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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

fahrbot-bot Re:Why is no one else calling BS? (173 comments)

Ya, but you'd already be 50km above the surface. How would that affect the launch budget?

about an hour ago
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Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

fahrbot-bot Re: These idiots remain idiotic (308 comments)

... get their movies online for a reasonable price ...

Because whoever has the most nickels and dimes at the end "wins". That's objectively stupid, of course, but that's the core of corporate, MPAA, RIAA, and Wall Street thinking.

4 hours ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

fahrbot-bot In related news ... (149 comments)

The Maryland State Police arrested the Army for filming them - no film at 11.

(I'd list some reference articles (including ones on /.) about how Maryland Police keeps arresting people for filming them, even though it's not unlawful, but, you know - Google)

5 hours ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

fahrbot-bot Re:Long waits? (151 comments)

I always thought CC's were evil.

Debit cards are basically "checks" that clear immediately, (with some, supposed, safeguards), and so are good for people who have trouble managing their money and/or living within their means as the funds are withdrawn directly from their bank account. The downside is that the funds are withdrawn immediately directly from your bank account. If the funds are spent fraudulently, then you have to ask (beg) the bank for your money back and deal with any hassles about short funds, should your account be that close to the edge.

All these problems can be avoided by using a no-fee credit card and paying it off in full each month. (a) you get a one-month float on your funds, (b) your bank account is not directly attached to the card, (c) fraudulent purchases cab be disputed w/o have to first pay for them (assuming you don't use auto-pay) and (d) it helps your credit rating.

In short, if you have a no-fee CC and are responsible, there's no rational reason to ever have/use a Debit card. Especially as CC / Debit cards are both accepted in all the same places - CC might actually be accepted in more places.

5 hours ago
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Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

fahrbot-bot Re:Wow, the language! (181 comments)

Wow, what's with all the hatred? I don't see anything offensive in the above, just an incomplete perception. Maybe simply explaining the matter would've been enough.

Perhaps the AC can simply try being circumcised and if he doesn't like it - oh wait ...

yesterday
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

fahrbot-bot Re:Long waits? (151 comments)

It can be disastrous! The ACH delay screwed me on more occasions than I can count, and banks use it to maximize the fees they can hit you with.

Can you not think of an instance where a two day delay would be too long? Because it has cost me hundreds in ridiculous fees over the years.

Sorry about your misfortune with bank fees. I'm 51 and I've never had an issue as I always keep more than enough funds in my account. I may help that I have never used a Debit card (they're evil) and rarely write checks, paying for most things with a CC and paying that off in full every month. Most household bills are manually paid electronically each month - no auto pay.

yesterday
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

fahrbot-bot Re:Zoning laws are tyranny (587 comments)

Zoning laws prevent you from doing what you want with your property... They are evil ...

Yes, because every individual's property is an island unto itself and totally disconnected from the properties and community around it. People should be able to do anything they want on/with their own property because, you know, fuck everyone else. /sarcasm

2 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

fahrbot-bot Long waits? (151 comments)

Requests for ACH transfers are collected by banks and submitted in batches, once a day, and the banks receiving the transfers also process the payments once a day, leading to long waits.

In the US, the law says most funds must be available within, I believe, 2 business days. How is this a "long wait"? I know that in this day of zero-length attention spans, where people cannot go ten minutes (on a date) at Starbucks w/o checking their smartphones, that might *seem* long, but seriously it's not.

2 days ago
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How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

fahrbot-bot Re: /.ed? (157 comments)

Almost certainly not from Slashdot. From their stats, most of their visitors are in France.

Probably French cabbies blocking the interweb tubes...

2 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

fahrbot-bot Glass half full or ... (295 comments)

Allowing UberPOP means leaving 57,000 French taxis high and dry, and thus 57,000 families.

... 57,000 potential experienced UberPOP drivers. Sure they might have to give up some pay or benefits, but < insert French WWII surrender joke here >

3 days ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

fahrbot-bot Re:Why does this need a sequel? (294 comments)

If it isn't based on the "Blade Runner 2" novel, I'll give it a shot.

It's got to be better than Shakespeare's sequel to "Hamlet".

3 days ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

fahrbot-bot Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

And the rich get richer and the poor get poorer -- America where the Walton family (majority shareholders in Walmart) has wealth equal to the wealth of the bottom 42% of Americans combined.

3 days ago
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Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts

fahrbot-bot Re:Or You Could Just Not Drink To The Point of Int (134 comments)

When someone starts a sentence with "I don't mean to be...", there's at least a 99% chance that they mean to be.

The same can probably be said of "With all due respect..."

5 days ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

fahrbot-bot Re:Just wondering... (416 comments)

I think you should definitely get a live pet now.

I'm thinking about getting a girlfriend. Sue made me promise to find someone else and be happy with her. Nine years out, still haven't gotten started on that... (My last "first" date was in 1985 w/Sue.) It's the last promise to her I have left to keep.

5 days ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

fahrbot-bot Re:Just wondering... (416 comments)

That's the second day in a row someone uses a hilarious animal simile that gives me weird but hilarious mental images.

A friend of mine the other day used "as calm and relaxed as a rabbit on crack after a chili enema"

Well... I actually have about 25 stuffed animals. My wife couldn't have children (and was a teacher, so got her kid fix at school) and had allergies so we couldn't have pets, so we had stuffed animals. She died in Jan 2006 (after 20 years together) and now all I have left of us is memories, photos and our stuffed animals. Remember Sue...

P.S. Our rhinoceros' name is "Oserous" and his best friend is our buffalo named "Buffy" ...

about a week ago
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In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

fahrbot-bot Yes, freely hand it over... (207 comments)

Simply hand the law enforcement officer your mobile phone.

... and let him search through it.

about a week ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

fahrbot-bot Re:Just wondering... (416 comments)

which often makes about as much sense as arguments between a 3-year old and their stuffed animals during a tea party.

I'm 51 and find that my stuffed animals can often be quite cogent. Sometimes a parent must simply resort to "because I said so". Also, it helps to stick with decaf tea - especially for the carnivores and animals that spook easily. A hopped-up, jittery, stampeding rhinoceros ruins everyone's day. Then you may have to dart him, etc...

about a week ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

fahrbot-bot Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

When I introduced it to my then girlfriend, she eventually ascended three times. I only ever managed two.

Okay; we get it. Stop bragging about your penis.

about a week ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

fahrbot-bot Re:programming (414 comments)

AI will do what it is programming to do and follow the rules we lay out for it to follow.

I was a research assistant in college back in the 1980s working on a project investigating abstract data types, fault-tolerant programming and automatic programming techniques in LISP and Prolog (NASA funded grant) and routinely wrote code that could extend and/or re-write itself, sometimes with unexpected, yet functional, results.

about a week ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

fahrbot-bot Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

Rogue, Moria and the likes. I personally played Rogue and Moria.

Don't forget the original Hack on which Nethack is based - (basically) the same game, but on ASCII terminals (yes, I'm that old).

I played both Rogue and Hack on the VAX-785 running BSD back in college. Rogue was more forgiving, like if you ran out of food (faint, continue, repeat...), where Hack was hell-bent on killing you for the slightest mistake. You were boned if you died in Hack, restarted and ran into your former dog - who hadn't been fed in a while. Lesson: Teach your pet to hunt non-humans or be prepared to end him.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Sound Waves as Effective as Brain Surgery at Treating Essential Tremor

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  about a year and a half ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "Scalpel-free surgery using focused sound waves appears to be as effective in treating essential tremor as traditional surgery that requires drilling into the skull, a groundbreaking clinical trial at the University of Virginia Health System has found.

All 15 participants in U.Va.'s trial saw a substantial reduction in their involuntary shaking after undergoing the experimental focused ultrasound procedure. The rate of side effects was similar to that of traditional brain surgery. The patients were able to leave the hospital the next day."

Link to Original Source
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Saudi Royal Backs Imam and Fox News

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "In an awkward moment on Fox News this week, a pundit suggested that a member of the Saudi royal family who has supported the bridge-building work of the imam behind a planned Muslim community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan “funds radical madrasas all over the world.” The awkwardness came from the fact — unmentioned by anyone on the Fox set — that the same Saudi, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, also happens to be the second-largest shareholder in News Corp., the parent company of the Fox News Channel."
Link to Original Source
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Computer Engineer Barbie coming soon...

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "The Register is reporting, well, the title says it all... From the article and Mattel website:

To ensure the doll accurately reflects this occupation, Barbie® designers worked with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to ensure that accessories, clothing and packaging were realistic and representative of a real computer engineer. Looking geek chic, Computer Engineer Barbie® wears a t-shirt featuring binary code and computer/keyboard icon along with a pair of black knit skinny pants. Computer Engineer carries a Barbie® smart phone, fashionable laptop case, flat watch and Bluetooth earpiece. With stylish pink-frame glasses and a shiny laptop, she is ready to conquer the day’s tasks on the go or from her desk."

Link to Original Source
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Couple stranded 3 days after GPS leads them astray

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "A couple's SUV gets stranded in deep snow for three days on a remote Forest Service Road after they blindly followed the directions from their GPS-enabled cell — don't worry, they got rescued using the very same phone. Now, I don't have any GPS devices — I use printed maps (ask your parents) — and am curious about the circumstances. Have or would you blindly follow your GPS unit — anywhere?"
Link to Original Source
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Jet-fighter raygun soon, sharks next.

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "The Register reports: HELL-beam project now one step from jet-fighter raygun, DARPA fridge laser. Advantage: Shark. From TFA: The US military will shortly issue a brace of contracts for "refrigerator sized" laser blaster cannons. One of the deals will see a full-power ground prototype built which will be the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter.

If it scales down far enough, this would seem to put handheld HELL-guns within an order of magnitude of the striking power offered by conventional small-arms. A 9mm pistol bullet has about 750 joules muzzle energy: a 5kg portable HELL-ray weapon would put out this much energy in a blast less than a second long.

A dolphin can carry a human being weighing up to 100kg along for a ride. A thoroughbred shark in good training can surely match this. Thus, we seem to be looking at practicable head-lazor output in the 20-kilowatt range..."

Link to Original Source
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Vatican Endorses Darwin, but not ID

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "The Times Online (and others) are reporting that:

The Vatican has admitted that Charles Darwin was on the right track when he claimed that Man descended from apes.

A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin's theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. "In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God," said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a "higher power" for the complexities of life."

Link to Original Source
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Palin: Africa is a continent?

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "The Guardian, and others, are reporting the following Newsweek story: Palin Didn't Know Africa Is A Continent

Fox News, a channel that had been generally flattering in its coverage of the "Palin phenomenon", reported that aides were astonished when they learned she was unaware that Africa was not a country but a whole continent. She was also said to be unable to name the countries that belong to the North American Free Trade Agreement: the US, Mexico and Canada. ...

The most colourful new information concerned Palin's spending spree on the campaign trail. Newsweek reported that she ended up spending far more than the $150,000 (£93,000) that was already known about, with up to $40,000 being lavished on her husband, Todd.

A wealthy donor who had offered to pay was shocked, Newsweek said, when he got the bill from the high-end retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. One McCain aide characterised the episode to the magazine as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast".

Google +Palin +Africa +"Fox News" for many, many links..."
Link to Original Source

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Court: US can block mad cow testing

fahrbot-bot fahrbot-bot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fahrbot-bot (874524) writes "Apparently the USDA is keen on protecting the profit margins of the Beef Industry.

The Bush administration can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said Friday. ... Larger meat packers opposed such testing. If Creekstone Farms Premium Beef began advertising that its cows have all been tested, other companies fear they too will have to conduct the expensive tests.

(A slightly longer article can be found on Reuters: Court bars meatpacker tests for mad cow.)

While extra testing may be unnecessary, if Creekstone believes they can perform these extra tests, assume the increased liability for any testing failures and succeed in the market place, then why should the Government interfere? I thought the "Free Market" was suppose to sort these things out. In addition, perhaps the market pressures of increased testing will drive the development of less expensive and more reliable testing, and 100% testing may provide assurances to foreign markets wishing to import U.S. beef. Then again, perhaps the Government doesn't actually want to test more than the current 1% of all cows..."

Link to Original Source

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