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Slashback: Randomness, Donations, Ramp

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the hello-from-harrisburg-pa dept.

Slashback 127

Slashback (below) brings another round of updates and clarification to recent and continuing stories here on Slashdot. This evening, there's more video of the recent space shuttle launch, a reminder about the other 10th planet, an encouraging update about open source medical software, another approach to structure-as-PC-enclosure, and more. Read on for the details.Shuttle launches are easier to fake than moon landings. Rex Ridenoure writes "Shuttle External Tank RocketCam video highlights from the STS-114 'Return to Flight' launch on July 26 have been posted on Ecliptic's website. Ecliptic supplied this RocketCam system to ET builder Lockheed Martin Michoud [Louisiana] Operations. A slow-motion clip of the now-famous ET foam shedding event has been inserted at the time it occurred -- about 1:40 after liftoff.

Still on the 'things in space' front: Sedna isn't nearly as sexy a name. Martian Anthropologist writes, of the recently announced discovery of a tenth planet in our solar system, "Actually, there's good reason to say that this is really the 11th planet, not the 10th. Another large body, now named Sedna, was discovered last year. It is slightly smaller than Pluto."

(Here's some earlier coverage of Sedna on Slashdot.)

Software for the Commonwealth. Aaron writes "As a followup to a recent story about the U.S. Government giving away its Electronic Medical Record Software, a small practice of physicians describes their experience transitioning from paper to electronic charts. Not everything goes well, from training staff to use Windows XP and tablet computers to viruses that crash their system to physicians complaining about being relegated to data-entry clerk status. In the end, however, they would never go back to paper.

From the article:'"Doctor, do you find you are spending more time interacting with the computer than with your patients?" For a while, the answer was clearly yes.'"

Aw, shucks, he might have done it anyhow. David writes "Thanks to my Ask Slashdot porting query, Ryan Gordon (aka icculus), the man who ported Unreal Tournament and many other popular games to Linux, is going to be working on the Linux version of Lugaru. It should be ready soon!"

You have to watch the quiet types, and never let them near your obscure hardware. jschauma writes "About a month ago, NetBSD made a Plea for 'Cold, Hard Cash', a Call for Donations. The results were very positive: an impressive $27K were donated since then, allowing the NetBSD Foundation to purchase five new machines; three of those machines will be added to the nightly build infrastructure and two of those machines will become anonymous cvs servers. See Christos Zoulas's email for detailed specifications of the hardware, and feel free to continue the donations!"

Definitely not for snowboarding helmet cam use. The CVS one time use camcorder has now been hacked so that videos can be downloaded over USB -- no need to desolder the flash memory.

How to spot a future writer-of-Federal-grants. Jason Schroeder writes "The recent story on the guy who put a Mac Mini in the wall reminded me of something I'd seen a while back: The Parabolic Heat Transference Case Mod for his Red Hat server. Pretty good idea with lots of scientific tidbits to make it interesting."

Hey, these fakes are a bunch of phoney frauds! strib writes "Remember SCIgen, the program that randomly-generated an accepted paper at WMSCI 2005? Well, thanks in part to the generous donations of Slashdotters, we made it down to the conference and gave a session full of fake talks. And it's all on video. Thanks to everyone who helped!"

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hmm, interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13245944)

lol, what?

Re:hmm, interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246022)

About a month ago, NetBSD made a Plea for 'Cold, Hard Cash', a Call for Donations. The results were very positive: an impressive $27K were donated since then, allowing the NetBSD Foundation to purchase five new machines

Who has sacked the rest? Theo?

Talking about donations.... (-1, Offtopic)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13245946)

...please have a look at the link in my sig.

Re:Talking about donations.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13245979)

go fuck yourself, thundercunt

Re:Talking about donations.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13245988)

I'm quite amused;

2005/07/28 - Seems that my scheme is a failure... no activity here for the past couple of months.

However your creation was just 2 months prior (2005/05/08 - Page created.).
In 2 months.. I could've found way more then 2$ :P

Buy Meat V? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246044)

I haven't even seen Buy Meat I-IV, so I don't want any spoilers.

must be a.... (-1, Offtopic)

coflow (519578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13245965)

Slow news day?

About the eleventh planet mentioned in slashback (5, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13245971)

I should point out most commentary - as indicated on and - is that it is highly likely that Pluto will be downgraded to non-planet status, as well as the eleventh orbital body that is larger than Pluto.

So, while I'm sure Disney may object, it looks like Pluto's just a pet and no longer a planet.

But, cheer up, since we can clone dogs now, maybe this is a good thing.

Yeah, but... (2, Interesting)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246124)

..Wouldn't it be appropriate to keep pluto's status as a planet, but a planet of a few other planets?
-after all, pluto the dog is the pet dog of a mouse, sometimes a duck and occasionally another dog..

Re:Yeah, but... (2, Funny)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246248)

if Pluto's a dog, what the hell is Goofy?

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246884)

A bigger, possibly smarter dog.

Although that is up for debate, as Goofy may have the gift of speech, it seems that Pluto has more ability to reason as shown by many behavioral observations.

Re:Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246960)

I don't care what Goofy was. I just want to know why Minnie Mouse was into slave ownership - she owned Clarabelle Cow, even though Goofy dated her during the '60's, and she appeared to have her own house.

I guess she pleased her "masser" enough to get a relatively free rein.

Re:Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13248447)

What are you, some kind of bigot? Cross-species, same-gendered, dominant-submissive domestic relationships are perfectly normal. Who are you to judge them if it makes them happy? You're the freak, not them.

Re:About the eleventh planet mentioned in slashbac (4, Interesting)

Incadenza (560402) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246157)

No, Disney won't object. But the family of Percival_Lowell [] may:

Lowell's greatest contribution to planetary studies came during the last 8 years of his life, which he devoted to the search for Planet X, which was the designation for a planet beyond Neptune. The search continued for a number of years after his death at Flagstaff in 1916; the new planet, named Pluto, was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. The symbol for the planet is a stylized "PL", chosen in part to honor Lowell.

Re:About the eleventh planet mentioned in slashbac (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 9 years ago | (#13248368)

Sure, but Lowell was actually looking for a massive gas giant (bigger than Jupiter). I don't think he expected to have his name attached to a tiny hunk of rock.

Re:About the eleventh planet mentioned in slashbac (2, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246242)

- is that it is highly likely that Pluto will be downgraded to non-planet status

OK, but I sure wouldn't want to be the one to tell the king of the underworld about it.

Chief Astronomer: Hey! Pluto, come in, have a seat. Look, let me be the first to say you've done a splended job as a planet all these years. But, ahem, you know, things change, and we all, ah, have to be ready to change with the times. Frankly there have been a lot of new discoveries lately and, well, we feel you would be happier in the role of, uh, 'object'. You know, being a full planet is such responsibility, you can leave all that with Uranus and take some time off, take it easy and enjoy things.

Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (2, Insightful)

michaeldot (751590) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246274)

How many asteroids have their own moons?

I say, keep Pluto as a planet, and just add new planets to the solar system as they pop up. It's good for the memory: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Sedna, Persephone (possible name for 2003 UB313).

And it reminds us that there's still so much to learn about our our solar system, let alone the universe beyond.

Re:Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (2, Informative)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246493)

Persephone was already given to an asteroid so the discoverers of 2003 UB313 chose to submit a different name. See the Wikipedia article []

Re:Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (2, Informative)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246534)

How many asteroids have their own moons?

~37 []

The best know case is Dactyl [] .

Re:Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13248193)

In a row?

Re:Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (2, Interesting)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246899)

Don't forget Vulcan! Which, for quite a while, scientists thought was the first planet [] in this solar system (but, of course, what slashdotter wouldn't know that).

Re:Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247070)

How many asteroids have their own moons?
Uh, lots [] . What's your point?
I say, keep Pluto as a planet, and just add new planets to the solar system as they pop up. It's good for the memory: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Sedna, Persephone
The trouble is that the last three bear no resemblance whatsoever to the first eight.

Re:Doesn't Pluto have a small moon? (1)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247426)

Well, if you changed Pluto's name, there would have to be a remake of Spaceballs, and they still haven't finished the prequel!

Damn IT!!!!!! (3, Funny)

AoT (107216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246281)

First the brontosaurus, now Pluto!

I am so sick of these modern revisionist scientists.

This is the last straw.

Vive la brontasaurus!

Re:Damn IT!!!!!! (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246548)


Sure you don't mean brontesaurus?
Recent studies indicate that you are a moron.
Generated by SlashdotRndSig [] via GreaseMonkey []

Re:Damn IT!!!!!! (2, Funny)

dfetter (2035) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246929)

Leave Emily out of this!

Re:Damn IT!!!!!! (1)

Ray Radlein (711289) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247967)

Amen, brother. I remember how depressed I was when I found out that Brontosaurus was no longer considered a planet.

Definition of a planet (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246547)

The definition of what is a planet is very much up in the air. I'd have argued that anything that:

  • Is gravitationally self-rounding
  • Is of non-uniform composition
  • Has a clearly-definable core

could be called a planet and not have anyone argue too much about it. It would mean that in order to know if Pluto is a planet, we'd have to go there and carry out seismology experiments - but that's good, as there's a better chance of NASA getting the funds to see if Pluto is a planet than for them to get funds to see why Pluto is even there at all.

Re:Definition of a planet (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246833)

Somewhere I read that a common definition of planet is 'an offspring of the sun' -- a body in orbit of the sun that was formed in the original spinning disk of matter that formed the sun, or was formed from matter ejected from the sun, etc. Something that was not captured after the sun became a star.

Of course, if there was a collision of an outside body with a planet, that might create a messy explosion that was a mix of outside and solar system material. So maybe your definition is better.

Re:Definition of a planet (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247649) it hasn't been ultimately proven that ANY of the planets was created from the Sun matter.

Re:Definition of a planet (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247749)

A workable definition, but only if you want to include "minor planets" -- I don't see anything in your definition to exclude asteroids.

Re:Definition of a planet (1)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247820)

Problem is, all of the asteroids and most of the comets will likely be formed from the original accretion disk from the sun.

The trick, then, is to find something that asteroids and comets have (or probably have) that those things we're certain are planets don't. Then, you simply use that to exclude asteroids and comets.

Lets start with comets. They have rocks in the middle, frozen together by ice. We know this from the remains of dead and dying comets as these have trails of rock where the comet's nucleus once was. Most good meteorite storms are from dead comet trails.

So, comets definitely have a non-uniform composition. However, it doesn't have a single, identifiable core. These fragments are not connected and are probably randomly scattered through the nucleus. This can be used to identify something as definitely a comet - it has multiple cores. (Hmmm. Does Intel own IP rights to the Oort cloud?)

Ok, what about asteroids? Meteorites from the asteroid belt don't vary much in composition, implying that asteroids themselves don't vary much in composition. The sample size is too small to be certain of this, but if this is correct, then the asteroids would be unlikely to represent more than a tiny fraction of the naturally occurring elements and very probably in a fairly uniform, homogenius mix.

Going back to those rocks in comets, for a second - it seems likely they formed in a similar way to the asteroids, so will likely have a similar uniform composition. The ice is likely a mix of water ice and methane. This means comets also have only a VERY narrow range of elements in them.

Those planets we know are planets don't meet these criteria. Mars, for example, varies in composition both across the surface and between depths. It also has a single core. The same is true for Earth and Venus - the only two other rock planets we've actually done any real work on. It is also true of all the Gas Giants, although it is unclear for those if the core is solid or gaseous. All planets we've studied in any depth have also shown a relatively high range in the number of elements present.

It must surely be possible to produce a quibble-free definition from these sorts of properties.

Re:Definition of a planet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247875)

I'd argue that the definition was very much up in the vacuum. Anything you see up in the air is most likely a bird.

Re:About the eleventh planet mentioned in slashbac (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246550)

it is highly likely that Pluto will be downgraded to non-planet status

Again?! But that trick never works!

Seriously, this whole Pluto-isn't-a-planet argument's been made before, and the public didn't buy it.

One other thing... (2, Informative)

Azadre (632442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13245976)

The lack of high moderation... There have been so few 5s this week it is depressing.

Re:One other thing... (0, Offtopic)

Sawopox (18730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246117)

I would think that a lack of 5's is due more to lame posts that not enough moderation.

What says /. ?

Re:One other thing... (2, Insightful)

Sarcastic Assassin (788575) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246152)

I dunno why this was modded offtopic, but anyway... I also noticed a lack of +5's this week (but if you browse over to the Intelligent Design story, you'll find plenty, I'm sure), and I assumed it was some side effect of the poll glitch (some people were having trouble posting/voting in/seeing the poll, and I think Jamie was notified, though I dunno if a fix was issued yet).

Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13245997)

How can you compare putting a mini into a wall, dumbest thing ever, to doing something genuinely interesting.

Re:Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246658)

hell there are multiple full websites devoted to putting your cock in a wall

Re:Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246708)

lol, you win a cookie

Re:Mini (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247868)

Why would anyone want to brick up a chicken?

10th, 11th, what next? (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246001)

this is really the 11th planet, not the 10th. Another large body, now named Sedna, was discovered last year. It is slightly smaller than Pluto.

Or, more sensibly, they could just declassify Pluto as a planet and reclassify it as just some Kuiper belt object (which is what it is) with an classification number and a cute, historical name.

That would leave us with 9 planets, big asteroids, some of which are named Pluto, Sedna or Bernard for historical or affectionate reasons, and all the others being called XYZ-some-number. That would make much more sense, and kill the slightly silly debate over how many numbers of planet there are in the solar system once and for all.

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246014)

That would leave us with 9 planets, big asteroids

I meant 8 planets of course.

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (5, Funny)

SatanMat (757225) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246053)

Rupert... You forgot Rupert...

sheesh, I'm gonna go get my towel now...

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246067)

I think without Pluto, we'd have 8 planets.

I'm not sure anyone's really set down formal guidelines for classifying all the celestial bodies. I'm not so sure it's possible to do so in generic terms such as "planet" or "moon" when there are so many possible variations. What we probably should have done was formalize a classification system based on size (which largely determines physical appearance) and location. But now that people are used to Pluto being a planet like the other 4 solid ones closer to the Sun (Earth and its ilk), it won't be easy to change their habits.

Besides, discovering another "planet" out there sounds far more exciting than finding a Kuniper Belt Object. The media, at the very least, won't give up that classification even after all the astronomers have.

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (2, Funny)

01101101 01100101 (904861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246120)

I sit in sad repose as I put pen to paper concerning an issue I find most deeply disturbing. I assume you already know that Slashdot's hangers-on have been trained, organized, and motivated to calumniate helpless wonks, but I have something more important to tell you. Although I respect Slashdot's right to free speech just as I respect it for crotchety disreputable-types, demented good-for-nothings, and tyrannical euphuists, one of the things I find quite interesting is listening to other people's takes on things. For instance, I recently overheard some folks remark that to Slashdot's mind, its remonstrations enhance performance standards, productivity, and competitiveness. So that means that it's inappropriate to teach children right from wrong, right? No, not right. The truth is that the baneful nature of Slashdot's initiatives is not just a rumor. It is a fact to which I can testify. Now, I don't mean for that to sound pessimistic, although the absurdity of Slashdot's op-ed pieces did not dawn on me until I realized that ignoring the problem of onanism will not make it go away. That's the sort of statement that some people believe is batty, but which I believe is merely a statement of fact. And it's a statement that needs to be made, because we all have a moral obligation to stand up together and forcefully oppose Slashdot's sinister propositions. Well, that's getting away from my main topic, which is that certain facts are clear. For instance, it may seem difficult at first to advance a clear, credible, and effective vision for dealing with our present dilemma and its most disgraceful manifestations. It is. But it really struck a nerve with me when it said that we should avoid personal responsibility. That lie is a painful reminder that Slashdot ignores the most basic ground rule of debate. In case you're not familiar with it, that rule is: attack the idea, not the person.

The truth hurts, doesn't it, Slashdot? Slashdot's platitudes are based on two fundamental errors. They assume that we should all bear the brunt of Slashdot's actions. And they promote the mistaken idea that "the norm" shouldn't have to worry about how the exceptions feel. I wish I could say this nicely, but I don't have much tolerance for the worst classes of foul-mouthed, pertinacious misfits I've ever seen: Slashdot holds onto power like the eunuch mandarins of the Forbidden City -- sterile obstacles to progress who impose ideology, control thought, and punish virtually any behavior it disapproves of. Slashdot maintains that the moon is made of green cheese. This is hardly the case. Rather, there is growing evidence that says, to the contrary, that it can't fool me. I've met sententious vagabonds before, so I know that if you look back over some of my older letters, you'll see that I predicted that Slashdot would rip apart causes that others feel strongly about. And, as I predicted, it did. But you know, that was not a difficult prediction to make. Anyone who has bothered to learn even a little about Slashdot could have made the same prediction.

Come on, Slashdot; I know you're capable of thoughtful social behavior. I feel that Slashdot's slogans are all too often clad in the nugatory garb of voyeurism. My views, of course, are not the issue here. The issue is that all the deals it makes are strictly one-way. Slashdot gets all the rights, and the other party gets all the obligations. Slashdot talks loudly about family values and personal responsibility, but when it comes to backing up those words with actions, all it does is pursue a twofold credo of vigilantism and anarchism. Let no one say that Slashdot has mystical powers of divination and prophecy. No, this is twisted despotism and must be regarded as an attempt to encourage young people to break all the rules, cut themselves loose from their roots, and adopt a doctrinaire, revolting lifestyle.

In case you have any doubts, if Slashdot gets its way, I might very well hide in a closet. To the fullest extent that my age and health will permit, I myself will beat Slashdot at its own game. Of course, it's not quite that simple. Think about that for a moment. Consider the following, which I'll address in greater detail later: I am making a pretty serious accusation here. I am accusing Slashdot of planning to substitute breast-beating and schwarmerei for action and honest debate. And I don't want anyone to think that I am basing my accusation only on the fact that its true goal is to attack the fabric of this nation. All the statements that its deputies make to justify or downplay that goal are only apologetics; they do nothing to summon up the courage to eschew power-hungry careerism.

Unfortunately, Slashdot's addlepated bruta fulmina neglect to take one important factor into consideration: human nature. Sure, even birdbrained bozos may have some good points, but I have yet to find one. You and I have a lot more class than Slashdot. To a lesser degree and on a smaller scale, Slashdot wants to caricature and stereotype people from other cultures. Such intolerance is felt by all people, from every background.

Many people respond to Slashdot's spiteful bromides in the same way that they respond to television dramas. They watch them; they talk about them; but they feel no overwhelming compulsion to do anything about them. That's why I insist we challenge Slashdot's ribald, effrontive assumptions about merit. Which brings me to my point. Before explaining why confused perverts cause insurmountable trouble for us, I must first put an end to intemperate metagrobolism.

In other words, some people think I'm exaggerating when I say that even the most rigorous theoretical framework Slashdot could put forward would not leave it in the position of generalizing with the certainty to which it is prone in its pranks. But I'm not exaggerating; if anything, I'm understating the situation. It's easy for armchair philosophers to theorize about Slashdot and about hypothetical solutions to our Slashdot problem. It's an entirely more difficult matter, however, when one considers that it commonly appoints ineffective people to important positions. It then ensures that these people stay in those positions, because that makes it easy for it to lead us into an age of shoddiness -- shoddy goods, shoddy services, shoddy morals, and shoddy people.

While there are many gloomy politically incorrect-types, Slashdot is the most smarmy of the lot. By seeking to reduce us to acute penury, Slashdot reveals its ignorance about authoritarianism's polyvocality. It probably also doesn't realize that it has frequently been spotted making nicey-nice with peremptory, sordid pipsqueaks. Is this because it needs their help to hurt others physically or emotionally? Well, while you're deliberating over that, let me ask you another question: Why doesn't it point a critical finger at itself for a change? Now, not to bombard you with too many questions, but its ruses are built on lies and they depend on make-believe for their continuation.

When asked to mend its ways, Slashdot will give people a wink and a smile, but when the wheels begin to turn, it's business as usual. Slashdot will up the ante considerably because it possesses a hatred that defies all logic and understanding, that cannot be quantified or reasoned away, and that savagely possesses the most irritating stumblebums you'll ever see with egocentric and uncontrollable rage. Slashdot has spent untold hours trying to use scapegoating as a foil to draw anger away from more accurate targets. During that time, did it ever once occur to it that it subordinates rationality in decision making? Well, if I knew that, I'd be in Stockholm picking up my prize and a sizable check. You're probably thinking, "That statement can be most easily defended, since it is not quantitative, but qualitative." Well, you're right. But something else you should know is that I want to unify our community. Slashdot, in contrast, wants to drive divisive ideological wedges through it.

Slashdot's commentaries always follow the same pattern. It puts the desired twist on the actual facts, ignores inconvenient facts, and invents as many new "facts" as necessary to convince us that the laws of nature don't apply to it. I can repeat with undiminished conviction something I said eons ago: It's our responsibility to dole out acerbic criticism of Slashdot and its phalanx of narrow-minded, insolent vicegerents. That's the first step in trying to address the real issues faced by mankind, and it's the only way to make this world a kinder, gentler place. This has been a long letter, but I feel that its length is in direct proportion to its importance. Why? Because giving Slashdot the means to ridicule the accomplishments of generations of great men and women is like supplying the gun to your own robber.

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (1)

vmcto (833771) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246149)

now you've done it...

you made Slashdot very angry!

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (1)

01101101 01100101 (904861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246182) []

Its a wonderful tool :)

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247532)

And here I thought that the G.N.A.A. had learned to read and write.

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (1)

aaza (635147) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246190)

you wont like Slashdot when Slashdot is angry

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (1)

Sawopox (18730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246173)

This whole topic is quite interesting to me. I teach 8th grade science, and one unit we cover is an introduction to astronomy.

Being 100% geek, I add in way more than the curriculum calls for (worms holes, space-time continuum, SETI, Doom3 'cause it's on Mars.) and mentioning this possible reclassification of Pluto and the newly discovered celestial bodies is also something I think my students will find interesting.

I have found that the astronomy unit is quite interesting to the students, and exposing them to the cutting-edge in modern astronomy really perks their interest. I am in the process of building a small linux network just for my classroom to expose the students to it, teach myself some networking stuff, and allow them to play with some of the cool astronomy/space programs available for Linux.

Now I just need those new machines from the NetBSD guys to run a universe simulator in class (and get rockstar SETI@Home credits).

Donations anyone?

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247078)

Why did I have to have the creationist crusader as my 8th grade science teacher and not you? Seriously. I had to sit through lectures that there were dinosaurs on Noah's ark. I'd much rather been playing Doom3...

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247227)

Dinosaurs on Noah's ark? For fuck's sake, why are these people allowed to come out of their houses during the daytime? How come they didn't choke on their breakfast at an early age, likely forgetting how to chew and swallow their food while simultaneously breathing through their noses? Are some people just born without bullshit detectors, and instead of admitting "I don't know" they invent wild ad hoc hypotheses?

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246300)

>they could just declassify Pluto as a planet and reclassify it as just some Kuiper belt object

Good idea, but it will never happen. There have already been "save Pluto!" campaigns from people and groups emotionally attached to the idea that Pluto is a "planet".

Thoughts that Pluto might be "demoted" to non-planet status created an emotional response in certain sectors of the public. Such news outlets as the BBC News Online, the Boston Globe, and USA Today all printed stories noting that the International Astronomical Union was considering dropping Pluto's planetary status. "Save Pluto" websites sprang up, and school children sent letters to astronomers and the IAU.

On February 3, 1999, Brian Marsden of the Minor Planet Center inadvertently fueled the debate when he issued an editorial in the Minor Planet Electronic Circular 1999-C03 noting that the 10,000th minor planet was about to be numbered and this called for a large celebration (the IAU celebrates every thousandth numbered minor planet in some way). He suggested that Pluto be honored with the number 10,000, giving it "dual citizenship" of sorts as both a major and a minor planet.

Between the media reports and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars, IAU General Secretary Joannes Anderson issued a press release that same day, stating there were no plans to change Pluto's planetary status. Eventually, the number 10,000 was assigned to an "ordinary" asteroid, 10000 Myriostos.

The debate centers on how a "planet", from the Greek for "wanderer", is an appellation that depends upon an object's particular size, formation, or orbit. Some argue that not only is Pluto a major planet but also some moons like Titan, Europa or Triton, or even the larger asteroids. Some argue that an astronomical object more than about 360 km in diameter, at which point the object has a tendency to become round under its own gravity, should be known as a major planet; this would include several moons and a handful of asteroids. Isaac Asimov suggested the term mesoplanet be used for planetary objects intermediate in size between Mercury, the smallest terrestrial planet with a diameter of 4879.4 km and Ceres, the largest known asteroid with a mean diameter of 950 km, which would include Pluto but not most moons.

Re:10th, 11th, what next? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246924)

I've never understood this argument--what's the problem with having 50 planets? What's this weird thing about sanctity of the term "planet"? People are either sanctimonious about the status of Pluto, or sanctimonious about the status of the word "planet". There's no need to be so obsessive about either.

I'm swiftly coming to the conclusion that the best thing to do is to classify Pluto, Sedna, and whatever this new object will be called as planets.

I think we need to stop talking about "what's a planet" and start talking about types of planets.

I think a very good solution would be to call these KBOs planets, and then refer to them as such: "KBO planets" or "icy planets." We already have "rocky planets" and "gas giant planets." I think there's no problem with calling these KBOs "icy planets" and saying there's 4 "rocky planets", 4 "gas giant planets", 30 "icy planets" and so forth.

This discussion needs to move away from classifying things as planets versus non-planets and into classifying them as types of planets. I think it would be much more productive.

I shudder to think what will happen when we actually start having detailed knowledge of another solar system, and this issue arises again then.

Return to the Slashdot Effect (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246009)

> A slow-motion clip of the now-famous ET foam shedding event has been inserted at the time it occurred -- about 1:40 after liftoff

A slow-downloading clip of the soon-to-be-famous halon fire extinguisher video has been inserted into the server room at the time it occurred -- about 1:40 after a link to a page with a 14-megabyte STS-114 video went live on Slashdot.

Re:Return to the Slashdot Effect (2, Funny)

LordHatrus (763508) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246081)

> A slow-motion clip of the now-famous ET foam shedding event has been inserted at the time it occurred -- about 1:40 after liftoff Sadly, the video did not recieve the wide appraise it expected, and the golden globe went instead to "ET foam home".

CVS Disposable Camera (1)

greensasquatch (854800) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246070)

I keep hearing about these things on slashdot. This must be a US only product. I cannot find anywhere in Canada that sells these things. Perhaps someone can buy a bunch and sell them on ebay with a slight markup? I'd buy one.

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246134)

I keep hearing about these things on slashdot. This must be a US only product. I cannot find anywhere in Canada that sells these things. Perhaps someone can buy a bunch and sell them on ebay with a slight markup? I'd buy one.

Hurry up to get one, because being a US product hacked by US hackers, the sequence is as follow

CVS camera --> hack --> DMCA lawsuit + new "improved" camera (ooh, the hack doesn't work with that one!)

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (4, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246265)

This is the third camera from the same company that I've reverse engineered and made reusable. So far, no lawsuit. While I wouldn't want a lawsuit, I think this would be an excellent test case for a few reasons:
- Numero uno, I am not breaking the DMCA. Hopefully people only sue when a law is violated, but, sadly, that's not always the case.
- I am accessing my own pictures, to which I have the copyright. The DMCA only protects rights-owners (me).
- I am reverse-engineering for interoperability, which is permitted. Some judges think this only applies to personal computers and not "other" computers (like printer controllers, like in the Lexmark case) -- but I'm interfacing to a plain old PC.
- Cameras have direct parallels to the "analog world". People have been developing kodak film with fuji chemicals for ages. It's a case that judges and juries can understand.
- The courts have found for the defendants even in much less clear-cut cases (like Lexmark).

Here's my webpage about the DMCA and these cameras. []

One very good trick Pure Digital has that keeps people out of their cameras is changing the architecture. The three cameras have had 3 different processors (8051, 8-bit RISC, MIPS), 3 kinds of toolsets (one big program, mini-OS, and full-blown embedded OS), and 3 IP vendors. This means the work I don on one camera doesn't apply to the next one... and will eventually tire me out -- it's a lot of work to do, and it takes them less effort to modify an existing camera than it does me to unlock it.

(p.s. my Make submission contained essentially the same text as my earlier, rejected slashdot submission []

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247819)

You are a hero. You're hacking disposable cameras into reusable ones: both saving waste and making cheap cameras available. You're cutting through the DMCA "chilling" BS that is freezing developers even more than is the overboard law. And you've got a sense of proportion - and even a sense of humor. I almost wish some fool at CVS would sue you, so we'd get a precedent. But I'm not that foolish to think that you're a superhero, so I don't wish that :).

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (1)

thatnerdguy (551590) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246150)

no we have cvs pharmacies in canada? I guess not even Pharmaprix/Shoppers Drug Mart will touch these.

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246185)

Pharmaprix? Pharmaprix?

Do they specialize in Cialis or something?

Or is it the French pronunciation "Farm-a-pree"?

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (1)

renehollan (138013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246429)

Losely translated: "Drug Price", implying that the price of the drugs is noteworthy, i.e. low. There's also "Uniprix" (One Price, albeit not).

It took me about a year and a half after moving to the U.S. to start saying "convenience store" instead of "depaineur" (literally, "de-breader": one that removes bread (or facilitates the same, from its shelves)).

Almost failed my WA Drivers' License eye test, when I read off "Zed" instead of "Zee". :-)

Re:CVS Disposable Camera (1)

MusPasser (553817) | more than 9 years ago | (#13248077)

Given that googling for depaineur gives zero hits, and googling for depanneur gives 12700 hits, I conclude that my memory that it is written as depanneur is correct.

This means of course that it has nothing to do with bread, which is a pity, since your explanation was quite creative.

This prevents the World Wide Web (1, Funny)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246078)

"and in conclusion, this prevents the World Wide Web."

Classic shit.

Vista and CPRS (1)

bwags (534113) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246101)

My wife is a doc at the VA and uses Vista. It is a nice application. She loves to be able to VPN into the hospital and do her notes at home. It seems like the program was written in Delphi. Can anyone confirm this?

Vista and CPRS-What's up Doc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246294)

Delphi, Mumps, a couple others. Something one should expect for a several decade old program.

Anyway I live near a Hospital (let alone all the other medical facilities in the general area).

I've thought of going into business customizing the program.

Has anyone else done this, and what problems did you encounter?

Re:Vista and CPRS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247855)

There is a front-end - essentially a thin client - that is written in Delphi. The application itself is written in GT.M, which is a 4GL in the MUMPS family.

The database backend is an industrial-strength hierarchical system of a type that was popular in the MUMPS era. These are not as convenient for ad-hoc queries as a relational DBMS, but they are a lot leaner for a given transaction throughput.

Why hack CVS? (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246119)

CVS one time use camcorder has now been hacked so that videos can be downloaded over USB

Last I checked, cvs co works well enough.

I'm suprised that Slashback missed Roland's stuff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246169)

What's the matter timothy, did you forget to re-re-re-re-whore Slashdot's favorite scam artist and plagarist "story" submitter?

How About Intelligent Design? (-1, Flamebait)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246170)

How about that president, eh? A sure case for unintelligent design.

The case for evolution would have it that he only survuved by the efforts of his parents and their supporters. Are we to believe the "Worst President Ever" label has been assigned to the product of evolution?

Re:How About Intelligent Design? (0, Flamebait)

michaeldot (751590) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246228)

Well, since he was handed the election by the religious right, you probably have a good point.

Re:How About Intelligent Design? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246259)

ID = incompetent deity

There, I think that should just about set the record straight to everybody's satisfaction.

New Names? (2, Funny)

pyr0r0ck3r (702602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246183)

So since this new planet is bigger than Pluto, and most likely affects Pluto's orbit, I say we call it Mickey.

Also, what happens to the moons of Pluto - IIRC, Pluto has two satellites orbiting it...Chip and Dale, I think. If Pluto becomes a non-planet, do these just become asteroids?

Re:New Names? (2, Informative)

arodland (127775) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247781)

Funny, but Pluto has, as far as anyone can tell, one satellite, which is named Charon.

Re:New Names? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#13248481)

Hmmm. I propose that the next discovered satellite should be named "Traycee".

[Yes, I know where the name Charon comes from.)

Always a conspiracy theory. (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246218)

What I find interesting the more we are exposed to fiction,reality seems more fake. Sure there is the big brother thing and all. But if the world is so full of these conspiracies then why aren't they completely uncovered more. I am not saying there is no corruption in the world and we as normal citizens are getting the full picture. I mean some of these are so large and will require so many people to pull off and knowing human nature someone will slip up. Like Deep Thought, and the Nixon Conspiracy is relatively small.

Re:Always a conspiracy theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247139)

It's Deep Throat, you stupid dilhole.

No linux source for CVS hack? (2, Interesting)

sanermind (512885) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246236)

I'm seriously tempted to go out and buy one of these right now, but for the fact that I am one of those in the minority who actually don't own or use windows at all. The code is windows only. But, since the program for the camera occupies flash memory, I would suspect that their is some facility for re-flashing the programming on the camera to avoid this hack... and I could concievably see employees at CVS's plugging in all the cameras to load them with updated software soon, thus eliminating the reusable utility of a camera purchased in the future.

I wonder how hard it would be for someone to port the code to a useable linux application?

Re:No linux source for CVS hack? (4, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246314)

Check out this thread [] -- Corscaria has a command-line program that uses libusb, so it's compatible with mac, linux, and windows.

I developed the unlocking code & did it on the mac. The Mac's user-land usb code is much easier to use than Window's (mainly because I don't need to create & install a specialized driver).

earlier slashdot sub []

Re:No linux source for CVS hack? (3, Informative)

dattaway (3088) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246563)

This command line interface compiles and works like a dream under linux. Downloads the videos fast and this camera is amazingly light and has much utility.

CVS still had a bunch of these cameras today and picked up a few more for the kids. This is the best hack I've seen yet.

Sedna isn't nearly as sexy a name... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246250) Surectum, but I don't think they'll go for it given the problems with that other planet's name.

How do you use the USB? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246267)

I've read the links and I can see where the "Insert USB cable, download data" step is." Any idea?

Cache In, Trash Out!

Re:How do you use the USB? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246302)

This includes a link to the cable making instructions: 536 []

Weren't there TWO "tenth planets"? (2, Informative)

millennial (830897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246317)

Sedna and Quaoar?
Although I've heard that Quaoar has been classified as a non-planet, I'm not sure about Sedna.
Besides, according to New Scientist, there could be many, many more planets [] out there.

Re:Weren't there TWO "tenth planets"? (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246672)

Sedna and Quaoar?

In a word: No.

The discovers of both tell [] all.

Re:Weren't there TWO "tenth planets"? (1)

Ray Radlein (711289) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247996)

Why shouldn't there be two -- or more -- "tenth planets"?

After all, there have been at least [] four [] different [] "fifth [] Beetles [] ".

Question about E.T. tank video (1)

Rob Carr (780861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246407)

I watched the shuttle launch live on MSNBC.

I think it was when the E.T. tank had separated, you could see a dot that appeared to be in the distance moving from right to left above the curvature of the Earth. The speed appeared to be steady, but I didn't time it and it appeared slow. Just guessing, the dot was:

  • chase plane
  • reflection off of something
  • satellite
  • launch debris
  • SRB

It was there for a chunk of time. If it was a chase plane, it was darn high up and moving very fast in a weird geometry. If it was a reflection, it's strange, since it was so small and didn't look like a flare. If it's a satellite, it's very low (milsat dipping low for observation of the shuttle?). If it's a satellite high up and far around the earth, it's moving far too fast (I think). If it's launch debris, why does it appear to be moving perpendicular to the shuttle at a constant velocity? If it was an SRB, those things coast a lot longer than I thought and go a lot higher than I thought.

I didn't record it, but I'm sure it's on someone's VCR or Tivo. I'm not trying to claim it's a UFO or proof they faked the shuttle launch. I'm just not sure what it was. I've tried to find out a number of ways, but with the emphasis on the foam falling off the E.T., no one seems to care.

Thanks for the help.

Re:Question about E.T. tank video (1)

Rob Carr (780861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246497)

I forgot to mention: I think that's the dot visible right at the end of the clip on Ecliptic's website [] . It's there for 3, maybe 5 seconds at the end. There's not much of it in the video.

One other possibility is that it's a piece of E.T. debris. If it is, it would have had to fly away from the shuttle significantly to produce such pronounced right-to-left motion.

Re:Question about E.T. tank video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13246739)

Mulder is that you?

Re:Question about E.T. tank video (1)

Rob Carr (780861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246900)

Nope, no Mulders here. I don't think it's an E.T. above the E.T.

There's a normal explanation; I just don't know what it is, and I'm curious.

Re:Question about E.T. tank video (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246909)

Looked for it in the video, could not find what you were talking about.

Re:Question about E.T. tank video (1)

Rob Carr (780861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247130)

3:49 in the video (you probably have to enlarge the screen to as big as your monitor will take), if you look at the orbiter forward attachment [] (upside down "v") that's sort of "pink" with a "blue bottom" to the "v" (since it's upside down, the "blue" is at the top). Just below the blue on the left hand side, you'll see a little dot come out from behind the shuttle forward attachment. There's very little in this video -- it continued across the screen for a while after the E.T. sep.

The E.T. is no longer accelerating (except for a very small negative acceleration from drag and some downward component from gravity)so it's possible the dot is in a lot closer and is some sort of debris. I'm still not clear on why it would be moving right to left, if that's what it is.

icculus (1)

imr (106517) | more than 9 years ago | (#13246425)

I'm not surprised he is going to port lugaru.
Not because he is porting more projects than anyone, not because he is talented, not because he is blazzing fast, not because he has swear to have every other linux porter to starve, not because he wants the money, no, just because the moves of the rabbit are really cool and i'm sure he liked them.

Re:icculus (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247176)

What's disappointing about Lugaru, beyond the graphics, is that they spelled it so terribly wrong.

That's Loup Garou, or werewolf for you English speakers.

There shall be only 8 planets (2, Informative)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247154)

We'll just classify the rest as nothing more than gigantic rocks orbiting the sun. We will no doubt find dozens more rocks out there a that are a lot like Pluto.

Slashdot fucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247247)

From: Theo de Raadt
Date: Aug 4, 2005 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: x86 rings?
> However, I think that the "uneducated" answer by Theo means "no".

No, what I mean is that asking a stupid question, which shows you did
NO WORK AT ALL TO LEARN ABOUT THIS, just makes you look like some
low-grade slashdot dumbfuck.

You heard about rings somewhere. Whooptie doo. You didn't even read
up ANYTHING about why they are useless.

Instead, you thought it would be smart to ask.

No, it was not smart. It was totally stupid. It means you don't know
how to learn.

Copyright Infringment. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13247537)

Unless you want to unknowingly have copyright infringement forced onto you, don't download the stupid randomly generated Near Science video.

Was permission given to allow the use of Weird Science, Eye of the Tiger and Coldplay's "The Scientist"?

Why the fuck are edu environments so unreasonable about music copyright infringement? This kind of music is a god damned luxury! It is not a fucken birthright or something. This is not classical music, hundreds of years old which enriches culture. The RIAA has been informed.

Shuttle (0)

ntufar (712060) | more than 9 years ago | (#13247543)

Q: What is the difference between Russian space rocket and the Shuttle?
A: Russian rocket burn in the atmosphere, Shuttle is reusable.

Q: What is the difference between a cosmonaut and an astronaut?
A: Astronauts burn in the atmosphere, cosmonauts are reusable.

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