Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Mimicking Vesicle Fusion To Make Gold Nanoparticles Easily Penetrate Cells

Sir Holo It's been done (20 comments)

It's been done already. Open access.

That is, non-toxic transfection and organelle targeting of a combination "marker & delivery vehicle" into live cells, confirmed by both optical and electron imaging. Special nanodiamonds in this case.

(Full disclosure: It was me.)

5 days ago

Ars Editor Learns Feds Have His Old IP Addresses, Full Credit Card Numbers

Sir Holo Re:The Stasi & Stripes (217 comments)

How is this different from what the Stasi did?

It's not.

There is a quote from a former Stasi guy (East-German secret police) regarding the Snowden leaks of NSA capabilities: "We could only have dreamed of having such powers."

about two weeks ago

New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

Sir Holo Fungibility? (100 comments)

If it's not fungible, it is not a currency.

about two weeks ago

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Sir Holo Who ever takes an ad guy seriously? (394 comments)

FTA: "Everyone gets that advertising is what powers the internet, and that our favorite sites wouldn't exist without it,"

And all this time I thought that my paying an access provider, paying for web hosting, paying for email services (in the past), paying people for products through their web-stores, and donating to Wikipedia — I stupidly thought that was what powered the internet.

I will now dutifully watch all banner and video ads to avoid breaking the sacred "social contract" that enables the internet's existence.

about two weeks ago

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Sir Holo Re:Simple rule, actually (749 comments)


I'll add a more generic reference, Adam's Fallacy, by Duncan Foley. It's about how Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is selectively interpreted by modern economists of the (predominant) Chicago school of thought.

I just hope that Wikileaks doesn't publish my non-conforming TPS Reports. I did get the memo.

about two weeks ago

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Sir Holo Re:A larger legal question arises here (749 comments)

. . .the "How would you feel if somebody did it to you?" test. . .

Excellent test, to propose a citizen consider being on the other end of some legal action or law, as a way to consider whether it is reasonable.

I daresay acceptance of the described international-legal concept would be the end of the concept of Trade Secrets.

It would also be a boon to any company with "favored" status in their home nation.

about two weeks ago

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Sir Holo Re:Easy solution (749 comments)

Just claim the data was lost due to a "hard drive crash." I mean, it worked for the IRS, right?

It worked for the CIA video recordings of interrogations.

It worked for the CHP & KCSO after they confiscated, w/o warrant, the two cell phones which had video of the deadly police beating. The phones were later returned, sans video.

And so on. . .

about two weeks ago

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Sir Holo Re:You have this backwards. (749 comments)

If this were not the case then the Tobacco and Asbestos companies could have just said "all those meeting minutes and research records are stored in our warehouse in mexico so ha ha, you all lose." Any company or person, on any issue, could just mail the evidence out of state or out of country and get off scott free.

Interesting point. There is one subtle difference to consider.

The "moving physical documents off-shore" approach would be conceivable if not for the fact that such documents, etc. were generated by a US-based Corp., by people acting as representatives of the Corp., thus subject to US laws. IANAL, but I think this kind of maneuver would be obstruction of justice, contempt, or something similar to "destruction of evidence."

In the online case here, the issue is email caching. It does really make sense to cache users' "cloud" data in close physical proximity to said users. That said, one can easily imagine MS using this excuse as a shield to deliberately hide documents they'd like kept secret. Probably not the case here, but extend this ruling to company-internal documents, and you'll spot the trick that US DOJ is trying to prevent.

Kind of like how many Corps. have a "delete any email over two weeks old to 'save storage space'." If you delete a category of data, on a regular schedule, and before any subpoena, then the trick will work. But good luck preserving any sort of corporate memory...

about two weeks ago

Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

Sir Holo "Exlusive" deal (138 comments)

It's an exclusive deal that kicks in this Fall.

At the moment, downloaded "purchases" from the iTunes Store, Netflix, and Amazon don't have ads. Replayable, scrubbable, etc.

With this deal, viewers pay three times to watch. Once for cable/internet service, second by watching on Comedy Central, and then third via Hulu plus un-skippable ads, if you like an occasional re-run. Yeech!

about two weeks ago

Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

Sir Holo Re:you would think prop wash would down the drone (310 comments)

Similarly, I've seen the rotorwash of an LAPD copter, 50 feet above my street, blow 4' X 8' plywood panels dangerously airborne in the construction site across the street. Grit was thrown in my face.

This was around 3:00 am, and NOT in LA City proper. If only I'd grabbed my camera...

about three weeks ago

Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

Sir Holo Re:Yay big government! (310 comments)

Government, police, etc will always be corrupt. Always. People are people. The only defense is to give them just barely enough resources to do their job, with no excess or space for overreach. It's all about taxes. . .

Close, but wrong. It's all about the purse-strings.

Elected leaders, held to account, will reign in organizational misbehavior by tightening the purse-strings (cutting their budget).

Government, like many things, is a necessary evil. Flat-out saying that "paying taxes is wrong!" solves nothing. Because, you see, there will always be someone in charge.

Hold them to account, and they will hold departments, etc. within their purview to account.

If you want zero taxes, go to Somalia.

about three weeks ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Sir Holo They are dead to me (502 comments)

I bought a SoundBlaster card for four-channel audio for my Mac >10 years ago. It did not work.

Cretive Labs' management clearly had decided to dump Macs, as months of emails with "we're trying to work on driver fixes, but, but, but," rang hollow.

I'm not worthy of your hardware, despite me giving you money? OK. Your choice.

Creative Labs has been dead to me for >10 years, and will remain so. I can get my A/D & D/A converters elsewhere, and I do. I program and use them, actually. And I teach University classes in the subject. Guess what provider never gets a mention.

Any company who gives a paying customer the middle finger deserves animosity, sharing of info with other consumers, and generally, well, eventually being overtaken by a business that provides what consumers pay them for.

about three weeks ago

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

Sir Holo Welcome to Reality (132 comments)

Well, when your business model is to use donated, individual efforts to build a database —a database that you then use to make money via advertising with no contributor compensation. . .

Well, don't be surprised when some "hired gun" pretends to be one of us altruistic citizens contributing to your database. And they make stuff up.

SEO guys. Google Map spammers. The list goes on forever.

These "crowd-sourced" businesses, making money off of the altruism of anonymous individuals, have it coming to them. There is no free ride.

about three weeks ago

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Sir Holo Re:Self Medication (454 comments)

Reason A can, and does turn into reason B.

That is, chronic exposure leads to physiological dependence.

"Self-medicating" is fine for a month or two, but during that time one should seek a psychiatrist who can prescribe something to replace that "escapism" need. Hopefully.

If one does find a good advisor, and one follows the advice and prescriptions, normalcy and acceptance can soon follow. (Soon being within the scale of a human life-span, maybe 5 years.)

Hang in there! It will get better.

about a month ago

The Revolutionary American Weapons of War That Never Happened

Sir Holo Re:That's a good thing. (133 comments)

Animats: Laser weapons are in the same state - there are working demos, but they're not worth the trouble yet. Diode laser powered weapons are now up to 10KW (big array of 10W or so diodes), and can shoot down small rockets and artillery shells in demos. Current thinking is that, at 50KW-100KW, they'll be militarily useful.

Navy has (or is testing) some higher-powered ones, basically five or ten welding lasers strapped together, but the power and cooling requirements are huge.

about a month ago

The Revolutionary American Weapons of War That Never Happened

Sir Holo No Images? (133 comments)

Worthless article without images.

Even some of the web-linked articles don't have images.

Bad click-bait article aside, it is typical that the USA (and other nations) develop weapons systems that they never end up "needing to use." Weapons systems can be seen as a kind of insurance policy, but it can be damned hard from keeping the hawks from wanting to go play with their toys (kill people) all the time.

about a month ago

Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive

Sir Holo Winter Blues (51 comments)

When I've lived in northern climates, I've occasionally had a couple of tanning sessions to fight the winter blues. It works great.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Sir Holo A myDAQ is what you need (172 comments)

I use this in my classes — the myDAQ from National Instruments (DAQ=digital acquisition).

It's USB plug-and-play, with a few basics like oscilloscope (200 kS/s, 16-bit), DSA (digital signal analyzer), signal generator, and Bode analyzer built-in, through use of it's "ELVISmx Instrument Launcher." Better yet is that it comes with a non-expiring copy of LabView.

It has:
* DMM ports (digital multimeter)
* 8 digital I/O
* A/D audio I/O, +/-2 V
* A/D I/O, +/- 10V
* Power supply +/- 15 V
* Counter

Cost it $180, for example through

about a month and a half ago



Opposite of Superconductors Discovered

Sir Holo Sir Holo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sir Holo (531007) writes "Superinsulation may sound like a marketing gimmick for a drafty attic or winter coat. But it is actually a newly discovered fundamental state of matter created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with several European institutions. This discovery opens new directions of inquiry in condensed matter physics and breaks ground for a new generation of microelectronics.

When they tried to pass a current through the material, the researchers noticed that its resistance suddenly increased by a factor of 100,000 once the temperature dropped below a certain threshold.

Superinsulators could eventually find their way into a number of products, including circuits, sensors and battery shields.

Link to Original Source

Sir Holo Sir Holo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sir Holo (531007) writes "Is Time-Warner Cable intentionally degrading the internet service of customers who own cable modems, in order to force them to install a TWC-owned and throttled modem? Is this legal?

I have Time-Warner Cable service in the Los Angeles area, who inherited me from Adelphia through Comcast, and I own my own cable modem, a Motorola SURFboard. This week, my connection suddenly began exhibiting an odd behavior. A normal connection will exist, and if I use it initially (load a web page), it works fine. But then, any further usage will result in a failed connection. The connection stays off for several minutes, and eventually the modem will re-establish the connection as the line of idiot lights comes on in series. The result is a repeated, "Ah-ha, it's back on! ..... Awww, it's back out."

Upon calling Time Warner Cable tech support, I'm given a story that my modem "is on its last legs," and that I "probably have a bad modem." This is first suggested before the rep knows my account number! After "running some tests," I learn that a replacement modem is available for pickup and install from TWC office, as they don't offer a discount for customer-owned equipment. The rep does admit that it will have throttling, etc.. His pitch sounds very practiced.

Here's the odd part. Now, immediately after the call, with no "resetting the system" on TWC's end, and my same old modem installed, the connection is solid. The problem has evaporated.

As a scientist, I know that solid state electronics hardware doesn't generally "go bad" or "wear out." And non-cutting edge hardware doesn't have performance that degrades and fails over time, either.

I don't feel very good about having lost most of a day of work due to this issue. Even worse, that it might have been done on purpose.

Is TWC intentionally dropping the connection to coerce me into getting one of their modems? Wouldn't that be illegal? Will they do this intermittently until I give in? Will I notice any difference once I do? Or, is there indeed something about cable modems which can "wear out?""


Sir Holo has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account