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One Boston Marathon Bomb Suspect Dead, Other At Large After Shootout With Police

l00sr you laugh, but... (1109 comments)

Coincidentally, female suicide bombers are actually pretty common in Chechnya, where the bombers are reported either to have originated or had ethnic ties to. There is even a word for it: shahidka.

about a year ago
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The Hacker Who Found the Secrets of the Next Xbox and PlayStation

l00sr No damage? (214 comments)

There seems to be this common misconception that a network can be broken into without causing any damage. Tell that to the IT department that has to re-flash and re-image every damn machine on the network to make sure no backdoors were left behind.

about a year and a half ago
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Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

l00sr Precisely (689 comments)

What makes American schools the best in the world (especially at the graduate level) is that they admit the best students in the world. Stop admitting the students, and the schools will no longer be the best. It's that simple. Furthermore, top professors/researchers choose their universities on the basis of where they have access to the best students, which makes this proposition a vicious cycle. So, American schools would lose their edge in less than a generation.

about a year and a half ago
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What You Can Do About the Phone Unlocking Fiasco

l00sr Civil disobedience (416 comments)

Better yet: why not organize a good, old-fashioned act of civil disobedience? I'm thinking along the lines of several thousand people meeting up outside the Lincoln Memorial and simultaneously unlocking their phones.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

l00sr Squat! (372 comments)

If you decide to start weight training, get this book, learn how to squat correctly, and do it.

about a year and a half ago
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America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

l00sr Nope, coding error (627 comments)

Donohue and Levitt botched the study: a programming bug meant they failed to control for things they thought they were controlling for. Furthermore, they accidentally predicted the total number of arrests instead of the arrest rate, as they should have.

about a year and a half ago
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Makerbot Cracks Down On 3D-Printable Gun Parts

l00sr Mod parent down! Horribly wrong! (528 comments)

The CDC (i.e., the US government) lists the US homicide rate as 55/million, which would make it 6th on that list. Furthermore, that list seems to exclude just about all countries in North/South America and Africa, many of which have the highest murder rates in the world. And why is the murder rate for Turkey listed as twice that of the highest country in the wikipedia list? This doesn't even come close to passing the smell test.

about a year and a half ago
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Blender 2.65 Released

l00sr they used to, sort of (93 comments)

Old fogies like me remember that back when Blender was commercially developed, they had an odd business model consisting of giving the software away for free (as in beer) and selling the documentation (see the old review here, for example). Documentation is now one of the weakest points of Blender, IMHO.

about a year and a half ago
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27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

l00sr and 200,000 homicides with guns in the same time (2987 comments)

Judging by the charts here it looks like there were about 200,000 homicides with guns in the last 20 years (not counting suicides). So... a little more concerning than lightning strikes.

about 2 years ago
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FCC Chief Urges FAA To Ease Airplane Electronics Ban

l00sr Fix the planes, not the people (242 comments)

If interference could really be a problem (unlikely), then politely asking passengers to put their gadgets away is a laughably dumb solution, because it doesn't account for people forgetting to do so accidentally or willfully (say, terrorists). The only sane solution is to design the planes to be robust to interference, which I'm pretty sure they do already anyway.

about 2 years ago
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Datagram Recovers From 'Apocalyptic' Flooding During Sandy

l00sr Re:Why? (114 comments)

Again if you placed your companies data at a DC in lower Manhattan you should be fired.

I don't know anything about Datagram, but there are legitimate reasons to have a DC in lower Manhattan... For instance, for latency-limited high-frequency trading operations. I don't know if this is the particular case with Datagram's clients, but the fact that DCs exist in a ludicrously high-rent area means that they probably exist there for a good reason.

about 2 years ago
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Nintendo Wii U Teardown Reveals Simple Design

l00sr Re:PS3 (276 comments)

Forgive me if Im skeptical of an AC claiming that a company who has been creating consoles for 30+ years managed to make RAM slower than disk access. That would be basically impossible to pull off even if you were specifically trying to do so; theres about 3 orders of magnitude difference between the speed of the two.

Mod parent up and grandparent down. It is mind-numbingly ludicrous to believe main memory access on the Wii U is slower than disk accesses. If that were true, there wouldn't be any point in having a CPU faster than about 100 Hz (which = 1 / x, where x = random access disk latency ~ 10 ms).

about 2 years ago
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WD Builds High-Capacity, Helium-Filled HDDs

l00sr Re:This explains it! (356 comments)

Argh, a million times yes! Stupidity of stupidities!

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

l00sr Re:Genetically modified how? (559 comments)

Exactly. The "bananas" you see in supermarkets are a genetic monstrosity; basically all clones of the same individual, thanks to human meddling over the last 7000 years. It doesn't get more GM than that. So, where do you draw the line?

about 2 years ago
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Cherry MX Mechanical Keyboard Switches Compared

l00sr Re:I bought one (223 comments)

This is confusing, as the Model M is based on a buckling spring, not a mechanical switch as the keyboards in the article have. Also, it's worth mentioning that there are vastly different Model M's--IIRC, the earlier ones have a softer feel, and the later ones require much more pressure. I have a Unicomp Model M, and it appears to be closer to the latter, which I dislike.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Gates Says Tablets Aren't Much Help In Education

l00sr Bingo (575 comments)

It's ridiculous that kids are growing up with chronic back pain as a result of having to schlep around gigantic backpacks full of books. My high school actually banned carrying backpacks between classes, mostly because of overcrowding, which meant that they had to allow extra time between classes to access lockers (and ironically probably also exacerbated traffic in the halls). All this led to decreased instructional time in any given day, more disruption of class due to kids not having enough time to use the restroom between classes, probably more violence in the overcrowded halls, etc. So, for purely logistical reasons, tablets are a huge win.

more than 2 years ago
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I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:

l00sr Re:Comments on bicycle commuting (566 comments)

Biking is dangerous. I've been hit by cars accidentally at least 6 times and intentionally twice. No major damage yet, but it's been close a couple of times. Plus I've just fallen down on my own a couple of times.

It's a debatable point, but it's not too hard to find credible analyses showing that cycling is no more dangerous than walking, in some reasonable sense. If you've been hit that often, you may want to reevaluate your cycling habits--especially your road position. I'd roughly estimate that upwards of 95% of cyclists ride in a way that makes them dangerously prone to collisions. Usually, this means hugging the right side of the road, where you are likely to get hit by a car pulling out, or a door opening, or a car squeezing between you and oncoming traffic, or a motorist who didn't see you because you were hiding on the right side of the road. It's a testament to the safety of cycling that 95% of cyclists can ride so dangerously and yet are rarely involved in crashes. Riding safely, you shouldn't really be worrying about the danger of cycling at all.

more than 2 years ago
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Turing Archive Director Questions Alan Turing Suicide Report

l00sr Way better article at BBC (121 comments)

The beeb has an article that addresses the apple thing--he often ate an apple before bedtime, so the fact that a half-eaten apple was found on his night stand wasn't unusual at all, and the apple was never tested for cyanide.

more than 2 years ago
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Did Neandertals Paint Early Cave Art?

l00sr Re:Over hyped (126 comments)

If Neanderthals and humans could mate and have fertile offspring, then why aren't they considered the same species?

more than 2 years ago
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The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

l00sr No! (191 comments)

The idea of a $100 master's degree is subversive, especially considering that a master's is the basic qualification to hold a professorship at a modern university

This is incorrect. A master's degree will, at best, qualify you to lecture basic classes at your local community college. Teaching at a university requires a PhD, almost without exception.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Apple loses $625e6 in Cover Flow patent lawsuit

l00sr l00sr writes  |  more than 3 years ago

l00sr (266426) writes "A jury in eastern Texas has just convicted Apple of violating patents relating to Cover Flow, Spotlight, and other operating system features, awarding the plaintiff $625 million in damages. The plaintiff, Mirror Worlds, is a company founded by Yale computer science professor David Gelernter. If upheld, the award will be one of the largest in patent history. Side note: Gelernter was also in the news in 1993 when he injured by a mail bomb sent by the infamous Unabomber."
Link to Original Source
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House season finale shot entirely with digital SLR

l00sr l00sr writes  |  more than 4 years ago

l00sr (266426) writes "The director of the popular Fox series House recently announced via Twitter that the show's season finale was shot entirely using the Canon 5D Mark II, a semi-pro digital SLR that also happens to shoot HD video. Some of the relevant Twitter posts are re-posted here in a Q&A format. With even entry-level D-SLR models featuring HD video recording, it seems that professional-quality "film" production is finally within the grasp of amateurs."
Link to Original Source
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Parkinson's patient bikes miles, but can't walk

l00sr l00sr writes  |  more than 4 years ago

l00sr (266426) writes "Parkinson's disease is a degenerative and often crippling disease that often leads to its sufferers' inability to walk or even stand in its late stages. So one might imagine that Dr. Bastiaan R. Bloem would have been skeptical of the claims of one such patient, who claimed to be able to cycle for miles at a time, despite having lost the ability to walk due to the disease. After the patient proved his claim, Dr. Bloem found that 20 other patients in similar conditions were also able to ride bikes. Although the phenomenon has not been studied extensively yet, this certainly seems to give new hope to sufferers of the disease."
Link to Original Source
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"Vegetative" patients communicate via M.R.I.

l00sr l00sr writes  |  more than 4 years ago

l00sr (266426) writes "Researchers in England have developed a clever way to communicate with some victims of brain trauma in a "vegetative state." They instructed the vegetative patients to answer a series of yes or no questions by thinking of either playing tennis, or being at home--each of which is associated with activity in a different region of the brain. They then asked the questions while imaging their brains via M.R.I to determine which region activated, if any, in response to the questions. Surprisingly, a few of the patients studied were able to successfully communicate in this manner, correctly answering questions the researchers posed."
Link to Original Source

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