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Comment Alternative competitiveness (Score 5, Informative) 73

Oh boo-hoo Salesforce, MS has had a CRM for decades, just not a particularly good one. Now it has a somewhat better one, all of a sudden you can't compete in an open market with what you've got? Build a better one then.

And while you're at it, can anyone build a CRM that doesn't require signing off souls to all three Hells to make it work? I've only got one and Satan, Cthulhu and Kali all require exclusive rights to it.

Comment Re:Are actual globes wrong? (Score 2) 321 has some examples of this, looks odd and tends to split countries into pieces when flattened out.

Anything looks distorted when flattened out from a globe, and a globe would be the best thing to use, but having one for each desk for kids to measure and plot on is infeasible. A single flat projection like Gall-Peters is more useful, but the level of distortion is more jarring than some others.

Comment Re:This is the problem with corporate income tax. (Score 1) 448

But those profits still enrich the company. Which means the value of the shares go up and shareholders pay capital gains taxes. No matter how you look at it, corporate income tax is double taxation.

And what about companies that hold profits in a corporate purse against future. Not all of that profit goes to shareholders and can be taxed as income/capital gains.

And on the EU Apple issue, Ireland helped create a situation where Apple could avoid paying taxes in other EU countries that did need that tax income and the other EU countries were pissed at that. If it was just Ireland's share of Apple's business that went untaxed, it would have been less of an issue, but Apples (EU!Ireland)'s profits went there as well.

Comment Re:Whythe vaguness about the age? (Score 5, Insightful) 110

Having watched the National Geographic documentary on the expeditions into the caves, the chances of external contamination for the samples looked acceptably low. The samples were taken from an inch or more inside the crystals, from liquid inclusions accessed by drilling with sterilized drill bits and sterile transfer. The sample sites were in deeper areas of the cave to further reduce the risk.

Combine that with the lack of a close genetic match to modern samples, and the level of confidence in the samples been uncontaminated should be satisfactory high. To contaminate the inclusion, you'd have to breach it, contaminate it and the crystal would have to regrow (something it doesn't do when out of water) all deep inside a cave so hot that it can kill in a couple of minutes without protection.

Comment Re:Only the earthworks are visible (Score 5, Informative) 147

These structures resemble henges, which are defined as a circular earthwork with a ditch inside the earthwork. Most defensive earthworks have the raised bit inside the ditch so the defenders have higher ground while the attackers are left to scramble through the ditch and then try to climb the earthwork.

Stonehenge is a henge with standing stones inside the ditch perimeter. It's a bad example to keep using as most people will keep thinking henges are the standing stone circle because of the name of the site.

The Brits think the henges are ceremonial partly because of finds inside the henge and partly because it makes no defensive sense. Some chaps think it might be to keep the dead enclosed, i.e. the inside ditch keeps them from escaping and haunting the living.

<fulldisclosure>I'm a Time Team fan</fulldisclosure>

Comment Re:Well that's a hell of a security hole. (Score 1) 254

Kids are smart, very smart. She's heard daddy telling Alexa to get something, probably many times, so she repeats that process. Once Alexa responds with a list of dollhouses, it's not difficult to say "buy the first one" and have it finish the order process.

And nowhere in the article does it say that the anchor's words ordered dollhouses, only that it tried to order dollhouses. It also probably caused Alexa to respond with the list of dollhouses, but most people would regard that as trying to order something. It doesn't have to actually result in a finalized order to be called trying to order.

And +1000 for using the PIN, very disconcerting to wake up in the morning to find a drunk forum post, how much more so if you find a drunk order for 2000 inflatable Heidi Klum dolls.

Comment Re:What benefit are we missing? (Score 1) 277

Until then, it's a bullshit pipe dream for people who are incapable of doing math or understanding the materials requirements for building actual roads.

So what is Colas then? Chopped liver? One of the largest civil engineering companies that have specialized in road and race track construction for 88 years now, surely they can't have any idea what goes into building a road and how to improve it? </sarcasm>

Comment Re:Why always going for hominoid? (Score 3, Interesting) 47

I got the technical reasoning for the arm design and the stereo cameras, but the head feels unnecessarily restrictive to me. It precludes the added utility of independently steerable cameras or adjusting the distance between cameras to get an exaggerated binocular vision which can be useful for certain retrieval and manipulation operations.

I guess I always tend to think that humanoid robots are trying to do something the more difficult way than one that is built more along the functional requirements. Like using a three axis arm instead of a more flexible segmented snake that could reach into impossibly twisty gaps.

Comment Why always going for hominoid? (Score 1) 47

This is just a dual arm AUV that they built the 3D camera mounts to look like a head.

The same functionality can be done without making it look humanoid, so what is the attraction for manufacturers to do so? It probably adds extra cost to the project for no appreciable gain.

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