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Comments

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The $5,600 Tablet

Doofus All that and water resistant, too (96 comments)

I handled procurement of a few of these for a client two years ago. They are impressive for their sturdiness and resistance to the environment, and I was able to view the screen very well even in the mid-day sunlight. The model I played with was everything the summary described and a bit more. It was submersible for up to two hours in salt or fresh water as long as the ports were sealed with the silicone port glands.

It is an impressive device for what it provides to people on the move in challenging environments.

about 3 months ago
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Toward Better Programming

Doofus 80%? A lofty goal indeed. (391 comments)

Not clear to me that his is a viable objective. 80% of the masses do not think like programmers. Some might be trainable. Some, not so much. Many will not want to think the way problem-solving in code requires. I'm not sure how to quantify it, but the amount of effort expended on a project like this may not see an appropriate payback.

Even if we change the environment and act of "coding", the problem-solving itself still requires clear thinking and it *probably* always will.

about 3 months ago
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Big Jump For Tablet Storage: Seagate Intros 5mm Hard Disk For Tablets

Doofus Units, much? (201 comments)

I love the jumble of Imperial and SI units in the summary. Great work!

about a year ago
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Biometric Database Plans Hidden In Immigration Bill

Doofus Creep, Shmeep (365 comments)

inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet.

Except for some sporting events and accessing the internet, the other events all require ID, some require photo ID and others do not. Please, stop the hysterics. The issue is not whether you need to show an ID to vote, or to rent a house (credit report, anyone?), or buy a gun (background check, hello?), or board a plane (where have you been for the last 12 years?).

The bigger issue is does the DHS - or a client of their data - have authority to prevent you from carrying out these activities based on the data - identity and other - stored its databases. That would be a sensible concern.

Stop whining about policies of private institutions and state and local governments that are sensible and non-invasive. The arm-waving and yelling is immature, and cheapens other more valid concerns about the use of personally identifying (and classifying) data.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

Doofus Take 10 minute walk breaks (372 comments)


Get up from your desk a few times during the day, perhaps once in the morning, once at - or just after - lunchtime, once in the afternoon, and walk briskly for 10 minutes - OUTSIDE.

Walking lowers blood pressure, reduces stress levels, give you a chance to breathe non-recycled, fresh, or at least fresher, air (depending on where you work), and burns calories.

Diet is important. But even if your dietary choices are poor, a simple brisk walk of short duration a few times a day will measurably lengthen your life.

about a year and a half ago
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Half-Life of DNA is 521 Years, Jurassic Park Impossible After All

Doofus No water, no air, no bonds broken? (315 comments)

So in amber, or some other similar impermeable substance, the chemical reactions requiring water or air might well be prevented or dramatically slowed, thus the degradation of DNA might be substantially slower than the 521 years described in the summary.

Not necessarily the end of the Jurassic Park idea.

about 2 years ago
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A Million-Year Hard Disk

Doofus Re:easy answer. (394 comments)

This assumes that the interpretation of binary in the far future is the same as what you intend here, which is ASCII.

And while ASCII is portable, is it guaranteed to be a known, useful encoding a hundred years from now? A thousand years?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Store Umbilical Cord Blood — and If So, Where?

Doofus We used ViaCord (321 comments)

We used ViaCord for our first, and will be using them for our second. Similar to other services, you pay a collection fee (blood approx $1500, blood+tissue approx $2700) and then a small annual fee for storage.

It remains unclear to me that cord-tissue preservation will be worth the gamble; the option wasn't available several years ago for our first, but is now. We are debating about whether the extra cost is worthwhile, considering no studies have demonstrated effective therapies using cryo-preserved cord tissue.

Your mileage may vary.

Enjoy the adventure with the new one.

more than 2 years ago
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NSA Building US's Biggest Spy Center

Doofus Re:What am I missing? (279 comments)

It's filled with random bits. All the way down.

more than 2 years ago
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My PC use accounts for __% of my computing time

Doofus So the PC doesn't seem to be dead yet. (296 comments)

With all of the news about the "post-PC" world, this survey indicates that for at least one segment of the population, the PC still accounts for the overwhelming majority of computing time.

This, for some reason, is reassuring to me, as I have not yet succumbed to the lure of the thinly-sliced consumption device.

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Study How Little Exercise You Need

Doofus HIIT works, but you have to do it (437 comments)

and therein lies the problem.

HIIT has actually been around and been discussed in running groups for a number of years. Lest you think I am pulling this from where the sun doesn't shine, I write this from some personal experience; I am an experienced ultramarathoner (six 50 milers). HIIT is extremely difficult for "normal" people to do as an ongoing exercise program.

The great majority of Americans are simply not capable of pushing themselves as hard as is required for a successful HIIT regimen. If you're not capable of pushing yourself to do this type of strenuous exercise, you're not going to do it. It's as simple as that.

HIIT will work extraordinarily well for people that are already moderately fit or even overweight if they are capable of pushing through their pain (not the physical pain, the mental pain). Again, and again, and again; and each iteration is harder than the last.

Most people - especially the great unwashed overweight masses (pun intended) - aren't willing or capable of doing this, and simply aren't going to do it. They would be better served starting out just walking briskly for 30 minutes four or five times a week.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctors "Fire" Vaccine Refusers

Doofus Re:Good for them (1271 comments)

argue with me about whether vaccines are, in fact, the greatest medical development for humanity in the past two centuries

This is demonstrably false, though I am too busy to find citations right now.

I agree that vaccines have been a substantial boon to human health, but it pales beside the most truly important development. The development and maintenance of properly functioning public sanitation systems has clearly been the greatest medical development for humanity in the past two centuries.

more than 2 years ago
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Proposed Law Would Give DHS Power Over Privately Owned IT Infrastructure

Doofus Re:Critical infrastructure protection needs oversi (300 comments)

from the same article:

“The pattern in the U.S. is not to do anything until there’s a disaster,” he said. “The way we’re going to find out if someone has the capability is we’ll wake up one day and the lights won’t work.”

more than 2 years ago
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Proposed Law Would Give DHS Power Over Privately Owned IT Infrastructure

Doofus Critical infrastructure protection needs oversight (300 comments)

Cybersecurity Disaster Seen in U.S. Survey Citing Spending Gaps

“If you interview power companies and say, ‘Is your control system connected to the Internet,’ they’ll say, ‘Of course not,’” James Lewis, technology program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said in an interview. “It turns out in almost every case a control system is connected to the Internet and it’s vulnerable to being hacked.”

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Is Online Engineering Coursework Viewed By Employers?

Doofus Go for it, regardless. (201 comments)

I encourage you to pursue the online coursework, whether or not you seek a certificate or a degree, if you enjoy the coursework.

I spent five calendar years taking online courses for an MS in a technology field, because I was unwilling to sacrifice time at work for in-person classes. My team at work - colleagues and supervisory staff - respected the discipline required to attend and successfully complete online courses (4.0), and my salary bump after the degree was granted was significant.

As long as the parent institution is accredited by an appropriate higher education accreditation authority, your hard work will pay off.

Good luck -

more than 2 years ago
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Senator Rand Paul Detained By the TSA

Doofus Move along, nothing to see here (941 comments)

The story was posted long after the situation was resolved, according to the linked Politico article.

Doesn't seem worthy of a front-page location on Slashdot.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Efficient, Worthwhile Charity?

Doofus Perhaps use CharityNavigator to evaluate (570 comments)

You could try examining potential recipients at Charity Navigator. They evaluate charities based on their operational effectiveness and allow you to compare a potential recipient against others that serve similar needs.

I have used it many times and find it extremely helpful.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Paley's metalwork not just gates, but art

Doofus Doofus writes  |  5 days ago

Doofus (43075) writes "A nice piece on NPR this morning about Albert Paley and an exhibit of his work in DC at the Corcoran. Paley began metalworking in the 1960s and his work and his thinking about his work exemplifies the best of the maker movement.

"The discipline of the goldsmith I found was very intriguing," he says. "The sense of quality, the sense of refinement, as far as developing the object. But also conceptually, what does the jewelry do to the individual? How does it manifest their ego or their presence? This is the type of work that I was doing at that time."

"

Link to Original Source
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Elon Musk expects the Spanish Inquisition

Doofus Doofus writes  |  about a month ago

Doofus (43075) writes "Business Insider is running an article this morning about Elon Musk's fears of an AI-powered apocalypse. For a technology expert and inventor with Musk's credentials, explaining fears of technology may seem a bit incongruous. In a transcript of a CNBC interview with Elon Musk, the question of Musk's investment in an AI development firm came up, and he explains his reasoning for investing in the firm.

I was also an investor in DeepMind before Google acquired it and Vicarious. Mostly I sort of – it's not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return. It's really, I like to just keep an eye on what's going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome there and we need to –

Musk goes on to explain a bit more about his concerns and references Monty Python as he does it."
Link to Original Source

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Skilled manual labor critical to US STEM dominance

Doofus Doofus writes  |  about 3 months ago

Doofus (43075) writes "The Wall Street Journal has an eye catching headling,

According to the 2011 Skills Gap Survey by the Manufacturing Institute, about 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled nationally because employers can't find qualified workers. To help produce a new generation of welders, pipe-fitters, electricians, carpenters, machinists and other skilled tradesmen, high schools should introduce students to the pleasure and pride they can take in making and building things in shop class.

American employers are so yearning to motivate young people to work in manufacturing and the skilled trades that many are willing to pay to train and recruit future laborers. CEO Karen Wright of Ariel Corp. in Mount Vernon, Ohio, recently announced that the manufacturer of gas compressors is donating $1 million to the Knox County Career Center to update the center's computer-integrated manufacturing equipment, so students can train on the same machines used in Ariel's operations.

How many of us liked shop? How many young people should be training for skilled manufacturing and service jobs rather than getting history or political science degrees?"

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Teach Calculus to 5-year olds?

Doofus Doofus writes  |  about 5 months ago

Doofus (43075) writes "The Atlantic has an interesting story about opening up what we routinely consider "advanced" areas of mathematics to younger learners.

The goals here are to use complex but easy tasks as introductions to more advanced topics in math, rather than the standard, sequential process of counting, arithmetic, sets, geometry, then eventually algebra and finally calculus.

Examples of activities that fall into the “simple but hard” quadrant: Building a trench with a spoon (a military punishment that involves many small, repetitive tasks, akin to doing 100 two-digit addition problems on a typical worksheet, as Droujkova points out), or memorizing multiplication tables as individual facts rather than patterns.

Far better, she says, to start by creating rich and social mathematical experiences that are complex (allowing them to be taken in many different directions) yet easy (making them conducive to immediate play). Activities that fall into this quadrant: building a house with LEGO blocks, doing origami or snowflake cut-outs, or using a pretend “function box” that transforms objects (and can also be used in combination with a second machine to compose functions, or backwards to invert a function, and so on).

I plan to get my children learning the "advanced" topics as soon as possible. How about you?"
Link to Original Source

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Masao Yoshida, director of Daichii Fukushima nuclear plant, has died.

Doofus Doofus writes  |  1 year,17 days

Doofus (43075) writes "Masao Yoshida, director of the Daichii Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, has passed away. Colleagues and politicos in Japan praised his disobedience during the post-tsunami meltdown and credited him with preventing much more widespread and intense damage.

On March 12, a day after the tsunami, Mr. Yoshida ignored an order from Tepco headquarters to stop pumping seawater into a reactor to try and cool it because of concerns that ocean water would corrode the equipment.

Tepco initially said it would penalize Mr. Yoshida even though Sakae Muto, then a vice president at the utility, said it was a technically appropriate decision. Mr. Yoshida received no more than a verbal reprimand after then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan defended the plant chief, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

“I bow in respect for his leadership and decision-making,” Kan said Tuesday in a message posted on his Twitter account.

"

Link to Original Source
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CloudFlare masters global pxe-driven content delievery

Doofus Doofus writes  |  about 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "Quoting from the Ars article:

On August 22, CloudFlare, a content delivery network, turned on a brand new data center in Seoul, Korea—the last of ten new facilities started across four continents in a span of thirty days. The Seoul data center brought CloudFlare's number of data centers up to 23, nearly doubling the company's global reach—a significant feat in itself for a company of just 32 employees.

But there was something else relatively significant about the Seoul data center and the other 9 facilities set up this summer: despite the fact that the company owned every router and every server in their racks, and each had been configured with great care to handle the demands of CloudFlare's CDN and security services, no one from CloudFlare had ever set foot in them. All that came from CloudFlare directly was a six-page manual instructing facility managers and local suppliers on how to rack and plug in the boxes shipped to them.

"

Link to Original Source
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Journey to the Mantle of the Earth?

Doofus Doofus writes  |  about 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "New Scientist has an interesting story about a Japanese effort to reach the Earth's mantle. While some mantle material has been recovered from volcanoes, no pure mantle material has been obtained. (We have moon rocks, but nothing from a few km beneath our feet!) Accompanying the article is a gallery of previous attempts at drilling farther and farther into the Earth's crust."
Link to Original Source
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Tablet computer designed 15 years before iPad; prior art, anyone?

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "The Washington Post has a profile of Roger Fidler, who "invented" the tablet computer in the 1990s, while working as a visionary for newspaper firm Knight-Ridder. He is now embroiled in the Apple/Samsung legal war, as an expert witness. Fidler admits that other prior art influenced him, such as the tablets being used as computing devices in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Prior prior art."
Link to Original Source
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Tablet computer designed 15 years before iPad; prior art, anyone?

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "Roger Fidler, who worked for Knight-Ridder, had a "skunk-works" lab next door to Apple in the 1990s.

Fidler invented the "tablet" computer in 1994, long before Apple patented the design (2004). Of course, he admits (in the article) that the tablets in 2001: A Space Odyssey may have influenced him. Prior prior art."

Link to Original Source
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School system choose Windows 7 tablet over iPad

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "Network World is reporting that the Charlottesville City public school district has selected a Fujitsu tablet running Windows 7 over the Apple iPad. The school's IT team decided that the Fujitsu Windows 7 tablet came out ahead of the iPad on security and durability.

The integrity of iPad's glass was an issue, and Fujitsu's tablet can withstand shock resulting from drops and also can operate in demanding environments, said Dean Jadlowski, director of technology for the Charlottesville City Schools, in a statement. The Q550 can last longer in backpacks and reduce repairs, which could reduce maintenance costs.

"

Link to Original Source
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Learn to code, it's fun and easy!

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "In another of an increasing number of opinion pieces I've seen in many places, an author is citing Bloomberg's promise to "learn to code" as a reason why everyone and his or her sibling should learn to write software.

Anyone else afraid of the rush of the unskilled masses into the coding trenches? Anyone else remember the flood of wanna-bes several years ago who were incapable of doing real programming but wanted the $ real coders were making?"

Link to Original Source
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Flying Spaghetti Monster visits Leesburg VA

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "The Washington Post has an interesting article about the growing local conflicts over the use of the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds for holiday themed and religious displays. The Flying Spaghetti Monster has made an appearance, along with pirates."
Link to Original Source
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Skynet becomes more real every day

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus writes "An article in yesterday's Washington Post, A future for drones: Automated killing, describes the steady progress the military is making toward fully autonomous networks of targeting and killing machines.

Does this (concern|scare|disgust) any of you?

After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and contacted the second plane, which flew nearby and used its own sensors to examine the colorful object. Then one of the aircraft signaled to an unmanned car on the ground so it could take a final, close-up look.

Target confirmed.

This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. Imagine aerial “Terminators,” minus beefcake and time travel.

The article goes on to discuss the dangers of surrendering to fully autonomous killing, concerns about the potential for "atrocities", and the nature of what we call "common sense"."
Link to Original Source

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IE IQ Report a Hoax

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "Slashdot — editors, submitters, and commenters alike — were all snowed by the recent "study" about Internet Explorer user community having a lower mean IQ than users of other browsers. The linked story describes the hoax.

CNN, NPR, CNET, London’s Daily Mail, Forbes, and BBC were among the many outlets that ran stories citing the report. But members of the public quickly raised eyebrows over the supposed findings, pointing out that that AptiQuant appeared to have set up its site only last month, the BBC reported Wednesday in a story on the elaborate hoax. Readers also discovered that the photographs used on AptiQuant's page were taken from the site of an established French research company.

"

Link to Original Source
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Is AI research really about immortality?

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "In the New Scientist article, Existence: Where did my consciousness come from?, the author references a theory of consiousness proposed by Giuilio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The theory, at bottom, is that a human being's consciousness is the result of the brain's "integration" of all available information, both internal and external (e.g., sensory stimuli).

Rather than building machinery to house artificial, programmed intelligences, is the true root of AI research about creating machines complex enough to transfer human consciousness from biological to non-biological, potentially immortal scaffolding?"

Link to Original Source
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Smithsonian wants your vote

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Doofus writes "The Smithsonian Institution is requesting help from the general public in selecting some of the most artistic video games, in a variety of categories.

The site allows voters to select games separated into 5 eras, and seeks to develop the exhibition to

explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects, the creative use of new technologies, and the most influential artists and designers

"

Link to Original Source
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Paul Haggis vs. The CoS

Doofus Doofus writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Doofus (43075) writes "Lawrence Wright has written a lengthy expose of the Church of Scientology, including an in-depth interview with Hollywood director Paul Haggis, who has defected from the Church. Haggis read about the abuse chronicled by the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, queried the Hollywood branch of the CoS, and decided to resign. Warning: Wright's article is long, and contains a great deal of detail, some of which has been covered by Slashdot in prior submissions. Wright's meticulous reporting should be praised."
Link to Original Source

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