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"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:The science is great (396 comments)

I live in Mozambique. Check my posting history. This is my home. I'm an American but have lived here for about 5 years and don't have plans to go anywhere.

There are VERY LARGE CORPS that do massive scale farming here. These corps receive large subsidies from the government here, mostly because they negotiated freakishly one-sided deals many years ago when the government was a baby and prone to being taken advantage of. These corps get "free and unimproved seeds" from the government and it is important that those policies change so these large corps actually start having to buy their seed and so that they sell quality food to Mozambicans.

I work and spend every day with very poor Mozambicans. They do not buy their seed. By the way, the time frame on that co-operation policy was to do that by November 2012. Again, I am with poor, subsistence farmers in Mozambique every day. They are not buying expensive seeds and being locked into some expensive cycle. They harvest their crops, replant what they can from their crops, purchase from each other the seed they don't have from their own crops.

Also, it's worth noting that the report The Guardian is quoting from has a bullet point RIGHT BELOW the one you bolded and hyped. Here it is: Implement approved regulations governing seed proprietary laws which promote private sector investment in seed production (basic and certified seed).

This is just to point out that the government here is thinking about making sure that proprietary seed DOESN'T lock poor farmers into some expensive cycle. I know it makes for a shocking story to pretend like things are black and white/good and evil but, at least here in Mozambique, there is more than just "ZOMG, THINK OF TEH POOR AFRICANS AND THEIR FARMS!"

about 2 months ago

DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

x_IamSpartacus_x Flying Cars (75 comments)

Could this tech finally solve the "everyone would need a pilots license" problem of consumer level flying cars? Maybe cars could be developed that rely on the person inside the to drive on roads but as soon as liftoff is initiated an auto-pilot like this one DARPA is making could take over completely removing the human factor from the flying hunk of metal.
Not saying it's imminent but perhaps this is a step in the direction of ubiquitous personal flying vehicles that could solve a lot of transportation problems and get people/things to places "as the crow flies" instead of "as the wolf runs". It would just be an automated crow instead of a human one.

about 4 months ago

Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:"Unfair"? (362 comments)

It bothers me too. In my opinion it's part of a subtle temptation and accidental attitude that is very common in humanitarian/NGO/missionary work.

Let me explain.

I am a missionary working in Sub-Saharan Africa trying to fill a hole in the medical care here. In a developing country there are expected and predictable shortcomings in the medical system and I find myself trying to help cancer patients where the State cannot. Now, the tempting mindset is to hope that the State never actually develops enough to do what I do, thus, I never find myself redundant and always feel needed and like I’m filling a purpose. That is, of course, a horrible thing to hope. Of course I hope my service is redundant soon and of course I hope that what I do won’t be needed soon. That would mean fewer people were suffering! That would be great! It would also mean I’m no longer needed and I could find myself and my family in some trouble looking for a new place to serve.

The “I hope the problem never goes away so I never find my cause pointless” mindset is what is likely going on here. Erin McElroy of the SF Anti-Eviction Mapping Project likely dedicates her (his?) entire life or, at minimum, most of his (her?) emotional energy on this project and so any progress Google and others make to help things get better means Erin is more and more redundant and less and less needed. That is a scary thing for someone who lives for a cause and therefore, while fighting for their cause, there is often a self-defeating hope that the cause never actually succeeds.

That’s just what I’ve noticed in the “I have a cause” field at least. YMMV.

about 6 months ago

No Question: Snowden Was 2013's Most Influential Tech Figure

x_IamSpartacus_x Slashdot linking to Slashdot (108 comments)

Why the hell is this here? There have already been like 50 other stories about how important Snowden was/is and now /. feels it's important to post a ridiculously redundant story of their own that is JUST A BUNCH OF OTHER LINKS to other news sites? WTF /.?



about 8 months ago

Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:High pitched noises (294 comments)

You need to watch this: This video will hurt. Be prepared for your ears and head to start hurting when you turn it on.
This video is especially relevant to the issue at large. The "Nocebo effect" is real and creates real symptoms in people. We need to understand that people who have these symptoms are not simply making them up, THEY IN FACT HAVE NAUSEA/HEADACHES/TROUBLE-BREATHING/ETC. and we need to be compassionate to that.
This is a complex issue and one that requires patience and understanding. When people complain of health effects due to wifi, power cables, or other things they don't understand they should be taken seriously, despite the fact that these technologies have no scientific reason for causing those effects.

about 8 months ago

Mathematicians Team Up To Close the Prime Gap

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Need a summary of the summary (194 comments)

It looks like you don't understand what GP was asking (at best) or you don't understand the summary/primes.
I think the GP was asking if there are always less than 600 between primes. The answer to his question is "no". The higher you go the larger gaps can be between primes. There can be untold millions/billions/trillions etc. between two distinct primes. This proof shows not that there are never more than 600 between primes, but that there are an infinite number of pairs of primes that are separated by less than 600. The difference is small but important. There may be two primes separated by a vast number, yet the higher you go there will always be a pair of primes coming up that are separated by less than 600.

For example:

The numbers
2^57,885,161 - 1
2^43,112,609 - 1
are primes. They have 17,425,170 and 12,978,189 digits in them. They are the largest two primes we know of. They are separated by a bunch of numbers in between them, almost 5,000,000 DIGITS (note digits not numbers) and all the numbers between them are composites. HOWEVER, the next largest prime may simply be (2^57,885,161 1) + 600 because there will always be a chance that there is a prime coming up less than 600 away from the current highest prime.

This is getting closer and closer to proving the long held belief/hope that there are an infinite number of primes separated by only 2. NOT that EVERY prime is separated by 2 from every other prime. That would be obviously false. Simply that there are an infinite number of primes salted throughout all those impossibly high ones that are only 2 apart.

about 9 months ago

Snowden Strikes Again: NSA Mapping Social Connections of US Citizens

x_IamSpartacus_x Living Overseas? (513 comments)

I'm an American and I live in a pretty undeveloped Southern African nation. I wonder how much of a profile the NSA is capable of building on me?
Upon arriving in the USA very recently my wife was flagged going through the mettle detector at IAD (she was carrying our 3 month old daughter so the TSA told her they had to do some extra checks since she had a baby in a sling, dafuq?). She spent the next 45 minutes getting checked, rechecked, patted down (enhanced pat down; under the waistband, hand up the legs until it meets "resistance", hands swiping breasts, etc.), having her carry-on bags checked and rechecked for bomb residue, all in the name of "You were carrying a baby in a sling".

I'm trying to be as honest and non-paranoid as possible in all of this. But these leaks from Snowden really do give rise to questions about how large my NSA profile has grown, simply because I live overseas.

about a year ago

How Africa Will 'Leapfrog' Wired Networks

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:OLD news (183 comments)

You're absolutely right. I live in Mozambique and people in the DEEP bush (read: rural areas) who live in houses made of mud or grass have cell phones are able to do simple banking even on old candy bar phones. Here in the capitol of Maputo, in the last year, smart phone and tablet use has exploded. Mozambique has 3 cell networks that offer 3G connectivity and one is talking up their 4G transition for next year. I think the intuition of the touch screen is being proven here as people who were raised without running water or power are able to pick up and use a smartphone while the same person struggles to a comical degree trying to understand and use with any semblance of efficacy a laptop or desktop PC.

Oh... Mozambique is the 3rd least developed country IN THE WORLD according to the UNDP
So yeah, this Les Cotrell is just a guy wanting to sound smart by explaining things about Africa to people who know nothing about Africa. This happened long ago.

about a year ago

Malaria Vaccine Nearing Reality

x_IamSpartacus_x Do Away With This Disease? (209 comments)

It's definitely something to be celebrated that we're nearing the mark of a viable vaccine. Unfortunately, the hardest hit areas by Malaria are not places where vaccine distribution is

Affordable by those who need it
I would love to see this vaccine become a reality but I'm not very hopeful that this would have a price tag that many African nations could afford to give out to their populations for free or, if not free, the pennies the average citizen could afford. Mozambique, where I live and work, is VERY hard hit by Malaria but it's rural areas are very poor and the medicine distribution points in the CITIES struggle to keep vaccines refrigerated and properly handled. There is much development to be done in many of the nations who see high death rates from Malaria before we can use phrases like "allow us to do away with this disease". I do hope to see the disease done away with but let's not assume that with the development of the vaccine that that victory is imminent.

1 year,12 days

Thousands of Whistle Blowers Vulnerable After Anonymous Hacks SAPS

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Seems counter-intuitive (132 comments)

Posting from Mozambique:

You don't know how right you are. This is REMARKABLY stupid and dangerous. The countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are developing and with development comes all the growing pains, not least of which is very very corrupt police. Police in South Africa and elsewhere on this continent can be very vindictive and outright murderous when upset about people disrespecting their authority. A few months ago a teenager from Mozambique was dragged to death behind a South African police car because the police who "randomly" stopped him felt disrespected. If the people on these lists know about this hack and their names being made public there is a very real and justified fear they now permanently live in. If they don't know about this hack (a bit more likely in a developing country with a not-so-exposed-to-the-internet underclass) they may be blissfully unaware of the danger they are in but that does not change the its depth.

Whoever released this info has very real blood on their hands. I don't give a damn about the title "Anonymous", the script kiddies who released this info are accessories to the horrible vindictive violence that will assuredly come, and the potential of the loss of life for many of the names released.

The stupidity of this move cannot be overstated. Be ashamed of yourselves "Anonymous". Be ashamed for your lack of disciplining your own.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:I have had some success (550 comments)

OP Here:
Thanks. This is the kind of situation I'm in, and your suggestions seem like good one's. I'll look into those.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Clueless (550 comments)

OP Here.
Holy hell, that's a lot of assumptions about me! It's really not offensive and it kinda makes me laugh and I guess my submission doesn't really describe my entire situation so I can't really blame you. I would probably tend to agree with you about most cases of people who live overseas, especially doing NGO work.
An honest, "Thank you" for caring about my marriage and family.
I may be flattering myself but I really think my marriage is awesome. My wife and I love each other immensely and we support each other quite a bit in the work we do.
My basic situation is this: Work situation aside, we have our kids in bed by about 7:30 or 8 each night and after that we have very few entertainment options. We don't do this every single night but we often find ourselves watching a movie or TV show on DVD together. This works well and I have no complaints, it's just that our DVD collection has been watched enough that we are both looking for new entertainment options when we want to wind down together in the evenings. I'm just looking for ideas for how to spend 4-8 hours per week with my wife and engage her in what I find to be a rewarding and entertaining pastime; computer gaming. I have almost completely stopped computer gaming after getting married and it wasn't a hard decision to make. I gladly left those games behind when we got married and I don't begrudge the sacrifice at all. I'm not addicted to anything, she's not looking for more attention from me, I just want to do something new with her and I thought the Slashdot community might be a resource for finding out.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Why game? (550 comments)

Submitter here.
Yes, it is very weird. I don't really hang out with other expats who have that mentality. I live here and I'm happy to be here. It's my home, my kids were born here, they are citizens of this country and I don't want to create an American bubble around myself and my family. I'm actually a missionary and, let me assure you, I spend a LOT of time with the culture I'm in. I'm not trying to avoid spending time with Mozambicans. I'm trying to find an interactive activity I can do with my wife in the evenings after our kids go down. We don't have many board games, we can't go out (they kids are asleep in the house) and we are often sitting around without many options for evening entertainment except movies or TV shows on DVD. I want to invite her to join something I really enjoy doing (computer gaming) and find a lot of value in. It's nothing to do with avoiding local culture or neglecting my kids (as other posters have assumed).

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Why game? (550 comments)

OP Here.
I am often out exploring Mozambique. It's not about that. I am looking for something my wife and I can do in the evenings together (2 or 3 times per week) instead of watching something from our drying up movie collection. It wouldn't interfere with time with my kids, they are sleeping by 8:00 PM and we can't go out after that with them down in the house. I just want something I can spend 4-8 hours per week on with my wife in the evenings after 8 PM.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Let Me Explain (550 comments)

OP here.
What I guess I didn't explain in the summary is that I DON'T game anymore since being married (and especially since having the kids). What I DO do is have 2 or 3 nights per week where my wife and I watch a movie or TV show on DVD together. I'm currently out of fresh movies and shows so that's why I'm looking for a game we can spend 4-8 hours per week on. Nothing addicted, nothing excessive, nothing even while the kids are awake (I have 3 under 3 and they go to bed by 7:30-8:00 PM). Just something to do to have fun in the evenings with my wife. Is there anything (besides things like Minecraft) that we could both enjoy together?

about a year and a half ago

Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:Excellent (1576 comments)

Ok, honestly, I wish people could try to be a little less partisan. Both men were good men and would try to serve this country. Sure they both have selfish motivations for some of the things they do but, seriously, who the hell wouldn't in that position???.
Let's all agree that, though Obama may do things differently than you personally think he should, he's going to lead America as best he can.
I'm generally conservative/libertarian in my politics and most of my friends align in that direction. I infrequently use Facebook and when I looked this morning I was disgusted with the ridiculous epithets and flat out doucheiness of a LOT of people who call themselves "Christians" or at least moral people.
Obama is a good man. I would lead a bit differently than I but he's NOT a "Baby Killer", the "Antichrist", the "Nigger in the White House", or any other hateful and decidedly unchristian thing so many morally ugly people are saying about him.
He's your president. He's your supreme leader. He's under tremendous pressure and stress to serve America and her interests. Speak of him that way or shut the hell up.

about 2 years ago

Experts Warn About Security Flaws In Airline Boarding Passes

x_IamSpartacus_x Photoshop? (199 comments)

How possible would it be to do very subtle Photoshop (or the GIMP) changes to ensure someone goes through the expedited process? Heck, terrorism aside, I'D do it just to avoid the cancer machines.

about 2 years ago

US House Science Committee Member: Evolution Is a Lie From Hell

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:we need a litmus test (1113 comments)

I am genuinely curious to know what you mean by "stand up and put these extremist assholes in their place". As in violently remove them from office? Graffiti the sides of buildings? Stand in the middle of intersections and yell about Rep Broun? Seriously, what do you suggest?
Do you really think someone who self-identifies as the same religion as Rep Broun could just call up CNN and say "I want to put that extremist asshole in his place" and CNN would show up at his house with a camera and give him the opportunity to say "Not all of us who call ourselves $religion_name agree with that one guy who does $crazy_shit and calls himself $religion_name!"
I'm honestly curious what you think someone should do to as a matter of "get your asses up" in that regard.

about 2 years ago

Taking Issue With Claims That American Science Education is 'Dismal'

x_IamSpartacus_x Re:HERE is why. I had to RTF(links) (564 comments)

But here's the thing; the WORST score for the USA in the metric used was the proportion of foreign contributors to the scientific output and of foreign students in tertiary education. So the SMALLEST contributor to the ranking of the USA was the foreign scientists that helped produce science. This means that although Canadian, UK, Swedish, German, or other nationality scientists may want to go get paid in America, they are making a smaller difference in the output of the science in the USA than foreign nationals are making in their own countries!

Heck, even the proportion of international students in 3rd ed in the USA is in that metric so this means that, as compared to the other countries in this study, the USA has a very low proportion of international students in science courses and a very low proportion of international contributors to its research.

Look in the link to the study in my GP post. Under point 2.3 is the definition of their "Connectivity" metric and under point 3.3 it explains the USA's low reliance on international collaboration in research.

The United States, Korea and Japan are in the bottom quartile for [international] research collaboration, in part reflecting the existence of a critical mass within the national research community.

more than 2 years ago

Taking Issue With Claims That American Science Education is 'Dismal'

x_IamSpartacus_x HERE is why. I had to RTF(links) (564 comments)

Additionally, the latest study released by Universitas 21, a global network of research universities, concluded that the United States ranks No. 1 in the world in higher education — a metric that partially relies on scientific research output. (Sweden came in a distant second.)

From the description this seems like a stupid metric that would be obviously skewed towards countries with higher population. With a Sweden's population of almost 9.5 million verses the USA's 315 million one would HOPE that the scientific research output is significantly higher. While TFS doesn't go into depth about the actual metric, I figured I'd need to do some reading through some links.
I just looked at the report and it looks like the metric is more than that.

It has things like

  • Amount spent on tertiary ed (resources like "per student" "percent of GDP" "per population head" etc)
  • Proportion of female students in tertiary ed
  • Proportion of international students in tertiary ed
  • Total articles produced by higher ed facilities (gross AND per capita)

So it looks like that might not be that bad of a metric after all. It's far from perfect but there are probably few if any that are. All in all, I'm impressed that the USA is ranked number 1.

When looking through the ACTUAL scores of the different countries the USA scores a dismal 37 out of 50 in the "Proportion of international students in 3rd ed and proportion of articles co-authored by international collaborators". Where the USA far and away blows away the rest of the field is in the actual scientific article output (weighted by gross and per capita as noted above).

All in all, it's an interesting report that seems to fly in the face of most of slashdot's readership's (mine included) perception of the direction of the education system in the USA. Maybe most of the bad news is at the secondary education level?

more than 2 years ago



Jolla Announces 1st Meego/Android-App Device Available Year End 2013

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  about a year ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "Jolla, the Finnish company that continued Nokia’s work on the MeeGo mobile platform, announced details of its first smartphone on Monday. Availability for the Jolla device is expected by year end and can be pre-ordered now; the phone will be priced at no more than €399 (US $512.26).
The Jolla hardware looks similar to that of Nokia’s Lumia, with a clean, button-less front face that houses the 4.5-inch touchcscreen.The phone will use a dual-core processor and support 4G LTE in some regions. Internal storage tops out at 16 GB, but can be expanded via microSD card. The phone also includes an 8 megapixel rear camera with auto focus.
The phone is also “Android app compliant” which, in a move similar to that of BlackBerry, can help with available apps at launch."

How do I get my spouse to start gaming with me?

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  about a year and a half ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "I’ve been a gamer for a long time (started on Nibbles in MS-DOS) and enjoy pretty much any good game. I can enjoy side-scrolling relics (original Prince of Persia, Win 95), to modern MMORPGs (stopped playing my 85 lvl Mage on WoW just recently, read on to see why), to a good sports game (Madden series are a blast) and many more. I’ve been married for 4 years now and have hardly touched my games since being married and starting having kids. My wife and I are Americans but live overseas and have little access to new movies/entertainment and, from experience, I know that a good game can provide much more entertainment than a good movie. My question is, what are good ways/good games that I can use to get my wife into computer gaming? We both have good laptops that I’d love to get her interested in using to do co-op or combative games with me. Because of my long experience, gaming comes naturally to me and so even on a game I haven’t played I would probably be much better than she. Is there a game or idea that would take away the embarrassing factor for her of being much worse than I am while still being enjoyable and worth spending a lot of time on with me? Do any other Slashdotters struggle getting their spouse to game with them?"

Possible Egyptian Pyramids Found via Google Earth

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  about 2 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "In an article being carried by, Two possible pyramid complexes might have been found in Egypt, according to a Google Earth satellite imagery survey. Located about 90 miles apart, "the sites contain unusual grouping of mounds with intriguing features and orientations" said satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol of Maiden, N.C. According to Micol, both sites have been verified as undiscovered by Egyptologist and pyramid expert Nabil Selim, whose findings include the pyramid called Sinki at Abydos and the Dry Moat surrounding the Step pyramid complex at Saqqara. The researcher has previously located several possible archaeological sites with Google Earth, including a potential underwater city off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. The sites have been sent to Egyptologists and researchers for further investigation and "ground truthing," she said."

Yahoo's New CEO Mayer is Pregnant

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 2 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "Marissa Mayer, the Google executive who today was named Yahoo's new chief executive, is pregnant!.
Of course, her pregnancy, which Mayer learned of last January, was something to think about when she got the initial call from Jim Citrin, the Spencer Stuart recruiter commissioned by the Yahoo board.
Mayer first disclosed to the Yahoo board that she is pregnant in late June, in a meeting with Michael Wolf, a member of the board's four-person CEO search committee. A meeting with the search committee followed, and then Mayer met with the full board last Wednesday. None of the Yahoo directors, she says, revealed any concern about hiring a pregnant chief executive. "They showed their evolved thinking," says Mayer, who got the phone call last Thursday that she was the board's choice to be CEO."

Link to Original Source

FBI Leaves Cleared Names On Terrorist Watch List

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 2 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "According to a recent FOIA request the FBI doesn't always take names off of the Terrorist Watch List even when those people have been cleared of charges or had charges dropped. “If an individual is acquitted or charges are dismissed for a crime related to terrorism, the individual must still meet the reasonable suspicion standard in order to remain on, or be subsequently nominated to, the terrorist watch list,” the once-classified memorandum says. The New York Times is running a story about it as well saying the data is even used by local police officers to check names during traffic stops."
Link to Original Source

Contact Lost with Hypersonic Glider

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  about 3 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "DARPA says contact with its experimental hypersonic glider was lost after launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast. The agency says in Twitter postings that its unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 was launched Thursday atop a rocket, successfully separated from the booster and entered the mission's glide phase.
The agency says telemetry was subsequently lost, but released no details.."

Link to Original Source

How to Get Elected Without Being Corrupt?

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "I have a very close friend who is a local state representative. He has wanted to enter the world of politics since he was very young and has begun his journey as a state rep. He wants to change the culture of corruption, pursue open/honest government and adheres strictly to the constitution and the very real limits it places on the power he hopes to have. Without getting into corporate corruption, political favors to selfish companies, and making himself beholden to the rich, how does he fundraise to compete with the politicians who do? How does he get elected to higher office without corrupt and crooked politics?"

Non-Corrupt Politician Fundraising

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "I have a very close friend who is a local state representative. He has wanted to enter the world of politics since he was very young and has begun his journey as a state rep. He wants to change the culture of corruption, pursue open/honest government and adheres strictly to the constitution and the very real limits it places on the power he hopes to have. Without getting into corporate corruption, political favors to selfish companies, and making himself beholden to the rich, how does he fundraise to compete with the politicians who do? How does he get elected to higher office without corrupt and crooked politics?"

Bradley Manning being "Ritually Abused" by Jailors

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "The lawyer for Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of having leaked a massive trove of US state secrets to WikiLeaks, has accused his military jailers at the marine base in Quantico, Virginia, of ritually humiliating his client by stripping him naked in his cell every night.

David Coombs, who is representing Manning in his court martial procedure, criticised the commanders of the Quantico brig for punishing the prisoner for a sarcastic comment he made in protest at his treatment. Coombs said Manning quipped that if he wanted to harm himself he could do so with the elastic waistband in his underpants or with his flip-flops."

Link to Original Source

Atheists/Agnostics Know Most About World Religions

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions. On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. It is worth noting, however, that some questions may be open for debate. For example, one question about the Catholic teaching of communion actually becoming the body/blood of Christ is not a consistent teaching across the Catholic church, nor is the Christian teaching that salvation comes from faith alone an exclusively Protestant one as many Catholics teach the same."
Link to Original Source

Windows Administrator move to Linux

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  about 4 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "I have been administering Windows machines for more than 10 years and am extremely comfortable in a Windows environment. I went to school as came out with a Windows Network Administration degree, my CCNA and a Cisco Network Admin degree and have worked in the corporate world administering mid-level scale Windows environments. Unfortunately, I took only 1 (basic) Linux administration class and promptly forgot it because it had no bearing on my degree plan(s). I know the slashdot community will hate me for this but I would really consider myself quite technical and yet I know virtually nothing about administering Linux. I am hoping that the slashdot community can (after forgiving me for my obvious lack of geeky Linux knowledge) help me get started on my quest to be as familiar with Linux as I am with Windows. I have no CS background so I am not a programmer but I hope that I can learn to write drivers for hardware (never needed in Windows) and get a deeper understanding of the Linux environment and it's strengths. Where should I start and what path should I follow to do this?"

Toyota Partners With Tesla to Make Electric Cars

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 4 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "Business week has a story about Toyota putting $50 million into Tesla and Tesla buying a Toyota factory in California to make electric cars in the USA. Toyota had to close the factory because of its struggling business in the States but Tesla will be reopening the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, California, known as NUMMI. “This seems like a good deal for both parties, especially Toyota, from being able to avoid the political fallout from shutting NUMMI down to being able to offer a new electric vehicle with just a low initial investment cost,” said Jeremy Anwyl, Chief Executive Officer at auto industry researcher in Santa Monica, California. The tie-up brings Toyota, the world’s biggest seller of hybrid autos, together with Tesla, the only company now selling U.S. highway-legal battery-powered cars. Electric-car technology has been supported by U.S. policy makers including President Barack Obama as a way to reduce the nation’s oil use and dependence on foreign energy sources."
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Best travel laptop of 2009

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 5 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "I know this question is asked often, but I looked back through the Slashdot stories and there hasn't been one for over a year. I will be traveling to Portugal and then into the bush of Angola this year and will need a laptop that I can travel with. I don't intend to thrash it but I don't want to have to worry about it being knocked around in typical overseas travel. Good battery life would be nice coupled with a readable screen. I intend to blog and write often so a 10" netbook is not ideal. This is not a gaming computer or desktop replacement, though good photo-editing times are essential. Most of the time the answers to these questions are Thinkpad T-Series laptops. Is that still the case for most Slashdot readers? Are there other durable-hardworking-reasonably-priced laptops out there for consideration?"

Visa rolles out NFC Payment in Malaysia

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 5 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "PC World is reporting that Visa has launched its first commercial mobile payments service for point-of-sale transactions using NFC (Near Field Communications) technology. The service is available in Malaysia, and allows users to pay for goods by waving their NFC-enabled Nokia 6212 classic handset in front of a contactless reader.
While this is just in Malaysia, Wells Fargo is testing a related pay-by-phone system with Visa for the USA. Is this the rise of faster and more convenient transactions, or a new way to lose your phone and money all in one fell swoop?"

Myspace removes 90,000 sex offender accounts

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 5 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "According to CNN MySpace has identified and removed 90,000 convicted sex offenders from its popular online social-networking site, according to one of the dozens of state attorneys general who pressured the site to beef up its safety standards. The story doesn't say how they decided which accounts were the accounts of sex offenders, but I can't imagine it's failproof. Wouldn't it be a simple matter to create a myspace account from a registered sex offenders IP just to get him/her in trouble?"
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Steve Jobs to take leave of absence from Apple

x_IamSpartacus_x x_IamSpartacus_x writes  |  more than 5 years ago

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) writes "Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said Wednesday he will take a leave of absence from the computer and music player maker because of health issues. Jobs, who announced last week that he suffered from a hormone imbalance that caused him to lose weight, said he will be away from the job until the end of June. "In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June," Jobs said in a statement."


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