Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Android already does this...Not quite... (Score 1) 103

by kitezh (#42775207) Attached to: US Wants Apple, Google, and Microsoft To Get a Grip On Mobile Privacy
The BlackBerry Playbook does exactly this. When you install the app, you see what permissions it is requesting and have the option to disable some. You can also go back into the settings to review and change what permissions each app has. I also dislike the "take it or leave it" approach Android has with app permissions, and I consider it a strike against any Android device for my next phone.

Comment: Re:uh.... (Score 4, Interesting) 59

by kitezh (#40119489) Attached to: A Wrinkle For Biometric Systems: Irises Change Over Time
Or with contact lenses. I found this out myself after wearing contacts for a couple of years. After wearing them longer each day than I should have, my eyes began growing extra blood vessels to bring oxygen to the cornea where it was covered by the lens. It most definitely changed the pattern in my irises.

Comment: Re:Who needs smartphones (Score 1) 396

by kitezh (#39096557) Attached to: Do you like your cell phone?

I'm also in Atlantic Canada. Have you looked into the Pay as You Go/Prepaid plan with Rogers or Bell Aliant? They offer daily or weekly data packages you activate when you need it. These range from $1-2/day to $5/week with Rogers. Caller ID is included with prepaid.

I'm currently on Pay as You Go with my basic phone, but when I finally decide to replace it, I'd buy the phone outright and stick with the prepaid plans. I don't know about your usage -- $100 prepaid is good for a year, but even if it only lasts you three months, it's still cheaper than getting locked into a 3 year contract at $50-70/month.

Comment: Re:Water and preparations (Score 1) 147

by kitezh (#37225030) Attached to: I am preparing for Hurricane Irene ...
The Public Safety branch of the Canadian government has a website with some tips for preparing for situations like this. They have some recommendations of items to keep in a 72-hour emergency kit. Visit for more info. I have most of the items scattered about my home; I just need to run off some extra water into a jug and get it all together in one spot.

+ - New Blade Runner Film to Be a Sequel or a Prequel?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes: "News that Ridley Scott has agreed to direct a "follow-on" to Blade Runner, the classic film set in 2019 Los Angeles starring Harrison Ford as a police officer hunting genetically engineered robots called replicants, has prompted discussion as to whether the new film is going to be a prequel or a sequel and whether Harrison Ford would have any involvement in the film. "Everything Ridley does as a filmmaker is fresh," says Producer Andrew Kosove. "I believe he sees an opportunity to create something that's wholly original from the first Blade Runner." The original film cost $28 million to make and failed to become a blockbuster, grossing only $32 million but later became a cult classic."

+ - New research cracks AES keys 3-5x faster!-> 1

Submitted by qpgmr
qpgmr writes: AES, generally thought to be the gold standard for encryption, is showing weaknesses:

From Computerworld: "Researchers from Microsoft and the Dutch Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered a way to break the widely used Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption algorithm used to secure most all online transactions and wireless communications."

Link to paper:

Link to Original Source

+ - 13-Year-Old Makes Fibonacci Solar Breakthrough->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: While most 13-year-olds spend their free time playing video games or cruising Facebook, one 7th grader was trekking through the woods uncovering a mystery of science. After studying how trees branch in a very specific way, Aidan Dwyer created a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. His impressive results show that using a specific formula for distributing solar cells can drastically improve energy generation. The study earned Aidan a provisional U.S patent – it’s a rare find in the field of technology and a fantastic example of how biomimicry can drastically improve design.
Link to Original Source

+ - Future Sun may disrupt spacecraft and satellites->

Submitted by dtjohnson
dtjohnson writes: A study published today predicts that solar storms are going to become increasingly disruptive to satellites and communications in the coming decades as the sun cycles towards a minimum of activity. "The work, published in Geophysical Research Letters, predicts that once the Sun shifts toward an era of lower solar activity, more hazardous radiation will reach Earth. The team says the Sun is currently at a grand solar maximum. This phase began in the 1920s — and has lasted throughout the space age....The evidence seems to indicate that although there are fewer solar storms once the Sun leaves its grand maximum, they are more powerful, faster and therefore carry more particles."
Link to Original Source

+ - Construction Underway at World's First Spaceport->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 writes: In the deserts of the western United States, space tourism is becoming a reality as construction progresses on Spaceport America — the world's first purpose-built commercial space travel facility, 45 miles north of Las Cruces, N.M. Today, concrete and rebar litter the ground here as crews build walls and windows, roads and runways. They've been toiling for a year and a half and will continue until 2013, when a glowing, round disk standing testimony to the future will be unveiled in the desert — at least according to artists' imaginations of the facility. Right now it looks like any old construction site, with men in hard hats and prosaic dump trucks carting rubble in and out. In 2013, things will be different.

“You’ll experience weightlessness, they’ll actually go near space so you’ll see the curvature of the Earth,” said Chris Anderson, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.

Link to Original Source

+ - Fusion power in four years?->

Submitted by 50000BTU_barbecue
50000BTU_barbecue writes: A few years ago I researched fusion as a practical energy source in the foreseeable future for a school paper. I thought I had been quite thorough in finding and describing all the contenders starting with the usual suspects like Tokamaks and Polywell, etc. My conclusion, based on my skepticism was that, at best, real practical fusion energy was half a century away and would likely be just another energy source and not a panacea. Things like peak helium and the need for superconducting magnets really stood out as a problem. Somehow, the folks at General Fusion escaped my attention at the time.

They are proposing a "solid based" system of fusion using a large spherical reaction chamber filled with molten lead and lithium and then using acoustic shock waves to compress the core where all the good stuff will happen. I'm looking for insights and comments from /.ers in the know about the project. Is this viable? Can it produce power? If so, this is a huge deal.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Sunday, of course (Score 5, Informative) 510

by kitezh (#33623250) Attached to: The best day of the week, generally:

If you read in Romans, Paul strongly advocates against this kind of thinking. The Law (10 Commandments) are provided to point out what is right and wrong. The new covenant with Christians is that God's laws will be written in our hearts and minds, not on stone (Hebrews 8:10). The laws themselves haven't changed.

Keep reading through Acts and other books of the New Testament and you will see the early church still keeping the Saturday Sabbath. It wasn't until hundreds of years after Christ that the church decided to make Sunday the "official" day of rest (Sabbath in Christianity, Wikipedia).

What can be confusing is separating the 10 Commandments, the unchangeable law of God, with the rest of the ceremonial laws described by Moses. It is the ceremonial law (sacrifices, rituals for cleaning, etc.) that were no longer necessary, because they contained symbols that pointed forward to the Messiah. Once He arrived, they were no longer necessary. Note, however, that Jesus never said to get rid of the 10 Commandments while He was on earth. In fact, He kept them all Himself.

Think of it this way: if these no longer applied, then stealing and killing are OK, and so is lying and dishonouring your parents. Idolatry and having gods other than God would also be acceptable. This is exactly the opposite of what God wanted.


+ - Nasa warns of potential 'huge space storm' in 2013->

Submitted by Low Ranked Craig
Low Ranked Craig writes: Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013. In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken. Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs. “We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” said Dr Richard Fisher, the director of Nasa's Heliophysics division. "I believe we're on the threshold of a new era in which space weather can be as influential in our daily lives as ordinary terrestrial weather." Fisher concludes. "We take this very seriously indeed."
Link to Original Source

+ - FAA under pressure to open US skies to drones->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: "Unmanned aircraft have proved their usefulness and reliability in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the pressure's on to allow them in the skies over the United States."

The article describes some logistic issues of UAVs sharing the air with manned craft, from aircraft to hot-air balloons. Conspicuously absent is any mention of the danger to personal privacy and civil liberties such wide-spread use of automated surveillance would bring.

Link to Original Source

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein