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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

eclectro Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (681 comments)

Except he never intended it to be flamebait.

This is quite disingenuous. The way he phrased his 'tweet' was purposeful. I personally don't care about what Tyson says or what other people think about what he says. I doubt that I am in the minority either. Even if thousands responded to him negatively (and was he that dumb that he thought that no one would? Really??) the reaction would still amount to a small minority of twitter users, which according to the company's last year numbers they had 232 million users.

Yes, it was flamebait.

The problem is the religious right is embracing a culture of victimhood to compete with the left

The bigger problem is people who are responsible for representing a scientific message not being culturally sensitive to have enough tact, even if they disagree with that culture. For example the importance of teaching people the science of climate change should lead to a degree of restraint in other not very related public arenas such as holidays.

about a month ago
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Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

eclectro Re:$32 million of greed. (170 comments)

Sounds like the guy worked hard and had his shit together financially.

Or taking advantage of a forced captive audience by charging crushing $250+ USD prices for a math textbook. Hard to swallow when Dover can manage to charge $20 for a text.

about a month ago
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Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

eclectro Re:Herp a derp fast computers DEEERRRPPP (197 comments)

My guess is that they have a truckload in storage already made. It would not make sense for them to not make them available for sale in exotic applications. It's a proven design being (that can use a minimum of other expensive rad hardened parts) used in other proven designs so they can pull them off the shelf and have something ready to fly quickly. As parent poster noted, for many applications 64 bits can be overkill. They could also being used for repair for things like military aircraft that used them in their manufacture in that era and are still flying.

about 2 months ago
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GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

eclectro Re:IANL (268 comments)

The end user would see it as part of an operating system - which it does become. All I'm seeing here on Slashdot is what must be a bunch of Groupon employees trolling Slashdot trying to defend their company. But they will lose this trademark case.

about 3 months ago
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GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

eclectro Re:IANL (268 comments)

The GNOME desktop guys need to stop acting like they own the word "gnome".

Said the poster quoting executives inside Groupon!

As far as operating systems are concerned, they do in fact "own" the word "gnome." That is by definition of what a trademark is.

The gnome foundation does have a right to be concerned. With an point of sale system that offers a "gnome" operating environment, end users could easily confuse the two. And it seriously could affect the Gnome Foundation's ability to conduct any business in the future as their mark would be seriously diluted.

What is also disturbing is the hubris behind this. Clearly Groupon thought that they could steamroll over the Gnome Foundation!

I am not a user of gnome, and I know that developers and users have had disagreements with Gnome in the past, but that doesn't mean that users of open source software shouldn't stand behind the Gnome Foundation on this issue. As they have made significant contributions to GPL code and promoting open source software. This really is a no-brainer.

about 3 months ago
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Researchers Simulate Monster EF5 Tornado

eclectro Some questions for submitter (61 comments)

What computing system was used to render the video, and is there a paper available which describes some of the math behind the simulation?

about 3 months ago
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Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

eclectro Re:Time for Solidarity? (284 comments)

You'll notice that the US spends more than practically any country, and gets among the worst results.

You need to include those on the hardware end as well. Otherwise companies would just end up shafting a different type of tech worker. So not just programmers but tech workers in general.

about 3 months ago
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Tech Giants Donate $750 Million In Goods and Services To Underprivileged Schools

eclectro Re:somebody lied to you. We spend the most, do it (143 comments)

Title of my upcoming book "Why Johnny can't use a Surface tablet" in bookstores everywhere.

You'll notice that the US spends more than practically any country, and gets among the worst results.

about 3 months ago
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A Low Cost, Open Source Geiger Counter (Video)

eclectro Re:geiger counters vs. survey meters (46 comments)

your normal SOC and microprocessors will go apeshit in a rad environment

And why you would lead shield the SOC heavily.

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

eclectro Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (572 comments)

So the better question is how can we improve the system to ensure that counterfeit chips aren't being secretly swapped into our products.

And here we have the question FTDI needed to ask before nuking people's equipment to deal with a crime that already took place.

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

eclectro Stupid is as stupid does (572 comments)

Any BOM that passes through my hands will get FTDI crossed off. I'm sorry they have a counterfeit problem. They need to improve anti counterfeiting measures instead of inflicting collateral damage. Their abrupt decision is smelly no matter how you look at it.

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

eclectro Re:What irks me the most (700 comments)

This is exactly what I was looking at. Are the USB chips covered by FTDI patents? What process are they assigned a PID?

In other words, why not just give it your own Chinese trademark and move on?

about 3 months ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

eclectro Re:On the other hand... (700 comments)

You get what you pay for. Unless good counterfeits are a high percentage of the market you will know the price. You KNOW the real price. Those discounts are "too good to be true".

Except that the end consumer has zero knowledge about these counterfeit chips inside whatever they bought. And my guess is a most slashdotters do not either, until it stops working because of FTDI.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

eclectro Re:More specific (155 comments)

Could you be a little more specific about the kind of software this is about?
That might reveal why people shy away from the project.

Tangentially, you manage to bring up a very good point. One huge problem is the software projects might be using. A number of companies open sourced their software before the notion of a 'standardized' license method became prevalent. If a project is not Mozilla, GPL, or BSD compatible then it will have a very hard time attracting new developers. I know would not want to work on something that did not have a useful open source license. I would encourage the submitter to make sure whatever he is working on have a standard, permissive as possible license (if possible) before he closes shop.

I know one interesting project (from a historical perspective) that suffers from this is the Open Watcom compiler with its non-compatible Sybase Public License. This project fits the submitter's description to a tee. I bet there are others like this. At least POV-Ray got around to fixing their license finally.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

eclectro A discussion for the ages - literally (155 comments)

This was asked back on Slashdot 14 years ago in 2000. As you can see, most of the websites mentioned that archived "ummaintained" software have since evaporated and are unmaintained themselves!

Then it was talked about briefly on stackoverflow in 2009.

Submitter, what I suggest you do is include a text file that describes the history of the project (If it was me - I think it would be nice to thank those by name who made significant contributions), known issues, ideas for direction of the project (if any), and then post it to Github and Sourceforge as an 'ummaintained' software. With as permissive as a license as you can give it, which will encourage it's use down the road. Also, I would post links, notices, and intentions to any associated forums. And give the community as much time to as possible before closing the website down. Maybe someone or some company will have the where with all to continue the project. If it is reasonable to do so and they seem to be reputable and serious, you might let them. Otherwise, when finished, make sure that archive.org has browsed the website for their archives. Also, post a copy the final software there. If it has a domain name, if you can, I'd give it a ten year renewal date and give it a notice of closure and a link to the project on Github.

But the larger issue for me, is that you, your colleagues, and friends spent time and effort on this project. That should be recognized. At least by acknowledging that support is ceasing for this project, it can hopefully move on to other hands in the future. It does happen.

I wish more more programmers were as thoughtful as you. And I wish there were better ways (i.e. more permanent and standardized) of dealing with orphanware.

about 3 months ago
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Air Force To Take Over Two Ex-Shuttle Hangers In Florida For Its X-37B Program

eclectro Probably good (48 comments)

With congress in reckless cut everything sequestration mode, this will help NASA hold onto the infrastructure and programs that they already have. Even though it involves mixing NASA with the military once again.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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The Earth barely missed solar storm equal to the Carrington event

eclectro eclectro writes  |  about 6 months ago

eclectro (227083) writes "NASA is reporting that in July 2012 that a huge solar storm crossed the path that the Earth takes, with Earth missing it by a week. If the storm had occurred a week earlier it would have at least equaled the 1859 Carrington event. It would have sent civilization back to the 18th century costing the world economy 2 Trillion dollars. A scientist has calculated that the odds of this happening in the next ten years is 12%."

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