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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Absofrickin' Useless (Score 1) 168

by Coz (#49042077) Attached to: Aims To Keep the Airspace Above Your Home Drone-Free

Like the guy said... what a useless app. There's no enforcement capability here, no laws behind it, and no way to let a drone pilot know that the airspace they're flying through is "banned", with no penalties.

This is worse than one of those 2000s dot-coms with no product - this is something that will give people false hope. I call that fraud - maybe their local prosecutors will too.

+ - Cloud Migration and Portability: What VMware and AWS Aren't Telling You->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A few days ago Amazon announced its new AWS Management Portal for vCenter, which allows VMware users to manage AWS workloads from vCenter and to import VMware golden images to AWS using its VM Import utility. VMware responded with a “Don’t Be Fooled” blog, noting that AWS provided “no easy way to move workloads back to one of your data centers, or to another cloud provider.” The blog went on to suggest that VMware was a better option for cloud migration and portability. The hard truth: migrating an existing virtualized application to a cloud, while definitely possible and often a very smart option, is not a push-button affair — no matter what VM import or image translation tool might exist."
Link to Original Source

Comment: 4: Multiple Choice Crashers (Score 1) 310

by Coz (#47166003) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

The oddest thing I've written - code that crashed, deliberately, in different ways based on use selection.

I was working a project where we built atop an "abstraction layer" designed to insulate us from OS changes (this was the 90s, such things were in vogue). The team doing the abstraction layer, at another site, rolled out a new version. The best I can say of it is, it compiled.

Different parts of my code started exploding. Almost literally - I had one test case cause a kernel panic in AIX, which was no small challenge. Of course, it was all blamed on my "bad code practices" and couldn't POSSIBLY be flaws in their update.

Over the course of two weeks of core dump analysis, discussion with the AIX team at IBM, and heated exchanges going up the chain of command, I crafted a 200-line program which three different options to crash the system. Pick your choice, guaranteed crash, including the kernel panic. Once I delivered THAT through channels, they got silent quick. It took them another month to fix their internal bugs and re-deliver. The memory leak I found in that version required another "prove it!" program, but my management had my back by then.

+ - Evolving With a Little Help From Our Friends->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "You could call it Seth Bordenstein’s “Frankenstein” moment. A little over a year ago, Bordenstein, a biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his then-graduate student, Robert Brucker, mated two incompatible species of wasp in the lab, creating a hardy hybrid that lived when most others died.

Normally, when members of two related species of parasitic wasps in the genus Nasonia, N. giraulti and N. longicornis, mate with their more distant relative N. vitripennis, the hybrid offspring die. Until recently, no one could figure out exactly why, but it was clear that this was one of the major barriers dividing the species. But when Bordenstein and Brucker treated the wasps with antibiotics, eliminating the millions of microbes that lived on their bodies, they found that many of the hybrid offspring unexpectedly could survive and thrive. By stripping off the wasps’ microbiomes — the microbial community inhabiting the insects — Bordenstein and Brucker had brought a totally new hybrid wasp to life.

The findings, published in Science in July 2013, highlight a surprising idea in biology: that symbiosis — a long-term, stable and often beneficial interaction between organisms — could drive two populations apart, the first step in the development of new species."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Uhm... not really impressive (Score 1) 207

by Coz (#44479333) Attached to: MIT Students Release Code To 3D-Print High Security Keys

I recall a rash of home burglaries when a certain company in Florida was using cheap materials under the siding, before the inner walls were finished, where burglars were removing the siding, punching through the outer walls, opening doors from the inside and making off with copper piping, wiring, and appliances. They were keeping track of the progress of the new homes and would wait until the appliances were installed before going in at night and removing them. They were even replacing the siding to make it harder for security to notice the holes until the work crews showed up to finish the drywall and install carpet.


+ - Google looks to cut funds to illegal sites->

Submitted by rbrandis
rbrandis (735555) writes "Google is in discussions with payment companies including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal to put illegal download websites out of existence by cutting off their funding. If Google goes ahead with the radical move, it would not mark the first time that illegal websites have been diminished or driven out of business by having a block put on their source of cash."
Link to Original Source
United Kingdom

+ - Researchers develop computer that doesn't crash-> 2

Submitted by
nk497 writes "Researchers at University College London are working on a computer that can repair itself to prevent crashes – instantly recovering and fixing corrupted data. The researchers said that their computer combines its instructions with the data it receives so that it can adapt the instructions to match changing circumstances, by sending data sets off to separate "systems" within the computer. The result is that instead of crashing and rendering a screen of death, the system accesses the data from another of its self-contained systems to perform the operation, and then goes back and corrects the corrupt data.

"Its processes are distributed, decentralised and probabilistic. And they are fault tolerant, able to heal themselves,” said UCL computer scientist Peter Bentley. "A computer should be able to do that.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Why hasn't 3D taken off for the web?

Submitted by
clockwise_music writes "With HTML5 we're closer to the point where a browser can do almost everything that a native app can do. The final frontier is 3D, but WebGL isn't even part of the HTML5 standard, Microsoft refuse to support it, Apple want to push their native apps and it's not supported in the Android mobile browser. Flash used to be an option but Adobe have dropped mobile support. To reach most people you'd have to learn Javascript, WebGL and Three.js/Scene.js for Chrome/Firefox, then you'd have to learn actionscript + flash for the microsofties, then learn objective c for the apple fanboyz, then learn Java to write a native app for Android. Phew!

When will 3D finally become available for all? Do you think it's inevitable or will it never see the light of day?"

Comment: Simple Physics and Wind Tunnel (Score 1) 64

by Coz (#42275161) Attached to: Learning Rocket Science With Video Games

An iOS, and Android app for tablets and phones, Simple Physics works very well to educate kids on forces, leverage, relative strength, etc. Build a bridge and drop rocks on it to see how many it can hold. Build a dam to withstand a flooding river. Build a shelter to withstand a bomb blast, all from the same simple "wooden" materials. My kids play this for hours when I let them.

There's also an excellent Wind Tunnel app for iOS that acts as a simple 2-D wind tunnel, with particle streams, smoke, pressure differentiation, etc.

Fun toys, and the kids learn while they play 'em.

Comment: Re:Hope it's not IMPORTANT documentation (Score 5, Informative) 372

by Coz (#41300687) Attached to: FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight"

It's the rolling bags of charts they have to carry with them whenever they fly. There are regulations that specify what charts they have to carry; all in all, a "Jep Bag" is about 35 pounds, and both pilots carry one. If they're using a Electronic Flight Bag app for the iPad, that's a pretty straightforward conversion of mass and very specific savings.

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.