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Comment Not new and not news... (Score 1) 289

I hate to say it, but this kind of thing happening with our strategic forces is hardly new. There is a book by a hardened anti-nuclear weapon activist named Eric Schloss that goes into a lot of similar incidences over the years. He's obviously got an anti-nuclear agenda so read the book with a grain of salt, but the stories he talks about are true and verifiable.

One such gem: At one point in time, we had a default signal that got broadcast out to all of the strategic warning centers to make sure the emergency alert systems were functioning normally. The test message was the exact same message that got sent out in event of a real nuclear emergency, with one difference. The "test" Message said the equivalent of the following:

000 Nuclear Weapons have been launched at us.

Unfortunately, due to a faulty computer chip on the sending end, one of these 0's computer errored and became a 2. Instead of the regular "test" message that was periodically sent saying "000 Nuclear weapons have been launched at us", a fault with a $.40c chip turned a 0 into a 2 and made it say this:

"200 Nuclear weapons have been launched at us."

Once the error was discovered and the cause of the fault detected, the "test" message was promptly changed afterwards.

This is one example of hundreds of similar incidences, some far more concerning then others, and most of them we don't hear about until decades after the fact. Who knows how many more are out there that have yet to be declassified.

Comment Re:it's not a desert (Score 1) 599

You asked how it became the "breadbasket of the nation". It became that way because they used the tons of son and the river from the irrigation canals to turn it into one of the most agriculaturally productive areas in the world.

Clueless fucking retard. Open your eyes and get a damn clue. Offtopic my ass. It was completely on topic. How about you open your fucking eyes and start paying attention you fucking moron?

Comment Re:it's not a desert (Score 2) 599

PBS has a great documentary on this as part of "Building the Hoover Dam". They have the full documentary posted on their website at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americ...

Here's a couple of really good excerpts:

Narrator: The Colorado was a river unlike any otherâ" dark and red with mud and silt from carving out the planetâ(TM)s most magnificent canyons. It ran wild until 1901, when Western farmers set out to tame it. Their plan was to water the desert. Developers dug a canal system that brought the River into lower California, and turned parched soil into a vast agricultural paradise they called the Imperial Valley. For four bountiful years, farmers thought they were living a miracle. Then, without warning, the river struck back. In 1905 the Colorado tore open the canal and flooded the valley, creating an inland sea across 150 square miles. Over the next two decades, floods would wipe out thousands of farmers. Millions of dollars were lost.

(later on, talking about the need for a dam to control the flow of water:)

W.P. Whitsett, Chairman, Metropolitan Water District (archival): We here in Southern California, weâ(TM)re building a great empire. If we are to survive and to grow, we must have the water that will enable us to maintain our mastery over the desert.

Comment Re:US' domestic propaganda ban was lifted in 2013 (Score 1) 276

Wouldn't be the first time the US government has made a deal with Britain, Australia or one of the other Five Eyes for these kinds of arrangements.

Hey, Britain.. we can't do this to our people according to our law, and you can't do it to your own people, but there's no law saying we can't do it to each other and then turn over the results, wink wink.


Comment Awesome "feature". How do I disable it? (Score 3, Insightful) 150

Great uhh, "Feature". How do I turn it off? Also the video "stories" as well.

Give us the option to disable this crap, or a lot more of us are going to not only leave for good, but also start adding etc/host entries for slashdot/ just so we don't forget and accidentally load your website in the future, either.

In case you haven't been able to get it from the other comments yet, let me sum this up for you, in terms the few remaining competent editors and admins of this site can hopefully understand:


P.S. Hit my karma, admins. I'm long past giving a shit about this site, which is probably why I haven't logged in in the last 5 years. Congratulations on that as well.

P.P.S. You finally got me to start logging into this POS site so my preferences can be remembered and I stop seeing this garbage. Except uhh...there is no preference. Imagine that. If we wanted Alpha to become Beta, we would have voted for Beta and not staged a massive protest against it you ignorant asses.

Comment Re:Landing vs splashdown (Score 1) 342

If one engine fails, the fuel cross feeds from that fuel tank into the other engines. I could be wrong, but I do not believe each fuel tank automatically includes more fuel to burn that particular engine for longer just in a case another engine fails. That would be an awful lot of redundant weight for very little benefit. Being able to cross feed the fuel from a broken engine's tank into the others would make far more sense then constantly launching with a bunch of dead weight that is not going to be used. Yes, the xfeed gear needed to transfer fuel from one tank to the other is also extra weight, but it's not like launching with a bunch of heavy fuel that isn't going to be used.

Comment Trust... (Score 2) 247

Anyone who still trusted the NSA before the Snowden revelations just wasn't paying attention to begin with. The stories about room 641A in San Francisco told me pretty much everything I needed to know. This is just one of many similar rooms across the country. They are sitting on major backbones, T'ing everything off to special carnivore / aka DCS-1000 (whatever the latest variant is) rack(s) that save whatever they tell it to, or pass it along somewhere else. It's unlikely they are saving all due to the sheer amount of data but I'd be insanely surprised if the vast, vast majority aren't saved at least for a short time while some kind of rudementary analysis is done.

What kind of analysis could be done on that volume of data? It's not hard to picture when you think about it. Think SpamAssassin scores. Encrypted anything gets a bonus, data from a "known source" gets a major bonus, data from a mandated target is an immediate +1000 to cross any threshold that is set. Key words, in the right amounts etc etc can all be programmed in to tell the system what to save for further analysis. Headers are tracked, countires of origins, time of day, prior call history (caller +2 data everyone made such a big deal about a while back) -- all of this is metadata that some kind of SpamAssassin clone program can take into account in order to decide whether to score the data as "interesting" (aka spam normally) or ignore it and let it expire after a few days and disappear off the drives to make room for something else. This is all technology we had in place 20 years ago that was unclassified even then. Does anyone really have any doubts on what is being done today?

Just saying...

Comment Re:Doesn't suddenly make your DSL faster (Score 1) 430

ADSL is very dependent on your local loop length. Higher loop to CO or micro-CO, lower achievable speeds. 8M ADSL was supported on people with something like 5000 feet of copper to the DSLAM (CO), which is damn near impossible for most people who don't live practically next door to one (that 5000 feet of copper doesn't go so far when it starts all the twists and turns needed to make it to each house or unit). There are newer standards now that will tolerate longer loops, but as far as many DSL companies are concerned "why change what isn't broken. The current standard is fine for our customers, because they can't get anything else anyway."

Submission + - Web host limits all connections from FCC IPs to dial up speeds (arstechnica.com)

kupekhaize writes: In protest to the recent FCC decision to eliminate Network Neutrality, some webhosts have begun throttling all connections from FCC IP addresses to dial up speeds. Fortunately for the FCC, the web host in question is offering the Ferengi plan, allowing the FCC to pay to get out of the slow lane in order for their pages to load normally. Hopefully additional hosting companies will take up the same practice, and the FCC will start to realize what kind of Pandora's Box they've opened with this ruling.

Comment Mod Parent Up (Score 4, Informative) 64

Mods, please mod the parent up. Orbiter is a 100% free realistic simulator that is every geek's dream. It strives for realistic physics (in most cases, there are still some bugs); and includes lots of space vehicles including the Shuttle (which is damn near impossible to launch and achieve a stable orbit on manual control, just like you'd expect). Very entertaining simulator. It has a very extensive selection of mods (http://orbithangar.com is one of the more popular places to find them).

My friend has modded his version so much that he's built and launched his own Space Station. He has some of the vehicles timed so well that he can launch from Cape Canaveral, and within 26 minutes match the ISS's orbital specs and dock with it. Each time he plays the game he's reloading his prior state and launching new cargo and expanding the station.

Aside from the Shuttle there are also lots of next generation vehicles including orbiters with SCRAM engines to help achieve orbit and other items as well. There's also a recent mod to add all of the future and planned SpaceX vehicles as well.

When I first started playing, I was familiar with some math but knew hardly anything about orbital mechanics. Playing the game at first was fun --- there's nothing quite like launching the space shuttle straight up, then turning off the shuttle engines and watching the thing do backflips at 10K off the ground -- but once you start wanting to achieve something useful, like a dock with the ISS you've really got to start to understand what is going on in order to get where you're going.

Comment Re:Maybe... (Score 1) 306

Comments like this are why Slashdot needs a system where if enough mods spent a point on a +5, it will eventually become a +6 and stand out even more. Say 10 extra votes? 50? instead of the usual 1? Make it mean something. This can't be modded up enough.

Comment Re:New Method (Score 1) 306

They don't sell them any more, but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Mighty_Mouse

BTW, Mac OS has responded to control clicks as a right click on one button mice for 15 or more years. Also, pretty much any 2 button USB mouse that is connected gets recognized for what it is, and the right mouse button works just like you'd expect it to.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce