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Comment: Re:And what's the problem here? (Score 1) 826

by untorqued (#31592536) Attached to: US Lawmakers Eyeing National ID Card
Yes, it was difficult to immigrate to the U.S. 100 years ago, but for some more than others. There are pieces of history that don't get a lot of airtime in grade school or high school history, such as the Page Act and the Chinese Exclusion Act. Many more followed within the last century, including the Immigartion Act of 1924. Within the context of all of the immigration restrictions that the U.S. government has put in place throughout its history against groups popularly stereotyped as carriers of disease, of low moral character, and lazy, the current immigration debate looks to me like just one more iteration of us vs them xenophobia in the U.S.

Comment: Re:Yes, you are being a jackass (Score 2, Informative) 791

by untorqued (#31317224) Attached to: Killer Apartment Vs. Persistent Microwave Exposure?

If DDT were still in use, the Bald Eagle would be extinct, along with several other birds.

As I understand it, before DDT was banned in the U.S., it's main effect on bird reproduction was a result of its being sprayed outside in massive quantities to kill teh bugz. Today, the rest of the world (where it's not banned) has different protocols; turns out small amounts in a room, for example, keeps the room mosquito free. And no one thinks massive outdoor spraying makes sense anymore. Maybe a reaction of "let's use this tool more wisely" would've done just as well at preserving wild birds as the "it's evil, let's ban it" reaction did. And we'd have, y'know, a useful tool available too.

Comment: Re:Take on AdBlock? (Score 1) 291

by untorqued (#30370868) Attached to: Google Chrome Extensions Are Now Available

If the content industry can't make money from ads, we'll either go out of business or put our information behind a paywall.

Or it will be forced to innovate and create a system that hasn't existed before, to go with technologies and distribution methods that haven't existed before. A broken business model might destroy an industry, but only in the process of creating room for a new, more relevant model to rise from its ashes.

Sci-Fi

+ - Ray Bradbury Hates the Internet-> 1

Submitted by untorqued
untorqued (957628) writes "The New York Times recently ran an article about Ray Bradbury. A longtime fan of libraries, he's recently been raising money to help bridge the budget gap for a library in Ventura, California.. He's no fan of the Internet, though:

"The Internet is a big distraction," Mr. Bradbury barked from his perch in his house in Los Angeles, which is stuffed silly with enormous stuffed animals, videos, DVD's, wooden toys, photographs and books, with things like the National Medal of Arts sort of tossed on a table. "Yahoo called me eight weeks ago," he said, voice rising. "They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? 'To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.' " "It's distracting," he continued. "It's meaningless, it's not real. It's in the air somewhere." A Yahoo spokeswoman said it was impossible to verify Mr. Bradbury's account without more details.

At least he used the singular forms of Yahoo and Internet."
Link to Original Source

Space

Inflatable Tower Could Climb To the Edge of Space 296

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the out-of-breath dept.
MonkeyClicker writes with mention of a proposal that could see an inflatable tower helping to carry people to the edge of space without the need for rocket propulsion. This would function in place of previous space elevator designs which featured a large cable and could be completed much faster, if proponents of the project are to be believed. "To stay upright and withstand winds, full-scale structures would require gyroscopes and active stabilization systems in each module. The team modeled a 15-kilometer tower made up of 100 modules, each one 150 meters tall and 230 meters in diameter, built from inflatable tubes 2 meters across. Quine estimates it would weigh about 800,000 tonnes when pressurized — around twice the weight of the world's largest supertanker."

Comment: Re:Have You Noticed Any Personal Income Loss? (Score 1) 987

by untorqued (#27958019) Attached to: What Can I Do About Book Pirates?
I've been writing fiction for pleasure for years, and recently started a concerted push to finish something and present it to the world. I've had to step back and recognize that my notions about publishing were outdated - even 2 years ago, things were different. My current approach is, as a previous poster noted, that I'm writing for the privilege of getting to share my thoughts with the world. I've also seen the virtual tip jar work in specific situations, and right now I'm most interested in pursuing a model where 1) I do the marketing, making the book available digitally for free, or as a print on demand for cost, and 2) including in the book a note to the effect of "if you're enjoying this, please visit $WEBSITE and throw something in the tip jar." Is it naive? I don't know. But it seems like trusting in readers' good natures is where I land when I pivot 180 degrees from the DRM and sue mentality.

Comment: Apple is not coming for Linux (Score 3, Insightful) 596

by untorqued (#26988129) Attached to: Microsoft Sees Linux As Bigger Competitor Than Apple
Apple sells high end products. Apple's target audience is people who will pay more for aesthetics, and for a bottom liner on troubleshooting. Apple's less concerned with selling more products than selling more expensive products. A single digit market share isn't a problem with this model, because Apple's skimming the cream off the market, and leaving PC manufacturers to compete on price with very slim margins.
Transportation

The Tech Behind Preventing Airplane Bird Strikes 242

Posted by timothy
from the harder-than-it-seems dept.
the4thdimension writes "CNN is running an article covering the technology used at Sea-Tac for preventing airplane bird strikes, like the one that occurred weeks ago to the now famous Flight 1549. The hardware used ranges from low-tech pyrotechnics, to netting, to lasers, to avian radar. Using a combination of all these technologies, Sea-Tac believes they save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in avoiding dangerous bird strikes."

Comment: where art and science meet, perhaps? (Score 1) 499

by untorqued (#26774375) Attached to: Sacrificing Accuracy For Speed and Efficiency In Processors

This reminds me of the introduction to Samuel R. Delany's The Motion of Light in Water, where he talks about his admittedly faulty memory colliding with a biographer's researched facts. He concludes a long explanation with "...the wrong sentence still feels to me righter than the right one."

No, this technology isn't appropriate for financial transactions. But anywhere that randomness could open the door to unexpected results that shed new light on something, I think this could be pretty exciting.

Comment: Re:I thought ETFs were going away? (Score 3, Informative) 153

by untorqued (#26538469) Attached to: Get Out of Sprint Free
The major carriers pre-empted the legislation by switching to prorated ETFs. For example, my last Verizon contract had a $175 ETF, which decreased by $5 for each month you're in the contract. Still a considerable hit even if you're only a few months from the end. Just enough to keep congress at bay, I guess.
Supercomputing

Roland Piquepaille Dies 288

Posted by kdawson
from the in-memoriam dept.
overheardinpdx writes "I'm sad to report that longtime HPC technology pundit Roland Piquepaille (rpiquepa) died this past Tuesday. Many of you may know of him through his blog, his submissions to Slashdot, and his many years of software visualization work at SGI and Cray Research. I worked with Roland 20 years ago at Cray, where we both wrote tech stories for the company newsletter. With his focus on how new technologies modify our way of life, Roland was really doing Slashdot-type reporting before there was a World Wide Web. Rest in peace, Roland. You will be missed." The notice of Roland's passing was posted on the Cray Research alumni group on Linked-In by Matthias Fouquet-Lapar. There will be a ceremony on Monday Jan. 12, at 10:30 am Paris time, at Père Lachaise.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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