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Comment: Electrolytes! (Score 1) 488

by da3dAlus (#40378375) Attached to: U.S. Students Struggle With Reasoning Skills
"When asked about the ideal fertilizer levels for plant growth, however, only one-third of the students were able to perform the required experiment..."

Did anyone suggest Brawndo? Don't they know it's got what plants crave?

/Headed there sooner than you think
//I don't want to live on this planet any more

Comment: Thank You (Score 1) 1521

by da3dAlus (#37208464) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
As one of the many faceless among the masses, I also offer my humble thanks for your work, Rob. I graduated HS in 1997, and between working between my first intern job and starting college, the sysadmin at my company suggested I start looking at a site called Slashdot. I followed the site ever since, mostly by directly visiting and in recent years by RSS feed. Over the years I've been exposed to countless meme's, in-jokes, hated authors, anonymous cowards, and definitely the most entertaining and pertinent technology opinions and articles that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. As a CS student, Slashdot encouraged me to get involved with Linux, PHP, and MySQL to create my own CMS, and I thank you for that inspiration. I'm glad to say that we did have a chance to at least meet briefly while the Atlanta area still hosted annual Linux user events (though most times we crossed paths it was when you greenlit my article submissions). Personally, I think you and Slashdot helped set the bar for many technologies and trends to come later: user-submitted and moderated stories (Reddit/Digg), you shared your life with us before it became the social norm (Facebook/Twitter), and produced a fanbase of techies hungry for emerging technologies (like Google, as you mentioned). There is so much more that I can ramble on about, but I'll stop there and just say thank you.

Comment: On the Subject of Pancakes (Score 2, Insightful) 121

by da3dAlus (#35208878) Attached to: Intel 310 Series Mini SSDs Now Shipping, Benchmark
I'm curious as to the continued widespread use of "flatter than a pancake" as a technical unit of measure, considering that a specific mm width and length were just previously mentioned. Not to be a nitpicker, I just prefer my pancakes to be somewhat light and fluffy, and therefore not flat. Perhaps "flatter than a tortilla" would be more apt? Though if we're going this route, I continue to back the opinion that "shitload" be considered a unit of measure ;)

Comment: D-Link DNS-32x Series (Score 1) 697

by da3dAlus (#29867561) Attached to: Low-Power Home Linux Server?
You can definitely have a full-fledged linux environment on one of the DNS-323 or DNS-321 NAS units from D-Link. Basically you just drop 1 file into your root directory, reboot, and you have telnet access. From there you can pretty much install anything in the repository of pre-compiled binaries. I switched from a 4-bay server tower to this little NAS about a year ago, and I haven't had any issues. I eventually want to get another, though right now I don't have the need. See http://wiki.dns323.info/ for info.

Comment: USB, if not already stated (Score 1) 696

by da3dAlus (#24762923) Attached to: What To Do With All of My Gadget Chargers?
A while back I switched to all USB chargers for my gadgets. I found a USB adapter for my Nintendo DS (charges both the Lite and older "phat" model) and my cellphone, and a 3rd-party charger for my iPod. Since I normally travel with my laptop, I can charge my devices from that during the day. However, the NDS charger came with a car adapter that has a USB socket, so I could use that to charge a device while on the road. And my iPod charger came with a tiny wall-wart that also has a USB socket, so I could use household current to charge as well. So my only problem now is that I have maybe 3 different types of cables floating around in my gadget bag, but at least I've dropped all the bulky chargers.

Robotic Cannon Loses Control, Kills 9 580

Posted by Zonk
from the keep-quiet-on-the-terminator-jokes dept.
TJ_Phazerhacki writes "A new high tech weapon system demonstrated one of the prime concerns circling smarter and smarter methods of defense last week — an Oerlikon GDF-005 cannon went wildly out of control during live fire test exercises in South Africa, killing 9. Scarily enough, this is far from the first instance of a smart weapon 'turning' on its handlers. 'Electronics engineer and defence company CEO Richard Young says he can't believe the incident was purely a mechanical fault. He says his company, C2I2, in the mid 1990s, was involved in two air defence artillery upgrade programmes, dubbed Projects Catchy and Dart. During the shooting trials at Armscor's Alkantpan shooting range, "I personally saw a gun go out of control several times," Young says. "They made a temporary rig consisting of two steel poles on each side of the weapon, with a rope in between to keep the weapon from swinging. The weapon eventually knocked the pol[e]s down."' The biggest concern seems to be finding the glitches in the system instead of reconsidering automated arms altogether."
Space

The Dark Side of Iapetus 73

Posted by kdawson
from the like-e-ink-writ-large dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The difference in coloring between Iapetus' leading and trailing hemispheres is striking. NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs has just released a report on a bizarre 'runaway' process that may explain the strange and dramatically two-toned appearance recently revealed in images collected during a close flyby by the Cassini spacecraft. Scientists believe that initially dark material on one side of Iapetus may have come from other moons orbiting Saturn in the opposite direction. Since Iapetus is locked in synchronous rotation about Saturn, as dusty material from the outer moons spiraled in and hit Iapetus head-on, the forward-facing side began to darken. As it absorbed more sunlight, its surface water evaporated, and vapor was transported from the dark side to the white side of Iapetus. Thermal segregation then proceeded in a runaway process as the dark side lost its surface ice and got darker still. Now the leading hemisphere is as dark as a tarred street and the trailing hemisphere resembles freshly fallen snow."

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