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Comment: Doesn't really help even if they are competent.... (Score 1) 650

by gintoki (#29571735) Attached to: Bad PC Sales Staff Exposed
My friend works at tesco at the electronics section most of the time. I was there looking for headphones and this woman came up to him and asked him what the difference between a netbook and laptop is. He told her it was a computer mostly designed to browse the internet. After the explanation she thought it could only surf the internet and do nothing else.

Comment: Does this really matter..... (Score 1) 639

by gintoki (#29507687) Attached to: According to Linus, Linux Is "Bloated"
Most of the time I prefer windows due to it actually working on my system without tampering ( I would actually consider linux for my main os if the sound/ video worked properly). Does speed really matter when it runs like a cheetah on steroids compared to other operating systems on the same hardware? I don't know about other users but this is from the perspective of someone with an average computer and basic-to-intermediate linux knowledge.

Comment: I'm surprised..... (Score 1) 1345

by gintoki (#29316705) Attached to: Schooling, Homeschooling, and Now, "Unschooling"
That people even picked this crap up for a serious discussion. The person that thought this up is a moron. I may sound negative but you have to consider that this is coming from someone who just finished school and is going on to university. I for one don't see this working unless the child is a prodigy who is actually being held back by the schooling system. This was the case with Einstein contrary to what many people believe (he never failed at school and actually told his parents he felt that school was holding him back and asked his parents to buy him advanced textbooks so he could teach himself). For this to work, the child needs to be inquisitive and I doubt that any 12-15 year old is gonna ask why mirrors reflect light and what speed does light travel at. Hell, I doubt any kid would know that things are made up of atoms unless they were specifically told so. Also, why the hell would any child actually want to learn maths unless they were forced to do so and told that it was an essential skill? Why does everyone miss the fact that schools aren't the only ones to blame if a child is not performing at the level expected of him/her. Some people aren't academically inclined so it doesn't matter what environment they are in.

Comment: Re:On the bright side (Score 1) 447

by gintoki (#29303135) Attached to: Back-to-school time means ...
I guess thats why we are better off here financially in these types of things here in the uk. All universities charge a flat fixed rate regardless of what course you do. The tuition fee is gonna be the same if you do English literature at a small university or if you do law at oxford university. There are downsides to the system here as well. The biggest one being that you don't apply to a university but for a very specific course offered by the university so there is no flexibility to the classes that you can take once you get in. Its already been decided when you applied and the only time you get some choice is in what you would like to concentrate on in your chosen subject in the third year. When you apply for university you do so by telling them what grades that you expect to get. This effectively means that you are betting on being accepted. Also, you can only apply to 5 courses. On the plus side, there are really good student loans, bursaries and scholarships. Right now the tuition fee is £3225 per year. On top of this you can apply for a non-repayable grant of £1000 per year from the local council(easy to get as it works on a first come first serve basis). Also, you don't start paying the loans back until you leave and have job.

Comment: An artist's view. (Score 5, Insightful) 382

by gintoki (#29103547) Attached to: In the UK, a Plan To Criminalize Illegal Downloaders
I read this a while ago and also found it on wikipedia. It was said by Jean-Paul Gaster who happens to be the drummer for the band Clutch. "As a musician, I think it is irrelevant to me. It exists and it is out there and no matter what I try and do about it, it will always be there. I don't mind kids trading tapes, that's totally cool. Videos are cool too. They only add to the live show. A kid might show that to some of their friends and they might think that we are cool and might come out and see us next time. The reality is that an artist has to have a record go gold, before they are even going to see a dime. Bands put out 3 or 4 records on a label and never see a dime from record sales. So, it is not like people who are downloading would be putting a dollar in my pocket if they would have bought the record. The industry is set up so that the record company will immediately get paid from record sales. So...download all you want!!! I think that the internet has changed the record industry and will continue to do so. The record labels will find some way to make money. I think that the artists main concern is to concentrate on their live performance and be the best artist that they can". I don't know how much of this actual fact but this is coming from someone who has been making music for a very long time and is in a relatively well known band. So basically this will most likely come to pass considering all the lobbying from the music and film industry. Personally it does not affect me since I don't download music or films illegally (used to a few years back) but what does concern me is the privacy issues. I don't want someone keeping track of all my internet activity because I doubt that only illegal downloaders would be monitored.

Comment: to each his own (Score 1) 399

by gintoki (#29089221) Attached to: Are Game Consoles Ruining DLC?
I really don't have a problem with DLC....most of the time. For burnout paradise the developers gave us quite a lot of DLC for free. It was only recently that they started charging for it. Things like big surf island are worth the money. You can see that it was made after listening to what people would actually want in a DLC. It really pisses me off though when DLC adds a "feature" to the game that to be honest should have been present from the start. Its almost like as if that the feature had already been present on the disk but you had to pay extra to unlock it.

Comment: finally (Score 1) 297

by gintoki (#29004529) Attached to: Is Intel Killing 12-Inch Displays On Netbooks?
Good riddance I say. Netbook shouldn't be larger than 10 inches. I would expect a lot more from a 12 inch laptop like the hp dv2 laptops. I wonder when this race to the bottom is gonna level out. Hopefully soon considering theres a netbook offering from every manufacturer. I would encourage this if it wasn't for the fact that almost every single netbook is exactly the same when it comes to the actual computing. I'm all for those ARM processor based ones though. A 7-10 inch version with 720p video and full flash support would be awesome. Hopefully tegra delivers on its promise.
Networking

+ - Ultra low power home servers - what are my options 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "OK Slashdot — I'm looking for suggestions. While at work and away from home, I find that it would often be nice to have access to a trusted machine.

The problem is, leaving on my desktop PC is completely overkill, as the functions I need are quite simple.

Does anyone have any suggestions for low power device that could handle the following functions?

1. A way to securely connect to the machine and use it as a proxy to instant message, email, etc. (I don't want my work reading everything I write)

2. The ability to download files overnight, via FTP or bittorrent, to an SD card / USB drive / etc. I realize that some routers currently have this feature.

3. (more demanding) A secure web browser that lets me browse from work with privacy

Now, option #3 probably means this will end up being something closer to a small form factor / atom-based custom PC, but that's really more than I want to spend. Additionally, these will probably draw more power than necessary.

Are there any options out there for around $50-$100 that could let me do the very basics? I recall reading about some PC's that plug directly into the electrical outlet, but they seemed to have limited functionality.

What do you think?"
The Courts

+ - Student faces bankruptcy after RIAA download suit->

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "Joel Tenenbaum, the Boston University student ordered to pay $675,000 to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for downloading 30 songs illegally, said in an interview yesterday that he now faces bankruptcy. 'I was disappointed, but not surprised. I saw how the trial had gone. The judge was very successful in convincing the jury that this law passed in 1999 should be applied to me,' Tenenbaum said. Asked if he was going to pay, Tenenbaum replied: 'Yes I am going to pay up. I'll flip the couch and find, what would it be, 60 million pennies?'"
Link to Original Source
Medicine

+ - Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV-> 3

Submitted by Linuss
Linuss (1305295) writes "About 95% of the human genome has once been designated as "junk" DNA. While much of this sequence may be an evolutionary artifact that serves no present-day purpose, some junk DNA may function in ways that are not currently understood. The conservation of some junk DNA over many millions of years of evolution may imply an essential function that has been "turned off." Now scientists say there's a junk gene that fights HIV. And they've discovered how to turn it back on.

What these scientists have done could give us the first bulletproof HIV vaccine. They have re-awakened the human genome's latent potential to make us all into HIV-resistant creatures; they published their ground-breaking research in PLoS Biology.
A group of scientists led by Nitya Venkataraman and Alexander Colewhether wanted to try a new approach to fighting HIV — one that worked with the body's own immune system. They knew Old World monkeys had a built-in immunity to HIV: a protein called retrocyclin, which can prevent HIV from entering cell walls and starting an infection. So they began poring over the human genome, looking to see if humans had a latent gene that could manufacture retrocyclin too. It turned out that we did, but a "nonsense mutation" in the gene had turned it off at some point in our evolutionary history.
Nonsense mutations are caused when random DNA code shows up in the middle of a gene, preventing it from beginning the process of manufacturing proteins in the cell. Venkataraman and her team decided to investigate this gene further, doing a series of tests to see if the retrocyclin it produced would keep HIV out of human cells. It did.
At last, they knew that if they could just figure out a way to reawaken the "junk" gene that creates retrocyclin in humans, they might be able to stop HIV infections. The researchers just needed to figure out a way to remove that nonsense mutation and get the target gene to start manufacturing retrocyclin again.
Here's where things really get interesting. The team found a way to use a compound called aminoglycosides, which itself can cause errors when RNA transcribes information from DNA to make proteins. But this time, the aminoglycoside error would work in their favor: It would cause that RNA to ignore the nonsense mutation in the junk gene, and therefore start making retrocyclin again. In preliminary tests, their scheme worked. The human cells made retrocyclin, fended off HIV, and effectively became AIDS-resistant. And it was done entirely using the latent potential in the so-called junk DNA of the human genome.
After more research is done, the researchers believe this might become a viable way to make humans immune to HIV infection.
What's especially intriguing, beyond the amazing idea of an AIDS vaccine, is that aminoglycosides have the potential to unlock the uses for other pieces of junk DNA. In Darwin's Radio, certain portions of these "non-sense" sequences, remnants of prehistoric retroviruses, have been activated by aminoglycosides.
In the novel, humans start rapidly evolving after their junk DNA re-awakens in response to stress. Could we induce instant mutations, or gain other new immunities by using aminoglycosides on our junk DNA?"

Link to Original Source
IBM

+ - IBM Calls Dibbs on Rectal Thermometer iPods 1

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "If Leonardo da Vinci was such a genius, then how come you can't find a single thermometer-based iPod in any of his notebooks? For that, you'll have to turn to a newly-disclosed IBM patent application for Adapting Media Storage Based on User Interest as Determined by Biometric Feedback, in which Big Blue proposes using 'electrodermal sensors, microphones, thermometers, accelerometers, and the like' to capture biometric data such as 'heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response, pupil dilation, blood pressure, body temperature, and the like' while you're listening to your iPod so an 'interest inference engine' can automatically construct music playlists for you. BTW, when you're ready to start creating some playlist files, eHow offers a nice refresher on How to Use a Rectal Thermometer."
Robotics

+ - Nano-Origami, another step to the Assembler?->

Submitted by wisebabo
wisebabo (638845) writes "Some researchers at Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Harvard have developed a way to make DNA "Origami" fold up into all sorts of desired nanoscale shapes. While done before, there seems to be much greater assortment of shapes that they can create. What's particularly interesting is that they've developed some software that can be used (presumably with a DNA assembler) that will create what you want; think of CAD/CAM on a molecular scale! From TFA:

"The toolbox they have developed includes a graphical software program that helps to translate specific design concepts into the DNA programming required to realize them. Three-dimensional shapes are produced by "tuning" the number, arrangement, and lengths of helices."

So is this a major step to the holy grail of nano-technology, the self-replicating Assembler? If you can make the "twisty" difficult parts of a nano-machine out of DNA, combine it with some nano-motors and some nano-logic (and some nano-grippers and sensors ok ok this won't happen tomorrow), you could conceivably make a nano-machine capable of replicating itself from the basic LEGO (tm) blocks of the universe, atoms. Of course, once you've got a nano-assembler capable of atom-by-atom construction, you'd probably want to replace the fragile DNA (which are heat and PH sensitive) with some stronger structures but you get the picture.

Wonder when they're going to release the software? It would be fun to make a couple of trillion little "springs" for example. Would add a bit of bounce to your day! *ducks*"

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Ubuntu's new Firefox is watching you-> 3

Submitted by sukotto
sukotto (122876) writes "Ubuntu recently released an unannounced and experimental "multisearch" extension to Firefox alpha3... apparently to improve the default behavior of new tabs and of search. In a response to one of the initial bug reports the maintainers mentioned that the extension's other purpose was for "collecting the usage data" and "Generating revenue" [citation] . Since this extension installs by itself and offers no warning about potential privacy violations, quite a few people (myself included) feel pretty unhappy.

There is no way to opt-out other than manually disabling the extension via Tools >> Add-ons."

Link to Original Source

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