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FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

wbr1 Re:Damn! (112 comments)

A Faraday cage jams a signal like a building jams the weather.

8 hours ago
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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

wbr1 Fermi's paradox is hubris (211 comments)

Fermi's paradox assumes that intelligence is the endgame of evolution, and that any (or some) intelligent species will survive. Perhaps intelligence is an evolutionary dead end, that we just have not reached yet.

Regardless even if billion year old civilizations do exist, as posted above, there may well be hard physical limits on expansion due c etc. And just listening for radio evidence is unlikely, both due to distance, and the fact that out own radio window (and any other species) is likely to be short. already more and more of our radio transmissions are low power and directed. This will only continue, reducing our emissions, Listening for any leakage from a great distance is akin to trying to smell a fart in a hurricane.

yesterday
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Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

wbr1 Re:Why lay fiber at all when you can gouge wireles (200 comments)

Someone could. Someone could get past the legal and financial barriers. Secure capital to build an infrastructure, and keep their investors from bailing when the incumbents apply legal and other challenges.

4 days ago
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Scientists Discover Compound In Baby Diapers Can Enlarge Brain Cells

wbr1 Re:Stop, just stop (75 comments)

Be careful there bud. Water is known to always contain dihydrogen monoxide. This dangerous compound is needed by living creatures, but in the wrong doses can lead to low blood pressure, sunken eyes, kidney and other organ failure, spinal and brain swelling and death.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley Security Experts Give 'Blackhat' a Thumbs-Up; Do You?

wbr1 nope (98 comments)

No matter how good, I won't pay Hollywood or the mpaa. Period.

about two weeks ago
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Elon Musk Plans To Build Hyperloop Test Track

wbr1 Re:Los Angeles to San Francisco in 28 minutes. (165 comments)

We need voter friendly measurements. Instead of "Los Angeles to San Francisco in 28 minutes.", we need "like crossing 20 Olympic swimming pools in 13 parsecs."

about two weeks ago
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US Government Lurked On Silk Road For Over a Year

wbr1 Go get em... (129 comments)

Good job boys. Stop those dopers! They would be raping your grandma and selling acid to your 5 year old if we didn't do this! Look how violently they fight over the black market we created!

Now, kindly pay your taxes, drink a case of beast and watch the football game. Thank you!

about two weeks ago
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Intel Unveils 5th Gen Core Series Broadwell-U CPUs and Cherry Trail Atom

wbr1 Re:am disappoint (78 comments)

It is not 'a simple browser' when loaded with extensions. Without extensions, the performance of chrome and firefox are fine. My argument holds, and the issues is not the browser. The biggest issue I see is webpage bloat. 2-3 tabs can easily take over 1GB RAM, but RAM is cheap and easily upgradable in most cases.

about three weeks ago
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Should We Be Content With Our Paltry Space Program?

wbr1 Re:As a proportion of the budget... (287 comments)

c) not particularly enamored with government spending on principle,

Wrong. They give lip service to it, but pork projects abound with th GOP. Especially if it feeds spending/defense etc in their home state.

about three weeks ago
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Intel Unveils 5th Gen Core Series Broadwell-U CPUs and Cherry Trail Atom

wbr1 Re:am disappoint (78 comments)

This... aside from hard drive failure (other hardware failure is rare in comparison), and malware/OS bloat. There is nothing a core 2 duo cant do for 90% of computer users.

The only way that will change is a killer app that requires more (which I do not see). For workstations and scientific data the march is great, but it has moved beyond consumer needs.

about three weeks ago
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Bitstamp Bitcoin Exchange Suspended Due To "Compromised Wallet"

wbr1 Re:Where should I hold my Bitcoins? (161 comments)

Backups.. multiple copies. 15 copies on 15 encrypted flash drives. Doesnt matter, JUST DONT LEAVE MONEY IN AN UNREGULATED EXCHANGE.

about three weeks ago
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Why Aren't We Using SSH For Everything?

wbr1 Re:I do (203 comments)

Looks like you are onto something. Its the SSH of things. I think I need to start a CloudSSH provider now and leverage the intrinsic value of the buzzword.

about three weeks ago
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2014: Hottest Year On Record

wbr1 Re:But its cold where I live today (560 comments)

Not only that, if you believe in mythical sky beings (I do not), then God gave HUMANS the power and responsibility to make of this world what we will.
To say whatever happens is God's will and we have to accept, not change is either willful ignorance, abject laziness, or masking some ulterior motive (IE greed and power).

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28 KJV

about a month ago
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New App Detects Government Stingray Cell Phone Trackers

wbr1 Re:requires root access and will only run on Qualc (71 comments)

You seem to know more than I do,however, the COW, being a device inserted into the carriers network by said carrier, I would think would have a different ID for whatever loadbalancing/handoff protocols occur on that network. This may not be true, as it may be easier to just copy an existing base station ID than provision all the backend hoo haw for a temporary device. But if it is true, my scheme should not produce as many false positives as thought.
By their nature (unless willingly installed by the carrier), a stingray would be spoofing its identity and therefore slightly easier to detect. Combined with a crowdsourced map to create a basic whitelist, you could do quite a bit I wager.

about a month ago
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New App Detects Government Stingray Cell Phone Trackers

wbr1 Re:requires root access and will only run on Qualc (71 comments)

Instead of just spotting recent additions, also looking for timing advance shifts over a certain margin while the tower/antenna ID remain the same. I am not cellular engineer, but it would see that would be a possible indicator of a spoofed tower.

about a month ago
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NSA Says They Have VPNs In a 'Vulcan Death Grip'

wbr1 Re:Good news (234 comments)

The cat is gone from that bag. Do you think dive wouldn't just handover the keys when asked? If you want security, encrypt yourself and kep private messages private. Trusting a 3rd party to any secrets is laughable.

about a month ago
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FBI Monitoring Hacking Targets For Retaliation

wbr1 Re:Not real hackers (96 comments)

That used to be the difference between hacker vs cracker. One was for personal enlightenment or social gain, while the other was for various profit/greed/destructive motives. Then the mass media co-opted hacker to be the bad guy.

Now we have 'hacktivists' (whether you love or loathe the term) who are supposed to use their powers for perceived social good. As is often the case, the distinction is not always black and white.

about a month ago
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NSA Says They Have VPNs In a 'Vulcan Death Grip'

wbr1 Re:Good news (234 comments)

To what end should slashdot secure itself? Are you storing confidential info here? It is a public forum. Anyone, including an NSA agent can browse all your postings regardless of any encryption used between you and this site.

There would need to be a compelling business/financial reason for any site to do so. Helping others hide their traffic is not all that compelling from a beancounters point of view.

about a month ago
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Comcast's Lobbyists Hand Out VIP Cards To Skip the Customer Service Wait

wbr1 Re:It's great! (131 comments)

This is not your run of the mill ogg or mp3 codec. These codecs are typically VBR (variable bit rate), this means that the level of compression varies based on what the codec and network conditions dictate. If you swing the bitrate enough you WILL hear changes in volume and quality that sound like a flanging effect.
http://www.voiceage.com/Audio-...
http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/...
You can :rolleyes: when you know more than just bb smiley code. Until then, hand in your geek creds please.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Jackie Chan helps boost solar panel efficiency

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 2 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Apparently the pit pattern on a blu-ray disk is great at helping trap photons, rather than reflecting them. Applying this pattern to the glass in a panel can boost efficiency by 22%. This has been tested with Jackie Chan discs, so he gets the credit!"
Link to Original Source
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Alleged operator of SilkiRoad 2.0 arrested by FBI

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 3 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "The FBI announced that yesterday it arrested Blake Benthall, aka "Defcon," the alleged owner and operator of Silk Road 2.0. Benthall was apprehended in San Francisco and will be presented today in a federal court in SF before Magistrate Judge Jaqueline Scott Corley.
“As alleged, Blake Benthall attempted to resurrect Silk Road, a secret website that law enforcement seized last year, by running Silk Road 2.0, a nearly identical criminal enterprise," Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "Let’s be clear—this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison. Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will return as many times as necessary to shut down noxious online criminal bazaars. We don’t get tired.”

http://arstechnica.com/tech-po...
http://m.fbi.gov/#http://www.f..."
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Astronomers claim dark matter found

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 10 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes ""A team of astronomers led by Tansu Daylan (Harvard University), claims that excessive gamma-rays deteceted from the center of the galaxy by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope are not from pulsars, but dark matter. More specifically, if the theory that dark matter is made up of massive particles and anti-particles, their collision should produce gamma-ray burst signatures similar to those seen.

"If our interpretation is correct, this signal would constitute the discovery of an entirely new particle that makes up the majority of the mass found in the universe," says coauthor Dan Hooper (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory). "I can't find words that are strong enough to capture the significance of such a discovery."

But others remain skeptical. " 'Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence,' as we said about the B-mode signal recently," says expert Kevork Abazajian (University of California, Irvine), referring to the discovery of inflation's fingerprint on the cosmic microwave background announced last week.
Article: http://www.skyandtelescope.com... ewsblog/Have-we-Spotted-Dark-Matter-in-the-Milky-Way-251964551.html
Paper on arxiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:140...""
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Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community?

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."
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Ask Slashdot: Best open source wiki/knowledgebase software for small business

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  1 year,19 days

wbr1 (2538558) writes "I work for a small tech company that focuses on device repair, business IT support, hosted and managed services, as well as a few other tech niches. I am looking into setting up some sort of Wiki for in house knowledge. There are a couple of considerations that I am looking at. The primary one is ease of use/editing/maintenance. Nobody here has time to spend on a large learning curve just to edit articles. It would never get used. The second, and not as important, may be partitioning/permissions. At some point we may want to add articles for specific customers, or for all customers, and have some sort of granular permissions over who can not only edit, but view various articles. This would leave us with two main groups, shop and public, with the possible addition of smaller groups later. I have been doing some research, and cannot seem to find what I want, so I ask you my Slashdot siblings to bequeath your vast knowledge upon me."
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ABC Streaming to require CATV provider subscription

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Apparently ABC, an over the air broadcaster that should get its primary revenue from advertisements, is going to require streaming viewers to have a paid cable account to watch new episodes of shows. Or you can wait a week. I understand the perverted logic behind this. The cable companies are pushing so that more people stay and not cut the cord. Thanks Disney.

It seems to completely elude companies like this, that the more restrictions and caveats they put on their content, the more people will pirate it. Will they learn, or will the buggy whip makers whip us all with bought laws?"

Link to Original Source
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Backup Provider BackBlaze releases study on hard drive longevity

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "From the article:

Backblaze has currently a total population of approximately 27,000 drives. Five years ago that number was about 3000.

...

They measured annual failure rates. If you have 100 drives for a year and five of them fail that is a 5% annual failure rate. In the first 18 months drives failed at the rate of 5.1 percent per year. For the next 18 months drives failed at the rate of about 1.4 percent per year. But after three years failures went up to 11.8 percent per year.

"

Link to Original Source
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Half-Life 3 trademark filing may be a hoax

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "The Escapist has an article detailing the fact the the recent trademark filing for Half-Life 3 has disappeared from the (legit) site it was on. It also states that it would not be hard to hoax a filing for a company that already has filings, but it does cost about $1200 to file, so not a cheap hoax. In adition, it appears a filing for Portal 3 has now appeared.

Personally I think Valve is a master of this type of social manipulation to keep interest alive."

Link to Original Source
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Half-Life 3 and other Valve games dev teams leaked

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Eurogamer has a story detailing the exposure of Valves project management database. This (for a brief and possible intention period), showed who is working on various Valve projects, including HL3, L4D3, and the Source 2 engine.

For those who demand a second source, as covered with animated ads and lackluster information as it is, there is an article at IGN."
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Valve announces Steambox, sort of.

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "A new page has appeared over at steam with this slightly cryptic text, a countdown, and an image of a console controller.

"Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepads. This year we’ve been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room. Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam."

It appears Gabe Newell wants to throw his hat in the console ring now with the XBone and PS4 about to be released. The countdown to the announcement is targeted at Monday."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon Payment Adds "No Class Action" Language to Terms Of Service

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "I just received an email from Amazon Payments, the Amazon competitor to PayPal, stating among other things, that they were changing and simplifying their policies. It should be no surprise then, that similar to what PayPal and many others have already done, they have added language removing the right to class action lawsuits. See specifically section 11.3 (edited for brevity):

1.3 Disputes. Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your visit to the Site or Seller Central or to products or services sold or distributed by us or through the Site or Seller Central (including without limitation the Service) will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to this agreement....
... You and we each agree that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated, or representative action. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration you and we each waive any right to a jury trial. You and we also both agree that you or we may bring suit in court to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.

This is becoming more and more common, and while the end user normally doesn't make out well in a class-action suit, large settlements do provide a punishment and deterrent to corporations that abuse their power. The question becomes, what do we do to fix this so that consumers are truly protected?"

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Ask Slashdot: Why are transatlantic audio/video streams garbage?

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "In a recent Slashdot posting, the following statement was made:

(Note: the sound quality on this translantic Skype call is poor. We suggest reading the transcript.)

This reminded me of a recent experience. I live on the east coast of the united states, and my mother lives in the UK not terribly far from London. WE chat online at least weekly, but for a special occasion, I wanted to video chat, or at least audio chat without spending $$ on either of our mobile phones, or other international calling options. We tried three different major options, Skype (free), Google talk, and Yahoo. Not one of the three could even sustain a decent audio only stream, let alone video. I wanted to do some troubleshooting, but my mom is not a geek, and I could not enlist her assistance on the other end. The question remains however, when both of us have 'broadband' connections of some sort, with more than enough bandwidth to support multiple video streams, and fast downloads of files from servers across the Atlantic, why can't what amounts to a small UDP audio stream make it through? The ISPs involved are Comcast and BT. Is it one of them? Someone in the middle depriortizing the packets? Is it Google/Yahoo/Skype. To me it seems unnecessary, so what can we do as geeks to get around, or better yet, push to have the problem solved?"

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Portable Fuel Cell Battery Charger

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 3 years ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Mashable reports on a device being debuted at CES this year that is a portable fuel cell to recharge your devices. According to the article and the company's website, the device has a fuel cartridge and also uses a small amount of water.

Per the website: "PowerTrekk uses eco-friendly fuel cell technology which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity. The ability to simply insert a PowerPukk fuel pack and add water provides users instant and limitless power on the go."

This seems to not match up to my understanding of fuel cells, which use hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water. My guess is that the water is used to somehow activate the fuel which is stored as 'flexible stickers' not hydrogen gas.

This would be a nice thing if the fuel is cheap enough over time and it doesn't turn out to be vaporware."

Link to Original Source

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