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Comment Because smartphones are replacing desktops, (Score 1) 56

I think modular addons for phones and tablets might be the next wave, simply because a phone without additional hardware bits, (such as a keyboard), is a shitty replacement for a desktop or laptop. So what I see happening is that phones will continue to manage locally-stored data and 'cloud' data, (basically all of a user's computer data), in a pocket-sized device. To do serious work, (requiring a keyboard, mouse, larger screen, longer battery life, a projector, bigger local storage, etc), you'll add the appropriate modules to the phone, and/or plug the phone into a docking station.

The way 'Lenovorola' has chosen to do this may not be what the market will eventually settle on; but given smartphones' ubiquity and portability, and the growing multitude of uses for them, I think some kind of hardware extension model will ultimately be necessary.

Comment If VW's claims are really true, (Score 1) 64

then the bastards must be kicking themselves in the ass. It hasn't taken them very long to come up with a fix; if they'd spent the time to do that back in the development cycle, they could have saved themselves a shitload of money - not to mention all the damage to their reputation since they got caught trying to pull a fast one.

As the old engineering saying goes, 'never time to do it right, but always time to do it over'.

Comment I sometimes post anonymously, (Score 1) 351

because I've already moderated before discovering that there's a post I want to reply to. I think it works out well; it still allows me to say what I want to say, but it doesn't boost my karma, and what I post starts out at 0 so it has to have some merit to be seen by the majority.

I always read at a -1 threshold, and it's surprising the number of AC comments I find down there that I mod up. And from 0 on up, I find a LOT of worthwhile comments that might not have seen the light of day if AC's weren't allowed. So yes, I think allowing anonymous comments should continue.

Submission + - Turn your Android phone into a Laptop for $99 with the Superbook

An anonymous reader writes: A company called Andromium today launched it's second Kickstarter project, attempting to harness the processing power of your smartphone and turn it into a full fledged computer. The Superbook consists of a 11.6" laptop shell, which you connect to your phone via USB Micro-B or Type-C cable, and run the Andromium OS application (currently in beta, available in the Play Store). Of note is the leader of the project and Company co-founder Gordon Zheng, who previously worked at Google and pitched the idea to them, however they refused so he quit his job and founded Andromium Inc.
In December 2014 the company had introduced their first product which was a dock which used the MHL standard to output to external monitor. That campaign failed, however their newest creation, the Superbook smashed their Kickstarter goal in just over 20 minutes, and as of this writing has just passed its stretch goal of 150K which is 300% of their original goal.

Submission + - Can Iris-Scanning ID Systems Tell the Difference Between a Live and Dead Eye? (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: Iris scanning is increasingly being used for biometric identification because it’s fast, accurate, and relies on a body part that's protected and doesn’t change over time. You may have seen such systems at a border crossing recently or at a high-security facility, and the Indian government is currently collecting iris scans from all its 1.2 billion citizens to enroll them in a national ID system. But such scanners can sometimes be spoofed by a high-quality paper printout or an image stuck on a contact lens.

Now, new research has shown that post-mortem eyes can be used for biometric identification for hours or days after death, despite the decay that occurs. This means an eye could theoretically be plucked from someone's head and presented to an iris scanner.

The same researcher who conducted that post-mortem study is also looking for solutions, and is working on iris scanners that can detect the "liveness" of an eye. His best method so far relies on the unique way each person's pupil responds to a flash of light, although he notes some problems with this approach.

Submission + - "Indian Point' — Documentary On Problem-Plagued Nuclear Plants Is Out (huffingtonpost.com)

mdsolar writes: "Indian Point” is a film about the long problem-plagued Indian Point nuclear power plants that are “so, so risky — so close to New York City,” notes its director and producer Ivy Meeropol. “Times Square is 35 miles away.”

The plants constitute a disaster waiting to happen, threatening especially the lives of the 22 million people who live within 50 miles from them. “There is no way to evacuate—what I’ve learned about an evacuation plan is that there is none,” says Meeropol. The plants are “on two earthquake fault lines,” she notes. “And there is a natural gas pipeline right there that an earthquake could rupture.”

Meanwhile, both plants, located in Buchanan, New York along the Hudson River, are now essentially running without licenses. The federal government’s 40-year operating license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 and Indian Point 3’s license expired last year. Their owner, Entergy, is seeking to have them run for another 20 years—although nuclear plants were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. (Indian Point 1 was opened in 1962 and closed in 1974, its emergency core cooling system deemed impossible to fix.)

Submission + - Almost Half of All TSA Employees Have Been Cited for Misconduct

schwit1 writes: Almost half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and the citations have increased by almost 30 percent since 2013.

Of the total allegations filed, 90.8 percent were against TSA officers, while 4.8 percent were filed against managers or administrators. Of the areas of misconduct, “Attendance & Leave” sees the highest number of offenders, while “Failure to Follow Instructions,” “Screening & Security,” “Neglect of Duty,” and “Disruptive Behavior” round out the top five.

It also appears that the TSA has been reducing the sanctions it has been giving out for this bad behavior.

Comment Re:Religion is a mental disorder (Score 4, Insightful) 326

Not only is religion a mental disorder, it has the dubious distinction of being a communicable mental illness, which is something very rare indeed.

I'm not sure that communicable mental illnesses are so rare. Belief in things like racial superiority and class superiority, along with the various forms of servitude or outright slavery they engender, are also communicable 'social diseases'. Then there are various irrational 'fad' beliefs, such as those of anti-vaxxers. Hell, advertising and marketing are the commercial versions of mental disease propagation. (It's interesting that 'propaganda' and 'propagate' share a common Latin root).

Because we humans can communicate with a great degree of specificity and detail, various forms of mental, emotional, and intellectual health deficits are communicable. Language is a mental disease vector.

Submission + - Maximizing economic output with linear programming ... and communism (medium.com)

mkwan writes: Economies are just a collection of processes that convert raw materials and labour into useful goods and services. By representing these processes as a series of equations and solving a humongous linear programming problem, it should be possible to maximize an economy's GDP. The catch? The economy needs to go communist.

Comment An "emergency" is whatever they say it is, (Score 3, Informative) 48

and "serious crime" increasingly is equated with thoughtcrime. The definition of "legally" is fluid and arbitrary, and "safeguards" are totally unspecified and undefined; this renders both terms utterly meaningless in the context of TFA. "(L)aid down by proper legislative process" and "respect the essence of the right to respect for privacy and data protection" are weasel words and part of a snow job.

Undefined, non-specific buzz-words are the perennially favourite tools of despots and would-be dictators. Unfortunately, today they are also the lingua franca of both political and legal discourse; and a befuddled populace, (with the help of news media which are largely complicit in the scam), goes along with it all as though it means something other than their eventual enslavement.

Comment Re:Heck yes, (Score 2) 351

Oddly enough, although I'm leery of GMO foods, I'd be happy to eat lab-grown meat. I know that's totally self-contradictory, but such are the vagaries of human preferences. My feelings may stem in part from factory farming practices; they are horribly cruel and cause incalculable suffering. I'd like to enjoy my meat without the accompanying feelings of guilt, and lab-grown meat promises that.

Comment This is actually a (somewhat) newsworthy story, (Score 1) 57

but with verbiage like "many will find super useful" and "split the cost of an app or a music album with your friends", TFS reads like an advert.

Note to editors: I understand the need to generate revenue, but fer chrissake, when you've got something that can actually be written like a tech story, don't turn it into a fscking Slashvertisement!

Comment It would be just so great, (Score 2) 153

if YouTube simply shut down for a week. Just one week. I rather suspect the drop in sales would have those music "industry" fuckers screaming like stuck pigs. Then maybe they'd just STFU about how YouTube is destroying their profitability. In a year or so they'd start bitching again. Lather, rinse, repeat. After a few wash cycles maybe they'd even catch on.

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