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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

government sucks

it's just that the world sucks even more without it

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

congratulations, that's the most retarded thing i've read this year

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

our healthcare system sucks because we tolerate these parasites on our system that have to "profit" for some reason. there's no competition. so they just siphon profit and buy off our legislators and regulators to keep the money train flowing

they are natural monopolies

they are monopolies alone, no government needed to make them

you don't spend billions to build a hospital across the street from another. there's no free market. we're not talking about nail salons

you don't go shopping for an oncologist based on cost. you don't shop around for hospitals while you are having a heart attack. there's no capitalism here

so we need government control, rather than make believing a magic free market fairy fixes things

i'm not a socialist or a statist. specifically on the topic of natural monopolies *alone*, universal payer is the least worst option

citation: all of our social and economic peers: uk, canada, japan, germany, australia, etc: they spend far less on healthcare, and have higher quality healthcare. and it's all government controlled

our bullshit system persists because our government is corrupted. we need to fix the corruption, then kick out the parasites

yesterday
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Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

circletimessquare Re:How (241 comments)

the lawyer seeks out the victim

if you ever are the victim of a newsworthy accident/ crime, you will get cold called by a number of lawyers, who want to represent you pro bono

because such cases gild their CV, get their name out there. free advertising

some lawyers, they seek out interesting strange and noteworthy cases only. out of ego, fame, crank cause, adrenaline, hero complex, whatever:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...

etc.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

you mean you're a hopeless idealist who think things have to be perfect?

i'm glad you agree we need to get rid of corruption

but i'm mystified how you think the country's obvious success has nothing to do with democracy, however imperfectly implemented

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

i've been commenting on slashdot for years. there's always this steady drip of comments from grammar (punctuation?) nazis like yourself. do you see me changing or caring?

if you don't like the formatting of my comment, don't read it. i don't owe you anything. you're not paying me

this is an informal comment board, not a doctoral thesis. get over yourself

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

yes, exactly

and that's exactly the next step with a weakened government: corporation owned armies abusing you with no recourse for your rights

oh, i'm making that up? it's science fiction?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

By the early 1890s, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than there were members of the standing army of the United States of America.

During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, as well as recruiting goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie.[citation needed] The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers.[4] The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921. The organization was pejoratively called the "Pinks" by its opponents.

now remember dick cheney and his adventure with blackwater

weaken the government and blackwater expands exponentially, and corporate goons are now stepping on your throat: "get back to work slave, i mean citizen. if you have a problem with our enforcement activities, please see the corporation owned courts, or attempt to fight our legion of well-funded lawyers when you can barely get enough to eat, because we've let 'the market decide' your salary"

you look around the world at kleptocracies, warlords, mafias... you really fucking believe government has a monopoly on force?

if there is no government army, it's not suddenly peace and happiness, it's fucking hell

where do you morons come from with your bullshit unexamined beliefs?

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

we have competing ambulance services here in the usa too

but they will take you to a further away hospital they have financial agreements with (fuck your actual health emergency)

and if you don't have insurance you get a life destroying huge bill (because health insurance is a "choice")

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

you really can't conceive of the simple obvious fact that running all that fiber is fucking expensive?

2 days ago
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US Wireless Spectrum Auction Raises $44.9 Billion

circletimessquare Re:$45 Billion is just another tax, different form (90 comments)

oh, EUR, euro

you guys understand the concept of a natural monopoly so much better than americans

in the usa we believe letting a rent seeking parasite siphon more money for shoddier service, and buying off our government to keep the arrangement, such as with healthcare, is "capitalism." and anyone who suggests dealing with natural monopolies as they should be dealt with: government control or heavily regulated, as you describe, is "evil socialism"

propagandized morons

2 days ago
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US Wireless Spectrum Auction Raises $44.9 Billion

circletimessquare Re:$45 Billion is just another tax, different form (90 comments)

additionally, no one wants their roads constantly dug up by various companies all the time, or the poles by their house an ugly rats nest of various cables

better: one cable, fractionally leased

as tech improves and one cable means much more bandwidth, government progressively upgrades the single cable, and has more bandwidth to lease

2 days ago
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US Wireless Spectrum Auction Raises $44.9 Billion

circletimessquare Re:$45 Billion is just another tax, different form (90 comments)

and that's exactly how wireline should work

government should build and maintain the fiber, and companies should lease it for any and every service, comprehensive or fractional, that the free market commands

the current american system is a fucking joke- there's no competition in wireline because the barrier to entry is too high, it's just too expensive to build the shit

so we have a monopoly. it should be the government that governs it. because letting an economic parasite drain us like a vampire for shoddy service is certainly worse than any criticism you want to level at government, and competition from google isn't coming for another 40-50 years to your town

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

can you make a plain language argument countering my point?

i am saying a high cost to market entry creates a natural monopoly. no government is needed to create it. it's a natural consequence of the underlying costs of the market sector in question

where am i wrong?

i think my statement is pretty straightforward and without error

you simply paste a link

i'm sorry, but "go read my religious literature" is not an argument. in fact, i would say you have no argument. you have an unfounded faith in an unsupported belief. a bit of foolish trendiness, which is all your link represents, that will fade to history, along with such nonsense as phrenology and lamarckism, as dead ends of academic thought

the emperor has no clothes my friend

the cult of the free market fairy: the free market fairy solves all problems! how? don't ask silly questions, don't think, just BELIEVE

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

thank you

a toast to the day we do not have to suffer anymore the economically illiterate fools and their magic cult of the free market fairy, peace be unto her

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

agreed except for two points:

1. for chronic conditions there isn't informed choice. choosing oncologist A over oncologist B because A smiles more doesn't mean much. 99.99% of us lack the educational capacity in oncology to know which is the better oncologist.

2. broadband for the narrow topic of internet connectivity is pretty much about fiber/ cable. it's too slow to get it over dial up/ cell networks/ satellites (unless you live in nunavut, not much choice otherwise). so when we talk "broadband" the topic is for all practical purposes only about the guys running fiber in your average urban/ suburban environment

which is a natural monopoly the government should own, then lease the fiber fractionally to everyone and anyone who pays a fee and wants to offer a service, any service. pretty much the same economic model of how we auction off the EM spectrum to radio, television, wifi, telephony, etc. that's the way it should work with fiber

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

that's called corruption

the error is with those who believe it is government behind it all

the truth is the monopolies corrupt the government

for those fools who think the answer is to weaken government, well the monopolies can do away with corrupting legislators and regulators and rape you directly. they want that

then what? with no government/ weak government, how is the monopoly challenged?

the answer of course, is that nothing stops them now

only government is your tool against monopolies

those who argue for the weakening of government then are either genuine plutocrats with vile intent, or witless naive well-meaning fools in the unwitting service of plutocrats who genuinely believe pseudoreligious wishfulfillment economic nonsense ("the free market fairy solves all problems!" "how..." "shut up, stop thinking, just repeat after me!")

the true solution of course is to fight corruption, not fight government

oh don't get me wrong, government sucks on many levels and in many ways. i don't like government. it's inefficient, bureaucratic, slow, and often blind

but on the specific topic of natural monopolies alone (the only topic i am defending government in, to inoculate this comment from all the idiots who want to accuse me of loving government in all matters), government regulation and control is the only viable option. not an option to like. a horrible option. but better than all the other options (weak government and monopolistic control)

again: on the topic of natural monopolies alone, government is the unfortunate only answer. only answer because no government, weak government, or corrupt government, is worse

just look at healthcare or broadband in the usa. and compare the status quo in our social and economic peers who spend far less on healthcare and have higher quality healthcare, and likewise with broadband, because of heavy government involvement and regulation

rather than the legalized corruption of the usa where plutocrats buy regulators with revolving door jobs, buy legislators with election campaign funds, and screw us with shoddy service and high prices

and pump out propaganda saying it's all government's fault. and morons lap it up, helping with their impoverishment. in their effort to weaken and corrupt government, the only tool we have against monopolies, there is no greater friend to the plutocrat than the propagandized fool who hates the idea of government without thought or reason, when it's the only tool we have *on this topic of natural monopolies alone* (because here comes all the "you love government on all topics" drool snort. no, i do not)

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

circletimessquare Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

The threat of competition prevents long term monopolies from persisting.

explain how that works. you've just made a statement of unsupported belief

i've explained to you reality, straightforward: a high cost of entry into the market prevents competition. high cost alone

you have opposed my description of reality. that's fine, you don't have to agrere with me

but you have to be able to explain how or why i am wrong. you have not done that

"go read my religious literature" is not an argument

if you can't make your case in plain language, that says something doesn't it?

an unsupported faith in an unsupported statement is trendy nonsense

3 days ago

Submissions

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Orson Scott Card's Views on Gay Marriage Fuel "Ender's Game" Movie Boycott

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  about a year and a half ago

circletimessquare (444983) writes "The New York Times has the story:

Mr. Card was issuing a public plea for tolerance of his views — “with the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot,” he noted in a statement to the Entertainment Weekly Web site — in response to a planned boycott that had burst into prominence only the day before, when The Huffington Post published an article about a Web site called Skipendersgame.com.

"
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82 Year Old Pacifist Nun Breaches Oak Ridge Nuclear Reservation Security

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 2 years ago

circletimessquare writes "If ineffective security theater at airports bothers you, then do not read about the 82 year old anti-nuclear activist nun who last month successfully committed the worst security breach ever at the most sensitive nuclear weaponization facility in the USA. 'With flashlights and bolt cutters, the three pacifists defied barbed wire as well as armed guards, video cameras and motion sensors at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee early on July 28, a Saturday. They splashed blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility — a new windowless, half-billion-dollar plant encircled by enormous guard towers — and hung banners outside its walls.' This is not the kind of security lapse you ever want to hear about no matter what you think of the nun's beliefs."
Link to Original Source
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Pay-by-Voice could leap frog Pay-by-Smartphone

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 2 years ago

circletimessquare writes "While the world waits for a smartphone wallet, that idea might have already been made quaint by the company called Square that bought us the little Credit Card swiper that attaches to your iPhone audio jack: pay by just announcing your voice. 'You walk into a shop or cafe. The cashier knows that you’re on the premises, because your name and thumbnail photo appear on his iPad screen. He rings up your items by tapping them on the iPad. And now the magic moment: To pay, you just say your name. The cashier compares your actual face with the photo on the iPad’s screen, taps O.K., and the transaction is complete. No cash, no cards, no signatures — you don’t even have to take the phone out of your pocket.' A number of hacks seem apparent. David Pogue's New York Times article also summarizes nicely the state of play in novel electronic payment methods."
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France Shuts Down The Minitel On June 30

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 2 years ago

circletimessquare writes "While most of the world was discovering the Internet in the early 1990s, France was discovering it in the early 1980s. It was a commercial failure outside France due to an inflexible business strategy, but within France, the Minitel was a cultural touchstone. 'Most of the services no longer exist, but among the last functioning Minitel programs are the “messageries roses,” the “pink message services” that were the world’s first adult chat rooms. They were once advertised on billboards, condemned by conservative politicians and mentioned in pop songs, including Michel Polnareff’s plaintive 1989 ballad “Goodbye Marylou.” “When the screen lights up, I type on my keyboard all the voiceless words we say to one another with our fingers,” Mr. Polnareff sang, years before most anyone but the French was having cybersex.'"
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The Dutch Repair Cafe Versus The Throwaway Society

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 2 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Everyone in the modern world has thrown away at least one thing that was perfectly good except for an easily fixed defect, because it's just easier to buy a new one. In the Netherlands, in the name of social cohesion, and with government and private foundation grants, there is a trend called the Repair Cafe (Dutch). People bring in broken items: a skirt with a hole in it, an iron that no longer steams, and they fix each other's stuff and meet their neighbors. Now that's an idea worth keeping."
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The Hollywood Vixen, The Dadaist Composer, and Spr

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 3 years ago

circletimessquare writes "In the New York Times Sunday Book Review section is one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction stories. This one is about Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood star, and George Anthiel, the avant garde composer. A new book out by Richard Rhodes, “Hedy’s Folly,” details how this odd friendship produced an even odder product: sophisticated military munition designs during World War II, including an early original implementation of spread spectrum radio for torpedo guidance.

'Hedy’s folly may have been in assuming men in government might overcome their prejudice that a beautiful woman could not have brains and imagination. But she lived to see similar versions of her invention be put into common practice, and in 1997, Hedy Lamarr, at the age of 82, and George Antheil (posthumously) were honored with the Pioneer Award by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.'"

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Casey Anthony Prosecutor Avoids Cache Analysis Bug

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 3 years ago

circletimessquare writes "A programmer of an Internet cache analysis tool found an error in his own tool, and alerted prosecutors in the Casey Anthony case. His tool inaccurately reported that Casey Anthony had searched for "chloroform" from her computer 84 times. Worried that a woman's life was at stake, he told the prosecution in the case that she had in fact only searched for chloroform once, and it led to a visit to only one site: sci-spot.com, which only talked about historical use of chloroform in the 1800s. The software developer was ignored by the prosecution, and the 84 visits number was cited throughout the failed prosecution of Casey Anthony."
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xkcd Scale Chart for Radiation Doses

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 3 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Understanding radiation exposure is extremely complicated: how long were you exposed? How close? What type of radiation? What types of isotopes? Etc. While it is impossible to condense all issues into one chart, xkcd helps to frame the issue of radiation doses in terms of scale, in terms of sieverts, one of many metrics one needs to understand when it comes to radiation exposure."
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3D Cinema Doesn't Work And Never Will

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  about 4 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Walter Murch, one of the most technically knowledgeable film editors and sound designers in the film industry today, argues, via Rogert Ebert's journal in the Chicago Sun-Times, that 3D cinema can't work, ever. Not just today's technology, but even theoretically. Nothing but true holographic images will do. The crux of his argument is simple: 600 million years of evolution has designed eyes that focus and converge in parallel, at the same distance. Look far away at a mountain, and your eyes focus and converge far away, at the same distance. Look closely at a book, and your eyes focus and converge close, at the same distance. But the problem is that 3D cinema technology asks our eyes to converge at one distance, and focus at another, in order for the illusion to work, and this becomes very taxing, if not downright debilitating, and even, for the eyes of the very young, potentially developmentally dangerous. Other problems (but these may be fixable) include the dimness of the image, and the fact that the image tends to "gather in," even on Imax screens, ruining the immersive experience."
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Goatse Security Busted Wide Open

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  about 4 years ago

circletimessquare writes "An FBI investigation into an iPad security leak, as previously discussed on Slashdot, has resulted in the arrest of Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco, and Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark. Last year, Goatse Security, represented by Mr. Auernheimer with the online moniker "Weev," gained prominence when it used the way AT&T tied email addresses to 3G Internet access to obtain a list of 114,000 email accounts, and released the list to Gawker Media. Since many of these email accounts were .mil or tied to prominent users in Washington D.C., the FBI got involved.
 "

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2000 IgNobel Winner Wins 2010 Nobel

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 4 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Russian born Andre Geim, 51, and Konstantin Novoselov, 36, working at the University of Manchester, win the 2010 Physics Nobel Prize for their efforts at investigating graphene. While this is impressive enough, even more impressive is that Andre also won the 2000 IgNobel for levitating a frog."
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Happy Programmer's Day

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 4 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Today is September 13, 2010, the 256th day of 2010. Last year, President Medvedev of Russia officially signed into decree this day as a professional holiday. So far, only Russia has an official Programmer's Day, but, since us programmer's control all smart phone and computer calendar applications, worldwide official recognition shouldn't be too hard to achieve."
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The Hell known as Internet Screening Services

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 4 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Do you think your job is bad? Some websites outsource their moderation to firms where every work day, all work day, workers do nothing but sift through depravity after depravity. '“You have 20-year-old kids who get hired to do content review, and who get excited because they think they are going to see adult porn,” said Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer at MySpace. “They have no idea that some of the despicable and illegal images they will see can haunt them for the rest of their lives.”' Some places only do yearlong contracts, and have counseling services and staff psychologists, because of the brain damage of this kind of work. One psychologist 'reached some unsettling conclusions in her interviews with content moderators. She said they were likely to become depressed or angry, have trouble forming relationships and suffer from decreased sexual appetites. Small percentages said they had reacted to unpleasant images by vomiting or crying. “The images interfere with their thinking processes. It messes up the way you react to your partner,” Ms. Laperal said. “If you work with garbage, you will get dirty.”'"
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Chrome Kills The http:// Prefix

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 4 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Inevitable or sinister? Monitoring the latest developer releases, Stephen Shankland at cnet news has made the interesting observation that Google intends to do away with the http:/// prefix in Chrome's address bar. Most Slashdot readers will have an automatic negative reaction to this idea, but, to 99% of web users, the prefix is simply an archaic, unnecessary bit of technical jargon. However, Chrome currently relays everything typed in the address bar to Google unless the http:/// is prefixed. So the subtle implication is that soon there will be no defense from Google seeing everything you type in Chrome's address bar. Most dastardly of all: Chrome has just diminished the joke that is Slashdot's name."
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Google Might Leave China Over Gmail Hack

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  about 5 years ago

circletimessquare writes "The issue has been discussed on Slashdot before: does a US company do business with regimes with poor human rights records? Specifically, does an Internet company help such a government with restrictions on freedoms? What if the company's motto is "Don't be evil"? Now the issue has come to a head with Google discovering a highly sophisticated effort emanating from China to breach the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. 'David Drummond, Google senior vice president and chief legal officer, added that the attacks "have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China." Google has further decided it is no longer willing to continue censoring its search results in Chinese Google sites, Drummond said, and over the next few weeks it will discuss with the Beijing government how it may operate "an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all," he said. "We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China," he said.' Score one for human rights, and for Google's integrity."
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Nathan Myhrvold Becomes Willy Wonka

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 5 years ago

circletimessquare writes "Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft, is self-publishing a cook book with scientific underpinnings. The man who presided over the original iterations of Windows has built a laboratory kitchen, hired 5 chefs, and plays with misplaced lab equipment: using an autoclave as a pressure cooker, using a 100-ton hydraulic press to make beef jerky, and using an ultrasonic welder for... he's not sure yet. Read all about the fun at the New York Times (bonus video: how to how to cryosear and cryorender duck). '“It’s basically like a software project,” Dr. Myhrvold said. “It’s very much like a review we would do at Microsoft.”' Can one BSoD food?"
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Major New Function Discovered For The Spleen

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 5 years ago

circletimessquare writes "The spleen doesn't get much respect. Those undergoing a splenectomy seem to be able to carry on without any consequences. However, some studies have suggested an enhanced risk of early death for those who have undergone splenectomies. Now researchers have discovered why: the spleen apparently serves as a vast reservoir for monocytes, the largest of the white blood cells, the wrecking crew of the immune system. After major trauma, such as a heart attack, the monocytes are disgorged into the blood stream and immediately get to work repairing the damage. '"The parallel in military terms is a standing army," said Matthias Nahrendorf, an author of the report. "You don't want to have to recruit an entire fighting force from the ground up every time you need it."'"
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Alternative Theory About Stolen Wall Street Code

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 5 years ago

circletimessquare writes "A seasoned Wall Street coder turned oyster farmer(!), Michael Osinski, has an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, in which he outlines a much less menacing, alternative motivation for the industrial espionage of Goldman Sachs stock trading code reported 11 days ago. Any professional coder will understand the jist of the argument: the coder was starting a new job, and he just wanted to take his work with him to save time later. 'In 20 years of programming, I have seen people copy code many times. My own employees might have done so, and this would not have brought disaster. A piece of software is often one cog in a vast enterprise, relatively useless in and of itself.' Michael describes his experiences coding for investment banks, concluding 'I came to realize that the ideas and methods behind a piece of software are more valuable than the lines of code themselves.' And perhaps most poignantly, 'Goldman's announcement of record earnings, a mere month after the bank paid back $10 billion in federal aid, strikes me as much more offensive than this programmer's bungled attempt to copy code.'"
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Open Government Initiative Enters Phase Three

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 5 years ago

circletimessquare writes "The Obama administration opened a discussion forum in January of this year which has become an electronic suggestion box. It is now entering stage three, following brainstorm and discussion phases: the draft phase, in which the top subject matter is codified into suggestions for the government. 'Ultimately, the visitors advanced more than 3,900 ideas, which in turn spawned 11,000 comments that received 210,000 thumb votes. The result? Three of the top 10 most popular ideas called for legalizing marijuana, and two featured conspiracy theories about Mr. Obama's true place of birth.'"
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A Deadly Lack Of Awareness Of Geomagnetic Storms

circletimessquare circletimessquare writes  |  more than 5 years ago

circletimessquare writes "In 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington noticed "two patches of intensely bright and white light" near some sunspots. At the same time, Victorian era magnetometers went off the charts, stunning auroras were being viewed at the equator, and telegraph networks were disrupted- sparks flew from terminals and ignited telegraph paper on fire. It became known as the Carrington event, and the National Academy of Sciences worries about the impact of another such event today and the lack of awareness among officials. It would turn all high voltage long distance power lines into conductors, and destroy transformers, as Quebec learned in 1989. Without electricity, water would stop flowing from the tap, gasoline would stop being pumped, healthcare would cease after the emergency generators gave up the ghost after 72 hours. Replacing all of the transformers would take months, if not years. The paradox would be that underdeveloped countries would fare better than developed ones. No country currently has a plant to deal with the threat and in fact, China is now implementing an extremely high voltage 1000-kilovolt electric grid, which places the country at even greater risk. Our only warning system is the 11 year old, past its lifespan Advanced Composition Explorer, in solar orbit between the Sun and the Earth. It might give us as much as 15 minutes of warning, and transformers might be able to be disconnected in time. But again, currently no country has such a contingency plan. The New Scientist reports: '"We're in the equivalent of an idyllic summer's day. The sun is quiet and benign, the quietest it has been for 100 years," says Mike Hapgood, who chairs the European Space Agency's space weather team, "but it could turn the other way." The next solar maximum is expected in 2012.'"

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