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Comment Re:mathematically silly? (Score 1) 1143

It still sounds to me like this is a localized problem which would be better dealt with on a local level; the same goes for the dirt road issue. If Fairbanks has such a pollution problem because of wood burning stoves, shouldn't Fairbanks work on the problem maybe with technical help from the EPA? With blanket bans like this, I suspect that local manufacturers would be the most effected. Updating, testing and getting approval for new designs is the biggest burden on them. If this sort of thing is done bottom up, the effect on smaller local outfits can be addressed. I just felt that the role of the EPA was to address environmental issues that were overall problems that might cover several jurisdictions where are bottom up approach is not possible.

Comment mathematically silly? (Score 1) 1143

if you added all fine particle matter produced by all the wood burning stoves on the planet during the course of a year, would it be significant? It might be but I suspect that the resources going into implementing this new ban could be spent on a higher return source of pollution.

Submission + - A Neutron Bomb would NOT Neutralize Fukushima (pesn.com)

sterlingda writes: Proposed: By detonating a 25-km radius neutron bomb at the Fukushima plant, it would turn off the nuclear reactions taking place, while also neutralizing the radiation emitting from radioactive particles that have been emitted within that radius. NASA nuclear physicist says "not". This story has spurred some very intersting dialogue that I thought the Slashdot crowd would have fun with. Who knows, maybe even something productive could come of it.

Comment Re:And (Score 1) 716

I totally agree. This is a M$ smear campaign more than anything. The features that they are putting into the app are designed to a) undermine Google's ability to generate revenue through ads and b) undermine Google's ability to honor its agreements with the rights holders, but M$ is spinning it as Google trying to keep them out. Whatever your opinion about ads and copyrights or whatever, Google, being a middleman, couldn't/would't keep youtube up without ad revenue and wouldn't have the vast library of video that it has if it could not offer cursory protections to rights holders.

Comment find the linux (Score 1) 273

As long as you can turn it off (and on) which out too much work, I have no problem with this. In fact it might have some other benefits.

It may give a voice to certain sector of the population that is not usually well represented; I always forget to put change my user agent info back after I have to access some specific page. I think Linux users, on average, take care of their privacy a little better maybe just because they have an inkling of how and have the tools readily available. Does this mean they are under-represented in the marketplace? Are they invisible to the extrapolation algorithms that help decide how to set up pages, how much to stock of certain products, and what might be the next fad?

As a simple example: Does Amazon know that Linux compatibility is a defining feature when X% of the population looks for a video card? Those kind of compatibility questions are rarely addressed on the product page in a useful way; I always have to look it up elsewhere.

If Ubuntu does not identify me specifically but it sends a lot of queries, they are showing that a lot of people want Linux oriented stuff. I personally would be ok with that.

Might even help in nerd oriented materials like dice and sci-fi/fantasy stuff. At least that is what I mostly search for locally and online.

Comment Re:Microsoft Office (Score 4, Interesting) 951

I have found the opposite to be true. For a long time my new windows boxes at work were producing .docx files my clients could not open. This problem seems to have gone away, but I have occasional formatting problems going from windows office machine 1 to windows office machine 2. It is almost always a margins problem, I don't really know why. It might be something intrinsic to résumés.
The only superiority that I personally have found in Office is in Power Point, and, again this is my personal opinion, Power Point presentations should be illegal. They might just be the pretties, most inefficient way to present real information.
With the exception of large spread sheets, PDF is always the way to go. You can open them in browsers now a days and if I want it presented in a very specific way, I usually don't want anyone to edit it along the way.

Comment Re:Surprising? I think not...Open Living. (Score 1) 156

I agree about the take free and add value thing up to a point. As an example in the publishing industry, Paizo does just that with Pathfinder (maybe others, I only do the Pathfinder stuff). The System Reference Documents are totally free and online in clear text and extremely searchable, really a much better format for rules than dead tree versions. The SRD are valuable in and of themselves but there is even more valuable when more people use them. In this case the freeness adds value. Paizo then sells the other stuff like print version, modules, adventures, special guides, even figurines and what not. Their stuff is really good. Also the smaller bits are easier buy because they are generally cheaper.

I seems to me that Flat World was shooting for the same type thing. Maybe it failed because it could not get schools and professors on board. I did very little if any extra reading for core/non-major related classes in college; if it wasn't on the syllabus I never even found out about it. Maybe Flat World's quality was mediocre. My point is that there might be other reasons they failed, no just the fact that "freemium" is flawed. If they are in fact working on something with EdX, they might be addressing the issue of expanding the base so that their original business can work.

How Zynga's CityVille Drew 70 Million Players In Less Than a Month 101

An article at Gamasutra takes an in-depth look at how Zynga's new browser-based social game CityVille managed to accumulate tens of millions of players in the relatively short time since its launch early this month. Quoting: "The Facebook interface induces a high degree of user blindness. It does not do a great job of exposing new games and applications, and lacks a directory or a 'Featured in the App Store' style of editorial (as Apple does for the iPhone), which means that for most developers there are huge problems in getting their games in front of users' eyeballs. With all of the free advertising channels on the platform now constrained or dead, this has meant that the Facebook economy has been acquiring an increasingly Darwinian shape. Where it used to be an egalitarian environment in which any developer could strike it big, over the last year it has become top-heavy with larger developers accruing exponential success, and cutting off oxygen to smaller companies by default."

Comment They're doing it wrong (Score 1) 280

From the article:

But the move from VHS to digital technology was a "double-edged sword", he said. "We get high-quality images that are easily searchable but they are often not held as long. "With VHS people held 31 tapes, one for each day of the month, and it did not require specialist officers to get hold of the stuff. "People are now being confronted by computers and hard drives and told to get those images and it is not as easy."

They must be doing something wrong, because for the money they are spending, either the SW or some basic training should make it pretty easy to grab X amount of time off an HD and burn it to a CD, DVD or USB drive. And as fare as holding on to it goes. I have a 650GB HD because it was the smallest one I could find that day. How high quality are these cameras?

Comment Re:Meanwhile in China & India (Score 0) 98

Money is being spent on innovation........

I agree completely. The patent system was designed to promote innovation but now it seems to be promoting the export of innovation. I live and work in Argentina where IP law might be on the books but has 0 enforcement and people are innovating all over the place. I have heard people call it copying but that is not a fair assessment. They don't do the exact same thing over again. They take good ideas and make them better (not to say their aren't abuses) or apply them to things no one ever thought of. This is only possible because of the lax IP enforcement and there are great benefits to society in general which to me seems to be the spirit of IP law.

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