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+ - Dear museums: uploading your content to Wikimedia Commons just got easier->

Submitted by The ed17
The ed17 (2834807) writes "Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) are now facing fewer barriers to uploading their content to Wikimedia Commons—the website that stores most of Wikipedia's images and videos. Previously, these institutions had to build customized scripts or be lucky enough to find a Wikimedia volunteer to do the work for them. According to the toolset's coordinator Liam Wyatt, "this is a giant leap forward in giving GLAMs the agency to share with Commons on their own terms.""
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Comment: not MY notion, but yes restaurants de-prioritize r (Score 1) 261

by raymorris (#47554405) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

> Your notion of fairness is like someone standing in line at McDonalds being asked to move to the back of the line because they already bought a dozen hamburgers last week and McDonalds is really busy right now.

FYI, I'm not Verizon. I didn't make this policy. I only explained it.
Interestingly, sit-down restaurants actually DO de-prioritize regulars when they get too busy. Customers who are not regulars (yet) get priority.

> Please, drop the notion of "fair" and "heavy user".

Considering that this story is about the company giving lower priority to heavy users in order to be fair to customers who don't demand as much, it would be pretty tough to have any meaningful discussion about it without discussing the major concepts involved.

+ - Bird flocks resemble liquid helium->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium. Some of the more interesting findings: Tracking data showed that the message for a flock to turn started from a handful of birds and swept through the flock at a constant speed between 20 and 40 meters per second. That means that for a group of 400 birds, it takes just a little more than a half-second for the whole flock to turn."
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Comment: perfect solution. Bureaucrats won't find ways to (Score 1, Troll) 104

by raymorris (#47544137) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

> The theory is that a lot of political rancor has taken place in the aerospace community because of the space agency's limited budget. If the budget were to be increased to pay for everything on the space wish list, the rancor will cease.

That will definitely work. Government agencies can never find more ways to spend money.
I bet if we handed 43% of everything we produce to the federal government, they'd stop having budget problems.

+ - The five greatest space hacks of all time

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Space missions are amazingly well-prepared affairs, every action and procedure is followed, right down to the most minute detail. But sometimes mishaps and emergencies occur. Some can be dealt with by sophisticated sensors and equipment. Some can be dealt with on Earth from Mission Control. But sometimes the only option is for an astronaut to get their hands dirty, using whatever comes to hand and a bit of DIY know-how. It’s amazing what has been grabbed, bent and improvised to save red faces – or, indeed, the lives of astronauts."

+ - What would you do with half a rack of server space?

Submitted by Christian Gainsbrugh
Christian Gainsbrugh (3766717) writes "I work at a company that is currently transitioning all our servers into the cloud. In the interim we have half a rack of server space in a great datacenter that will soon be sitting completely idle for the next few months until our lease runs out.

Right now the space is occupied by around 8 HP g series servers, a watchguard xtm firewall, cisco switch and some various other equipment. All in all there are probably around 20 or so physical XEON processors, and probably close to 10 tb of storage among all the machines. We have a dedicated 10 mbs connection that is burstable to 100mbs.

I'm curious what slashdot readers would do if they were in a similar situation. Is there anything productive that could be done with these resources? Obviously something revenue generating is great, but even if there is something novel that could be done with these servers we would be interested in putting them to good use.

Christian Gainsbrugh
Lead Developer

Comment: eight days. Gunpowder dangerous, candles are not (Score 2) 119

Iodine is most dangerous because it releases all of it's radiation quickly. With a half-Life of just eight days, it releases enough energy, quickly enough, to do real harm. After a few weeks, the radiation is pretty much gone. You can visualize that as being like gunpowder, it releases its energy quickly, and that's dangerous.

Other substances release energy very slowly, over the course of hundreds of years. That's like the heat energy released from from iron rusting - it takes a long time to release the energy, so it would take a LONG time to be affected by it. You wouldn't want to keep a piece of plutonium in your pocket for 800 years, because after 200 years or so you might start to notice some affects. Except of course you'll die of other causes in about 50 years, so you'd never notice any affects from plutonium.

Iodine and other isotopes with a short half-life ARE dangerous for a little while, until they "burn up".

Comment: Porsche max speed 150 MPH. Should cap GB (Score 1) 261

by raymorris (#47543051) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

> We don't let car manufacturers advertise MPG

I understand the sentiment. Phone companies sometimes act like jerks. In this case, they are lying by using the word "unlimited". Data transfer is ALWAYS limited,on any media.

Mbps is a measure of speed, though. Technically, looking at how very large networks work, "up to 30 Mbps" is more like saying a Porsche can go "up to 150 MPH".

It's important information for consumers, too. I want to know how quickly my cat video will load - will I have to wait while it buffers? That's actually a completely separate measurement from how many cat videos I can download in a month. Unless of course you assume I'm downloading videos 24/7. I buy bandwidth that way - 24 / 7 dedicated bandwidth. It's VERY A expensive that way because you're not sharing the cost since you're not sharing the bandwidth.

Comment: In the long run, yes. Why I don't host spammers. (Score 1) 261

by raymorris (#47542771) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

In the long run, yes decreased cost results in decreased prices TO THE EXTENT THAT COMPETITION IS ALLOWED.
If, say Cricket wireless can provide the same service at half the cost, they'll charge less in order to get market share. On the macro level, it puts downward pressure on prices.

Here's a concrete example for you. In the web hosting business, like many others, 20% of the customers result in 80% of the cost. Most customers never require much attention, the servers just run, the bill goes out, and their credit card is charged. A few customers run opt-in mailing lists, and while those are legitimate, they cause some spam complaints that needed to be handled, they need DKIM set up, etc. Other customers feel they need to install a new script every week, so they need a lot of support, and since they do everything ad-hoc rather than settling into a pattern they miss paying their bull sometimes and you have to call them a couple of times to get them to pay. Many years ago, I started a very small invitation-only web hosting service. We only hostprofessional webmasters who know what they are doing, so they don't bug support with stupid questions. Their invoice is billed to their business credit card every month. I have customers I haven't heard from in years. Because of this, our costs are low, and so are our prices. We can provide excellent service at an excellent price because we're not spending our time and money dealing with spam and DMCA complaints, or chasing down past-due accounts. Our costs are low, therefore our prices are low.

* no, we won't host your site. Not unless we know you, or people we know vouch for you. We don't want new customers unless we know those new customers won't bring DMCA, spam, billing, or support problems.

Comment: the FCC regulates milk now? (Score 1) 198

I know it's not fashionable to read the article, but you didn't even read the title?
This is about wireless. I pointed out that the platform of the Green party is to give the FCC new powers to do a, b, c, and d. Which in effect means giving Wheeler those powers. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Or in your case, milk in China.

If you for some reason want to make a comparison between the US and China on the topic of "big government", you might notice that China isn't exactly an example of small government. In China, the milk producers report directly to the government bureaucrats, more or less exactly what the Greens want to do here. Yes, that system results in melamine in milk.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan