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Comments

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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

fahrbot-bot Re:News for Nerds? (298 comments)

Gays are equal to straights and should have the same rights. I find it sad that announcements like this still make headlines. It shouldn't matter nor should anyone really care (unless they are looking to hook up).

True enough. But considering just how straight white male oriented the tech industry is, it's good to point out that occasionally we have other possibilities.

"occasionally we have other possibilities" What does that mean?

Quoting from Stripes:

  • Recruiter: Now, are either of you homosexuals?
  • John Winger: [John and Russell look at each other] You mean, like, flaming, or...
  • Recruiter: Well, it's a standard question we have to ask.
  • Russell Ziskey: No, we're not homosexual, but we are *willing to learn*.
  • John Winger: Yeah, would they send us someplace special?

about an hour ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

fahrbot-bot Re:DVR patents (309 comments)

So why aren't more companies selling boxes with preloaded MythTV?

No content controls. CableCard won't sell to anyone that cannot lock-down their systems (probably due to pressure from the content providers), so they're only available to closed-source systems, like TiVO, MediaCenter, etc... systems. As a result, MythTV can only record unencrypted broadcasts (Cable or OTA) either analog or digital.

A lot of members of the general public (that is, not the hardcore geek demographic overrepresented on Slashdot) don't want to have to buy a dedicated PC and spend hours learning how to secure it and set up MythTV.

It doesn't *have* to be a dedicated PC or even one PC - the front (display) / back (record/database) ends can be split. And you can have multiple frontends using a single backend. Split front/back ends don't even have to be the same OS,

Download and install MythBuntu or simply run "apt-get mythtv" (on Debian/-based or equivalent on RedHat, etc...). The setup is menu-driven. If your system is behind a NAT firewall there's no need for extra security, but it's all just Linux (or FreeBSD). Scheduling can be obtained from Schedules Direct for $25/year and MythTV knows all about them.

Capture/tuner cards can be bought from Amazon or where ever. I have 2 Hauppauge 250 (internal) cards in my system. MythTV even supports USB and Firewire devices - and can even use your cable decoder, if it supports USB/Firewire (which, I believe HD units are required to by law - in the US anyway).

Seriously, it took me 10 minutes to setup MythTV in 2007, from a base Ubuntu install - it's even easier now.

1 hour ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

fahrbot-bot Re:No cable, no problem (309 comments)

... A DVR will grab every episode of whatever, ad infinitum.

Not all DVRs. By default, MythTV will only record new episodes if you select any one of the several "record all" settings. It uses a MySQL database to track things...

More correctly, I should have said, "not previously recorded" rather than "new" episodes - sorry.

1 hour ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

fahrbot-bot Re:No cable, no problem (309 comments)

... A DVR will grab every episode of whatever, ad infinitum.

Not all DVRs. By default, MythTV will only record new episodes if you select any one of the several "record all" settings. It uses a MySQL database to track things...

1 hour ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

fahrbot-bot Re:No surprise here (309 comments)

Other shows, like Firefly could have benefitted by being watchable even if the network wants to show other content...

The main problem when Firefly was first broadcast was that FOX insisted on showing the episodes out of order. The first episode aired was "The Train Job" (episode #2) and the series premier "Serenity" was shown 12th. Other episodes were similarly out of order (see the broadcast history section on the Wikipedia page). FOX also didn't like that they were shot in wide-screen (according to the DVD commentary). I enjoyed and understood the series much more after plunking down $50 for the DVD set and watching them all in order - then watching them all again with the commentary enabled.

1 hour ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

fahrbot-bot Re:DVR patents (309 comments)

There are no stumbling blocks that make it the sole domain of Microsoft and Tivo.

Not even TiVo's patent war chest?

MythTV works just fine for OTA and a Schedules Direct membership is $25/year for listings 14 days in advance.

1 hour ago
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Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

fahrbot-bot Re:Time for Solidarity? (270 comments)

It's time to organize the world's programmers and make it clear to business that we won't tolerate this treatment any longer. It doesn't matter if we form a union or not as long as we band together to protect our common interests as programmers.

Why I sympathize with your sentiment, as someone with ~30 years experience in this field, I can confidently say that you'd have better luck herding cats. [ We can't even agree as to whether systemd sucks, or sucks a lot. :-) ]

yesterday
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Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

fahrbot-bot Re:Was pretty obvious (270 comments)

still Mark Zuckerberg et. al. are running to Congress crying "We can't get any American workers anymore, give us more H1B's!!!"

Of course, they actually mean, "we can't get any cheap American workers anymore... OMG our profit margins!"

Cut them some slack; they're just trying to be "competitive" - which means "do the minimum required". (for when you see that in explanations as to why your raises/bonuses suck.)

yesterday
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Hackers Breach White House Network

fahrbot-bot Long over due. (96 comments)

...has been using weaponized PowerPoint files in its recent attacks.

For PowerPoint to be classified as a WMD.

yesterday
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Google Developing a Pill To Detect Cancer

fahrbot-bot Re:Ok (58 comments)

"...the company is fashioning nanoparticles—particles about one billionth of a meter in width"

Because traditionally, measurements in the ingredients of pills are in meters.

Sure, only about one billionth of a meter in width, but the pills are *really* long ...

  • Prof. Farnsworth: This is chance for Fry to test out my experimental Google Pill.
    [He pulls out a huge black pill.]
  • Fry: I can't swallow that.
  • Prof. Farnsworth: Well then good news! It's a suppository.

2 days ago
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We Are All Confident Idiots

fahrbot-bot Well, sure. (293 comments)

"What's curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge."

The truthiness of that seems pretty solid.

2 days ago
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FTC Sues AT&T For Throttling 'Unlimited' Data Plan Customers Up To 90%

fahrbot-bot Re:Meet somewhere in the middle (173 comments)

You can't advertise something as 'no peanuts' and then put peanuts in it.

Sure you can. On the front label, in BIG letters say: "No peanuts! *" and on the back label, in really small letters, say "* Note: Contains peanuts."

2 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

fahrbot-bot Re:I'm all in favor... (403 comments)

That's why I don't buy the claims of "The Death of Expertise". A heavily biased expert is not necessarily going to be more correct than a knowledgeable, relatively objective layperson though it could happen.

Assuming those go hand-in-hand, a heavily biased expert vs. a knowledgeable, relatively objective layperson. It's quite possible for either or both to be biased, or objective. The point of the article was that (motives aside) even a knowledgeable person (usually) knows less than an expert, but too many people do a couple of Google searches and think they know everything.

Many /. posts strike me like this. True I don't know the backgrounds of the posters, but imagine most have less knowledge about any discussed subject that the article author / researcher / whatever, yet we all see posts that start with "I disagree" or something similar.

For a personal example, my wife was a gifted education teacher (before she died in 2006) and once had a ninth-grade student who wanted interview Steven Hawking so she could "prove him wrong" (literally), based on what she learned in Sunday school.

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing - or so I've heard.

2 days ago
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The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

fahrbot-bot Re:Fine, if (286 comments)

Bonus, hacking into the display system ...y.

Yes. The inside of airplane walls. Finally, an appropriate display for colonoscopy videos. Especially in coach.

2 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

fahrbot-bot Re:I'm all in favor... (403 comments)

The obvious rebuttal to "The Death of Expertise" is conflict of interest combined with the opportunity to exploit that conflict of interest. It has never been so easy to buy and monetize expertise in the furtherance of propaganda as it is now.

While you have a point about "everyone has their price", I think you missed the entire point of that article, which is that there are, actually, people who know more about some stuff than other people and that many of the latter get bent out of shape about that. Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but that does not make everyone's opinion equal to every other. Some may be learned opinions and others may simply be pulled out of an ass.

2 days ago
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Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

fahrbot-bot Re:Key or keyless, all the same (202 comments)

;According to BMW their so-called "security" is so secured that there are BILLIONS of combination in their "secure key" system

Well there's the problem right there - obviously they didn't take computer security seriously or they'd realize that billions of combinations hardly gives a brute-force hacking simpleton time tor their coffee to cool

It only works if you say "BILLIONS of combinations" in Car Sagan's voice.

2 days ago
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Ex-CBS Reporter Claims Government Agency Bugged Her Computer

fahrbot-bot Re:What are you talking about Willis? (231 comments)

You forgot the sarcasm tag and there are lots of people that don't get sarcasm. Expect lots of serious replies.

Either way, it beats mentioning any specific "News" organizations and getting labeled "troll". :-)

2 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

fahrbot-bot Re:You mean the same precautionary principle that (403 comments)

I guess that's why I'm getting all those spams telling me bananas will kill me... fructose!

Watch the video, it's from an academic series on campus. The guy seems to know what he's talking about, unless you don't like actual experts. Fructose from a fibrous source (apple, banana) is better as the fiber slows the processing of the sugar, unlike, say, in a soda.

2 days ago
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Ex-CBS Reporter Claims Government Agency Bugged Her Computer

fahrbot-bot What are you talking about Willis? (231 comments)

A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light ...

There are News organizations that manipulate, encourage or suppress stories that may make a President look good or bad? When did this happen?

2 days ago
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Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

fahrbot-bot Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (972 comments)

I've actually experienced some of what he discussed. I'm currently 51 with about 30 years of experience as a Unix system administrator/programmer, and have always looked pretty young for my age - or did when I had more hair :-). As a result, it seems that whenever I start a new job, there are people wanting to "explain" things to me, or who don't believe I know anything, or could have more expertise/experience than them, etc... (Perhaps that's not uncommon in our field.)

For example, back in the late 1990s, when I was (about) 35 and started work for a contractor at NASA Langley, an older guy started explaining to me "how Unix worked" during a meeting and I had to cut him off saying, "ya, I've been doing this for a quite while and have actually taken a class on Unix internals taught by one of the guys who wrote Berkeley Unix." To the guy's credit, he gave me the benefit of the doubt as being, at least, more experienced and we ended up working pretty well together.

2 days 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 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 4 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 5 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 5 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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