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Comment Re:Strange Logic (Score 1) 216

Commuting the sentence to what amounts effectively to release from prison is pretty much a soft pardon. It doesn't get you the civil rights restoration that a pardon gets, and that's largely a sop to those who claim Manning was a traitor.

But really, how is serving only 7 years of a 35 year prison sentence not some kind of refutation of the government's case against Manning, especially when it results in getting out of jail?

It would be more of a statement that the government didn't approve to commute the sentence to 10 or 12 years, forcing Manning to remain imprisoned for another few years but not the rest off the sentence.

I don't really have an opinion on whether Manning should or shouldn't be in prison. The government gets up to shady shit and punishes those who tattle on it severely. If you're taking a job in the government, especially in the military and decide to tell its tales, you should expect to suffer its punishments.

Comment Re:What Backdoor? (Score 1) 114

It my impression that most criminals aren't nearly clever enough.

Maybe small-time criminals like home burglars or armed robbery people aren't clever enough, but someone capable of delivering a working e-commerce site? I'm assuming there that all the cleverness required to pull it off is built-in.

My question is -- they caught THIS guy, but how many have done the same thing and not gotten caught? There's possibly millions of e-commerce sites out there written by people with nobody looking over their shoulder and not enough resources for someone to check for something like this.

Surely this isn't the only person to give in to a moral hazard like this.

Comment Re:I call bs (Score 1) 91

I don't know for sure, but I thought they had a method for fingerprinting songs that made it (relatively) simple for them find copyrighted audio in video audio tracks.

Since each porn star has a different voice, coupled with background music or sounds, it's they'd have to fingerprint the audio from every porn movie.

Plus I always thought that porn was detected more or less by people flagging the videos as porn if they weren't detected by more obvious screening methods (ie, keywords or something in the titles).

I found a series of German TV documentaries from the late 1960s/early 1970s on YouTube about the "german youth" that had pretty explicit sex and nudity, more explicit than I had ever found in YouTube. They had been posted for years with thousands of views and I was kind of surprised they had kicked around that long.

I guess I would assume that private, unshared content on YouTube would be subjected to all the usual automated scanning plus a higher than normal level of human review since it seems like an ideal way to swap prohibited content on Google's dime.

I've also wondered if it would be possible to use video content as a means of storing data while having it survive re-encoding. Tivo used to buy time on a cable network at night and broadcast a kind of flash block pattern that was decoded into data.

Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 40

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 81

I'd be curious to know what the propeller-heads who study long-term valuation think of Comcast NBCUniversal.

I'm not one of those people, but I have this idea that of that combo-package, NBC has the best long-term business model, Universal second and Comcast third.

Comcast's primary value *now* is its local monopolies on broadband and cable television, and the cable part isn't an actual monopoly if you take DirectTV and Dish into account as viable competitors for most households. But long-term, doesn't the whole viability of the cable television model look shaky? Netflix, HBO Now, Prime Instant, the whole streaming thing looks like its undermining their cable business.

That leaves broadband, but who knows what that will look like in 5-10 years. 5G with high enough caps and/or more fiber rollouts could undermine that business, too.

Universal is mostly a production studio, and their future is probably decent as a content production business -- maybe not big growth, but at least competitive if managed right.

NBC still has a giant network of affiliates who actually broadcast their signal in addition to a fair amount of content that still draws eyeballs, which makes it seem to have some durability.

So at the end of the day, Verizon, with its giant cell phone network and terrestrial network seems to have much more asset value and long-term value.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 0, Troll) 756

The whole debate is blitheringly idiotic. There is no such thing as "transgender". There are male psychological freaks pretending to be women and female psychological ruins pretending to be men. That's it.

And to anyone who wants to argue otherwise, I will simply point out that I feel that I am 16 years old and fully eligible to play high school sports, and anyone who argues otherwise is transagist. After all, it should be obvious that the year of birth recorded on one's birth certificate means no more than one's sex recorded there, and "age" is nothing more than a social construct.

Comment Re:AI as a marketing term (Score 1) 156

My question is that as AI is developed from machine learning or whatever it's antecedents are, at what point will we decide that we have AI?

It seems like the goal line for what we're will to accept is AI keeps getting moved forward, mostly driven by a science fiction version of AI, like HAL9000, Westworld robots or some other kind of self-aware machine consciousness.

Comment Re:FB is not entertainment (Score 1) 32

I think the big error Facebook made early on was making it too easy to post links and to share other such posts. This diluted the content from "stupid shit my friends say and do" to "clickbait social media shares" with no original content from friends.

I see people on Facebook who seem to do nothing other than re-share web links and meme photos, with zero original content added. And there's a lot of it, which is why you end up speed-scrolling your news feed, because its all clickbait and a lot of it politics, too.

I also think that politics and the ease of re-sharing has been a REALLY toxic combination for Facebook. The amount of ZOMG Trump and strident political messaging makes the content even worse.

I was flat on my back sick for 3 days and was surprised how easy it was to blow past everything in my news feed when I finally checked it out again, I thought for sure there would be enough unique self-generated content to kill some time, but it was, again, just a lot of low quality noise.

The idea of Facebook as a long-form video source platform just seems ridiculous. It's not on any STBs and even if it was, the newsfeed doesn't make for a video selection user interface. Even Netflix struggles a little with content catalog presentation.

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