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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

Baby Duck Java (181 comments)

But will it support a 64-bit JRE on Windows?

about two weeks ago
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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Baby Duck Razor Edge (399 comments)

If your Mars mission is cutting it so close that the calorie requirement between men and women is a major factor ... maybe that's a sign no one should go using your plan.

about a month ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Baby Duck Just Don't Get Ice (342 comments)

Do you need ice to survive the desert?

about a month ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

Baby Duck Re:wait, what? (82 comments)

I actually invested money into the now dissolved Canadian company, Nexia Biotechnologies, which was the first to do the spider-goats. You are entirely correctly. Spinning the silk is the harder second part. The gains in reducing cost per meter couldn't keep the pace with similar gains in carbon nanotubes, which competed for many of the same practical applications. Nexia's first path to market was to be superstrong medical sutures. At first, the FDA promised expensive human trials would not be needed since the proteins were naturally occurring. When the FDA later about-faced, it was Game Over for Nexia, who sold the IP rights to a company in Virginia. They also sold the IP behind their proven anti-chemical warfare agents. But the tyrants of the world never used chemical warfare against the US military, so that was (thankfully) also a financial bust.

Nexia was also trying to GMO a plant crop that could grow the silk protein in their leaves. After harvesting, the leaves would be grinded and sifted. However, you're still back to the same Spinning Problem that you highlighted.

about a month and a half ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

Baby Duck Policin' Ain't Easy! (354 comments)

Policing is only easy in a police state.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

Baby Duck Unfortunately (179 comments)

Just as there are courts where faxes are permitted, but emails are not, reports will still linger around, strutting proud its cloak of obsolescence.

about 2 months ago
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London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Baby Duck Bad Analogy (64 comments)

This is not like Minority Report at all. It predicts which locations at which times have a higher probability of a crime committing. It does not predict the particular crime, transgressor, or victim. It won't actually stop any crime from happening. The best it can do is allow a police force to more intelligently deploy their forces. They will be more able to rapidly respond to crimes after they happen, since statistically, they will more often have officers already dispatched to the nearby crime area.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Completes New Face Recognition System

Baby Duck Re:So wear a Guy Fawkes mask (129 comments)

Once it's rushed out without our consent, all us dissenters can be cataloged and tracked :-(

about 2 months ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Baby Duck Re:'Pass it on to the consumer' (324 comments)

But there will also be more competition since rivals with enough scruples to not engage in tax evasion now have a more level playing field.

about 2 months ago
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The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Baby Duck Re:Satre was an embittered multiplayer game player (292 comments)

Guild Wars 2 has an even more compelling "single-player illusion". Each mob has private loot for each player who hit it (mobs don't "tag" to the first attacker). Each gathering node is completely independent for each player -- they just happen to be in the same locations. There are events in the real world all the time where anyone can freely jump in or out. You don't have to join a party/raid or even communicate with those around you. Since you can bid on items that aren't even in the auction house at that moment, a lot of the need for trade chat goes away (though not completely).

about 2 months ago
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The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Baby Duck Re:No trouble finding single player games.... (292 comments)

Wolfenstein: the New Order is single-player, AAA, and surprisingly has very good storytelling, dynamic character growth, and excellent female role models.

about 2 months ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Baby Duck Snowden (499 comments)

FTA:

Cohen speculates that the massive leaks by Edward Snowden of national security secrets, which began in June 2013, could also have been a factor in NSF’s decision. “If it’s a matter of weighing the employee’s statement against what the investigator says he has found, agencies will resolve it in favor of national security,” Cohen says. “That’s just how it is, especially after Snowden.”

Confirmed my suspicion when I first read the summary. THIS will be the lasting legacy of Snowden's actions. Not increased government accountability or transparency, but a hellbent determination to make sure they will never be caught with their pants down again. Sigh.

about 3 months ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Baby Duck More Complicated Than That (211 comments)

a key property that distinguishes living from non-living systems: their ability to store information and replicate it almost indefinitely.

As Douglas Hofstadter pointed out, it's actually more complicated than merely indefinite replication. It has to allow variance while still retaining the ability to replicate. Sure, there are clones everywhere, especially outside the animal kingdom, and they still considered "living". So the quote is still technically true. But it doesn't capture how immensely more difficult it was for life we observe here on Earth to come about. It also raises an interesting question. Did non-varying life have to come about first, in order to saturate the environment with organic compounds? Did the varying life then come about later, piggy-backing on this enriched environment? Or can you go straight from an abiotic world to varying life?

about 3 months ago
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Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

Baby Duck Re:Musk worship (260 comments)

His company doesn't get tax breaks to succeed. He gets tax breaks to entice bringing lots of jobs to THAT state instead of some OTHER state. Getting lots of jobs gets you re-elected.

about 3 months ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Baby Duck Consensus Has Its Place (770 comments)

Hard Science is fairly limited in what it can do to prescribe actions humans should or should not be taking to address perceived problems with climate or the environment. There is no "Second Earth" we can use as a control group. It's closer to "healing" done by medical doctors than it is science. A doctor will tell you, "try eating this, try swallowing X mg of this Y times a day, try exercising like this, avoid chemical triggers like that, etc. Come back in 2 weeks, we'll see how you are doing, and then we'll make adjustments." Sure, doctors spanning decades through time and countries across the globe can temper their advice from longitudal studies and statistics across populations. But chances are those any double-blind experiments haven't been done on your unique body, health conditions, and living environment. Often the best they can do is "close enough, you are still a human, after all" and then make adjustments. They don't PROVE to you a particular pill or a particular dosage will work for YOU before they ask you to take it.

Something as nebulous as The Environment needs a similar "healing" approach. "Let's try cutting automobile emissions by X% and see what happens." If we absolutely require scientific proof 100% of the time before we take action with environmental policy, the consequences of such timidness can be disastrous. We don't always have that luxury.

Scientific "consensus" therefore still has merit. I can understand if you want to educate people on the difference between consensus and proof. But to say consensus alone should never spur action is fool's play.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Baby Duck Re:Database Identity (729 comments)

That's the opposite direction. The user is coming FROM those gatech.edu and whitehouse.gov domains to a third one. It's the third domain you are reading/writing data for.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Baby Duck Database Identity (729 comments)

It's outdated database security models that cause me the most grief. I don't want jsmith logging in from gatech.edu to be considered a DIFFERENT HUMAN BEING that jsmith logging in from whitehouse.gov. I want to say, there's ONE PERSON, John Smith, username jsmith, who is allowed to login from BOTH domains with the SAME PASSWORD and GRANTS. Nope. Can't do it. Newer versions MIGHT allow you to swap in your own authentication module instead, but NOT the authorization piece, so I'm still screwed!

about 3 months ago
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DARPA Bolsters Blueprint To Build Robotic Services For Satellites

Baby Duck It's The Money, Stupid (10 comments)

Step 1. Stop giving money to Russia for its rockets.

Step 2. Invest that money into US private space firms instead.

about 3 months ago
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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

Baby Duck Sleepspace (133 comments)

But WHERE will the employees nap? You would have to layout cots in a grid in an open floor space so no one tries any hank panky. Not all employers have the luxury of devoting so much space to napping, though.

about 3 months ago

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