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Maryland Teen Wins World's Largest Science Fair

Chazerizer Re:Just don't try... (193 comments)

Especially the particle accelerator and the fusion reactor. No, I'm not kidding. And those weren't top prize winners.

more than 2 years ago
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Maryland Teen Wins World's Largest Science Fair

Chazerizer Re:Congratulations. (193 comments)

Actually, all of this is disclosed at the fair. Any student working in a high-end research lab (or frankly, any place more advanced than your standard high school lab) is required to submit forms signed by the head of said institutions and detail the size and scope of the involvement of the lab. This includes graduate student mentors, access to equipment, and other information.

more than 2 years ago
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Maryland Teen Wins World's Largest Science Fair

Chazerizer Re:I wonder... (193 comments)

Having judged at this fair, I can tell you the answer is none. I'm not saying there weren't projects that failed to live up to the expectations that the judges had, but nearly all of the projects were innovative in some way.

more than 2 years ago
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Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain

Chazerizer Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (250 comments)

There's really only one answer to the ears and mouth problem, which also happens to be one of my all time favorite pick-up lines: "Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?"

more than 4 years ago
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Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain

Chazerizer Re:Does it work in reverse? (250 comments)

No. Blood must be drawn directly from the venous system (or arterial system, depending on the goal). At that depth, there aren't even that many capillaries.

more than 4 years ago
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Scary Smartphone Motion Control Patent Granted

Chazerizer Re:motion detection? (163 comments)

Not as such. The method in question says specifically that the system involves PDAs and other such devices (claims 12-18 of the patent application). Additionally, as the conversation above asserts, the claims relate to reversal of motion in six directions. Since a mouse does not detect rotational movements or vertical movements (lifting the mouse off the desk does nothing), this would not constitute an infringement.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Announces "Game Room," Confirms Natal For Late 2010

Chazerizer Re:Credit suck (120 comments)

And their spiffy new search engine will do it automatically (just like google) to within the hour. Bing!

more than 4 years ago
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Bacteria Used To Make Radioactive Metals Inert

Chazerizer Re:radioactive bacteria (237 comments)

You scoff at the above poster, but there are (non-lethal) mutations possible that could make these particular bacteria more dangerous to people. A single mutation causes an amino acid change in the protein that converts uranium to uranite. Now, instead of uranium, it binds phosphorus (or calcium, or ferrous ions, or whatever) because its pore size is different. Instead of removing uranium for the water, it now creates large, insoluble phosphorus deposits. Even if the remaining bacteria remove the uranium, you are still left with a completely unlivable ecosystem for micro-organisms (and higher life forms which feed on them, and so on), because basic nutrients are in extremely short supply. In essence, you've traded one barren landscape for another, and that just fails to help anyone. This isn't a terribly likely scenario. 99.999% of mutations are likely to be either fatal to the microorganisms or irrelevant. On the other hand, if a group of bacteria are exposed to 10^m photons of gamma radiation...I'm guessing at least a few beneficial, non-desirable mutations could occur. They won't turn the microbes into the blob, but they could end up causing some very non-desirable effects.

more than 5 years ago
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Rude Drivers Reduce Traffic Jams

Chazerizer Re:Californians and their "log jams" (882 comments)

(a) Notwithstanding the prima facie speed limits, any vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall be driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(b) If a vehicle is being driven at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time, and is not being driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, it shall constitute prima facie evidence that the driver is operating the vehicle in violation of subdivision (a) of this section.

This is a pretty typical law - I know that PA has pretty much the same code. Doing a little quick research, State "keep right" laws - you can see that most states (31/50) have the exact same laws. Six states (IL,KS,KY,ME,MA,NJ) actually forbid use of the left lane, and two states (PA, WA) have a slight ban on the using the left. The rest of the states have no specific law, though all of these states require you not to obstruct the flow of traffic.

more than 5 years ago
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Rude Drivers Reduce Traffic Jams

Chazerizer Re:and yet NYC still has traffic jams (882 comments)

Yeah - I can't really complain about traffic (I'm from Pittsburgh. We have traffic, just not a lot of it.). But we still get this. On the two main highways, there are two major tunnels (Ft. Pitt Tunnel, Squirrel Hill Tunnel). Both are two lanes in each direction (separate tubes), and during rush hour are always a major point of congestion. Three of the four tunnel entrances are bottleneck points, meaning you expect them to back up at least a little. But the fourth is clear roadway for a solid mile up to the tunnel. I think that people are afraid the tunnel monster will awaken if they drive past too quickly. It's not so much that there is traffic. It's that when I see traffic for no reason, I'm hoping there's a pile corpses at the head of the line to justify it.

more than 5 years ago
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Could Betelgeuse Go Boom?

Chazerizer Re: We should get rid of the AC -1 modifier (383 comments)

I absolutely agree. Made my armor class 9, it did. That cursed armor is impossible to get rid of, and the kobolds keep smacking me around.

more than 5 years ago
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One Fifth of World's Population Can't See Milky Way At Night

Chazerizer Re:Unfortunate consequences of life (612 comments)

Actually, I think that the point still stands. Cars in similar circumstances (neighborhood parked in, type of car, etc.) are less likely to be broken into when parked in a big pool of light than on a street where no-one can see anything at all. Merely saying that someone can commit a crime in bright light is not saying that it's more likely. I would suggest that you examine news stories to see which phrase comes up more: "daring daytime robbery" or "daring nighttime robbery". I'm guessing you find the first one a lot more.

more than 5 years ago
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One Fifth of World's Population Can't See Milky Way At Night

Chazerizer Re:Unfortunate consequences of life (612 comments)

There's another thing here - you don't need a completely dark patch in order for the night sky to be seen in much of it's glory. I also spent a good chunk of time in Morgantown, WV (ok, it was actually a bad chunk of time, but you get my drift). Though there was a lot of ambient light (3 lights in front of my apartment building alone, one of about a dozen in the complex), all I had to do to get a fairly good view of the sky was tromp up the hill a ways so that some trees and ground were between me and the light. Granted, this was when the lights were off in the stadium down the hill, but the point remains the same. Although I couldn't make out every feature of the sky, I could definitely see the milky way and most of the familiar northern constellations, plus occasional satellites and planets.

more than 5 years ago
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One Fifth of World's Population Can't See Milky Way At Night

Chazerizer Unfortunate consequences of life (612 comments)

While it is a sad fact that you can't watch the night sky a lot of places (and it is - I remember taking a road trip from Chicago up to Wisconsin one night to watch a meteor shower), it seems to be an unfortunate necessity. Here's an analogy for those who don't get the point. If you've ever been camping, you know that if you want to stargaze, you have to wander away from the campfire. If its a group of 5 or so people camping, its a small fire, and it doesn't take you long to meander away, look up in awe, and wander back. Now increase your camp size. Now its fifty people. You have bigger fires, and probably more than one. You have enough people that at least one fire is burning all night. Increase size by another factor of ten and you find more fires. Now you probably qualify as a community. You probably have specialized fires for a blacksmith or other craftsman. You likely have dozens of fires, a good many of which will burn throughout the night. The distance you must walk increases proportionately. Now we're going to make the jump. With 10,000 times the residents of our hypothetical community, a large city would have 1000s of fires (now electric lights) to provide security. At this point - one has to travel a significant distance to really get a good look at the sky (from downtown Chicago, the distance is approximately 80 miles if you're traveling north). Yes it's sad - but in order to maintain dense civilizations that give us all the things that better the human condition, we must sacrifice some of those things. And as others have pointed out, it's not as if those things are completely gone. Take a bus or a train ride. Drive out to the middle of nowhere.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Rebrands Live Search As "Bing"

Chazerizer Re:I can already tell it's going to suck... (443 comments)

This is going to be designed for people who are actually clueless. I give you a direct quote from the page on the site. "While more searchable information is cool, nearly half of all searches don't result in the answer that people are seeking." I don't know about you, but I only fail to get the information I want if I'm looking for something really esoteric or poorly defined, like what the name of the bar is next door to where Fuddruckers used to be on the North Shore, or the name of the guy who invented the Eton Wall Game. You can't get that information on the web because it doesn't exist there (and may not exist anywhere). The problem with most of these comments is who they come from. Slashdotters (like myself), typically don't have a ton of problems with the internet. This isn't designed around us. It's designed for people who really have no idea how the whole thing works.

more than 5 years ago
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Sony CEO Proposes "Guardrails For the Internet"

Chazerizer Re:Because we were here first! (708 comments)

Anyone else find it ironic that step 3 is profit?

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Trying To Patent a 'Magic Wand'

Chazerizer Re:It's called a Wii-mote! (157 comments)

Even the director's wand at an orchestra is a form of remote. But not very advanced in itself.

The word you're looking for is "baton".

more than 5 years ago

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