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Comments

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NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi

Crazy Taco Re:Ridiculous (139 comments)

Sorry, but nobody wants your miniature space shuttle, Sierra Nevada. Probably should have thought a little harder before copying one of the most expensive and unreliable space systems used in recent times. Heat-shield > Everything. Now SpaceX/Boeing have to bite the bullet and stop work? Something very wrong with this way of doing things.

Actually, the Dream Chaser is 900 million cheaper than Boeing's system, with equal or more features, and Sierra Nevada also argues compellingly that their delivery track record is at least as good as Boeings (anyone remember Boeing's Dreamliner delays)? Since the selection was supposed to be based on three factors: price, suitability and track record, with price weighted as heavily as the other two metrics combined, it seems very odd that Boeing was selected. Both competitors are far, far cheaper, so unless Boeing is massively better on the other metrics (and again, there isn't much evidence of that), it doesn't look fair that they were awarded the contract.

Personally, I hope they reverse the decision, because I think it will save the taxpayer a lot of money over Boeing, and it would be nice to have a refined version of the landable spaceplane that can improve on the shuttle. I still don't think the shuttle was a totally bad idea (ie - an idea that can never work)... it just needed improvements. Capsules aren't the only way to go, despite what people in some circles say.

about two weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Crazy Taco Re:please no (423 comments)

Weather modeling and forecasts are very good, boasting >95% accuracy over the first 3-4 days, with accuracy decreasing the further ahead you go.

Not a chance. Bring some data before I will believe that accuracy rate. I don't even believe 95% is accurate for forecasting on the day of, let alone 3-4 days out, since our forecasts here in Minnesota have predicted sunny skies in the morning when I go to work, and we later get storms that drop four inches of rain. And I'm not using the "main on TV", but forecasts that are based on NOAA, which does have actual meteorologists working there. So again, bring data... I think your accuracy ratings are hugely inflated, especially for 3-4 days out.

about two weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Crazy Taco Re:please no (423 comments)

What? Your weather forecasts are wrong every day? And in every conceivable way (Temperature, Cloud cover, Humidity, Rainfall, Windspeed, etc.)?

No one claimed they are wrong every day, just that they aren't nearly 80% as the grandparent claimed. They seem to be wrong about 50% of the time (at least) here in Minnesota too. We are talking major, predicted sunny skies and got one of the worst storms of the summer with four inches of rain kind of wrong. And when I say wrong 50% of the time, I'm talking about major wrong. I'm not talking about "predicted 83 degrees but it ended up being 85" kind of wrong (in which case the models would approach 100% wrong). They are wrong in some more major way, such as predicted temp off five degrees or more, wind off by several mph, heavy rains when sun was predicted, snowfall either doesn't arrive or has way more inches than predicted, etc. I know that's anecdotal to you, but I'd have to see some very good data to concede that they are correct 80% of the time. My observations make me believe it's probably otherwise (although maybe other parts of the nation are more accurate and bring the average up).

about two weeks ago
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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

Crazy Taco Re:So. (126 comments)

However it obviously shows just how badly this country is broken. I'm not an alarmist, but it this simply isn't going to change with the current US government system. They have no REASON to change it.

The thing that's really broken is that we have government involved in this at all. Why, exactly, should only one cable company have been allowed to run wires to the houses in my area? Why shouldn't two or three of them have been allowed to do it? Why did the government mandate that there will be monopolies in cable, telephone, etc? That's ultimately the real problem: government took away my choice, so I can't vote with my wallet now. Now I have to plead to unelected FCC bureaucrats in DC to force my local monopoly provider not to throttle my service, when I could have simply voted with my wallet like I do with everything else.

It's probably too late to get to get the cable mess fixed now, but hopefully this can at least be a good cautionary tale moving forward: never, EVER let the government mandate monopolies in anything, whether it be public schools, post office letter delivery, utilities, media companies, mass transit bus service, healthcare, etc. It NEVER turns out better for the consumer, and you end up having to grovel to government employees that could not care less about you personally. Every area should be open to any company that wants to participate, and may the best one win.

A recent success story would probably be the opening of space exploration to private companies: what did NASA do in the last 30 years when it had a monopoly? What are private companies already doing in the 5-10 years they've been developing their technology? Look how far SpaceX has come with it's rocket technology. It will shortly have better, safer, more cost effective options than NASA ever did.

about three weeks ago
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Water Discovered In Exoplanet Atmosphere

Crazy Taco We care why? (50 comments)

I still don't understand why we care about this. Water occurs naturally all over the solar system, from moons to planets to asteroids. One would assume that it's a safe bet it's common in most other systems as well, just like other basic chemicals are. And, that water will be in vapor form any time it is close enough to a star to be above 0 C, so again, one would assume that's common.

Unless we are commenting about water va-pour , as I'm pretty sure this is the first time in the universe that that's ever been mentioned. :)

about a month ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

Crazy Taco Re:OK (268 comments)

According to the article, it's 40 square meters, and the Sun gives up a max of 1.3KW per square meter, which means it has a maximum of 52KW output at 100% and a clear sky. 80% would be about 41KWh per hour. If you assume 3 good hours, that's over 100KWH per day or $5 of $0.05/KWH energy. Almost $2k per year.

The economics still aren't there. A clear sky isn't enough. You won't get the sun's max in North America due to angle of the sun, especially in fall or winter. Even in summer, the angle in most parts of the country is such that you wouldn't get the max. And, in most parts of the country you also have a lot of clouds and rain (desert southwest being the exception), and you also have a fair amount of severe weather that could damage the thing. I'd be surprised if you get half of your $2k per year figure.

So figure this thing can be built for 20k. And you manage to save $1k a year. It will take 20 years to pay off, and it probably won't last that long. So it's certainly interesting and might even be applicable in select places in New Mexico or Arizona, but in places like Minnesota, it has minimal practicality from a financial perspective.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Crazy Taco Re:The whole article is just trolling (795 comments)

"Why?" is still a valid question;

No, it's not. The question "why" in this case presuposes some kind of purpose, without any reason to believe that such a purpose exists. Just because you can phrase something in the form of a question doesn't mean that your "question" makes any sense.

It's more valid than your position, which pre-supposes that there isn't a purpose. Science can't claim there is a purpose, and it can't claim there isn't one. Therefore why is a valid question, since it is at least possible there is a purpose. Saying, with no evidence, that "Science says there is no purpose" just proves the author's point that people are abusing science.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Crazy Taco Re:The whole article is just trolling (795 comments)

The big bang is how the universe was created.

I think that's misleading at best, because at best we can only say that it occurred, not how/why it occurred. We don't know the cause behind it. Nor are we likely to ever know for sure, because we can't experimentally test it. And I think that's the point of the article: science makes very narrow claims in this area, and clearly defines parts of the origin as untestable and unknowable to science, yet people walk around acting like science has given us every answer: truth with a capital T, as the author puts it.

about a month ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Crazy Taco Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (937 comments)

" but the important thing is that you have faith, not to be shaken, no need of proof, just faith." -WHY is it important to have "have faith". Placing importance on the non-rational is the problem, not a thing to be proud of

If you a referring to Christians, I think you may misunderstand what we are having faith in. When we talk about "having faith in Jesus", we aren't saying we believe without evidence. Jesus himself didn't withhold evidence... his ministry was confirmed by a huge number of public miracles, and we have a bunch of written eyewitness accounts that testify to that fact. The men who wrote them were beheaded, sawed in half, flogged, tortured, and crucified upside down, yet still they wouldn't take back their claims that they witnessed God in the flesh, and that all these things were true. If this was a lie, some of them would have recanted, but they truly, earnestly held it forth as truth, even though they gained nothing but pain and death during their lifetimes. Not one gained political power, armies, wives, or wealth from their stand; only beatings (at best).

But even though you may know for a fact Jesus existed, you still have to trust his promises. You have to have faith that his word is true, that he will keep his word, forgive sins and give salvation. And I don't think that's 100% without evidence either, but that's more along the lines of what specifically we have to have faith about. We can be pretty certain he lived from material historical evidence, but forgiveness of sins is not something you can show materialist evidence for. You have to step beyond the materialist philosophy and take that by faith, trusting in Jesus' word.

Hopefully that's at least somewhat helpful. I know this issue often gets confused, especially in discussions like these.

about a month ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Crazy Taco Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (937 comments)

The problem is even atheists still feel a need to believe in *something*. Which is silly. Planting Science as your God still means you have a God and are not an atheist.

Because people like you cannot comprehend the difference between faith and belief. You might have faith that Jesus Christ died for our sins. You might believe that also, but the important thing is that you have faith, not to be shaken, no need of proof, just faith.

I believe that there will be a sunrise tomorrow morning. I do not need faith for that belief. I have celestial mechanics to tell me that will happen, which can be proven beyond a doubt.

My belief that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, does not make it my religion.

That's a pretty odd statement to make. You don't know if there will be a sunrise tomorrow morning or not. You assume there will be, because there always has been one in the past, but you really don't know that. You claim you know it for a fact based on celestial mechanics, but that really means nothing unless you know, for a fact, everything about the universe that can ever be known.

Here's an example: We may tonight be hit by an asteroid that no one saw coming, and there may be a dust cloud that completely obscures the light of the sun for a very long time, preventing sunrises (by the way, asteroid impacts are celestial mechanics, but again, unless you know absolutely everything in the universe, including the location of every celestial body, you can't apply your celestial mechanics to every object and account for possible event). And what if it's a really large asteroid, capable of disturbing the Earth's orbit or breaking apart part of the planet? That's less likely, but not completely impossible.

And it would be very arrogant enough for us to claim we know everything about stellar mechanics. The sun could explode tonight, for perfectly natural reasons (some natural process that we don't know about), and that's the end of sunrises permanently. The sun could be destroyed at this very moment, though we won't know it for at least eight minutes.

So while you claim you know for a fact that there will be a sunrise tomorrow, your statement is based on faith as well. Even if the odds of probability are in your favor, you do not know FOR A FACT that there will be a sunrise tomorrow, because you do not have sufficient knowledge or information to make such a grandiose claim. You are taking it on faith, just like everything else. Don't let the gains of knowledge that science has provided puff up your head into thinking you know everything, or you will be guilty of abusing science in the same manner that the article was pointing out.

about a month ago
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Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

Crazy Taco Only one way to solve this (356 comments)

Clearly the only way to solve this issue is to send a manned expedition into the black hole to see what we find!

about a month ago
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Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

Crazy Taco Re:Black holes are real, we observe them all the t (356 comments)

Or, is it possible that he does observe Black Holes, and they do exist, but the formation method is something other than what we've always assumed (eg star collapse)?

about a month ago
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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 9 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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.

1 year,13 days
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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.

1 year,13 days

Submissions

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New Home Sales Plunge 33 percent with tax credits

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 4 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 5 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  |  about 6 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 6 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."

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Chrome Day 2, Vulnerability 1

Crazy Taco Crazy Taco writes  |  more than 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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  |  more than 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."
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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 7 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 7 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 7 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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