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Comment: Re:Hypocritical media attack (Score 4, Informative) 375

by Niko. (#39056979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tech Manufacturers With Better Labor Practices?

apparently it's not so much the minimal labor wages that make China attractive to manufacturing, but the supply of trained engineers to manage the operation. Apple alone needs hundreds of engineers to supervise the thousands of workers.

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/01/22/why-apples-products-are-designed-in-california-but-assembled/

Comment: Re:Non biodegradable? (Score 5, Interesting) 137

by Niko. (#38686560) Attached to: Geek Tool: Slashdot Video of Award Winning 3D Printer From CES

i know a couple of people who use 3d printers. when they want to make parts that need to be stronger than the PLA/ABS raw material, they "simply" print the model, use it to make a mold and cast the mold with bronze or copper or what have you.
it stops being an all-in-one solution but still allows detailed custom shapes with good strength and appearance.

Space

Look For AI, Not Aliens 452

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'd-rather-a-good-reuben dept.
krou writes "Writing in Acta Astronautica, Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that we should be looking for 'sentient machines' rather than biological life. In an interview with the BBC, he said, 'If you look at the timescales for the development of technology, at some point you invent radio and then you go on the air and then we have a chance of finding you. But within a few hundred years of inventing radio — at least if we're any example — you invent thinking machines; we're probably going to do that in this century. So you've invented your successors and only for a few hundred years are you... a "biological" intelligence.' As a result, he says 'we could spend at least a few percent of our time... looking in the directions that are maybe not the most attractive in terms of biological intelligence but maybe where sentient machines are hanging out.'"
Data Storage

New PS3 Firmware Causing HDD Upgrade Problems? 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the infirm-ware dept.
Channard writes "While there have been occasional reports of previous PS3 firmware upgrades causing system crashes and so forth, Sony's new firmware upgrade for the system, 3.41, is apparently stopping PS3 owners from upgrading their hard disks. This problem has been encountered by many users on Sony's forums and occurs when you try to put a new hard disk into a PS3 that already has the firmware upgrade installed. The general course of action for upgrading a PS3's drive is that you download the latest PS3 firmware onto a memory stick and, after swapping the hard drive in the PS3, plug the stick in, allowing the PS3 to properly prepare the disk for use. But as of upgrade 3.41, the PS3 fails to recognize the firmware on the stick, complaining that it can't proceed until you insert the correct firmware. Repeating the process and re-downloading the firmware does not fix the problem, as I can confirm, having encountered the problem myself. Users can put the old hard disk back in, provided they've not reformatted it for some other purpose, so all is not lost. Sony have apparently told gaming website CVG that 'The information available to our Consumer Services Department does not suggest that this is a problem PlayStation owners are likely to experience when upgrading the HDD with 3.41 update.' This seems to fly in the face of the currently available information — although whether or not this statement was issued by Kevin Butler is unclear. Either way, PS3 owners encountering this problem will likely have to wait a few days for a fix and use their old HDDs for now."

Comment: Re:Both, of course (Score 1) 468

by JesseMcDonald (#32267256) Attached to: UC Berkeley Asking Incoming Students For DNA

You are describing a co-op, not a government. Governments are distinguished by the fact that they employ force against non-aggressors, people who didn't choose to join. Give up that claim to "legitimate" aggression and I promise we will have no further objection to any kind of mutual defense or common-interest work you may choose to pursue with other like-minded, voluntary participants.

P.S. Those third-world countries you mention have governments, typically ones which are corrupt, highly authoritarian, and often based on unworkable and unjust principles; that's generally the main source of their poverty. (That includes places like Somalia; their government is highly decentralized, distributed among their tribal elders, but it definitely exists. The unstable proto-governments set up by Western nations from time to time also contribute to the problem.) Little or no government can work out just fine, but intrusive and disruptive governments are killers.

Comment: Re:Cute application, but why? (Score 1) 131

by SkOink (#32267230) Attached to: Marine Mammals Used To Fight Terrorism

It's actually not a new program - the Navy's had marine mammal units for many years now. Long before "terrorism" was ever a buzzword. Of particular interest is the Mark-6 unit (MK-6 MMS) which is an antipersonnel unit. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it - a suicide diver with the right explosives could probably take out a small naval vessel. A ship's sonar probably can't distinguish a diver from any other underwater mammal. And even if it could, bullets are ineffective in the water. It's a significant vulnerability if you think about it.

Comment: Re:To be fixed in a future Firefox version (Score 2, Insightful) 130

by CKW (#32267190) Attached to: 76% of Web Users Affected By Browser History Stealing

It used to be an important/useful feature of the web/html -- until "website designers" decided that they didn't like the look and started making certain that all links looked the same, and other things that also made it stop working.

I have a question - why the ****** does a website need to have/see/retreive the list of URLs I've been at in order to do this - coloring links is a browser side feature! The only thing a website needs to do is suggest which colors to use for said links.

This was grossly unintentional right? Someone didn't choose to implement this specific behaviour, right?

Canada

Dead Pigs Used To Investigate Ocean's "Dead Zones" 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-ocean-long-pig dept.
timothy writes "As places to study what happens to corpses, the Atlantic Ocean is both much larger and much more specialized than the famous 'body farm' in Knoxville, TN. But for all kinds of good reasons, sending human bodies into Davy Jones' locker just to see where they float and how they bloat is unpopular. Pigs don't pay taxes, and more importantly, they don't vote. So Canadian scientists have taken to using them as human-body proxies, to study what happens when creatures of similar size and hairlessness (aka, us) end up 86ed and in the drink."
Networking

1Gbps Optical Wireless Network Might Replace Wi-Fi 200

Posted by timothy
from the line-of-sight-and-bouncy-bouncy dept.
Mark.JUK writes "Pennsylvania State University has developed a new method of indoor Optical Wireless network that does not require a line-of-sight and runs at speeds of 1Gbps+. The system uses a high-powered laser diode — a device that converts electricity into light — as the optical transmitter and an avalanche photo diode — a device that converts light to electricity — as the receiver. The light bounces off the walls and is picked up by the receiver. Traditional radio frequency systems (Wi-Fi , WiMAX etc.) do not require line of sight transmission, but can pass through some substances and so present a security problem. Light, in a room without windows, will not escape the room, improving security."

We can defeat gravity. The problem is the paperwork involved.

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