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Comment Re:Show me the data (Score 5, Informative) 650

Actually the data from weather research posts is freely available to the public. All you have to do is find the relevant website (I don't have it on hand at the moment). One of the weather-scientist associations provides access to it I believe. As part of a final project for my weather science class in college, we actually had to analyze data from four different stations around the world and correlate our findings with local geographical data. Almost every student in the class found evidence of the global temperatures rising over the last 80 year period.

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 188

Since we covered people who wanted out of Slashdot last week, I thought we'd look at some people who wanted back in. These users found that living without Slashdot was a lot harder than they thought. Maybe you've just been married and are finding out your wife is less interesting than Slashdot or maybe you were bad and want to make amends. These people found out it's hard to make it without your favorite website. Keep reading to find out what they'll do to get back.

Comment Re:Maybe they shouldn't have used Suse (Score 3, Insightful) 380

And that is why Linux is a bad idea for them. Every linux nerd that wants a pre install, wants their favorite "flavor" of pre install. And gets pissy when their favorite brand name isn't in first place. And half the time people buy linux machines for their computer-illiterate relatives, making them take up huge amounts of phone-support time.

Easier to pitch it and say "eh, we have windows. Enjoy."

Review: Spore 605

The hype leading up to Spore was excessive. But then, so is the scope of the game; following the growth of a species from the cellular level to galactic domination was an ambitious goal, to say the least. Bringing evolution into the realm of entertainment was something Will Wright hoped and gambled he could do after the success of the Sim franchise. But rather than evolution, Spore became more about creation — creation that allows a single-player game to include the community, as well. It ties the various parts of the game together to make Spore very entertaining as a whole. Read on for my thoughts.

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 489

I am responsible for reading most of the help requests sent to Slashdot. Most of the mail I get in a day is what you would expect, comments and concerns about postings, user accounts and Slashdot itself. There are a very special group however that get passed around the office due to the inordinate level of anger, lack of understanding and just plain weirdness they possess. Through the years I've collected many and still get such gems on a regular basis. We thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite rants, ramblings and ruminations with the rest of you. I give to you the first of many installments of Slashdot's disagree mail. The names have been changed to protect the idiot — hit the link below to drink it in.

First-Ever Photo Tour of Defcon's Network Center 128

Kugrian writes "With over 9,000 hackers, freaks, feds, and geeks attending Defcon 16, the temporary wireless network setup there is considered the most hostile on the planet. Run by a dedicated group of volunteers known as Goons, the basement Defcon Network Operations Center is secured by means of a chain-link fence and armed guard. The 20-megabit connection, which is twice as fast as Defcon 15, runs over a point-to-point wireless link to another hotel that has point-of-presence in their basement. Wired's Threat Level blog managed to secure the first ever photo tour of the Center showing Goons, hardware and sniffer dogs." Reader TXISDude, who was at Defcon, doubts that attendance was as high as 9,000. Update: 08/13 18:14 GMT by T : Dave Bullock, the Wired photographer who shot these pictures, backs up that figure, though: "I interviewed Joe Grand, the badge designer a few weeks before the con. They ordered 8,600 total badges. They ran out of badges. There were hundreds of people with paper badges."

The DIY Dialysis Machine Screenshot-sm 476

Millie Kelly was born with a condition that required an immediate operation. During this operation her kidneys started to fail and since she was too small for dialysis machines, doctors told her parents that she was unlikely to live. Luckily for Millie, Dr. Malcolm Coulthard and a colleague tried to build a much smaller kidney machine on their own and they were successful. Her mother said, "It was a green metal box with a few paint marks on it with quite a few wires coming out of it into my daughter - it didn't look like a normal NHS one." The girl was hooked up to the machine over a seven day period to allow her kidneys to recover. Two years later, her mother Rebecca says she is "fit as a fiddle." You should see what Dr. Coulthard can build using a postage stamp, a tuning fork, a lawn chair and a jellyfish.

AoC Bug Penalizes Female Characters? 164

Massively is reporting that there may be an unintended (according to FunCom) bug in the new MMO Age of Conan that would cause female characters to do significantly less damage over time. It seems that as the initial "shiny factor" wears off for the new darling MMO, the bugs and complaints just continue to pile up resulting in a fair bit of buyer's remorse. "In the meantime, some ingenious players have provided fixes along the lines of the 'unsheath your weapon to fix your mount speed' trick. Poster Dnotice even provides evidence that variation in listed attack speed may be down to the gender of the first character you log in when starting AoC, and not the gender of the character you may be playing at the time. Curiouser and curiouser: although the listed speed can be altered by changing the first character's gender, the actual animation speed apparently can't."

Google's Shareholders Vote Against Human Rights 376

yo_cruyff notes a Computerworld article on Google's recent annual shareholder meeting, which was dominated by argument over the company's human rights policies. Google's shareholders, on advice from their board, have voted down two proposals on Thursday that would have compelled Google to change its policies. "Google [has been] coming under fire for operating a version of its search engine that complies with China's censorship rules. Google argues that it's better for it to have a presence in the country and to offer people some information, rather than for it not to be active in China at all... [S]hareholders and rights groups including Amnesty International... continue to push Google to improve its policies in countries known for human rights abuses and limits on freedom of speech... Sergey Brin, cofounder and president of technology for Google, abstained from voting on either of the proposals. 'I agreed with the spirit of these proposals,' Brin said. But he said he didn't fully support them as they were written, and so did not want to vote for them."
United States

Diebold Admits ATMs Are More Robust Than Voting Machines 230

An anonymous reader points out a story in the Huffington Post about the status of funding for election voting systems. It contains an interesting section in which Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier (formerly Diebold) acknowledged that less money is spent making an electronic voting machine than on a typical ATM. The ironically named Riggall also notes that security could indeed be improved, but at a higher price than most election administrators would care to pay. Also quoted in the article is Ed Felten, who has recently found some inconsistencies in New Jersey voting machines. From the Post: "'An ATM is significantly a more expensive device than a voting terminal...' said Riggall. 'Were you to develop something that was as robust as an ATM, both in terms of the physical engineering of it and all aspects, clearly that would be something that the average jurisdiction cannot afford.' Perhaps cost has something to do with the fact that a couple of years ago, every single Diebold AccuVote TS could be opened with a standard key also used for some cabinets and mini-bars and available for purchase over the Internet."

Bill Prohibiting Genetic Discrimination Moves Forward 575

An anonymous reader writes "The bill to ban genetic discrimination in employment or insurance coverage is moving forward. Is this the death knell of private insurance? I think private health insurance is pretty much incompatible with genetic testing (GT) for disease predisposition, if said testing turns out to be of any use whatsoever. The great strength of GT is that it will (as technology improves) take a lot of the uncertainty out of disease prediction. But that uncertainty is what insurance is based on. If discrimination is allowed, the person with the bad genes is out of luck because no one would insure them. However, if that isn't allowed, the companies are in trouble. If I know I'm likely to get a certain condition, I'll stock up on 'insurance' for it. The only solution I can see is single-payer universal coverage along the lines of the Canadian model, where everyone pays, and no one (insurer or patient) can game the system based on advance knowledge of the outcomes. Any other ideas? This bill has been in the works for a while."

Concept Computer Based on a Tea Cup Design 166

webarnold writes "A new concept computer is being designed to look like a tea cup. Using holographic projectors, view your data inside the cup, 'spilled' onto the table, or transfer it to other Cup PC users by pouring data into their cup." Acceptance of something like this seems a bit far-fetched given current tech, but no nomad-space comparisons are being made.

Ask Founder About Detecting Media Bias 299 is not the Microsoft-funded Blews experiment that is supposed to help detect rightness and leftness in stories based on blogs that link to them. Instead of detecting blog links, Skewz relies on readers to submit and rate stories, and even tries to pair stories that have "liberal" and "conservative" biases so that you can get multiple takes on the same event or pronouncement. The Skewz About page explains how it works. The site has drawn a fair amount of "media insider" attention, including a writeup on the Poynter Institute website. But what does all this mean? Where is it going? Can help us sort our news better and make more informed decisions? We don't know. But if you post a question here for founder Vipul Vyas, maybe he'll have an answer for you. (Please try to follow the usual Slashdot interview rules.)

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.