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Comment Uh-oh (Score 5, Insightful) 148

"Can neither confirm nor deny" doesn't sound good.

What's better than a geo-tracking device every citizen carries that also allows access to phone conversations, texts, and emails?

An audio feed of everything that happens inside the citizen's house, that's what.

Orwell was prescient, but he didn't foresee that his surveillance state would be sold to "consumers" as the latest shiny toy.

Comment Requires an account just for a demo? (Score 1) 54

I don't think so. Why would I give up a bunch of personal data, or alternately jump thru a bunch of anonymizing hoops, just to try your new product (which aside from the gee-whiz factor isn't something that I would use much)?

If they want to suck me in for purposes of peddling my data, they've got to sweeten the bait a little better than that.

Comment What does this have to do with Slashdot? (Score 4, Informative) 832

If the new owners are listening, this is exactly the sort of story that doesn't belong on Slashdot. The technical angle (Twitter?) is minimal, the political content is strong, and most of the commenters have big ugly political axes to grind.

Hopefully this is an aberration. If you just want to post clickbait and stir up outrage, this isn't the site for me.

If, on the other hand, you wanted to talk about the algorithm Twitter uses, or the resources and methods required to enforce Twitter policies, you might have a nerdish angle.

But to ask readers whether or not they approve of Trump on Twitter is trolling, and makes me wonder about your "new" direction.

Comment Good Egg, bad Egg (Score 1) 174

I'm glad for their policy against patent trolls, but I buy from them as little as possible.

Reason? Not prices, not selection, but return policy. Even if you receive a defective item, you have to pay return shipping.

Newegg's excuse? "It's not our fault if the product's defective." Honest, look it up on their site, that's their published excuse.

Well, if I get a defective product from Newegg, it's not my fault either. They can go suck Eggs.

Comment His books never worked for me (Score 2) 105

I've got 4 of his circuit cookbooks. There's precious little explanation of how the circuits work, why particular component values were chosen, etc. If you want to duplicate his circuits, fine, but the books sure don't teach anything about how to design your own. The hand drawn and lettered graphics are cool, but the information content is minimal.

Comment Not a brilliant business model (Score 1) 263

So you've come up with a business model that says you need me to view ads to pay your expenses? Not terribly original as business models go, and most definitely not my problem. Go ahead and block me from your site for refusing to view those ads, I don't have a problem with that. No web site is indispensable.

Wait, you don't want to block me from your web site, you need my page views, but you still want me to feel guilty for blocking ads?

Methinks you haven't thought out that business model very well. Have you tried opening a restaurant where paying for the meal is optional? All you have to do is stand near the exit with a sad face and beg your customers to pay on the way out. Now that one ought to make you a bundle!

Comment Color me shocked (Score 3, Interesting) 96

That a computer can beat humans at a computer game.

The real question is, can a computer beat a human at a human game? Chess, yeah. Go, not so much.

Hasn't reverse engineering been around for a while now? If a computer wasn't better and faster at that than a human, that would be the true surprise.

This just in -- maybe it doesn 't require "intelligence" to win most computer games, just good memory and fast reflexes.

Comment Old media's big advantage (Score 5, Insightful) 73

It isn't just about the technical problem of how to preserve/read digital information.

Back in the day (get off my lawn!) it took a lot more thought and planning to create a document, without instant digital editing etc. Those old letters, books, et. al., took a lot more time and effort to create, and were considerably more difficult to edit and modify, and as a result, tended to have more forethought and planning before putting words down.

As a result, penning a few paragraphs or an essay or two wasn't such a casual endeavor as it is today.

Now that any monkey with a keyboard (and a little cut-and-paste ability) can create volumes of prose, the signal to noise ratio is a lot lower. IMHO, we don't want or need to preserve every piece of text (or image) ever created. The problem is, how do we tell the signal from the noise?

Even if we were able to preserve all digital information across time, nimbly leaping from one format or platform to another, would we want to? And if we did, what a vast amount of garbage! Might as well preserve all our landfills, in case future historians have a desperate need to pick thru them...

Of course, the NSA is probably already doing this, and has just the search algorithm to target YOU, citizen!

Comment Not this again... (Score 1) 755

Logic can't explain intuition, and intuition can't explain logic. They're two different ways of looking at reality, and each is perfectly valid in its own way, and they happily coexist within each of us.
For "science" (that is, a logical, rational approach) to try to explain "God" (a matter of faith, intuition, or myth, depending on your point of view) makes about as much sense as describing a piece of music in terms of odors (I know, some music stinks). Most of us have no problem surfing between levels of consciousness, or realizing that it's silly to try to describe the effect of a piece of abstract art in terms of the chemical composition of the paints.
Be rational, be irrational, enjoy them both, but don't try to explain one in terms of the other.

Comment Depends on the definition of 'is' (Score 1) 301

OK, if it's 'fully autonomous', then there is no 'driver', only 'passengers'. The 'driver' is, as they say, 'autonomous'. So this is really a semantic quibble about the meaning of 'fully autonomous'. Or 'fully'. Or 'or'.

In other news, would I be willing to be a passenger in such a vehicle? Depends on the definition of 'willing'.

Comment easy solution (Score 1) 924

Just don't bother to go to movies. They're expensive, dumb, and annoying, with or without the foibles of your fellow movie fans.

The sound is louder, the previews are more irritating, and the movies are more mindless. This is fun? The occasional good flick can be viewed in comfort and privacy in your home theater (or other device) on your own terms.

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