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Comments

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Residents Report Bright Streak Over Bay Area Friday Evening

prakslash Global Warming and meteorites (123 comments)

Actually, global warming is to blame behind increased meteor activity:

(1) CO2 is a heavier gas than Oxygen and Nitrogen. Because of molecular forces, the increased number of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are pulling down the whole atmosphere closer to earth's surface. Therefore, meteors that would normally have burnt up higher in the atmosphere are coming closer and closer to earth's surface before they burn up. Sometimes, though, they make it all the way because of the reduced distance over which to burn up.

(2) Increased CO2 is also leading to holes in the Ozone layer. This layer acts as a defensive shield. With more holes that are getting bigger in size, meteors are slipping through and reaching us.

(3) Scientists have postulated that increased planetary warmth and high concentration of CO2 on an earth-like planet may indicate the presence of an advanced civilization. They are actually using this theory to conduct SETI. It is possible that advanced aliens are doing the same. They have detected global warming on earth and are hurling meteors at earth and using it as a sounding board for their own SETI projects.

about a year ago
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Statistical Tools For Detecting Electoral Fraud

prakslash Gerrymandering (215 comments)


Gerrymandering is not exactly fraud. Intentionally drawing lines to create voting districts in a way such that it favors one political party over another is perfectly legal (although obviously not desired). Gerrymandering can be used for good too such as creating voting districts consisting of mostly Blacks or other minorities so they can elect a (favored minority) representative and have a say in the political process.

about a year and a half ago
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Mobile Operator Grabs 4G Lead In UK — But Will Anything Work On It?

prakslash Mifi (81 comments)

If the iPad/iPhone won't work on Everything Everywhere's frequency, it would probably offer a small, pocket-sized mifi device.
That way a user's mifi device would make the 4G connection and his/her iPhone/Ipad would make a wi-fi connection to the mi-fi device.

about a year and a half ago
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Ecuador Grants Asylum To Julian Assange

prakslash Re:Oh, the delicious irony! (923 comments)


Meh... The pinnacles of free speech in the West are only for it as long as it is in their own interest. They are not much better than Ecuador.

In this case, Sweden could simply give an assurance: "We are only bringing in Assange for questioning around the rape charge and we will NOT extradite him to the US. We will let him go after the Swedish legal proceedings are over". Given the gravity of the situation, they could do that and it would eliminate all the hoopla. But, no, despite repeated requests for such an assurance from the Ecuadorians themselves, Sweden will NOT give such a guarantee. Why not?

about a year and a half ago
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Managing Servers In the Frigid Cold

prakslash Re:From Minnesota here (122 comments)

Why is this on slashdot as news?

So you can get a taste of the luxuries you can afford after a 100 billion dollar IPO. Why wait a few hours before powering up you equipment when you can transfer it using expensive, climate-controlled trucks. At Facebook, even lifeless plastic and metal rides in style on the gravy train.

about a year and a half ago
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The Lytro Camera: Impressive Technology and Some Big Drawbacks

prakslash Why don't they make the whole picture sharp? (220 comments)

All the information is obviously there since you can "explore" the image. Clicking on any point in the image either brings nearer objects into focus or farther objects into focus. So, obviously, each point in the 2-d image is encoded with additional information that associates that point with a nearer focal plane or farther focal plane. So, why not computationally merge / stitch together a bunch of sharpened nearer areas with a bunch of sharpened farther areas to get an overall sharper picture? People may find that useful.

more than 2 years ago
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UK Executive 'Forced Out of Job' For Posting CV Online

prakslash Executive's job search could be construed harmful (219 comments)

To play devil's advocate, the employer could claim that the very fact that an important executive was looking to leave could give the impression to outsiders that something bad was going on in the company and that could result in a loss to their business. Perhaps his interest in leaving this company turned away some of the customers or investors or lowered other employees' morale.

Remember when Steve Jobs was doing nothing more than going on a medical leave, it adversely affected Apple's stock price. Of course the company is this case would have to PROVE that suffered or stood to suffer a loss.

more than 2 years ago
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Filesharing Now an Official Religion In Sweden

prakslash Re:so. (358 comments)

Huh? Your analogies are all screwed up. You provide a "service" as a freelance programmer to do custom jobs. The software copies that your previous company sold were standardized "products". Your previous company didn't screw itself because it was "creating artificial scarcity". It screwed itself because it got greedy and charged more than its competition selling a similar product.

According to your model, if a customer needs a good text editor, they should hire a programmer to write a new one or to create one from existing code? Or, should they just obtain an existing one made by a company that already makes good text editors? May be you will say, they should obtain the existing one but they shouldn't have to pay for it? Well, how does the text editor company ensure that it recovers its costs without someone else buying the first copy for $39.95 and freely distributing to everyone else? That is why copyright laws have a place even for digital media.

As for being successful in the business, the market already works: you make something and you sell it to cover your costs and make a profit. To survive, you do it better than your competition. It doesn't mean you have to adopt a "pirate model".

more than 2 years ago
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Filesharing Now an Official Religion In Sweden

prakslash Religious Prosecution of File Sharers (358 comments)

Although they are only preaching "harmless" digital copying, followers of a religion can still be prosecuted for their actual practice if it is deemed criminal under the prevailing laws.

"Freedom of Religion" rights enshrined in the constitutions of most countries rarely provide for exceptions to go against the prevailing laws. So, this new religion won't change anything. A better path is being followed by the Pirate Party who actually seeks to change the prevailing laws around information copying.

more than 2 years ago
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HP Spent Over $80M To Get Rid of Its CEOs

prakslash Re:the word is failed not futile (261 comments)

Good catch! There is indeed a subtle difference.

A futile effort is one that will not produce a desired result in the future.
A failed effort is one that did not produce a desired result in the past.

Hence, Whitman's 2008 bid was a failed bid. OTOH, Ron Paul's 2012 bid may be characterized (by some) as a futile one.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Unveils Design for New Space Launch System

prakslash Re:Do it properly or not at all (288 comments)

OK.. then you do have a beef and it is against the society which thinks that the only worthwhile projects are the ones with economic benefit. You obviously do not agree with this societal thinking.

That's all you had to say, homes. 3/4 ths of your long "Do it properly or don't do it at all" seemed to indicate otherwise.

more than 2 years ago
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Hotfile Sues Warner Bros Over Abuse of Takedown Tool

prakslash Re:under penalty of perjury (155 comments)

It is apparent what is happening.

The studios are using the results of simple keyword searches to trigger takedowns. As an example, while claiming to remove files that are copies of the movie "The Box", Warner removed several files related to the alternative cancer treatment book "Cancer: Out Of The Box" Another title deleted by Warner was "The Box that Saved Britain", a production of the BBC, not Warner.

If the studios want Hotfile to spend time and resources to stop aiding in the distribution of the studios' copyrighted content, then it is also the studios' responsibility to spend their own time and resources to correctly identify their copyrighted content.

more than 2 years ago
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China Alleged To Use Prisoners In Lucrative Internet Gaming

prakslash 5000-6000 rmb a day (313 comments)

5000-6000 rmb a day =~ $850 a day!

I am in the wrong business! If this is exploitation, chain me to the PC!

On second thoughts though, that number is probably not a "per prisoner earning".

more than 2 years ago
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Attacking and Defending the Tor Network

prakslash Re:Never 100% safe (132 comments)

The problem with anonymity, of course, is that it can be used for good or for bad.

On the one hand, these researchers are (admirably) trying to circumvent censorship put in place by repressive regimes. Of course, these regimes do not even care about Tor as they do not have the resources to attack it. Tor-Schmor, they will just throw a switch and cut off all internet access, period. On the other hand, we have sophisticated western organizations like the CIA and FBI that are hellbent on breaking Tor for the ostensible purpose of rooting out child porn and terrorism.

Who will win is anybody's guess.

about 3 years ago
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University Switches To DC Workstations

prakslash AC vs DC (468 comments)

The major drawback to DC power is in the wiring. Direct current requires larger gauge wiring than AC power, which increases material costs considerably. In general, DC power is economical only if the wiring between the computers and the DC source is less than 35 feet in length. More than that, AC power becomes more economical.

more than 3 years ago
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Iran Unveils Flying Saucer Using Old B-Movie Stock Photo

prakslash Actual Picture (174 comments)

The news agency used a stock photo. The actual photo (clickable) is here.

more than 3 years ago
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Nintendo 3DS Battery Is Quick To Die and Slow To Charge

prakslash Nintendo 3DS Battery (183 comments)

To be sure, it isn't the battery that is "bad".
It is the same Li-ion rechargeable battery used in prior systems.
It even has more capacity: 1300 mAh. This is about 50% more than the 850 mAh battery used in DSi and 30% more than the 1000mAh batteries used in DsiXL and DSLite.

The problem, as the Republicans in the US often say, is spending. With the brighter screens necessary for 3D, wi-fi and better video and sound support, the thing will suck juice like a mutha.
The other option for Nintendo would have been to tack on a laptop style battery which wouldn't work for a portable game system.

more than 3 years ago
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Why UK Banks Don't Tweet

prakslash Banks in the USA (106 comments)


In case you are wondering what kind of 'twittering' banks engage in, here is a sample from some banks in the USA.

more than 3 years ago
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Book Review: Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking

prakslash The Human Factor (114 comments)

Agree with the author completely. In order to eliminate the vulnerabilities arising out of the human factor, we have instituted the following password guidelines:

Password Security Guidelines V2.2b

Due to new security policies, the following guidelines have been issued to assist in choosing new passwords. Please follow them closely.

Passwords must conform to at least 12 of the following attributes.
1. Minimum length 12 characters.
2. Must contain both upper and lower case characters as well as at least 2 numbers.
3. Not in any dictionary.
4. No word or phrase bearing any connection to the holder.
5. Containing no characters in the ASCII character set.
6. Must be quantum theoretically secure, i.e. must automatically change if observed (to protect against net sniffing).
7. Binary representation must not contain any of the sequences 00 01 10 11, commonly known about in hacker circles.
8. Changed prior to every use.
9. Contain tissue samples of at least 3 vital organs.
10. Undecodable by virtue of application of 0-way hash function.
11. Contain non-linear random S-boxes (without a backdoor).

It works! We haven't had any login attempts into our systems - legitimate or otherwise.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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U.S. Govt Logging All Snail Mail for Law Enforcement

prakslash prakslash writes  |  about 10 months ago

prakslash (681585) writes "If you thought that at least your snail mail letters and packages are safe, think again. According to the New York Times, the US government has two snail mail surveillance programs in place — Mail Covers and Mail Isolation Control and Tracking. Together, the two programs show that snail mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail. Next time you order something from Amazon, ThinkGeek or Newegg, ask them to wrap it in tin foil!."
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Cables show US seeks Assange

prakslash prakslash writes  |  about a year and a half ago

prakslash (681585) writes "Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that according to the diplomatic cables obtained by them, despite the denials by the US State Department and the Australian Foreign minister, the US investigation into possible criminal conduct by Mr Assange has been ongoing for more than a year. Further, the Australian diplomats expect that the US will seek to extradite Assange to the US on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to the release of classified information by WikiLeaks."
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Reducing Indoor Light Pollution

prakslash prakslash writes  |  more than 4 years ago

prakslash (681585) writes "Although I am aware of the age-old adage that bedrooms should be reserved for sleeping and sex, I have managed to equip my bedroom with a few electronic devices. For example, my bedroom has a medium-sized TV, a set-top DVR box and a DVD player. I also keep a radio alarm clock and a cordless telephone on the bedside table. In addition, I sometimes bring in my laptop and my cellular phone in case I need to use them later in the evening. Because all these electronic devices possess a variety of LED indicator lights, my bedroom ends up being bathed in a significant bluish-green glow at night — a condition not very conducive to falling asleep. What have other Slashdotters done in similar situations to alleviate this kind of light pollution?"
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U.S. Color-Coded Alert System Could Disappear

prakslash prakslash writes  |  more than 4 years ago

prakslash writes "The Obama administration has begun a review that could spell the end of the color-coded terror alert system created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The five-tier system that goes from green, signaling a low danger of attack, to red, signaling a severe threat of attack, has long been criticized for being vague and ineffective. It was also portrayed by some Democrats as a tool used by Bush administration for political manipulation. As part of its review, the Homeland Security Department is inviting public comments on the system via e-mail."
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New Laws Require U.S. Flags to be Made in the USA

prakslash prakslash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

prakslash (681585) writes "AP is reporting that new laws are being passed in various State Legislatures that will require every American flag sold in the USA be domestically produced. The law's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Tom Rukavina, said that the 'The biggest honor that you can give the flag is that it be made by American workers in the United States of America'. On the other hand, according to Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland, under World Trade Organization standards, the U.S. government can't treat foreign products less favorably than those produced within its boundaries."
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prakslash prakslash writes  |  more than 7 years ago

prakslash (681585) writes "USA Today is reporting that the Canadian man with a black trench coat whose shooting rampage in a Montreal college killed one person and wounded 19 others liked to play a role-playing Internet game about the Columbine shootings. This incident could provide serious ammunition to groups supporting censorship of computer games."

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