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Frictionless Superfluid Found In Neutron Star Core

PotatoFarmer Re:airtight? big deal (145 comments)

Are the helium atoms small enough to squeeze through the gaps between molecules, or just really sneaky?

Yep, pretty much. Practically speaking, it's one of the things that keeps a helium-based Stirling engine from being one of the most efficient methods of solar power production - the stuff leaks out at every opportunity.

more than 3 years ago

Senators Bash ISP and Push Extensive Net Neutrality

PotatoFarmer Re:Franken may be a little crazy, but not on this (427 comments)

Your choice of ISP doesn't affect the ISP of the site you're attempting to reach, or the various other hunks of network infrastructure you need to pass over to get to that site.

Lack of customer choice is a core problem that needs to be addressed, I agree. But it isn't the only problem.

more than 3 years ago

US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct

PotatoFarmer Re:Confiscations (405 comments)

It was not brought up by name, though part of the selection process involved asking all of the prospective jurors if they could agree to and abide by the rules of the court. Those who did not answer in the affirmative were dismissed.

more than 3 years ago

US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct

PotatoFarmer Re:Confiscations (405 comments)

It was more a case of making sure everyone was working off of the same definitions. This actually came into play during deliberations - a few of the jurors had half-baked notions of things like "circumstantial evidence" and the aforementioned "burden of proof" that were cleared up by the definitions we were given. Without that common ground it's likely that we would have spent a great deal more time arguing over semantics rather than evidence.

I know it's popular here on Slashdot to consider anything government-related to be stupid and ineffective, but that really wasn't the case. There was a genuine effort by the judge to clarify and educate rather than obfuscate.

more than 3 years ago

US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct

PotatoFarmer Re:Confiscations (405 comments)

In our case we were given hardcopy instructions prior to beginning deliberations that included the definitions of all legal terms that were applicable, including one for burden of proof.

Basically, we were instructed to form our opinions on three things:

1. Our life experiences and education up to the point where we were sworn in as jurors and told to avoid doing outside research.
2. The evidence presented in the courtroom.
3. The definitions and instructions provided to us.

more than 3 years ago

US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct

PotatoFarmer Re:Confiscations (405 comments)

There can be a lot of downtime in a trial. I was recently a juror in a murder trial, and out of the 6 hours or so allotted on each day scheduling for hearings, maybe 3-4 hours total were spent in the juror box listening to testimony. The rest of the time we were locked in the deliberation room while the judge and attorneys discussed stuff.

We were not allowed to discuss any aspect of the case with each other until after closing arguments, so it was pretty common for people to pull out the phones while in the deliberation room and check email/browse/play games/whatever during these recesses.

Interestingly, we did have a case where a juror ignored the judge's admonition against outside research - she printed out a definition of "Burden of Proof" she found online and brought it into the deliberations. It was confiscated by the bailiff before anyone else could look at it and she was dismissed. We spent most of the rest of that day playing on our cellphones waiting for an alternate juror to come in.

more than 3 years ago

Webvention Demanding $80k For Rollover Images

PotatoFarmer Re:See you in court... (314 comments)

They better hope for a REALLY dumb judge.

I think you mean a really dumb jury. Why else would they do this stuff in Texas?

(just kidding, Texans. Please don't shoot me.)

more than 3 years ago

Yale Researchers Prove That ACID Is Scalable

PotatoFarmer Re:I hate SQL and Databases in General... (272 comments)

Why is it that we continue to use a technology based on a 1960's view of a problem when clearly there ARE other solutions and ways to approach said problem?

Which problem? Storing your data, retrieving your data, modifying your data while guaranteeing transactional integrity, analyzing your data in aggregate, providing ways to recover your data, providing ways to reset your data to a previous state?

I'm not saying a traditional relational database is the perfect solution to everything, but it's silly to think that every approach will address the same set of concerns.

about 4 years ago

Should Developers Have Access To Production?

PotatoFarmer Re:For me (402 comments)

Use an automated process that rebuilds your test environments nightly from production backups. Test environment synchronization and backup verification rolled into one.

about 4 years ago

What Happens To a Football Player's Neurons?

PotatoFarmer Re:American Football is not Football (176 comments)

Just to point, we are talking about American Football, not Football. It's not the same.

True. A medical story regarding non-American Football would likely cover one of these topics instead:

1. How a nudge to the shoulder can translate into a compound leg fracture.
2. How grabbing your shin while writhing on the ground can partially alleviate the pain of a compound leg fracture.
3. Whatever is in those magical spray cans the trainers carry around, and how they can instantly heal a compound leg fracture immediately after a penalty has been awarded.

about 4 years ago

Lasers Approach Their Ultimate Intensity Limit

PotatoFarmer Seems like there's a simple solution. (384 comments)

Have they considered relabeling their laser intensity dials so they go up to 11?

more than 4 years ago

Where To Start With DIY Home Security?

PotatoFarmer Need more info (825 comments)

In order to select the correct solution for you, we're going to need your address and a list of the expensive stuff you don't want stolen. Oh, and in case we drop by, please let us know the hours that you're usually at home. Would hate to make the trip out there only to find that you're away. Thanks!

more than 4 years ago

Torchlight II Announced For 2011

PotatoFarmer Re:What about Fate? (85 comments)

I played the Torchlight demo and I could not stop thinking how much more similar it was to Fate than to Diablo.

There's a good reason for that. Travis Baldree, the lead developer of Torchlight, also designed Fate.

more than 4 years ago

Oracle's Java Company Change Breaks Eclipse

PotatoFarmer Re:Why design the VM that way? (397 comments)

I find it ironic that you're laughing your ass off at the poor, ignorant Java kids when your grasp of the situation is so deficient.

First off, permgen is not just class definitions. One of the largest consumers of permgen space is intern'd Strings. Secondly, despite its name permgen does have garbage collection in modern VMs; it's not as frequent as what is done to reclaim heap but it does happen. Thirdly, the issue with Eclipse is that it doesn't set a correct pergmen size at startup due to an acknowledged bug, this isn't a case where it's eating up too much space because of a funky classloader.

No good programmer thinks that resource management is unimportant, regardless of language.

more than 4 years ago

If Oracle Bought Every Open Source Company

PotatoFarmer Re:Do they need "all of them"? (237 comments)

Oracle already has a J2EE server now that they own WebLogic through the BEA acquisition.

They had one prior to the acquisition with OAS. Didn't stop them from buying out their biggest competitor not named IBM.

more than 4 years ago

Your Feces Is a Wonderland of Viruses

PotatoFarmer I wonder... (211 comments)

I wonder if any of those viruses is a key "log"-ger. Better that than a worm, I guess.

I'll show myself out...

more than 4 years ago

BP Robot Seriously Hampers Oil Spill Containment

PotatoFarmer Re:BP engineers are morons... (264 comments)

Clearly this idea was rejected because it is far too simple.

Very few things are easy when you're 5000 feet below sea level and dealing with pressures of 2k psi.

more than 4 years ago

7th Graders Find Large Cave On Mars

PotatoFarmer Re:Just kidding, folks. (139 comments)

Well, if you look carefully, you can see two vaguely hand-shaped rock formations to either side of the cave. Scientists have used this information to search for similar images for the purpose of comparison, and have thus come to the conclusion that the cave is approximately "ohgodmyeyes" deep.

more than 4 years ago

Court Takes Away Some of the Public Domain

PotatoFarmer Re:The RIAA are not people (431 comments)

I guess that would depend on what you mean by "using it". The ruling itself appears to be mostly concerned with people who have produced derivative works (e.g. performances, recordings, etc.) of items that are in the public domain in the US but were originally produced and are still under copyright in their country of origin. As far as what will happen, I'll let this excerpt from ruling speak for itself:

"a reliance party may continue to exploit that derivative work for the duration of the restored copyright if the reliance party pays to the owner of the restored copyright reasonable compensation . . . ." If the parties are unable to agree on reasonable compensation, a federal court will determine the amount of compensation

more than 4 years ago

Adobe Goes To Flash 10.1, Forgoes Security Fix For 10

PotatoFarmer Re:!News (320 comments)

What do you mean? Who else would have to foresight to include embedded executable code and a javascript engine in a print document format? It's genius, I tell you!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go look at a PDF that has pictures of someone's vacation emailed to me by an unknown perso

more than 4 years ago


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