2862 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 16:31 GMT
Don't you mean, "Shoot first and to hell with the questions"?
Re: So why did we hear about it in the first place?
"c) Carry out science in secret, and only secret-special-science-minds are allowed to read scientific papers, providing they sign an NDA."
Not so much secret, but on a time delay. Allow the peer review to occur without the glaring eye of a misinterpreting mass media. Make a time-limited NDA, say 6-12 months so as to allow the scientific community time to double-check the findings, then when the term expires, publish all the findings at once so that you can say, "We found some weird stuff, but then these guys found something we had to double-check." If your findings are supported, then you can go public with better confidence because you can say, "We definitely found something strange, as an independent firm managed to come to the same conclusion."
Re: No results found for "this database copyright by Google".
What about one that's automatically created but then pruned and maintained by actual people? Since it's been edited, wouldn't that then fall under copyright purview?
Re: In the US
But "person" and "personal" are two different, not-necessarily-related things. That was the point of the AT&T ruling. A corporation may be a "person" by act of Congress, but the COURTS can then interpret the word "personal" to apply only an individual since groups (like corporation) cannot under the English language be said to have "personal" experiences (the correct word would be "mutual", not "personal"). So IOW, a business cannot be said to possess "personal privacy". And the SCOTUS is usually reluctant to go back on its own previous rulings, as they prefer their rulings to be definitive. If an Act of Congress cannot circumscribe the interpretations put forth by the SCOTUS, the only resort left is Constitutional Amendment: in this day and age an impossible feat, given the sharply-divided nature of both houses (it can only be done by a Joint Resolution that passes by a clear 2/3 majority in both houses--neither party has even a 3/5 majority and the each is determined to poison the other).
Re: What about copies?
Trouble is, people dig dirt. People recognize people even in different personae. Personae get connected. Secret lives get discovered, and virtual reality runs headlong into actual reality: the reality that there's only one real you despite there being maybe several virtual yous.
You're comparing a MINIMUM to a MAXIMUM. Furthermore, the 640K maximum you described was an economic barrier. Once cheaper memory came along, more memory became useful. However, the limitations of NAND are more physical in nature. Packing in more cells makes them more volatile, as does reducing their size (thus the reduced working lives). As you get smaller, atomic and quamtum inconsistencies come into play, and as subatomic particles are a fixed size, there's really nothing you can do about them.
Hard to say.
Because when I first fire up Google Maps, it sometimes shows me a pixelated map screen. Pixelization ONLY comes from RASTER maps. So I suspect Google is in a hybrid state: raster base maps, vector maps in places as well as vector map guides and so on.
But consider the timing.
IIRC Android 1.0 came out later than iOS1 or whatever they were called at the time. If Android has always been about a major revision behind from the beginning, then it could be argued that both are still evolving at about the same rate: Apple's only advantage has been a head start. Further, you can't just count the numbers in the major revisions but you have to look at what's underneath.
Something to consider.
I think part of the problem with copyright in the Internet is the speed and ubiquity of...well, COPYING. Not to mention the sheer ingenuity of what might best be described as "Genie corkscrews". One big reason data is said to have a near-permanent memory is because it gets copied so often. Every time someone downloads a web page, a copy is now present on the client. It only takes the right tools to commit that copy to disk, and enterprises can do this en masse--this is how places like the Wayback Machine work. It's become rather a habit to make a copy of noteworthy stuff--just in case it isn't there tomorrow. And it tend to actually get REINFORCED as sites and their secrets go down. It becomes a perpetual case of "Keep Passing The Tapes".
And the information explosion isn't just limited to the Internet. With increasingly-common technology, the average man becomes the public's eye to all sorts of interesting stuff. Sorta like the candid snapshot of a passing celebrity...only it's a movie camera. Very little the celebrity or whatever can do about it outside of a repressive regime (and even THEY have hiccups). The camera is hailed as the candid unblinking eye, the window into what's really happening in the world, so it feeds on itself in a cycle: people are inspired to dig dirt and take movies which in turn creates more footage with which to inspire more amateur photographers. And in the US it's protected by the Constitution (freedom of Speech and The Press), so people are ENCOURAGED to speak out, to air out dirty secrets around them. Forget the camera on the light pole. The one you should worry about is the one in the lady's purse. Big Brother isn't the government; it's the neighbors. And for the neighbors, it could well be you.
As for DRM...that's where the "corkscrews" come in. Just as you have hand-copiers in the past, you now have people who see DRM as a rule meant to be broken. Thing is, the Internet in turn makes passing on those secrets easier if they want (the most-professional illicit firms keep their trade secrets, but hobbyists and others will pass their stuff on).
IOW, while it may well be fine and dandy to dream of a world where information has a shelf life, that's not what the public wants. Sure they may want to keep THEIR information secret, but they want to be able to see EVERYONE ELSE's at the same time. It's a fundamental conflict, and since America is founded on distrust (the checks and balances were cooked up because each branch was assumed to distrust the other two), distrust wins out...and people will start prying and hoarding.
Re: He can aways claim the difference back
What I described is SOP for renouncing citizenship. Renounce US citizenship IS a "tax event". In this case, all capital gains on assets are realized on that day and taxes assessed on those gains. This is true of anyone who renounces citizenship, though the level of scrutiny the US applies on the to-be-ex depends on that person's net worth.
Re: More likely...America's bruised ego
From their point of view, taxes were being used as a form of repression (that and monopoly power--the Boston Tea Party was a protest on both those issues). And they believed the colonial governors weren't a direct enough representation for matters so influential on their lives (thus the "No taxation without representation" slogan), as it's not like any of them could really sway the House of Commons who were viewing the colonies several thousand miles (and several months) removed (since any news from there had to wait on the next ship coming to port--it was still slow going in the 18th century). There was a disconnect on both sides, and chances to mend fences were regrettably taken the wrong way. This history tends to leave some Americans with an independent streak...and a distrust of government.
Re: Half these posts are typical stupid kneejerk MS bashing
And the admakers are getting wise to ad blockers. More and more you're seeing ad blocker blockers and critical programs tied to the same servers as the ad makers, essentially tying the content to the ads in such a way as to be nigh-impossible to block (block the ad, block the content). With some sites starved for revenue, it's either this or the login wall.
Re: "They'll just ignore it now"
How? The agreement wasn't a legally-binding contract where the advertisers could take MS to court for Breach of Contract. There are only two ways a lawsuit could happen: if the browser makers and ad agencies inked a legally-binding contract (not gonna happen--lawyers are too savvy to rope themselves in like this and very keen on how to slip legal nooses) or if the lawmakers change the consent laws to require informed consent (also never gonna happen--sure people could get mad, but mad enough to create whole-cloth opposition candidates capable of withstanding mudslinging ads from the masters of ad making? No way. Something of that caliber takes a threat to their livelihood, such as laws altering job prospects, to draw up that much attention).
Re: He can aways claim the difference back
No he can't. According to the article, the date he renounced his citizenship was the Due Date. All his assets gets evaluated and assessed to realize all the appreciation. Given the amount involved it's unlikely they took his word on an estimate and instead he was subjected to a full audit. His tax bill (which includes the capital gains from all that realized appreciation) would thus reflect taxes on that day and no further, since after that day you're no longer an American concern. Your assets essentially are expatriated with you--but not before that tax bill, which also resets the basis of all the assets. He can't claim a refund on the taxes since he's no longer a citizen.
Re: More likely...America's bruised ego
"America was founded by people who knew that an individuals success was solely based on their own work ethic. Todays lazy POS just want to take the easy route and let the government take over where the weak parents left off. If I were wealthy enough...I'd be leaving this sinking ship as well. Americans need to stop lying to themselves and face up to the reality of their current situation."
Trouble is you then run into the people just "born unlucky": having a bad arm or deadbeat parents who put you so far down the ladder you're always no more than two steps away from being cannon fodder. America has been called the land of opportunity, but how can such people hope to get their opportunity in life? In an earlier time, they'd have just been left to the elements or the wolves, but modern people call that uncivilized. IOW, what do you do when you're obligated to give a chance to people who really couldn't get a chance even to save their lives?
Re: One thing at a time.
That's assuming all the space-mining is for materials meant to be used only in space, but what if the space mining turns up something of great terrestrial worth? Then the problem of getting it home hits home.
Another problem is the idea of performing any serious kind of mechanical work in space. Just linking up the pieces of the ISS was a serious undertaking, and you were talking about an outer space jigsaw puzzle, basically. Now think of all the stuff you'll need to perform proper metallurgy in space. That's going to require significant amounts of energy, not to mention a wide range of both gross and fine motor skills. If they're not done in vacuum, you'll need some kind of space station to house the works, and this will require resources of its own. Better hope some of the things the space miners discover is a source of oxygen.
One thing at a time.
I think we may wanna work closer to home first. First let's see if they discover commercial uses for materials that can only be produced in microgravity. Plus we'll want to see about the commercial viability of space mining (one big problem I see right now--transportation costs and re-entry logistics). Might also want to look into further research into better propulsion technologies--preferably ones that don't rely on combustion.
Re: I made that mistake too for a moment.
But at 560 miles out, it's beyond any economic zone. The splashdown occurred in international waters, well away from known shipping routes. Add to that the fact splashdown occurred on target and just slightly early, it looks like the entire Dragon mission went off just about as planned (only a minor launch hiccup which was detected and fixed and a minor delay in docking that was compensated), which as the article says has both SpaceX and NASA slapping backs.
Re: The Weakest Link...
They also have owners who tend to monitor them since lots of people start complaining when a transoceanic link starts breaking down. Anything trying to glom onto it would likely be spotted if not by the occasional visual inspection then by the inevitable disruption to the line when you try to tap into it.
The Weakest Link...
In order for your data center to be of any use, it's going to need a pretty fat pipe leading to the greater Internet. Which means it's going to have to connect to a trunk line belonging to or under the jurisdiction of one or more countries (even with wireless--that data's gonna be useless unless it comes back down to earth somewhere), most of which may not take kindly to your "pirate bandwidth" and will probably compensate with high charges.
In any event, a seagoing vessel flying no colors may find itself the target of a sovereign nation which would then go on to say, "We thought it was a pirate/spy device." Unless the party that deploys it is another sovereign nation, how well would you be able to defend your right to float these around in international waters?
Re: I use KeePass
Dropbox sync is actually pretty good. All it usually takes is saving the key database to a Dropbox subfolder (doesn't even have to be public) and it'll sync to the cloud. Your phone can then use a Dropbox sync program to draw the file from the cloud. As for security, the key database is encrypted (full-file encryption) based on whatever credentials you put in to unlock it, so even if someone were to intercept it, they'll likely be stymied trying to decrypt it.
I have to wonder if this was really a case of something that wasn't really broken. Or rather, just what about the old product did Symantec consider to be so broken that fixing it was only possible through a complete and untested (perhaps untestABLE) overhaul?
Re: I can't imagine this one will succeed
Actually, The Incredible Machine wasn't all that complicated. You get an assortment of parts to put on the field, each of which performs a specific function (for example, the mouse motor which creates rotating motion each time you bumped it), and the object is to arrange them in such a way as to achieve the goal.
And the graphics were actually pretty nice for its day. TIM2 even added a little more humor to its descriptions.
Then there was the spinoff (Sid & Al's Incredible Toons). That ticked all the remaining checkmarks. It was funny as all getup and harkened back to the classic cat-and-mouse cartoons (complete with over-the-top gags and effects).
Even as DMA was bought by Rockstar, Psygnosis (who published the DMA-developed Lemmings) was bought by Sony. Technically, rights go with the Publisher, not with the Developer, so Sony got the rights to Lemmings, which is why you normally only see Lemmings games on PlayStation platforms. These days, Lemmings games are made for Sony by Team 17 (developers of the probably-Lemmings-inspired Worms series).
Re: This is why the world is slowly moving to identity management
The trouble with that approach is that people are getting leery about trusting the SSO providers. Almost all moves towards simplification involve trusting some third party in an atmosphere that's steadily progressing towards "Trust No One" (as "trust" facilities get big bulls-eyes on their backs for industrial spies).
Re: We've become innured.
The only TV option that will allow that, apart from holographic TV (which is inherently accommodating) is an integral display. Trouble is that, like current autostereoscopic technologies, it has a narrow viewable angle. Plus the lenses used in the recording and display of the light fields requires too high a precision for mass production at this time.
Re: We've become innured.
Who says you need to move to get the best angle? A proper holographic TV could have something like a jog or shuttle on its remote letting you turn the perspective while not moving yourself. And I was thinking in terms of sports, where things happen spontaneously from unexpected locations. Ever seen a cricket match or whatever where the camera moves one way but the ball actually went the other?
We've become innured.
People don't want stereoscopic TV. They want HOLOGRAPHIC TV. They want the kind of 3D TV you used to see in The Jetsons: where it took up space and can be looked upon from almost any angle. This kind of TV was inherently autostereoscopic and allowed the real wow factor of different points of view (much like how some 3D games let you reposition the camera in various ways).
Re: The (low) price of ad-free TV
"I've said it before (and got downvoted for it) but I'll say it again: advertising is an attempt to steal my time. If I want something, I'll search; if I don't, why would an advert persuade me? Advertising is an increasingly nonsensical way of funding 'entertainment'."
There's no such thing as a free ride. You either pay out of your pocket or pay with your time. it'd be interesting to see the time-to-money ratio for current network television.
Because in ad-supported TV, the Ads are the most important part. Put it this way: the show is just show, the ads are the dough (the TV show COSTS the network, but the embedded ads bring in sponsor revenue to make up the difference). If sponsors get wind of more people using ad-skippers, they'll pressure the producers and cut the money they pay out for sponsoring the show (since they're not getting as much ad exposure back as before). IOW, the networks are being pressured to fight this tech by their sponsors.
Re: Someone has to pay...
"Not to knock Americans at all here, but it's just soooo FUC*KING-IN-YOUR-FACE! It's like the drill sergeant standing an inch away, and yelling at you at the top of his voice. Muppet. After all, what nation came up with unanted pop-ups? Take Windows-xp as an example. Every time I boot, dozens of little balloons appear telling me (I kid you not, on my machine anyway) "New hardware detected: Disk drive" "New hardware detected: CD ROM" etc."
Why? Because these kinds of adverts were BORN in America. As a result, Americans have been exposed to so much of it that they become innured, meaning advertisers need flashier and flashier ways to get your attention. And it's been this way for a LONG time. I recall a chapter in a science fiction novel in which a billboard gets someone's attention by a major light show. The novel was E. E. Smith's "First Lensman," a book Older Than Television, yet it shows the kind of thinking advertisers faced then AND now: how do you draw the attention of people who otherwise wouldn't want anything to do with you (or to paraphrase from a certain TV infomercial, how do you make the fish bite when it isn't hungry)?
Re: It's not ads that are the problem
That ain't the end of it. Some networks now shoehorn ads INLINE with the show so you can't avoid it without skipping part of the show. And mind you, this is on CABLE networks, too, where you'd think they'd get enough from the distribution chains.
I have to wonder.
I've heard this story in El Reg before. If you want to impress me, find me a story where a sod supposedly hands over cash for a sack of potatoes, only for the fraudsters to try to spend their money and get thrown in jail...because the money was counterfeit! Show me a sneak being sneaked and I'll have something to laugh about for weeks.
Re: How would you save mankind.
Trouble with your last plan is that the richest also have the most flexibility. Take for the example of the ultra-rich who aren't citizens of any western country. They can set down roots anywhere they want, so unless you have a global tax system (impossible in the current political climate), people and companies who don't want to play ball with you can simply pack up and leave, taking all their riches with them. When it takes money to redistribute money, how do you redistribute money when someone has all of it?
Re: How much storage does a small laptop need ?
But what if it's a COPY of the media collection or something else big, bulky, and perhaps required to be local because you may be going somewhere where network access isn't guaranteed, so it's either go big or go home.
Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...
Round here, you try to pass at ANY speed and the other car goes even faster to block you. Meanwhile, the ones behind him speed up and close the gap you left, meaning you can't go back. So what's worse? Speeding or driving the wrong way because you have no other way to get to your side? Where I live, speeding is simply a standard motor offense while driving the wrong way for too long is considered reckless driving: a jailable offense.
Re: Actually, I don't think that's true.
"What we need to do is to get people to take responsibility for their own actions, not give them trite little "rules" which bear little or no relation to reality."
Good luck. Self-denial is practically a survival trait in the modern man. So you either Keep It Simple, Stupid or no one's going to listen. Otherwise, you're basically saying that since the only way people will be safer is to be responsible and most people are categorically incapable of being responsible, we're in a no-win situation. You either let them drive and kill people or bar them from driving to work and grinding modern civilization to a halt since many people can't walk, ride, or use mass transit to get where they need to go (no mass transit nearby) or do what they need to do (big grocery run--need a vehicle with a boot).
The thing is they the price per GB of Flash is still far from competitive with hard drives. There is an order of magnitude problem with the costs of producing flash chips vs. manufacturing magnetic platters, and because the problems are mostly physical in nature, they'll be difficult to overcome (IOW, it would take a novel method of producing flash chips for them to catch up--Flash may be getting cheaper, but so are hard drives, the only reason they're not at the moment is because of temporary supply-side hiccups).
So the best approach may well be to have a foot in both worlds. Flash doesn't need to spin up, so it can be geared to be the first responder, holding the first-line boot system and the pieces of data mostly likely to be called first. While the Flash is handling that end, you can have the hard drive spin up in the background so that by the time Flash is out of stuff, the hard drive's ready to pick up the handoff. It sounds like a reasonable compromise between speed and capacity and it may be the best thing going forward until some other innovation is able to find a better spot on the price/performance/capacity surface.
It's hard to say where a given theater will bite you--at the ticket stand (where you live) or at the concession stand (where I live). Where I live, even in 3D IMAX, ticket prices are rather lower (about US$9 a piece)--but try to buy a DRINK there ($3 for a small cup?). And no, they won't let you bring in outside stuff--health codes and all that stuff.
If that was a joke, that fell flat since policemen are instructed to use your driver's license when issuing speeding tickets. So it wouldn't matter which car you drove, the fine would still fall to you with no involvement from the agency. As for parking tickets, I believe the car would be traced, determined to be a rental, and proper notifications be made then (the rental company could be contacted to fill in the renter's information). Either the driver is informed by the agency to pay up or the driver does it himself when he finds the citation. Again, the card doesn't have to be involved. And since the car has to be returned, it would be inspected for damage before the final bill is made, so the card isn't a necessity there, either.
"How would that work? You can have the hashes without the actual pieces. Genuine question in case I've missed something."
How would you know the hash of the pieces before you have the piece itself? It depends on the way the system works, I admit, but if you're forced to check back with a peer with the completed piece already to say whether or not the hash of a particular piece is pass/fail, you only know know the hash of the the piece when you have the completed piece, run a check, and get a pass, I would think (all of which should occur at the end of the connection that obtains the piece in the first place, so there should be a strong likelihood of being able to obtain a response).
I would think, the way BitTorrent works, sending an "I've got it all now" message turns you from a Peer into a Seed, which means other peers will expect you to have all the pieces, which can then be verified by hash checks of the individual pieces. Plus, as others have said, IP blocklists have been used with other P2P systems, but perhaps the system is trying to spoof source IP lists to make them go to random locations which can't be blocked.
"Contrast this with the stock market which is not a zero sum game and aggregate wealth can be created and there needn't be any losers because it isn't based on "matter" but on another concept more commonly associated with "utility"."
There, I call false on your claim of falsity. Wealth isn't really CREATED--it's FOUND. Like petroleum. Its wealth value was always there, but someone had to locate it underground first and then figure out how to refine it into useable fuel before its value can be tapped. People invest in new technologies in exchange for a share of this value should it work out.
Or just ordinary people for that matter. So you've got a few ordinary people trying to deal with a mountain of highly-technical patents full of legalese (thanks to patent lawyers)...every year. And you wonder why so many bad patents seem to slip through the cracks. It's like trying to analyze four live television shows...in realtime...simultaneously.
Re: Fresh batteries
Don't patent applications require examples of their use, typically in drawings? Why can't the patent judge simply go, "let's see this example in action"?
But I'll tell you one set of companies that would be dead-set against the idea: pharmaceutical companies. Developing new medicines literally takes years (I once read that out of a 25-year design patent for a medicine, companies can typically only take advantage of five years or so--it takes that long to develop and test new drugs) and costs mucho moola. They take out the design patent as a safeguard against industrial espionage and more-mondane copycatting (few things more frustrating than plunking a few billion into a new wonder drug only to find your rival firm, working independently, beat you to market).
It would take a significant change of patent law to deal with each problem without running afoul of each other.
Re: Fair play to him but he should pay tax at source IMHO
I don't know about that. Look up a strategy known as "Buy, Borrow, and Die". For the richest people, most of their wealth is in pure investments. They make wealth by their assets appreciating, and most countries don't have a good system for taxing income from (unrealized, to use the financial term) asset appreciation if the asset remains intact (only if you sell the asset, then it becomes capital gains). To actually get money, instead of selling the asset they borrow against the asset. Loans typically aren't taxed, either. Finally, the debts are simply carried over until the person dies. The assets are then inherited and their values "stepped up" under the tax code, meaning if they're sold then, there is no capital gain and therefore no tax in their liquidation to pay off the also-carried-over debt.
"I imagine in that situation a lot of people would suddenly find the idea of proportional deductions "unfair". Imagine if the person in front of you in the queue can buy a mars bar for half the price you must pay."
One problem is a certain quantity called the "cost of living". This quantity for a given area is fixed (as sustenance, shelter, and other requirements tend to be absolute rather than proportional to wealth). One main reason taxes are proportional is because tax burden butts up against the cost of living and thus places increased burden on those who make near and especially below the cost of living (the tax burden makes it difficult to afford a meal, IOW) whereas the excessively wealthy can be taxed heavily and still have more than enough to sustain themselves.
Another problem is that, in a way, wealth has gravity. The more you have, the easier it is to amass more of it (though monetary leverage, economies of scale, and so on). It's like a game of Monopoly or a poker table. Someone with the lead can leverage the lead to drive the smaller guy out, and eventually, someone will get all the money and end the game...unless something is there to redistribute the wealth and keep the game going.
"What an unpleasant streak of bile-fueled ignorance. I think you summed up your position perfectly when you said "The problem with capitalism is that it's not about what you have; it's about what other people have".
Stow your faux-socialism until you have your facts straight."
Actually, it makes sense. Pure capitalism is all about leveraging your own wealth so as to get more back from others. Economics is, at its heart, the sciences involved in the distribution of a finite quantity: wealth (since wealth is based on matter, and matter is finite--ask any physicist--therefore wealth is finite, too). Economics NECESSARILY involves the transfer of wealth, and these transfers must necessarily be from one party to another. What differs is the methodology. So for capitalism, socialism, communism, whatever, it's ALL about what you have in relation to what other people have. It's what determines what happens to that stuff.
The Incredible Machine series was one of my favorites from Sierra. It's rather a shame the series faded into obscurity after Contraptions (with Sierra itself fading later on). That said, there was a spinoff (Sid and Al's Incredible Toons) that took the concept to its cartoonish extreme and was still very fun and amusing. For its day, the games were also decently sophisticated (high-resolution VGA graphics) yet compact (IIRC both TIM and Incredible Toons fit on a single HD floppy). Thing was I ran out of puzzles to play, and this was before the Internet took off.
Re: OMFG. 20W output....
Pardon, but CB radios have been transmitting at 4W (it's part of the standard) for decades. And what about people who have to work around transmission towers, What about microwave ovens? Most tellys, and so on? And then there's the sun, which transmits throughout the EM spectrum, including in the radio bands. We basically get exposed to radio frequencies everyday, everywhere. Have been since before Marconi, so why worry now?
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