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Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.


Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment Re:Shooting bombs? No bombs trigger when shot? (Score 5, Insightful) 929

The reason they're shooting it is to *try* to make it go off.

Typically this would be put in a bomb pit somewhere nearby. From reading the comments this is fairly common practice there. This one nailed it pretty well:

"I know many Jewish Israeli people who had their bag shot just because they left it unwatched for a couple of minutes. Yes, this is the unfortunate reality that Israelis live in, where Palestinian terrorist would do anything (such as put bombs cowardly hidden in laptops) to intentionally hurt innocent civilians. These are precaution measures intended to prevent loss of innocent lives (yes, sometimes at the cost of a cherished laptop because of a possibly careless border officer)."

Comment Re:Wash your hands! (Score 1) 374

This is good advice, and gives me an opportunity to speak to the community at large: some of us who go to cons and are in a position to shake tons of hands politely decline. It's not because we're being dicks, it's because we know it's a good way to substantially decrease our chances of catching and spreading any germs.

Comment Oh, cruel irony (Score 2, Interesting) 374

I played the PAX Pandemic game, where the Enforcers handed out stickers to attendees that read [Carrier] [Infected] or [Immune] (There was also a [Patient Zero].

I got the [Immune] sticker, and by the time I got home on Monday, it was clear that I had the flu. I've had a fever between 100 and 104 all week that finally broke last night, but I'm going to the doctor today because I think whatever I had settled into my lungs. I'll tell him about the H1N1 outbreak and get tested if he wants to run the test, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that I was [Immune] to the Pig Plague, but definitely [Infected] with the damn PAX pox.

Even though it's been a week of misery, it was entirely worth it, and I don't regret going to PAX for a single second.

Social Networks

Submission + - Facebook Violates Canadian Privacy Law

Myriad writes: "Canadian Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, has ruled that Facebook has failed to meet the requirements of Canadian privacy legislation. As the BBC reports, "Facebook's policy of holding on to subscribers' personal information, even after their accounts had been deactivated, was one area that breached Canada's privacy laws". According to the Toronto Star, Stoddart indicated a total of four area's Facebook violated, which also included "A lack of adequate safeguards to restrict outside software developers — of games, quizzes and the like — from gaining access to personal profiles of users and their online friends", "A lack of clarity about how Facebook material can be used in the event of a person dying, which the privacy office calls "memorialization" concerns", and "A lack of protection of information about non-users — people who may not have their own Facebook accounts, but whose personal data may be on friends' or associates' pages." Facebook has been given 30 days to respond."

Comment Re:Can somebody explain how it works? (Score 5, Informative) 189

This has been done before, IIRC Samsung released one of the first TV quality raster scanning system for laser shows.

Basically a standard laser show setup uses multiple lasers (to get your RGB) combined into a single beam then passed through a device, such as a PCAOM, which acts as rather like a programmable colour filter. (this isn't the only way it can be done with solid state lasers).

Two sets of mirrors can be steered in the X and Y axis to draw your shapes, beam effects, etc.

In the case of a TV or other raster displays the beam is steered much like you would an electron beam on a regular TV. It scans a horizontal line, moves down scans across, repeat. You can switch the direction of the scan (left to right, then right to left) on alternating lines to speed up the scan rate.

Wikipedia has some info on Laser TV's in general: and LaserFX has some info on PCAOM's if you're interested in the older tech:

Early systems actually used multiple projectors overlapping or drawing the first 3rd, 2nd third, etc of the image to make up for slower scan rates.

Comment Re:Some notes from the Phorm sales pitch (Score 1) 155

did you mean that Phorm's servers intercept everything coming across my connection

Have a look at how BT will be implementing the Phorm interceptor line tap. The equipment is located where it intercepts all flows from all customers on the exchange, filtering out port 80 traffic to be passed to the F5 interception engine. The box known as "ACE" in the slides is provided, configured, and administered by Phorm, although it officially is "gifted" in accounting terms to the ISP to circumvent UK privacy laws.

Nobody knows exactly what the "ACE" box is, but from where it is positioned in the ISP network, it can intercept, alter, or block all your traffic. Not just your web traffic, ALL your traffic.

the AC

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.