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Comment: Re:Island of stability (Score 1) 213

by spvo (#31756794) Attached to: Six Atoms of Element 117 Produced
So far all the elements produced near the island of stability are isotopes with a fewer neutrons than would be needed for them to have long lifetimes. It is still too early to know how long these super heavy elements will last. Yet, there have been several produced in the 112+ range with half-lifes on the order of minutes.

Just explore the top of the chart at nndc to see.

Comment: Re:Hey chemists (Score 3, Informative) 213

by spvo (#31756134) Attached to: Six Atoms of Element 117 Produced
People have predicted some of their properties. Since these super heavy elements are difficult to produce, and the isotopes produced are generally short lived, the only thing that can really be observed is the elements half-life.

The models that exist for the currently known elements seem to work pretty well, but they also predict the island of stability mentioned in the summary. Basically a region of very heavy and very stable elements. So, if these elements are discovered and actually are very stable, then it tells us that the current nuclear models aren't too bad.

Also, and this I'm not positive about, the reason the properties are likely different than the common elements is because these superheavy elements are very neutron rich and very heavy. And I think the most stable ones are supposed to be deformed as well.

Comment: Re:Scanning a check exists now (Score 2, Informative) 494

by spvo (#31494324) Attached to: Deposit Checks To Your Bank By Taking a Photo
Almost all the checks I cash are rebates, which USAA's applet can't handle, so I have to mail everything in anyway. But I did manage to get it working with linux. All I had to do was change my useragent string (useragent plug-in) to firefox on a mac and it will just prompt you to upload the jpeg image of your check.

Comment: Re:Agents provocateurs (Score 1) 630

by spvo (#29556165) Attached to: G20 Protesters Blasted By "Sound Cannon"

The troops coming out today don't have that option, they have the Montgomery GI Bill [va.gov] which requires veterans to put aside money for college during their active duty and Big Unc coughs up 8x what the vet puts away for up to 36 months. It's only in the last year or so that they finally voted in something close to the GI Bill I knew when I got out.

I used the old GI Bill to pay for college, and it is a whole lot better than you are letting on. Yes, I did have to pay into it, but only a measley 1200 dollars. After getting out my monthly payment was about the same amount. Also, a traditional 4 year bachelors only requires 36 months of actual class time. The GI Bill won't pay for summer or time you aren't attending school, and there is no reason they should.

Comment: Re:Swastika (Score 1) 625

by xkcdFan1011011101111 (#29528853) Attached to: <em>Wolfenstein</em> Being Recalled In Germany

This is anecdotal, but I visited Germany a few years ago. I am well read on Nazi history as it fascinates me in a strange morbid way that such a crazy political group could seize power in a modern society. I tried to discuss the Nazi rise in Germany with a group of German hosts, but they did *not* want to discuss it. I figured there was too much national shame/disgust about it and the subject was too emotional to broach with my hosts, so I quickly changed the conversation topic.

I get the feeling that discussing WWII/Nazism is "off-limits" to discuss with the majority of Germans. I think this limits the discourse of history in a bad way...

Comment: Re:Think of Barcodes (Score 1) 600

by thule (#29523407) Attached to: USB-IF Slaps Palm In iTunes Spat

They did write their own software. The software resides in the Pre and it parses the iPod DB files. Are you saying that any program that parses iPod DB files is wrong?

This is slashdot.org! I really don't understand why people don't see this as the awesome clean hack that it is! The user is not required to install any software and the device works on Windows iTunes and MacOS iTunes or any 3rd party iPod management software. The hack uses an inherit feature of the Linux gadgetfs. Until Apple checked for the Vendor ID, all Palm had to do was spoof the Device ID. To the user, it is no different than running their own iPod management software since the Pre and the management software both manipulate the iPod DB files directly.

Comment: Re:You're obliged to pay for it (Score 1) 267

by IBBoard (#29451409) Attached to: BBC Wants DRM On HD Broadcasts

Sky TV have over 240 channels. The BBC has 8.

Also, the BBC is a content producer where as Sky has a subscription service. You can't "get your TV from the BBC", you just watch the channels. Sky, on the other hand, is a "pay your money now, get content later" (unless you include Sky 3 and the crap they put on there, which is available on Freeview).

Comment: Re:Lack of Ctl-D to "Fill Down" in OO Calc (Score 3, Informative) 891

by spvo (#29398099) Attached to: Why Users Drop Open Source Apps For Proprietary Alternatives

Try each new version of Calc, no easy "fill down"

I remember using hot keys in the past to "fill down" in open office. I just checked and, sure enough, by default open office 3.0 (in ubuntu) uses ctrl-d to fill down in a spreadsheet. Maybe it's time for you to try again.

Comment: Re:Open source has been "looked at" (Score 2, Informative) 306

by spvo (#26547825) Attached to: Obama Looking At Open Source?
I doubt that is an actual army policy. From my experience, even though the majority of the software was proprietary, open source software was allowed and frequently found on the computers.
I looked it up anyway and one part of AR 25-2 says:

Use of "open source" software (for example, Red Hat Linux) is permitted when the source code is available for examination of malicious content

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