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Andromeda On Collision Course With the Milky Way

spiedrazer I thought we were expanding??? (217 comments)

OK, so if all matter came into being 14 Billion years ago in the big bang, and all space and the matter in it has been expanding since then, and new research shows that the universe will likely keep expanding as opposed to collapsing back in upon itself, how are two galaxies with the same approximate mass supposed to collide? Shouldn't we be getting further apart? I guess relatively close bodies of matter will continue to migrate towards each other even as the larger body of matter continues to expand, so matter will eventually be in larger clumps with more open space between them, but it still seems a bit counter-intuitive.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Your Electricity Meter Spying On You?

spiedrazer Oh My God Who Cares!!! (405 comments)

I'm all for protecting real privacy, but worrying about this is just a huge waste of time and resources. People need to get a grip!

more than 3 years ago
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Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?

spiedrazer Um... How about the cost of Movies??? (1162 comments)

As long as a premium new release Blue Ray movie is $29.95 when I might find the DVD for $15, blue ray will not take hold the way some folks had projected. It really costs no more to produce the BlueRay version. When the technology was brand new there was a business case for a premium price, but that shold be close to level by now. Just another case of greedy studios shooting themselves in the foot.

more than 3 years ago
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Students Claim New Paper Folding Record

spiedrazer Re:Legit. (138 comments)

I'm thinking that the first fold of the 13 total folds created a sheet with 2 layers, so the additional 12 folds would yield 2^12 or 4096 total layers. Not sure where they came up with 6000 in the article. As to length, 15000 feet halved 13 times would be 1.83 feet, but the depth of the folds eats up a lot of length, which is why their bundle really couldn't fold that 13th time.

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon iPhone Also Haunted By the Death Grip

spiedrazer Re:Apple users... (191 comments)

My New Verizon iPhone4 is my first Apple product other than an iPod. I don't upgrade phones until my contract is up, so I couldn't really get a smartphone until about 4 months ago. I could have gotten an Android then, but waited for the iPhone so I could re-use all my music and other stuff in iTunes. No-one has ever really convinced me that an Android or other phone is better than an iPhone, nor do I think the iPhone is better than an Android. It just made more sense to me for convenience sake. My point is that I don't think I have a huge loyalty to Apple. My new phone does not seem to have a death grip issue (where shorting multiple antenna segments kills your signal). It does experience a degradation if you cradle the phone to hide the antenna, but all cell phones have this issue.

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon iPhone Also Haunted By the Death Grip

spiedrazer No It Isn't...Na Na Na Na Na (191 comments)

The point of the article is that ALL phones will experience a signal degredation when the antenna is shielded, including the Verizon iPhone4. The death grip on the original iPhone 4 was a specific legitimate design problem where the antenna could be bridged/shorted between multiple antenna segments to drastically reduce the signal. No real death grip or phone cradling required. The Verizon phone does not have this design flaw.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Art Project Brings Galleries To Your PC

spiedrazer Re:Cool, but not the same as being there... (103 comments)

Please note that I'm not criticizing for inadequacy... I'm just informing the many readers who will check it out that, no matter how high the resolution, it still does not approach the visual impact these works can have in person. I wouldn't want people to think that they no longer need a museum trip because they have seen these works on Google!

BTW, I'm not an art snob, just a guy who happened into the Boston Museum of Fine Arts before a RedSox game one Sunday and found myself in front of some truly breathtaking paintings thinking "Wow, those full color prints in art books don't do this justice!"

I also did not rule out the possibility of improved digital renderings in the future.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Art Project Brings Galleries To Your PC

spiedrazer Cool, but not the same as being there... (103 comments)

Having seen several works by the major impressionists in person, I can say that no 2D rendering of a truly great painting can do it justice, no matter how high the resolution. Looking at a Van Gogh, for example, the paint depth in the brush strokes can be up to a centimeter thick, and this depth interactes with the light in person in a way that you can't capture in a 2D image. Which is not to say the whole thing isn't still really cool.

more than 3 years ago
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What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

spiedrazer Re:Distant Galaxy Now even Further (225 comments)

I'm not an expert on relativity, but I'd love to understand your point if it's accurate. As pointed out by michaelwv, we know that the photons we are seeing now left that galaxy 13.2 billion years ago, so where we see it now is it's position then relative to our current position at this time. We also know that the universe has expanded a great deal since then (especially since the age of the universe is 13.75 billion years old give or take). Hence, from our perspective the actual current physical position of the galaxy should be much further away than it was then (for those of us who don't understand). I'm sure you do need to understand relativity to calulate exacly how far away that is likely to be, but I'd love to hear the justification for how it is curreently just that 13.2 billion miles away at this time, when we know there have been 13.2 billion years of expansion.

more than 2 years ago
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What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

spiedrazer Distant Galaxy Now even Further (225 comments)

The interesteing thing not mentioned about the Distant Galaxy in the article. eventhough it's position 13.2 billion years ago was that far away from our current position, it is currently probably more like 45 billion light years away!

more than 2 years ago
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Loophole Means Unlimited Data For AT&T iPhone

spiedrazer So What??? (121 comments)

Very few people with the unlimitied AT&T plan switched away from it (statisticlly speaking anyway). The reason that Verizon is offering a 'temporary' unlimited plan is to entice those AT&T users who can't see themselves surviving on a metered service, but hate their coverage, to switch over to Verizon secure in the knowledge that they can still have an unlimited plan. Once these folks have had enough time to jump over, Verizon kills the plan for new subscribers. It's a great marketing ploy. I just don't see a large pool of existing frustrated AT&T users who dropped the unlimited plan clamoring to get back to it.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft (Probably) Didn't Just Buy Unix

spiedrazer Re:They bought 882 Novell patents; Whither OIN? (289 comments)

It doesn't matter.

When Company A buys stuff from Company B, all existing agreements and contracts concerning that assett with external parties must remain in force when the assett is transferred. CNPT can't just change the playing field on an agreement already in effect.

Now, CNPT may be less likely to renew certain agreements that may have an expiration date than Novell may have been, but any agreement with an expiration is an at risk deal anyway, no matter who the original agreement was with.

about 4 years ago
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Looking To Better Engines Instead of Electric Vehicles

spiedrazer Re:So (570 comments)

In those vehicles, the other cylinders that are de-activated are still spinning and thus placing a drag load on the engine as they are all tied to the same crankshaft. This engine has an electro-actuated clutch between cylender segments so that they provide no drag on the active segments of the engine when not in use.

about 4 years ago
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NASA Running Low On Fuel For Space Exploration

spiedrazer Agreed!! (282 comments)

If we can send 35 billion to these banks every couple of weeks, we should damn well be able to afford $150 mill for some needed space probes. It's only the long term future of the continuing human instinct to explore our world and universe!

more than 5 years ago
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Classic Books of Science?

spiedrazer Which Dictionary... (451 comments)

...defines a classic as having to break new ground? or is that just your personal opinion?

The original post doesn't say anything about limiting his readings to books announcing initial discoveries.

The Bryson book illuminates the context and connections between hundreds of scientific discoveries, as well as some of the coincidences or dumb luck that helped them come about. It somehow manages to do so in an engaging and entertaining fashion.

Keep in mind, also that many /. readers do NOT have 4 year degrees from institutions where they were forced to take a broad collection of science courses. As such, the quantity and variety of topics covered by Bryson could be a useful first exposure to many people in need of a little broader scientific perspective.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Why No Coverage of Impeachment???

spiedrazer spiedrazer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

spiedrazer (555388) writes "Ok, first let me say that, while I am annoyed/angry that the democratic leadership of congress has chosen to completely ignore the impeachment issue, I can sort of see their point about it having no chance of success and being a distraction yada, yada, yada...

But, Why on earth has not a single news organization chosen to give this occurrence even the slightest bit of coverage??? The Democrats have made a policy decision on how to handle the issue, but that doesn't mean that it isn't news and isn't worth providing valid analysis to the American people. If you go to "Google News" and search for "impeachment analysis" You get exactly nothing! Just the 4th tier news coverage and blog discussions, plus an analysis of weather impeachment should be initiated against the President of Pakistan from the Pakistan Daily Times!

How can none of our news outlets think it is remotely in the interest of the public to maybe have one of their many legal analysts review the actual articles of impeachment and offer an opinion as to their legal validity? Shouldn't someone tell us if the articles of impeachment have legal merit? If they did, wouldn't we be more likely to inquire of our representatives why they are choosing to ignore valid impeachable offenses? As it stands, anyone can label Kucinich a crackpot and there is no independent analysis one way or the other to say if this is true! Just the latest evidence that our news industry is surely failing us!"
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spiedrazer spiedrazer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spiedrazer (555388) writes "Every Spring, as Gas prices rise, consumers cry out about Oil Company conspiracies while the Oil Companies themselves trot out spokes-people to explain how they have no control over market forces. According to this article the current spike in prices is a "Big Surprise" and can be attributed to many factors, including a host of production declines due to necessary scheduled & un-scheduled maintenance.

What no-one seems to be saying clearly enough for anyone to understand is this: If the Oil Companies are making record profits in the billions and billions of dollars, don't they have the capital necessary to build appropriate refinery capacity etc. to absorb maintenance cycles without disrupting production? For example, if they had spent the money necessary to maintain the Alaska Pipeline, we wouldn't have had the major supply disruption last year now being blamed on pipeline maintenance cost-cutting . Similarly, the talking head I saw on a morning show last week stated that most maintenance needs to be done in winter because it is too hot in summer, so supply goes down and demand goes up.

So what it really comes down to is this... The Oil companies have all the money in the world to properly maintain their infrastructure and also build enough new capacity to absorb both routine and emergency maintenance, THEY JUST CHOOSE NOT TO SPEND IT! From their perspective it makes no sense to actually build a robust infrastructure capable of delivering the necessary capacity. If they do, they have to both spend money up front AND know that it will cause profits to go down in the future, because increased supply puts them on the wrong end of the supply & demand curve. They won't take any action that would reduce future profit capacity because they are ALL publicly traded companies, and public companies need to show not only profit but growth to keep share-holders happy and stock prices stable.

The only REAL solution is to de-list big oil and control prices like we used to do with electricity companies, but I don't see that happening. The problem has been made worse lately by the VERY friendly attitude of the current administration which sides with big oil on every issue. It's a wonder those poor boys can eek out a living, if you listen to the hardships of the industry from their perspective, which GW and friends are all to happy to do.

So, keep your wallets handy and know that the problem won't be solved until either the media educates the public about capacity/supply/demand etc. (doubtful) or the Government forces Big Oil to spend money on truly maintaining an appropriate infrastructure, which is also doubtful.

I'm not holding my breath for either solution. Does anyone see any others?"
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spiedrazer spiedrazer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spiedrazer (555388) writes "I work in IT in public education, and in recent months I have been bombarded by webinar invites and other promotional content hoping to educate me on the E-Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on Dec 1, 2006.

All of the promotional materials I have seen as well as MOST of the articles in various on-line magazines etc (like this one from E-School News), give the distinct impression that we are ALL now obligated to archive e-mail and other "electronically stored information" by federal law. What every source I have come across fails to point out, however, is that from what I can tell no such requirement actually exists, and the referenced rules of procedure have a much more limited implication (that you only need to store electronic documents that are related to existing litigation or issues you can reasonable expect might lead to litigation in the future).

What do the current rules actually mean for those of us who maintain data storage systems? Are these companies and associated industry mouthpieces deliberately misleading us in order to boost profits from un-knowledgeable consumers?, or are they just ignorant of the actual ruling's implications as well?

The full Rule 26 can be seen here.

As referenced in the original link, Just as important is Rule 37 which seems to provide for the regular deletion of older documents not related to litigation as part "of the routine, good-faith operation of an electronic information system.""
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spiedrazer spiedrazer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spiedrazer (555388) writes "In yet another attempt to create legitimacy for many of the Bush administration's questionable legal practices, US attorney General Alberto Gonzales actually had the audacity to argue that the US Constitution doesn't explicitly bestow habeas corpus rights on US citizens! In his view it merely says when the so-called Great Writ can be suspended, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the rights are granted. These statements were made while being questioned by Sen. Arlen Specter at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18

While Gonzales's statement has a measure of quibbling precision to it, his logic is troubling because it would suggest that many other fundamental rights that Americans hold dear (such as free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to assemble peacefully) also don't exist because the Constitution often spells out those rights in the negative. It boggles the mind the lengths this administration will go to to systematically erode the rights and privileges we have all counted on and held up as the granite pillars of our society since our nation was founded.

Also of note is that virtually NONE of the major news outlets seem to be covering this development! A google news search for "Gonzales Habeas Corpus" turns up only 101 hits with no major outlets listed!

You can also See Stephen Colbert's coverage including excerpts from the testimony HERE, just select the third video down on "Exact Words""
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spiedrazer spiedrazer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spiedrazer (555388) writes "So there are multiple articles out reporting a new study warning of an Ice free north pole by 2040 (See Bloomberg, ABC, or Playfuls.com). I'm sure the usual suspects will jump to action with the expected media dis-information campaign to make these reports out as just another doomsday prediction by the global warming machine. I'm not sure who these people are, but they seem to have a never-ending supply of conspiracy theories about how global warming is a farce (earlier slashdot article). What no-one seems to analyze, however, is what possible reason could scientists have for warning us about global warming if it weren't true, and why should it even matter if it IS made up (which it isn't).

If global warming is real, it would make sense that we need to take drastic steps to reduce pollution in order to reduce it's impact as much as possible. Those who would de-bunk global warming are apparently making the argument that, if global warming isn't real, there is no need to reduce pollution. This is actually a pretty silly argument, as there are plenty of other reasons to reduce pollution (health issues plus numerous other non-climate impacts on the environment come to mind). So the only reason to make up a global warming threat is to create one more in a long list of reasons why pollution should be reduced. If it really were made up, but wasn't achieving the desired result, wouldn't these same folks move on to another tactic in their fight to reduce pollution. Plus, who are these radical scientist anyway and when did they have their secret meeting where they decided to make up a global warning threat?

Now lets examine the flip side. Forgetting about global warming, who is the only real group opposed to pollution reduction? Corporate America is the main force behind any and all attempts to reduce pollution for the simple fact that it costs them money. Sure, people are lazy and so we all need a kick in the head to recycle more or waste less etc., but corporate America is the only group with real motivation to resist increased pollution controls. The global warming fight has actually made it easier for them to resist pollution cutbacks by reducing the number of fronts in the war. By putting all their eggs in one basket trying to cast fear, doubt and uncertainty about global warming, they have been effective at keeping the issue stalled. The current administration has obviously been complicit in this effort as they repeat the FUD every time any type of public debate or criticism of their lax policies rears it's head.

So, can we all just realize that A) Global warming is very real, but is just one of many reasons that we should be taking protection of the environment more seriously, and B) the only people who have anything to gain by de-bunking global warming are the interests who don't want to reduce pollution simply because of it's cost. Can we afford to wait any longer? Even if you feel global warming is exaggerated, are there ANY real reasons other than cost NOT to reduce pollution. What are they? I really want to know."

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