Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Brown Dwarf With Water Clouds Tentatively Detected Just 7 Light-Years From Earth

MichaelSmith Re:Moons? (82 comments)

Could that body have been... The Earth? The same thing happens whenever I try to look at Paris from Australia.

yesterday
top

Brown Dwarf With Water Clouds Tentatively Detected Just 7 Light-Years From Earth

MichaelSmith Re:Moons? (82 comments)

Its clearly a trap.

yesterday
top

Brown Dwarf With Water Clouds Tentatively Detected Just 7 Light-Years From Earth

MichaelSmith Moons? (82 comments)

I wonder if it has any Earth sized moons. Maybe one close in could be kept warm(ish) by tidal heating.

2 days ago
top

"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

MichaelSmith Re:good (359 comments)

Maybe she will pop up elsewhere.

about a week ago
top

Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

MichaelSmith Re:not hard cosmic radiation (117 comments)

Plenty of biological material was left on the surface in jettison bags during the apollo missions. Its going to be interesting when those bags get retrieved. In fact I wonder if it justifies a sample return mission right now.

about a week ago
top

Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

MichaelSmith Re:Poor material choice (162 comments)

But the wheels aren't failing. The skin on the wheels is failing but the wheels will work fine with structure alone.

about a week ago
top

Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

MichaelSmith Re:The private key would have to be handled locall (175 comments)

JavaScript virtual machines have no security between applications. Any script can replace the javascript API at run time, messing with other code running in the same window.

about three weeks ago
top

Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

MichaelSmith Re:It's a TRAP! (175 comments)

Any proposal in which users hand over their private keys to a third party (such as a webmail provider) should be assumed to be done with the blessing of, or at the request of, law enforcement or intelligence agencies

Where did it say in there that users would hand over private keys to a third party?

At best they would give the keys to software provided by Yahoo and running in their browser. Law enforcement could compel Yahoo to provide a backdoor to that software or they could compromise the encryption in the browser. Unlike java, javascript has nothing to stop code from a different source interfering with other code running in the browser.

about three weeks ago
top

Amazon's eBook Math

MichaelSmith Re:Pots and kettles (306 comments)

Doctorow succeeds partly due to self promotion, but that will only work for a few prominent authors. Not everybody can be an editor on boing boing.

about a month ago
top

Amazon's eBook Math

MichaelSmith Re:Corporate lies! (306 comments)

So create your own e-book and associated infrastructure.

about a month ago
top

Amazon's eBook Math

MichaelSmith Re:Disengenous (306 comments)

DRM's e-books (like on Amazon) are hard to lend out or re-sell. Prices are lower but more books are sold. Taking geography out of the distribution equation means that more books can be sold, without physically shipping a supply to every corner of the planet. Simpllfying the supply chain doesn't have to mean that the producer gets less money.

about a month ago
top

SpaceShipTwo Flies Again

MichaelSmith Re:Dirty Burn (22 comments)

Isn't that because it is burning rubber? All the burns with that engine type are dirty.

about a month ago
top

Amazon's eBook Math

MichaelSmith Re:Should we care about... (306 comments)

Paper eliminates itself over time but I would agree that content from Amazon is not immune to fiddling in the back end.

about a month ago
top

Amazon's eBook Math

MichaelSmith Bricks and Mortar? (306 comments)

Come on. Nobody buys reading material from shops any more. The only bookshops which remain in my city sell junk. But I don't like the idea of buying everything through Amazon either.

about a month ago
top

Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

MichaelSmith Re:Bang (162 comments)

Bomb belts really should have grounding points.

about a month and a half ago
top

Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

MichaelSmith Bang (162 comments)

Its also great for detecting suicide bombers.

about a month and a half ago
top

New Russian Law To Forbid Storing Russians' Data Outside the Country

MichaelSmith Re:popular with Americans (206 comments)

as it gives them

End of stream? Did the NSA not flush that last buffer they read?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

top

Android web browser can not upload files

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I have an android phone and wrote a photo blogging application so that I could upload pictures directly from the phone. When I finally got around to testing from the browser on android the <input type=file> tag turned into a message Uploads Disabled. So I googled around and found this hilarious bug report which unfortunately confirms that Android can not upload files."
Link to Original Source
top

Aus internet filter delayed for election

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy has delayed the planned implementation of internet filtering until 2011. The likely reason for this is to neutralize it as an issue in the 2010 election, which is expected to happen before October. Interestingly Optus, Telstra and iPrimus have pledged to block child-abuse websites voluntarily but the article doesn't say how they plan to do that."
Link to Original Source
top

Transport ticketing system as job creation

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Screw ups in the new Melbourne ticketing system are so common they aren't really funny any more but this one almost had me ROFLing.
Staff at the firm making myki have had to manually add one cent to 87,261 cards so that they can be used on Sundays, when seniors are entitled to free travel. The myki system requires all users — even those getting a free ride — to have a positive balance on their card. 'This exercise took several weeks and was carried out by existing myki customer service staff...."

Geez guys write a loop. Learn some perl. Or fix the original requirement."
Link to Original Source

top

The Wifi AP names people use

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I code on the tram, going to and from work and I noticed that there are a lot of wifi access points along the way. So one week I made it my job to write an automatic scanner which runs from a cron job every minute during commuting times. My backup script pushes the new AP names to my web server and you can read it on line.
It is a mixture of the straightforward, naive and funny, with a few pop culture references along the way. The first column in the file is the number of access points with that name. The second column is the AP name, in brackets to pick up white space."

Link to Original Source
top

Could the Mono Lake arsenic prove there is a shado

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Scientists think that there might be arsenic based life in Mono Lake, California. If it shown to exist such life could have evolved independently from our own, or it could have forked from ours at a very early stage."
Link to Original Source
top

Look out for paragliding terrorists

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Intelligence sources are reporting that south Asian terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba has purchased 50 para gliders from suppliers in Europe. This article in the Indian Express discusses possible attacks in India using this novel vector, but other targets can't be ruled out.

One possibility would be to use a high building or terrain to fly right over perimeter security at a public event. Para gliders can use convective lift as well, but the pilot needs to be experienced. The article discusses suicide attacks so this may put a limit on the sophistication of the flying involved."

Link to Original Source
top

MP horrified by altered bin Laden pic

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The FBI has apparently used elements from a photograph of Spanish member of parliament Gaspar Llamazare to help compose an age advanced image of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The FBI says:

"FBI special agent Jason Pack said a forensic artist had been unable to find suitable features from the FBI's database of photographs and used a picture from the internet instead.
"The forensic artist was not aware of the identity of the individual depicted in the photograph," Mr Pack said, adding that the image would be taken off the FBI website."

Mr Llamazare is not happy about his face being used in this way and has complained to the US Embassy in Spain."

Link to Original Source
top

Nine containers of PETN punctured in Nth Carolina

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A major US port was shut down after nine containers of "highly explosive material" were accidentally punctured, officials said, urging that part of the city be evacuated.

The accident happened around 4:45am (local time) when a forklift punctured the imported containers during offloading in Morehead City, North Carolina, Mayor Jerry Jones said.

The chemical involved was pentaerythritol tetranitrate, known as PETN, he said, adding it was "highly explosive, but not airborne"."

Link to Original Source
top

US Army files found on second hand MP3 player

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A New Zealand man who bought a second hand MP3 player from a store in the US found it loaded with the names and personal details of American soldiers, as well as a mission briefing and information about equipment.

Chris Ogle says he will return the unit to the US Defence Department if asked, and that it never worked as a music player anyway.

A slightly different version of the story is available from TVNZ."
top

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "More than a year ago a former member of the Australian Defense Force set up a web forum for ADF members. Recently the site was blocked by the Department of Defense, presumably as part of routine workplace filtering. The interesting bit is that the the head of the Australian Army, General Peter Leahy wants the block removed. In the process he blames the "geeks" in the DOD for filtering the site, though I, for one, am not taking that personally. From his perspective a geek is probably anybody not in the ADF."
top

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The Mars Rover Opportunity is now only 45 meters from the rim of Victoria Crater. The rovers navigation camera has taken a great picture of the interior of the crater. NASA seems keen to drive the rover into Victoria to do some geology but by the look of it I think they will be unlikely to be able to drive out."

Journals

top

One openmoko phone still available

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  about 5 years ago

I bought a five pack of GSM-900 openmoko phones. One I am keeping (very happy now that I am running OM.2009). Three I have sold to other people. The price for the last phone is 336.42 Australian dollars. That is exactly one fifth of the price I paid for the pack, including GST and customs charges. The price includes shipping within Australia.

This phone is unopened, still in the original packaging.

Please reply here if you are interested.

top

Anybody want to split a five pack of openmoko phones in Melb

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago As my sig says, I am interested in buying a pack of five openmoko phones ans sharing them with other people. This journal article is here so people can communicate with me about it.

top

Technocrat.net shutdown

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I am the person who posted with the userid smithm and display name "Michael Smith" on technocrat.net

After Bruce shut the site down I sent him an email offering to take over the domain name. He indicated that he doesn't want to sell it.

I am interested in setting up my own site. In theory an online community can be very cheap to run. You can do it on google groups for example. But being a software guy myself I have a few ideas for how to build a system. I want to use the Mercurial DSCM as a backend and build it around individual user web logs with RSS gluing them together.

I am of the view that discussion sites should almost never be edited. Mercurial has features which make it easy to see changes in revision history, which is why I want to use that tool.

I have a few projects on the go over Christmas. I am closing my co-lo and installing a server at home. The web log software is project number two over the holidays.

If you are interested in hearing more about this project, please leave a reply.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>