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+ - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?"
Shark

Many Lasers Become One In Lockheed Martin's 30 kW Laser Weapon 202

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ready-main-phaser-array dept.
Zothecula writes "In another step forward for laser weapons that brings to mind the Death Star's superlaser, Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser produced by combining many lasers into a single beam of light. According to the company, this is the highest power laser yet that was still able to maintain beam quality and electrical efficiency, paving the way for a laser weapon system suitable, if not for a Death Star, for a wide range of air, land, and sea military platforms."

Comment: Re:For all the USA haters on Slashdot (Score 1) 198

by Maow (#46137559) Attached to: First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

"Inventing the Internet" gives you the same rights over the international Internet as "inventing the English language" gives over English speakers.

I think I lost your point. Are you saying that England has the right to decide if it's spelled "colour" or "color" in the US?

Perhaps you're playing stupid on the Internet, or maybe you're just thick, so I'll spell it out for you.

If the USA wants to spell colour "kulor", England can't stop them.

England "invented" English. USA can do with it what they want.

USA "invented" the Internet. The world can do (or ought to be able to do) with it what it wants.

I believe that is what the +5 Insightful AC above you was getting at.

Comment: Re:The real motive (Score 1) 218

by Maow (#46137419) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

No unions? Sign me up!

Yet conservatives may be shocked to learn that their idol Reagan was once a union boss himself. Reagan was the only president in American history to have belonged to a union, the AFL-CIO affiliated Screen Actors Guild. And he even served six terms as president of the organized labor group. Additionally, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights of one of the world’s most famous and most influential trade unions, Poland’s Solidarity movement.

And Reagan said this regarding unions:

By outlawing Solidarity, a free trade organization to which an overwhelming majority of Polish workers and farmers belong, they have made it clear that they never had any intention of restoring one of the most elemental human rights—the right to belong to a free trade union.

So you modern conservatives even make Ronald Reagan look like a leftist. And guess what? He was no leftist.

That ought to give you reason to consider your blind partisanship, but something tells me that would be highly unlikely.

AI

Silicon Brains That Think As Fast As a Fly Can Smell 84

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Researchers in Germany have discovered what they say is a way to get computers to do more than execute all the steps of a problem-solving calculation as fast as possible – by getting them to imitate the human brain's habit of finding shortcuts to the right answer. A team of scientists from Freie Universität Berlin, the Bernstein Center Berlin, and Heidelberg University have refined the idea of parallel computing into one they describe as neuromorphic computing. In their design, a whole series of processors designed as silicon neurons rather than ordinary CPUs are linked together in a network similar to the highly interconnected mesh that links nerve cells in the human brain. Problems fed into the neuro mesh are broken up and processed in parallel, but not always using the same process. The method by which neuromorphic processors handle problems varies with the way they're linked together, as is the case with neurons in the brain. The chips are designed to copy the layout and functions of brain cells, but the way they're interconnected is based on another highly efficient biological model. 'The design of the network architecture has been inspired by the odor-processing nervous system of insects,' said one of the researchers. 'This system is optimized by nature for a highly parallel processing of the complex chemical world.' In tests using real-world datasets, the prototype was able to match the performance of specialized Bayeseian pattern-matching systems. Even better, the stable decisions reached by 'output neuron populations' take approximately 100 milliseconds, which is the same speed required by the insect nervous systems on which the network design is based, according to the paper."

Comment: Re:Voice assistant (Score 1) 113

by Maow (#46084957) Attached to: Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

No they weren't. Cellphones were cool from the start. At least, around here anyway. Everyone wanted one. The problem with glass is the same with bluetooth headsets. People ware them even when they're not using them... which makes you look like a douche. Once Google has these embedded in regular glasses this will stop being an issue.

Agree with the first part, but on BlueTooth headsets - what's one supposed to do with them, take them off and pocket them? That risks losing them. I leave mine in place, even when turned off, when I'm out and about. 'Cause I know I'd lose it otherwise.

Maybe it helps that I grew up in a household where hearing aids were worn by a family member, so having something in the ear was normal. On the other hand, I hated wearing ear buds for the longest time, 'til I recognized the usefulness of them.

+ - Edward Snowden says NSA engages in industrial espionage-> 2

Submitted by Maow
Maow (620678) writes "Snowden has been interviewed by a German TV network and stated that the NSA is involved in industrial espionage, which is outside the range of national security.

He claims that Siemens is a prime example of a target for the data collection.

I doubt this would suprise AirBus or other companies, but it shall remain to be seen what measures global industries take (if any) to prevent their internal secrets from falling into NSA's — and presumably American competitors' — hands."

Link to Original Source

+ - Chinese Moon Rover Said Early Good Bye

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear (988354) writes "The Chinese moon rover, Jade Rabbit, encountered abnormality in control mechanism before its planned sleep during the 14-day-long lunar night. In the form of a diary, the Jade Rabbit said, "The shi-fu ("kung-fu maters", meaning the scientists and engineers) are working around the clock trying to fix the problm and their eyes look like rabbit's (in red due to fatigue), but I may not be able to survive over this lunar night." (translated, original in Chinese.) The rover. landed on moon on Dec 14 and was designed to operate for three months, vowed to continue the mission with Chang'e 5 in 2017."

+ - Gone are the days when somebody could learn to be a sys admin at home! 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "After looking at many job boards it seems that most of the jobs require knowledge of "professional" VMs and cloud based services. The man/woman sitting at home does not usually "play" with VMs like how a real company would use VMs. The man/woman sitting at home usually does not have access to cloud services and would usually have to pay a considerable sum to "get cloud services" to learn about them. No more sys admin at home! In the "old" days you could learn about SCSI and IDE and networking and learn to program in say Perl or PHP — these would get you in the door at many companies. Not anymore!

Is this just my opinion? What does /. think?"
Desktops (Apple)

Schiller Says Apple Is the Last PC Maker From the Mac Era, Forgets About HP 474

Posted by timothy
from the I-feel-happy-I-feel-happy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, recently claimed that Apple is the only computer company left from the early days of the Mac. Unfortunately for him, HP still exists. "Every company that made computers when we started the Mac, they're all gone," Schiller told Macworld in an interview on Apple's Cupertino campus. 'We're the only one left.' I'm sorry Apple, but when exactly did HP declare bankruptcy? We contacted an HP spokesperson for a statement on Apple's ridiculous claim and were pointed to its timeline history page."
Google

Google Co-Opts Whale-Watching Boat To Ferry Employees 373

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-illegal-to-look-at-whales-without-a-google+-account dept.
theodp writes "Purportedly intended to defuse tensions over gentrification that have led to blockades and vandalism of Google's ubiquitous shuttles (video), which make use of public San Francisco bus stops (map), Wired reports that Google is now chartering a ferry to take its workers from SF to Silicon Valley. 'We certainly don't want to cause any inconvenience to SF residents, and we're trying alternative ways to get Googlers to work,' Google explained. Inconveniencing whale-seeking visitors to The Aquarium of the Pacific, however, is apparently not considered evil. After learning that Google had co-opted the $4 million, 83-foot, 150-passenger whale-watching catamaran MV/Triumphant to ferry as few as 30-40 Googlers to work, some expressed concerns on Facebook that Google would be The Grinch That Stole Whale Watching Season (not to worry; the boat's slated to make its 'triumphant' return to Long Beach after Google's '30-day trial')."

Comment: Re:Maybe they're not stars.... (Score 4, Informative) 150

by Maow (#45914417) Attached to: New Class of "Hypervelocity Stars" Discovered Escaping the Galaxy

A million miles per hour is not all that much.

All the galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing at a speed of nearly 1,000 kilometers per second (2,236.936 miles per hour) towards a structure called the Great Attractor, a region of space roughly 150 million light-years away.

I think they're calling them fast based on the relative speed to the galaxy that they're being ejected from / passing though.

Astrophysicists calculate that a star must get a million-plus mile-per-hour kick relative to the motion of the galaxy to reach escape velocity.

The diagram in TFA seems to indicate that these stars are not originating inside the galaxy, which to me raises the question, from whence do they come?

This image makes it appear the stars are mostly passing through the disk of the galaxy. I may be reading too much into the length of the coloured lines though.

Comment: Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (Score 1) 184

by Maow (#45907711) Attached to: Canada Quietly Offering Sanctuary To Data From the US

That court case did nothing of the sort - it was a court case against a local US bank subsidiary asking for records of other subsidiaries in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

I came in here to address this issue.

An interesting quote (emphasis mine) from the linked-to case:

The nationality of the Bank is Canadian, but its presence is pervasive in the United States.[18] The Bank has voluntarily elected to do business in numerous foreign host countries and has accepted the incidental risk of occasional inconsistent governmental actions. It cannot expect to avail itself of the benefits of doing business here without accepting the concomitant obligations. As the Second Circuit noted years ago, "If the Bank cannot, as it were, serve two masters and comply with the lawful requirements both of the United States and Panama, perhaps it should surrender to one sovereign or the other the privileges received therefrom."

Over all I do hope that more data is moved to Canada (hence more jobs here), and the Canadian governments, federal and provincial, strengthen their determination (and regulations) to keep sensitive citizens' data out of the USA.

How about a nice, fat trans-Canada fibre optic cable, all within our borders? I imagine the spending on the advertisements for the "Canada Action Plan" would've paid for a good deal of it...

Shark

CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways 295

Posted by samzenpus
from the shine-on dept.
jeffb (2.718) writes "Audi will display laser-headlight technology on a concept car at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, joining BMW, whose plug-in hybrid should reach production in 2014. A November article on optics.org describes the technology in more detail. This approach does not scan or project a 'laser beam' from the car; instead, it uses blue lasers as highly efficient light emitters, and focuses their light onto a yellow phosphor, producing an extremely intense and compact white light source and then forming that light into a conventional headlamp beam. The beam isn't coherent or point-sourced, so it won't produce the 'speckling' interference effects of direct laser illumination, and it won't pose specular-reflection hazards. It's just a very bright and very well-controlled beam of normal white light.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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