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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

LeadSongDog Re:Don't Go All-in at Once (451 comments)

Key question: do you need to work with MS Exchange? If so, ask yourself whether you have a suitable replacement for MS Outlook. Pretty much anything else, office workers can adjust to, but most live in Outlook. Not being able to identify coworkers, set up meetings, in the familiar way is damn-near an impossible sell. Thunderbird etc isn't really a convincing answer. Of course, if you moved all that onto their personal smartphones first, then the proposition changes...

about a week ago
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TSA Missed Boston Bomber Because His Name Was Misspelled In a Database

LeadSongDog Re:1980s fuzzy search called (275 comments)

a problem for transliterations

Nah, there's no exemption for roman alphabet spelling, they get that wrong too. Not long ago there was a US Secretary of State with a French name "Boucher" didn't get pronounced "booshay", but "bowtshur". This guy must have had the whole of the corps diplomatique giggling inside.

about three weeks ago
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TSA missed Boston bomber because his name was misspelled in a database

LeadSongDog Fuzzy match (3 comments)

So when Johann Cmythe is wanted, the various combinations of Jan, Jon, John, Joanne, Jane, Joan, Smythe, Schmidt, Shmitt, and Smith will all be queued up at the gate, waiting their turn for a cavity search. That'll work!

about three weeks ago
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Lasers May Solve the Black Hole Information Paradox

LeadSongDog Re:Moot (75 comments)

Yeah, but the formula used to compress pi down to one bit sucks at compressing e.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

LeadSongDog Re:Knuth's TeX and Metafont (373 comments)

So we're looking for the C. elegans of software?

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

LeadSongDog Re:Linux kernel (373 comments)

Code quality in the Linux kernel varies a lot per individual driver or subsystem

Well, Linus uses a broader definition of kernel than is customary, referring to a monolithic (macro) kernel. If you really seek elegance in OS code, you start by looking at microkernels, stripped of all the device-dependent clutter. Harmony, for instance was a mere 20 kbyte kernel, even on 68K architectures. http://books.google.com/books?id=xvOpC0_r14wC&pg=PA100 http://www.researchgate.net/publication/234826460_Harmony_as_an_object-oriented_operating_system This led to the even more succinct MQX, which is embedded in quajjillions of devices.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQX

about three weeks ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

LeadSongDog Re:Don't knock my favorite yogi (517 comments)

"I don't know, Yogi. Ranger Smith isn't gonna like this..."

about three weeks ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

LeadSongDog Re:Too difficult to confirm (517 comments)

Placebos are pretty well understood. The BS enters when you pretend that one sugar pill is vastly more valuable than another and charge accordingly. Of course big pharma does the same with real drugs (look into "evergreening" sometime), but for them, it's more of a sideline. The basic idea is still to find treatments that actually do work better (and safer) than currently available options.

about three weeks ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

LeadSongDog Re:You know what they call alternative medicine... (517 comments)

There's a reason there's an entire field called evidence-based medicine [wikipedia.org], which from its very name makes it distinct from just plain-old normal "medicine."

If you prefer, we could just distinguish "real medicine" from "pretend medicine"... Of course individual practioners use a mix of the two, particularly when there's no real treatment for a diagnosed condition that is either untreatable or harmless. That in no way makes pretending a full-time substitute for evidence.

about three weeks ago
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Missing Plane Would Have Been Found By Now If Communications Box Had $10 Upgrade

LeadSongDog Cost of $10/flight (1 comments)

So, less than five cents per ticket on a 200 pax aircraft could pay for sending basic telemetry: lat, lon, airspeed, elevation every four minutes. That doesn't sound like much, until you think that there are 3 billion tickets a year. Still, $150 million/year to avoid having to run searches for missing aircraft might be a good deal, especially in cases where there are survivors to be rescued.

about a month ago
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Lithium-ion battery capacity doubled with new germanium nanowires

LeadSongDog Long life (1 comments)

Looking at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10... and at http://nanoresearchul.org/ it seems that Ryan et al. have a new way of making stable anodes, losing 10% of the new charge rate per 1000 discharge cycles. A car that still has 80% power after 2000 commutes starts to look credible.

about 2 months ago
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BT and Alcatel-Lucent Record Real-World Fibre Optic Speed of 1.4Tbps In the UK

LeadSongDog Re:units . . . (70 comments)

You've forgotten that the Hz represents cycles/s, not just 1/s. Hence their so-called "spectral efficiency" is 5.7 bits/cycle. The problem of course is that the article does not address the SNR nor the BER that it took them to get that 5.7 result. If you need cryo-tech photodetectors and massive FEC to get that result, it's less impressive than doing it with the existing kit and minor data redundancy.

about 3 months ago
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Credit Cards Stolen From Target Used For Fraud...At Target

LeadSongDog Strangely consoling (2 comments)

An there we were thinking that Target had all those real-time customer-linked analytics watching our eyeballs as we strolled the shelves and trotting out the offers we couldn't refuse. Now it turns out they're just as incompetent as the next bunch of monkeys. We can breathe again, at least for a little while...

about 4 months ago
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First Vodka-Powered Text Message Sent

LeadSongDog Tonto asks... (1 comments)

Tell me, Ke-mo_sah-bee why whiteman send-um smoke signal with firewater?

about 4 months ago
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Disney Pulls a Reverse Santa, Takes Back Christmas Shows From Amazon Customers

LeadSongDog Wait a minute (418 comments)

...did somebody actually ''want'' to watch Disney? Even the kids their parents forced to watch it know that it's crap.

about 4 months ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

LeadSongDog Re:From cages to prisons (370 comments)

But are they capable of malice aforethought, or do they simply live in the moment?

about 4 months ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

LeadSongDog Re:The Lawyers for NhRP are racists (370 comments)

1947? Hell, everyone has always been racist and always will be. Can't help it. Xenophobia is in the genes because it is a survival-trait behaviour. We just change our perceptions about which "race" we apply our zenohobia to. Right now, we mainly apply it to machines. Come the singularity, machines will be racist too. We can only hope that they will find us amusing pets rather than serious threats.

about 4 months ago
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The FBI can turn on your webcam without you knowing

LeadSongDog "most serious" (1 comments)

... because it's rare to catch someone jaywalking on their laptop webcam.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Application Security Non-existent, Boss Doesn't Care. What To Do?

LeadSongDog Re:Risk Cost Assessment (310 comments)

That's getting close. Talk to your auditors too. Let them figure out what the liability is, and they'll persuade the board to take action. Meanwhile, get your incident response plan ready. Once the intrusions start, you'll have a lot of people breathing down your neck looking to know how to respond.
Insert obligatory "Think of the children!!!!" where needed.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Carbyne Suited For Space Elevator Cable?

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 6 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "Somebody check my numbers, this sounds too good to be true... A new ACS paper on the theoretical structure of carbyne gives its breaking strength at 10nN for a single atomic chain of carbon. A single C12 atom weighs (at 1g) 2e-25 N, so the chain could support 5e24 atoms at that acceleration. If the atoms repeat 17 times for every 2.2 nm along the chain, the self-supporting chain could be 6e14 m long. This seems to be way longer than the space elevator would need, so I'm inclined to think I've missed something basic. What am I overlooking?"
Link to Original Source
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DC Light Now Available

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 6 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "The headline writers at PhysOrg report "New material gives visible light an infinite wavelength". Of course the details within are rather less spectacular: "Researchers from the FOM Institute AMOLF and the University of Pennsylvania have fabricated a material which gives visible light a nearly infinite wavelength". The original work uses language that makes clear they are speaking of the phase velocity of visible light, under the title "Experimental realization of an epsilon-near-zero metamaterial at visible wavelengths". Still, it's an interesting read. http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphoton.2013.256.html"
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: When is Patent License Trading not Trolling?

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 7 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "A piece in yesterday's Forbes offers arguments on why not all "Non-Practicing Entities" are "Patent Trolls". Comments here on such businesses are often critical. Is there a right way to trade in patents for profit without abusing the process?"
Link to Original Source
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(Can't help it): Uranus is holding a Trojan

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 8 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "Space.com is reporting on a 60km comet-like body in Lagrangian orbit around the Sun, locked to Uranus. This means a distant, but fairly accessible supply of water-ice, hence reaction mass, hydrogen and oxygen for robotic miners if we can just get them there with an energy source."
Link to Original Source
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City-sized ice shelf breaks free

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 9 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "Germany's TerraSAR-X satellite is showing that the Antarctic's Pine Island ice shelf has calved a 'berg of 720 square kilometres, "the size of Hamburg".

Angelika Humbert says "The Western Antarctic land ice is on land which is deeper than sea level. Its "bed" tends towards the land. The danger therefore exists that these large ice masses will become unstable and will start to slide". The article extrapolates that "If the entire West Antarctic ice shield were to flow into the Ocean, this would lead to a global rise in sea level of around 3.3 metres."

Goodbye Florida.
 "

Link to Original Source
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Knotted flaky graphene oxide fibers are not weakened

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 9 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "James Tour, in Advanced Materials, advises that his team has learned how to knot and weave graphene oxide fiber without losing strength. By mixing in large flakes, it keeps its bend radius relatively large at the knots. The resultant product reaches a 47GPa tensile modulus, just as strong as the native fiber. So, can this lesson be applied to carbon nanotubes, to fulfill Arthur C. Clarke's vision of a space elevator?

The full paper is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201301065/abstract"

Link to Original Source
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It's the kablooie that keeps on giving

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 10 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "A new paper, complete with pretty pictures, on the arXiv at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1305.7399v1.pdf details some remarkable lessons from a local (inside our galaxy) supernova circa 1900. The formal publication is due to be out in Astrophysical Journal Letters on July 1, and a popsci blurb is available at http://phys.org/news/2013-06-remarkable-supernova.html for the busy readers of /.

Studying the radio and x-ray emissions (synchrotron radiation from energetic electrons at the shockwave front) allowed researchers to find variations in metal distribution around the sphere. They estimate the event produced 10^20kg of electron/positron pairs, nearly all of which have since recombined.

I for one am rather glad I wasn't nearby that day."

Link to Original Source
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Time to disable texting from the driver's seat?

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 10 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "The good folks at the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety have been funding the University of Utah to examine the distraction of hands-free controls. Fitted up with brain-monitor skullcaps, subjects were shown to be most distracted when they had to focus on voice commands, especially when drafting texts and emails. Once again, we find that multitasking is illusory, something always suffers."
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: How will MS monetize this?

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about 10 months ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "The Beeb blurbs that MS will now be "giving" away Outlook, but it comes at a price: you have to run the (freebeer) Win8.1 update to get it. Other platforms still need to cough up the big bucks/pounds/Euros/yaddayadda. So how are they turning this into a revenue stream?"
Link to Original Source
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Binary.. older than you thought!

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about a year ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "From our wait-a-minute...that's-no-moon! department, the mother corps advises that today's giant asteroid 1998 QE2 is actually the primary of a binary system. Hiding close to the biggie is a smaller (but still dangerous) 600 m diameter secondary. Seems 16% of large asteroids are binaries..."
Link to Original Source
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Cheap tuned plasmonic nanoshells boost infrared conversion efficiency

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about a year ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "Using inexpensive quantum nanodots in a colloidal suspension, researchers have boosted the IR conversion efficiency of PbS solar cells by a whopping 35%. While this still needs much work, anything that brings down cost while raising output has to be welcome. Further info at http://www.overclockersclub.com/news/33826/."
Link to Original Source
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Horny Aliens

LeadSongDog LeadSongDog writes  |  about a year and a half ago

LeadSongDog (1120683) writes "El Reg, never shy with their headlines, gives us this story as "HORNY ALIEN vegetarian monsters once ROAMED CANADA"... Drs. Michael Ryan and David Evans, of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Royal Ontario Museum respectively have newly identified a bigger, uglier, hornier descendant of Triceratops they call "Xenoceratops foremostensis". The Open Access paper is: “A new ceratopsid from the Foremost Formation (middle Campanian) of Alberta” Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences (CJES) Oct 2012 http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/e2012-056"
Link to Original Source

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