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Denver Rejects UFO Agency To Track Aliens 80 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the name-and-galaxy-of-origin-please dept.
Republicans weren't the only ones to win big yesterday. Aliens in The Mile-High City can breathe easier thanks to voters rejecting a plan to officially track them. From the article: "The proposal defeated soundly Tuesday night would have established a commission to track extraterrestrials. It also would have allowed residents to post their observations on Denver's city Web page and report sightings." Let the anonymous probings begin!

Comment: This makes perfect sense, knowing SLO Sheriff... (Score 5, Funny) 324

by Bjorn_Redtail (#33588692) Attached to: Police Publish 'An Introduction To PEDO BEAR'
This is obviously an attempt to stereotype all bears as pedophiles. This might make it politically easier to allow the hunting of brown and black bears in the county. It would also humiliate and shame the Downtown Association's bear that appears at farmers' market, helping to reduce the amount of "organic produce" in the county. Plus, it would allow the SLO Sheriff to seize the bear fountain in downtown SLO city, because it's "Just like the one that I [one of the deputies] wanted". Plus, it helps distract from other pressing issues. In fact, it makes a whole lot of sense for the Sheriff to issue an APB on pedobear.
Wireless Networking

Tracking Down Wi-Fi Interference? 499

Posted by kdawson
from the hello-fcc-i'd-like-to-report-hello?-hello? dept.
Nicros writes "Almost every evening, between 8:30 and 10:00, my Wi-Fi just dies. This, in itself, could be explained by a crappy Wi-Fi source or some hardware failure, except that I know both of my neighbors are experiencing the same loss of signal at the same time. While the Wi-Fi is down, the LAN is OK, and anything plugged into Cat5 can access the Internet just fine. One possibility comes to mind — perhaps some other neighbor arrives home and turns on their router from 8:30 to 10:00? And something in their signal is hosing our Wi-Fi? I have tried looking around for software to help identify the source of interference, but either the programs are ridiculously expensive for a home user, or else my card (Intel Link 1000 BGN) isn't supported. (Netstumbler is an example of the latter.) Any suggestions on how I can track this down?"

Comment: Re:Stop having control (Score 5, Informative) 167

by Bjorn_Redtail (#32477180) Attached to: University Networks Block Student Project
He is hosting it on a proper server. From TFA:

A university spokesman said: “UCL does not approve of or condone this site. We therefore advised the student to take the site down, but he declined to do this. UCL has no jurisdiction over the site, as it is not UCL-hosted. We have, however, taken disciplinary action against the student for bringing the college into disrepute and he has been fined.”

Government

Obama Administration Withholds FoIA Requests More Often Than Bush's 601

Posted by timothy
from the no-conspiracy-necessary-note dept.
bonch writes "Agencies under the Obama administration cite security provisions to withhold information more often than they did under the Bush administration. For example, the 'deliberative process' exemption of the Freedom of Information Act was used 70,779 times in 2009, up from the 47,395 of 2008. Amusingly, the Associated Press has been waiting three months for the government to deliver records on its own Open Government Directive."
Government

Obama Backs MPAA, RIAA, and ACTA 703

Posted by timothy
from the four-letter-acronyms dept.
boarder8925 writes "In a move sure to surprise no one, Obama has come out on the side of the MPAA/RIAA and has backed the ACTA: 'We're going to aggressively protect our intellectual property,' Obama said in his speech, 'Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people [...] It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century. But it's only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can't just steal that idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor.'"
Power

Students Build 2752 MPG Hypermiling Vehicle 233

Posted by timothy
from the seattle-to-vegas-and-back dept.
MikeChino sends along this awe-inspiring excerpt: "Think claims of electric vehicles that get over 200 MPG are impressive? Try this on for size: a group of mechanical engineering students at Cal Poly have developed a vehicle that can get up to 2752.3 MPG — and it doesn't even use batteries. The Cal Poly Supermileage Team's wondercar, dubbed the Black Widow, has been under construction since 2005. The 96 pound car has three wheels, a drag coefficient of 0.12, a top speed of 30 MPH, and a modified 3 horsepower Honda 50cc four-stroke engine. It originally clocked in at 861 MPG and has been continuously tweaked to achieve the mileage we see today." It's not quite as street-worthy, though, as Volkswagen's 235 MPG One-Liter concept. Updated 20:01 GMT: The Cal Poly car's earlier incarnation achieved 861 MPG, not MPH; corrected above.
Patents

HP Patents Bignum Implementation From 1912 144

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-spell-prior-art dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The authors of GMP (the GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library) were invited to join Peer-to-Patent to review HP's recent patent on a very old technique for implementing bignums because their software might infringe. Basically, HP's patent claims choosing an exponent based on processor word size. If you choose a 4-bit word size and a binary number, you end up working in hexadecimal. Or for a computer with a 16-bit word and a base-10 number, you use base 10,000 so that each digit of the base-10,000 number would fit into a single 16-bit word. The obvious problem with that is that there's plenty of prior art here. Someone who spent a few minutes Googling found that Knuth describing the idea in TAOCP Vol. 2 and other citations go back to 1912 (which implemented the same algorithm using strips of cardboard and a calculating machine). None of this can be found in the 'references cited' section. Even though the patent examiner did add a couple of references, they appear to have cited some old patents. The patent issued a few months ago was filed back in October of 2004, and collected dust at the USPTO for some 834 days."

Comment: Re:Sanctimonious hypocrites (Score 1) 491

by Bjorn_Redtail (#30579102) Attached to: China Debuts the World's Fastest Train
We are, and have almost always been a "bastion of civil rights". Even during slavery we had a republic and rule of law, even if not everyone was included. Even this was better than anywhere else in the world at the time. We may not be perfect, but we at least try to be the good guys. As wrong as almost all of those things you mention are (the internment of Japanese, German and Italian Americans was a justified and necessary security measure at a time when we faced a possible fifth-column threat from these groups. Seizing their property without compensation was not justified however...) well over 50 years into our past.
Communications

$25,000 of Communications Gear In a $500 Car 215

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the idle-hands dept.
In perhaps one of the finest displays of technological excess in automotive communications gear, one "enthusiast" has managed to cram over $25,000 worth of gear into a $500 car. The car is rigged for just about every conceivable communications band including FM, UHF, VHF, HF, and WTF. What other amazing displays of technological excess have others seen? "The equipment seems to cover an amazing array of technologies, many of which seem to be redundant. For instance, just how many handheld 144 MHz radios do you need? It seems like the owner of the Ham Car is capable of listening to every police/fire/ems/military channel in the world. Simultaneously. There's a laptop and we assume there's some form of cellular or satellite communication setup for that, too."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Clean Smells Promote Ethical Behavior 250

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the criminals-just-need-a-bath dept.
A recent study is suggesting that moral behavior may be encouraged with nothing more than clean smells. The Brigham Young University professor found a "dramatic improvement in ethical behavior with just a few spritzes of citrus-scented Windex." "The researchers see implications for workplaces, retail stores and other organizations that have relied on traditional surveillance and security measures to enforce rules. Perhaps the findings could be applied at home, too, Liljenquist said with a smile. 'Could be that getting our kids to clean up their rooms might help them clean up their acts, too.' The study titled "The Smell of Virtue" was unusually simple and conclusive. Participants engaged in several tasks, the only difference being that some worked in unscented rooms, while others worked in rooms freshly spritzed with Windex."

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