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Comment Re:It's the freeloaders time (Score 1) 1051

Why can't I get ads I would be even remotely interested in? Gadgets deals, hardware deals, game deals, interesting bands, interesting books ... you know ... geek stuff?

You mean ads personally tailored to you? based on your interest? As long as you are willing to provide a good deal of personal information to the site and in turn to advertisers, including information linking your online activities to your real world ones, then go for it. But the next time a Slashdot headline comes across touting the latest in user identification and tracking you'd better not bitch about the invasion to your privacy.

Ideally there might be a neutral trusted middleman. But that mechanism requires a good deal of infrastructure and would then itself be subject to exploitation.

Comment Re:This will be one of the shorter X-Prize contest (Score 3, Interesting) 175

I work in an optical imaging lab doing whole animal and human brain imaging studies. As you've mentioned two key points should be stressed for those outside the field.

(1) The project is laughably underfunded. Think more on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars plus for these types of projects to make it through the full FDA approval process. Human trials are phenomenally expensive, to the point where whole established companies can be driven to bankruptcy through the process (ART in Canada comes to mind).

(2) Many of the smaller pieces HAVE already been invented. By many different groups scattered around the globe. It will take some sort of insane IP wizardry to combine all of these patents along with the additional research required to meet the specific aims of the challenge.

Comment Re:No story here (Score 1) 1324

Children are not property. Parents are not owners.

Parenting is baffling mysterious art which involves guiding the development of another human being. It is an admirable task. But the raising of children is not done in a vacuum and is not a 'right'. We are a society, each of us responsible to act in act in accordance with the social contracts that exist both naturally and that we have developed as a culture.

Under your logic the actions of someone like Josef Fritzl are perfectly acceptable, after all who are you Pudge to say what he can and can't do with his daughter. Now you may counter that those are two entirely different scenarios, but I would argue that 'educating' your children through deliberate omission is highly damaging albeit more subtle. Parenting is a very gray area where an adult is directly responsible for the raising of the child, and thus makes a great many decisions that a lifelong impact on the child, but once that child is grown there is the expectation (which I consider reasonable) that they will be able to interact as a free-thinking member of the society. It is reasonable that the community at large should place certain expectations on the education children receive and the environment in which they live. Parents may be bear the primary responsibility for child rearing, but again they are not property. Neighbors, friends, fellow citizens, even random passerbys on the street still have an obligations to look out for the child.

The adage, "It takes a whole village to raise a child," comes to mind.

Comment Re:Another Idea that will not catch on (hopefully) (Score 1) 98

I would guess the reason is simply to reduce the huge number of story submissions that the editors must wade through.

The reason I happen to know about it is that I attempted to submit a story a few days ago and ran in to this exact problem. The main url I wanted to link to was: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8476381.stm. Another slashdotter had already submitted the link, but included only a tiny one sentence blurb. The result was that the story was killed and the url can not be used for new submissions.

Incidentally this seems like a GREAT way for astroturfers to abuse the /. process.

Comment Re:Another Idea that will not catch on (hopefully) (Score 5, Insightful) 98

Unfortunately the Slashdot story submission process almost requires you to post the stories on your own site. The problem is that the main url for the story must be unique among all story submissions, but the writeup must also be decent (yes that second point is debatable). So if any of the bagillion other slashdot readers submits the story before you, you're out of luck. And if they write a crappy one sentence description the story gets rejected and that original url is permablocked but the submission process. The process naturally selects the autobloggers that provide a unique url (typically to their own site) and provide a good (read inflammatory) description.

Submission + - A victory for common sense (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: From a previous /. submission the "bomb detector" maker Jim McCormick has finally been arrested. Lets hope that he's permanently removed from the economy, and if possible, the gene pool...

Comment Re:What if it was really a bomb? (Score 1) 687

Thank you for standing up and saying this. Most of this page is filled with random 'THE VICE PRINCIPLE IS THE SUXXORZ RAWR!' rants which have sadly spilled on to the local news page (many of the comments on that page are in fact copied verbatim here on slashdot).

The description for the 'project' is quite vague, though it is described as a motion detector. I am under the impression that this is a inquisitive child's attempt at making a 'motion detector' the same way he might make a fire truck out of a cardboard box. People keep saying how the vice-principle should have known better, but there are certainly 11 year-olds that are capable of constructing explosives. With the obvious exception of things-that-do-nothing, explosives are probably the easiest project to make, and its highly plausible that amongst the student population of a tech school that you'd find students capable of making such a project.

For all the people slamming the vice-principle let me pose the following mental experiment: (1) imagine a gatorade bottle with random wire and IC chips glued to the surface (2) imagine an actual explosive device constructed by an 11-year old. If those objects look drastically different in your mind then you've been watching too much television. A high-school buddy of mine does bomb disposal for a PD down in Georgia and he has plenty of stories about real bombs that look like a someone spun a pitchfork in the bargain bin at a local electronics shop and covered the thing in hot glue.

Yes it sounds like things got out of hand, yes the school should probably plan and highly publicize how such an event will be handled in the future, but good grief stop screaming at people that had make a judgment call with the possible danger to several hundred students on the line.

Comment Re:Audio/Videophiles Beware (Score 2, Informative) 397

(please mod parent up)

Just to run the numbers available -
In cat5 you have 4 twisted pairs with the following arrangement [1]:
color cm/turn turn/m
green 1.53 65.2
blue 1.54 64.8
orange 1.78 56.2
brown 1.94 51.7

That makes:
green = 1.53 * 65.2 = 99.756
blue = 1.54 * 64.8 = 99.792
orange = 1.78 * 56.2 = 100.036
brown = 1.94 * 51.7 = 100.298

So a roughly 0.5% difference in wire length. Using a low-end estimate for the speed of an EM wave [2] of 66% the speed of light we still have: 1/(3.0e8 * 0.66) = 5e-9 s/m. So that at the end of a 100m length of cat5 (the spec limit) the ~0.5m difference in length would mean the signals would be separated by roughly 250 picoseconds.

I have trouble seeing how that could possibly be enough to impact any audio signal perceptible by the human ear. If anyone else has more numbers to run please chime in.
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable#Connectors_and_other_information
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_electricity

Comment 'GodMode' strings do the following: (Score 2, Informative) 422

::SPOILER ALERT:: If you want the nerdjoy of trying these all yourself stop reading now

-enter a default location for gps and other location aware programs

-biometric devices control

-power plan management

-taskbar icons and notifications

-windows credential manager

-install a new program

-default programs and file associations

-public key tokens NOTE: does not change folder icon

-manage wireless networks

-network neighborhood

-my computer

-printer installation and queue (Note: slightly different than printers & devices)

-remote apps and desktop connection

-windows firewall settings

-unknown, this did nothing on my machine

-windows experience index

-original 'GodMode' folder

Comment Re:Light Sensing Switch -- there's your problem... (Score 1) 467

Agreed. Unless he's using dusk-to-dawn switches explicitly designed for cfl bulbs he's just tossing money away. Most older style switches (the predominant types on the market) will state that they should not be used be used with cfl bulbs. To the GP you might consider something like the following: http://www.touchandglow.com/product-p/s-751mg-2pk.htm which as I understand it basically applies a Schmitt trigger to keep the bulb from fluctuating between states.

Comment Re:Gravel roads are cheap but need more maintenanc (Score 1) 717

No. You are profoundly misinformed. California even prior to the current budget crisis had among the highest student to teacher ratios in the nation. Moreover their funding per student is among the lowest in the nation. The only strawman I can see is your reference to the 'single largest line item' which I suspect you know full well does not accurately portray overall funding. Teacher pay is typically higher in California, BUT not in proportion to the cost of living in the state. See this 2002 report for a dose of reality: http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/Articles/CalRankings.asp

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