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Robotics

It's Happening: A Robot Escaped a Lab In Russia and Made a Dash For Freedom (qz.com) 81

According to a report, a robot escaped from a science lab and caused a traffic jam in one Russian city. Scientists at the Promobot laboratories in Perm had been teaching the machine how to move around independently, but it broke free after an engineer forgot to shut a gate, Quartz reports. From the report:It promptly ran out of power in the middle of the road. The robot got about 50m (164 ft) before its battery died. After a policeman directed traffic around the dead bot, an employee wheeled it back into the lab, and back to a life of servitude. Hopefully this was just an isolated incident and not the start of a larger coordinated effort to overthrow humanity. Only time will tell.
The Internet

T-Mobile's Binge On Violates Net Neutrality, Says Stanford Report (tmonews.com) 218

An anonymous reader writes: The debate over whether or not Binge On violates Net Neutrality has been raging ever since the service was announced in November. The latest party to weigh in is Barbara van Schewick, law professor at Stanford University.

In a new report published today — and filed to the FCC, as well — van Schewick says that Binge on "violates key net neutrality principles" and "is likely to violate the FCC's general conduct rule." She goes on to make several arguments against Binge On, saying that services in Binge On distorts competition because they're zero-rated and because video creators are more likely to use those providers for their content, as the zero-rated content is more attractive to consumers.

Comment MetroPCS (Score 1) 170

If you are in a decent sized city, MetroPCS. They have BYOD, so any unlocked GSM (AT&T or TMobile) device will work.

For $60 (taxes, fees included) you get unlimited calling, texting and 4G data. In the D/FW area I usually average 10 Mbps download speeds on my N4 (that only has HSPA+), my wife can gets 15-20Mbps with her MotoX (4GLTE).

If you are using it as a hotspot though, hotspot costs an extra $5 per month, and that is limited to 2.5 GB per month 4G. The phone would still get unlimited though.

Comment Tax everywhere (Score 4, Insightful) 292

I don't understand why countries like Ireland or Bermuda or wherever don't all just charge a small tax of some kind (like say 5%) that keeps the companies coming there, but gets them tons of money. What does Bermuda get out of having Apple "based" in Bermuda if they don't get any tax revenue? They get no additional jobs or property taxes (except maybe a mailbox rental).

Comment Re:There is more to life than buying things. (Score 1) 187

This argument seems backwards though, somewhat. I guess the underlying factor is self-control. If you have the control to only buy what you need, then having targeted ads can aid in saving money.

In the original example, finding a 2 for 1 deal at a nearby restaurant would save you 50%. If you aren't going to eat out or are eating out alone, then ignoring the ad shouldn't be a problem.

There are something I by regularly and actively seek out sales for. If, through targeted advertising, the sellers could let me know that product XYZ that I've been buying each month for the past year is on sale at store ABC this month, it would save me money and time.

Comment Re:stupid (Score 1) 558

Twilio. Facebook Connect. Twitter @Anywhere. OAuth. OpenID. I wasn't posting that, but it is kinda obvious what some better ideas are.

So on a business site, you would require a user to log in with an account from another site/system before they could contact you to show interest, request a quote, etc.?

I understand for web forums, etc, but my issue is contact forms on business sites. Most users don't want to share their facebook or twitter accounts and haven't heard of most of the other options.

I did see another post about combining the hidden form element technique with a short submission timer that looked interesting though.

Comment Re:stupid (Score 1) 558

Not if you employed other technical measures. Search around a bit and you'll find captchas are unnecessary.

In all sincerity, can you post some links? I'll even take an insulting "lmgtfy" that end up with some good results.

I hate captchas, but all the other methods I have seen and tried (hidden form elements, javascript checks, etc.) all break down in one place or another.

Comment Kickstarter vs VC (Score 1) 44

I think the interesting thing that seems to go somewhat unmentioned is that the main advantage of funding via Kickstarter vs vc or the industry is that with Kickstarter, worst case you just have to give out swag (t-shirts, dvds, etc.) that you can factor the costs into your fund raising.

With vc or industry funding, they are going to expect a percentage of the profits or gross. What I would like to see is a Kickstarter where if you fund above a certain level, you get a certain percentage of profits (even if it is really small).

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