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Ask David Saltzberg About Being The Big Bang Theory's Science Advisor

destinyland Re:Are we being used, right now? (226 comments)

By "this is the only question that matters," I meant "Do all geeks hate the show?" (From the parent comment.) And not my own question, "Are we being used right now..."

about a month and a half ago
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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Says Switching ISPs Is Too Hard

destinyland It's the Net Neutrality, Tom (145 comments)

I wonder if this is just a cynical attempt to appear "tough on monopolies" -- right before Tom Wheeler guts Net Neutrality forever.

Reminder: next Wednesday is a "Day of Action" to publicize the need to maintain Net Neutrality.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9...

about a month and a half ago
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Ask David Saltzberg About Being The Big Bang Theory's Science Advisor

destinyland Are we being used, right now? (226 comments)

This may be the only question that really needs to be answered. There's very strong feelings about "Big Bang Theory" -- some negative -- and for this to be a real conversation, it probably needs to be addressed in some way.

In fact, I'm curious what made Dr. Saltzberg come to Slashdot. Are the producers aware of a "geek backlash", and are they attempting to address it by sending their show's technical adviser to Slashdot? Are we secretly being monitored for a later article about how real geeks all love "Big Bang Theory" which will just cherry-pick anything vaguely positive that's said in this discussion? Maybe we need some more clarity about how this "Ask David Saltzberg" event come together...

Once we understand what's going on here, maybe then we can segue into examples of Dr. Saltzberg's input on the show -- and how its one true geek interacts with the rest of its production staff

about a month and a half ago
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Grad Student Makes Nanowires Just Three Atoms Thick

destinyland Re:A *CHINESE* !! (32 comments)

Maybe next, someone at Vanderbilt can build us the internet...

about 6 months ago
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San Diego Drops Red-Light Cameras

destinyland Or... (330 comments)

How about a light that just stays green longer if it detects more traffic in one direction than another?

about a year and a half ago
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Hacker Faces 105 Years In Prison After Blackmailing 350+ Women

destinyland Re:What a STUPID thing to do (473 comments)

"The unknown persons then demanded that [victim 1] and [her sister, victim 2, who was actually in the picture] take their tops off and show their breasts on the Skype camera or he would post the photos on their Facebook walls for all of their friends to see. The unknown person told [the sisters] they had 10 seconds to do this. The girls attempted to stall the unknown person. In retaliation for not complying within 10 seconds, the unknown person, without authorisation, logged into [a friend of both girls'] Facebook account and added the [topless] photo of [victim 2] to [the friend's] Facebook wall. The unknown person then instant messaged [the victim] on Skype and sent the link to Facebook with the compromising photo attached. The link was [sic] the photos he had just put on their Facebook walls since they did not comply to his demands." http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/30/internet-criminals

about a year and a half ago
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What "Earth-Shaking" Discovery Has Curiosity Made on Mars?

destinyland Re:"Earth"-shaking? (544 comments)

I bet it's just a pun. They found evidence of past earthquakes, so the news WILL be "earth shaking."

about 2 years ago
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Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies

destinyland Re:Zombieland... (674 comments)

Think aboout what "cuts to pensions" means. You work until you're too old to work, and then Mr. Twinkie Man tells you "We actually CAN'T pay you what we'd promised to." The money you have literally spent your whole life expecting...

By the way, last time the same union agreed to a benefits cut, Hostess then welched on their word and went back into Chapter 11 hearings anyways...

http://m.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/why-didnt-hostess-workers-believe-the-threats/2012/11/16/0638138e-302f-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html

about 2 years ago
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The First Amendment and Software Speech

destinyland It's ironic (194 comments)

I was really surprised there were almost no comments on this story...

about 2 years ago
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Nate Silver Turns His Eye To the American League

destinyland Re:miss the point (50 comments)

It's his commitment to openness that makes him special. It's WHY he writes. But it also gives him more credibility.

Kind of like Linux.

about 2 years ago
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Voter films touchscreen machine switching votes

destinyland Poll-worker responds "Everything will be OK" (3 comments)

"I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney..." the Pennsylvanian reports. All other buttons worked fine... I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said 'It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK,' and went back to what she was doing."

about 2 years ago
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Nate Silver's Numbers Indicate Probable Obama Win, World Agrees

destinyland Re:uhh (881 comments)

But Silver explained Saturday that it's only 86% (instead of 100%) because of the possibility that all the polls have been systematically incorrect. Even in the tightest states, Obama's lead is already greater than the margin of error. The only other outcome would be a game-changing scandal within the next 24 hours - and with early voting already happening,even that wouldn't necessarily change anything now either. But yes, to his credit, Silver did consider the possibility that all the polls are wrong, and then adjusted his forecast accordingly.

about 2 years ago
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Solar Panel Breaks "Third of a Sun" Efficiency Barrier

destinyland Re:I'd do it tomorrow (237 comments)

"Which do you think is easier to get through Congress?"

Bad question. The former cannot exist without the latter.

Then how'd we get a deficit of $1 trillion?

about 2 years ago
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How Hair Can be Used To Track Where You've Been

destinyland Doesn't this pre-suppose... (133 comments)

...that you're showering?

Or does the water get into your hair only after you drink actual water? (Because if so, you could really confuse the investigators by drinking nothing by bottled beverages.) Then they'd end up guessing that you came from wherever the bottling plant was located!

about 2 years ago
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Curiosity Rover Fires First Laser Beam At Martian Rock

destinyland One problem... (167 comments)

What if the martians ARE rocks?!

more than 2 years ago
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The Kindle Skews Amazon's 2011 Best-Seller List

destinyland 60%, not 40% (1 comments)

Actually, it's 60% of the best-selling ebooks which aren't even listed on Amazon's list of the best-selling printed books (and vice versa). The submission has the numbers reversed -- saying that instead of just 40% of the titles in common, the books have 60% of their titles in common...

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller for 5 Months

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 2 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Tuesday is the official release date for the newest book from the geeky cartoonist behind XKCD — yet it's already become one of Amazon's best-selling books. Thanks to a hefty pre-order discount, one blogger notes that it's appeared on Amazon's list of hardcover best-sellers since the book was first announced in March, and this weekend it remains in the top 10. Randall Munroe recently announced personal appearances beginning this week throughout the U.S. (including Cambridge, New York, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area) — as well as a Google Hangout on Friday, September 12. Just two weeks ago he was also awarded the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story — and now many of his appearances are already sold out."
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Arizona Minister Conned by a Photoshopped Fake

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 3 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "An Arizona minister mistook a photoshopped parody of a 1965 suntan lotion ad for a real ad promoting birth control — then used it as the basis for a controversial sermon about how "the birth control movement" is destroying the US. The ad featured wholesome Disney star Annette Funicello — who, ironically, was actually pregnant (and married) when she appeared in the original ad. On the one-year anniversary of her death, the minister's mistake resulted in an erroneous summation of his sermon appearing whenever you searched Google News for Annette Funicello — along with the headline "Childless women on birth control have destroyed the U.S.""
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Amazon Offers "All You Can Read" Service for Kindle eBooks

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 3 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Amazon's just announced a new "all you can read" service for Kindle ebooks. (It'll be $9.99 a month, but right now they're giving away a free 30-day trial.) It'll also be available on the iPad and iPhone (as well as Android tablets and smartphones) through the Kindle apps, and the service will also include audiobooks — plus a free three-month subscription to Audible. Although one technology site speculates Amazon made the move because too many Kindle owners were getting their ebooks from Amazon's "free" section."
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Paul Graham: Hackers Embody American-Ness

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 4 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham once argued that hackers embody "American-ness" more closely than any group, writing that "unruliness" is the essence of both hacking and the American character. Opposing a 2004 crackdown on civil liberties and copyright, he pointed out that in the end " Civil liberties make countries rich," and that hackers "see increasingly aggressive measures to protect 'intellectual property' as a threat to the intellectual freedom they need to do their job." In the online essay (later published in the O'Reilly book Hackers and Painters) Graham remembered how even Richard Feynman was breaking into safes with classified documents while working on the Manhattan Project. And he adds, "When you read what the founding fathers had to say for themselves, they sound more like hackers.""
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Cloud Computing Means Better Applications

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 4 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Cloud computing is transforming the way we communicate, argues Forbes magazine, predicting "Storage will find itself more and more removed from the device as thin clients and ubiquitous Internet access give us endless accessibility to our information from anywhere..." But they also predict that applications will become more robust, since the cloud offers much easier ways to update and distribute software. The first widely popular cloud apps were primitive public/private services like Prodigy, AOL, and Hotmail. (One telecom billing solution company even celebrated their 15th year of providing cloud-based services.) But Forbes attributes the breakout popularity of the cloud to Amazon's AWS service and Apple's iCloud."
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Arizona Minister Conned by a Photoshopped Fake

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 5 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "An Arizona minister mistook a photoshopped parody of a 1965 suntan lotion ad for a real ad promoting birth control — then used it as the basis for a controversial sermon about how "the birth control movement" is destroying the US. The ad featured wholesome Disney star Annette Funicello — who, ironically, was actually pregnant (and married) when she appeared in the original ad. On the one-year anniversary of her death, the minister's mistake resulted in an erroneous summation of his sermon appearing whenever you searched Google News for Annette Funicello — along with the headline "Childless women on birth control have destroyed the U.S.""
Link to Original Source
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Amazon Is Paying Its Employees to Quit

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 6 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Amazon's started a "Pay to Quit" program where full-time employees are offered up to $5,000 to leave the company (to ensure the remaining workforce is truly motivated). Jeff Bezos revealed the perk in a letter to shareholders, while also announcing that Amazon is welcoming tourists into its fulfillment centers in 6 different U.S. states. But one Seattle blog describes the move as "obviously an attempt to counter all the bad press that Amazon's warehouses have gotten over the past year," linking to an undercover BBC investigation and stories about Amazon's arrival in a former coal-mining town. And this week Gawker began soliciting new horror stories from Amazon employees. ("You literally must re-interview for your position...constantly. It comes up at least every three months...")"
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Amazon's Opening Its Warehouses to Tourists

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 6 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes ""See what happens after you click buy," teases a new web page at Amazon, announcing that tourists are now welcome in their fulfillment centers across the United States. In six different states, Amazon's opening their doors on the first and third Tuesday of the month (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), as part of what one technology site calls "a strong push by Amazon to win the hearts of America’s consumers". Amazon reminds visitors that they hired more than 20,000 full-time employees last year, though this article notes that they're also "conquering the supply chains" for consumer products and displacing stores in your local community — "Not just retail stores, but also grocery stores, and even pet food stores, movie theaters, and of course, bookstores.""
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How Tech Sites Celebrated April Fools Day

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 7 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Google announced an update for the Android and iPhone version of Google maps that lets you travel the world collecting Pokemon. Twitter announced a new wearable that lets you tweet just by bobbing your head. And Amazon created a web page with ridiculous products like bacon-shaped bandages — all of which are actually real. "As always, the tech world is embracing April Fools' Day 2014 in full force," writes the L.A. Times, "with countless gags from Google, Sony and many others in the space.""
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New Mozilla CEO Defends Controversial Campaign Contributions

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 7 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Brendan Eich responded to controversy over his past political contributions as a new online campaign called for him to step down as the new CEO of Mozilla Corporation. At least five different Mozilla employees called for Eich's resignation on Twitter over his $1,000 donation to California's controversial "Proposition 8" measure in 2008. (The measure banned same-sex marriages, and was later ruled unconstitutional — and Eich had also donated thousands more to political candidates who supported the measure.) "I love @mozilla but I'm disappointed," tweeted Chris McAvoy, project lead on Mozilla's Open Badges project, joining a chorus of voices posting "I'm an employee of @mozilla and I'm asking @brendaneich to step down as CEO." Eich addressed the controversy in a blog post, expressing "sorrow at having caused pain," and asking for time to prove his full commitment to inclusiveness at Mozilla."
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That BBC "100 Books" List is a Giant Hoax

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 7 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "“The BBC believes you only read 6 of these books” reads the headline on countless Facebook posts, forum comments, and web pages. But it's a hoax, conflating a 2007 list from Britain's Guardian newspaper (which had simply asked their readers to name which books "they can't live without.") The readers selected The Lord of the Rings trilogy and books from the Harry Potter series — but one reporter notes that the entertaining list is skewed heavily toward British authors. Six of the 100 books were written by Charles Dickens and four by Jane Austen — while not a single book on the list was written by Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, or William Faulkner."
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Amazon's Book "Bucket List" Includes Tolkein, Dune, 1984

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 7 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Eight science fiction classics, including Dune and The Lord of the Rings, earned a spot on a list of "100 Books to Read in a Lifetime" as chosen by the book editors at Amazon. "Over many months, the team passionately debated and defended the books we wanted on this list,” explains their editorial director, noting that the "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams was a near miss. Other books included were "A Wrinkle in Time" and "The Hunger Games", as well as at least six free public domain classic books. But one reporter notes that the list also includes both children's classics like "Where the Wild Things Are" and "House at Pooh Corner", as well as Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". ("We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold...")"
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"Death is Wrong", Argues Futuristic New Children's Book

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 7 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Hoping to inspire life-extending medical research, science fiction author Gennady Stolyarov has launched a campaign to give away 1,000 free copies of his transhumanist picture book for children, "Death is Wrong". "My greatest fear about the future is not of technology running out of control or posing existential risks to humankind," he explains online. "Rather, my greatest fear is that, in the year 2045, I will be...wondering, 'What happened to that Singularity we were promised by now...?'" Along with recent scientific discoveries, the book tells its young readers about long-lived plants and animals "that point the way toward lengthening lifespans in humans," in an attempt to avoid a future where children "would pay no more attention to technological progress and life-extension possibilities than their predecessors did.""
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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Has Already Become a Best-Seller

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 7 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Wednesday the geeky cartoonist behind XKCD announced that he'd publish a new book answering hypothetical science questions in September. And within 24 hours, his as-yet-unpublished work had become Amazon's #2 best-selling book. "Ironically, this book is titled 'What If?'," jokes one blogger, noting it resembles an XKCD comic where "In our yet-to-happen future, this book decides to travel backwards through time, stopping off in March of 2014 to inform Amazon’s best-seller list that yes, in our coming timeline this book will be widely read..." Randall Munroe new book will be collecting his favorite "What If..." questions, but will also contain his never-before published answers to some questions that he'd found "particularly neat"."
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How Amazon, Google, and O'Reilly Books Celebrate Valentines' Day

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 8 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes "O'Reilly Books is offering 50% discounts today on every one of their ebooks that has a pink cover. It's one of several fun ways the top tech sites are celebrating Valentine's Day. Amazon's offering up to $80 off on Kindle Fire tablets (plus digital gift cards that you can print out at home), and Barnes & Noble is giving away a free Valentine's Day app for Nook owners. The Google Play store just put up a free video from Walt Disney studios with a Valentine's Day theme — plus a heart-warming doodle on their front page for Valentine's Day."
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Legend of Zelda Tops Amazon's 2013 Best-Seller List

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about 10 months ago

destinyland (578448) writes ""The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia was Amazon's #6 best-selling print book for the entire year of 2013. But the demographics are changing for book buyers, with 13 of the top 20 best-selling print books not even appearing anywhere on Amazon's list of the top 100 best-selling Kindle ebooks of the year. Amazon points out that 19 of their 20 best-selling books for the year sold more Kindle versions than print versions — with one exception. "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" was the one book this year which remained more popular in its print edition."
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Apple Censors Lawrence Lessig over iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about a year ago

destinyland (578448) writes "A glitch in iOS7 has cost "a significant number" of Apple users their Wi-Fi access, according to ZDNet. But they also report that Apple is now censoring posts in their "Apple Support Communities" forums where users suggest possible responses to their loss of WiFi capabilities (including exercising their product warranty en masse). "We understand the desire to share experiences in your topic, 'Re: wifi greyed out after update to ios7,'" read one warning sent to Lawrence Lessig, "but because these posts are not allowed on our forums, we have removed it." Lessig — who co-founded Creative Commons (and was a board member of the Free Software Foundation) has been documenting the ongoing "comments slaughter" on his Twitter feed, drawing attention to what he says is the Borg-like behavior of Apple as a corporation. Lessig "is now part of an angry mob in Apple's forums who upgraded to iOS 7 and lost Wi-Fi connectivity," ZDNet notes, adding that as of this morning their reporter has been unable to obtain an official response from Apple."
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Why Iran's Hackers Are More Dangerous Than China's

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about a year ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Security experts are warning that newly-discovered computer attacks from Iran "could ultimately be more worrisome, because its hackers are targeting critical infrastructure and developing the ability to cause serious damage to the United States' power grid." A White House security advisor argues that "attacks on critical infrastructure are probably the bigger threatIran is much more unstable," and a Fortune 100 security consultant agrees that a country like Iran "is much more willing to be destructive." On the other hand, Richard Clarke, a former counterterrorism adviser for presidents Clinton and Bush, estimates that Chinese hackers have already caused U.S. losses in the billions of dollars above the normal security measures that are affecting other industries. (One telecom industry executive recently noted that hackers "are continually probing for insecure switches," and the Voice of America reports that 1.5 million people are victimized by cybercrime every day — about 18 people every second. "The Iranians appear to be more interested in destruction and damage, but it's about deterrence," Clarke argues, "deterring the U.S. from bombing them Iran would be crazy to launch a preemptive cyberstrike. And they're not crazy.""
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Amazon Patents Strange New Lightweight, Transparent Kindle

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about a year and a half ago

destinyland (578448) writes "Amazon's just filed a patent about a lightweight, transparent Kindle technology that can also be embedded in your eyeglasses or your car windshield — and which never needs to be recharged. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is listed on the patent as a co-inventor of the technology, which converts the handheld Kindle devices into simplified display mechanisms receiving data and electricity from a larger, more powerful central station. This would allow Amazon to create much lighter and cheaper devices, notes one Kindle blog, speculating that Kindles could become not just lighter than paper, but disappearing altogether into other devices, "leaving nothing behind but the words from your ebooks.""
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Privacy is Dead, argues Adrian Lamo

destinyland destinyland writes  |  about a year and a half ago

destinyland writes "In a new interview, Adrian Lamo (the grey-hat hacker who turned in PFC Manning) argues "Privacy is quite dead. That people still worship at its corpse doesn’t change that... ." He makes the case that the biggest threat to our privacy today "is our own limited understanding of how little privacy we truly have," and criticizes the use of encryption with poor personal/operations security measures, saying it creates a false sense of security which "can sometimes do more harm than good by way of creating an irrationally optimistic threat model." Lamo places a high value on personal privacy, but warns that "it's necessary to drop the blinders of believing rights are in any way enforceable — beyond our own ability to make them enforceable.""
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