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Google: Please Don’t Kill Video on the Web

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 21:31 by John Sinteur in category: Google, Microsoft


You probably take for granted that you can view videos on your smartphone, tablet, PC, or DVD/Blu-ray player and connect to the Internet without being tied to a cable. That works because the industry came together years ago to define common technical standards that every firm can use to build compatible products for video and Wi-Fi. Motorola and all the other firms that contributed to these standards also made a promise to one another: that if they had any patents essential to the standards, they would make their patents available on fair and reasonable terms, and would not use them to block competitors from shipping their products.

Motorola has broken its promise. Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn’t seem to be willing to change course.

Microsoft telling Google to not be evil.

I surely must have stepped through the looking glass…

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Trouble in the Empire

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 21:21 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News

I promise you men, your cartridges have not been greased with pig or beef fat…

It is ironic that someone can apparently get their fellows really upset by the burning of books, rather than by invasion, torture, the killing of civilians and other inhumanities associated with war.  As during the Great Rebellion, excuses just appear to make people more angry.

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  1. It’s a different kind of disrespect. Invasion and torture are just war, which has some goal other than just pissing you off — ostensibly, making you better off somehow, though that usually doesn’t actually happen. Burning items which you hold sacred has absolutely no purpose other than pissing you off.

Official EU Language

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 19:25 by John Sinteur in category: Joke

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as ‘Euro-English’.

In the first year ‘s’ will replace the soft ‘c’. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard ‘c’ will be dropped in favour of ‘k’. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome ‘ph’ will be replaced with ‘f’. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent ‘e’ in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing ‘th’ with ‘z’ and ‘w’ with ‘v’.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary ‘o’ kan be dropd from vordskontaining ‘ou’ and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi TU understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

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  1. Hey, where’s Mr. Clemens’ writing credit?

  2. Honestly, to my untrained eyes, the last sentence looks more dutch than german. Or was the german refernce is just a sneaky way to hide the fact, that the Netherlands quietly conquered Belgium?

  3. The joke is not in the spelling, it’s in the accent mimicked in the final line.

  4. So you say. But if you want to hide something… ^_^


Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 19:12 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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John Nash’s Letter to the NSA

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 18:47 by John Sinteur in category: Security


The National Security Agency (NSA) has recently declassified an amazing letter that John Nash sent to it in 1955. It seems that around the year 1950 Nash tried to interest some US security organs (the NSA itself was only formally formed only in 1952) in an encryption machine of his design, but they did not seem to be interested. It is not clear whether some of his material was lost, whether they ignored him as a theoretical professor, or — who knows — used some of his stuff but did not tell him. In this hand-written letter sent by John Nash to the NSA in 1955, he tries to give a higher-level point of view supporting his design:

In this letter I make some remarks on a general principle relevant to enciphering in general and to my machine in particular.

He tries to make sure that he will be taken seriously:

I hope my handwriting, etc. do not give the impression I am just a crank or circle-squarer. My position here is Assist. Prof. of Math. My best known work is in game theory (reprint sent separately).

He then goes on to put forward an amazingly prescient analysis anticipating computational complexity theory as well as modern cryptography.

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Power supply

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 16:20 by John Sinteur in category: News

They work with captured smoke. As soon as the smoke escapes, they stop working.

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  1. Looks more like captured dust bunnies!

  2. Dude, you really need to clean your computer every once in a while.

  3. Usually I do so when the power supply is replaced… 🙂

What pro-choice advocates learned from the pro-life movement – The Washington Post

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 16:20 by Desiato in category: Commentary


Now, on the Virginia legislation, abortion rights advocates are seeing similar success with messaging that shifts the debate away from concepts of choice and more towards privacy and intrusion.

“[Using the term] Choice has always been a terrible idea: The concept of choice is one from consumer products, from shopping,” says the University of California’s George Lakoff. “Whereas the concept of life is morality. You can’t fight morality with shopping. … to be fighting morality with morality, you need to be focused on a woman’s right to her own physical integrity.”

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  1. The trouble is, these people don’t want anyone but the old silverback males to have any rights.
    Everyone knows what the debate is about. Although changing the wording and platform might change some of the discussion (it couldn’t get more nasty, surely), the actual argument is about Fundamentalism vs. Modernity.

Cassetteboy vs The News

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 11:15 by John Sinteur in category: News

Doing Fox News would be easy, all you have to do is upload an episode. Unedited.

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All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 11:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. I’m only sorry that it’s limited to dead mormons. Some of the living ones could use a bit of fun.

DOJ Urges Supreme Court to Halt Challenge to Warrantless Eavesdropping

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 9:13 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to halt a legal challenge weighing the constitutionality of a once-secret warrantless surveillance program targeting Americans’ communications that Congress eventually legalized in 2008.

The FISA Amendments Act, the subject of the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is outside the United States. The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

The administration is asking the Supreme Court to review an appellate decision that said the nearly 4-year-old lawsuit could move forward. The government said the ACLU and a host of other groups don’t have the legal standing to bring the case because they have no evidence they or their overseas clients are being targeted.

So, let me get this straight – the government claims it needs no evidence to listen to you, but you need evidence to challenge that?

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  1. This is brilliant, right? Anyone who can demonstrate having standing to sue over this (“they must be listening to me because I’m the kind of guy they’re after”) is automatically a candidate for being held indefinitely without trial…

How Much Would it Cost to build the Death Star?

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 at 8:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


Building a massive space weapon is all very well, but you have to find the materials to build it with. It’s easy to say that “sure, the Death Star would be expensive” but is there actually enough iron in the Earth to make the first Death Star? Centives decided to find out.

We began by looking at how big the Death Star is. The first one is reported to be 140km in diameter and it sure looks like it’s made of steel. But how much steel? We decided to model the Death Star as having a similar density in steel as a modern warship. After all, they’re both essentially floating weapons platforms so that seems reasonable.


Oh, and the cost of the steel alone? At 2012 prices, about $852,000,000,000,000,000. Or roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP.*

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  1. So we just borrow the money. Our credit’s good isn’t it?