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Comments

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Exomoon Detection Technique Could Greatly Expand Potential Habitable Systems

roc97007 Pandora (65 comments)

> The search for 'Pandora' has begun.

Well done. As long as I don't have to sit through the movie again...

2 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

roc97007 Re:put a label on it. (279 comments)

I'm pretty sure our ancestors didn't evolve to eat corn that was licensed by Monsanto. Just a thought.

But I understand GMO foods are going to totally fix world hunger, which is why they're primarily sold in the US, where judging from the girth of people I see on the street, everybody's hungry as hell.

We are guinea pigs for the rest of the world. Looks like it's working.

3 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

roc97007 Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (279 comments)

So you're saying, eat less, exercise more, and do it for the rest of your life?

You'll never sell that. People want to know what magic food you can eat that will make the bulge from all the cheetos go away. Telling them to eat fewer cheetos only makes people hate you.

3 days ago
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Robo Brain Project Wants To Turn the Internet Into a Robotic Hivemind

roc97007 so how does the hive mind... (108 comments)

...deal with popup ads?

"Creating two slices of toa--ARE YOU TROUBLED WITH INCONTINENCE?--st at li--TRY NEW MOD STYLE DEPENDS! DELIVERED DISCRETELY TO YOUR HOUSE!--ght brown."

"Never mind, I'm not hungry anymore."

3 days ago
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Securing the US Electrical Grid

roc97007 Re:Cyber is easy, EMP is possible (117 comments)

> Cyber is easy - simply no direct connect to the internet. Anything less is effectively nothing. Anything more is not needed.

From a purely electronic standpoint, true. But you also have to maintain a fairly high degree of physical security. Just one example: If you work in an office building, note that janitors have keys to everywhere, even the CEOs office. I know, many companies require a background check for janitors, but many don't.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

roc97007 Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (131 comments)

Seconded on Anker batteries. I didn't like the funky wall charger with the movable contacts, ended up not using that. But the battery was fine.

about a week ago
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$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

roc97007 Re:precedent (231 comments)

The city's actually in more trouble if people keep suing it and it has to settle with six-digit amounts. That does put pressure on the government.

Sort-of true, except, it's easier to settle lawsuits if you're doing it with other people's money.

about a week ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

roc97007 Oh c'mon now! (298 comments)

It's a way for mass bricking of phones should the need arise. And people will just accept it, believing it's for their own good.

about a week ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

roc97007 Re:Ready in 30 years (305 comments)

Nobody needs to get murdered. You merely must create an environment where it's more profitable to research fusion energy than it is to commercialize fusion energy.

about two weeks ago
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$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

roc97007 precedent (231 comments)

Right, because trial can set precedent and the city *really* doesn't want that.

about two weeks ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

roc97007 Re:Did I miss the breakthrough? (305 comments)

I know this is an unpopular viewpoint, but I'm beginning to think that Tokamak is a way to funnel tax dollars into researcher's pockets. If we ever do achieve practical commercial fusion, we may look back at the Tokamak like modern pilots look back at the manned ornithopter attempts of the 1800's.

But if the Tokamak ever is made to be commercially viable, we're probably talking about a few gigantic power generators, which would mean we probably need to do something about that decades-old power line infrastructure.

about two weeks ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

roc97007 Re:Ready in 30 years (305 comments)

We all hope not. And past performance is not an indication of future results. (Which is a good thing, in this case.) But the past several decades have pretty much beaten all the enthusiasm out of many of us.

Practical fusion would be a complete game changer in many different areas. Cheap enough, it would not only pretty much kill the oil industry, but may even make the "green" energy industry redundant. (Solar, wind, tides, geothermal.) Dirt cheap electricity, commonly available, would make electric vehicles a lot more interesting. Cheap centralized power would probably reverse the current tendency to diversify power and make upgrading our aging electric power infrastructure a priority. And so forth. Fusion is a very disruptive technology.

Maybe that's the real reason we don't have it yet.

about two weeks ago
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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

roc97007 Re:Here's the rub... (215 comments)

True. This is not WinCE, or Win8 RT. It's "real" Windows. Nevertheless, it *is* Windows 8.1... And anytime Microsoft tries to shoehorn one of their operating systems into the "netbook" (or "chromebook" whatever the concept has morphed into) space, the process is usually (a) yes it work but it's really slow and the battery life is crap, (b) the next generation is heftier to be equal to the demands of the operating system, (c) eventually the product grows in capabilities and price to the point where it's really just a low end laptop. If MS is lucky, you then get (d), the market is muddied to the point where it becomes unprofitable and goes away.

It's the hardware equivalent of embrace, extend, extinguish.

about two weeks ago
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

roc97007 unintended consequences (199 comments)

Doesn't this pretty much eliminate any usage of a camera equipped drone anywhere in the city? How could you avoid filming bystanders if you were filming anything using a drone -- a high school football game, for instance.

I understand the reasons for the law -- we don't want people intentionally flying drones in areas where privacy would be expected -- and I include a back patio in that definition, if the owner has made a reasonable effort to make it a private space. But I'm concerned that a too-broad interpretation would ban all uses where there is any chance of unintentionally filming a stranger.

Photographers deal with this issue frequently. It's generally understood that if I take a photo of a street or a building, I don't need signed releases from every passer-by. But if I put my camera on a pole and raise it over the fence in someone else's enclosed back yard, I could get arrested (and would deserve to). Now that I think about it, wouldn't privacy issues regarding drones be covered by existing law?

about two weeks ago
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The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

roc97007 deja vu (174 comments)

Wait, didn't I hear something similar back in the seventies? Hope this works out better.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

roc97007 Re:Renaming won't work (426 comments)

After all, we know it's from MS so it's going to be buggy and crappy.

That's actually a good point. What they really need is to disassociate the products from the parent company in some fashion. Maybe call the group of internet enabled apps ...xfinity... nope, that's taken. And that wouldn't follow the apparently required theme of naming things generic. They probably can't call it "the internet". Hm. I got nuthin.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

roc97007 Re:Ultimately a bad idea... (426 comments)

Well obviously, any plan to rename IE would eventually fall through when they realized the damn thing still sucks and then they'd just be gaining ANOTHER product under their brand that is universally recognized as a steaming pile of crap. ;P

Right, but hasn't that been pretty much the way its gone for decades now?

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

roc97007 brilliant... (426 comments)

Because that tactic worked so well for Comcast. (Xfinity.)

about two weeks ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

roc97007 Re:/Oblg. Hemp for Victory ! (178 comments)

I don't have a reference handy, (would have to ask a certain member of my family who would know all about this) but I seem to remember that the banning of hemp had nothing to do with THC. That was only an excuse. The real reason was that hemp was competing too well with some other part of the textile industry.

That's going to bug me. I'll have to do research tonight and get more details.

about two weeks ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

roc97007 Re:So no ... (178 comments)

Actually when I was in high school electronics class we had great fun charging up big capacitors then tossing them to our classmates yelling "Here, catch!". A few of us were smart enough not to catch.

In my high school electronics class the instructor announced on the first day of class that anyone charging up a capacitor and tossing it to someone else as a joke would automatically fail the class. (Apparently this was not his first rodeo.)

Up to that point, we'd never even realized this was possible. That Halloween was fun.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Google Latitude leaves Google Maps, will be turned off August 9

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about a year ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "According to Cnet (and notifications to google users) Google Latitude is no longer part of Maps and will be turned off August 9. The functionality will be incorporated into Google+. Is this a natural progression or an effort to increase participation in Plus? Will users migrate to Plus, or switch to competing platforms like Life 360?

I used to use Latitude to track my daughter's whereabouts, first as a child while on vacations, and again when she first started driving solo, and having it directly incorporated into Maps was a plus. But now that she's on her own my use case has gone away, so I'm ambivalent about this. Others might feel differently."
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Malware causes fatal plane crash

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about 4 years ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "As if you needed another reason not to get on the plane: Malware, possibly from an infected USB stick, caused a fatal crash of Spanair flight 5022. From the article:

  Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais."

Link to Original Source
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Yorke says music industry on verge of collapse

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "Thom Yorke cautions up and coming musicians not to sign traditional record deals because the industry could collapse within months.

From the article: "It will be only a matter of time — months rather than years — before the music business establishment completely folds. (It will be) no great loss to the world.""

Link to Original Source

Journals

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First week on company iPhone

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about 6 years ago

A week ago, my team received their new company iPhones. For the first few days, lots of playing, exploring, downloading of apps, taking pictures, putting funny faces on them, showing off various discoveries.

Today was the first team meeting since the iPhones were delivered. It wasn't pretty.

One team member has already traded in his for a Motorola Razr because "it will receive calls". Another says she keeps hers in Edge mode normally, so the phone will work, switching to G3 only when she needs to be on the internet. Another guy forwarded his iPhone to his private cell and uses the iPhone as a rather expensive iPod. The recently released firmware update made no noticeably difference to the reception issues. Our program manager described trying to make a call as "hello? I'd like to... damn" (redial) "Hello? I'd like... damn" (redial) "Hello? damn" (redial).

Other gripes -- Rapid battery death in GPS mode. The camera isn't as good as the one in the company-issued Blackberry. (2.0 Mp vs 3.0 Mp). No flash. No video capabilities. No MMS. Awkward file management. One person said "Once you get past the flashy interface, you realize the guts are five or six years old".

Early adopters. Don't you love 'em.

But seriously, I'm glad there are people out there who will put up with teething issues as the necessary price of being the first to have something shiny and new. I think the concept has merit, and will be glad to "drink the Kool-Aid" as the detractors put it, when the time is right. Which isn't now. My phone, is, like, my phone. First and foremost, it has to work as a phone. The rest is cake.

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Are the number of MS licenses significantly overreported?

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about 6 years ago

Yesterday I was helping move around some desktop and laptop machines at work, and noticed for the first time that every one of these units had an official Microsoft sticker with a Windows license key, the great majority of which were for Windows Home Edition, which we do not use at work. (We only use XP Professional or Windows Server.)

I asked around, and apparently all those Home Edition licenses are legitimate; they are part of the cost of the unit. The company then stages the disk with the copy of windows for which we have a corporate license.

I haven't checked yet, but I suspect the latest hardware come with a Vista Home Basic license, which is then re-imaged with corporate XP Pro. (I will check this and update as necessary.)

I'm wondering -- doesn't this effectively double the number of licenses that Microsoft can claim to have sold, at least for corporate customers?

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