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Comment Why not a combination of age and rating? (Score 0) 162

Why not simply use a weighted combination of rating and age (well, youth) for the ordering algorithm? Turn the knob for rating down to nearly zero and you get nearly the same behavior as Twitter has today. Then you can slowly turn it up if you want a slightly different kind of community. This is basically the approach taken by Reddit, Hacker News, and many other aggregation sites -- they may differ on the exact formula, but it's always some weighted combination of age and rating.

Comment A recommendation for those seeking privacy (Score 2) 470

> Does anyone have replacement recommendations for people who used these services?

For those from outside the US, your best bet is probably to use small, local players who might not yet have had pressure applied to them. For those inside the US, I have one recommendation: run for Congress.


Microsoft Research Takes On Go 175

mikejuk writes "Microsoft Research has used F# and AI to implement a consumer-quality game of Go — arguably the most difficult two-person game to implement. They have used an interesting approach to the problem of playing the game, which is a pragmatic cross between tree search with pruning and machine learning to spot moves with a 'good shape.' The whole lot has been packaged into an XNA-based game with a story."

One Night Stands May Be Genetic 240

An anonymous reader writes "So, he or she has cheated on you for the umpteenth time and their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.' According to researchers at Binghamton University, they may be right. The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA. In a first of its kind study, a team of investigators led by Justin Garcia, a SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has taken a broad look at sexual behavior, matching choices with genes and has come up with a new theory on what makes humans 'tick' when it comes to sexual activity. The biggest culprit seems to be the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism, or DRD4 gene. Already linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling, DRD4 is known to influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior."

Comment Re: Bank "stealing" from you (Score 2, Informative) 398

If your bank is adjusting your balance downward without explanation, there are several places you can report it and get action. The local police are not one of them.

It could be a case of someone inside the bank committing fraud, in which case the management of the bank would LOVE to know about it and have the chance to act (I know... I work for a bank). It is even possible (although unlikely) that the bank officers are in on it and are attempting to defraud consumers. In the first case, reporting it to management will resolve the problem, and probably VERY quickly and politely. Search your bank's website or other documents for the name of the bank's COO or CEO and send a letter to that person. If you truly believe that the bank's management is "in on it" then you can report them to the banking regulators ( gives contact info in the USA). They will certainly follow up (and afterward I can assure you that your bank will hate you... but they'll also treat you fairly since they know the regulators are watching).

Of course, it is also possible that the bank was right and your own records were wrong. Be prepared to discover that you were wrong and apologize if that turned out to be the case. Don't let fear of this prevent you from following up if you feel cheated, just keep an open mind.


Fine Print Says Game Store Owns Your Soul 262

mr_sifter writes "UK games retailer GameStation revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of customers, thanks to a clause it secretly added to the online terms and conditions for its website. The 'Immortal Soul Clause' was added as part of an attempt to highlight how few customers read the terms and conditions of an online sale. GameStation claims that 88 percent of customers did not read the clause, which gives legal ownership of the customer's soul over to the UK-based games retailer. The remaining 12 percent of customers however did notice the clause and clicked the relevant opt-out box, netting themselves a £5 GBP gift voucher in the process."

Comment A Plea to the Rest-of-the-World (Score 4, Funny) 406

Dear Rest-of-the-World:

I realize that you have already had to deal with an invasion of Iraq to eliminate imaginary "weapons of mass destruction" and a world-wide financial collapse (although, to be fair, you bear some of the responsibility for that one... after all YOU believed our our uncritical rating agencies). And we're still stumbling around on that ruining-the-planetary-climate issue. So I know it's a big favor to ask, but would you please, PLEASE restrain my country's insane leaders?

-- A Sane American.

Comment Re:Who cares about these apps? (Score 4, Insightful) 332

The point is not what YOU think of the quality of the apps. It's not what PALM thinks of the quality of the apps. The point is that the author of the software must jump through ridiculous hoops and beg permission of someone before they can give their app to people who want it. And if the someone says "No", then no one can have it.

Comment Let's all be like Apple! (Score 3, Insightful) 332

So Palm decided that they wanted to imitate Apple? After all, "no press is bad press", and Apple sure has been getting a lot of press for the way it runs the AppStore. Locking down the device... it may not be useful to the *customers*, but it couldn't harm the company at all, could it?

Well, not unless they abandon your platform (or never flock to it in the first place) in favor of Android or even Nokia's Maemo -- platforms that allow the USER to control what they run on their devices.

I think I've learned my lesson. I am not buying an iPhone, Kindle, or (after reading this) Palm -- no devices from a company that intends to control what I can run on my device. Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store and prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: that makes it THEIR device, not mine, and I don't want to play that game.

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