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Aaron's Law: Violating a Site's ToS Should Not Land You in Jail

kgeiger I'm confused... (246 comments)

Aren't violations of contracts (like ToS) subject to civil law instead of criminal law?

about a year and a half ago
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Green Grid Argues That Data Centers Can Lose the Chillers

kgeiger Late to the Party (56 comments)

November 2012 Wired covers "hot" machine rooms in its paean to Google's data centers. Usually by the time they've picked up a story, it's done.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is the Rise of Skeuomorphic User Interfaces a Problem?

kgeiger No time to read now ... (311 comments)

and I cannot find the little floppy disk icon to save the item. Where'd it go?

more than 2 years ago
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Stanford Researchers Discover the 'Anternet'

kgeiger Omo" Omo" Omo" (133 comments)

Call Al Gore! We need an on-ramp to the ant-formation superhighway.

more than 2 years ago
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How do you inform a non-technical person about the

kgeiger Make a Library Analogy (1 comments)

Preemptively taking a site down via DNS blocking for alleged copyright violation is like torching a library after alleging they have an illegal book. It nabs the offending material, but destroys all the other books as well.

more than 2 years ago
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Google converts to a single privacy policy

kgeiger One Circle+ to Rule Them All... (1 comments)

...and in the darkness bind them. This is a good move, especially for those left who are developing on the Google "platform". FWIW, Google ran a half-page ad in today's print Wall Street Journal touting its two-step authentication.

more than 2 years ago
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Book Review: The Economics of Software Quality

kgeiger Re:Agile programming is a lie (83 comments)

What Hillgiant said. The MBA's "this is fungible" argument assumes software has uniform quality. Outsourcers' marketing plans exploit this assumption to the nines.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Successful Software From Academia?

kgeiger BASIC (314 comments)

There. I said it.

about 3 years ago
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Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business

kgeiger Re:Embracing the disruption (481 comments)

The DVD business is dying fast, and they know it. Direct content delivery is the growth industry that is disrupting DVDs (and eventually CDs, games, and packaged software) out of existence, and they're jumping to the new ship before the old one is sunk.

Explain that to RedBox.

RedBox should change their name to ReedBox to thank Mr. Hastings for all the new business he's driven their way.

about 3 years ago
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Why Microtransactions In Games Are Amoral

kgeiger Re:Microtransactions are... (209 comments)

Garbage. These companies exist to earn money, which they pay their employees and invest in new games.

What did YOU get in exchange? Entertainment. Don't want to pay? Don't play.

more than 2 years ago
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Saudi Arabia Constructing World's Tallest Building

kgeiger Re:How many hungry people could be fed instead? (225 comments)

Wonder how many people $1.2 billion could feed. Think they'll be able to see Somalia from on top of that tall building. Could someone do the math on that?

Quite a few, especially architects, engineers, construction laborers, logistics companies, and materials suppliers. After construction, a tourist industry and thousands of support staff, maintenance technicians, office managers, and other occupants, and a large supply chain for power, water, sewer, building services, decorators, etc.

more than 3 years ago
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Unified NoSQL Query Language Launched

kgeiger Quick! Somebody tell... (194 comments)

the CODASYL people they've fresh meat.

more than 3 years ago
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The Science of Human-Robot Love

kgeiger Okay, samzenpus ... (137 comments)

why isn't the tag line "from the more human than human" dept.?

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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The Age of Plenty

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about a year ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "The June 2013 IEEE Spectrum has a special survey section about the forthcoming age of plenty. Advancements in computerized crop management and logistics, biotechnologies, aquaponics, and remote sensing will increase the food supply through efficient production and distribution. Improved dietary management and AI-planned recipes make better, tastier, and healthier diets. And the future of chi-chi cuisine? 3-D printed, of course."
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Google Plans Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about a year ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "The next billion customers gotta come from somewhere. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) today reports that Google will fund, deploy, and manage wireless networks in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. From TFA:

The Silicon Valley company is deep in the throes of a multipronged effort to fund, build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, said people familiar with the strategy. The wireless networks would be available to dwellers outside of major cities where wired Internet connections aren't available and could be used to improve Internet speeds in urban centers, these people said.

"

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Global "Hyperwarming" Could Raise Oceans 600'

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Paging the Mariner: perhaps 'Waterworld' isn't so far-fetched. On the AAAS's Qualia blog Steven Edwards writes how hyperwarming would drown continents:

Greenhouse conditions of the geologic past were warm enough to melt all the world’s glaciers and icecaps, causing a sea level rise of about 100 meters. However, global sea level rise may have been more than twice that during the Cambrian and the Ordovician periods. Ed Landing, New York State Paleontologist and Curator of Paleontology, New York State Museum, has a theory to explain the extra water rise: global hyperwarming.

According to Landing, hyperwarming is a feedback effect as shallow seas overlap the continents. Shallow seas absorb sunlight and warm, and will also cause the world ocean to become warmer; there is also an increase in atmospheric water vapor with greater evaporation from the shallow seas and ocean. Water vapor is itself a potent greenhouse gas, causing yet more heating. The extremely high sea levels come about because of thermal expansion of the world ocean — a phenomenon already being detected as a result of modern anthropogenic warming."

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Reading Minds to Predict Game Addictiveness

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Researchers at Taiwan's Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica are measuring emotional reactions caught in facial expressions to determine whether a game will be addictive. From TFA:

It’s difficult to evaluate an online game’s addictiveness prior to the release, says [Researcher Seng-Wei] Chen. The gaming industry’s approach is simply based on designers’ intuition and experience and the feedback from focus groups, the latter of which could be limited and biased.

Chen’s team, composed of researchers at the institute and at the electrical engineering department of National Taiwan University, aims to help game publishers avoid risky or blind investments. Using archival game data and dozens of electromyography (EMG) experiments, they constructed a forecasting model that predicts a game’s ability to retain active players for a long time.

The team reported their findings at the November 2012 IEEE/ACM Netgames conference."

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MRI maps how cellphone radiation heats brains

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "From TFA: "Two scientists have now developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that they say could [...] be an important tool for researchers who are trying to discover whether extensive cellphone use can cause brain tumors or other health problems.

The technique creates high-resolution 3-D images of the heat created by cellphone radiation absorbed in the brain. In research reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists demonstrate the method on cow brain matter and a gel that emulates brain tissue. But the procedure could easily be adapted for tests on human brains, says David Gultekin, a medical physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, who led the development of the technique.""

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IEEE Standards for Voting Machines

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Voting machine designs and data formats are a free-for-all. The result is poor validation and hence opportunity for fraud. From TFA:

IEEE Standards Project 1622 is working on electronic data interchange for voting systems. The plan is to create a common format, based on the Election Markup Language (EML) already recommended for use in Europe. This is a subset of the popular XML (eXtensible Markup Language) that specifies particular fields and data structures for use in voting."

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Winged Dragon Trains

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Reviving a 1980s Japanese idea, engineers at Beijing's Beihang University speculate about building an aero-levitation wheel-rail train (ALWR), Small wings mounted on carbon-fiber carriages loft the vehicle. Wheels serve as guides during cruising-speed "flight" and support the vehicle at low-speeds during station stops. The engineers also envision a low-drag sharkskin exterior to reduce drag. The design saves the expense of building and powering magnetic levitation tracks and has several built-in fail-soft features. Bonus: it looks cool, like a many-winged Chinese dragon snaking along the tracks. Better stay behind the yellow line on the boarding platform."
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Satellite Uplinks for the Masses

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Intellectual Ventures has spun out Kymeta to develop and mass-produce their mTenna product line. mTennas are based on metamaterials like the invisibility cloaks discussed on Slashdot and elsewhere. Metamaterials enable beam-steering that ensures an mTenna remains in contact with satellites even during motion. Kymeta will use 'established lithographic techniques' to make them.

IMHO, these antennas may be as big a leap for mobile computing and remote communications as the invention of fractal antennas was for mobile phones."

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No More Free Conference Calls

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "The FCC is changing the call termination tariffs that subsidized rural wireline service and coincidentally free conference calls. Free conference call services had located their dial-in centers in rural areas to scoop up FCC tariffs from its Universal Service Fund. USF monies will go to broadband deployment instead. Be prepared to put more nickels in the box."
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Domo Arigato, Football Roboto

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Remember "electric football" from the '60s and '70s? Here's the 2012 Japanese robot version. These 'bots go mano a mano and it gets brutal — parts will fly. Part Rock 'em Sock 'em, all tech. The article's video is hilarious."
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DARPA researches 'Avatar' Surrogates

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Feeling blue? DARPA is funding a program to investigate the feasibility of battlefield cyborg-surrogates:

"In its 2012 budget, DARPA has decided to pour US $7 million into the 'Avatar Project' whose goal is the following: 'develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.'"

Power and bandwidth constraints aside, what could go wrong? Chinese hackers swooping in and commandeering one's army? Gives new meaning to the question "Where's Waldo?""

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Graphene: The Ultimate Switch?

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Graphene enables electrons to flow more like photons. Switching speeds of 500 MHz are envisioned in graphene transistors by 2013, and faster later. More, graphene switches are easy to program as FPGAs. This survey article by Chun-Yung Sung at IBM Yorktown Heights and Ji Ung Lee at SUNY Albany presents an overview of the current state of research."
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Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Reed Hastings ignored the advice even of his hot-tub buddy. Result — subscribers cancelled:

'On Monday, the company revealed the damage that had been done. It told investors that it ended the third quarter of the year with 800,000 fewer subscribers in the United States than in the previous quarter, its first decline in years. The stock plummeted more than 25 percent in after-hours trading.'"

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Ford Announces 3-cyl Engine

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  about 3 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "The WSJ and other outlets report Ford Motor's formal plans to deploy a three-cylinder, turbo-charged "Ecoboost" engine. About the length of a legal-sized piece of paper (14 in or 36 cm), the 97 kg motor generates 88 kW (118 HP) per liter of displacement. The 1 liter engine produces the same power as current 1.6 l engines. It uses a cast-iron block to retain heat. The new motor wil be featured in Ford's Focus line of world cars."
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H-P Orders More TouchPads

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "Stunned by the overwhelming demand for TouchPads at firesale prices, H-P has ordered another production run. The Wall Street Journal reports H-P lost $207 on every unit sold; perhaps they hope to make up the loss on volume. From the article: 'The decision to manufacture a second run, however, left analysts scratching their heads. The introductory model of the TouchPad costs $306 to manufacture, according to an estimate from research firm IHS iSuppli, suggesting a loss of roughly two-thirds if it is sold for $99.'"
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Rats Ate Easter Island

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "The Wall Street Journal reviews a new book about Easter Island. Contrary to Jared Diamond's 2005 book Collapse, Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo's The Statues that Walked (Free Press, 2011) posits that brown rats deforested Rapa Nui, that slavers decimated the population, and that the phosphate-poor soils limited both agriculture and population. Because palm trees are soft and fibrous, they make poor rollers; the moai were in fact "walked" into position the same way one person can move a heavy, upright refrigerator by rocking and shifting it."
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The Motes in God's Sky

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "The Sprite project is testing the feasibility of chip-sized spacecraft. The project's goal is to deploy true "smart dust" comprising 5 to 50 mg, single-sensor spacecraft capable of forming deep-space sensor arrays."
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Fusion Thrusters for Space Travel

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kgeiger (1339271) writes "John J. Chapman, a physicist and electronics engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center, envisions a laser-pumped fusion drive. Chapman estimates the drive can produce thrust 40 times more efficiently than existing ion engines such as those on the Dawn mission now exploring the asteroid belt."
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DDWFTTW Redux

kgeiger kgeiger writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kgeiger writes "In the March 2011 Wired (no link yet; now out in print), Adam Fisher's article "Faster" revists and explains how Rick Cavallaro and team went Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind. A lovely side panel explains Cavallaro's insight into how the Blackbird works. In short, a sailboat relies on forces between keel and sail to generate motive force. The Blackbird's wheels act similarly. Once the vehicle's velocity exceeds wind speed, the wheels drive the prop. The spinning blades then behave like true sails, and the wind's force transfers to the car via the mast holding the prop assembly overhead."
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