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Comments

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Harvesting Energy From Humidity

puppetman I know who could use this (89 comments)

Quick, someone call Kickstarter and get iFind up and running again.

about 3 months ago
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

puppetman I've owned every BF Game (208 comments)

I've played a lot of BF, since owning 1942 on release day. I can't think of a version I've missed (though I've stopped buying expansion packs).

That said, I stopped buying on release day a while ago. My gaming time is maybe 2% of what it was a decade or so ago, so it's valuable and not to be wasted on buggy releases and bad games.

about 3 months ago
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$500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

puppetman Re:Thanks for the tip! (448 comments)

I'm embarrassed to say that I pledged $70. I thought being on Kickstarter provided some level of protection against this, and that no one would be so brazen as to hijack people's names and credentials, and post them a popular website to promote their claims.

Thanks, Slashdot. I promise I'll be more careful next time.

If someone tells me the PowerUp 3.0 remote-controlled airplane is a hoax, I'll be devastated...

about 3 months ago
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Low-Protein Diet May Extend Lifespan

puppetman Re:The great thing about diets (459 comments)

"The goal is to make you eat less, anyways"

No, the goal is to get your body to stop storing your calories as fat, and instead burn them right away. The way to do this is to stop your blood sugar from spiking, which in turn leads to an insulin response. Just eating less means your body has less energy for it's day-to-day, and you get tired and sluggish.

Cut out the sugar and the processed foods (including flour). Get your calories from raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, protein, and fat. That's really all there is to it. Easy to say, harder to do.

about 7 months ago
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Yep, People Are Still Using '123456' and 'Password' As Passwords In 2014

puppetman And apparently (276 comments)

Websites, corporate domains, and so on, still allow "password" and "123456".

You can't use these silly passwords if there is a password-strength check that was set up with a bit of common sense.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal?

puppetman Re:Get a local phone number (506 comments)

I think companies don't want to bother interviewing and recruiting for someone who's not local. If offered the job, chances are that you'll not actually follow-through with the relocation. I know when we go looking, and we get someone from out of town, they almost always drop out of the running, or can't move in the time-frame required.

It's a chicken and egg thing. Potential employees don't want to move till they get a job. Employers don't want to hire anyone not local.

about 10 months ago
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Canadian Hotel Sues Guest For $95K Over Bad Review, Bed Bugs

puppetman Re:New insecticide (432 comments)

What about diatomaceous earth? It's fossilized algae, and a natural insecticide, absorbing the lipids from the exoskeletons of insects.

I've read that if you pull your bed from the wall, take 4 empty/clean tuna cans with diatomaceous earth in them, and put one under each leg of the bed, you can get rid of them. They crawl in and out of it on their way to feast on you.

If I had them, in addition to the cans-under-legs, I'd be dusting the floors, the sheets, the bed-frame, the bed-boards, the electrical sockets, etc, to get rid of them.

There was also a BBC show, either Edwardian Farm, or Victorian Farm, where they showed the housewife scrubbing bed frames down twice a year with lye to keep them under control.

about a year ago
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Germany Produces Record-Breaking 5.1 Terawatt Hours of Solar Energy In One Month

puppetman Re:NO NO NO (687 comments)

Well, as for the price of nuclear power, there is a 30-year, multi-billion dollar cleanup in the works. Even if a private corporation is paying for it, they'll be recouping their money somehow. There is no such thing a free lunch, or a free nuclear decontamination.

From another /. article today,

"A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, equivalent to five year's maximum exposure for a site worker. In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea."

You might be able to argue that, in a safer place, the Fukushima reactor would have been fine, but Japan is one huge earthquake waiting to happen. Maybe solar, wind, and wave power make sense in a place like that.

As for what people "like", using that as a basis for what's right or good is ridiculous. People want want everything for nothing - someone else should pay. They want cheap power, but don't want a power plant in their back yard. On average, we're not a terribly rational species.

about a year ago
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"Slingatron" To Hurl Payloads Into Orbit

puppetman Angry Birds (438 comments)

Sounds like the popular iOS game; hopefully no one get sued. I suppose they'll be safe, unless they paint the payload to look like a bird.

about a year ago
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A350XWB, the Plane Airbus Did Not Want To Build, Makes Maiden Flight

puppetman Re: Hmm... (135 comments)

Boeing decided to farm out the manufacturing of parts of the plane to various companies around the world. The fuselage was built in Italy, and there were small issues with wrinkles on the surface. The wings were made by Mitsubishi, in Japan, and there were issues with the stringers.

Who knows if they would have had the same issues with in-house development, but there were lots of quality and logistical issues with building a "global" plane.

about a year ago
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A350XWB, the Plane Airbus Did Not Want To Build, Makes Maiden Flight

puppetman Re:Hmm... (135 comments)

Way back when Boeing was going for a smaller, more efficient jet. Airbus wanted to build a big plane, aka an Ultra High Capacity Airliner to challenge Boeing's dominance of the large-jet market.

Boeing built the 787, and Airbus built the A380. I guess the market is now forcing Airbus to compete with Boeing's 787, and thus the a350.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

puppetman Re:Circular logic (331 comments)

It's easy to make fun of IT managers. At the company I worked at, our last one was pretty bad. He was a terrible coder, couldn't estimate or keep a project on track, made bad technology decisions.

Our current one is excellent, however. Not sure how technical he is, as he hasn't had time to write code, but he asks us hard questions that challenge assumptions, projects go through the documentation phases that we need (business rules, elaboration, use cases), there is a full project plan that is updated weekly, and management knows as soon as something start slipping.

It's no problem to get a day off on short notice, he helps out on weekends when servers need to be moved, he fixes issues with vacation-day-allocation HR, and goes back to the product management group when to challenge them when change-requests start to get a bit silly. After every cycle, he drives a process to figure out what could have been done better, and then we attempt to put methodology in place to try to fix it for the next cycle.

Our company is small - 20 or so people, and a dev/qa team of 10, but he's done a great job of getting the maximum return on investment on our development efforts.

about a year ago
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NTSB Recommends Lower Drunk Driving Threshold Nationwide: 0.05 BAC

puppetman Re:it will affect industry, for sure ... (996 comments)

Around here, .05 is considered impaired. Your license is seized for 3 days (first offense, up to 30 days for your third), your car is often towed and impounded, and you get to go to court. It's often about $4000 after all is said and done.

There have been all sorts of issues with this. One is that you are tried and convicted at the side of the road with no chance of appeal, possibly due to a faulty machine (and many cases have been tossed due to a suspected bad machine).

There was a case where an older woman who rarely drank had sip of champagne at a celebratory dinner, and drove home. It was dark, she got lost, and made an illegal u-turn. An off-duty police officer was behind her, and pulled her over, got a cruiser to show up, and had her charged. She had poor lung capacity, so it took them over 2 hours to come to the conclusion that they couldn't get a breath sample (they charged her an additional $500 penalty for failing to provide a breath sample).

The woman knew she wasn't over the limit, so she took a cab to the hospital, and got blood drawn; it showed that there was no alcohol in her system. Eventually, the charges were dropped, but she had spent about $10,000 on lawyers by that point.

about a year ago
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Amazon Buys Sunlight Readable Color Display Company Liquavista

puppetman Re:Samsung. (56 comments)

That's a good guess, but wouldn't Samsung rather have the technology and any potential patents?

Samsung is pretty good at making smart technology moves - buying factories, and other companies at the right time, and then dominating the market. You would think that this would be a nice technology to have with their tv/tablet/phone/laptop screen technology.

So maybe there are issues with the company (inept management, etc), intellectual property (ie the violate someone's patents), or technology (there are still significant barriers to overcome).

Or maybe Samsung sees the future on OLED, and doesn't want to spend resources on a stepping-stone technology that will disappear without a ripple in a few years.

Questions questions.

about a year ago
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Windows: Not Doomed Yet

puppetman Created a decent Mobile OS, Be More Stuborn (737 comments)

Apple has iOS that powers tablets, phones, and MP3 players. Google has Android, which powers phones, tablets, and other consumer devices.

If Microsoft has a decent mobile OS, it's buried under so much marketing that I don't know what it is. I guess there is "Surface", but it seems pretty limited. I've never used it, much less seen it outside a commercial.

They need to come out with an OS, and brand it differently that "Windows". Windows makes me think big and clunky and slow.

Second, they need to stick with their products, and improve them until they get traction. Their approach seems to be make a few dozen consumer products, and drop the ones that don't immediately succeed - quantity versus quality. Why not pick the niche that helps your business the most, and stick with it. Phones, MP3 players, tablets, or some other technology - do it, and follow "kaizen" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen). Eventually your competitors make a misstep, and the ecosystem is yours for the taking. It takes a willingness to spend money, be stubborn, continuously improve, and wait till the big fish makes a mistake. Apple took out Blackberry, and Android/Samsung/HTC have grabbed a nice chunk of market share from Apple.

Microsoft is coasting on previous successes - Windows, Office, and more recently the XBox, and abandoning not-successes too quickly.

about a year and a half ago
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EA Repeats As 'Worst Company In America'

puppetman Re:Sense of proportion (346 comments)

And don't forget that the age/gender demographic of The Consumerist is one that plays games. Ask 60-year old women who the worst corporation is, and you'll get a different response.

In reality, EA is just the worst corporation according to people who read The Consumerist.

The Koch brothers, and their private company, Koch Industries, is another good one for your list of companies that are actually evil.

about a year and a half ago
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Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person

puppetman Re:Value of a degree to the employer (489 comments)

And that's why my degree was a co-op degree, where at the end of my 5 years, I had 2 years of work experience doing software development and hardware support. The last co-op position ended up being a full-time job post graduation, and I haven't looked back.

about a year and a half ago
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Animation Sophistication: The Croods Required 80 Million Compute Hours

puppetman Re:The flatlining of the Hollywood movie scene (196 comments)

I'm just waiting for the next Studio Ghibli film to grace our shores, or maybe a Wallace and Grommit. I'll skip Planes, and I won't take my under-10 kids to see it. The Croods can wait till video (AKA TorrentLeech).

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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300bps N, 8, 1 - The Hidden Track

puppetman puppetman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

puppetman (131489) writes "I came across a story about a hidden track found in a band's album.

But the hidden track wasn't a song, it was a text file, encoded as a track. And this wasn't an mp3 or compact disk — it was on vinyl, on an album that came out 1992.

The tracks name was, "300bps N, 8, 1 (Terminal Mode or Ascii Download)", and to those in the know, it was instructions on configuring your modem to receive the file."
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Peter Adekeye Freed, Judge Outraged at Cisco's

puppetman puppetman writes  |  more than 3 years ago

puppetman (131489) writes "Ars Technica has an article relating the recent release of Peter Adekeye, a former Cisco employee who was arrested in Canada on trumped-up charges that appear to have been fabricated by Cisco. Slashdot covered the story back in April, 2011, during which time Mr Adekeye was still being detained.
In the ruling, the judge squashed the US extradition request, rebuked both the Canadian and American authorities for "an appalling abuse of process", and goes as far as to say that the criminal proceeding was launched on behalf of Cisco, to mirror the civil proceedings that Mr Adekeye had launched against the powerful Cisco. The full judgement, which is quite readable and damning, can be found here."

Link to Original Source
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Nanosolar Begins Production, Auctions off Panel

puppetman puppetman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

puppetman writes "Nanosolar announced today that they are shipping their first commercial solar panels for freefield deployment in Eastern Germany.

Nanosolar was mentioned in a Slashdot story last month when they received a "Best of 2007" award from Popular Science for their printed thin-film solar cell that cost $.99 per watt.

In addition, they kept the first three commercial grade panels that came off the printer — the the first for their office, another for the Tech Museum in San Jose, but the third is up for auction on EBay."
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puppetman puppetman writes  |  more than 7 years ago

puppetman (131489) writes "This week, Robert X. Cringely makes some interesting observations as to what Google's up to next. He theorizes that Google is looking to create a bandwidth shortage that will drive ISP/cable/telephone customers into it's open arms (often with the blessing of the ISP/cable/telephone company). The evidence: leasing massive amounts of network capacity, and huge data centers in rural areas (close to power-generation facilities). The shortage will only occur if the average bandwidth consumption by individual consumers skyrockets; think mainstream BitTorrent, streaming moves from NetFlix, tv episodes from iTunes, video games on demand, etc, etc. Spooky and sinister, or sublime and smart?"
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puppetman puppetman writes  |  about 8 years ago

puppetman (131489) writes "Wired columist Bruce Schneier wrote an article today called "Quickest Patch Ever", about a patch that was issued within three days to fix a vulnerability in Windows Digital Rights Management (DRM) that potentially compromised Microsoft's relationship with record labels. Other patches — to fix security holes that compromise computers that run Windows (and potentially all the data on them) — those get dumped out once a month."

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