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Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

ClickOnThis Re:I disagree! (138 comments)

Yes. The meter is defined as the distance light travels in 1/299792458 of a second in a vacuum, so GP was half right.

Half-right perhaps. But circular. S/he defined a second in terms of a metre and the speed of light, and then turned around and did the opposite, defining a metre in terms of a second and the speed of light.

2 days ago
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Librem: a Laptop Custom-Made For Free/Libre Software

ClickOnThis Re:Liberated? What about the hardware? (227 comments)

You have to take steps to make progress. You can take something useful and make it more open (like librem) or you could start from scratch and make something very basic that is completely open.

This. Stallman himself took the former, more pragmatic approach when he began Gnu. He started with an existing proprietary Unix system (Sun OS?) and used it to develop parts of Gnu, with the goal of replacing the entire OS eventually with Gnu.

4 days ago
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Winston Churchill's Scientists

ClickOnThis Re: Tony Blair quoting Churchill quoting Verne (75 comments)

Or you'd simplify the tax code, which would make it easier to spot them, and which would lead to less mistakes which means less fraud and less errors.

Fewer mistakes do not lead to fewer fraud cases. Fraudsters know they are cheating. They're not making 'mistakes.'

I'm not indisposed to simplifying the tax code, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that this would somehow 'simplify' the ever-inventive schemes of tax fraudsters.

about a week ago
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SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

ClickOnThis Re:Wait a minute (248 comments)

So what happens to the fluid?

Presumably, it just gets dumped out of the rocket somewhere.

about a week ago
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Obama Planning New Rules For Oil and Gas Industry's Methane Emissions

ClickOnThis No, cow belches are to blame (202 comments)

Fixed the subject for you. About 90% of the methane from cows comes from their belches. The rest comes from the other end, in the form of farts or outgassing feces.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Planning New Rules For Oil and Gas Industry's Methane Emissions

ClickOnThis Re:Emperor Obama (202 comments)

Don't cow farts account for the second highest source of methane? Well not cows alone but human created in cattle, manure storage farming etc. I think in 2002 or 2004 methane from cattle or human created accounted for the highest source of methane release beating out the oil fuel industry as highest contributor in the US for methane.

Actually, cow belches account for most (~90%) of the methane produced by cows. The remainder comes from the other end, either as farts or as outgasses from feces.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

ClickOnThis Re:Hakija (264 comments)

It's the Linux-haters who are being modded down in this thread.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

ClickOnThis Re:Hakija (264 comments)

Name 3.

You want 3? Here are ten. And there are more.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Says Drivers Must Not Have "Sex Disorders" To Get License

ClickOnThis Re: Counter Logic (412 comments)

AC got modded down, but is right. The word 'near' is an adjective in this context. It was a miss. What kind? A near miss.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

ClickOnThis Re:Free? (703 comments)

Education is already tax-subsidized. There's no way most of us could afford it if it weren't.

about two weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

ClickOnThis Re:Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

Live remote viewing implies broadcasting, and that raises the question of the intended audience, and of the expected fate of the rifle-operator.

To me, the situations that would "require" live viewing instead of a static file after the fact are one or more of the following:

1. The audience has a real-time tactical interest in the video.
2. The rifle-operator may not be able to provide a static file later (i.e., may be captured or killed.)
3. The rifle-operators or their organization wish to send a real-time message, whose impact would be reduced if it were displayed after the fact.

The only groups I can associate with the above situations are the military (1,2) and terrorists (2,3) with obvious differences in their respective objectives and rules of engagement. One can imagine many benign consumer-oriented situations that might use this technology, but none of them really require live-streaming.

about two weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

ClickOnThis Re:Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

Maybe because of the lack of rifle able to aim from a mile afar and, at the same time, broadcasting it live to the Internet.

No, because they had to enter the building in order to see their targets. They forced one of the employees to surrender her pass-code in order to enter the offices.

about two weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

ClickOnThis Re:Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

I can see where it would be beneficial to some types of training - working on follow through, etc. for shooting skeet, trap, or sporting clays. Or working on control for position shooting matches.

Fair enough, although live-streaming isn't crucial for those applications.

But for the common consumer end user? Pure novelty. And we've been doing similar for a long time - taking pictures or video thru scopes, etc. so it really isn't much new.

It's the live-streaming that gives me pause. Real-time remote viewing might be useful for the military, but in consumer hands it seems like sick voyeurism.

about two weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

ClickOnThis Re:Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

Live-streaming of a rifle-scope? That sounds like death-porn. Who's the audience?

And what's next? Cameras installed in the bullets?

Despite the chill this technology gives me, I can see military applications (e.g., real-time mission-monitoring) but its use by consumers makes no sense to me.

That's what I was thinking...but with a chilling difference. Imagine if the shooters in the Paris attack had something like this, and chose to shoot their targets at distance, while producing videos they could later put up on YouTube? Not good...

It's worse: the rifle live-streams to the internet. So, even if the attackers don't survive (though they likely will if they're a mile away) their deeds are broadcast already to the world.

That said, the Paris terrorists went inside a building to kill their targets, so long range wasn't really a factor.

about two weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

ClickOnThis Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

Live-streaming of a rifle-scope? That sounds like death-porn. Who's the audience?

And what's next? Cameras installed in the bullets?

Despite the chill this technology gives me, I can see military applications (e.g., real-time mission-monitoring) but its use by consumers makes no sense to me.

about two weeks ago
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"Disco Clam" Lights Up To Scare Predators Away

ClickOnThis Re:Useless site (49 comments)

Smoke signals? You were lucky.

In my community, we haven't even developed recognisable language. We still communicate using grunting and facial expressions.

And yet you seem more eloquent than many posters on slashdot.

about two weeks ago
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Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

ClickOnThis Re:An adjunct proposition (300 comments)

There may be attractive alternatives, but there are no practical alternatives to paper.

I respectfully disagree. Tablets, for example, are an attractive and practical alternative to paper. My point is that they will never kill paper -- in fact, nothing will.

I was hoping some other examples besides paper would be mentioned in this thread. Anyone?

about three weeks ago
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Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

ClickOnThis An adjunct proposition (300 comments)

An adjunct proposition to consider is that certain technologies will never disappear, no matter how many attractive alternatives arise.

I'll offer one example right now: paper.

Discuss.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Giving a voice to ALS patients

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about a year ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "We are all familiar with the speech synthesizer used by Stephen Hawking, famous physicist and ALS patient. He has heard the synthesizer's accent described as Scandinavian, American or Scottish although he has learned to identify with it. But what if an ALS patient could speak with her/his own voice? Former helicopter mechanic and now ALS patient Cal Moore can do just that. Moore, with the help of speech pathologist Roberta Kelley at Seattle's Virginia Mason Hospital, began recording his own voice years ago, before the disease began to affect his speech. He can play back, in his own voice, phrases such as "I feel tired", "You know what? Your driving sucks" and others. The process, known as voice-banking, was invented by speech pathologist John Costello at Boston Children's Hospital. Granted, it's not exactly a synthesizer, and obviously it requires sampling of the patient's unaffected voice in advance. But couldn't this be a precursor to other technologies that could synthesize arbitrary phrases in a patient's own voice, from pre-sampled phonemes?"
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Programmer Outsources His Own Job to China

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 2 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "A USA-based programmer with Verizon oursourced his own job to a third-party contractor in Shenyang, China. He got away with the ruse for months until Verizon became suspicious of the traffic on his home-office VPN, and noticed that his in-office activities were perfunctory. From the article: "[T]he employee — identified only as “Bob” — used his 9-to-5 hours to peruse Reddit, watch cat videos, update his Facebook profile and shop on eBay." He paid the contractor $50,000 of his six-figure salary annually, and pocketed the difference. What is particularly irksome is that many blog posts on the Verizon website are praising him for his "business savvy.""
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Laser Technology May Reduce Military Friendly-Fire

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN has a story on the use of laser-based identification technologies to reduce friendly-fire incidents. From the article: 'The DCID-TALON works when its user spots a target in his or her scope. The shooter aims the device, which sends an encoded message by laser beam. If the target is friendly, the message will reflect off of the target’s retroreflectors (they are the size of a postage stamp and can be embedded in the soldier’s helmet and uniform; each soldier would be outfitted with multiple retroreflectors), and the device will display the word "friend."'"
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Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "BusinessWeek.com has an article on a speech given by Dr. Ari Jaaksi, VP of Nokia, at the Handset World conference. He claimed open-source software developers need to be "educated" on how the mobile industry works, particularly on the "business rules" that they need to obey, which include embracing "DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models." From the article: "Why do we need closed vehicles? We do," he said. "Some of these things harm the industry but they're here [as things stand]. These are touchy, emotional issues but this dialogue is very much needed. As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too." There is also some discussion about Maemo, the Linux OS that runs on Nokia's N800-series tablets, as well as Nokia's recent acquisition of Trolltech (makers of the Qt widget kit) and possible consequences for the mobile application market."
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Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" [rev

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "[a few corrections and additions...]

Candidates I'd like to see on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

OJ Simpson
Jenna Jameson
Richard Stallman
Kevin Mitnick
Alberto Gonzales
Uwe Boll
Hello Kitty Robo
The "Duke Nukem Forever" development team
A Beowulf cluster of Cowboy Neals"
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Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "People I'd like to see on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

OJ Simpson
Jenna Jameson
Richard Stallman
Alberto Gonzales
Uwe Boll
Hello Kitty Robo
The "Duke Nukem Forever" development team
A Beowulf cluster of Cowboy Neals"
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FCC opens door for US media consolidation

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "The Guardian has a story about Tuesday's 3-2 vote by the FCC in the USA to relax significantly the media ownership rules set in 1975. These rules were put in place to prevent a single individual or company from controlling too many sources of information in a city. Critics are understandably concerned with the effects of such consolidation on minority businesses and the public interest, not to mention the suppression of dissenting viewpoints. Of particular concern is the Commission's decision to have a short 30-day period for public comment, instead of the usual 90 days. From the article: '"The agency has treated the public like children allowed to visit the cockpit on an airliner," Democratic commissioner Michael Copps said, "not allowed to fly the plane but allowed a brief false moment to believe they are".' Curiously, the story has had no discernable coverage in the US media. One wonders why..."
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OpenOffice 2.3 released

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "Surely I'm not the only one who noticed that OpenOffice.org has announced the release of version 2.3. From the website: "Available for download now, OpenOffice.org 2.3 incorporates an extensive array of new features and enhancements to all its core components, and protects users from newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It is a major release and all users should download it. Plus: It is only with 2.3 that users can make full use of our growing extensions library." You can download it but be kind and use a P2P client instead, such as bittorrent."
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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 8 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN reports that the space shuttle Discovery will be launched on December 6, in part to avoid concerns about operating the shuttle through midnight on New Year's Eve. From the article: The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1. "We've just never had the computers up and going when we've transitioned from one year to another," said Discovery astronaut Joan Higginbotham. "We're not really sure how they're going to operate." The article goes on to explain that the decision was simply one of prudence, because the shuttle hasn't been certified to fly in that time period."
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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 8 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN reports that Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara have announced the development of a hybrid silicon laser that could lead to dramatic improvements in the speed and cost of computer systems and data networks. From the article: "The development makes it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, addressing one of the major hurdles in advancing the use of so-called "silicon photonics" in computers and data centers". The press release on the Intel website has additional details."

Journals

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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Electronic voting machines have been an incendiary topic on Slashdot for a very long time, and for good reason. Software errors, cheesy hardware, political patronage to put them in place, strong-arm tactics by the manufacturers to cover up flaws, not to mention the impossibility of verifying results...there's not much to like. And it seems that any technically-minded person is (rightly) well aware of the vulnerabilities of e-voting, and is unequivocally in favor of a paper trail to verify voter intent.

Obviously I come to bury e-voting, not to praise it. But there is something that continues to trouble me as very strange: the consistent reports of unreliability in the software that runs these machines. How can it be that difficult to write software that simply counts votes? It seems like a straightforward exercise in software engineering. Yet the problems with voting machines appear to be far out of proportion to their inherent technical simplicity.

Only for the sake of argument, let's ask: are the programmers that write this software blissfully incompetent, brazenly reckless or have they embraced a covenant that is unwholsomely against the mainstream of democracy? I can't accept any of the above as true. So, what's going on? Are these machines (or the process that manufactures them) "broken by design", and if so, why?

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