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Astronaut Sues Dido For Album Cover 264

An anonymous reader writes "Astronaut Bruce McCandless is suing Dido for her album cover that uses a famous NASA photograph of a tiny, tiny, tiny McCandless floating in space. McCandless doesn't own the copyright on the photo, so he's claiming it's a violation of his publicity rights ... except that he's so tiny in the photo, it's not like anyone's going to recognize him."

Comment Re:They don't say who they think it is (Score 1) 261

No, they didn't break the treaty. Iran is only required by the NPT to inform the IAEA 6 months before such a site goes operational. Iran insists that no nuclear enrichment had yet taken place at Qom. Despite being caught red-handed by the US for having the plant, once Iran publicly confirmed its existence they informed the IAEA that they would soon be enriching from there in the future. Like I said, they broke their word, not the treaty.

Sure, but accepting that reasoning would mean accepting Iran's own definition of whether or not they're breaking the NPT.

I wasn't going for moral relativism, I was faulting the people who keep spouting that "Iran is irrational" because of religion. It isn't, and there are other parties more apocalypticly-minded than Iran is.

True, the danger in Iran isn't millenarianism. It's the fact that the people who are leading the various factions won't have anything to lose once they feel their power (and by extension their very lives) is at stake.

Comment Re:They don't say who they think it is (Score 1) 261

So far they haven't broken the treaty. Have they broken their word? Yes, by building the Qom facility when they told the IAEA they would announce any new developments.

By building a nuclear facility in secret they have broken the treaty. That's what the sanctions are about.


Iran is not stupid and not that crazy; they are rational and pragmatic.

The regime appears to be locked in a power struggle between the 'regular government' (for lack of a better term) and the Revolutionary Guard. Last week's on the media has a good analysis on how Iran has now become a dangerous place even for those who vocally support its policies because of this. Regimes that feel threatened in their existence are generally not known for the rationality of their actions.

Christian Zionists they do not believe they can "speed the coming of the apocalypse" by their actions

I'm not quite sure what you mean, but at best it smells of moral relativism stemming from a laziness to think or to get informed (I'm sure there's a term for that).

Comment Re:They don't say who they think it is (Score 5, Interesting) 261

Iran is a ratified signatory to the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty, so: they certainly don't have the right to develop nuclear weapons or even nuclear facilities except with IAEA oversight. Iran's nuclear activity is pretty clearly in contravention of this (they built a nuclear facility in secret near Qom, for example), and there are now several UN sanctions in force against Iran because of this.

Is it 'Western hubris' to demand that a country abide by treaties it ratified? Especially a treaty on a matter as important as nuclear armament...

The reason the West is so hostile to the possibility of a nuclear Iran is that the only peaceful doctrine nuclear weapons allow, MAD, assumes rational actors on all sides. In Iran that rationality might well be subservient to theology.


Study Says Your Personality Doesn't Change After 1st Grade 221

A study authored by Christopher Nave, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, says that our personalities stay pretty much the same from early childhood all the way through old age. From the article: "Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren (grades 1 - 6) in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later. They examined four personality attributes - talkativeness (called verbal fluency), adaptability (cope well with new situations), impulsiveness and self-minimizing behavior (essentially being humble to the point of minimizing one's importance)." This must explain my overriding need to be first captain when we pick kickball teams at the office.

Comment Re:European Commission SUCKS (Score 2, Insightful) 409

They don't have any obligations outside the US whatsoever, of course. Until they want to do business in the biggest economy of the world. Then they have to play by their rules.

I really don't understand how this is so hard to fathom - the biggest market in the world is not something a business like Oracle can ignore, even if they share your misguided xenophobia.

BTW, movie industries sell regionally because they can make more that way, not less.

Comment Re:complex finance math (Score 1) 683

You don't seem to understand the difference between financial modeling and financial transactions.

Apparently your dumb ignorant ass missed the part where square roots of dollar amounts were taken, which clearly points towards some kind of random walk diffusional modeling which has nothing to do with financial transactions and pennies.

If you would have been really clever, you would have noted that what he wanted (complex values for dollars) is mathematically the same as asking for imaginary negative time. The GGP should have been talking about logarithmic dollars to begin with to just avoid this whole issue. It's the only quantity where such quantities make sense.

You're completely right, though, in asserting that distributed computing clients don't need numerical accuracy per se. Getting an estimate of the size of phase space is often more than enough - it's what makes simulation different from single-point energy evaluations, it's exactly what makes CPU time useful for scientific applications.

I'd still advise anybody against working with you, or for you, for the sole reason that the pedantry you're bringing forward in your arguments would seem to make you a very poor manager of actual people. There's an aggression there that is simply not professional.

Comment Re:complex finance math (Score 1) 683

If you're running one of the most popular distributed computing clients out there, you're actually running some of my floating point work, mr. Troll.

If you'd looked at GPs post it'd be obvious that he's talking about taking square roots of dollar amounts, which no financial transaction software should ever do, so doubles are perfectly appropriate here, and probably overkill.

Comment Re:complex finance math (Score 1) 683

That'll be a problem if you ever have to handle extremally large transactions. Doubles round. Finance guys really hate it when their cents go missing.

Note that he's using doubles. 'Extremely large' here would be bigger than $10^15. If he's in Zimbabwe, or his company has transactions two orders of magnitude bigger than the GDP of the EU, there may be a few dollars lost in rounding. But anything less than that should be safe.

Comment Re:Groklaw coverage (Score 5, Interesting) 330

Hardly. Considering SCO still owes Novell, and that this ruling only overturns a summary judgement, doesn't make Novell's copyright claim much weaker.

This case is not about end-users, but about whether SCO even has standing to begin to sue Linux end-users. Which it doesn't (the nature of their copyright deal with Novell was pretty clear, but apparently not enough for a summary judgement).

In the very unlikely event that SCO wins this case, big end-users like IBM may again have to begin to worry about defending against SCO's bizarre claims.

Until then, this case has about as much impact on Linux users as one of the many claims against Apple, Microsoft or Sun have on their respective products' end users.

Comment Re:This is midrange? (Score 1) 273

That's true, and it will make a big difference for some applications, but once the problem set fits in cache (and for many applications it already does) you won't get any faster.

The truly interesting thing, though, is that CPUs will look more like GPUs when there's many of them. My prediction would be that the distinction between cores will get fuzzier and CPUs and GPUs will be integrated into devices that can reconfigure themselves into a massive number of very simple cores (like a GPU), or a smaller number of superscalar traditional CPU cores.

The relative complexity of instruction decoding will get smaller and smaller as the number of transistors increases, so reconfiguring CPUs like that will get cheaper and cheaper.

Comment Re:This is midrange? (Score 1) 273

Multicore CPUs are more about what CPU designers can deliver than about what people can actually use.

Because the limiting factors in single-cpu performance have been memory latency and instruction-level parallelism for the last half decade, there has been very little progress in single-core cpu performance over that period of time.

Both these problems won't find a solution any time soon, so don't expect the cores of your 64-core CPU of 2015 to be much faster than the cores of today.

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