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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

mpthompson Why not just a Samsung app store? (241 comments)

If Samsung wants to muscle Apple and Google on app/software sales, don't they have the might to create an independent app store for their phones? I don't believe there is anything that would prevent it as Amazon sells Android apps independent of Google's app store. That would be much less risky and complex than trying to introduce yet another smartphone OS into what is already available.

about two weeks ago
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Ridley Scott Adapts Philip K. Dick's 'Man in the High Castle' For Amazon

mpthompson Re:Good try, but a bit dissapointed... (94 comments)

Well, I did indicate I would continue to watch to give the show more of a chance.

Blade Runner, by changing the name of the movie to something which didn't reference the book, at least gave a big clue that it would only be loosely based on the source material.

Philip K. Dick was very enthusiastic about the adaption of Blade Runner from his story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" As far as we know, perhaps he would like this adaption as well.

about two weeks ago
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Ridley Scott Adapts Philip K. Dick's 'Man in the High Castle' For Amazon

mpthompson Good try, but a bit dissapointed... (94 comments)

I really wanted to like the adaption of "The Man in the High Castle", but was dissapointed it went in directions greatly different than the book. One example is "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy". It is is no longer a book, but a 16mm movie filled with images of the Allies winning WWII including scenes from VE and VJ day. How did this movie physically cross from our reality to their reality? As a book, the alternate reality was about ideas and imagination, not a physical reality to be escaped to. This could lead the series into well worn SciFi time-travel and alternate universe trope that wasn't what the PKD story is about.

I thought the visuals and atmosphere of the show were good, but the characters seemed to bland vanilla versions of the rich and colorful characters in the PKD source material.

If Amazon picks it up, I'll give it more of a chance, but I didn't enjoy the show as much as I wanted to. I remembet it taking me a little while to get into the book so perhaps I have to do the same with this adaption.

about two weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

mpthompson Re:Extending the life of Hubble... (97 comments)

So, that should give us another seven or eight years to figure out how to service the Hubble with one of the new orbital vehicles.

about three weeks ago
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European Researchers Develop More Accurate Full-Body Polygraph

mpthompson As if getting a polygraph isn't humiliating.. (106 comments)

...and stressful enough already. Now they'll tell you to strip and get into a silly motion capture suit. Next up is sticking a probe up our anus to measure the contraction of the sphincter muscles. After all, it's for our own good. How else will our overlords prevent another Snowden fiasco?

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

mpthompson I can imagine... (97 comments)

...somewhere 2 million lightyears away in the Andromeda galaxy a nerd zooming into a similar high resolution image of the Milky Way galaxy, seeing a faint yellow smudge no larger than a pixel and wondering if it's a star or noise in the image.

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

mpthompson Re:Stars or noise (97 comments)

Stars... If you pan around the outskirts of the image you will see that the density drops off defining the shape of the galaxy.

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

mpthompson Extending the life of Hubble... (97 comments)

These images demonstrate that the Hubble is a national (if not international) treasure. With two U.S. rockets soon capable of delivering astronauts to LEO, there must be some way to perform some type of minimal maintenance mission to the Hubble so it can continue its mission beyond the current EOL deadline. With no suitable visible light replacement telescope on the horizon, dumping the telescope into the ocean will be a crime. This would be a marvelous opportunity for someone like Elon Musk or the executives at Boeing to step up and lobby the government to be allowed to put together such a mission.

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

mpthompson Cool 3D effect... (97 comments)

On the pillars comparison image, if you cross your eyes to superimpose the old image over the new image you'll see a pretty cool 3D effect. Not sure if it's something in my imagination or if the stellar motion over 20 years gives us two slightly different view of the pillars to create a kind of stereo image.

about three weeks ago
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How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

mpthompson Re:Just colonized the oort cloud comets (272 comments)

Instead of making the big lead from star to star. You can make smaller leaps from comet to comet.

This may best idea here as it may solve the replenishment of consumables such a long journey would entail. Hop from comet to comet until at the edge of the Oort cloud timing things so that the edge of another Oort cloud is passing by for the big interstellar hop to be made. H3 could be harvested on each comet for fusion energy to mine carbon, minerals and metals in preparation for the next hop. Any single hop wold probably be no more than a few decades - almost within our technology today.

Given a few centuries of technical progress, I can forsee such a journey be possible by either biological entities (our descendants), robots or some hybrid of the two. Robots are interesting because theit artificial DNA could be programmed to spread like a virus from comet to comet, monitored for success or failure, and new improved models sent out if earlier models prove unsuccessful due to unforseen difficulties. Such advanced robots would probably be nearly indistinguishable from biology except for being well suited to reproduction and locomotion in the deep space environment of the Oort clouds.

about a month ago
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New Canadian Copyright Laws Require ISPs To Retain, Share Illegal Download Info

mpthompson Re:The Best Politicians Money Can Buy (161 comments)

Perhaps from the outside the Democrat party appears right-wing, but in the U.S. they generally self identify as being left-wing.

BTW, I believe it would be best to abolish using terms derived from 18th century revolutionary France to describe modern political parties. Both of the parties seem to have fascist tendencies when it comes to favoring eilitist and corporate interests over a citizen's individual rights.

about a month ago
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New Canadian Copyright Laws Require ISPs To Retain, Share Illegal Download Info

mpthompson Re:What would happen... (161 comments)

Or their kids or spouses get ensured after downloadinga few songs from a torrent (assuming we know judges would never participate in such activities themselves).

about a month ago
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New Canadian Copyright Laws Require ISPs To Retain, Share Illegal Download Info

mpthompson Re:The Best Politicians Money Can Buy (161 comments)

I don'the know if left or right-wing ideology has anything to do with such matters. In the U.S. it is generally the left-wing Democrat party that pushes the agenda of the Hollywood media giants with regards to copyright law and the government aiding corporations to step all over individual rights to pursue copyright violations.

about a month ago
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How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

mpthompson Re:250,000 - 470,000 years to go . . . (272 comments)

I mentioned the era of the dinosaurs to put the time span of a few hundred thousand years in context of actually being fairly brief. I honestly don't know of any data to draw upon to extrapolate whether such a time span is reasonable for a technical civilization. Thus I'm open to hearing other's ideas on the matter.

about a month ago
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US Slaps Sanctions On North Korea After Sony Cyberattack

mpthompson Re:Bruce Schneier has an interesting analysis (231 comments)

I keep seeing in the media of the figure of 100 terabytes of information was downloaded by hackers from Sony Pictures. Is this figure true? How the hell does one download that much data at USB 2.0 speeds? It would take years.

Something doesn't smell right about this whole thing. Would Sony even have that much data to download? And did they really keep it all under the same security mechanisms that were easy for hackers to defeat? I would expect a large diversity of systems and security protocols across such a large company. This had to be an inside job with a knowledgeable and capable mole getting their hands on the keys to the entire IT kingdom at Sony. North Korean's my ass...

about a month ago
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How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

mpthompson Re:as close as the Oort cloud? (272 comments)

In 4.5 billion years the solar system has doubtlessly survived many such stellar encounters while keeping the planets in relatively stable orbits. Such encounters may dislodge an unusual number of comets that then rain down on the inner solar system (potentially causing other problems), but the chance of an encounter disrupting planetary orbits is almost negligible. Space is really that large.

about a month ago
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How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

mpthompson Re:250,000 - 470,000 years to go . . . (272 comments)

The Earth has several hundred million years, if not much more, of habitable time to for complex life such as humans. The era of the dinosaurs was 300 to 65 million years ago and a few hundred thousand years is just a blink of an eye compared to that kind of time span. It is very doubtful humans showed up on the scene at just at just the instant that conditions on Earth become inhospitable for complex organisms.

What's more doubtful is whether an advanced culture can survive for such a span of time. Insignificant on goeolgical or evolutionary time scales, it's hundreds of times longer than our modern civilization has been around.

about a month ago
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Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

mpthompson The back slapping on this mission... (197 comments)

... just feels kinda weird. This is basically a scaled down repeat of an Apollo test mission done nearly 50 years ago. At least then the Saturn V launch rocket was being tested as well.

The more exciting mission comes later month with SpaceX attempting a powered soft landing of a first stage on a mission delivering cargo to orbit. Small chance of success on the first attempt. But if successful, that will be something never seen before and once thought to be impractical, if not impossible. It will also be a major step in greatly reducing the cost for access to space and something much more liable to impact the lives of everyday people.

about 2 months ago
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Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water

mpthompson Very intriguing... (113 comments)

This appears to be a power-efficient process that on the back end produces a bluish liquid which contains a high quantity of hydrogen. When this liquid is combined with a metallic catalyst it then releases the hydrogen at normal atmospheric pressure/temperature without requiring any further electricity.

I wonder if the bluish liquid could serve as a hydrogen storage mechanism that is both easily transportable and transferable between containers such as liquid fuels today? Does production scale to industrial quantities? Is it non-toxic and non-explosive (while kept away from a catalyst)? Lots of questions not touched on in the articles.

However, for hydrogen vehicles, the ability to transfer useful quantities of hydrogen fuel at room-temperature liquid and normal pressure could be a real boon. Let's hope this provides a possible path to practical hydrogen vehicles.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

mpthompson Re:What are you trying to do? (238 comments)

I can second going the Tomato route. I've used this for nearly 10 years now and have been very happy with the results. Heard good things about DD and OpenWRT, but haven't tried them myself.

New hardware capable of running Tomato can be had on Amazon for less than $50 and are very low in power consumption. Tomato is a small enough sandbox that you're less likely to screw up security, but has enough options and add-ons to do whatever you are likely to want to do with it. There is also an active community that can lend help with questions when needed.

Prior to Tomato I tried running my own BSD system as a firewall/VPN, but I never could sleep well not knowing whether I actually had it properly configured with regards to security. I'm fairly knowledgeable in such things, but don't have the time to stay on top of everything. Particularly for a home network where I don't want to spend more than a few hours each year on system maintenance and updates.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Quadcopters to Rescue Potential Drowning Victims

mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  about 2 years ago

mpthompson writes "Via RoboticsTrends' newsletter, RTS Lab in Tehran is developing Pars which is an aerial rescue robot quadcopter designed to save potential drowning victims. The ship-based quadcopter responds instantly when alerted to potential victims in the ocean, locating them with thermal imaging sensors, and dispensing life preservers directly over them. The current prototype carries one life preserver, but they are working on a new model to carry three life preserver rings. Future models may dispense up to 15 self-inflating rings. A launching platform for use on ships has been designed, but more intriguing is an idea for a remote stand-alone launching platform. It's good to see innovative robot tech coming from a country that is not normally well covered in Western media."
Link to Original Source
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Biden Pledges More Efforts Against Internet Piracy

mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mpthompson (457482) writes "Just days after four Pirate Bay defendants were found guilty in Sweden, Vice President Joe Biden warned of the harms of Internet piracy at a private event organized by the MPAA in Washington, D.C. At the gala dinner on Tuesday evening, Biden lauded Hollywood, assailed movie piracy, and promised film executives that the Obama administration would pick "the right person" as its copyright czar. Biden also singled out Canada for criticism for not signing the treaty that led to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or placing other anti-circumvention restrictions on its citizens."
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Inventor to help world's poorest see better

mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mpthompson writes "A retired professor of physics at Oxford University, Josh Silver, is on a quest to help the world's poor see better. Intended for the poorest regions of the world where the optician to population ratio is 1:1000000, Silver has developed a pair of very inexpensive adaptive glasses which are "tuned" by the wearer to correct his or her own vision. The wearer adjusts a dial on the syringe to add or reduce amount of fluid in the membrane between tough outer plastic lenses, thus changing the power of the lens. When the wearer is happy with the strength of each lens the membrane is sealed by twisting a small screw, and the syringes removed. Some 30,000 pairs of his spectacles have already been distributed in 15 countries and next year a trial is set to begin in India which will distribute 1 million more pairs of glasses to the poor. His hope is to reach up to 100 million pairs annually and reach a billion of the world's poorest people by 2020. The implications of bringing glasses within the reach of poor communities are enormous, allowing people access to education and work that would otherwise be out of reach due to poor eyesight."
Link to Original Source
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Big Step Forward for Ultracapacitor-based Energy

mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mpthompson (457482) writes "In this Technology Review article a Texas startup, EEStor, says that it has taken a big step toward high-volume production of an ultracapacitor-based energy-storage system that, if claims hold true, would far outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market. Despite skepticism in the research community, EEStor claims its system will have more than three times the energy density of the top lithium-ion batteries today, be safer, longer lasting, and have the ability to recharge in less than five minutes."
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Digital TV Burnout

mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mpthompson (457482) writes "According to Embedded.com beyond the robust growth, glitzy new high-end displays and marketing frenzy lurks the dirty little secret of HDTV: An unsettling number of sets are returned to the retail outlets where they are purchased. Consumers are often wowed by the performance of HDTVs displaying slow-moving, brightly colored video on the showroom floor, but are disappointed by the performance of the set when they get it home. There are many factors at play, but consumer confusion over jargon laden HDTV technology seems to be the major culprit. Manufacturers also blame the compression technologies used by cable and satellite providers to jam as many channels into their bandwidth as possible for consumer dissatisfaction. Is Joe Six-Pack really ready for digital TV?"
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Geostationary Banana over Texas

mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mpthompson (457482) writes "I'm not sure what to make of this project, but others may be interested in a proposal to place a giant 300 meter Geostationary Banana over the Texas skies as part of an art intervention project in 2008. The helium filled bamboo and balsa banana will float between the high atmosphere and Earth's low orbit. For one month the banana will be clearly recognizable and visible both day and night from the ground. The one question I have is why does Texas get all the fun?"
Link to Original Source
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mpthompson mpthompson writes  |  more than 8 years ago

mpthompson writes "Samsung has partnered with a Korean university to develop a robotic sentry equipped with a 5.5mm machine gun. Meant for deployment along the DMZ between North and South Korea the $200,000 robot employs sophisticated pattern recognition software for targeting humans. No three laws here, but the robot does include a speaker that can be used to politely issue a warning before taking the target out. The promotional video is both scary and funny at the same time."

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