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Comment: Physical Security (Score 1) 342

by HuskyDog (#49473891) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket
The article states that the room could "only be entered by two people at a time". What does that mean exactly? Was it a very small room with only enough room for two people (or three if they're European :-) ). Or does it mean that none-one was allowed in on their own? In this latter rather more usefully secure case what process was used to enforce this rule? Just the CCTV?

Surely, systems like this need to be in rooms with locks which require multiple keys to open so that a lone individual can't get in no matter who they are? Perhaps a timed lock which can only be opened during normal working hours when there are plenty of people around would also be a good idea.

Comment: What a wonderful unit! (Score 5, Funny) 332

by HuskyDog (#49457131) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water
At first I thought that the 'Acre-Foot' sounded like a joke unit, but obviously it is the amount of water that one hundred and twelve horses need to drink if they are each to plough eight hundred furlongs of furrow in a fortnight!! Honestly, you Americans just crack me up with your wacky units. So much more fun than being stuck with boring old litres!

+ - First laser gun shoot casualty ever reported

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The head of police office of Johnson City (Texas) reported that some hours ago took place the first ever reported worldwide, death by -laser firearm- (sic) resulting in a drug store robbery attempt. A witness of the action just simply commented: "No noise at all, it was silent .. but shortly after the -shot- it started to smell like some meat was burning".
All slashdotters will certainly remember the ./ story submitted in 2011 here (this is it!).

+ - remove a tree->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: There are certain rules and regulations which govern any tree removal process. Therefore, it is important to understand these rules and regulations to avoid unnecessary fines which might be accompanied by breaking any of them.
Link to Original Source

Comment: A123 was top for batteries IMO (Score 2) 196

by jfisherwa (#49094433) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

I'm sure someone will correct me:

I believe A123 had an exclusive with GM/Chevrolet for some time that precluded them from selling to competitors, or to the public. The enthusiast community in the US (electric car, bike, etc kits) then had to rely on re-importing A123 batteries from China/black market that had potentially been exported from the US into the grey market. This made them tough to get, but they had an ideal form factor, power density and draw rate.

If this play by Apple can change that scenario at all, it would be a big move.

Comment: Re:Origin of *Species* (Score 1) 249

by jfisherwa (#49072441) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

A full 66% of our genes are shared with corn (Maize). Those genes are probably the "winners" in terms of evolution of species to date because they played some part in the evolution of a number of relatively successful species and from a selfish perspective eventually lead to our existence today.

Playing audience to a snapshot in time of a species in action is then to witness a battle of relatively new and up-and-coming genes in a highly dramatic and chaotic environment. Some of those new genes may eventually nullify any advantage or even cause attacks on part of that 66%, reducing its relevance further over millennia, and some may allow that species to adapt and further split into new species.

The survival of a species or its ability to procreate is not the end game, but instead one of many potential moves a gene can (randomly?) make to further its ultimate cause. If we refer to those 66% of genes simply as "corn," then who is to say that the remaining 33% of our genes aren't primarily dedicated to simply increasing the population of the "corn" gene pool as a whole, regardless of which species those genes currently reside within? The species has always been a temporary home -- more so a vehicle to navigate environments that are extremely dynamic over a great period of time -- again, time being our naive perspective.

Genes that have been around for a billion years have little concern for the extravagant mutations that allow that vehicle to navigate day-to-day, and if that vehicle fails, they have a million other variants working on their own story. If "corn" has been around for a billion years, then the rest of us is just a short-lived experiment, and perhaps one way to prove ourselves a worthy successor is to bring "corn" with us to the stars in as many ways as possible.

+ - U.S. Central Command Twitter, YouTube, Facebook Accounts Hacked by ISIS->

Submitted by PseudoCoder
PseudoCoder writes: From The Blaze:

The avatar and background image for @CENTCOM was overtaken with the words “CyberCaliphate” and “I love you ISIS,” and the account put out a number of threatening tweets to U.S. military members... U.S. Central Command’s YouTube account was overtaken with the same pro-Islamic State avatar and several videos.


From The Weekly Standard:

The hacker is claiming to be ISIS — and claimg to have personal information of U.S. military personnel.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Clarification (Score 4, Interesting) 135

by jfisherwa (#48571433) Attached to: Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

There seems to be a lot of confusion and conjecture in the comments about the grandiosity of the claim. This does not necessarily rule out all comets. Maybe an attempt at a better summary of the article would be helpful:


- Not all water is the same. Some water is heavier due to a presence of a certain amount of deuterium.

The general consensus is:

- When the solar system formed, the components for water were created.
- These components eventually formed with the early Earth and a water cycle was created.
- Yes, the early Earth was hot, but heat and elements were plentiful and Earth managed to hold onto some of these elements and would have had water evaporating and raining back down again.
- The planet Theia *collided* into the Earth. A certain amount of the debris coalesced into the moon. Imagine Pluto smashing into your house.
- The heat from the collision would have evaporated/released all elements lighter than X, which includes water. (ed: perhaps water on the moon is more closely related to early earth water coalesced and re-condensed?)
- Sometime later, the Earth received much more water than would have been sustained from such an impact.
- The weight (deuterium ppm) of this "new" water is different (much lighter) than the weight of "old" water, and generally any other water in the solar system.

So where did this "new" water come from?

This article suggests:

"We have light water in some comets and very heavy water in other comets. We have to assume the mixture of all these comets is something that is heavier than what we have on Earth, so this probably rules out Kuiper Belt comets as the source of terrestrial water."

And I believe this means:

It would have taken many of these Kuiper Belt comets to contribute a great deal of water to the Earth. If we use probe measurements to confirm other measurements and calculate the *average* weight of water on a number of Kuiper Belt comets (along the order of magnitude necessary be a main source of "new" water for the Earth), then we see that the amount of deuterium in Earth's water would have been much greater -- i.e. the water would contain an average weight of all impacts needed to saturate.

Thus this rules out Kuiper Belt comets being the main source of "new" water for Earth. Their water in general is simply too heavy on average. As soon as enough Kuiper Belt comets impact the Earth to come close to the amount of water needed, the calculations show that the level of deuterium would be much, much higher than what we see.

And the article itself turns to conjecture with:

So where do we look for lighter water? Maybe asteroids?

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson