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Comments

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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

vikingpower Re:Well here we go again. (552 comments)

jan@saturnus ~$ man popcorn

No manual entry for popcorn

about two weeks ago
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Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

vikingpower Re:Connotations (127 comments)

I'm not aware of anyone who still worships or believes in the Roman (or Greek) gods.

I do, in some way. I think of Apollo and, especially, of Pallas Athena as of certain virtues / skills in human shape.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

vikingpower Have one, a great one. (381 comments)

I have a Seiko watch that runs on solar power. It features day of the week, date, a stopwatch, an alarm, and a second time zone. Oh, and yes, I almost forgot: it looks good, too. So - thanks, but no, thanks.

about two weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

vikingpower America. (702 comments)

Land of the free, home of the brave. Fuck, yeah.

about three weeks ago
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New Evidence For Oceans of Water Deep In the Earth

vikingpower Drill baby, drill ! (190 comments)

......can't wait to pollute this, too.

about a month and a half ago
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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

vikingpower Re:municipal broadband is the only solution. (343 comments)

Mod parent up. Insightful. The USA suffer from thinking that everything and anything will be solved by "the markets", and hence are an übercapitalist type of hell. One with the infrastructure of a 3rd world country. There clearly is a role for government and local collectivities here.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?

vikingpower A mechanical alarm clock, and a watch (153 comments)

When I was a very young boy, about 5, my parents had been using an old-fashioned mechanical alarm clock for years, complete with two bells on top of it. As they replaced it, I got it - and felt the irresistible urge to take it apart. Just driven by sheer hunger to see the insides, and understand. Same thing with my father's watch.

It is still the same urge that drives me: using a machine whose workings I don't understand drives me mad.

about 2 months ago
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German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring

vikingpower The difference with the USA (80 comments)

...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy. I don't see how this would come through the Bundestag, the German parliament, without being at least watered down, viz. being quietly forced into starvation as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.

about 2 months ago
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Perl 5.20 Released, and Mojolicious 5.0: the Very Modern Perl Web Framework

vikingpower Perl. (126 comments)

Welcome back into the Middle Age.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Wants To Run Your High-Performance Databases

vikingpower Over my fucking dead body (142 comments)

And I mean "my", "fucking", "dead" and "body" literally. I already imagine telling one of my customers that I host their data on Amazon AWS. I will never have had that good an opportunity to study people's backs.

about 2 months ago
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Mental Illness Reduces Lifespan As Much as Smoking

vikingpower Miracle I am still alive (192 comments)

Reading the actual paper I thought: "Wow. Should have been dead by now".

about 2 months ago
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Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

vikingpower Nice piece of work (143 comments)

Well-done article. Read it top to bottom. Congrats.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

vikingpower Have mercy (552 comments)

and pull the plugs. Really. This is no way to live.

about 2 months ago
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DARPA Unveils Hack-Resistant Drone

vikingpower How long (107 comments)

before someone takes over one of these babies ? I mean - for a challenge, this is about the same thing as waving a kilogram of prime steak in front of a pride of lions...

about 2 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

vikingpower Re:Not quite right (411 comments)

Switched networks built up out of segments, ever heard of those ?

about 2 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

vikingpower Re:Incoming conspiracy. (411 comments)

Before a week ? Before the sun has set, you mean...

about 2 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

vikingpower This could actually be good news (411 comments)

One more incentive to the US to turn towards renewable energy sources. The USA are lagging way behind western and northern European countries in that respect. Last week e.g. the Dutch railways announced that from next year on, 100% of their operations will run on electric power from renewable sources, mainly wind, bought from a total of 5 north west European countries ( DE, DK, BE, NO, NL ).

about 2 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

vikingpower Not only better (688 comments)

Other countries than the US do not only count better, but more and more other countries are beginning to count more....

about 2 months ago
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Even In the Wild Mice Run In Wheels

vikingpower Obligatory (122 comments)

A colleague of mine ( who has an animal nickname BTW, we call him "Bokito", you may wanna google that ) has a great poster on his whiteboard, with a picture of a treadmill on it: "This is what a career ladder looks like". 'Nuf said.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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West Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse has Begun, Irreversible and Unstoppable Now

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 3 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Two new papers, of which one in Geophysical Research Letters and the other in Science come with rather conclusive evidence that the retreat of all West Antarctica glaciers is going faster than thought until now. The Guardian has an article on it. Eric Rignot, one of the NASA researchers who participated to the paper in Geophysical Research Letters, is quoted: "‘A large sector of the western Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat. It has passed the point of no return. This retreat will have major consequences for sea level rise worldwide.’". Ian Joughin, principal author of the Science paper, is rather pessimistic about what is happening here: "‘The thinning we are seeing is not just some temporary trend. It is really the beginning of a larger scale collapse that is likely to play out over a two to 10-century range.’"

A very graphical and short simulation film on youtube, titled "Runaway Glaciers in West Antartica", explains what is going on.

The investigated glaciers play a major role in pinning the much larger and much thicker West Antarctic ice shelf down to where it is now. If this ice shelf melts, we'll be in deeper trouble. For this to happen, the already-cited Joughin put the most likely timeframe at between 200 and 500 years, according to the Guardian."

Link to Original Source
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Dutch Railways set to facilitate suicide, Re-use of Old Locomotives

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 4 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "The Dutch Railways ( NS ), national & state railway provider of a country already (ill-)famed for its liberal-mindedness, have come up with an audacious plan to facilitate suicide. The initiative, under the moniker "Terminal:Rail", will be signposted on all major stations, where a track #13 will be reserved for the new initiative. Railway spokesman Duisenbuik was quoted as saying: "Terminal:Rail will re-commission older locomotives, as those are heavier and sport more sharp-angled parts, which comes in handy under such circumstances"."
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Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 6 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Al Qaeda had already disavowedd the group, although it is not known whether this was due to....um.... "lack of terrorist professionality"."

Link to Original Source
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Heat Waves in Australia are Getting More Frequent - and Hotter

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 6 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "In a landmark report on bushfires and climate change, the Australian Climate Council concludes that heat waves in Australia, as driven by climate change, are becoming more frequent — and that they get hotter. "It is crucial that communities, emergency services, health services and other authorities prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of extreme fire conditions.", says the Council in the report. Sarah Perkins, one of the report's co-authors, was interviewed by The Guardian Australia. "“While we can’t blame climate change for any one event, we can certainly see its fingerprint. This is another link in the chain.” Perkins said her latest work had analysed heatwave trends up to 2013. She said the trend “just gets worse – it’s a bit scary really”." Already back in 2009, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization signaled that a Southeast Australian heatwave was the hottest in 100 years."
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Increasing Number of Books Banned in the USA

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 7 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Isabel Allende's The House of The Spirits. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man.

What do all these titles have in common with each other ? Exactly, they are banned somewhere, on some school, in the USA. . Yes, in 2013. A project named The Kids' Right to Read ( by the National Coalition Against Censorship ) investigated three times the average number of incidents, adding to an overall rise in cases for the entire year, according to KRRP coordinator Acacia O'Connor. To date, KRRP has confronted 49 incidents in 29 states this year, a 53% increase in activity from 2012. During the second half of 2013, the project battled 31 new incidents, compared to only 14 in the same period last year.

"It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year," O'Connor said. "We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block."

The NCAC also offers a Book Censorship Toolkit on its website. If such a toolkit is needed at all, does this indicate that intellectual freedom and free speech are ( slowly ) eroding in the USA ?"

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Hilarious: MSDN pages vor Visual J++ are STILL Online

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 7 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "But of course: Visual J++! And of course: "When you have finished modifying and debugging your application, you can http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa265470(v=vs.60).aspx it to into an .exe or .cab file and deploy it to the Web." [ literal text, the link appears exactly as it appears on the MSDN site ] How could we ever forget this ? And how can this still be online ?"
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Snowden Document Proves that Dutch Secret Service AIVD Hacks Internet Forums

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 8 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "In the ever-longer wake of the NSA scandal, much-respected Dutch newspaper NRC today reveals, in English, as mandated by the gravity of the occasion, that the Dutch secret service, the AIVD, hacks internet forums. And yes, that is gross misconduct against Dutch law. The service, whose headquarters are in Zoetermeer, did not yet comment upon the divulgation of the document from Edward Snowden's collection. Incensed Dutch parliamentaries are calling for an enquiry."
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Julian Assange "Unlikely to be Prosecuted in US", according to Washington Post

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 8 months ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials. Read the rest of the article in today's online edition of the WP."
Link to Original Source
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New Alternative to WiFi has a Range of Nearly a Mile

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee.

It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. And that’s when he realized that the solution to his problem would also unlock the potential of what’s known as the “internet of things” (the idea that every object we own, no matter how mundane, is connected to the internet and can be monitored and manipulated via the internet, whether it’s a toaster, a light bulb or your car).

The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter."

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After Lavabit, Groklaw is Going Down

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Pamela Jones tells us Groklaw is going down. Forever."The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too.
There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum. ( ... ) I can't continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. ( ... ) So this is the last Groklaw article. I won't turn on comments.""

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NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times per Year, Audit Finds

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Here is a full executive summary of a classified internal NSA report on breaches of NSA privacy rules and legal restrictions.The report covers the period from January through March 2012 and includes comparative data for the full preceding year. Its author is director of oversight and compliance for the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, but the scope of the report is narrower. Incidents are counted only if they took place within “NSA-Washington,” a term encompassing the Ft. Meade headquarters and nearby facilities. The NSA declined to provide comparable figures for its operations as a whole. A senior intelligence official said only that if all offices and directorates were included, the number of violations would “not double.” A main article in today's Washington Post covers the scoop. US District Judge Reggie B. Walton, leader of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and interviewed in a related article, says " ( ... ) the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes ( ... ) ""
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Blackberry Probably for Sale

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Today, Blackberry ( fomerly Research In Motion or RIM ) announced, in corporate-speak, basically that the company is for sale. In 5 years time, Blackberry stock market capitalisation plunged from $ 84 billion to less than $ 5 billion. The fact that Blackberry is basically going up for sale is further supported by unconfirmed rumours that Prem Watsa, who is on majority stock holder Fairfax Financial's board of directors, is stepping down from the Blackberry board."
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First-ever Public Tasting of Lab-Grown Cultured Beef burger

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Today, at 14h Western European Time, Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University ( the Netherlands ) will present a world first: he will cook and serve a burger made from Cultured Beef in front of an invited audience in London. The event will include a brief explanation of the science behind the burger. You can witch the event live, online. The project's fact sheet is to be found here."
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Creator of xkcd Reveals Secret Backstory of His Epic 3,099-Panel "Time" Comic

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "Randall Munroe, the comic author best known as the author of the xkcd webcomic, reveals the secret backstory of his epic, 3099-panel "Time" comic in an interesting interview with Wired.
The comic can be seen as an animation on youtube. There is also a complete click-through version available on geekwagon, of this comic that inspired a dedicated wiki and has its own glossary."

Link to Original Source
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XKeyscore: NSA tool Collects 'Nearly everything a user does on the internet'

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a year ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "There is new, quite hard material published by The Guardian on XKeyscore, a program permitting NSA analists to search pretty much everything a user does, types, searches or sends online. The Guardian has a slide show that is actually NSA training material for the XKeyscore program. It is now clear that NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches. The article is partially based upon a further interview with Edward Snowden. Enjoy."
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Dutch Government: Number of Internet Taps has quintupled in one year

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  1 year,10 days

vikingpower (768921) writes "A Dutch newspaper has a ( Dutch-only, alas ) digital version of the letter Mr. Opstelten, Secretary of Justice and Security, sent to Dutch Parliament, in which he quietly admits to 56825 phone taps ( a 3% rise in one year ) and to 16676 internet taps in 2012, a 400% rise, or a fivefold increase, in one year. An older report alreay designed the Netherlands as one of the biggest wiretappers in the western world. Slate also knew, back in 2006, that Europeans actually love wiretapping and internet tapping. In the Netherlands, a country with a population of only 16 million, the practice has risen to the level of a staggering 1 in 1000 phones being tapped."
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Blackberry 10 sends Full Email Account Credentials to RIM

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  1 year,11 days

vikingpower (768921) writes "How a phone manufacturer making a somewhat successful come-back can shoot itself in the foot: Marc "van Hauser" Heuse, who works for German technology magazine Heise, has discovered that immediately after setting up an email account on Blackberry 10 OS, full credentials for that account are sent to Research In Motion, the Canadian Blackberry manufacturer. Shortly after performing the set-up, the first successful connections from a server located within the RIM domain appear in the mail server's logs. ( most of the story in english, some comments in German ). At least according to German law, this is completely illegal, as the phone's user does not get a single indication or notice of what is being done."
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Venezuela is waiting for Snowden. So is Anna Chapman.

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  1 year,22 days

vikingpower (768921) writes "Anna Chapman, well-known for her having been arrested in New York for spying activities asked Edward Snowden to marry her, via Twitter. . Basically, Edward Snowden now has only two options left: to marry Anna, or to try and get to Venezuela. The latter is possibly his last option for obtaining political asylum anywhere in the world, according to Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian Parliament regularly taking the role of more or less official Kremlin speaker."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Functional testing of software: literature scarcity

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Recently I ( a software architect ) was asked, by my current employer, to do some "thought work" on functional testing. Of software, that is. To my surprise, there is surprisingly little scientific literature on the subject., and much of it is outdated. Is it not being taken serious as a topic of research and investigation ? Or is it really not worth it ? I was thrown back all the way to a paper by Priestley ( paywall, alas ) and, before that, to the thoughts of famous mathematician Imre Lakatos on empirical science. And no, Wikipedia has nothing of value on the foundations of functionally testing software. So - are we dealing with a technique ? With one of the human sciences ? Or with baked air ?

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How to wean a customer off Oracle

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  more than 2 years ago

All right. They are one of the ( supposedly ) leading media corporations in the world. No, I am not going to name them, but they are Japanese.

As a consultant, together with two colleagues, we identified one of the main painpoints in their information system: an excessive dependence upon Oracle. 50% or so of business logic in Oracle RDBMS. Oracle as central integration point.

They could save big money on going to a replacement. But fear ( from upper management ) and shame dominate management culture. My colleagues and I are running out of arguments to convince them. We are in the position of a doctor whose hand is struck away while trying to cure a bad wound. Who provides us with arguments ? What would you tell these scared, ashamed people ?

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