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Comment: Libertarian does not equal conservative... (Score 5, Informative) 1030

by thomasinx (#45493499) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP
Just to point it out... Just because a few very vocal groups in the GOP are claiming to be libertarian, that does not mean that libertarians are GOP. The interests of the two groups do not align very well, so a conflict such as this is only to be expected.

Comment: Shouldn't it be "Judgment"? (Score 5, Informative) 115

by thomasinx (#39603635) Attached to: Bogus Takedown Notice Lands $150k Settlement In Australian Court
A settlement involves an agreement between two parties. Nothing of the sort happened here. The Australian court said this woman had to pay the money. Thats a "judgment". Its quite irritating that immediately after this verdict, the relisted trailer on YouTube got blocked by the same person again...

Comment: Mute button (Score 3, Insightful) 153

by thomasinx (#33365864) Attached to: Video Adverts On the Printed Page
Did anyone catch whether or not there was a mute button? I could see an ad with audio like that being incredibly annoying when reading in a public place.

Overall though, I think this is an interesting trend. I definitely wonder whether or not the benefit of such an ad outweighs the cost of all the extra hardware...

Comment: Re:Yes. (Score 1) 319

by thomasinx (#33103722) Attached to: Should Professors Be Required To Teach With Tech?
That is definitely not the case. With many subjects, just flashing an image on powerpoint does not do a good job expressing the logical progression of the concepts. A good example of this is any high level mathematics. It is *much* easier to follow a clear derivation as it is written with a narration by the professor, than it is to follow a written version in powerpoint, even with the widgets powerpoint has.

If the students could understand the subject just by reading a powerpoint, then there's no reason to have the professor there in the first place. Just email them the powerpoint and tell them to stay at home.

Comment: Re:More Cores, More Power (Score 5, Insightful) 661

by thomasinx (#32958340) Attached to: 4 Cores? 6 Cores? Do You Care?
Not necessarily. I could very easily envisage a 6 core system that plays games/handles most tasks worse than a quad core system (emphasis on most). More cores doesn't necessarily mean more power. There are many other statistics to take into account before a judgement can be made, especially when it comes to gaming. Your e-peen is safe for now. Put it to good use.

Comment: Distributed Computing (Score 2, Informative) 206

by thomasinx (#32741190) Attached to: Scaling To a Million Cores and Beyond
The problems with "coherent memory/identical time/everything can route to everywhere" isnt only seen when you get up to a million cores. I've done plenty of work with MPI and pthreads, and depending on how it's organized, a significant portion of these methods start showing inefficiencies when you get into just a few hundred cores.

Since there are already plenty of clusters containing thousands upon thousands of individual processors (which dont use coherent memory..etc), the step to scale up to a million would likely follow the same logical development. There should already be one or two decent CS papers on the topic, since it's basically a problem that's been around since beowulf clusters were popularized (or even before then)
Cellphones

Best Phone For a Wi-Fi-Only Location? 289

Posted by kdawson
from the cutting-the-tower dept.
bendodge writes "I am planning on heading to a university in a remote area with very poor cellular service (the only signal is spotty Verizon voice, no data). However, the entire campus is thoroughly blanketed in Wi-Fi. I am trying to find the best and most economical 'Wi-Fi phone' or else hack one together. Belkin/Netgear sell what is essentially a portable Skype device for $180. These folks recommend outfitting an iPod Touch with a mic and VoIP apps. I am looking for something that can make and receive calls to and from landlines with incoming call notification. What experiences have Slashdot readers had and what would you recommend?"
Security

What Free Antivirus Do You Install On Windows? 896

Posted by timothy
from the is-clamav-no-longer-good? dept.
Techman83 writes "After years of changing between AVG Free + Avast, it's coming time to find a new free alternative for friends/relatives who run Windows. AVG and Avast have been quite good, but are starting to bloat out in size, and also becoming very misleading. Avast recently auto updated from 4.8 to 5 and now requires you to register (even for the free version) and both are making it harder to actually find the free version. Is this the end of reasonable free antivirus, or is there another product I can entrust to keep the 'my computer's doing weird things' calls to a minimum?"

Comment: Re:Why they WON'T (Score 1) 613

by thomasinx (#30882494) Attached to: Why the IRS Should Automatically Fill In Returns With What It Knows

Ummm, NO.

The government would include all the informaton that they know already and then you would fill in the rest =- the way this is set up, they don't put your taxes to pay in there. You are responsible to add in what else you earned, just like today.

True, you're "responsible to add in what else you earned", but if you know they can't catch you for it, what prevents you from not telling them?.

Another thing is... how do you know that the person filing the tax return is the person they're claiming to be? That would be one easy way to find out a *lot* of critical information about someone simply by requesting the governments tax return info so they can fill it out. (Identify theft anyone?)

Comment: Re:About time to arm ourselves (Score 5, Informative) 450

by thomasinx (#30648584) Attached to: INTERPOL Granted Diplomatic Immunity In the US
This summary is flat out WRONG. It's phrased to start a flamewar. Click the news link, and see what it says. He did not grant full diplomatic immunity to INTERPOL. I quote from the article: "Basically, recognizing a group under the International Organizations Immunities Act means officials from those organizations are exempt from some taxes and customs fees, and that their records cannot be seized." FOIA might be affected, but they are not immune to crimes.

Comment: The company apologized (Score 5, Informative) 645

by thomasinx (#29832361) Attached to: Singer In Grocery Store Ordered To Pay Royalties
Yes, she was ordered to pay royalties. However, shortly afterward, the company sent her flowers, and issued a formal apology (ie, they realized they went *way* too far).

and I quote the article...
"In a note attached to a large bouquet of flowers they said: "We're very sorry we made a big mistake. We hear you have a lovely singing voice and we wish you good luck." "

Comment: Re:That is an incredibly dumb question. (Score 5, Insightful) 730

by thomasinx (#29058595) Attached to: Why Should I Trust My Network Administrator?
There are no dumb questions.

He's here asking for advice, so give it to him. Even though most of the people who read/post this board are heavily involved with IT, and it might be a common sense answer, the fact is that to this person it isn't as simple a solution.

In many cases, people have sensitive information that they are handling on their servers, and whether or not to trust the IT staff is a valid question. (not all geeks are trustworthy). Also, in many cases, (especially with startups) they dont have the resources to hire on-site IT staff, so they have to outsource it. It introduces a dilemma that many will have to deal with.

-T
Science

Dogs As Intelligent As Average Two-Year-Old Children 472

Posted by timothy
from the buddy-the-dog-is-hiding-his-smarts dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "The Telegraph reports that researchers using tests originally designed to demonstrate the development of language, pre-language and basic arithmetic in human children have found that dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations putting them on par with the average two-year-old child. While most dogs understand simple commands such as sit, fetch and stay, a border collie tested by Professor Coren showed a knowledge of 200 spoken words. 'Obviously we are not going to be able to sit down and have a conversation with a dog, but like a two-year-old, they show that they can understand words and gestures,' says Professor Stanley Coren, a leading expert on canine intelligence at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Dogs can tell that one plus one should equal two and not one or three,' says Coren, adding that dogs 'can also deliberately deceive, which is something that young children only start developing later in their life.' Coren believes centuries of selective breeding and living alongside humans has helped to hone the intelligence of dogs. 'They may not be Einsteins, but are sure closer to humans than we thought.'"
Security

+ - CARS.gov EULA Allows the Government to Own Your PC 1

Submitted by
54mc
54mc writes "Glen Beck today revealed what a close inspection of the End User License Agreement for the CARS system contains. From the EULA, "This application provides access to the DoT CARS system. When logged on to the CARS system, your computer is considered a Federal computer system and is the property of the U.S. Government." The EULA goes on to include other specific aspects of what exactly belongs to the computer.Will this be yet another issue for the already troubled system?

This is of course, yet another example of EULAs that no one reads going way too far."

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