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I'm dismayed at how many of the old gang are gone ...

BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes | 1 minute ago

User Journal 0

I took another poster's advice and went through my two dormant accounts and friended a bunch of my old friends. But looking at the date many of them made their last post or last journal entry, it looks like many of them are gone, probably for good.

On another note, I simply don't have time to read, never mind respond to, AC posts any more. I know how disappointed that will make a certain individual (and everyone else will be going YAY!!!! FINALLY!!!! :-)

Amazon Wants to Crowd Source Your Next Kindle eBook

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes | 7 minutes ago


Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Can a crowd of booklovers collectively pick a book which is worth reading? Amazon wants to find out. The retailer is about to launch a new program which will have indie authors submit their new unpublished work for readers to rate and discuss. The best books will be picked up by Amazon under a publishing contract with strangely limited terms: Amazon is asking for digital and audio rights, but not paper.

The program is so new that it doesn't even have a name, but it is already drawing the attention of some indie authors, including one that said she would be "all over it with a stand-alone just to generate more name exposure, which could lead to sales of my other books.""

Link to Original Source

After the acquisition of Axis, XL Give Special Discount for Customers XL and Axi

carylebrooks (3846141) writes | about half an hour ago


carylebrooks (3846141) writes "Jakarta, HanTer — PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL), the second largest operator in Indonesia, prepared a special program for customers of XL and AXIS. This program is one part of the adjustment process of merging XL and AXIS.

Vice President Region XL Jabodetabek, Titus Dondi said XL also continues to disseminate to the general public about the various benefits of the acquisition of AXIS. This time XL innovates by launching a program that provides benefits to customers of XL and the AXIS program "Special Discount For Customers XL and AXIS Rengas Recreation Ground Water Holidays Bandung (RB) Fantastic Adventure, Cikarang, Bekasi.

"Titus Dondi in a press release Published Daily received also said, "This program is one of our innovations in the unification of XL and AXIS adjustment after the merger. Through this program, customers and AXIS XL with loved ones can be traveled water by utilizing a special discount program that we provide. We hope that this program can provide benefits and convenience for customers and AXIS XL so that loyal customers can continue to use the service and the superior quality of the XL. “This exciting program can be enjoyed by the XL and AXIS subscribers since August 25, 2014 until February 25, 2015 to come.

To enjoy this program very easy condition, XL and AXIS enough customers coming to RB Fantastic Adventure, Cikarang and show logo XL and AXIS or broadcast SMS in his phone, then before doing a transaction, customers are asked to send an SMS to 305 with the format RBFA ( Free SMS fee). If the customer has to send an SMS is automatically the customer will get a special discount admission of 10% to be able to enjoy various tourist rides water in RB Fantastic Adventure, Cikarang. Not only has that, during the period of the program, the XL also provided booth to serve the needs of customers and AXIS XL. In addition, XL complements this program by presenting live music entertainment performances of well-known local bands to entertain visitors RB Fantastic Adventure, Cikarang.

To serve more than 60 million subscribers, currently XL network throughout Indonesia strengthened with more than 45,600 thousand BTS (Base Transceiver Station, 2G / 3G) fiber optic backbone network which runs along the islands of Java and connected via submarine cable network to Sumatra, Batam, Kalimantan and Sulawesi.


Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: How do I treat my physician's PEBKAC?

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago


An anonymous reader writes "Right now I have a serious, even potential life-threatening medical situation, but that's not my real problem. My real problem is that my lab results for a key indicator are in the reference range, and nothing I've tried in the past decade has ever worked to convince my doctor to prescribe a different dose when my indicator is in the reference range. [I haven't tried to explain why a 'reference range' is called a 'reference range', i.e. "Most people fitting your demographic profile would be expected to fall in the following range", and not a 'normal range', i.e. "This range is normative for you."]

I was treated for cancer a bit over a decade ago. During treatment I was told my thyroid would be irradiated and that could cause eventual thyroid failure, but that was "easily treatable." [The thyroid gland is tied to energy level, with hypothyroidism causing lack of energy (and hyperthyroidism, for different reasons), and when a diagnosis of depression is being considered, standard advice is "Get your thyroid checked even if it takes a bite out of your wallet."] I started feeling fatigue a year or two after and over roughly the decade since, there have been several times I've been positive my cancer had returned on grounds of fatigue alone. I have been experiencing a debilitating fatigue since then; I've usually been unemployed (other issues too, but it doesn't help if you interview for a position you really want, and are falling asleep in the interview despite being well-rested and having taken 1000mg of caffeine to be alert), and am presently on food stamps. Not necessarily that I'm the only person unemployed today, but since my thyroid started failing, I have gotten medical treatment which has consisted of thyroxine doses set based on blood levels for the indicator (TSH), and every single time I've been up for review on my dose, I've told my doctor that I've been severely fatigued and requested an increase in dose. The doses have increased as my thyroid has slowly failed, but I'm not aware of a doctor ever saying, "Your TSH levels in themselves don't indicate a change, but on clinical grounds I want to address your very real fatigue." Before treatment, I successfully earned advanced degrees at UIUC and Cambridge; after treatment I washed out of an advanced degree at Fordham. I've felt tired and hazy since I've began treatment about ten years ago.

Meanwhile, a week ago I committed the ultimate sin. I dug up an old prescription, began crudely cutting what are already small tablets, and tried an unauthorized increase in medication level, and the results have been dramatic. For the first time since I began treatment for my thyroid, I have felt like myself again. I've began projects, and tackled creative works. I've been able to focus on doing things instead of fighting a feeling of sleep. I've remembered pleasant memories from before treatment, memories I hadn't thought about in years. I've wanted things instead of simply reading to pass the time and hoping to die. (And I've started to think about how to communicate to a physician so that I can be myself again.)

For what it's worth, I had higher thyroid levels when I was young, and I believe I'm wired to function at some semblance of these levels. (I ate like a horse and was thin as a rail, and in the swimming pool I didn't float; I sunk at what I measured at a rate of two feet per second.) There's more that could be mentioned, but in a nutshell, I believe that I function best when my thyroid levels are what they were before they were being replaced, not what is necessarily typical of someone with my demographic profile.

There is a story about denial that mentioned a story of a young woman who approached a doctor about some symptoms and was told, "Good news! You have diabetes. With a few simple lifestyle choices, you can live a fairly normal life." She asked for a second opinion. The second doctor said, "Diabetes." She went from one doctor to another, and they kept on trying to tell her she had diabetes. Eventually, she died, and the medical examiner's report said, "Diabetes." The storyteller wrote, "It should have said, 'Denial.'" And I'm in something of a similar condition. I've made something like a decade's effort to get clinically appropriate treatment for what has been debilitating fatigue, and increasing my Levothyroxine dose very slightly makes worlds of difference, but my doctors haven't been willing to take that step because my lab results have been in the reference range and close to it, and so I get patient education when I try to say there has been a mistake with my doctor reducing my dosage. If I were to die, which came close to happening recently, the medical examiner's report shouldn't say, "Hypo-thyroidism;" it would be better to say, "TSH in reference range," or, better, "PEBKAC on part of physician."

Is there any effective way to ask for different treatment? Would it help if I asked permission to sign a waiver for dosing on clinical rather than TSH basis?

I would really like to pick up my life after this decade I have lost, and start living again instead of wasting away in my parent's house accomplishing nothing. How do I treat my physician's PEBKAC?"

USPTO says fraud by patent examiners will be met with 'disciplinary action'

McGruber (1417641) writes | 1 hour ago


McGruber (1417641) writes "After Slashdot reported "Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office" (, US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Deputy Director Michelle K. Lee left a morale-boosting voicemail to all USPTO employees. She told them "All of your efforts are critical to creating new jobs and growing businesses" and affirmed her support for a telework program she said made the agency a “sought-after place to work.”

Six weeks later --and umpteen media reports about patent examiners lying about their hours ( Deputy Director Lee has done an about face. In an email sent to thousands of employees, Lee wrote “Simply put fraudulent time and attendance recording is unacceptable and must be met with appropriate disciplinary action." Her message then cited a number of steps the USPTO is taking to address the an internal USPTO investigation that determined patent examiners repeatedly lied about their hours and received bonuses for work they didn’t do. (

Deputy Director Lee is the USPTO's defactor leader because the USPTO lacks a permanent director."

Link to Original Source

The CIA Used Artificial Intelligence to Interrogate Its Own Agents in the 80s

ted_pikul (3845595) writes | 2 hours ago


ted_pikul (3845595) writes "Newly declassified documents reveal that, 30 years ago, the CIA pitted one of its own agents against an artificial intelligence interrogator in an attempt to see whether or not the technology would be useful.

The documents, written in 1983, describe a series of experimental tests in which the CIA repeatedly interrogated its own agent using a primitive AI called Analiza. The intelligence on display in the transcript is clearly undeveloped, and seems to contain a mixed bag of predetermined threats made to goad interrogation subjects into spilling their secrets as well as open-ended lines of questioning."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft: Bye-bye, robotics

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Little known fact about the recent round of Microsoft layoffs is that it eliminated its entire Robotics research lab in Redmond. This is bizarre, considering that the company was the largest corporate sponsor at International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2014. in Chicago, presenting papers and Running an indoor navigation challenge. The surprise news came even before the conference was over."

SpaceX's Elon Musk hints first person on Mars may go via Brownsville spaceport

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes | 3 hours ago


MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "If SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has his way, the first astronaut to set foot on Mars may begin his or her journey from the new commercial spaceport being built at Boca Chica Beach, just outside Brownsville, Texas. The Texas Tribune reported on Monday that Musk made the suggestion at the ground breaking ceremony of the commercial spaceport. The ceremony was also attended by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and various other Texas politicians and dignitaries, Musk’s desire to establish a Mars colony and even retire to the Red Planet himself is not a secret."
Link to Original Source

Assembling a microscale biochemstriy lab, as easy as LEGO's

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Microfluidic systems promise to bring the same level of precision and control seen in electronics industry to chemistry and the life sciences. Typically, devices are fabricated at substantial cost and using borrowed techniques from the semiconductor industry. Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have invented a system of discrete microfluidic elements akin to those found in electronic board design and inspired by the ease in which LEGO bricks are assembled that finally allow for the rapid prototyping of "Lab-on-Chip" devices.

The original paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS)."

Link to Original Source

How to Hire a Great Engineering Manager

hype7 (239530) writes | 4 hours ago


hype7 (239530) writes "The great engineering manager — one of the hardest candidates to find. It's easier to tell the great engineers — you can just look at their code. But how do you tell if someone is as skilled in solving the softer, human problems? This post over at VentureBeat grapples with exactly this question, suggesting a very cool test to tell if someone has the chops to lead a team of engineers. The spoiler? It involves asking an engineering manager candidate to role play out a presentation of what they'd succeeded and failed at the conclusion of their first year."
Link to Original Source

Anonymous peer-review comments may spark legal battle

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | 4 hours ago


sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The power of anonymous comments—and the liability of those who make them—is at the heart of a possible legal battle embroiling PubPeer, an online forum launched in October 2012 for anonymous, postpublication peer review. A researcher who claims that comments on PubPeer caused him to lose a tenured faculty job offer now intends to press legal charges against the person or people behind these posts—provided he can uncover their identities, his lawyer says."
Link to Original Source

A Deep Web Service Will Leak Your Documents If the Government Murders You

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes | 5 hours ago


Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "With all the conspiracy theories surrounding some high-profile deaths in recent years, how can you, theoretical whistleblower with highly sensitive documents, be assured that your information gets leaked if you're murdered in some government conspiracy? A new dark web service says it's got your back.
'Dead Man Zero' [deep web link] claims to offer potential whistleblowers a bit more peace of mind by providing a system that will automatically publish and distribute their secrets should they die, get jailed, or get injured."

Network neutrality & bias, revisited

Fotis Georgatos (3006465) writes | 5 hours ago


Fotis Georgatos (3006465) writes "As per Tim Wu, current Internet is not neutral as, "among all applications, its implementation of best effort generally favors file transfer and other non-time sensitive traffic over real-time communications". Please, do remember these words next time you fire up your favourite VoIP or videoconference client and you end up with broken or so-and-so communication!

In fact, if we look at how transportation roads are organised, it is neither free-for-all nor a market-only game: especially cities in Europe tend to have a fused model of lanes for generic usage and dedicated lanes for "responsive" traffic (bus, taxis etc). Why shouldn't the same concept work also on the Internet? If not, why not?

Perhaps, provided capacity by ISPs could be divided in a defined A:B ratio and, ensure that at moments of congestion the capacity is divided at that level. It could be 1:1 ratio (ie. 50% fraction) or it could be something else, however the whole debate going on trying to impose upon us the idea that the solution is either 0 or ...infinity and nothing else, is certainly not very convincing.

Whatever the perfect solution for the Net might be, it should not fail to achieve two major targets:

  • maintain the current ability of the network to serve all classes of users in some auto-tuning mode
  • ensure that incentives stay in place, for ISPs to keep investing in bandwidth and providing new services

Otherwise, how do we expect to have reliable videoconferencing and hard-realtime services down the road?"

Apple sells more than 10 million new iPhones in first 3 days

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Apple has announced that it sold over 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, just three days after the launch on September 19. From the article: "Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company could have sold even more iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models if supplies had been available. Analysts had estimated first-weekend sales of up to 10 million iPhones, after Apple booked record pre-orders of 4 million on Sept. 12, the day pre-orders opened.""

The UPS Store will 3-D print stuff for you

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 6 hours ago


mpicpp (3454017) writes "UPS (UPS) announced plans Monday to bring in-store 3-D-printing services to nearly 100 stores across the country, billing itself as the first national retailer to do so.

With the UPS system, customers can submit their own designs for objects like product prototypes, engineering parts and architectural models that are then printed on a professional-quality 3-D printer made by Stratasys.

Prices vary depending on the complexity of the object; an iPhone case would be about $60, while a replica femur bone would be around $325. UPS can also connect customers with outside professionals who charge an hourly rate to help produce a design file for the printer.

It generally takes about four or five hours to print a simple object, with more complex items taking a day or more.

The program started as a pilot at six locations last year, and UPS says those stores "saw demand for 3-D print continuing to increase across a broad spectrum of customers.""

Link to Original Source

Ancient campfires led to the rise of storytelling

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | 6 hours ago


sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A study of evening campfire conversations by the Ju/’hoan people of Namibia and Botswana suggests that by extending the day, fire allowed people to unleash their imaginations and tell stories, rather than merely focus on mundane topics. As scientists report, whereas daytime talk was focused almost entirely on economic issues, land rights, and complaints about other people, 81% of the firelight conversation was devoted to telling stories, including tales about people from other Ju/’hoan communities. The team suggests that campfires allowed human ancestors to expand their minds in a similar way and also solidified social networks."
Link to Original Source

The Skinny On Thin Linux

snydeq (1272828) writes | 6 hours ago


snydeq (1272828) writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia follows up his call for splitting Linux distros in two by arguing that the new shape of the Linux server is thin, light, and fine-tuned to a single purpose. 'Those of us who build and maintain large-scale Linux infrastructures would be happy to see a highly specific, highly stable mainstream distro that had no desktop package or dependency support whatsoever, so was not beholden to architectural changes made due to desktop package requirements. When you're rolling out a few hundred Linux VMs locally, in the cloud, or both, you won't manually log into them, much less need any type of graphical support. Frankly, you could lose the framebuffer too; it wouldn't matter unless you were running certain tests,' Venezia writes. 'It's only a matter of time before a Linux distribution that caters solely to these considerations becomes mainstream and is offered alongside more traditional distributions'"

DuckDuckGo joins Google in being blocked in China

wabrandsma (2551008) writes | 8 hours ago


wabrandsma (2551008) writes "from Tech in Asia:

Privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo is now blocked in China. On Sunday DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg confirmed to Tech in Asia that the team has noticed the blockage in China on Twitter

Weinberg added that he has “no idea” when it happened exactly. We also cannot pinpoint an exact date, but it was accessible in China earlier in the summer. DuckDuckGo had been working fine in mainland China since its inception, aside from the occasional ‘connection reset’ experienced when accessing many overseas websites from within the country. But now the search engine is totally blocked in China. (Update 7 hours after publishing: the GreatFire index of blocked sites suggest that DuckDuckGo got whacked on September 4).

DuckDuckGo joins Google in being censored and blocked in the nation. Google, after years of being throttled by China’s Great Firewall since the web giant turned off its mainland China servers in 2010, was finally blocked totally in June this year."

Link to Original Source

Is Pluto a planet? Kinda, sorta, well yes, maybe

coondoggie (973519) writes | 8 hours ago


coondoggie (973519) writes "The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics opened one of those cans of worms that refuse to go away any time soon: Is in fact Pluto a planet or not? The short answer is yes but you know it's not that easy. The organization had 3 distinguished scientists present the case for and against Pluto. Pluto’s planet status you may recall has been redefined and questioned since about 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) set a definition of what it meant to be a planet."
Link to Original Source

New long-range RFID technology helps robots find household objects

HizookRobotics (1722346) writes | 8 hours ago


HizookRobotics (1722346) writes "Georgia Tech researchers announced a new way robots can “sense” their surroundings through the use of small ultra-high frequency radio-frequency identification (UHF RFID) tags. Inexpensive self-adhesive tags can be stuck on objects, allowing an RFID-equipped robot to search a room for the correct tag’s signal, even when the object is hidden out of sight. Once the tag is detected, the robot knows the object it’s trying to find isn’t far away. The researchers' methods, summarized over at IEEE's website by Evan Ackerman: The robot goes to the spot where it got the hottest signal from the tag it was looking for, zeroing in on it based on the signal strength that its shoulder antennas are picking up: if the right antenna is getting a stronger signal, the robot yaws right, and vice versa."

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