Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

r_jensen11 Absolutely, not that Joe will pay attention though (252 comments)

Specs that matter:

Signal-to-Noise (radio)
Signal-to-Noise (voice/sound)
Battery life (talk time/standby time/&c.)
Yield strength (can I run over it with my car?)
IP Code

about a week ago

Study: Seals Infected Early Americans With Tuberculosis

r_jensen11 Oblig. Monty Python (74 comments)

What's the nautical speed velocity of an unladen seal?

about a month ago

Comcast Training Materials Leaked

r_jensen11 Re:Is there an counter to this? (251 comments)

This is way too much effort, unless you happen to enjoy yanking some chains over the phone.

Here's how you quit Comcast:

(1) Disconnect every piece of Comcast equipment in your home.
(2) Load it in a box, and put the box in your car.
(3) Drive to the nearest Comcast customer center.
(4) Dump the box on the counter and tell the rep: "I wish to terminate my service immediately."

No one will argue with you. You have completely bypassed Comcast's customer retention process by doing this. Pay the amount due on your bill, get a receipt with a complete list of the equipment you've turned in, then go home.

The process Comcast has for this involves:
1) Finding a customer center that's open when you're available
2) Returning the equipment to the counter
3) Take a ticket
4) Wait 1+hrs while other people complain about their bills
5) Get confirmation from the customer service rep that your account is in good standing and now closed

about a month and a half ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

r_jensen11 Re:It's not a kernel problem (727 comments)

The problem is the GUI. People don't like X, and Linux people have no desire to give us anything else.

I seriously doubt the premise that the common user cares about X enough to not like it. The operating system is a platform for people to run the programs they need to accomplish certain tasks. Windows will continue to be the heavyweight champion because there is so much legacy crap out there which nobody cares to port over to other platforms. It's not a matter of saying that Linux has application A which is fully compatible with application B on Windows; it's a matter of saying that a user can accomplish everything s/he needs to within a single platform. For many of the people who make the decisions in the enterprise environment, that means people can accomplish everything they do in:
and *maybe* Word

about a month and a half ago

Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

r_jensen11 Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (162 comments)

Pic of the wheel ...

The first time when I saw the wheels I was wondering why the hell they spend so much money to send up a robot to Mars and then equip that thing with such flimsy wheels

And I did post question here on /, and there were people (NASA fanbois, perhaps) defending those flimsy wheels

I wish the wheels on my daily driver would last as many years without servicing as Curiosity's have.

about a month and a half ago

The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

r_jensen11 Re:put it in bridge mode (224 comments)

If you call Comcast's customer service, they can put their new routers into bridge mode. This turns off its WiFi and other unnecessary features and makes it act like their old routers.

The fact that you have to call Comcast's customer support to change between router & bridge mode is a serious PIA. I got called in to provide tech support for some people we volunteer with and was stuck waiting for over an hour to make a simple configuration change. This is after previous calls getting dropped because the call center reps couldn't manage to transfer me to the appropriate (or even wrong) departments.

about 2 months ago

MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated

r_jensen11 Re:We're only talkin' two Red Line subway stops (205 comments)

Not to discredit, but to clarify TFA:

While students at MIT and Harvard do cross-register, the logistics of travel from one campus to another limit the extent to which this is practical. Online makes it possible for students to take classes from across universities more conveniently.”

We're talking two subway stops. Or they can rent a bike, which are all over the place and very well maintained:

Or, shorter than walking from one end of campus to the other end of several large universities....

about 2 months ago

Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

r_jensen11 Re:Yawn (442 comments)

Sheldon shows classical Autism Spectrum symptoms.

Non sequitur. The show makes fun of Sheldon because he's an asshole and a smart ass.

about 2 months ago

Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

r_jensen11 Sure, but... (502 comments)

In order for solar+battery tech to become a viable solution, there needs to be ways to move the electricity generated by the solar panels to batteries you want to use. I.e. co-locate the two (e.g. panels & cars at home; panels & cars at work) or network them together (e.g. panels at home, cars at work.) The first scenario isn't very likely considering the sun generally shines when people are at work and the concentration of vehicles at work will overshadow the electricity generated by panels at an office building. The second scenario begs the question "who maintains the grid." In the US, this is the power companies, who could presumably adjust their business models and charge network access fees instead of production fees.

about 2 months ago

Synolocker 0-Day Ransomware Puts NAS Files At Risk

r_jensen11 Dyslexia makes things more interesting (150 comments)

Here I was, reading the headline as:

Synolocker 0-Day Ransomware Puts NSA Files At Risk

If only....

about 2 months ago

Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

r_jensen11 Re:Colorado has California over a barrel (377 comments)

You mean where they've been at the highest point in a decade....

A decade is an awfully small sample size for resources which can have replenishment schedules measured in centuries:

Natural refilling of deep aquifers is a slow process because groundwater moves slowly through the unsaturated zone and the aquifer. The rate of recharge is also an important consideration. It has been estimated, for example, that if the aquifer that underlies the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico—an area of slight precipitation—was emptied, it would take centuries to refill the aquifer at the present small rate of replenishment. In contrast, a shallow aquifer in an area of substantial precipitation such as those in the coastal plain in south Georgia, USA, may be replenished almost immediately.


about 2 months ago

Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

r_jensen11 Re:Not worth it (138 comments)

I look at it this way: I can pay $100+ a month to watch cable TV with commercials or I can pay $9 for Netflix, $8 for Hulu Plus, and nothing for my TV antenna for local shows. Yes, the ads on Hulu Plus are annoying, repetitive, and can't be skipped. But, I grew up in the 70s and 80s and have developed the skills to cope with ads and the lack of time shifting for local news. Millennial's milage may vary...

The problem is, how much of that $100 is your internet bill? Adding the TV channels to my Comcast bill added ~$30/mo to my bill, and that included all of the sports channels we would use (e.g. ESPN family, B1G, Tennis Channel, &c.) as well as HBO. Granted, we used a cablecard w/ an HDHR unit to avoid another $20-$30/mo and the headache of using their DVR (why the hell can't it output the video in a fixed format instead of switching between 480P/720P/1080i when channel surfing???), but spending $30/mo for TV at home was much cheaper than going to the bars to watch the same games.

about 3 months ago

Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

r_jensen11 Just tax the hell out of them (186 comments)

Sure, people will bitch and moan. Why doesn't the city just apply an exorbitant tax to all sugary drinks, regardless of size?

about 3 months ago

Google To Close Its American Moto X Factory

r_jensen11 Re:remove Health Care from jobs and then labor cos (154 comments)

I pay $194/month as a retiree for former-employer-subsidized healthcare....

Want to really help the American people? Pass the Fair Tax, which would put everyone back to work and they could then buy their own healthcare without the gov't getting involved in paying for it.

The "Fair Tax" sounds an awfully lot more fair when you're not spending 90% of your salary just to get by.

about 4 months ago

HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

r_jensen11 Re:Who gives a shit? (593 comments)

Not all jobs at Google are computer-science related, so it would be silly to expect their demographics to fit that mold. That would be like saying that since all professional NFL players are men, that all NFL employees should be men.

about 4 months ago

Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

r_jensen11 Re:Mutants! (213 comments)

Radioactive waste + the majority of the world's most dangerous species = ... ? Godzilla? Hundred metre diameter spiders? Snakes the size of the great wall of China?

Kangaroos which can hop between Australia & Papau New Guinea? How will we ever contain them from spreading to Indonesia and beyond? Help us Godzilla, you're our only hope!

about 4 months ago

With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

r_jensen11 Re:Surface: the only Hope (379 comments)

I would argue that a lot of Apple's success today stems from the fact that they were the dominant machine in schools 30 years ago.

Apple's the dominant force it is because it's still riding on the coattails of OSX and the iPod/iPhone/iPad being cool. It certainly wasn't due to how their computers performed in schools. I went through school using their computers from the Apple II's, endured their horrible puck mouse, and put up with the slow and nearly-non-functioning G3 iMac/eMac line-up, with other Apple products in-between. Generally, the Win95/Win98 experience was more powerful (less waiting/hourglass/spinning-wheel time), and had about the same rate of program crashes. Doing anything online was always a pain, although having a marquee within a marquee will always be a nightmare)

about 4 months ago

Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

r_jensen11 Re:danger will robinson (688 comments)

What did people expect from a country which pledges to be indivisible?

about 4 months ago

Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

r_jensen11 Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (208 comments)

Personally, I support making the actual last mile wiring a public utility. Let ISPs share them.

That is the wrong way to do it. The right way is to install a 6" wide publicly owned conduit. That is enough for thousands of fibers. Then let any bonded company pull fiber through it. The government should own the roads, not the trucks.

Using your analogy:
FTTH would be the roads
Installers creating the physical connection would be road maintenance
ISP's would be the trucks/vehicles
Data would be the cargo

about 4 months ago



Fluid dynamics of Splashback

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  about a year ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "Affectionately known as the "Wizz Kids," a pair of BYU physicists have pushed past the bounds of toilet humor to publish their research on splashback: the paradox of going to the bathroom without suffering from urinary ricochet. Many have tried to tackle this problem (my favorite idea comes from You Don't Know Jack's skit, "The Shield"), however few have studied the subject as thoroughly as Prof Tadd Truscott and Randy Hurd. Using high-speed cameras set up in their Splash Lab, Truscott and Hurd took notes on how to best address the Plateau-Rayleigh instability phenomenon. Some highlights from their research include:
  • The closer you are, the better
  • The angle of attack matters
  • Toilet designs also matter

And like all proper researchers, the duo concludes that further research is necessary to determine "the optimal approach for urinal usage""
Link to Original Source


Nokia selling wireless modem business for $200MM

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "Nokia is in the process of selling its wireless modem business, which includes many patents for LTE, HSPA and GSM. Given its troubles with developing a flashy smartphone as of late, could this be a sign that they are doubling their efforts to be a phone company like HTC, and less like Motorola? Or is this a sign of more troubles ahead?"
Link to Original Source

ATI Catalyst 8.1 released

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "AMD have released their Catalyst 8.1 drivers for Linux yesterday, which now supports REHL 4.6 and 5.1, as well as Gusty. AMD notes four resolved issues: Corruption will no longer be noticed in the lower right corner of the display or on the mouse pointer after the system is running for a long period of time

Custom mode lines in xorg.conf will no longer be ignored by the fglrx driver Suspending to RAM or DISK on kernel version 2.6.23 or later no longer fails Connecting a display device that supports 1680x1050 to a system running Linux will no longer result in a maximum display resolution of 1280x1024 only being available
The only major catch?

On workstation hardware 3D applications will be corrupted if the screen width is not an integer multiple of 64 pixels, for example with a 1680x1050 wide screen display.

Link to Original Source

1st Gen Blu-ray players already obsolete.

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "The BBC reports that a new wave of movies being released for Blu-ray are including features, such as picture-in-picture, that require bluray players to support the current profile 2.0 (BD Live). Apparently, some people are not terribly concerned that many people will find that they've dropped some $2,000 on a device that is no longer fully supportive. Alastair Upham's (from DVD Review) opinion of the matter is:

"The guys that bought the first Blu-ray players are the guys who bought the first laser discs. They know the risks."
And for all of you out there that bought a PS3 because it's a cheap blu-ray player, well, you're in luck:

But because internet functionality is not a mandatory requirement in current players, none on the market today will be able to access the feature.

The only Blu-ray player which can upgraded to use all the features is Sony's PlayStation 3, because it comes with the right hardware built-in and online access.

Link to Original Source

Demonoid shut down for good?

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "It appears that the CRIA is at it again. According to their website, Demonoid may be down for good. The only message the crew have left is the following:

The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding.
What do you think, is this the end of Demonoid? Or will they move to another country, yet again? Or maybe someone could revive them again?"

Link to Original Source

Can the PS3 be the new TiVO?

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "According to the BBC, European consumers will be able to add on DVR capabilities to their PS3's. FTFA:

Sony has unveiled a TV tuner which plugs into the PS3 and turns it into a personal video recorder like Sky+. The company has held a press conference at the Leipzig games show in which it highlighted key multimedia capabilities for the PS3 and handheld PSP... PlayTV for PS3 is a twin TV tuner that will launch in early 2008 in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain with other countries to follow.

Link to Original Source

Stem Cells + Existing Body Fat = Breast Implants

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "According to a recent BBC article, using a combination of existing body fat from either the belly or the butt, along with stem cells, is providing a more 'natural' breast implant. Some possible uses discussed are augmentation and reconstructive surgury. FTFA:

Scientists say they are not sure quite how it works, but suspect that the stem cells emit signals that encourage blood vessels to grow and nurture new tissue.

Link to Original Source

Social sites reveal class divide - Or do they?

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "According to a BBC article, PhD student Danah Boyd (Berkeley) claims that there is a social divide between Facebook and Myspace users. FTFA:

A six-month research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites. The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college. By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.
Now, the article doesn't mention that Facebook originated as a College-only network, but they might still have a point. This could also be interesting as many view Facebook as becoming more and more like Myspace."

Link to Original Source

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "FTA:

The deteriorating cement roof tiles of the Paul VI auditorium will be replaced next year with photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity.

The cells will generate enough power to light, heat or cool the hall, the Vatican engineers say.

Given its size, would this then make the Vatican the most energy-efficient country in the world?"

Link to Original Source

r_jensen11 r_jensen11 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

r_jensen11 (598210) writes "I know this topic has been asked at least once before, but seeing as how 6 years have passed, I figured the question is due again. It's about that time of the year again when we find out how much we owe Uncle Sam (Or as in my case, how much Uncle Sam owes me.) Software has changed drastically in the past 6 years since the previous query I found on Slashdot, as well as many tax rules. Does anyone here use tax software other than TurboTax and TaxCut? I know that there are also online forms I can fill out, but which ones are accessable to people that use OS's other than Windows and OSX? I'd preferably use a program that I can use off-line and store my information locally instead of using eforms, but if I have to resort to eforms, which ones should I investigate and which ones should I stay far away from?"


r_jensen11 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?