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Comment: Re:encrypted gmail (Score 2) 75

by evalhalla (#39286441) Attached to: The Privacy Richter Scale

If you use https to write from the gmail web interface to another gmail account (read via https and the web interface) the email is already encrypted, and you can be sure that nobody except for google (and some governments) can read it. Even if google started to encrypt email sent to other providers you couldn't trust them not to read your email before encryption (and forward it to said governments, of course).

NASA

+ - Saturn's Moon Dine has an Oxygen Atmosphere->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dione, one of Saturn’s moons, has oxygen in its upper atmosphere. An international team of researchers revealed that the Cassini space craft, originally launched in 1997, made the discovery with its on-board atmospheric sensors as it passed close to the moon.

Dione is a mere 700 miles across. The Earth, by comparison, is 7926 miles across. Despite this, one scientists said of the moon:

"The concentration of oxygen in Dione's atmosphere is roughly similar to what you would find in Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 300 miles. It's not enough to sustain life, but — together with similar observations of other moons around Saturn and Jupiter — these are definitive examples of a process by which a lot of oxygen can be produced in icy celestial bodies that are bombarded by charged particles or photons from the Sun or whatever light source happens to be nearby.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:In Slovakia.... (Score 1) 86

by evalhalla (#38654656) Attached to: Newspaper Articles Not Copyrightable In Slovakia

Even if I create an elaborate statement that culminates in its essence in this and little else, there's no chance that I'll retain copyright of it. Because the main part of what I created is still just the information that hydrogen is the element with the least mass.

Not strictly true: if you wrote an elaborate statement to affirm that hydrogen is the element with the least mass you would probably have copyright *on the statement*, just not on the hydrogen fact. This is how you have copyright on e.g. science books, which are basically based on the explanation of facts (and why you can take said facts and put them on wikipedia, but you can't copy the actual phrasing of the book).

Comment: Re:The Ancients got that one right (Score 1) 412

by evalhalla (#38561682) Attached to: What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't

Actually, back then commoners tended to be able to read and write, at least to some extent (enough to scribble profanity on the walls, at least), and you even had many chances to hear many books read aloud, if you cared.

The Alexandria example is not applicable today, however, mostly because back then the act of copying was expensive (both in materials and time), while today it is extremely cheap, suggesting a totally different method of dissemination.

Comment: Re:How about mass disobedience? (Score 1) 412

by evalhalla (#38561636) Attached to: What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't

The problem I see with a 20 year copyright term instead of life of the author is that I worry about delayed (mass) publishing and expecially derivative works.

E.g. somebody writes a relatively successful book, which sells just enough to cover expenses and make a very modest living, and is then left to fade into oblivion; exactly 20 years later a blockbuster movie gets made, which also promotes further sales of the original book, but the original author doesn't see any money.

This is why I believe that there should be a short time (5-20 years from publication) of full copyright protection followed by a longer term (life of the author) of limited control that covers for-profit copying and derived works, but gives more permissions for non-profit activities, expecially for "abandonware" works.

To keep Disney happy, corporations and heirs may even be able to pay for extensions on the copyright protection for a work indefinitely, but at a progressively growing rate, and as long as they keep them available to the public, so that they can keep control of the few huge selling ones, but society gets to benefit from everything else.

Comment: Re:Stupid claim (Score 1) 851

by evalhalla (#38469128) Attached to: Do You Really Need a Smart Phone?

What about an alarm clock?

My very dumb, 25€ phone features an alarm clock; it won't update itself for DST or timezone change, but it won't even fail every morning after a DST change, like certain other smart phones.
It also has a simple calculator, and a very useful led torchlight.
It has survived drops, being wet, consumes quite little (I recharge about once a week its 700mAh, 3.7V battery) and fits in every pocket.

On the other hand, I also usually have some other internet capable non-phone device with me: it used to be a netbook, now it is a pandora: those need more power, of course, but I'm able to turn them off when not in use (not just in a standby status that allows them to receive calls), and I can use them dry when needed, knowing that in any small emergency I still have the phone for important communcations.

Comment: Re:We need to mount an expedition (Score 1) 179

by evalhalla (#38446352) Attached to: Kepler Discovers First Earth-Sized Exoplanets

You know, I was ok with the transporter, and with warp drives going faster than light, but the idea that any outworld species would look anything like us whatever is ludicrous.

It may be reasonable in a movie, expecially an older and/or low cost one: painting an actor blue is much easier than building and animating a credible model of an outworldy alien, expecially one that is not supposed to be just a ravaging monster.

Books, on the other hand, are another matter.

Comment: Re:I for one, hope they get this right (Score 1) 365

by evalhalla (#38446012) Attached to: HIV Vaccine Approval For Human Trials

They'd rather NOBODY had sex!

Not really, accordingly to the catholic church to marry you MUST be willing to have sex, since "entering marriage with the intention of never having children is a grave wrong and more than likely grounds for an annulment." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_marriage#View_of_Catholic_Church

Of course, the church position would be that you ONLY had sex with your spouse, which in theory would work in preventing the spread of HIV, but in practice has never been followed enough to prevente the spread of STD, and won't probably ever.

Comment: Re:The real goal (Score 1) 216

by evalhalla (#38433706) Attached to: IBM Tracks Pork Chops From Pig To Plate

Not really. Horse is one of the few animals whose meat becomes softer with age and exercise; in the countries where horse is eaten the best cuts tended to come from racehorses who had to be killed because of injuries. I don't know if it is still possibile to eat them, however, because of the different regulation on medicinal use.

Comment: Re:Very rarely, alas. (Score 1) 601

by evalhalla (#38433538) Attached to: Do Slashdotters Encrypt Their Email?

I'm too in the very rarely camp.

Most of my emails are sent to public mailing lists, so crypto wouldn't make sense, but I try to sign at least some of those, so that people know I have a gpg key.
A good percentage of the rest are trivial enough that there is no need to bother encrypting. I do take a point to send at least some encrypted message now and then, just so that the few really private ones don't stick out as much. Most of what I encrypt for that reason are mildly NSFW links sent to friends (and the encryption works as a nice NSFW reminder, bonus point).

The fact that lots of my friends are nerds, and a significant part is somewhat related to the debian project and thus have to have a key of course helps.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 601

by evalhalla (#38433140) Attached to: Do Slashdotters Encrypt Their Email?

I use mutt, so I just had to create a key, configure it once and now I can choose to crypt and/or sign with just two keypresses (a graphical client whould use a pair of checkboxes). Sign check and decrypting is usually automatic (after I've entered a passphrase in the second case, of course), or rarely requires a single keypress.

For people who use webmail, there is a gpg implementation as a chrome extension at http://gpg4browsers.recurity.com/ which looks promising, and any other email client could implement an easy interface to gpg/pgp, if there was enough request.

This leaves out the scenario where you use a computer you don't own to check email, but you don't want to use it for confidential data anyway (and encrypting confidential messages would allow you to quickly check your other email with less worries).

Comment: Re:Ironically... (Score 1) 159

by evalhalla (#38372448) Attached to: New Humble Indie Bundle Goes Live

If I know that every couple months there is an Humble Bundle, I can expect most indie games to be available in there, and unless some title is extremely interesting I will probably wait a few months for the bundled version.

On the other hand, if the HB comes only once or twice in a year, with some 5 titles each time, the chance to get an individual indie game in less than a year are lower, and people are encouraged to buy them directly.

This happens also with stores, even for basic things such as groceries: if I know that every 6 months or so there is a sale on e.g. canned tomatos (or anything other non perisheable good that I use) I will wait for the sale and stock for the next 6 months.

Comment: Re:Newer, just to reduce the power bill (Score 1) 272

by evalhalla (#38343890) Attached to: The oldest hard drive I'm still using is ...

Cheap hosting can be had for something below 10$/year, but likely includes just apache, php and mysql. If you want to run something else (e.g. some python based framework, rarer php libs, or you just want a shell to keep a permanent irc presence) you probably need a VPN, at more than 50$/year.

A small home server with http can be done using a low power, arm based device like the "plug" ones, using less than 10W (including a 2.5" hard disk), or 87.6 kWh/year.
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_pricing that will cost between 0.80$ (Iran) and 37.57$ (Denmark), with the US at 9.81$, definitely in the cheap hosting range.

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