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Comments

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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

Ellie K Texas phenomena (688 comments)

I took a quick glance at the study. "Well off" is based on parental education, not parental income. You'd think they would be tightly correlated, but I'm not so certain.. This quote from the article, along with the burnt out shell of a VW bus sitting in a field in Mississippi, was awkward:

Lacking good information, it has been easy even for sophisticated Americans to be seduced by apologists who would have the public believe the problems are simply those of poor kids in central city schools. Our results point in quite the opposite direction. The underachievement in some southern states was a reflection of deep-rooted historical divides and disadvantages, Prof Peterson said, such as slavery and segregation.

("Seduced by apologists"?) The outlier is Texas. Oddly, despite being part of the Confederacy, children in Texas with poorly educated parents perform inexplicably well. Of course, according to this Harvard University School of Government study, Massachusetts children are the most proficient in mathematics in the United States, second only to Germany and Switzerland...

about 2 months ago
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How Silk Road Bounced Back From Its Multimillion-Dollar Hack

Ellie K Re:better than FDIC (50 comments)

FDIC is insurance. They repay you if the bank goes out of business. They don't take your money!
Comparing $5000 confiscated by police, and suggesting that it is the motivation for the 100's of millions of dollars kept offshore by Forbes 400 billionaires is illogical.

about 4 months ago
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Vint Cerf: CS Programs Must Change To Adapt To Internet of Things

Ellie K Internet of Dumb Things (163 comments)

It IS a stupid name. We have "smart" cities and devices, but Internet of Things always reminds me of dumb terminals.

The abbreviation is even worse: IoT

about 4 months ago
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Private company leads to arrests of three hackers ten years after attack

Ellie K Re:Why a statute of limitations on any crime? (2 comments)

I think statute of limitation varies by country. In the USA, the statute of limitations on crimes is seven years. The only exception is for homicide, for which there is no limit; it can always be investigated, tried etc.

about 5 months ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

Ellie K Musicians travel with their instruments (894 comments)

Virtuoso musicians don't check their instruments as luggage. Even if their instruments are big, like a cello, they get a seat for the instrument.

...Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. 'I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life.' When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone.

If his instruments were his life and he is a virtuoso musician, he would have kept his flutes with him on the airplane.

about 8 months ago
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Rap Genius Returns To Google Search Rankings

Ellie K Re:Who gives a...? (115 comments)

"Rap Genius" is a misleading and silly name for what, transcription software like DragonWriter? Actually, it might not even be that good (all I read about lately are Internet piecework/ sweatshops that are supposedly "social" and "democratizing"...except they aren't).

I know that Mark Andreessen funded it, but he isn't right about everything.

about 8 months ago
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Rap Genius Returns To Google Search Rankings

Ellie K Re:Rap "Genius"? (115 comments)

And if you want bad lyrics, listen to opera.

OK, I'll bite. Treat yourself to a little "Gilbert and Sullivan"...

I really like Eminem and Kid Rock. They are sarcastic and very funny. Will they still have the same appeal after 100 years? I doubt it. Gilbert and Sullivan has endured.

I don't especially like G&S (I prefer what someone else called "traditional arias" e.g. full chorus "Ode to Joy"), yet I can completely relate to, understand why you are fond of G&S. A live G&S performance is music and art.

about 8 months ago
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Rap Genius Returns To Google Search Rankings

Ellie K Re:Rap "Genius"? (115 comments)

...It takes a skilled linguist to write good rap as it does to write good poetry and there are good and bad examples of both.

Linguist! The professors of linguistics that write University of Pennsylvania's Language Log are skilled linguists. I don't think that has anything to do with their ability to write poetry. Or rap, although it would be fun to ask!

Rap is words, music and visuals with attitude, and usually post-production effects. Poetry is written words on a page. They aren't comparable.

about 8 months ago
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The Math of Gamification

Ellie K More detail than I expected (1 comments)

The submission emphasized how FourSquare uses honeypots to validate good users, and prevent "bad actors" from corrupting the data. The actual post is much more readable than the excerpt, no offense intended to a harried (or lazy :o) Anonymous Coward. At least he took the time to submit it! Anyway, it lays out some of the math that FourSquare uses, mostly logistic regression, and then itemizes problems and workarounds. For example, FourSquare users like integers. Don't we all! FourSquare describes how they try to deal with that, without loss of accuracy due to repeatedly rounding. So, the details are cool to read about. I don't recall seeing anything as detailed and specific written up elsewhere e.g. by Yelp or MyWOT.

Yet FourSquare is based on these premises, set forth in the very beginning of the post, about how FourSquare maintains its database of places, both geographic accuracy and being up to date:

changes are voted upon by our loyal Superusers (SUs) who vigilantly maintain a watchful eye over our data for their city or neighborhood...we assign users points or votes based on their tenure, reputation, and the actions they take. Superusers like points and gamification. It rewards diligent, hard-working SUs...

Ignoring any resemblance to Slashdot (coincidental or otherwise ;o) the phrase, diligent, hard-working SUs caught my attention. What is the motivation for Superusers to vigilantly maintain a watchful eye over FourSquare's data? Gamification for its own sake isn't going to be enough, not for long. The novelty will wear off. The honeypots are a nice idea, especially done programmatically. But it all rests on human effort, doing tedious piecework without any reward other than a badge that non-users esteem about as highly as spam. There are other things like this online, a phpBB or forum, however, the motivations are different than with FourSquare. Also, the most active participants have ownership and control of the website or forum, unlike FourSquare.

about 8 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

Ellie K Unhinged minority? (1144 comments)

You believe that the GOP represents an "unhinged minority"? I don't think that is true. Or rather, I think that there are many, maybe even the majority, who aren't well represented by either party. The current Democrat regime is all about deregulation, privatization, anti-labor and ceding wealth to Wall Street. By "Wall Street", I don't refer to the financial sector. Consumer finance, life insurance, small business banking, accountants and actuaries do productive work and contribute positively to the economy. Most of Wall Street isn't even Wall Street any longer, just a few massive investment banks, private equity partnerships, hedge funds and Carl Icahn-types. All of Obama's second term cabinet members are scions of very wealthy families, his ambassadorial appointments were chosen from financiers who were major campaign contributors, with zero diplomatic experience. It wasn't like this in 2008, but it is now. They call themselves Democrats, but they are more venal and corrupt, in terms of (selectively) favoring big business and other special interests than we've had in a long time.

The GOP has not offered an appealing alternative, though they would be wise to try.

One could just as easily say, "If the Democrat Party wins, then American democracy loses". Everyone loses if we have one-party rule.

about 10 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

Ellie K An address on the steps of the Capitol... (1144 comments)

Ah man, now I want to see Boehner give an address on the steps of the Capitol holding a sawed-off shotgun...

I know this will sound terrible, but I felt a frisson of delight at that image. I don't know about Boehner; Any honest Congressman giving an address on the steps of the Capitol while holding a (fully intact) shotgun, saying something genuinely constructive... yes, that would make me very happy.

about 10 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

Ellie K Re:As a non-American... (1144 comments)

... it only affects me by having too many stories about it on /.

Similar to Eurovision on Twitter :o) but grim instead of fun. I hope this won't go on for as long as the Eurovision contest. Many critical parts of the U.S. government have about four weeks of reserves, then they'll have exhausted all operating funds.

about 10 months ago
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Newly Discovered Meltwater Streams Flow Beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Ellie K Slashdot demands recognition! (130 comments)

Altmetrics is a new-ish bibliometic service for scholarly journal articles, including Nature, which is where this was published. Altmetrics includes mainstream media coverage as as well as social media appearance counts e.g. SciBlogs, Twitter as valid data. Physorg is mentioned but I do not see Slashdot. We, the Slashdot collective, demand recognition!

* Unless we are deemed insufficiently social? Anti-social? Of course not.
** Altmetrics is beta-ish, possibly open source, so my indignation is mostly insincere.

about 10 months ago
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WikiLeaks Targets "Security Firms" Targeting WikiLeaks

Ellie K SpamSpamSpam (2 comments)

Spam! Not the article about Wikileaks. That is decent reading.

No, the prior comment by JohnMoss is 100% SPAM. Tsk tsk. Brazen. Shameless!

about a year ago
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Twitter Seeking To Go Public

Ellie K Re:Does it make money? (56 comments)

Does Twitter even make money?

Positive net revenue? Or have a clearly stated business plan that will result in prophit? Uncertain. The secret S-1 is a red phlag, regardless oph what Business Insider says.
* I apologize; my "eph" key is broken, thus my misspellings.

about a year ago
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Twitter Seeking To Go Public

Ellie K Twitter IPO (56 comments)

I honestly think it's going to be yet another fiasco for the tech sector.

I honestly think you are likely to be correct. I use Twitter a lot. It has given me amazing opportunities, that I would never have had otherwise, to interact and share my opinions with people who are so remote from me in distance, intelligence, fame, fortune*, accomplishment and occasionally notoriety.

Here's the problem: Who will pay to sustain that? I haven't. Other users don't either. There are promoted Tweet advertisements. Do they generate adequate revenue to sustain Twitter? I doubt it, but maybe they will. This bizarre IPO, without a public S-1, is troubling, to say the least. Somehow, Twitter needs to generate revenue while remaining (reasonably) open and unbiased as a communications platform. I want them to succeed, but don't know how they will do that.
* Distance: far
* Intelligence: above me
* fame and fortune: I have none; etc.

about a year ago
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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Ellie K Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

I am so, so sad about Groklaw. That is a great loss. It portends others. (Sorry about pretentious word).

1 year,15 hours
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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Ellie K Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

Suppressed anger over something? That is so rude that I can't stop laughing! I love the "mod me lower" portion!

Seriously, I can't even tell if you're referring to the European Union countries or the U.S.A. Maybe... Switzerland? Not exactly notorious for propaganda or insularity!.(more giggles)

1 year,15 hours

Submissions

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Shoe thrown at Iran's President Rouhani while rhyton returns home

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  about a year ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Upon his return to Tehran Airport today, an Iranian threw a shoe in the Iranian president's direction. According to CNN and Fararu, the semi-official media of Iran, it was an act of protest over President Rouhani's recent conversation with U.S. President Obama.

The historic conversation between the two world leaders was associated with more positive activities as well, including the return of a 2700-year-old Persian artifact in the shape of a rhyton. The rhyton was smuggled into New York in 2003, but languished in a U.S. customs warehouse for decades:

Customs officials had wanted to return it to Iran... but frigid relations between Washington and Tehran kept it in bureaucratic limbo.

* A rhyton is a mythical beast with a lion's body and the head of a bird of prey."
Link to Original Source

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Britain to privatize Royal Mail

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  about a year ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "After 500 years, Britain announced plans to fully privatize Royal Mail today. Shares of stock (common equity) will be offered to the public "in coming weeks", according to Reuters. 10% of shares will be given to current Royal Mail employees, Deal size is estimated at $US 3 to 4.7 billion. Goldman Sachs and UBS were chosen as lead advisers."
Link to Original Source
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White House Comic Styling

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  about a year ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "An official transcript of President Obama's remarks during the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner was released on 27 April 2013. Selected highlights of the 23 minute speech, which included a parody video:
  • The History Channel is not here. I guess they were embarrassed about the whole Obama-is-a-devil thing. (Laughter.)
  • I'm taking my charm offensive on the road — a Texas barbeque with Ted Cruz, a Kentucky bluegrass concert with Rand Paul, and a book-burning with Michele Bachmann. (Laughter and applause.)
  • I'm also hard at work on plans for the Obama Library. And some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I'd rather keep it in the United States. (Laughter.)

In today's Chronicle of Higher Education, Lingua Franca columnist Ben Yagoda compares the comic stylings of Obama with Kennedy. JFK's press conferences were used as a benchmark for presidential humor for decades. Yagoda notes a significant change over the years though:

The presidency has been subject to the show-bizzification of our public life... top politicians are now expected not only to acquire A-level material, but deliver it as if they’d put in their time trodding the boards at the Comedy Store. (It is kind of weird that the convention is that they do standup, as opposed to, say, singing...)

"

Link to Original Source
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Publishing giant Elsevier acquires Mendeley, an open science platform

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  about a year ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Yesterday, science and medicine publisher Elsevier B.V. confirmed its purchase of Mendeley for an undisclosed sum. The deal will help Elsevier to expand its presence in open science. There has been

concern expressed that the product [Mendeley] would become too proprietary or commercial.

Victor Henning, CEO and co-founder of Mendeley said that remaining independent would have caused much more pressure to push revenue generation . Mendeley posted a detailed Q&A for users , providing details of the transition.

Mendeley, a London/New York based start-up founded in 2008, offers an open API, and has established a solid reputation for supporting open access initiatives, especially useful for research collaboration. All Mendeley employees will be hired by Elsevier."

Link to Original Source

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Japan's Internet Connectivity Remains Intact

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Ellie K writes "Via IEEE Spectrum — Internet connectivity between Japan and North America was unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami-related devastation in Japan. Readers from Hong Kong and Japan noticed slower response times, but were not offline. This was a detailed follow-up to IEEE Spectrum's post two days earlier: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/internet/japan-earthquake-internet-didnt-even-blink-says-analyst"
Link to Original Source
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Evolution may have trained us to believe in luck

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "

Evolution may have trained the mind to see scoring streaks — even where they don't exist. Sports fans have cried foul for 25 years as scientists have dumped statistical ice water on basketball players' "hot hands." It seems obvious to even casual spectators that competitors occasionally score a bunch of baskets in a row and need to keep shooting while they're in the zone. Sorry, b-ball buffs. Researchers have yet to document any chance-defying scoring runs among even the best players. Kobe Bryant may well sink shot after shot, game in and game out, but even this all-star's season-long pattern of hits and misses fits within the mathematical definition of a random sequence, scientists say. Kobe's chances of hitting a shot are no greater following a swish than a miss.

"

Link to Original Source
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Twitter to Start Selling Followers

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Ellie K writes "While not quite as bad as it sounds, Twitter will soon be identifying followers with certain interests based on the content of their Twitter usage, and then providing this info to advertisers. Twitter is already selling sponsored Tweets for $100K or more. These reader comments captured the disquieting feeling I have: "Twitter selling followers? Will that be the same as Google selling top position in SERP?" and "I wonder when Facebook will start to sell friends".
Advertisers will be allowed to purchase placement in lists of "who to follow" recommendations targeted to users with particular interests on Twitter..."

Link to Original Source
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Facebook Introduces Remote Logout Feature

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Ellie K writes "In an effort to improve overall security options for its users, Facebook has launched a new feature that enables users to log-out remotely from a computer (or computers) other than their own. After enabling the feature, users will be able to see where their account is logged-on beyond their main computer – including the host device and its geographic location. Simply clicking the 'End Activity' button alongside any or all listed devices will instantly perform a log-out at that location.

“View your recent account activity,” advises Facebook. “If you notice an unfamiliar device or location, click 'end activity'.”"

Link to Original Source
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Anthrax Advisory

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  about 4 years ago

Ellie K writes "For months, perhaps years now, we've heard nothing about the anthrax bacterium. In 2001 and 2002, several acts of terrorism involved airborne anthrax in a medium of white powder. However, in this recent incident, which was not part of any terrorist activities, animal hides on drum surfaces were contaminated with anthrax, and resulted in gastrointestinal anthrax rather than inhalation or cutaneous infection. Apparently the anthrax bacterium can live on in the animal skin hides used for drums, and is a concern of sufficient significance to warrant a CDC advisory as well."
Link to Original Source
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American City of Future (1925)

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K writes "Conception of the 1950's of the future, from 1925 point-of-view. May be old news to slashdot, already dugg 3800 times. New to me though. Made me feel a little sad. Was almost utopia viewed through a glass darkly. And looking backward. Bellamy?"
Link to Original Source
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Illegal Activity Bot Network Uncovered

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Researchers at PandaLabs said yesterday they have uncovered a network that sells bots targeting social networks and Webmail systems. The publicly available site contains an extensive catalog of programs aimed at social networks and services, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Friendster, Gmail, and Yahoo... Each entry explains the reason why the bot has been created and activities it can perform: creating multiple accounts simultaneously; identity theft; stealing friends, followers or contacts; and automatic sending of messages."
Link to Original Source
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Credit Card Theft is Easier Offline!

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Ask any layperson about credit card fraud and they will inevitably link the subject to the Internet. But credit-card companies invested so much to add security to the internet that they forgot to take a closer look on the real world. In fact, is easier to copy (a.k.a. “clone”) a credit card off-line."
Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court Justice nominee Kagan fast tracks

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "If approved, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, former Harvard Law School Dean Ellen Kagan would be the first appointee in 38 years who had never had experience as a judge. The 50-year old Kagan would be 40 years younger than Justice Stephens who she'd be replacing, and five years younger than any of the other current Supreme Court judges.

The Yahoo article offers two striking photos, both large color images, of U.S. Solicitor General Kagan carrying out her current duties."

Link to Original Source
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Google Analytics Releases 38 New Features Today

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Google Analytics Application Gallery extend Google Analytics with 38 new apps including these:
Analytics HD: AnalyticsApp is an app for Google Analytics on the iPad
Analytics Visualizations:The Referrer Flow visualization shows you what sites link to you and which content works best. The Keyword visualization displays the most frequently used search keywords and how they are used together.
BTBuckets: BTBuckets is a free segmentation and optimization webapp that allows sites to create user segments and take actions upon them in real time.
CallTrackID: CallTrackID allows telephone enquiries to be tracked from various traffic routes, including direct, organic, PPC ad, affiliate and offline straight into Google Analytics.
ShufflePoint Studio for PowerPoint: ShufflePoint Studio allows you to associate PowerPoint text, table, and chart placeholders with refreshable Google Analytics data

and 33 more, see Google Analytics blog http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/05/google-analytics-releases-38-features.html"

Link to Original Source
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Adobe's Flash Clashes with Fraud Detection

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Adobe's New Privacy Feature For Flash Clashes With Online Fraud Detection: Financial institutions, ecommerce sites will no longer be able to rely on Flash objects, cookies to help ID legitimate users, experts say ..."
Link to Original Source
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RIAA can now unmask anonymous file sharers

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ellie K (1804464) writes "Identities of individuals charged with illegal peer-to-peer file sharing can be revealed to the copyright holder who is filing the charges...The RIAA had detected infringing activity on the network, and traced the IP address back to the individual. After filing something known as a "John Doe" lawsuit, the RIAA managed to force the ISP to hand over the user's identity."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Bom Sabado! Orkut hacked!!

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 3 years ago Lol Job!!!

Cryptography project bids sought, 13 May 2013
Project Description:
I need a preimage for a specific MD5 hash (will be revealed in private message). Length or content of the image doesn't matter (however I would pay more if I could choose a prefix). The submitted image will be verified by the *nix standard md5sum application, the first one who submits a valid image will be accepted and be paid.

Posted by user md5guy.

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Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Developer Network Blog
This is the most bizarre thing I've seen yet from Microsoft. They acknowledge, on the Developer blog, that the sign-in process for using MSDN communities, resources, forums, tutorials, API etc has confused so many DEVELOPERS that they will consider redesign. That's of some comfort to me, as I was feeling a bit confused too. This blog post was dated May 2010, I'm going to check to see how it all turned out, and if I'm fortunate, I'll be able to create a second MS Live profile (apparently one isn't sufficient) and actually access the site!

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Science Tattoo Emporium

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Disco Blog Gallery of Science-themed Tattoos

This would provide a good reference for the recent Slashdot inquiry regarding ideas for tattoos, although his inquiry pertained specifically to mathematics tattoos. Maybe it will be helpful anyway, or at least fun to look through! From Discovery Magazine Blogs.

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More Women Without Children

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Read this: http://slashdot.org/story/04/07/28/1351230/Wikipedia-Founder-Jimmy-Wales-Responds

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Future of Social Relations from Pew

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Yes, this is about web analytics but statisticians (like me) do segmentation analyses too. For the month of May 2010, Gigya's Identity Study reports which sign-on's and ISPs were used for major traffic sites, stratified by category. Category types are more varied than just social networking, although Facebook and Twitter are included. I haven't checked the methodology. I did see that the sample sizes were sufficient, and that comparisons are provided in percentage terms and absolute values. There's the requisite infographic, of course.

Social Relations and the Internet

For more trend following, see Pew Research's 2010 update about the future of social relations online.

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What Identities are Used for Sign-in and Where, Gigya

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Eek! How do I delete embarrassing old journal entries?

And bookmarks...some of mine are just awful. Help!

Also, I am having trouble even overwriting old content.

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Second Amendment Applies to States (and Localities) | Sands Anderson PC - JDSupra

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago The Right to Bear Arms in the City of Chicago (and your town too) On June 29, 2010, the US Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated ruling on restrictive City of Chicago gun control measures, effectively, Chicago's ban of citizen possession of firearms. (The City of Chicago is not alone in setting these sort of laws. Washington D.C. has a similar law, and the rationale is obvious, regardless of whether effective or not.)
Most U.S. federal-level laws are applied at the state and local level by "Due Process", which exists as a clause in the Fourteeth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment applies to gun control. That eponymous phrase, "the right to bear arms", is actually applicable only at the Federal level per the Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the the Second Amendment was applicable to the City of Chicago by Due Process instead of a stronger measure known as Privileges and Immunities. (Actually Justice Clarence Thomas based his opinon on Privileges and Immunities, but was the only Justice who did so).
What are the implications of this case ruling? Well, it could mean increased legislation, or "open season", on existing illegal possession of firearms-related laws for all U.S. states and localities. How might it affect the gun control laws in the five Boroughs of Manhattan? Washington D.C.?

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White House seeks comment on trusted ID plan, 25 June 2010

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago Computer World reports on Public Input for Trusted ID Plan

I went to the site National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace last Friday afternoon, June 25. That was a few hours after the site was opened to comments. There were a dozen posts at that time, suggesting, or commenting, in each of the various categories provided. I was pleased to an see OpenID-related suggestion, as also referenced in ComputerWorld's article

"One person suggested the White House take advantage of existing open-source trusted ID efforts, including OpenID"

I happen to be an advocate of OpenID, from what I know to-date. I also read some other rational-sounding observations, further comments, and more new ideas to address the problem of protecting individual and corporate electronic security. There were maybe 10 duplicate or substantively similar submissions at that time.

Approx 36 hours later, I checked the site. It had devolved into a mess of off-topic rants and paranoid comments about the evils of Big Government (ignoring the fact that Big Government was providing this venue for citizens to express their thoughts!). I continued reading.

Oddly enough, I read many sensible and well-written posts that were duplicates of the original 10 or 15 ideas submitted. I find the latter the most annoying in many respects. Why? Because I assume it is a matter of ego that so many individuals cannot vote up an idea they like or also had been contemplating, then using the commenting feature following each idea, should there be variations or refinements, or corrections of some part to be considered. No, apparently it is far more important to get your name in there, even if it merely displays as "Community Member", the auto assigned name for those who wish to remain anonymous, than to add one's vote to an already-posted idea you endorse. What a frustrating thing it will be for whomever has the job of moderating this morass of entries!

Failure to solicit public input is a very common complaint about government. In some cases that is valid. However, one look at this site is enough to make one think the public should be able to behave itself better if it wants to be taken seriously.
That is a rhetorical suggestion, I am merely remarking on collective behavior. I am not a government employee nor contracted or funded by government, minor disclaimer.

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Definitive guide to Keyboard Shortcuts, Spanish language version, Computando.tk

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

EDIT: Website is offline now.

This is a good reference for keyboard shortcuts. Why? What's so special about it?

Well, it is very carefully illustrated and sized well for printing then taping to a shelf or lamp near one's workstation. Of course, this would be even more useful to anyone new to the World of Windows and PC's, particularly if they want a document written in Spanish. (I don't know if the same keyboard shortcuts are applicable for Mac OS, though). There's a nice explanation about the Alt-Gr key, otherwise known to me as Alt- |, and a bit of history about the different key placement for European versus North American market. The Gr in Alt-Gr meant "Graphics", fyi.

The post covers these combo's, and don't give me a hard time for my choice of notation!
Alt + x
Windows symbol + x
Shift + x
Alt-Gr + x , or Alt-Shift -\ + x
for West of the Atlantic users Function keys
F1 ... F12
Ctrl + x

Personally, I try to avoid keyboard shortcuts, as they remind me of Emacs and WordPerfect, neither of which were bad, just indicate that I'm getting a little long in the tooth. However it is good to have the info handy, as one sometimes gets stuck in an application where an expected function is not offered on the pull down menus, and use of the keyboard shortcut is the only choice.

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2MB Floppy Diskette DataLife IBM Formatted 10pk

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Verbatim 3.5 inch Floppy Diskettes

Yes, this means that there's at least one seller of new 3.5 inch floppy diskettes! I saw these on Verbatim's online site, available in an unnervingly elaborate variety of color combinations.

The site is worth having a quick look at. There are also some new tech and innovative household/ consumer items. I want a four pack of Verbatim-branded batteries: NiMH and 2,500Au (not sure about that unit of measurement...). Very good quality batteries, for rechargables, and affordable too. Don't forget the computing storage devices, including super high-end secure USB's, $400+ for 16 GB. Preview the future PCI replacement storage device, a.k.a. known as Express cards.

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Unconventional Computing: The Future is Hot Air

Ellie K Ellie K writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Google's massive computing facilities use 12V auto batteries as back-up power source! Is it true? Yes, per David Kanter, editor-in-chief of Real World Technologies in his Exectweets post from May 7, 2010. Google, much like Amazon, Yahoo! or Facebook relies on aggregate computing processing power. Cost remains an issue, despite increased hardware affordability and performance advantages from better systems architecture. This might be old news at Slashdot, as it was based on events of perhaps mid-year 2009. It was new to me though:

"Google shared some of its Borg hardware with the world... a 12V car battery was used for backup, rather than an UPS. Why? Modern UPS designs improve reliability in exactly the same way, but the conversion efficiency is not perfectâ"a good UPS might convert power at 90% efficiency. For a company with a dozen servers, a 10% inefficiency power is unfortunate, but may not be worth chasing after... [Google's] car battery approach achieves 99.9% efficiency, and with hundreds of thousands of servers, that can make a big difference."

Hmmm.... I'd like to see the numbers. Reliability is based on expected failure rates. Without knowing more about the probability distribution for 12V car battery failure, and how multiple 12V batteries are configured for back-up power, I don't have sufficient info to make even a rough estimate.... Other considerations would be: Exactly how many 12V batteries does Google use? How much space do they require and isn't there some trade-off due to the enormous footprint of a vast 12V battery farm?

David described another aspect of Google's energy efficient operations:

"Google simplifies their designs to only use 12V power rails. A modern motherboard requires several voltage planes: 3.3V, 5V and 12V. To provide each voltage, the power supply needs to convert 115V AC to the appropriate level. Instead, Google's power supplies only output 12V and use high efficiency voltage conversion on the motherboard to go from 12V to other voltage levels"

The macro-benefits of data center optimization are very green-friendly, and not exclusive to Google. Any large corporate data center consumes a great amount of electricity, and outputs waste heat. Locating a data center near cheap power sources is sensible, and is presumably why Amazon and Google, amongst others have chosen the Pacific Northwest due to the region's plentiful hydroelectric power. However, the most pleasing idea was to recycle the heat and warm air generated by server rooms and data centers, and using it for temperature control, to heat buildings, swimming pools or maybe industrial purposes. The article concludes with a real-world example; Telehouse, a U.K. colocation provider, specifically designed its London data center with an exhaust pipe to move heat to third parties in the Docklands.

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