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Asteroid Passes Closer To Earth Than the Moon on Nov 8

BrightSpark The summery is Wrong ! ! (169 comments)

A hot topic indeed :-) After that comment comes a fall. Then a win to slash dot. Finally someone will spring to his defence to complete the circle. This comment donated by a seasoned slashdotter.

more than 2 years ago
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Russian Lie Detector ATM

BrightSpark We are being Conditioned (95 comments)

The youth of today are conditioned to give up every personal detail for any menial service offered by a provider. It is one short step from here to "Papiers!". If a service involves risk to the corporation, then that's their risk not mine. If you don't like the risk, don't offer the service that way. Get a knowledgable risk assessor to speak to me and size me up. I am the one with the money. You want to know if I'm trustworthy, well find out. Otherwise keep your business for the next schmuck who gladly gives you his privacy for a cheap bit of plastic. Do we wait to be chipped like dogs before we stick it to the man?

more than 3 years ago
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Stamping Out Low-Cost Nanodevices

BrightSpark Replacing Pigment Coatings? (24 comments)

It will be interesting to see if nano-suface treatment to give colour and patterns will one day be able to replace traditional pigment coatings where the coating is purely cosmetic. Time will tell.

more than 3 years ago
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Mitigating Fukushima's Dangers, 42 Days In

BrightSpark Re:Interesting radiation readings (245 comments)

To put this in perspective The Health Physics Society's position statement first adopted in January 1996, as revised in July 2010, states:[13] In accordance with current knowledge of radiation health risks, the Health Physics Society recommends against quantitative estimation of health risks below an individual dose of 5 rem in one year or a lifetime dose of 10 rem above that received from natural sources. Doses from natural background radiation in the United States average about 0.3 rem per year. A dose of 5 rem will be accumulated in the first 17 years of life and about 25 rem in a lifetime of 80 years. (See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_no-threshold_model) For the SI people in the world, 1 rem is 100Sv. So in 5 hours or so in the suppression chanmber you would get a years dose of radiation. Mind you, it would be worse in the reaction zone of a coal-fired power station.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Cars Drive Themselves, In Traffic

BrightSpark Re:On US 101? Irresponsible (293 comments)

Have you seen the lunatics out there? Give me a robot any day! We are given a licence (one test only) in our youth and then out you go, rain, hail or shine, fit or unfit, tired or not, drunk or senile or both. That's ignoring the meatheads who want to deliberately drive dangerously and those not paying attention on a mobile phone texting "RORL" (roll off road laughing). I see your point but lets move on.

more than 3 years ago
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The Sum Total of the World's Knowledge: 250 Exabytes

BrightSpark Downloading in Dark Ages (168 comments)

In 1992, when the Net was young(ish), I used a 300 baud modem on a 486DX2 PC with DOS and with a new text browser called "Lynx" (wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)). I would make descions on whether I would download the pictures with Zmodem or Kermit to view them. My patience dictated 11kb as the size limit. A year later, I used to envy those uni poeple connected to the main network using MOSAIC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_(web_browser) ,a precursor to Netscape and other browsers which showed you the pages in HTML form - usually on X on unix minicomputer. Happy days. Not much porn on the net back then. Says something about what "mainstream" means.

more than 3 years ago
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Aussie Retailers Lobby For Tax On Online Purchases

BrightSpark Hypocrisy on GST for Food (203 comments)

Food prices are also now controlled by just a few companies in Aussie and this is something you can't go without. It's bad enough that Nike shoes are over the top, but when it's meat and bread it really hurts. The GST is essentially a tax on locally produced goods to which value has been added or service performed. Raw food is exempted from GST, bust processed food isn't so it now seems that Coles and others have found their own GST loophole by importing partly processed food but claiming the exemption. They spend millions finding out how to get around the GST so it seems absolutely hypocritical to bluster on about us buying mountains of sub-$1k items from overseas. I agree with AbRASiON on this - it's not the 10% they're worried about, it's the other 40% on top! See ATO guide on which foods attract GST here - http://www.ato.gov.au/print.asp?doc=/content/18694.htm Just don't know how highly processed brekfast cereals gain an exemption (ask Mr - tax free - Kelloggs/Sanitarium) and of course the sugar lobby got white refined sugar GST-free somehow - can't live without that one :-) The whole GST application is a debacle. But AbASiON's ponit on gouging is valid - just try to buy books online and see what local suppliers think, never mind DVDs and MP3s.

more than 3 years ago
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Recalling Windows 1.0 At 25 Years

BrightSpark Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (384 comments)

Yup, I used Dosshell (ascii menuing system) on my IBM-Compatible (MS-DOS of course, not PC-DOS) rather than use anything that needed a mouse until I got my 286. Still, this was a vast improvement over the old 1983 Commodore64 and the tape drive, where a saved game or document was accessed by fast forwarding a standard audio cassette to a preset number you had written down, then type load" and play! Which in turn beats a stack of punch cards, typing blind with no monitor and asking an nice operator to pop your disk pack into a large washing machine for you :-) Happy days. Tell the young people of today that, and they won't believe yer!

more than 3 years ago
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UAV Helicopter Flies 12 Hours Charged By Laser

BrightSpark Re:weight (83 comments)

Of course, the payload would be tiny too, milligrams I would think. And you would have to hope there was no dung or fruit trees on the way. And you need to control what they think. Nothing insurmountable, but maybe but lets stick to what can do first :-)

more than 3 years ago
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40 Million Year Old Primate Fossils Found In Asia

BrightSpark Travelling Wilberries (91 comments)

Of course your African primates are non-migratory you see...

more than 3 years ago
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Online Banking Trojan Stole Money From Belgians

BrightSpark Re:We apologise for the fault in the Post (144 comments)

Marginally better than using a slash dot :-) I was quoting Monty Python who were using pidgin Swedish, plus the website used it that I copied it from.

about 4 years ago
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Flying Cars Hop Slightly Closer With FAA Weight Waiver

BrightSpark Re:Say what? (123 comments)

With you here. Most idiots can't control their clapped out Taurus's (or is that Tauri?) so how on earth will they manage flying? I see old farts pull out in carparks straight into each other all the time - even with just 30' of height that will be all over red rover! And don't start me on energy/benefit either. Do you really want to get to work quicker and pay more doing it? C'mon guys, we're /. nerds we can see past this one. Hey guys ....

more than 4 years ago
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Google Adds OCR To PDF and Images

BrightSpark Re:Google Captcha processor here I come!!!! (76 comments)

One of the easier ways to restrict how your words and ideas are searched and indexed on the net is to to hide them in plain sight. A jpg image of text is very dificult for a search engine to use, yet you and I can read and understand the data quite easily. This ability to scan on line has been around, but not mainstream to my knowledge. I'm guessing Google has been checking jpgs for text as a trial for some time. Once this is gone maybe ASCII art text will work for a while. Hiding/protecting data by steganography is detectable by scan now, eg http://www.outguess.org/detection.php so the battle continues. Of course one can work offline and send letters to each other and be protected by law :-) I wonder if one day sending stuff my mail will seem shady?

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Ends Plan To Put Man Back On Moon

BrightSpark Re:The U.S. then cedes space dominance then? (460 comments)

The US budget is $18.3b for NASA in 2010 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget. and The United States currently pays around $20 billion per year to farmers in direct subsidies as "farm income stabilization"[10][11][12] via U.S. farm bills - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_subsidy. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a federal government entity designed to supplement regular oil supplies in the event of disruptions due to military conflict or natural disaster, costs taxpayers an additional $5.7 billion per year. and who knows how many billion on protecting its gas corporations - http://www.progress.org/2003/energy22.htm. Space research is cheap, repays in technology dividends and uplifts people. Subsidies encourage the status quo and defer the inevitable.

more than 4 years ago
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New Zealand Joins Aussie Bid For Vast Radio Telescope Array

BrightSpark Three Cheers for the SKA (60 comments)

Australia has more square kilometres than most. Hip Hip Array!!

more than 4 years ago
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Air Force Sets Date To Fly Mach-6 Scramjet

BrightSpark Old Tech but New Challenges (252 comments)

The concept is not new but it is very difficult to turn it into practice. These guys at University of Queensland and others have been working on this for several years and have trialled severa prototypes before. http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=20718 Not bad without military budgets - beat them to the punch!

more than 4 years ago
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Vast Asteroid Crater Found In Timor Sea

BrightSpark Re:Formula for probability: (121 comments)

But not once we measure them. So we only find the 100% probability ones. The others have dead cats in them ;-p

more than 4 years ago

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