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Comment: Re:NASA is simply poorly run (Score 1) 464

by 1053r (#28119561) Attached to: Is Playing a DVD Harder Than Rocket Science?

it is a pretty fundamentally stupid thing

Seriously? There's maybe you and five other people that think that on the face of this planet. I'm fairly certain that ensuring that the astronauts had proper playback codecs was not on the list of priorities at NASA. I'd quite frankly be upset if it *was*, given that the only reason that they had an extra day was that the unforseen thunderstorm made landing impossible, and it's impossible to reliably predict *those* weeks in advance. To dedicate resources to seeing to petty details such as video playback software would be the epitome of waste and inefficiency that you are decrying. The astronauts should absolutely not be wasting time and money watching movies in space (of course, unless it's in a situation like this one where there is no more scheduled work left to be done).

Granted, maybe NASA wasn't once the wonder it once was, but that was only because of the Cold War, after the Russians and Sputnik scared the crap out of everybody this side of the Pacific. The only reason the politicians were willing to allow NASA to spend the money to send a man to the moon was so we could beat the Soviets there. But NASA has still done some pretty amazing things since. I couldn't count on one hand the number of probes and rovers they've sent to places like Mars and Jupiter, and most of those have *way* outlived their expected useful lifespan. They've been way more successful than expected. Contrast this with the Beagle 2, which was completely lost before it even had the chance to do anything even remotely useful (It was British, by the way).

Comment: I'm going to repost the comment I made over there (Score 1) 715

by 1053r (#25929733) Attached to: An Ethical Question Regarding Ebooks
I am perhaps among the few who think that illegal does not necessarily equal immoral [actually, here on Slashdot, that does not apply as much]. Think back to the 50’s: What Rosa Parks did was illegal. No questions about it. Was it wrong? Few people now would be willing to argue that it was wrong to not give up her seat to a white person, however no one would deny that it was indeed illegal at the time. Similarly, I strongly believe it is not wrong to âoepirateâ information just because it is prohibited by our pathetically archaic copyright law.

If you bought the book used, who would get the money? Not the author. Not the publisher. The individual selling the book would be the only one who would benefit from you buying a used copy. The author would receive no compensation, therefore the argument of Russel Davis that you mentioned does not apply. By his reasoning, buying a used copy would be just as much âoetheftâ as downloading the book off the internet. Think about that one for a moment. Granted, if you had downloaded the book instead of buying it from the author or the publisher, that might be a different story, as you are not actively supporting the author so they can produce more works. However, in this instance, you have actively searched for the book in a form that you can use, and have been turned down by the publisher. They have no intention of making any more profit from the book and have abandoned all claims of interest in the matter.

Information wants to be unlimited and free. It is stubborn, neolithic individuals like the publisher you mentioned above that are impeding the spread of universal knowledge, knowledge that would often possibly result in the general betterment of mankind. Download the copy of the book, and then perhaps send a few dollars to the author along with a note explaining what you did and why. Be sure to thank her for writing such a great book, and encourage more to write more like it. There’s nothing more you can do.

Comment: OpenBSD? (Score 2, Insightful) 352

by 1053r (#25808689) Attached to: Secure OS Gets Highest NSA Rating, Goes Commercial
Does anybody know if OpenBSD (or any *BSD for that matter) has ever received a rating? Or at least, what it would probably rate if it were to receive a rating? I would suspect that it would rate at least with Linux or perhaps one higher, seeing as their slogan is "only two remote holes in the default install in over a decade."

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day, Me Hearties 206

Posted by Zonk
from the arrr-me-grog-be-tainted-by-the-salt-o'-the-sea dept.
nmb3000 writes "Avast, me maties! Today be th' International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Fer today only, ye lubbers no worthy 'nough t' enjoy th' noble vocation o' Pirate can join th' ranks! Firs' ye'll need t' lern t' talk like a pirate, then find yer pirate name, doonload yer ringtones, an' finally sling back some grog. Be smart aboot it, fer today's th' day ninjas fear...ever'one's a pirate! Arrrr!"

Poll Says No Voter Support for Net Neutrality 337

Posted by Zonk
from the who-wants-what-they-don't-know-about dept.
Giants2.0 writes "A survey conducted by the Commerce Committee says that Americans don't know what net neutrality is, and they don't want it. Ars Technica reports that only 7% of respondents had ever heard of net neutrality, but the report questions the fairness of the survey, which was crafted by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to assess support for the current version of the Telecommunications Act of 2006. The survey suggested to respondents that net neutrality would prevent ISPs from selling faster service or security products, both of which are not true." From the article: "The very brief net neutrality description used by the pollsters is somewhat misleading insofar as it suggests that net neutrality would bar Internet Service Providers from selling faster service than is available today. Strict net neutrality does not concern itself with ultimate transfer speeds available to subscribers, but instead focuses on how different kinds of Internet traffic could be shaped by ISPs for anti-competitive purposes. For instance, strict net neutrality would not prevent an ISP from selling extremely fast 35Mbps connections, but it would prevent ISPs from privileging traffic for their own services for competitive advantage, or degrading the traffic of competing services."

A Visual Walkthrough of New Features in Vim 7.0 406

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the if-vi-is-wrong-i-don't-wanna-be-right dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Anybody who has used Linux or any other OS would be aware of the very powerful and feature rich text editor Vi. This interesting article takes a visual look at some of the new features in the latest version of Vim 7.0 — a Vi clone created by Bram Moolenaar. From the article: 'Just for once, I wouldn't mind siding with the beast if that is what it takes to use Vi. The modern avatar of Vi is Vim — the free editor created by Bram Moolenaar. Riding from strength to strength, this editor in its 7th version is a powerhouse as far as an editor is concerned. When ever I use Vim (or GVim for that matter), it gives me the impression of the Beauty and the Beast.'"

New Caldera Promised 291

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the people-you-love-to-hate dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SCO has announced their plans to release a new version of Caldera Linux by the end of the year. From the announcement: 'To provide extensive reliability and performance features, the Linux Kernel 2.5 codebase has been merged with recently developed additions to SCO's world leading UNIX core operating system. Already contained code owned by SCO is still included benefiting the stability and overall experience opposed to recent Linux kernel releases.' The question is, is anyone listening?"

Viral Marketing to Become the Norm? 213

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the advertisers-working-for-their-bread-and-butter dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the oldest advertising companies in the U.S., JWT, has just bought up all the Huffington Post's front-page ad space for a whole week. They are taking the unique approach of trying to create ad content interesting enough to make people want to watch, instead of the traditional ad agency approach of bludgeoning the user base over the head through interstitials and other forced ad techniques. Will the ad companies be able to put forth enough continued effort to make good ads that become viral, or is this just a short phase to gain publicity?"

Dry Ice Made into Super-tough Glass 197

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the sublime-windows dept.
janus zeal writes "A form of solid carbon dioxide that could be used to make ultra-hard glass or coatings for microelectronic devices has been discovered. The material, named amorphous carbonia, was created by scientists from the University of Florence in Italy. Writing in the journal Nature, the team says the material was theoretically possible but had never been created. It was made by squeezing dry ice, a form of carbon dioxide used to create smoke in stage shows, at huge pressure. Scientists are interested in the new material because of the potential applications. Also, they believe it could give them clues to the processes that happen in the center of huge gas giant planets such as Jupiter."

The Living Dilbert? 459

Posted by Cliff
from the is-your-superior-a-PHB dept.
AirmanTux asks: "Next march I will be separating from the US Air Force, after six years wearing 'the uniform', working in the closest thing to IT that the military has. For certain reasons, I've come to the conclusion that I will be more effective in serving the US public out of uniform than in it. There seems to be a common belief that the civilian sector is just as disorganized and mismanaged as the uniformed services. Do you think this is true? Are there any 'honest' places to work any more (where promotions/awards are based on work preformed and bureaucracy, and politics aren't encouraged to supplant the 'mission), or has America become one big living Dilbert strip?"

eBay to Enter Contextual Ads Market 55

Posted by Zonk
from the things-related-to-other-things dept.
prostoalex writes "Reuters reports eBay is planning to roll out its own contextual ads network, thus claiming its stake in booming Internet advertising market. Currently both Google and Yahoo! run contextual ads programs (AdSense and Publisher Network, respectively) with MSN's AdCenter not open to publishers yet." From the article: "What goods appear in any particular advertisement will be determined by the keywords on that Web page, a technique known as contextual advertising. A sports Web site would feature links to sporting gear or memorabilia from eBay, for example. As listings change on eBay, advertising automatically changes on affiliated Web sites to reflect the new products or services for sale on eBay. Web site affiliates receive a cut of 40 percent to 70 percent of sales, depending on volumes."

UK Music Fans Can Copy Own Tracks 154

Posted by Zonk
from the like-they-should-have-been-able-to dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC news is reporting that music fans in the UK won't have to fear litigation from the British Phonographic Industry. Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said 'consumers would only be penalized if they made duplicates of songs for other people.'" From the article: "Mr Jamieson also called for Apple - which makes the popular iPod portable music player - to open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers. Apple applies a digital protection system to its downloads, which means they are not usually compatible with other companies' devices. "

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