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Samoa and Tokelau Are Skipping December 30th

TamCaP Re:fail (140 comments)

s/small knuckle/valley between knuckles/ :-)

more than 2 years ago

Samoa and Tokelau Are Skipping December 30th

TamCaP Re:fail (140 comments)

just count on your knuckles from left to right (both hands); each big knuckle - {31}, each small knuckle - [28-30]

more than 2 years ago

Google Maps To Charge For API Usage

TamCaP Re:I hope they invest it (141 comments)

I have paid for Google services. Not a lot (under $1K a year), but I have. The one time I asked for support... it was disappointing.
Sorry, this is impossible, feel free to e-mail in a suggestion, goodbye.
There are ways of saying no that don't feel like the rep just slapped you on the face :-/

more than 2 years ago

How Face Recognition Can Uncover SSNs

TamCaP Re:Foreign and no SSN.... Check your facts... (103 comments)

Not completely correct.
Since few years SSNs have not been issued to international students on arrival / enrollment, but only when they take up their first student job (if any)... On arrival they get an ITIN number instead. And yes, many places that demand the SSN don't know what to do with the ITIN when they get one (despite the fact that the law states it should function in almost the same fashion).

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Scrub Pirated Music From My Collection?

TamCaP Re:Sure it can (758 comments)

Database of "legal" MP3s owned and administered by RIAA sounds like a great idea. And a free program that will scan your hard drive and conveniently delete any MP3s from your hard drive that are not in the database... BEST IDEA EVER!

more than 3 years ago

Activists Destroy Scientific GMO Experiment

TamCaP Re:Sounds like (1229 comments)

Obviously, you didn't read the whole story. The farmer indeed got accidental Monsanto seeds (that part is true). What happened later, however, is that he used a herbicide on his field and realized "uuuuuu, those plants are still alive" --> collected the seeds from those and used them the next year. That's why he lost the lawsuit - he consciously selected for Roundup resistant plants.

more than 3 years ago

Final Attempts To Contact Mars Spirit Rover Fail

TamCaP Re:Plutonium? (95 comments)

Shhh, the longer we can keep the NIMBY crazies in the dark, the better. Don't say a word.

more than 3 years ago

Upscaling Retro 8-Bit Pixel Art To Vector Graphics

TamCaP PDF slashdotted (325 comments)

PDF got slashdotted immediately, but the dolphin image shown in the first article is quite stunning.

more than 3 years ago

FCC Commissioner Leaves To Become Lobbyist

TamCaP Government is corrupt... (309 comments)

Government is corrupt like crazy (see also all the D- Reps from places like Alaska or Louisiana protesting abolition of tax-breaks for big oil...). No news, really. They should actually have titles like Comcast Commissioner (FCC), or Rapiscan Secretary of Homeland Security (looking at you, Chertoff). At least it would make the situation clearer. Nothing to see here, move along.

more than 3 years ago

How has your opinion on the safety of nuclear power changed after the events in Japan?

TamCaP Re:As seen on reddit & facebook. (1148 comments)

I believe that's the idea behind the new GenIII+ reactors. However, IANANE.
In the new reactors, there is an emergency(?) secondary circulation system that consists of large amounts of coolant (your good ole' H2O) above steel reactor enclosure. In case of trouble, this water is dumped and bathes the enclosure. There is another steel wall that is being cooled using air coming from outside (gravity driven or what-not). Thus the process goes: reactor rods (HEAT) > primary (radioactive) coolant > reactor containment > secondary/emergency coolant (non-radioactive) > coolant enclosure > moving air > atmosphere. In theory, in case of a situation like the one that happened in Japan, the system should work well enough with little or no extra power needed (if I understood correctly, most of it is actually automated and doesn't even require human intervention). Excess heat that is not removed by air cooling goes away with steam, so you might want to refill the water after few days. This paradoxically leads to less moving elements, control systems, pipes, etc. etc. and significantly reduces the reactor cost too. After you are done, you can just drain the secondary coolant, as it does not become radioactive. I guess it just took someone with enough imagination.
The only problem is, those reactors aren't fully certified yet. But works (and construction) are pending.

more than 3 years ago

Graphs Show Costs of DNA Sequencing Falling Fast

TamCaP Re:Next: synthesis, please? (126 comments)

Not sure how serious you are, but cells are hardly synthesizing your own genome for less than $0.
Just two things:
a) why less than 0? Do you get money out of it?
b) let's try not giving you any food for a month and see how well your DNA synthesis goes then...

more than 3 years ago

NASA Wants Spacecraft For Mars Return Trip

TamCaP Re:If I were to design it (193 comments)

I think the launch window depends directly on the amount of fuel (or if you prefer, m/s) you are willing to spend. I would think (yet, also, IANARS) that the more m/s you are willing to spend (thus the more fuel you are willing to move to orbit from Earth) the larger your launch windows would be.
And yes. Despite much smaller gravity well that Mars has, I guess it makes more sense to leave fuel for return trip in orbit than to take it to Mars surface. This way, if something goes wrong with the lander, you have a relatively "free" fuel depot in orbit for the next mission. In general, our space projects should be done as modular and with as much reuse of components as possible.

more than 3 years ago

Scientists Invent World's First Anti-Laser

TamCaP Re:I want... (241 comments)

I am pretty sure current light sensing technology is doing just great when it comes to that.

I on the other hand, wonder if it's possible to improve the device to work as an efficient energy "receptacle" / converter. Like a wireless power cable. You could then "beam" energy i.e. in space (where there is no atmosphere to kill all your photons) to your sattelite. One could also think about using fiberoptic cable instead of copper for energy transmission, but I don't see a real application for that (except maybe some exotic noise issues).
Yeah, the invention doesn't have many obvious applications. But it doesn't mean scientists & engineers will not come up with one at some point.

more than 3 years ago

Ski Lifts Can Could Help Get Cargo Traffic Off the Road

TamCaP Re:overhead wires or third rails (225 comments)

I think it's more of a metropolitan range mid-distance transport. It might be the new pneumatic tubes - if you need to move goods from one of your warehouses to the other, you simply move it to the Rope transport. Something like public transport for cargo. Will it work... time will tell.
In my humble opinion however, despite the relative ingenuity of the idea it involves a bit too much complication, and this will be a big barrier for adoption. Plus, someone show me the detailed ROI figures too...

more than 3 years ago

A Lost Civilization Beneath the Persian Gulf?

TamCaP A book? (277 comments)

Wasn't there a book about "crocodile people" who lived in the area of Persian gulf? I am however not sure where I read it and who wrote it.. It was of course borderline fantasy, but still, I recall it was quite interesting.

more than 3 years ago

Google Preparing To Launch G-Town

TamCaP Re:I wonder how this will end... (251 comments)

It's not only tthe IT sector! If you ever have a chance to read Benjamin Graham's book "The Intelligent Investor" you will see that many companies described there (from the 60s and 70s) are no more than silly sounding names today. Railroad industry was considered ultra-powerful and very stable, to fall apart almost overnight from the historical point of view. Corporate histories are not as boring as some people think.

more than 3 years ago

Google Preparing To Launch G-Town

TamCaP Re:obvious (251 comments)

And to me, not living in Silicon Valey, this sounds completely crazy. You need to have a roommate or two to afford rent in some low/mid level housing, YET you can easily get a BMW and splurge on a 52" TV. Am I the only one who thinks that something's wrong with that picture?
Re: topic
Similar stuff happens in academia already. It's cheaper for universities in expensive places (like NYC) to subsidize housing for graduate students / some staff than it would be to pay out extra location bonuses.

more than 3 years ago

Doing Digital Art When You Can't Use Your Hand?

TamCaP Re:What About the Other Hand? (131 comments)

I agree with parent. If the other hand is fine, our brains are capable of adjustment. It might take a while (I assume he is an adult) but should not be that hard, just require lots of practice and patience.

more than 3 years ago

Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life

TamCaP Re:Oh, snap! (486 comments)

It was the insurer of Pace (the unconscious guy), the State Farm, that paid all the costs. It's a simple calculation - the cost of damages was under $4k, while cost of damages if Pace was allowed to continue would probably be at least 10x, if not 100x as much. They saved a lot of money thanks to him, that's why they footed the bill (+ some good publicity).

more than 3 years ago



BSA Poland promotes snitching

TamCaP TamCaP writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TamCaP (900777) writes "There is a new BSA Poland-sponsored website with staged short-videos featuring "real-life" stories of cheating husbands and nasty bosses at work being "punished" for their software sins. You want to have a payback for whatever? Just report the use of pirated software to BSA, they will take care of the rest!"
Link to Original Source

Peer review program in patent applications

TamCaP TamCaP writes  |  more than 7 years ago

TamCaP writes "The recent issue of IEEE Spectrum features an interview with Professor Beth Simone Noveck about a new experiment being conducted by USPTO and New York Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy:

Launching on 18 June 2007 was an Internet-based peer-review program whereby anyone (yes, even you) can help to evaluate a number of software patent applications voluntarily submitted for public evaluation. [...] An Internet-based peer-review program whereby anyone (yes, even you) can help to evaluate a number of software patent applications voluntarily submitted for public evaluation.
More info available under"

Link to Original Source


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