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Comments

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Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter

OzPeter Re:"The data come from" (90 comments)

The data came from

I'd still use past tense given that the experiment was 32 years ago

yesterday
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Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter

OzPeter Re:"The data come from" (90 comments)

I am not too sure what you are complaining about, "data" is plural by strict definition, if not common usage.

I'm complaining about the tense of the origins of the data, and how that doesn't match the data itself

yesterday
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Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter

OzPeter "The data come from" (90 comments)

I suppose that I've been around here long enough to not expect any better.

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

OzPeter Re:Probably Not (523 comments)

As a "maker" who sells small runs of boards . . I trust that they will build the board to spec . . I don't know what the right answer is

If you are getting boards built but not checking that they are to spec, then I'd suggest that you are not doing any quality control. Doing that would be the very first step in the process. And you don't have to test every board, just a random sample.

And FTDI has now done the heavy lifting for you by writing software that will test if their chips are genuine.

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

OzPeter Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (523 comments)

So the better question is how can we improve the system to ensure that counterfeit chips aren't being secretly swapped into our products.

That's easy .. quality control on your part to verify that the chips in your product are genuine.

Remember the old saying:

Trust in God, but tie your camel

yesterday
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

OzPeter Missing option (149 comments)

I don't use a smart phone you insensitive clod.

And actually I don't .. I use an original RAZR .. which does all that I want a phone to do - make phone calls. And I only need to charge it twice a week.

2 days ago
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We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

OzPeter We sure do (253 comments)

Especially if it can be used to shield Bennett's posts from my eyes

Hell .. I'm getting tempted to pay for such a service if Bennet would move his blog there

2 days ago
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Microsoft, Ask.com, Oracle Latest To Be Sued Over No-Poach Deal

OzPeter Re:wait a second... (47 comments)

Ask.com still exists?

I'm sure there is a web site where you can Ask questions like that.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

OzPeter Re: What I recommend (113 comments)

That seemed to come out in favour of the satirist.

IMHO only because of the lawyer backing him up.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

OzPeter What I recommend (113 comments)

Based on this

I am mildly concerned about potential reaction of the parodee, who has been known to be a little heavy handed when it comes to things like that.

I recommend a good lawyer.

See Beck v. Eiland-Hall as to why.

about a week ago
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Robot SmackDowns Wants To Bring Robot Death Matches To an Arena Near You

OzPeter The best I have seen so far was on Sci Fi channel (82 comments)

The Robot Combat League was fairly interesting given the limitations of the machinery that they are using.

The technology of Robot Smack Downs would have to surpass that of the Robot Combat League by a pretty large margin before it became half decent, and I don't see that happening any time soon.

about a week ago
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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

OzPeter Obvious solution (407 comments)

FEMA Camps!

The private prisons have been in collusion with the government over this one:

1. Get lots of ant-drug laws passed
2. Increase number of prisoners
3. Build private jails (Profit #1)
4. Reduce drug laws to free up space
5. Admit to being a police state
6. Round up undesirables
7. Put them in FEMA camps
6. Ask for more money in this current emergency (Profit #2)

about a week ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

OzPeter Re:Maybe a Mini (354 comments)

I've been thinking about giving the OSX another try... I've been messing around with it at work.

The mini wouldn't be a bad way to go... it's not that expensive and I can still use my 27" monitor.

Aside from the Mac Pro, the Mini was the only Mac that you could easily change the hard drive and memory yourself. I just had a quick look at the specs of the new mini and I can't tell if you can still do that.

I'm worried that the mini may go the way of the iMacs and head into being a totally sealed/pre-configured device and have no user changeable parts.

about a week ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

OzPeter Re:Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (376 comments)

That wasn't missing in the summary as submitted, but editors will edit.

[Checks url to make sure I'm on the same site as you]

Well that would be a first. Editing that is. Fucking things up is par for the course.

about two weeks ago
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How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

OzPeter Re:LinkedIn page for "Joseph Streater" (165 comments)

Disclaimer: Not saying this LinkedIn page is him, but it could be.

Which puts you on the same level as all those trashy journalists and shady talkshow hosts:

Here are the "facts". We don't know if they are true. But you be the judge of that

about two weeks ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

OzPeter Re:I hate the marathon (254 comments)

I don't get grumpy very often, but the annual marathon makes me grumpy.

Given that's its annual, and thus extremely predictable when it runs, couldn't you have done something like .. um .. leave for the weekend?

about two weeks ago
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CSS Proposed 20 Years Ago Today

OzPeter And 20 years ago (180 comments)

Kurt Cobain saw what was being proposed and . . . . (well you know the rest)

(Too soon?)

about two weeks ago
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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

OzPeter Re:Alternative headline (429 comments)

As opposed to the bittorrent user(s) who are pushing everyone else out of the way and preventing their access?

Its one thing to do so with permission from the network owners .. its another thing to wade in and beat up on people just so you can get what you want.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

about two weeks ago
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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

OzPeter Re:Alternative headline (429 comments)

That should have been "Self proclaimed vigilante"

about two weeks ago
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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

OzPeter Alternative headline (429 comments)

Vigilante beats up on people in order to get public wifi access that he believes is rightfully his

That's what it amounts to. He can't get the access he wants, so he just pushes his way in and takes it.

If access is so important to your work, why aren't you/they paying for it?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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The case for a Federal Robotics Commission

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about a month ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Ryan Calo (assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and a former research director at The Center for Internet and Society.) has written an interesting piece in which he explores why the US needs a new Federal agency to oversee the use of various types of autonomous robots (cars, drones, surgery, finance etc) slowly being introduced into society. Even if you disagree with his conclusions, this paper certainly makes for some interesting reading."
Link to Original Source
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I am Slashdot

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 9 months ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

I am Slashdot.

(please propagate the "I am Slashdot" meme in anyway you can)"
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The Inside Story Of The World's Biggest 'Battery'

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about a year ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "With 24 gigawatt-hours of capacity, the Bath County (Virginia) Hydro Pumped Storage Facility is one giant sized storage battery that is the largest in the world. The Inside Story Of The World’s Biggest ‘Battery’ And The Future Of Renewable Energy talks about its operation, where pumped storage fits into the mix of power generation and the challenges they expect in the future. Also see this youtube video for another overview of the facility.

Disclaimer .. I have nothing to do with any of these websites .. I just drove past the place on the weekend."
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$1b Ghost town to be built in New Mexico

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in the Brisbane Times, construction of a $1b Ghost Town is expected to start in Lea County near Hobbs, New Mexico this year. The town is the brainchild of Pegasus Global Holdings and represents its Center for Innovation, Testing & Evaluation (CITE) and will be modeled after the real town of Rock Hill S.C. From the Brisbane times article:

The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars. "The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up — I hope," said Brumley (senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings).

Also from the that article:

Brumley said plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $US400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $US1 billion.

"

Link to Original Source
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Robot bird perches on human hand

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in The Age and also directly from Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign researchers have demonstrated a robot bird that can fly down and perform a soft landing, such as perching on a human hand. From the the Age's article

"The ability to perform perched landings on a human hand endows our robot with the ability to operate around humans," says Aditya Paranjape, a post-doctoral scholar working on this project. The project is based on Paranjape's PhD thesis and journal articles written with Soon-Jo Chung, an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Illinois who is also working on the project."

. Video of the robot performing various landings can be seen on youtube at: First Successful Perching on a Human Hand by a Robotic Bird Airplane"
Link to Original Source

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War driving puts on a uniform

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in The Age and from the Press release as a part of National Consumer Fraud week, the Queensland Police are going war driving in order to identify insecure WiFi setups. from the press release "The War Driving Project involves police conducting proactive patrols of residential and commercial areas to identify unprotected connections. Police will follow this up with a letterbox drop in the targeted area with information on how to effectively secure your connection". While some people may like having an open WiFi AP its interesting to see that the Police also feel that "Having WEP encryption is like using a closed screen door as your sole means of security at home. The WPA or WPA2 security encryption is certainly what we would recommend as it offers a high degree of protection""
Link to Original Source
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Re-programming the thermostat

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported in WA Today, Tony Fadell of iPod fame has been using Nest Labs to design and build a thermostat that learns how you live in your house by following how you manually change the temperature. Once you have taught it how to behave (How the Nest learning Thermostat learns), it then can schedule temperature changes that suit your lifestyle, and help you cut down on energy costs."
Link to Original Source
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Rent an iPad for inflight entertainment

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Jetstar will be trialling the renting out of pre-loaded iPads as a form of inflight entertainment instead of the the more typical seat back video system. No word in the article on how or if they will handle wi-fi connections, but interestingly it does mention that they will be usable during takeoff and landings — something that will be sure to spark lots of discussion regarding planes and modern electronics."
Link to Original Source
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Volvo demonstrates automated car breaking

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Back in 2009 slashdot ran a story about Volvo working on a crash proof car that used radar and and automated braking (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/01/02/159210/Volvo-Introduces-a-Collision-Proof-Car). Well a few weeks ago they demonstrated their S60 car with full auto braking. One small problem, it rear ended the truck it was meant to avoid. Fortunately (or perhaps smartly) no driver was in the car, so no one was injured. The failure of the demonstration was blamed on "one or more of the car's sensors had been "fried" before the demo, caused by the car maker fast-charging the S60's battery after discovering it was flat.". After seeing that I am not sure which is worse — that Volvo failed to properly run a demonstration of a new technology (and did not have a backup car ready), or that the said technology can easily be damaged without anyone noticing that it no longer works.

[note to editor — yes I deliberately said "breaking" in the title — its a joke, see]"

Link to Original Source
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Airport full body scanners not so secure

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting a story out of Manchester, UK of how an Indian actor claims he was asked to autograph printouts of his full body scans for two female security officers. If true, then this makes a mockery of the official claims that scans will be deleted immediately after they are performed. How long before copies of printouts of celebrities' scans start appearing on websites devoted to security porn?"
Link to Original Source
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Flying cars .. get yours now

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Flying cars (or more rightly "Driving Planes") are just around the corner. The Terrafugia website is hosting several videos detailing some of the test flights performed in the last 6 months. The site also suggests that the initial delivery will be in 2011 — just in time for the end of the world when the Mayan calendar rolls over!"
Link to Original Source
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Ploughing carbon into the ground

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "A wheat farmer in Australia has eliminated adding fertilizer to his crop by the simple process of injecting the cooled diesel exhaust of his modified tractor into ground when the wheat is being sown. In doing so he eliminates releasing carbon into the atmosphere and at the same time saving himself up to $AUD500,000 that would have been required to fertilize his 3900 hectares in the traditional way. Yet the crop yields over the last 2 years are on at least par with his best yields since 2001. The technique was developed by a Canadian, Gary Lewis of Bio Agtive and is currently in trial at 100 farms around the world."
Link to Original Source
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What to do with a free XBox 360 Pro?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Last week I won an XBox 360 Pro, however I am not a gamer and after looking at the current MS offerings I am not tempted to become one.

But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying the video through the HDMI port. With that in mind I again looked at MS and saw that they seemed to have positioned the XBox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So once again I did some more research into the XBox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path.

So my question is how should I re-purpose my XBox? is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favourite nephew?"
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Getting better cellphone reception

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "I currently have cellphone service with T-mobile and I get great coverage everywhere I go — except for in my own home. Their coverage website indicates that I should get reasonable signal strength at home, but in practice I only get about 1 bar and that can drop to zero depending on which side of the house I am in. This is very annoying given that my cellphone is my work phone. So I have been looking around for solutions to my problem.

Switching to AT&T might be a solution as that way I can keep my GSM phone, but their website also indicates that I should get about the same level of signal strength as I get with T-mobile. I am not too trusting about that, but I will be trying to track down a friend with AT&T and invite them over to see what actual signal strength I can get. My current phone is a Motorola Razr V3, but I am wondering if a newer phone might have better receiver sensitivity. And the third possible solution would be to install a cellphone booster — which is a big unknown.

So I am looking for recommendations/experience with each of these options:
  1. Switching from T-mobile to AT&T
  2. Getting a newer phone
  3. Installing a cellphone booster
"
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Microsoft loses patent case to tune of $US331 mil.

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "As reported Microsoft has lost a patent case relating to copy protection and has had a $US331 million judgement awarded against them. The case was brought by Uniloc, which sued Microsoft in 2003 for violating its patent relating to technology designed to deter software piracy. From the article (with my emphasis):



"Richardson's patent, one of many under his name, relates to work he did in the early 1990s and covers a software registrations system that allows software makers to create try-before-you-buy versions of their work.

Once users buy the software they get a registration key that unlocks the full featured version of the software.

Uniloc claimed Richardson showed a copy of his software to Microsoft in 1993 but Microsoft did not license it, instead developing its own almost identical version and incorporating it into its products from 1997 or 1998.

Microsoft said that its system works differently from Uniloc's and that Uniloc's patent was obvious.""
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How should I increase my billing rates?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 6 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "Last year I formed a company for the sole purpose of sub-contracting to another larger company, and for the last 14 months I have working exclusively for that larger company. At the start of the process I set my contract rates based on the level of salary I wanted, number of hours I wanted to work and additional overheads such as business and health insurance. The number I came up has given me a quite a healthy income, but I have come to realise that I have undervalued myself by a considerable amount. In fact rates double what I currently billing would not be unreasonable in my field of work. As I now know what I am really worth in the market I would have no problem telling a new client what my rates are, but the question is how should I approach my current (and main) client? There is currently no formal contract between myself and them and thus no set rates, I do the work and invoice them, and they pay weekly. So should I just announce to them that as of some date I will be raising my rates to $$, or should I sit down with my main contact and try and feel out their response to a rate increase? And does the lack of a formal contract worry people, and should I use a new contract as the mechanism of increasing rates?"
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OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 8 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "The Age is reporting that Google has set up a group for developing humanitarian projects around the world. Details can be found on Google.org

From the article: "The ambitious founders of Google, the popular search engine company, have set up a philanthropic group, giving it seed money of about $US1 billion and a mandate to tackle poverty, disease and global warming. But unlike most charities, this one will be for-profit, allowing it to fund start-up companies, form partnerships with venture capitalists, and even lobby the US Congress. It will also pay taxes."

So do we like Google again?"
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OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 8 years ago

OzPeter (195038) writes "In light of the Maryland election, Princeton's Centre for Technology Policy has released a paper on the security risks of the Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine. From the summary: "For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates." and "We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab." As a foreigner I can't even begin to understand how the USA can allow such systems to control their elections. It seems the only possibilities are negligence or explicit fraud — and I don't know which is the worst possibility."

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