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Comment: Re:Why I don't read Slashdot any more (Score 1) 426

by andersenep (#39536937) Attached to: Adobe Releases Last Linux Version of Flash Player

Most people "outside the bubble" as you put it are probably uninformed and have no idea what flash actually is or that alternatives exist. It is up to proficient, informed and educated people to drive new and better technology forward. If all you care about is watching mindless shit on Hulu, than there are literally hundreds of viable solutions to do so. For christ's sake, the article was in reference to a new (albeit the last) version of flash for linux.

Please leave your landline number, and I'll be happy to call you when HTML5 is the no shit standard. Since not everyone has moved on to cell phones, skype, instant messaging, facebook, twitter and email yet, I assume this will be the only way to reach you. Or maybe I could just send you a messenger with a clay tablet or papyrus scroll.

Comment: Re:And the winner is...... (Score 1) 403

by andersenep (#33828284) Attached to: Apple vs. Google TVs
I love my Xtreamer. Best $99 I ever spent. I use it solely for streaming media from my file server, but it has some sort of capability for internet streaming as well. It'll play any format/container I've thrown at it. It's small and quiet. The company is very good about making updates/bugfixes available. I have absolutely no use for Apple or Google TV.

Comment: Re:what secrets are these? (Score 1) 372

by andersenep (#33618010) Attached to: US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Nuclear Secrets In Sting Operation

Any 14 year-old could probably make an atomic bomb with a critical mass of uranium or plutonium. Such a bomb would be huge and require lots of shielding to be safe to handle - like attaching to an aircraft or loading into a shipping container.

Err, a bare-sphere (no neutron energy manipulation or reflective shielding) critical mass of a plutonium-239 core is only 10kg and with the density of plutonium that translates to a sphere smaller than an orange (9.9cm to be exact).

The reason the original plutonium weapons were so huge is because of low purity of the fissionable materials available, massive over engineering resulting from poor understanding of materials and nuclear processes etc

On the other hand, what is required to detonate a subcritical mass is a little bit tricky.

No such thing exists. All nuclear explosions are accomplished by achieving criticality in some fission material. The critical mass however varies with shape and external factors such as shielding materials capable of changing energies of neutrons or reflecting them back onto their source, temperature of the material, its degree of compression etc.

That sounds very credible, but the handle IgnoramusMaximus does not.

Comment: Re:what id like to see (Score 1) 372

by andersenep (#33617776) Attached to: US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Nuclear Secrets In Sting Operation

Put it this way: A. There are some countries who should not be allowed nuclear weapons because they will probably use them.

There is only one country that has used nuclear weapons in an offensive manner. Should the United States not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons?

Comment: Re:Sold Stolen Property to Highest Bidder (Score 1) 404

by andersenep (#32009302) Attached to: The 4G iPhone's Finder Reportedly Located

If this goes to court they have a great case against the finder of the iPhone and Gizmodo. Can't say I feel sorry for any of them

I do feel a bit sorry for them.

I don't feel that the "theft" was a malicious act to deprive someone of property, as much as it was an attempt to cash in on cheap opportunity. Apple got their property back, and it didn't cost them anything other than admitting that it was theirs.

I think they way that Gizmodo and the guy that found it acted was certainly a bit stupid and shortsighted, but unless the guy that "found it" picked Gray Powell's pocket for the thing, calling it "theft" seems a bit of a stretch to me. Any way you slice it, Apple sure got a whole lot buzz about the next iPhone as a result. I don't know how any reasonable person could think that a new generation iPhone wasn't due in the very near future. The three stooges (Gray Powell, Jason Chen and the dude that found it) that brought them all that buzz are probably going to pay a good deal for it. The letter of the law may very well be against them (IANAL), but personally, I see it as a case of three probably otherwise reasonable guys, making some dumb mistakes and no one getting hurt. Don't we have rapists and murderers and, you know, people that really steal shit to prosecute in this country?

Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

Posted by timothy
from the erasing-the-analog-hole dept.
SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"
Science

Israeli Scientists Freeze Water By Warming It 165

Posted by timothy
from the you-must-become-the-frozen-water dept.
ccktech writes "As reported by NPR and Chemistry world, the journal Science has a paper by David Ehre, Etay Lavert, Meir Lahav, and Igor Lubomirsky [note: abstract online; payment required to read the full paper] of Israel's Weizmann Institute, who have figured out a way to freeze pure water by warming it up. The trick is that pure water has different freezing points depending on the electrical charge of the surface it resides on. They found out that a negatively charged surface causes water to freeze at a lower temperature than a positively charged surface. By putting water on the pyroelectric material Lithium Tantalate, which has a negative charge when cooler but a positive change when warmer; water would remain a liquid down to -17 degrees C., and then freeze when the substrate and water were warmed up and the charge changed to positive, where water freezes at -7 degrees C."
NASA

Simulation of Close Asteroid Fly-By 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the close-enough-to-feel-the-vacuum-breeze dept.
c0mpliant writes "NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come very close to Earth in 2029 — the closest predicted approach since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid caused a bit of a scare when astronomers first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some time in the future. However, since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the odds of collision at 1 in 250,000."
Media

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

Posted by timothy
from the vlc-generally-rocks dept.
plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."
Google

Google Launches Public DNS Resolver 540

Posted by timothy
from the their-interest-is-understandable dept.
AdmiralXyz writes "Google has announced the launch of their free DNS resolution service, called Google Public DNS. According to their blog post, Google Public DNS uses continuous record prefetching to avoid cache misses — hopefully making the service faster — and implements a variety of techniques to block spoofing attempts. They also say that (unlike an increasing number of ISPs), Google Public DNS behaves exactly according to the DNS standard, and will not redirect you to advertising in the event of a failed lookup. Very cool, but of course there are questions about Google's true motivations behind knowing every site you visit."

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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