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Comments

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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Virtucon Meh logical and sensible (416 comments)

Wait, this is Italy. Give it two years and then another court will rule that the practice is legal and order a new trial. In the meantime the laptop will be held until the second trial outcome is known.

4 days ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

Virtucon Re:Connecting I-80 and U.S. 50 (149 comments)

Sorry, that's a nice area sure Mound House could use with some urban renewal.

4 days ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

Virtucon Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

Agreed. There's a billion ways to extract money from businesses. State and local governments have it down to an art. It's no small wonder why we see companies like Burger King crossing the border.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

Virtucon Re:DIY (130 comments)

All this has been baked and there's multiple documents covering it along with any customizations. I realize handbrake is out there and I use it but sometimes ffmpeg direct is always best for me. scaling example:

-vf scale=640:480

for removing black bars example:

-vf "cropdetect=24:16:0" to a dummy file, then once you know the size of the bars (crop detect output)
-vf "crop=640:256:0:36"

Again, there's lots of recipes out there and it's all documented as well. Just search.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

Virtucon Re:DIY (130 comments)

ffmpeg -i device -y -s 720x486 foo.mp4

adjust your size accordingly. It isn't that hard.

about a week ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Virtucon Re:Today's business class is the 70s' economy clas (811 comments)

It is dull but it's Dulles.. Also AA has a flight into Regan on a 757 avoiding the NOVA mess getting into DC.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Virtucon Re:Tonya (811 comments)

she didn't bop Nancy on the knee. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt,[6] hired Shane Stant to break Kerrigan's right leg so that she would be unable to skate. After failing to find Kerrigan at her training rink in Massachusetts, Stant followed her to Detroit. When she stepped off the ice after practice at Cobo Arena and walked behind a nearby curtain into a corridor, Stant struck her on the thigh a few inches above the knee with an ASP telescopic baton.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Virtucon Re:TIme for high speed rail and lower rail prices (811 comments)

I can't see both as being compatible. High Speed Rail will require large amounts of capital investment and in order to be successful will need to be 1) more convenient/reliable than air travel 2) Competitive in terms of routes and time schedules with airlines 3) have the political backing to accomplish this. Telecommuting is probably the easiest answer and is even mandated for federal employees but I don't see the old ways changing.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Virtucon Why not be courteous? (811 comments)

Instead of just pushing your seat into recline first, why not politely ask the person behind you if they'd mind? Shit flying is a fucking pain in the ass now, with Security, Airline Policies and Ticket prices the last thing I need is some rude fuck flipping the seat back into my lap. Usually I just wind up sneezing a bit and coughing. The seat recline usually stops after that. Yeah it's faux germ warfare but it works.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

Virtucon DIY (130 comments)

Just buy a capture card or converter and use FFMPEG to convert it directly. That's what I've done to all my old VHS collection using a Diamond VC500.

about two weeks ago
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Two Explorers Descend Into An Active Volcano, and Live to Tell About It

Virtucon Tourism opportunity (66 comments)

Well look at it this way, guys come to Vanautu, spend money maybe get burned up in a volcano. It's a new revenue generating opportunity for the islanders.

about two weeks ago
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White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

Virtucon Frankly I don't want this (75 comments)

First an inept CIO position now a CTO position. I don't want the US government smarter about systems and data. They're already fucking things up nicely right now as it is. Some agencies with better technology and training could really wreak havoc; like the IRS. Screw that.

about two weeks ago
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The Quiet Revolution of Formula E Electric Car Racing

Virtucon Re:quiet = powerful (116 comments)

What would green or not green have to do with it being racing or not. Racing is the act of competing with others over time/distance/velocity. If someone chooses to take their formula towards less fuel use, it's still racing. Sure, it's not the racing of your childhood. But, to be frank, I don't want those times to come back either.

Then go for something truly radical instead of electric cars, go for some geewhiz-bang nuke-powered cars. It should make shimozzles into the barriers much more entertaining. Tracks like Imola are now "unsafe" how long before Spa and Monza disappear because of the same wimpy ass thinking? Shit we might as well fit training wheels and big L stickers to the backs of all the cars now.

Wrong. So wrong. Power Units are only frozen over the season. You can make changes in-between seasons. Also, contrary to popular belief, some constraints actually bring more creativity. As the old saying goes: "An F1 engineer reads the specs twice: Once to see what it says, once to see what it doesn't say"

Really? Humm I think you need to rethink that statement. That's not accurate, the FIA wants to lock the designs in so they have this year and next, from 2016 on it'll be pretty much a locked-down affair. This all goes back to cost reduction efforts. Meaning no more real evolutions of the power units.

If one of the power trains is performing significantly worse than the others, can the manufacturrer apply for a performance upgrade?
Not in principle. However if that situation arises it is clearly not in the interests of the sport so some common sense needs to be applied. The rule makers looked at this and pre-empted it in some ways; they decided that all manufacturers should be allowed to make a small number of performance upgrades after one year, so the engines will be re-homologated this time next year. And in 2016 there will be a smaller list of areas where they can make further performance steps.

Read that "small number of performance upgrades" nope, like the previous 5 years with the V8s, the FIA will lock it down, no real innovation, no real changes, boring as shit racing and the team that can either come up with a super not so secret aero innovation wins. Couple that to the rules on MAP and Gearing changes again in the name of "cost" and if you don't get it right in the winter test sessions, you're screwed the rest of the year basically.

As we've seen from previous unlimited series, innovation actually was reduced, because it devolved into "Biggest engine, biggest turbo, some duct tape, and a contract clause that makes the driver unable to back out"

And what's wrong with that? Duct tape works, bigger engines, bigger turbos. Let's not forget this is a spectator sport here with fans paying a lot of money to see these races. Like I said earlier get that shit for brains Flavio dancing around the paddock in a Monkey suit if it'll bring more excitement to F1. I want the arms race, I want to see six wheeled Tyrrells and Brabham blower cars, shit this is supposed to be exciting not a bunch of fucking Prius (Priuses, Priusen?) going round and round in a circle! I don't give a rats ass if Caterham can afford to be in F1, I do care if team X can fund a team and be competitive. Shit, even the 107% rule should be truly enforced and tightened because most of the time they let the back markers race anyways. With your logic it'd be like Youth Soccer leagues in the US "Everybody wins! Everybody gets a trophy!" Screw that.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Virtucon Re:ok (116 comments)

And if there's a big hole in the contract that works in favor of them, would they point it out to the customer? Not hardly. Shit if I had a contract that just paid me for no deliverables or vague delivery requirements I'd be sitting pretty because you can easily point out to the customer that you met their requirements as stated. Clearly Oregon fell asleep here and I don't feel bad for either party. Politicians right now are just trying to cover their asses in the fact that they let a contract out to a shark.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Virtucon Re:ok (116 comments)

It could probably be safe to assume that other states have much better legal teams and requirements people.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Virtucon Re:grow your own exchange (116 comments)

I have a funny story about that, but that's for my grandkids. Needless to say I had one gas station attendant puzzled as to where the gas tank was on my van.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Virtucon Re:Mistake #1 (116 comments)

Moses needed ECC. BTW, That's still a great movie.

about two weeks ago
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Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Virtucon Re:ok (116 comments)

Contractors usually don't write the contracts, it's usually up to the customer to do that and the contractor to agree to it and amend as necessary. After all it's the customer's requirements, not the contractors that are trying to be met.

about two weeks ago
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The Quiet Revolution of Formula E Electric Car Racing

Virtucon Re:Actually... (116 comments)

I guess you've never seen the Tifosi then? That's why Ferrari can whine like a little bitch all the time. Actually there was a lot of "Meh" during Schumacher's prime years and you'll find that all drivers have big followings with the exception of maybe a few of the back marker teams. What draws the crowds is the excitement of the racing and F1 has become boring as shit. I hate to say that as a fan, but it has and pushing cost containment and eco friendly features all means more boring so I'll probably go to Monza or Spa next year. I would like to see the Monaco GP once but then I'll just DVR the rest of it and skip to the good shit.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Protesters picket in front of Kevin Rose's Home

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 5 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Another anti-tech protest happened this weekend outside of Kevin Rose's home in San Francisco. Kevin Rose, founder of Digg and a Google Ventures partner was targeted with a protest and leaflets were handed out "warning" the neighbors that he is destroying San Francisco.

The anarchistic group protesting Kevin was called Counterforce and has demanded that Google Pay $3 billion. The group has called for the creation of "autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California."

I don't know about you but if two women held up a protest banner threatening to snip something off I'd be a bit concerned."

Link to Original Source
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City Councilman Resigns Using Klingon

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 8 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "A city councilman in Indian Trail Town, North Carolina has resigned and opted to write his letter of resignation in Klingon. David Waddell is obviously a fan of Star Trek. I wonder if the other council members know what the hell he wrote? I'm sure a nice Qu'vatlh would have sufficed."
Link to Original Source
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23AndMe Ordered To Stop Selling DNA tests.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 10 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Google-backed genetic test maker 23andMe to halt sales of its personalized DNA test kits, saying the company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science. It seems that 23andMe has been slow in responding to the FDA with regards to the testing and methods used in the Personal Genome Service (PGS) as the main reason for the order. The issues were outlined in the order the FDA sent on 11/22. "
Link to Original Source
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GOCE satellite is falling to Earth but Scientists don't know where.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 10 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer or GOCE Satellite is expected to fall to Earth this weekend. It weighs over a ton and unfortunately the Scientists don't exactly know where it will land. You can track it here. It should re-enter sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Makr Hopkins, chair of the National Society's Executive Committee said: "The satellite is one of the few satellites in a Polar Orbit. Consequently, it could land almost anywhere,"

The GOCE mission was to create an accurate gravity map of the Earth."
Link to Original Source

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Engineers Create Urine Powered Robot

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 10 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Using the idea that urine can be used to generate electricity, Engineers in the UK have developed a prototype pump that mimics the human heart. This pump presumably could be used to deliver urine to waste powered fuel cells.

‘We speculate that in the future, urine-powered EcoBots could perform environmental monitoring tasks such as measuring temperature, humidity and air quality,’ said lead researcher Peter Walters of the University of the West of England (UWE), which runs the BRL with Bristol University.

Are pee powered robots in our future? Could the technology be used to power vehicles and would you want it? I mean would you buy a $90,000 Tesla if it smelled like urine all the time?"
Link to Original Source

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French Court Orders Google To Block Pics and Links of Max Mosley

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 10 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "This one goes to the old adage "closing the stable door after the horse bolted." A French court on Wednesday ruled that Google must remove from its search results photos of a former Formula One racing chief, Max Mosley, participating in an Nazi-themed orgy. Google could be fined up to 1,000 Euros/day for not complying. What's strange here is that Mosley A) Sued in a French Court B) Didn't go after anybody else other than Google and C) has definitely strange tastes in extracurricular activities. In this day and age it's laughable to think that once your private photos/videos hit the Internet that you have any expectation of reigning them in or filtering the embarrassing parts out. Google isn't the only game in town so to speak in terms of Internet search. I wonder if his lawyers checked out Yahoo or WebCrawler? Of course Google plans to appeal the decision to ... be able to show pics of an old man getting er um never mind..."
Link to Original Source
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New Allegations of large scale data collection by the NSA on Google and Yahoo

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Another revelation of a new program that goes beyond PRISM, this program called MUSCULAR which gets around sticky US laws by relying on the GCHQ. If true this may actually start to get Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft to start flexing some of the legal and lobbying muscle in Washington to outlaw this kind of crap.
David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google has said:


"We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform."

"

Link to Original Source
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California Public Utilities Commission approves Ride Sharing Services

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Ride Sharing Services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar received a big boost today when the California Public Utilities Commission approved rules that would allow them to continue to operate as long as the followed a few rules. This makes California the first state to adopt such rules and is expected to preempt local governments who are trying to clamp down on these services and try to regulate them like local taxi companies."
Link to Original Source
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How do you deal with software publishers who ignore known Vulnerabilities?

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "If you have a software publisher who ignores vulnerabilities or distributes software that has third party dependencies that have vulnerabilities, what do you do about it when they ignore the situation? I mean if they keep distributing updates and the vulnerabilities still are present, other than not using the application anymore or reporting it what can you do? Shame them publicly? Also what if it's a home-use product vs. an enterprise product, do you treat those differently?"
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Labor Department wanted $1 million for e-mail addresses of political appointees.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "

The AP asked for the addresses following last year's disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged—but often happens anyway—due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved. The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees' email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.

The reason for the $1 million dollar request was to do research including going to backup tapes. Some of the information has been turned over to AP but it still seems that the government just can't get their hands on e-mail addresses for their own people."
Link to Original Source

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Federal Magistrate rules in favor of accused in decryption issue.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "U.S. Magistrate William Callahan Jr. of Wisconsin has ruled in favor of the accused in that he should not have to decrypt his storage device. The US Government had sought to compel Feldman to provide his password to obtain access to the data. Presumably the FBI has had no success in getting the data and had sought to have the judge compel Feldman to provide the decrypted contents of what they had seized.

The Judge ruled:

This is a close call, but I conclude that Feldman’s act of production, which would necessarily require his using a password of some type to decrypt the storage device, would be tantamount to telling the government something it does not already know with ‘reasonably particularity’—namely, that Feldman has personal access to and control over the encrypted storage devices. Accordingly, in my opinion, Fifth Amendment protection is available to Feldman. Stated another way, ordering Feldman to decrypt the storage devices would be in violation of his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.

"

Link to Original Source
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Google is pushing back on law enforcement requests for access to Gmail accounts

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Ars technica has an interesting article on how Google is handling requests from law enforcement for access to Gmail accounts. With the recent Petraeus scandal where no criminal conduct was found, it seems that they're re-enforcing their policies and standing up for their users.

"In order to compel us to produce content in Gmail we require an ECPA search warrant," said Chris Gaither, Google spokesperson. "If they come for registration information, that's one thing, but if they ask for content of email that's another thing."

"

Link to Original Source
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MIT Researchers find that some Android apps collect information when off

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 2 years ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "MIT Researchers have discovered that some Android applications collect personal information including Google Maps even when they are off. Maybe Free isn't so great after all?

From the Article: " After evaluating 36 applications — ranging from popular games such as Angry Birds to text-messaging platforms, social media applications and photography applications — researchers found that most applications collect personal information about their users even when the phone is not in operation. Shih and Zhang found that applications tracked everything from location information to stored contacts and the device's Web history.""

Link to Original Source
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Judge Refuses Appeal in Kim DotCom case for extradition

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 2 years ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The USA has suffered another rebuff in its attempts to extradite Kim Dotcom, with Judge Winkelmann of the High Court of New Zealand upholding a previous disclosure order made by Judge David Harvey.

The previous order had required the FBI to disclose an extensive amount of documentation to support its application for Dotcom’s extradition. As noted by NZ’s LawGeekNZ blog, the disclosure would cover communications between US authorities and the MPAA and RIAA on behalf of copyright owners.

This had been resisted by the US, which requested a judicial review. This has now been completed, and in a 51-page judgment (available at LawGeekNZ), Judge Winkelmann has dismissed the application."

Link to Original Source
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New Mineral found in Metorite.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook on a slide based on User Data?

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "A recent report from analyst firm comScore said that unique U.S. visitors to Facebook dropped slightly in May compared to April and March. But an analysis of additional comScore data suggests that the slowdown could be more significant and longer lasting. Falling traffic could be a concern to investors, who justify Facebook's high market value by pointing to its growth potential."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists Create World's Smallest Steam Engine

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Virtucon writes "German physicists say they've built a heat engine measuring only a few micrometers across which works as well as a normal-sized version — although it sputters, they admit.

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems say that the engine does basically work, meaning there's nothing, in principle, to prevent the construction of highly efficient, small heat engines."

Link to Original Source

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