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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:On odd artifact of affect... (Score 1) 130

by Tim the Gecko (#48833987) Attached to: Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars
Colin Pillinger interview transcript (PDF):

We've had lots of cats that have wandered off and... but that was the thing about the name, everybody congratulated us on the name Beagle 2 as inspirational, until after it didn't call in and we had all manner of e-mails, texts, telephone calls, letters saying didn't you realise that Beagles are the worst dogs you could possibly have to let off the leash - they run off, they chase something, they don't come back when they're called, they only come home when they're hungry and they show no sign of remorse.

+ - Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars->

Submitted by Stolga
Stolga (3985589) writes "The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact.

High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece.

The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags — but no radio contact was ever made with the probe.

Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Take a look at who you elected/reelected (Score 4, Informative) 47

Democrats, Republicans... anyone who thinks there's actually a difference between them is a dumbass.

It does seem to matter when it comes to picking Supreme Court Justices. Nobody would claim that Alito and Scalia are interchangeable with Kagan and Sotomayor. Are you really saying it doesn't matter who chooses the next few justices?

And this has an impact on a lot of real world issues: http://www.newyorker.com/magaz...

There is also the five-finger speech. It generally comes when a new clerk asks, in dismay and outrage, how a majority of the Court has arrived at a decision he or she feels is flagrantly unjust. Justice Brennan holds up his hand, wriggles his five fingers, and says, “Five votes. Five votes can do anything around here.”

Comment: A thousand KBOs discovered, not dwarf planets (Score 5, Informative) 77

by Tim the Gecko (#48542193) Attached to: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

The article confuses Kuiper Belt Objects (more than one thousand discovered), and dwarf planets. To quote Wikipedia: "The IAU recognizes five bodies as dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake".

2015 will be a great year for looking at two of these. As well as New Horizons, there is also the Dawn probe on its way to orbit Ceres.

Comment: Re:Fuck them sideways with a rusty chainsaw! (Score 1) 118

by Tim the Gecko (#48016599) Attached to: World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

..in-car devices that insurance companies use to monitor policyholders' driving

Over my dead body. *find tiny cellphone antenna* *SNIP*

If you're a clever insurance company you ask people if they want tracking in return for lower premiums. If your competitors are charging $300, you make the "no" people pay $315 and the "yes" people people pay $285. Then all the bad drivers and all the people concerned about privacy go off to another insurance company. Given the success of Facebook and Twitter, it looks like only 0.001% of the population cares about privacy. Therefore 99+% of the people who move across to your competitors are probably not very profitable anyway. Win-win!

So it's saying "yes" or "no" to the tracking device that is the important part, not the driving data. As long as you have enough blinky lights (and a few real 3G connections) so people think they might be monitored, then you are golden.

Comment: Re:a collision wouldn't surprise me (Score 4, Informative) 65

by Tim the Gecko (#47961569) Attached to: 2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

For somw reason, it wouldn't surprise me if these two craft collided, despite being the only two approaching the entire planet. It just seems that any time a government spends a lot of money to do anything, it normally ends with a fail worthy of Monty Python .

There's a lot of exciting stuff happening right now. The Dawn mission is on its way to get a close look at Ceres in April next year. Rosetta is sending a lander onto a comet (which is about to do the exciting thing for comets - i.e. go near the sun). New Horizons is going to fly past Pluto next July. There are two rovers exploring Mars. Not to mention Cassini, Messenger, etc. You can be negative if you like, but I think these missions are pretty amazing.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 5, Insightful) 611

by Tim the Gecko (#47719895) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

...OK...where do I sign up?

You can sign up for our flat rate Gold Plan at $1000, or the Silver Plan where we will nickel and dime you until you pay $2010 per year, or the Bronze Plan where you will get some carefully selected ads in return for a lower fee of $500.

This service brought to you by your trustworthy ISP.

Notes: (1) You may occasionally see ads, (2) Ads you don't see will still count against your bandwidth cap, (3) We hate you.

Comment: Re:IPv6 How will it happen? (Score 3, Informative) 146

by Tim the Gecko (#47525475) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

How do you [Slashdot users] see IPv6 transition actually happening?

Will each internet user have dual stack?

Yes. They will have a dual stack with the IPv6 address being used for a bigger and bigger proportion of traffic. Meanwhile IPv4 will probably traverse some NAT.

Once IPv4 is the minority of traffic (many years in the future), it will turn into a legacy PITA to administer separately. But that is a while away.

IPv6 is much more complex, how will companies support users who barely understand IP addressing when IPv6 is going to seem like a long string of meaningless characters?

Those 30% of Comcast customers aren't calling a helpdesk and reading out hexadecimal digits. If DNS is working they will say things like "www.facebook.com". If DNS isn't working then they can't fix it by reading out or typing those "meaningless characters".

Do you see something like a dynamic IPv6 to IPv4 DNS/NAT translator to hide IPv6 complexity from the user a viable solution?

Not viable. It wouldn't help more than a single digit percentage of users anyway.

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries

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