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Comment: Titan Landing Probes (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by ranson (#30501136) Attached to: Proposed NASA Mission Would Sail the Seas of Titan
Interestingly enough, the Cassini Orbiter's landing probe, the Huygens, which landed on Titan a few years back, was designed with floatation devices, just in case it hit liquid instead land (ultimately it hit land). An interesting fact about Titan: the high density of the atmosphere, combined with a much lower gravitational force than that of earth results in very soft probe landings. In fact, it is hypothesized that on Titan, a human could strap fake wings on his arms and fly -- now if only we breathed methane and could survive at temperatures colder than -200F...

Comment: "Straight" of Gibraltar (Score 3, Funny) 224

by ranson (#30424024) Attached to: Mediterranean Might Have Filled In Months

According to Daniel Garcia-Castellanos' paper in Nature, the sill at the Straight of Gibraltar gave way rather suddenly, with 40 cm of rock eroding and the water level rising by 10 m per day at its peak.

I'm relieved to know the Strait of Gibraltar is not gay; I was convinced he was hitting on me the other day.


Mediterranean Might Have Filled In Months 224

Posted by kdawson
from the white-water-to-die-for dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new model suggests that the Mediterranean Sea was filled in a gigantic flood some 5.3 million years ago. According to Daniel Garcia-Castellanos' paper in Nature, the sill at the Straight of Gibraltar gave way rather suddenly, with 40 cm of rock eroding and the water level rising by 10 m per day at its peak. They imagine a shallow, fast-moving stream of water (around 100 km/hr) several kilometers wide pouring into the basin with a flow greater than a thousand Amazon rivers — that's about 100,000,000 cubic meters per second." The flood would have dropped worldwide sea levels by 9.5 meters, probably triggering climate changes. In this model the Mediterranean filled in anywhere from a few months to two years at the outside.

Comment: Re:Akamai? (Score 2, Informative) 406

by ranson (#30078354) Attached to: HTTP Intermediary Layer From Google Could Dramatically Speed Up the Web
No. Akamai offers many services and features beyond 'giving' boxes to ISPs. For instance, they have their own global CDN unrelated to any ISP which you can pay to have your content served across. They'll host it or reverse proxy/cache it. They also can multicast live streaming media, on demand streaming media, etc. You get the picture. In once sentence, Akamai is a high availability, high capacity provider of bandwidth. And they accomplish that in a variety of ways other than just putting boxes in ISPs.

Comment: Not a terribly new concept. (Score 5, Informative) 406

by ranson (#30078210) Attached to: HTTP Intermediary Layer From Google Could Dramatically Speed Up the Web
AOL actually does something similar to this with their TopSpeed technology, and it does work very, very well. It has introduced features like multiplexed persistent connections to the intermediary layer, sending down just object deltas since last visit (for if-modified-since requests), and applying gzip compression to uncompressed objects on the wire. It's one of the best technologies they've introduced. And, in full disclosure, I was proud to be a part of the team that made it all possible. It's too bad all of this is specific to the AOL software, so I'm glad a name like Google is trying to open up these kind of features to the general internet.

Comment: Re:Who wants to update?? (Score 3, Interesting) 1012

by ranson (#29957932) Attached to: Mac OS X 10.6.2 Will Block Atom Processors
"Stole" my ass! I'm not sure where all the Apple FanBoys came up with the myth that the $29 Snow Leopard disc is an "upgrade." (Note, I'm a fanboy; I am currently typing on my new 27" iMac). I walked across the street to the Apple Store the day Snow Leopard was released, and paid $49 for my 5-user Family Pack edition. Nothing on the box, in the printed EULA, printed documentation, or electronic EULA at install time indicates my copy is intended to be an upgrade. In fact, I completely wiped a hard drive and installed it from scratch without any request for a disc containing a previous version. The requirements on my retail box state that it requires a "Mac computer with an Intel processor." That's it. Nothing about a previous OS is mentioned anywhere. Bottom line is it's a fully licensed copy, and purchasing and installing it one time (or five times in the case of the family pack) is not stealing. So stop calling this an upgrade only. It's not. I understand Apple's desire to keep OS X limited to their own hardware. The EULA is intended to prevent people like Psystar from making a dime on Apple's IP. Does Apple care about home enthusiasts getting the OS on unauthorized systems? Highly unlikely, if those enthusiasts are handing over $30 for the Snow Leopard disc. It's $30 in their pocket they wouldn't have had, to entertain someone's harmless fun. The removal of the Atom support is likely another cat and mouse game with the likes of Psystar more than it is with the home enthusiast community.
The Courts

Appeals Court Overturns 2007 Unix Copyright Decision 330

Posted by kdawson
from the long-dark-teatime dept.
snydeq writes "A federal appeals court has overturned a 2007 decision that Novell owns the Unix code, clearing the way for SCO to pursue a $1 billion copyright infringement case against IBM. In a 54-page decision (PDF), the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said it was reversing the 2007 summary judgment decision by Judge Dale Kimball of the US District Court for the District of Utah, which found that Novell was the owner of Unix and UnixWare copyrights. SCO CEO Darl McBride called the decision a 'huge validation for SCO.'" The case over who owns Unix will now go to trial in Utah.

Comment: Average Star Trek Gross (Score 3, Interesting) 820

by ranson (#27905971) Attached to: Is a $72.5m Opening Weekend Enough For Star Trek?
Considering the previous 10 ST films have averaged about $70M each for their entire runs, I don't think surpassing that figure the first weekend is terribly bad at all. It's a great movie, and word of mouth is powerful. It will continue to do well.

Last year, as the first trailer rolled at the beginning of Cloverfield, I was sitting there completely giddy and in awe of it. And my friends with me were laughing their asses off at me for being such a geek. They had never seen a Star Trek movie, but those same friends ended up going to the midnight showing on Thursday with me, and we're all going back to see it again this Thursday with an even larger group. All of thse folks are being introduced to Trek for the first time and love it already.

Journal: Comcast Sells Digital Voice Subscriber Info to Telemarketers 1

Journal by ranson
I recently decided to get the 'Comcast Triple Play' package. Less than a day after the technician installed the VoIP terminal in my home, telemarketers were calling my new number and asking for me by my full name, at the rate of 10 calls per day. Obviously Comcast had sold my new information. A quick search revealed that quite a few others experienced the exact same problem. This week I called Comcast to

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS