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Open Source

A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video) 48

Posted by Roblimo
from the keyboard-as-cool-as-a-woodie-station-wagon dept.
Plastic, plastic everywhere! Except on most surfaces of the Keyboardio ergonomic keyboard, which started as a 'scratch his itch' project by Jesse Vincent. According to his blurb on the Keyboardio site, Jesse 'has spent the last 20 years writing software like Request Tracker, K-9 Mail, and Perl. He types... a lot. He tried all the keyboards before finally making his own.'

His objective was to make a keyboard he really liked. And he apparently has. This video was shot in June, and Jesse already has a new model prototype under way that Tim Lord says is a notable improvement on the June version he already liked. || Note that the Keyboardio is hackable and open source, so if you think you can improve it, go right ahead. (Alternate Video Link)
Networking

Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic 110

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hurd-1.0-released dept.
New submitter Tim the Gecko (745081) writes Comcast has announced 1Tb/s of Internet facing, native IPv6 traffic, with more than 30% deployment to customers. With Facebook, Google/YouTube, and Wikipedia up to speed, it looks we are past the "chicken and egg" stage. IPv6 adoption by other carriers is looking better too with AT&T at 20% of their network IPv6 enabled, Time Warner at 10%, and Verizon Wireless at 50%. The World IPv6 Launch site has measurements of global IPv6 adoption.
Government

Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle" 125

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the should-have-gone-into-government-IT dept.
alphadogg (971356) writes with news that the SSA has joined the long list of federal agencies with giant failed IT projects. From the article: "Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency. In 2008, Social Security said the project was about two to three years from completion. Five years later, it was still two to three years from being done, according to the report by McKinsey and Co., a management consulting firm. Today, with the project still in the testing phase, the agency can't say when it will be completed or how much it will cost.
Space

Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists 160

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lemon-chiffon-hole dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes Black holes are singularities in spacetime formed by stars that have collapsed at the end of their lives. But while black holes are one of the best known ideas in cosmology, physicists have never been entirely comfortable with the idea that regions of the universe can become infinitely dense. Indeed, they only accept this because they can't think of any reason why it shouldn't happen. But in the last few months, just such a reason has emerged as a result of intense debate about one of cosmology's greatest problems — the information paradox. This is the fundamental tenet in quantum mechanics that all the information about a system is encoded in its wave function and this always evolves in a way that conserves information. The paradox arises when this system falls into a black hole causing the information to devolve into a single state. So information must be lost.

Earlier this year, Stephen Hawking proposed a solution. His idea is that gravitational collapse can never continue beyond the so-called event horizon of a black hole beyond which information is lost. Gravitational collapse would approach the boundary but never go beyond it. That solves the information paradox but raises another question instead: if not a black hole, then what? Now one physicist has worked out the answer. His conclusion is that the collapsed star should end up about twice the radius of a conventional black hole but would not be dense enough to trap light forever and therefore would not be black. Indeed, to all intents and purposes, it would look like a large neutron star.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 26

by pudge (#47523613) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

Only someone as arrogant as you would claim themselves as a source.

Only someone who doesn't understand language would assert that I am not a source. Everyone who uses language is a source of meaning of that language. That's how our language actually works.

We both know you're wrong

We both know you're lying, because I quoted other sources agreeing with me, and you pretend I didn't, just like you pretend I didn't reference Madison in regards to "democracy."

GUI

Mac OS X Yosemite Beta Opens 132

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the smells-like-system-7 dept.
New submitter David Hames (3763525) writes Would you like to test drive the newest release of the Macintosh operating system? Apple is opening up the beta for Mac OS X Yosemite starting Thursday to the first million people who sign up. Beta users won't be able to access such promised Yosemite features such as the ability to make or receive your iPhone calls or text messages on your Mac, turn on your iPhone hotspot feature from your Mac, or "Handoff" the last thing you were doing on your iOS 8 device to your Mac and vice versa. A new iCloud Drive feature is also off-limits, while any Spotlight search suggestions are U.S.-based only. Don't expect all your Mac apps to run either. Ars has a preview of Yosemite.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 26

by pudge (#47522993) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

Without a common source on the meaning of words, how do words have meanings at all? You can argue for a different source - and I have noticed that you have not yet done so ...

Actually, in fact, I did. I was very explicit. You just don't understand language, so you missed it. But because I am so generous, here it is again: common usage. That determines the meaning of all words. We can be prescriptive in a given context -- for example, "organic" has a specific legal definition when applied to food for sale -- but generally, we simply have to go with how words are commonly used. We use dictionaries to discover common usage if we don't know it, but not to prescribe it.

the dictionary is a generally agreed-upon source for the meanings of words

Not by anyone who understands language or dictionaries, no, it's not. Even Wikipedia says you are full of shit: "Large 20th-century dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Webster's Third are descriptive, and attempt to describe the actual use of words. Most dictionaries of English now apply the descriptive method to a word's definition ... the meanings of words in English are primarily determined by usage."

You have not yet however demonstrated your interesting alternate use of the word "democracy" to be used by anyone other than yourself

You're a liar, of course: I referenced a very important person in the history of the word: James Madison himself. And it's not an "alternative," it's the original meaning. The original use of the word "democracy" was in reference to Athens, where all citizens collectively made all legislative decisions. You're just being completely idiotic, as usual.

I see that you didn't bother to present that definition.

I presumed you were capable of taking your URL and replacing "democracy" with "socialism". My bad.

you openly despise the dictionary

You're a liar. I simply use dictionaries properly, and criticize their improper usage. Using a dictionary to settle a discussion about the proper meaning of a word is obviously stupid, if you understand that dictionaries are descriptive, and therefore prone to error. Even without understanding how dictionaries work, the fact that we have many English dictionaries with sometimes conflicting definitions should clue you in to the fact that you can't use one dictionary to settle the discussion.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 26

by pudge (#47522705) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

It appears to be - again - you versus the dictionary.

Once again, you do not know how dictionaries work: they do not prescribe definitions, telling us what words must mean; they merely describe how words are commonly used. Dictionary authors are reporters, not dictators. And if we identify common usage that is not captured by the dictionary definition, that is proof that the dictionary is wrong or incomplete. Further, if we can identify common usage, we literally have no need for a dictionary at that point, because it would at best be redundant, and at worst mislead the less-educated among us who have been tricked into thinking that dictionaries are authoritative.

And too bad you didn't look at that same dictionary for "socialism," because under that entry, you see definitions that well-describe the Soviet and Chinese regimes of the 20th century that you say are not socialist. So by your own logic, you proved yourself wrong.

Do you ever tire of being a tool?

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 26

by pudge (#47522513) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

Democracy is people voting for their leaders.

False. In fact, "democracy" means people making decisions collectively. As Publius wrote in Federalist 10, it's a society of people assembling and administering the government in person. For example, in Massachusetts, the residents, at a town meeting can pass any rules they wish for the town (subject to state and federal law, etc.). That's, arguably, actual democracy. But voting for your leaders is not. We call it "representative democracy," to highlight the fact that we're collectively voting for people to make decisions for us, but that's not a "type" of democracy, it's actually a different thing. We have small pieces of democracy -- town meetings, voter initiatives, and so on -- but not much of it.

You can make an argument for their being different degrees of democracy, but there are plenty of democracies in this world including the country you currently live in (unless you finally moved away from the USA).

Only in the exact same sense that there are different degrees of socialism, and there are plenty of socialist regimes in this world.

In other words your attempt to make an argument on "True Socialism" : "True Democracy" is completely without merit

It only seems that way to morons like you. Really.

For someone who likes to bitch incessantly about politics, your knowledge is sorely lacking.

Literally no one agrees with you on this, no matter their opinions of my beliefs. I don't even believe you believe this. I can tell you're trying to hurt my ego, but you'll have as much luck doing so by attacking my intelligence and knowledge as you would for calling me short or hairless.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 26

by pudge (#47522067) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

Every week you give another example of where you ignore some of His' teachings in favor of others.

As someone who takes the Gospel more seriously than pretty much anything else, I have to ask for specifics on where you think I'm off course.

Just as I cannot force you to read what I write, I cannot force you to read what you write, either.

Translation: "crap, you caught me in a lie again, so I'll just lie some more and pretend that I wrote it and you just ignored/missed it."

Of course, this is the same idiot who lied about Democracy being responsible for more deaths than Socialism, even though the essentially socialist regimes Soviets and Chinese in the 20th century killed many times more than all democracies put together. Right, right, they aren't True Socialists. Well, there's never been a True Democracy either -- thankfully -- so it's a dishonest claim no matter how you slice it.

Not that we're surprised.

+ - Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "When animals lose a limb, they learn to hobble remarkably quickly. And yet when robots damage a leg, they become completely incapacitated. That now looks set to the change thanks to a group of robotics engineers who have worked out how to dramatically accelerate the process of learning to walk again when a limb has become damaged. They've tested it on a hexapod robot which finds an efficient new gait in under two minutes (with video), and often faster, when a leg becomes damaged. The problem for robots is that the parameter space of potential gaits is vast. For a robot with six legs and 18 motors, the task of finding an efficient new gait boils down to a search through 36-dimensional space. That's why it usually takes so long. The new approach gets around this by doing much of this calculation in advance, before the robot gets injured. The solutions are then ordered according to the amount of time each leg remains in contact with the ground. That reduces the dimension of the problem from 36 to 6 and so makes it much easier for the robot to search. When a leg becomes damaged, the robot selects new gaits from those that minimise contact with the ground for the damaged limb. It compares several and then chooses the fastest. Voila! The resulting gaits are often innovative, for example, with the robot moving by springing forward. The new approach even found a solution should all the legs become damaged. In that case, the robot flips onto its back and inches forward on its 'shoulders'."

+ - Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Updates to the open-source libbluray, libaacs, and libbdplus libraries have improved the open-source Blu-ray disc support to now enable the Blu-ray Java interactivity layer (BD-J). The Blu-ray Java code is in turn executed by OpenJDK or the Oracle JDK and is working well enough to play a Blu-ray disc on the Raspberry Pi when paired with the VLC media player."
Link to Original Source

+ - Black Hat presentation on TOR suddenly cancelled->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool, TOR, will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month. The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference’s website. https://www.blackhat.com/lates... Volynkin, a research scientist with the university’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was due to give a talk entitled “You Don’t Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget” at the conference, which take places Aug. 6-7 in Last Vegas."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Question for Roblimo (Score 1) 92

by Roblimo (#47511093) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

Thousands of viewers, 10 or 20 complaints. That seems like a pretty good ratio to me.

And, of course, if you have good ideas for video interviewees, why don't you send them to me instead of complaining? Please make sure to include contact info. My email is robinATroblimo-com.

Thanks!

Businesses

Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video) 92

Posted by Roblimo
from the sometimes-it's-better-and-costs-less-to-stick-with-proven-hardware dept.
Ben Blair is CTO of MarkITx, a company that brokers used commercial IT gear. This gives him an excellent overview of the marketplace -- not just what companies are willing to buy used, but also what they want to sell as they buy new (or newer) equipment. Ben's main talking point in this interview is that hardware has become so commoditized that in a world where most enterprise software can be virtualized to run across multiple servers, it no longer matters if you have the latest hardware technology; that two older servers can often do the job of one new one -- and for less money, too. So, he says, you should make sure you buy new hardware only when necessary, not just because of the "Ooh... shiny!" factor" (Alternate Video Link)

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan

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