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Comments

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$7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

aurispector or there is another agenda at work. (201 comments)

It's also not clear if this is just another get rich quick scheme using poor africans as fodder. When they start talking about selling "inexpensive" devices that are "affordable" your bullshit detector should go off. A while back someone was flogging a solar powered usb battery used to charge cell phones that was going to "revolutionize" etc., these poor african communities for the low low price of $125 or whatever. A quick check of amazon.com revealed a product with identical specs retailing for about half that much. Hence actual cost was probably 30% or more lower.

In this case, puppy linux has had this capability for several years and thumb drives bought in bulk cost pennies. Exactly whom does this project benefit the most?

about 5 months ago
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Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Group

aurispector Not a problem at all (107 comments)

Why is this a problem? The entire premise of this article is false. People (at least for now) are free to make their own decisions, no matter how stupid. Don't like the prospects? Get a different job. Encoding this kind of entitlement mentality into law is not only counter to the entire entrepreneurial engine that powers the US economy, but is a death knell for the same. Make the US anything but the absolute best place in the world to start up a business and you kill the start up market. Large established companies don't innovate but they do provide stability. Start ups are exactly the opposite. The entire point is high risk and reward.

about 6 months ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aurispector Re:20 year old news? (521 comments)

Yep. This is one of the coolest things to come out of American car manufacturing in decades and will have a far greater environmental impact than every hybrid vehicle produced thus far. Hybrids will always be a sham feel-good item due to their reliance on expensive exotic materials for the batteries.

AFAIK this is the first time a major manufacturer has gone all aluminum for a popular mass market product. Cutting weight is something so basic yet so crucial to future auto manufacturers it's a wonder no other manufacturer has tried it, but the cost and risk of switching to aluminum is the most obvious reason. However, due to it's wide use for years in aircraft manufacturing the chief reason would appear to be cost. Other than that there appears to be no reason why it won't succeed.

Now for the next leap: all composite material vehicles!

about 10 months ago
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TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance

aurispector Re:Fuck the TSA (337 comments)

Because you can't implant enough to be certain of causing destruction of the plane? It's an interesting question. The fluids thing is actually based on a real threat from binary liquid explosives so the ban on larger bottles is rational. The other thing is that the screening process was developed in Israel and has been found effective in identifying terrorists. It's hard to find an actual terrorist bent on killing in order to test the method but Israeli experience is a good indicator.

The point is that perhaps the way they're measuring "effectiveness" of the technique is fatally flawed, not to make a pun.

about a year ago
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Venezuela: Cheap Television Sets For All!

aurispector Re:And people called Atlas Shrugged Fiction.... (702 comments)

You have absolutely no clue about the economics of health care or economics in general. Importation has nothing to do with the failures of socialism. One of the main drivers of increased cost is malpractice liability and neither obamacare nor socialism do anything to address that. Your apparently unquestioned belief in the good obamacare will supposedly deliver, betrays your lack of critical thinking skills. I suggest you look up something they call the "law of supply and demand" for more information. If you artificially decrease prices as is being done in venezuela for televisions and in the US for health care, supply drops. In the case of the US health care market, the fact that primary care physicians are leaving the profession in droves should be a clue. Sure, you can replace them with less well trained proviiders like nurse practitioners but then overall quality suffers. Of course, a good party member toes the line for political correctness. March forward into bright, shining future of democratic party, comrade!

about a year ago
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Malaria Vaccine Nearing Reality

aurispector Re:Do Away With This Disease? (209 comments)

Many of the areas hardest hit by malaria are the same areas stricken by endemic poverty, corruption, famine, etc.. There is a long way to go before curing malaria even puts a dent in their problems.

about a year ago
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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

aurispector Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (327 comments)

You aren't cynical, you're realistic, which is exactly why government has no business being in, well, business. The political influences present in an open market are a thousand times worse when the it's government that is the only player.

I swear, half of the people posting here have never been in the real world, the other half don't understand the meaning of the word "politics".

about a year ago
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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

aurispector Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (327 comments)

If you're not making money, you're losing money. But only a government can simply tax you for more or worse borrow it and let your kids pay it back.

Put the government in charge of the Sahara desert and in five years it will run out of sand. Any organization tends toward inefficiency. A free and open competitive market tends to put pressure on participants to be efficient.

Governments have no idea how to run a tech (or any) business except to make it late, over budget and under spec. Every decision is made for political rather than economic reasons. The only people who think that's a good idea are fools that thing government is always good, or wolves that want the power.

Which are you?

about a year ago
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Alcatel-Lucent Cuts Go Deeper — 7,500 Jobs Gone and Counting

aurispector When tech companies start being run by business... (78 comments)

Anytime a tech company starts being run by business types they tank. The business guys have no idea what really drives the company and inevitably see R&D as an unnecessary expense. HP went from a tech innovator to a company pimping branded products made in china and designed by monkeys.

It's only when you get that rare combination of technical AND business savvy that you get an Apple or HP in the first place.

about a year ago
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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be Abolished

aurispector Re:too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my tas (297 comments)

This times eleventy billion. If congress, etc., didn't want the NSA they could change it. Besides, the ability to view private communication has been a core capability and even the purpose of national spy organizations forever.

The larger question is what government is allowed to do with it. Honestly it would be disappointing, even outrageous if the NSA didn't have the technical ability to collect this kind of data. Being on the cutting edges of information gathering and technology were crucial in the allies winning WW2, for instance. Certainly russia and china are champing at the bit to do it. This is the major reason why they keep pushing to "decentralize the internet" and wrest control from the US for their own purposes.

The hijacking of government for political purposes (e.g., the IRS scandal) is far more worrying simply because it's a clear indicator that those in power have no qualms about abusing it. Hence ultimately you could blame not congress but rather the electorate.

about a year ago
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Silicon Valley In 2013 Resembles Logan's Run In 2274

aurispector Re: 29 years old (432 comments)

Gosh darn that silly market for determining wages.

It's not just the IT market, it's ANY market - if you're over 40 and don't have very specific technical skills you're unemployable.

No company wants the increased wage and insurance costs, not to mention having to deal with employees who actually know how to negotiate instead of being fearfully compliant.

Of course, walmart is hiring. There is that.

about a year ago
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How NASA Steers the Int'l Space Station Around Asteroids & Other Debris

aurispector Re:Conjunctivitis (44 comments)

...and here is a perfect example of why Slashdot is a moribund husk of it's former self.

about a year ago
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With Sales Down, Whale Meat Flogged As Source of Strength

aurispector Re:Sorry, you're wrong here. (311 comments)

The "corporations" are not greedy. Saying they are is like saying guns kill people. The PEOPLE that run the corporations are responsible. Furthermore, their actions are entirely legal under Japanese law - laws set by their elected government.

It's really no different that that old "beef, it's what's for dinner!" ad campaign. Running an ad campaign is simply an effort to sell their product and maintain cash flow so everyone working for the corporation still has a job. The part you seem not to grasp is that if they go broke, they can't simply tax rich people for more money like a socialist government. Run out of money and everyone is out of a job.

In the end, if the Japanese decide they don't like whaling it they can vote for representatives who can change the laws. In the meantime it's simple supply and demand. Economic forces are what will ultimately stop whaling, not a bunch of whining hippies.

about a year ago
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The Days of Cheap, Subsidized Phones May Be Numbered

aurispector Re:New phone every month? (329 comments)

WHO doesn't need a smartphone? For anyone who works and needs email and web access it's a must-have. I could not function anywhere near as efficiently without one. Phone, email, scheduling/calender/contacts all go everywhere with me. Google maps is extremely useful on the road. It's not a ball and chain, it's the key to freedom - otherwise I would be stuck at a desk all day.

about a year and a half ago
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'Energy Beet' Power Is Coming To America

aurispector Re:Topsoil-based fuels are wrongheaded in every wa (238 comments)

Note that it's a government grant, not private industry. This is basically political patronage; whatever people running it will be contributing heavily to whatever political party was responsible for the grant. If sugar beets were a viable fuel source someone would be doing it already.

This just shifts the problem from one of directly increasing world corn (and therefore food) prices by diverting corn production to fuel to one of indirectly increasing world food priced by diverting farmland from food production to fuel production.

The worst part is that large scale farming has a significant environmental impact in terms of pesticide and fertilizer use as well as runoff into waterways. We don't gain much benefit from carbon reductions and a lot of costs from the farming itself.

It's a dead end and everyone knows it. Political hypocrisy at it's finest.

about a year and a half ago
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Could Twitter Have Stopped the Media's Rush To War In Iraq Ten Years Ago?

aurispector Re:No (456 comments)

By every measure the Iraq war was a screaming success. Saddam hanged, their military de-fanged and a regional force for totalitarianism neutered. The surge worked, despite democratic hand wringing to the contrary, including obama and kerry.

The democrats will never admit as such, so they and their media sycophants continue to bang the drum that the war was a failure. It wasn't and history will reflect that.

about a year and a half ago
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Gov't Report: Laser Pointers Produce Too Much Energy, Pose Risk For the Careless

aurispector Re:So then... (260 comments)

It's why we can't have nice things. Idiots point lasers at aircraft blinding the pilots and the .gov bans them. Nobody has any common sense.

about a year and a half ago
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West Virginia Won't Release Broadband Report Because It Is 'Embarrassing'

aurispector Re:Typo in summary (183 comments)

Corporations operate under laws created by government. They do wield influence and most people are incredibly stupid, Hence government needs to be limited.

There is corruption and waste in every organization. Concentration power in the hands of the government is simply asking for politics to be included in that toxic mix.

about a year and a half ago
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Possible Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

aurispector Re:Possible? (164 comments)

Or the east. Oh wait, the russians are already actively supplying assad with arms.

This was reported yesterday. Once upon a time, Slashdot was a great place to pick up news early. Not any more.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Detailed Chemical Structure of a Single Molecule

aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 5 years ago

aurispector (530273) writes "BBC News is reporting that the detailed chemical structure of a single molecule has been imaged for the first time. The physical shape of single carbon nanotubes has been outlined before, using similar techniques — but the new method even shows up chemical bonds. A team from IBM Research Zurich used what is known as an atomic force microscope or AFM. Their version of the device acts like a tiny tuning fork, with one of the prongs of the fork passing incredibly close to the sample and the other farther away. When the fork is set vibrating, the prong nearest the sample will experience a minuscule shift in the frequency of its vibration, simply because it is getting close to the molecule. Comparing the frequencies of the two prongs gives a measure of just how close the nearer prong is, effectively mapping out the molecule's structure. Lead author of the research Leo Gross told BBC News that the group is aiming to combine their ability to measure individual charges with the new technique, characterising molecules at a truly unprecedented level of detail. That will help in particular in the field of "molecular electronics", a potential future for electronics in which individual molecules serve as switches and transistors. Grey goo is one step closer!"
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Light's Repulsive Force Discovered

aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Aurispector (530273) writes "An article on LiveScience says a newly discovered repulsive aspect to light could one day control telecommunications devices with greater speed and less power. The discovery could lead to nanodevices controlled by light rather than electricity. "The discovery was made by splitting infrared light into two beams that each travel on a different length of silicon nanowire, called a waveguide. The two light beams became out of phase with one another, creating a push, or repulsive force, with an intensity that can be controlled; the more out of phase the two light beams, the stronger the force." As an added bonus, nerds may no longer need LED's to trick out their custom gaming rigs!"
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Facebook Users Get Worse Grades In College

aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Aurispector (530273) writes "A LiveScience article http://www.livescience.com/culture/090413-facebook-grades.html states that "Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users, according to a survey of college students who also ironically said the social networking site does not interfere with studying. That disconnect between perception and reality does not necessarily mean that Facebook leads to less studying and worse grades — the grades association could be caused by something else. However, it does raise more questions about how students spend their time outside class on activities such as Facebook, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities." We all know that correlation is not causation, so what's the connection? My theory is that Facebook users are more concerned with social status than academic achievement."
Link to Original Source
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Worms Do Calculus to FInd Food

aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 6 years ago

aurispector (530273) writes "An article on LiveScience.com http://www.livescience.com/animals/080723-what-to-eat.html says biologists have discovered that worms do calculus to find food. Worms calculate how much the strength of different tastes is changing — equivalent to the process of taking a derivative in calculus — to figure out if they are on their way toward food or should change direction and look elsewhere, says University of Oregon biologist Shawn Lockery, who thinks humans and other animals do the same thing. The research was published in the July 3, 2008 issue of NATURE. This makes worms smarter than me."
Link to Original Source
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Rambus sues Nvidia for patent infringement

aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 6 years ago

aurispector (530273) writes "Well, they're at it again: Cnet is reporting that Rambus is suing Nvidia, accusing the company of violating 17 Rambus-held patents on memory controllers. The suit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The Los Altos, Calif.-based company says that chipsets, graphics processers, and media communication processors across six different Nvidia product lines are illegally infringing. The patents held concern memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, and GDDR3 SDRAM. Does this action officially confirm that Rambus is a patent-troll rather than a technology company?"
Link to Original Source
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aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aurispector (530273) writes "Here's a link to an article about the Julie Amero porn case in Norwich, CT providing information, links and suggestions on how to help. http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070228/tc_pcworl d/129226 If you had any doubts about how wrong this is, the article includes copies of emails from a juror and a detective involved in the case. Included are the email addresses of people in government with actual power to do something about the conviction."
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aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aurispector (530273) writes "Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $1.5 million and kick in thousands more in customer refunds to settle lawsuits brought by California and Texas over music CDs that installed a hidden anti-piracy program on consumers' computers. The settlements, announced Tuesday, cover lawsuits over CDs loaded with one of two types of copy-protection software — known as MediaMax or XCP. Although it's great to see this as a victory for consumers, I can't help but wonder about the next wave of DRM schemes. Here's the link to the yahoo news story from the AP — http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061219/ap_on_hi_te/so ny_bmg_copy_protection_7"
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aurispector aurispector writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aurispector writes "Shortly, people will begin boot up their new Christmas Windows boxes. Shortly thereafter many of us will be asked to "make it work again" when the virus and spyware laden boxes fizzle. I would like to assemble a disk full of anti spyware, antivirus, and other software and utilities that can be given to these folks to reduce future difficulties. Here's the catch-Linux is not an option for these people; we are talking about non-tech savvy users. I need to be able to hand them a disk and say "install and use these programs" and also make suggestions on how to EASILY configure XP to prevent or recover from difficulties. My first thoughts are AD Aware, Spybot, AVG, Firefox and recommending a system restore point be made at least weekly. Further suggestions? (Short of overwriting C:\ with zeros)"

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