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Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

clovis Re:Legacy Systems. (137 comments)

Never worked for or with Lockheed, eh? Or maybe never heard of the F35?

On the other hand Lockheed also made the C-130 Hercules.

yesterday
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Researchers Print Electronic Memory On Paper

clovis A whole MB? (78 comments)

640K should be enough for anyone.

2 days ago
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

clovis FYI, smallpox is not needed to make vaccine (189 comments)

For those who don't already know, the smallpox vaccine is the not made from smallpox.
It was originally made from a virus commonly known as "cowpox", although they may have used the horse version for development.

smallpox virus is "variola"
the vaccinating (cowpox) virus is "vaccinia"

The point is, we don't need smallpox to make more vaccine and would not do that anyway.

The CDC has enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone in the USA for smallpox, should it come to that.

3 days ago
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

clovis What about alien attacks? (189 comments)

What if it turns out that the disease that killed all the Martians when they attacked back in 1938 was smallpox, and what if that was the ONLY disease they were susceptible to?
Wouldn't we feel like dummies if we destroyed all our
supplies and they attacked again?

3 days ago
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More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

clovis Re:Homeland Security (55 comments)

So, the department that pretends to keep me safe on airplanes is now also the one that pretends to keep me safe from deadly airborne pathogens?

Why is the CDC not holding on to these for safekeeping? Their obvious failure here notwithstanding, I'd think that this is more their bailiwick than DHS's.

The samples are begin sent to Fort Detrick's The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, so it kinda makes sense.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

clovis Re:space exploration (508 comments)

Good point, the word "exploration" includes the sense of searching, examining, or looking for discoveries which includes any manner.

However, I was using "exploration" in the sense of the first definition: http://www.oxforddictionaries.... :
"The action of traveling in or through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it"

Some history
near earth space exploration:
1: sputnik
2: Yuri Gargarin ...
ISS

exploration of moon:
1: Luna series; Ranger series ...
2: Apollo 8

exploration of Mars:
1: Cosmos, Mars, Mariner projects, etc ...
2: year 2036, Sir Richard Branson's wheelchair gets stuck halfway up Olympus Mons, thus ending his second attempt to be the first to climb it. (joking)
However, many people believe (hope) the robotic exploration of Mars is to be eventually supplanted by human exploration.

venus, mercury, gas giants
1: well, yes, all robots. I don't believe we'll ever want to send a volunteer human there.
2: perhaps we'll send someone to the Jovian moons. I hope that someday our space exploration ability will allow that.

stars:
1: telescopes: radio, microwaves, infrared, visible, UV, X-ray, and gamma. also looking for extra-solar neutrinos
Will we ever get humans out of the solar system? Who would _not_ want that?

So, counting the number of planets explored by robots and those explored by humans, then historically robots outnumber humans.
You got me there.

As for the egregious insults, AC, why did you do that?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

clovis space exploration (508 comments)

Historically speaking, space exploration started with robotic devices who later get replaced with astronauts.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

clovis Re:Electrician (508 comments)

Also, as is true of many skilled trades such as electrician, if he decides to start his own firm, he will on the path to becoming fully independent and a multi-millionaire.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

clovis Get skills first, then decide (508 comments)

She should focus on her skills first. I suggest that being able to write and speak well will take her to the front of whatever field she decides to choose.

The best place to begin that isn't in technical fields, but rather the so-called liberal arts.
Secondly, plan on getting an advanced degree in the field she wants - at least a Masters.
She can place math courses in as electives early on in case she decides to go for something technical later, or even decides to pursue a real MBA.

This guy started with a BA in history, but he's rather an exceptional person. I just mention him to point out that nothing is written in stone by your first choice of college. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

about two weeks ago
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With New Horizons Spacecraft a Year Away, What We Know About Pluto

clovis Re:Anyone have Cliff Notes? (128 comments)

What do they expect to find on such a distant clump of rock and why is it they thought it to be a good investment to go snap a few slefies around it rather then use that money to go where things really ought to be interesting like Io and Europa?

Please return your 4-digit ID.

about two weeks ago
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Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

clovis boobs (284 comments)

so, any idea how long your brain just went off?

about three weeks ago
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NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

clovis Re:Saw the last launch of the Saturn V (146 comments)

I saw one of the early night launches(around 1990) from Savannah Georgia, but obviously only the latter part of the climb.
We walked to the south end of the island I lived on then so there was no trees obstructing the horizon.
In some ways it was cooler than the ones I saw from the space center.

about three weeks ago
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Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

clovis How much dose exactly? (299 comments)

I did some google searching, and all I can find is "He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the chemical element americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard".
When I don't see actual numbers, I get suspicious. Plus, it had the qualifier "from the chemical element americium". Some articles were otherwise copy-n-paste but left out th Americium qualifier. As we all know, there have been some boo-boos with plutonium and things like Chernobyl that resulted in immediate death.
All the articles extant seem to have been be copy and pasted from each other back in the 1970-80's, so that 500 times number would be related to the safety standards of 1976.

For one thing there are two different numbers to consider: the instantaneous dose or level of radiation, and the cumulative dose. There's a big difference between getting 10 Sieverts in an hour and getting it over 50 years.
I have to wonder if what we're talking about with Mckluskey is a cumulative dose because he had it inside him for years.

Has anyone seen an actual number in Sieverts or equivalent?

about three weeks ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

clovis Re:They solved the wrong problem (579 comments)

wrong for USA, violation of law for pedestrian to walk against light, look it up. In fact, proof of pedestrain walking against light can get aquittal for manslaughter charges by driver. We can't have pedestrians clogging big city traffic if they think they can loiter out in intersection at any time with impunity. move it or lose it!

That's true about drivers being aquitted when hitting pedestrians crossing against light. We've even seen parents charged with manslaughter if they have children with them who get hit while "jaywalking"

However, in the USA we have many crosswalks where there is no light and some even where there is no intersection. Pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way in my state for those crosswalks. This is the case in the videos linked to above.
In fact, if a car is stopped at such a crosswalk it is illegal to pass that car.

Also, if the pedestrian entered the crosswalk while they had the light, they still have ROW even if the light changes against them while crossing.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings?

clovis have you tried whiteboard paint? (143 comments)

The hospital I worked painted the walls of the conference rooms with whiteboard paint and put out baskets of dry-erase markers.
There's a drop-down screen with a projector for showing a computer screen.
There are many advantages.
You don't have to have your computer support person standing by all the time for when contractors/ sales people get in there and screw everything up.
You can have multiple people/teams in the same room working on different approaches (different walls) simultaneously while being able to see everyone else's ideas.
We snap photos of what we want to go with and then edit the work in a document later (if we want to preserve the results).
I suppose people off-site could watch through webcam/skype etc.

about three weeks ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

clovis polarized light (579 comments)

Apply anti-glare polarization to car windshields (blocks horizontally polarized light) and then use horizontal polarization on the pedestrian crosswalk timers.

step two: require habitual jaywalkers to wear clothing that reflects only horizontally polarized light.

about three weeks ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

clovis Re:OR (579 comments)

One could argue that in most cases, a pedestrian paying attention could have avoided getting ran over if they'd pulled their heads out of their phones long enough to look around them.

SFPD claims to be keeping better stats these days but I could not find them online.
However here is what I did find:
http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/...

All three victims this year entered the crosswalk only after pushing a button to activate several flashing beacons to alert drivers to stop. There are six lanes of traffic across Sunset with an island in the middle.
Thursday's crash occurred when several drivers stopped, but a Honda CRV kept going. The driver noticed the woman too late and skidded into her, clipping her with the front bumper and spinning her to the pavement.
"She said she didn't see her, " San Franicsco Police Officer Gian Tozzini told KTVU. "I don't know how she didn't see the flashers. Maybe they're just looking forward and not paying attention."

That is three victims, one fatally injured, at a single crosswalk with flashing lights in the Sunset. The description matches what I see in my little New England town where I'll slow because I see a deer stepping into the road and the car behind me thinks they need to pass me on a two lane road so as not to slow down at all - not sure how bad I'd feel other than for the deer. A pedestrian was hit in our crosswalk same way - one car stopped, person started walking, car behind did not even slow down and passed in the next lane hitting the person in the crosswalk - actually tossing them into the front window of another car that had also stopped on the other side for the pedestrian - that car was full of kids coming home from little league.

In some states passing using the oncoming lane through an intersection is against the law. Probably true everywhere, but I'm too lazy to check. In Georgia it's illegal to pass a car stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk, but how many people do you suppose knows that?

about three weeks ago
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Baton Bob Strikes Back Against Police That Coerced Facebook Post From Him

clovis Re:South, black gay... luck he's not dead (203 comments)

You've obviously never been to Atlanta where the mayor is black as well as almost the entire city government is black.
The police department is 57% black.

As for gay being a second strike, well it does turn out that Atlanta is no longer considered the gayest city in the USA.
http://thegrio.com/2012/01/11/...

about three weeks ago
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When Drones Fall From the Sky

clovis Am I missing something? (97 comments)

I read the article, and I don't see any mention of how many drones were shot down or hit by gunfire. I don't know for sure, but I bet the drones in Afghanistan get shot at a lot, and I admit that will continue to be a problem in the United States.

The article says the US military has about 10,000 drones and 400 from 2001 through 2013 means about 40 or less a year are lost. And that's while being shot at. What would be the failure rate of a Lexus if they were shot at every day while driving around?

It said about a quarter of these are lost in the USA, but it doesn't mention if these are lost in product testing or training - situations known to cause high losses.

about a month ago
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Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

clovis IKEA's name is the big deal (207 comments)

It may have more to do with IKEA's tax-avoidance corporate structure.
As near as I can tell, what you think of as the Swedish IKEA stores are owned by the non-profit corporations Ingka Holding and the Ingka Foundation.
They lease the IKEA trademarked name from a Dutch firm "Inter IKEA Systems". That's its only product: the IKEA trademarked name.
The Dutch firm is how the money is taken out, and the full corporate structure is kind of shadowy. I don't believe anyone outside the family knows how it's all put together.

My guess is that any threat to the trademarked name "IKEA" is a threat to their tax avoidance structure, so it's a big deal.

about a month ago

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