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Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

Kittenman Re:Not A SW error! (154 comments)

More like a failure to double check settings or something.

- "Are you really sure you want to trash those two satellites?" <click> - "Did you get your boss's approval?" <click>

Or... the Russian version of Clippy,..

"Hi - it looks like you're trying to trash two satellites. Do you want a hand with that?"

<click>

4 days ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Kittenman Re:Almost dropped on side of HWY by my local 5-0 (379 comments)

see me on Facebook. Local undersherriff initiated a traffic stop in a dark territory valley (no cellular reception) while I was in my disabled vehicle waiting for traffic to go by before exiting to determine why I was having difficulty re-starting the engine.

You may not know the full story.

Cop: McClusky here
Base: Go ahead, McClusky
Cop: I'm in the Dark territory valley where Susie McSturgess went missing last month, and there's a vehicle here, parked. One person inside, apparently just sitting there.
Base:Proceed with caution, McClusky. Remember, little Susie is still missing

5 days ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Kittenman Re:"Accidentally" (379 comments)

Slashdot cracks me up
Red faced and angry about the coming Surveillance State
Damned happy to have every cop be a walking surveillance unit
Anybody else see the irony?

Anyone else think this was a four-line haiku at first reading?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Kittenman Re:Maybe he should consider learning a language (548 comments)

Like, perhaps, English. So that he could - after all these years as a professional who types out strings of characters that very specific meaning - understand that when he says "could have cared less about my career," he means "could NOT have cared less about my career." Maybe he's been working all these years in languages that don't incorporate the concept of "not" or " ! " in evaluating two values. Are there any? I couldn't care less. Grown-ups who communicate or code for a living should be able to handle that one correctly.

Mod parent up. Totally agree - everyone in the profession should learn to write a document explaining something first. Grammar, spelling, getting an idea across, simple language, pitch to the audience, clear expressions... if you can do it in English (or whatever your native language is) then you're ready to pick up a "Learn to write {programming language du jour} in 10 minutes of your money back".

And read. Read fiction, read essays, read the paper, read a magazine, read emails. Get better and expand your vocabulary.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's Space Launch System Searches For a Mission

Kittenman Wrong way to do it... (53 comments)

Aren't you supposed to have the problem before you have the solution?

Nasa: Hey, we have this great launch system
Everyone: Cool! What are you going to do with it?
Nasa: .....

No slight to Nasa (who've done amazing things) or to the States (ditto), but shouldn't you set a goal, and then go towards it with the right tools? (something like ....First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.)

about two weeks ago
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51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

Kittenman Re:Because password policy is BORKED. (117 comments)

This is an example of a good password at my company "m7Rx2NqU" -- that's an unrecognizable jumble of characters that only a computer could love, but never a human.

I'd prefer to use "correcthorsebatterystaple" (ala XKCD), but my company's password policies do not let me use a pass phrase, but a jumble of numbers, letters and uppercase.

Tut now. I have a couple of dozen passwords, and literally have no idea what they are. But I do know what the password to my Password storage file is. I don't think I've actually known what my bank websites password is for about 5 years. But I know I can use it and change it.

And BTW, my daughter's router password in "CorrectHorseBatteryStaple" in her student flat. I'd wager that's a common one these days, along with MonkeySlut.

about two weeks ago
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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Kittenman Re:Euchre (274 comments)

Interesting comment. I hadn't come across Euchre before immigrating to NZ. It's big down here too (along with Five hundred, and cribbage). Bridge is played at clubs. Odd how card games have a geographic popularity.

Are you Ohionians (?) people from Ohio .. genetically related to New Zealanders?

about two weeks ago
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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Kittenman Or Cluedo... (274 comments)

CowboyNeal. In the ballroom. With the chandelier.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

Kittenman Re:Should we really be worried? (194 comments)

Spying on Americans is wrong.

In communist Russia, Americans spy on YOU.

(Think I got the meme right ... if not, so what)

about three weeks ago
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Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits

Kittenman Management 101 (186 comments)

Always have a back-up.

about three weeks ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

Kittenman Re:Ancient ruins (246 comments)

Ancient ruins. Basically I want to be a wizard Indiana Jones.

With you there. I'd like to see Persepolis and Petra. I've lived in Rome, seen Athens -and the most amazing thing I've seen is Abu Simbel, in southern Egypt. Over two thousand years old, and it looks like the painters just nipped around the corner when they heard you coming.

about three weeks ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

Kittenman Re:Cities (246 comments)

Someone has to say it - "When good Americans die, they go to Paris".

I never understood the love affair of the US with France (in general) and Paris (in particular). France has it's attractions - but why so much to the US?

about three weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

Kittenman Re:Star Trek TAS (267 comments)

Multiple episodes show grey as pink (Klingon uniforms), because one of the guys was in fact colorblind to grey

But can you see "Shades of Grey?" (thank you, I'm here 'til Thursday)

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Kittenman Re:Hiring manager (637 comments)

I have two questions for my fellow Slashdoters: "Is this a common concern with new CS grads?" and, if so, "What can I do to supplement my Java-oriented studies?"

I'm a hiring manager. Not knowing low level absolutely counts against you in terms of breadth of knowledge. It generally isn't a deal breaker but it would be treated the same way as not knowing OS theory, not knowing database theory, not understanding algorithms design, or machine learning. Its a hole, you lose a few points and we move on with the interview. As far as it being common CS grads differ a great deal from school to school, the curriculum is not remotely uniform. A recent CS grad can vary tremendously in what they know and what areas the degree doesn't mean anything than they've had some classes in some computer stuff.

In terms of what you can do to supplement. Learn things unlike Java. Definitely at least one functional language and one procedural language so you have something other than OO programming. Learn a low level language and a very high level language. Languages can do double duty so for example Mathematica is very high level and functional while C or Assembler (better choice BTW) is low level and procedural.

I've been a hiring manager (well, a manager who's hired). In general I don't care about the amount of low-level a candidate knows, I'm more concerned about how he writes the program (if that is what I'm hiring him to do) and how he'll fit into the project. Does he know the language syntax. What sort of stuff has he written. What sort of problems has he had, how did he get around them. In real big-boy operating systems, memory management is left to the OS: I just need someone who knows to be careful of the resources. And writes good, clean, maintainable code

A car analogy. I don't care if you're able to tune the engine to get that last fluid ounce of petrol. Just keep an eye on the MPG and most importantly, don't crash.

about a month ago
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Edward Snowden Is Not Alone: US Gov't Seeks Another Leaker

Kittenman Am I the only one around here ... (204 comments)

There's two issues here;

1: Various US government departments may be doing something dodgy
2: Someone is leaking classified data to the wider population

Now, I've no opinion on the first one - I'm not a US citizen (though I class myself as a US sympathizer). If true, it's a thing for the citizens and the justice department. I hope the issue gets resolved, right prevails etc

But the second one is a security breach: the guy (whatever his intentions) has broken his contract with the company, and also the law. What documents get released to the wider public is not a matter for the individual - it's a matter for the owners of the data, according to the law.

And as someone who's hired staff in the past, I'd be less than impressed if someone admitted that he'd leaked data to the public because he thought it was the right thing to do. That's my call, not his. Or more likely my boss's. Or his boss's.

about a month ago
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Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

Kittenman Re:My Review of the Union Street Guest House (183 comments)

I had my wedding reception catered at the Union Street Guest House last Saturday.

The Union Street Guest House required me to sign an agreement stating that I would forfeit a $500 fine to them if I post a negative review of their establishment.

Rather than lose $500, let me just say that I had my wedding reception catered at the Union Street Guest House last Saturday.

Why would you sign such an agreement? Wouldn't this wording have tipped you off that the place was a bit dodgy?

And, of course, all the best to you and partner.

about a month ago
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Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

Kittenman Re:Case closed (127 comments)

I've always wanted to go, just so I can say I have been. Also, Greenland has quite possibly the coolest flag in the world, next to Nepal. Also, Iceland is rather icy, especially in the middle. Like greenland.

If you just want to say that you've been, just say it. Optionally, add " not really". You'll need a better reason to go to physically go, as that involves money, effort and most likely discomfort.

And I reckon Wales has the best flag in the world. It's a &^%$%& Dragon, for god's sake!! How cool is that?

about a month ago
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Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

Kittenman Re:No they cant. (151 comments)

Or "Snakes on a Plane". Which for some strange reason never made it to the inflight entertainment systems :-(

I saw "Memphis Belle" on a plane once, a few years ago. Some scenes were cut, but more because of the adult content than the planes being shot down.

Disclaimers:
1: This is pre Sep/11
2: This is pre seat-back entertainment systems, where everyone watched the same show on a screen at the front of the cabin
3: Yes I am that old

about a month ago
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Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

Kittenman Re:No they cant. (151 comments)

I've seen this used in one of the Die Hard films. The attackers took over a news channel and transmitted fake video of the white house being blown up - easier than actually blowing it up, and just as effective at creating panic.

Surely people wouldn't believe it. I mean, who would want to blow up the White house?

about a month ago

Submissions

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Archie Andrews to die

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "With the net already awash with comments about Thor's sex-change, another revelation: Archie Andrews is scheduled to die in the very near future. Rolling Stone (and other sources) cover the comic characters upcoming demise. What will Veronica and Betty do? Will this cause a resurgence in Archie (and Jughead's) single, "Sugar Sugar"? Stay tuned."
Link to Original Source
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Wireless Contraception

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 2 months ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is carrying information on a type of contraception (funded in part by Bill Gates) that takes the form of a microchip, inserted under the skin. The chip releases contraceptive hormones to the body until wirelessly advised not to do so, This 'Brave New World' has several interesting applications and issues associated with it. What about hackers? Could 'they' implant a chip into a child at birth and then suppress children being born, until the employment opportunities improve — or a war needs more troops? The chip will be available from 2018. This correspondent will watch the issues with interest."
Link to Original Source
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A new 'dirty snowball' found: VP113

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 5 months ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Phil Plaitt in Slate is covering discovery of a new solar system object, known as VP113 (for now). The object is in a highly-elliptical orbit, currently at about 80 AU ... and that's its nearest point to the sun (perihelion). The furthest point is some 6 times that — putting it well into the Oort cloud."
Link to Original Source
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NSA Spies in World of Warcraft

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 9 months ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is reporting that the US and UK spy agencies 'patrol' online games (such as 'World of Warcraft' and 'Second Life') to keep an eye on terrorist communications. The NSA "allegedly warned that such online games could allow intelligence targets to hide in plain sight". The same group have extracted WoW account data, attempting to link it to Islamic extremism.

Certainly a potential for data mining here — but keep an eye on that next elf you meet... it could really be a spook."

Link to Original Source
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Man stays legally dead, despite pulse

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Donald Miller Jr of Ohio was declared legally dead in 1994, eight years after disappearing. He resurfaced in 2005, needing to regain his Social security number. His wife battled the case to declare him alive, as she was unable to repay the social security benefits she had received. The judge declared the man still dead, as there is only a three-year period to reverse the original ruling.

“I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned,” the judge said."

Link to Original Source
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Fox sued by Suicide's widow

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Fox news covered a police chase on JoDon Romero, live from a chopper, following his (alleged) theft of a car at gunpoint. Unwittingly (we hope) they also covered his suicide — broadcast live to his wife and three children, along with all other viewers.

The widow is suing fox for unspecified damages, claiming 'emotional distress'. Pity that off switch was too far away."

Link to Original Source
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Apple under scrutiny for massive tax avoidance

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Tweaktown are carrying news reported elsewhere; that Apple are under scrutiny for escaping some US$44billion (that's a billion, as per Carl Sagan) of taxes, between 2009 and 2012. CEO Tim Cook appeared/will appear before a Senate investigation on Tuesday.

Apple's testimony states that Apple 'pays all it's required taxes, both in this country and abroad' and that they do no use 'tax gimmicks'.

The case continues..."

Link to Original Source
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Alexander Graham Bell speaks!

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "A Smithsonian recording of the voice of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone had been deemed too fragile to play or try to listen to, for 138 years. Modern technology has caught up, however, and scientists made ultra-high definition images of the disks, allowing the depth and contours of the wiggles and grooves to be accurately measured — and bring the voice back to life, without ever touching the recording physically."
Link to Original Source
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Your plastic pal who's fun to be with - or not

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC magazine pages have an article on human trust of robots. The article cites a poll (done on facebook so certainly well-sourced) over the 'best face' design for a robot that would be trusted. But we still distrust them — because (tfa states) they look unwell (or like corpses) and do not behave as expected.

So would you trust a robot? How about one with the "trusting face"?"

Link to Original Source
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Osama Bin Laden: the Funpark

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is reporting that Abbottabad — the place where OBL was found and killed by US Special forces — is to build an amusement park. The new park will not be near the site (now demolished) but will feature mini-golf, water sports and rock cllimbing. Possibly to help time pass for future terrorists otherwise at a loss of how to fill their days?"
Link to Original Source
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Original Batmobile sells for US$4.2m

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Rick Champagne, a 56 year old company owner from Arizona has bought the original "Batmobile" (dating back to Burt Ward and the '60s) for US$4.2 million. He's quoted as saying it "was a dream come true".

Holy Investment, Batman!"

Link to Original Source
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Texas state RFID story: student loses appeal

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Andrea Hernandez has lost her appeal to avoid wearing the RFID tag, covered elsewhere on Slashdot. Interestingly, Hernandez cited religious reasons for refusing to wear the device, referring to the item as 'the mark of the beast'. A clever appeal to religious freedom rather than civil liberties, perhaps?"
Link to Original Source
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Do flu vaccines give you flu?

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is covering the ins and outs of Flu vaccines. According to the article, the vaccine is approximately 60% effectice, and it is the World Health Organization (WHO) that decide what strains (to a maximum of 3) are prevalent each year, and recommend that to go into the vaccine. And surprisingly, (or not), the recommendations for each hemisphere of the globe can be different. So are you more likely to get the flu if you fly from London to Sydney after a jab?"
Link to Original Source
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BBC turn off CEEFAX service

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "After 38 years (1974-> 2012) the BBC's CEEFAX service has ceased transmission. The service gave on-line up-to-date textual information (albeit in condensed form) to TV viewers in the pre-Internet era and afterwards. An British ex-PM (John Major) states ..
"From breaking global news to domestic sports news, Ceefax was speedy, accurate and indispensable. It can be proud of its record.""

Link to Original Source
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Democrat candidate is an Orc

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "Maine Republicans have discovered that the Democrat candidate, Colleen Lachowicz, plays an Orc rogue in World of Warcraft. They point out to readers of their website that her liking for back-stabbing and poison may make her 'unfit for office'."
Link to Original Source
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IRIDOLOGIST A MAJOR FACTOR IN DEATH

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  about 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "NZ's Auckland daily is covering (partly as a TV promotion) the story of a Naturopath (in this case, an iridologist) who was consulted by a woman with a 'cyst' on her skull. After 18 months of 'treatments', the woman died of the 'cyst', which was actually a cancer. The woman left behind a letter stating that the naturopath advised against consulting a doctor — and the naturopath in turn states that she did request the woman to see a doctor.

What's amazing is that the naturopath cannot be 'struck off', as she is exempt from such treatment by being in the 'alternative medicine' field."

Link to Original Source
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Apollo mission flags still upright

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC reports that the Apollo mission flags are still standing — with one exception. At Apollo 11 blast-off from the luna surface, the flag was knocked over (Buzz Aldrin reported this at the time). It's not known what sort of colours are visible in the flags owing to UV light exposure.

All in all, hopefully a blow to Moon Mission deniers?"

Link to Original Source
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'Star Wars' and Wales - the truth at last

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC has an article covering the so-far untold story between the 'Star Wars' canon and Wales. Did Chewbacca work in the mines? Was Han Solo in a choir in the Eisteddfod? In this case, the truth is not as strange."
Link to Original Source
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INDIA NOW TOP SPAMMING NATION

Kittenman Kittenman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kittenman (971447) writes "India now tops the world in terms of spamming. Sophos advise that about 10% of all SPAM in the world originates from India. The US is in second place, with 8.3% and then South Korea, at 5.7%.

Is this change still more evidence for the US losing the position as a worldwide technology leader?"

Link to Original Source

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