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Online Database Allows Scientists To Recreate Early Telescopes

Covalent Last Post (52 comments)

Sorry, Dice...you lost a loyal reader.

soylentnews.org

Oh, and for the last time: BUCK FETA.

about 9 months ago
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If we Buck Feta and leave, where should we go?

Covalent Re:I have an idea... (17 comments)

I saw this, but sadly I don't think this will work. It seems like Dice is pretty convinced to move forward with its "modernization", and I can't see them allowing Classic mode to stick around.

I hope it does work, and I metamodded it up anyway...but I don't have high hopes.

about 10 months ago
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If we Buck Feta and leave, where should we go?

Covalent Re:altslashdot.org (17 comments)

Fascinating.

I'd hate to leave /. behind...but I just created an account over there, just in case.

about 10 months ago
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Three New Exoplanets Seen In Direct Photographs

Covalent Re:How long until strong evidence for life? (43 comments)

Good point. I suppose oxygen in an atmosphere isn't a dead lock that there's life there, although it wags its finger very suggestively.

If we do find free oxygen in an atmosphere, though, you can bet all eyes will be trained on that planet. What kind of technology would be required to confirm the presence of life visually? Obviously radio signals or something like that would be a clincher, but suppose the life there is non-technological. Could we ever "verify" that there was life on that planet without going there or sending a probe (which is currently not feasible)?

about a year ago
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Three New Exoplanets Seen In Direct Photographs

Covalent How long until strong evidence for life? (43 comments)

These planets are directly observable with current technology. Within 10 years, one would imagine that smaller, nearer-to-the-star planets will be directly viewed...perhaps even spectroscopy on the planet's atmosphere will be possible. The James Webb telescope might be able to do some of this as soon as 2017.

That said, will we see strong evidence for life on another world soon? My guess is that an atmosphere with gases that simply don't belong there in large quantities (dimethyl sulfide, free oxygen, etc.) will be found sooner rather than later...and that will more or less wrap it up.

about a year ago
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Have 100GB Free? Host Your Own Copy of Wikipedia, With Images

Covalent Don't Panic (151 comments)

Next year or so 100GB phones will be commonplace...and you will have your Hitchhiker's Guide.

Truly amazing times we live in.

1 year,1 day
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Ask Slashdot: Cheap Second Calculators For Tests?

Covalent I second this suggestion (328 comments)

TI36 solar is an excellent choice. All the functionality with very little extra. Look for a model that has the scientific notation button (EE) as the primary function. Some have it this way, while most have it as a second function. If you use this a lot, and I suspect you do, you'll find it much more convenient to not constantly push the 2nd button.

1 year,11 days
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Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Starts Generating Power

Covalent Um... (181 comments)

...I know, I know...tsunamis and typhoons don't cause much damage 12 miles from shore. But still, doesn't this seem like a somewhat poor location for a floating wind turbine? It's not anchored to the seafloor, which means that typhoons and storms could push it close to shore, and we've seen the kind of debris that can be produced by a tsunami.

Japan may not have a lot of power options, but it seems like this might not be the best choice...

1 year,16 days
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"Squishy Joints" May Have Helped Dinosaurs Grow To Giant Sizes

Covalent Um... (56 comments)

Dinosaurs and mammals were about the same size? Didn't you just get done telling us that dinosaurs were much larger than mammals just 2 sentences ago?

Sheesh. What journal was this published in again? The Bible?

about a year ago
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First Experimental Evidence That Time Is an Emergent Quantum Phenomenon

Covalent Time is dependent on observation? (530 comments)

I read this essentially as saying that without an observer, time does not exist. Essentially, a "god-like" observer does not observe any change unless he or she becomes entangled in the universe he or she is observing. That universe, therefore, is without change, and therefore timeless. However, observers that are entangled within the universe (as we are), observe change and thus the universe (to them) has time.

This sounds a fair bit like some of the effects of relativity (on the train the shots appear simultaneous...on the ground they do not).

What is most intriguing to me, though, is that if the universe is both timeless (from the outside) and has time (from the inside), is it possible for us to gain the outside perspective (or any information about that timeless perspective). This shouldn't necessarily be impossible - we would need to not become entangled in the thing we are trying to observe (which we can easily do). Perhaps observing the surrounding universe would give unentangled information about the experiment in question, and thus give us a glimpse of the future?

about a year ago
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Hubble Finds Sign That Habitable Planets Could Exist Beyond Solar System

Covalent More evidence of similarity (57 comments)

It seems that nearly every week there is an example of a new solar system with somewhat similar characteristics to our own. We've seen large planets, rocky planets, and now asteroids with high water content.

In 1995 my physics teacher told me we'd never have direct evidence of extrasolar worlds. Now I tell my physics students that I wouldn't be surprised if we found evidence of extrasolar life (probably in the form of a planet with a high concentration of oxygen in its atmosphere).

It's a great time to be alive and to be a scientist!

about a year ago
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Pluto's "Thick" Air Isn't Going Anywhere

Covalent Re:snow on a dwarf planet (42 comments)

Yes, but have we seen it snowING?

Further down someone mentioned Enceladus. That's a pretty good example, but I would argue that's not snow so much as volcanic (geyseric?) fallout. Not really atmospheric precipitation in the general sense.

Titan also appears to have snow and rain, though we haven't really seen it fall (though not for lack of trying).

Interestingly, on all of these worlds the substance being "snowed" is different. Water on Earth, Carbon Dioxide on Mars, Methane on Titan, and potentially Nitrogen on Pluto. I love science.

about a year ago
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Pluto's "Thick" Air Isn't Going Anywhere

Covalent Re: snow on a dwarf planet (42 comments)

Damn you autocorrect. Meant NH - New Horizons.

about a year ago
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Pluto's "Thick" Air Isn't Going Anywhere

Covalent snow on a dwarf planet (42 comments)

It will be interesting to see if DH spots any snow...so far as I know we haven't spotted active snowing on any body other than Earth.

about a year ago
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Link Rot and the US Supreme Court

Covalent Library of Congress 2.0 (161 comments)

This should be a mission of the Library of Congress - to archive everything ever used by the government (including court cases), be it on the Internet or not.

While they're at it, they can probably archive nearly everything else.

about a year ago
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Seagate's Shingled Magnetic Recording Tech Boosts HDD Capacities to 5TB and Up

Covalent 25% improvement in space ... (195 comments)

... for a significant reduction in speed?

No thanks.

about a year ago
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British TV Show 'Blackout' Triggers Online LOLs

Covalent People tweet dumb things...news at 11 (222 comments)

But is it news for nerds? Really? Do you really think most of these comments are not sarcastic?

about a year ago
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MIT Reports 400 GHz Graphene Transistor Possible With 'Negative Resistance'

Covalent And again.. (123 comments)

...graphene saves the world, creates amazing superproducts, and almost defies the laws of physics.

Cynicism aside, the research is exciting, but it's not likely to bear fruit any time soon.

about a year ago
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Hacking Lightbulbs To Cause a Sustained Blackout

Covalent multiple reasons not to include wireless (115 comments)

Security issues aside, wireless connectivity uses some small amount of power. To me this is energy wasting of the highest order. My lightbulbs constantly listening for the one time per month that maybe I want to turn them on from my phone? Yes please and a side of mountain top removal coal mining please!

about a year ago
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Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?

Covalent Despite all of the complaining about it... (627 comments)

...Ubuntu is still the easiest and most reliable for new users and works well enough for them that few need to leave.

about a year ago

Submissions

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If we Buck Feta and leave, where should we go?

Covalent Covalent writes  |  about 10 months ago

Covalent (1001277) writes "I am a long-time slashdot reader (don't let the UID fool you), and I agree with most of you that the Beta is a disaster. Dice has promised a fix, but what if this garbage is the new reality? Is there a suitable alternative to slashdot that members would find equally (or more) fulfilling? Is someone going to fork slashdot and start it anew (Taco can you hear me?) Or is this just the end of an era?"
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IsoHunt shut down

Covalent Covalent writes  |  about a year ago

Covalent (1001277) writes "From the article:

IsoHunt, a popular website offering BitTorrents of mostly pirated material, is to shut down following a court settlement. The site's owner, Canadian Gary Fung, has agreed to pay $110m (£68m) to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Will this have any impact at all, or is this just ensuring that 10 copies will appear in the coming weeks? Did you use IsoHunt and, if so, where will you turn now for torrents? How much did the MPAA spend to get a $110 million award (of which they will probably only receive a small fraction?)"
Link to Original Source

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Stallman: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

Covalent Covalent writes  |  about a year ago

Covalent (1001277) writes "RMS describes how much surveillance is too much (hint: it's all too much) and how to combat / circumvent / prevent future surveillance.

How much of what is suggested is plausible? How much is just a pipe dream? Discuss!"

Link to Original Source
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Large Hadron Collider May Have Produced New Matter

Covalent Covalent writes  |  about 2 years ago

Covalent (1001277) writes "The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator and the “Big Bang machine” that was used to discover what appears to be the long-sought Higgs boson particle (as announced July 4), may have another surprise up its sleeve this year: The LHC looks to have produced a new type of matter, according to a new analysis of particle collision data by scientists at MIT and Rice University.

The new type of matter, which has yet to be verified, is theorized to be one of two possible forms: Either “color-glass condensate” — a flattened nucleus transformed into a “wall” of gluons, which are smaller binding subatomic particles, or it could be “quark-gluon plasma,” a dense, soup or liquid-like collection of individual particles."

Link to Original Source
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What to do with found calculators

Covalent Covalent writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Covalent writes "I'm a science teacher and have, over the years, accumulated a number of lost graphing calculators (mostly TI-83s). After trying to locate the owners, I have given up and have been loaning them out to students as needed. I want to something more nerd-worthy with them, though. I would feel wrong for selling them. What is the best use for bunch of old calculators?"
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RIAA doesn't need the constitution

Covalent Covalent writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Covalent writes "As if we needed even more evidence, the California legislature is moving forward on a bill to allow law enforcement to search and seize disc-stamping equipment without a warrant.

How long until your home computer is ruled to be "disc-stamping" equipment?"

Link to Original Source
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Change in AT&T Terms of Service

Covalent Covalent writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Covalent writes "The new AT&T TOS was released today and it includes new language regarding "network management". In short, AT&T now reserves the right to cap your bandwidth and throttle your connection for whatever reason it sees fit, so long as it is "reasonable". It also includes new language regarding copyright infringement: "AT&T and Yahoo! assume no responsibility, and you assume all risks, regarding the determination of whether material is in the public domain, or may otherwise be used by you for such purposes."

Wanna guess if AT&T will turn over your information if subpoenaed?"

Link to Original Source

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