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Comments

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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

AmiMoJo Re:What do I think? (217 comments)

I have arthritis but it wasn't diagnosed until well after I left school. My teachers used to complain that I didn't write enough, or that after a few lines my handwriting was hard to read. Now I know why. Writing by hand just put me off writing stuff completely, which is a shame because I enjoy it now I can type instead.

yesterday
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

AmiMoJo Re:Good (217 comments)

How many schools can afford licences for AutioCAD and Photoshop? They each cost several times as much as the laptop. There are plenty of productivity apps for ChromeOS, and of course Google Apps for office stuff.

yesterday
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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

AmiMoJo Re:Real world consequences (177 comments)

Thanks. The comments on every single nuclear story on Slashdot seem to miss the point entirely. The units are just a way to measure the relative efficiency of the work being done to prevent leakage. The effects are observable, there is no need to guess based on the numbers. This is apparently too complex for most commentators to understand :-(

yesterday
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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

AmiMoJo Re:Is that a lot? (177 comments)

This is a common misunderstanding of the way the released radioactive particles affect humans. The material from Fukushima bioaccumulates inside the body. It has already been found to be doing this in wildlife and people near the plant. Once inside the body's organs it can remain for decades, slowly damaging the DNA and leading to cancer. Things like x-rays are one-off events that deliver a single dose, much of which is blocked by tissue (that's why parts of the image are dark), this stuff bypasses all the protection and sits there slowly emitting indefinitely.

yesterday
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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

AmiMoJo Re:I also measure distance (177 comments)

The units are not that important, what matters is the relative numbers. The point of the story is that TEPCO is failing to prevent the release of radioactive material from the plant in enough measure to contaminate nearby crops and make them worthless. Relatively speaking the amount of released material is lower now, but expected to rise once they start further decommissioning work.

In this case the unit used by TEPCO and the government is Becquerels, and there has been a great deal of discussion about it in the Japanese media so people are aware of the issues. It serves as a measure of how effective TEPCO's efforts to reduce emissions is.

yesterday
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

AmiMoJo Re:What do I think? (217 comments)

When I was at school I wasted vast amounts of time being forced to write stuff out in draft form and then re-write it neatly. Fortunately now we have computers that allow editing. This is progress - I can write a report and edit it without endless copying out by hand.

Kids should have access to computers. Not all families can afford them. By giving all the students the same computers it is easier for the teacher to teach without getting bogged down in technical differences, and allows the school to administer and manage them.

2 days ago
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

AmiMoJo Re:Keyboards (217 comments)

Chromebooks don't support Java, or Silverlight for that matter, in the browser. There are of course web games, but the school will have their internet connection censored to block those out anyway. The students can't install much on those machines, and in fact I think they can be locked down so that no apps can be installed at all.

2 days ago
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

AmiMoJo Keyboards (217 comments)

It's hardly surprising that schools would prefer laptops with keyboards, since students are expected to do a lot of writing. Chromebooks make sense because they are cheap, virus-proof and don't run Windows games.

2 days ago
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A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video)

AmiMoJo Re:That... looks... horrible. (74 comments)

I tried ergonomic keyboards but found that because I never learned to type formally, using the right fingers for each key, I was constantly reaching over to the other side because that's just how I normally type.

It's the sort of thing where you really want to get a cheap one and try it before spending serious money on something like this. In the end I found that just getting a laptop style keyboard (and MS one as it happens, but Lenovo ones are good too) made far more difference. Clicky keys are really nice but they are not the best if you have arthritis or RSI or just want something low impact.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

AmiMoJo Re:Pft (952 comments)

The same argument could be made about any kind of employment law. Rely on it and the directors will persecute you. In reality they tend not to though, because they know that if they do they are just in for more pain.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

AmiMoJo Re:Pft (952 comments)

What you describe is sexual discrimination. While men and women can have differing dress codes (to stay within social norms) the code must not favour one or the other gender overall. If women are given significantly more freedom then you have a case you could take up with your boss, and if that doesn't get you anywhere you can go to tribunal.

2 days ago
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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

AmiMoJo Re:I wish them the best... but (216 comments)

As an American, I hope we get in on the action.

After consistently screwing China out of collaboration for decades I can't see that happening. They are building their own space station because you wouldn't let them co-operate on the ISS.

2 days ago
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Intel Launches Self-Encrypting SSD

AmiMoJo Re:My SSD already encrpyts its contents (91 comments)

Some older drives can use the ATA password for encryption, which is presumably what you are describing. The implementation varies. Some drives store the key in plaintext where it can easily be sniffed as it travels over the the HDD's internal bus. The biggest issue though is that in most cases only laptops support the ATA password feature, with virtually no desktop BIOS implementing it.

This new standard defines how the key is to be stored securely and integrates much better with software like BitLocker. As well as being far more secure than the old ATA password method this allows companies to manage their keys. If the user forgets their password they don't lose access to the entire machine, IT can reset it. The password can be changed without wiping the drive. Hibernation and sleep support is much better too.

The old Intel encryption uses the ATA password, but they have been a bit vague on the details so it isn't know how well it works or how secure it is.

2 days ago
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Intel Launches Self-Encrypting SSD

AmiMoJo Re:Intel has worked with the NSA (91 comments)

Realistically most people have to trust a commercial company at some point. Even if you switch from Windows to Linux, you still need a CPU and motherboard with BIOS code on it. Even the SSD's firmware could subvert you.

The encryption used here is good enough for most purposes. Sure, the NSA could probably break it, but they probably won't want to. Aside from the time and money it takes, it would reveal their capabilities. The good news is that this kind of encryption has been shown to keep the cops and other low level abusers out quite effectively.

Since there is only a 1-2% performance hit from using this kind of hardware encryption it should become ubiquitous. Hopefully in a few years Windows 9 will prompt you to encrypt your drive at the same time you set up your user account when first booting a new computer.

2 days ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

AmiMoJo Re:Code the way you want... (367 comments)

C# is great for small projects. You can slap together a GUI very quickly, or throw together a CLI app that doesn't need to waste time re-inventing the wheel or handling mundane stuff.

I mainly write firmware in C, but on the desktop C# is a better choice for many applications.

2 days ago
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The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

AmiMoJo Re:McCarthyism v2.0 (240 comments)

American politicians keep saying "they hate our freedom". No, we hate your war on freedom, and your utter contempt for it. You have become worse than the monster you were trying to defend against.

I do sometimes wonder if they know they are the bad guys, or if they have yet to come to that realization.

2 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

AmiMoJo Re:Pft (952 comments)

One of the threats contained her home address. That's what the police here call a "credible threat" and arrest people for.

3 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

AmiMoJo Re:Pft (952 comments)

As a straight male, I've been called Noob, loser, moron, fag (though it doesn't apply), n*gga (though it doesn't apply), whatever.

Go read TFA. Read the first few paragraphs evens. We are talking about rape and death threats, which included the author's home address. She goes on to show how that isn't an isolated incident.

If it were just the usual 12 year old XBOX Live bullshit you would have a point, but this is people going far out of their way to gather information on their targets and make specific, violent threats that they are capable of carrying out.

3 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

AmiMoJo Re:Pft (952 comments)

What do you mean by 'social skills'? Some would say this means "you just need to know how to talk to women". Why doesn't this apply to women as well? The post itself mentions something about women having to 'talk nice' to men to be heard, and that it's oppressive. Sorry, but if it's good for the gander, then it's good for the goose.

The difference is that when people talk about men knowing how to talk to women they mean knowing how not to be insulting, lecherous dicks showing them with unwanted attention... You know, talking to them like they talk to other guys they have no sexual interest in, i.e. normally.

When people talk about women knowing how to talk to men they mean women knowing how to talk extremely passively so as not to upset some apparently quite delicate feelings. It's the exact thing that a lot of men complain about - women being overly sensitive. The point she is making is that actually some men are at least as bad, and feel insulted and threatened when a women offers constructive criticism.

You can see it all over the comments on this article. A woman dares to suggest that some men are being arseholes when they made credible threats to rape and murder her, and suddenly all these guys get defensive and upset instead of just saying "yeah, maybe people shouldn't do that."

3 days ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

AmiMoJo Re:Pft (952 comments)

You don't get a lot of women being told they're neckbearded losers living in their momma's basements because they have micropenises, either.

No, they get told they are ugly, nerdy, flat chested and unable to get a boyfriend. Different words, same bullshit.

3 days ago

Submissions

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One trillion Bq released by nuclear debris removal at Fukushima so far

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  2 days ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material."
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TEPCO planning to use Windows XP up to 2019

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about two weeks ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "TEPCO, operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, plans to continue using 48,000 copies of Windows XP until 2018-19, when they will be replaced. The Japanese government has urged companies in charge of critical infrastructure to upgrade from XP due to the risk of cyberattack. When asked about potential problems TEPCO said that it has "taken technical measures of various kinds", but declined to detail them "for security reasons.""
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Stan O'Neal may not have requested the "right to be forgotten"

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about three weeks ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Yesterday Slashdot reported that Stan O'Neal may have requested that a BBC News blog post be removed from Google's search results under the EU "right to be forgotten". Late last night Robert Peston, the author of the article that made the original claim, updated it to state that in fact the blog post was still indexed when searching for "Stan O'Neal", speculating that it may in fact have been one of the commentators who requested removal when searching for their name."
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Germany's glut of electricity causing prices to plummet

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand. The benchmark German electricity contract has slumped 36% since the end of 2010.

“The new plants will run at current prices, but they won’t cover their costs” said Ricardo Klimaschka, a power trader at Energieunion GmbH. Lower prices “leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet” according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer. Wind and solar’s share of installed German power capacity will rise to 42% by next year from 30% in 2010. The share of hard coal and lignite plant capacity will drop to 28% from 32%."
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Japanese court rules against restarting Ohi reactors

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 2 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A Japanese court has ordered the operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, not to restart 2 of its reactors, citing inadequate safety measures. The plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors were halted for regular inspections last September. Local residents filed a lawsuit asking that the reactors be kept offline. They said an estimate of possible tremors is too small, and that the reactors lack backup cooling systems. The operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, has insisted that no safety problems exist."
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Japan surpasses Kyoto Protocol emission target

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 3 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's environment minister says the country has surpassed the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that it pledged under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Japan had lowered emissions by a 5-year average of 8.4 percent in the 2012 financial year compared to 1990 levels, more than the 6-percent goal the country pledged under the Kyoto Protocol. The 2012 figures are significant as they include the first full year after the March 11th Tohoku earthquake disaster, during which no nuclear power was available."
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Japan marks 3rd anniversary of 11/3 disaster

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 4 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Today Japan marks the third anniversary of the 11th of March 2011 disaster when the country was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake huge tsunami and severe nuclear accident. More than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. Nearly 3,000 others died while evacuated from their homes, and over a quarter of a million people were still living in temporary housing as of February. Work to build new housing on higher ground is lagging behind schedule.

Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the quake and tsunami, but the exact cause of the accident is still unknown. How massive amounts of radioactive materials from the reactors were dispersed is also unclear. Today was also the day when hundreds of former residents announced that they were suing TEPCO, the plant operator, and the government for additional compensation."
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Measures fail to stop Fukushima plant leaks

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 5 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been coming up with countermeasures to deal with repeated leaks from tanks of contaminated water. But despite the measures, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked on Wednesday and Thursday. The estimated volume of the leaked radioactive materials caused Japan's nuclear regulator to rank the leak a level-3 serious accident. The international scale of nuclear and radiological events ranges from zero to 7."
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Kickstarter project tries to fire payloads into space from a giant cannon

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 6 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Starfire Space Cannon project aims to launch small payloads into space from the ground using a large gun. 13.7m (45 foot) gun claims to use multiple charges to reduce the force exerted on the payload, although the pitch is devoid of any explanation as to how this technique might actually work. The creators warn that "we could have a really bad day and the gun could blow up or the trailer could fall apart."."
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Google and EU agree on changes to search result pages

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 6 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Google has agreed to display competing site's results along side those from its own products in search results. The agreement comes as part of an EU investigation into Google's domination of the search market and its promotion of Google products at the top of each page. The EU has published screenshots (scroll down) showing how the changes will look once rolled out."
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Majority of Mac OS users not getting security updates

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 7 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "According to security company Sophos around 55% of home users and 18% of enterprise users have updated to Mavericks, the latest version of Mac OS (10.9). Unfortunately Apple appears to have stopped providing security updates for older versions. Indeed, they list Mavericks itself as a security update. This means that the majority of users are no longer getting critical security patches. Sophos recommends taking similar precautions to those recommended for people who cannot upgrade from Windows XP."
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Ask Slashdot: What next for Slashdot?

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 7 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Most of you are probably aware of the beta site, and there have even been a few survey emails going around. For some reason no-one thought to use the actual site's discussion system to ask about the future of Slashdot. Times are changing and Slashdot needs to make enough money to continue, but at the same time almost all the site's value comes from the user comments. What should Slashdot do to ensure it lives on for the next 15+ years, and what can we do to help?"
Link to Original Source
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Google's wireless charger for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 launches today

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 8 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Google's wireless charger is now available from Play. The charger uses a magnet to hold the device in place while charging, and comes with a 1.8A (9W) power supply, although it isn't clear what the charging rate of the device is."
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Fukushima leak traced to overflow tank built on a slope

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 10 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The on-going leak of radioactive wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been traced to an overflow tank that was built on a slope. Because one side of the tank is lower than the other water slops over the side when it is nearly full. TEPCO estimate that 430 litres of wastewater seeped outside the barrier around the tank and say some of this water may have flowed into the sea, about 200 meters away. They detected 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances in water pooled inside the barrier around the tank. The safety limit is 30 becquerels per liter.

Officials say that a miscommunication with contractors lead to the blunder."
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GE Canada struggling to find PDP-11 programmers for its nuclear control systems

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 10 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A representative from GE Canada has posted a job offer to the Vintage Computer forum for a PDP-11 assembly language programmer. Apparently the original job posting failed to turn up any qualified candidates to support the nuclear industry's existing robotic control systems, which they say they are committed to running until 2050. If they are having trouble finding anyone now one wonders how hard it will be in 37 years time."
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Ministry of Sound suing Spotify over user's playlists

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Ministry of Sound, a UK dance music brand, is suing Spotify because it has not removed user's playlists that mirror their compilation albums. The case will hinge on whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection due to the selection and arrangement involved in putting them together. Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists in question, but the issue here is whether the compilation structure — the order of the songs — can be copyrighted."
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Fukushima Daiichi leak raised to level 3 severity

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's nuclear regulators have raised the level of severity of the radioactive water leak from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is now a level-3 serious incident. The revision from level 1 is based on estimates of the volume of radioactive substances leaked. The International Atomic Energy Agency supports the revision. They say the tank leak can be assessed separately from the Fukushima Daiichi crisis as a level 3 incident. Japanese experienced a level-3 nuclear event in 1997 with the fire and explosions at a fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture. 37 workers there were exposed to the leaked radioactive substances."
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Thyroid cancer found in 18 Fukushima children, 25 more cases suspected

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Medical examinations in Fukushima Prefecture following the nuclear crisis of 2011 have detected 18 children with thyroid cancer, with a further 25 suspected cases awaiting confirmation. The group checks 360,000 who were aged 18 or under at the time of the accident. The incidence rate of thyroid cancer in children is said to be one in hundreds of thousands. In Japan, 46 people under 20 were diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2006."
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At least 300 tonnes radioactive water leak found at Fukushima, discharge ongoing

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank into the ground at Japan's Fukushima plant, operator TEPCO says. Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (Ines), which measures nuclear events. This is the first time that Japan has declared such an event since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, equivalent to five year's maximum exposure for a site worker. In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea."
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Samsung and Motorola match Apple for smartphone customer satisfaction

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "This year's ACSI Benchmarks for Smartphone Brands measure consumer satisfaction with different smartphones and brands. ACSI surveyed 4,112 phone owners in the U.S. who judged their phones on overall experience (customer expectations, perception of overall quality, value for money, customer loyalty) and experience of quality (ease of making and receiving calls, ease of sending and receiving text messages, performance of phone in terms of battery life, etc.) Samsung took the top spot, followed by Apple and Motorola all within a few percentage points of each other. RIM's Blackberry brand didn't do so well."

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