igny (716218) writes "Doomsday clock is scheduled to be changed on Thursday at 10am EST. Last time, almost 3 years ago, it was advanced 2 minutes to current reading of 5 minutes-to-midnight. It could go either way and the change will be broadcast live, do not miss it." Link to Original Source top
igny (716218) writes "I have just recently cleaned up my home office, reducing the clutter, but I could not come up with a neat solution to my cable problem. I believe my cable usage is even below average for a slashdotter, but still I have 3 computers with a bunch of ethernet and power cables, 2 cellphones, video, photo, with several proprietary chargers/AC adapters, printer, two NASes with a couple of external drives, phone, audio system, routers/switches, modem... Everything requires cables of different kinds.
I believe that AC adapters still draw some power even with no device hooked to it. So I organized my power cables by usage with several power strips to turn off adapters which I use less frequently.
I am asking for advice from experienced slashdotters. How do you cope with your cable problem? Do you use dedicated tables, shelves, armoire for the cables? I am still looking for a neat, efficient, and safe (I have small kids) solution." top
igny writes "L. Madoff Investment Securities has allegedly run a Ponzi scheme for decades. The recent economic downturn resulted in the collapse of the pyramid, which reportedly lost some $50bln. The SEC and a number of wealthy investors failed to detect a massive fraud involving one of icons of the financial world and pioneers of electronic exchanges. Which begs the question: how could someone trust one single person with billions of dollars?" Link to Original Source top
igny (716218) writes "British astronomers from the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a new camera that gives much more detailed pictures of stars and nebula than even the Hubble Space Telescope, and it does all this from the ground. A new technique, called "Lucky imaging", have been used to diminish atmospheric noise in the visible range, creating the most detailed pictures of sky in history." Link to Original Source top
igny (716218) writes "University of Minnesota astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies and gas, as well as the mysterious, unseen "dark matter." While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all." Link to Original Source top
igny (716218) writes "Russia considers plans to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, as part of a $65 billion US project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia.
The proposed railroad would stretch about 6,000 kilometers, including 4,000 kilometers in Russia, and the tunnel would be 102 kilometers long. Ultimately, it would be able to carry 70 million tonnes per year. It could take nine to twelve years to build the railroad and 13 to 15 years to receive a return on the project.
However, a number of technical and environmental issues remain unresolved. Also there are risks of strong earthquakes which are relatively frequent in the region." top
igny (716218) writes "Washington Post reports that Bush signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests.". Compare it to the much friendlier to other nations older version, c. 1996. Currently the only way to deny a nation access to the outer space is military."
igny writes | more than 6 years ago
This is a summary of events which happened in April-June 2008.
In April I sent iPhones to a relative in Russia, so that he could unlock them and use them there. Because I did not trust the package to Russian mail, I purposefully paid extra $150 to Fedex, trusting its reliability. Because I did not want to draw attention of thieves to the shipment, I described the contents as 2 GSM phones worth mere $100. I knew there was a chance that the Russian customs might open the parcel and fine me for trying to avoid the custom fees, but I was willing to take that chance.
The package arrived empty to my relative. Because he paid attention, the loss was established in presence of the Fedex courier. My relative tried to contact Fedex officials via email urging them to conduct an investigation while the case was hot, but his emails were ignored (probably filtered as spam).
When he contacted Moscow office of Fedex by phone, they told him some interesting things, which we did not know before, and probably everyone who sends expensive things to Russia should know.
Technically, iPhones are not prohibited to enter Russia, and customs should not confiscate them as a contraband. (Even if customs confiscated the iPhones, they should have included the official paper explaining this decision with a reference to some laws which were broken). However Fedex does not accept the iPhones for shipment to Russia, because it is well aware of the widespread stealing that occurs in Russia. Apple's iPhones and iPods are particularly prone to getting lost along the route.
In Russia, Fedex does not "personally" deliver the parcels. It has to hire local sorting companies to deal with customs. Outside Moscow and St.Petersbug they have Russian delivery companies as contractors. DHL, UPS and other courier services do so as well, no one is immune. After the parcel is out of hands of Fedex, a lot of people have access to the mail at the sorting stations or planes, and clearly some of them could not be trusted. Quite possibly, the thieves are protected by the local police there, and perhaps have contacts in Russian customs.
Again Fedex (according to their representative in Moscow office) is aware of this situation. They should not have accepted the iPhones for shipment, but because I described the contents as cheap GSM phones, the system accepted that.
What I am trying to say is that Fedex are not bad guys here. If I sent the parcel to Moscow or St.Petersburg rather than some city in the middle of nowhere, the contents would likely be delivered. What I am upset about was that I could have used just regular airmail, which costs some $20 and delivers in the same 2 weeks. But because I did not trust the regular mail, I willingly overpaid $150, yet gained not extra security at all.
After some month of investigation, Fedex accepted the liability (did no acknowledge the theft though, only generic loss), returned me the shipping costs and $100 for which the shipment was insured. My own insurance (which covers my property worldwide) covered the rest of the loss.
Now regarding the security or iPhones in general. When I was buying the iPhones, the representative of ATT assured me that iPhones were secure in a sense that if it got stolen the thieves would not be able to use it. I knew that was bollocks, but I decided to follow up on their claim after my iPhones were lost. The iPhones do have the IMEI code, which I got after contacting Apple to report about the stolen iPhones. Theoretically, the cell companies have the ability to reject a phone with a certain IMEI code from being registered in their network. Theoretically, they even can track the lost phones if they are being used and, with help of police, recover them.
In practice, however, no one does that. I asked police, Apple, ATT, they all said that there is no way to return the phones from the thieves or even to stop them from using the phones. The phones come with a SIM card, and if it was registered with ATT, then yes, ATT can ban that particular SIM card from their network. Their sales pitch was that since iPhones can be locked to using this SIM card essentially it can be bricked when stolen. But as nearly everyone knows the iPhones can be unlocked, and used with any SIM card without much difficulty. The iPhones have no security from thieves in USA, what can you tell about Russia then?