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Comments

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Interviews: Ask David Gallo About Ocean Exploration

Tha_Big_Guy23 Human Ocean and Sea Habitability Possibilities (35 comments)

Having watched the show SeaQuest as a teenager, and recognizing the participation from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (For the first season anyway), I wanted to ask about the feasibility of humans actually inhabiting the oceans and seas as depicted in the television series. I realize that the technology to bring the ship itself to reality is quite a bit ahead of where we are now, but do you think it's possible in the near-future that humans will begin to colonize the oceans?

about a year ago
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DHS Steps In As Regulator for Medical Device Security

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:Nuance (123 comments)

Sure, people in hospitals need information, but surely something which is assisting in the physical process of a surgery (etc.) doesn't need to be in the cloud, does it?

As someone who works for a company that writes medical systems software, I can tell you that at the very least the systems need network connectivity so that the different systems can consolidate data in one place for examination. The problem is that any network connected device is potentially vulnerable to random Joe plugging a laptop into the network and hacking away.

To illustrate why that's bad, I've run into situations in which a client site (read: Hospital) outright prohibited using SSL/TLS on their servers. They deemed their internal network secure and refused to budge on allowing secure communications between the clients and the servers. Authentication information should always be encrypted and some administrators just don't get that.

As a whole, I think the medical technology industry needs someone to force tighter security requirements on software developers and medical sites as a whole. This is a good thing in my opinion. If that appropriate someone is the DHS may require a different discussion, but some government body needs to start pushing information security in the medical industry.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Kids Should Be Building Rockets Instead of Taking Tests

Tha_Big_Guy23 I agree, make education fun, however... (381 comments)

I'm simply happy that the schools have the paper to actually print the tests. Here, the budget is so out of whack that most school systems require that parents to supplement their classrooms with much more than notebooks, pencils, and tissues. The budgetary issues aside, it comes down to the parents (who elect the folks in charge of the school systems) to decide how their children are taught. I do believe that children who are engaged are more apt to learn than those who are bored to tears. Go beyond engineering projects, teach kids that math can be fun, how to have fun with the English and/or foreign languages, or demonstrate how historical events can be fun to learn about. These things are important as well.

And if you feel like you child isn't getting enough education at school, try bolstering their education outside of normal school hours. Get involved with the education of your kids and find out exactly what it is that they're learning. Only then, can you as a parent determine where their education is lacking.

more than 2 years ago
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Astronomers Find Most Distant Protocluster of Galaxies

Tha_Big_Guy23 Not quite a young cluster (129 comments)

the cluster must still be in the process of formation.

Well, it's still in the process of formation where we can visibly see it. Given that it's 12.7 billion light years away, I'd like to believe that the galaxies are properly formed at this point. Though, given that not one person knows exactly how long it takes to form a proper galaxy, who's to say that it isn't finished. It's all best guess I suppose. Really cool science though, knowing that light from 12.7 billion years ago is illuminating our planet, however faint it may be.

more than 2 years ago
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Next Kindle Expected To Have a Front-Lit Display

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:Not blue light! (132 comments)

I've got a huge library of .mobi books, and when I want to read one, I copy it to my kindle and it shows up in my list of available titles on my Kindle 3. Haven't had a single problem with any .mobi books and I've read hundreds that way.

more than 2 years ago
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Asus PadFone Combines Smartphone, Tablet, Keyboard

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:Netbooks turning into Hybrid tablets (77 comments)

In the application settings for the stock Android browser and several other android browsers (firefox and opera come to mind), you can change the user agent string to use a desktop browser string, and all websites then show up in their full "normal desktop" glory. I had this exact same problem on my transformer. Once I changed that setting and I've not had a problem since. Just thought I'd let you know. In the stock browser, its under advanced settings IIRC.

more than 2 years ago
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Obama Pushes For Cheaper Pennies

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:You can't eliminate them (825 comments)

This is also true in almost every movie theater I've attended in recent memory here in the US. All prices listed inside and out of the theater are tax inclusive. It's exceptionally convenient for me, since I can easily calculate in my head if I've got the spare change in my pocket to be able to get the larger size popcorn. It's the same thing with gasoline purchases. If I have a $20 in my pocket, I know that the most gas I can purchase is $20 worth. Given the current price of gasoline, however, good luck getting the dial to stop at exactly $20.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA Goes Back To the Drawing Board, PIPA Postponed

Tha_Big_Guy23 What we really need is... (267 comments)

the US government to stop thinking they can police the world.

If overseas pirating operations are what's causing all the ruckus, I don't see what passing stringent laws within the US borders will do to accomplish this task. It could just be me, but it seems that what the plan is with both of these acts is to try and police what happens on the internet worldwide. The United States has no business regulating the internet internationally. If they want to regulate it within their borders, that's the government's realm. Outside of the US, there's not one damn thing the US should be doing other than cooperating with other global governments to begin their own enforcement policies.

Not that I'm advocating internet regulation here, it just seems that the reasoning behind the acts is flawed, as is most of the data. I, myself, have created several copyrighted works, which found their way stolen and posted here and there. Sure it pissed me off, but as the person who owned the copyrights, it was my job to do the foot work responsible for making sure that either the content was taken down, or I was given appropriate attribution.

Going back to my primary point in posting, the US government, and US-based corporations needs to stop thinking that the US government is responsible for policing the world on any level.

That's just my $0.02.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Networked Back-Up/Wipe Process?

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:Homebrew (253 comments)

You could use something like Altiris Deployment Solution which was bought by Symantec. Judging by the screenshots of the latest versions, it already has the backup and wipe capabilities built in. So it would be a one box solution. I know that you can assign initial deployment tasks to any new system detected by DS, so you can just set it up to perform the backup first, then perform a data wipe, and when it's completed, the new system will be identified in the UI as such.

I've used an older version primarily for OS deployments in a large-ish (500-800PC) network, and rarely had any difficulty. I think that the biggest downside, other than having to use Windows as your base OS, would be the costs for licensing. I think they sell it in blocks of 100 systems, and it isn't exactly cheap. It will, however, do exactly what you want in an automated fashion.

more than 2 years ago
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RIAA Lawyer Complains DMCA May Need Revamp

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:"responsible for policing their own content" (303 comments)

Basically they are complaining the the DMCA makes them responsible for policing their own content at their expense.

It's not the government or the ISP's job to monitor and/or determine the usage of the content available on the internet. Were I to publish a game, for example, it would then be up to me as an individual to research, inspect, and determine if anyone is infringing on the copyright of my game. Just because they're a large entity doesn't mean they should be exempted from the same issues facing the individual content owners.

Why should the ISP's be forced to swallow the costs of such a manhunt, when they receive zero benefit from the search, it costs them money, and it displays them negatively in the public light such that their brand is devalued, however slightly.

Essentially, content owners should be, and are, responsible for making sure that everyone who uses their content is abiding by their specified licenses, etc. If you're complaining about the costs that you incur whilst enforcing your licensing model, and want the government to help out, perhaps you should re-evaluate your licensing model. Of course, that particular dead horse has been beaten so severely, at this point, to be unrecognizable.

more than 2 years ago
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Nationwide Test of the Emergency Broadcast System

Tha_Big_Guy23 Announcing the exact date seems bad... (271 comments)

I know, that in this environment of increasing paranoia, I'm probably not the first person to think that announcing a nationwide test of the emergency broadcast system and giving the exact date and time of the test could potentially be a bad plan. It seems to me that perhaps someone wishing to perform any sort of nationwide nefarious activities would plan to do so on a day like that. I can see it now...

"Did you hear that there is a "

"Oh, don't worry about it, they were just testing the emergency broadcast system today. Nothing to worry about."

Just my $0.02 though.

more than 2 years ago
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Evaluating the Capabilities of Chip-Sized Spacecraft

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:How big of a rocket? (96 comments)

Big problem: We only have so much helium on the planet.

We do, however, have plenty of hydrogen. That could be used instead of helium and we can send as many balloons as we wanted without a whole lot of fear of "running out" of the lift fuel.

about 3 years ago
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Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:Passed by as a /High Definition/ format? (547 comments)

The point of HD is high quality, right?

Exactly! And the Blu-Ray format was invented to allow more storage on a physical disc media. Thus, you have the storage available to put an entire movie in High Definition on it(~10 - ~30Gb).

I have the fastest available broadband in my area(18Mbps down). To download an entire high def movie in that size would take significantly longer than I would want to wait in front of my television for it. I bought my Blu-ray player for the quality. If I'm going to be forced to download the same content, I expect, and demand, the same quality.

Also, let us not forget about the fact that a sizable portion of the US is still running on dial-up, so downloading a high definition movie is completely out of the question.

Unless the content providers are willing to invest heavily in the broadband infrastructure of the country then physical media like Blu-Ray is here to stay, at least for the next several years.

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Is Your Online Identity Worth?

Tha_Big_Guy23 Re:What's it doing during the download? (199 comments)

If you fill out the quiz, and at the end, you elect not to protect yourself, you get to watch a video. At the end of that video if you choose not to protect yourself, you get another video, and yet another follows that. That, is what it's doing in the background. Downloading video. Personally, the Shopping Network video scared me.

more than 4 years ago
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Tips For Taking Your Laptop Into and Out of the US?

Tha_Big_Guy23 Just passed through security with a laptop... (940 comments)

I just came back in from a two week stay in Europe, where my travels took me through several countries there. While I was there, all the photos that I took were stored on the laptop, along with several movies that I'd ripped to the drive.

Upon my return to the states, the check-in process wasn't any different than it had been a couple of years ago. They asked no questions about my laptop, or if I even had one. The only time my laptop left my bag was when I put it through the X-ray machine.

That being said, it never hurts to encrypt your data anyway.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Disney Buys Lucasfilm

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  about 2 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "The Walt Disney Company agreed Tuesday to buy Lucasfilm in a stock-and-cash deal valued at $4 billion.
The deal will make Lucasfilm owner George Lucas a significant shareholder in Disney, which will pay for the film company with $2 billion cash and around 40 million shares of its stock. Lucas said he will work as a creative consultant on Star Wars Episode 7, the first of a planned new trilogy of live-action Star Wars movies. It is targeted for release in 2015, Disney said."

Link to Original Source
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Building a Privacy First Internet Service Provider

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "In a time where we hear constantly about our privacy being taken away from us, one person is stepping forward to try and get back some of it. Nicholas Merrill is planning to revolutionize online privacy with a concept as simple as it is ingenious: a telecommunications provider designed from its inception to shield its customers from surveillance. The ISP would not merely employ every technological means at its disposal, including encryption and limited logging, to protect its customers. It would also — and in practice this is likely more important — challenge government surveillance demands of dubious legality or constitutionality. "The idea that we are working on is to not be capable of complying" with requests from the FBI for stored e-mail and similar demands," Merrill says."
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Getting into Management Without a Degree

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "At the beginning of my IT career, after I left college, I got a leg up from a friend of mine and acquired a job working in IT. Since then, I've worked more than a decade as an application developer and/or sysadmin. Along the way I've been team leads, project leads, and a senior developer. At this point I'm looking at trying to transition away from what I'm currently doing into more of a managerial position. The problem is that I don't have a college degree. While the college degree isn't absolutely necessary for what I do, given my past experience, it seems that any management track requires some type of formal education. I estimate that It would take several years to complete my degree and/or an MBA going to school for each only part-time. Upon completion of said education I would be in my mid 40's. So I ask the slashdot crowd, how would you go about getting into management in the IT fields without a degree, or is going back to school my only option?"
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Emergency backup cellular phones

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "After many years of faithful periodic service my emergency cell phone, a Motorola Star-Tac, has finally given up the ghost and no longer powers on. As a result I find myself looking for a replacement that just places phone calls. I have no need for any of the frills of a smart phone, a camera or anything else. I have a blackberry already as my primary phone and this one is to be used solely for emergencies only. The 911 only phones won't work as I may have need to place a call to AAA, or something of that nature. I do want to make sure that when I need it, it actually places a call. Can anyone out there suggest a replacement phone that will serve as an appropriate emergency backup phone?"
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Version control for graphics

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "Are there any good version control systems for graphics files? (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) The company I work for uses Subversion for all of our code version control, so the programmers are well acquainted with version control, and the process as a whole. The problem is that our graphics designers aren't familiar with this process at all. Thus far our designers have been using a system of a couple of storage servers to keep their data. It's working for now, but it's spread out all over the place and I want to be able to centralize all of our graphics data and provide our designers with a versioning system that they can readily learn. Are there any solutions out there that work well cross platform?(Mac/Windows/Linux)"
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Honey making a medical comeback

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "Amid growing concern over drug-resistant superbugs and nonhealing wounds that endanger diabetes patients, nature's original antibiotic — honey — is making a comeback. Called Medihoney, it is made from a highly absorbent seaweed-based material, saturated with manuka honey, a particularly potent type that experts say kills germs and speeds healing. "It's been used on wounds where nothing else will work," said biochemist Peter Molan, a professor at the University of Waikato in New Zealand who has researched honey and other natural antibiotics for 25 years."
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OLPC Launches Buy One, Give One Free Program

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "For the first time, and for a limited period only, people in North America will be able to get their hands on the XO, MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte's rugged little laptop that's designed specifically for children. And for each cutting-edge XO purchased in the West, another will be given to a child in a developing country. For $399, customers can order a laptop for themselves; bundled into the price is the cost of delivering a second XO to a child a poor country."
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Spammers Enlist the Aid of Virtual Strippers

Tha_Big_Guy23 Tha_Big_Guy23 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) writes "Spammers have a new way around captchas: A virtual stripper who is paid when you fork them over. The BBC is reporting that a Windows game shows a woman in "a state of undress" when a person correctly types in a Captcha. In the game, a woman named Melissa invites victims to decipher the text. After a bunch of Captchas you get your payoff and the malicious program gets its way around the Captcha system."

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