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Comment: Re:What a shocker (Score 4, Informative) 54

by mc6809e (#49802169) Attached to: Land Art Park Significantly Reduces Jet Engine Noise Near Airport

Who would have thought having trees, shrubs and other natural barriers between an airport and the people would reduce noise levels?

It's as if clear cutting was found not to work.

Who thinks that? People that have never studied noise abatement and think their cleverness is enough to allow them to intuit the science.

Trees and shrubs do very little. A thorough study from the state of Virginia showed

No matter how the sites were examined, there was no measurable difference in road noise. All differences at the more distant measurement locations were due simply to the distance effect rather than to any additional mitigating effects of trees, whether measured by planting density, age, height, or average tree diameter.

Comment: There really is an amazingly simple answer... (Score 1) 685

by fzammett (#49800381) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Everyone is making a big deal out of a "problem" that is ridiculously simple to solve:

Every government on Earth says to its citizens: "You can either get this treatment that will make you live this much longer... OR you can have children... but you CANNOT have both." Have a police force charged with enforcing this rule, and nothing more. Make the penalty for disobeying EXTREMELY harsh... like forced abortion, or the child can live but both parents are put to death right after.

Sound harsh? Nope, it's a choice for every single person, nobody is forced into anything.

Think it won't work? It ABSOLUTELY will, and here's why: humans, the VAST majority, are at their core selfish beings. Given the choice between living hundreds of years, or maybe even indefinitely, or having children, MOST of them are going to choose the selfish option and say they'll give up having kids. Guaranteed.

Now, before you say it, this plan needs some tweaks to cover all the bases... for example, there's got to be some minimum age where this decision is made. Is is 18? 21? You want someone to be old enough to make a proper decision of course... but then, what do you do with anyone who has a kid BEFORE that age? I'd suggest maybe a stiff fine, stiff enough to dissuade MOST people from having a kid before the designated age, but you're still going to have some and we don't want to be killing teens, right? But, teen pregnancy has been on the decline anyway, so it seems that education works, so it's probably not a dealbreaker.

Do we perhaps make people have to undergo a procedure to render them unable to have children when they decide? Would certainly make he policing requirement less, but that might be a bit much... worth debating at least.

Of course, you still have to ensure enough people do procreate to keep the species genetically viable and not stagnate... maybe a lottery? Half the population gets to live forever, half have to procreate, and it's all random? Hmm, lots of chances for abuse of course, and that aside, it kinda hurts my "democracy" brain that says everyone should have an equal chance at the good life... maybe just limit it? Like, if you get picked to have kids you can only have one, and you only get to live an extra 200 years or something? That might seem like a good trade-off right now, but when the average lifespan is 1,000 years it's not going to seem like such a good deal.

So yeah, I'm not saying there aren't some holes that have to be plugged to make it all work right, but the point is if you simply give people the choice between children and a massive increase in their own lifespan, the basic problem is going to solve itself based on nothing but simple human nature, that's the bottom line.

Cellphones

Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone 134

Posted by timothy
from the hello-operator dept.
New submitter JoSch1337 writes: After a year and a half of development, the Neo900 project now opened its web shop for the down payments of binding pre-orders for either a full Neo900 phone or the bare circuit board to upgrade an existing Nokia N900. The up-front down payment is necessary to now secure expensive "risk parts" like the modem, 1GB RAM and N900 cases. Thus, without pre-ordering now, there might not be enough parts left after the first batch.

The Neo900 is the spritual successor of the Nokia N900. The new circuit board can be placed into an existing N900 for better specs (faster CPU, more RAM, LTE modem) than the original device while still maintaining fremantle (maemo 5) backwards compatibility. Alternatively, a fully assembled phone can be purchased as well. The Neo900 will be fully operational without any binary blob running on the main CPU. While the modem still requires a non-free firmware, it is completely decoupled from the rest of the device (think of a LTE usb stick you put in your laptop) and can reliably be monitored or switched off by the operating system.

You can follow the development of the project in the maemo forum, read about the specs of the device or consult the FAQ

Comment: Musical Taste can expand. (Score 2) 361

by LionKimbro (#49692977) Attached to: What Happens To Our Musical Taste As We Age?

Freddie Mercury. Harry Belafonte. Led Zeppelin. Highway Star. Cyndi Loper. Pumped Up Kicks. Tron & Switched-On Bach. The Sons of the Pioneers. Chip Tune. Paranoia. Jimmy Hendrix. The Bobs. The Grateful Dead. R.E.M. Moonlight Sonata. The Disney Electric Parade. The Final Fantasy VI soundtrack. Forever Young. The Hukilau Song. Over the Rainbow, and Make New Friends. Joy of Man's Desiring. Gnarles Barkley.

It seems like every year, I get into more music. I discover things that I never saw in older music (such as The Sons of the Pioneers), and I also like seeing things from my childhood revisited, like with Mesh. I have a hard time finding what I consider to be genuinely "new" music; I always have this sense that I am hearing a mutation or freshening of things that have come before.

Comment: Re:As a father with a daughter (Score 1) 950

I am a father, and I have a daughter too, which gives me equal ground to respond.

* Who has the most sexually pleasurable and sensitive part of their genitals systematically mutilated at birth? BOYS.
* Who makes up a minority of college students? BOYS.
* Who is expected to sacrifice their life for their country? BOYS and YOUNG MEN -- "infant"-ry indeed.
* Who is expected to pay for the date? MEN.
* Who is expected to make more than their partner, by their partner? MEN.
* Who is always reminded from all sectors of society that, in a sexual-romantic relationship, they are the one who have to provide value through success, earning, providing, career, and disciplined behavior at all times? BOYS and MEN.
* Who is reminded that they have to EARN sexual fulfillment? BOYS and MEN.
* Who often has to PAY to have sex? MEN.
* Who has to pay child support, even if they were underage and sexually abused? BOYS.
* Who is at 10x a risk of physical violence? BOYS and MEN.
* Who is used by society for violence-work, and then criticized condemned and feared for being violent? BOYS.
* Who is given longer and harder prison sentence, for the same exact crime? MEN.
* Who is expected to do grueling grunt work, and "take it like a man"? BOYS and MEN.
* Who is considered to be an existential threat to children? MEN.
* Who is forced to pay child support for unwanted children? MEN.
* Who is denied access to children, even when they're paying child support? MEN.
* Who is not listened to, or even criticized and condemned, when they are feeling emotionally hurt? BOYS and MEN.
** Note the use of the word "whining."
* Who is the victim of roughly 35-50% of unilateral domestic violence, but is most likely to not be supported, oris even taken to jail, should they report it? BOYS and MEN. (Girls are responsible for more than 50% of teenage dating intimate violence.) See http://www.domesticviolenceres... for more information.
* Who is accused of being in a "victim mentality" for angry opposition to the lies of "equality" ..? Sympathy compassion and care for girls and women, grounding threats and punishments for boys, and condemnation and ceaseless criticism and distaste for men.

When I found out that I was having a girl rather than a boy, I cried tears of relief. I wouldn't DARE bring a boy into today's hostile climate, by choice.

* NO MORE CHILD GENITAL MUTILATION.
* NO MORE DATING DOUBLE-STANDARDS.
* NO MORE TARRING BOYS AND MEN THROUGH BULLSHIT STATISTICS.
* NO MORE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST BOYS AND MEN.
* NO MORE INTIMATE VIOLENCE AGAINST BOYS AND MEN.
* NO MORE ATTACKS ON SEXUALITY, ESPECIALLY MALE SEXUALITY.
* NO MORE SPECIAL PROTECTIONS FOR WOMEN.
* NO MORE FORCED PATERNITY.
* DECLARATION OF INNOCENCE WHEN RAPE ACCUSATIONS ARE FOUND FALSE.
* DUE PROCESS AFTER RAPE ACCUSATION.
* PRISON TIME FOR FALSE ACCUSERS.
* EQUAL TIME FOR EQUAL CRIME.

Perhaps most importantly: CARE FOR BOYS AND MEN.

+ - DEA steals life savings of innocent man

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In another example of civil forfeiture, DEA agents confiscated the life savings of a man heading to California based on no evidence.

There was no evidence of a crime, the man was never charged, but three weeks later he still has not gotten his money back.

Sean Waite, the agent in charge for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not comment on the Rivers case because it is ongoing. He disputed allegations that Rivers was targeted because of his race. Waite said that in general DEA agents look for "indicators" such as whether the person bought an expensive one-way ticket with cash, if the person is traveling from or to a city known as a hot spot for drug activity, if the person's story has inconsistencies or if the large sums of money found could have been transported by more conventional means.

"We don't have to prove that the person is guilty," Waite said. "It's that the money is presumed to be guilty."

Read the whole article. This is entirely unconstitutional. The fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the taking of private property "without just compensation."

Open Source

When Enthusiasm For Free Software Turns Ugly 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Byfield writes for Linux Magazine about the unfortunate side-effect of people being passionate about open source software: discussions about rival projects can get heated and turn ugly. "Why, for example, would I possibly to see OpenOffice humiliated? I prefer LibreOffice's releases, and — with some misgivings — the Free Software Foundation's philosophy and licensing over that of the Apache Foundation. I also question the efficiency of having two office suites so closely related to each other. Yet while exploring such issues may be news, I don't forget that, despite these differences, OpenOffice and the Apache Foundation still have the same general goals as LibreOffice or the Free Software Foundation. The same is true of other famous feuds. Why, because I have a personal preference for KDE, am I supposed to ignore GNOME's outstanding interface designs? Similarly, because I value Debian's stability and efforts at democracy, am I supposed to have a strong distaste for Ubuntu?"

Comment: Re:Hard to take sides (Score 1) 355

by mariox19 (#49571595) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

I taught middle school and high school for a little while, and my experience jibes with what you say. I think it works like this.

In a class of 30, there are 1 or 2 pathological miscreants—basically, irredeemable troublemakers who need another environment (whatever that may be). Then, there are about 6 kids who need only those troublemakers as a catalyst for them to become troublemakers as well. On the other side of the coin, there are 5 or 6 kids who are model students in terms of behavior. The rest are mere ballast.

I've seen where throwing merely 1 kid out of class—permanently—and then cracking down on the rest can turn an entire class around and make it manageable. But if you can't get rid of that 1 or maybe 2 kids, there's a good chance that class is lost.

The great tragedy in American education is that we are willing to cheat so many students out of an education because we cater to the very few who don't deserve an education.

Comment: "How did the teacher fail these students?" (Score 3, Informative) 355

by mariox19 (#49570607) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

I can sympathize with number 1, and partially with number 4, but 2 and 3 hold no water at all. They should not be the concern of the professor. These undergraduates are supposedly a subset of adults.

Your immediate reaction is to ask: "How did the teacher fail these students?" Sadly, your reaction is endemic; and, moreover, indicative of the problem at every level of U.S. education.

Comment: Re:But why? (Score 5, Insightful) 634

by mariox19 (#49568713) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

[I]t does assert that inherently, no person should be favored over another in how they are treated by the government or, indeed by society in general.

I don't get that at all. If you read John Locke, as Jefferson did, and as did just about every educated, politically-minded person of the time, you'd know in what sense "equal" is being used. It's a very narrow concept. "All men are created equal" means that there is no man or group of men on earth who can claim a right to be the political rulers of anyone else. It's an axiom against the idea of divine right. It's an axiom against the notion of absolute monarchy. In the context of English politics, it's an axiom against the political primacy of an un-elected monarchy or hereditary aristocracy; an argument for the primacy of Parliament. In the context of American politics, it's a political argument against kings and aristocracy; an argument for representative government.

The concept is ante-government, or "meta" as we say (in this half-literate age). It comes before government. It's the rationale for what kind of government is right and just, and it's a strictly political concept—not a social one. It doesn't have anything to do with the egalitarianism that you allege. It has nothing to do with society, and certainly nothing to do with the modern concept that styles itself as "social justice."

//GO.SYSIN DD *, DOODAH, DOODAH

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