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Canadian Government Trucking Generations of Scientific Data To the Dump

Crazy Taco Re:Lost in a dump. Lost in Dartmouth. No differenc (209 comments)

To researchers, academics, students and even everyday folk in Canada's most populous areas (Alberta, Ontario and Quebec), it really makes no difference if the material is in a dump somewhere, or if it's in obscure, out-of-the-way towns or cities like Sidney and Dartmouth. It's just about as inaccessible either way.

Inaccessible? Because they suddenly don't have the Internet in Canada, which according to the article, is how 95% of the documents in that library were being requested anyway? Seems to me they've made it accessible not just to Canada's most populous areas, but to anyone anywhere in the world.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

Crazy Taco Re:Colo? (285 comments)

One other note: this works as long as you have any semi-private place at work where you can put the drive. It could be a desk drawer or something else. I don't see any reason why there is a requirement that it be stored at a site you "own and control". Just put heavy AES encryption on the backups as I do, just in case the drive falls into other hands. Then your only real risk is financial loss of the disk itself. I know other people at my workplace that all do the same thing. And if you want heavier security and don't mind paying for it and taking extra time, a safe deposit box at a local bank is a good fallback, and certainly much cheaper then a colo. You'd have to have pretty deep pockets for colo space and the bandwidth to back up to and from that location, making it impractical for most people.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

Crazy Taco Re:Colo? (285 comments)

A colocation center? Do the initial backup locally then use something to replicate changes in the future?

Too painful and expensive. This can be made much simpler. I have two sets of backups I keep: an internal 2 TB hard drive for local backups, and a pair of 1 TB external drives for off site backups. Every Monday, I unplug the external drive at my house as I head out the door for work. At work, I put it into my locker and retrieve the other drive, which I bring home with me when I leave for the day. When I get home, I plug it into the vacant USB and power cord, and presto: it's online and ready for backup! My software (I use ShadowProtect Desktop) does a full backup of the machine every Sunday night, so Monday mornings it is always ready for the swap again. It's a very quick and painless way to have offsite backups without spending a fortune on comparatively slow Internet bandwidth.

about 5 months ago
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HP Sues Seven Optical Drive Makers Over Price-Fixing

Crazy Taco Re:oh look (91 comments)

Not only that, but it has taken an awfully long time for the price of Blu-Ray drives to really drop... maybe there was some fixing going on. I wouldn't be shocked.

about 6 months ago
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Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

Crazy Taco Re:Probably Obama. Or the Tea Party. (569 comments)

The communications market is so "deregulated" that monopolism takes over, with deliberate barriers to entry placed by noncompete agreements and dirty tactics. And yet so many people think anarcho-libertarian, "laissez faire" deregulation will somehow make their lives better in every aspect.

That's not true at all. Try opening up a new cable company in your local town, or opening up a new power plant and running new wires to all the houses. Oh, that's right, you can't, because the government has decided that it would be inefficient to have more than one set of power lines, or water lines, or cable lines, or telephone lines, etc, going into a single home. So they allow one provider to service the whole town and be a government sanctioned monopoly. That's hardly "deregulation"... in fact, it's the epitome of the government regulating and controlling everything.

about 6 months ago
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Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

Crazy Taco That's overly simplistic - population density key (569 comments)

It's always a bad idea to compare the US to Europe or Asia. These kinds of comparisons always end up being overly simplistic. The US is a VERY decentralized nation in terms of population, and we have a far lower population density than they do. Compare Houston to Tokyo, for example... Tokyo is tightly packed and Houston is sprawling everyone. It's much easier to bring cheap, high speed broadband to a bunch of tiny, densely packed apartments than it is to bring it to every country lane. Asian and European cities are much more like LANs, and US cities are like WANs, to put it another way. If you want LAN speeds in the much less densely populated US, it is going to be very costly.

about 6 months ago
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Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

Crazy Taco Re:Gov't project (516 comments)

They're built by lowest bidders Serco and QSS Inc. Neither an American company. If they had decided to hire Americans to do this job, they would have had a very large pool of qualified and skilled workers from which to choose.

I disagree. I've worked with American, Indian and Chinese developers, and you know what the number one issue is? It's not lack of qualification, it's lack of testing! Most developer HATE testing no matter which country they are from, and therefore don't do it. And you know what kind of testing they really, really, really hate? Load Testing! It is especially hated because you can't just generate large loads from your laptop... you actually have to set up dedicated load balancing agents to really simulate a large load. Setting up the load testing environment takes quite a bit more effort than most other kinds of testing, such as unit testing. So, it gets skipped all the time, and bites project after project. And I guarantee you load testing was never done on this site, and probably would have been skipped even if Americans were doing it, unless they were especially conscientious and hard working developers, which most aren't.

about 6 months ago
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What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?

Crazy Taco Re:I can think of one that Steve Jobs disagreed wi (598 comments)

I'd be interested to know what line of work you do, programming wise. My experience tells me that a lot of programming that is being done is meant to be powerful and meant to be built quickly. Running quickly and with low tolerance for faults is a little less important because very few things are mission critical. While anathema to the academic, it demands a certain skill set, which is the ability to very quickly assimilate new arbitrary knowledge about libraries, software, and code, that the programmer hasn't seen before. The result is a fragile sort of knowledge that often lacks formality and granularity but is sufficient enough to accomplish a task very quickly.

There is definitely some truth to what you say. I started out as a programmer in 2007 but quit programming and went into infrastructure/systems engineering after my first programming job precisely because of what you just described. I got into computers and programming initially because I had a desire to cultivate a deep understanding of the computer and how it worked, and I discovered very quickly that modern programming is all about the latest "shiny new framework" and slapping something together as quickly as you can (the politically correct term for this is, of course, agile). That's all well and good, and there is a definite place for that because speed to market is very important in a competitive environment. And a lot of people really seem to enjoy that style of rapid development at the expense of truly understanding what is going on. But it wasn't for me.

That said, there is also truth to what the grandparent said when he posted this:

I wasn't saying a programmer should write everything from scratch every day. But if you don't know how to, you're SOL and at everybody else's mercy when something goes wrong. You're costing your company money. Because things inevitably go wrong.

Those people with the "fragile sort of knowledge" are at everyone's mercy when things go wrong. They literally have no clue where to go next or how to troubleshoot if things don't work exactly right. And in my company, it's me and others at the heart of the infrastructure devops teams who they come to when things go down, because we are the ones who actually understand how it all really works underneath the high level frameworks and scaffolding. We understand the networking, the HTTP, the authentication protocols, languages and everything else at the bottom. The best programmers, at least at this company, are the ones who did those rapid development jobs for just a few years and moved as quickly as they could into backend "Developer Center of Excellence" type teams, where their job is to support other developers, create standards, write programs designed for the infrastructure as a whole and therefore learn the deeper points of the technologies.

Conclusion: The grandparent is right when he says that the best programmers understand how things work under the hood and could write these objects from scratch if they had to. But you are right when you say that not all programmers have to be at that level in order to do something effective. Both types are essential to organization, because you have to have people fast enough to outmaneuver the competition, but also really solid people in reserve to back up the quick and dirty developers when things go wrong.

about 6 months ago
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Probe of Einstein's Brain Reveals Clues To His Genius

Crazy Taco Re:Yet Another Einstein Article (195 comments)

are cells Turing machines?

Yes, they are. They are state machines (proteins, chemical substances, and other such items keeping state) with a semi-infinite tape (ie - DNA).

about 6 months ago
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Probe of Einstein's Brain Reveals Clues To His Genius

Crazy Taco Re:Yet Another Einstein Article (195 comments)

No, sorry, but this is a fractally wrong statement to make. With sufficient curiousity, you will be dedicated to learning as much as you can. The drive to learn will push you where you need to go. Intelligence merely sets the speed by which you'll arrive. Your over-emphasis on intelligence is elitism; It's suggesting that if you can't be "smart enough", you shouldn't be in science.

This is a nice thought, but patently untrue. It's like saying that anyone can be an NFL football player, and your level of physical talent and ability merely dictates the speed by which you'll arrive. But that isn't actually true. Without sufficient "speed" you'll never arrive, and it's the same in science. You may have the curiosity, but without the mental talent and aptitude you'll be forever beaten to new discoveries by all the other scientists who not only have your curiousity, but also the mental aptitude you lack.

Sure, anyone can play football and throw the ball around, but most don't have what it takes to play in the NFL. Similarly, everyone can learn the basics about the scientific method and learn to think in an empirical way, but not everyone has what it takes to be a professional scientist, or to make major scientific discoveries like Einstein did.

about 6 months ago
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Probe of Einstein's Brain Reveals Clues To His Genius

Crazy Taco Re: Hiring and admission decisions (195 comments)

Yet I would argue true geniuses need the support structure the Steve Jobs/Edisons/etc can provide to realize their potential.

I think this is right on, but it extends much farther than just "true geniuses". Personally, I'm one of those highly technical people who are really good at the nitty gritty details of making technology work, but as I've learned more about myself over the years I've realized that I need to make sure I stay in the technical arena, rather than going into management or some of the purely "visionary" roles, because the high level of technical talent I have doesn't mean I have a commensurately high level of visionary talent. I've learned that a good idea for me is to seek out the visionary types in my organization and try to get myself onto their projects, because they can supply overall direction and I can provide a really good technical implementation. I'm not trying to compare myself to Woz, Einstein, Tesla, or these other geniuses, because I'm not nearly that smart, but I do think the principle extends to me an many others. There is an almost symbiotic relationship that can be had when technical people realize they need visionaries, and visionaries respect and treat the technical people well. I think it applies to much of industry, not just super geniuses and super visionaries.

about 6 months ago
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Australia Elects Libertarian-Leaning Senator (By Accident)

Crazy Taco Re:Voting "Accident"? I think not. (343 comments)

Lazy voters here just complete the part of the ballot that selects the President (which is by far the highest profile election on the paper) and submit that.

I think that's a good thing. If the only thing they are following is the presidential race, then that's all they should vote on. I personally won't vote on any race I haven't thoroughly researched, as I want to leave the decision up to those who know something about it. (For the record, I do try to research every race beforehand, but if there's some judge up for election and I know nothing about their legal opinions, what grounds do I have for deciding whether they should stay or not?)

Personally, I wish more people would vote only on races they understand, rather than voting straight "R" or "D" on every race. I'm a Republican, but there are from time to time completely corrupt Republicans that should not be re-elected. Also, their are unprincipled Republicans that likewise should not be re-elected. And I know the same is true on the Democrat side... the re-election of Jesse Jackson Jr. even though the FBI said he committed felony campaign finance fraud would be a great example. If you don't know anything about it, leave it blank.

about 7 months ago
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Why Your Users Hate Agile

Crazy Taco Re:Developers hate Agile too (597 comments)

99% of the "agile" efforts I've seen used agile as an excuse to avoid whatever part of the SDLC annoyed them most.

This is totally true. And I think the main part of the SDLC they try to avoid is planning. I've both been a developer and had developers writing automation code as projects for me as an infrastructure engineer, and the most frequent abuse is zero planning. And that's the thing that makes agile seem endless to users like me. The developers keep having to rewrite everything every dang sprint because they didn't put enough planning into the architecture to make it flexible enough to meet the requirements. And speaking of requirements gathering, that consisted of getting a bunch of user stories and then diving straight into coding, rather than taking the time to get into the true details and really flesh what the users needed. Which is another agile abuse.

I'm honestly getting pretty darn sick of agile, because even with the defects in other paradigms, I think better software was developed more quickly. It's amazing what a little up front thought (which most other paradigms call for) will get you. And again, a lot of people will argue that it's not agile that is the problem, but the abuse of agile. I agree in theory that abuse of agile is the problem, but since 99% of projects seem to do agile wrong in practice, it might be time to throw the baby out with the bath water and get a new paradigm that isn't so easily misinterpreted.

about 10 months ago
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Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

Crazy Taco Re: increases exponentially (272 comments)

Meant to say sublight speeds in the above post... Darn autocorrect.

1 year,2 days
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Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

Crazy Taco Re: increases exponentially (272 comments)

You make the assumption that they would think it is worth trying to travel at sunlight speeds. Our race has little interest in a voyage to even the nearest star if it is going to take that long. My guess is that if they didn't have an FTL drive they would even start, at least if they are anything like us. They might launch a Voyager like spacecraft, but they'd likely lose contact with it before it got anywhere interesting. as for going to the effort to make something more robust, it's still unlikely they'd undertake anything that takes millions of years to get a return. Can you imagine the taxpayers of any nation undertaking any project that takes millions of years to reach its goal, if it ever does?

1 year,2 days
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Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

Crazy Taco Re: increases exponentially (272 comments)

That makes a couple bad assumptions. First, we don't know how to protect humans from Cosmic radiation on even a short voyage, let alone a super long 300 year voyage. Second, the advances of our civilization depend on having a very large population in which people can specialize in just about every possible way. I doubt you could make a spacecraft big enough to carry all the different kinds of specialists you'd need at the other end to even rebuild a rocket of known design. You'd have to be able to fully colonize and exploit the world and train all the different kinds of scientists and engineers you'll need to design new rockets and systems to cope with different conditions and resources on alien worlds. So even if you could survive the voyage, 300 years and then launching new expeditions seems ridiculously optimistic.

1 year,2 days
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Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

Crazy Taco Re: Looks like creationism... (272 comments)

Dude, that's really ignorant. Life is WAY to complex to be reduced to what you are describing. The process involved in just DNA replication (not counting the transcription and translation processes involved in protein synthesis) in even the simplest prokaryotic cells involves more than 30 specialized proteins that perform the tasks of accurately copying the genetic material. They include DNA polymerases, primases, helicases, topoisomerases, DNA binding proteins, DNA ligases, and editing enzymes. And these are just for simple prokaryotes, not eukaryotes. All these protein mechanisms MUST be present for just this one process in this one simple form of life. but there's a major chicken and the egg problem here: the information on how to build the proteins necessary to do DNA duplication is encoded on the DNA. So you have to have the cellular machinery to use the DNA information, but you can't build the machinery until you have the information from DNA. Having just DNA is like having an x86 executable program that knows how to manufacture both a brand new computer and the machines necessary to build that computer... It's not going to get far if you have only that program and no existing machines for it to make use of. And having just amino acids or proteins is no better than just having the machinery... It's going to just sit there unless you have a program to run it. This new theory (and all theories along this line) are totally bizarre because they fail at a fundamental level to account for what life is. Having an Amino acid or even a random chain of them gets you no closer to life than having base elements swirling around. You need the entire system: both the information as stored on DNA and molecular equipment that can process that information. You can't just have an amino acid chain form over here and have another form over there and somehow get life from that. A self replicating machine with encoded information about how to build itself is clearly more than a random assemblage of chemicals on an asteroid, or even in an ocean. For any origin theory to succeed it must provide an explanation of these things: 1. It must explain the origin of the system for storing and encoding digital information in the cell. 2. It must explain the origin of the information itself that is stored in DNA 3. It must explain the origin of the integrated complexity, or functional interdependence, of the cell's information processing system. This is why, like it or not, there is no plausible naturalistic origin theory at this time. It is why Intelligent Design can't be gotten rid of... It is the only theory that currently offers an explanation that accounts for these three points. You may not like the explanation, but the only cause we know of that leads to the effect of having information or information processing systems is intelligence. There is no known chemical process or law of nature that would lead to an integrated, information processing system that contains the information necessary to replicate itself. High school textbooks often get this next point wrong: Natural Selection is not a possible theory, because it presupposes the existence of life that it can act upon. Getting the first life requires a different origin theory, and as yet there aren't any other than intelligent design that can account for all the evidence. This is the very reason famous Athiest Antony Flew became a diest. Sorry to get on my soapbox, but these ignorant theories that come out every day about life magically happening on an asteroid, or life magically arising because a world happens to have water are really starting to irritate me. It's only a plausible theory if it can account for everything we currently know. I'm interested in hearing all theories that can do this, naturalistic or otherwise, but if it can't even explain the basic facts that must be explained, the don't call it an origin theory, don't pretend it's legitimate, and don't waste the electrons sending it to me.

1 year,2 days
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Netflix Wants To Go HTML5, But Not Without DRM

Crazy Taco Re: Silverlight greatness (394 comments)

There's quite a bit more to it then that. How about the feature where Netflix figures out what shows I like based on what I watch (and data about what other people watching the show watch)? I have found and watched all kinds of older TV shows that I've never heard of that are really great shows. Torrent clients don't do that either.

1 year,2 days
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How To Communicate Faster-Than-Light

Crazy Taco Re:April fools again? (265 comments)

I'm not from Britain, but I know you will have to pry their pints away from their cold, dead hands...

1 year,16 days
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IEEE Launches 400G Ethernet Standards Process

Crazy Taco Re:And nothing of value was added (94 comments)

The only reason I use checks anymore is because of mistakes made by others.

I have another reason for paying by check. It's because I'm forced to by idiotic government agencies that are still stuck in the past. For example, I just got my Minnesota license plate renewal form mailed to me. It said I can pay online electronically or mail in a check. I go online and I'm told that I will be charged a "handling fee" of $2.95 if I pay electronically. What a bunch of clowns must work at the DMV! Since when do you want to encourage people to pay in a way that requires manual processing labor? Most businesses are long past this, but I guess the government would prefer to grow and keep as many people on the payroll as possible rather than become more efficient and shrink headcount. I of course paid by check to avoid the extra charge, so some paper pusher will end up manually have to open my letter, enter my information into a system, manually deposit the check, etc. Way to go DMV.

And state government says our taxes aren't high enough and that they need to be raised again. Whatever.

1 year,16 days

Submissions

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New Home Sales Plunge 33 percent with tax credits

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "

Sales of new homes collapsed in May, sinking 33 percent to the lowest level on record as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer receive government tax credits.

The bleak report from the Commerce Department is the first sign of how the end of federal tax credits could weigh on the nation's housing market.

The credits expired April 30. That's when a new-home buyer would have had to sign a contract to qualify.

"We fear that the appetite to buy a home has disappeared alongside the tax credit," Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics," wrote in a note. "After all, unemployment remains high, job security is low and credit conditions are tight."

Not to make this too political, but there have been many free market economists predicting that this exact event would happen for some time. They have been warning that housing may not have bottomed out yet and that the apparent recovery was just government stimulus in the form of tax credits, and that the house of cards would come crashing down when the tax credits expired, just like cash for clunkers did. Given that this US administration frequently calls on its critics to "listen to science" (global warming, etc), should they be called out and held accountable for ignoring good economic science? And is this also a sign that we ought to do an about face on our economic policy and return to capitalism?"
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How much geek cred do ./s really have?

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "The "Computer Nerds Acronym" quiz gives you four minutes to define twenty computer related acronyms. I would be willing to wager that a higher percentage of /.s will be able to get a perfect score than the general population, but that most won't have the breadth of experience to get them all.

http://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/computer-nerd-acronyms-quiz.php"

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Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "Ars Technica has a story about a patent lawsuit by an obscure company that has resulted in Microsoft being court ordered to stop selling word.

Yesterday, a judge issued an injunction that, if it remains in force, would compel Microsoft to stop selling recent versions of its phenomenally popular program, Word. The injunction is the latest round in an intellectual property battle that's been brewing since May, when a jury found Microsoft guilty of infringing a patent held by a Canadian company called i4i. Ironically, the patent in question covers a method of separating formatting information from runs of text when documents are written to files--something Microsoft itself received a patent for just this week. Unfortunately, the folks in Redmond filed theirs six months behind the competition.

So the 10,000 dollar question: Is this a legitimate case, or another case of a patent troll just waiting to sue somebody?"
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Microsoft donates 20,000 lines of code to Linux

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "p>Tom's Hardware is reporting that Microsoft is finally giving something to Linux for free: 20,000 lines of code released under the GPLv2. According to the article:

The code is for three Linux device drivers, which will enhance the performance of the Linux operating system when virtualized on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.

"This is a significant milestone because it's the first time we've released code directly to the Linux community. Additionally significant is that we are releasing the code under the GPLv2 license, which is the Linux community's preferred license," said Tom Hanrahan, director of Microsoft's Open Source Technology Center (OSTC). "Our initial goal in developing the code was to enable Linux to run as a virtual machine on top of Hyper-V, Microsoft's hypervisor and implementation of virtualization."

In all likelihood, this will be a win for Microsoft as well as Linux, because it allows companies to settle on a single virtual machine platform (Microsoft's) and consolidate all their Linux and Windows servers on top of it."
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Not Again... Windows 7 comes in multiple versions

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "Tom's Hardware reports on newly discovered screenshots that reveal that Microsoft is planning to release their newest version of Windows in multiple confusing versions... again. The information comes from the latest version of the Windows 7 beta, build 7025 (the public beta is build 7000), and shows a screen during installation that asks the user which version of the OS he or she would like to install. Who's up for guessing what the difference is between Windows 7 "Starter" and Windows 7 "Home Basic"?"
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UCLA group discovers humungous prime number

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "Researchers at UCLA discovered the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. This particular prime number is a whopping 13 million digits long, and is the eighth Mersenne prime discovered at UCLA. The discovery makes them eligible for a 100,000 dollar prize which could be awarded when the new prime is published, probably next year."
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Spore DRM protest appears to have been successful

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "The heavy Amazon.com protest of Spore's DRM appears to have caught the attention of executives at EA. After receiving a 1 star rating for Spore on Amazon, ign.com reports that the DRM for the soon to be released Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 will be scaled back. Unlike previous Command and Conquer games, the CD will not be required to be placed in the drive to play, the online authentication will be one time (rather than periodic phone calls home), and up to five installations will be allowed, as opposed to three for Spore.

While I still think 5 installations is too small (I've probably re-installed Command and Conquer Generals 20 times over the years due to PC reformats, getting a new PC, etc), EA says they will have staff standing by to grant more installations as necessary on a case by case basis. So while this isn't optimal, at least we are getting a compromise, and hopefully if the piracy rate for the game is low, perhaps EA will get comfortable enough to ship with even less DRM in the future."

Link to Original Source
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Chrome Day 2, Vulnerability 1

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "The chrome browser has only been out one day and already a vulnerability has been found. Interestingly enough, the bug is in the webkit rendering engine, which is used by both Chrome and Apple's Safari. However, Apple's browser, despite having been out for much longer, is actually more current than Chrome. Safari uses the newer version of webkit (which incidentally is patched for this), whereas Chrome uses an older version and remains wide open to the exploit.

This problem brings up the question of why people still haven't gotten their act together when it comes to patching in a timely fashion. Especially in this case, since there is no easier time to fix problems than BEFORE you launch and put something into production."

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Flash may hinder further Firefox, Chrome adoption

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "According to a review done by Peter Svensson, the performance of Flash may be the biggest driver of IE 8 adoption, and the lack of performance in Firefox and Chrome may be deal killers for those platforms.

Flash is a tremendous resource hog in Firefox, eating up processor time to the point where there is nothing left for other programs. It does this even if you're not actively doing anything. Merely having a YouTube page open on your screen will suck power from your computer's central processing unit, or CPU. This is outrageous behavior for a browser. It's my CPU and I want it back.

When playing a YouTube video, Firefox 3 took up 95 percent of the CPU time on a three-year old laptop running Windows XP. Chrome came in at 60 percent — still too much. Especially since Google owns YouTube! You'd think it could make its browser work well with that site in particular. Internet Explorer barely broke a sweat, taking up just a few percent.

Is Adobe going to kill off the browser competition through poor coding and optimization!?"
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Comcast "RoXed" by hackers

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "At 11 PM EDT yesterday, the front page of the Comcast web portal was defaced by hackers.

Hackers took over and defaced Comcast Corp.'s Web portal for several hours overnight, leaving a cryptic message on the site that the company's 14.1 million subscribers use to access e-mail, news and technical support.

The front page of Comcast.net went down shortly before 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday and was replaced with a note saying the hackers had "RoXed" Comcast, according to postings at BroadbandReports.com.


While the main page is back up, some users apparently remain unable to access their email. No definitive word yet on what else the hackers might have done besides the defacing."

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DOS saves Columbia scientific data from doom

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "A Minneapolis based company has been able to recover almost all scientific data on one of the hard drives from Columbia. The scorched, partially melted drive was found in Texas, and recovery certainly appeared to be a longshot. However, the fact that the computer was running DOS saved the data from destruction.



However, at the core of the drive, the spinning metal platters that actually store data were not warped. They had been gouged and pitted, but the 340-megabyte drive was only half full, and the damage happened where data had not yet been written.

Edwards attributes that to a lucky twist: The computer was running an ancient operating system, DOS, which does not scatter data all over drives as other approaches do.
"

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Olympic torch repeatedly extinguished in Paris

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  about 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "The olympic torch is having a difficult march this year, as it faces human rights protests in every major city. In Paris, police had to extinguish the torch five times and put it on a protective bus, eventually giving up on the march and just driving it to the final destination, where an athlete carried it the final 15 feet. The protests center on Chinese censorship, jailing of political prisoners and the current crackdown in Tibet. From Yahoo! News:

In various locations throughout the city, activists angry about China's human rights record and crackdown on protesters in Tibetan areas carried Tibetan flags and waved signs reading "the flame of shame." Riot police squirted tear gas to break up a sit-in protest by about 300 demonstrators who blocked the torch route.


The torch disappeared back inside the bus a fourth time shortly after a protester approached it with a fire extinguisher near the Louvre art museum. Police grabbed the demonstrator before he could start to spray.
"
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Lakota Indians claim 5 US states; Issue Passports

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "The Lakota Indians have just delivered a message to the state department saying they are unilaterally withdrawing from all treaties signed with the US government, some of them more than 150 years old. According to the article:



The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free — provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr Means said.
The article also states that:



The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence — an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England.

Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row,'' Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples — despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.


Somehow I doubt this is going to get very far, especially with the people who live in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. I haven't been hearing a lot of agitating from those states for forming the Confederate States of Lakota, v 2.0."
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US Internet control lead topic in Rio

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "It looks as though the next meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is about to descend into another heated debate about U.S. control of key Internet systems. Although the initial purpose of this year's summit was to cover such issues as spam, free speech and cheaper access, it appears nations such as China, Iran, and Russia, among others, would rather discuss US control of the Internet. In meetings leading to up to the second annual meeting of the IGF in Rio de Janiero on Monday, these nations won the right to hold an opening-day panel devoted to "critical Internet resources." While a number of countries wanting to internationalize Internet control simply want to have more say over policies such as creating domain names in languages other than English, we can only speculate what additional motives might be driving leaders such as China, Iran, and Russia, nations which specialize in censoring the Internet and locking down the flow of information across it."
Link to Original Source
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Renegade Astronomers: 'Dark Matter' Is Bunk

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "


Last August, an astronomer at the University of Arizona at Tucson and his colleagues reported that a collision between two huge clusters of galaxies 3 billion light-years away, known as the Bullet Cluster, had caused clouds of dark matter to separate from normal matter.

Many scientists said the observations were proof of dark matter's existence and a serious blow for alternative explanations aiming to do away with dark matter with modified theories of gravity.

Now John Moffat, an astronomer at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and Joel Brownstein, his graduate student, say those announcements were premature.

In a study detailed in the Nov. 21 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the pair says their Modified Gravity (MOG) theory can explain the Bullet Cluster observation.
"

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God sued by Nebraska lawmaker

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "According to Yahoo! News, the mystery of one response to a lawsuit against God has been solved. Eric Perkins, an attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas, said Friday he filed a response to the lawsuit from Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers. "It's kind of a turn on 'What would Jesus do?'" Perkins said. "I thought to myself, "what would God say?"

"Defendant denies that this or any court has jurisdiction ... over Him any more than the court has jurisdiction over the wind or rain, sunlight or darkness," according to Perkins' response.

As for Chambers' contention that God made terroristic threats, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization," Perkins wrote that God "contends that any harm or injury suffered is a direct and proximate result of mankind ignoring obvious warnings.""

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The 63,000,000,000 billion dollar lawsuit

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "This has to be the most ridiculous lawsuit ever filed in the history of the United States court system. Apparently a South Carolina inmate wants to sue Michael Vick for 63,000,000,000 billion dollars (and I don't believe the amount is a typo). He claims Michael Vick stole two white mixed pit bull dogs from his home in Holiday, Fla., used them for dogfighting operations in Richmond, Va., and then "used the proceeds to purchase missiles from the Iran government." His complaint alleges Vick would need the missiles because he pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda in February of this year. The complaint goes on to state that "Michael Vick has to stop physically hurting my feelings and dashing my hopes" and requests that the money, "backed by gold and silver," be delivered to the front gates of the Williamsburg Federal Correctional facility in South Carolina."
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Russia working to claim Arctic

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "
Two deep-diving Russian mini-submarines descended more than 2 1/2 miles under North Pole ice to stake a flag on the ocean floor Thursday, part of a quest to bolster Russian claims to much of the Arctic's oil-and-mineral wealth.


So, according to Russian thought in this article, does the United States just get the moon then? After all, we went there and planted our flag. Should that be ours? Should we just give in and accept that the Russians get the Arctic for planting a flag, since that gives us the moon (which is WAY better in the long run)?"

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Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Crazy Taco (1083423) writes "Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have discovered a way to use the popular CAPTCHA puzzles as a method to digitize books. While books are ordinarilly digitized using scanners and then turned into readable text using optical character recognition, some books are too old or faded for this technique to work. In that case, humans are needed to help decipher the text so that it can be digitized. This particular method can harness many humans to help in this time consuming process.

"Humanity is wasting 150,000 hours every day on these [CAPTCHAs]," said Luis von Ahn, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon. He helped develop the CAPTCHAs about seven years ago. "Is there any way in which we can use this human time for something good for humanity, do 10 seconds of useful work for humanity?"


Apparently he found the answer to his own question."

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