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Comment: Re:You know what's crazy? (Score 3, Insightful) 64

by WoodstockJeff (#48066649) Attached to: Redbox Streaming Service To Shut Down October 7th

Some people don't have a broadband connection to support streaming media. It is a lot cheaper to rent a DVD or three each month than to support a broadband connection. It doesn't make them crazy.

Some people watch movies and other things that aren't available on streaming, but are available on DVD. It doesn't make them crazy.

Now, it is true that there are a lot of crazy people who don't have a broadband connection. And there are a lot of crazy people who watch movies and other things that aren't available on streaming. But that doesn't imply that renting DVDs is proof of being crazy.

It may just be a symptom!

Comment: Wrong on two counts (Score 1) 174

by sgtrock (#48030309) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

The beta was released in 1989. 25 years ago.

Which makes a perfect farce of the notion that many eyes make all bugs shallow.

1) We don't know when the bug was introduced, although it's clear that it was quite some time ago.

2) I defy you to name any version of any reasonably complex software that is guaranteed to be free of exploitable bugs. It's been shown by people much smarter than me that it's mathmatically impossible to do so. (Just one example thread discussing the problem.)

The difference is that with OSS, they all will eventually get found and fixed. The same can't be said of closed source software.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Multimedia based wiki for learning and business procedures?

Submitted by kyle11
kyle11 (1186311) writes "I'm scratching my head at how to develop a decent wiki for a large organization I work in. We support multiple technologies, across multiple locations, and have ways of doing things that become exponentially convoluted. I give IT training to many of these users for a particular technology, and other people do for other stuff as well.

Now, I hate wikis because everyone who did one before failed and gave them a bad name. If it starts wrong, it is doomed to failure and irrelevance.

What I'm looking for would be something like a Wiki with Youtube built in — make a playlist of videos with embedded links for certain job based tasks. And reuse and recycle those videos in other playlists of other tasks as they may be applicable. It would go beyond the actual IT we work with and would include things like "welcome to working in this department, here's 20 videos detailing stupid procedures you need to go through to request access to customer's systems/networks/databases to even think about doing your job"

I tried MediaWiki and Xwiki, and maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I can't seem to find a way to tweak them to Youtube-level simplicity for anyone to contribute to without giving up on the thing cause its a pain in the butt.

My only real requirement is that it not be cloud-based because it will contain certain sensitive information and I'd like it all to live on 1 virtual machine if at all possible.

I can't be the only one with this problem of enabling many people to contribute and sort their knowledge without knowing how an HTML tag works, or copying files into something more complicated than a web browser. What approaches have any of you out there taken to trying to solve a similar problem?"

+ - SPAM: Why Casinos Across America Closing

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I have been in the casino business for many years now and when things start to happen in this business it starts out with a whisper and goes out with a yell.

I am sure that you have heard the big headlines that casinos in Atlantic City are shutting it's doors forever because of lack of business. We in the industry knew this was coming for a while even if we did not want to admit it. I personally think this is just the beginning. The slow down started when casinos started to limit smoking and drinking in the casinos but this was not what has caused the full demise of gambling establishments. The main reason is because people are now staying home and playing on their computers and televisions.

In the past it was difficult to find a place to play poker, enjoy your favorite slots and just have some fun gambling. You used to have to plan your outing and then drive a considerable distance to enjoy the gambling lifestyle. Now, with the rebirth of online casinos in the US and around the world you can just stay home and play. Everyday graphics have gotten better, the payouts are higher than once before and all due to technology. See [spam URL stripped]

Advancements in online casinos have brought great joy to many people but it has it's downsides as well. Firstly, many people are losing their jobs because of the online gambling industry. Another issue for the players is that they don'rt get to look forward to making a trip and planning a vacation like they once did. Now you can just hop in your computer chair and start playing immediately. Places like Las Vegas will always be around because of all the extra entertainment but I think the days are numbered for many of the smaller casinos. I hope I am wrong but it just seems inevitable."

Link to Original Source

+ - Cameras to "see" cancer

Submitted by Champaklal
Champaklal (3411751) writes "Inspired by the mantis shrimp's ability to see polarized light, scientists are working on developing cameras to detect cancerous cells. The mantis shrimp has compound eyes which has 16 different kinds of photocells (compared to humans, we have only 3).

The camera uses aluminum nano wires to replicate the polarization sensitive ommatidia photocells in shrimps. They placed the nanowires on top of photodiodes to finally convert image into electrical signals. The complete paper can be found here."

+ - From the Maker of Arduboy: Tetris on a Bracelet

Submitted by timothy
timothy (36799) writes "Kevin Bates showed off his tiny ("credit card sized") homebrewed game-playing rig at OSCON this summer; not content with merely wallet sized, he's now squeezed enough display — three of them, lacking a curved display to wrap around the wrist — input sensors, and processing power (Atmega 328p) to play Tetris on a tiny, multi-segmented bracelet (video). Sure, there's been Tetris on watches before, but from large-budget companies, not — at least not that I've ever seen — from hackers. Bates' post gives some more technical details, too."

+ - Struck By Lightening

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Ferris Jabr writes in Outside Magazine that every year, more than 500 Americans are struck by lightning. Roughly 90 percent of them will survive but those that survive will be instantly, fundamentally altered in ways that still leave scientists scratching their heads. For example Michael Utley was a successful stockbroker who often went skiing and windsurfing before he was struck by lightening. Today, at 62, he lives on disability insurance. “I don’t work. I can’t work. My memory’s fried, and I don’t have energy like I used to. I aged 30 years in a second. I walk and talk and play golf—but I still fall down. I’m in pain most of the time. I can’t walk 100 yards without stopping. I look like a drunk.” Lightning also dramatically altered Utley's personality. “It made me a mean, ornery son of a bitch. I’m short-tempered. Nothing is fun anymore. I am just not the same person my wife married." Utley created a website devoted to educating people about preventing lightning injury and started regularly speaking at schools and doing guest spots on televised weather reports.

Mary Ann Cooper, professor emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is one of the few medical doctors who have attempted to investigate how lightning alters the brain’s circuitry. According to Cooper the evidence suggests that lightning injuries are, for the most part, injuries to the brain, the nervous system, and the muscles. Lightning can ravage or kill cells, but it can also leave a trail of much subtler damage and Cooper and other researchers speculate that chronic issues are the result of lightning scrambling each individual survivor’s unique internal circuitry. "Those who attempt to return to work often find they are unable to carry out their former functions and after a few weeks, when coworkers get weary of 'covering' for them, they either are put on disability (if they are lucky) or fired," writes Cooper. "Survivors often find themselves isolated because friends, family and physicians do not recognize their disability or feel they are 'faking'. (PDF)""

+ - Researchers Develop Purely Optical Cloaking

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers, at the University of Rochester, have developed a remarkably effective visual cloak using a relatively simple arrangement of optical lenses. The method is unique in that it uses off-the-shelf components and provides cloaking through the visible spectrum. Also, it works in 3-D. As one researcher put it, "This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum." Bonus: The article includes instructions to build your own."

+ - Why the Z-80's data pins are scrambled->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Z-80 microprocessor has been around since 1976, and it was used in many computers at the beginning of the PC revolution. (For example, the TRS-80, Commodore 128, and ZX Spectrum.) Ken Shirriff has been working on reverse engineering the Z-80, and one of the things he noticed is that the data pins coming out of the chip are in seemingly random order: 4, 3, 5, 6, 2, 7, 0, 1. (And a +5V pin is stuck in the middle.) After careful study, he's come up with an explanation for this seemingly odd design. "The motivation behind splitting the data bus is to allow the chip to perform activities in parallel. For instance an instruction can be read from the data pins into the instruction logic at the same time that data is being copied between the ALU and registers. ... [B]ecause the Z-80 splits the data bus into multiple segments, only four data lines run to the lower right corner of the chip. And because the Z-80 was very tight for space, running additional lines would be undesirable. Next, the BIT instructions use instruction bits 3, 4, and 5 to select a particular bit. This was motivated by the instruction structure the Z-80 inherited from the 8080. Finally, the Z-80's ALU requires direct access to instruction bits 3, 4, and 5 to select the particular data bit. Putting these factors together, data pins 3, 4, and 5 are constrained to be in the lower right corner of the chip next to the ALU. This forces the data pins to be out of sequence, and that's why the Z-80 has out-of-order data pins.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Astrophysicists Use Apollo Seismic Array To Hunt for Gravitational Waves

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Back in the 1970s, the astronauts from Apollos 12. 14. 15 and 16 set up an array of seismometers on the lunar surface to listen for moonquakes. This array sent back data until 1977 when NASA switched it off. Now astrophysicists are using this lunar seismic data in the hunt for gravitational waves. The idea is that gravitational waves must squeeze and stretch the Moon as they pass by and that at certain resonant frequencies, this could trigger the kind of seismic groans that the array ought to have picked up. However, the data shows no evidence of activity at the relevant frequencies. That's important because it has allowed astronomers to put the strongest limits yet on the strength of gravitational waves in this part of the universe. Earlier this year, the same team used a similar approach with terrestrial seismic data to strengthen the existing limits by 9 orders of magnitude. The lunar data betters this by yet another order of magnitude because there is no noise from sources such as oceans, the atmosphere and plate tectonics. The work shows that good science on gravitational waves can be done without spending the hundreds of millions of dollars for bespoke gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO, which have yet to find any evidence of the waves either."

That does not compute.