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Interviews: Jonathan Coulton Answers Your Questions

Jaktar Re:Pet project by samzenpus? (36 comments)

The answer to the question is easily obtained by following the link to the original question thread. There were a mere 48 questions if you count everything that was down modded. Filter out the hogwash and you're pretty much left with these (pretty good) questions.

We could speculate wildly on the exact reason that /. articles are getting fewer replies than a few years ago, but I prefer not to beat a dead horse.

Thanks to J.C. for the excellent replies. I learned a few new things about one of the only real artists I care to listen to!

about 10 months ago

Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

Jaktar Re:They all use WIndows 7 anyway (70 comments)

The bugs are in the Centum CS 3000 software that controls the SCADA system, not Windows.

When these systems were first being introduced, there were multiple competing standards on design and everything was proprietary. That model hasn't really changed. Some manufacturers, like ABB, do offer an upgrade path to transition from an older model to a newer model. If you wanted to transition from one manufacturer to another though, you're SOL. So, if you bought into a system that is now defunct, you'll have to reprogram your entire process from scratch. If the toolsets are different (and they will be, it was all proprietary) then you're going to have a bad time. That's why ancient systems are still running, bugs and all.

about 10 months ago

Navy Database Tracks Civilians' Parking Tickets, Fender-Benders

Jaktar 1996 (96 comments)

When I enlisted in '96, I was asked why I didn't inform anyone that I was pulled over in 1995. I was questioned as to why I was pulled over and what happened. I didn't think anything of it.

I was not issued any citation for being pulled over as it was a case of mistaken identity. Still, the Navy had a record of it.

about 10 months ago

Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With Titanfall

Jaktar Re:Piracy prevention? (377 comments)

Using 100% of my current daily limit, it would take me 16 days to download this game. Taking into account what my wife and kids use on average daily, it would take over 30 days. I have to bring my PC to a co-workers house to download stuff after a Steam sale is done.

about 10 months ago

Interviews: Ask Jonathan Coulton What You Will

Jaktar Valve? (48 comments)

Hi Jon. Have you been approached for Portal 3?

Also, thanks for releasing all those tracks for Ultrastar DX. My son was absolutely terrified of the Creepy Doll song and my kids love to sing RE:Your Brains (They're 6 and 5).

about 10 months ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Jaktar Count me in (983 comments)

There are plenty of people who do 1:1 backups of movies and music. It's extremely convenient. I don't handle any physical media more than once. It keeps the house tidy and the disks in pristine shape if I ever need to re-rip.

Around 6 months ago I had a similar problem to the story. My media drive died a sudden death (Seagate drive, never again). I had all of my family pictures, home movies, music, and movies on that drive. I had done backups and stored them remotely and was able to recover most of what I had. A few re-rips of some movies and I was done.

The time investment necessary to rip a 1:1 copy for a large collection is not insignificant. I probably should setup raid + parity at some point but right now I'm only doing a clone of my stuff. I don't have bandwidth capacity at home to use any sort of cloud storage.

about 10 months ago

Free (Gratis) Version of Windows Could Be a Reality Soon

Jaktar Re:Kinda funny (392 comments)

You're not 100% right, but you're close.

Some guy at Microsoft named Paul Cook (yep, that guy), wrote this. Microsoft is simply doing the right thing in an effort to limit the spread of infections. They can see it's not legit, they just don't care.

about a year ago

Dead Reckoning For Your Car Eliminates GPS Dead Zones

Jaktar to the contrary (151 comments)

Contrary to the assertion in the story, I've never been there.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?

Jaktar Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (303 comments)

Go back to my post and click the link to privacy policy.

Read the sections on "information we collect" then read the section on "information we share".

Those two sections are not mutually exclusive. The information collected is the same as the information they share. You already gave them permission to do so.

I'm not disputing the fact that they also setup API's to allow easier targeting for ads, that's also part of their business model. It's just not their ONLY business.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?

Jaktar Re:Who was your Highest Bidder? (303 comments)

From Google's Privacy Policy Page

With your consent

We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information..

So Google does "share" data with advertisers as part of their money stream. A very specific subset is opt-in, but everything else is opt-out. If services get updated and you're not careful, you can miss an opt-out. See Privacy and Copyright Protection

I'm not sure how anyone can read that and not understand that they're selling your data. They're just calling it sharing. Everything in the EULA you already agreed to in order for you to use a Google service grants them the permission they need.

1 year,1 day

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

Jaktar Re:Use more dots.... (388 comments)

This is exactly what I was going to bring up. I use the form (full_name_no_periods)@gmail for regular things. Any other variation is set to filter to spam.

1 year,16 days

US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

Jaktar Re:All or nothing (903 comments)

You're assuming there are no medical conditions that are treated with birth control. Women I've known have had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, both of which can be treated with long term birth control.

The total lifetime cost of paying for treatment is not insubstantial.

1 year,26 days

Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?

Jaktar Re:Online banking and other financial activities ? (321 comments)

I would be fine using my own Windows machines (I have an 8.1, a 7, and a Vista at home), so yes. In the last few years, all of the compromises to my credit cards have been due to improper server admin somewhere in the "cloud", the latest being Target.

I'd also be fine using a Chromebook, but they don't do enough for me to even consider one.

1 year,29 days

Ask Slashdot: Best FLOSS iTunes Replacement In 2013?

Jaktar Re:Never used iTunes (317 comments)

If it's on my MP3 player, right click the folder and select 'create playlist'. Everything on my MP3 player can just be copy/paste from the PC. Since it's already in a folder list by /artist/album/ it's easy to find.

If I'm on the PC, right click folder and 'add to VLC media player playlist'.

If you want to save the playlist for multiple playbacks, save the playlist with VLC.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Best FLOSS iTunes Replacement In 2013?

Jaktar Never used iTunes (317 comments)

I've never used iTunes. I just use folders and store everything by /Artist/Album. It's easy enough to right click the folder and select "play in VLC".

about a year ago

Study Linking GM Maize To Rat Tumors Is Retracted

Jaktar Re:'no definitive conclusions can be reached' (341 comments)

There's actually a list of GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) at the FDA Website. To my knowledge, GM foods fall under this listing.

and here's a short listing for GM items listed under GRAS.

about a year ago



Giant tobacco plants that stay young forever

Jaktar Jaktar writes  |  about 2 years ago

Jaktar writes "Normally, tobacco plants bloom and die when they reach around 4 months old. Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Münster have located the tobacco plant’s very own fountain of youth, which means they can keep it forever young. They have suppressed the plants normal change from blooming to flowering, leading the plant to grow perpetually. Their first plant is around 8 years old.

Bacterium are used to insert modified genes. In the future, the researchers want to go further and be able to disable plants’ growth limits using chemical mutagenesis as well – that is to say, using normal growing techniques. This process involves using chemical additives to bring about changes in a seed’s DNA sequence. Their hope is to extend this genetic modification to switch grass and food crops."

Link to Original Source

Male pill: gene discovery may lead to contraceptive

Jaktar Jaktar writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Jaktar (975138) writes "It may be possible to develop a new male contraceptive pill after researchers in Edinburgh identified a gene critical for the production of healthy sperm. Experiments in mice found that the gene, Katnal1, was vital for the final stages of making sperm. The authors of a study in PLos Genetics said a drug which interrupts Katnal1 could be a reversible contraceptive."
Link to Original Source

Jaktar Jaktar writes  |  about 8 years ago

Jaktar writes "http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/27/technology/bc.micr ochips.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes

Breakthrough, using new material, will allow processors to become smaller and more powerful.
January 27 2007: 8:51 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Intel Corp. and IBM have announced one of the biggest advances in transistors in four decades, overcoming a frustrating obstacle by ensuring microchips can get even smaller and more powerful.

The breakthrough, achieved via separate research efforts and announced Friday, involves using an exotic new material to make transistors — the tiny switches that are the building blocks of microchips.
Technology and the developing world

The technology involves a layer of material that regulates the flow of electricity through transistors.

"At the transistor level, we haven't changed the basic materials since the 1960s. So it's a real big breakthrough," said Dan Hutcheson, head of VLSI Research, an industry consultancy.

"Moore's Law was coming to a grinding halt," he added, referring to the industry maxim laid down by Intel (Charts) co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors on a chip doubles roughly every two years.

The result of Moore's Law has been smaller and faster chips and their spread into a wide array of consumer products that now account for the bulk of the industry's $250 billion in annual sales.

The latest breakthrough means Intel, IBM (Charts) and others can proceed with technology roadmaps that call for the next generation of chips to be made with circuitry as small as 45 nanometers, about 1/2000th the width of a human hair.

Intel said it will use the technology, based on a silvery metal called hafnium, in new processors coming out later this year that the company hopes will give it a leg up on chips from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Charts)

"We do expect that those products will deliver higher performance levels than existing products," said Steve Smith, vice president of Intel's digital enterprise group operations. "What we're seeing is excellent double-digit performance gains on media applications."

International Business Machines Corp. expects its technique to debut next year in chips made by its partners, which include AMD and Japan's Toshiba Corp.

Researchers are optimistic the new technology can be used at least through two more technology generations out, when circuitry will be just 22 nanometers.

"We've been doing this for 40 years and we've got to the point where some of these layers you have to make smaller wouldn't scale anymore," said IBM Chief Technologist Bernie Meyerson.

"We are getting down to a stage of technology where people have wondered if you could really ever go there, and we have definitely shown a roadmap down to these unbelievably tiny dimensions," Meyerson said.

The problem with the previous technology is that the layer of silicon-based material is now just 5 atoms thick, meaning lots of electricity leaks out, resulting in wasted power and shorter battery life.

"It's like running two faucets when you only need one. You're actually wasting more water than you're actually using," said Jim McGregor, an analyst with technology market research firm In-Stat.

The benefits of the new technique can be tapped in a number of ways. Transistors can be made smaller, potentially doubling the total number in a given area, their speed can be increased by more than 20 percent, or power leakage can be cut by 80 percent or more.

"Consumers are going towards mobility and power-sensitive solutions. We need to not only make things smaller and more efficient but also use less power," McGregor said.

There are plenty of challenges in keeping Moore's Law on track. For instance, it is becoming harder to make beams of light narrow enough to etch circuitry on chips.

"But this takes out what has been considered the biggest number one roadblock," VLSI's Hutcheson said."


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