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Kepler Discovers Solar System's Ancient 'Twin'

R3d M3rcury Re:Crazy! (61 comments)

Hey, you can't keep a good astronomer down!

yesterday
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

R3d M3rcury Re:Big Mac (349 comments)

That's pretty ridiculous. The Big Mac is made with 100% pure beef.

McRibs and McNuggets, on the other hand...

2 days ago
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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

R3d M3rcury Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (109 comments)

Depends on the situation.

F-16: "Flight 17, you are off course. Come to heading 271."
Jet: "Oops. Sorry. A little stressed up here."

On the other hand...

F-16: "Flight 17, you are off course. Come to heading 271."
Jet: "Kiss my ass, yankee imperialist swine! We're blowin' up Tallahassee!"

will probably get you shot down.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

R3d M3rcury Re:Not programmable? (421 comments)

[...] you can reprogram the primary buttons to anything you like.

What about the secondary buttons? And does it seem odd that you have primary buttons? Wouldn't you have a primary button, a secondary button, and a tertiary button?

Then again, I use a trackpad...

3 days ago
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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

R3d M3rcury Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (109 comments)

... just what would the fighter escort hope to accomplish?

About the only thing I can think of would be to escort the plane along it's new route.

I assume that the plane was rerouted on a pretty much direct route from where they were to Atlanta. They'd want to make sure that the airplane stayed over relatively unpopulated areas in the event of an explosion.

3 days ago
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'Never Miss Another Delivery' - if You Have a TrackPIN (Video)

R3d M3rcury Re:Parcel Lockers (85 comments)

Amazon Lockers is something similar. There's a bunch of caveats (it has to be ordered from Amazon, not a partner, etc.) but my roomate used it recently and it worked fine.

4 days ago
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What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

R3d M3rcury Re:Less creepiness (324 comments)

A bar wouldn't survive very long if they made a habit of posting embarrassing moments from their surveillance tapes on the web.

You must not watch much YouTube. There are tons of "funny" surveillance camera video from different places. Hell, you can even make money selling them to TV shows.

about a week ago
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The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

R3d M3rcury Superman? Batman? (197 comments)

But no Marvel characters?

about a week ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

R3d M3rcury Re:Who cares? (489 comments)

Yeah. 99% of all users don't care about stability (3, 4) or security (5).

Just because he uses ugly computer terms doesn't mean that those don't translate into improvements that a mother could love.

about a week ago
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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

R3d M3rcury Re:For the sake of discussion... (311 comments)

Of course you're right--I started with the presumption of guilt.

About the only difference I would make is I would be fine with the government keeping the cash but paying it back if the person is found not guilty. So they don't have to return the original $20,000 but if found not guilty, I'd better be getting a check for $20,000 posthaste.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

R3d M3rcury Re:Right Problem, Wrong "Solution" (479 comments)

I'd fix that particular problem by very noisily firing anyone that I heard say that or act as if they felt that.

All that really does is move the particular problem underground. So the person wouldn't overtly say something like, "Women aren't good programmers--they don't have the brains for it." But they'd still think it. And they'd still go out of their way to not hire women for the position using other criteria: "I just think Dan is a better choice than Barbara--he seemed to communicate better than Barbara did."

about two weeks ago
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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

R3d M3rcury Re:For the sake of discussion... (311 comments)

What should they do with the machine gun?

Assuming it's a legal weapon, sell it. Otherwise melt it down.

What should they do with the $20,000?

Keep it.

What should they do with the car?

Sell it.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

R3d M3rcury Re:Honest question. (479 comments)

Sounds sexist to me. I've spent time in hospitals and the male nurses seemed just as compassionate as the female nurses.

about two weeks ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

R3d M3rcury Re:The Dangers of the World (783 comments)

There's also the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) which currently has something like 50k active missing juvenile cases which are not part of that classification because of unknown variables.

Such as runaways, etc. Also, these have been on file since 1967. Figure 50,000 divided by 48 years is a bit over 1000 cases a year.

So, in that case, the chances of your child becoming "missing" is about the same as them dying in a fire. They're still far more likely to die of poisoning, drowning, or in a car accident.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

R3d M3rcury Re:Entitled much? (479 comments)

You go in for an interview and go through a procession of seven people who speak the other language. You are confronted with the possibility that this is what your work environment will be like. Not everyone is up for that.

You're right. So you don't take the job.

I always say that an interview goes both ways. I also like to see how people deal with me--I'm going to have to work with these people after all. If the interviewer is a jerk in the interview, they're probably a jerk to work with. You need to decide if the job is worth it or not.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Don't Try To Sell a "Smart" Gun in the U.S.

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  about 9 months ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "How's this for a good idea? A gun that won't fire unless it's within 10 inches of a watch? That's the iP1 from Armatrix. Of course, don't try to sell it here in the United States:

Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”

Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it. Ms. Padilla and the manufacturer she works for, Armatix, intended to make the weapon the first “smart gun” for sale in the United States.

“I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans,” one commenter wrote.

Their complaint? The gubmint..."

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Text Someone Who's Driving and You Could Get Sued

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  about a year ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "A recent decision from the New Jersey Appelate Court [PDF] states that you can be sued if you send a text message to someone who, in the course of reading or responding to the message, is involved in an accident. In this particular case, the judges decided that the person who was texting, Shannon Colonna, was not liable because she didn't know that the defendant was driving. So the litmus test appears to be that if the sender knows the recipient is driving and knows the recipient will likely read the text immediately, they could be in trouble. (page 25) Not sure how you'd go about proving this..."
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Late Night Gaming Banned in Vietnam

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  more than 3 years ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communication has asked ISPs to block access to on-line games between 10:00PM and 8:00AM. 'The request, made on Wednesday, is another move from the authority to mitigate the side effects of online games. The request follows numerous stiff measures by the ministry to tackle the issue, including cutting internet access to agents at night beginning last September.'"
Link to Original Source
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What Clown on a Unicycle?

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  about 5 years ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "The New York Times has an article about walking and using a cellphone. But the interesting part was an experiment run by the University of Western Washington this past fall.

There was a student who knew how to ride a unicycle and a professor who had a clown suit. They dressed a student up as a clown and had him ride his unicycle around a popular campus square. Then they asked people, "Did you see the Unicycling Clown?" 71% of the people walking in pairs said that they had. 51% of the people walking alone said that they had. But only 25% of the people talking on a cellphone said that they saw the unicycling clown.

On the other hand, when asked "Did you see anything unusual?" only about one person in three mentioned a unicycling clown. So maybe unicycling clowns aren't enough of a distraction at the University of Western Washington..."

Link to Original Source
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Save The Planet: Eat Your Dog

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  more than 5 years ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "New Zealand's Dominion Post reports on a new book just released, Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living. In this book, they compare the environmental footprint of our housepets to other things that we own. Like that German Shepherd? It consumes more resources than two Toyota SUVs. Cats are a little less than a Volkswagen Golf. 2 Hamsters are about the same as a plasma TV.

Their suggestions? Chickens, Rabbits, and Pigs. But only if you eat them."

Link to Original Source
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Save the Apollo Landing Sites!

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  more than 5 years ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "The Lunar X-Prize is a contest offering $20 million to the first private organization to land and maneuver a robotic rover on the moon. There is also a $1 million bonus to anyone who can get a picture of a man-made object on the moon. But one archeologist believes that "The sites of early lunar landings are of unparalleled significance in the history of humanity, and extraordinary caution should be taken to protect them." He's concerned that we may end up with rover tracks destroying historic artifacts, such as Neil Armstrong's first bootprint, or that a mistake could send a rocket slamming into a landing site. He calls on the organizers to ban any contestant from landing within 100KM of a prior moon landing site. Now he seems to think this just means Apollo. What about the Luna and Surveyor landers? What about the Lunokhod rovers? Are they fair game?"
Link to Original Source
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R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  more than 7 years ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "I was going through the links in the 'Funnies' section and I found that a bunch seem to have been discontinued.

Mikey — Appears to have been taken over by a squatter.
Dr. Fun — Has been discontinued.
After Y2K — Updating sporadically at best. Looks like the last one was in 2004.
Helen — Ended at the end of last year.

Also, the Fifth Wave has moved to http://www.gocomics.com/thefifthwave/

Anyway, it might be time to clear out those five. Perhaps replace them with AppleGeeks, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Joy of Tech, Sheldon, and Evil, Inc.. Of course, that's just my list. What other comics do people think would be entertaining for Slashdot readers?"
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R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  more than 8 years ago

R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "The Wii's controller is an innovative device. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the strap that you're supposed to attach to your wrist to keep the controller from accidentally flying across the room. Televisions, walls, and windows are in danger from the flying Wii controller. The website "www.wiihaveaproblem.com" has the stories."

Journals

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An Open Letter to Mike Frager

R3d M3rcury R3d M3rcury writes  |  more than 7 years ago

So I saw Mike's Open Letter to Steve Jobs and I kind of wanted to comment. Since he doesn't have a comment section...

First, from his letter, this one jumped out at me:

I rely on dual monitors and a Mac Pro is not within my company's or personal budget.

So here's a crazy idea, Mike: Buy an iMac.

From Apple's iMac page on graphics:

[...] all three iMac models let you use a second display in extended desktop mode -- in addition to simply mirroring the first.

So you can buy a $999 iMac and still use your second display with it. Or, if you prefer the beefier graphics cards of the higher end models, go with them. You can still use your second display with it.

On a more general note, though, supporting PCI cards actually requires some things such as a minimum size and all to keep things cool. Some of us old timers remember, for example, when IBM came out with the PS/2 Model 30 which would accept IBM AT cards--except that the enclosure was too small for them to fit. Apple's PowerMac Cube was another example--you could use whatever PCI cards you wanted, except that they had to be specially designed to deal with the Cube's size. Needless to say, I think only nVidia did one.

So, in other words, you want a Mac in PC clothing.

This isn't a bad thing to want. Personally, I sort of agree with you--I'd like to see Apple do an inexpensive Core 2 Duo tower. But I recognize that my aims and Apple's don't mix.

First, I think you overestimate the market for this. The "Tech Savvy" market is nowhere near as big as we geeks tend to assume. There are far more people who will be wowed by Mac mini's small size or the iMac's stunning looks than would be interested in a "Me too" looking tower. For business who want dual-monitor support as inexpensively as possible, again, the $999 iMac rears it's head. For home users wanting to replace that virus-ridden desktop, the Mac mini and the iMac will fill their needs quite nicely. The lack of expandability isn't really hurting Apple. Macs are expandable "where it counts"--memory and hard disk space.

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