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India Successfully Test Fires Its Heaviest Rocket

dotancohen Re:$25 Million? (56 comments)

"We have absolutely no idea how accurate that figure is."

Haha, kind of like how NASA threw out that "$500 Million" per launch number for SLS. I think even the best case scenarios put the program cost at over $40 Billion just to get the first 4 or so vehicles off the ground.

And considering that they only have 25 SSMEs, the SLS won't see much more than those 4 flights anyway.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

dotancohen Re:Simplest is best (259 comments)

mkdir, find.

If you are going that route, then you should know as well:
img2txt: Show a small image in colour in a text console.
asciiview: Show the image in fullscreen b/w in a text console.

Yes, those commands work in a text console.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

dotancohen Re:Digikam (259 comments)

I came to suggest Digikam. If it the absolute best free photo manager for any platform. It supports geo-tagged photos, a slew of editing functions in a dedicated editor, automatic camera download and renaming, tagging, blah blah blah.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

dotancohen I've got one of those. (110 comments)

I've got a Dell X51V from that era. The only thing that I've though about doing with it is using it as a touchscreen for a Raspberry Pie. You could probably write an HTML frontend to cmus or some other useful application. You would then just access the Pie using the device's built-in web browser (garbage) or Opera Mini 2.x (I still have a copy). This is easiest if the device supports wifi (like my Dell) and has a cradle to hold it while it is connected to power (like my Dell).

about a week ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

dotancohen Re:Have Both (567 comments)

Same here. At first I was worried that the font subhinting would be confused due to it going from RGB left-to-right to RGB up-to-down. However, at least with Kubuntu Linux, there is absolutely no problem: subhinting works so well that I cannot tell the difference between the test on the vertical monitor from the text on the horizontal monitor.

about two weeks ago
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Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

dotancohen Re:A bird carying a grenade? (325 comments)

I had occasion to see cheap Ebay li-ion batteries "explode". There is a pop, but that pop is then followed by a small tongue of flame and smoke. This lasts a few seconds but it ruins whatever that tongue of flame was pointing at. I certainly would not want that in my pocket.

about two weeks ago
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Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

dotancohen Re: sorry, all my laptop batteries are dead (143 comments)

I'll chime in for the "actual experience" bit. I've twice seen li-ion batteries suffer catastrophic failure due to mishandling. Both times it was cheap Ebay Nokia replacement batteries that went up in smoke and a bit of flame after the phone was dropped.

about two weeks ago
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US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

dotancohen Re:Missing info (84 comments)

I have a few good reasons for visiting my bank via Tor,

Such as? I'm genuinely curious why you would need anonymity to connect to a bank, whereupon you would immediately log into an account that has your name, address, phone number, and probably even your SSN and a copy of your signature on file.

You are correct in asserting that the bank will know it's me. But nobody else needs to know that I've visited my bank. My ISP, government, and neighbours on wifi don't need to even know that I have a bank account.

about two weeks ago
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US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

dotancohen Re:Missing info (84 comments)

Exactly. The bank needs to know that I'm visiting. Nobody else does.

HTTPS ensures that I can trust that what I see came from the bank. Tor ensures that nobody other than the bank knows that I was there.

about two weeks ago
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US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

dotancohen Re:Missing info (84 comments)

I came looking for this. I have a few good reasons for visiting my bank via Tor, and the truth is that I would leave the bank if Tor were blocked.

Blocking Tor is akin to saying "many robberies were performed by blacks, so we will no longer allow blacks into the bank".

about two weeks ago
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Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

dotancohen Re:Just stars or whole solar systems? (184 comments)

I think that you are right. A system moving close to C will be as stable as a system stationary relative to the distant background. However, the interaction which causes such a system to accelerate to C would destroy most fragile structures, likely including most planetary orbits.

about three weeks ago
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Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

dotancohen Re:Just stars or whole solar systems? (184 comments)

Yes, that is a principal of relativity: all inertial frames are equivalent.

about three weeks ago
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Debian Forked Over Systemd

dotancohen Re:Okay, this is a great idea (647 comments)

You should have seen the Talk page. The page was closed as it was deemed "clearly promotional". Here is the text of the page that I managed to get up in about 10-15 commits before it was deleted:

Devuan is a fork of the Debian Linux distribution created as a response to the inclusion of systemd in Debian[1], and thus will include SysV Init as the default[2][3]. Thus Devuan will join Slackware and Gentoo as a mainstream Linux distro without Systemd[4]. More gerneally, Devuan ensures that "Debian packages won't become dependent on any single init system"[5]. Devuan is intended to "protect the freedom of its community of users and developers"[6]. Devuan is prononuced as "DevOne"[7]. The initial Devuan release is expected to be ready by the time that the next Debian release is ready, in order to provide a seamless upgrade path [8].

about three weeks ago
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Debian Forked Over Systemd

dotancohen Re:Okay, this is a great idea (647 comments)

But that website is atrocious suck. Top AND bottom panes which don't move and serve no purpose other than to obscure the window? What the hell is this shit?

In an attemt to make a real source for info about Devuan aside from that horrendous page, I've created a wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Please help me fill it out with information and sources. Thanks!

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150?

dotancohen Re:High Resolution Stills via video (116 comments)

Thank you. I've never worked with image processing before but I just might look into it. I appreciate your advice.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150?

dotancohen Re:High Resolution Stills via video (116 comments)

If you pick up something with reasonable video resolution that can do I-Frame only then you can use multiple images to do a super-resolution still. The premise is easy... Multiple images will not cover the exact same pixel positions (unless the drone is affixed to a stationary point). You can use this fact to merge multiple images into a single one with much higher resolution than any of the single images. The more images that you can overlay, the higher the resolution you can squeeze out.

The trick is to have good alignment and warping algorithms to do the overlays. I've done this for an employer in my previous life with impressive results.

I belive that there is software used for astronomy photography available which performs this function, but I've not found anything satisfactory. Is there any software that you could recommend, seeing as you seem to have written some yourself? Thanks!

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How to handle unfixed Linux accessibility bugs?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 9 months ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "It is commonly said that open source software is preferable because if you need something changed, you can change it yourself. Well, I am not an Xorg developer and I cannot maintain a separate Xorg fork. Xorg version 1.13.1 introduced a bug which breaks the "Sticky Keys" accessibility option. Thus, handicapped users who rely on the feature cannot use Xorg-based systems with the affected versions and are stuck on older software versions. Though all pre-bug Linux distros are soon scheduled for retirement, there seems to be no fix in sight. Should disabled users stick with outdated, vulnerable, and unsupported Linux distros or should we move to OS-X / Windows? The prospect of changing my OS, applications, and practices due to such an ostensibly small issue is frightening.

Note that we are not discussing "I don't like change" but rather "this unintentional change is incompatible with my physical disability". Thus this is not a case of every change breaks someone's workflow."
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German dam bursts

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about a year and a half ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "Thousands of people have been evacuated to safety in eastern Germany after a dam burst on the swollen River Elbe and farmland was flooded in an attempt to spare towns, with meteorologists forecasting more rain.

In Magdeburg, one of the oldest cities in eastern Germany and a regional capital, some 23,000 people were asked to leave on Monday as water levels in the Elbe rose to a record 7.48 metres — about 5 metres above normal and surpassing the level reached during devastating floods in 2002."

Link to Original Source
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Linux-friendly major motherboard manufacturers?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "I am tasked with building a few Linux machines for a small office. However, all the currently available motherboards seem to be Linux-hostile. For instance, in addition to the whole UEFI issue, my last install was a three-day affair due to the motherboard reporting a Linux-supported ethernet device (the common RTL8168) whilst it was actually using a GbE Ethernet device that does not work with the legacy drivers and didn't even work with a test Windows 7 install until the driver disk was installed. There are no current HCL for Debian or Ubuntu and I've written to Asus and Gigabyte but from both have received the expected reply: No official Linux support, install Windows for best experience.

Note that I did even turn to the two large local computer vendors asking if they could provide Linux-compatible machines ready to go, but neither of them would be of any help. What globally-available motherboards or motherboard manufacturers can one recommend today?"
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Maplesoft breached, database accessed

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "MapleSoft, makers of MatLAB competitor Maple, just emailed all their customers to inform them about the company's recent security breach. “We deeply regret any inconvenience or concerns that this situation may cause our contacts and customers,” was the most important part of the letter, added by CEO Jim Cooper."
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Kubuntu 12.04 To Drop Support For Firefox

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Yesterday it was brought up that KDE support has been dropped from the Firefox package, so the firefox-kde-support will be stripped from Kubuntu 12.04, which is an LTS release. This is becoming because the Ubuntu Firefox maintainer no longer wants to maintain the KDE support patch, which isn't mainline in Firefox."
Link to Original Source
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Study links sexual content on TV to teen pregnancy

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Sexual content on television is strongly associated with teen pregnancy, a new study shows. Researchers at the nonprofit organization RAND found that adolescents with a high level of exposure to television shows with sexual content are twice as likely to get pregnant or impregnate someone as those who saw fewer programs of this kind over a period of three years."
Link to Original Source
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Greenpeace penetrates French nuclear plant

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Greenpeace activists secretly entered a French nuclear site before dawn and draped a banner reading "Hey" and "Easy" on its reactor containment building, to expose the vulnerability of atomic sites in the country. Greenpeace said the break-in aimed to show that an ongoing review of safety measures, ordered by French authorities after a tsunami ravaged Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant earlier this year, was focused too narrowly on possible natural disasters, and not human factors."
Link to Original Source
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Gigabyte's solution to the ASPM bug: use Windows.

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Gigabyte's response regarding kernel power regression issues due to their BIOS bug:
"...since our products only support Windows OS... We suggest you to install Windows OS to prevent having problems. If you install the Windows OS and still have any problems, please provide the error message screenshot for us, so we can try to see how to help."
I wonder if Gigabyte will provide the unlock keys for the EFI boot loaders with a policy as clear as this?"

Link to Original Source
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AskSlashdot: Calculators with 1-2-3 numpads?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Although the telephone has the 1-2-3 key on the top row, most calculators and keyboards have 7-8-9 on the top row. Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory. Do any slashdotters use a scientific calculator with 1-2-3 on the top row? I've already scraped and resoldered my Casio fx-82 calculator to have 1-2-3 on the top, and remapped the numpad in Kubuntu, but if there exist any calculators like this already on the market I'd buy two."
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Another Paypal policy update: where to find info?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Today there was yet another policy update on Paypal. There is no diff file, and the policies are all in lawyerese. My bank had a similar policy update recently, as has my domain registrar. Is there any corpus, legal or otherwise, who regulates or at least elaborates on these? Is there a legal forum to discuss these changes? How does the little citizen keep up?"
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Mars rover Spirit is no more

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "fter nearly a year of trying to reestablish communications with the Spirit Mars rover, NASA has decided to suspend efforts. Communications channels used to contact the vehicle (redesignated from "rover" to "spot" when it got stuck in a sand trap) will be used to develop a communications base wit hthe next Mars rover: the ambitious Mars Science Laboratory."
Link to Original Source
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Fedora 16 will number user UIDs from 1000

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen writes "Sharing users between Fedora and Debian-based distros just got a little easier. Beginning with Fedora 16, the Red-Hat based distro will number it's human user UIDs starting from 1000, as opposed to the old 500. Though this change is intended to facilitate interoperability with other distros, it risks breaking backward compatibility with older Fedora releases including the newly released Fedora 15."
Link to Original Source
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The Organic Elite Surrenders To Monsanto

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's GE crops from contaminating 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.""
Link to Original Source
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Paypal alternatives?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "It seems that everything that I used to do with Paypal is gone, and nobody has found a good alternative yet. This month I tried donating to Anki (but Paypal is no longer serving Japan for donations) and Virtual Identity (which stopped accepting Paypal due to the Wikileaks incident). The authors of both software are looking for alternatives. What can we recommend to them? What reliable and inexpensive money-transfer services exist today? What do you use?"

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