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Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

westlake Re:Neat (92 comments)

It would seem that all of their sets are based on the original set plans which were designed for the 4:3 aspect ratio.

I posted earlier about my own growing weariness with fan remakes of Star Trek: TOS.

This slavish obsession with recreating the original sets with all their flaws and limitations being one of the reasons.

1 hour ago
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Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

westlake Time for something new. (92 comments)

I can appreciate the energy and enthusiasm that goes into these projects.

But with 85 years of modern science fiction to explore, with excellent examples available to draw upon in from all media, you would think even the die-hard fan would have grown a little weary of gearing up to prduce yet another retread of Star Trek: TOS.

yesterday
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Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

westlake Dover Press Books (166 comments)

Dover of course used to re-publish the out-of-copyright and out-of-print math and science classics. There was a time when a professor could have a rare out-of-print book, that nobody else could get, and teach an entire class out of that book. Dover put an end to that.

Of course the Mickey Mouse Copyright Extension Act put an end to Dover (or at least their reprint business) by extending the copyright to 100 years after the author's death.

Does anyone ever bother to fact-check their rants before posting them to Slashdot?

Astronomy
Biology and Medicine
Chemistry
Computer Science
Earth Science
Engineering
General Science
Mathematics
Physics

yesterday
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Australia Moves Toward New Restrictions On Technology Export and Publication

westlake Re:The right to be presumed innocent? (90 comments)

The police can set up a road-block and demand that drivers provide a breath test and proof of their license at any time. Isn't that a presumption of guilt rather than innocence?

The "presumption of innocence" is where you begin in a US criminal trial.

It does not define the geek's every encounter with the law.

Driving a car or truck on the public roads is not a right but a privilege. It has never been out-of-bounds to demand proof of your sobriety or a show of your license.

2 days ago
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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

westlake Re:11:30 AM? (87 comments)

Unless it was foggy as all hell, which is definitely possible.

what are the chances of making a blind crossing in the fog in a homemade rubber raft?

3 days ago
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Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

westlake Occam's razor. (87 comments)

Didn't re-offend? You mean, didn't get caught. There's a difference.

The Anglin brothers Alfred Clarence (born May 11, 1931) and John William (born May 2, 1930) were born in Donalsonville, Georgia, and worked as farmers and laborers. Together they started to rob banks in Georgia and were arrested in 1956.

Frank Lee Morris was born in Washington, D.C., on September 1, 1926, and spent most of his early years in foster homes. He was orphaned at age 11 and was convicted of his first crime at the age of 13, and by his late teens had been arrested for crimes ranging from possession of narcotics to armed robbery.

In 2014 researchers at Delft University, using a computer model, concluded that if the men set off approximately at midnight, when the currents might have worked in their favor, they could have made landfall; but if they left in the hours either side, the currents would have been too strong to overcome and they very likely died.

June 1962 Alcatraz escape

In other words, habitual criminals with limited skills and prospects.

Morris, with an IQ of 133. had never found a way to walk away from a crime that would not end in his arrest.

The timing would have had to have been damn near perfect based on computer models constructed some fifty years later.

3 days ago
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Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

westlake Playing with words. (187 comments)

And indeed, some of us are. If you drive an electric car and live near a nuclear power plant, you might be one of them.

The atom powered car, ship, train or aircraft as imagined in the late forties, fifties and sixties was powered by an internal nuclear reactor.

The ideal would be a vehicle or a vessel that would never need refueling.

5 days ago
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The Pirate Bay Responds To Raid

westlake Re:The Pirate Bay (302 comments)

"Intellectual property is neither"

Property is whatever bundle of rights, interests and privileges you hold that the state* defines as property and will defend by force if necessary.

Intangible property is still property.

The geek can live out his entire life defined by endless streams of ones and zeroes stored and processed god knows where and still not see them as property until their loss, theft or abuse affects him personally.

Careless thinking or intellectually dishonest? Your choice.

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

What is Intellectual Property?

This is BTW almost word-for-word how IP is defined by the Wikipedia.

In a lifetime of reading I have owned about 6,000 books, fiction and non-fiction. No two of these writers ever spoke in the same voice, and almost all were paid by the word, writing for a popular --- democratic --- audience.

The number of creative talents active in any generation is small, and that is a problem the Pirate Bay cannot solve.

5 days ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

westlake Selection bias. (433 comments)

Maybe to a mundane person, but anyone with at least the curiosity of a mollusc might try to understand something beyond the level of the UI.

or maybe their curiosity is focused elsewhere, on subjects in which the geek shows no interest in pursuing.

one size does not fit all.

about a week ago
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Job Postings Offer Clues to Future of Google Fiber

westlake It was a dark and stormy night. (38 comments)

Even as a massive firestorm burns uncontrollably threatening to scorch the very foundations of the internet....

Bennett Haselton fans rejoice. We have a new candidate for the most incoherent and mangled prose ever posted to Slashdot.

about a week ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

westlake The geek is no fun at parties. (307 comments)

the way to address the diversity issue is to dumb everybody down? Sure, that sounds like it would provide a level playing field, but the goddam field would be below sea level.

The geek's natural instinct to assert his god-given superiority at the worst possible moment can ruin the experience for everyone.

This isn't about "dumbing down," it's about getting the know-it-alls, the intellectual bullies, the inflated egos, out of the room, so others can prosper.

about a week ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

westlake Re:Nitche Market (433 comments)

The fact is that given the same source content, high quality digital copies are by far higher quality...

Those who pay the premium for vinyl are getting the best in audio editing, not the cut for FM radio or the 99 cent mp3.

They are also paying for turntables, amps and speakers that cost a bit more and demand more space than the integrated audio of your smartphone or tablet.

Analog audio from its earliest beginnings was marketed as a social experience. In which many elements come into play and "perfection" as a whole is difficult to quantify. There was always a tension between those who would disguise a phonograph as a piece of furniture and those would celebrate its workings openly.

The high end modern turntable is both sculpture and machine.

about a week ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

westlake Re:Knowledge is the solution (1050 comments)

I agree. I'm a big supporter of vaccines but one thing I find annoying is that it's almost impossible to find good numbers for vaccines.

In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic became the worst outbreak in the nation's history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.

Three years later, Dr. Jonas Salk became a national hero when he developed the first safe and effective polio vaccine in 1955 with the support of the March of Dimes. In the two years before the vaccine was widely available, the average number of polio cases in the U.S. was more than 45,000. By 1962, that number had dropped to 910.

Polio History

Charts. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF IMMUNIZATIONS

Chart 1. Reported cases of H. influenzae type b, United States, 1991 - 1997

Chart 2. Hib meningitis in children less than 5 years old according to the National Bacterial Meningitis Reporting System, 1980 through 1991.

Chart 3. Reported cases of measles, United States, 1960-1997

Chart 4. Reported mumps cases, United States, 1968-1997

Chart 5. Reported pertussis cases, United States, 1922-1997

Chart 6. Reported poliomyelitis cases, United States, 1920-1997

Chart 7. Reported rubella cases, United States, 1966-1997

about two weeks ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

westlake Not good enough. (1050 comments)

I was thinking if you take the exemption and subsequently infect someone you have liability for medical expenses, or criminal liability in the case of death.

I want my kids to live --- not compensation for their death.

Which, by the way, would be almost impossible to link to any single individual ---

even given the relatively simple and modest demands a plaintiff must meet in order to win in a civil case.

about two weeks ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

westlake Re:Tough call (1050 comments)

While I think not getting vaccinated is incredibly stupid, I also worry about setting a standard of the government being able to force things in to your body.

Historically, there were no limits when it came to the control of infectious defenses.

"Typhoid Mary" Mellon spent 23 years in island hospital quarantine.

In 1907 Mary was taken into custody by police officers, and The Health Department gave her an ultimatum - either have her gall bladder removed (where typhoid carrier germs lived), or be exiled to North Brother Island. She refused the surgical operation, which was risky and unpredictable at the time, and was placed at the hospital for three years. Mallon resided in a bungalow, away from the main hospital buildings, and lived alone except for a dog as a companion.

After a lengthy court battle, where Mary described her life akin to a prisoner's, she was released from the hospital in 1910. She immediately returned to work as a cook under the pseudonym of "Mrs. Brown" at Sloane Maternity Hospital. An outbreak of typhoid that consisted of 25 separate cases was eventually traced back to the cook, and officials identified her as Mary Mallon. She was sent back to North Brother in 1915 to live the rest of her life there.

Riverside Hospital (North Brother Island)

about two weeks ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

westlake Re:Perhaps we should throw out the transistor (416 comments)

After all, the transistor was invented by William Shockley, a proponent of Eugenics.

That would come later.

Shockley's contributions to the evolution of the transistor and Silicon Valley were more or less complete by the mid to late 50s. There is something about Eugenics that Is attractive to the technocrat in every generation.

Lewin was tossed for abusing his position at MIT and sexually harassing a student.

Lewin at 78 has forfeited the privilege of teaching at MIT. In the time left to him, he has the freedom to do research, to write, lecture, debate or teach in any forum which will have him.

about two weeks ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

westlake One of these things is not like the other, (416 comments)

Time to toss Richard Wagner's works seeing as how he was a racist.

Richard Wagner is dead.

Lewin is alive and at 78 years old was caught sexually harassing an MIT online student 50 years his junior. In the old days a man like this would have been quietly put out to pasture before his senility caused his school any further embarrassment.

Or ... we could toss the people who makes decisions like this out on their ass, which is a much better idea.

If you are not a sexually responsible adult you have no business being on the physical or online campus. It doesn't matter if you are the frat boy, the jerk jock, the twenty year uber-geek or the eighty year old professor emeritus.

about two weeks ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

westlake The Geek As Drama Queen. (416 comments)

The only thing removing these lectures does is make it harder for others to learn physics without attending school in person.

MIT employs over a thousand faculty members of all ranks.

Over and above that, MIT has about 600 active senior lecturers, lecturers, and professors emeriti. MIT Facts

Lewin is not irreplaceable.

Which is a damn good thing because he is. after all, 78 years old,

MIT makes it easy to study physics outside the classroom, if learning matters more than academic credits.

MIT Open Courseware Physics

about two weeks ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

westlake Missing the point. (416 comments)

What does the professor's "on-line harassment" have to do with the quality and / or value of his lectures?

The message being sent is: "If you sexually harass our students you're done, you're gone, and we don't give a damn whether you are the star quarterback, the uber geek or the processor emeritus."

Not that there isn't something particularly gross about the elderly emeritus professor using his academic position and credentials to gain sexual leverage over a student forty or more years his junior,

about two weeks ago
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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

westlake Damgerous Visions (368 comments)

How about a culture that practices sex the same way the black widow spider does - by eating their mate? (ritual cannibalism)

In real life, what you get is either:

1) Thw pulp fiction shocker, based on an idea which had been run into the ground back in the days when beer was still 5 cents a glass.

2) The author's defense of incest or whatever, which rambles on forever and with the dice so loaded they would be banned in every casino in Vegas.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Kidnapped by an Uber Driver in DC

westlake westlake writes  |  about 5 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Tweet says it all:

Was just kidnapped by an @uber driver in DC, held against my will, and involved in a high speed chase across state lines with police

#Crazy

— Ryan W Simonetti

According to Simonetti, his Uber driver panicked and made a run for it when being tailed by a taxi inspector .

''It was like an episode of ‘Cops,'' Simonetti said. ''We’ve all seen the ‘Cops’ episode. This only ends two ways. Either the car crashes or the guy jumps out and runs. And he had plenty of opportunities to slow down and jump out and run, and he wasn’t doing that.''

“It was insane,” Simonetti said. ''I physically tried to force his leg to hit the brake. I ripped off his pant leg. I said, ‘Here's two options. You take this exit, or I’m going to knock the side of your head in. If we crash, we crash, but you’re gonna kill us anyway.''

The driver in question has been ''deactivated'' by Uber.

Man visiting D.C. says Uber driver took him on wild ride"

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Ethanol runs out of gas.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "By pulling back on an effort to guarantee ethanol an ever-growing share of the nation’s gasoline supply, the Obama administration could be putting the bio-fuels industry into the deep freeze.
Corn-based biofuel has for years been untouchable politically — until now. Reasons for the change are many: The boom in domestic oil drilling. Demand for gasoline has slumped. And criticism of the environmental impacts of corn ethanol has taken hold nationally."

Link to Original Source
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Google Patents Pay-Per-Gaze Add Technology

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The "focus" to no one's surprise is on Google Glass. For a look at the patent click here: Gaze tracking system

In particular, it outlines a method for billing advertisers based on the number of times users look at an advert – either online or offline, via a billboard, magazine or newspaper. While gaze tracking may sound a little creepy, it is merely an extension of the pay-per-click model commonly used to charge for online advertising, which measures how many users have engaged with a particular advert.

How Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising Could Work With Google Glass

Creepy, I can live with. Maybe. But a revenue stream based on how long you can keep your eyes focused on adds viewed through Google Glass is simply and plainly irresponsible."

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The Big Story In PC Gaming That Slashdot Ignores.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Humble Origin Bundle has raised $6.8 million for charity. It has nine days and nineteen hours to break $10 million in sales.
The story has received broad coverage elsewhere. It's an impressive showing, but not a word, not a whisper of it has reached the front pages of Slashdot.
It is EA and it is Origin and Steam. It is Windows. It is AAA mass market titles like Dead Space, Battlefield 3 and The Sims. Eight games. 200 GB of prime download content. Yours for a $5 gift to the American Red Cross and others.
The Humble Bundle has been — and continues to be — a showcase for Indie gaming and the Linus port. But promotions on this scale could permanently alter the landscape."
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The Humble Origin Bundle: Geek vs Gamer.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "In its first day and with four hours and thirteen days to go The Humble Origin Bundle has seen 760,000 sales and raised $3.6 million for charities like the American Red Cross, with all proceeds going to your charities of choice.

The games are mainstream AAA list titles:

Dead Island 1&3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. Distribution is through Origin and Steam. Steam keys are available for most, but not all games. The Sims 3 is available for the Mac. It's quite possible that one or two games could be added later.

It's been a tortuous day for the geek — gamer. It's EA and it is Origin. The promotion has totally eclipsed this week's hard-core, multi-platform, DRM free, indie Introversion Humble Bundle (Defcon, Uplink, Darwinia) which sold a respectable 55,000 units, with a return of $320 thousand."
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Suspect in Boston Marathon Dead In Shppt-Out With Police

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "The breaking story from Reuters:

HOW THE NIGHT BEGAN

About five hours after the FBI released the pictures of the bombing suspects, a police officer was shot and killed on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Middlesex County District Attorney said in a statement.

A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour.

Police pursued that car to Watertown, where explosives were thrown from the car at police and gunfire was exchanged.

''During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time,'' Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/19/us-usa-mit-gunshots-idUSBRE93I04520130419" a>One suspect in Boston bombing dead, manhunt underway for second suspect

"
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Contract Dispute Grounds Steve Jobs' iYacht "Venus"

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The BBC notes that the designer of Steve Jobs' 105 million euro mega-yacht "Venus" has had the boat impounded in Amsterdam over the non-payment of 3 million euros of his 9 million euro fee.
It's the familiar story of story of a handshake deal that was never fully spelled out in a written contract and may reflect as well a willful blindness on all sides to Jobs visibly failing health."

Link to Original Source
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In The World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "From Peoria and the WSJ a look at the giant trucks manufactured by Komatsu and Caterpillar.

" In certain areas — notably aircraft, industrial engines, excavators and railway and mining equipment — the U.S. exports far more than it imports. These industries produce relatively small numbers of very expensive goods, requiring specialized technology and labor. Their competitive advantage rests partly on expertise built by U.S. companies in making durable, high-tech weaponry and other equipment for the military — frequently applicable to other products."

It may surprise the geek to learn that Komatsu doesn't employee a single industrial robot. The quality of workmanship simply isn't there where it is needed,In World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules "

Link to Original Source
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The all-TIME List of 100 Best In PC and Console Gaming

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "It's the season for lists and Time's Matt Peckham looks back on forty years PC and console gaming. There are some odd choices and missing pieces, of course. You can't hope to please everyone. Grim Fandango, for example, must stand for all the Lucas Arts games. The geek will find the inclusion of Net Hack cheering and a nod to the Indie gaming community.

For those who are finding the net a little slow this long holiday weekend, here is a dirrect link to the full list and Index page: All-TIME 100 greatest video games. [Index]"

Link to Original Source
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Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Benjamin Poynter "In a Permanent Save State" imagines the afterlife of seven Foxconn workers who committed suicide, based on Buddhist traditions. It was pulled from the Apple App Store after narely an hour this weekend, but beautiful and haunting images and video from the game survive and have been posted to the web. In A Permanent Save State Fills You With Wonder And Sadness, Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game"
Link to Original Source
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Apple Retreats On EPEAT Environmental Standards

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "Apple's Senior VP for Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, has posted a brief announcement of Apple's return to the EPEAT "green hardware" program:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.

For more information on this breaking story: Apple moves products back on EPEAT environmental standard"
Link to Original Source

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Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Program

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "From CNETreports that Apple is turning its back on the EPA supported EPEAT hardware certification program.

One of the problems EPEAT sees are barriers to recycling. Batteries and screens glued into place. That sort of thing.

There is a price for Apple in this.

CIO Journal notes that the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear."

Link to Original Source
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Encyclopedia Britannica Goes "Out of Print" After 244 Years of Production

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The Guardian is reporting that the 2010 edition of the Brittanica will be the last in print, The DVD edition and on-line subscription service will continue. The Brittanica's great strengh historically was in its signed contributions from men like Freud and Einstein. It was the quality of the writing as much as the content that made browsing these massive and often unweildy sets such a pleasure."
Link to Original Source
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USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The AP is reporting that world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise is being retired after fifty years of active service — the longest of any warship in US naval history. The big ship had become notoriously difficult to keep in repair. The only ship in its age and class, breakdowns became frequent and replacement parts often had to be custom made. Despite its place in naval history and popular culture, Enterprise will meet its end at the scrap yard and not be preserved as a museum. Famed USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage"
Link to Original Source
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The elephant in the room

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Microsoft posts a record first quarter and Slashdot studiously ignores it. No matter that news like this rates some comment on OS News, Ars Technica, and so on. Microsoft thanks Windows 7, Office 2010, Xbox for record first quarter But the bigger story here, I think, is the "death of Linux" as a consumer brand name — to borrow a theme from an earlier post — and perhaps something even more disturbing. Wherever the future of Android and Chrome may lie, they belong to Google and AdSense. The sale of the user, rather than the sale or service of a product. In no country or region of the world and in no market segment do the stats for the traditional "community oriented" Linux distribution look at all healthy. StatCounter Global Stats"
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The Dark Tower Coming To Theaters Near You

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Nothing quite like this has ever been tried before. But Reuter's, The L.A. Times and many others are reporting that Ron Howard will produce Stephen King's The Dark Tower, for Universal as a theatrical trilogy with the in-between stories told through two seasons of an NBC television series. No news as yet on casting — suggestions anyone?"
Link to Original Source
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Tweet 911

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "A survey by the American Red Cross reveals that 3 out of 4 social media users expect help to arrive within one hour of their tweet or post to Facebook. More than 1 in 4 expect help to arrive in less than fifteen minutes.
Which is alarmingly naive.
In flat contraction to this, about half are unconvinced that the first responders are listening in at all.74% of Social Media Users Expect Cries for Help to Be Answered Within an Hour"

Link to Original Source
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The Hotness of Windows 7

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The success of Windows 7 can be seen in the second-quarter numbers. Profits up 60% from December 08. Operating profitability in the Windows and Windows Live Division 78% in the quarter. Operating profitability for the whole company: 44%. It's been a big story in the trade and financial press, but studiously ignored on Slashdot. The Hotness of Windows 7"
Link to Original Source

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