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Comment: Re:what is this even talking about? (Score 1) 111

by c0d3g33k (#47937627) Attached to: An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

But it's not just about the source... it's about the community, the support from the original authors, the available knowledge and comprehension that transcends wiki docs, as well as having a team large enough to be able to realistically continue its development in the foreseeable future. To lose these things abruptly doesn't mean that all the source code was deleted but rather that the virtual ecosystem was.

Feh. Those things you mention (the original authors, the development team, the community, website and other resources) aren't guaranteed regardless of how badly one would like them to persist. The source and the freedom to do something with it are what the licence grants. Everything else is gravy. Without the source the virtual ecosystem is useless; with the source one person can continue the project, even if only for personal use. The virtual ecosystem can be recreated by anyone who wants badly enough to continue developing the software, just like it was the first time. So it is really just about the source.

Comment: Waste of time (Score 1) 46

by c0d3g33k (#47912925) Attached to: Chinese City Sets Up "No Cell Phone" Pedestrian Lanes

I haven't read all of the posts since the original story hit the front page, so I may be touching on something that's already been discussed, but ...

I don't understand how this is different from people just being unaware of their surroundings. I have been to many places in the last 20 years where people will just stop right in the middle of the sidewalk/thoroughfare/pathway to have a conversation or family dispute. The concept of stepping to the side out of the way so that the other 1000 people who aren't having a family issue doesn't seem to occur to them. Cell phones? Just the latest distraction. Oblivious people are forever.

Comment: Re:this is how most funding works. (Score 1) 215

by c0d3g33k (#47891621) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

When scientists write grant proposals, they are actually showing they've already done what they are asking for funds to do.

Not quite (though maybe that's more common now than a decade ago). If the work is already done, you can be sure it's being prepared for publication, since published work is even more valuable than grant money (because it gets you more, possibly bigger grants, plus tenure). What usually goes into a typical grant proposal are the obvious next steps following up on recently published work (used to illustrate why awarding the grant money is a good risk). Work that hasn't been done yet, but is likely to be successfully completed by a typical grad student. Then there are the more speculative "stretch goals" which are less certain, but probably the most fun if things work out. And by the time the next grant deadline rolls around, the scientist can describe how well that worked (to justify the next speculative leap) or how it didn't quite work out, but how this alternate theory ('based on what we have since learned') will likely yield good results (ie. the "new" obvious follow-on steps to the previous work).

Smart scientists generally have several somewhat boring but steady grants running (often funded by the government and possibly with eventual military applications) to keep the lights on, and use a little bit of that funding to support the more speculative, but more fun work.

Maybe long-term Kickstarter success will involve a similar strategy: get funding for less exciting but predictably do-able games that are turned out on schedule while diverting some time to work on getting a working prototype produced for the revolutionary game that was the real goal all along.


How Astrophysicists Hope To Turn the Entire Moon Into a Cosmic Ray Detector 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-no-moon dept.
KentuckyFC writes One of the great mysteries in astrophysics surrounds the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, which can have energies of 10^20 electron volts and beyond. To put that in context, that's a single proton with the same energy as a baseball flying at 100 kilometers per hour. Nobody knows where ultra-high energy cosmic rays come from or how they get their enormous energies. That's largely because they are so rare--physicists detect them on Earth at a rate of less than one particle per square kilometer per century. So astronomers have come up with a plan to see vastly more ultra high energy cosmic rays by using the Moon as a giant cosmic ray detector. When these particles hit the lunar surface, they generate brief bursts of radio waves that a highly sensitive radio telescope can pick up. No radio telescope on Earth is currently capable of this but astronomers are about to start work on a new one that will be able to pick up these signals for the first time. That should help them finally tease apart the origins of these most energetic particles in the Universe .

Moto 360 Reviews Arrive 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the internet-of-wrists dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Reviews for the Moto 360 smartwatch have started to roll in. David Pierce at The Verge praises the design: the circular display is framed by an unadorned, stainless steel shell, and fastened to your wrist with a simple leather strap. At the same time, he criticized the battery life, saying the device averaged around 12 hours of use before it needed to be charged. Pierce adds, "The Moto 360's most impressive feature is that I stopped noticing it almost immediately. Whenever I wear the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live, I'm constantly compelled to fidget with it; there's this unexplainable feeling of having something alien on my wrist that is there because I need to use it. The 360, on the other hand, just vanished into the spot left on my wrist by the Seiko watch that conveniently died this week." AnandTech takes a deeper dive into the device's hardware, noting that the TI OMAP 3 processor is built on a somewhat old 45nm process, which necessitates higher power consumption than newer, smaller processes. The Wall Street Journal says it's easy to get used to speaking into your watch for basic functions, but the software — and thus, the Moto 360 as a whole — still isn't quite ready for prime time. However, almost all the reviews agree that the smartwatch's time is coming.

Comment: Re:JAVA (Score 3, Insightful) 230

by c0d3g33k (#47819887) Attached to: Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

The applications you mention are all Open Source, which people on here keep insisting are secure.

Nope. This is a varied community, so people here believe lots of things, but probably not as many believe this simplistic view as you think.

FLOSS applications have the *potential* to be more secure than proprietary/closed source. They also have the potential to become more secure over time if the community/contributors have more resources available to fix security problems than a proprietary vendor. Most importantly, FLOSS applications can be scanned by anyone for bugs and security problems, and fixed by anyone. Those activities are limited for proprietary code to those who have access to it and allowed (by privilege or managerial decree) to fix it or even publicise that there's a problem in the first place.

Depending on the situation (skillset of the development team, size of the team, interest in maintaining and fixing the code), this can either lead to a particular piece of FLOSS or proprietary code being more secure. *In general*, it seems that FLOSS code tends to be more secure because greater resources can be brought to bear, particularly over time as proprietary vendors stop supporting code for older products and move their teams on to something new (gotta keep paying the bills). In some cases that doesn't hold true and proprietary code is more secure.

Comment: Re:How short our memories... (Score 1) 116

by c0d3g33k (#47818035) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Indeed. I first started reading ebooks on my original Motorola Droid (the backlit screen allowed me to read in bed without disturbing my wife with the bedside lamp on). It was a decent enough experience with the phone held in landscape position and using a reasonable font size. I had quite a little library on the microSD card. And plenty of apps and games too.

The only problem was not being able to have most or all of the text equating to a printed page on the screen at once, which prompted me later to get a tablet, which is a much better form factor for reading. But I still have books on my current smartphone (bigger screen than the Droid, but much smaller than the tablet) for those times when my tablet isn't with me.

Comment: Re:"Book Deserts"? WTF? (Score 1, Troll) 116

by c0d3g33k (#47817933) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Sigh. Another /. response that opens with a veiled insult in the form of an ad hominem argument. I hope your self esteem got a little boost, person who is clearly better than I.

The problem wasn't determining the intended meaning of the phrase. That was pretty clear: it implied that "many" areas in the US are literary wastelands devoid of life and nourishment (for the mind) with haggard readers thirsting for relief crawling slowly along in the dirt, bathed in the harsh life-sapping light of modern media, hoping to come upon an oasis. I get it.

The problem is, this isn't a poem or creative piece of prose where such imagery can provide a more engaging reading experience. It's a summary set in the real world about a cheap smartphone with ereader software installed and a statement about the potential impact of said phone (in the real world). So dramatic language isn't warranted unless there are actually many places in the US suffering so horribly from lack of real books that this phone and ereader meets a pressing social need. I see little evidence in the real world (via much traveling, talking to people, watching the news, reading the news, listening to the news, reading books and magazines, visiting used bookstores swimming in donations, looking around me at parks/on the bus/at the beach/etc.) that this is actually true.

So it comes across as overly wrought handwringing with no real basis in fact. It should read in the voice of the sad persona of the Mayor of Halloween Town to help people really feel the intended emotion.

If there is some truth to it, another solution might be for some enterprising socially minded entrepeneur to come up with a viable way to move books from where they are in oversupply to places where there's a dearth (and more importantly, demand). Or people could just, you know, order cheap used books from Amazon and have them delivered right to their doorstep.

Comment: Re:don't they understand the Internet? (Score 1) 70

by c0d3g33k (#47797393) Attached to: Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

Perhaps your online time would be better spent by actually reading the stuff than bitching about a nick.

Oh snap, you got me, you clever lad.

Perhaps your online time would be better spent actually reading the stuff than tossing out sophomoric zingers.

I mean, put a little work into it and bring in the source material. Feynman was a funny guy - work that into your act. Here are some quotes to get you started:

Better yet, show that you actually spent your time reading the stuff and work that into your schtick. THAT would be impressive.

Come on, show me what you got, funny guy. Stop phoning it in. :-)

Comment: Re:don't they understand the Internet? (Score 1) 70

by c0d3g33k (#47796751) Attached to: Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

Perhaps your online time would be better spent by actually reading the stuff than bitching about it.

Personally I feel that was uncalled for, but your nick suggests that perhaps you can't help it. Please learn to distinguish between 'bitching' and 'discussing critically'. The latter is intended to point out how things might be made better, while the former is more about complaining for the sake of complaining. They are very different things. It seems to me that these days anything outside of Pollyanna-ish optimism and praise is being lumped into the "bitching" or "complaining" or "being negative" category, often as a technique to quash discussion, belittle or shame. Or worse, to avoid the effort needed to make improvements to the status quo. The end result seems to be a general lack of improvment where it might be warranted or even slow deterioration over time as attitudes shift from a roll-up-the-sleeves-we-can-make-it-better to a shrug-why-bother.

Comment: Re:don't they understand the Internet? (Score 1) 70

by c0d3g33k (#47796655) Attached to: Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

I should point out that my final comment about updating some of the figures only applies to some of them - the majority of the updated SVG versions are actually quite nice as they are, which I noticed as I looked through volumes 2 and 3.

I was thinking in particular of the monochrome photographic images such as Fig 52-1 from, which could probably be updated with a photo of the same models using a modern camera, or perhaps a nice 3-D rendering of the same molecules. Another example would be figure 51.4 from, which I can't really make out at all.

What hath Bob wrought?