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Comment: It's nonsense all right, I'll grant you that. (Score 1) 36

by westlake (#48901639) Attached to: A Call That Made History, 100 Years Ago Today

On May 22, 1886 .. Zenas F. Wilber, a former Washington patent examiner, swore in an affidavit that he'd been bribed by an attorney for Alexander Graham Bell to award Bell the patent for the telephone over a rival inventor, Elisha Gray, who'd filed a patent document on the same day as Bell in 1876.

But read on...

His October 21, 1885 affidavit directly contradicts this story and Wilber claims it was ''given at the request of the Bell company by Mr. Swan, of its counsel'' and he was ''duped to sign it'' while drunk and depressed. However, Wilber's April 8, 1886, affidavit was also sworn to and signed before Thomas W. Swan. These conflicting affidavits discredited Wilber.

Elisha Gray and Alexander Bell telephone controversy

There were 600 lawsuits over Bell's patent, none successful, and a bad smell about the business from the start.

Others also laid claim to inventing versions of the telephone, including a Mr. Rogers, manager of the Pan-Electric Telephone Company. Rogers distributed his company's stock to members of Congress, including Senator Garland, (soon to become Attorney General) in the unstated hope of favorable treatment. If the Bell patent were to be invalidated, the Rogers patent and the Pan-Electric stock could become very valuable.

On This Day - February 13, 1886

Comment: Re:Remember the good old days? (Score 1) 292

by Crypto Gnome (#48901311) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

The purpose of a free press is to promote a knowledgeable society. If the agenda is to stomp out the stupidity of the masses and their dangerous influence over lawmakers then yes, I welcome these agenda-toting muckrakers of truth with open arms.

No, the purpose of The Press is to sow Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt amongst the general population and THEN (and ONLY then) to TELL PEOPLE HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE AND WHY to think.

At least, that's (a) what the politicians believe (b) what the editors believe (c) what most of the people end up believing.

Comment: Re: Why oh Why (Score 1) 84

I'm seeing the same 30 characters for Teradata and Sybase. When I look at the 2008 SQL standard (last version I own) I get totally lost in the notation and I'm just not that motivated, I'm going to take their word for it. As for everyone else that matters I'd say those two matter.

As for it being big enough. Table names can have synonyms and be accessed functionally via. PLSQL. Oracle itself tends to use table names like X12A with another table that uses a descriptor. If you want documentation Oracle provides a means for documentation.

In any case This issue certainly isn't a huge constraint with Oracle. My point is that they are tremendous innovators whether one particular limitation annoys you doesn't change that.

Comment: Tumblr (Score 1) 106

by tepples (#48900597) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

If there was a service that came out with 300 characters as a limit, it would crush Twitter.

You mean like Tumblr or Blogspot or LiveJournal or just about any other blogging platform?

superior services will demolish their business if they don't listen to the number one complaint about Twitter from their users

I thought the biggest complaint about Twitter was sockpuppetry. See Twitter use thirteen different characters.

Comment: Offline reading (Score 1) 106

by tepples (#48900459) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

Imagine the article loading in its entirety, so you can start reading it, before there's even a single image tag on the page; then, well-written javascript popping the images in as you read. The content loads and renders faster and you have an over-all better experience, especialy if you happen to be on a mobile device or slow connection.

I have the opposite experience. Because my mobile device has no cellular Internet connection, I often load pages over Wi-Fi at home and then read them while riding public transit. If a page uses this "lazy loading" technique, none of the images will load when I get around to reading them.

Comment: Re:Serious question (Score 1) 106

by tepples (#48900391) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

I'm @PinoBatch.

But this list mentions Erris, Mactrope*, gnutoo, inTheLoo, willeyhill*, westbake*, Odder*, ibane, DeadZero, freenix, myCopyWrong, right handed, GNUChop, trimmer, and wiiiyhiii*. Or, rather, Twitter uses them. All of them. And this Twitter can post more than 140 characters.

* These are typosquatted versions of other Slashdot users' usernames.

Comment: Comcast's monthly HD technology fee (Score 1) 296

by tepples (#48900047) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

No, because they don't actially offer "SD only service", it's all HD now.

Cable TV is all digital, but not necessarily high-definition. Operators of digital cable systems can and do use conditional access in the digital cable platform to give 480i or 1080i versions of a particular channel to particular customers. For example, Comcast charges a "monthly HD technology fee" if an XFINITY TV customer has HD in his plan. This was true as of this forum post three years ago, and another forum post from three months ago confirms that it still is being charged. Or was it very recently discontinued?

Comment: Re:Lift? (Score 2) 70

by dougmc (#48899323) Attached to: NASA Considers Autonomous Martian Helicopter To Augment Future Rovers

Atmospheric pressure on Mars is 1% that of Earth. How're you going to get any lift?

if you rotate the blades 10x as fast as you do on Earth, you'll get the same lift.

That said, gravity on Mars is 1/3rd as much as Earth, so you only need 1/3rd the lift. So rotating the blades at 6x the rate you'd rotate them on Earth would be sufficient.

Or you could go with much larger blades.

Either way ... it's doable. It would require more power than it would on Earth, but it's certainly doable.

This is a pretty interesting discussion of how we'd fly on Mars, done in the context of the X-Plane simulator. It's written with fixed wing planes in mind rather than helicopters, but most of it still applies.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.