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Comment Late-Breaking News from the Council: WTF G'RANEE? (Score 2) 244

>K'Breel was deposed and executed after his repeated failures in repelling the Terran aggressor. We don't speak of him. All hail mighty G'Ranee, Supreme Leader for Life!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL: VICTORY! The Council of Elders has confirmed the blueworlders' resumption of aggression upon our noble red sands. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thusly: OKAY. Okay, so I'm K'Breel (even though anyone on Slashdot can assume the mantle merely by declaring themselves Speaker for the Council), and I'm late, but I'm merely chronologically late, not as in the Late Second Adjunctant to the Council Formerly Known As G'Ranee.

But domestic politics is beneath us tonight -- just take a glance at the blue world beneath us for a look at how bad that can get -- and let us focus on what's important: over the past sol or so, our Planetary Defense Force has been so good at pre-emptively distracting the blueworlders with tasks like landing comets, grabbing their prospective mates by their genitals, low-planetary orbit missions, and just general tribal infighting that we haven't had to shoot down any robotic invaders in quite some time. But when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it, and so, we did. Hence the trivial elimination of yet another putative invader from elsewhere. We'd do it every day, except that the blueworlders lack the gelsacular fortitude to send us more targets. Now as to gelsacular fortitude, on to Second Adjunctant G'Ranee...

When a junior reporter pointed out that the destroyed invader was merely a technology demonstrator built on the cheap to see if a landing was possible, and that the blueworlders' actual payload was safely in orbit, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs launched into orbit alongside those of G'Ranee for a closer look.

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Submission + - US Efforts To Regulate Encryption Have Been Flawed, Government Report Finds (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Republican congressional staff said in a report released Wednesday that previous efforts to regulate privacy technology were flawed and that lawmakers need to learn more about technology before trying to regulate it. The 25-page white paper is entitled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate and it does not provide any solution to the encryption fight. However, it is notable for its criticism of other lawmakers who have tried to legislate their way out of the encryption debate. It also sets a new starting point for Congress as it mulls whether to legislate on encryption during the Clinton or Trump administration. "Lawmakers need to develop a far deeper understanding of this complex issue before they attempt a legislative fix," the committee staff wrote in their report. The committee calls for more dialogue on the topic and for more interviews with experts, even though they claim to have already held more than 100 such briefings, some of which are classified. The report says in the first line that public interest in encryption has surged once it was revealed that terrorists behind the Paris and San Bernardino attacks "used encrypted communications to evade detection."

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Comment Re:Seems Too Expensive (Score 3, Insightful) 106

If you're talking about the back room of a walmart store, then maaaaaaybe. But installing static cameras and/or rails that capture EVERY location's contents accurately doesn't scale well with the 1 million sqft standalone warehouses they're talking about. The costs would far exceed any benefit. And gods forbid if you want to reconfigure your racks! Meanwhile, if you can make a $500 drone that can do inventory counts automatically, even if you have to manually program its flight path each time you change your rack layout, you've just saved a crapload of money.

Comment Re:When I was a kid... (Score 1) 324

I've been wondering about that. I've got a heat pump, and one down side is that it fares poorly when the weather is significantly below freezing. It's been a wicked couple of winters around here in the Mid Atlantic, and it would have been nice to tap into a huge store of moderate temperature just a few feet below ground.

Comment Re:EVs aren't that much better (Score 1) 630

Many countries are phasing out coal in favor of natural gas, which pollutes less and (due to fracking) has dropped considerably in price. It costs around $1.99 per gigajoule today (http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/).

Note also that not all environmentalists are in favor of ending nuclear energy. New nuclear plants are being built now, approved by the Obama administration: "DOE’s investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation’s energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility." (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/06/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-actions-ensure-nuclear-energy). There is indeed a quandary among environmentalists because the issue of nuclear waste is contentious, but many in the environmental movement recognize that nuclear power can be part of an overall strategy in reducing carbon emissions.

Comment Gripe: Math versus Science (Score 1) 267

Science is respected for its reputation for certainty, and Math is seen as the purest (and thus most certain) of the sciences.

This bugs me. Math, on its own, is so "pure" that it has no connection to the universe whatsoever. Aliens don't appear in pure math. Neither do electrons, polymers, or three-toed sloths. Math is purged of all real world things. Math can't predict anything about the real world. Even the simplest tautologies, like "two apples are equal to two apples", requires extra real-world semantics to apply an abstraction like "equal" (which has many different definitions) to actual things like "apples".

So when people say "according to math", they're aspiring to a certainty that it doesn't earn. You could say "according to science". Science will always incorporate some form of math. But it's not identical, and if scientific claims seem "weaker" than math claims, we just need to live with that. Because we don't, in fact, really truly mathematically "know" anything about aliens. Not even a probability: our probability estimates are themselves subject to enormous amounts of guesswork.

Sorry for the distraction, but this bugs me. The article itself doesn't seem to be of much merit; it's all old news. So I'm gonna gripe about the headline instead. Thank you for your time.

Submission + - IBM Giving Everyone Access To Its Quantum Computing Processors (fortune.com)

An anonymous reader writes: IBM said on Wednesday that it's giving everyone access to one of its quantum computing processors, which can be used to crunch large amounts of data. Anyone can apply through IBM Research's website to test the processor, however, IBM will determine how much access people will have to the processor depending on their technology background — specifically how knowledgeable they are about quantum technology. With the project being "broadly accessible," IBM hopes more people will be interested in the technology, said Jerry Chow, manager of IBM's experimental quantum computing group. Users can interact with the quantum processor through the Internet, even though the chip is stored at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, in a complex refrigeration system that keeps the chip cooled near absolute zero.

Submission + - Study Suggests Free Will Is An Illusion (iflscience.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new paper published in the journal Psychological Science has attempted to define and investigate the subject of free will. By asking participants to anticipate when they thought a specific color of circle would appear before them, something determined completely by chance, the researchers found that their predictions were more accurate when they had only a fraction of a second to guess than when they had more time. The participants subconsciously perceived the color change as it happened prior to making their mental choice, even though they always thought they made their prediction before the change occurred. They were getting the answers right because they already knew the answer. “Our minds may be rewriting history,” Adam Bear, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and lead author of the study, said in a statement. The implication here is that when it comes to very short time scales, even before we think we’ve made a conscious choice, our mind has already subconsciously decided for us, and free will is more of an illusion than we think.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 238

It's a bit more complicated than that, but the conclusion is correct.

You're describing a local hidden variables theory, in which the particles already have a definite value at the point where they were entangled. That doesn't quite describe reality; with some subtle experiments you can see that they interact in ways slightly different from ones that are already set. But that difference still doesn't allow you to communicate.

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