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Comment: Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (Score 1) 114

by comrade k (#38861921) Attached to: New Spark Tablet To Come Loaded With KDE's Active Plasma Interface
Mod parent up.

Though I will say that things can run well on older hardware depending on your task. If you can live without flash player, HD video, games, semantic desktops, etc, then a 700MHz Pentium III with 384 MB of RAM will run just fine. I have such a box, running Arch, that I use for IRC (irssi), occasional Web browsing (Midori), IM (Pidgin or Finch) and Email (mutt). I think it's using Openbox + fbpanel for a desktop. For me? For the task? it's fine. For Joe User? Surprisingly usable with lightweight GUI applications installed. It's not the prettiest girl at the prom, but it'll put out.

At the end of the day, it's not going to stream videos from YouTube (not very well anyway -- but I've never tried). But if a family member or friend needed ANY kind of computer for free? I could give it away and it would do the bare minimum.

Comment: Re:DHS = Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit (Score 2) 385

by comrade k (#38704930) Attached to: DHS Monitors Social Media For 'Political Dissent'
A poster in a previous thread make an insightful counterpoint to your argument.

The TSA/DHS's job is not to protect the American people. If a terrorist wanted to kill hundreds of people, they'd just bomb the security checkpoints themselves. It's a huge bottleneck and they could kill way more people instead of bombing an individual plane.

Indeed, the TSA/DHS's real job is to protect our elected officials in Washington. Their real job is to prevent terrorists from taking over an aircraft and then flying it into the White House, Pentagon, Capitol Hill, or other politically/economically important landmarks.

Comment: Slashdot fails again (Score 5, Insightful) 295

by comrade k (#38638386) Attached to: New Research Shows Cognitive Decline Begins At 45
Once again, Slashdot is the epitome of bad science reporting :)

The study shows that in a group of people ranging from 45 - 70, they found that cognitive decline was present in all of them. That means that cognitive decline begins AT LEAST at 45. TFA says "As early as 45", which is technically true but sort of dishonest IMHO, and the original paper doesn't make any such explicit conclusions.

Sigh.

Comment: Re:F/OSS! (Score 1) 565

by comrade k (#33118596) Attached to: How Can an Old-School Coder Regain His Chops?

Good deeds are good, but having bread on one's table is important, too. So, what's the pay?

I absolutely agree with you. I'm not suggesting that the guy become a full time free software dev. However, I'd argue that working on a FOSS project will look good on a resume AND improve his skills. I'm not so sure that there are many employers out there who are willing to let an older, semi-entry-level developer onto their team.

Comment: F/OSS! (Score 5, Informative) 565

by comrade k (#33104660) Attached to: How Can an Old-School Coder Regain His Chops?

I wouldn't discount languages like C just yet. They're still hugely important in the kernel world, for example.

As far as newer languages go, there are a lot of F/OSS projects that could use another hand. Have a look at the Bugzilla for various projects and grab the latest source from svn/git/mercurial/whatever. Your skills as a programmer should transfer over to a new language relatively easily, and you'll have done a good deed.

Biotech

First 'Malaria-Proof' Mosquito Created 261

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-a-really-good-egg-cream dept.
Gisg writes "The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically modified mosquitoes are immune to the malaria-causing parasite, a single-cell organism called Plasmodium. Riehle and his colleagues tested their genetically-altered mosquitoes by feeding them malaria-infested blood. Not even one mosquito became infected with the malaria parasite."

Comment: Re:Ideal FBR Location (Score 1) 581

by comrade k (#30134464) Attached to: CERN Physicist Warns About Uranium Shortage

Hey. I've got a brilliant Idea. Let's construct a thermonuclear fusion reactor at the center of the solar system. We will collect the radiation energy with photovoltaic cells pointed to the sky. As there are no moving parts, it wouldn't require much maintainence either. Why hasn't anybody implemented such a brilliant idea?

Where are you going to put said photovoltaic cells?
Photvoltaics have poor efficiency. I think I saw, maybe here on Slashdot, that the very best cells are 19.3% efficiency. Since you claim there are no moving parts, I suppose you're not going to try to mount them on some sort of Sun-tracking axis either.
The pollution argument is probably a moot point too. IIRC, the manufacturing process for photovoltaics is rather toxic.

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong

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