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Comment: Re:It is unquestionably a wiretap (Score 1) 191

by gyroidben (#37959886) Attached to: Did Feds' Use of Fake Cell Tower Constitute a Search?
What is and isn't fair game on the wireless spectrum? I would have naively assumed that it was always fair game to demodulate and record a wireless signal, but not to break the encryption if it existed, but this article suggests that isn't the case. Presumably listening in on a conversation on the ham radio bands isn't wiretapping (although perhaps rude, I don't know the conventions). Clearly anything where you're breaking encryption is a no-no. But there's plenty of ground in between where it's not immediately obvious what is and isn't allowed. Does it just depend on whether there is an expectation of privacy? Are rules different for different frequency bands? Are the rules different for listening vs recording?

Comment: What kind of fees do CU's charge retailers? (Score 1) 667

by gyroidben (#37954032) Attached to: Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'
Does the new law that caps charges to retailers for debit card use apply to credit unions as well? I'm considering switching to a credit union, but don't want to do it if they're charging retailers a lot more than the big banks do. Does anyone know of any banks or credit unions than charge retailers sane fees for transactions?

Comment: SEDS (Score 1) 283

by gyroidben (#37812456) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Enter Private Space Industry As an Engineer?
SEDS (seds.org) is a national student group in the USA and stands for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. There are local chapters at a lot of universities so they'd be great place to make contact with people who are wanting to get into the same industry as you. They would also probably be good people to contact to get advice on choosing a university for your undergraduate studies. I attended one meeting of a chapter at the University of Arizona and they were doing some seriously cool stuff. A few of them had put together a microgravity experiment to study liquid lenses and got a grant to go up in a zero-g plane to test it out. They're currently starting a project to build a micro-satellite and arrange for it's launch. That this is being down by an undergraduate club on their own initiative is pretty impressive.

Comment: Re:new scientist (Score 1) 337

by gyroidben (#36908486) Attached to: How Do You Keep Up With Science Developments?
I have a subscription to New Scientist and think of it as the scientists equivalent of a celebrity gossip magazine. You definitely don't ever believe the title on the cover is a fair summary of the actual research it's talking about. Nevertheless it is a good way to keep up with fields in different areas than one's own and it is a very easy read. Also it is that it's insanely cheap. An annual subscription can usually be had for about US$1.50 an issue. The result of this is that the science journalists don't have a whole lot of time to spend really understanding the research behind the articles they are writing. I think they do a pretty good job considering they have maybe two weeks to write an article about something that would really take years to get a proper grip on.

Comment: Re:Keep children under 3 from all tv (Score 3, Insightful) 417

by gyroidben (#33473016) Attached to: Software (and Appropriate Input Device) For a Toddler?
My understanding was, that it's not so much that tv is bad for children's development, but that it's not good, so that if they spend 2 hours a day watching tv, that's two hours that aren't spent playing, talking or doing something beneficial. An 18 month old banging on a computer keyboard is practicing physical skills just as if they were playing with blocks.

I don't think it's worth setting up something elaborate for an 18 month old, all they really need is something that looks like a computer so they can feel that they're doing the same thing as mummy and daddy do. An old laptop works well, or one of the cheap toy computers. My son is three at the moment and sufficiently self-controlled to be allowed to play with my laptop. I set him up with a text editor and let him "type".
Earth

Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-where-will-we-get-our-superheroes dept.
separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"
Government

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

Posted by timothy
from the too-stupid-to-live-as-long-as-possible dept.
lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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