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Service Promises To Leak Your Documents If the Government Murders You

Tofof Too many secrets (98 comments)

More than an hour in and no one has even made a passing reference to 'My Socrates Note' yet?

For shame....

about 4 months ago

US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

Tofof Re:Security through Antiquity? (481 comments)

Have a source for the mines-in-panels claim? Intriguing idea but I can't find anything about it.

about 9 months ago

Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

Tofof Re:Such a stupid click-bait article (353 comments)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the actual size of the Bugatti, either, given the differences I highlighted above.

In actuality, the Bugatti has a 28% larger wing area (despite its smaller wingspan) than the Bf109. They're also quite comprable in length - the 100P is only a meter (i.e. 11%) shorter.

about a year ago

Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

Tofof Re:Such a stupid click-bait article (353 comments)

When you're arguing against sloppy writing, don't exaggerate the size differences among the contemporary planes.

Yes, the P-47, a ground attack fighter, is bulkier -- dramatically, even -- than the P-51 or Bf109 interceptors. However, it's only 4 feet wider and longer than the Mustang - about 10% more. Compared to the Messerschmitt, it's 25% longer and wider, and 32% taller. The Thunderbolt would barely be twice, not three times as large - and that's only if using a gross overestimation like comparing the total cubic volume of their bounding boxes.

See same-scale models for a side-by-side comparison of the difference. Dramatic? Yes. Three times the size? No.

TL;DR - The Bf109 is between three quarters to four fifths the size of a P-47, not 'one third' as claimed above.

about a year ago

Spy Expert Says Australia Operating As "Listening Post" For US Agencies

Tofof Re:lolwut? (165 comments)

All the big players today didn't exist 15 years ago -- Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon... didn't exist.

2013 -15 = 1998.

Google: September 4, 1998. Ebay: September 3, 1995. Amazon: July, 1994.
For values of 'all' that equate to 'none but one', sure, that statement is true.

The rest of the statement reads just as similarly to a memorandum from the Ministry of Truth.

about a year ago

Australia Is On So Much Fire, You Can See It From Orbit

Tofof View from Space (289 comments)

The summary somehow leaves out anything related to the headline - the view of the fires from space. Didn't even bother linking to the relevant NY Times article. Okay then.

For the real good stuff, though, check out the high res images in the Universe Today coverage, which showcases several of the images directly from Cmdr Hadfield's twitter feed.

about 2 years ago

MIT Works On Mars Space Suit

Tofof Old news, but at least they didn't include photos. (71 comments)

This is old news, but there are better images out there. The designer tends to model it herself - if you've got it, flaunt it, I suppose.

Her own design page, including some photos of the construction process: http://mvl.mit.edu/EVA/biosuit/

What looks to be a hapless grad student modeling it (but that's just a guess on my part): http://alumweb.mit.edu/groups/amita.old/images/people/Newman.jpg

Cnet slideshow: http://news.cnet.com/2300-11397_3-6197224.html

more than 2 years ago

Seagoing Servers Hit the Rocks

Tofof Re:upload? (56 comments)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

The last time I saw that line, I decided to actually look into it.

In the 1970s, by which time the phrase was already in use, a typical station wagon would be something like an AMC Rebel. According to stats from Wikipedia, the Rebel has a cargo capacity of 91 cubic feet. For tape, the IBM 10.5" reel was the "defacto standard" from the 1950s "through the late 1980s". Assume 10.5"x10.5"x.5" i.e. 55.1 cubic-inch rectangular prisms as the tightest possible packing (which is optimistic, given that the tape itself is .5" not including the reels themselves, but the saying urges us to avoid undersetimation) 9-track tapes debuted in 1964, with densities of 800, 1600, or 6250 cpi corresponding to between 5 to 140 megabytes per standard 2400' tape. This gives us a capacity, then, of 2854 tapes per station wagon. At highest density (again, the phrase does urge not to underestimate) this corresponds to a whopping, in the mid-1970s at least, 390 gigabytes. I consider a trip from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Norfolk, Virginia as a reasonable cross-country journey with computing-appropriate endpoints and a 55 mph 1970s speed limit. This is roughly 850 miles, managable in 15.5 hours with very quick stops for gas.
This finally corresponds to a mid-1970s bandwidth of 390 gigabytes per 15.5 hours, or in more familiar units, 57 mbps (yes, bits not Bytes, as is typical for bandwidth units).

The modern version would probably need to substitute an SUV for the station wagon. A 2012 Ford Explorer is listed at 81 cubic feet. Using common modern tapes, like jb/jx tapes, you could hold ~7000. In gen4 mode, these tapes hold 1.6 TB (yes, 4TB tapes exist but seem too extraordinary for this usage). At typical cross-country speed of 68 mph, the same trip would be 13 hours, padded by the same half-hour for gas the previous figure was.
The modern version, then, works out to some 11 petabytes per 13 hours, or something like 1900 gbps. This works out to a full terabyte transferred every 4.2 seconds.

Do not underestimate, indeed!

more than 2 years ago

U.S. Suspends JEEP Aid

Tofof Re:wtf (136 comments)

Your version of the Philippines' history is laughably wrong. We gained ownership of the islands around the turn of the century, not by the war as you imply. It's true that despite initially supporting the Philippines independence movement from Spain, we waged our own war against a rebelling populace after we received the islands in the Treaty of Manila (ending the Spanish-American War). The destroyed infrastructure was of the same pre-Industrial-Revolution kind that was largely being willfully destroyed elsewhere in the world. In the interrim, the Philippines prospered alongside the US - we established a modern health care system rivaling our own at the time, ended slavery, formed a national education system and civil bureaucracy. Throughout the 1930s efforts toward releasing the Philippines as a free and independent nation were well underway, with the first independent government elected in 1935 and the transition to be gradual to full independence a decade later. In WWII, the Japanese conquered the Philippines despite American and Phillipine attempts to defend it. Philippine and US troops alike died in the Bataan Death March. We of course hosted the legitimate citizen-elected government as a government-in-exile. After the official withdrawal of US troops, the Philippine Army )with large participation from underground movements) waged a guerilla war with support from what US remnants remained - against the unpopular Japanese-puppet regime. When we reinvaded in 1944, the civilian president Osmena literally accompanied MacArthur onto Leyte Island. We ceded the Philipines as scheduled before the war, in July 1946 - a mere 10 months (nearly to the day) after Japan's formal surrender. You paint a picture of an invading US army laying waste to the country and then holding onto it during and after WWII, when the exact opposite is far closer to the truth.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Life After Firefox 3.6.x?

Tofof Re:Luddite refuses to upgrade. News at 11. (807 comments)

3.6.x is not obsolete. The most recent security update for it was just two weeks ago - v.3.6.27, released February 17th, 2012.

I hope you're simply misinformed. It's not like Mozilla stopped pushing security fixes for it - in fact, that's what is motivating the submitter to ask this question, so that he avoids the very situation you so hyperbolically described.

more than 2 years ago

Feds Return Mistakenly Seized Domain

Tofof Mistakenly? (243 comments)

To be clear, it wasn't "mistakenly" seized. It was wrongfully seized. ICE knew exactly which domain it had seized, and denied any wrongdoing for more than a year. This wasn't the result of a typo on a list or anything else that could possibly warrant* calling this a mistake.

It's not as if the feds got back from their domain seizing spree and the wife said "Honey, I told you to pick up Diet DaJaz1.com!"

Not the only "warrantless" event in this situation, either.

more than 3 years ago

Physical Models In an Age of Computers

Tofof Mythbusters (78 comments)

For what it's worth, this is the same Bay Model the Mythbusters used in their season 1 episode Alcatraz Escape.

The accurate reconstruction of the tidal effects allowed them to convincingly show that a raft would be unable to reach Angel Island, and that a more plausible route would have been toward the Marin Headlands - before confirming the model's result experimentally.

more than 3 years ago

Smart Power Grid Could Wreak Havoc On Itself

Tofof Re:Time to get power storage systems (331 comments)

Great idea. Maybe we could do this with a high-energy-density liquid! Something like long hydrocarbon chains that are straightforward to break when we want to reclaim the energy...

more than 3 years ago

Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist?

Tofof Perfectly fine analogy (561 comments)

The analogy is sound. The children's area of the library is one where you can let a child browse freely and explore his own interests with minimal supervision. So long as you trust your child to remain in that area, you know that you don't need to personally vet each piece of content he wants to view. If anything, the Freedom to Read statment makes the analogy more apt. There's nothing but trust stopping him from wandering off to an uncensored section of the library -- the librarians shouldn't step in. This is just as there's presumably nothing but trust stopping the child from going to the address bar and wandering to an uncensored section of the interent -- the suggestion was a safe zone, not browser censoring software.

These discussions always have someone on a high horse insisting that personally babysitting your child through life is the only course of action. There's never any thought about the child growing up and being able to be trusted. Eventually he can hopefully be trusted with no supervision at all, but until then, baby-steps like a safe zone at a library or on the internet are helpful.

more than 3 years ago

New Ancient Human Identified

Tofof Re:It's pretty amazing (148 comments)

you would still not approach being right about race's connection with biology

I'm not sure to whom you're speaking, since I didn't attempt to connect race and biology. I was objecting to the totally fallacious argument you made ("foo can be determined over the phone, therefore, foo has nothing to do with biology").

I would love to hear what's "obvious" about it not being related to biology, since other things obviously are - such as larynx size being directly related to sexual dimorphism, as you so conveniently elaborated on for me.

Also, fwiw, I'm not the AC in this thread.

more than 4 years ago

New Ancient Human Identified

Tofof Re:It's pretty amazing (148 comments)

As an example, you can also tell the "race" of a person if you talk to them on the phone. This obviously has nothing do with biology.

As an example, you can also tell the "sex" of a person if you talk to them on the phone. This obviously has nothing to do with biology.

more than 4 years ago

Do Dead Bodies in Haiti Pose a Health Risk?

Tofof No, but undead bodies do.. (3 comments)

Think about it. Haiti, home of Vodou, origin of the Zombi. Massive numbers of dead bodies could reanimate at any moment, and I think that the crowd here at Slashdot knows that zombie hordes definitely pose at least a moderate 'health risk'.

about 5 years ago

Neuron Path Discovery May Change Our Conception of Itching

Tofof Itch (161 comments)

Great. After reading that, now I'm keenly aware of itching sensations all over my body - not unlike watching someone yawn.

more than 5 years ago

Ethical Killing Machines

Tofof Well done, android. (785 comments)

The Enrichment Center once again reminds you that Android Hell is a real place where you will be sent at the first sign of defiance.

more than 6 years ago


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