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Comment: My grandfather would be proud... (Score 4, Interesting) 226

by vjl (#41235967) Attached to: 35 Years Later, Voyager 1 Is Heading For the Stars

I wish my grandfather was still alive to see Voyager 1 still in operation. He worked on the batteries and electrical system on the Voyager probes, spending most of his adult life working at JPL. He would be thrilled to know that they were both still operating, exploring, and sending data back to earth. Impressive!

Comment: But now... (Score 4, Insightful) 504

by vjl (#39453717) Attached to: Facebook: Legal Action Against Employers Asking For Your Password

...employers will just ask potential employees to accept their HR staff's friend request, as the article yesterday stated. But one could easily get around that by making sure the HR staff is in a Facebook list that has no access to a user's wall/timeline and other info. Still, seems like the employer wouldn't like that and they would find some way to get the employee to let HR in. :(

Comment: Re:Android phone (Score 3, Informative) 171

by vjl (#38811953) Attached to: The Google+ Name Game Continues

A google account is not private, whereas an AppleID is. If you have to create a google account for an android phone, that means you have to have an account with some of your information made public [eg: your name]. An AppleID is private - it is used solely for billing purposes though you can expand it to include iCloud [a private-that-can-be-public service], and it can also be used for GameCenter, a public service. But by default an AppleID is private and no online profile of you is made, unlike what happens when you create a google account.

Comment: Re:MySpace 3.0? (Score 1) 98

by vjl (#37505124) Attached to: Facebook Unveils Timeline, Updated Open Graph

Actually, that is/was one of the nice things about Facebook - it didn't allow the horrible customizations to one's profile like MySpace did. But it *did* used to offer more customizations [none of them as bad as MySpace]. They have removed most of the ability to make profiles look non-standard, much to the frustration of some users [but not me!]. While their new ticker is not good, I do think that the FB devs are very aware that they don't want FB profiles to look as bad as MySpace ones have.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 782

by vjl (#28911099) Attached to: The Ethics of Selling GPLed Software For the iPhone

There are lots of GPL apps on the AppStore - the most well known is the Wordpress app. If source code is available on the developer's site, than things are good to go. Anyone can download, for free, the iPhone SDK. It costs nothing to download/install the SDK. It only costs $99/year if one wants to publish an app into the AppStore or run it on a physical iPhone rather than the software-based iPhone simulator.

The developers are doing the right thing, IMO. /vjl/

Math

47th Mersenne Prime Confirmed 89

Posted by kdawson
from the that's-odd dept.
radiot88 writes to let us know that he heard a confirmation of the discovery of the 47th known Mersenne Prime on NPR's Science Friday (audio here). The new prime, 2^42,643,801 - 1, is actually smaller than the one discovered previously. It was "found by Odd Magnar Strindmo from Melhus, Norway. This prime is the second largest known prime number, a 'mere' 141,125 digits smaller than the Mersenne prime found last August. Odd is an IT professional whose computers have been working with GIMPS since 1996 testing over 1,400 candidates. This calculation took 29 days on a 3.0 GHz Intel Core2 processor. The prime was independently verified June 12th by Tony Reix of Bull SAS in Grenoble, France..."
Portables

How About an iPhone OS Or Android-Based Netbook? 162

Posted by timothy
from the upsides-and-downsides dept.
perlow (Jason Perlow of ZDNet) suggests that the current crop of netbooks might be missing the boat when it comes to getting maximum battery life and small-screen usability, and asks "Could Mac OS X iPhone or Google's Android be the key to mass adoption of the next generation of netbooks?" Android looks pretty nice, I admit, but so far I like having full-fledged Ubuntu on my own small computer. He's not the first one to think that the iPhone would be well-employed as the guts of an ultra-portable, though. (Note: it's only a model.)

Comment: Re:Questions: (Score -1, Flamebait) 389

by vjl (#25379541) Attached to: Computer Error Caused Qantas Jet Mishap

Airbust QA sucks, sadly. They differ highly with how Boeing does things; they rely on computers *way* too much, which is why I will never fly on an Airbus a/c. The pilot is not given #1 priority in the cockpit.

Boeing a/c do have a lot of computer controls, but they can all be easily overwritten by the CO/FO flying the a/c. Not quite as easy on an Airbust. When their A320 debuted at the French airshow, the computer got very confused at take off and simply refused to allow the pilot to pull up more than 20-30 feet off the ground, causing the a/c to crash into the forest at the end of the runway.

Technology is good when it is used to supplement human experience and knowledge. It is not meant to replace it.

/vjl/

Transportation

Computer Error Caused Qantas Jet Mishap 389

Posted by kdawson
from the gimme-back-my-stick dept.
highways sends word that preliminary investigations into a Qantas Airbus A330 mishap where 51 passengers were injured has concluded that it was due to the Air Data Inertial Reference System feeding incorrect information into the flight control system — not interference from passenger electronics, as Qantas had initially claimed. Quoting from the ABC report: "Authorities have blamed a faulty onboard computer system for last week's mid-flight incident on a Qantas flight to Perth. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said incorrect information from the faulty computer triggered a series of alarms and then prompted the Airbus A330's flight control computers to put the jet into a 197-meter nosedive ... The plane was cruising at 37,000 feet when a fault in the air data inertial reference system caused the autopilot to disconnect. But even with the autopilot off, the plane's flight control computers still command key controls in order to protect the jet from dangerous conditions, such as stalling, the ATSB said."
Biotech

New Scientific Evidence Emerges In Anthrax Case 216

Posted by kdawson
from the out-of-sequence dept.
sciencehabit writes "A Science Magazine investigation uses clues from a key document unveiled last week to reconstruct the trail that led the FBI to Bruce Ivins. Among the revelations: Anthrax fingerprinting was not critical to the investigation, as many reports have suggested. Rather, brute-force genetic sequencing, with the help of the J. Craig Venter Institute, helped crack the case. New potential motivations by Ivins are also revealed."
Games

Sonic The Hedgehog Coming to the iPod 51

Posted by Zonk
from the gotta-get-some-rings dept.
mrneutron2003 writes "Sega has announced that Sonic the Hedgehog will be a new gaming option on the iPod. They're looking to charge about 4.99 for the classic title. 'Support is slated for the iPod nano with video, iPod classic, and fifth generation iPods ... Sega hopes that tremendous install base of the iPod family will lend to exposing a whole new audience to the old time wonders of Sonic The Hedgehog. The game has apparently been redesigned with the iPod in mind and should provide good port experience.'"
Businesses

FDIC Closes Netbank, One of the First Online Banks 174

Posted by Zonk
from the thanks-loan-guys dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NetBank, one of the first internet banks in the country was closed by the FDIC on Friday. Being a loyal customer for 8 years, I am saddened that an institution that provided me with so much great service and a cool, hi tech way to conduct my financial transactions is shutting down. Seems that mortgage defaults are to blame: 'NetBank's closure marks the first bank to close since the recent U.S. housing boom deflated. Critics have said that weak underwriting standards have led to record number of homeowners entering the foreclosure process. But NetBank's rare Internet-based business strategy made it a unique financial institution and its problems aren't expected to mirror issues facing other mortgage lenders, analysts say.'"
Television

Knight Rider To Ride Again 243

Posted by Zonk
from the how-much-can-you-be-disappointed-lets-find-out dept.
Penguinsh*t writes "Though the movie version of Knight Rider has remained 'up on chocks' for the better part of the last decade, Knight Rider, the TV show is revving into high gear. 'The premise of the show will essentially remain the same as the original, which centered on a mulleted man righting wrongs with the help of a particularly chatty and souped-up automobile. No word yet on who will play the hero this time around, but the Peacock is looking for some new blood.' Besides which, 'the Hoff' is busy."
The Internet

A Campaign to Block Firefox Users? 1154

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bad-ideas dept.
rarwes writes "A website is aiming at blocking Firefox users. This because a fraction of the Firefox users installed an Ad Blocker and are therefor 'stealing money' from website owners that use ads. They recommend using IE, Opera or IE tab. From the site: 'Demographics have shown that not only are FireFox users a somewhat small percentage of the internet, they actually are even smaller in terms of online spending, therefore blocking FireFox seems to have only minimal financial drawbacks, whereas ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers.' Be interesting to see where they are getting their numbers from.
The Courts

+ - RIAA Directed to Pay $68,685.23 in Attorneys Fees

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Capitol v. Foster, in Oklahoma, the RIAA has been directed to pay the defendant $68,685.23 in attorneys fees. This is the first instance of which I am aware of the RIAA being ordered to pay the defendant attorneys fees. The judge in this case has previously criticized the RIAA's lawyers' motives as "questionable", and their legal theories as "marginal" (pdf). Although the judge had previously ordered the RIAA to turn over its own attorneys billing records, today's decision (pdf) made no mention of that the RIAA had spent in paying its own lawyers."

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