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Comments

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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

ygslash Opaque walls (362 comments)

Opaque walls in private homes enable the residents of those home to commit crimes. The detection and prosecution of those crimes is a difficult task due to the use of opaque walls. All building contractors need to take responsibility, and join together to reduce and eliminate those crimes. I propose that it should not be permitted to build any new private homes whose walls are made from opaque materials.

Have you noticed the difference between my proposal and the BBC's proposal? That's right - the crimes enabled by opaque walls do not threaten to reduce the profits of large media corporations like the BBC. Ah well, I guess my proposal doesn't have much chance of adoption, then.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

ygslash Re:Uh (127 comments)

Wasn't it already shut down a couple of years ago, with mandatory migration to Skype?

TFA implies that MSN is still active in China, and that is what is now being shut down.

Besides Skype, MS also owns Yammer, which is more similar to MSN than Skype, at least superficially, but targeted at the corporate market.

All in all - there's not much reason for MS to keep MSN around.

about three weeks ago
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Astronomers Discover Earth-Sized Diamond

ygslash Re:Wat (112 comments)

They didn't say it's 3000K. They said it's not 3000K, because otherwise they would have detected it directly. It's cooler than 3000K, perhaps much cooler.

about 3 months ago
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Astronomers Discover Earth-Sized Diamond

ygslash Re:DIAMONDS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY (112 comments)

Warning: ACTUAL PHYSICS, not typical Slashdot half-assed speculation...

Calling this a diamond is simply wrong. Perhaps at some point in the distant future one of these will cool and part of it will become a form of crystal carbon, but considering that the cooling time without mantle carbon crystallization is on the order of 10 Gigayears, it is not likely this has happened yet considering that the universe is around 13.6 gigayears old...

OP here. Not claiming to know much about this; I just pointed out the NRAO announcement. But I assume that NRAO does have people that know something about the physics here.

They are not saying that the white dwarf is 3000 K - they would have detected it directly then. They are saying that it must be cooler than that, perhaps much cooler. Thus, they are speculating that this is an extremely old object, and that it may indeed have cooled enough to reach temperatures at which there would be carbon crystallization.

about 3 months ago
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Nest Announces New Smart Home API

ygslash Re:Looked at the IFTTT integration (38 comments)

As far as I can see, the main innovation here seems to be that Google is throwing their corporate weight at the patents that have been keeping the home automation market in a choke-hold for almost two decades.

about 3 months ago
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Time travel to become reality? Scientists sent light particles into the past

ygslash Fix the title (1 comments)

Interesting, I would like to see this story appear. But you need to fix the title - it's just not true as stated, and the linked article doesn't claim that. They *simulated* time travel of a photon; they didn't actually send "light particles into the past".

about 3 months ago
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Perl Is Undead

ygslash Re:"Undead" doesn't mean vibrant, though. (283 comments)

Python, Ruby... You're right, it's not the 1990's anymore. it's the 2000's.

Oh, wait - it's already past 2010 now? So - how about Haskell?

about 3 months ago
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NASA to capture asteroid in 2019

ygslash Re:Oops, sorry, this is a dupe (2 comments)

But my link to the JPL page on 2011 MD sure is cool. The other guy missed that. :)

about 3 months ago
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Report says consumers aren't doing much to protect themselves

ygslash Don't just paste the article into the summary (1 comments)

This is interesting. But it's copyrighted material; you can't just paste it into the summary like that. And anyway, that summary is much, much too long. Summarize the article in your own words and link to it. Please submit again.

about 3 months ago
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Comcast Converting 50,000 Houston Home Routers Into Public WiFi Hotspots

ygslash Re:Liability (474 comments)

Seriously, what idiot thought this would be a good idea? Punish your customers and give moochers, criminals and cheapskates free and anonymous internet.

Only people who provide the service from their own wifi will be able to use it from others. It's actually an attractive idea. The OP is framing it as a problem only because Comcast is doing it as "opt-out", enabling it remotely without people explicitly giving their permission. I suppose that's true. But in practice, it's not much different than "opt-in". Our local provider is doing it as "opt-in", but almost everyone signs up for it. You get sent to the opt-in screen automatically as part of the installation procedure whenever you put in a new modem. And why not? It costs you essentially nothing, and it's really convenient.

Landline telephone providers are doing this all over world, and pushing it very aggressively. Here's why: landline providers are quickly losing their market share. Mobile providers are eating their lunch. Many young people are not ever signing up for a landline phone anymore, and some people who already have a landline are getting rid of it to save money. Share-alike free wifi service not only gives you convenient wifi access almost wherever you are; it also ties you to your landline. And makes it less attractive to shell out as much money for mobile data plans.

about 3 months ago
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Your promise is mocking you?

ygslash Interesting, but sounds like spam (1 comments)

This actually sounds like an interesting app. But I downvoted your submission, because it is worded like an advertisement. Ads are not appropriate for Slashdot articles; that's called "spam". Please submit again as a description of this kind of technology, with your app just mentioned as an example. Be sure to mention other similar or related technology. One example is Beeminder, which charges you money instead of publicly shaming you if you don't make good on your promise. Extra points if you are honest and mention one or more direct competitors - it will help you, not hurt you, if yours really is the best.

about 3 months ago
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Static Electricity Defies Simple Explanation

ygslash Re:it's explained in the study (86 comments)

The paper itself mentions only the ion hypothesis; the article linked by OP attributes the other hypothesis to "Keith Forward, a chemical engineer at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona". The point is that the study makes no claim about the validity of any hypothesis. It only rejects the previously widely accepted one. So the title of the article is quite fair; it's not "clickbait".

about 4 months ago
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Static Electricity Defies Simple Explanation

ygslash Re:it's explained in the study (86 comments)

The title is unfortunate (it's clickbait)... At the end of the paper, they point out that small amounts of water adsorbed on the surfaces of these oxides should create H+ and OH- ions in a density that does explain the static generation effect.

No, that's just one of two alternative hypotheses mentioned at the end of the article. The second is transfer of the zirconium itself between the particles. There could be other ideas. The point of this study is only to eliminate the widely assumed electron-transfer hypothesis, not to establish any alternative. So the title is quite accurate.

about 4 months ago
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The Single Best Overview of What the Surveillance State Does With Our Private Da

ygslash Link the report itself please (1 comments)

OK, it's interesting. But please add a link to the report itself. Don't just link to an article about the report and paste text from it.

about a year ago
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Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started

ygslash Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (266 comments)

This same thing happened in the US. I forget the new station, but they released stats on the election days before it happened. whatever, no one would ever believe it happens here though...

Here's the story. It was KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona. They displayed a banner at the bottom of the screen announcing the exact percentages by which Obama defeated Romney with 99% of results in - more than two weeks before the election.

The station claims it was a mistaken display of a test graphic. Could be that's what happened in Azerbaijan, too, if we want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Do we?

about a year ago
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Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started

ygslash Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (266 comments)

Only a handful of mathematicians would trust that.

Paper ballots with independents actually conducting the election taking ballots and counting them, etc, with overseers from all political parties welcome to watch the entire proceedings, from start to finish.

Simple and transparent.

No, even the mathematicians wouldn't trust it. See Bruce Schneier's 2006 essay that explains why.

Use paper ballots. Period.

However, crypto can still add value - it can go a long way towards preventing fraud and errors even in a paper ballot election. Scantegrity is an open-source system, invented by Rivest (the "R" in RSA), Chaum, and other researchers, that helps secure a paper ballot election by supplying each voter with a simple verification code that can be written down. The codes in no way compromise the anonymity of the voters, and cannot be used to determine what vote was cast. But they can be used by individual voters to verify that their votes have been counted correctly, and by election officials to verify that ballots have not been tampered with and that the results have been tallied correctly. The overhead cost of the system is low.

Scantegrity has been used successfully in two real elections - municipal elections in the Takoma Park, Maryland in the U.S. But so far it doesn't seem to be catching on very much. I guess it doesn't quite suit the needs of the big money electronic voting industry.

about a year ago
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Sick of Your Local Police Force? Crowdfund Your Own

ygslash Hyde Park, Chicago (330 comments)

When I was a graduate student at University of Chicago, the University's private police force was the third largest police force in Illinois, after the cities of Chicago and Springfield. That may still be the case. The University police patrolled the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago in which the University is situated. Hyde Park is surrounded on three sides by high-crime neighborhoods, and on the east by a park along the shore of Lake Michigan, but it was safe to walk the streets of Hyde Park at all hours of the day or night. University police patrol cars could constantly be seen cruising slowly up and down every street. In those days before cell phones were popular, you could walk up any street almost without ever taking your hand off an emergency call box. When I first visited Hyde Park for my interview, I remember being told the exact boundaries of where it was safe to walk. That included things like "make sure to walk only along the south side of 47th Street, never along the north side of the street."

about a year ago

Submissions

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Octogenarian locksmith wins 2014 Technobrain Space Elevator competition

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 3 months ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Ishai Zimmerman, a locksmith in his 80's, won first prize in the 2014 Technobrain Space Elevator competition at the Technion in Haifa. The final round of the competition was attended by Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov, who first published the idea of a space elevator in 1960 based on a concept of 19th century rocket science founder Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. In this year's competition, participants were required to build a climber that could ascend a 25 meter vertical rope at high speed and then lift a capsule attached to the bottom of the rope, without using any combustion energy. Zimmerman's winning entry was based on an electric screw motor used in the manufacture of plastic pipes."
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Astronomers discover Earth-sized diamond

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 3 months ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Astronomers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory announced that they have discovered what appears to be the coolest white dwarf ever detected. The white dwarf is formerly a star similar to our own sun which, after expending all of its fuel, has cooled to less than a chilly 3000 degrees Kelvin and contracted to a size approximately the same as Earth. A white dwarf is composed mostly of carbon and oxygen, and the astronomers believe that at that temperature it would be mostly crystallized, forming something like a huge diamond."
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NASA to capture asteroid in 2019

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 3 months ago

ygslash (893445) writes "NASA announced progress in its plan to capture a small asteroid and put it into orbit around the moon in 2019. The project is dubbed "Asteroid Redirect Mission" (ARM). After recent observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope, the current leading candidate asteroid is 2011 MD, about 6 meters in diameter. NASA is still also considering an alternate plan to break off and return a "boulder-sized" sample from an asteroid instead of an entire asteroid. In further progress on ARM, NASA approved 18 proposals for studies by outside organizations to develop system concepts and key technologies for the project."
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McMillen: Net Neutrality is not about cost of bandwidth

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 3 months ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Robert McMillen of Wired claims that we have gotten Net Neutrality all wrong. While we are all busy arguing about whether there should be regulations preventing large content providers from getting preferential bandwidth, McMillen says that not only have the large content providers already had preferential bandwidth for ten years, but that by now this has become an inherent part of the structure of the Internet and in practice cannot be changed. Instead, he says, the Net Neutrality discussion should be about ensuring a free and open competitive market for bandwidth, so that anyone who wants bandwidth can purchase it at a fair price."
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Gecko feet inspire hand-held Spider-Man paddles

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 3 months ago

ygslash (893445) writes "DARPA is developing hand-held paddles that can be used to scale vertical walls. The adhesion technology employed in the paddles is based on Van der Waals force, inspired by the feet of certain species of geckos known for their excellent climbing ability. In a recent test, a man weighing almost 100 kg (220 lbs) and carrying a heavy pack that added about 23 kg (50 lbs) of additional weight, was able to scale a vertical glass wall almost 8 m (25 ft) high using the paddles. However, the paddles are reported to be 'not battlefield-ready yet'. Apparently, smooth glass walls are not usually what you need to climb in real battlefield conditions."
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IXWebHosting suffers DDOS attack against DNS for more than a day

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about a year ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The DNS servers of IXWebHosting, a major domain name registrar, have been targeted by a massive DDOS attack against their DNS servers for more than 24 hours. The attack is still ongoing at the time this post is being written. All domains hosted by IXWebHosting are gradually becoming unavailable as their TTLs expire and the domains drop out of DNS caches around the Internet. Some details about this attack were posted on the company's support blog — but now their own domain name has passed TTL and can no longer be resolved. If anyone has an IP address for IXWebHosting, or some other way of finding out information about this attack, please post it in the comments. Are incidents like this evidence that the venerable DNS system is no longer robust enough to keep the Internet running in the modern era?"
Link to Original Source
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Parallella Open Parallel Hardware Platform Gets Kickstart Funding

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 2 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Adapteva has achieved Kickstarter funding for their Parallella "supercomputing for everyone" project. The stated goal of the Parallella project is to provide a totally open highly parallel hardware platform, with a full set of publicly available NDA-free specs and documentation, for under $100 US. They claim that a credit-card sized Parallella CPU board based on their Epiphany 64-core accelerator will provide 90 gflops while consuming only 5 watts (but I wonder if the under $100 version might only include their 16-core version). On their Kickstarter page, Adapteva promises that "all architecture and SDK documents will be published on the web as soon as the Kickstarter project is funded." Still looking for the link..."
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Los Alamos Fire Idles NSA Supercomputer

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Among the many facilities shut down since Monday at Los Alamos National Laboratory due to the approaching wildfire is Cielo, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The National Security Administration's three national laboratories -" Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore -" all share computing time on Cielo, according to Associated Press."
Link to Original Source
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Los Alamos Threatened by Wildfire

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The Los Conchas wildfire in New Mexico threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory on June 27, coming within less than one mile of its boundary. All "non essential" personal among its more than 11,000 employees were instructed to stay away from the facility. In an official statement, the laboratory reported that "all radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected.""
Link to Original Source
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Feds Recruiting ISPs to Combat Cyber Threats

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have established a pilot program with leading private defense contractors and ISPs called DIB Cyber Pilot in an attempt to strengthen each others' knowledge base regarding growing security threats in cyberspace. The new program was triggered by recent high-profile hacks of the International Monetary Fund and many others. But don't worry — Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn promises that the new program will not involve "monitoring, intercepting, or storing any private sector communications" by the DOD and DHS."
Link to Original Source
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Israeli court protects online identities

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The Israeli Supreme Court refused to force an ISP to reveal the identity of an anonymous talkback poster, thereby preventing a libel suit for labeling an alternative medicine practitioner a "charlatan". In the 70 page decision (to be published online, in Hebrew, within 72 hours), the court weighed the rights of freedom of speech and confidentiality against the right to protect one's reputation, and discussed the procedural complexities of allowing civil suits against anonymous parties while protecting the rights of all involved. The majority opinion of the court was that legislation would be required to allow any legal action in this case. Business Ethics researcher Asher Meir commented: 'If talkbacks were strictly subject to the laws of libel, then people would give them more credence. [The majority opinion of the court] is correct from a judicial point of view, but if we are weighing legislation a basic question would be: How much credibility do we in fact want talkbacks to have?'"
Link to Original Source
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ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ygslash writes "The Debian Project has decided that part of the GNU Emacs package will be classified as "non-free" in the next release of Debian GNU/Linux. GNU Emacs, authored by free software pioneer Richard M. Stallman in the 1980's, is an icon of the free software movement. But some of the documentation that is included with GNU Emacs carries a copyright notice that prohibits redistribution in modified form. After several years of struggling with this issue, it was decided that this restriction is not consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines."

Journals

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Re: Telcos block FreeConference phone numbers

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 7 years ago

On Sunday, I submitted a story entitled "Telcos block FreeConference phone numbers". I am posting this journal entry as a follow-up comment.

My original submission was about an email that FreeConference.com sent out to all of its customers. In the email, FreeConference.com claims that AT&T/Cingular, Qwest, and Sprint are blocking access to some of the phone numbers that are used by them to provide free conference calls.

It seems that more free conferencing services, including FreeConferenceCall.com, are affected by this blockage, as reported by the public interest groups U.S. PIRG and PennPIRG. The public interest groups report that AT&T has sued at least one of the free conference call services, claiming that this service is causing them to lose revenues.

Um, yes, when someone provides better service at far lower cost or even free, AT&T is going to lose revenue. As PennPIRG puts it, "AT&T/Cingular should not hold consumers hostage in their billing dispute with free conference call services".

FreeConference.com has now sent out another email to all of its customers, stating that the telcos are only blocking access to "a small set of numbers to one of our many conferencing bridges," and that they are "running our business with minimal interruptions." There is more information on their FAQ.

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