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whitroth (9367) writes "I was waiting for an actual news story, not just tweets. Here's the real story:
In fact, McLaw has not been arrested. No warrant for his arrest has been issued.
Concerns about McLaw were raised after he sent a four-page letter to officials in Dorchester County. Those concerns brought together authorities from multiple jurisdictions, including health authorities.
McLaw's attorney, David Moore, tells The Times that his client was taken in for a mental health evaluation. "He is receiving treatment," Moore said.
Because of federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations mandating privacy around healthcare issues, he was unable to say whether McLaw has been released.
McLaw's letter was of primary concern to healthcare officials, Maciarello says. It, combined with complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime from various jurisdictions led to his suspension. Maciarello cautions that these allegations are still being investigated; authorities, he says, "proceeded with great restraint." — end excerpt —
In other words, the guy has real issues, and they're not related to the books, which one assumes he gave those themes to, so as to gain popularity due to current shootings — a PR decision.
And a side note: the president of a local sf club has read at least one of the books, and reports that it's material that wouldn't get past a slushpile reader....
mark" Link to Original Source top
whitroth (9367) writes "There's a story in New Scientist about them: STICK an electrode in the ground, pump electrons down it, and they will come: living cells that eat electricity. We have known bacteria to survive on a variety of energy sources, but none as weird as this. Think of Frankenstein's monster, brought to life by galvanic energy, except these "electric bacteria" are very real and are popping up all over the place.
Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. We already knew about two types, Shewanella and Geobacter. Now, biologists are showing that they can entice many more out of rocks and marine mud by tempting them with a bit of electrical juice. Experiments growing bacteria on battery electrodes demonstrate that these novel, mind-boggling forms of life are essentially eating and excreting electricity.
My first thought is to wonder if mammals generate enough electricity for them to be able to infect us... and if so, what problems they might cause, such as cardiac arrythmia?
whitroth (9367) writes "Lewis Page, of The Register, writes, "When the nail hits the cap in the cartridge base in a Liberator, the expanding gas likewise pushes the lead bullet off the end of the cartridge and down the "barrel" pipe. Much of the gas leaks past due to the loose fit and soft material of the "barrel". The lump of plastic with the nail (probably) stops the cartridge case spitting out of the back, which is pretty easy as the bullet pops out of the extremely short, basically smooth* "barrel" almost immediately with very little push from the gas required. Most of the cartridge's hot gas spills out of the muzzle without getting a chance to do any work on the bullet, which is the main reason the cruddy "barrel" doesn't (always) come to bits on the first shot and the cartridge case (probably) doesn't just spit backward into the user's face.
The Liberator's bullet emerges going very slowly and wobbling or tumbling due to lack of spin. It might go almost anywhere, though not very far, and is unlikely to do much damage to anything it manages to hit."
Back to making zip guns with *real* steel pipes, kiddies, until you have a 3D printer that can print with steel, or something that strong.
whitroth writes "Excerpt: What do most people think of when they think of software? A decade ago, probably Microsoft Word and Excel. Today, it's more likely to be Gmail, Twitter, or Angry Birds. But the software that does the heavy lifting for the global economy isn't the apps on your smartphone. It's the huge, creaky applications that run Walmart's supply chain or United's reservation system or a Toyota production line.
And perhaps the most mission-critical of all mission-critical applications are the ones that underpin the securities markets a large share of the world's wealth is locked up. Those systems have been in the news a lot recently, and not for good reasons. In March, BATS, an electronic exchange, pulled its IPO because of problems with its own trading systems. During the Facebook IPO in May, NASDAQ was unable to confirm orders for hours. The giant Swiss bank UBS lost more than $350 million that day when its systems kept re-sending buy orders, eventually adding up to 40 million shares that it would later sell at a loss. Then last week Knight Capital — which handled 11 percent of all U. S. stock trading this year — lost $440 million when its systems accidentally bought too much stock that it had to unload at a loss.* (Earlier this year, a bad risk management model was also fingered in JP Morgan's $N billion trading loss, where N = an ever-escalating digit.)
The underlying problem here is that most software is not very good. Writing good software is hard. --- end excerpt ---" Link to Original Source top
whitroth writes "I've been reading slashdot since the late nineties. We always had the libertarian idiots, but you got *some* rational comments out of them sometimes.
In the last few months, it seems, I'm suddenly seeing blatant racists rants, and the kind of idiot cascades that contributed to usenet's downward trend. Just look, for example, at the comments following the huge Indian power failure: one thread of nieve wind power comments, a racists rant, and no real discussion of what happened or why, or what realistically needs to be done (cut corruption? have outside inspectors? power consideration?).
So here's an ask slashdot: how can we go back to actual nerdy conversations about how to actually do things in the real world?
whitroth writes "The judge who just dismissed the lawsuit between Apple and Motorola writes a column explaining what he considers to be a resonable use of patents, and unreasonable ones. One of his thoughts would be to require a patent holder to produce the patented item within a certain time, to cut out patent trolls." Link to Original Source top
whitroth writes "I just finished my annual (idiotic) security refresher, with its usual explanation of phishing, etc., and I think it's time for a new movement, one that might actually gain traction in companies if enough of us push it: the Ugly Email movement.
Simply enough: plain text, only. All pics, spreadsheets, etc *not* inline, but attachments. How complicated is that, Barbie?
It would shove in everyone's face that "Click here to contact your company/security/bank/offshore account" is going to gotyourinfonow.com
Opinions? Alternate names? Locations for demonstrations?
whitroth writes "I'm fed up, and I'm sure tens of thousands you slashdotters are, too. dnsbl.manitu.net has been offering their "service" to block spammers for a long time... and using an "algorithm" that would have worked 15 years ago, but these days is hostile to non-spammers, and useless.
He appears to target mailhosts of spammers. In these days, however, where hosting providers support tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of domains (many running Windows, and so infected), and all the mail goes through one mailhost, this means many of us get unfairly blocked. And it's not like the hosting providers don't try to stop spam going out.
This has been going on for a long time, Years ago, Cogeco in Canada used him, and I was blocked, on and off, for months from emailing a friend. Right now, I'm being blocked from a CentOS mailing list, even though I did a remove.
So, suggestions as to how we can get this hostile force dropped by most providers?
This never used to happen. slashdot *used* to load fast....
whitroth writes "Ten years ago, Received Wisdom said that virtual memory should be, on the average, two to two-and-a-half times real memory. In these days, where 2G RAM is not unusual, and many times that not that uncommon, is this unreasonable? What's the sense of the community as to what is a reasonable size for swap these days?