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+ - Ask Slashdot: When we perfect age reversing, how do we decide who gets to live? 4

Submitted by ourlovecanlastforeve
ourlovecanlastforeve writes: With biologists getting closer and closer to reversing the aging process in human cells, the reality of greatly extended life draws closer. This brings up a very important conundrum: You can't tell people not to reproduce and you can't kill people to preserve resources and space. Even at our current growth rate there's not enough for everyone. Not enough food, not enough space, not enough medical care. If — no, when — age reversal becomes a reality, who gets to live? And if everyone gets to live, how will we provide for them?

Comment: Re:Russian rocket motors (Score 1) 62

by Bruce Perens (#49787045) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

Russia would like for us to continue gifting them with cash for 40-year-old missle motors, it's our own government that doesn't want them any longer. For good reason. That did not cause SpaceX to enter the competitive process, they want the U.S. military as a customer. But it probably did make it go faster.

Also, ULA is flying 1960 technology, stuff that Mercury astronauts used, and only recently came up with concept drawings for something new due to competitive pressure from SpaceX. So, I am sure that folks within the Air Force wished for a better vendor but had no choice.

+ - SourceForge (owned by Slashdot Media) installs ads with GIMP-> 5

Submitted by careysb
careysb writes: SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Context (Score 3, Informative) 62

by Bruce Perens (#49782349) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

This ends a situation in which two companies that would otherwise have been competitive bidders decided that it would cost them less to be a monopoly, and created their own cartel. Since they were a sole provider, they persuaded the government to pay them a Billion dollars a year simply so that they would retain the capability to manufacture rockets to government requirements.

Yes, there will be at least that Billion in savings and SpaceX so far seems more than competitive with the prices United Launch Alliance was charging. There will be other bidders eventually, as well.

Comment: Blocking access (Score 2) 253

by Dan East (#49771271) Attached to: Leaked Document Shows Europe Would Fight UK Plans To Block Porn

And how exactly do you block access? Politics and policy aside, from the technical viewpoint, what he proposes is not possible. One country cannot get worldwide cooperation of every single adult website to honor this opt-in policy. Keyword based filters cannot work with encrypted traffic. Whitelisting or blacklisting would be such a massive undertaking as to never be effective. There's just no way to even do what he's advocating.

Comment: Re: Apple ][ was a great product (Score 1) 74

by cpt kangarooski (#49745473) Attached to: In 1984, Jobs and Wozniak Talk About Apple's Earliest Days

Though there was a good reason for the original compact Macs to discourage users from opening them up -- there were exposed high voltage monitor electronics in there which could give you a hell of a zap of not properly discharged.

The later all in one Macs of the 90s were better in that regard. Their user suitable parts (motherboard, drives) all were easy to get at, but the monitors and power supplies were fully enclosed.

Comment: Re:Nostaligia (Score 2) 123

by Dan East (#49734773) Attached to: Jason Scott of Textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs

To illustrate just how much content I'm talking about, here is a list of BBSs just in the Cleveland area code of Ohio where I grew up:
http://bbslist.textfiles.com/2...

There are 759 BBSs in that list, representing just one little slice of Ohio. Each one was a microcosm all unto itself. There are dozens of different types of BBS software represented there. Each BBS was hand-crafted and configured by the individual sysop with the style, color, behavior, etc, and hardly any two of them were even remotely similar. It was a point of pride for sysops to have a unique looking board, and they were updated often. Some where awful, some were great, but they were all handcrafted extensions of the people who made them. Each had its own character and personality, and the discussion forums and online games drew different types of people together. Some were mainly gaming BBSs, running multi-player online games like Trade Wars ( http://geekswithblogs.net/cwil... ), others had tons of shareware files you could download, others focused on discussion forums and communication, and of course others delved into the darker realms of illegal file sharing, etc. But again, they were all unique, and they are all gone.

Comment: Nostaligia (Score 2) 123

by Dan East (#49734727) Attached to: Jason Scott of Textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs

I can understand the sense of nostalgia. I'd love to have all my Amiga floppies from when I was a kid. I'd also love to see all the dial-up local BBSs I frequented in the late 80s back up in glorious glaring ANSI (via a web interface, of course). But it's gone forever. Not a shred of it is left, which makes me a little sad. The BBS era is certainly one that was not captured for posterity. I'm sure there are a few here and there that might have been pulled off an old HDD and put online, but I'd say 99% of them (and there were a lot, and they had a lot of content) are gone forever. I don't hear people lamenting this much, but it was a segment of human society that first developed and introduced the concept of online digital connectivity to humanity, and it was not preserved.

Comment: Rolled out intelligently (Score 2) 393

The PTC system has been rolled out in an intelligent manner, and curves that require breaking got it first. What happened in this particular derailment was an anomaly. Any time a massive new system like this is rolled out, decisions have to be made to prioritize which areas are the highest risk, and thus those areas get the system first. In this particular curve, PTC was installed coming into the curve from the other direction, but not in the direction the train was travelling. Why? Because in the direction the train was travelling, the speed limit from the last stop was never greater than the speed in which the curve could be navigated. The train never needed to slow down into the curve when travelling in that direction. However when coming from the other direction, the train needed to slow from a normal 90+ MPH. Thus PTC was rolled out to make sure trains decelerated because that was the greatest risk.

The train accelerated suddenly within one minute of the crash to that high of a speed, so this wasn't an issue of just negligence and forgetting to brake. The train was accelerated far above the speed limit for no good reason, then the engineer tried to brake at the last second but it was too late.

My hunch is he heard that other engineer in another train talking about being hit by projectiles, and so he sped up to try and make it harder for the engine to get hit, and he misjudged when he needed to slow down to take that curve.

Comment: Re:New Jersey and Other Fictions... (Score 1) 615

by cpt kangarooski (#49707607) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

These people are increasingly rare, given that more gas stations lack "full-service" pumps.

Well, chalk one up for electrics, I guess.

Tesla's working on automated full-service battery swapping stations. And apparently also on charging cords that can plug themselves in:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/1...

Robots of that sort already exist, so you can see the sort of thing he's probably referring to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 1) 615

by cpt kangarooski (#49707571) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Local delivery (Fed Ex, UPS etc) will still have an operator (or perhaps two or more) that can jump out with the package while the delivery truck drives around the block

That's what the Amazon drones are for. The truck just has to cruise through the neighborhood. Meanwhile, small drone aircraft that it carries will work to carry packages out of the truck and to front doors. A human will still be needed for heavy or bulky packages, or for deliveries that have to be brought inside or where there's no convenient place for the drone to land to deposit them, but those packages and destinations can be separated from the others at the local depot, and all put on a smaller number of trucks, therefore needing a smaller number of humans. You won't need a human for every truck if you work out the routes each day based on the nature of the packages you've got and where you're taking them.

Comment: Deception (Score 3, Interesting) 152

by Dan East (#49672179) Attached to: The Best Way To Protect Real Passwords: Create Fake Ones

Deception is a valid form of security, similar to obfuscation. It should not be relied upon, but it is merely another layer. In the early 90s me and some buddies ran a multi-node BBS. One of the admins used the same password on another BBS, and someone was able to log into our system using his admin account. So to prevent that from ever happening again, I wrote a script that, for the three site admins, would also ask for their birthdate every time they logged in. If an incorrect date was entered a single time, the account would be locked. Thing is, it wasn't our birthdates that we had to enter, but just another very short password that we could enter really easily. So an attacker, if they got to that point again (obtained the password), would give it their best guess (or perhaps even research to find) the admin's birthdate. If any date was entered at all (containing two slashes or hyphens) the account was immediately locked, because the expected password was just a couple letters is all, and anyone entering an actual date was not an admin.

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