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Comment: It's not about communication through radio waves (Score 2, Informative) 774

by Jeremy_Bee (#26726763) Attached to: New Paper Offers Additional Reasoning for Fermi's Paradox

I am not trying to single out this post, but half the thread seems to be assuming Fermi's paradox is about alien civilisations communicating with us over radio. This is 100% wrong. We are all actually talking about a paradox that was never postulated.

First, it has to be pointed out that the radio-wave idea has been discounted many times for a much more obvious reason. The period of time that any civilisation engages in communication by radio waves is likely to be a tiny fraction of a percentage of the total life of said civilisation. The idea of finding our alien friends through listening to radio waves was ridiculous when Carl Sagan was promoting it and remains so today.

Secondly, The Fermi Paradox is about alien civilisations *colonising* the Galaxy or "arriving here." It was originally phrased as the question "where are they?" (i.e. - they should be here by now given a finite universe and a certain amount of time.) As flawed as *that* idea also is, it's a completely different flawed idea than what most folks her are arguing about, which is the incredibly super-duper flawed idea of radio communication between advanced civilisations.

Comment: Re:Maybe it was the same collision (Score 1) 167

by Jeremy_Bee (#23953853) Attached to: Mars Had an Ancient Impact Like Earth

The thing I find interesting about the whole debate, is that for as long as I can remember scientists have been vilifying Velikovsky for his theories about exactly this kind of thing, and now all of a sudden (like over the last five years or so), this kind of "Planets in Collision" theory has become the standard view.

Sure Velikovsky was a bit of a crackpot and the specifics of his theories are pretty much made-up, but he was the first person to take a look at the same evidence quoted in this article and evolve some reasonable suppositions from it. At the time, his idea that planets could actually move around and change orbits, colide with others etc. and *especially* the idea that stars outside of the solar system or other objects could significantly affect our own planets, was roundly ridiculed.

He noted the same time period, the same planetary anomalies and supposed almost the exact same cause, yet for decades and decades he was made out to be absolutely crazy for saying these things. Now we talk about the "late-early bombardment" as if it has always been the standard line, when you would be chucked out of your academic job for believing in this stuff only a short time ago.

Science Daily: Magnetic Tape Analysis 'Sees' Tampering In Detail->

From feed by sdfeed
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed an improved version of a real-time magnetic microscopy system that converts evidence of tampering on magnetic audio and video tapes -- erasing, overdubbing and other alterations -- into images with four times the resolution previously available. This system is much faster than conventional manual analysis and offers the additional benefit of reduced risk of contaminating the tapes with magnetic powder.
Link to Original Source

Engadget: Duke exonerates iPhone from network outage charges->

From feed by engfeed

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless

Granted, the original report suggesting that swarms of iPhones actually broke Duke's WiFi network did seem a bit bizarre, and now it appears that the university is freeing Apple's handset from blame. Interestingly, the actual culprit still seems somewhat veiled in secrecy, as we're only informed that "a particular set of conditions made the Duke wireless network experience some minor and temporary disruptions in service," but never do they exaggerate on exactly what caused the hiccups. Still, Duke also stated that it worked in conjunction with Cisco and Apple in order to "identify the network issue that was causing the problem," and since Cisco stepped in and provided a fix, the prpblem has yet to repeat itself. Looks like you're off the hook on this one, iPhone.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

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+ - Update to the Enigma Ebay auction article

Submitted by phlegmboy
phlegmboy writes: eBay has pulled the auction of the Enigma machine.

I suspect that because it had a Nazi logo on it

This listing (270146164488) has been removed or is no longer available. Please make sure you entered the right item number.
If the listing was removed by eBay, consider it canceled. Note: Listings that have ended more than 90 days ago will no longer appear on eBay.
User Journal

Journal: American Nightmare!

Journal by aldahir

Today I received a box of documents from my attorney's office. The box contained around 2500 copies of documents that were supposedly seized from my home on September 27th 2006. Our attorney asked us to look through the box and list the items of which we need the originals. That's a problem because they didn't take more than two to three hundred documents that were related to Gulf Medical (checks, receipts, bills, invoices, etc ) Alaa's address book and date planner. My mother's college trans

Techdirt: Potter Publisher Says Selling Legally Obtained Copy Is Illegal->

From feed by techdirtfeed
The hysteria over tonight's launch of the latest Harry Potter book has been covered to death in many places, but it still amazes us how ridiculous JK Rowling and her entourage are about the way they view intellectual property surrounding the books. Rowling has said she's against putting out an eBook because it would be pirated, even though that makes almost no sense. The book gets scanned and put online anyway, meaning anyone who finds it more convenient to read an electronic copy has to get an unauthorized copy rather than paying for a legitimate copy. And, of course, even booksellers are pointing out that they're unlikely to lose a single sale over scanned versions that are found online.

However, the Potter crew is still going nuts over the secrecy of the book, claiming intellectual property rights that they don't actually have. It's no secret that there's an extensive process that the publisher makes booksellers go through to avoid an "early" leak of the books, but what happens if a legitimate copy of the book actually does get out? That's what happened when an engineer received a copy of the book earlier this week when an online bookstore accidentally shipped it out early. He quickly (and smartly) put it up on eBay where the price shot up to $250... and then, JK Rowling's lawyer demanded eBay take the auction down as infringing on its rights. What rights? That's not clear. The book is legitimate. The sale to the guy was legitimate. The bookseller may have violated an embargo from the publisher, but that's between the bookseller and the publisher -- not the guy who ended up with the book. Once the book has gone out to the guy he has every right to sell it, and JK Rowling's lawyer was wrong for demanding it be taken down and eBay was wrong in agreeing to take it down. This is simply a case where they seem to be claiming copyright privileges that simply don't exist.
Link to Original Source

+ - One Laptop Per Child to add filtering?

Submitted by
notdanielp writes: "According to a Reuters blurb One Laptop Per Child is considering adding filters to their laptops Nigerian complaints of students accessing pornography on their free laptops. "Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," NAN said. A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.Is content filtering counter to the egalitarian spirit of the OLPC initiative? Is there a place for a proxy server in a streamlined design like the OLPC appliance?"

+ - Cheney to be President (for a few hours)

Submitted by ArcherB
ArcherB writes: From HERE:

US President George W. Bush will undergo a "routine colonoscopy" at the Camp David retreat on Saturday, temporarily ceding his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said Friday. Cheney will serve as acting president until such time as Bush, who will be under anesthesia, says he is ready to resume his duties, presidential spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. "The president has had no symptoms" of cancer, said Snow, who noted that Bush had been scheduled for such an examination since undergoing a colonoscopy in June 2002.
Please, no colonoscopy jokes.
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Ghostly Tech Experiences

Submitted by
thechanklybore writes: "Earlier today someone logged into one of our systems using my username, and proceeded to alter Apache configuration files. Being a security conscious guy, my boss instantly noticed and notified me.

The strangest thing was that the user was logged in from my IP address. As it turned out in the end, this wasn't some malicious phantom, but a keyboard wedged between my (headless) development machine and my desktop machine, running through my SSH command history!

My question is, have any other Slashdotters had any ghostly technology experiences such as mine?"

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson