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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Rambo Tribble Of course it is. (207 comments)

Fear has been effectively used to manipulate and manage humans since before recorded history. It has marshalled armies, driven religious conversions, mass exodus, and chilling human sacrifice. How would you imagine so effective a tool might be abandoned by those who would control their fellow man, for their own gain? Every day we are pummelled with fear-driven political ads and "news" broadcasts. Even our parents use fear to manage their upstart offspring. Fear as a tool of control is, I fear, here to stay.

11 hours ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Rambo Tribble "We didn't really mean it ... (234 comments)

"... we love you people. We want to be your best friends. Now, how about this ..."

yesterday
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Rambo Tribble Anthrocentricism ... (887 comments)

... the last refuge of belief, for the professed non-believer.

3 days ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Rambo Tribble Re:Learning starts with engagement (182 comments)

Yeah, I wouldn't really call that "engagement". I think in that case it was more of a marketing term than an actual aspect.

4 days ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Rambo Tribble Learning starts with engagement (182 comments)

The best lecturer, when reduced to an image on a screen, is no better than the worst lecturer in person. Reality is immersive, while an image of a talking head is not. Film makers learned this long ago and implemented jump cuts, zooms, cameo close-ups, and the 15-second rule to maintain audience engagement. Until on-line courses learn from the past, they will not be harbingers of the future.

4 days ago
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Rosetta Hunts For Comet Touch Down Site For Philae Lander

Rambo Tribble And Rosetta asks ... (17 comments)

... "Does that angle make me look fat?"

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Rambo Tribble Not Good Enough (363 comments)

A driver who is legally deemed drunk faces far more serious consequences, while creating a similar degree of hazard to the public. Furthermore, the drunk has impaired judgement, while the texter has no such excuse. Or, to put it another way, "Git a rope."

about a week ago
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US Rust Belt Manufacturing Rebounds Via Fracking Boom

Rambo Tribble Re:Life imitates art ... (191 comments)

Not exactly; everything is Reconstruction.

about a week ago
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US Rust Belt Manufacturing Rebounds Via Fracking Boom

Rambo Tribble Life imitates art ... (191 comments)

... as the foundational premise of "Firefly" plays itself out.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

Rambo Tribble Re:KDEnlive (163 comments)

I find Kdenlive's stability has improved dramatically over the years. It is quite full featured, though not all features are fully polished, for the most part they are at very least competitive. It certainly supports more input formats than Lightworks, which is the only competitor on Linux I'd put in the same class. Don't get me wrong, Blender is an excellent program, but with Kdenlive I can almost make do without the documentation. Blender, not so much.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

Rambo Tribble The real news ... (91 comments)

... is that this appears to confirm the Neanderthals IP rights to the octothorpe, and Twitter owes them tons of back royalties.

about two weeks ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

Rambo Tribble This makes it official ... (369 comments)

... Islamic State is a literal plague on humanity.

about three weeks ago
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Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students

Rambo Tribble Statistics? (115 comments)

There's an app for that!

about three weeks ago
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NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant

Rambo Tribble So, is this ... (216 comments)

... fission frisson or just another energy sector meltdown?

about three weeks ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Rambo Tribble Re:Please, don't tell them ... (421 comments)

Then again, it may simply reflect an act of defiance toward an assignment that was unwelcome.

about three weeks ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Rambo Tribble Re:Please, don't tell them ... (421 comments)

Isn't that what they call "Sharia Law"?

about three weeks ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Rambo Tribble Re:Please, don't tell them ... (421 comments)

I was afraid of that. So, how do you get pixie dust off your hands?

about three weeks ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Rambo Tribble Please, don't tell them ... (421 comments)

... but I strangled my neighbor's unicorn, last night.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers Discover New Plant "Language"

Rambo Tribble Dare I ask ... (70 comments)

... if this means strangleweed fills the plant world's niche that, in our world, is filled by the NSA?

about a month ago

Submissions

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Browser to Facilitate Text Browsing in Emergencies

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  yesterday

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Programmers at Fast Company are developing the Cosmos browser to allow text browsing from Android phones when networks are buckling under the load of local disasters. A common phenomenon when disaster strikes is the overloading of cell and data networks by massively increased traffic. The Cosmos browser is intended to facilitate using SMS text messages, which often still get through in such circumstances. To quote one developer, "We want this to be a way for people to get information when they're in dire need of it." Sort of a Lynx comes to Android affair. The Smithsonian contemplates the possibilities, here."
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Trout and Eels Form Reef-hunting "Dream Team"

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about a week ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers are reporting on investigations into interspecies cooperation to hunt prey in coral reefs. Using behavior observations in the wild and in controlled, aquarium environments, scientists have found a high level of communication and cooperation between coral trout and moray eels in hunting prey fish. The result is a mutually beneficial boost in hunting success. "This shows that a big mammalian brain is not necessarily required to undertake these sophisticated forms of communication," said study leader, Alexander Vail ."
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Critters Got Game: Animals Love Touchscreens

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about two weeks ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Across a broad range of animals, from reptiles to apes, researchers have found our fellow fauna are attracted to performing tasks on touchscreens. The implications are broad, from studying animal perception and learning, to keeping zoo-bound creatures mentally active. Interestingly, much as with humans, it is the young who seem most attracted and engaged with the devices. Did you just lose at WoW to a bonobo?"
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Researchers Harness E. Coli to Produce Propane

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about two weeks ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A team of British and Finnish scientists have used the common bacteria, Escherichia coli, to produce the environmentally-friendly fuel, propane. By introducing enzymes to modify the bacteria's process for producing cell membranes, they were able directly produce fuel-grade propane. While commercial application is some years off, the process is being hailed as a cheap, sustainable alternative to deriving the gas from fossil fuel production. As researcher, Patrik Jones, is quoted as saying, "Fossil fuels are a finite resource and...we are going to have to come up with new ways to meet increasing energy demands.""
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Google Serves Old Browsers Old Search Page

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about two weeks ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In an apparent move to push those using older browsers to update, Google is reported to be serving outdated search pages to said browsers. The older pages lack features available on the newer versions, and this policy compounds with the limits announced in 2011 on Gmail support for older web clients. As a Google engineer put it, "We're continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers." The BBC offers a fairly comprehensive analysis, here."
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Pollinators Thwarted by Scent Pollution

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "At the same time that bee populations are crashing, researchers have found that another pollinator group, moths, is being adversely affected by chemicals in the air. The moths' ability to discern the floral species they need to target is diminished by other scents from a variety of human-imposed sources. These range from non-native plants to vehicle exhaust. As one researcher succinctly puts it, "The total combination of dynamic odors, including floral signature odors as well as anthropogenic pollutants, can affect the success of olfactory-based resource finding." Link to Science abstract."
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Seattle Gets Takeout by Amazon

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In their ongoing effort to capitalize on local business, Amazon has unveiled a “VERY gradual expansion unless things go gangbusters,” of their Amazon Local services, namely takeout food ordering in Seattle. Rivalling smaller, more focused firms in the space, it appears the online giant is trying to wrap recommendations, ordering, and payments in a convenient Amazon bundle. And to think, "word of mouth" used to involve actual mouths."
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Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Research published in the journal Cell describes a mechanism whereby exposure to UV light leads to endorphin production in the skin. Additionally, they show that rodents exhibit the characteristics of addiction to those substances. This adds to earlier studies which demonstrated withdrawal-like symptoms in frequent tanners One of the researchers, Dr. David Fisher, commented, 'It sounds like a cruel joke to be addicted the most ubiquitous carcinogen in the world,' The researchers conclusions are subject to some scepticism, however. Addiction researcher, Dr David Belin, is quoted as opining, '... their study is going to be seminal even though their conclusions are not supported by their results.' The BBC offers nicely rounded coverage, as well."
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Researchers Find "Achilles Heel" of Drug Resistant Bacteria

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers in Britain are reporting that they have found a way to prevent bacteria from forming the "wall" that prevents antibiotics from attacking them. "At the heart of the breakthrough is the way 'gram negative' bacterial cells transport the carrier's molecular 'bricks' to the surface of the cell and form a wall." "The number of superbugs are increasing at an unexpected rate. This research provides the platform for urgently-needed new generation drugs.""
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Make A Date With Fraud

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Netcraft is reporting that criminals are mounting massive phishing attacks through online dating sites. The scams are numerous and target multiple sites. Actual methods range from blackmail to 419-style scams. Characteristically, fraudsters hijack an existing account on one of the services, then use that as a portal to deliver a PHP script to compromise the site. 'The latest attacks make use of a phishing kit which contains hundreds of PHP scripts, configured to send stolen credentials to more than 300 distinct email addresses.' The BBC offers additional insights ."
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Deforestation Depletes Fish Stocks

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Adding to the well-known fish-killing effects deforestation has in increasing turbidity and temperature in streams, a study published in Nature Communications, (abstract, PDF access), demonstrates deforestation causes a depletion of nutrients in associated lake aquatic ecosystems and, as a consequence, impacted fish stocks. Lead author Andrew Tanentzap is quoted as saying, 'We found fish that had almost 70% of their biomass made from carbon that came from trees and leaves instead of aquatic food chain sources.' This has troubling implications as, 'It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans ...' Additionally, this may have significance in regard to anadromous species, such as salmon, which help power ocean ecosystems. The BBC offers more approachable coverage."
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Portland Edges Closer to Google Fiber

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Portland, Oregon has taken another step toward finalizing a franchise agreement with Google Fiber. In a unanimous vote, the city council has approved the prospective contract. While existing Internet Service Providers fume, Mary Beth Henry, manager of Portland’s Office for Community Technology, pointed out that Google is prepared to make a major investment in the city's infrastructure, while the other firms are not. Ms. Henry also indicated that Google was not receiving any special treatment. Google spokesperson, Jenna Wandres, responded to events in an email, saying, 'There’s still a lot of work to do beyond this one agreement, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Fiber here later this year.'"
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Synaptics Buys Key Apple Supplier

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Synaptics Inc., of touchpad fame, is acquiring Renesas SP Drivers Inc, a division of Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. Renesas SP is the exclusive supplier of Apple's display driver chips for the iPhone. While Synaptics is a major supplier of touchscreen technology to clients such as Samsung, they have not done business with Apple for some eight years. Characterized as 'thrilled' to be back in Apple's supply chain, Synaptics CEO, Rick Bergman, is quoted as saying, '... I don't believe they do any driver chips internally so that would really be an opportunity for us.'"
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Lose Sleep, Fail to Form Memory

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A research team of Chinese and American scientists claim to have witnessed the mechanism by which sleep contributes to the formation of memories. Using advanced microscopy the researchers witnessed synapses being formed in the brain of sleeping mice recently exposed to a learning task. They compared this to similarly tasked mice, that were subsequently sleep-deprived. The sleeping mice showed a marked increase in the formation of new synapses. As one researcher explained, 'We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.' Link to original publication [abstract, paywall]"
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Nanoparticles Used to Create Thermal "Barcodes"

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, have developed nanoparticles with distinct melting points, which they suggest be used as forensic "barcodes" to identify the origins and integrity of things such as explosives and currency [PDF]. To demonstrate the technique, the researchers used the explosive, TNT, as a test case. Commenting on the viability of the approach, researcher Dr Ming Su said, 'The nanoparticle does not participate in any chemical reaction, and it will not effect the function of the existing object. The only thing it will do is to provide a thermal signature.' He added, 'Nanoparticles are so small, they can be put into any objects.' The BBC has more approachable coverage."
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Hypertext and the Internet: The Unappreciated Backstory

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "While the seminal influence of Vannevar Bush's 'As We May Think' is not in dispute, many don't realize that he was rekindling ideas that had been around for decades. 'In the years leading up to World War II, a number of European thinkers were exploring markedly similar ideas about information storage and retrieval, and even imagining the possibility of a global network—a feature notably absent from the Memex [of Bush's essay].' In fact, some of these thinkers even predated WW I."
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Oregon vs. Oracle: The Battle of Blame Heats Up

Rambo Tribble Rambo Tribble writes  |  about 4 months ago

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The ongoing efforts to assign responsibility for the disastrous attempts to create the Cover Oregon health exchange, the primary contractor for which was Oracle Corporation, have entered a new round, with Governor John Kitzhaber calling on State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to initiate legal action against the firm. Kitzhaber has also sought the help of Washington D.C. in sanctioning Oracle, though Oregon's own management of the project and the terms of their contract with Oracle muddy the waters, considerably. Although the AG's office hasn't committed to filing suit, yet, AG Rosenblum has said, 'I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled.' Although the outcome of this is uncertain, it is likely heads, both corporate and political, will roll."

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