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Anyone need a google invite? [Jul. 13th, 2011|08:20 pm]
I can send them if you need them.
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Osama is Dead [May. 1st, 2011|11:34 pm]
I almost typed Obama is dead.  But seriously, we got that bastard.  It's to bad it didn't happen sooner... before we started one to many wars.
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Noooo... Why Nokia? [Mar. 13th, 2011|05:50 pm]
Nokia has all but sold itself to Microsoft.

It could have been worse.  It sounds like they are keeping symbian around for the phones that they will sell in the developing world to billions of people, and keeping Meego around as an experimental project.  They should have gone full force on Meego as soon as the n900 came out.

They had a good strategy.   But it took them so long to acquire Qt (their development tool that worked across platforms ), too long to take control and completely open source the Symbian operating system, to long to work on the platform and ecosystem.  I would have much preferred it if they had dived into the maemo/meego project.  It was already a great OS for phones, and it was already competitive, with just the need for some more polish.

How Ironic that years after snubbing Microsoft by creating and coming to dominate the world with the Symbian OS that they have now struck an alliance with same company that was their main competitor. 

"So the Nokia content environment will be within the Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft brings that, while Nokia brings the carrier billing relationships around the world."

From the Register:
"Nokia's going all in with Microsoft, after spending years trying to avoid Windows. It joined and bought Symbian, hooked up with Intel on MeeGo for mobile Linux, and bought the Qt cross-platform brains. That means Nokia has now got an army with completely the wrong skills. They'll need to decide who will be retrained, will be cut, or who will simply decide to leave for new jobs."

That about sums up the problem with this deal.  Years of man hours and resources invested in work that has now been marginalized.

From a business perspective, this is a smart move.   This will probably go down as another example of Microsoft coming to the aid of another group.  Microsoft has bailed out Apple, and Bungie studios, snatched up the group that was creating the kinect technology and now is getting a great deal with Nokia. 

They will both be able to combine their work on maps, with Bing and Navtec.
Nokia will get access to American carriers since Windows Phone 7 has already had success there.
Microsoft will get access to markets outside the US, where Nokia and Symbian is still the global leader.
Nokia will bring their expertise of imaging, localization for other markets, hardware and scalability. 
Microsoft is giving them billions worth of subsidies towards putting their OS on Nokia phones.
And various collaborations of services, products, software and direction of the OS.

Both companies really need this partnership succeed.  Nokia can't be relegated to just another hardware vendor in the android market, and Microsoft needs to see substantial growth in sales in the mobile market or it will lead to erosion and influence of their main ecosystem (Windows). 

This is going to be a great deal for the two corporations, a betrayal to the open source community and Nokia employees (who will lose their job), and a bitter pill for loyal Nokia users and developers. 

What a shame.  I had really hoped for the next Meego/Maemo smartphone.  Now I'm worried its not going to get the support it needs to be a success.  I guess we will see what Nokia does next.
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8.9 earthquake in japan, (video) tsunami washes away towns [Mar. 11th, 2011|11:41 am]

8.9 is a scale that is hard to imagine. That video already puts the disaster into perspective. The tsunami is just washing away entire towns like the buildings are sandcastles.
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The one way I can tolorate our polititions. [Jan. 25th, 2011|07:13 pm]
Grab your beer. Tonight is the State of the Union Drinking Game.
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IBM AI wins jeopardy round, badguys ftw, and curbing misbehavior online [Jan. 17th, 2011|12:30 am]
IBMs AI "Watson" wins Jeopardy practice round against human champions.  This is pretty fucking sweet. 


More promo videos of it here and here.

And I was beginning to think their wasn't any decent advances in AI recently.  Now we are truly beginning to see advances that could match up to theories and predictions of what is expected of AI advancement.

On another note.  How many times have I seen comments along the likes of "instead of Watson, they should call it SKYNET!".
Are you people idiots?  Clearly, it should be renamed after the rogue AI (in 2001 space odyssey), "H.A.L."  They created the name for that movie, based off IBM...  (H->I,  A->B, L->M).   Come on people, get your computer/cultural references right! silly n00bs....

This is my favorite Cracked.com article to date.  Woohoo for bad guys! They say a great movie is defined by a good protagonist. 

I was just talking about this with a friend.  How online anonymity on the Internet turns people into fuckwads. Blizzard Entertainment was going to try to curb this by making players use their real name on the forums.  That never panned out.  However, Riot games might have found the right system for their own game. This sounds like a brilliant idea to that problem. It's something that could be tweeked and used in other communities as well.   I've always love the little feature on forums where you can "thank" or Digg someones post to show your support for what they said without having to repeat them.  But I really like this voluntary jury system.  Wikipedia has similar systems in place, why shouldn't it work for other online communities as well?
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MWAHAHAHA! [Jan. 16th, 2011|09:47 pm]
Fox Shoots Hunter
"A hunter was shot by a fox in Belarus. Not, like, a sexy woman—an actual fox, that the hunter was trying to kill. I know, right?"
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Re: Controversy: Trophy Hunting [Dec. 30th, 2010|03:14 pm]
I know this post is old but it inspired me to respond.
( In response to this: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/665670/ )

That's a very thoughtful journal entry. You do a good job trying to weigh the pros and cons. And what I get most out of it is that we all share an awe of nature and its beauty and that their are no simple answers to the complexity of our interaction with the world.

But...(and this is where my colors will show) all the best arguments for trophy hunting still can't address one thing. That it brings death and suffering to animals.

Throughout history we have weighed the pros and cons of many things. Federalism, slavery, capitalism, child labor, monarchy, etc... many of them are still in debate, others have been abolished. In the days of slavery, there were plenty of very friendly plantation owners. Went to church, nice to their neighbors and kids and probably treated their slaves pretty well. They argued that slavery brings economy and jobs to their region, that people owned were better treated then people rented, that conditions and welfare were improving all the time. Slavery was rationalized for a very long time.

Ultimately, we decided as a society that the keeping of slaves was immoral, no matter how nice the owners were or how well the slaves are treated. Frankly its not so much a matter of the people doing it are bad but that the institution itself is monstrous. And that is the truth when it comes to hunting. It has nearly wiped out most all of the major mammals on this continent (the same ones they claim to be preserving), cause over-breeding of the ungulates, damage the ecosystem, weaken the gene pools, and disrupt animal families.

The best example of it is wolf hunting. Everything behind it is bullshit. They claim they need to manage the wolves, when wolves have been successfully managing themselves and their prey long before we got here. None of the states doing it have any serious interest in preserving the species, several even openly said they wanted them wiped out. They hunt the wolves during the months that they are raising the young (meaning the pups will die if the parents are killed) and are even going so far as to trying to remove them from the ESA so they can exterminate them without the law getting in the way.

This is the path that hunting leads down too, we end up gassing, poisoning, trapping, and shooting anything that is competition to us so that we can get the most revenue out of the other animals that we see as nothing more then resources. We can try to romanticize it on a personal level but it ultimately, factually comes down to us cutting short the already difficult lives of the other intelligent wild species we share the world with.

All the altruism doesn't hide the fact that these hunters are in it to kill the animal. That doesn't make them bad people, its just part of the history of our species evolving. We were designed to enjoy a the hunt coming from hunter-gatherers. But we don't live in that day and age. In an age and society where we are living in such abundance of wealth, peace and prosperity (try living 50 or 200 years ago if you don't like this recession) there is no excuse for us to be mean to others around us and violent towards other species.

The only thing I shoot with is a camera. I've been to wildlife rescues, preserves and parks across many countries. I've interacted with many species, especially wolves and wolfdogs. That's how I feel connected to nature, and I find that far more enjoyable then putting a stuffed corpse on my wall.

Take a moment to run several scenarios through when thinking about their arguments. Can I rob you and give it to the poor? Is it right for a wife to kill her husband and use his life insurance policy to feed the hungry? Can I kill your dog or any other animal you've loved or cared for, for science in an attempt to cure disease? How about we release shelter dogs from their kennels into the forest and hunt them for sport? We could give the money we raise to a good cause. Means to an end are not acceptable when they trample the rights of others, not even if they are for a higher cause.

To be clear, I do believe animals have basic rights. I am vegetarian and regularly try to be as vegan as feasibly possible. While I admire other species and nature my true love is just canines. When I first started to make changes I only boycotted beef because of ranching anti-wolf influences (not because I liked cows). I later, after studying animal rights, came to the understanding that I needed to be as consistent about my values towards other animals as I am with canines (wild or my own). I am not perfect in my practice, as I will never free myself from my connection to an animal exploiting society or able to foresee the ramifications of all my actions. But I do my part, just like I give to nonprofits, rescue dogs from death row and recycle. My choices and actions do make a difference, and doing something is measurably better then doing nothing.

Thanks for the good topic vantid  vantid
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when animals revolt [Dec. 29th, 2010|09:51 pm]
Now this is fun!

This video also goes well with it.
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I did not see this coming. [Dec. 24th, 2010|12:23 am]


Former President Clinton Named PETA's 2010 Person of the Year

Fox News
By April Girouard
Created 2010-12-22 10:32

Former President Bill Clinton [1] enjoyed soaring approval ratings in the polls this year, but his popularity extends beyond voters to another vast demographic: the animal kingdom.

Animal rights advocacy group PETA this week announced that the former president is their 2010 Person of the Year, citing Clinton's humanitarianism and vegan diet.

Clinton is "renowned for his charisma and eloquence," PETA said in a press release. "Because he uses his influence to promote the benefits of following a vegan diet, PETA is pleased to name Bill Clinton [1] its 2010 Person of the Year."

The former president, known for chowing down on Big Macs during his term in the Oval Office, reformed his meat-mongering ways after chest pains landed him in the hospital in February. The former president has had a history of heart trouble, undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in 2004.

He has publicly stated that he's felt healthier since swearing off meat and dairy foods, naming fruits, veggies, protein shakes, and the occasional helping of fish as the main components of his diet.

"By choosing a plant-based diet, President Clinton has spared the lives of nearly 200 animals a year and reduced his risk of cancer, strokes, and other diseases," PETA said.

There is no word on how the plant lobby feels about the former president's dietary habits.

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