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Comment: Poster fails to read TFA - as usual (Score 5, Interesting) 139

by Freestyling (#43012729) Attached to: New Technology Produces Cheaper Tantalum and Titanium

Seriously, do the people posting these stories ever read TFA?

"The metallic oxides are not *melted as with aluminum* but blended in powder form with a molten salt that serves as a medium and electrolyte."

Wrong! The Hall-Héroult process (main Al production method) is exactly that! Dissolving alumina in molten cryolite to allow electrolysis without heating to alumina's melting point.

So actually the apparent amazing breakthrough turns out to be, "oh hey, they found a new solvent to dissolve things in".

Accurate facts please guys, leave the sensationalising by omission to the tabloids.

Comment: Another good reason for a reform of web security (Score 1) 294

by Freestyling (#41292535) Attached to: Look-Alike Web Sites Hoodwink Republican Donors

Yet again, we see how it is currently impossible to verify identities on the internet. I personally don't find it too hard to envisage a system wherein it is actually possibly to identify a person via the certificate they present.

At some point we were always going to need to have personal digital certificates, surely in the age we live in, with the extent to which the internet is integrated into our lives, some form of GPG-alike certificate ought to be part of our national ID-card/whatever.

Anyone else feel we are getting to the point where that needs to happen?


+ - New Mars photos are straight-up gorgeous->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "These photos from NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera prove that space photos don’t have to just be evaluated on their technical and scientific value. They can also be beautiful.

The HiRISE camera is mounted on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which took the lead snap inside an impact crater in the Noachis Terra region of southern Mars. As lovely as they are, the erosion patterns evidenced by the dunes help NASA scientists develop the sedimentary history of the region. The enhanced-color lead image clearly shows the wind-caused (sorry tin-hat folks) dunes with insane clarity: It covers an area about an entire kilometer across."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Aaaand the point of textbooks is completely mis (Score 1) 376

by Freestyling (#38813613) Attached to: Apple Nets 350K Textbook Downloads In 3 Days

Hi AC,

I clearly should have added "written on my Mac" to the bottom of that post then.

And don't get me wrong, I own an ebook reader and for some things, scientific papers included I think it's great. Still, having etextbooks just doesn't make up for being able to have multiple books open on my desk, not being tied to a platform, and being able to get books out of the library, a point I initially missed. My university, department, and research group all have great libraries, which could well die a death in the DRM laden ebook world. I can see that eventually pricing a lot of students out of the market. In reach of my desk at the moment I have ~£1500 worth of reference books, just about all from the library. There is no way that is sustainable in the Apple model of the education world, but it could happen if publishers all decide that ebooks are the future.

"As for padding Apple's coffers, their agency model of pricing is the same or LOWER than Amazon, and if you think big publishing houses are giving you a bigger cut as an author then you are deluded." That I can't put figures on but then odds are you can't either. But if you think that any multinational in the modern world, will even think twice about squeezing a captive audience as hard as it can then YOU are deluded. Reel them in with a good deal, then screw them once they are stuck. Happens everywhere, every time.

I will freely admit to having a grandstanding moment wrt to the whole Foxconn plant thing, but I still find the idea of labour camp esque factories abhorrent, and though sadly for the tech I essentially *need* to have, i.e a computer of some kind, mobile phone of some kind, I still do my best to find the least unethical manufacturer I can, (hollow laughter).


Comment: Aaaand the point of textbooks is completely missed (Score 2, Insightful) 376

by Freestyling (#38798537) Attached to: Apple Nets 350K Textbook Downloads In 3 Days

"Physical textbooks lack portability, durability, accessibility, consistent quality, interactivity and searchability, and they're not environmentally friendly."

For me studying physics every day the e-textbook is still years away from being useful. I can agree with the portability argument but thats about it. I can, with a real, physical textbook have the following advantages over an iTextBook however:

- drop a textbook without breaking it, and even if I damage it I can still use it, not wait for my insurer to maybe replace it because the screen shattered

- flick open at the index and quickly find what I want, and flick back and forth between sticky marked pages, and generally navigate a real book a lot faster

- have several books open on my desk at once - rather a necessity for any scientist

- be sure that the textbook I have bought is decent, well edited, well peer reviewed and correct, because it came from an internationally renowned publisher not "#physicsgeek78695#", as Apple seem to want to make the e-textbook market the same as the Android App Store

- keep a real book if I decide to change my computer manufacturer, phone, name, credit card number etc.

- Be sure that my textbook, while murdering some tree somewhere and not being 100% green and hippy, did not cause several factory workers to jump to their deaths, add to the toll of heavy metal pollution in east asian watercourses, or pad the coffers of Apple in preference to the Authors who sweated over the book. Odds are Apple will take a bigger cut than conventional publishers, because brand power means they can.

Just my $0.02

Comment: Re:Let's get C99 right first (Score 4, Interesting) 378

by Freestyling (#38480790) Attached to: ISO Updates C Standard

Hi, I'm a Windows developer.

I'll take C# over C any day, and I have 20 years of C experience.

I believe that's kinda the parent poster's point. For a windows developer MS make their proprietary C# language easy, and C hard work. Now for most stuff that's fine, but sometimes a lower level language is needed. Ever tried writing a kernel mode driver in C#?

Comment: Invest in the right places!! (Score 1) 247

by Freestyling (#38040932) Attached to: Brits Rejecting Superfast Broadband

They need to make sure they invest in rural areas not the cities, city BB is already pretty good for most people whereas over here at least rural broadband is either a joke/nonexistent.

As a city dweller who has experienced the "Advances" offered by BT's infinity service I can assure anyone wondering about this that there is no point at all in rolling out FTTC in the city as the advantages /at the current time/ are negligible, whereas in the countryside, where villages don't have their own exchange there is a much greater need for Fibre Rollout, example from my own experience follows:

I live in Manchester ~1.5mi from the exchange and get almost identical line speeds on standard ADSL2+ to that delivered by BTs infinity service using VDSL ( difference of 2.5Mb/s in 20+ Mb/s, no server is ever going allocate that much bandwidth to a connection these days so it doesn't matter. Ping speeds and other latency/loss metrics were no better on infinity and in some cases actually a little worse, probably due to the extra hardware between me and the exchange.

Combine these facts with the ridiculous cost of BT infinity with it's 27mins of full speed downloading per month (as noted above) vs a truly unlimited ADSL2+ plan from the like of BE and there really is no surprise people aren't switching.

OTOH there are people like my parents, who live in a village ~5 miles from the exchange where the "broadband" speeds are a joke. On their "up to 24 MB" ADSL2+ connection they get 236/644 kb/s DOWN/UP. Now if BT are really interested both in useful returns on their investment and actually providing a /good service/ to all their customers, (yes I'm an idealist I know) then they should really be spending their money, and the governments money connecting these rural communities to a decent internet service, as I know that my parents and just about anyone else in the village will jump at the chance to have a connection that is actually up to streaming video, and has sufficiently good line metrics to make online gaming possible.

PS. another 500yds down the road from them there is no available landline internet at all, so much for the governments pledge to get all households on broadband by 20xx, at this rate I don't see it happening until 21xx!


+ - Angry Birds For Windows Now Available For Download->

Submitted by
Mightee writes "More good news for Angry Birds Fans. The world's most popular game is now available on Windows platform.

This means that you can play Angry Birds on you PC or Laptop even when you are not connected to the internet. The windows version is not flash based which is the biggest improvement over the recently released web version."

Link to Original Source
Electronic Frontier Foundation

+ - No to SB 550: Protect the constitutional rights of->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Days ago, SB 550 sailed through the State Senate — which means civil libertarians across California have only one chance to stop this unconstitutional bill from being made law.

Backed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), SB 550 would allow law enforcement to conduct warrantless searches on any CD, DVD, Blu-Ray or other “optical disc” manufacturer to check whether the discs carry legally-required identification marks....."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google +1 Button Arrives On More Websites->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google’s version of the Facebook Like button has been rolled out to more websites including YouTube

Google has made its +1 content recommendation button available to more websites including several of its own properties as well as to media outlets such as Reuters and TechCrunch.

+1 is Google’s answer to Facebook’s Like button, allowing users to click a button to recommend content to friends and contacts.

Google Profiles owners click the +1 next to each search result or ad on and +1s start appearing next to each selected search result. Users signed into their Google accounts will see these +1 selections in future searches."

Link to Original Source

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.