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Comments

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Building a Telegraph Using Only Stone Age Materials

tinkertim Re:Some things are just for fun (238 comments)

When I mentioned that "He used a lighter" , I should have elaborated. Making fire is HARD .. and would be stone age 'Franklins' might have been discouraged before actually completing an experiment that led to something useful due to a lack of dexterity.

Or, they would have seen a more immediate need .. "Making this hot stuff has GOT to be easier!", hence the flint.

about 4 years ago
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Building a Telegraph Using Only Stone Age Materials

tinkertim Some things are just for fun (238 comments)

Yes, we could have used electricity at almost any point in time. We could have made telegraphs, but most likely, we would have realized just how hot things became during experiments and put the knowledge to a more immediate need and use.

If I traveled back in time to the age where fire was still novel and needed some form of mass communication, I would quickly rule out electricity as a tenable solution.

I might use a system of vines, smoke signals or other more practical solutions, just as our ancestors did.

The spin on TFA was bad, but that doesn't make it uninteresting. The ramifications of our ancestors discovering things earlier, or in a different order does make for entertaining thought. Try not to focus on things like:

- He used a lighter
- He had plenty to eat, so he had time to experiment (he was not addressing an immediate need)
- He may have been cold, but wasn't trying to solve that problem (sort of redundant, but worth mentioning)
- He was not distracted by other marvels that we see as commonplace, such as other uses for clay and fire .. the list goes on

Still, while the video might be silly, the thinking behind it is worth a cup of coffee and consideration.

about 4 years ago
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New Virginia IT Systems Lack Network Backup

tinkertim 15 day outage??? (211 comments)

From TFA:

During the first six months of the year, state Department of Transportation workers faced 101 significant IT outages totaling 4,677 hours: an average of more than 46 hours per outage. One took 360 hours to fix.

Suddenly, I don't feel so bad for that 2 1/2 hour glitch last week :)

more than 4 years ago
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Intel Says Brain Implants Could Control Computers By 2020

tinkertim I'm sick of being underestimated (314 comments)

Why, oh why does everyone at Intel think that people just want to 'surf the web' with whatever they happen to invent? You invent freaking brain implants and the first obvious use becomes surfing the web?

It could not be ... `write code` or `use photoshop` or .. anything even remotely challenging to a human brain?

Ah well.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Doesn't Exercise Lead To Weight Loss?

tinkertim Re:Cause you eat to much fat f*ck! (978 comments)

Just to be clear though .. did you mean eating as much AS the villagers, or the villagers themselves?

more than 4 years ago
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Why Doesn't Exercise Lead To Weight Loss?

tinkertim Re:Cause you eat to much fat f*ck! (978 comments)

I was going to reply harshly to this .. you insensitive clod! But, I started laughing harder at the small African village part.

more than 4 years ago
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Amazon Patents Changing Authors' Words

tinkertim Re:Patentable? (323 comments)

Aww come on. This is the smuckin fartest invention ever!

about 5 years ago
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Robot Controlled By Human Brain Cells

tinkertim Re:I wasn't worried...at first. (86 comments)

... unless the robot happens to be drunk. Think about it .. an army of drunk robots with lasers.

about 5 years ago
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SCO Terminates Darl McBride

tinkertim Re:So when is SCO going to Die (458 comments)

I guess the question is when is SCO going to die? I know it is close to Halloween but this is one zombie that needs a bullet in the head!!

I honestly thought they would be gone within a year of hitting the pink sheets. Right now they're on the we-may-actually-own-the-copyright-to-unix-after-all respirator, I'm just waiting for someone to pull the plug on that one.

I think most people expected them to be existentially challenged at this point .. yet they keep on living.

about 5 years ago
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Seasonal Flu Shots Double Risk of Getting Swine Flu, Says New Study

tinkertim Re:As usual, correlation is not... (258 comments)

IF you have health problem, or a weak immunitary system, then you are likely to have had flu shots in the past, AND you are likely to catch swine flu now that a shot for it does not exist yet. So nothing particularly stunning here.

Though it isn't exactly spelled out in TFA, I would _hope_ that their conclusion was drawn after noticing the trend in ordinary / normally healthy people. I think what they mean is, ordinary / healthy people who get the flu shot seem to be twice as likely to contract Swine Flu.

Not a lot of information regarding the study itself is in the TFA, unfortunately. Most of the article just states current and potential ramifications.

about 5 years ago
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Radio-Controlled Cyborg Beetles Become Reality

tinkertim Re:I for one (150 comments)

What, no lasers?

about 5 years ago
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Apple Behind Intel's USB Competitor?

tinkertim Re:Put it on iPods (332 comments)

Put it on iPods and it becomes ubiquitous almost immediately. They could charge extra for a usb cable or dock.

Well, looking at the diagram, dongles to connect USB and other types would be the means to do that. Personally, if it works as well as they say that it works, I'd be opting for gadgets and devices that just support it natively.

more than 5 years ago
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Parental Control Software Datamines Kids' Online Conversations

tinkertim Re:That is what you get (105 comments)

When you delegate your parental responsibilities.

As a parent of a three year old girl, I agree with you. However, standing over their shoulder the entire time they use a computer is not going to be very productive.

I wish more parents would understand that you have about 8 years from the time that a kid is born to install a sense of confidence and worth in them that can't be easily (if at all) broken by future peers, predators or come what may. If you manage to do it, your kid will make good choices.

No software is a substitute for a desire in a child to make good, positive self serving choices when they are confronted with the various bumps in growing up.

What a world this police state is becoming, sheesh.

more than 5 years ago
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Internet Astroturfer Fined $300,000

tinkertim Re:Billy Mays Here (245 comments)

Actually, I think that was recursive.

more than 5 years ago
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Internet Astroturfer Fined $300,000

tinkertim Billy Mays Here (245 comments)

Hi! Billy Mays here with a completely new and revolutionary product called Internet Astroturfing! Read what thousands of our satisfied clients have to say about IA on popular blogs and forums ....

more than 5 years ago
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Human Sperm Produced In the Laboratory

tinkertim Now here's an interesting future (368 comments)

A future break-up email? Or perhaps, mind mail?

"We are all engineered beings .. I'm sorry that your makeup shows that you have a high risk for heart attacks, .. so you are not for me. The lab made the miistake, its not your fault and don't blame god especially Pfizer or you'll vanish like the rest. But, my kids must be adequate for space careers, so I simply can not date you now, in grade 3. When I cease fertility, we can reconsider!"

more than 5 years ago
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Family's Christmas Photos Hawk Groceries In Prague

tinkertim Re:Eh (263 comments)

I don't see what is creepy about this.

I suspect that you don't have children. If you do have children and feel this way, I admire your mindset.

It is hard to avoid a sense of the "creeps" when you see pictures of your child(ren) used without your knowledge or permission, especially in another country. While in this case, any rational brain would conclude that there is no harm done, it still feels .. well .. creepy.

more than 5 years ago
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Security Flaw Hits VAserv; Head of LxLabs Found Hanged

tinkertim Re:Mixed feelings (413 comments)

I have very mixed feelings on security firms releasing exploits to the public just to try and get results. In my (admittedly limited) experience, more bad has come from releasing exploits publicly than good.

I have the same mixed feelings. The problem is frustration stemming from vendor lock-in. If you use a proprietary product to deploy 200 servers, you basically become married to the product. The applications organize things in their own way, switching to something else is a very costly and aggravating ordeal.

If you have discovered a string (note, dozens) of serious vulnerabilities in the software and get no response from the vendor, what do you do? What immediately comes to mind is "stop using the software", however as I noted, that is not so easy.

I would never disclose something until / if the vendor patched it. I would also never accept an end user license agreement that did not clearly specify the responsibilities of the vendor with regards to security patches. If they fail to fix them in a timely manner (two weeks is MORE than timely to at least show some progress), lawyers can work it out.

If you think about it, telling someone "Fix this issue within xx days or I'll disclose it" is borderline blackmail. You're telling someone that if they don't do what you want, when you want it, you'll cause them grief. Changing that to say "If you don't address these, I'll have to involve my lawyer as you are clearly not holding up your end of our contract" is another story.

The lesson learned, use free/open source software or buy from vendors with an excellent track record of addressing these kinds of problems quickly and transparently. If you're going to get married to a product, be sure to have a prenup.

more than 5 years ago
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Hackers Claim To Hit T-Mobile Hard

tinkertim My own insignificant comment (302 comments)

This will probably not see the light of day from /. moderators but:

ITS CRACKERS, NOT HACKERS, JACKASS.

Hackers make your kernels, operating systems and generally improve life for computer users.

Crackers exploit what hackers write.

Its a vicious cycle that took decades to perfect.

more than 5 years ago
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Hackers Claim To Hit T-Mobile Hard

tinkertim Re:Why.... (302 comments)

My guess is the conversations go like this:

Front-line Manager: We need to

It probably ended there ...

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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How long do you wait for replies to e-mail?

tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "What I am asking has been asked many times before. I've noticed that people (in general, through my own dealings) seem to be growing increasingly impatient (seems more so over the last year). I'd like to ask slashdot readers, simply, how long does it take before you feel that someone 'blew you off' by not replying to your e-mail and how upset do you get when this appears to happen?"
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "Physorg is reporting that Princeton physicists have connected the string theory with established physics. From the article:

String theory, simultaneously one of the most promising and controversial ideas in modern physics, may be more capable of helping probe the inner workings of subatomic particles than was previously thought, according to a team of Princeton University scientists.
"
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "A lone hobbyist programmer sitting at his home in France is responsible for adding 352 USB webcams to the list of those supported by Linux. The man who you have probably never heard of is Michel Xhaard, a Physician and working in Doppler and Ultrasound imaging. The Inquirer has the scoop on this rather remarkable individual, photos included."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "I'm curious to hear the opinions of other Slashdotters regarding the future of Linux and Gaming. With core developers offering to write device drivers for free, major PC makers offering Linux as an installed OS and thousands of would be game authors trying to get noticed — do you think Linux users can realistically hope for more games? Why or why not?"
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "VMWare has issued patches for its ESX 3.* line as reported by the French FrSIRT advisory. Oddly, this has yet to grace Secunia (at the time of this submission), so I'm submitting it. The advisory reports that unspecified double-free and buffer overflow errors have also been addressed. These issues could be exploited by attackers to cause a denial of service, disclose sensitive information, or execute arbitrary commands. Anyone using VMWare ESX is strongly advised to update."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "Computerworld is reporting that a researcher at Juniper has discovered an interesting vulnerability that can be used to compromise ARM and Xscale based electronic devices such as many popular routers and mobile phones. According to the article, the vulnerability would allow hackers to execute code and compromise personal information or re-direct internet traffic at the router level. Juniper plans to demonstrate not only the researcher's discovery, but also how he managed to use a common JTAG developed Boundary Scan to discover the vulnerability at this month's CanSecWest conference in hopes of shifting more of the black hat community to looking at devices instead of software."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "Greetings fellow Slashdotters, I'm writing to Slashdot because I am at my wits end with trying to curtail the endless flood of pump and dump stock spam. I just can't seem to hold it back any longer using my favorite tools which have been tried and true for the last five years, like Spam Assassin. I was holding ground, but the latest waves are flying right through everything I put up to stop them. I have tried DNSBL's (free ones), many tweaks to Spam Assassin, some home brew mods to help look at the images contained in them, blocking all known bogon IP ranges and more. No combination of tactics I try seems to hold these crooks at bay any longer while leaving e-mail still functional. The servers I manage are often small, ill equipped to deal with the brute force methods these spammers emplore. Even worse, most of my users *must* have a catch-all email and keep it relatively spam free. My last resort is turning to some appliances to help block it out. I know that there is no magic bullet, and so do the users who are most effected. To compound the issue, the servers are located in 20+ different facilities scattered about the globe. I can't buy one *really good* appliance to use for everyone. My clients lease their own gear where they choose, Its impossible for me to centralize e-mail for everyone. I'm looking for a solution to protect about 100 mailboxes which will need to be deployed 20 or so times. Ideally, Im able to find a small appliance that can help me get the abuse down to a dull roar. So many choices are out there and so many simply can't hold a candle against the botnets sending this junk. Spam-A does a wonderful job, other than the pump and dumps. I just need something to help it. What devices or paid DNSBL's would you recommend that can help me dump the pumpers? My clients don't make a ton of money, but their on-line businesses pay their rent. They have a right to working e-mail, and I'd really like to try to help them without breaking the piggybank. Many thanks in advance for your suggestions, time and links."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "MSNBC is reporting that a three foot snake was accidentally freed in Google's NY offices. This in and of itself is funny, but a bigger chuckle can be found when you learn the snake is indeed a Python. Security teams have searched the NY 'Googleplex' twice (which is the size of two football fields) to no avail. Apparently, the Python managed to get loose in a cube farm and has been slinking around for a few days now. An employee brought in the snake to setup a 'snake cam', allowing other co-workers to watch it while working and the snake escaped once unattended."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "Greetings fellow Slashdotters, especially ones that know something about DNA.

Some friends of mine and I are very curious to get to know more about DNA and want to understand whats 'under our hood' a little more.

We're particularaly interested in some subtle differences between men and women. Some women see things in 4 shades of colors, while men see things in 3. It would be neat to know if two people 'see' the same object the same way, especially amongst friends (and spouses). To know this, we have to be able to look at eachother's DNA and be able to understand what its telling us.

My questions are broad, and I apologize. I hope the nature of these shows those 'in the know' just how very much 'in the dark' the rest of us are.

Labs that do DNA testing have very expensive stuff in them. Is there a less reilable but still informative procedure one can follow using less expensive equipment at home?

Can hobbyists form relationships with testing labs without licenses and other such prerequisites?

Most overall, is this something a reasonably smart person can dive into just for the sake of learning? Lasers at one time were pretty hands off .. but now people have them on keychains. How far into the hands of average people will DNA sequencing technology journey?

Finally, I realize the implications of what I'm asking. For agruments sake, I ask you to to separate the technology from its implications. That being said, please feel free to present any implications that you feel aren't obviated by the question itself.

The question refers only to someone examining their own genetic blueprint for the sake of knowing what it says.

Thanks to all in advance."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "ICANN is re-evaluating the scope and purpose of its accreditations , apparently sparked by the recent collapse of garage domain name registrar Registerfly. In a press release dated March 21, 2007, President and CEO of ICANN, Dr Paul Twomey is quoted as saying :

"What has happened to registrants with RegisterFly.com has made it clear there must be comprehensive review of the registrar accreditation process and the content of the RAA".
Dr. Twomey is blaming (in part) "weaknesses in the RAA" for severe and undue hardships that many registrants encountered when trying to transfer names away from the failing registrar, Registerfly.

Many new points to be discussed include allowing registrants to view the performance of registrars in an "independent comparative way", as well as new language to allow ICANN to forcibly intercede in the face of wide spread, persistent and consistent complaints. 10 good points for discussion are listed by Dr. Twomey in the release, who invites all ICANN stakeholders to participate in re-evaluating the RAA.

Registerfly, the catalyst for this re-write does not officially lose their accredited status until March 31, 2007, and continues to display the ICANN seal on their web site."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "Garage registrar Registerfly has been the frequent subject lately of questionable business ethics. Registerflies, a site devoted to uniting dis-satisfied customers is announcing a high probability that enough support can be rallied to force ICANN to withdraw accreditation for RegisterFly, who boasts over 10 million domains registered. Class action lawsuits also seem to be in the making. There is no indication (or reply from RegisterFly) on how this may or may not effect their solvency."
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tinkertim tinkertim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tinkertim writes "According to CNN, a deranged fan of Linkin Park and employee of Sandia National Labratories hacked her way into Linkin Park's singer Chester Bennington's Verizon Wireless account and used information she obtained to threaten his wife and obtain private information about the singer and his family.

The worst part, she did it from work. From the article:

"According to an affidavit filed by the Department of Defense Inspector General, Devon Townsend, 27, obtained copies of Bennington's cell phone bill, the phone numbers he called and digital pictures taken with the phone."

For those not familiar with Sandia, they are charged with the task of increasing our cyber-security through research."

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