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Comment Here in Canada (Score 1) 839

Here in Canada we get a fair amount of snow, from time to time, and we do have those LED street lights in quite a few places. Yet, in 8 years of driving, I have _never_ seen this snow covering problem. Either I've just been really lucky, or there must be a difference in design?

Our traffic lights all have round pieces of metal over the top of each light (like the brim of a baseball cap). I always assumed these were there to prevent the sun from glaring off the light and making them impossible to see... but maybe it is in fact to keep the snow off?

I also always assumed these little 'hats' were universal across North America. Do they have these in the Midwest?


Comment Battlestar Galactica (Score 1) 536

Didn't anyone see the last episode? They found earth and it had primitive tribal humans already. They were planning to educate them, give them language, teach them, etc... so obviously some would have sex (whether in love or not).

BSG is clearly an accurate account of our own history, so I was not surprised to see this headline. Nor will I be surprised next year when the headline says they've discovered Humans mated with Cylons around the same time.


Comment Re:and the idleness is ?? (Score 1) 17

The mouthpiece idea has been around for a while in the form of the Avalung

The idea is sound, but I think putting it into action would be a bit dicey.
a) Getting it into your mouth before being swept away/while being swept away.
b) Keeping it in your mouth while being swept away.

Avalanches tend to thrash you around a bit, and they also tend to be a bit stronger than you. Probably if you got a good bite on it before things really got carried away you'd be fine? Perhaps in the case of the AvaJacket the air cousin would help shield your mouthpiece from blows?

As for the airbag system. It looks neat, but also cumbersome. I'd use it if it didn't interfere more than a regular jacket collar does, and also provided it didn't go off at random times.

Helmets protect your head also, and I already wear one of those, so that just leaves the neck thing I guess.

I certainly agree that, aside from the translation, it's not really that funny or entertaining in an idle sort of way.

As an after thought, I'm not sure how I feel about the compressed air canister. It would probably have to be metal or hard plastic. I often carry a metal flask of rum with me when I'm snowboarding. Last year I fell on it while it was in my breast pocket and I can assure you, it was NOT a comfortable thing to land on! If the above video, the canister is shown to be in a very similar rib-smashing position.



Instant Messaging Vulnerable To New Smiley Attacks 170

titus writes "Security researchers Yoann Guillot and Julien Tinnes have found a way to encode malicious code into smileys and provided a proof of concept encoder to automate the process. The researchers said their discovery paves the way for IM malware that would be impossible to detect since the malicious code would be 'indistinguishable from genuine chat messages.' I've tested the proof of concept code which works very well. Time to panic?"

Comment Re:Snowbound? (Score 1) 429

I would like to vouch for MarkRose's comment 100%

Being from mid Ontario, I will admit that I haven't experienced -40 very often. But having worked outdoors (with a construction crew) for a winter and a half in -20 weather (before wind), I will surely agree, that if you dress for it, it's not that bad.

Sure, maybe the sandwich you brought for lunch is a little hard by lunch time. And maybe the water you brought to drink is a little slushy. And maybe the sensation of whipping it out to take a leak behind that tree is a little strange. But the most important thing to remember is, don't hold spare nails in your mouth! Sure, you can get away with it in the summer (and hammer more efficiently), but in the winter they stick!

Seriously though. I recently moved to Vancouver, where they have had an unusually large amount of snow fall, perhaps a foot? And if you ask them, they'd tell you the Apocalypse is coming. If you ask me, they're bloody whiners!

BUT, if I went to Texas, and ran into a rattle snake, I'd probably soil myself, while the locals laughed at me. If I went to Afghanistan and was stranded by a sandstorm, I wouldn't have the first clue what to do! If I went to California and there was an earthquake... I'd be like a fish out of water.

We all know what we're used to, and we're all happy to laugh at those who don't know it. But I think it's important to realize that there are a LOT of things we don't know and we're not used to, which other folks do know, and yes, they will laugh at us.

So if someone is "snowbound" and you think they aren't, show them the path to the nearest snowman, snowball, snow angel, toque, beer, or hoser. In return, ask only that they show you safety when confronted with what they know best, who knows, it might be sailing, survival during famine, or sandboarding. Shit, maybe you will learn how to play chess!

"Nobody is good at everything, but everybody is good at something"



Submission + - Green Your Server Farm (

An anonymous reader writes: Jer Faludi at Worldchanging has put together a terrific overview of the recent advances in creating greener tech for server farms, which — since they make up about 1.5 percent of planetary energy consumption — are a major target for sustainable computing efforts.

It's not just the computers themselves that use all this power: the combined heat output of all these servers, hard drives and network gear is so large that massive air conditioning is required to keep it all from overheating. "Cooling is about 60 percent of the power costs in a data center because of inefficiency," said Hewlett Packard executive Paul Perez in Data Center News. "The way data centers are cooled today is like cutting butter with a chain saw." Cooling capacity is often the limiting factor of how big these systems can be — I've talked with more than one engineer whose data center facility sat half empty or more; even though there was plenty of room for more servers, the building's air conditioning was maxed out.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Energy Drinks Linked To Heart Risk (

explosivejared writes: "Before any slashdotters here get another urge to "ride the bull" you might want to check this out. A study presented to the American Heart Association has linked popular energy drinks to heart disease and high blood pressure. Once again high levels of caffeine and taurine are being touted as major health risks. This could be a potential blow to the ever health-minded /. community. However, no word yet on what the ill effects of hot pockets, though."
Data Storage

Submission + - Seagate's 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 Drive Tested (

MojoKid writes: "Seagate was surprisingly late to join the small, but elite club of storage manufacturers shipping one terabyte (1TB) class hard drives. First out of the gate was Hitachi, who made it to market several months beforehand with a high-density five-platter 1TB hard disk design. While Hitachi's performance, thermals, and acoustics have all been tested to be fairly solid, many high-end buyers have been waiting for other manufacturers, namely Western Digital and Seagate, to get into the mix as well. This review shows that, the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 is one of the most advanced consumer level hard disks on the market. The drive showcases second generation perpendicular recording, 32 MB of cache, excellent multi-tasking performance, very light power consumption and relatively quiet acoustics, not to mention its massive 1 Terabyte capacity."

Monitor Draws Zero Power In Standby 405

fifthace writes "A new range of Fujitsu Siemens monitors don't draw power during standby. The technology uses capacitors and relays to avoid drawing power when no video signal is present. With political parties all over Europe calling for a ban on standby, this small development could end up as one of the most significant advances in recent times. The British Government estimates eight percent of all domestic electricity is consumed by devices in standby."

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