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Comment: Re:Are those Amazon sales legitimate? (Score 1) 344

by Scryer (#48150885) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

My Amazon Acer C720 purchase was legit in the sense you're talking about. I saw a cheap box that could stream my Amazon Prime video to my TV's HDMI port and serve as a backup mail and browser system when it wasn't doing that; but the expectation was that it would sit on that pile of boxes next to the TV and live there. I bought it as a ChromeOS machine and it worked great for that.

Only after I got it did I discover I could put Crouton on it and have a full-fledged Linux system just like I'm using on my main machines, and that it really did get 10 hours on the battery. Now it's the one that goes with me on trips instead of my monster ASUS laptop whose power brick weighs as much as the Chromebook, and I can still do my C development and testing on it with no problem.

Comment: Re:Linking to Wikipedia to explain math (Score 3, Funny) 102

by Scryer (#41295243) Attached to: Possible Proof of ABC Conjecture

For anyone with a suitable background ..., Wikipedia's math articles are generally the best, most accurate and most comprehensive free source of basic mathematics information available. If you don't have that background, no article of any kind is going to be explain to what a "scheme" is, for example. To think so is as naive as believing that you can understand all the nuances of Baudelaire's poetry without learning French; you may think you learn something from a translation into your language, but you actually don't.

Goethe's comment is relevant here:

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language, and it immediately becomes something entirely different.

Comment: Re:Interesting Algorithm (Score 1) 519

by Scryer (#41277661) Attached to: Poll-Based System Predicts U.S. Election Results For President, Senate

Jon Huntsman has plenty of good qualities. For example, his willingness to become ambassador to China when asked by President Obama, because both he and the President recognized that he was the best man available for the job. Working with the other side when it's the right thing to do makes good sense, but of course does not allow you to win the Republican nomination when the whole party has fallen off the conservative side of the scale.

A number of potentially strong candidates chose not to run, saving their energy for when they have a better chance. There are other very competent candidates who weren't interested, but might be persuaded to come out and try it in 2016, like Condi Rice.

Until they move back toward traditional Republican values and away from the nutballs currently controlling the party, I doubt that they'll get anybody elected. Step one: disavow their Grover Norquist "never vote yes on a tax" pledge and embrace realistic solutions to real problems.

Input Devices

Preview of Synaptics's Next Generation Input Devices 54

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the use-the-forcepad-bill dept.
crookedvulture writes "Next year, Synaptics's ForcePad will bring pressure sensitivity to touchpads. It can track five fingers independently, each with up to a kilogram of effective force in precise 15-gram increments. This look at Synaptics' next-gen input tech goes hands-on with with ForcePad, among other new PC inputs. The ultra-slim ThinTouch keyboard, recently acquired through the purchase of Pacinian, combines secretive switches with a side order of capacitive touch. And then there's the latest in touchscreens, the ClearPad Series 4, which purportedly cuts tracking latency by 70%. That's captured on high-speed camera at 240 frames per second."

+ - PayPal Founder Peter Thiel Invests in 3D-Printed Steaks->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Billionaire PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is putting his money where his mouth is – by investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in an American company that makes 3D-printed meat. The Thiel Foundation has reportedly agreed to give Missouri-based Modern Meadow between £160,000 to £220,000 to work on their lab-grown steaks, which are an animal-friendly and more sustainable option to slaughtered meat. Considering that Thiel was right on the money when he helped start PayPal, we’re very interested to see if faux meat could be the next big thing."
Link to Original Source

Next Mars Mission Selected For Funding 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-deck dept.
First time accepted submitter Dr Bip writes "Flush with the good news coming from Mars, NASA has announced that JPL has won funding for the next mission to Mars. It seems that the lander will be carrying a self-driving mole developed by the German space agency (DLR). Commiserations to the two other projects that were also in the selection finale (TiME and CHopper). Note the DLR mole's last attempt to get to Mars was with the Beagle 2 lander, fingers crossed for this second attempt."

+ - Anonymous Downs UK Government Websites to Avenge Assange's Treatment->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Anonymous has probably got the best of UK government websites as it is claiming that it has started shutting down government websites in protest of the treatment of Julian Assange. The UK Justice Department Website was down, probably because of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), at around 8pm UT. Around 40 min after this Department of Work and Pensions website also suffered from downtime. Anonymous Twitter feed is claiming that both these websites were taken down as a part of their #OpFreeAssange move."
Link to Original Source

+ - Rover fuel came from Russian nuke factory->

Submitted by gbrumfiel
gbrumfiel (1917934) writes "The Curiosity rover will soon start rolling, and when it does, it will be running on gas from a Russian weapon's plant. Slate has the story of how the plutonium-238 that powers the rover came from Mayak, a Sovit-era bomb factory. Mayak made the fuel through reprocessing, a chemical process used to make nuclear warheads that also polluted the surrounding environment. After the cold war ended, the Russians sold the spare pu-238 to NASA, which put some of it into Curiosity. Now, the Russian supply is running low and Nasa hopes to restart pu-238 production on US soil (They're planning on making less of a mess this time)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple Is Now the Most Valuable Company In History

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "Apple, as of this morning, is valued at $621 billion, thanks to a stock price that spiked at $663.10 per share (and that has risen this afternoon). That finally beats Microsoft, who previously held the record for most valuable company in 1999 at $619 billion. Incredibly, Apple has almost doubled its valuation in the last year, when it topped Exxon-Mobil for most valuable American company with a valuation of $346 billion.

It’s not the cleanest comparison, but to give you an idea of how much $621 billion actually is, only 23 countries had a GDP higher than that in 2011. So, basically, Apple alone is worth more than what 200+ countries in the world could produce in an entire year."

Comment: Re:Reading is so over rated (Score 1) 415

You indicate your reading decline started from feeling you had to finish a book once you'd started it, even if you hated it. This is easily addressed: you need to recognize that life is too short to read bad books. There are many more books out there that you will enjoy than you have time to read. In fact, there are more good ones published every year than you can handle in a lifetime. The day of the Renaissance Man has passed - no-one nowadays can know everything important.

Samuel Johnson said "A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good." (Boswell, Life of Johnson, 14 July 1763)

Comment: Kindle pro: eInk -- Tablet pro: flexibility (Score 2) 415

There's no guarantee that getting an electronic tool will make reading more interesting or fun for you. The main advantage of an ebook reader like Kindle is that you can read it outside in the sunlight, if that fits better with your lifestyle. A tablet provide its own light, so you can read in the dark and not bother roommates. I personally prefer the tablet (Nexus 7 for me), since I can do a great deal of other stuff on it when I'm not reading. I spend probably half my tablet time reading, and the other half web-surfing or writing. I plan to watch movies and read books on it the next time I fly. It's handy because I can copy and paste from what I'm reading into what I'm writing.

My wife has a Kindle and a Nexus 7 -- she no longer uses the Kindle. It'll be gifted to a niece, probably.


+ - Logitech Revue Google TV root process available->

Submitted by soricon
soricon (1868140) writes "The proof that everything can be rooted these days is enforced again by the new root process revealed by the smart people behind GTVHacker. While the process is certainly not for the faint of heart because it requires soldering skills, the end result is a complete access to Logitech Revue file system and allows side loading Android apps to the box.

In order to gain root access, you’ll need physical access to Revue’s UART1 port – something like the service serial / USB port for firmware updates on some TV sets. Once you create your own serial interface, you can connect to it, start a terminal and happily write scripts. All this process is possible because fortunately Logitech did not disable their UART ports and root shell is accessible in recovery mode. You can bet though that for the next generation of boxes, this back-door will be closed.

The only tools required are a USB->TTL or similar board like an Arduino in tristate mode, a 1 to 2 GB USB memory stick, wires and of course, basic soldering skills.

Currently GTVHacker team is able to have ADBD Running for adb access, can create custom boot logos and Flash Plugin Update to allow previously blocked content providers."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn-> 2

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "Over a hundred years after the death of its author, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be released in a censored format removing two derogatory racial slurs: "injun" and "nigger." The former appears some 219 times in the original novel but both will be replaced by the word "slave." An Alabama publisher named NewSouth Books will be editing and censoring the book so that schools and parents might provide their children the ability to study the classic without fear of properly addressing the torturous history of racism and slavery in The United States of America. The Forbes Blog speculates that e-readers could provide us this service automatically. Salon admirably provides point versus counterpoint while the internet at large is in an uproar over this seemingly large acceptance of censorship as necessary even on books a hundred years old. The legendary Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself once wrote "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter" and now his own writing shall test the truth in that today."
Link to Original Source

+ - PHP floating point bug crashes servers ->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "A newly unearthed bug in certain versions of the PHP scripting language could crash servers when the software is given the task of converting a large floating point number, raising the possibility that the glitch could be exploited by hackers.

The bug will cause the PHP processing software to enter an infinite loop when it tries to convert the series of digits "2.2250738585072011e-308" from the string format into the floating point format.

At least one PHP user has commented that a malicious user could crash a server running PHP by feeding this digit to the PHP processor through the language's get function.

The bug only seems to affect version 5.2 and 5.3 of the language, and only when they are run on Intel 32-bit CPUs that use the x87 instruction set.

Computer scientist Rick Regan first reported the bug on Monday, and the PHP development team issued patches the following day."

Link to Original Source

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright