Comparison: Linux Text Editors
I use GVim all the time. It can "highlight syntax and auto-indent code...spellcheck documents... [and] record macros". I don't see the point of managing code snippets - if you're using the same code multiple places you should take a DRY-er approach. And being an IDE is for Emacs people. ;P
UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity
Since at least The Federalist Papers. I'm glad they didn't succeed then, and I hope they don't succeed now.
Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record
The moon is much closer to Earth than Mars. It's so close that we can pilot vehicles on the moon manually, like an RC car, with just a two-second delay. Vehicles on Mars need to be a lot smarter.
That said, Opportunity is really slow. Its top speed is 50 mm/s, or .1 MPH. I think Curiosity is actually slower. Maybe one of these private space ventures like Elon Musk's SpaceX can send up a fast (minimum 5 MPH or 2,200 mm/s) rover that just drives and takes pretty pictures.
Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?
If you think good will for your company would go further than a few cryptocoins, you could do World Community Grid.
China Has More People Going Online With a Mobile Device Than a PC
I found an Android app for Tor about a year ago. Haven't checked since.
Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem
"It has been suggested that CRISPR interference systems in prokaryotes are analogous to eukaryotic RNA interference systems, although none of the protein components are orthologous."
Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence
Have you read a short story about an AI boss called Manna? (I'll include relevant quotes if you don't have time.) How does your system for the Hong Kong subway compare? It's clearly similar to your subway system in some ways:
At any given moment Manna had a list of things that it needed to do.... Manna kept track of the hundreds of tasks that needed to get done, and assigned each task to an employee one at a time.
But does it micro-manage tasks like Manna?
Manna told employees what to do simply by talking to them. Employees each put on a headset when they punched in. Manna had a voice synthesizer, and with its synthesized voice Manna told everyone exactly what to do through their headsets. Constantly. Manna micro-managed minimum wage employees to create perfect performance.
Does it record employee performance metrics and report them to (upper) management like Manna?
Version 4.0 of Manna was also the first version to enforce average task times, and that was even worse. Manna would ask you to clean the restrooms. But now Manna had industry-average times for restroom cleaning stored in the software, as well as "target times". If it took you too long to mop the floor or clean the sinks, Manna would say to you, "lagging". When you said, "OK" to mark task completion for Manna, Manna would say, "Your time was 4 minutes 10 seconds. Industry average time is 3 minutes 30 seconds. Please focus on each task." Anyone who lagged consistently was fired.
And how have employees reacted to their AI boss - if, in fact, you have been able to get honest evaluations from employees?
The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers
Is it called Manna?
The View From Inside A Fireworks Show
Or worse, if the copter crashes into fireworks on the ground waiting to go off. Kaboom!
Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light
The initial plan called for a ditch and wall with 80 small gated milecastle fortlets, one placed every Roman mile, holding a few dozen troops each, and pairs of evenly spaced intermediate turrets used for observation and signalling.
And more details on another page:
Each tower was in sight of the next in the line, and a simple system of semaphore signalling was used between them.
Update Your Shelf: BitLit Offers Access To Ebook Versions of Books You Own
My phone is so cheap it doesn't have a flash, you insensitive clod!
CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking
Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal
This could mean that D-Wave isn't quantum. Or it could mean that quantum computing in general isn't faster than normal computing. I seem to recall some physicist making a bet that quantum computing would be proved equivalent to classical computing.
2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase
IIRC, I calculated once that a carbon tax raising the same revenue as the gas tax would result in a 5c/gallon gas tax. (And taxes on other things.) So raising the desired amount of revenue with a carbon tax would still lower the gas tax to about 9c/gallon.
US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent
So, that leaves something like 1-Click subject to patent claims as a "business method", but according to the above ruling, there is an argument that it lacks sufficient substance as a method to be patentable.
Thus, someone needs to attack "business method" patents and obtain a similar ruling.
Well, that's the question, isn't it? I don't think this completely invalidates "business method" patents.
This is an extension of the argument that "$process on a computer" is not patentable separately from $process. A previous ruling said that if $process was already patented, "$process on a computer" did not constitute a new patent. This ruling says that if $process is not defined specifically enough to be patented, then "$process on a computer" does not add enough specifics to make the whole process patentable.
So, I think that leaves something like 1-Click subject to patent claims as a "business method", because it is sufficiently specific: The business identifies you, stores your payment info and address, and both charges you and ships stuff to you with one action. To invalidate it would require a similar process in use before the patent, whether or not it used a computer.
Humans Not Solely To Blame For Passenger Pigeon Extinction
In discussion about potentially cloning passenger pigeons, there were concerns that the species needed huge flocks. As a result, there were concerns that cloning just a few wouldn't be enough to bring back the species.
Since this study showed that passenger pigeons had population crashes before and came back, this should alleviate the flock size concerns.
Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
Huh, I either didn't read that or discounted it. Something similar happens in our own solar system. A planet either needs a thick atmosphere (Venus) or a strong magnetic field (Earth) or it loses most of its atmosphere (Mercury, Mars). And I think tidal locking could be an advantage, preventing wild climate swings.
"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa
GMO Food is to Liberals as Global Warming is to Conservatives.
I'm a Liberal, and I accept GMO food. But I'm also a Slashdotter, so what I can't accept is patented GMO food.
Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
I currently subscribe to a variant of this climate change theory. (Natural, not anthropogenic.)
My variant is that all, or almost all the civilizations the aliens know about formed around red dwarf stars. It's nice and stable there for very long periods of time. We're only stable here by luck - and our big moon helps some.
Another fun thing to think about: If you look at our system as a whole, from a very long distance, we look like we're still a pre-multicellular world. Sure, there's free oxygen and water (Earth), but there's lots of iron still to be oxidized (Mars), and lots of free CO2 (Mars and Venus). I imagine there are a lot of pre-multicellular worlds (like Mars IMHO) orbiting yellow stars, so we don't stand out. (But for our radio transmissions.)
Latin America Exhausts IPv4 Addresses
Why does the transition to IPV6 have to happen immediately after all IPV4 addresses are allocated? Why can't someone set up a market for IPV4 addresses that can then be bought and sold? At that point, the transition to IPV6 wouldn't happen very quickly, until the cost for IPV4 addresses exceeded the cost for IPV6 equipment. Then it would happen very quickly.
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