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+ - Build your own star!

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Want to kill the rest of your weekend? Games like 1024 have taken the app world by storm, so why not take the next logical step into geekdom and do what two RPI students have done: make a version that allows you to fuse elements in stars? Going all the way up to Iron, this addictive game is actually pretty good as far as getting most of the science right. Enjoy (and play) Fe[26] here!"

Comment: Home economics (Score 2) 389

by rwa2 (#46798033) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Potatoes are 10 cents a pound here.

"Learning to live poor" is the most education that people get in college. They have money... they just don't know how to manage it properly.

Yep, pretty much this. Students should learn to get by the same way adults do. Make a damn budget and stick to it (granted, this is getting rare among adults too). But do that math and get creative stretching your bucks.

Found a handful of dependable roommates and rented rickety 100-year old houses with them, which were a lot cheaper than apartments and university housing. We took turns cooking for everyone. We ate well. We'd do a grocery run once a week and shop carefully... fresh or frozen meat that was under $3/lb., lots of pasta, rice, veggies, etc.. Drank tap water, mixed with that frozen juice from concentrate when we wanted something fancier. I pretty much stuck to ~$40 a week for groceries (in 2000 money), and maybe augmented that once or twice a week with trips to one of those heaping Chinese "any two or three" stir fry takeout places for $3-$5 per meal. Plus, I would volunteer to staff the ASME coffee shop in the morning while doing homework, which was good for a bagel or two per sitting. And of course stake out the extracurricular activities that had free pizza.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware for Bandwidth Management? 1

Submitted by DeathByLlama
DeathByLlama (2813725) writes "Years ago I made the switch from DD-WRT to Tomato firmware for my Linksys router. I lost a couple features, but gained one of the best QoS and bandwidth management systems I have seen on a router to date. Admins can see graphs of current and historical bandwidth usage by IP, set minimum and maximum bandwidth limits by IP range, setup QoS rules, and see and filter graphs and lists of current connections by usage, class or source/destination — all from an elegantly designed GUI. This has allowed me to easily and intelligently allocate and adjust my network's bandwidth; when there is a problem, I can see where it's coming from and create rules around it. I'm currently using the Toastman's VPN Tomato firmware, which has about everything that I would want, except for one key thing: support for ARM-based routers (only Broadcom is supported). I have seen other firmware projects being actively developed in the last few years, so in picking a new 802.11ac router, I need to decide whether Tomato support is a deal-breaker. With solid bandwidth management as a priority, what firmware would you recommend? Stock Asuswrt? Asuswrt-Merlin? OpenWRT? DD-WRT? Tomato? _____?"

Comment: Re:Or it could be (Score 5, Interesting) 158

by rwa2 (#46771441) Attached to: Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

I bet if you got any typical Climate Scientists drunk and just partied with them, it would eventually spill out that they have no fucking clue what they are doing.

My father-in-law is actually a "climate scientist", or at least a high-ranking mathematician for GSFC. He's Russian, so he and his friends actually care little about environmentalism and pollution and littering and social responsibility and other stuff like that, even though they are at times the outdoorsy-type who do like to go hiking and camping in large groups and playing and singing music loudly to the annoyance of nearby campers.

What he does care about is math, and the mathematical models for tuning and interpreting satellite LIDAR and other instruments, and if you're doing the math wrong he will yell at you condescendingly. He does get annoyed, however, at all of the politics that are getting in the way of the schedules and funding for his next satellite launch.

A lot of his work involves collecting data on cloud and vegetation cover, and how that affects the energy balance. Pollution and airborne aerosols often seed clouds and serve to reflect solar energy back into space, so being able to measure the effects of that would give us a better picture of how fossil fuel consumption does help "self-regulate" greenhouse gas effects. It probably doesn't help that one of his main projects these days, DSCVR, is essentially known as "Goresat" within GSFC. But essentially these scientists are much too wrapped up in gathering data and facts properly to worry about pushing any social agenda... to them, any form of politicking is just a waste of time and energy and schedule on both sides. There's SCIENCE to be done! :P

+ - Study Finds U.S. is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance', 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'"

+ - Snowden Used the Operating System Designed for Internet Anonymity

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "When Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. Now Klint Finley reports that Snowden also used The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) to keep his communications out of the NSA’s prying eyes. Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box using a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity that you install on a DVD or USB drive, boot your computer from and you’re pretty close to anonymous on the internet. "Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn’t store any data locally," writes Finley. "This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources." The developers of Tails are, appropriately, anonymous. They’re protecting their identities, in part, to help protect the code from government interference. “The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,” the group says. But since we don’t know who wrote Tails, how do we now it isn’t some government plot designed to snare activists or criminals? A couple of ways, actually. One of the Snowden leaks show the NSA complaining about Tails in a Power Point Slide; if it’s bad for the NSA, it’s safe to say it’s good for privacy. And all of the Tails code is open source, so it can be inspected by anyone worried about foul play. "With Tails", say the distro developers, "we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.""

+ - Science Is Running Out of Things to Discover

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "John Horgan writes in National Geographic that scientists have become victims of their own success and that "further research may yield no more great revelations or revolutions, but only incremental, diminishing returns." The latest evidence is a "Correspondence" published in the journal Nature that points out that it is taking longer and longer for scientists to receive Nobel Prizes for their work. The trend is strongest in physics. Prior to 1940, only 11 percent of physics prizes were awarded for work more than 20 years old but since 1985, the percentage has risen to 60 percent. If these trends continue, the Nature authors note, by the end of this century no one will live long enough to win a Nobel Prize, which cannot be awarded posthumously and suggest that the Nobel time lag "seems to confirm the common feeling of an increasing time needed to achieve new discoveries in basic natural sciences—a somewhat worrisome trend." One explanation for the time lag might be the nature of scientific discoveries in general—as we learn more it takes more time for new discoveries to prove themselves. Researchers recently announced that observations of gravitational waves provide evidence of inflation, a dramatic theory of cosmic creation. But there are so many different versions of "inflation" theory that it can "predict" practically any observation, meaning that it doesn't really predict anything at all. String theory suffers from the same problem. As for multiverse theories, all those hypothetical universes out there are unobservable by definition so it's hard to imagine a better reason to think we may be running out of new things to discover than the fascination of physicists with these highly speculative ideas. According to Keith Simonton of the University of California, "the core disciplines have accumulated not so much anomalies as mere loose ends that will be tidied up one way or another.""

+ - The FBI Gamified the Hunt For One of Its Most Wanted->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "The FBI just gamified its latest manhunt. As I was just scanning the bureau's many twitter feeds, I saw a couple of fresh tweets reporting that William Bradford Bishop, Jr. had just been added to the bureau's most wanted list.

When I clicked on the tweet that offered a photo gallery of Bishop, the 'Family Annihilator,' some studio-lit photos of this gallery-quality clay bust were far beyond the everyday mug shots I'd expected.

"Am I'm picking out which glasses my character in GTA will wear?" I thought as I looked at artist Karen Taylor's masterful 3D rendering of Bishop. Bishop is a man who has been a fugitive for almost 40 years (he's 77 now, and Taylor age-processed him to look that old) after allegedly killing his mother, his wife, and their three sons in Bethesda, Md. Bishop, a former Foreign Service officer for the State Department, is described by the FBI as "highly intelligent," and investigators on his case believe he could be hiding in plain sight."

Link to Original Source

+ - James Lovelock reflects on Gaia's legacy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""A lot of investment in green technology has been a giant scam, if well intentioned."

The quote, and entire interview, are significant for two reasons. First, the interview is seeped with many skeptical opinions about human caused global warming, is very critical of that movement's effort to politicize science, and the person being interviewed is James Lovelock, the founder of of the concept of Gaia, a former strong advocate of global warming but now a skeptic.

Most significant however is where the interview is published. It is in Nature, one of the most important and influential science journals, which previously has been aggressively pushing global warming politics for years. That they allowed these politically incorrect opinions within their walls and then broadcast them to their readers signals a major cultural shift within the science community. It is beginning to be acceptable to be a skeptic again!"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Redis (Score 1) 1

by rwa2 (#46700237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database for New Project?

I've been hearing lots of good stuff about http://redis.io/ . We're using it as a small but integral piece of our Logstash / Kibana farm, and it's probably the most reliable component of that mess. Open source, lots of object oriented data formats and language apis, quite fast. That said, I haven't done much with it personally.

I'm pretty much the Couchbase guy atm, and keeping it running has been somewhat painful (mostly because of pathological clients sending it way too many writes, or apps using the old ASCII memcached protocol instead of the newer resilient smart client APIs). However, Couchbase is hands down one of the fastest, and also has some interesting Couchbase-lite libraries that can automagically keep json sync'd between your mobile client apps and the backend couchbase server farms. It's also quite easy to use the advanced replication and data center sync options, provided you don't run into any bugs that cause it to break. So if you have the time and resources to test, monitor, and care for Couchbase, it's certainly worth a shake.

Comment: Re:In a society that has destroyed all adventure (Score 1) 364

by rwa2 (#46641671) Attached to: Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

the only adventure left is to destroy society.

Well, this is just the first step towards eliminating stoplights entirely. Once all the cars can talk to each other and pace themselves, everyone can just coast through open intersections and weave between each other effortlessly. You'll never have to use your brakes again except to come to a complete stop at your destination!

If that's not an adventure, I don't know what is.

+ - Reversible USB Cables That Will Make Life Easier: First Pictures->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "The USB Implementers Forum, which oversees the Universal Serial Bus specification, announced plans to develop a new USB standard in December to replace the current microUSB standard, almost universally used to power smartphones and tablets today.

"The specification is anticipated to be completed in July 2014. We could see products with the new cable by end of year," the USB IF told CNET at the Intel Develop Forum conference in Shenzhen, China.

The new Type-C cables will run on the USB 3.1 standard, which supports 10Gbps transfer rates, although the USB prong itself will measure 8.3mm x 2.5 mm, which is slightly smaller than the common USB cable ports in PCs but slightly larger than the microUSB cables used to connect mobile phones."

Link to Original Source

+ - Subversion project migrates to Git->

Submitted by gitficionado
gitficionado (3600283) writes "The Apache Subversion project has begun migrating its source code from the ASF Subversion repo to git. Last week, the Subversion PMC (project management committee) voted to to migrate, and the migration has already begun.

Although there was strong opposition to the move from the older and more conservative SVN devs, and reportedly a lot of grumbling and ranting when the vote was tallied, a member of the PMC (who asked to remain anonymous) told the author that "this [migration] will finally let us get rid of the current broken design to a decentralized source control model [and we'll get] merge and rename done right after all this time.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Projections (Score 1) 987

by rwa2 (#46624575) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

Nah, that can't be the point of it... no one (nation, not person) would actually listen (or more importantly, act by passing and enforcing meaningful regulations) based on reports or projections.

It's pretty much a given that people are going to have to die on a fairly large scale for anyone to come to their senses.

These reports are pretty much just a CYA so the agencies don't get sued for not predicting this stuff later.

The people that matter, like insurance brokers, have already acted to stop covering low-lying areas. Hasn't stopped people from building on that property anyway, like those neighborhoods in Oso buried in the landslide.

So just prepare to set your thresholds by how many lives are enough to take action, and have your catalog of bandaids ready when nations are finally ready to #panicbuy.

+ - Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides for Decades

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Seattle Times reports that since the 1950s, geological reports on the hill that buckled last weekend killing at least 17 residents in Snohomish County in Washington State have included pessimistic analyses and the occasional dire prediction. But no language seems more prescient than what appears in a 1999 report filed warning of “the potential for a large catastrophic failure.” Daniel Miller, a geomorphologist, documented the hill’s landslide conditions in a report written in 1997 for the Washington Department of Ecology and the Tulalip Tribes. Miller knows the hill’s history, having collected reports and memos from the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s and has a half-dozen manila folders stuffed with maps, slides, models and drawings, all telling the story of an unstable hillside that has defied efforts to shore it up. That’s why he could not believe what he saw in 2006, when he returned to the hill within weeks of a landslide that crashed into and plugged the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, creating a new channel that threatened homes on a street called Steelhead Drive. Instead of seeing homes being vacated, he saw carpenters building new ones. “Frankly, I was shocked that the county permitted any building across from the river,” says Miller. “We’ve known that it’s been failing. It’s not unknown that this hazard exists.”

The hill that collapsed is referred to by geologists with different names, including Hazel Landslide and Steelhead Haven Landslide, a reference to the hillside’s constant movement. After the hill gave away in 1949, in '51, in '67, in '88, in 2006, residents referred to it simply as “Slide Hill.” “People knew that this was a landslide-prone area,” says John Pennington. Geomorphologist Tracy Drury said there were discussions over the years about whether to buy out the property owners in the area, but those talks never developed into serious proposals. "“I think we did the best that we could under the constraints that nobody wanted to sell their property and move.""

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