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How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

beschra Re:If people would fight their tickets... (286 comments)

Great idea. But fighting a ticket takes time, and the time it takes is usually going to interfere with work hours. Add in the fact that it could take a full day due to waiting your turn with the judge or bailiff or whoever. So, do I take time off work and take the chance that a ticket will be tossed out or pay the fine? It comes down to a financial decision for most people.

about 2 months ago

3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom

beschra Re:Who Cares? (354 comments)

I'm just cavilling. There are quite a number of handguns and rifles that are designed specifically for competitive target shooting, not killling. Could they be used to kill? Of course, but that wasn't the designer's goal.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

beschra Re:Is Access actually better for them anyways? (281 comments)

I hope you aren't serious. If that were the OP's mindset, we wouldn't even be having this conversation since the question wouldn't have been asked.

about 2 months ago

First Arrest In Japan For 3D-Printed Guns

beschra Re: Hey Tim (274 comments)

How many legal sources of cocaine are there in the US?

about 3 months ago

Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

beschra Tried it, wasn't impressed (285 comments)

My wife has a lot of technically unsophisticated clients. More than half came back with "I can't open this." Not worth the time to educate them, so we went back to Office.

about 3 months ago

Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban On Licensed Gun Dealers Unconstitutional

beschra Re:Age and the constitution (934 comments)

Protected by, yes. Full access to all constitutional rights, no. Despite how US constitutional arguments are often presented, there are actually quite a few limits placed on things guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. The classic example is that it is illegal to falsley and intentionally yell "Fire" in a movie theater, which is a limit on freedom of free speech, a right guaranteed by the constitution. At some point it became established in US law that 18 years of life makes you an adult who is entitled to a number of things. This is an application of that principle.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Beautiful Network Cable Trays?

beschra Re:Buy plain, decorate (250 comments)

Then you could post your project on pinterest!

about 8 months ago

Solar Pressure May Help Kepler Return To Planet-Hunting Duties

beschra Re:Light Sail (46 comments)

Maybe they will next time.

about 8 months ago

What's Lost When a Meeting Goes Virtual

beschra Not surprised (96 comments)

The same thing happens with conference calls. Adding video doesn't change the fact that you aren't in the same room as the other people. I don't see this working all that well until we get holodecks or something like that.

about 9 months ago

"Ballooning" Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift

beschra Re:Nature is amazing (213 comments)

I find that when faced with something like this, people almost invariably see what they bring into it, as evidenced by some of the comments. If you expect evolution, you see evolution. If you expect a designer, you see a designer. These kind of things don't persuade me either way, but I do find it to be *really* cool regardless of how it came about.

about 10 months ago

How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?

beschra I like my sysadmin (200 comments)

I'm saddened to see how much animosity there seems to be between developers and sysadmins. I have always gotten along very well with my sysadmins over the years. Not sure what the difference is.

1 year,2 days

Ask Slashdot: Science Books For Middle School Enrichment?

beschra Chaos (203 comments)

Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick.

Non-maths guy, so his explanations and examples are approachable. Good jumping off point if it piques someone's interest.

about a year ago

Superstorm Sandy Shook the Earth

beschra Re:well, that's grasping (77 comments)

I'll feed the troll.

One thing that's probably very difficult to measure from satellite images is energy in a storm, which I would think would be an important part of measuring storminess. I'd think that knowing how far the impact extended through the earth would be very helpful in measuring energy.

about a year ago

Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

beschra Re:Not true. (984 comments)

These are speeding tickets, not light-running tickets.

about a year ago

Interactive Tool Visualizes Tolkien's Works

beschra Re:I love the idea (33 comments)

the Silmarillion didn't come out until long after LOTR was out...

... and Tolkien was dead.

about a year and a half ago

I Get Most of My Caffeine Through

beschra Re:Missing option (283 comments)

This makes me happy

about a year and a half ago

Portrait Sculptures From Genetic Material

beschra I'm kinda freakin' out (32 comments)

That's all I've got to say.

about a year and a half ago



U.S. Secret Service wants to identify snark

beschra beschra writes  |  about 2 months ago

beschra (1424727) writes "

The U.S. Secret Service is seeking software that can identify top influencers and trending sets of social media data, allowing the agency to monitor these streams in real-time – and sift through the sarcasm.

“We are not currently aware of any automated technology that could do that (detect sarcasm). No one is considered a leader in that,” Jamie Martin, a data acquisition engineer at Sioux Falls, SD based Bright Planet, told CBS News.

Why not just force Twitter to change TOS to require sarcasm tag?"
Link to Original Source


Are the Simpsons going to die?

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 2 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "The future of animated TV comedy "The Simpsons" was up in the air on Tuesday after 20th Century Fox Television said it could no longer afford to produce the show without a huge pay cut for its cast.

Fox Television, a unit of News Corp, issued a tough statement after a report that it had threatened to end the subversive series unless the voice actors take a 45 percent pay cut.

"We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model," Fox said.

"We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows 'The Simpsons' to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come," the statement added."

Link to Original Source

Radioactive Iodine in IL from Japan?

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes ""Radiation believed to be from the nuclear plant disaster in Japan has been detected in Illinois.

The radioactive iodine similar to what was released in Japan was found in a grass clipping in the Joliet area by the Radiological Assessment Field Team, which regularly checks on vegetation, air, milk and eggs to determine if any radiation is leaking from Illinois’ nuclear reactors."

I get the idea of what was found being similar to what was released in Japan. As a complete novice to this kind of stuff, I ask if being similar is enough to say it came from Japan? Maybe there's more info that wasn't included in this very short bit of news?"

Link to Original Source

Scientists build the world's first anti-laser

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "Physicists have built the world's first device that can cancel out a laser beam — a so-called anti-laser.

The device, created by a team from Yale University, is capable of absorbing an incoming laser beam entirely.

But this is not intended as a defence against high-power laser weapons, the researchers said.

Instead they think it could be used in next-generation supercomputers which will be built with components that use light rather than electrons."

Link to Original Source

Pioneering Edsac computer to be built at Bletchley

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "The first recognisably modern computer is to be rebuilt at the UK's former code-cracking centre Bletchley Park.

The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (Edsac) was a room-sized behemoth built at Cambridge university that first ran in 1949.

Creation of the replica has been commissioned by the UK's Computer Conservation Society (CCS).

The three-year re-build will be carried out before visitors to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley."

Link to Original Source

Oriental hornets powered by 'solar energy'

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "From BBC News:The Oriental hornet has a unique ability to harvest solar energy, scientists have discovered. The large wasp species has a special structure in its abdomen that traps the sun's rays, and a special pigment that harvests the energy they contain.

Still a lot to understand, but how long until humans with brown and yellow hornet stripes?"

Link to Original Source

Nobel Prize in physics 2010 goes to graphene

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes ""Imagine a sheet of material that's just one atom thick, yet super-strong, highly conductive, practically transparent and able to reveal new secrets of fundamental physics. That's graphene, isolated by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, 2010 Nobel Laureates in Physics."

And they're pretty young as far as Nobel laureates go. Congratulations!"

Link to Original Source

Digital marketing at warp speed

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes ""Minneapolis digital marketing firm Space150 understands that keeping up with the latest technology — these days, that would include the explosion of social media, smartphone apps and the mobile web — can be confusing or downright daunting for clients looking for the newest ways to reach their customers.

So, to ensure that its offerings are fresh, relevant and at the "leading and the bleeding edge'' of technology, as CEO Billy Jurewicz says, the company undergoes an agency-wide reinvention every 150 days."

They've been doing this successfully for ten years. What's it take to be this nimble?"

Link to Original Source

From Ascension Island to Mars?

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "BBC writes of "terra-forming" Ascension Island, one of the islands Charles Darwin visited. He and a friend encouraged the Royal Navy to import boat loads of trees and plants in an attempt to capture the little bit of water that fell on the island. They were quite successful. The island even has a cloud forest now.

From TA: [British ecologist] Wilkinson thinks that the principles that emerge from that experiment could be used to transform future colonies on Mars. In other words, rather than trying to improve an environment by force, the best approach might be to work with life to help it "find its own way".

Could this actually be a viable approach to terra-forming Mars?"

Link to Original Source

Slow acceptance of digital radio in UK

beschra beschra writes  |  about 4 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) was developed as early as 1981. After launching in the UK 10 years ago, only 24% of listeners listen on DAB. The article credits a good part of the delay to the fact that the technology was largely developed under the Europe-wide Eureka 147 research project. How does government vs. commercial development help or hinder acceptance of new technology? From TFA:

[analyst Grant Goddard says] "If Nokia develop something, they'll be bringing out the handsets before you know it," he says. "Because DAB was a pan-European development, you had to have agreement from all sides before you could do anything. That meant progress was extremely slow." But this alone did not account for the hold-up. The sheer complexity of introducing and regulating the system was also a major factor, Mr Goddard adds."

Link to Original Source

Video screens hit paper magazines

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 4 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "BBC reports that Pepsi, US TV and CBS are doing a test of advertising with an embedded LCD display in Entertainment Weekly. It takes several seconds to load, is expensive and, I'm predicting, annoying. Add toxic waste to the mix and I'm wondering what the possible upside is? Is this anything more than singing Hallmark cards on steroids?"
Link to Original Source

Satellite images reveal Venice precursor Altinum

beschra beschra writes  |  more than 4 years ago

beschra (1424727) writes "Satellite images from 2007 reveal the street plan of Altinum, an ancient city considered to be the precursor to Venice. It was abandoned 1,500 years ago when Attila the Hun was on the march. I really like seeing technology used to find out about stuff that's been under our feet for centuries."


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