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Comment What's the logic? (Score 1) 407

If your outward defense for not keeping this treaty a secret is "people would be 'walking away from the table'", then perhaps the political marketplace is telling you something. Our world leaders seem to pride themselves in endlessly espousing the advantages of free markets; so, why would it not work in this case? There isn't enough political capital to push this treaty through without such measures because it's not wanted. Not to mention hard to enforce, costly, and overly intrusive. It's bad for everyone involved (except perhaps the corporations who will provide enforcement products and services) - the consumers, the politicians, the governments, the overburdened law enforcement agencies.

I don't see how his argument carries any validity whatsoever.

Comment Re:Issues I've had. (Score 1) 410

I continue to be amazed that nVidia doesn't bring their drivers up to standard with xRandR and Xinerama interaction. They have to know that setups with more than two monitors are becoming more common, not to mention allowing people the flexibility to use Xinerama instead of their TwinView.

I have four monitors in a strange setup. A row with three, 18, 23 widescreen, 18. Then, above the 23 I have an identical 23, but it's upside down.

Needless to say, it's a tremendous struggle to get it all working in Linux, and it's pretty much automatic in Windows.

Comment Sometimes I wonder... (Score 1) 91

Sometimes I wonder (or perhaps hope is a better word) if these corporations are buying up all of these absurd patents just to show how unfathomably absurd software patents are.

Secondly, I am pretty sure many websites and forums have been doing "Secret Santa" for at least a decade now. That always involves collecting information from more than just the "seller" and the "buyer" in order to complete an online transaction.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 1) 653

The over the top celebration that you see with homsexuals (who I will defend to my dying breath) is probably borne out of the same traits that caused civil rights leaders to resort to violence and Islamic radicals to resort to terrorism. When humans feel cornered by some force which they percieve to a threat (especially an existential threat), then they tend to react in a more extreme way. Not that I equate the above scenarios, I'm just saying that it's human nature to fight back when you're way of life is threatened.

Comment Another avenue: Invariant Set Hypothesis (Score 1) 259

Dr. Tim Palmer wrote a wonderful paper in which he makes an argument which would result in similar implications (disregarding the particular solution of using cellular automata): the Invariant Set Hypothesis. I haven't read t'Hooft's paper yet, but I have read and (attempted) understood this paper. He argues that there may be an invariant set behind quantum mechanics that is scale-variant but repetitive (this, if you knew the invariant set, it would be scale invariant). I'm not sure if this the same kind of determinism, but I suspect not.

It's an interesting read, anyhow.


Submission + - SAT Scores Fall as Gap Widens; Asians Gain ( 2

reporter writes: "Since Slashdot is dominated by high achievers, they can appreciate the latest statistics about the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). According to an article just published by the "Wall Street Journal", "Average scores for the class of 2009 in critical reading dropped to 501 from 502, in writing to 493 from 494 and held steady in math, at 515. The combined scores are the lowest this decade and reflect stalled performance over the past three years. The reading scores are the worst since 1994. [...] Mr. Finn, a former education official in the Reagan administration, said he expected the results of the SAT and ACT — another college entrance exam — to add fuel to a movement among the nation's governors and school superintendents to come up with consistent national standards for high-school curricula."

The United States is the only Western nation that lacks national standards for education. It is mostly a local affair, and with minimal guidance from the state, each school district sets its only standards. So, a school in a rural town in the deep South can teach creationism, and a school in a ghetto town like Oakland (in California) can teach Ebonics. In both cases, the schools continue to receive funding through property taxes despite wrecking the minds of the students.

The only bright spot in this educational wreckage is the continuing stellar achievement of Americans of Asian ancestry. Their culture seems to compensate for the lack of national standards."


Submission + - Astrophysicists find planet that should not exist (

SpuriousLogic writes: Scientists have discovered a planet that shouldn't exist. The finding, they say, could alter our understanding of orbital dynamics, a field considered pretty well settled since the time of astronomer Johannes Kepler 400 years ago. The planet is known as a "hot Jupiter," a gas giant orbiting the star Wasp-18, about 330 light years from Earth. The planet, Wasp-18b, is so close to the star that it completes a full orbit (its "year") in less than an Earth day, according to the research, which was published in the journal Nature. Of the more than 370 exoplanets — planets orbiting stars other than our sun — discovered so far, this is just the second with such a close orbit. The problem is that a planet that close should be consumed by its parent star in less than a million years, say the authors at Keele University in England. The star Wasp-18 is believed to be about a billion years old, and since stars and the planets around them are thought to form at the same time, Wasp-18b should have been reduced to cinders ages ago.

Comment gaming the system? (Score 5, Insightful) 261

I find it kind of funny (ironic, Alanis?) that using software to 'game the system' and create money out of thin air is dealt with swiftly and with 'surgical precision', and when Goldman Sachs does the same thing with the stock markets, they are dealt with by being provided protection from the SEC and FBI.

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Mathematicians practice absolute freedom. -- Henry Adams