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When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience

craw Chamberlin and Kelvin (214 comments)

TC Chamberlin who oppose the concept of continental drift, previously opposed another hypothesis. This would be the age of earth put forth by Lord Kelvin who based his estimate on the time it would take a molten earth to cool down. Chamberlin, in opposition, wrote the following.

The fascinating impressiveness of rigorous mathematical analysis, with its atmosphere of precision and elegance, should not blind us to the defects of the premises that condition the whole process.

Kelvin's defect of the premises was that he did not include heat due to radioactive decay. And in a bit of irony, it is this heat that causes convection within the earth, which causes seafloor spreading/plate tectonics. So Chamberlin got one thing right, and one thing wrong.

more than 2 years ago
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Yahoo CEO Wrongly Claimed To Have Degree In Computer Science

craw Cringely (363 comments)

This brings back memories of the controversy with regard to Cringely (pen name) having a Ph.D. from Stanford. Some of us old-timers might remember that this is a topic of great discussion here.

more than 2 years ago
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Steve Jobs Dead At 56

craw Thanks Steve (1613 comments)

Steve Jobs was an technology icon who raised the bar for what a person should expect from their computer, phone, music player, etc... This is not just in regard to the inside the case technology, but also the user interface, and the industrial design.

I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.

And to the various trolls posting here, there will be a later time to vent. Now is a time to speak kindly, or do not speak at all.

more than 2 years ago
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What Is the Most Influential Programming Book?

craw Re:My two cents.. (624 comments)

Kiddie!:-) Numerical Recipes should be in FORTRAN, the language of scientists and engineers!

more than 2 years ago
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So Long, CmdrTaco, and Thanks For All The Posts

craw An oldie but goodie (238 comments)

This was posted (not by me) a while back. If you remember the inside jokes, you're an old-timer

------- ...and this won't be considered offtopic...

The History of the Slashdot World
From a mailing list written by Seth

2.5 million B.C.: OOG the Open Source Caveman develops the axe and releases it under the GPL. The axe quickly gains popularity as a means of crushing moderators' heads.

100,000 B.C.: Man domesticates the AIBO.

10,000 B.C.: Civilization begins when early farmers first learn to cultivate hot grits.

3000 B.C.: Sumerians develop a primitive cuneiform perl script.

2920 B.C.: A legendary flood sweeps Slashdot, filling up a Borland / Inprise story with hundreds of offtopic posts.

1750 B.C.: Hammurabi, a Mesopotamian king, codifies the first EULA.

490 B.C.: Greek city-states unite to defeat the Persians. ESR triumphantly proclaims that the Greeks "get it".

399 B.C.: Socrates is convicted of impiety. Despite the efforts of freesocrates.com, he is forced to kill himself by drinking hemlock.

336 B.C.: Fat-Time Charlie becomes King of Macedonia and conquers Persia.

4 B.C.: Following the Star (as in hot young actress) of Bethelem, wise men travel from far away to troll for baby Jesus.

A.D. 476: The Roman Empire BSODs.

A.D. 610: The Glorious MEEPT!! founds Islam after receiving a revelation from God. Following his disappearance from Slashdot in 632, a succession dispute results in the emergence of two troll factions: the Pythonni and the Perliites.

A.D. 800: Charlemagne conquers nearly all of Germany, only to be acquired by andover.net.

A.D. 874: Linus the Red discovers Iceland.

A.D. 1000: The epic of the Beowulf Cluster is written down. It is the first English epic poem.

A.D. 1095: Pope Bruce II calls for a crusade against the Turks when it is revealed they are violating
the GPL. Later investigation reveals that Pope Bruce II had not yet contacted the Turks before calling for the crusade.

A.D. 1215: Bowing to pressure to open-source the British government, King John signs the Magna Carta, limiting the British monarchy's power. ESR triumphantly proclaims that the British monarchy "gets it".

A.D. 1348: The ILOVEYOU virus kills over half the population of Europe. (The other half was not using Outlook.)

A.D. 1420: Johann Gutenberg invents the printing press. He is immediately sued by monks claiming that the technology will promote the copying of hand-transcribed books, thus violating the church's intellectual property.

A.D. 1429: Natalie Portman of Arc gathers an army of Slashdot trolls to do battle with the moderators. She is eventually tried as a heretic and stoned (as in petrified).

A.D. 1478: The Catholic Church partners with doubleclick.net to launch the Spanish Inquisition.

A.D. 1492: Christopher Columbus arrives in what he believes to be "India", but which RMS informs him is actually "GNU/India".

A.D. 1508-12: Michaelengelo attempts to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling with ASCII art, only to have his plan thwarted by the "Lameness Filter."

A.D. 1517: Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the church door and is promptly moderated down to (-1, Flamebait).

A.D. 1553: "Bloody" Mary ascends the throne of England and begins an infamous crusade against Protestants. ESR eats his words.

A.D. 1588: The "IF I EVER MEET YOU, I WILL KICK YOUR ASS" guy meets the Spanish Armada.

A.D. 1603: Tokugawa Ieyasu unites the feuding pancake-eating ninjas of Japan.

A.D. 1611: Mattel adds Galileo Galilei to its CyberPatrol block list for proposing that the Earth revolves around the sun.

A.D. 1688: In the so-called "Glorious Revolution", King James II is bloodlessly forced out of power and flees to France. ESR again triumphantly proclaims that the British monarchy "gets it".

A.D. 1692: Anti-GIF hysteria in the New World comes to a head in the infamous "Salem GIF Trials", in which 20 alleged GIFs are burned at the stake. Later investigation reveals that many of the supposed GIFs were actually PNGs.

A.D. 1769: James Watt patents the one-click steam engine.

A.D. 1776: Trolls, angered by CmdrTaco's passage of the Moderation Act, rebel. After a several-year flame war, the trolls succeed in seceding from Slashdot and forming the United Coalition of Trolls.

A.D. 1789: The French Revolution begins with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the Bastille.

A.D. 1799: Attempts at discovering Egyptian hieroglyphs receive a major boost when Napoleon's troops discover the Rosetta stone. Sadly, the stone is quickly outlawed under the DMCA as an illegal means of circumventing encryption.

A.D. 1844: Samuel Morse invents Morse code. Cryptography export restrictions prevent the telegraph's use outside the U.S. and Canada.

A.D. 1853: United States Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrives in Japan and forces the xenophobic nation to open its doors to foreign trade. ESR triumphantly proclaims that Japan finally "gets it".

A.D. 1865: President Lincoln is 'bitchslapped.' The nation mourns.

A.D. 1901: Italian inventor Guglielmo Marcoli first demonstrates the radio. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich immediately delivers to Marcoli a list of 335,435 suspected radio users.

A.D. 1911: Facing a break-up by the United States Supreme Court, Standard Oil Co. defends its "freedom to innovate" and proposes numerous rejected settlements. Slashbots mock the company as "Standa~1" and depict John D. Rockefeller as a member of the Borg.

A.D. 1929: V.A. Linux's stock drops over 200 dollars on "Black Tuesday", October 29th.

A.D. 1945: In the secret Manhattan Project, scientists working in Los Alamos, New Mexico, construct a nuclear bomb from Star Wars Legos.

A.D. 1948: Slashdot runs the infamous headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." Shamefaced, the site quickly retracts the story when numerous readers point out that it is not news for nerds, stuff that matters.

A.D. 1965: Jon Katz delivers his famous "I Have A Post-Hellmouth Dream" speech, which stated: "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the geeks of former slaves and the geeks of former slave geeks will be able to sit down together at the table of geeks... I have a dream that my geek little geeks will one geek live in a nation where they will not be geeked by the geek of their geek but by the geek of their geek."

A.D. 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon. His immortal words: "FIRST MOONWALK!!!"

A.D. 1970: Ohio National Guardsmen shoot four students at Kent State University for "Internet theft".

A.D. 1989: The United States invades Panama to capture renowned "hacker" Manual Noriega, who is suspected of writing the DeCSS utility.

A.D. 1990: West Germany and East Germany reunite after 45 years of separation. ESR triumphantly proclaims that Germany "gets it".

A.D. 1994: As years of apartheid rule finally end, Nelson Mandela is elected president of South Africa. ESR is sick, and sadly misses his chance to triumphantly proclaim that South Africa "gets it".

A.D. 1997: Slashdot reports that Scottish scientists have succeeded in cloning a female sheep named Dolly. Numerous readers complain that if they had wanted information on the latest sheep releases, they would have just gone to freshsheep.net

A.D. 1999: Miramax announces Don Knotts to play hacker Emmanuel Goldstein in upcoming movie "Takedown"

more than 2 years ago
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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

craw Good luck (1521 comments)

All I can really say at this time is

MEEPT!!!

more than 2 years ago
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How Investigators Deciphered Stuxnet

craw Re:Flaw (131 comments)

Read the arstechnica article, then reread it again

about 3 years ago
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Anonymous Releases 90,000 Military E-Mail Accounts

craw Re:"Pearl Harbor" (319 comments)

BAH is not a third rate defense contractor. They provide software to three letter USA government agencies. If a contractor to three letter agencies is compromised, then this might affect the agencies especially if some future exploitable weakness has been discovered (and not later fixe). Or information about how the agencies is implementing security or other operational things.

Digital Pearl Harbor means many things, IMHO, but one is being surprised by an attack that you have not fully anticipated.

about 3 years ago
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Just Where Is The Lincoln Memorial, Anyhow?

craw Re:If you cant tell the difference.... (650 comments)

Oh, the Lincoln Memorial? It's on J St.

To many people, your comment will go whoooosh!

But it I love it!

more than 3 years ago
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US Ability To Identify Source of Nuclear Weapons Decays

craw Well duh! (139 comments)

Half-life decay!

more than 3 years ago
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DefCon Contest Rattles FBI's Nerves

craw Re:I feel sorry (136 comments)

I also feel sorry for the poor fish in the barrel. What would be interesting to monitor is how far up the management chain the sh*t flies.

In a more perfect world, those that succumb to social engineering would then have their bosses/supervisors subjected to the same social engineering, and if they fail, their bosses/supervisors would then be subjected to social engineering....

more than 3 years ago
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Earth's Constant Hum Explained

craw Re:But wait! (336 comments)

The fundamental mode (0S2) for the Earth's resonance is about 54 minutes long. Higher mode free-oscillations have shorter periods. The key thing is that this mode, which can be excited by very large earthquakes (more energy released than a meteor impact), damps out after a few hours to a few days. Also note that the shorter the period of the oscillation, the faster the attenuation rate.

more than 7 years ago

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