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Comment: The TSA is nothing more than a jobs program. (Score 3, Informative) 427

by net_oholic (#41243805) Attached to: TSA Says Screening Drinks Purchased Inside Airport Terminal Is Nothing New

Someday, people will come to realize that there was one single change after 9/11 that effectively eliminated the possibility that hijackers could use our planes to fly into targets - they put locks on the cockpit doors.

Everything else is a charade. The TSA was created and is funded specifically to allow politicians to brag that they "created jobs", even if those jobs are completely worthless and nothing more than "security theater". It's a federal work program, nothing more. You might as well named it the "Ditch Digging Administration" and put the same low income, low skill workers in fields digging ditches and filling them back in. At least that would have some tangible benefit and stop causing so many people the nuisance.

In fact, the privacy invasions, delays, and "no fly lists" put in place by the TSA have caused significantly more deaths than happends on 9/11 - because people avoid the airports more and drive... getting into highway accidents.

Comment: Thanks for all the Fish Wrapper (Score 5, Interesting) 1521

by chrisd (#37204264) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
In 1997, right after Chips n' Dips had faded away, to be replaced by the enigmatically named http:///..org, all of us free software nerds hung on its every story, comment and poll like it was carved on tablet and flung from a burning bush. A year later I had started at hardware maker VA Research and /. was falling down for lack of machinery, so we rummaged through our returns piles and sent Rob and Jeff some 2u servers to help out. That was for me the beginning of some of the most important friendships in my adult life.

Its hard to explain how important Slashdot was to all of us 10 years ago. Indeed, without it it would be hard to imagine HN, Reddit, Digg, Fark or any of a thousand lesser sites. The editorial perspective of Rob and the other editors of /. is what kept people coming back and for a long time that perspective was Rob's, then Rob and Jeff and a bunch of us (some, like Timothy and samzenpus, still around!), but then Jeff left, now Rob. In some way I see this as a passing of an era in free software.

Throughout, while some have left for those greener shores, slashdot abided even while buffeted by the markets and the de/evolving internet news world, and it has remained a default tab in my and many others' browsers.

I didn't mean this post to be about Slashdot though, but about my friend Rob. I'll only say that while the site will be the lessor for you leaving, I firmly believe that computer science will gain my. While this note reads like an epitaph or the last pages of a book, it is really no more than a thank you note from me and many I know to your for your decade+ of work on the site. So...

Thanks.

Linux

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."

Comment: The story from Google... (Score 4, Informative) 140

by chrisd (#31065334) Attached to: Google Mystery Domain Reroutes 3% of Net Surfers
Hey, the fellows in netops asked me to clarify for you folks here's the story:

1e100.net is a Google-owned domain name used to identify the servers in our network. Following standard industry practice, we make sure each IP address has a corresponding hostname. Starting in October 2009, we started using a single domain name to identify our servers across all Google products, rather than use different product domains such as youtube.com, blogger.com, and google.com. We did this for two reasons: first, to keep things simpler, and second, to proactively improve security by protecting against potential threats such as cross-site scripting attacks. Most typical Internet users will never see 1e100.net, but we picked we picked a Googley name for it just in case (1e100 is scientific notation for 1 googol).

So there you go!

Comment: Lots of comments on LWN.net's coverage (Score 5, Informative) 354

by chrisd (#31014662) Attached to: Android and the Linux Kernel Community
If you head over to LWN, we've already gone back and forth on this a bit. http://lwn.net/Articles/372419/. The short form is that if they don't like how we use the kernel, we're unlikely to be accepted upstream. It's all still released as source code to the world, but the mainline is not interested in most of what we've with to the kernel.
Image

Solar Machine Spins Sunlight-Shaped Furniture 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-because-you-can-do-something dept.
Mike writes "Austrian designers mischer'traxler have created a solar powered machine that makes an incredible array of furnishings that vary based on how much sunlight it receives over the course of a day. Titled 'The Idea of a Tree,' the machine spins spools of thread into stools, benches, containers, and lamp shades that wax and wane as the available sunlight shifts. Furniture created during cloudy winter days will be wrapped more slowly, causing it to be darker in color, thicker, and smaller than pieces created during the sun-soaked summer months."
Google

+ - Google Summer of Code announces mentor projects!

Submitted by
mithro
mithro writes "As everyone should already know, Google is running the Summer of Code again this year. For those who don't know, GSoC is where Google funds student's to participate in Open Source projects and has been running for 5 years, bringing together over 2600 students and 2500 mentors from nearly 100 countries worldwide. Google has just announced the projects which will be mentor organizations this year. It includes a great list of Open Source projects from a wide range of different genres, include content management systems, compilers, many programming languages and even a bunch of games!"

Comment: Re:Android (Score 2, Informative) 92

by chrisd (#27200651) Attached to: Symbian Introduces Open Source Release Plan
I'd like to point out that the Kogan phone folks could have adapted the code to the screen size, but it would have taken longer than their product plan would have allowed. So in that case, you are right, but if they had started the screen porting stuff earlier, then they probably could have shipped something like what they put on their website.

Let me remind you that the structure of the droid licensing is very clear: linux kernel, then apache/bsd all the way up from there (With a dollop of lgpl). You don't need googles permission to ship an android based device. There are some apps (maps comes to mind) that you do need googles permission to ship, but those are closed anyhow.

Chris

Mars

Lots of Pure Water Ice At Mars North Pole 176

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-what-my-freezer-has-tons-of-it dept.
brink2012 writes "Planum Boreum, Mars' north polar cap contains water ice 'of a very high degree of purity,' according to an international study. Using radar data from the SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), French researchers say the data point to 95 percent purity in the polar ice cap. The north polar cap is a dome of layered, icy materials, similar to the large ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica, consisting of layered deposits, with mostly ice and a small amount of dust. Combined, the north and south polar ice caps are believed to hold the equivalent of two to three million cubic kilometers (0.47-0.72 million cu. miles) of ice, making it roughly 100 times more than the total volume of North America's Great Lakes, which is 22,684 cu. kms (5,439 miles). The study was done by researchers at France's National Institute of Sciences of the Universe (Insu), using the Italian built SHARAD radar sounder on the US built MRO. SHARAD looks for liquid or frozen water in the first few hundreds of feet (up to 1 kilometer) of Mars' crust by using subsurface sounding. It can detect liquid water and profile ice. Mars southern polar cap was once thought to be carbon dioxide ice, but ESA's Mars Express confirmed that it is composed of a mixture of water and carbon dioxide. The study on Mars north polar cap appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union."
The Internet

+ - Wikipedia Edits Forecast Vice Presidential Picks->

Submitted by
JimLane
JimLane writes "This story in the Washington Post reports on the findings of Cyveillance, a company that 'normally trawls the Internet for data on behalf of clients seeking open source information in advance of a corporate acquisition, an important executive hire, or brand awareness.' Cyveillance decided 'on a lark' to test its methods by monitoring the Wikipedia biographies of Vice-Presidential prospects.

The conclusion? If you'd been watching Wikipedia you might have gotten an advance tipoff of Friday's announcement that McCain was selecting Sarah Palin. 'At approximately 5 p.m. ET (Thursday), the company's analysts noticed a spike in the editing traffic to Palin's Wiki page, and that some of the same Wiki users appeared to be making changes to McCain's page.'

When McCain, a supposed foreign-policy expert, gave a speech on the crisis in Georgia, parts of it turned out to be cribbed from Wikipedia. (See this article from the Congressional Quarterly.) I guess the McCain staffers thought that, having used Wikipedia themselves, they should try to 'improve' it by editing the article about Palin."

Link to Original Source

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