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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Megane Teardown! (57 comments)

Look for the appropriate iFixit teardown page, then open it up! If the glass isn't obviously cracked, maybe something inside just came loose. You didn't say what model you have, but the first comment on the Asus Transformer Infinity TF700 teardown mentions an internal power switch next to the battery connector (step 15 picture 2), maybe that could have bumped itself off.

1 hour ago
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Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut

Megane Re:The description doesn't help: (91 comments)

A base pair is 2 bits of information. So it's actually around 24KB of information. And a reading frame is just a valid start point in the DNA. Codons are 3 base pairs, but only a couple of combinations start a reading frame.

yesterday
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Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut

Megane Re:CrAssphage (91 comments)

"Phage" means it eats something. So it sounds more like a virus that eats your ass.

yesterday
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Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

Megane Re:The Psychopath Test (51 comments)

A tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping. Why is that?

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Megane Re:HVAC (509 comments)

The problem is that you'll probably have to work where there's no air conditioning, because it's either broken or hasn't been installed yet. That might not be fun in the summer in southern states. But at least you won't have to work in shit like a plumber would in "emergency" situations.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

Megane Re:And I just want Firefox not to shit itself (129 comments)

I instead have a non-paranoid speculation that the FireFox people keep adding new buggy features faster than Google can swerve to avoid the bugs. So I use SeaMonkey instead.

about two weeks ago
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Why doesn't slashdot allow users to see who upmodded or downmodded them?

Megane Moderation doesn't work that way (2 comments)

It would be really hard to upmod messages from sock puppet accounts simply because mod points are given for reading a lot of articles on a given account. Basically, if you don't regularly use an account, it doesn't get mod points, so you're not going to have lots of sock puppet accounts with mod points. (I'm sure you could do shit like spam page reloads or something, but they've probably got ways to detect that.) That alone makes the system fundamentally better than one where everyone gets to mod everyone else's posts with no limit until there's nothing but circle jerk left.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Megane Re:Going back to cash (753 comments)

Last week I swiped my card at a gas station pump before noticing the tamper proof seals had been broken.

Most likely from some brat kid breaking them with his fingernail.

The real reason for the seals is to stop people from getting free (or almost free) gas. If you know how to operate the pump side controls, you can press a couple of buttons to change the price to pennies per gallon. They're only downloaded when the price changes, and the back-end system then only selects which price level (cash or credit) to use for a transaction.

And if you're using debit, the PIN pads are supposed to be potted and keys injected into battery-backed RAM (code in RAM is a good idea too) to prevent tampering. In the US at least, the key is supposed to be only known by the clearinghouse at the other end of the comm line, and only comes out of the pad already encrypted.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Megane Re:Useless coins (753 comments)

The US had a nice dollar coin (the Susan B Anthony). But it looked too much like a quarter, being only being slightly bigger, so people didn't use it.

Then they made a new one (the Sacagawea). It was the same size (because vending machines), but made out of a brass-colored metal, and no edge milling. The metal looks nice when it's new, but with relatively low time in circulation it tarnishes to an ugly brown that has no contrast for the artwork. And people still won't use it, because the US government (probably mostly due to Congressional inertia) keeps making singles. They've even issued them with different artwork, but nobody cares. I'd be surprised if 10% of the US population even knows they exist, and probably more people know about the 2-dollar bills that nobody uses either.

There are a few places where you might find the dollar coins used, such as some parking garages. It's more reliable to make change with coins than with worn-out GWs, and quarters are no good when you're charging $8-$15 and people are likely to want to use a $20 bill at unattended payment terminals. The coins become a sort of local currency because of repeat business, so there is some amount of recirculation.

The post office used to have nice coin-operated stamp vending machines that took any coin from a penny to a dollar (except for those old monster JFK half-dollars), and gave dollar coins for change, but they yanked them out years ago in favor of some kind of complicated credit card-based scale/postage printing machine that basically nobody uses. So now you have to wait in line to buy a sheet of bog-standard stamps. (But I can get them at the supermarket check-out too, so meh.)

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Wins FAA Permission To Build a Spaceport In Texas

Megane Re:I heared you're opening a spaceport... (80 comments)

NASA has plenty of already-trained astronauts who don't have much chance of going up, whether or not they've already gone up yet. They're getting hired by the NewSpace companies. It's not like they're looking for H1Bs to be astronauts.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Wins FAA Permission To Build a Spaceport In Texas

Megane Re:huh... (80 comments)

Or you could look for it on a map and see that it's surrounded by mostly wildlife areas and state parks and water, not unlike a certain place in Florida. It's not like they're planning to launch from some industrial park on the edge of town.

about two weeks ago
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Why it is so hard to stop cyber crime

Megane WITH A COMPUTER! (1 comments)

Cybercrime is basically just crime, only with a computer!!!!!!!!

Why is it so hard to stop crime?

about three weeks ago
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Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

Megane Re:Mars no, (78 comments)

Permanent Lunar presence for Helium 3 extraction YES

Uh, huh. So what exactly are you going to do with that helium when you extract the few parts per million on the lunar surface? We don't even have fusion working yet, and He3 is not a first-generation fusion fuel.

We'll be on Mars long before we can use He3 for anything but inflating balloons.

about three weeks ago
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DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

Megane Re:Has DC Comics Done Something Stupid Today? (249 comments)

I also think they should just put up the statue without the S. But put a J on it instead, because the kid's name is Jeffrey!

about three weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

Megane Re: Failsafe? (468 comments)

Flight 232 was a DC-10 that had three independent hydraulic systems. There was no way all three systems could go out at the same time... until they did.

about three weeks ago
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Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

Megane Re:HDDs smell bad (415 comments)

Maybe they could hire these dogs out to sniff out hard drives that are about to go bad in RAID arrays. You know, like detecting when a Quantum Fireball is about to blow its chip and all that.

about three weeks ago
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NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

Megane Re:Bring back the F1 (146 comments)

we had one of the best heavy lift rockets in the world, the Saturn V launch system. ... Only lift rocket that had a 100% success rate.

To be entirely fair, Saturn V only launched thirteen times. Falcon 9 is currently working on its tenth launch and has so far had a 100% success rate. (no cargo lost except one "hitchhiker" payload after an engine cutout, denied alternate means of insertion by NASA because of a ~5% risk to ISS, a known restriction before launch) The heavy lift version will come soon enough when they catch up with manufacturing enough F9 rockets.

about three weeks ago
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Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

Megane Re:Okay, so this has what to do with fracking then (154 comments)

My house is developing a few cracks here and there, and some people are even getting serious enough as to having some foundational issues.

This also happens in central Texas, where there aren't baby earthquakes happening. It's caused by ground settling under a slab foundation due to drought, and then again from the reverse when the drought ends. It's also the reason you don't have basements in Oklahoma or most of Texas, because eventually the foundations would just get floated out of the ground. Just because baby earthquakes are happening at the same time as cracks in the walls doesn't imply cause.

about three weeks ago

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