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Comment: Let them trade for press again (Score 4, Interesting) 1061

by jowilkin (#42310025) Attached to: Anonymous Hacks Westboro Baptist Church

After the Virginia Tech shootings the WBC threatened to protest the funerals. Some radio guy offered to let them have air time in exchange for not doing so.

As a friend of one of the people killed in those shootings I was very happy the family wouldn't go through this even if it resulted in a sick group like the WBC getting radio air time.

I think we would be serving the families of these new victims well by making some sort of similar compromise. I doubt anywhere near the number of people listened to that radio interview as would have seen the protests in the news, so I don't think it even helps the WBC cause at all.

Comment: Re:Nas Drive, with offsite backup (Score 2) 499

by jowilkin (#37557492) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

Raid 0 is a real bad idea for backup, if one drive fails, your whole array goes down. A NAS is a good idea IMO, but you should not be using Raid 0. A better solution would be to use something like Raid 6 (which allows 2 drives to fail without loss of data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels#RAID_6 ).

Comment: What can slashdot do? (Score 1) 104

by jowilkin (#35981860) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Encourage Better Research Software?

It's kind of useless to post this on Slashdot honestly. What good is it going to do? If you have an idea for how to solve this and are a researcher then talk to the NIH. Otherwise this is just a lot of hot air.

If the software is mature enough to be widely useful, then a company should try to commercialize it under and SBIR or an STTR or something. If it's not mature then it should stay what is is - a research prototype. Most research prototypes end up being useless in my experience and it's not worth the effort at all the try to pull them all together. If there are a bunch of useful ones like you seem to be claiming, then submit a grant and do something about it.

Comment: Yes (Score 1) 804

by jowilkin (#34708480) Attached to: Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

I absolutely agree that in many cases laptop bans can be helpful. Some people do actually use them to take notes, but the vast majority do not, and it is very distracting for the students who sit behind the laptop users. It's virtually impossible for your eyes not to be drawn to all the flashy lights and images flying by the computer screens in front of you as you try to pay attention to the lecture.

Ideally you could just ban laptop usage that was unrelated to the class, but that is very difficult to enforce and would be a strain on the professors time while they should be teaching.

It's part of an ongoing problem that schools do not yet know how to properly utilize technology in the classroom. Until they figure this out, technology can be a distraction instead of a benefit to students.

Image

Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the fattening-up-on-brains dept.
ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."
Science

Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the four-out-of-five-ain't-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"
Microsoft

+ - Comcast Hijacking DNS w/Microsoft's Help? 2

Submitted by
Brian Olson
Brian Olson writes "I read the article a few days ago and tested my Comcast connection for DNS hijacking and all was well. Just a little while ago I mis-typed a URL and new thing I know I'm at a Comcast search engine page. I immediately called to complain about what Comcast described as a "service" and they supposedly removed me from the list if victims. My first thought was to spam www.stophijackingmydnsqueries_comcast.com for a few days and see if that got their attention, but I'll wait to see if this "service" is actually removed.

Here's where it gets really interesting. So while capturing the traffic to get the above dns query packet, I couldn't help but lookup the response IP (208.68.139.38). I was shocked to discover that it was not a Comcast IP, since I was redirected to a Comcast search page (http://search2.comcast.com/)...but low and behold, an IP for "FAST Search & Transfer Inc." Who? Well, the organization doesn't have a webpage, nor any useful information in Google searches. Hmmmm...the only information I see is the netblock information:

RTechHandle: JHH10-ARIN
RTechName: Hutchinson, James Henry
RTechPhone: +1-781-433-8999
RTechEmail: james.hutchinson@microsoft.com

Really? Did Microsoft make some sort of backdoor deal with Comcast? I don't know...but it surely seems so to me! There's the info...maybe someone can do more with it than I."
Medicine

+ - Oakland Taxes Federally Illegal Marijuana Sales

Submitted by
Under_score+1
Under_score+1 writes "In an apparently unprecedented move by the city of Oakland, California, legal medical marijuana dispensaries will now have to pay a %1.8 tax on sales of the federally controlled substance. This 4:1 landslide decision by voters has enthusiasts in the city, especially students and alum of Oaksterdam University, an institute of higher cultivation in Oakland smoking and toking in celebration of the legalization trailblazing imposition. Of course sense the federal government taxes even illegal income, surely they'll want their cut of the club hedgings. As the saying goes, no taxation without legalization; I'll blaze to that."
Businesses

+ - Nine reasons RadioShack shouldn't change its name-> 1

Submitted by
Harry
Harry writes "Rumor has it that RadioShack is planning to rebrand itself as The Shack later this year, after eighty-eight years under the old name (most of them with a space inbetween "Radio" and "Shack"). I hope it's not true, because I don't think the move would do a thing to make the retailer a better, more successful business."
Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - Iran Awaiting Ayatollah's Order to Build N-bomb-> 3

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb, Western intelligence sources have told The Times.

The sources said that Iran completed a research programme to create weaponised uranium in the summer of 2003 but had halted the research because it had achieved its aim — to find a way of detonating a warhead that could be launched on its long-range Shehab-3 missiles.

They said that, should Ayatollah Khamenei approve the building of a nuclear device, it would take six months to enrich low-enriched uranium to highly-enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, and another six months to assemble the warhead.

Iran's scientists have been trying to master a method of detonating a bomb known as the "multipoint initiation system" — wrapping highly enriched uranium in high explosives and then detonating it.

TimesOnline : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6736785.ece"

Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - CentOS back from brink of death->

Submitted by Xanthvar
Xanthvar (1046980) writes "As a shop that almost exclusively uses CentOS for our servers, this definitely had us worried. We are glad it has been resolved, and while curious as to what really happened, we can live without really knowing.

From the article:

CentOS is alive.

Two days after a core group of developers posted an open letter to primary admin Lance Davis, threatening to fork the open source OS if he didn't discuss his apparent disappearance from the project, Davis has answered their call — and he seems to have quelled their complaints.

"The CentOS Development team had a routine meeting today with Lance Davis in attendance," reads a new post to the project website. "During the meeting a majority of issues were resolved immediately and a working agreement was reached with deadlines for remaining unresolved issues. There should be no impact to any CentOS users going forward."

For more details, see El Reg!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/02/centos_alive/"

Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - The Untold Story of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells->

Submitted by
ParadoxDruid
ParadoxDruid writes "Induced pluripotent stem cells are a hot new stem cell type that is able to become any kind of tissue, offering great potential for treating diseases and injuries. Although they look and act just like human embryonic stem cells, these induced stem cells can be made from adult cells that are reprogrammed to an earlier state and consequently can be patient-specific. What is interesting is that while induced stem cells were created from human tissue only in 2007, they have a decades' old history of theories and experiments that is not often reported."
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks? 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that using Netflix as a business model, Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra founded Chegg, shorthand for "chicken and egg," to gather books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting — or sometimes selling — them to other students at the start of a new one. Chegg began renting books in 2007 before it owned any, so when an order came in, its employees would surf the Web to find a cheap copy. They would buy the book using Rashid's American Express card and have it shipped to the student. Eventually, Chegg automated the system. "People thought we were crazy," Rashid said. Now, as Chegg prepares for its third academic year in the textbook rental business, the business is growing rapidly. Jim Safka, a former chief executive of Match.com and Ask.com who was recently recruited to run Chegg, said the company's revenue in 2008 was more than $10 million and this year, Chegg surpassed that in January alone. "The model is clever," says Yannis Bakos, associate professor of management at the Stern School of Business at New York University. "If they execute well, it will be an accomplishment." Savings can vary from book to book. A macroeconomics textbook that retails for $122 was available on Chegg for $65 for one semester; an organic chemistry title retailing for $123 was offered for $33. Those kinds of savings are turning students into fans. "Word of mouth," says Safka, "has put wind in the company's sails.""

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