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Comment Re:The language all consumers understand: money. (Score 1) 163

And release a statement that they are testing this new filter, and have signed all politicians up for a trial. Randomly block about 10% of their traffic, and also some porn sites. Slow down their download speeds, and triple the prices. Anyone who publicly supports the filtering will of course get added to the trial.

Comment Re:What the hell (Score 4, Insightful) 321

Here in Denmark we were taught that if the coverage is bad, as it often is at sea, a text message is more likely to make it through. Same might be the case with low battery situations, and even if speaking aloud is not safe, as could be the case in some shooting and hijacking situations. In some situations the background noise may make voice communications unreliable, and some accidents may even disturb your ability to speak... Many reasons to allow the use of text messages.

Comment Open Source Product vs Company (Score 1) 357

If that source code isn't made available, then you're not an open source company.

Technically, a single company can have products licensed for both closed and open licenses - I know, I work for one. They can even offer the same product under an Open Source license, and under a different license. Owning the copyright, they can fork the product, implement some features only in one version, and release that only under a closed source license.

Of course, nothing prevents anyone from taking a version that has been released under an Open Source license, and (re)implementing the features the company only offers under a closed license. Except that it requires time, effort, and know-how.

Comment Re:Nevertheless, still doing science! (Score 2, Informative) 250

So what, pray tell, would have been the advantage of sending a human (other than shakier photos of the same rocks)? It would have cost an order of magnitude more money to haul a few people and all the supplies needed to keep them alive for a year-long mission

An order of magnitude???

In rough numbers, the mass of your normal human is one order of magnitude over the mass of the rover. The life support for said human would be another order of magnitude, or two. That would be fine, if we could leave the volunteer(s) behind on a dead planet. But getting them back would mean sending a big enough ship to bring them home. That would be at least thousand times bigger than what they'd need to survive on the surface - three more orders of magnitude. That's what I could think here and now. I believe there would be a few more problems to account for one or two orders of magnitude. So, my estimate for sending humans (that would expect to return) would be at least a million times more than to cost to send the rovers. With all these uncertainties, perhaps a billion...

Still, worth the effort, if and when we have the resources and technology. I hope to see that in my lifetime, or at least in the next 50 years!


PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles Screenshot-sm 361

darthvader100 writes "Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like. The author brings up several theories on propulsion (and orbits), weapons (explosives, kinetic and laser), and design. Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie."

Submission + - Man Controls Cybernetic Hand with Thoughts (

MaryBethP writes: Scientists in Italy announced Wednesday that Pierpaolo Petruzziello, a 26-year-old Italian who had lost his left forearm in a car accident, was successfully linked to an artificial limb that was neural planted in the median and ulnar nerves. He has learned to control the artificial limb with his mind. According to cnet, Petruzziello says he could feel sensations in it, as if the lost arm had grown back again.


Submission + - The top ten security heroes (

Barence writes: The media love to stick it to the IT security bad guys: the notorious hackers or the bumbling civil servants who put nothing more than a first-class stamp on a disc containing millions of personal files. But what about the little-known heroes of the security world? PC Pro's Top Ten Security Heroes are the people who have made the internet a (relatively) safe place to work, shop and communicate; the people who work behind the scenes to make sure our PCs aren’t stuffed full of malware. In short, the good guys.

Submission + - Offset bad code with Bad Code Offsets

An anonymous reader writes: Two weeks ago, The Daily WTF's Alex Papadimoulis announced Bad Code Offsets, a join venture between many big names in the software development community (including StackOverflow's Jeff Atwood and Jon Skeet and SourceGear's Eric Sink). The premise is that you can offset bad code by purchasing Bad Code Offsets (much in the same way a carbon-footprint is offset). The profit's are donated to Free Software projects which work eliminate bad code, such as the Apache Foundation and FreeBSD. The first cheques were sent out earlier today.

Submission + - Federal Appeals Court Tosses Spam Patent (

Zordak writes: Dennis Crouch's Patently-O is running a news item about U.S. patent 6,631,400, which has claims drawn to a method of making sure enough people get your spam. A federal district court had overturned the patent as anticipated, obvious, and not drawn to patentable subject matter. The Federal Circuit, the appeals court which hears patent matters, upheld the finding of obviousness, thus invalidating the patent.

Swarm of Giant Jellyfish Capsize 10-Ton Trawler 227

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that the Japanese trawler Diasan Shinsho-maru has capsized off the coast of China, as its three-man crew dragged their net through a swarm of giant jellyfish (which can grow up to six feet in diameter and travel in packs) and tried to haul up a net that was too heavy. The crew was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler. Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings. In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures. Experts believe that one contributing factor to the jellyfish becoming more frequent visitors to Japanese waters may be a decline in the number of predators, which include sea turtles and certain species of fish. 'Jellies have likely swum and swarmed in our seas for over 600 million years,' says scientist Monty Graham of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. 'When conditions are right, jelly swarms can form quickly. They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.'"

Comment Re:Welcome to the new economy (Score 1) 194

I hate to sound like a troll, but it looks like we may see the end of a marriage between what we believe an open source projects should look like and the venture capitalists that fund them.

Not all Open Source projects are funded by venture capital! I work for a small company that has several Open Source projects out there, and has never had outside capital. We've had our bad times, but at the moment we are expanding slowly, and the future does not look too bad.

(And yes, we use Twiki internally, and I got the "relaunch" mail. Sounded like they wanted "strong branding" that was "not compatible with Debian". Pity, but if that is the way it goes, I will need to find another Wiki system for us, and probably convert all our data - won't let any single application dictate what distro I should use. )


Should You Break TOS Because Work Asks You? 680

An anonymous reader writes "My boss recently assigned me a project that was all his idea, with two basic flaws that would require me to break multiple web sites' Terms of Service (TOS). Part requires scraping most of the site, parsing the data and presenting it as our own without human intervention. While we're safe on copyright issues, clearly scraping like this is normally not allowed. At times it might also put a load on those sites. The other is, for lack of better words, a 'load balancing' part that requires using multiple free accounts instead of purchasing space and CPU time for less than $2,000 USD per month. The boss sees it as 'distributed' computing when in reality it's 'parasitic.' My question is: am I wrong about the ethics? If I do need to walk, how best can I handle it without damaging my reputation and future employment opportunities?"
The Internet

Free Online Scientific Repository Hits Milestone 111

ocean_soul writes "Last week the free and open access repository for scientific (mainly physics but also math, computer sciences...) papers arXiv got past 500,000 different papers, not counting older versions of the same article. Especially for physicists, it is the number-one resource for the latest scientific results. Most researchers publish their papers on arXiv before they are published in a 'normal' journal. A famous example is Grisha Perelman, who published his award-winning paper exclusively on arXiv."

New Bill To Rein In DHS Laptop Seizures 311

twigles writes with news of a new proposed bill that seeks to curtail DHS's power to search and seize laptops at the border without suspicion of wrongdoing. Here is Sen. Feingold's press release on the bill. The new bill has more privacy-protecting safeguards than the previous one, which we discussed last month. "The Travelers Privacy Protection Act, a bill written by US Senators Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., would allow border agents to search electronic devices only if they had reasonable suspicions of wrongdoing. In addition, the legislation would limit the length of time that a device could be out of its owner's possession to 24 hours, after which the search becomes a seizure, requiring probable cause."

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