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Interviews: Juan Gilbert Answers Your Questions

An Ominous Coward 360 degree eye-roll (18 comments)

"Now, this would require the manufacturers to agree on certain controls, but itâ(TM)s certainly doable."

Manufacturers opening up the vehicle bus, the network responsible for the actual core operation of the car, to cell phone apps? Laughable.

about a week ago
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Mysterious X-ray Signal Hints At Dark Matter

An Ominous Coward Re:Doesn't jive for me (100 comments)

It's the ambiguity of language that's at fault here. The key to the sentence you mentioned is "like normal matter". Normal matter absorbs electromagnetic radiation, increasing its energy level, and drops back to lower energy levels by emitting electromagnetic radiation. Thus, normal matter interacts with light. This is a different physical process than the emission of light due to decay of the particle itself.

And while we haven't pinned down dark matter by any means, it's much more than a stab in the dark. For one, there are known particles--neutrinos--that do not interact via the electromagnetic force, so the idea of unknown particles with the same property isn't unrealistic.

Then, there are clues from many different directions that point to something consistent with matter that interacts gravitationally but not electromagnetically. These include calculations concerning the total matter in the universe, galaxy cluster formation, the rotational speed of stars on the out edge of galaxies, etc.

about a month ago
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Mysterious X-ray Signal Hints At Dark Matter

An Ominous Coward Re:Doesn't jive for me (100 comments)

The hypothesis is not that the X-Rays are interacting with this type of dark matter. It is that the decay of this type of dark matter generates X-Rays.

about a month ago
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Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings

An Ominous Coward Re:Surprise, anyone? (300 comments)

Commercial search engies must skate a fine line between fair use and copyright violation. There is at least some potential that ignoring robots.txt could land them in legal trouble.

At the moment, lacking contrary legislation, user-identifiying information that is transmitted to a server is considered property of that server owner. If there was legislation defining that information as property of the user, much like Canada (among others) defines metered electricity usage information as belonging not to the utilites but to the resident, then Do-Not-Track might have some teeth.

Even then, though, it's probably a lot harder to legally demonstrate a violation of that setting than showing a search engine has cached a page it wasn't given permission to cache.

about 3 months ago
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New Home Automation?

An Ominous Coward Zigbee (336 comments)

Zigbee's the best option for home automation ecosystem. Zero-conf mesh networking for great range even through walls/floors, and lower power so all these devices don't bust your electricity bill. And if your utility installs a smart meter with home-area networking, it'll probably be Zigbee, so smart appliances can get usage and price data from there.

about 6 months ago
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Android KitKat Released

An Ominous Coward Re:KitKat? (358 comments)

An agreement with both Hershey, for the US, and Nestle, for everywhere else.

about 9 months ago
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Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses

An Ominous Coward Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (435 comments)

Exactly!

Customer: All your power supply units are no-name, inefficient Chinese or Vietnamese crap with high failure rates. Can't you stock some decent equipment?

Local Computer Store: I've got mine. Fuck you.

or

Customer: All you have here is NYT best seller list schlock, New Age Oprah garbage, and Christian testimonals. Can't you stock some decent science fiction or popular science books?

Local Book Store: I've got mine. Fuck you.

about a year ago
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The NSA's Own Guide To Google Hacking and Other Internet Research

An Ominous Coward Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (45 comments)

All PDF readers have their exploits, no reason you can't make one document that targets them all. That's why I trained myself to read PDF in binary. Yes, obviously it's a bit challenging but there's something immensely satisfying about being able to visualize the document based on the raw input and, until the NSA gets into wet-ware hacking, it's the one reader technology that's guaranteed to be perfectly sa.... MUST. INFILTRATE. PUTIN. ADMINISTRATION.

about a year ago
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Does All of Science Really Move In 'Paradigm Shifts'?

An Ominous Coward Re:Kuhn Paradigms (265 comments)

Depends on if we want to include cultural norms as part of how the world works. Consider the experience of moving across the country for a job or to attend university. Even with communication technologies that have parallels in the Internet age (POTS, Fax, and the postal service), there was definitely the cultural expectation of weakening social bonds with your parents and completely breaking social bonds with all your peers. You'd only see your parents occasionally for holidays, and quite likely would never see anyone from high school again. That's just the way the world worked.

But thanks to widely deployed IP networks we not only have incremental improvements on old technology (mobile phones with no long-distance charges and telephone numbers that follow you, instantaneously delivered email) but also new tools such as video chat, media sharing services, and social networks. There are real options for maintaining long-term social bonds, options that did not previously exist. For single, childless persons, major relocations are not really a big deal anymore. That's arguably a big change in how people view the world working.

about a year and a half ago
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Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

An Ominous Coward Re:Tweedledee won ! (1576 comments)

In your opinion, do you think an Al Gore administration would have led us into war with Iraq?

about a year and a half ago
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Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

An Ominous Coward Re:split. (503 comments)

Yes! Because whether or not that person is actually a murderer is something to be determined by an unbiased jury. If a jury member in incapable of putting aside their fear of murder, if he or she is willing to find against anyone simply because they were accused of murder, that is an unacceptable bias.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is the Rise of Skeuomorphic User Interfaces a Problem?

An Ominous Coward Re:Bad Design (311 comments)

Some minor tweaking and it's an SD card icon, all good.

about 2 years ago
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Would You Pay an Internet Broadband Tax?

An Ominous Coward Re:Universal service. (601 comments)

From my reading of the FCC's Internet Access Report, that analysis came from people with >200 kbps connections. Basically, for ISPS advertising broadband service, how many are meeting the new requirements. That figure does not indicate how many people only have the option of dial-up.

about 2 years ago
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Republican Platform To Include Internet Freedom Plank

An Ominous Coward Re:Look at ninety percent of the effort towards go (459 comments)

I can choose to go to another bank. That choice cannot be taken away.

Of course it can be taken away; the big bank can acquire the little bank. Just like how a lot of people left AT&T for T-Mobile, so AT&T tried to acquire T-Mobile. Fortunately we have an administration that respects consumer rights and put good people in charge of the regulatory agencies, so that attempted acquisition was blocked.

about 2 years ago
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Lance Armstrong and the Science of Drug Testing

An Ominous Coward Re:If we're not for science, what are we for. (482 comments)

That doesn't appear to be true. While the first test result for any given sample has come back clean, that potentially just means that he's been ahead of the curve on using doping methods that avoid detection. The USADA reports indicate that some of the re-tests on samples have come back as indicating doping. We'll probably find out more as they take their case to the ICU.

Of course this whole thing from cycling to baseball to the Olympics is ridiculous. With shades of Futurama, it'll be a relief when we can put all these stories behind us after performance enhancing drugs in all sports are mandatory.

about 2 years ago
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University Receives $5 Million Grant To Study Immortality

An Ominous Coward Re:Oh. Tell that to brain scientist. (532 comments)

The original conscience ceases to exist, but why would this mean we aren't just machines? We aren't static machines; as with a computer, we have memory. But memory is still a physical part of the machine, its electrochemical configuration corresponding to the information it carries.

about 2 years ago
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What If There Was a Microsoft Appreciation Day?

An Ominous Coward Re:I ate at chick-fil-a every day this week. (362 comments)

I understand the sentiment, but please reconsider your choice. Chick-Fil-A did not come under attack because of its CEO's statements, although those statements did fan the flames afterwards. Chick-Fil-A came under fire for its funding of hate groups. And I'm not using "hate group" here in a wishy-washy, "anyone who disagrees with me is a hate group" way. I'm talking about groups that are pushing for Ugandan law to make homosexuality a capital crime. There's some confusion out there about much of Chick-Fil-A's millions of dollars of donations research that particular organization, but I would anyone involved in supporting GLBT issues to find any association with that hate group to be reprehensible.

about 2 years ago
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Ubisoft Uplay DRM Found To Include a Rootkit

An Ominous Coward Whew (473 comments)

Glad I stuck to my Ubisoft (and EA and Blizzard) boycott even in the face of the big Steam Summer Sale. Here's hoping more gamers will stick to their principles and force developers into customer-friendly behavior, though sadly it seems that most people prefer to boycott companies just until a new title is released...

about 2 years ago

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