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Comments

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Fish Tagged For Research Become Lunch For Gray Seals

vikingpower Re:Seems pretty benign (48 comments)

People taste great. I was once offered the forearm of a human being in Port Moresby. With curry sauce. Yum.

3 days ago
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For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

vikingpower Re:Early adopters (154 comments)

Mod parent up. +1 "Insightful". Where are my mod points when I need them...

about a week ago
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Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

vikingpower Re:"Computer" (81 comments)

A computer does not necessarily have to be Turing complete. There is no formally constrained definition of "machine performing computations" that also involves "Turing complete", being simultaneously universally valid. At least, none that I know of.

about a week ago
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Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

vikingpower Re:"Computer" (81 comments)

I checked that in vol. 3 of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, my proudest material possession. You are right. Up to at least the 1850s, as supported by the extensive corpus of citations in the OED, "computer" meant "a person performing computations". The first solidly documented occurrence of the word as "machine performing computations" is from 1897; from 1915 on, the word is only found in this sense, i.e. the sense of "person performing computations" has then fully disappeared, in a period of only 18 years.

Interesting. You made me discover something I did not know. Thanks.

about a week ago
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Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

vikingpower "Computer" (81 comments)

"Computer", actually, has the meaning: "Machine that performs computations". In that sense, this contraption truly is a computer. It probably only has a memory size of only a few bytes, in modern terms, and can only do a few FLopS also. Yet, it is a computer, in all senses of the word.

Funny. I always thought of Michelson as of one of the two guys involved in the "failed" mirror experiments that allowed A. Einstein to come up with the theory of Special Relativity. Not so, it turns out now: the guy was an accomplished engineer. How great.

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

vikingpower Re:510kph is airliner speed? (418 comments)

That whole short movie is simply super-über-cute. Kittens. Wow. This could become an internet hit, and go viral. It has the genes for it.

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

vikingpower Re:510kph is airliner speed? (418 comments)

LOL. You got me. Only objection: there are way more ( more or less attractive ) female actors in that video than there are men. Otherwise.... I think it is, indeed, time to take my dog Keks for a walk. Thank you.

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

vikingpower Re:stupid germans (418 comments)

Germany has a very well-working system of high-speed trains, named ICE ( InterCity Express ). Most of those average > 300 km/h on stretches between major cities. Stupid Germans ? They overtook the French, with their TGV.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Aims To Offer Windows 10 Upgrades For All Windows Phone 8 Lumias

vikingpower Who cares (77 comments)

about Windows phones, anyway? The huge capital destruction operation that the Nokia takeover amounted to wasn't enough, obviously: MS needs to sink even more cash into a non-existing market: Windows phones. Ain't gonna change anytime soon. Reason : there is no fucking **innovation** going on at MS. Just marketing. Meh.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?

vikingpower Take on of the more rugged laptops (223 comments)

For example, one of the ThinkPads with carbon casing. I speak from experience: I have one, and have been lugging it everywhere. The things simply never break ( hear identical experiences from other users ). With one new internal and one new extra battery ( goes into the CD/DVD player slot ), in low-energy mode and BlueTooth / WiFi off, you'll last for 8 - 10 hours.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?

vikingpower Absolutely agree (223 comments)

Take a compact course book on tensors, and Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. You'll need to assimilate the first to grasp the beauty of the second. If you only do the former, you'll come back with an important and valuable mathematical skill: tensors. If you go on to do the second, you'll be an intellectually much richer person when you come back, and it will change your look upon our universe.

about a week ago
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Philae Lands Successfully On Comet

vikingpower Re:It CAN'T land on a comet - see thunderbolts pro (188 comments)

Holy crap. The EU fruitcakes here.... wow. Normally, I never react upon ACs, but your stupidity, Sir, blows my mind more than a 1 TeraVolt/meter electric field could ever do.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

vikingpower About fucking time (524 comments)

16 years after it became clear that Linux would break through. Well, at least they posted the stuff on GitHub under the MIT license. Let's see if anyone bites.

about two weeks ago
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Rosetta's Philae Probe To Land On Comet Tomorrow

vikingpower TOUCHDOWN !! (74 comments)

Philae has landed. ESA did it: first landing ever on a comet !! Philae's "tweet"

about two weeks ago
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Rosetta's Philae Probe To Land On Comet Tomorrow

vikingpower GO (74 comments)

Philae has separated from Rosetta, and is now sailing at 18 cm/s toward the comet. One of its rocket engines, on top of Philae, does not work. This engine is intended to push Philae against the comet; we now face the possiblity that Philae gently "bounces back" into space, because of the comet's very low gravity. Tension rising here.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Aeron - or: How to Take Distributed Logging to Extreme Perfs

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about a week ago

vikingpower (768921) writes "After having been a contributor to the LMAX Disruptor, an extremely fast RingBuffer pattern, Martin Thompson is at it again,together with two other guys from the London High-Performance Computing scene. This time with an open-source library named Aeron, after a Celtic god. Aeron does message-passing over ( mostly ) UDP, that is: on level 4 of the OSI stack, and does it extremely well. Aeron is written in pure Java 8, and exploits that version's newly introduced lambda expressions. The ideas at the core of Aeron and of the somewhat older Disruptor pattern hail from Mechanical Sympathy, a way of designing and coding aiming to exploit the multiple caches of modern processors as much as possible. Mechanical Sympathy on Google Groups shows, by the questions and comments alone, what extreme perfs can be reached on COTS hardware, in pure Java.

Disclaimer: the author of this submission is in no way a direct stakeholder in Aeron or LMAX, just an interested user."

Link to Original Source
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West Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse has Begun, Irreversible and Unstoppable Now

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 6 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."

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

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 8 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 9 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"."

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Heat Waves in Australia are Getting More Frequent - and Hotter

vikingpower vikingpower writes  |  about 10 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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."
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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."

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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  |  about a year ago

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  |  about a year ago

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  |  about a year ago

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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