what you know, you are (rightfully) out of business.

Submission + - Attorney held liable for using "generic" E-Mail?

bbsguru writes: An attorney in New York is being sued for using an AOL email account. The plaintiffs accuse their Real Estate attorney of "negligently using a "notoriously vulnerable" AOL email account that was hacked by cybercriminals who then stole nearly $2 million".
Aside from this possible risk, what does it tell you when your [attorney | broker | accountant | financial advisor] has a generic email account?

Submission + - The Man Behind Google's Takeover Of The Map (

tedlistens writes: Google’s map isn't just a map. It's a living, complex manifestation of the data that billions of users and a team of thousands of engineers and designers feed it every day. The public face of the company's mapping effort is Ed Parsons, a gregarious Briton and geographer who as its Google's Geospatial Technologist evangelizes for its mission of organizing the world's geographic information. He also works on building the trust the company needs to make Google Maps and Google Earth more detailed, useful, and increasingly, 3-D and interactive—what he describes as “a selfie for the planet.”

The terrain isn't easy: that mission faces challenges from cartographical purists, hoping to preserve the art of cartography, and the democratic mappers of OpenStreetMap (“it’s become almost a parody," says Parsons); from governments seeking to police sensitive borders; from a host of tech companies fighting over the map business; and from privacy defenders concerned about what Google does with that data. "We’re kind of looking at what to do with it. We’ve got a very rich source of data there, but also one that we have to be very careful of," he says. "Your location on the planet is one of the most sensitive pieces of information that anyone can hold on you."

Comment ANY Single Source balanced news (Score 4, Insightful) 639

The only reason this is the least bit interesting is that there are so many people who consider Facebook a primary news source.
This Pew Research poll of last summer shows 63% of FB users get their news there (up from 47% two years ago).

ANYBODY who gets their news from only one source simply doesn't care whether it's true.

And we all know what they say about news without truth, right?

It gets repeated...

Comment For a given value of "cognitive"... (Score 1) 311

Yes, there are many physical things a machine can do as well or better than a human, though the task of building such a machine is to date not one of them.

As to the nascent "cognitive" capabilities of machines, take another look. For example, while there are some wonderful things being done with pattern recognition, that is largely a mathematical function.

Computers are great at math, hence the name. But things that can not be reduced to mathematics are still very much the domain of organic life forms.
Even at the blistering current pace of progress in the field, I am confident that we are far away from an artificial intelligence fully capable of true cognition.

Months, at least.

Submission + - This New Chip Can Trasmit and Receive Signals at Once, Doubles Data Capacity ( 1

Wave723 writes: A new chip by Columbia University researchers uses a circulator made of silicon transistors to re-route signals and avoid interference from a transmitter and receiver that share the same antenna. This technology instantly doubles data capacity and could eventually be built into smartphones and tablets. The chip enables them to work around the principle of "reciprocity," in which electromagnetic waves are thought to always travel along the same path both forward and backward. Traditionally, electronic devices required two antennas — a transmitter and receiver — that took turns or operated on different frequencies in order to exchange signals.

Submission + - FAA Confirms: Shooting Down a Drone is a Federal Felony 1

PvtVoid writes: [The FAA is] unequivocally confirming that it’s a federal crime to shoot down a drone, as John Goglia reports in Forbes. Goglia explains the FAA offered this ruling in response to his questions on the topic, citing 18 USC. 32, which “makes it a felony to damage or destroy an aircraft.”

Not linking to Forbes, because, well, Forbes. Here's the Slate.

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