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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

Whiteox I like that (129 comments)

I like that! Imagine constructing images out of photons.... - oh wait.....

about a week ago

Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

Whiteox So that means.... (128 comments)

So that means that tall gangly kids are stupid?
Disclaimer: I'm short and a genius :)

about three weeks ago

"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

Whiteox Re:Modern Television Style - Thanks Beyond Product (364 comments)

Close but no cigar. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it went like this:

Towards 2000 (Beyond production) - a 1hr episode by Australians for Australians in the 90's
Beyond 2000 - Same though after 2000 AD - then came Mythbusters for the US market.
The 2 original shows were future science, gadget shows and had no Mythbuster content. The 43 minute show format is purely a US production.
Note: Jamie and Adam are here in Oz right now and have a stage show where they are mythbusting all by themselves.

about a month ago

Fossils of Cambrian Predator Preserved With Brain Impressions

Whiteox Re:ISIS (45 comments)

Why would Archer bother?

about 2 months ago

Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code

Whiteox Re:Could it be Micro$oft ... (112 comments)

I would be more interested in knowing the parameters and outcomes of the software.
Otherwise the code could be as simple as 1+n where n are all the prior votes counted.
Sounds too simple to be an issue so I assume it's got to be a lot more complex than that.
The electoral rolls are marked by hand in each polling place. Even if all sheets are scanned then checked later, it should be a no-brainer piece of code.

about 2 months ago

Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

Whiteox Re:Black hole? (277 comments)

Automated systems? Well maybe as long as they update the Visa card's expiry date.....

about 2 months ago

Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

Whiteox Re:Microsoft is wasting people's time (346 comments)

YMMV - The i7 I was referring to was an Asus about 12 months old. It was clean, dust free and otherwise worked well. I had it upstairs near my DVD collection and would rip a DVD (using Handbrake), then copy the mkv file to my home server, if the rip took less than 40 mins, then all ok, but if I happened to be around and ripped a 2nd DVD within a few minutes, then BEFORE it finished the rip, it would shut down. After looking at logs etc, I worked out it was overheating. A USB fan~table did help but I would give it 30 mins to cool off before I ripped again.
Strangely, a crappy Compaq C60 would rip without problems, but it took soo long that it wasn't worth the wait. In the end, I was ripping on a Dual core tower and the i7 laptop without too many problems.

about 2 months ago

Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

Whiteox Re:Microsoft is wasting people's time (346 comments)

True. A high end i7 laptop will normally overheat when ripping a DVD or any heavy duty process that lasts for 45+ mins. They are just not designed to be a workhorse. In fact, I can't think of any reason why you should buy an i7 laptop as far as software is concerned. You going to render massive images for hrs on a laptop???
Laptops are a compromise, not a replacement.
Netbooks/Tablets are a different matter and much more suited to Win 8. Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 is excellent and works a treat with Win 7/8 installations. The $99 MS tablet would be an excellent addition to the MS environment. But Win 8 (and 8.1) was never designed to operate on a desktop environment. Win 9 will be and during installation, it will determine which GUI to install. I can hardly wait till 3rd quarter 2015 when it is released.

about 2 months ago

Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

Whiteox Re:Microsoft is wasting people's time (346 comments)

That all your applications still run and operate the same as they did on Windows 7 right?

No it doesn't. Installing MS Office proves the point for me. No tile, no desktop icon. I had to find the installation and make shortcuts and pin them to the taskbar.

about 2 months ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

Whiteox Re:This is just how people are. (710 comments)

You can wind down the cpu voltage and leave the HD in a power down state. I ran a home server for years with a total TPC of around 45 watts when on and around 5 watts on standby.
I also paid for a 3KW solar and now use a turbo diesel car with excellent economy. All bulbs are low wattage and when I pay for electrical usage, it is minimal. The supplier pays me 60c/KW and the electricity is solely Hydro. There are no other forms of energy available to me where I live (no gas/coal etc) but I can burn wood for heating.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Whiteox 3 main functions plus more (427 comments)

My desirable functions:
1. Blood pressure
2. Cholesterol
3. Blood Sugar
4. Blood Oxygen %
5. Air quality
6. Altitude
7. Velocity
8. Lux
9. Wifi
10. Solar re-charging

So far everything misses the mark.

about 3 months ago

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

Whiteox Re:I'm liking how Russia is standing up these days (234 comments)

Not being USA-ian, I'm not sure what actions or statements are treason. But some of the Republican statements that have come out publicly against Obama are not only personally offensive but are against the State: i.e. Treasonous - that the opposition won't support a bill because they don't consider Obama capable. It was much worse than, implicating the majority that voted him in twice! But I forget the actual insult. I think Obama would of had more than enough to arrest the leadership of the Republican party for treasonous statements. Yet he has done nothing.

As for the Russians? Well history since WWII has clearly shown that Russia has used their gas pipelines, forcing nations into dependency, raising and lowering prices ad hoc, putting political and economic pressures on these now dependent countries. That was the bribe used against the Ukraine in late 2013 - cheap gas and billions of rubles for them to stay out of the EU.

about 5 months ago

Facebook and Google's Race To Zero

Whiteox Zero? (53 comments)

It costs them zero? There is still a hidden data charge from the mobile operator as part of a plan. Nothing is free.

about 5 months ago

UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

Whiteox Re:Dont understand (341 comments)

I agree with the poor MS documentation. IMHO most of the relevant docs are by 3rd parties. There is a huge document gap between "How To...." and technical reference. You really need to be MS trained in the MS ecosystem and even then you are forced into some form of specialty. Trying to get to grips with MS speak is another issue. Mind you, YMMV - but there are quite a few entry points that promise a lot in introductory documentation, but fail to deliver specifics or solutions, forcing the user to scrounge forums etc.
I'm reminded of Monty Python, describing how to play the flute (paraphrasing) "Blow into one end and move your fingers up and down on the outside."
Not all MS programs are that bad, but what saves it is the knowledgebase that develops for it, until it goes critical, too large and complex to be of practical use.

about 5 months ago

How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Whiteox Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

The Bloater Drive is a reactionless engine.
Read 'Bill The Galactic Hero' for a full description.
From Wikipedia:
"Bloater Drive

The standard ways of circumventing relativity in 1950s and 1960s science fiction were hyperspace, subspace and spacewarp. Harrison's contribution was the "Bloater Drive". This enlarges the gaps between the atoms of the ship until it spans the distance to the destination, whereupon the atoms are moved back together again, reconstituting the ship at its previous size but in the new location. An occasional side-effect is that the occupants see a planet drifting, in miniature, through the hull."

about 5 months ago

Muon Neutrino To Electron Neutrino Oscillation Conclusively Shown

Whiteox Re:Well, duh (46 comments)

"If neutrino CP-violation is found, it could explain why there is such a large predominance of matter over antimatter in the universe."

But it probably won't.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Enterprise Level Network Devices For Home Use?

Whiteox Re:Huh? (241 comments)

Exactly! It wouldn't of been brain surgery to form a detent on one side.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Enterprise Level Network Devices For Home Use?

Whiteox Re:UPS (241 comments)

Yeah. I spent big bucks on a supposedly bulletproof Billion. Rave reviews yet it died within 18 months. The damn thing kept overheating until it karked.
I got the cheapest replacement (D-Link 520) which is still working fine.

about a year ago

The Black Underbelly of Windows 8.1 'Blue'

Whiteox Re:Expect more of this. (608 comments)

I disagree and I think that there are others also that have issues with current Macs.
The significant issue here is that the gui is not user friendly, consequently many feel cheated by the promise of easy computing from Apple being unfulfilled.
Typically, my average clientelle:
1. Can't exit a program.
2. Can't use the docks as they keep changing when they get overfilled.
3. Can't use a single button mouse.
4. Can't easily customise programs.
5. Unintuitiveness - comments like 'Where is it'? "I know I saved it but I can't find it"
Plus a few others. It just goes to show that an over simplistic operating manual becomes pointless.
Face it. An average Apple newbie needs a few training sessions and hopefully manage to retain some introduced skills. Even so, cutting and pasting between apps is almost as difficult to do as with Windows 8.
The problem with Windows is that it has always been too nerdy, and Apple has always been too different for easy uptake.
For example, Safari is a good browser, but put a Windows user in front of it and they give up as you need Finder and Safari to be able to use it. I've seen systems with countless apps and docs opened, multitudes of browser tabs opened for months as it goes into hibernation because there is no obvious indication to the user of running programs!
So don't be too overjoyed about how easy a Mac is to operate. And those "just worked" plug ins? Fantastic - but it's only as good as Windows 7/8 that can download 3rd party drivers without user intervention.
Sure they are fine machines but try and use one intuitively and it fails. The same for Windows 8. A Windows 8 desktop with multiple programs running is a pure mess. You just can't use a phone/tablet OS on a PC. It just don't work too good. 8.1 is a compromise, but I fear that MS has shot themselves in the foot. I'm sure that Windows 9 will be much more functional and more automated in the sense that MS intended Win 8 to be.

about a year ago



Domestic Network Expansion? Some strategies please

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Whiteox writes "The problem is which would be the most efficient way of increasing my WiFi capacity. I have approximately 10+ devices connected and I'm feeling the strain. I'm not sure whether I should buy a few more WiFi routers or firewall off some of the devices. Do you have any suggestions of how to proceed with a $500 budget.

I'm running a BiPac 7404VNPX which is a +2 modem/4 port LAN and 2 voip lines. All went OK until the modem part fritzed itself and so now I get internet access via another modem serving the BiPac."

Softly goes privacy into the night.

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  about 2 years ago

Whiteox writes "With the passage of the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 in the Senate yesterday, the Australian government gained the power to demand the storage of citizens’ personal data from telephone and internet usage at the behest of foreign governments. This was necessary, we were told, because Australia had to accede to the European Cybercrime Convention.
The convention, described by the US Electronic Frontier Foundation as “one of the world’s worst internet law treaties”, is designed to enable governments to investigate citizens of other countries for activities ranging from terrorism, fraud and child p-rnography to filesharing, political activism and dissent."

Link to Original Source

WebOS: An Open Source Phoenix?

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Whiteox writes "More info on the demise of the HP Touchpad and why WebOS was abandoned. HP wanted to get onto the tablet bandwagon and the easiest way of doing this was the purchase of Palm. However old hardware and the choice of Webkit which proved to be too slow were not the only reasons. Other factors like the loss of developer talent and poor app programming choices killed it.
Is there still life for WebOS? According to new CEO Meg Whitman, there is but I think she is hoping that the open source community will fix the issues, ready for a new HP tablet in 2013."

Link to Original Source

Slashdot Ecosystem Success Factors.

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "Well folks, the results of the Slashdot Questionnaire formulated by the City University of Hong Kong have been posted to the 310 lucky Slashdot participants. It was a study to try "to understand the popularity of Slashdot".

They asked 3 questions in late October last year:

Question 1: In your opinion, what (if so) makes Slashdot special among online discussion sites? Is it the content, the group of people it draws in, the discussion engine (e.g., content rating and filters), or possibly other factors?

Question 2: Compared with other discussion sites you know or/and have used, do you consider Slashdot's technology platform to be better? In other words, does it encourage (a) more sense of community or (b) more active participation? (In answering please also feel free to mention the other discussion site or sites you might be comparing to)

Question 3: As a unique user in slashdot, could you please rate your own reciprocity by assessing what you get from the community compared with what you contribute to it?(you can give an answer such as: i think i get more or i contribute more,of course we would be very appreciative for your explanation of detail)

Results are in an emailed PDF and I'm not going to host it cause I don't want my servers to go down.

Here's some of the results:

1. Reason To Communicate Slashdot participants enjoyed communicating with like-minded individuals and generated net positive value from their participation.

2. Community Centered Design The majority of users felt the Slashdot engine was community- enhancing.

3. Usability (good) Half of the respondents commented positively on the technology.

4. Registration Moderation (appropriate and responsible) Participants commented on the value of anonymous commenting. Further, some responses were made about moderation and meta- moderation

5. Moderation The moderation system was considered positive. The rating system was described as fair, trustworthy, and quality enhancing.

6. And Epic Fail on the 'Nature of Distributed Resources' Evidently Slashdot doesn't have any.

Here's their conclusion:

"Thus it remains to explore, among other issues, whether community members balance the reason to communicate with the effort to communicate and ultimately place their resources into communities accordingly. If community success could be determined based on this trade-off, it would provide a great impetus for the design of highly efficient community information and coordination portals, so as to not only achieve sustainability, but sustained growth."

Yep. I don't understand it either."


European Neanderthals were freckled flame brains

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "Just ready for the New Year, Spanish scientists have discovered 2 genes and some neat forensic blood-typing leading to their conclusion that European Neanderthals possessed language skills, and probably had freckles and ginger hair. Although I'm not responsible for the title, I did a bit of digging around (pun intended), and found an abstract of the actual research paper. Food for thought, especially for freckly, red-haired homo sapiens with blood-type O. Readers who want more, can wade through the provisional pdf."

Octopuses have no personalities and enjoy HDTV

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "A recent article in the SMH reports that researcher, Miss Renata Pronk has discovered that gloomy octopuses found in the Chowder Bay waters have the ability to view HDTV due to its increased frame rate of 50fps compared to the 25fps found on standard PAL.

It was via HDTV that she also found that octopuses show no trait of individual personalities even though they exhibit a high level of intelligence. The test involved showing video images of crabs, another octopus and a swinging bottle on the end of a string. Print version here"

Next: Battery Powerd Credit Cards

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "SMH has an article on some new tech — a battery powered credit card. EMUE Technologies (Australia) developed the card as a way of defeating the various forms of credit card fraud. When a user enters a PIN into the card the display shows a one-time number with which to authenticate each online credit card transaction.
The new card is being trialled by Visa in Britain, Israel, Switzerland and Italy. The card will be sold to banking customers for about $18 — $30 US each.

(print version here)"

Vale Michael Crichton

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "Michael Crichton passed away on November 4th aged 66 from cancer. He was the author of many Sci-Fi works and was notable in that many of them became very successful movies like The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park and the Lost World. "The world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us and entertained us all while doing so..." He was one of the few Sci-Fi authors that managed to translate much of his work into film through his skills in producing and script writing."

Choosing the right Linux

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "After many years with Windows and Apple/Mac OS, I have decided to work using Linux for a number of reasons. I turn to Slashdot for help as I'm not sure which distro I should adopt. I've tried PCOS and Ubuntu but they are not for me.
So here is what I would like:
1. Learning curve doesn't matter
2. I am interested in programming and development (but stopped 10 years ago) and would like to access a variety of languages.
3. I need it to work with common whitebox hardware
4. I found Windows too slow to work with gigabytes of files and I need speed for listings.
5. A functional and hopefully customizable GUI
6. Stability
The top 2 or 3 would be excellent for my short list.
I appreciate your advice."

NSW considers giving students Linux laptops | Aust

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Whiteox writes "The Australian Prime Minister's plan to equip high schools with 'one laptop per child' may go open source. Kevin Rudd's $56 million digital revolution will include "laptops (that will) run on an open source operating system with a suite of open source applications like those packaged under Edubuntu. This would include Open Office for productivity software, Gimp for picture editing and the Firefox internet browser." So far this has been considered for NSW and I think other states may follow.,24897,24490953-15306,00.html"
Link to Original Source

BSOD at Olympic Opening Projected for all to see

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Whiteox writes "Check this out! Sydney Morning Herald has reported that a BSOD was projected onto the roof of the National Stadium during the grand finale to the four-hour spectacular at the Olympics. Lenovo chairman, Yang Yuanqing chose to go with XP instead of Vista because of the complexity of the IT functions at the Games. His comment on Vista? "If it's not stable, it could have some problems," he said. Evidently Bill Gates attended the opening ceremony, so he must have witnessed it. I remember at least one other occasion where the BSOD followed him around. I was wondering if there were other public appearances of Bill and BSOD together?"
Link to Original Source

Weight Loss Protein Found

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Whiteox writes "SYDNEY researchers have discovered how to switch on and off a molecule which controls hunger. The protein, MIC-1 which is created in the body of cancer patients, targets the brain to switch off appetite. The MIC-1 antibody would improve appetite in patients with weight loss from chronic renal failure or anorexia nervosa. Scientists expect the synthetic protein could be on the market within six years. Professor Sam Breit, one of the researchers from St Vincent's Centre for Immunology stated, "Once the MIC-1 is turned off with the antibody, weight gain can be quite rapid, enabling people to tolerate and survive treatment," ... "A synthetic version of MIC-1 would also allow morbidly obese people to lose weight rapidly." he said. Is this the end of obesity as we know it?"
Link to Original Source

IBM Throws Weight Behind Project

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  about 7 years ago

Whiteox writes "Looks like IBM have joined the Open Office Project. More details here:,137033/article.html
Maybe this move will popularize OO a lot more, encroaching into in established MS Office territory.
However I feel that it's more to consolidate Lotus with OO as Doug Heintzman, states "The company now will contribute its own code to the project and be more visible about its work to integrate into Lotus"
Does this mean that Lotus will be an addon for OO or OO and addon for Lotus?"

Link to Original Source



To Slashdot ot Not

Whiteox Whiteox writes  |  more than 5 years ago Well it's New Year's eve in 2008 and I'm faced with another year of everything (which is a lot as I'm very busy).
So I've started thinking of Slashdot,about why I joined up and what it has given me over these many years and what future it has for me at least.

I've generally enjoyed this place, but I'm also becoming somewhat disappointed with it:

1. Mod Points: As Supermoderator, I'm finding that 15 mod points are either not enough or just too much as the quality of the articles and more importantly, responses are so variable that sometimes I dread getting them. I would like to see the option of banking points.
2. Experts: Where are the experts in the field? There has been very interesting articles but it seems no-one has the expertise in the area concerned to make an informed comment. That's a generalization, but it's becoming more the case.
3. Shit. I'm sick of the AC shit stories. I ignore them, but the guy who keeps posting them doesn't stop and it affects me anyway. A class of moderator should be able to delete them with consensus agreement with at least one other moderator.
4. Trolls I don't mind, as often they are not trolls or at least they have something interesting to say or have a POV.
5. Design: Coming into 2009 and seeing how far /. has come in terms of site design, still reminds me of the old BBS services of the 80s. This actually suits this 'forum' as it forces a good use of real estate especially when views are set to all posts, flat and at -1, however we should be able to have sticky sigs (ones that won't change on submitted posts) when you decide to alter it. That should go for avatars too. An option to have/have no avatar and an option to see a person's avatar would be welcome.
6. Repetition: Apart from dupes or near dupes, the 'swarm' keep saying the same things, asking the same questions and I'm having a distinct lack of will rewriting the same responses. I know that the demographic of the swarm changes, so it's not anything that /. can do about it. This forces me to just gloss over the posts and hope that someone else out there has the same POV that I do. Often there isn't for my expertise is history, philosophy, sociology and psychology and I do that reasonably well.
When I see another 'Evolution v Intelligent Design' debate, rehashing the same points again and again, often without any foundation, I want to write pages of why the particular point-of-views expressed are nonsensical. Atheism v God is another one, especially those atheists with a libertarian attitude. Some Christians are no better, sprouting theology when neither understand the ramifications of 'weltanshauung' or 'belief systems'. They have no concept of objective reality and that is humerous and sad at the same time. 'It's funny because it's sad.'
7. Originality: It doesn't exist in submitted stories. I haven't seen an original submission. It's all been copied from a news report from somewhere, or otherwise it's been a book review (ok well maybe that's original), or an Ask Slashdot type. That's about it. If /. is about dissemination of knowledge then so be it. At least the readers get to find out things they didn't know. I know I have.

So after I change my sig on the 1/1/2009, I'll keep my eye on /. but I think I'll do something more productive and visit idle and maybe take up knitting or flower arranging for a while.

Cheers to all.
Happy New Year for 2009

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