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Brown Dwarf With Water Clouds Tentatively Detected Just 7 Light-Years From Earth 78

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the a-bit-chilly dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes Astronomers have found signs of water ice clouds on an object just 7.3 light-years from Earth — less than twice the distance of Alpha Centauri. If confirmed, the discovery is the first sighting of water clouds beyond our solar system. The clouds shroud a Jupiter-sized object known as a brown dwarf and should yield insight into the nature of cool giant planets orbiting other suns.

Comment: Re:Transcript... (Score 1, Insightful) 113

by Zapotek (#47761783) Attached to: The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

I learned that many programmers are musicians or good at various art forms. Which surprised me because I was a good programmer and can't play a musical instrument or do anything artistic at all.

Music is basically counting and patterns, something that should come naturally to most programmers. The music theory jargon can easily go over your head at the beginning but you don't need to dive into it to actually play music at a basic level, and after you get some practise and a feel for it, the more advanced stuff start to make sense.

The hard part is actually getting some level of technical proficiency over your instrument of choice, dexterity is rarely useful in real life but it's the basis of playing most instruments.

If you can whistle a tune you can play music, getting control over the new medium (the instrument in this case) is the biggest issue, as the learning curve is highly steep and the fact that you'll initially sound like crap doesn't provide adequate positive re-enforcement, something necessary to any learning process.

Also, the fact that the cheap learner instruments sound really bad and are much harder to play than the expensive awesome sounding stuff doesn't help either.

PS: I'm an amateur self-taught guitar player, maybe someone with actual training can provide a better perspective.

Comment: Re:A few issues with this... (Score 1) 578

by Zapotek (#47748467) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs
Everyone focused on the very personal concern I voiced, which is me being grossed out by the finger dipping approach. No-one touched on the very real issue of whether there were any compromises in accuracy for making this thing work as a nail-polish. For Pit's sake I've got a sister and plenty of female friends and I don't want them to get in trouble just because they trusted a product based on how popular it is, due to people drowning out valid criticisms, like mine.
I don't care if someone claims they've found the cure for cancer, show me the data, then I'll tattoo your name on my forehead.

Also, I don't have to have a better idea to voice concerns, just like I don't have to be a master chef to say that I don't like the food at a restaurant.

Comment: Re: A few issues with this... (Score 1) 578

by Zapotek (#47747861) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs
How am I shitting on the idea? Criticism is how you get improvement. Also, even if I were shitting on the idea, I'm pretty sure that'd have absolutely zero effect overall. You know this is a public forum right? I don't have veto power over the product, I'm just throwing my concerns out there, lighten up.

Comment: Re:A few issues with this... (Score 1) 578

by Zapotek (#47747829) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs
I think the subtlety will wear-off once this invention becomes common knowledge, if someone can see you dip a strip, they can see you dip your fingers. Actually, I can palm and dip a strip without others noticing, I can't do the same with my fingers though.
And I still can't help but find it gross, and not all drinks have a high alcohol content, and you'd be surprised what's under your fingernails -- cba to find the oblig XKCD.

Comment: A few issues with this... (Score 2) 578

by Zapotek (#47747685) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs
First of all, you've got to stick your fingers in your drink, which doesn't seem at all appealing. Why nail-polish? Why not just use the strips? If all you had was nail-polish and someone came out with strips, that'd be an improvement. This looks like a step backwards.
Secondly, what's the false-positive/false-negative rate on this thing? Were there any compromises in accuracy in order to make it work as a nail-polish?

Again, doesn't anyone see a problem with sticking your fingers in your drink? I know I'm the finicky type, but doesn't this look bothersome to anyone else?

Comment: Re:Biggest troll on Slashdot ever (Score 1) 195

by Zapotek (#47615537) Attached to: Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's
How is that an insult? As a coder (software engineer/developer/whatever) myself I'm always glad when people point out things in my systems that can be improved. The possibility of someone hiring someone else to improve them for me, that'd make me ecstatic. This isn't about egos, this is about getting stuff done right.

Comment: Re:The Funny Part (Score 1) 73

by Zapotek (#45348031) Attached to: As IPO Nears, Do Twitter's Active User Claims Add Up?
I don't know who modded you interesting but they're wrong and so are you. My buying a product from a store appearing as a first result makes you wrong, along with plenty of other people quite probably. I'm not saying that I selected a store based on its position in the results, but the first-result shop carried the product I wanted and I didn't have to look any further.

I'm not defending all the SEO ball-busting spammers and pseudo-experts (not by a long shot), but it's reasonable to expect that making a website friendly to search engines will make it easier to find and get you more visitors and customers.

Comment: Re:HTTP RFC - Section 9.1 Safe and Idempotent Meth (Score 2) 156

by Zapotek (#45341699) Attached to: Google Bots Doing SQL Injection Attacks
I'm not sure to which line of thinking you're referring, both myself and the GP just posted a technical remark each. Also (to my great joy and surprise) no-one is blaming Google (at least not yet) and rightly so.

As for the back-end countermeasures you described, you are of course spot on, however it's safe to assume that if you're vulnerable to something as trivial and mundane as SQL injection, you won't have the required foresight to setup and use different DB roles, each with the absolutely least privs for the queries you expect to perform through them.

Comment: Re:HTTP RFC - Section 9.1 Safe and Idempotent Meth (Score 2) 156

by Zapotek (#45341353) Attached to: Google Bots Doing SQL Injection Attacks
That doesn't really have much to do with anything, a lot of DB connection/query libraries allow stacked queries to be performed (i.e. more than one queries, separated by ';') so by appending your own SQL query (say, a DELETE one) via a vulnerable input you can still do plenty of damage, even via a GET method.

TFA isn't newsworthy in my opinion, this has been known for a while now.

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