Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

EU to Develop Search Engine

Bob Vila's Hammer Re:January 16, 2011 (460 comments)

Maybe this is just a phantom project that the French govt has decried in order for Google to just simply waste their money trying to beat, or maybe even solve the problems for them?
Not putting a timeframe on the project is just inviting the pointless qualities of something that in this day and age could come and go within 5 years. And if they know this why are they wasting their time and money on something so grand that may even be commonplace in 5 years time?

Or maybe it could prove the brilliance of google and the market.

more than 8 years ago

Submissions

Bob Vila's Hammer hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

top

Space Shuttle Landing Delay

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 9 years ago Given that today is Monday, the original scheduled date of Discovery's landing, and NASA has postponed the landing due to weather - which is inclement only in the slightest - I propose a theory on their actual intent. NASA, by changing the date is effectively changing the landing site. Why could they really be doing this?

1. The inclement weather is a guaging factor.
2. The landing zone in Florida is not safe.
3. If a crash were to occur again, safety and the image of another disintegrating craft all over the news would be devastating for the program.
4. Systems made available to the program for use during the shuttle's re-entry are not available until tomorrow - this information could be used (if it has not already been surmised) to give insight into the types of satellites and other classified technology involved in this event.

But clearly, it can be noted, another crash - regardless of whether or not it is caught on tape - is something that can not be accepted. In fact it will spell the ultimate end of the shuttle program in my opinion.

And I also believe that in this case NASA is appearing more political and nervous - read dodgy - than rightfully concerned or even scientific. It may more a result of politics or of safety overall, but this behavior is something that I would expect from some private company. Almost like NASA is changing into Microsoft.

top

Healthy America

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 9 years ago This journal entry is being created for the evidence of date/time for an idea I have.

The initiative for a healthier and more health-conscious America is staring us right in the face. This site, Nutrition Data represents FDA research and investigation into the foods we eat. It is a very thorough and informative database of literally every product that has Nutrition Facts - probably every food product you can buy. This information is organized very efficiently. Basically, every food product you can look up is listed for all of its nutritional values - calories, fats, sodium, sugars, dietary fiber, protein, and also a plethora of variable information relating to every aspect of the food product's organic complexity. More importantly for this topic direction is the star rating system employed at the site. Not only is the food product calculated for its nutritional value and graphed on the food pyramid for its recommended daily consumption frequency, it is also given a star rating out of 5 stars. The higher the star rating, the better the food product is for you - and therefore is more highly recommended by the FDA for you to eat or drink.
This information is only being used indirectly by anyone who is either health conscious, or just generally interested in finding out about the food they eat. While readily available on the internet, and also on the actual product packaging, Americans are largely unconcerned with referring to those details on the box or wrap when they buy.
Therefore I propose we deliver this star rating to every product. The Health Conscious initiative, if there is one operating in our Congress right now, should be about getting people - Americans - used to looking for a star rating.

Staring you right in the face with every product name will be its value, based on the nutritional data provided by the FDA's mandate, in its traditional form, and now its star rating. People will be able to immediately see the number of stars a product receives and know simply if it is good or bad for them.

As a person with food allergies, I am a professional when it comes to reading ingredients and noticing the different symbols displayed on our foods. Some work effectively, some don't. We use symbols to denote a dairy product, whether or not a product is kosher, or pareve. As these are already in use, this type of integration would be easy to accomplish and for people to understand. Instead of having to read the nutrition facts - which while not a lengthy process is still time consuming if you're in a hurry - will allow customers to trust the star rating, and know that basically they are eating healthy.

In summary, the steps we would need to take would be easy - the symbols are already present, the data is already compiled, and the public is already rather willing to take the initiative when it comes to reading ingredients and checking the nutrition facts. This plan would better the American eating habit, it would allow us to concentrate more easily on eating healthy, and will overall improve the well-being of our society. Why this hasn't happened yet, will remain to be seen. I have already contacted my district representative in Congress, and while I'm awaiting a response from him after the holiday, I will try to find out more information. Any that could be provided here would be greatly appreciated.

top

Neutral Milk Hotel, King of Carrot Flowers

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 10 years ago The King of Carrot Flowers Part One

by Neutral Milk Hotel

When you were young
You were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the
trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your
feet

And your mom would stick a fork right into
daddy's shoulder
And your dad would throw the garbage all across
the floor
As we would lay and learn what each other's
bodies were for

And this is the room
One afternoon I knew I could love you
And from above you how I sank into your soul
Into that secret place where no one dares to
go

And your mom would sink until she was no longer
speaking
And dad would dream of all the different ways to
die
Each one a little more than he could dare to
try


For this journal entry I have changed the lyrics in the first stanza to appropriately model this song that I wanted to share as being truly remarkable - my favorite song by one of my favorite bands. The song itself is complete on many different levels. The writing is sound, beautiful and brilliant with its imagery and richness. The music is melodic and frightening, terrifically addictive and fantastically singable. And the bottom line is that it is simple and efficiently powerful with this formula. The reason for the change of the first lyrics is complicated to explain. The words 'feet', 'floor', 'soul', and 'high' all are special in this song as it is sung. They each have within them another word. To appropriately describe this phenomenon, say the words out loug and stretch them out as in the song.

feet becomes "fee--- heat "
floor becomes "flo--- whore "
soul becomes "sou--- hole "
die becomes "die--- high "

And this phenomenon - as you notice the additional words that are pronounced in the singing - creates again an entirely new song. It is wonderfully beautiful and elegant as you sing it and everyone should realize the genius of Jeff Magnums's songwriting. Here is the song as it would be changed for improved meaning and listed with the pronunciations for those 4 special words and their hidden words within.

When you were young
You were the king of carrot flowers
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your
fee---heat
And how you built a tower tumbling through the
trees

And your mom would stick a fork right into
daddy's shoulder
And your dad would throw the garbage all across
the flo---whore
As we would lay and learn what each other's
bodies were for

And this is the room
One afternoon I knew I could love you
And from above you how I sank into your
sou---hole
Into that secret place where no one dares to go

And your mom would sink until she was no longer
speaking
And dad would dream of all the different ways to
die---high
Each one a little more than he could dare to try


I hope the lyrics and the changes are noticed and appreciated fully by listening to this song. And I had also hoped that somehow Jeff Magnum and Neutral Milk hotel would notice and maybe enjoy the changes or at least the wonderful side-effect of their brilliant songwriting that I have outlined - if it hadn't been brought to light before.

top

Return to the Moon

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 10 years ago I just wanted to comment on the speech that President Bush gave today about the future of our space program, NASA. I watched the speech a few different times (DVR) and I have to say that I was genuinely touched at his sincerity and interest in the forthcoming plans he has prepared for the expansion and focus of our space agency here in the US. Now, it probably was not all of his idea, but I believe in his speech for the following reasons:

1. President Bush is a caring individual. He is not as many see him in the face of political emotion, a danger to the future of our civilization. He is someone who cried on and after 9/11, someone who wept when the Columbia Shuttle disintegrated during reentry. He is a man like the rest of the good men in this country are, something you can't put your finger on.

2. I trust him. He is a man of his word. He has proposed solutions to problems facing our nation and seen them through. He has given tax cuts to improve our economy, he has deliberated with care on major issues like abortion, marriage, and ethical concerns regarding genetic engineering practices. Most of his decisions strike an accord with me simply because I am a conservative for the most part. But it goes beyond that. If he says he'll do something, you can be sure that it will get done. I appreciate and completely respect results.

3. He knows what is truly good for this country. I think I have an idea from time to time, but it is no comparison to the white house and its staff, our government and military strength and global readiness are testaments to that. As I trust him, I also trust in his information. I believe he is a fair person willing to do good in the face of bad. I tend to think of him as having a forgiving heart and an easy smile. Something I notice about myself.

So the main outline of this post is to share in the excitement of having a president during our time/age acknowledge the future of humanity in such a way as to initiate the beginning of that future right now. Maybe it could have been anyone who was in office at this time, but I will never forget his speech today. One during which he quoted the words of the last Astronaut to have left the moon's surface over 25 years ago while almost shedding a tear for the pride in his heart for those old, almost forgotten achievements. And with a determination borne of trying to reestablish the connection to that pride for many Americans is a major part of the plan. A plan that I hope and pray will work, one that I believe in. Seeing the faces of those old Astronauts who were there on the moon, makes me wish I was somehow a part of it. Seeing the current NASA Astronaut in space introducing the President, makes me wish I was one of them. Here's to the return to the moon.

top

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 10 years ago This album is what you get when you put a tortured poet who worships the true history of rock together with THE great rock drummer of our age, and a bass guitar purist who loves all instruments into the end of a hysterical decade. A triad that supplanted the might of The Beatles in our modern, numb, and overexposed reality. Their focused efficiency at playing together united the forces of a pure truth in a balance of emotions - pain, rage, and only a dimly reflecting hope. It was as if on this album the only way they had to go was into each other and you can hear it in these songs. The demanding and evolutionary themes in "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the pride and honesty present in "Come As You Are", to the needy revenge in "Drain You." But the escaping virtue that is "On a Plain" and the tired dying eye that is "Something in the Way" speak of the true nature of Nirvana's humanity. This invincible track listing only highlights the reflexive art in this band at this time. With a sound that brings to mind the grating churn of some ammorally designed machine recycling the history and future of our eternal, musical oblivion - of which Novoselic is the deepening thrum, Grohl is the engineered gear, and the delicate dearness of sinister Cobain's forebodingly depressive balladry, the screeching of the unkept joints. But searching for meaning in this terrific expression does not complete its purpose - you need only speak one word when attempting to fully understand the importance: "Nevermind."

top

Poem

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  about 11 years ago This is a new poem that I wrote. I thought it appropriate to post here on /. .
It is written in |-| 4 ( |x 3 |4 (HACKER) or l337


\/\/ 7 |F ?

7 3 |-| |4 0 X X 0 |4 5 , |_ /\/\ 4 0 1!1!1
|-| 0 \/\/ |4 U?
\/\/ U 7? 4 |-| 0 \/\/ |_ 0 [\] G?
5 U X 3 4 5 1!1!1,
|\| 3 \/ 3 |4 5 4 Y |) | |F...

6 r 0 0 p Z 0 \/ [\] 0 |4 |\/| 4 |_
[-] 4 X 0 |4 Z U Z | |\| G
|_ 4 [\] G U 4 G 3 5 7 0 0 |_ 5
5 7 |4 | |x 3 |F |F 4 |4 | [\]
7 |-| 3 |\/| | |\| |) 5 0\ / 0U|4
[\] 3 \/\/ |F \/ 0 |_ U 7 | 0 |\| --
7 |-| 3 ( 0 |\/| |P U 7 3 |4 5 0 U |_ .
4 |) |F 4 7 |-| |\/| 4 |4 7 Y |4 3 |)
bY 0U|4 |4 3 |_ U ( 7 4 [\] 7
G | |F 7 0 \/ |_ 4 Z | |\| 3 5 5 .
( |-| 0 0 5 | |\| G 7 3 ( |-| [\] 0 |_ 0 G Y
0 \/ 3 |4 5 7 |4 3 |\| 7 |-| , b | [\] 4 |4 Y
0 \/ 3 |4 3b |4 4 | |\| -- P 0 \/\/ 3 |4 .
1 4 1 \/\/ 3 |_ ( 0 |\/| 3 0 U |4
[\] 3 \/\/ 0 \/ 3 |4 |_ 0 |4 |) 5
\/\/ | 7 |-| 4 \/ | |4 U 5 --
5 U |4 \/ | \/ 4 |_ |\| 3 3 |) 5 4
P |4 0 G |4 4 |\/| \/ \ / |-| 3 [\]
GOD |-| 4 5 4 P |_ 4 |\|.

top

Mars

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 11 years ago I am writing in my journal this full-moon-night for no other reason than Mars, the red planet. Knowing that it is as close as it has ever been in 60,000 years brings so many starlights to my thoughts that had to be written.

As I gazed from my bedroom window at the moon that is resident there every night, I noticed its new brilliantly red partner. I have always seen and noticed its existance based on the color of its reflection in the sunlight, but never in the moonlight. Blazing like some distant god waiting to be worshipped or conquered - nothing has struck me as profoundly in the heavens until now.

Its proximity in the sky to our satellite couldn't be more inspiring. If you are gazing at the Moon you are drawn to Mars. If you are gazing at Mars, you are looking almost through the moon. What great physics perfection is looking down on us? Granting us the privilege of understanding not only our solar system in such a way, but an inspiration in the same thought. To know about our future presence among the stars and to grant us this rare gift of timing that can only occur once in an entire evolution seems eternally poetic.

The trials that we have been through getting to space were such an achievement that even though I didn't live through those times I can understand their huge importance. I feel like I have toiled in some way to achieve that first step into the universe. Looking back at those tragedies, I feel pain for the loss of fellow wonderers.

  • The training exercise that cost the lives of three American astronauts in 1967, the death of Victor Komaruv the same year. In 1971 three cosmonauts died during re-entry. The Challenger tragedy during which I cried with my kindergarten class and teacher - 7 astronauts. Space Shuttle Columbia...
    The Apollo 13 mission that almost cost the lives of 3 astronauts, the Mir collision in 1997.

All of these things effect me still, someone who wasn't related to or even knew someone involved in those accidents and disasters. These have become a part of my blood and my memory. They will adhere to my thoughts and dreams of space as much as Mars looms past the beacon of the moon.

So here we are being privy to the most spectacular alignment we have ever seen as a species and never before in such a pivotal time. Our destiny is being revealed once again to us - but who among us is paying attention?

It is a time of convincing. If a full moon in August, the month of my birth, and a new century isn't well enough for your divining eyes, nor if Mars is dancing closer than ever before, meteors will dash your vision and beguile you. The heavens will change your soul for their employment even if it is only in some small way.
I wish hope were made of gravity and promises were made of light. People would be staring now at a focus of peace and prosperity, destiny amongst nations seeded thoroughly in a medium of orange-red dust and the compliment metallic nutrient - a new blood capable of respirating a Martian soul. Growing to love one another and the strive for something better and something otherworldly. Being able to stare down the pasts of history in a telescope...from...Mars or the Moon at the water Planet growing old and wise and new.

It only takes a moment at the window to realize this is something that everyone should know. So I write this passage as my country, one of the leaders of this world, loses its vision. The visitors of another planet have turned their backs on the stars staring at them so intensely now in concert. They have insulted their dear friends (allies) while venting their anger at some distant tyrant land. Showering missiles like meteors and preparing for war by scrutinizing too closely the earth. And where it would take two eyes to track a planet, it only takes two hands to shut the blinds.

Mine are being held open this night - for I am catching up with old aquaintences and reaching for their forgiveness.

top

Terrorists

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 11 years ago I find it hard to believe that a terrorist tried in Germany would only get 15 years of jail-term sentencing. In this report at The NY Times, the story goes very simply this man got off easy. I cannot believe that being a direct member of an Al Qeada cell and ties very strongly to the September 11 attacks would get you only 15 years in prison.

The laws are suspect in Germany and I believe they are in France as well. There are groups very highly spread throughout Europe and here in North America as well, but this decision in the courts based on flimsy laws is proving much.

There are intense locations in Europe where Islamic Extremists are allowed to harbor and succeed in their plots and plans and this is where they will only be punished lightly for a tragic incidence killing like September 11th. Those laws should have been updated and/or tried differently. This article says something that disgusts me, that this shows progress in the success of trying court cases such as this in public courts

  • Following the verdict, German government officials praised the court's decision and said that despite concerns about security and sensitive intelligence information, the trial showed that terrorists could be tried as criminals in a public court.

What is tragic in this situation is how rediculous that statement is after the fact. First off, criminals are tried in public courts, thats obvious. Public courts are for public cases. This was different. This guy is a war criminal. He was involved in an act of war. He was an international suspect involved in an act of terrorism and has been proven so in a court of law. Why not try him in a military tribunal, what happened in this case that proved it otherwise? Why is this so surprising?

France and Germany have large populations of Islamic Fundamentalists and it is not a surprise to find that they don't have strict laws against this type of international problem. Their leniency towards a global infection that has already proven itself as being production line for international unrest and global mistrust, turmoil. Their history has proven it, and our reaction has continuously absolved them. 15 years is nothing compared to 3000 murders.

top

Liberal Radio Required?

Bob Vila's Hammer Bob Vila's Hammer writes  |  more than 11 years ago I am writing in my journal today in response to an article that was posted on cnn.com that pertained to the need for a

I just couldn't understand the need for this type of outlet because first I think politics are prevalent enough throughout the media and second I think as well that liberal points of view are already represented fairly. My observation is that maybe the Conservative media seems concentrated because it is isolated and non-mainstreamed. The problem I had with the article is this, that the Liberals, as they call themselves, would consider the need for a venue to portray their opinions and beliefs as a response to what is currently going on in the Conservative arena. Well the question they didn't answer in the article is "What is going on?" and the fact alone that they didn't address that question is evidence of poor objectivity in todays politically ingratiated media market.

I see very little going on at present within the Conservative outposts of the media. Granted I know of a few so called conservative related political shows, but overall I don't think it would be fair to say that the entire media or a major portion of it could be construed or described as (politically) conservatively oriented. Which is why I disagree with the statements made in the article. I don't observe political shows, I observe entertaining shows.

In response to this statement:

  • "There are so many right-wing talk shows, we think it's created a hole in the market you could drive a truck through."

There are shows that are right-wing and conservative, but they are not so numerous as to skew the broadcasts of the entire nation. And their popularity has been attributed only to their entertainment value. The fact that people observe these shows is evidence enough that when it comes down to it - whether you are conservative or liberal - it is all just entertainment. And this is a characteristic of our broadcast media at its fundamental root, that it is a business and it is about money.

In response to the statement:

  • "Part of the impetus for this angry conservative bent of talk radio is the notion that the press is unfair, that it's part of a liberal establishment conspiracy," said Tom Rosenstiel, director for the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

I would argue the point that media - which has been heavily referenced as being a liberal market - really isn't as political as the article would have me believe. Be it most of todays stars and iconic figures surrounding the world of media are from point of perspectives liberal and democratic - which has been proven during various political campaigns. But the bottom line is money. Business. Media stars are wealthy, they contribute money to powerful political figures whom are of alike conformity and opinion (most of the time) to themselves, empowering them with the ability to campaign. And in that vein, being directly connected to the media orientation, their priorities are passed further along than say, maybe a single vote. But where is the connection? Where the money is.

In my opinion, I think people only watch what they want to watch and they watch certain conservative shows because they are entertaining - which doesn't necessarily imply their politcal views. That this response to a quadrant of the media is a complete overreaction and the so called "need" for a left winged oriented network is only a "want" based on business or monetary success, and it shouldn't be sold in any other way.

The reason I so disagree with this article is that it presupposes that the media is a liberal market, and that this new injunction of a network will somehow even out the scales of the media message that has been skewed by popular conservative networks/programs. Well if that is true, and basically I don't believe it is, why does Jon Sinton have any issues or concerns at all? The "balance" is equivocated in the article by means of ignoring any sort of objectivity whatsoever on the part of the reasons for this network. If the so called "liberal" media wants to make it fair, why react so intensely to something that isn't unfair?

Because of money (greed).

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?