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Comments

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Computer Scientist Parachutes From 135,908 Feet, Breaking Record

wbr1 Re:Not to be outdone (175 comments)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=13sxFHM6Mjg

5 days ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

wbr1 Re:One sample (128 comments)

What if he is descending from one wandering group that ran into and and interbred once in their history. There would be no genetic fragmentation with this individual, however yet another find could be from a different group that interbred at a different time or times. This would result in many different, geographically isolated, groups of humans with different genetic histories of interbreeding with neanderthals.

about a week ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

wbr1 One sample (128 comments)

Does not conclusively prove. Mixing could have occurred at many times and locations. While useful, more data needed.

about a week ago
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HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription

wbr1 How balkanized? (139 comments)

I like some of the prospects, and I cut my cord in favor of netfix (and ..other.. sources) long ago, but i do not want to pay HBO, ESPN, Showtime, netflix, Hulu and a dozen different providers either.

about two weeks ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

wbr1 Re:1999 slashdot (263 comments)

I was here then and remembered the post. I have had 3 different UIDs. A 5 digit, where I was a young asinine troll - don't even remember the name, a 6 digit where I was better, slashdot.org/~Undocumented , and my current incarnation.

about two weeks ago
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AnandTech's Intro To Semiconductor Tech

wbr1 Wrong site... (21 comments)

This site is only interested in deadlocked AGW arguments, political infighting, and tinfoil hattery. Please do not misunderstand, I am not complaining about that. These things have their place. However, real technical discussion is unappreciated here.

about three weeks ago
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No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

wbr1 Re:That's nothing! (276 comments)

That's simply to prove that he is not, in fact, a Muslim. However, given the propensity for Muslims to bomb each other, I think it may prove the opposite. :P

about three weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

wbr1 Re:Say "No more!" to Climate Posts (423 comments)

But then we would not need to put as much pork into the defense sector!

about three weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

wbr1 Re:What happens to that heat? (423 comments)

An interesting question. Perhaps hurricane formation is down because the temperature gradient between areas of the ocean is decreasing? Maybe it is not warm water only, but the difference between the hot and cold areas that are a large factor in development/strength of large storms?

about three weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

wbr1 Re:Say "No more!" to Climate Posts (423 comments)

Vehicle safety does have many associated costs. Manufacturing costs for cars have risen due to safety stndars.. crumple zones, airbags.. all these things require advanced engineering and manufacturing.

Then there is the bureaucratic cost, in inspections, tests, etc.

I would argue that there has been a significant cost in pursuing vehicle safety in this country. There is a reason Indian and Chinese cars are not sold here (yet).

about three weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

wbr1 Re:Say "No more!" to Climate Posts (423 comments)

Enough already. The Earth is warmer, probably. We don't know for how much longer. We don't know how much warmer. We don't know how it's happening, mostly. We don't know why it's happening.

That's climate in a nutshell. Do you want a _government_ ringing in new policies based on that? A government can't even get well understood problems under control ... like say, traffic, or urban development. And if you dare say, "Hey, traffic is hard to model!", well guess what, climate is harder.

We know car accidents happen, probably.
We don't know when you will be in one
We don't know what type of accident you will be in.
We don't know the severity of the accident you will be in.

This is car travel in a nutshell. Aren't you glad that the government mandates safety belts, airbags and car seats for children?

Just because something is not 100% does not mean we should not protect against it. I feel like using some ad hominem against you but I will refrain today.

about three weeks ago
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The "Man In the Moon" Was Created By Mega Volcano

wbr1 Real question here... (33 comments)

I have never seen the 'man' in the moon. What particular features make it look like a man or a face? I cannot discern them. Do others have this issue?

about a month ago
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The Executive Order That Redefines Data Collection

wbr1 Re:inb4 Obama haters (126 comments)

Collection was redefined in order 12333. Not by Obama, but by Reagan. Learn to read AC.

about a month ago
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The Executive Order That Redefines Data Collection

wbr1 inb4 Obama haters (126 comments)

On December 4, 1981 President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, an Executive Order intended to extend powers and responsibilities of US intelligence agencies and direct the leaders of U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with CIA requests for information.[1] This executive order was entitled United States Intelligence Activities. It was amended by Executive Order 13355: Strengthened Management of the Intelligence Community, on August 27, 2004. On July 30, 2008, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13470[2] amending Executive Order 12333 to strengthen the role of the DNI.[3][4]

- From WIkipedia

Thanks Obama

about a month ago
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Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

wbr1 Re:I'm gonna go with (200 comments)

But it does infect your life. It is not on the same level, but it does so much more subtly.

When big pharma patents a drug and makes it so expensive people die, or they push a drug that is useless and even dangerous.

When Monsanto controls a significant portion of how food is produced.

When you cannot look to a local provider for nearly anything (internet, clothes, etc), because either they cannot compete or their prices are too high for everyman.

When laws are passed that curtail your freedoms in exchange for better profits to the few.

It does infect your everyday life, and I would argue that your have even less power to confront it as you would a direct bribe.

about a month ago
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Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

wbr1 Re:I'm gonna go with (200 comments)

That is because in the US, it is the upper crust who are allowed to bribe. Regular everyday bureaucrats and gov. officials are fired/prosecuted for bribing. However once you climb above the bottom tier or two you find a good old boys network full of corporate campaign donations, lobbyist dinners, regulatory capture, backroom deals, etc. The corruption is there, but the public is blinded to it, because at least the police busted that person expediting taxi licenses for coke, and the clerk that was deleting parking tickets for half price. Oh and football!

about a month ago
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Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

wbr1 streaming is not broadcast (109 comments)

I can see regulating limited spectrum, but streaming is different. Limiting streaming is corporate protectionism at best and censorship at worst.

about a month ago
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Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

wbr1 Re:Hmmm ... (356 comments)

Maybe something else? If her the observations we have still fit her calculations, then it is a valid theory.

about a month ago
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Service Promises To Leak Your Documents If the Government Murders You

wbr1 And who is to say... (98 comments)

...that they won't sell your info to the highest bidder? Especially if it is juicy. Or as mentioned, it could be a false flag.

What is needed is a two piece dead man switch. Storage that is encrypted, and a second party to hold the keys. Preferably the two parties do not know each other. Then in your will you instruct the key-holder to send the keys to the storage provider.

This is more complex and more likely to fail in the event of your death, but after that while it may be nice if your info is outed, buty ou are beyond caring.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Astronomers claim dark matter found

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 7 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 9 months 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  |  about 10 months ago

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 10 months 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  |  1 year,25 days

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  |  1 year,26 days

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  |  about 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  |  about 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  |  more than 2 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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