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Comments

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MIT Students Release Code To 3D-Print High Security Keys

192939495969798999 Universal lock pick (207 comments)

In USA, you 3d print a custom key after months of work. In Soviet Russia, you just use a sledge hammer.

about a year ago
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Project Anonymizes Your Writing Style To Hide Your Identity

192939495969798999 Re:I don't know (103 comments)

Those blend right in with the rest of the internet.

about a year ago
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Robert Boisjoly Dies At 73, the Engineer Who Tried To Stop the Challenger Launch

192939495969798999 Nonsense is inescapable (380 comments)

It's one thing if your dimwitted construction boss makes you use 4x4's when 2x4's will do, but this is the space shuttle, you'd think they could source someone who can do the following:
1. listen to an engineer when they are telling you its gonna blow up
2. realize you dont want it to blow up
3. take the stand necessary to make sure it doesnt blow up

Whenever i try to watch a launch live, they cancel it from like slight wind or a bird within 5 miles, I don't understand why they HAD to launch that day with such a big objection. Note: I saw the challenger live... i won't ever forget that.

more than 2 years ago
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Man Claiming He Invented the Internet Sues

192939495969798999 Re:LIAR (326 comments)

prior art - "Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web together with Robert Cailliau, built the first working prototype in late 1990 and early 1991. That first prototype consisted of a web browser for the NeXTStep operating system. This first web browser, which was named "WorldWideWeb," had a graphical user interface and would be recognizable to most people today as a web browser. However, WorldWideWeb did not support graphics embedded in pages when it was first released. "
I believe that's called checkmate!
haha.

more than 2 years ago
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Selling Used MP3s Found Legal In America

192939495969798999 true (281 comments)

Mp3's and other digital media actually do exist in the form of 0's and 1's that are present in some sort of electrical charge or optical divot. rabbits are easy to duplicate and you can sell those, so the ease of duplication does not preclude something which exists from being sellable.

more than 2 years ago
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The Zuckerberg Tax

192939495969798999 Re:Mark to market (1065 comments)

See Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Mark to Market was a primary cause of their implosion which really kicked off our current economic situation as much as any housing issues did.

more than 2 years ago
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Pink Floyd Engineer Alan Parsons Rips Audiophiles, YouTube and Jonas Brothers

192939495969798999 Re:Audiophiles (468 comments)

Have you ever heard an audiophile system for real? I have. You can hear a difference between that and your crap sony at home. if you can't, then you are missing out because I sure can hear a difference. It's like they are in the room with you. It's spooky.

more than 2 years ago
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The Zero of 3D Computer Animation

192939495969798999 Re:bad summary (2 comments)

This is almost all realtime animation via the one mainframe on campus, Chuck mentioned that what looks like a light pen may be a 3d static pen interface that Chuck and the other PhD's working on the grant had to develop because no such thing existed before that. All the art shown is "wireframe" vector art, they simulated the fill effect with lots of lines close together.

more than 2 years ago
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TSA Investigates Pilot Who Exposed Security Flaws

192939495969798999 Solved with dogs (394 comments)

How much of this security theater can be solved with a bomb-sniffing dog? Instead of checking each new thing for a bomb and still not being able to find them, a dog can just smell the explosive wherever it happens to be hidden. But no, we don't want to do that, that's too obvious, cheap, and easy. We'd much rather have a 1000x more expensive, incomplete and cumbersome solution.

more than 3 years ago
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The Odd Variations On 3G Per-Megabyte Pricing

192939495969798999 Why? Coverage (205 comments)

3g is wireless, and wireless varies on cost depending on coverage. A 5mb connection with nearly seamless nationwide coverage can't cost the same to maintain as a 5mb connection that has spotty intermittent coverage, and that cost has to be passed on. What you suggest is that a speed limited rolls royce should cost the same as a same-speed limited honda civic.

more than 3 years ago
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Analyzing Game Journalism

192939495969798999 Game reviews are absolute (98 comments)

The main issue seems to be in the ratings systems. Game reviews rate games on an absolute scale, not a relative scale. If reviewers honestly rated EA's crap games relative to EA's gems, then there would be a whole lot of sub-5 ratings. However, even a relatively crap EA game, assuming you had never played a game before in your life, is still an impressive piece of work. Consumers would have to start demanding relative scales on ratings before they would help out in selecting a game for anyone but someone who had perhaps never played a game before, in which case any major release correctly would be really impressive to that person... until they play one that really is a 10/10 on the relative scale.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Don't We Finish More Games?

192939495969798999 Games dont have proper endings (341 comments)

That's easy, many of today's games don't have linear gameplay or a proper ending. I bet lots of people finish games that have level 1-10 and then you win. How do you "win" world of warcraft? Sure, people finish the quests, etc. and in that way, they are finishing the game because the game doesnt have any other "you win" at some point.

more than 3 years ago
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Replacing Sports Bloggers With an Algorithm

192939495969798999 Good thing for regular news (120 comments)

Good thing for regular news here in the USA that our news isn't data-driven... it's opinion driven, and you need a person to make up an opinion... or do you? I'm pretty sure someone could generate the fox news content just by scanning cnn's articles and negating all of the opinion statements.

more than 3 years ago
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Bees Beat Machines At 'Traveling Salesman' Problem

192939495969798999 The computer isnt going to die (394 comments)

The computer isn't going to die if it doesn't get the right path, the bee might. Death is a remarkably strong motivator to be efficient.

more than 3 years ago
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The Time Travel Paradoxes of Back To the Future

192939495969798999 wait wait wait! (454 comments)

You mean to tell me that in the movie about the time travelling, flying delorean, that runs variously on a fusion engine and stolen libyan plutonium, that there's something unrealistic about the plot of that movie? NOOOO!
haha.

more than 3 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

192939495969798999 Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

oh yeah? watch this. A=.3
10a=10.3
subtract a from both sides
10a-a=10.3-.3
10a=10
thus a=1! but a=.3! so does .3=1? This is why I get paid the big bucks. Don't try to do a digit proof that .99999... = 1.

more than 3 years ago
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Take This GUI and Shove It

192939495969798999 CLI doesnt guarantee same changes (617 comments)

" If you write a script, you're certain that the changes made will be identical on each box. If you're doing them all by hand, you aren't.'"

No... if you write a script, you're certain that the change ATTEMPT made is the same. The changes may very well not be the same, if one of the boxes is messed up, but you can be certain it wasn't because you did it differently on that box. That's the difference between a GUI and a CLI... you get a same attempt guarantee, which allows you to blame the box instead of yourself when management comes asking why it failed.

more than 3 years ago
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The Misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art

192939495969798999 Most modern games do this still (267 comments)

Most modern game ads on tv still show hardly any gameplay. The Wii will show gameplay, but a ton of other systems' games do not. They just show the pre-rendered payoff sequences. If you're not showing the actual gameplay, you are lying to people. It's that simple.

more than 4 years ago
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'u' — the First Authentic Klingon Opera On Earth

192939495969798999 Re:Wow (165 comments)

It seems like an interesting study in meta-creation, meaning in order to create from a fictional work you have to make the fiction that exists into the rule boundaries for your work to be considered part of the same fictional narrative.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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The Zero of 3D Computer Animation

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "In 1969, an artist named Charles Csuri became the first artist to receive a National Science Foundation grant. The grant was for development of a new field called "3d computer animation". This newly released video documentation shows what is arguably the very first time anyone produced 3d computer animation, complete with a present-day voiceover. Chuck is still active and producing painterly computer artwork and powerful animations, and his students have gone on to become captains of industry at Pixar and other famous animation houses."
Link to Original Source
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stem cells created from skin cells

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "cnn reports that "Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy." "It's a bit like learning how to turn lead into gold," said Lanza, while cautioning that the work is far from providing medical payoffs."
Link to Original Source
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Allofmp3.com owner acquitted

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "CNN reports that Denis Kvasov was acquitted of copyright infringement, prosecuted on pressure from EMI Group Plc, NBC Universal and Time Warner Inc. From the article: "The prosecution did not succeed in presenting persuasive evidence of his involvement in infringing copyright law". Is this a lucky break or another sign of the traditional distribution model collapsing permanently?"
Link to Original Source
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "Forbes reports on the story of a New Jersey Victoria's Secret store, wherein 3 thieves made off with an amazing $12000 worth of underwear in large bags. From TFA: "The trio — two men and a woman — were able to thwart security sensors at the store because they used shopping bags lined with aluminum foil, known as 'booster bags,' police said." Thanks to this story, the whole world knows that aluminum beats RFID security, so how long until theft is rampant, using aluminum-lined bags?"
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "Google Patent Search lets you search the entire patent catalog, complete with drawings. While some of the patents seem useful and interesting, others, especially software, are extremely vague. Patents like "system for downloading software" for example, seem entirely unoriginal. Will this new outlet for patent searches reignite the push for patent reform, or will we just use it to watch yet more obvious patents appear?"
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

192939495969798999 writes ""NASA photographs have revealed bright new deposits seen in two gullies on Mars that suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years. "These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, Washington." More from TFA: "The shapes of these deposits are what you would expect to see if the material were carried by flowing water," said Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. "They have finger-like branches at the downhill end and easily diverted around small obstacles.""
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "CNN reports about a passenger who was detained for having 'Kip Hawley is an Idiot' written on his plastic toiletries bag. After determining that a statement of opinion is NOT a terrorist threat, they let him go. A TSA spokesperson said, "everyone's entitled to their own opinion". Apparently not if you get the wrong security screener — this one allegedly remarked to the passenger, "you can't write things like that.""
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "CNN reports that a series based on the Spaceballs movie is coming in cartoon form. Brooks and Meehan are both signed on for the pilot, and while Meehan takes over after that, the show is sure to have Brooks' signature comic style. "It is set to debut on cable network G4 in fall 2007. Production has already started on an initial batch of 13 episodes." May the schwartz be with us all!"
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "Computer Weekly reports that a panicked flyer fled his plane during boarding, just as his laptop spontaneously caught fire. Other passengers were understandably shaken that this might be a terrorist attack. Why are these batteries or laptops not under a strict stop-using-it type recall at this point?"
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "CNN reports that bionic arms that are controlled by rerouted nerve impulses are becoming more of a reality. From TFA, the arm is only capable of 4 kinds of motion, but the video still looks Robocop-esque. Unfortunately, they have to graft it into your body, so no removable ones for doing awesome 8-arm drum solos yet."
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "Here's a test to see how bad documentation has become. Grab the doc from the software company that wrote your favorite app/language/etc. and tell me:
what a sample call looks like in context (i.e. a multi-line source snippet)?
what types of parameters I can call it with? Do we know the base classes, etc.?
what happens when I call it with a NULL parameter? Error messages that may eminate and why?
If there is a question as to what kind of information should be provided
in the documentation, refer to user/programming manuals from a
few years back. They used to have all this information in them; in fact,
you could practically learn the product from scratch using the manual.
Now I have to go buy 5-10 third-party books and even then I don't get the
whole picture. A single, modest-sized programming manual can cover every
example needed for a day-to-day development reference. Developers
shouldn't have to spend hours doing research and support just to find out
how any given function of the product is supposed to work, don't you
agree? I don't think an experienced developer should need to memorize
everything from a $3000 class (because there's no written manual anywhere)
in order to navigate the app either. Any software is only as
useful as its manuals allow it to be."
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "With the efforts of a billionaire or a hedge fund, could people band together and start to buy the rights away from record labels? I think they could. If the market truly wants to allow freedom to use your purchased music, and the labels aren't compatible, why don't we all just buy the complete rights to catalogs one at a time until we have them all. If the hedge company legally owns the music, it can be distributed as they see fit, which should be "buy once, play anywhere", IMHO."
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "CNN reports that Microsoft may discount vista for the holidays, even though it may not be released until at least January. From the article, "Last month, however, Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Microsoft division that includes Windows, said the company would not hesitate to delay Vista again if it has any concerns about product quality... Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD Group questioned whether any Vista promotion would work before consumers can actually buy it." I concur — is there any reason other than publicity of the Vista name to offer a discount on a product no one can buy?"
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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

192939495969798999 writes "A recent CNN article on the most dangerous jobs ominously states that "One of the most mundane parts of the work day — driving — proved fatal for more workers than any other: 2,480 died in transportation accidents, more than 43 percent of all fatal workplace occurrences." With nearly 1 in 2 deaths occuring on the road, surely the insurance claims alone would be incentive for companies to approve more telecommuters. For those of you (un?)lucky enough to be telecommuting already, what was your incentive, and do you really enjoy it more than the daily drive?"

Journals

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Book is done

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

My first book of software horror stories, 'ship that pig', is done. Let me know if you want a copy. Digital copies are "free" as long as I know who's getting them, and paper copies are $5 plus shipping.

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Slashdot user graph

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Is there a graph of the number of slashdot users over time somewhere? I joined in about july of 1997, and I guess I joined right in the initial flood of users.

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2007: The ultimate computer of the future predictions

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

It is 2007, and technology continues to advance at an amazing pace. But to what end? What would the ultimate computer of the future be capable of? Using the paradigm of today's PC's, I propose the following measures for determining that we have built an "ultimate computer":
1. Even with its throughput maxed out, it would take you a lifetime (~80 years) to fill the capacity alloted when you purchased the system (might not require local storage).
2. The computer can run all available applications simultaneously without a noticable performance impact.
3. The computer can run any application or access any data from over the internet at least as fast as it can access the information from any local media.
4. All your documents and information are available securely from any computer, regardless of which computer has actually stored them.
5. Any foreign document can open with a virtualization of the program it requires, with no delay, just as if the program were already installed.

More? Are these all a complete joke? With the availability of 37 Terabyte HDD's pending, I think the ultimate computer may be closer than we realize.

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Ask slashdot: are the ancient pyramids of Bosnia real?

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Register reports through an expert interview that the so-called Bosnian pyramids may in fact be a natural phenomenon. The photographs of the excavation appear to tell a different story, especially the incredibly artifical-looking surface stone tiling. So are these real man-made pyramids, or are they naturally occurring river rock that happened to shatter into a pattern that looks just like man-made stonework?

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Somewhat egregious Troll modding

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

For some reason, comments that I figure would normally be modded as 'funny' are now getting modded as 'troll'... I don't think I'm getting that much more jaded, I actually have been in a good mood, so there must be someone out there taking things kinda hard. IMHO, "Troll" is supposed to be for comments that incite people to get into a tirade, "Flamebait" is a subset of "Troll" but limited to on-topic comments. Am I totally off base here?

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What happened to programming manuals?

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 8 years ago

Here's a test to see how bad documentation has become. Grab the doc from the software company that wrote your favorite app/language/etc. and tell me:
what a sample call looks like in context (i.e. a multi-line source snippet)?
what types of parameters I can call it with? Do we know the base classes, etc.?
what happens when I call it with a NULL parameter? Error messages that may eminate and why?
If there is a question as to what kind of information should be provided
in the documentation, refer to user/programming manuals from a
few years back. They used to have all this information in them; in fact,
you could practically learn the product from scratch using the manual.
Now I have to go buy 5-10 third-party books and even then I don't get the
whole picture. A single, modest-sized programming manual can cover every
example needed for a day-to-day development reference. Developers
shouldn't have to spend hours doing research and support just to find out
how any given function of the product is supposed to work, don't you
agree? I don't think an experienced developer should need to memorize
everything from a $3000 class (because there's no written manual anywhere)
in order to navigate the app either. Any software is only as
useful as its manuals allow it to be.

top

Could Philanthropy Produce 100% Free( i.e. ownable ) Music?

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

With the efforts of a billionaire or a hedge fund, could people band together and start to buy the rights away from record labels? I think they could. If the market truly wants to allow freedom to use your purchased music, and the labels aren't compatible, why don't we all just buy the complete rights to catalogs one at a time until we have them all. If the hedge company legally owns the music, it can be distributed as they see fit, which should be "buy once, play anywhere", IMHO.

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IT-related horror stories wanted for book

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I am looking for true IT-related horror stories (brief anecdotes are fine) that I can use for a book I'm writing. The book discusses how any given IT worker encounters confounding and stressful situations at any time. I will also discuss solutions which although obvious, are ignored by management to the detriment of the IT workforce. Since I'll have to anonymize the stories in the book, I can probably get you a t-shirt or a signed copy for your contribution, *IF* I am able to get a good publishing deal.

Related links/stories: http://politics.slashdot.org/politics/06/08/18/132233.shtml

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my first computer

192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

The first computer I personally used was a Macintosh. I mean the original, Circa 1984. I used many computers more "out of date" than that over the years, though. The first computer I personally owned was an IBM PC XT, 1.0 Mhz, 10 MB HDD! Oh yeah, the games were rockin' on that thing. I often reminisce about the days of yore, playing Ultima 3, 4, 5 on Apple hardware, going through Mad Magazine for the logo program to draw some hideous picture on the screen... great stuff. Anyone else remember the good old/new/older days?

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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 10 years ago

Someone recently commented that "If it wasn't for the Bible, the USA wouldn't be here." That's true, but for a different reason than first meets the eye. The Bible caused our forefathers to flee their countries and move to create the USA -- so they would be FREE FROM state-mandated religions. They didn't come here to establish a country in the name of a particular religion. They may have been fueled by religion to do certain things, but they certainly didn't write it into the constitution explicitly, because that's exactly what they were trying to get away from.

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192939495969798999 192939495969798999 writes  |  about 10 years ago

When people say to stop and smell the roses in life, they mean that life's not all about hard facts. It's interesting to read opinions. Fiction is an opinion. Poems are opinions. Art is an opinion. If we were to all assume that opinions were worthless unless we knew their source to be of a certain pedigree, we would be restricting our world view considerably. We'd probably end up not enjoying things as much as we ought to. I urge everyone to simply enjoy life and not worry about whether person A's opinions matter "more" than person B's, because A has XYZ and B doesn't. If I have a billion dollars, does that make my opinions more correct than yours? Of course not, they're opinions, not facts.

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