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A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

tool462 Irony (158 comments)

I tried viewing this site from my work, and the map was replaced by my corporate 'Ad Blocked' image.

about a month ago
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An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

tool462 PTSD (192 comments)

Perl Traumatic Stress Disorder
My thanks to this young man for his sacrifice, from a fellow perl hacker who's spent 15 years in the trenches...

about 3 months ago
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Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

tool462 Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (309 comments)

you could be a chatbot, whreas I know I am definitely no

That sounds like something a chatbot would say. Nice try, Carp.

about 4 months ago
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Samsung Apologizes For Workers' Leukemia

tool462 Re:Isn't it a bit ironic (150 comments)

It's still clean energy. Humans are carbon-neutral.

about 5 months ago
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Facebook Analyzes the Impact of Love On Their Business

tool462 Re:Similar effect on Slashdot (37 comments)

If you run out the time axis long enough, you'll see it more reflects a bathtub curve than 1/x. I.e., in a long enough relationship, there will inevitably be a dramatic rise in posting frequency. Usually this is an indicator of a pending failure. When you see the onset of this increase, it's best to implement some redundancy. It may accelerate the failure of the first component, but ensures no disruption in service.

about 7 months ago
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Weapons Systems That Kill According To Algorithms Are Coming. What To Do?

tool462 Easy (514 comments)

Wear a tshirt with a message written in a carefully formatted font so it causes a buffer overflow, giving your tshirt root privileges.
Mine would have the decss code on it, so the drone starts shooting pirated DVDs at everybody. The RIAA will make short work of the problem at that point.

about 9 months ago
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Cobalt-60, and Lessons From a Mexican Theft

tool462 Re:61 (174 comments)

What a bunch of crap. Everybody knows Co-60 is a deflationary currency. If you hold it, half of it will be nothing but nickels in about 5 years (Ni-60 to be exact). Oh, and you'll be dead.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills For Programmers?

tool462 Communication is easy (361 comments)

Most engineers follow UDP protocol. Spewing a bunch of packets into the ether. In light traffic, this isn't a big problem. Plenty of bandwidth and sufficiently capable endpoints that they can reconstruct missing packets, or at least identify when they're missing something. However as traffic increases, packet loss can reach intolerable levels and communication breaks down entirely. If the engineer doesn't adjust to the network load, they can have an adverse effect on the entire network performance. In extreme cases the network admin (your boss) may need to remove the offending device from the network altogether.

They'd be better served to use TCP. Establish a connection. Send information in well defined packets. Confirm receipt. Re-transmit if necessary. Yes, it's slower and more overhead, but reliable information transfer is a must in a robust and useful network.

Oh, and always ACK with a smile :)

about a year ago
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Physicist Unveils a 'Turing Test' For Free Will

tool462 Re:Hmm (401 comments)

Ditto, and mine is convinced it is crossing the Alps, given where my wife usually sets the temp.

about a year ago
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Engineers Invent Programming Language To Build Synthetic DNA

tool462 Re:exception handling (51 comments)

Just mention in the ToC that this is a beta service and any claims of warranty or suitability for a given purpose, blah, blah, blah. Then just offer to release a patch once the exception can be reproduced and a suitable bug report has been filed.

1 year,11 hours
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Cyanogen Mod Goes Commercial To Make "Available On Everything, To Everyone"

tool462 Re:One question (230 comments)

I would expect they follow the model many other open source companies have done (deviations from this would probably raise at least one of my eyebrows): services and support.

I've run CM on most of my Android devices at some point. I stay with the vanilla carrier OS for a bit, but it inevitably starts to annoy me, and generally ceases to get updated after a year or two.
The dev community has done a terrific job of making it easy to root and install CM on a wide variety of phones, but everything still comes with massive "if you brick your phone, don't come cry to us" disclaimers all over it. This limits the user base to people that are comfortable hacking around on a command line and are okay with a small chance of owning a $200+ paper weight. Offering support contracts such that the average person doesn't have to dig around for hours on xdadev and cm forums trying to find information when they run into problems would expand their potential user base and be a welcome tool even for us hacker types. I know I've spent way too long trying to get S-off on my HTC One X. None of the wikis or forum posts have offered anything that helps resolve my specific issue. I'd gladly spend a bit of money to have a dedicated support person help debug it with me. Somebody who understands how the exploit works in detail and knows what and where to check to figure out why my phone in particular isn't working. I'm confident I'll eventually figure it out, but it's taking a lot more time than I'd rather spend on it.

They also currently provide premium services like an app that enables OTA updates to any CM rom, automated backup utilities for recovery, themes, launcher apps, etc. There's a lot of potential here for offering paid services that take advantage of your additional capabilities having an open phone.

1 year,12 days
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Scientists Create 'Fastest Man-Made Spinning Object'

tool462 I tried... (159 comments)

I spent most of the time I was reading the summary trying to come up with some really clever/sarcastic/funny comment (Electrons spin faster! -- um, no that's lame. I got it, if you spin it backwards, it just says "Paul is dead" in a chipmunk voice.)

But then I got to this:

The team then used the minuscule forces of laser light to hold the sphere with the radiation pressure of light — rather like levitating a beach ball with a jet of water. They exploited the property of polarization of the laser light that changed as the light passed through the levitating sphere, exerting a small twist or torque.

That is so indescribably cool I just had to let that stand on its own. There is so much physics wrapped up in this one experiment.
I'll just leave it at an obligatory XKCD:
Science, it works bitches.

about a year ago
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NASDAQ Trading Halted Due To "Technical Issue"

tool462 Don't forget about... (240 comments)

... the group of MBAs ...

  - Flop sweating their asses of
  - Furiously searching their email for that ass-covering memo where the IT guy said "Yeah, this should work"
  - Wondering if there is enough coke on earth to get them through the rest of the day

For these guys, there are only two universal truths:
    1) This is absolutely, positively, 100% the IT guy's fault
    2) He can not fix this without the IT guy.
The impotent rage would be palpable.

about a year ago
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Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death

tool462 Dup comment (220 comments)

I may have to repost my old comment in every coffee story that makes it to the front page. It always seems to apply. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2899159&cid=40234945

It's not that caffeine causes us to die early, caffeine dilates time itself. We live a lifetime of productive bliss in only a few moments. Why else do non-coffee drinkers never appear to age? In what feels like 60 years for us, only a short time passes for them. They look younger because they are younger. But, they also live long enough to get Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer. In a twist of irony our lives are shorter but our years are longer. We looked to the internet for the Singularity, but we should have looked inside. The Singularity is us.

about a year ago
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Snowden Gave 15,000 Documents to Glenn Greenwald; Obama Cancels Russia Summit

tool462 Re:Screw You Obama (531 comments)

Strike that, reverse it.

about a year ago
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Samsung Offered StackOverflow Users $500 For "Organic" Publicity

tool462 Re:Anyone know anything about SSAC? (146 comments)

Epic fail. Only timothy or samzenpus are allowed to astroturf.

about a year ago
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Google Patents Frowns and Winks To Unlock Your Phone

tool462 Good. (89 comments)

Finally a use for patents I can support. This will prevent anybody else from implementing this incredibly stupid idea.

And on a side note, if Google did get this to work would they be able to have the phone automatically call 911 if you were having a stroke?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?

tool462 Since others have mentioned Arduino and Mindstorm (166 comments)

I'll add in Boe Bots:
http://www.parallax.com/go/boebot

These are really simple to set up (especially if you're not really a hardware/circuits guy) and are a lot of fun to play with. Very limited processor, but that's not such a bad thing to start out. There's quite a lot of add on sensors/motors, etc, so you can accomplish quite a lot.
It's great for building path finding/obstacle avoision types of projects. If you take a liking to robotics though, you'll probably want to move into something more powerful pretty quick. But it is a nice cheap way to get some experience with the basics.

about a year ago
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Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

tool462 Re:100 percent of 1 is 1 (400 comments)

Depending on the quantity of VC available, it could be profitable to rent ~20 cars and park them in your lot overnight.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Early Humans and Neanderthals "exchanged" DNA

tool462 tool462 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

tool462 (677306) writes "New research indicates that early humans and neanderthals exchanged genetic information. From the article:

Reich and his Leipzig co-authors are totally sure that Neanderthal genes found their way into modern humans when the two species intersected. They report their findings in the journal Science.
"The simplest possible explanation is that it occurred once," Reich says. "But it very easily could have occurred on multiple occasions. Perhaps it's likely that it occurred on multiple occasions."
Reich says it's hard to pin down exactly how much DNA Neanderthals contributed to modern humans. "We estimate about 1 to 4 percent of the genetic ancestry of non-Africans is from Neanderthals," he says.

"

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