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Comment Re: Comment from an AI researcher (Score 1) 583

In terms of publishing findings or not. Hard to say what would have happend in the case of the bomb development. Personally I think in most cases like the one you mention it would just be a different name in the books had X decided not to publish info Y. That said there is the "look yourself in the mirror" portion of the decision and only you can make that call. I would offer an alternate possibility to the one you consider. How about if you assume your discovery has already been made and it was decided to keep it "secret" for the "Good of everyone" by folks who think they can use it wisely? If you can crack it, others can (have?). It is certainly possibly you have reached some nugget of knowledge first, but it would be silly to think circumstances are such that only you could ever be the one to manage it. As a result, I'd say your choice is more about how\when you choose the information to be known rather than whether or not your are keeping it under wraps for all time.

Comment No way this is legit... (Score 1) 194

http://touchbionics.com/produc... Nothing on their about a 1:1 relationship with the device. Most likely lost training data and presets which could represent a significant time investment. Though one has to wonder why the device was not backed up so that a new one could be restored from the backup. Most likely this is just poor journalism... Ie running with a sensationalist story and not following up. There isn't even a mention in the article of trying to confirm the idea the hand would have to be replaced with the actual manufacturer of the hand. That said, if this one is true then I hope the full wrath of the internet viral mob is brought to bear on touch bionics for such an asinine design.

Comment Re: Ph.D. != qualified to teach (Score 1) 157

"You could tell them that there are these little particles that look like Tinker Toys (do they still have Tinker Toys?) that hook together and make up matter. You can't see them so you'll just have to take it on our authority that they exist. That's not much of a science lesson. In fact, it's an anti-science lesson. " And that is different from your average High-school Chemistry class how exactly? The thing that really bugs me about this line of thinking is the concept of bright line of stages of learning development. At precisely 5 months and 10 days little Johnny will be able to do X, at 10 years 3 months Y. This thinking gives parents fits and makes for insane educational plans based on overall trends that are not terribly meaningful at the individual level.... much less in a class of 20-30 kids that may fall along a wide dispersion of capability (on the scale of a school year) at any given time in their educational journey. Especially the early years where there is more variation from kid to kid. When you take stuff like this and try to employ it in an educational process you inevitably end up having to do something like push off a subject until all (or at least most) kids should clearly be developed enough to tackle the concepts requiring more and more abstract thinking. All this does is ENSURE that the sharpest and fastest developing kids will be bored out of their gourds waiting for the critical mass of their classmates to reach the level they are already at... FOR THE DURATION OF THEIR ENTIRE EDUCATION. A better recipe for turning kids off of learning I cannot conceive. It poisons the well of education to such an extent most adults so despise the notion of having to formally learn more stuff after escaping the system it probably should be classified as a syndrome.... but it is so common it is just 'normal'. pardon the shouting... bit of a pet peeve. I suggest we all repeat something. One size fits NONE. Doesn't work terribly well for clothes it is absolute crap for education. The human brain is a marvel of cognition and learning capacity that we systematically suffocate with most "processes of education" as they get applied in mass education environments. There is more than a little to the notion of k-12 education as child care indoctrination camps making good little factory workers. Not that I think there is some secret set of rules saying that is the goal. It is more a side effect of mass education where you just do not have the resources to cater the process at the individual level. It is not helped over much by the favoring of people versed in the 'process of education' as opposed to those best versed in the subjects to be learned. Or put another way, the value of form over function. Someone who understands how to teach but who doesn't truly understand the subject is just as useless (and perhaps more dangerous) than someone who knows everything and has not a clue how to go about developing and employing a consistent teaching methodology. The former is your 'authoritarian' teacher that can brook no questioning because they are a parrot themselves. The latter is just classically ineffective because knowing something does not make you good at imparting the knowledge to others. For some reason we prefer failing kids needs with less knowledgeable process trained teachers to failing kids needs with a subject matter expert learning the educational ropes. Probably because the lawyers say there is less culpability in a teacher that fails in the class room with an 'education degree' than with the other option.

Comment Why not just re-arm the Ukraine? (Score 1) 623

The treaty, or memo or or whatever it was, stated Ukraine was to give up nukes in return for promises the signatories would not attack. If Russia has broken that then there is no reason for the Ukrain to remain a none nuclear state. Obviously they are not going to flip a switch and immediately become a nuclear power again over night (baring a really big surprise). So, no one has to send troops to restore Ukraines previous defense against an aggressive Russia. We turn over some nukes to them with a legitimate capability to launch them while they rebuild their arsenal. We could make Ukrainian possession of nuclear arms contingent on Russian encroachment. IE Russia goes back into their borders, the world takes their nukes from them back and reinstates the previous arrangement. This could serve as the basis of blocking Putin in any of the previous WARSAW pact countries he may be fantasizing about adding back to the Russian fold. Suggest at least the UK and US provide some munitions... Along with any other signatories that possess nuclear arms that has not broken faith (ie invaded the Ukraine). This requires commitment ala Kennedy over the Cuba missile crisis. If we (and by we I mean the rest of the world) are not willing to accept Ukraine might actually use them in its own defense it is pointless. If you think its nuts, you do not appreciate MAD.... Then again, perhaps you do :-) This is the only known deterrent for Russia post WW II, Then again it is basically the only one that was tried. Sample of one and all that. If we really do not want to turn the weapons over we or someone else could act as a proxy on Ukraine's behalf. Really hard to say if there would be any perceived difference in our role (ie possibility of retaliation from Russia against us instead of the Ukraine) between the two options. But I do know that handing them over to Ukraine would certainly change the perceived likelihood they would get used. Really good odds Putin backs the fuck off if this were done. Of course possibility of old school mushroom cloud based WW III Is also at play. But really... That is the bluff Putin is calling here. He is betting no one will step up on a nuclear front and that nobody has the nerve to get bloody. Factor in a lot of pent up frustration from a Russian population that has lagged behind the west but things are generally improving and you have a particularly ugly recipe for old school nation state boot stomping action. Putin has support. And he is thumbing his nose at NATO and the US daring them to do something.

Comment Re: not sure which Atlanta you refer to (Score 1) 606

BS. Morningside, Inman park, Ansley park and several connected areas are all fantastic family areas downtown in Atlanta and have been for a long time... If you can afford them. We moved into there in the mid 80's while tech wood etc... were some of the most New Jack level housing projects in the country. Midtown was the buffer zone from that mess and it has benefited dramatically since the cleanup of the projects that happened in the build up to the Olympics in '96. Inner city violence has been wildly over reported and has been in a long decline for a couple of decades at this point. In most cases these days it is often sadly concentrated in very specific areas. But in the grand scheme there is little to no difference in the violence levels in urban areas vs suburban vs rural these days. Certainly nowhere near the clearly elevated urban levels seen during the 80's and 90's. One good story example, and there are plenty more...


Comment Why do they 'fight' their customers? (Score 2) 424

Why is a company 'fighting' its customers desires? It would be one thing if the idea of reduced cost internet service was financially impossible to support, but that just is not the case. Witness the comparison to broadband pricing in other countries. To make things truly silly on that front there is a lot of talk about the service providers double charging bandwidth... that is charging the consumer for access and the content creator for delivery. Absolute madness in terms of what a healthy market for cable and/or broadband service should be. Also, I have never quite understood the cord cutting phrase for internet service. It makes sense when cutting landline phone service in favor of cellular but not with regards to internet service and it never has. LTE is the first wireless technology that might be a viable alternative but it really doesn't have the capacity to absorb a mass migration. Serious population level uses of bandwidth is still entirely reliant on landline connections. Instead of cord cutting I'd say it is more about rejecting the entire TV model of content consumption in favor of a more customer oriented experience. The scheduled commercial broadcast model made sense prior to the advent of the internet. Now there is a much better solution and the old way really needs to adapt to the new realities of technology. Instead of fighting services like Areo, Netflix etc... these companies should be embracing them. They will win eventually.

As for the issue of Comcast or Verizon choking services like Netflix, The FCC needs to get off its keister and fix the debacle it made of net neutrality. There are some days I really wish Google/Apple etc... would band together for a hostile takeover of the last mile trolls and reduce them to dumb pipe service providers to lower the access bar for all the content they aggregate. For them a low margin dumb pipe ISP environment would seriously pump up their content distribution capabilities because more folks could afford more access. It seems pretty obvious the telecom industry still holds to much sway over the congress critters to think government will ever roll back their current 'entitled' last mile troll position on its own. In fact they will likely end up being a puppet used by telecom to fight tooth and nail against any such attempt... witness the growing body of legislation directly hindering google FIOS efforts. Someone seriouly want to defend those actions as being 'in the publics best interest'?

Unsurprisingly, I am one of the folks that ditched cable TV. Even when I realized it was an insignificant price drop I still insisted on internet only service. I believe cable TV is broken and has been since they introduced commercials on top of paid subscription. Even so I got a cable subscription once I started living on my own pretty much because it was what you did. Then I realized at one point I hadn't turned on the TV in several months (Everquest) and when I did it was almost painful to try and sit through a typical broadcast. It became absolutely galling to me to pay 90+ dollars a month to be bombarded by advertisements. Even premium channels like HBO now bombard you with a significant percentage of advertisement (of their own materials, but advertisement no less). Back when they started you paid your fee to have movies movies movies and more movies. These days any given channel is dishing out something like 20% advertisements and that is if you do not consider the product placement sequences that are now common and unavoidable through any medium. An example of that method is on Bones when Booth and Bones talking about features in Ford vehicles while they 'drive' to or from something on the show. In and of itself I have little problem with that. But when they then break to a ford commercial it is enough to make me want to put a fist through my TV. Arrrrggghhhh.... Charge me, use commercials, or do product placement. Pick ONE. Using all three is just greedy.... worse than that it is a deal breaker. It made it such that it was no longer something I wanted any part of. I hate HULU for the same reason, but at least that service lets you watch a show on your own schedule. The only thing I really really REALLY miss is easy access to sports. I get some over the air... but cable has sucked up a lot of the cherry deals. These days I often have to go to a sports bar if I want to catch a game. And I believe it is worth the additional cost that has entailed for me.

Comment Re:Reduce gun violence? (Score 2) 436

The AC put it well. Everyone has the same RIGHT to be secure if not the same level of need for active precautions. The irony of those in power with provided on location protection at tax payer expense passing legislation to deprive others of the right to protect themselves in a similar manner is interesting to say the least. The thing that kills me about all this legislation is I have yet to hear one that would actually have prevented the various situations in recent events. They would perhaps have provided clearer avenues of prosecuting people invovled... like the mother of the guy in NJ that attacked the school. And passing a law outlawing the new sales of guns like the AR-14 and its multitude of derivatives and similar class weapons is silly if existing arms are grandfathered in as there are plenty and to spare floating around already. When it comes to combat oriented arms the simple truth is they exist and thus will come into the hands of those who the rest of us would be better off if they did not. The question is then how will we respond to these situations when they happen. If the teachers in all of those schools attacked had in their possession a handgun and the same amount of training in use of them that they received in 'sexual harrassment awareness' etc.. then in all the recent 'madman walked on campus and....' stories there would most likely have been rather different outcomes. Of course you would also have a number more stories of 'student did something with staff handguns' or perhaps a crazy teacher story. The bottom line is there is no such thing as a fully 'safe' world. Bad things will happen. These weapons exist and they are not going to magically disapear at the whim of knee jerk legislation. The ultimate question with regards to gun control is whether the law abiding citizens of the land are going to willingly dis-arm themselves in hopes that civil and military forces will provide adequate protection for society at large if not always at the individual level... or if by maintaining an armed citizenry it is better to accept the losses that situation incurs in order to maintain better self sufficient deffensive options. Mostly I think the issue of gun related violence in the US is a bit of a red hering. There is no way to know if the violence would have been lower if guns were not easily avaialble. About all you can say with certainty is that gun related events could be reduced. That is not the same as saying fewer people would have died. When people reach the point that they are willing to inflict mortal damage on a fellow human they tend to go for what is most handy and convient. Hence in a gun happy culture a gun is often what they look to for inflicting harm. But removing the guns does not remove the intent to harm and there are plenty of other ways to hurt/kill people. And at the level of most events the issue of being able to kill multiple people in short order is not a consideration. The vast majority of gun violence in the US are two party incidents. idiots walking into schools/malls etc... are a very small portion of the problem. And there are plenty of other ways for folks to effectively take out mass targets than assault weapons... just ask Timothy McVeigh. And if you want to have an idea of how hard such things are I suggest you watch Mythbusters. Despite the fact they generally do not show you the secret receipe for making things go boom, you should keep in mind what they do not show you is rarely if ever any more technically difficult than the activities they DO show how they do. So the problem here is not the technology. It is the fact that in the US we seem have a much higher incident of people carrying out a desire to inflict harm (have not really researched that but it is a rather common assertion). Perhaps we shold do some serious naval gazing to try and figure out what it is in our society that is producing these results rather than simply removing their tool of choice from EVERYONE instead of a targeted solution for those that react to the world around them in such a manner.

Comment Officially supported third part App stores? (Score 1) 612

Do you think Apple (and potentially other mobile OS providers) will be legally forced to support third party application stores like Cydia? Apple's habit of censoring specific types of content and sherlocking app ideas strikes me as something likely to get them into legal hot water similar to Microsofts tactics with Explorer in the 90's.

Comment Re:Refactor... (Score 1) 203

Hmmmm... sounds like the previous owner of the code may have known exactly what they were doing. Best code for their metrics instead of the best code for the problem.... security issues aside that is. May have just been beat into submission and stopped giving a crap by the apparent culture that requires/values a silly production metric over effective work. I have never understood the thinking behind code productivity being measured by raw quantity of code. It implies every line is equal and ignores the simple fact that it provides a counter productive incentive to produce less efficient code simply as a means to 'game' the system.

Plagiarism Inc. 236

Here's an interesting article on the life and times of 24-year-old Jordan Kavoosi, who has made a business of plagiarism. His Essay Writing Company employs writers from across the country, and will deliver a paper on any subject for $23 per page. In addition, his company will get it done in 48 hours, and he guarantees at least a B grade or your money back. From the article: "'Sure it's unethical, but it's just a business,' Kavoosi explains. 'I mean, what about strip clubs or porn shops? Those are unethical, and city-approved.'"

Comment Re:But why charge for tethering (Score 1) 670

That post did not seem to be asking to run a house off an unlimited plan. They were asking for the data paid for to be free use. IE pay 25$ a month for 2GB of data and where it goes once it hits the phone is no concern of AT&T's.

I would switch to this new plan in a heartbeat if it were not for the tethering surcharge and gladly pay $10 per GB over the included 2GB. It would be pay as you go with a reasonable monthly minimum for access and service. Considering most AT&T plans in the past have charged on the order of $1 a mb for overage, $10 a gb is not to bad.. that is less than $.01 per mb.

As for folks wanting to run a house off of an 'unlimited' plan... I blame AT&T not them. Unlimited is a pretty cut and dried term and one which is used ridiculously by the mobile operators, especially when complaining about users that actually have the unmitigated gall to act as if their unlimited plan actually was unlimited. Unless they are ready for the customer to challenge the technical limits of their devices, the plan should not be listed as unlimited.

I find it concerning that they are dropping back the 5gb soft cap on the current iPhone unlimited plans to 2Gb in the face of growing mobile data uses. But if it comes with setting the overage rate to ~$.01 per Mb then fine. The reason this option seems difficult to swallow for me is dropping from a soft cap of 5gb and no tethering for $30 to $25 for a defined 2gb cap with a $20 tethering surcharge leading to a $45 monthly cost. They might have had me with $25 Data pro and a $5 tethering surcharge making it a zero change on my monthly bill to have tethering as a fully supported legal option.

Dropping the 3g iPad unlimited plan after not even a month of it on the market smells really fishy. Either Apple and AT&T have had (or are about to have) a serious falling out or they are in bed together in a very unsavory way. I can not tell you how many people that seriously started considering the 3g after I explained how the two data access plans worked. The idea that you could have no or low access rates or even step up to an all you can eat option as needed was a serious selling point. 2gb on the iPhone is probably close to 'unlimited' for the vast vast majority... but not so much on the iPad. I chewed through 300+Mb in just a few hours using maps for a road trip (I did use the terrain feature, but not satellite imagery which would have been even higher). Throw in netflix, some real media downloads or major slate of app updates and 2gb over 30 days can get pretty paltry in a hurry.

This puts the AT&T exec who stated they were unconcerned about iPad usage in a very different light as well... perhaps he already knew how they were going to manage it. Also wonder if perhaps AT&T had escape hatch clauses in their agreements with Apple in case the thing sold at much higher than anticipated rates.... and Apple not being able to keep its supply line in sync with demand is a very serious indication that this thing has been a success beyond their wildest dreams. I am sure it is a problem Apple is glad to have... but this could give them a pretty nasty black eye courtesy of AT&T.

Study Claims Point-of-Sale Activation Could Generate Billions In Revenue 140

Late last year we discussed news that the Entertainment Merchants Association was pondering a plan to develop technology that requires games and movies to be "activated" when they are sold at retail outlets, primarily to reduce theft and piracy. Now, the EMA claims a study they commissioned has indicated that employing such a system for video games, DVDs, and Blu-ray products would generate an additional $6 billion in revenues each year. Critics of the idea are skeptical about the numbers, pointing out that the majority of game piracy comes from downloading PC games, which this plan won't even affect. There are other problems as well: "In order for benefit denial to work, the EMA would presumably require the three major consoles to have some sort of activation verification function to ensure that games were legally purchased. It will be interesting to see if Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft agree to that. There is also a lucrative market for used video games to consider. After some gamers complete a title, they sell it back to the retailer. How will benefit denial handle that situation?"

Comment Re:I love how it is left unsaid (Score 3, Informative) 232

First off let me state that tethering on a contract that state 'no tethering' is clearly a violation of the terms of said contract.

However, that being said, just because it is in a contract you sign does not make it 'right'. The idea that the service provider has a say over what happens to content I transfer via the service once it reaches my device is absurd. I seriously doubt you could claim that someone downloading a picture/video/file to their phone and then transferring it to their computer constitutes something that is illegal given said content has no restrictions (say project Gutenburg book files). And yet that is what a 'no tethering' clause claims on at least one method of such a transfer.

There is zero difference to the service provider if a file makes it to a computer via a network request transfered by the phone or via the phone downloading the file and then transferring the file via bluetooth or usb. The phone is in both cases providing the network access to the file in question. On what grounds (other than greed) should they have any say regarding if the secondary transfer happens as the information reaches the device or shortly there after via another means of file transfer?

Now they may have grounds to be concerned if I exceed my bandwidth allotment. The problem with that is dealing with the word 'unlimited'. When the plan states unlimited data and then buries a bandwidth cap clause in the legalese I consider that an open case as to whether or not it is 'false advertising'.

The definition of 'unlimited' should always be clearly defined and not buried in the terms of service. I would argue that to use the word unlimited the provider must define a quality of service rate accessible for the duration of the contract. I would suggest the average transfer rate the device is capable of across the providers network times the length of the contract. Anything less should not legally be allowed to advertise as an 'unlimited' data plan.

For example having a monthly 1gb bandwidth cap on an 'unlimited' plan attached to a device capable of downloading multiple gb's of data on any given day (before even considering tethering) is an unacceptable stretch of the term 'unlimited'. And even if they removed the word unlimited and explicitly advertised a monthly 1gb data plan they would still have no dog in the 'tethering' fight. Only the right to gig me if I exceeded 1gb of bandwidth in the alloted period of my service contract.

Obviously for any of this to take effect challenges will have to be brought in court based on enforcement of these contract terms. Oddly enough if you read up on people that do run afoul of the 'no tethering' clause you find they are generally penalized on bandwidth grounds... not the tethering. Consequences are in my experience always driven by dealing with the bandwidth usage... ie paying for overage and/or having your account upgraded to allow for the increased usage. The reason is that the bandwidth overages are far far far easier for the service provider to pursue in court. Here is the common sense reason why. The terms of service to often explicitly state what constitutes excess bandwidth usage. They do not clearly show why 1gb of 'tethered' data is any different from 1gb of "untethered" data... because there is none.

Comment Re:OK, but just not "believable" (Score 1) 544

You have an interesting notion of failure there. You seriously trying to suggest that Jobs was not a success as a CEO until his return to Apple? Hell it seems the only job position he has Held since age 21 is CEO.

Sure he got ousted. He ran Apple so badly that when he departed he was able to personally fund the purchase of a segment of ILM which he turned into PiXAR. He founded NeXT which admittedly failed to emerge as a hardware contender at which point Jobs refocused it on OS development. As a result he was bought out by his Old Company who thought so 'poorly' of what he had done with NeXT that they made it the foundation of their OS and re-instated him to his former status as CEO of Apple.

This is what you point too as a history of failure which was only overcome with experience? Being a founding father of the home computer revolution? Presiding over a company that redefined feature length animation? Presiding over the creation what many consider to be the best personal computer OS available?

I truly wish I too was capable of such a history of 'failing' as Steve Jobs did as a newbie CEO of an industry he helped create. Did he get better with age? Certainly. Did he fail out of the gate? I have a hard time believing you are putting that theory forward.

I have little doubt the experience of losing control of the company he started was a valuable Lesson for Jobs. But dude... by that time he had already experienced a very high level of success by any sane standard.... a level of success that I am willing to bet many 'experienced' potential CEO's would gladly sacrifice a testicle (or other valuable piece of anatomy if that one is unavailable) to experience.

Also noticed you did not mention Gates or the Google wonders.

Again, I am not positing this as an excuse for the insanity that is JJ Abraham's decision to drop a midshipman into the command seat of the flagship. Merely pointing out there are exceptions to the rule of 'experience' being the only way for someone to succeed in the big chair.

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