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Comment: Re:A little knowledge is a dangerous thing (Score 1) 81

by not-admin (#27987383) Attached to: DIY Microprocessor Sound Level Meter Demoed At MIT

It's neither "fun" nor "interesting" when your design is 8 times as complicated and expensive as one that works, and yours is neither stable, accurate, hi-fi, or immune to temperature changes, power supply noise or electrical interference.

Yes it's fun to mess around with parts and get them to do something, anything. But this is not an example of any kind of sane engineering. I assume most people going into $95,000 debt to attend MIT intend to try to be useful engineers. This item on your resume is a quick ticket to Palookaville.

Because, obviously, a company that pays MIT money to have their product advertised to a bunch of high-schoolers visiting MIT must be representative of the actual education MIT students get. MIT wasn't even INVOLVED with the creation of this thing, and they definitely aren't bragging about it -- this is just a great example of a slashvertisement

The Courts

+ - Entire Transcript of RIAA's Only Trial Now Online->

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The entire transcript of the RIAA's 'perfect storm', its first and only trial, which resulted in a $222,000 verdict in a case involving 24 MP3's having a retail value of $23.76, is now available online. After over a year of trying, we have finally obtained the transcript of the Duluth, Minnesota, jury trial which took place October 2, 2007, to October 4, 2007, in Capitol Records v. Thomas. Its 643 pages represent a treasure trove for (a) lawyers representing defendants in other RIAA cases, (b) technologists anxious to see how a MediaSentry investigator and the RIAA's expert witness combined to convince the jurors that the RIAA had proved its case, and (c) anybody interested in finding out about such things as the early-morning October 4th argument in which the RIAA lawyer convinced the judge to make the mistake which forced him to eventually vacate the jury's verdict, and the testimony of SONY BMG's Jennifer Pariser in which she 'misspoke' according to the RIAA's Cary Sherman when she testified under oath that making a copy from one's CD to one's computer is 'stealing'. The transcript was a gift from the 'Joel Fights Back Against RIAA' team defending SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, in Boston, Massachusetts. I have the transcript in 3 segments: October 2nd (278 pages(PDF), October 3rd (263 pages)(PDF), and October 4th (100 pages)(PDF)."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Full Human Equivalence (Score 1) 148

by not-admin (#23579731) Attached to: U.S. Plan For "Thinking Machines" Repository

It seems that computers with a capacity equivalent to human brains will be developed in the next twenty years or so.

OK. I know, this prediction has been made before, but now it's for real, because the hardware capacity is well within the reach of Moore's law. To build a cluster of processors with the same data-handling capacity of a human brain today is well within the range of a mid-size research grant.

An equivalent prediction is made, and explained in more detail, in Ray Kurzweil's book "The Singularity is Near" -- some of which is available as a preview on Google Book Search.
The Internet

+ - Web Spider Sued By Colorado Woman

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Internet Archive is beind sued by a Colorado woman for spidering her site. Suzanne Shell posted a notice on her site saying she wasn't allowing it to be crawled. When it was, she sued for civil theft, breach of contract, and violations of the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations act and the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. A court ruling last month granted the Internet Archive's motion to dismiss the charges, except for the breach of contract claim. If Shell prevails on that count, sites like Google will have to get online publishers to "opt in" before they can be crawled, radically changing the nature of Web search."
Communications

+ - AT&T/Cingular Blocking legitimate phone number

Submitted by
kickassweb
kickassweb writes "PennPIRG is reporting that AT&T/Cingular is blocking calls to the popular, and competing, service, FreeConferenceCall.com, as well as other similar services.

PennPIRG has learned that AT&T/Cingular recently began blocking phone numbers on its wireless service used by consumers to access free conference call services, such as those provided by Free Conference Call.com. The telephone giant has argued that calls to free conference call services are resulting in millions of dollars in losses to the company due to re-routing and termination fees, and has sued free conference call services and local phone companies in Iowa over the fees.


The article goes on to state that the free conference call service being blocked competes directly with Cingular's conference call service, and that this is the type of anti-consumer action we can expect on the internet if Net Neutrality is not mandated."
Space

+ - NASA defines how to deflect earth-bound asteroids

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "If the idea of somehow deflecting a giant asteroid headed for earth smacks of a science fiction movie, you'd be right — it was called Armageddon. And if you think NASA would like to make such a mission reality, you'd be right again. Despite testimony before congress last week that the space program's asteroid tracking program (yes they have one) is basically under budgeted for any new missions, one NASA scientist told a space conference this week how it might perform such a mission if it were able. A NASA scientist has proposed using the using the replacement to the space shuttle, known as the Crew Exploration Vehicle to land on a near-Earth asteroid. The CEV is due to make its maiden flight in 2014, with the eventual aim of ferrying astronauts to and from the Moon. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1254 4"
Privacy

+ - Home Addresses of Gun Owners Posted Online

Submitted by
travdaddy
travdaddy writes "An editorial writer for "The Roanoke Times" newspaper in Virginia obtained records of the state's concealed handgun permits, complete with full names and addresses, and put them on the newspaper's website. The article states, "You can search to find out if neighbors, carpool partners, elected officials or anyone else has permission to carry a gun." Due to public backlash, the database has been removed. The records are open to the public by law but how easily should they be accessed?"
The Internet

Viacom vs. YouTube - Whose Side Are You On? 353

Posted by Zonk
from the i-vote-for-adam-ant dept.
DigitalDame2 writes "Lance Ulanoff of PCMag believes that the Viacom and YouTube lawsuit is a bad idea because it has the potential to damage the burgeoning online video business; instead, it could work with the millions of people who are currently viewing Viacom content on YouTube. On the other side, Jim Louderback, an editor-in-chief of PCMag says that Lance doesn't know what he's talking about: with all the content available online for free, Viacom can kiss those investments goodbye. YouTube is actively filtering, actively allowing uploads, and making money off of the content that's been uploaded. The courts will find that Viacom has been wronged, that Google has not done enough to protect the rights of copyright holders, and that Google owes Viacom reparations. Whose side are you on?"
Space

Kuiper Belt Collision Found; Possible Comet Source 68

Posted by Zonk
from the we-really-must-visit-one-day dept.
siglercm writes "Astronomers have detected the remnants of an ancient collision in the Kuiper Belt, the region of bodies found outside of our solar system. The massive impact between a nearly Pluto-sized body and one half as large created a 'collisional family' of objects; this is the first such family identified in the Kuiper Belt. The largest body produced may cross Neptune's orbit in the distant future, but it's possible that smaller objects created by the smash-up have already fallen into the inner solar system as comets."

Look Ma, No-Hands Fasteners! 200

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the assembly-liners dept.
theodp writes "Inspired by a daughter who suffered a serious infection from an IV feeding apparatus, the Trib reports an Australian architect has developed high-tech bolts and latches, which can be operated remotely without being touched. The first commercial applications are intended for aircraft, allowing crews to quickly reshape interiors to maximize payload space. BTW, smart fasteners hit Slashdot's radar almost two years ago."

Windows Vista Capable Machines Coming 340

Posted by Zonk
from the stop-being-an-enabler dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PC World's Techlog has a short piece talking about the upcoming emergence of 'Windows Vista Capable' PCs." From the article: "The Vista Capable designation doesn't promise that a PC will provide a great Vista experience, or even that it'll support all Vista features or features...just that it'll be able to run Windows Vista Home Basic in some not-very-well-defined-but-apparently-adequate way. At the moment, there are still new PCs on store shelves that don't meet the Vista Capable guidelines--for instance, low-end systems still sport 256MB of RAM in some cases. Wonder if that means that that A) we'll see some cheap systems that still have XP even after Vista ships; or B) the specs on even the cheapest machines will be beefed up; or C) we'll see machines that have Vista preloaded but which don't qualify as Vista capable?"

Neutrino Mass Confirmed 318

Posted by Zonk
from the they-do-exist dept.
biohack writes "BBC News reports that results from the MINOS experiment have confirmed that neutrinos have mass. To look for neutrino oscillations, scientists created muon neutrinos in a particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). After passing through a particle detector at Fermilab, a high intensity beam of neutrinos travelled to another particle detector 724km (450 miles) away in a disused mine in Soudan, US. The set up established that fewer particles were being detected at the Soudan site than had been sent from Fermilab, which confirmed that some neutrinos changed their flavor on the way - an effect called neutrino flavor oscillation, which requires them to have mass. 'To put it simply, if they are heavy, it means that there is a lot more mass in the Universe than we thought there was,' said Professor Jenny Thomas from University College London."

Wikipedia Covers April Fool's Hoaxes 129

Posted by Zonk
from the check-out-what-you-missed dept.
vladd_rom writes "Wikipedia maintains an up to date list with April Fools hoaxes from this year. The list already includes hundreds of entries. Among the most popular, one could find Google Romance, a new Google.com project, Google Browser, as well as Yahoo!'s desire to buy all Web 2.0 companies on the web. However, it seems that this year hoaxes will be more interconnected: the wiki page already includes some websites that announced that they have been bought by Yahoo!, and linked to Yahoo!'s blog post from their pages."

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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