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Comments

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What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

Big Hairy Ian Automate It (228 comments)

Sorry but this is what I do for a living. Find an automation tool that works and implement it. Rinse and repeat!

about 3 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Big Hairy Ian Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

Wow lots of people seem to think I'm a Yank today. Sorry but I'm British

about 6 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Big Hairy Ian Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

Hey I'm British we have Labour, Conservative and the rest that no one really votes for

about 6 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Big Hairy Ian Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

Actually I'm British go figure

about 6 months ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

Big Hairy Ian Re:WTF?? (798 comments)

I blame Rodney King

about 6 months ago
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Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Big Hairy Ian Re:Google needs to do their research (98 comments)

Actually it was those bevelled corners that were the problem it infringed on an apple patent

about 6 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Big Hairy Ian Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

Find me a democracy (Outside of a Kibbutz) where the average voter is empowered! In most democracies there are usually two parties that most people vote for (Both of which are different shades of shit). Nobody ever votes for the other candidates because they don't think they can win so instead they select a shade of shit and vote that way. Sound Familiar?

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

Big Hairy Ian Re:u wot m8 (575 comments)

From what I can tell 8.1 Update is having some installation issues meanwhile the Server Update Service is having issues with SSL. All very embarrassing for MS I'm sure.

about 6 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Big Hairy Ian Bloody Idiot (588 comments)

Speaking as someone who contracted measles before I was inoculated and suffered mild brain damage from the same I can only say this woman is a fucking idiot. Personally I was lucky just to survive! When measles go bad they KILL!!!

about 6 months ago
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44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted

Big Hairy Ian Re:Probably typical (121 comments)

No it just means they are all following Nadine Dorries and can't get a tweet in edgewise!

about 6 months ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Big Hairy Ian Re:Whatever you may think ... (447 comments)

Agreed! Bearing in mind this was an open source and therefore a community project how come no one spotted this sooner? I mean shit its not like there aren't a thousand decent programmers who have downloaded the source!

about 6 months ago
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Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps

Big Hairy Ian Re:If done well... (64 comments)

It's probably just Snakes on a Plane & Ladders

about 6 months ago
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Skydiver's Helmet Cam Captures a Falling Meteor

Big Hairy Ian Re:Ummm, probably not (142 comments)

Probably its a piece of the aircraft he just jumped out of that fell off

about 7 months ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

Big Hairy Ian Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

The problem is that it's a bunch of politicians making decisions they either have no idea about or are only there to sabotage take the UN Human Rights comittee for instance http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodi... 1/2 of these countries haven't exactly got a clean record on Human Rights to start off with.

about 7 months ago
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What's In a Username? the Power of Gamer Tags

Big Hairy Ian Re:play their game by their rules (99 comments)

Well judging by my Slash Dot handle I'm punching above my weight :)

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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HullCoin launched as 'local digital currency'

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about 7 months ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "A virtual currency designed to be a "local digital currency", has been launched by Hull City Council.
In the form of digital "tokens", HullCoins can be used to pay council tax and for goods and services from firms signed up to the scheme. Hull City Council said it hoped the scheme would eventually be extended to the major supermarket chains. David Shepherdson, from the City Council, said HullCoins would have "a social purpose"."

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UK reveals footage of 'top secret' drone

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about 9 months ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Footage of Britain's new unmanned drone in flight were revealed on Wednesday.

The Taranis uses the latest stealth technology and is capable of launching precision air strikes in hostile territory.

Flying invisible to radar, the Taranis can be operated via satellite link from anywhere the world.

Should take your mind off /.beta"

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Voice Bio metrics:Hello, is that really you?

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Big business wants your voice — not for customer feedback, but to tackle fraud.

Voice biometrics — the recording and analysis of unique voiceprints for authentication purposes — is one of the latest technological weapons being deployed in the war against fraudsters, thought to be pilfering at least £52bn from the UK economy each year, according to the National Fraud Authority (NFA).

UK financial services companies alone are conservatively estimated to be losing more than £5bn annually, the NFA says.

But the real figures are likely to be two or three times higher than this as so much fraud goes unreported.

Identity theft and account takeover are a big and growing problem, particularly in a digital era that has been a boon to fraudsters by presenting them with many more ways to harvest personal data."

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Apple, Microsoft-backed 'Rockstar' uses Nortel patents to sue Google, Samsung an

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Early last year, the "Rockstar" consortium backed by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson closed its purchase of thousands of patents previously owned by Nortel for $4.5 billion (around the same time Google, after failing to purchase the patents itself, closed a $12 billion deal for Motorola). That transaction cleared the DOJ as the team agreed to license the tech on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, as well as their commitments not to seek injunctions in disputes involving SEPs.""
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Adobe hack: At least 38 million accounts breached

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Adobe has confirmed that a recent cyber-attack compromised many more customer accounts than first reported.

The software-maker said that it now believed usernames and encrypted passwords had been stolen from about 38 million of its active users.

It added that the attackers had also accessed details from an unspecified number of accounts that had been unused for two or more years.

The firm had originally said 2.9 million accounts had been affected.

Adobe has also announced that the hackers stole parts of the source code to Photoshop, its popular picture-editing program.

It had previously revealed that the source code for its Acrobat PDF document-editing software and ColdFusion web application creation products had also been illegally accessed.

The information could allow programmers to analyse how Adobe's software works and copy its techniques."

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Reverse ageing by boosting cells' energy factories

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  1 year,27 days

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "JUST as a car's battery wears down with age, mitochondria, our cellular powerhouses, produce energy less efficiently as we get older. Now, ageing mice have been given a new lease of life after being injected with a drug that jump-starts their mitochondria.

Mitochondria contain genes coding for proteins important in energy production. So Shaharyar Khan of Gencia Corporation in Charlottesville, Virginia, and colleagues wondered if boosting the activity of these genes might reverse decline.

They took a naturally occurring mitochondrial transcription factor called TFAM, which initiates protein synthesis, and engineered it to cross into cells from the bloodstream and target the mitochondria.

Aged mice given modified TFAM showed improvements in memory and exercise performance compared with untreated mice. "It was like an 80-year-old recovering the function of a 30-year-old," says Rafal Smigrodzki, also at Gencia, who presented the results at the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence conference in Cambridge this month."

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Last days for China's Space Station Tiangong

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "When the crew of Shenzhou 10 departed the Tiangong 1 space laboratory in June, Chinese officials declared that Tiangong was now a spacecraft on death row. China's first space laboratory had three months to live. At the end of its lifetime, it would be subjected to a firery re-entry.

We are now approaching the end of the projected lifespan of Tiangong 1. We still don't know the exact date of its execution, which will be carried out when thrusters aboard the module are fired to remove it from orbit. It is expected that Tiangong 1 will re-enter over the Pacific Ocean, where any fragments from the laboratory will fall harmlessly into the water."

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Esa's Cryosat mission observes continuing Arctic winter ice decline

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "The volume of sea ice in the Arctic hit a new low this past winter, according to observations from the European Space Agency's (Esa) Cryosat mission.

During March/April — the time of year when marine floes are at their thickest — the radar spacecraft recorded just under 15,000 cu km of ice.

In its three years of full operations, Cryosat has witnessed a continuing shrinkage of winter ice volume.

It underlines, say scientists, the long-term decline of the floes."

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DNA study suggests hunting did not kill off mammoth

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Researchers have found evidence to suggest that climate change, rather than humans, was the main factor that drove the woolly mammoth to extinction.

A DNA analysis shows that the number of creatures began to decrease much earlier than previously thought as the world's climate changed.

It also shows that there was a distinct population of mammoth in Europe that died out around 30,000 years ago.

The results have published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The view many researchers had about woolly mammoths is that they were a hardy, abundant species that thrived during their time on the planet."

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Evidence of the existence of the Flying Spagetti Monster

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Pasta helps marathon runners keep the pace – and maybe some spinning stars too. The key to neutron stars' steady rotation may be spaghetti-shaped groupings of atomic nuclei that form lumps in the stellar crust.

A neutron star is the ultra-dense remnant of a stellar explosion, made up of a solid crust of atomic nuclei and a liquid core of free neutronsMovie Camera. These stars are born spinning rapidly, sometimes making multiple rotations per second. Some neutron stars also emit beams of radiation from their magnetic poles. If the beams sweep past Earth, we can detect the regular pulses of light and time the star's spin.

Without any outside influences, a neutron star will slow down over time as it radiates away energy. Curiously, X-ray pulsars, which are brighter and easier to observe than other types, appear to stop slowing down when they reach a rate of about 12 seconds per rotation."

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Is Quantum Computing just round the corner?

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "For the first time, a commercially available quantum computer has been pitted against an ordinary PC – and the quantum device left the regular machine in the dust.

D-Wave, a company based in Burnaby, Canada, has been selling quantum computers since 2011, although critics expressed doubt that their chips were actually harnessing the spooky action of quantum mechanics. That's because they use a non-mainstream method called adiabatic quantum computing.

Unlike classical bits, quantum bits, or qubits, can take the values 0 and 1 at the same time, theoretically offering much faster computing speed. To be truly quantum, the qubits must be linked via the quantum property of entanglement. That's impossible to measure while the device is operating. But in March, two separate tests of the D-Wave device showed indirect evidence for entanglement.

Actually reading the article it seems a bit biased"

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Artificial Incemination? Just add water (oh and sperm)

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "JUST add water and sperm – any romance should be provided separately. In future, women who want to safeguard their fertility may be able to store their eggs at home as a powder. To revive them for an attempt at having a baby, all they would need to do is empty the sachet, add water, fertilise with sperm and implant the embryo.

"You can keep the powder at room temperature forever – and just add water to bring it back to life," says Amir Arav of Core Dynamics in Ness Ziona, Israel, who developed the method. The technique was demonstrated with cow eggs last month at Cryo, a conference on cold-preservation techniques for eggs, sperm and embryos held in Berlin, Germany."

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Making your own phone is easier than you might think

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Big Hairy Ian writes "Our reporter builds a handcrafted cellphone using widely available parts and online instructions

SUDDENLY, my phone rings. It chirps out a tinny version of what sounds like the Christmas carol Angels We Have Heard on High. I am giddy with amazement.

On the fifth floor of the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, David Mellis has just plugged in the mobile phone I spent all afternoon soldering together. That's right: I just built a cellphone. By hand.

Mellis is a graduate student in the High-Low Tech lab, a group of engineering evangelists trying to bring technology know-how to people who perhaps thought it was out of reach. In 2005, he helped found Arduino, a company that makes easy-to-program microprocessors and sells them on simple circuit boards. The idea is to help people make electronic products without needing a degree in computer science.

They're popular among hobbyists, hackers and the sort of people who end up working at the Media Lab but they're hardly mainstream. Mellis wondered if he could take the idea further."

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Solar/Wind Farms overwhelming the power grid in Cornwall

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Big Hairy Ian writes "Renewable energy projects are putting parts of Cornwall's electricity grid under severe strain, according to the region's power firm.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) said that without expensive investment the grid would struggle to cope with taking any more power.

And developers could be asked to pick up "a large proportion of these costs".

Renewables advisor Regen SW warned charges, totalling up to £4m, may bring renewable energy schemes to a "halt"."

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WordPress Customer Service Faux pas

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Big Hairy Ian writes "I recently created a blog after much discussion with a corporate partner to take over the blogging on a specific topic which the original blogger had moved away from approximately three years ago the down side was I couldn’t take over his blog directly and due to corporate policies they couldn’t give me access to add my own blog on their site we agreed that I would do it elsewhere and they would organise to cross post it. That being the case I elected to use http://www.wordpress.com/ Now the issue is that ianholdsworth.wordpress.com has been disabled I can only assume that either they have assumed I don’t have permission to re-post, my table full of links is some kind of spam or I’m trying to do some form of SEO. None of which are true but since my account has been disabled I can no longer access to forums in order to try and defend myself which appears to be the only avenue to protest."
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Crowdfunding service SliceBiz wins Apps4Africa cash prize

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Big Hairy Ian writes "A Ghanaian start-up planning to popularise crowdfunding in Africa has been selected as one of the winners of this year's Apps4Africa competition.

SliceBiz plans to develop a service that will deliver 30-second pitches recorded by entrepreneurs to potential backers over the phone.

It says investors will then be able to transfer cash into the projects they like via their mobiles.

The Apps4Africa scheme is funded by the US State Department and the World Bank,

It gives awards of $10,000 (£6,500) to three selected projects with the possibility of top-up funds if the winners meet set targets."

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Why arte we building another Fission Reactor

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about 2 years ago

Big Hairy Ian writes "The design for the first UK nuclear power stations to be built for 25 years has been granted approval.

After a five-year process, regulators have said the European Pressurised Reactor, designed by two French firms, is safe and environmentally sound.

But there are still a number of hurdles to be cleared before energy supplier EDF and the nuclear engineering firm Areva can begin construction.

The firms are weighing up the economic case amid concerns about rising costs.

The French companies are looking at building two new plants at Hinkley Point in Somerset, but will need planning permission.

EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "The acceptance of the design for the EPR reactor is a major achievement and milestone for our new nuclear project in Somerset.

"It represents four years of hard work and allows our project to have a stable design before we start, offering a huge boost for the predictability of costs. It highlights our credibility and that of the EPR design, as well as demonstrating that the UK has a credible policy and regulatory framework in place."

Why don't we build an LFTR instead? Its much safer!"

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Vatican unveils Pope's Twitter account @pontifex

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about 2 years ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "The Pope is to begin sending Twitter messages using the handle @pontifex as his personal account, the Vatican said.

A spokesman said Pope Benedict XVI wanted to "reach out to everyone" with tweets translated into eight languages.

The first tweet from his account, whose name means both pontiff and builder of bridges, is expected on 12 December.

Last year, the Pope sent his first tweet last year from a Vatican account to launch the Holy See's news information portal.

"We are going to get a spiritual message. The Pope is not going to be walking around with a Blackberry or an iPad and no-one is going to be putting words into the Pope's mouth," Greg Burke, senior media advisor to the Vatican said.

"He will tweet what he wants to tweet," he added, though the leader of the world's 1.2 billion or so Roman Catholics is expected to sign off, rather than write, each individual tweet himself."

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Sandy Island the undiscovered country

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about 2 years ago

Big Hairy Ian writes "A South Pacific island, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist, Australian scientists say.

The supposedly sizeable strip of land, named Sandy Island on Google maps, was positioned midway between Australia and French-governed New Caledonia.

But when scientists from the University of Sydney went to the area, they found only the blue ocean of the Coral Sea."

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Supermans home found!!!

Big Hairy Ian Big Hairy Ian writes  |  about 2 years ago

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) writes "Every self-respecting geek knows that Superman was sent to Earth right before his home planet of Krypton exploded. It's also part of comic-book lore that Krypton orbited a red star, as the switch to our yellow star's light is supposedly what imbues Superman with his powers.

Now famed astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson has used his power of scientific reasoning to help pin down a real-life red star that could have hosted the home of the Man of Steel.

Red stars can scale from dim dwarfs to mighty supergiants. But as astronomer Phil Plait explains, the lifetime of a red supergiant would probably be too short for the advanced Kryptonian civilisation to emerge, while known red giants are too far away from Earth to fit with Superman's back story. That means Krypton had to orbit a red dwarf, which can be older and closer."

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