Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Missing Critical Information (Score 5, Interesting) 499

by McNally (#47876651) Attached to: Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

It's a shame that the summary and the article omit the most important information needed to judge whether this is reasonable or not -- details and evidence in support of the characterization of the groups Barr belonged as "linked" to the group responsible for the armored car robbery & murder. What does "linked" mean in this context: members in common? command structure? who knows? The article doesn't say, and without that information none of us can have a really informed opinion on the topic.

Since there's not much to discuss from TFA, I'm going to tell you a little story from back when I was in school, because it's conceivably relevant (but then, as I've said, we don't really have the details we need to know..

Annnnyyyyway.. Once upon a time, long ago (but still some years after this woman was in school) I was a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During the time I was on campus there were a group of chuckleheads who fancied themselves the vanguard of the socialist revolution that was sure to sweep the country Real Soon Now (tm). They were the scourge of all of the small clubs on campus because of a trick that they pulled, over and over, quite successfully until the other student groups learned to defend themselves against it.

Here's what would happen.. A small, inoffensive campus group having little or nothing to do with the main goals of the revolutionary organization in question would have a meeting at the beginning of the year to welcome new members and to elect leadership positions for the coming school year. Let's imagine we're talking about the Campus Knitting Society.. Well, a group like that might have 8-10 members who attended meetings regularly, and a few more who would drop in when their schedules allowed. The Revolutionary Chuckleheads League (not their real name) would descend en masse on the Campus Knitting Society the week that group was electing new officers and since a lot of groups had open membership the RCL would nominate its own slate of officers and take over the Campus Knitting Society. They'd use the small budgetary stipend the group got from the student government activities fund to print up flyers and the next thing you'd know, every kiosk on campus would be covered with fluorescent orange flyers saying "U of M Campus Knitting Society DEMANDS AN END TO US IMPERIALISM" and "U of M Campus Society Says: Free Mumia!". Then the Revolutionary Chuckleheads League would abandon the burned-out husk of the club they'd taken over and move on to play the same trick on some other organization. The shellshocked original club members, if they weren't completely soured by the experience, might form a new club to replace the one that had been stolen from them, which is why from time to time you'd see flyers pop up on campus saying things like "First Meeting Sunday Night: Michigan Knitting Club (NOT THE Revolutionary Chuckleheads League)"

So.. I've got no idea from the article what Barr's politics were at the time, what they are now, and what her level of involvement with the banned group might be. But it wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of people that I went to school with who belonged to perfectly harmless clubs who could conceivably fall afoul of the same shadow that blighted Barr's career just because they belonged to a club that got infiltrated and taken over by a group of radicals whose interests were only tangentially related to the club's original goals. I don't think that happens very often, but I would like for the government to have a higher standard than "affiliated" or at the very least to make clear what they mean by that.

Comment: Re:OpenSSL (Score 1) 77

by McNally (#47473055) Attached to: FreeBSD 9.3 Released

Does anyone outside of the vanishingly small and shrinking circle of OpenSSL developers know what that number means or why they persist on inflicting whatever stupid, parochial numbering convention it's the fault of on everyone?

Yes, why can't they use alphabetically-sequenced Alliterative Animal names, or maybe choose selections in no particular sequence from an unordered set such as large cat species?

Sure, they could be clearer, but they're very far from the worst version naming out there.. Count your blessings.

Cellphones

Samsung Ups Ante In Smartphone Size Wars: 6.3 Inches 221

Posted by timothy
from the don't-mean-to-brag-but dept.
New submitter jarold writes to note that Samsung has launched two extra-large cellphones: a 6.3 inch LTE ready version, and a 5.8 inch version. "Branded as Galaxy Mega, one would struggle to fit [either in a] pocket or use it with just one hand. The good thing, it is only 8mm thin and weighs under 200 grams. More portable than a tablet, it comes with a durable polycarbonate body. Unlike most of Samsung's latest smartphones, it does not have a super AMOLED panel. Instead, it has an HD super clear LCD display, which is bright enough to please most users. It features split screen and multitasking between video and other apps." For a phone that big, users might need to brush up on their side-talking skills.
Earth

Heartland Institute Threatens To Sue Anyone Who Comments On Leaked Documents 517

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-talking dept.
Layzej writes "Bloggers around the world have been commenting on recently leaked Heartland Institute documents that reveal their internal strategies to discredit climate science. These posters are now under threat of legal action. According to the Heartland Institute 'the individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages'"
Republicans

Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley 501

Posted by Soulskill
from the suddenly-the-primaries-become-clear dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"

Comment: Re:Guess the Party (Score 4, Informative) 370

by McNally (#38168262) Attached to: Senator Wants 'Terrorist' Label On Blogs

Lieberman is a Democrat. Just saying, if he was a Republican, all the trolls woulld be out about "OMG Republicans are teh evil."

He once was a Democrat but the last time he ran for office he was defeated in his party's primaries by a candidate that Connecticut Democrats apparently felt better reflected the values of their party. Subsequently Lieberman ran, and was re-elected as, an independent.

Earth

Climate Change Skeptic Results Released Today 776

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-second-thought dept.
Irishman writes "A leading climate change skeptic, Richard Muller, will release results today showing that global warming is indeed happening. He has shown that two items skeptics look to, urban heat islands and unreliable weather stations, do not skew the data. The amazing part is that this research is funded by the Koch brothers, two investors who fund climate change skeptics whenever possible."
The Almighty Buck

The 147 Corporations Controlling Most of the Global Economy 572

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the free-markets-for-the-rest-of-us dept.
rubycodez writes "Researchers at the Swiss Federal Technology Institute in Zurich have identified a 'Capitalist Network' [PDF] of well-connected companies that control most of the global economy. They further identified the 147 'super-connected' companies that control forty percent or more of the global financial network. If one believes the mega-corporations have most governments of the west in their pockets, does this mean we have a global oligarchy?"
Politics

Wikileaks Suspends Publishing Of Cables Due To "Financial Blockade" 316

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the gotta-pay-for-dem-oracle-licenses-somehow dept.
lee1 writes "Wikileaks has had to cease publishing classified files due to what the organization calls a 'blockade by US-based finance companies' that, according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has 'destroyed 95% of our revenue.' Assange also opined that 'A handful of US finance companies cannot be allowed to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket.' According to Assange the group was taking 'pre-litigation action' against the financial blockade in Iceland, Denmark, the UK, Brussels, the United States, and Australia. They have also filed an anti-trust complaint with the European Commission."
Android

Microsoft Now Collects Royalties From Over Half of All Android Devices 241

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where-can-i-get-me-some-patents dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has inked a deal with Compal Electronics, which pumps out gadgets that run Android and Chrome OS, for an undisclosed sum." Microsoft has an explanatory weblog post; with this deal over half of all Android devices are licensing patents from Microsoft. Notably refusing to cooperate and instead opting for the court battle route are Motorola and Barnes and Noble.
Biotech

New Vaccine Halves Malaria Risk 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the hard-work-paying-off dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a report in Reuters, scientists are celebrating the end of a clinical trial which found a malaria vaccine reduces infection risk by half in children. From the article: 'While scientists say it is no "silver bullet" and will not end the mosquito-borne infection on its own, it is being hailed as a crucial weapon in the fight against malaria and one that could speed the path to eventual worldwide eradication. Malaria is caused by a parasite carried in the saliva of mosquitoes. It kills more than 780,000 people per year, most of them babies or very young children in Africa. Cohen's vaccine goes to work at the point when the parasite enters the human bloodstream after a mosquito bite. By stimulating an immune response, it can prevent the parasite from maturing and multiplying in the liver. ... Cohen said that if all goes to plan, RTS,S could be licensed and rolled out by 2015.'"
Transportation

Mazda Stops Production of the Last Rotary Engine Powered Car 359

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ever-twirling-toward-speed dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "After a 45-year production run, Mazda Motor Corp announced that the latest edition of the Mazda RX-8 will end production in June 2012. The Japanese automaker ... introduced its first rotary engine car in 1967 and is the only automaker in the world that makes rotary engine vehicles, once the darling of the automotive industry. Such engines have fewer moving parts and are quieter than comparable piston engines but are more expensive to manufacture and consume more fuel. Cumulative sales of Mazda vehicles with rotary engines total about 1.995 million but Mazda sold only 2,896 RX-8 cars last year, with 1,245 of them in North America and 963 in Japan. 'Although R-X production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirits of Mazda, and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development,' says Mazda Chief Executive and President Takashi Yamanouchi recalling the victory of Mazda's rotary engine at Le Mans 20 years ago... Mazda does not have flashy green technologies in its lineup that its bigger Japanese rivals do — such as the hybrids at Toyota Motor Corp. or electric vehicles at Nissan Motor Co. The fading away of its prized rotary engine — although largely symbolic — is yet another blow."

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Working...