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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

OzPeter Re:Can Abrams correct slashdot grammar too? (267 comments)

When he decides the world needs another of his missives, it simply happens

Oh god .. don't say it .. that Bennet is like .. Chuck Norris?!?!?!?!?

6 hours ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

OzPeter Re:Remarkably little lens flare. (267 comments)

No Jar Jar.

That's why it's a teaser. Haven't you heard of bait and switch before?

7 hours ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

OzPeter Re:Had a realization (267 comments)

I just realized that all of JJ Abrams' movies are the same style. That only hit me while seeing this trailer.

I don't know where you get that with this trailer. It looks like every other SW trailer that I have seen.

7 hours ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

OzPeter Re:Well, let's face it ... (267 comments)

And sippy cups.

But nothing could beat the Buzz Lightyear homoerotic sippy cup!

7 hours ago
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First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

OzPeter Re:Can Abrams correct slashdot grammar too? (267 comments)

will be able to breath new life

Maybe they should ask frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton for his prognostications as to how to save /. editors from themselves?

7 hours ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

OzPeter Re: How is that startling? (326 comments)

I prefer to refer to the de facto one party system we have as being run by Demoncrats.

That unfortunately sounds like one of Rush's talking points.

Actually now that I think about it .. it was one of Michael Savages catch phrases.

9 hours ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

OzPeter Re:Stop this stupid First past the Post system (326 comments)

Start using a democratic system where every vote is equal, it's called Proportional Representation and works very well.

It would also be the end of the two party systems.

How preferential voting in Australia works .. in a nice, easy to read cartoon style where Dennis the Election Koala gives Ken the Voting Dingo an important lesson in civics! You Can’t ‘Waste Your Vote’!

11 hours ago
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Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

OzPeter Re:old joke is old (188 comments)

Imagine what it could be with a Chuck Norris movie!!!

Chuck Norris??? Bah. Bruce Lee beat up Chuck Norris.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

OzPeter Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (418 comments)

none of those will be taken seriously. Its all about Rand Paul in 2016

And one peccadillo coming to light about Rand (or any of them for that matter) will sink his ship in an instant.

2 days ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

OzPeter Sure, vote for Carly (418 comments)

But be warned that if she wins the election, you'll have keep buying the control of your local representatives over and over.

2 days ago
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Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

OzPeter Re:Various hacking tools? (219 comments)

It really does not require any more skill. If hacking were allowed, it would come down to who has the fastest computer and lowest ping to the server.

Playing the game without hacks requires skill.

Sooo .. sorta like high frequency trading?

3 days ago
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Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies

OzPeter Surprise! (129 comments)

I'd welcome our new overlords, but they seem to have already been here for a while.

About all that's left to comment on is Hot Grits, Natalie Portman and griping about there not being a Cowboy Neal choice any more.

4 days ago
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Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

OzPeter Re:The French are the world's Standards Board (373 comments)

he referred to all the black people in the room as 'African Americans'.

Stupidity is not reserved for one nation alone.

Years ago I was in Florida, and was chatting with the hotel clerk when an English guy came in and started chatting as well. After a few moments the clerk said "I can't tell you two apart", meaning our accents.

The english guy and I just look at each other and burst out laughing, due to the fact that I'm white and the he was black.

5 days ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

OzPeter Re:Rotated (329 comments)

Don't worry, you can probably rotate this screen also.

Years ago I was shoot a square format film camera (Holga @ 6cm) and when a friend looked at some of my negatives they commented "Why the hell did you rotate the camera for some of your shots????".

about a week ago
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Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard

OzPeter Re:next... (147 comments)

The 68008 was discontinued 20 years ago, so this isn't really all that useful even as an educational exercise. Why not pick a current breadboardable, cheap microprocessor and get Linux to run on that? That way, other people can benefit.

Why even bother with hardware. Why not just emulate it?

But then again .. why emulate it when you can buy time on a virtual system?

Then again why do all that when you could just be watching TV?

about a week ago
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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

OzPeter Re:No hot air (116 comments)

Maybe they are intentionally obscure about He to let us think it is air filled or filled with another gas.

Ah .. I see you going the way of a conspiracy theory in order to avoid accepting common sense. Occams razor be damned!

about a week ago
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Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard

OzPeter Re:You are standing at the end of a road .... (147 comments)

You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.
Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and
down a gully...

xyzzy

Bah .. kids these days.

I smell a wumpus

about a week ago
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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

OzPeter Re:No hot air (116 comments)

Try some critical thinking

But critical thinking is hard.

And so is taking a step back and re-thinking when multiple people say something is not being correctly reported.

about a week ago
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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

OzPeter Re:No hot air (116 comments)

This is not the only article talking about hot air filled balloons. The text is talking about hot air, not matter what the picture is. Even the Loon project web site is not clear about this.

Yet somehow the Wikipedia site happily identifies the balloons as being He filled

Whoever wrote the text that everyone else is quoting screwed up big time, and is totally wrong about these balloons being hot air based. As I stated before, the photos are of classic Helium balloons, and no hot air balloon can do what google is claiming - that is basic physics.

about a week ago
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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

OzPeter Re:No hot air (116 comments)

Why do you say they are not hot air balloons? The article is pretty clear they are. You quote do not say otherwise.

Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it correct.

The pictures in the TFA are not of hot air balloons. They are of helium balloons. And engineering wise, no hot air balloon in capable of the stats that google is claiming.

about a week ago

Submissions

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The case for a Federal Robotics Commission

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  about 2 months 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 10 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""
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Re-programming the thermostat

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 3 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."
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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  |  about 5 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  |  about 5 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."
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What to do with a free XBox 360 Pro?

OzPeter OzPeter writes  |  more than 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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