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Monochromatic Light As a Species-selective Insecticide

hyades1 Some work may still be needed (44 comments)

Apparently several Winnipeg mosquitoes were observed slathering themselves with DEET and lying under the 417 nm to get a little colour on their underbellies.

A researcher who attempted to turn the light off was beaten badly, and is now reporting that several Goliath beetles used in another experiment now appear to be pregnant. Also the cat.

about two weeks ago
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The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

hyades1 Ah, Karma (528 comments)

Remember back a few years ago, when Sony decided the best way to combat piracy was to install a rootkit on the machines of anybody who played one of their CD's?

I hope I can be forgiven for reminding them of a couple of good old adages. Adages like, "What goes around comes around", "Karma's a bitch", and "Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander".

And I hope they'll forgive me for my complete lack of sympathy.

about two weeks ago
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UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

hyades1 Re:Bad Drunk! Naughty Drunk!!! (256 comments)

It's not that simple, especially in the UK. Even in Canada, the truth isn't an absolute defense against libel.

about three weeks ago
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UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

hyades1 Bad Drunk! Naughty Drunk!!! (256 comments)

I can't wait 'til the first time one of the people who's been shamed after being charged is found innocent in court. Unlike the US, England's courts take a very dim view of smearing someone's reputation unjustly.

I suspect a couple of nice, fat payouts in the wake of libel convictions will put a stop to this nonsense.

about three weeks ago
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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

hyades1 Re:I like both (438 comments)

Thanks for the information. I guess I wasn't too clear on one thing, though: I do back up, but my work is such that if the last backup was an hour before, I lose an hour of work I won't get back, or even more.

And I'm one of those people who actually do require a lot of storage space...and have no desire to have it beyond my care and control. I do professional photography and video. Often, I have five or six versions of a photo on the go at once. I'll want to keep all of them, and any modifications I make...not so much colour correction as actual content...will probably proceed a lot further on two or three versions. I'm not an idiot about keeping my data drive defragged, and nothing goes on my boot drive (which is a 300G SCSI...you'd probably be surprised at how fast it is) except the OS, installed programs and stuff I'm actually working on. I have as little going on in the background as I can get away with. That means my security is cloud-based plus passive.

And I have to say, I've had lots better luck with hard drives than you. My machines are on 24-7, and I don't let my data drives sleep. I've never had one last less than 3 years. Most last easily twice that.

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

hyades1 Best drone for cheap? (116 comments)

Any Congressman or televangelist.

about three weeks ago
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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

hyades1 I like both (438 comments)

I'm not the most tech savvy guy in the world, so I'm certainly willing to be corrected, but my major problem with SSD's is this: when they fail, they do so without warning, and in a way that makes even partial data recovery impossible for an average user. On the other hand, in the decades during which I've used HDD's, I've never once had one fail without giving me some kind of warning. The dying drive has either overheated, or started showing read/write errors, or made distressing noises (kind of like that death speech all the soon-to-be-croaked best buddies get to make in action movies). And I've even been able to recover at least some data from drives that were seriously screwed. The only failed SDD I ever dealt with simply didn't report on boot, and I never heard anything from it again. So to me, a big SSD just offers a better chance to lose everything all at once, minus whatever was saved in the last backup.

And then there's cost, of course. I just bought a 2TB HDD for eighty bucks. I know I won't be seeing any SDD's available at that capacity/price for a long, long time.

Right now, my ideal computer would have a mid-size SSD for the operating system and installed programs, and a big, fast HDD for most storage needs. And, of course, my external backup drive would use old-fashioned platters. I'll leave huge, relatively expensive SDD's for those whose need for speed is much greater than mine.

about three weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

hyades1 Re:Just wondering (1128 comments)

Why would you think I'm getting away from it? Unlike you, apparently, I get my information from a variety of sources. I don't need a tech-oriented site pointing me at non-tech current events I've already seen from three different perspectives.

about three weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

hyades1 Just wondering (1128 comments)

Why is this on Slashdot?

about three weeks ago
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Top NSA Official Raised Alarm About Metadata Program In 2009

hyades1 A Minor Correction (110 comments)

"An anonymous reader sends this report from the Associated Press..."

"A reader who thinks he's anonymous sends this report from the Associated Press..."

There...fixed that for you. ;-)

about a month ago
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Blowing On Money To Tell If It Is Counterfeit

hyades1 Does this mean... (114 comments)

...hookers will soon be blowing the cash as well as the customers?

about a month ago
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

hyades1 What am I not getting? (167 comments)

I just can't get my head around the idea that somebody would take information vital to their needs and put it beyond reach, under the control of other people whose priorities probably don't match theirs.

What advantages are so overwhelming that they make this a sensible thing to do?

about 1 month ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

hyades1 Re:I'm sure it will suck (242 comments)

R Daneel Olivaw, who appeared in "Caves of Steel" (set in the same universe but predating the Foundation books) exists through the entire "future history", often in a central role. And it's implied that he was an unnoticed observer of much that occurred in books where he isn't explicitly mentioned.

It would be very easy to have any random character actually be Olivaw throughout the series, thus allowing him to act as an omniscient narrator supplying relevant information to the viewer without interrupting the stories themselves.

about a month ago
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Carmakers Promise Not To Abuse Drivers' Privacy

hyades1 Re:Then make it a felony criminal offense (98 comments)

Why is it I never have Mod points when I really, really want one?

You're exactly, 100% right. I'd only add that the sentence would have to sting...no 90 days at a country club stuff. Start the bidding at two years less a day at one of those institutions where "shank" isn't a cut of meat.

about a month ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

hyades1 Re:The Ads Can Be Disabled (327 comments)

Let me guess. Phrases like "mission creep", "nose of the camel" and "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" are utterly foreign to you. Or perhaps you believe they came into existence to describe situations that don't happen all that often?

about a month ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 Re:November 11th? Really? (115 comments)

China needs North American markets. And they're very hot to get their hands on Canadian raw materials. Or are you such a fucking moron you hadn't noticed those small facts?

about a month ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

hyades1 Re:The Ads Can Be Disabled (327 comments)

Yeah, and I bet you believed your boyfriend when he said he'd just put the tip in, too. ;-)

about a month ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 Re:November 11th? Really? (115 comments)

So they're welcome to sell in China. Here, it is Remembrance Day, and they can fuck off.

about a month ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 Re:I won't be part of this (115 comments)

Excellent comment.

I'm not one of those people who believe Remembrance Day should be used as a back door way to glorify current wars. It is, however, about remembering soldiers who gave their lives to help make Canada into a real country rather than just an overseas extension of Great Britain. We only give them one day. They shouldn't have to share it with greed-driven marketers and sheeple who care about nothing but their next new toy.

about a month ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 I won't be part of this (115 comments)

Here in Canada, November 11 is called "Remembrance Day". It's the one day of the year when we pay special attention to those who fell in service of our country.

So thanks anyway, Communist China. But shove your slimy promotions of your second-rate trash sideways up your ass.

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 7 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  |  more than 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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