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Comment: The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll (Score 2) 247

by id est (#46839999) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Books for a Comp Sci Graduate Student?
It was part of my required reading for a computer ethics course. Very entertaining. You really empathize with this college sys admin who is battling an unknown adversary trying to gain access to systems he is responsible for. Throw in the love story as a background and I still remember it to this day.

Comment: Re:"Mistake" my Ass. (Score 1) 234

by id est (#42337529) Attached to: Instagram: We Won't Sell Your Photos

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.


Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration 473

Posted by timothy
from the it's-all-mathy dept.
parallel_prankster writes "I find this paper very amusing. From the abstract: 'To develop a mathematical model for the determination of total areas under curves from various metabolic studies.' Hint! If you replace phrases like 'curves from metabolic studies' with just 'curves,' then you'll note that Dr. Tai rediscovered the rectangle method of approximating an integral. (Actually, Dr. Tai rediscovered the trapezoidal rule.). Apparently this is called 'Tai's Model.'"

Denver Bomb Squad Takes Out Toy Robot 225

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-feel-safer-already dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A robot met its end near Coors Field tonight when the Denver Police Department Bomb Squad detonated the 'suspicious object,' bringing to an end the hours-long standoff between police and the approximately eight-inch tall toy. From the article: "'Are you serious?' asked Denver resident Justin Kent, 26, when police stopped him from proceeding down 20th Street. Kent said that he lived just past the closed area, but was told he would have to go around via Park Avenue.'"

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Denver Rejects UFO Agency To Track Aliens 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the name-and-galaxy-of-origin-please dept.
Republicans weren't the only ones to win big yesterday. Aliens in The Mile-High City can breathe easier thanks to voters rejecting a plan to officially track them. From the article: "The proposal defeated soundly Tuesday night would have established a commission to track extraterrestrials. It also would have allowed residents to post their observations on Denver's city Web page and report sightings." Let the anonymous probings begin!
Classic Games (Games)

Lost Online Games From the Pre-Web Era 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-are-no-match-for-my-imperial-starship dept.
harrymcc writes "Long before the Web came along, people were playing online games — on BBSes, on services such as Prodigy and CompuServe, and elsewhere. Gaming historian Benj Edwards has rounded up a dozen RPGs, MUDs, and other fascinating curiosities from the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s — and the cool part is: they're all playable on the Web today." What old games were good enough for you to watch them scroll by on your 300 baud modem?

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the size-does-matter dept.
inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"

Comment: Why shouldn't Windows users install an AV program? (Score 1) 192

by id est (#32558642) Attached to: Tearing Apart a Hard-Sell Anti-Virus Ad

It seems absolutly counter intuitive to say that a user running a Windows OS shouldn't use an anti-virus program. Yet, some of the comments in this thread, and many articles at are saying that their use is uncalled for. That's hard to believe. The malware writers aren't passivly waiting for users to visit their sites or download infected software. A review of honeypot statistics will verify this.

But why? Stating that "You don't need an anti-virus in Windows" is intreging. But, statements like this need to be backed up. Otherwise, its just an opinion without foundation.

I would love to run my XP system without the use of an AV program. I'd uninstall the one I have now if:

  • I can get solid reasons why it's not needed.
  • Be given alternatives which, at least, equally secure my system against attack.
  • Have these assertions backed up with verifiable facts.

+ - Malware delivered by Yahoo, Fox, Google ads->

Submitted by WrongSizeGlass
WrongSizeGlass (838941) writes "CNET is reporting that Avast has tracked over 2.6 million instances of malware that have been served up to unsuspecting web surfers since last December by ad services such as Yahoo's Yield Manager, Fox Audience Network's and even some from Google's DoubleClick. Some high-profile sites include The New York Times, Drudge, TechCrunch and The practice has been dubbed "malvertising."
I usually suspect the users of 'careless web activity' when I delouse a PC, but now I'm going to have to give some the benefit of the doubt."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Tips from an amature astronomer (Score 1) 377

by id est (#31092162) Attached to: What Objects To Focus On For School Astronomy?

I've regularly volunteered to give astronomy classes to the Girl Scouts in my area using a 4.5" Newtonian telescope. The kids, teachers, and myself always have a great time.

I hope the following ideas will help out:


  1. Choose a dark sky area away from city lights.
    The farther away you are from the city and any local street lamps or cars, the more objects you'll be able to see.
  2. Choose nights that are as close as possible to the new moon.
  3. Setup the telescope outside for at least 30 minutes before using it.
    This lets the optics come to thermal equilibrium with the ambient outside temperature. If you don't do this; the image will waver and be quite blurry while the optics expand/contract.
  4. Let everyone's eyes become use to the dark.
    It will take about 30 minutes from the last exposure to white light for our eyes to get acquainted to the dark. We see much better after that. I'd suggest using the time for discussions and naked eye observations.
  5. If you have to have a light source, only use flash lights with a red filter.
    Using red light helps us keep that night vision just mentioned.

*** OBJECTS ***

The objects you have available all depend upon what latitude you're located, and what time of year.

Depending on your time constraints, and the attention span of 9th graders; you probably only want to pick 3 - 4 objects. Make sure you know what they are, have background info on them, and have used the telescope to spot them before. If you're not practiced at using a telescope, it can be quite frustrating finding the correct objects you want at first. Even with a spotting scope.

Stars Taking a look at a star in a telescope is only going to give you a pin point of light; and possibly some color. For effect, I like showing the contrast between naked eye observations and using the telescope. Personally, I like using double/triple star systems. Let the kids make note of "one star". Then, when looking through the telescope it becomes apparent that the one star is actually 2 or 3. The 2 or 3 stars that you see might not be a binary or tertiary star system, but are in fact just appear to be because of their line of sight.

Star clusters Again, I like using star clusters to show them what the telescope brings out. The Pleiades is a fantastic example. Naked eye observations only shows 6 stars. With the telescope this becomes hundreds.

Nebulae A 4" telescope wont bring out a lot of detail on nebula, but you will be able to see it. Depending upon which one you look at. I love using the Orion's nebula; but since its a winter constellation you might not have this option.

If you decide to look at a nebula; there is a trick to it. Don't look at it directly. Focus the telescope on the nebula. Now, as you look, focus your attention just to the side of it. The wispy body of nebula appear best just to the side of where you are actually looking. Also, move the point of where you are looking - not the telescope, your eye. This movement also brings out more of the nebula's wispy appearance.

Galaxy Use the same observational tricks to view a galaxy as you do with a nebula.

Planets Mars is at its closest to Earth it has been in a very long time. Its great through a telescope. Even better is Jupiter. Its quite large and, depending upon the date/time, you'll be able to see up to 4 of the Jovian moons. However, the tried and true show stopper for most of my observations has always been Saturn. To me its not as big, nor are the moons as easy to spot. But the rings always bring out a gasp among the kids.

Best of luck!


+ - Snow Leopard comes with vulnerable Flash->

Submitted by
DikSeaCup writes "Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, writes in his blog that a Snow Leopard upgrade will downgrade your Flash:

So, lets explain what's going on here. Imagine you have a Mac. Imagine you have been really diligent about keeping your copy of Adobe Flash up-to-date (Adobe is commonly targeted by the bad guys, and so Adobe has been releasing regular security updates for Flash and PDF Reader)

Now, imagine (like me) you got your copy of Snow Leopard on Friday, and have now updated your computers.

Unfortunately during the course of that update (and unknown to you) Apple downgraded your installation of Flash to an earlier version (version, which is known not to be secure and is not patched against various security vulnerabilities.

Maybe that's why they're including anti-virus software in Snow Leopard."
Link to Original Source

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