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Slashback The Almighty Buck United States

Slashback: Fairness, Radioactivity, Recovery 181

Slashback tonight brings you an easy way to let the U.S. Congress know how you feel about fair use, an update to the legend of Elena's Chernobyl motorcycle trip, a twofold resolution to the Freenet Project's PayPal snafu, and more. Read on for the details.
A bell to reach your slavish public servants. Cory Doctorow (not just a writer, he's also the EFF's European Affairs Coordinator) writes with a followup to a recent Slashdot story on Boucher's reintroduction of the DMCRA. "I thought I'd mention that EFF has an 'action center' item that lets Slashdot readers (and others) write to their Congresscritter with one click, urging them to support the bill."

Ha, ha, puny earthlings! TinoMNYY24 writes "The Independent broke the story of SpaceShipOne leaving the Earth's atmosphere. The headline of the story is "'SpaceShipOne' becomes first privately funded vehicle to break through earth's atmosphere." One more step towards the X-Prize."

A data recovery success story - please send more. bigdog1 writes "I also had the IBM 75GXP data loss problem reported on slashdot. Like the guy in this article, I was not able to pay someone to do my data recovery. However, I eventually was able to get almost all of my data back using a free program, NTFS Reader. The only problem was that the file names were not in the long format. From now on I am buying an extra hard drive, but has anyone else had success stories recovering their data? Long file names?"

Too little, too late. An anonymous reader writes "I recently e-mailed paypals's public relations department and urged them to restore Freenet's paypal account. Their reply indicates that they have reexamined Freenet's account and decided not to terminate it after all. No news on the freenet project page, but here's paypal's reply:

'I apologize that your concerns were not addressed in the previous email. Our Compliance Department has reviewed The Freenet Project account in question and the service has been fully restored. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

PayPal Account Manager'"

ultranova writes "Because PayPal has offered no explanation or apology, the project does not intend to continue advocating its usage, and has migrated to Amazon Honor System."

'Adventure Capitalist' is a much better motorcycle story anyhow. malign writes "Mary Mycio notes that the 'Ghost town' photo essay is probably faked, and notes her reasons. There go my fantasies! :(" Rumors and grumblings to this effect have been around for quite a while, but this seems the most straightforward debunking I've seen of the trip a Ukrainian woman named Elena claimed to have taken through the Chernobyl area.

(We posted two stories about the alleged trip in March.)

Corporate machinations meet the mounties. los furtive writes "The CBC is reporting that HP has agreed to pay back the Canadian Government $146 million that had been defrauded from the Department of National Defense (previously mentioned here). HP claims it was the victim of 'a complex scheme designed to exploit both parties through contracts inherited through HP's merger with Compaq Computer Corp.' In the end they decided it was more appropriate to take action against those responsible and not engage in protracted litigation with the government."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Fairness, Radioactivity, Recovery

Comments Filter:
  • by Roland Piquepaille ( 780675 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:01PM (#9210349)
    lets Slashdot readers (and others) write to their Congresscritter with one click,

    In other news: Amazon sues the EFF
  • Chernobyl (Score:5, Funny)

    by bendelo ( 737558 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:01PM (#9210353) Homepage
    Shame to hear that the Chernobyl story is probably fake, even more so that Elena has a husband!

    Website was featured in The Mail on Sunday [] - so much for background research.
    • Re:Chernobyl (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:19PM (#9210442) Homepage Journal
      At least that explains her stories about all the people who "stayed after the evacuation". There's been a careful, ongoing international study [] done on the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Her claims just didn't fit the facts of that study.

      Of course, the inconsistencies didn't tip me off either. I just thought that she was stretching things a bit. *shrug*

    • by Volmarias ( 705460 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:05PM (#9210639) Homepage Journal
      It is interesting that most of the responses aren't "Egads! The story is a fake!" but rather "Egads! She's married!"

      You're all a bunch of hornballs...
      • Re:Elena's website (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fearlessfreddy ( 468996 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:58PM (#9211220)
        What really sucks is that Mary Mycio's article debunking the Chernobyl photos has so little
        verifiable information.

        "They traveled in a Chornobyl car that picked them up in Kyiv." I'm sorry, who picked them up? What was their name? Or was this an untraceable Chornobyl ghost car?

        "They organized their trip through a Kyiv travel agency", but what was the name of the agency? Can we get a quote from someone at the agency?

        "Zone Administration personnel were in an uproar", but what were their names and what positions of authority do they hold? Why no direct quotes?

        If we have become savvy enough not take take the Chernobyl diary at face value, then why should we believe the undocumented assertions in Mycio's article?
        • Re:Elena's website (Score:3, Insightful)

          by refactored ( 260886 )
          "Zone Administration personnel were in an uproar" because somebody is going to get their ass kicked in for letting her through.

          Her story has changed, no suprised, because some ugly bugger in authority is out to get the poor sod who let her through. No doubt she is shocked by the interest the whole thing created, and now is trying to protect that person.

          Elena is a _very_ brave lady to go biking through hell, and even braver to take on the mindless butt covering bureaucrats that created hell.

      • Great, now we can nuke her website, and turn that into a ghost server.

        I am waiting for someone to put a bittorrent of a .tar.bz2 of her website
      • Soon to go the way of Chernobyl.

    • Re:Chernobyl (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tburke ( 29991 )
      So if she just carried along a helmet, how did the motorcycle [] get into some of the pictures? Some other random abandoned Soviet highway? I have no idea if the site is a hoax, but Mycio's post gives me no reasons to think it is. "Motorcycles are forbidden", right, and Russian officials don't take bribes either.

      • if she just carried along a helmet, how did the motorcycle get into some of the pictures

        That picture, in Chapter 4, is the last one that shows the bike, and is below a heading "entering Chernobyl area". It looks like that's just outside the restricted area.

    • Re:Chernobyl (Score:3, Insightful)

      by antic ( 29198 )
      Your joke aside, and this is no judgement on your comment in particular, but how about people judge this person for their contribution (fake or otherwise) and not on their looks alone?

      In the forum thread about "exposing the fake", 3 out of 9 comments reference the husband or "shagging" the woman in question.

      Keep it in your pants!
    • by bstone ( 145356 )
      I love how the forum at responds to a slashdotting though. Their page begins with:

      Welcome Slashdot readers!
      Just so's y'all know, you folks are setting serious records for the number of individual users on the server at once (peaking around 1000 right now instead of the typical 80 or 100). Now, on to what you're probably looking for:
    • Re:Chernobyl (Score:3, Insightful)

      by refactored ( 260886 )
      So some official, representative of the goverment that created the mess in the first place says she didn't. So suddenly you disbelieve her.

      I mean when these "Authorities" were "Communists", you all knew they were congenital liars. Now the same "authorities" are no longer "communists", but something a lot closer to Robber barons, you suddenly believe them!?! They the same bastards.

      We talking about a country where everybody has a amply well founded fear of authority. So an authority goes and asks her, "D

    • Re:Chernobyl (Score:2, Interesting)

      by flyneye ( 84093 )
      looking back over the photos,I can clearly see the motorcycle in many of the photos that certainly appear to be delapidated chernobyl.
      Perhaps the detractor didnt actually look the site over before spewing jealous allegations.Perhaps it has something to do with the husband

      • by Dmala ( 752610 )
        Somehow I think a lot of Slashdotters would still believe, even when presented with physical evidence and sworn statements to the contrary. The image is just too romantic: a attractive young woman, blasting like a bat out of hell on a motorcycle, through a desolate, radioactive wasteland. It's an image straight out of the movies.
      • looking back over the photos,I can clearly see the motorcycle in many of the photos

        Which photos? I just ran through the lot at [] and didn't see any of the bike in the actual town.

  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:02PM (#9210357)
    The HP/Compaq story seems to be implying that they are actually taking action against individual employees of the corporation who were responsible for doing such-and-such, as opposed to HP/Compaq itself.

    This could set a GREAT precedent! As things stand currently, people within corporations can pretty much do whatever they want, while acting in the interest of the corporation, and they'll never see a personal fine or the inside of a jail cell. (Case in point: Bill Gates was never fined or jailed for all the things he did. MS just got a slap on the wrist, but nothing happened to Gates himself.) Maybe now, we'll see some accountability, as people won't simply be able to hide behind their involvement with $BIG_CORPORATION to avoid criminal charges...
    • by demonbug ( 309515 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:16PM (#9210430) Journal
      Great. Now, instead of the whole company being held responsible for the actions of employees, the company will instead be able to throw a couple of those employees to the lions and go on with what they were doing. How much do you want to bet it will never be high-level management that takes the fall for this kind of thing? Personally, I think I kind of prefer it when the whole company takes a hit - at least it hits the managers (the ones ultimately responsible) in the pocketbook, if nowhere else.
      I guess employees just better become a lot more careful - get all directives in writing, and ignore anything your boss tells you to do that they don't write down. Employees are going to be held responsible for what they have most likely been directed to do, or at least have done with full knowledge of their bosses, so they better learn to protect themselves.

      Basically, my point is (if I actually have one), while it is great that "those responsible" are being held responsible, somehow I doubt they are the ones that are really responsible.
      • Now, instead of the whole company being held responsible for the actions of employees, the company will instead be able to throw a couple of those employees to the lions and go on with what they were doing.

        Just tell me why is it either/or?

        What if the precedent for this gets set, then a) individuals can be targeted by law if they break the law, and b) corporations who have been proven to allow/permit/encourage such law-breaking by its constituent members also can be targeted by the law ... if they break
    • As things stand currently, people within corporations can pretty much do whatever they want, while acting in the interest of the corporation, and they'll never see a personal fine or the inside of a jail cell.

      Are you serious? Look at the Tyco case...Dennis ain't exactly scott free, even if he did have a mistrial.

      DAs are more than happy and able to go after individuals if they have the evidence to do so.

    • Corporate "immunity" has more to do with the shareholders than the employees or management. It simply means that people who bought stock in the corporation and don't oversee/participate in day-to-day functions of the corporation, meaning they had no say in the wrongdoings of people within and on behalf of the corporation, can't be sued for misconduct that they weren't part of. It also means that, should the corporation go into horrible debt, etc. the shareholders can't lose more than they put into the com
    • RTFA.
      "[HP] said it was the victim of a scheme run by an employee of Defence and others.

      One employee of Defence was fired and is now living in the Turks and Caicos.

      ...HP said there was no evidence that its employees derived any benefit from the scheme."

      The article and its predecessor state that HP claims that it was acting as the programme manager for a number of subcontractors, one or more of whom allegedly colluded with a civil servant to submit fraudulent invoices, which HP then passed on to the

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:06PM (#9210370)
    PayPal's restoration of Freenet doesn't help at all. It's hard to unring that bell, and Freenet now doesn't want to deal with them anyway.

    PayPal wanted to break their association with Freenet, and they just got what they wanted.
    • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:12PM (#9210404) Homepage Journal
      "PayPal's restoration of Freenet doesn't help at all. It's hard to unring that bell, and Freenet now doesn't want to deal with them anyway."

      Err hold on, you need to think about the bigger picture. Paypal's restoration helps at least some. I mean, didn't you consider never ever using Paypal again over it? I did. Restoring service made me feel a bit better about it, but offering no explanation still bothers me.

      However, there is something to think about: Slashdot's involvement in it. I have a feeling the negative press they got (on a massive scale, mind you) changed their minds in the first place. But now they've restored it, any reason they gave would either be real boneheaded/unfair, or they would say that Freenet did something wrong, in which case most people who'd be active in a discussion here would blindly run to Freenet's defense. No win scenario for Paypal.

      So the only real choice I can make right now is "Something happened, and it's really a private matter that I have no right to know about." It still makes me wary, though.
    • by e-gold ( 36755 ) <(moc.macnitram) (ta) (yarj)> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:54PM (#9210591) Homepage Journal
      EFF's solution has been to quietly accept e-gold since 1999. Freenet takes e-gold, too. [] would give a gram to EFF (they had it working before, and now they've somehow managed to bust it! Sigh...). []
      donates $20 worth to Freenet (or you can use their page at donate [] )

      We may not have the hype or marketing-budget of other systems, but we've been around since 1996 (and, frankly, Slashdot should have taken e-gold since at least a year ago, it's not like [] is all that hard to use!). (And yes, I'll still click anyone from Slashdot a bit of e-gold to play with if you send me an account number!)

      Speaking ONLY for Jim Ray, the Barbarous Relic of the e-gold system!
      • e-gold (Score:3, Insightful)

        blast it all, I was hoping to mention e-gold first.

        But such is life. e-gold is very much the way to go if at all possible.

      • isn't trading in large amounts of gold illegal in the US? I know it's illegal to back loans with it, as well as other types of trades. The feds like to show up and take it away.

        It will be shut down, large banks do not like economies that doesn't include them.

        If I have an acount, and you have an acount, and we do business, how is it taxed?Assuming same state transation.

        What about market fluctuations? what keeps people from manipulating it?
        • by e-gold ( 36755 ) <(moc.macnitram) (ta) (yarj)> on Friday May 21, 2004 @01:59AM (#9212358) Homepage Journal
          Hi. I'm not a lawyer, and (despite the handle) I don't speak for e-gold Ltd. either, but here goes...

          1. Gold is not only legal to use as money, it and silver are, if you actually read the constitution once in a while (which apparently rules-out all US politicians besides Dr. Ron Paul) you might find there are more problems with using green paper as money. I agree that the feds have a history of taking stuff away, that might be why e-gold Ltd. is a Nevis company instead of a USA one. I had no idea it was illegal to back loans with gold (might be news to some central banks!).

          2. If "it will be shut down" how come e-gold has been chuggin' along since 1996? (2A. But why haven't I heard of you?? Because the news media were either too-clueless, or too busy covering "beenz" & "Flooz," -- both RIP -- which both spent LOTS of money on ads instead of concentrating on hiring smart geeks & doing money better than the Federal Reserve!) I'd agree that some individuals (especially at large banks) don't like thinking about an honest, weight denominated currency, but that's tough luck for them, I guess. BTW, not many folks seem to know this, but the Federal Reserve is (supposedly...) a private corporation -- insert Jefferson-quote about banks!

          3. I pay my taxes, and (I guess?) you pay your taxes. e-gold is a currency denominated by weight, it's not a government (a good thing if you want honesty in money, IMO) or a tax-collector or a tax-evasion-mechanism. It's just Better Money(tm) and even though people tend to think in political terms about EVERYTHING these days, e-gold is IMO very apolitical (but I'll admit, it tended to appeal to libertarians like me in the past).

          4. Markets fluctuate, it's a fact of life. The price of green paper in grams has gone from a bit over $8 to a bit under $13 per gram since I started working here, but gold's buying-power tends to be stable over time compared to fiat currencies like the paper dollar. And NOTHING keeps people from manipulating the price of gold except (we hope!) the marketplace! (As it is, there are constantly accusations of manipulation in the metal markets -- see or just google around for them!) That's why e-gold prefers LBMA "allocated, good delivery bars" instead of paper promises that you might be storing some "pooled" gold.

  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:07PM (#9210375)
    I think I have that much in my couch cushions ;) (Just kidding!)
  • DATA RECOVERY (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:09PM (#9210387)
    I got MOST of my data back. Here is a step by step that I posted:

    b[RESTORE YOUR LOST DATA]b - If your Deskstar drive is doing a click-click-pause, you can get your data back!

    I have 2 IBM Deskstar 60GB drives, about 1.5 years old. A month ago, I was backing up data from one of them, and it froze. I rebooted, and WinXP took 10mins too boot, and the drive in question never showed up. So I ripped the case off, and to my gut renching surpise, the drive was giving me the r[click of death]r . So I spent the next few weeks trying to find a solution, as I am not going to RMA a drive with all my data on it. I *NEED* that data. So after trying just about every method I could find, I finally found a combination that worked.

    Things to note:

    - Freezing the drive had no effect, but try to keep the drive cool throughout the restore process. I had a fan blowing over the drive in question constantly

    - Putting the drive in different positions (i.e. on it's side, end, etc) had no effect. Lay it flat.

    - From what I can tell, the data is not lost. The drive seems to make sectors as 'bad' in certain sections of the drive, and thus 'can't read them'.

    What you will need:

    - 2 Drives of equal or greater size that are working
    - A copy of "Media Tools Professional" [FULL] (I had version 3.3)
    - A copy of "Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional 6" [FULL]
    - A floppy diskette

    [For these instructions, the BAD drive will be called Drive-B, and the good drive will be Drive-A. Drive-C is where the data will be restored (This CAN be an FTP site)]

    1 - Hook up Drive-B and Drive-A onto your mainboards IDE controller (NOT any onboard HPT, RAID, etc)

    2 - Boot off the floppy containing Media Tools Pro

    3 - Select the Drive-B and choose Clone, Drive-to-Drive

    4 - Select the Drive-A as the destination, and press Ctrl-S to bring up the options screen

    5 - Change the rety attepts to '1', and click off the 'disable error control codes on last attempt'

    6 - Choose to 'Invert' the clone (the last check box on the options screen)

    7 - Start this process and wait for days (my 60GB drive took 49 hours) You will hear ALOT of clicking and it will the remaining time will bounce around from 200,000 hours down to 2 seconds. This is normal, but be prepared for a LONG wait.

    --After clone is done--

    8 - Reboot into WindowsXP, with Drive-A connected (disconnect Drive-B)

    9 - Open up Ontrack EasyRecovery Pro 6 and do an advanced recovery

    10 - Choose Drive-A and select the Advanced Options

    11 - Choose Advanced scan, and 'Disable MFT'

    12 - Start the scan (this took 1.2 hours). Then it will present you with a file list of what it files it found.

    13 - Select the files/directories you want to restore and then select Drive-C as your destination

    14 - As it starts to restore, it will prompt you to 'Overwrite' files. DO NOT OVERWRITE ANYTHING. Most of the files are cross-linked, and you will end up with garbage. You need to either 'RENAME' each one, OR, wait for it prompt you to rename, then in an explorer window, delete the files that it restored, and then click overwrite. Here is an example:

    - You have selected the dir 'mp3'
    - It starts restoring by putting all your *.mp3 files in there (ex: e:\mp3\*.mp3)
    - After it restores all the files in that dir, it will restore the same files, with different data.
    - At this point, it will ask you if you want to overwrite or rename
    - Open Explorer, and delete all the files in e:\mp3\
    - Then click 'Rename' in the dialogue box
    - It will then write out the GOOD data

    AND THANKS TO THE GRACE OF GOD, YOUR DATA IS BACK! I got %99 of my data restored, using this workflow.

    The ONLY thing I didn't mention was that I updated the drives BIOS before I did this. I have NO clue if that made any d
    • I've dealt with many of these 60GB IBM drives. Turns out, the problem is overheating. I think the cause it a faulty temp sensor and thus cannot thermal recalibrate correctly based on servo data on one of the platters. To get around this, I would power down the PC and let the drive cool down. Next, I would place a powerful (yet small) table fan right up against the hard drive to keep it cool. I recommend the Honeywell Enviracair HT-800. Now your drive should work trouble free and thus would be a good time to
    • You can also use a boot floppy or CD with a suitable rescue distro of Linux and use dd_rescue to do the dirty job of copying the disk. Used it successfully with multiple old drives displaying various degrees of damage. (Their images are now stored on DVDs, mounted as loop devices when I need to access some of the ancient data. In addition, I have a log of the bad sectors from the disks, which together with the images of the filesystems could allow making a list of what files are affected by the damage.)
  • by Roland Piquepaille ( 780675 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:10PM (#9210390)
    The question I have is why did she fake it? I mean, the story says she went in the standard Chernobyl tourist ride with a helmet, in order to fake photos, so it was a deliberate, planned deception.

    So why did she take the pain to do all this? I doubt it's the money, since she didn't sell her story AFAIK, and I doubt she wants to promote some form of radioactive tourism. So, unless she's completely mythomaniac and/or she really really wanted to delude herself that she had made the trip for real, I just don't get it...
  • by aarku ( 151823 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:10PM (#9210392) Journal
    So maybe she didn't motorcycle through... but the pictures aren't fake, are they? Are they ripped off from somewhere?
    • Sorry, but you should have RTFA. It explains that she and her husband (sorry guys) took the standard "tourist" tour through in a car.
    • No they are technically not fake in that at least some, if not all that do not include a motorcycle, are indeed from that area. But, her husband probably took them since she is *in* most of them herself.

      So, the lesson to be learned from this is that hot single science chicks with motorcycles and coolness to bike through radioactive deadzones on their own don't really exist except in the dreams of the slashdot collective mind.
  • by zors ( 665805 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:11PM (#9210395)
    I'm on a couple of these "fax your representative and senators" alert systems now. I have two feelings on them, either they've opened a new avenue (or rather mass transport for an older one" for communicating with our public servants, or they will just further immunize our representatives from individual opinions.
    • I'm on a couple of these "fax your representative and senators" alert systems now. I have two feelings on them, either they've opened a new avenue (or rather mass transport for an older one" for communicating with our public servants, or they will just further immunize our representatives from individual opinions.

      Of course the Senators and Congressmen (or thier staffers) are simply adding rules or filters to thier email to shuffle all messages from a "One-Click-Email" system into a folder they never read.
    • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:44PM (#9210548)
      I don't know about all congressmen and representatives but my rep The Honorable Sherrod Brown seems to listen to the faxes I have sent through the EFF's website. Of course I have never sent just the form letter. Since he sits on the Houses Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet he is a little more tuned into the issues that concern me regarding technology. I have recieved a response every time I have written him including two hand written letters. I also had a talk with him at a public appearance and he recognized my name and remembered the issues I cared about, I am not a contributor to his campaign but I AM an active and concerned citizen who has spoken up for what I believe in and I feel that my voice HAS been heard. The thing about American politics is that the cast majority of the populace is so apathetic that a small vocal minority can have a vastly oversized impact on issues that concern them.
      • Huh. The best i ever got was a form e-mail from Senator Kerry. Shows how little it takes to impress "the little people" eh? Though i was very impressed with my state senator who was in fact an intelligent man who understood the issues AND the basics of our 3 branch government system! Or am i being a bit cynical?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...weeks ago that the site was a fake. The story in Swedish is here [].
    • Yes, but it's in bloody swedish!

      "I dag är det exakt 18 år sedan reaktor 4 i Tjernobyl exploderade. Det ledde till den största ekologiska katastrof människan har åstadkommit - hittills."

      What the hell is that???
      • by mijok ( 603178 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:49PM (#9210567)
        A very brief summary in English:

        - it's been 18 years since reactor 4 exploded and that lead to the greatest ecological disaster man has accomplished - so far
        - the reason for the disaster was human error
        - some irrelevant stuff about what opinions Swedish politicians have about prolonging the use of atomic energy in this country (not stated in the article: a decision has been made to eventually dismantle it)
        - a quite respectable (not stated in the article, but that's the opinion of most people here), Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, has published the images from Elena's site
        - the story is fantastic but a hoax
        - Elena's father is not a nuclear scientist and she doesn't drive around in the dead zone
        - she and her husband, Igor, have taken the pictures during one visit with the supervision of the zone administration
        - the page has had millions of visitors
        - an Ukrainian friend of the reporter tells from Kiev that the zone administration has gotten many inquiries from motorcyclists interested in riding in the dead zone so in that sense the page is a commercial grip on the disaster
        • by hpa ( 7948 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:15PM (#9210693) Homepage
          They also state that the cause of the accident had nothing to do with the state of Soviet technology "because the reactor was brand new."

          That is such total bullshit that it's not even funny (and the political comments in the article makes it pretty likely the author isn't the kind of peg flaws on the Soviet system, if you know what I mean.)

          It's not that the Soviets couldn't have built a safe reactor, it's because they chose not to do so. The reactor was most definitely technologically faulty - it failed some of the most basic safety requirements. It was a human error only in that the Soviet authorities ever allowed this reactor design to be built and fuelled.

          So what was this technological flaw? The graphite-moderated reactor has a so-called positive void coefficient, which means that a overheating reactor will speed up the reaction in the core. Western - and some Soviet - reactors have a negative void coefficient, in which an overheating reactor will slow itself down and reach equilibrium.

          That difference, combined with a solid containment, was the chief difference between the Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl accidents. Both were major disasters, but the former was confined to the plant and had economic consequences; the latter spread radioactivity over large parts of Europe and had yet-untold consequences in terms of both human life and environmental destruction.

          A nuclear reactor should not depend on humans doing the right thing for its safe operation, and in the event of a disaster, its safe shutdown. Any reactor that does so is dangerously flawed and technically unfit for operation.

          Unfortunately there is in Sweden a sizable group who has as their political agenda to close down domestic nuclear power, whereas what probably would make more sense is to take the money that would cost and pay for the Russians and Lithuanians to built new plants and shut down the currently operating RBMK (Chernobyl-type) reactors on the Baltic coast.

          • by Cecil ( 37810 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:44PM (#9210854) Homepage
            That difference, combined with a solid containment, was the chief difference between the Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl accidents.

            While I mostly agree with your post, I don't think that particular comment is exactly true. While there's no arguing that the positive void coefficient was a prerequisite for the chernobyl disaster, Three Mile Island was something quite different. The TMI disaster happened with the control rods fully in. The reactor core was basically idling, and the failure was mainly poor design and monitoring of the cooling system, which spent a good long time spraying radioactive coolant out of a pressure release valve. With all the control rods in, very little of the energy is being produced by nuclear chain reactions, so positive void coefficient does not play a significant role.

            Then again, I am not a nuclear physicist or technician, so I may very well be full of shit.
          • by mijok ( 603178 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:48PM (#9210871)
            They also state that the cause of the accident had nothing to do with the state of Soviet technology "because the reactor was brand new."
            I agree, a while ago I saw an interesting documentary (or reconstruction) about the disaster on the Discovery Channel. In addition to the numerous mistakes made in the control room (since the most senior engineer ignored the concerns of the others - and they all had incentive to carry on with the experiment) the very construction was filled with errors. The project manager was only concerned about meeting the deadline (since he got a bonus that way) and didn't care much about the materials used. The roof should've been fire-proof but because the material wasn't available they used some combustible material instead. Furthermore, the design had some fundamental flaws and the engineers in the control room weren't fully informed about the functioning of the reactor.
            I left out the bias from my summary but assuming that you're Swedish you probably noticed the final sentence in the article: "Allt medan Barsebäck reser sin stolta siluett mot Köpenhamn och folkpartiet vill få oss att glömma allt om Tjernobyl." So he most definitely states an opinion as well but I assume that the facts are correct and I think that those are of greater interest to Slashdot readers than Swedish politics... (To those who are, the sentence means: "All of this whilst Barsebäck [A Swedish nuclear plant close to Denmark] raises its proud siluette towards Copenhagen and Folkpartiet [a center-right political party] wants to make us forget all about Chernobyl").
          • by Thomas Shaddack ( 709926 ) on Friday May 21, 2004 @01:41AM (#9212276)
            It was a human error only in that the Soviet authorities ever allowed this reactor design to be built and fuelled.

            It was not an error, it was a conscious decision. If I remember correctly, RBMK reactors have design that allows exchange of fuel rods without shutting down the reactor. Weapon-grade plutonium is almost-pure isotope 239, isotope 240 (which is what 239 turns into when staying in the reactor for too long) doesn't produce neutrons during fission, so the resulting bombushka has less boom for the same bucks. Shutdown of the reactor is easy to see even from the space (eg. drop in the temperature of the cooling towers) and shutdown intervals of the plants are carefully monitored. Reactor that doesn't require observable shutdown to refuel, and thus allows unmonitored shortening of the refueling intervals, is a big military advantage; as another advantage, the RBMK construction was fairly simple and easy to build.

            Then the day D came, a snafu escalated to a fubar, and the rest is a well-known story.

  • In other news.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stoutstreet ( 95533 )
    I have provided the same amount of evidence for my point of view as that forum post.
    • As far as the Chernobyl ride goes, I don't know. But I can vouch for the moon landing being fake. I mean myth tells us the moon is made of cheese, and not rocks and dust. Take that Armstong!
  • slashback (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sn_wC_t ( 769951 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:25PM (#9210465) Journal
    wouldn't a slash back be /..(slashdotdot)?
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @08:47PM (#9210559) Journal
    It's a tour of an abandoned missile silo []. Pretty kool. Don't try this at home (well unless your home IS a missile silo).
    • It's a tour of an abandoned missile silo. Pretty kool. Don't try this at home (well unless your home IS a missile silo).

      If you'd like to see a silo without the health (and legal) risks... and learn a bit, check out the Titan Missile Museum [] in Tucson, Arizona (Museum Photo Tour [].) Quite impressive. I went last year. Even got to press the button, which was a bit unsettling.
  • Freeze it (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Fiz Ocelot ( 642698 )
    It doesn't look like anyone has mentioned it yet, but you can freeze a dead HD and in some cases you will be able to boot it up like normal with enough time to get critical files.

    Just remember to put it in a sealed plastic bag. Many many people have said it worked, although I've never had to do it myself.

  • by drgonzo59 ( 747139 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:05PM (#9210640)
    I still don't get the point why would she bother to make a story like that. Back when I read it the first time it did seem odd that anyone would let her into the zone by herself. What if she fell and broke her leg or something, or had an accident. But I guess the risk made the fantasy so much more thrilling. I suspect she might have wanted to try to either publish a photo album, or was expecting that someone from the West would pay her to go back and shoot some more, or maybe invite her on Oprah. I grew up and lived in those parts and I know that as nice and hospitable as Ukranians (and Russians for that matter) are, they can also be liars and manipulators (learned from papa lenin himself). I think the young couple wanted to somehow make money off of it, which if true, would be very sad.
    • "I grew up and lived in those parts and I know that as nice and hospitable as Ukranians (and Russians for that matter) are, they can also be liars and manipulators (learned from papa lenin himself)."

      That's true of any nationality, unfortunately.
    • It is still the former soviet union, enough cash in the right hands and I'll bet the ride could be had. Of course you would get the attention of (if your not already dealing with with)the mafia,the police and military. A real adventure if you have the stomach (and cash and connections) for it.
  • Edge of space? (Score:5, Informative)

    by LMariachi ( 86077 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:06PM (#9210645) Journal
    I see elsewhere [] that the boundary of space is pegged at 62 miles, which would make this [] the first privately-funded (albeit unmanned) rocket to pass it (by 15 miles!)

    (But I'm biased, since I was lucky enough to be present at that launch.)

    What body decides what marks the boundary of space? I see all sorts of references to "officially defined" but no one says by whom.

    • Well, depending on who you ask, it's either 50, 100 or 200 km (31, 62 or 124 miles.)

      I suspect the 100 km figure is the point at which the concept of national airspace cease to apply, kind of like the 12 nm limit at sea.
    • Re:Edge of space? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Fortran IV ( 737299 )
      I can't recall my source but what I read in the 1970's was that the "official" 100km boundary was set by treaty between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in the 1960's.
  • Boy, she got me good. Elana got me hook line and sinker! She really moved me.

    Still the points she made were good and she told a good story.
  • Freenet crybabies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fname ( 199759 )
    So, Freenet had their Paypal account shut down. It seems that from the get-go, Freenet (and its community) decided this was politically motivated and shouted to the world about it; y'know, instead of trying to work it out with Paypal. So now that PayPal has reversed their decision, Freenet is unhappy because PayPal didn't show the proper respect & apologize? Gimme a break.

    Not a troll or a flame, just think its a pity that the Freenet leaders can't exhibit a little diplomacy in order to advance their c
    • by Gramie2 ( 411713 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:14PM (#9211009)
      Or maybe it just brought home the arbitrary and capricious way in which PayPal can freeze the account of anyone they feel like.

      Maybe FreeNet just decided that they wanted to go with an organization that showed a little more responsiveness and responsibility.

      I don't think the point is that PayPal has frozen or unfrozen the account; the point is that they could do so again at any time, without giving any reason.
    • as a Freenet-crybaby I can only say one thing:

      "Whéééééééééééééééééé&#23 3;"
  • by njchick ( 611256 ) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @09:39PM (#9210820) Journal
    If the reactor building in Three Mile Island wasn't strong enough to sustain the hydrogen explosion, the ghost town could have been Harrisburg rather that Chernobyl. I could have made a site similar to Elena's. The only difference is that nobody would take it seriously.
    • Hydrogen explosion? What hydrogen explosion? There was no hydrogen explosion at TMI. There was a release of hydrogen gas due to the hot zirconium fuel rod cladding reacting with the water, but it was noticed, understood, contained, and dealt with. It didn't explode.

      • Hydrogen explosion? What hydrogen explosion?

        Hydrogen burns invisibly, that's why it wasn't noticed.

        I think you got trolled by the parent.
      • I cannot find the site where I read it initially, but Google found this []:

        At 12:45 PM, the Pennsylvania State Police closed PA 441 to traffic near Three Mile Island at the request of the commonwealth's Bureau of Radiation Protection. An hour later, the US Department of Energy team began its first helicopter flight to monitor radiation levels. At 1:50 PM, a noise penetrated the TMI-2 control room. The sound was that of a hydrogen explosion inside the containment building. The noise at the time was dismis

        • I'm afraid I'm gonna have to go with the NRC's official report rather than a local soft news magazine.

          From a summary []:

          Within a short time, the presence of a large hydrogen bubble in the dome of the pressure vessel, the container that holds the reactor core, stirred new worries. The concern was that the hydrogen bubble might burn or even explode and rupture the pressure vessel. In that event, the core would fall into the containment building and perhaps cause a breach of containment. The hydrogen bubble wa

  • Paypal can suck it. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by karmatic ( 776420 )
    Well, I gave PayPal a call - I have cancelled all of my accounts. I currently run over $10,000 per year through there, totalling somewhere around $500 in fees (the occasional uncovered chargeback, and lots of small transactions).

    I let them know I would not do business with them(I know several people personally who have had problems with them as well), and I am in the process of switching to YowCow.

    Slight recommendation: don't use SolarPay. I ended up buying a re-branded version of their software, and it
    • Lots of claims, with no evidence to back them up.

      Plus a high UID that makes you even less trust-worthy.
      • The high UID is because I got tired of posting at -1 (too many troll/flamebait mods). As you can see, I'm rather blunt.

        Anyhow, I really don't _care_ if you trust me or not. I could give you the email of my old paypal account - what good would it do?

        Let's see - friend and client FastModz (sells modchips, - lost nearly $5000, because apparently Mod Chips violate the ToS. Legal, or not, PayPal should not have just pocketed the money. of my [] ot []
  • I have a 200GB drive that was more than halfway full. I had it in a USB enclosure, hooked up to my XP system. Four times, my partition was corrupted! First time it was all FAT32, then I decided to go NTFS. When the NTFS was corrupted, I (along with banging my head on a brick wall) tried GetDataBack and I was able to recover all the data, full names in tact. As for the FAT32 partitions, WinME was all that was needed. It is important you pick out a TRUSTED USB enclosure. I finally put the drive on a RAID con
  • by denpo ( 719588 )
    This might sounds stupid, but I managed to get access to a unreachable IBM click'o'death disk in a very simple way : The drive was installed horizontaly in my PC case, well, tried to run it in a vertical position. Believe me or not, it worked, the disk started fine. I didn't investiguate how long it could still run this way. 15 minutes was all it took me to make a complete disk copy, then it got dumped.
  • hard to say... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:11PM (#9211286) Homepage Journal
    I am of the opinion that it was probably fakes, but the link does not in anyway disprove her claims.

    In the former soviet union, we fake...unhem..excuse me, almost slipped.

    In Russia(both before and after the fall) Anything can be had for money. I know someone who paid to have there military records marked them as deceased.

    Now the link says:
    " Zone Administration personnel were in an uproar over who approved a motorcycle trip in the zone."

    of course, that doesn't mean she didn't give 100 bucks to the gate keeper. Or that they new about it, and became alarmed because of the media attention.

    "Elena and her husband have changed the Web site and the story considerably in the last few days. Earlier versions of the narrative lied more blatantly about Elena taking lone motorcycle trips in the zone. That has been changed to merely suggest that she does so, which is still misleading."

    That's called covering your ass, and in no way is proof of a fake.

    I wonder what would be good proof that she did it?

    • Has no one noticed the picture with her motorcycle in foreground and the Chernobyl sign in the background?

      Are we to assume its photoshopped?

      I personally don't think it is.

      Just to be clear, gettting the "standard" chernobyl tour-van to haul a bike seems less likely than occasional bribery.

      That doesn't mean she hasn't lied some, just that I think there is room for some truth in her story.

  • A recent data recovery operation I did on a Windows XP system: My friend had installed VMWare, and I think he somehow managed to set VMWare to use his physical primary drive as the drive the VM would use. He then installed Windows 95a (FAT16) onto his 40GB drive (which he thought was a virtual drive) which surprisingly worked until he tried to exit the VM and it wouldn't let him. After he rebooted, his machine booted into Windows 95a -- it had overwritten his NTFS drive! He was horrified at all the data he

Scientists will study your brain to learn more about your distant cousin, Man.