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NASA, France Skeptical of SpaceX Reusable Rocket Project

kodiaktau Re:Can someone explain to me why a space (333 comments)

Gravitational pull and air friction. The opposite of escape velocity occurs and the Earth's pull and friction causes the craft to come in at speed. A re-entry rocket could be used to help slow decent, but that would require carrying extra fuel on take-off. So it is better to just deal with the heat and dissipate or deflect the heat. Really it is quite unavoidable.

about 5 months ago
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Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

kodiaktau Re:wat? (465 comments)

Idioms don't transfer well between languages. English/Australian: "to refuse to work, especially because you are not satisfied with your pay or working conditions" http://idioms.thefreedictionar...

about 6 months ago
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Yahoo! Sports Redesign Sparks Controversy, Disdain From Users

kodiaktau Re:Are you kidding me? (172 comments)

I have been intentionally ignoring Yahoo! since they noted a logo change, because I didn't want to see the constant flap. Really this seems to go against reasonable design and tries to look too much like print magazine. Having a clean interface is much more important than having tons of background images and hard to read fonts. I just had a conversation with my daughter about the importance of typography in print material and right there on Yahoo! I see the rules thrown out the window.

about a year ago
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Yahoo! Sports Redesign Sparks Controversy, Disdain From Users

kodiaktau One word (172 comments)

Terrible.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

kodiaktau Two words (416 comments)

Wire Lube

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

kodiaktau Re:Mechanical pencil (712 comments)

Agreed. Used these for years in mechanical and electrical drawing. Cheap to replace if lost ($5 ish) and always have clean, neat lines. Bought them for my kids to do math homework so there is no excuse in not having a sharp pencil and neat work.

about a year ago
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Google Launches Open Source Voter Information Tool

kodiaktau Voter Tools (104 comments)

Voter tools like Publius are far more valuable than the collection of graphs from Google. Voters need a single place to research and look for information about their ballot. Especially for voters on border lines with other states, issues are muddied as TV and radio aren't focused enough to hit just their target market. Looking at a single place where your ballot is laid out is much more effective.

The organization and source of the Google data is questionable in my mind. Not sure why they have chosen to group things the way the did in the Insights tab and makes it look suspicious.

about 2 years ago
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US Presidential Debate #2 Tonight: Discuss Here

kodiaktau What have you done... (706 comments)

...to earn my vote...That is the question that needs to be asked over an over.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

kodiaktau Commodore (632 comments)

We started out with PETs in like 1984 because of a progressive teacher. He insisted that computers would soon become very important. The school wouldn't pay for the machine so he bought one and started a computer club where we learned basic architecture and simple programming. I became hooked and tried to get my hands on a Tandy to learn about how the darn thing worked. My parents finally gave in an bought me a C64 to program on and I got my hands on a Vic20 to tear apart and learn how it worked.

Our middle school got one of the early Macs which was used for little more than games. I stuck with learning assembler and machine language on the C64.

By the time I got to HS there was a simple lab of C64 machines. We learned some basic programming and how to control the video and memory in the machines. Very little science and tons of trial and error. After a year of that I found our chemistry teacher had a PCJr. He let us turn into a dual head machine so two of us could work on it at the same time by overlaying the OS with a round-robin OS that allowed dual input and output. We taught ourselves Pascal and memory management. In my spare time I learned the concepts around DBMS and began to create simple database tools to implement inventory systems for the school. Also started working on drawing and architectural programs to use in our drafting classes. Our school wasn't very progressive and only a couple of us were interested enough to teach ourselves how the machines worked. In the end though it sure helped to prep me for college and the real world.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Book For 11-Year-Old Who Wants To Teach Himself To Program?

kodiaktau Gortek (525 comments)

I would avoid Gortek and the Microchips, it is a little aged. Scripting seems to be an easy start and there are a ton of Perl or Python tools ready and available on the internet. I am mentoring a high schooler now and let him chose his language and he is using Perl - easy, tons of tools, lots of flexability. One thing I see with these languages though is that you have to unlearn bad habits unless you have some structured education. Personally I learned Assembler, Basic, C and Pascal as first languages but they will ruin his spirit for programming.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Are Fantasy World Accents British?

kodiaktau Re:Monty Python...duh (516 comments)

And now for something completely different...

more than 2 years ago
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300k Organic Farmers To Sue Monsanto For Seed Patent Claims

kodiaktau Re:I hate to defend Monsanto somewhat, but (617 comments)

This is nonsense. Monsato has been using patent rights to sue the crap out of farmers who don't toe-the-line and grow Monsato seed. There have been several cases [PDF] where Monsato has specifically targeted farmers who "steal" their patent simply because Monsato seed crops grow adjacent to non-Monsato fields. Tongue in cheek there are tons of sites that hype this to be a bigger problem. I disagree in principle with these views, but for the conspiracy theorist in me they are an interesting read.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Go Paperless At Home?

kodiaktau Clean (311 comments)

Personal or production scanners need to be cleaned and maintained. Using non-soap cleaners for the lenses and glass helps to keep the crap out. Document joggers align paper - but they also kick dust/dirt out of the paper to be scanned. Most importantly is keeping ahead on your rollers. Clean them with a swab and good alcohol (not the 60-70% medical grade stuff). When the rollers are worn - take them out and replace as soon as possible. Oxidation is the biggest killer of rubber rollers over time. Sometimes highly acidic paper (from the lingin) will cause early failure too. By keeping rollers clean you will have less trouble. Oh, and if you can adjust the tension in the rollers - do that too.

more than 2 years ago
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Skin Cancer Drug Reverses Alzheimer's Symptoms In Mice

kodiaktau Repurposing drugs (94 comments)

This is one of those instances where I wonder if the drug repurposing is good or bad. The side effects seem to be typical, but as the article points out:

Experts said that the results were promising, but noted that in the past successful drugs in mice often failed to work in people.

So what I am trying to figure out is this an instance where Pfizer or someone else is backing the study. It looks like Easi isn't backing this but is someone else backing the work trying to keep a drug repurposed.

As I think about this I also wonder what happens to the plaque that is removed...so is it reabsorbed into the body?

Regardless, I think this is definately something useful and helpful if the human studies pan out.

more than 2 years ago
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LEGO Toys for Girls Offensive

kodiaktau Re:The whingers are idiots (3 comments)

I don't disagree with you. When I showed this to my wife last night she was ecstatic. My youngest daughter loves to play with LEGOs and she and my son spend hours creating things. She asked for the RV and one of the Harry Potter sets last year and plays with them all the time. Now there are nicer colors and some things she can identify with better than robots and spaceships.

The one point my wife was concerned about was the change in shape of the characters. We both agree that changing the traditional shape and size of the characters is a little silly and over the top. Heck, even Princess Leia as Jabba's prisoner, from the Star Wars line looked a little chunky and that was still ok. I wonder if LEGO will revisit that concept and make her look more like Carrie Fisher did when she played the part?

more than 2 years ago
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DARPA + Makers + School = the Future of Innovation

kodiaktau Re:Fixing the wrong problem. (70 comments)

Bump. Someone sprinkle modpoints above.

The current philosophy that China will over take the US in technology improvements or economically is based on non-sense from the media and fear mongers. *gasp* The fact of the matter is that there is such disparity in the Chinese economy they will soon be feeling the sobering effects of the rash growth and self-valuing yuan.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Chef Engineer Resigns Over Death Threats

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a month ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Seth Vargo, a release engineer for Chef, has resigned due to, "numerous abusive emails and two death threats”.

From the article:

According to Noah Kantrowitz, a former Chef colleague and a recent critic of how the company has been managing its open source community, Vargo’s work on the Chef-centric workflow management tool Berkshelf caused some commotion among certain Chef tool users who advocated using a different workflow method; these people supposedly felt that Berkshelf had somehow affected their daily work habits and routines and their frustrations drove them to react harshly. Vargo apparently “ended up at the center of this storm of disagreements.”

Is this another example of how anonymous behavior on the interwebs has gone too far?"
Link to Original Source

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SnapPi Camera

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about 2 months ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Digital Trends reports on a new Raspberry Pi camera kit that is based on open-source prototype created by Gregory Holloway, a DIY tutorial can be found here.. He is planning to release the kit as a Kickstarter campaign. Four kits will be offered, each with a Pi Model A, camera, body, battery and charger and one of four combinations of lenses and possible LCD viewers. No mention of where lenses are being made, or how to source them.

Kickstarter campaign can be found here."

Link to Original Source
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Hardkernel Releases Raspberry Pi Compatible ODROID-W

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about 2 months ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Hardkernel released a new Raspberry Pi compatible board based on the Samsung Exynos SoC. The board is smaller than a typical Pi, keeping basic HDMI, USB and CSI interfaces. It also has 26 pin expansion board with more GPIO available, however it lacks an Ethernet jack. Initial prices as estimated around $30.

Interesting to note that the author calls out that the Pi Foundation is likely to run into similar name retention problems as Arduino has had as competitors call their boards "Pi Compatible".

Video overview on YouTube can be found here. http://youtu.be/rIZvsgXNWSc"

Link to Original Source
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No Cell Phone Tracking Without Warrant

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about 4 months ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before tracking cell phones. The court ruled on a case involving violent crimes committed by Quartavius Davis, who was convicted using tracking records collected over 67 days. Prosecutors showed evidence that 11,606 location points, including recorded calls and location of towers was enough to determine the Davis' whereabouts. Defense attorneys cited 4th Amendment rights of privacy were violated in the warrantless search.

The police originally got authority to use a "D-Order", which allows them to gather records and is easier to obtain than a subpoena. In Judge Sentell's opinion paper, he notes, that the police effectively did an end-run around typical requests for this information. Choosing to treat the request as on-going investigative data instead of the precedent set in previous cases. The judge goes on to say, "...it cannot be denied that the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures shields the people from the warrantless interception of electronic data or sound waves carrying communications." His follow-on argument suggests that by using the location information the police gathered and the manner in which they gathered it is effectively monitoring an individual, which does require a warrant.

Davis was still found guilty, but the court effectively put law-enforcement on notice about the manner in which is obtains this data for future cases."

Link to Original Source
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Graphine Condom Revolution

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about 10 months ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "University of Manchester scientists have been working on a new composite of latex and graphine to make condoms. Scientists believe that the single atom thick graphine will make the condoms stronger and increase sensation. Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan a materials scientist on the program says: "This will be achieved by combining the strength of graphene with the elasticity of latex to produce a new material which can be thinner, stronger, more stretchy, safer and, perhaps most importantly, more pleasurable."

The ultimate goal of the project is to increase use and help reduce sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Teens everywhere rejoice that condoms won't wear out as fast in their wallets."

Link to Original Source
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Shark Week Ain't Over

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "If you would very much like to spend the next couple of hours looking at sharks and where they have been I would highly recommend OCEARCH. The interface is a little slow to load but the information is AWESOME. Each shark in the program is tagged with a Smart Position and Temperature Tag (SPOT). Although the info is sporadic as it is only trasmitted when sharks surface, the info is pretty interesting. There is a profile for each shark captured including a travel path.

OCEARCH is a non-profit that is researching great white sharks and other apex predators and is working to save the worlds shark population.

My money is on Lydia."

Link to Original Source
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Virtualization in the US Navy

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "The US Navy has been working to reduce capital IT expenditures. Navy CIO Terry Halvorsen is planning to make all Navy servers virtualized and to remove some 7,500 desktops moving them into a data center. Some of that work completed in July 2012 included removing 1/3 of its shore-side servers through virtualization. Interestingly the Navy has partnered with VMWare, which will necessarily require licensing fees and could quickly escalate costs as the strategy progresses. Hopefully Halvorsen has set an exit strategy if costs rise to quickly. One would also think he must be looking at open source as an alternative."
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Star Wars Black Series

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Hasbro is producing a new series of 6" Star Wars figures labeled the "Black Collection". High quality articulation, paint and accessories are the key selling features. Michael Crawford does a review of the Sandtrooper and Darth Maul figures in the attached story. There will be limited releases of these figures to ensure they are kept at a high value. The initial release character was a limited Boba Fett. First series includes Darth Maul, Sandtrooper, R2-D2, Luke Skywalker. Second series includes Boba Fett, Han Solo, Slave Leia and Greedo. (Han shot first.) These seem to be pretty expensive characters but it would be nice to have something high quality."
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AT&T To Sell Anonymous Usage and Location Data to Advertisers

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "While not setting a date for the event, AT&T plans to begin selling usage and location information to 3rd parties. This includes browsing habits, mobile app usage, Wi-Fi location, etc. AT&T asserts the data will be anonymous and will protect customer privacy. Subscribers can also opt-out of the program if they wish."
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Fireworks Filmed from Above By Balloon

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "The filming was done by a small GoPro camera attached to a balloon, which was released into the air so it could film the fireworks being let off from the ground below. The video itself is in slow motion, to follow the trajectory of the fireworks. Looks like the balloon finally gets hit around 1:39."
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In Soviet Russia, Mammoth Clones You!

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "While uncovering an adult female mammoth carcass, scientists discovered a baby Mammoth Elephant that still contains traces of blood and intact DNA. Interestingly the blood was still flowing at -10C. The discovery brings up the debate of cloning DNA and reproducing a mammoth in a laboratory setting."
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Interpreting Global Flight Maps

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights. While the imagery of the visualization is intriguing, the interpretations are particularly interesting and show how individual background and experience impact they way they view the data."
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Inventor of GIF Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Steve Wilhite, the inventor of GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Webby Awards. The format was created in 1987 and is considered a mainstay of the internet. The format was originally designed to help convey images over CompuServe.
Mr. Wilhite reminds us that the 'g' is soft so the correct pronunciation is Jif, sending shivers up the spines of elocution teachers throughout the United States."

Link to Original Source
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UK Passes Instagram Act

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "UK govvt passes Instagram act which effectively makes content posted on social media that has become orphaned into the public domain. Corporations now only need to have made a diligent search to find the owner of the content before use."
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IRS Can Read Your Email Without Warrant for Tax Info

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "The ACLU has issued a FOIA request to determine how the IRS is using its warrantless ability to read email. The request is based on the antiquated Electronic Communication Protection Act federal agencies can and do request and read email that is over 180 days old. The IRS response can be found at http://www.aclu.org/national-security/irs-response-warrantless-electronic-communications-foia-request. The IRS asserts that it can and will continue to make warrantless requests to ISPs to track down tax evasion. http://www.irs.gov/irm/part9/irm_09-004-006.html#d0e319."
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The Last Barfighter

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "McKinney has produced a new video game concept framed up in traditional arcade form with Street Fighter styled game. While the game seems vanilla the most interesting feature is that the winner of the game is given, well, a beer."
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NASA Loses Contact with Space Station Over Software Update

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Reports early Tuesday morning say that a software update to the Space Station caused a communication blackout with Houston control. Remediation of the update has allowed the astronauts limited communication every 90 minutes or so. It is expected that the issue will be resolved today."
Link to Original Source
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Why Chimps Are Stronger Than Humans

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about a year and a half ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "A quick Scientific American video describes why chimpanzees are stronger than humans. The video explains that chimps have less grey matter or neurons controlling muscles. Humans on the other hand have more refined muscle skill and fine motor control because we have more neurons controlling smaller bundles of muscles. In effect when a chimp engages its muscle mass it is an all or nothing proposition."
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Kodak Saved by Patent Trolls

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  about 2 years ago

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Before the bankruptcy deadline, Kodak manages to work out a deal with Intellectual Ventures to purchase 1,100 patents and raising over $525 million dollars which will make Kodak eligible to get an additional $830 million dollar note to get itself out of bankruptcy. Intellectual Ventures has filed several IP lawsuits against others in recent years."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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56 Years of Tornado Tracks

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I found an interesting heat-map of the United States of America, showing 56 years of tornado tracks by fujita scale. After being on the front-end of one of the tornadoes going through Dexter, MI, I found it particularly interesting that injury-to-death-toll numbers have dropped off significantly and made me think about some of the early warning signals we get now. For instance the Dexter tornado had warnings coming at least 1 hour before the storm hit the area. It was a general warning, but we had tornado sirens screaming at least two different intervals during the period. Some interesting infographics can be found at http://uxblog.idvsolutions.com/. The data comes from NOAA, but you can never tell if the infographic is correct even though the source is correct, but the graphic is interesting.

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Copyright For Dummies

kodiaktau kodiaktau writes  |  more than 2 years ago

An interesting video was passed to a friend of a friend who subsequently passed it on to me about the original intent and virtues of copyright in America. Not surprisingly the video outlines the original intent of copyright to encourage the creators to bring new content and protect them for a period of time. As the video points out one of the largest instigators of the new rules on time privilege for creators was the Disney Company.

The video is done in a light hearted style that makes understanding copyright easy for the less informed. Please share it with others!

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