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+ - Novel windows block out noise but let in fresh air->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "There are few things better than lazing around the house on a warm summer day, whose fragrant zephyrs speak of spicy isles and heaven-breathing groves. At least, until the neighbors start their leaf-blowers and the city needs to tear up the sidewalks. Noise pollution is one of the scourges of urban and suburban life, which can drown out nature's melodies to cause annoyance, stress, and hearing loss. Now, however, a team of South Korean engineers has invented a remarkable window that lets air in while keeping a great deal of noise out."
Link to Original Source

+ - Italian team cures Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome with the help of the HIV virus

Submitted by tchernobog
tchernobog (752560) writes "An Italian team funded by Telethon and S. Raffaele of Milan, was able to cure six kids affected by lethal genetic diseases (in Italian, English video): the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and the metachromatic leukodystrophy. This is the culmination of a project lasted 15 years, and which cost more than 30M €; the researchers have published some preliminary results last year on Nature, and are waiting for the results on more patients to submit another.

The really interesting part is, they used a mix of advanced genic techniques to achieve this result. Firstly, the DNA of a defective cell is corrected with a gene first assembled in the lab. This procedure has always been very dangerous for the past 20 years: the fact that it can be used is a good achievement alone. Secondly, the corrected DNA is propagated in the patient body using a stripped-down version of the HIV virus, of which less than 10% of its original genome remains.

Might the feared HIV virus in reality prove to be salvation for some?"

+ - Video Streaming For The Elderly

Submitted by ChrisC1234
ChrisC1234 (953285) writes "My grandparents are getting older and don't get out much anymore, and with the demise of video stores (and not even understanding what a RedBox is), they don't see movies anymore. They've got internet access, so I'm thinking of getting them a streaming appliance and a Netflix account. So I'm wondering what device is the easiest for elderly people to use. I'm thinking either a Roku or Apple TV, but open to other options. It just needs to be easy to navigate and support closed captioning. Has anyone else done this successfully?"

Comment: Re:32-bit pointers in x32? (Score 3, Interesting) 95

If you can point me to a spreadsheet program that opens both ODS and XSLX files, is feature complete with respect to the OOXML formula specification, doesn't cost more than 100 € and runs on GNU/Linux, I will consider it :-p. Of course, it should work *better* than LibreOffice.

I ain't saying LibreOffice shines on this. I should really take the time to profile it and file a bug against it. But it works most of the time for me and gets the job done better than many other alternatives. The fact that it uses *a lot* of memory for really complex models (we are talking about a million computed cells or so, anyways), should be fixable in the long run.

Comment: 32-bit pointers in x32? (Score 1) 95

The thing I keep wondering about x32 is, I have > 4 GB of RAM. If applications use 32-bit pointers, they will be able to address a virtual address space of max 4 GB. Of course, different processes can be mapped in different physical memory regions so having > 4GB of RAM still helps, but if you have memory-hungry apps (such as when you try to open complex Excel spreadsheets in LibreOffice), you will hit the 4 gigs limit. Uhm. Doesn't look as a win-win situation to me. Can someone shed some light on the subject?

Comment: Why? Massive destruction, of course! (Score 4, Funny) 76

by tchernobog (#40341253) Attached to: Fly Your Own Experiment In Space

Then again, you could hack into the main system, power on the thrusters, and ram into a military-grade satellite, changing its azimuth. In the ensuing madness, small splinters get sent across the Earth orbit at high speed, finally surrounding us by the Kessler syndrome we deserve, and cutting us out of space for a good while.

Ah, you can't take away one man's apocalyptic dream. :-)

Maybe I can cut out a job as a space-sweeper.

Comment: Re:Disagree (Score 1) 316

by tchernobog (#39592903) Attached to: Egypt Banned Porn, But How Much of the Internet Is That?

Having been married for plenty of years, I've concluded that pornography can actually quite harmful to some marriages if not most marriages.

Would you like to elaborate exactly how? It would help us to understand how you arrived to this conclusion; it might very well be you are right, but stated like this, it is just a vague and unsupported statement.

Comment: How money was spent dealing with the issue? (Score 1) 356

by tchernobog (#39087627) Attached to: UK Student Jailed For Facebook Hack Despite 'Ethical Hacking' Defense

The case's prosecutor, Mr. Patel, said Facebook spent '$200,000 (£126,400) dealing with Mangham's crime.

That is, doing a security audit, implementing tests and fixing bugs? If you have poorly tested code, and you notice it because someone is trying to get in through the back door, you should not try to charge them for your own faults.

Hopefully, you would have spent that money anyway.

If you hadn't, then good thing someone came in before you had also to face more serious consequences (as in a public exploit or distributed attack).

Comment: Before April 2009 (Score 4, Insightful) 102

by tchernobog (#38460228) Attached to: Chinese Developer Forum Leaks 6 Million User Credentials

passwords created before April 2009 had been stored in plain text

UPDATE users SET password = SHA1(password) WHERE created_at

There. Did it for you. Won't prevent everything getting stolen, but at least you don't give away any more passwords reusable on other websites.

I mean... seriously?? So you have to check in your code if an account has been created before and after 04/2009, and do different actions to check their credentials upon that? Yuuuck.

Comment: Space around Earth is already a lot crowded (Score 2) 572

by tchernobog (#36895816) Attached to: Space Station To Be Deorbited After 2020

Why couldn't they nudge it out of orbit instead? Send it off to roam deep space? That would make a far more romantic end, rather than being designated space junk and dumped into the ocean.

Because they think for the future. Even a iron-screw-sized debris, if plunged against your craft at hundreds of meters per second, can leave a hole bigger than your fist, side-to-side. Depressurization of the environment is one of the possible issues that might happen because of it.

You really, really, really want to limit the amount of debris you leave in space, or you're gambling with Lady Luck. There's a big enough mess with all the satellites we put up there. A salvage operation would cost an awful sum of money. Think about going around in space searching for some centimeters-wide, potentially-harmful waste.

Pushing it in space might be romantic (agreed), but not very clever. The only good alternative would be to have it caught by another gravity well, so that it crashes on something like Jupiter. Actually, sending everything on the moon might be nice, if you want to use some scrap metal one day tomorrow to start building shipcrafts in space (sooner or later we will need to do it, if we want to push forward with space exploration).

Comment: Re:risk/reward (Score 1) 493

by tchernobog (#36838400) Attached to: Can a Playground Be Too Safe?

A society's advance is measured by risk reduction, so stuff can be achieved without a large proportion of people being harmed in the process.

While risk reduction is nice and desirable, there is a problem in risk avoidance. Risk avoidance (one of the traits Geert Hofstede identified as defining a culture) might bring economical stagnation and less breakthroughs in high-risk research, among other things — my country has a very high risk avoidance ratio, btw, and I can confirm this.

We are progressing from what is safe to be concerned about (kids playing with guns are still worrying to me, sorry NRA), to a society where you teach kids they should not climb a tree, jump the rope, or run along for fear of falling and bruising their knee. This, in the long run, will produce less competitive, fearful and insecure adults.

In my opinion, only useless risks are dangerous. TFA argues that by overprotecting children, you take away from them the ability to learn to assess whether a risk is worth it or not, and what are the outcomes of acting in a certain way. Nothing new into that. The *right* way to address *this* problem would be to watch over children while they play, so you — the experienced adult — can guide a child to avoid the worst outcomes while still giving them the capability of choosing what they want to do, and that is the core issue. Nobody has time anymore to play with their children, but that's what parents should do.

In other words, we learn from our mistakes, but we must be able to err in order to do a mistake and learn from it.

Overprotective parents are the worst kind; they actually prevent a child to grow and reason with his own brains. Incidentally, be wary about how you judge someone to be "fearful": for me, heavily armed societies are fearful societies. I would say people screaming "this will make a man out of me!" and jumping in the battlefield would probably be those NOT having any experience about small risks when they were children. Those experiences that would make them say "wait, if I do this I might pay these consequences" (growing up from: "if I punch my classmate in the face I get scolded by the headmaster", to: "if I punch a colleague at work, I might end up without job and in tribunal").

Comment: Re:Google+ (Score 3, Interesting) 321

by tchernobog (#36711880) Attached to: Google+ Runs Out of Disk Space, Swamps Users With Notifications

Google did the same mistake here they've done several times earlier.. They published an unfinished product on a market that is already established and has the giant pain of trying to get users to move to their service. This included with the constant problems on Google+, not really offering anything new and even bigger privacy problems than with Facebook really isn't doing good. It was hot for a few days when coming out of beta.. Now I feel like it's going to die a slow death with no interest from casual people.

Actually, if they ran out of disk space, it's more like they had a bigger response than what they anticipated, so it's probably going quite well.

As for the "same mistake they've done several times earlier", are you referring to the undoubtedly failure of products such as GMail or GTalk? Or of Google Search, maybe? They seem to have been adopted pretty widely to me...

And as both a Facebook and Google+ user, I can't really say how you manage to state that privacy is worse on Google+ than in Facebook, where they introduce new options violating your privacy all the times and without alerting you (almost all weeks I found new checkboxes to uncheck in my privacy settings, not to speak of the scam/spam apps and the poor security record FB has). Maybe you can elaborate your line of reasoning? Else, it's just trolling.

Frankly, I am closing down my Facebook account, and I'm giving a Google+ a shot. In the past three days, friends in my circles on Google+ went up from being just 6 to about 40-50. I expect this number to increase. Deep integration with other Google products, such as GMail, will most likely ensure a big number of participants.

If Google+ fails, I won't at least go back to FB. There is a lot of social pressure to do so, but quite frankly it sucks. You use it because most of your friends do, not because it works well. The only thing I will miss is the capability of creating events among friends, but there are other ways.

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