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Comments

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"World's Most Relaxing Music" Composed

GillBates0 Re:Or not (239 comments)

I have trouble listening to music with words because I sing along in my head, and I have a trouble listening to classical music because I play along in my head (I'm a violinist).

I think whether you feel relaxed listening to 'worded' music is highly dependent on what the lyrics convey. For example, if you were to listen to Meditative chants (Vedic/Hindu/Buddhist/Sanskrit Peace chants as an example), whose sole purpose is to invoke Peace in the mind, you'd find them relaxing. Here's one such example of a 'Shanti Mantra' (Peace chant): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdlxIIKiU4 .

On the other hand, if you listen to hardcore Heavy Metal, or violent Hip-Hop lyrics, you'll find it has the opposite effect, and gets you all worked up.

more than 3 years ago
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Dennis Ritchie, Creator of C Programming Language, Passed Away

GillBates0 He lived so we could C (725 comments)

RIP

more than 3 years ago
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Could Electron Counts Detect Major Earthquakes?

GillBates0 This reminds me of the Star Trek episode(TheApple) (106 comments)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apple_(Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series)

On stardate 3715.3, the starship USS Enterprise arrives at Gamma Trianguli VI, a planet that appears to be a tropical paradise with very rich natural resources. Captain James T. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Ensign Chekov, and Mr. Spock, along with five other survey personnel (Hendorff, Kaplan, Landon, Mallory, and Marple, all of whom are killed except Landon), beam down to the surface to have a look and to make contact with the natives.

They discover a world of poison dart-shooting plants, unstable explosive rocks, and bizarre lightning storms that appear out of cloudless skies. Hendorff is shot by a plant and is killed, and then Spock is hit by another plant's darts when he steps to block them from hitting the Captain. Spock is stunned, and McCoy rushes over to assist, injecting him with Masiform-D serum to counteract the poison. Spock is more resilient to the poison and later recovers on his own.

Realizing there is too much danger, Kirk orders an immediate beam-out, however Mr. Scott reports that the ship's power systems are being drained by an unknown energy field emanating from the planet – they're losing potency in the anti-matter. The Enterprise's transporters don't have enough power to beam anyone back. As if this weren't enough, Spock reports that someone is hiding in the bushes, watching them.

A few minutes later, the sky clouds up and a bolt of lightning snakes down and hits Kaplan, killing him. Shortly thereafter, Mallory calls in on his communicator. He's near the village and says it's "primitive, strictly tribal," but that there's something else of great interest. His communicator fails and he runs back to the landing party to report, but trips over an explosive rock and is killed.

Spock notices they are being watched again. Kirk arranges to decoy and ambush their "observer", finding it to be a shy and frightened primitive humanoid who wears glitter and colorful paints on his skin. Kirk promises not to hurt the curious man and holds him for questioning. The man calms down and identifies himself as Akuta (Keith Andes), chief of the people known as the "Feeders of Vaal". Spock notices that Akuta appears to be in some kind of communication with someone, and points out the small antennae on Akuta's head. Akuta explains that those are his "ears for Vaal", enabling him to interpret Vaal's commands for the people, and that he is "the eyes and the ears of Vaal", who is their god.

Meanwhile, Mr. Scott calls down to inform Kirk that the Enterprise is being pulled down from orbit around the planet by some kind of tractor beam and is unable to break away. Kirk asks Akuta about "Vaal", and requests to be taken to meet him. Akuta agrees and leads the landing team to a large stone dragon head carved into the side of a hill. Akuta points to the structure and indicates that it is Vaal.

The dragon's mouth, with steps cut into a tongue, appears as a kind of doorway. Spock's tricorder indicates that it leads underground. The structure is also protected by a powerful force field. The temple appears to be some type of sophisticated computer, possibly built by an ancient civilization, with a rudimentary artificial intelligence, a thirty-foot force field, and emanating great power. Spock also concludes that it may be the source of the energy draining field that is affecting the Enterprise.

Akuta says Vaal is "sleeping", but will awake "hungry" and might speak to the landing party at that time. He then leads the party to meet his people. They appear as young men and women, but all have a curious, childlike mentality. Kirk points out that the tribe doesn't seem to have any children and asks Akuta why. Akuta doesn't know what a child is, saying that Vaal has forbidden love and copulation, and provides them with "replacements" as they are needed. McCoy scans the tribe and is shocked when he discovers they are ageless and all in perfect health. The party later observes them as they perform a ritualistic "feeding" of Vaal, carrying loads of the explosive rocks down into the underground tunnel. The picture is now clear; the people live only to service Vaal, to dance, and to gather food. They don't even do their own agriculture, since Vaal controls the environment right down to "putting the fruit on the trees".

Mr. Spock observes the symbiosis between the Feeders and Vaal as an "excellent example of reciprocity", but McCoy vehemently disagrees and says the Feeders are not really alive, but stagnating, all their needs and wants provided for by a "hunk of tin". He insists that because they are humanoid, certain "universal standards" apply to them, "the right of humanoids to a free and unchained environment, the right to have conditions which permit growth." Kirk says it's more important to get the Enterprise out of danger.

Throughout their time on the planet, Chekov and Yeoman Martha Landon (Celeste Yarnall) have been showing interest in one another, and during a lull in the action slip away to be alone together. A tribal couple observe the pair and try to imitate their kissing. Vaal is instantly aware of this and radios instructions to Akuta, telling him to gather his people and kill the strangers who have trespassed here. Akuta rounds some of his men and instructs them to kill the landing party by bashing their skulls with clubs.

The landing party goes to Vaal to investigate the structure. Vaal defends itself by striking Spock with a lightning bolt. The Feeders then attack, surrounding the landing party and killing Marple. The landing party fights them off and then detains the Feeders.

Under Scott's command, the Enterprise crew have been switching all systems over to generate a thrust and now, with 15 minutes left, begins its effort to break free. All seems to be working, then the effort fails. Scott says they gained maybe an hour, but they blew nearly every system doing it. Just then, Vaal, perhaps weakened by the starship's efforts, calls for the villagers. Chekov tells the people to stay in the hut, preventing them from feeding Vaal.

Kirk orders the ship's weapons to target the structure and fire on the forcefield, intending to force Vaal to use its reserves. The ship blasts the dragon head with phasers and Vaal uses the reserves to reinforce the forcefield, but cannot hold out: Vaal's glowing eyes go dark; Kirk orders ceasefire; Vaal lights again only briefly.

Scott reports that the tractor beam is no longer pulling the ship, potency is returning to the anti-matter pods, and repairs are under way, so Kirk rehires Scott and orders a scientific and engineering detail down to investigate Vaal's remains.

Akuta and his people are devastated, but are told by Kirk that they are finally free and will soon discover work, birth, death, and the normal everyday ways of life.

Back aboard ship, Spock compares what the Captain has done to giving the primitive people the equivalent of the apple of knowledge and driving them from their Garden of Eden, but Kirk insinuates that Spock's resemblance to the Devil is much more apparent than his own.

more than 3 years ago
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Regarding R*cism and such

GillBates0 Re:I see. (5 comments)

From here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_pluralism#Hindu_views

Hindu views

The Hindu religion is naturally pluralistic. A well-known Rig Vedic hymn says that "Truth is One, though the sages know it variously." (Ékam sat vipra bahud vadanti).[11] Similarly, in the Bhagavad Gt (4:11), God, manifesting as an incarnation, states that "As people approach me, so I receive them. All paths lead to me" (ye yath m prapadyante ts tathiva bhajmyaham mama vartmnuvartante manuy prtha sarvaa).[12] The Hindu religion has no theological difficulties in accepting degrees of truth in other religions. Hinduism emphasizes that everyone actually worship the same God, whether they know it or not.[13] Just as Hindus worshiping Ganesh is seen as valid by those worshiping Vishnu, so someone worshiping Jesus or Allah is accepted. Many foreign deities become assimilated into Hinduism, and some Hindus may sometimes offer prayers to Jesus along with their traditional forms of God.

Note - I can dislike but still accept others philosophies or ideas as their paths. BUT accepting still doesn't imply liking their ideas, particularly, when they are forced upon me.

But I digress, what I originally started out saying was that disliking somebody for what they are (by birth, e.g. their skin color) is Wrong. BUT disliking their believes or disliking them for what they believe in, is not.

more than 3 years ago
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Regarding R*cism and such

GillBates0 Re:I see. (5 comments)

So, then, it's okay to hate Jews. Or Christians or Muslims. Or atheists.

Notice, I didn't say 'hate' but 'dislike' someone's ideology. Doesn't subscribing to a particular philisophy (Disclaimer: I'm borderline Agnostic, was raised a Hindu, and practice Buddhist meditation as well) automatically imply a disliking alternate philosophies? Otherwise, why would one prefer or choose one over another?

But yeah, the basis of Hindu philosophy does include accepting all religions (look up Pluralism on wikipedia) as alternate paths to the same underlying Reality.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Anonymous Can't Take Down Amazon.com

GillBates0 Don't forget Akamai (392 comments)

Akamai had a role to play in the defense as well.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20025477-281.html

Akamai says it can defend against Anon attacks

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20025477-281.html#ixzz187QnPlDV
Akamai managers say they could have bolstered the Web sites that buckled under attacks launched recently by Internet vigilantes.

The world's largest content delivery network says it has enough servers and the right kind of network to "mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks," Neil Cohen, Akamai's senior director of product marketing told CNET. DDoS describes the practice of overwhelming a Web site with traffic so that it can't be accessed.

Some well-known sites were the targets of DDoS attacks launched by a loosely connected group of WikiLeaks supporters who call themselves Anonymous or Anon for short. The group lashed out at companies they consider to be hostile to WikiLeaks, the service responsible for publicizing an enormous amount of classified U.S. government documents. Some of those attacked were MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and Amazon.

MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal stopped processing donations made to WikiLeaks while Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks servers. At this point it appears that Amazon was able to withstand the attack while MasterCard and Visa's sites were inaccessible for extended periods.

Cohen said few other companies have as much experience as his with defending Web sites from this kind of threat. He said that late last month, a number of U.S. retail sites came under DDoS attack from multiple different countries. Cohen said he was unaware of who was behind it or why, but he said that Akamai helped some of the retailers withstand the onslaught of hits to their sites, which in some cases reached to 10,000 times the normal daily traffic to some of these sites. None of the sites went down, he said.

"What we did over the last decade was built out our network and we now have 80,000 servers in 70 countries," Cohen said. "We can mitigate DDoS attacks by having a server extremely close to the court rather than try to absorb the attack in one centralized location. As an attack grows in size and distributes out to more bots, we have a server near the compromised machines. As the attack gets bigger, our network scales on demand."

While there are reports that Anonymous is giving up on DDoS attacks related to the WikiLeaks case, it is unlikely that we've seen the end of them. In retaliation against the entertainment industry's antipiracy attempts, Anonymous knocked out the Web sites belonging to the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Hustler magazine, and the U.S. Copyright Office.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20025477-281.html#ixzz187QiBtJU

about 4 years ago
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Twitter Gets a Tweak

GillBates0 Yay marketers! (57 comments)

Here come the 'sponsored' tweets for the twits to watch and twitter about!

Seriously, it was worthless before, now it's more so, except for the marketers and the twits who 'follow' them and think they're all smart and cool for using twitter.

more than 4 years ago
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How Good Software Makes Us Stupid

GillBates0 My $0.02 (385 comments)

I find that the internet, and Google-like search capabilities mirror and satisfy my mind's innate desire to jump from one thought (and topic) to another.

Now, in addition to thinking random thoughts (which the mind/brain tends to do), I can read up and learn about on these subjects which earlier used to be just thoughts, and in that sense it makes me more learned.

What this encourages though, is a more unsteady thought pattern, with related and seemingly 'random' web searches about this thought stream.

I'm considering taking up meditation to encourage a 'calmer' mind that doesn't jump around as much between thoughts.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Begins Live Streaming Trials

GillBates0 They streamed the India Premier Cricket League... (90 comments)

For some reason, Slashdot rejected my submission back then ... here it is, based on this Guardian story:

"YouTube is running a (very) brief trial of their new live streaming platform: 'This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels; all broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera. Included in the test is a "Live Comments" module which lets you engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community. For the purpose of the trial, this offering will only be available today and tomorrow. Based on the results of this initial test, we'll evaluate rolling out the platform more broadly to our partners worldwide.'"

I, for one, welcome our new TV replacement.

more than 4 years ago
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If Programming Languages Were Religions

GillBates0 Re:Hinduism would have been better as Fortran (844 comments)

I agree.

The multiple dieties in Hinduism merely translate to various aspects of the One Absolute Infinite Consciousness.

The thinking here is that the "Absolute" is so unfathomable that everybody has a different view of it (like the fabled elephant and 8 blind men). These aspects can be viewed as different dieties and even as different religions.

Indeed, Hinduism allows and *encourages* different views of the Absolute, and thus is inherently Pluralisitc (accepts all religious paths as equally valid, promoting coexistence).

about 6 years ago
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Geeky April Fools' Day Prank Roundup

GillBates0 I got Rick Rolled (282 comments)

I got Rick Rolled. You can too.

(speakers on, detach mouse for best effect).

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Verizon Privacy Policy Changes

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "Dear Valued Customer,
  Your privacy is an important priority at Verizon. We want to let you know that Verizon will soon participate in a program that will improve the ability of advertisers to reach our Verizon Online customers based on your physical address. The goal is to provide online ads that may be more relevant to you.

This program uses your address to determine whether you reside in a local area an advertiser is trying to reach. However, Verizon won’t share your address with advertisers as part of this process. Advertisers won’t know it’s you specifically or where you actually live. If you do not want us to allow advertisers to send you ads based on your geographic area you can let us know by selecting here.

What does this mean for you?

Certain ads you’ll see while browsing the Internet may be directed to you and other Verizon Online customers in your area, so these ads may be of more interest to you. For example, a pizza chain may want to deliver their ad to give a special offer to people living in a particular area. Using this program, national brands and local businesses can tailor their offers, coupons, and incentives to your local area.

Protection of Your Personal Information

Verizon protects your personal information as described in our privacy policy. You can learn about Verizon’s ad practices or let us know that you do not want to participate by selecting here. If you don’t want to participate, you will need your User ID and Password to access the opt-out page. Please note that declining to participate won’t impact the number of ads you see, just their potential relevance to you.

For answers to your frequently asked questions, select here.

Sincerely,

Verizon"

Link to Original Source
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Stopping Terror with Social Networks/Technology

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Norway, we saw how people used technology to collaborate and help each other online (e.g. for rides, blood donations, etc). I am toying with the idea of creating a website where people can report suspicious objects by clicking a picture. Once uploaded to the website and geolocated (via an App), the location could be flagged on a Google Map, so others can avoid it. If enough people report the object, the website could automatically dial local authorities (perhaps each city should have one). It's kinda "surveillance for the people, by the people", especially in areas where government surveillance isn't adequate. It would harness the power of technology and the masses to improve public vigilance, warn other people in the area, in real time. There are privacy implications, and there's probably a huge scope for misuse, but it would save lives. What do people think?"
Link to Original Source
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Mind controls body in extreme experiments

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "I chanced upon this interesting study by Harvard Professor Dr. Herbert Benson, a prominent cardiologist, founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of several publications and books. Benson and his team studied monks living in the Himalayan Mountains in Sikkim, India, who could, by practicing a form of meditation, raise the temperatures of their fingers and toes by as much as 17 degrees. The researchers were astonished to find that these monks could lower their metabolism by 64 percent. "It was an astounding, breathtaking [no pun intended] result," Benson exclaims. To put that decrease in perspective, metabolism, or oxygen consumption, drops only 10-15 percent in sleep and about 17 percent during simple meditation. Benson believes that such a capability could be useful for space travel. Travelers might use meditation to ease stress and oxygen consumption on long flights to other planets. In his research, Dr. Benson concludes that mind and body are one system, in which meditation can play a significant role in reducing stress responses."
Link to Original Source
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India: 'Massive' uranium find in India

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "BBC reports that India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh may have one of the largest reserves of uranium in the world. India is planning to set up about 30 reactors over as many years and get a quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy by 2050."
Link to Original Source
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Online collaboration helps Mumbai attack victims

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "CNN has a nice story about how online collaboration swiftly helped form a centrally organized online disaster effort during Wednesday's Mumbai attacks. India accounts for almost one fifth of the world's cell phone subscribers. At a time when chaos reigned, and voice calls were jammed, a loose collaboration of techies, laymen, and good samaritans quickly collaborated online via social media, Wikipedia, Google docs and other online resoureces to coordinate blood donors, assistance, rides, and other services to help the victims of the attack."
Link to Original Source
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$22 Billion+ in Gold, Jewels found in India Temple

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes ""In Southern India a story that sounds like the plot line of a Hollywood adventure is unfolding. A panel appointed by the country's Supreme Court, found a treasure treasure estimated to be worth US $22 billion (and counting) in the underground vaults of a Hindu temple in Trivandrum, India. The AP reports that inside the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, investigators were counting the staggering hoard of gold coins and statues of gods and goddesses studded with diamonds and other precious stones. CNN IBN adds that among the treasures (still being weighed and inventoried) are gold specters, idols, rare gems, sacks full of diamonds, and crowns of erstwhile kings.""
Link to Original Source
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Google's Bangalore Streetview project stalled

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

GillBates0 writes "The Bangalore Police has objected to the collection of data by Google's cars, which were criss-crossing Bangalore city taking high definition images to give users 360 degree views of streets. Talking about the security concerns in an earlier interview with CNN-IBN, Google India Product Head Vinay Goel said, "We are only driving on public roads and taking publicly available imagery so what we are not doing is going into a specific installation and taking private pictures and obviously we are working with the authorities so if there are certain locations they don't want us to be there we won't go there, we are happy working with the authorities here.""
Link to Original Source
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Shaky start to the morning

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "We woke up this morning to the loudest whooming thunderclap ever (Boston suburb). Anyone else hear it?

Unless there's an alternate explanation, we think lightning may have struck our home/arrester, but there's no visible damage.

How can one tell? How does it sound when lightning strikes your or a neighboring home's lightning arrester? Any electrical engineering Slashdotters or experienced lightning catchers around?"

Link to Original Source
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Unseen Power of Michael Jackson

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "Forgotten Michael Jackson photos could power the world, inventor says. A Los Angeles inventor who photographed Michael Jackson 33 years ago hopes those images will now help launch an electric motor he claims could solve the world's energy problems."
Link to Original Source
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That's all folks!

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "That's all folks, this is it!

Please feel free to enjoy any humorous, and/or clever and/or childish April Fool's anecdotes around my office, my ex-office, my family, the continents, and the dubloo-dubloo-dubloo.dot.www.com's out there, this fine and snowy New England April 1st morning. Rest assured, I'm celebrating with you in spirit wherever you are.

I'm in the middle of a sleepless and hectic release week and as such unable to indulge in, participate in or share any lolhappyfunrofl pranks with all of you, my friends, family and colleagues, current and past.

Let this be an April Fool's Day to commemorate all of the past fun April Fool's days we've shared together.

If you've ever been enjoyed a memorable April fool's please feel free to share the lulz with your near and dear ones over a cold beer and/or adult recreational beverage of your choice.

Or go watch a movie, refresh thats_all_folks.gif or something.

Just leave me alone."

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Attempted P!=NP proof, need feedback

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  about 4 years ago

GillBates0 (664202) writes "Fellow Slashdotters — here's my attempted (and possibly lame) proof for P!=NP. Since I'm not in the academic circle anymore, I don't know where else to turn to have fellow geeks review it and provide feedback. So — at the risk of spending the entire weekend sorting through brickbats, flames and egg in my face I ask — https://sites.google.com/site/pnproof/ — where did I mess up? What am I missing? Thanks for your time."
Link to Original Source
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P is not equal to NP

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  about 4 years ago

GillBates0 (664202) writes "Proof that P is not equal to NP:

Consider the P=NP problem that asks whether every problem whose solution can be efficiently checked by a computer can also be efficiently solved by a computer.

P is not equal to NP because while a computer can efficiently (in polynomial time) check if sets P and NP are unequal, we cannot efficiently compute either P or NP."

Link to Original Source
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Harry Potter blamed for India's disappearing owls

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

GillBates0 (664202) writes "Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has blamed fans of Harry Potter for the demise of wild owls in the country as children seek to emulate the boy wizard by taking the birds as pets. Following Harry Potter, there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls," Ramesh said Wednesday, according to comments reported by the BBC."
Link to Original Source
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Giant Aerostat centerpiece at Commonwealth games

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

GillBates0 (664202) writes "Last weekend saw the world's largest aerostat of it's kind featured at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The helium balloon or aerostat measures 40x80x12 meters, contains 20,000 cubic meters of helium and features lights, mirrors, cameras, a 360 degree projection screen, projectors and a reflective underbelly. During the show, it was raised 25 meters off the ground and transformed into a giant Bodhi Tree, a meditating Buddha, with giant puppets to complement the cultural performances beneath. These slideshows tell the story."
Link to Original Source
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Youtube airs India Premier League cricket in 1080p

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GillBates0 writes "Youtube is currently airing India Premier League cricket matches live in 1080p. YouTube claims that this is the first major sporting event to be streamed across the globe. Earlier this year, YouTube confirmed its first live major sporting deal, announcing that it will host live Indian Premier League cricket matches, casting into doubt the value of TV broadcast rights. Under the IPL deal, YouTube will broadcast 60 matches over 45 days live in the 2010 IPL season through a dedicated channel at youtube.com/ipl."
Link to Original Source
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Youtube's first live major sporting deal

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

GillBates0 (664202) writes "YouTube has confirmed its first live major sporting deal, announcing that it will host live Indian Premier League cricket matches in the UK, and casting into doubt the value of British TV broadcast rights. The YouTube deal involves every country outside the US – a significantly larger scope than reports had suggested. Under the IPL deal, YouTube will broadcast 60 matches over 45 days live in the 2010 IPL season through a dedicated channel at youtube.com/ipl. YouTube claims that this is the first major sporting event to be streamed across the globe."
Link to Original Source
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Another flying car takes to the skies

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

GillBates0 writes "CNN is carrying a story about yet another flying car. The "Skycar" is a road-legal all-terrain buggy with a huge rear propeller and a fabric wing. It's creator Giles Cardozo took off from London today for a journey to Timbuktu, Mali, in West Africa via Spain and Morocco. Cardozo and his team of engineers say advances in flexible wing technology have made their car more practical, with more precise handling and increased safety over traditional rigid wings. The car runs on biofuel and has a takeoff speed of 73 km/h (45 mph) and requires a distance of less than 200 meters (220 yards). The flexible wing is folded and packed in the back of the car when driving on the road and can deploy immediately when it is ready to fly. A video report is available as well."
Link to Original Source
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Taser parties a growing US trend

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GillBates0 writes "The BBC is running a story about 'Taser parties' becoming a growing trend in the US. Unlike a typical tupperware party however, the conversation here revolves around crime statistics, sales pitch and target practice using Tasers. The host shows off the latest models designed to appeal to women (bright red, soft pink and electric blue) and fashionable accessories like a carrying pouch made of fake leopard-print fur. While some parties like the American Civil Liberties Union question Taser marketing, ownership and safety, others seem convinced it's an effective way to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms. I, for one, bow humbly to our Taser toting female overlords, lest they zap me with it."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Verizon Privacy Policy Changes = Privacy WTFAGE

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dear Valued Customer, en español

Your privacy is an important priority at Verizon. We want to let you know that Verizon will soon participate in a program that will improve the ability of advertisers to reach our Verizon Online customers based on your physical address. The goal is to provide online ads that may be more relevant to you.

This program uses your address to determine whether you reside in a local area an advertiser is trying to reach. However, Verizon wonâ(TM)t share your address with advertisers as part of this process. Advertisers wonâ(TM)t know itâ(TM)s you specifically or where you actually live. If you do not want us to allow advertisers to send you ads based on your geographic area you can let us know by selecting here.

What does this mean for you?

Certain ads youâ(TM)ll see while browsing the Internet may be directed to you and other Verizon Online customers in your area, so these ads may be of more interest to you. For example, a pizza chain may want to deliver their ad to give a special offer to people living in a particular area. Using this program, national brands and local businesses can tailor their offers, coupons, and incentives to your local area.

Protection of Your Personal Information

Verizon protects your personal information as described in our privacy policy. You can learn about Verizonâ(TM)s ad practices or let us know that you do not want to participate by selecting here. If you donâ(TM)t want to participate, you will need your User ID and Password to access the opt-out page. Please note that declining to participate wonâ(TM)t impact the number of ads you see, just their potential relevance to you.

For answers to your frequently asked questions, select here.

Sincerely,

Verizon

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Regarding R*cism and such

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

It is hateful and bad to dislike someone for what they are (e.g. their skin color).
It is NOT hateful NOR wrong to dislike someone for what they think or believe in.

It's as simple as that!

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Kent Couch flies in lawnchair

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

That's all folks, this is it!

Please feel free to enjoy any humorous, and/or clever and/or childish April Fool's anecdotes around my office, my ex-office, my family, the continents, and the dubloo-dubloo-dubloo.dot.www.com's out there, this fine and snowy New England April 1st morning. Rest assured, I'm celebrating with you in spirit wherever you are.

I'm in the middle of a sleepless and hectic release week and as such unable to indulge in, participate in or share any lolhappyfunrofl pranks with all of you, my friends, family and colleagues, current and past.

Let this be an April Fool's Day to commemorate all of the past fun April Fool's days we've shared together.

If you've ever been enjoyed a memorable April fool's please feel free to share the lulz with your near and dear ones over a cold beer and/or adult recreational beverage of your choice.

Or go watch a movie, refresh thats_all_folks.gif or something.

Just leave me alone.

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One more checklist

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Your post advocates a conspiracy theory which is

( ) paranoid
( ) delusional
(x) impossible to confirm
(x) impossible to refute

Specifically, your theory fails to account for

( ) Stupidity of the general population
( ) Stupidity of the politicians
(x) Lack of supporting evidence
(x) Plenty of contradictory evidence
(x) Lack of a centrally controlling authority for conspiracies
(x) The facts can be explained without need for real conspiracy
(x) Scientists generally don't participate in conspiracies
(x) Failure to mention the Illuminati

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been proven
(x) That's what they WANT us to think

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, you're batshit crazy
(x) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

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Drug patents threatening cheap drugs

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 7 years ago This was a story I tried to submit but was rejected by Slashdot's editorial staff. Not grousing, saving my composition here for posterity, as I do with other of my rejected stories.

The BBC is reporting that a recent court challenge to India's patent laws by pharmaceutical giant Novartis may cut the supply of affordable medicines to treat AIDS and other epidemics in the developing world. Based on the rejection of it's patent on a drug, Novartis is arguing that India's requirement for drugs to be "new and innovative" is not in line with the WTO TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement that India is party to. India came to be called the "pharmacy of the world's poor" since it stopped issuing patents for medicines in 1970 allowing its many drug producers to create generic copies of medicines still patent-protected in other countries - at a fraction of the price charged by Western drug firms. In 2005, however, it changed it's patent laws to comply with international regulations. NGOs including Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Oxfam say that if Novartis succeeds, pharmaceutical firms will be able to put newer AIDS treatments based on existing drugs under patent protection in India, preventing cheap generic versions being exported to Africa and elsewhere. In 2005, Slashdot carried a story about efforts to put India's ancient traditional medicine and Yoga online, so as to make it visible as public domain to patent examiners. More recently, Slashdot carried a similar story about Tiwan's decision to violate Roche's patent on a bird flu drug for the benefit of it's people.

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Deal on International nuclear fusion plant signed

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 8 years ago Rejected: 13:35 21st November, 2006

The Telegraph and several other news outlets are reporting on the international deal to build the world's most advanced nuclear fusion reactor that was signed in today. Representatives of the EU, the US, Japan, India, Russia, South Korea and China signed the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) agreement in Paris, finalising the project which aims to develop nuclear fusion as a viable energy source to fossil fuels. According to the ITER consortium, fusion power offers the potential of "environmentally benign, widely applicable and essentially inexhaustible" electricity, properties that they believe will be needed as world energy demands increase while simultaneously greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced,justifying the expensive research project.

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Papercraft pinhole camera

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 8 years ago Papercraft pinhole camera 19:22 22nd May, 2006 Rejected

Just happened to see this cool looking, do-it-yourself paper pinhole camera on BoingBoing.net. This camera, which you can download the design for, cut and build is capable of capturing an image on any 35mm film through a pinhole instead of a lens. Though the design was first published in 1979, it was converted to a digital design recently.

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Firefox "memory leak" quick fix

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 8 years ago From here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185737&cid=15329817

As reported before [slashdot.org], Firefox does not have memory problems - it has a feature that is very memory intensive. To disable this feature, do the following: 1. type about:config in you address bar 2. scroll down to browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers 3. set its value to 0 (zero)

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Rejected story "Google unveils new search tools"

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 8 years ago Submitted: Thursday May 11, 2006, @09:38AM
Rejected : Thursday May 11, 2006, @09:42AM

Google has unveiled two new search tools in it's growing inventory of products. Today Google released Google Trends and Google Coop. More information is available at their respective faq pages. While Google Trends seems like a variation of Google Zeitgeist, Google Coop seems like an effort to actively incorporate user feedback into their search engine. No word about this in the Google Blog yet.

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Insightful PPP/wage/exchange_rate related comments

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 8 years ago It annoys me every time some smartalecky Slashdot "journalist" comments that the pay in other countries is only $5 an hour OMG, while failing to take into account the Purchasing Power Parity and other niceties that would actually make sense. A couple of posts from this story http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/30/0541254 ( "Life on the Other End of the Tech Support Line") that I wish to save for quick later reference.

The first by me: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=184468&cid=15231430

Ofcourse...
(Score:5, Informative)
by GillBates0 (664202) on Sunday April 30, @08:14AM (#15231430)
(http://slashdot.org/~GillBates0 | Last Journal: Thursday October 20, @02:54PM)
...comparing salaries in absolute Dollar terms (as the article summary does) makes _no_ sense, really without taking into account the Purchasing Power Parity [wikipedia.org]. In short, $1.00 would go significantly further in India than it would in the US.

As a rough of comparison, a loaf of bread which costs $2.50 in the US costs a little less than 25 Indian Rupees ($0.50). US $13000 is a little less than 600k INR [google.com] which by all means is quite a _comfortable_ if not princely salary to get by in India.

And another one my KFG: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=184468&cid=15231489

Re:Compartively..
(Score:5, Insightful)
by kfg (145172) FriendFriend of a Friend on Sunday April 30, @08:52AM (#15231489)
A "dollar" is what a dollar buys. It has no fixed value.

In third world economies a "dime" may well be "ten bucks," so long as you stick within the local economy for food, clothing and shelter. Living is actually quite cheap, which is why so many people from the first world choose to vacation/retire to the third. You may well find you can live, and live well, for a year for less than what it would cost you to spend two weeks at Disney/land/world/universe/whatever.

The rub is that things from outside the local economy, imports, are priced at what a "dollar" is worth where they are made, and can thus be beyond the means of someone who would otherwise be considered middle class. Things like a simple radio or portable television may require the investment of an entire community which otherwise lacks nothing needed for sustaining a good life.

One can see the same affect in the first world when comparing rural vs. urban living. I turned down $60k/yr in Manhatten awhile ago, because $60k in Manhatten cannot buy me what I could get working a cruddy retail job upstate.

When comparing disparate economies you cannot think in terms of dollars. You have think in terms of hours per pound of rice/place to sleep. When you do this you may find that lower wages are often greater wealth. Money is not wealth. It is an abstraction. What your money buys you is wealth. The "stuff" itself.

KFG

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Informative explanation of Diesel/Electric power/RPM ratios

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 9 years ago http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=165789&cid=13831029

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Finding UID ranges

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 9 years ago Construct a URL like this:
http://slashdot.org/search.pl?op=users&start=664202

Thanks to Zobier for pointing it out here:
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=165604&cid=13813977

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More friends to add

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Add following to Friends list when the maximum of 100 f/f limit is resolved or worked around:

steeltoe
rolltissue

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Yet another checklist

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 9 years ago I picked on in a /. comment today:

Your post involves a

( ) technical (x) social ( ) moral

comment about computer security. This comment is incorrect. Here's why it's incorrect:

( ) You have no idea how system security works
(x) You assume that popularity is inversely proportional to security
( ) You make improper use of technical language
(x) You assume that part of the problem is the entire problem
(x) You fail to account for different security models.

Specifically, your comment fails to consider that:

( ) Security flaws can be exploited in an automated manner
(x) Not all bugs are security flaws
( ) Security flaws can be exploited manually
( ) Legions of script kiddies use point-and-drool tools
( ) Dedicated black-hats can cause damage using home-designed tools
(x) Privilege separation prevents many problems
( ) Some security flaws are strictly theoretical
(x) Different systems are inherently more or less vulnerable to exploits
( ) Security flaws can be independently discovered
( ) Security flaw discovery and exploit does not require source code
(x) Not all security flaws are of the same severity
(x) Running as root is almost always a problem, no matter the system
( ) Not all viruses are transmitted by e-mail
( ) Not all viruses are self-propagating
( ) Not all security flaws are buffer overruns
( ) Stupid people do stupid things

and the following general objections may also apply:

( ) Full disclosure completely informs affected system administrators
( ) Exploit code has legitimate uses
(x) Security is by design, not accident
( ) Security isn't magic, and thinking of it that way is harmful
( ) Hackers/crackers aren't evil magicians who can get around anything
( ) Security starts with the user
( ) Why should we trust the government?
( ) Why should we trust you?

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Nice idea, but it's been said before and that doesn't make it any more true.
( ) That's an incredibly stupid idea, and you're stupid for suggesting it.
( ) You're a moron, and I'm surprised you have enough brain cells to continue breathing.

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Pending submitted story

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

India backs cheap drug clampdown Tuesday March 22, @05:42PM Pending

According to this BBC story, the Indian Government is close to banning indigenously produced low-cost versions of patented drugs, to comply with WTO regulations. According to the current Indian patent law, drug makers are allowed to copy patented drugs as long as they use a different manufacturing process. Campaigners say the move will deprive millions of people around the world of access to cheap life-saving medicines . According to the article fifty percent of people with AIDS in the developing world depend on generic drugs from India. It should be mentioned that the last time the Indian government deliberated on WTO patent regulations was when US Company RiceTec obtained a patent on Basmati rice, a variety which has been grown in India for centuries.

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Bill Gates most spammed person

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 10 years ago CNN and Rediff are reporting that Bill Gates gets 4 million e-mails a day, making him world's most spammed person. However, unlike lesser mortals, he has an entire department dedicated to filter unsolicited e-mails and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, said Steve Ballmer at a Microsoft Research event in Singapore. Other sources are also reporting the breaking news story.

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'Brain' in a dish flies flight simulator

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 10 years ago Submitted: 2004-11-04 15:14:08, Rejected

CNN's reporting that a scientist at the University of Florida has developed a "brain" grown from 25,000 neurons extracted from a rat's brain that is capable of flying a plane in the F-22 flight simulator. According to the article, the brain and the simulator established a two-way connection to send and receive signals and eventually, the brain learnt to control the flight of the plane based on the information it received about flight conditions.

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Philosophy: A Brief Explanation +50 Insightful Post

GillBates0 GillBates0 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

By 808140 (welcome to my friend's list! BTW, his handle and UID are the same ?! )
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=126468&cid=10582302

Re:A Brief Explanation (Score:5, Insightful)
by 808140 (808140) Friend of a Friend on Wednesday October 20, @10:27PM (#10582302)

Your question is a good one, but it has no answer. I'd like to explain why. It's a matter of philosophy.

You see, science (especially in popular consciousness) is seen as the discipline which endeavors to answer the question "why?" with respect to various observable phenomena. These questions have been at the center of human thought for well, ever. We created religion in its various forms to answer this very class of questions.

With the advent of science, it seemed as though we finally had a way to truly answer these questions, but unfortunately this stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is. Science does not try to answer nor can it answer the why. The why has no answer.

Let me explain. Science (and specifically the scientific method) is designed to determine, through experiment and falsifiability of hypothesis, the way the world behaves and to model its behaviour. Because these theories often have far reaching consequences, laymen (and even scientists, unfortunately) often make the mistake of thinking that their theories explain the why. But they do not; they simply explain the how.

Let's explore this a bit. Newton's law of gravity did not explain why gravity exists. Why two bodies fall together is anyone's guess -- why, as a question, demands a reason. There may very well be a reason that two bodies fall together -- a popularly believed one is that some supernatural being designed it that way -- but physics does not, indeed, cannot, conjure up a reason by simply observing and modeling the way those two objects fall together.

An example of this in more human terms: suppose you have a batty friend, and everytime you say foo, he says bar, like clockwork. You would quickly observe this and would, in your mind, be able to construct a hypothesis based on this behaviour -- when the subject hears foo, he says bar. And you could construct a series of experiments that test this hypothesis -- perhaps you would find that in the presence of blondes, he utters baz instead. This knowledge would allow you to predict his behaviour in certain situations, but it would say nothing whatsoever about his reasons for it. Nor could any amount of observation ever explain the reasons.

Now, in physics this is obfuscated by the discipline's drive to isolate core phenomena. That is, it has been noted that often phenomena we observe are caused by smaller, less obvious phenomena. So, for example, attempts to make gravity fit into quantum mechanics have driven physicists to suggest that gravity as a force is mediated by a graviton, or what not. If this were ever demonstrated by experiment and became widely accepted, a laymen might ask, "why does gravity behave the way it does?" and a physicist might explain that it has to do with property xyz of gravitons. But this is not an explanation.

This is simply telling the listener that the macroscopic observable phenomenon of gravity is actually made up of several, less easily observable phenomena. This is all well and good, but you'll notice that it actually explains "how" gravity works. "Why does my house keep out the rain?" "Because it has a roof." It seems logical, but it isn't. Because the roof is how it keeps out the rain -- the reason it keeps out the rain is something much more subtle, like, "Because the designers felt that the house's inhabitants would rather not get wet."

Science answers the how of things, and it does this exceedingly well. It cannot (and for the most part, does not even attempt) to answer the why. But why and how are so muddled in the way people think that lots of folks (scientists included) are deluded into thinking that science will eventually explain the big questions like "why does the universe exist", and "why are we here."

If you've ever asked a scientist the latter question, you may have gotten something along the lines of "We're here as a result of abiogenisis, followed by billions of years of evolution, catelysed by Darwinian natural selection and occasional random mutations." He hasn't lied to you; there's evidence to support everything he says. But he's explaining how we got here, not why we're here, which is why this answer is somewhat less satisfying than we hoped it would be. He's not answering the question we asked. He probably doesn't even realize it. In fact, we ourselves may not realize it.

When a religious person says, "We're here because God made us in his image", he has no evidence, and is essentially selling you what he believes and so we're often unsatisfied, because we feel that he lacks the credibility of science, which is based on falsifiable principles deduced from observable phenomena. But the religious person is actually attempting to answer the question you asked: he's giving you a reason for our existence, even if it seems to be a facile one.

Religions don't make this distinction easy on themselves because they foolishly get caught up in trying to answer the how, too. So they make up stories about Adam and Eve or Pandora's Box or whatever their creation story is -- this mythology is a primitive attempt at answering the how, and science does this in an infinitely better and more reliable way.

But Science can never answer the why. This is chiefly the realm of religion an philosophy. Who knows why gravity works the way it does? It just does. Obviously, if I drop an apple, it falls. It has done this for all time and I induced from this that next time I drop an apple, it will also fall. I explain at what speed it falls by careful measurement, and find that for bodies with mass that differs enough, the acceleration is relative the masses of the two bodies and inversely proportional to the square of their distance from each other. All good, that. But it isn't why.

I'm agnostic myself, by which I mean that I don't believe in God but don't write off the possibility that such a being could exist (in the days of the luminferous aether, I probably wouldn't have believed that special relativity was true, either, but as I've been shown proof, I've changed by viewpoint -- I suppose I would do the same if "proof" of God could be given). But I think that this subtle distinction between the how and why is one of the reasons that so many of the most brilliant scientists have been religious. Ultimately, you realize that you can never induce intent by just observing operation. At best you can make educated guesses. At best.

So, yeah, to sum up, Science: how? Religion: why? And the two are linearly independent, if you will. And therefore do not conflict. You just need to make sure that you let science answer the how and religion the why, and not get caught up in ridiculous mythologies that are falsifiable by modern science (Noah's Ark, for example, or Adam and Eve).

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