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Comments

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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

hyades1 The Genius Gene (364 comments)

If genius is genetically linked with a sense of humour that could best be described as "Perverted Three Stooges", I'm Einstein's smarter offspring.

5 days ago
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The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

hyades1 I've still got one of these... (304 comments)

...but there's a keyboard I love even more. Nothing ever made, in my humble opinion, can match the old IBM Selectric typewriter keyboard. It was wide. It was flat. The keys were well separated. And the action on it was unparallelled.

I've got big hands (one of which has undergone some fairly serious repairs) and wide, spatulate fingertips. There has never been a keyboard I could get a higher speed on. I could actually go for brief stretches faster than the funny little type-ball could keep up with.

I weep bitter tears that it never translated well to computers. One of the DasKeyBoard models is close, but no cigar. And it costs an arm and a leg, of course.

5 days ago
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Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice

hyades1 Re:And in other science news... (216 comments)

We may have to think this through. Who, after the traditional wedding feast and midnight nibblies, is hungry enough to rip open the nice little box and scarf down their piece of wedding cake?

A cynic might suspect that people inclined to such behaviour might be...how can i put this gracefully..."girthful". Excessive "girthfulness", of course, introduces another factor into the social mix: the so-called "Beer Goggles Effect". I think you'll agree that under such circumstances, rational analysis becomes difficult.

about a week ago
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Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice

hyades1 And in other science news... (216 comments)

Biologists have now discovered the most powerful oxytocin suppressant on Earth.

It is known as "Wedding Cake".

about a week ago
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NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

hyades1 Re:Not a huge deal (213 comments)

Methane's effect as a greenhouse gas is roughly 25 times that of CO2.

Do the math.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Compound Found In Beer Boosts Brain Function

hyades1 Re:Thank you Captain Obvious! (119 comments)

There are those who believe that the best use for alcohol as a coolant is external. These people are idiots.

about two weeks ago
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Test Version Windows 10 Includes Keylogger

hyades1 Re:Because they says they can doesn't mean they wi (367 comments)

Yes. It's obvious Microsoft isn't making use of all that lovely data. American companies are famous for taking less than they can legally get away with. (snicker)

about two weeks ago
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Study: Compound Found In Beer Boosts Brain Function

hyades1 Thank you Captain Obvious! (119 comments)

It is said that we only make real use of about a tenth of our brain. And it has long been well known that alcohol kills brain cells.

Darwinian natural selection takes care of the rest. The weak brain cells die off, and in due time are flushed from the body. As more and more beer is consumed, more and more weak brain cells die, until the subject is left with a relatively small number of powerful, high-functioning brain cells operating in a cruft-free environment.

And thus, genius is born.

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

hyades1 No need to panic... (475 comments)

Ebola is only a real problem in Third World communities where ignorance and superstition rule, and health care is reserved only for the wealthy.

Oh...um...sorry about that. RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY SCREAMING!!!

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

hyades1 It goes without saying... (269 comments)

...monitoring will cease after Microsoft has gathered enough information to make Win 9 as user-friendly as possible.

ROFL...kicking my feet in the air and gasping for breath

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

hyades1 Re:Perhaps they should stick with facts. (460 comments)

You're aware, I hope, that in science, a "theory" isn't the same thing as an English prof's "theory" about whether Shakespeare was the greatest sonnet writer ever.

If you don't know the difference, please visit a site like this and find out:

http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

about three weeks ago
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How Did the 'Berlin Patient' Rid Himself of HIV?

hyades1 Re:To any fundamentalists who may have stumbled in (107 comments)

Is it true your god condemns the unfaithful to die moaning in ecstasy, one bite before the end of a plate of pasta in a wine/blue cheese/garlic sauce?

about three weeks ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

hyades1 Re:I have a nasty, cynical mind (165 comments)

I don't think you're looking at the problem the right way. There was never any doubt terrorists exist, and that there's nothing they'd like better than to kill us. There isn't any doubt lightning exists, either. It can strike anywhere, any time. This doesn't mean I'm going to give up the right to go outside whenever I damn please to be "safe" from the small chance that I'll wind up falling victim to a lightning strike.

Actions like those described in TFA and what they say about us as a society are, as far as I'm concerned, a cure that's worse than the disease. And "knowing where to stop", in my view, is something citizens should be discussing and deciding for themselves. Paramilitary organizations with an interest in increasing their power and control shouldn't be unilaterally making such decisions for all of us.

As a law-abiding Canadian citizen, my odds of being killed by a cop with an attitude problem are a lot higher than my odds of being killed by a terrorist. So to my mind, the "kooks" are those who willingly trade freedom for the illusion of security, and cede their right to decide how much freedom to trade in without even a debate.

about a month ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

hyades1 Re:I have a nasty, cynical mind (165 comments)

I think it's pretty hard to deny that there's at least a modicum of truth in your statement. Frankly, I think there's more than that.

I wonder when people are going to wake up...or if.

about a month ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

hyades1 I have a nasty, cynical mind (165 comments)

If I was a member of a spy/security agency who wanted more than anything to wipe away the last, feeble laws protecting the privacy and freedom of my country's sheeple, this is precisely the kind of operation I'd set up. All it would take is a few words whispered in the right ear.

The most idiotic of the Muslim fanatics would jump on the idea with glad little cries, and the usual gang of fascists would gleefully portray the descent into a police state as the ultimate expression of First World freedom and security. And the sheeple would be lining up to flush away their rights.

Mission accomplished.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

hyades1 Sorry, but... (334 comments)

Your problem is one of social engineering, not hardware or software. It's almost impossible to "idiot-proof" any kind of technology if the people using it absolutely refuse to learn. Sadly, this seems to be your problem.

Until your relatives can be persuaded that the device in their house can take their identities, their life savings and perhaps even their children, they'll just keep going merrily along, trusting other people to clean up after them.

about a month ago
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Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video)

hyades1 I foresee an ugly ending for us (35 comments)

If they teach these things to screw geeks, Slashdot is doomed! DOOMED, I tell you!

about a month ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

hyades1 Re:Ah well (545 comments)

I'd mod you up if I could.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Verizon Intends to Share Your Personal Information

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hyades1 writes "Gizmodo reports that Verizon is sending out notification letters infested with virtually-indecipherable legalese. In their sneaky, underhanded way, they're informing you that you have 45 days to opt out of their plan to share your personal data with "affiliates, agents and parent companies". That data can include, but isn't limited to, "services purchased (including specific calls you make and receive), billing info, technical info and location info."

If you view your statement on-line, you won't even get the letter. You'll have to access your account and view your messages. However, Read Write Web says the link provided there, called the "Customer Proprietary Network Information Notice", was listed as "not available."



No doubt Verizon would like to reassure you that everyone they're going to hand your personal data over to will have your best interests at heart."

Link to Original Source
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Get Out Of Sprint Free

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hyades1 writes "Gizmodo says Sprint quietly tacked 25 cents onto its administration fees. This means you can get out of a contract with them and not have to pay the Early Termination Fee. It's suggested that they'll try to weasel out of it once they realize people are onto them, so you'll apparently have to stick to your guns.



http://i.gizmodo.com/5134918/get-out-of-your-sprint-contract-etf-free-until-the-end-of-the-month"

Link to Original Source
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Location Spoofing Possible with WiFi Devices

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "Location Spoofing Possible With WiFi Devices: Positioning System Used By IPhone/iPod Breached



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414145659.htm



ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2008) — Apple iPhone and iPod (touch) support a new self-localization feature that uses known locations of wireless access points as well as the device's own ability to detect access points. Now researchers at ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have demonstrated that positions displayed by the devices using this system can be falsified, making the use of this self-localization system unsuitable in a number of security- and safety-critical applications."

Link to Original Source
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The New IT Guy Wants Vista

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "Here's the situation: A mid-size Canadian law firm running the usual law software (Amicus or something like it) hires an IT guy from their computer contractor. The guy immediately asks to install Vista as the operating system whenever it becomes necessary to replace a PC. There's zero chance the firm will upgrade all its computers at once, so the change to Vista would take at least a year, more likely two. I'm told the IT guy has no clue about the software needs of the people doing the lawyering, but wants to make the change from XP (which they're happy with) anyway.



Some employees have said they're already run ragged, and don't have the time or resources to deal with the inevitable growing pains of a new (apparently cranky) OS. One has heard me bitch about my few direct encounters with Vista and some of the things I've seen about it on SlashDot.



Among the potential problems I see:



I've heard Vista doesn't always play nicely with older hardware (the firm scans and prints thousands of letters and documents every month). If Vista decided it didn't like some of the printers or scanners, the consequences would be serious, and would put a lot of stress on the secretaries and clerks (especially if the affected hardware was all on one floor).



Vista is quick to shut you out when it thinks you shouldn't be doing something. Telling their major client, "My computer won't let me have that information. I'll have to call you back," would be a disaster.

There's more, of course, but I'm sure you get the point.



My personal view is that the IT guy sees an opportunity for unlimited job security at the expense of everybody else in the company. However, I'm not a computer person and I don't have the chops to question his decision.



Can somebody point me towards "slap it down on the boss's desk" arguments and backing documentation indicating that Vista is not the way for this firm to go? I've done some searching, but have found mostly anecdotal evidence indicating that Vista should be avoided like the plague. That won't cut it against a guy who can lapse into techno-speak. Can the firm keep XP going until Vista's replacement comes along?



Any help will be most humbly appreciated."
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He died HOW???

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 (1149581) writes "UPI reports that the deputy mayor of New Delhi plummeted to his death during a tussle with aggressive monkeys. http://www.newsdaily.com/TopNews/UPI-1-20071022-20513500-bc-india-monkeys-crn.xml Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa was attacked by monkeys while standing on the balcony of his residence Saturday and fell to the ground during the ensuing struggle, CNN-IBN reports. Bajwa was taken to hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Here, for the first time anywhere, is solid, documented proof that spanking the monkey can kill you."
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Computer Vision

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  about 7 years ago

hyades1 writes "There may be a revolution coming in the field of computer vision systems. The ability to recognize 3D reality from 2D photographs and the use of context to make reasonable assumptions about perceived objects http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017174328.htm could solve some major problems that have limited the ability of machines to perform visually-oriented tasks humans do without thinking. A major problem with robots that "see" is that they don't use common sense to quickly discard useless alternatives. Using a little-known Google Labs widget, computer scientists from UC San Diego and UCLA have brought common sense to an automated image labeling system. Basically, it's the ability to use context to help identify objects in photographs. For example, if a conventional automated object identifier has labeled a person, a tennis racket, a tennis court and a lemon in a photo, the new post-processing context check will re-label the lemon as a tennis ball. "We think our paper is the first to bring external semantic context to the problem of object recognition," said computer science professor Serge Belongie from UC San Diego.

Carnegie Mellon researchers, meanwhile, have found a way for computers to recognize real 3D objects they have previously "seen" in 2D photographs http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060614091016.htm. Using machine learning techniques, Robotics Institute researchers Alexei Efros and Martial Hebert, along with graduate student Derek Hoiem, have taught computers how to spot the visual cues that differentiate between vertical surfaces and horizontal surfaces in photographs of outdoor scenes. They've even developed a program that allows the computer to automatically generate 3-D reconstructions of scenes based on a single image. "The technique provides an approximate sense of the scene, a qualitative grasp of the structure of a scene," said Efros, assistant professor of computer science and robotics."

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