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Comment Actually the first SUCCESSFUL attempt... (Score 5, Interesting) 419

My company's developer had a side job as "computer support engineer" for this group a couple month ago (translate: 45/hr to configure software and as a human "fail-safe"). They actually did the first test fire a month or two back.

It was only half successful.

It did destroy the target which he described as a "basketball sized item" while traveling at ~450mph or whatever a C-130 cruises at (not supersonic). Unfortunately one of the chemicals has a ph of 17 and is stored at 2500 psi. When the tank developed a leak everyone had to don gas masks, move the cockpit and then make an emergency landing before it ate the plane. A full hazmat crew run by the company had to be flown in from Albuquerque to run decontamination.

It makes me think that perhaps if they just shot those chemicals rather than the laser it might be just as effective and quite a bit cheaper.

Comment Re:Don't worry about it (NOT) (Score 1) 539

Facebook is actually the best example of why not to share. Remember that lawsuit Facebook went through because it turned out that Mark Zuckwhatever had actually lifted the idea from some fellow students at Harvard? Facebook bought out the company at well above market value as a settlement.

As the owner of a small tech business, I would suggest that you consider using NDA's and MNDA's whenever possible. It allows you to share, but people with money and ideas of their own will know that you are both serious and collaborative. I've been told by other companies and individuals that they knew we were serious when we showed up with NDAs or MNDAs.

And to echo an earlier comment, no the value of ideas is what drives most of our economy these days, and let not forget our favorite slashdot subject of patent trolls. You should cover your ass legally if you think you really do have a good idea. Non-Disclosure agreements and Mutual Non-Disclosure agreement are available online for free to customize.

(for instance)
Bit Law Sample NDA

Don't trust anyone who JUST tells you your idea is worthless. They either don't recognize the value, are an ass-hat, or a thief. If your idea really is worthless, someone who really understands your idea will explain it in a way that will totally convince you that it is either dumb or overdone or impractical. Otherwise, you should be signing NDA's for everything and ignoring the dweebs here that say it doesn't matter. They don't know what they're talking about. If you told me your idea and I didn't sign a contract I'd take it if I were a jerk. Shit, I've even got a co-location, a couple extra servers, a perl/javascript developer and a web designer not to mention a couple extra quadcore rackmount servers.

So now that I think about, yeah.... NDAs and MNDAs are the dumbest thing ever. Your idea is worthless and stupid, and I'd be happy to hear all about it under no legal obligations with your full technical disclosure...

Comment Use Turbo Tax Lately (Score 2, Interesting) 168

When I posted question to the Turbo Tax community forum it asked a simple question as a CAPTCHA. Seems like an easy enough solution, and it changes each time to foil a persistent brute force attack.

Of course I'm sure it's only a matter of time before someone has an algorithm smart enought to answer questions. And I suppose that a botnet with enought time would work too. Still an interesting approah I thought.
Media

Submission + - DNS poison on MSNBC?

SunSpot505 writes: "MSNBC's website appears to be suffering from a DNS poison attack. Going to www.msnbc.com appears to redirect to the BBC main page. I couldn't find any reports about this anywhere through google searching. I'm sure someone somewhere is scrambling."

Comment Doesn't this fall victim to the Ethanol Problem (Score 1) 83

World food prices drastically increased as corn was diverted to ethanol alt-fuel projects. It also led to increased rates of deforestation.

If we are building every basic fabrication material from organic matter, doesn't that lead to an exponentially worse version of the same situation? I mean, how many viable sources of curran are there? And soy oil and potatoes? It sounds like a shopping list at your local organic grocer, which is great if you have a huge food surplus, but last I checked there were still 1 billion malnourished people in the world.

I'd be much more interested in seeing a post-consumer recycled car made of metal and plastic than a (largely) pre-consumer food based car.

Comment Archivists==Pirates? (Score 1) 119

The most swashbuckling arthritic educated Pirate/Archivist on the high seas. The eye patch doesn't stop him from his intense studying or crabby librarian sushing, only from the stereoscopic vision necessary to evade the dungeons many perils. With his colorful garments and handcrafted cane, he is sure to be the smash hit of the collectible figurine world and our favorite new DIII character.

Comment Re:"Royalties are vital in nurturing creative tale (Score 1) 291

You are of course correct. If you can do it for free and it's good enought, why should anybody get paid for doing it great? Nevermind that everyone involved is a student or i otherwise employed. If they can do their hobbies for free, why can't professionals?

If/When you graduate you may/will have a job and your employer will expect you to do it very well and you may/will expect to be paid depending on much of this you get.

Why does it matter what the occupation is suddenly? I know a lot of people who are accountants for fun and they've never complained about not getting paid. RIGHT. If you are the best at something you have a right to be compensated for your expertise, especially when that is your means of making a living.

Of course I'm sure that you have never paid for quality professionally produced music. It's all the same after all and your friends do it for free for you. And you even organized their record label too. Out of the goodness of your heart. What a guy. Perhaps you put that on your resume when you look for a real job. I'd hire you in a second as long as you did a great job and never asked for money.

Of course perhaps you have paid for music or even a concert, in which case I call bullshit, because you have enough aesthetic sense to tell that something is worth paying for. Just because you can do it for free doesn't mean that everyone else should. Get over it. Or come work for me for free. I've got plenty for you to do and I won't pay a cent.

Comment Monetize=Advertise, why don't we trade ads? (Score 4, Insightful) 291

While it's true that youtube may or may not be making money I think that the companies financial status is really irrelevant to the source of their content.

Unless they are a registered non-profit, they are in it for the money, and we know Google is certainly in it for the money and doing well. Our music writers? Whether they wrote the shittiest song of all time or a mega-hit, they really should get something for their work and they aren't. WHY should they be paid you ask?

Here on slashdot we too often side with the open information movement. I myself use open source software as much as possible. Microsoft? F@#$ em. OpenOffice is great. Linux runs my company servers, email, etc. I use Opera and Firefox, Thunderbird for internet. We all do. These sets of software have figured out how to work in an opensource economy. Since we use them and largely subscribe to this vague notion of "free and open is good" we sometimes jump at the music industry for not going the same way.

But there is a HUGE difference.

Open source software provides a solutions to a predetermined goal. It gives it away for free, and then covers costs by selling support for that solution and licensing professionals to do the same.

Suppose we were to open source music. How would that go? We all need to write a song that will accomplish the task of making us feel happy when everything in life is crushing our spirit. Let's start a community for it, open up our development process, track bugs, let users request features such as a second bridge that modulates the chord progression up one half step. Perfect, we have the something so generic that everyone can use it without caring. That's what music is for right, just a mindless background tool that helps you accomplish a task. Just like Thunderbird or Apache.

Then how do set up a community of consultants or license specialists in your song, genre, etc? The problem requires a much different outlook that we have with FOSS or general OSS, because the creativity that goes into writing music is not the same as that which goes into software. It requires personal investment of emotion, a dialogues between a writer and a listening transmitted by another frequently overlooked party, the artist (which in some genres looks more like a programmer these days, but that's beside the point).

We are so used to the idea that the internet is in some way this awesome tool that if you don't get on board and use that we say "you are the short sighted moron" to the musicians struggling to make it. Now don't get me started on record labels, because I think they are really the enemy here, but writers and musicians get caught in the crossfire and treated the same.

IP for software and IP for music are so different, even though their distribution models are almost identical (write it, test it, package it, advertise it, copy it to a zillion CDs and then mark it up to make some $$) While both industries are undoubtedly facing a myriad of challenges in finding alternate distribution methods that focus on web content we need to recognize that there is a real difference.

No one will be making Sgt. Pepper 2.1.18, or Bethoven's 5.2th, they are unique and aesthetically set in stone. You might improve the packaging or remaster the recording but that is a footnote not a new release. There is no competitive improvement to promote by limiting IP. As for monetizing, YouTube thankfully is light on the Advertising, which I appreciate. Perhaps they should offer free ads to people who find their work on the site? Or prioratize ads from legit vendors of their works? Have you ever done a torrent search? Lots of those big torrent sites do just that, why not YouTube? This would allow them redirect watchers to their site, or a vendor like Amazon or iTunes where a legal purchase can be made.

I guess what Irked me about the initial article is just the whole "oh those bitchy music industry folks complaining again about copyright" Damn straight! I'd be pissed if everyone was streaming my source code to youtube, wouldn't you?? I'm not greedy, but I do need to make a living. When you're making 11.00 a year on a video that has 15 million hits I understand being upset (Ironically there was an ad for Rick Astley ring tones next to the video, Guess how much Rick's writer makes from THAT? HAHAHAHAHA! NOTHING). We just need a sane way to compensate artists and writers for their work, and since most websites are monetized in advertising I think that YouTube should just trade advertising for artist controlled domains for the right to have the works in their collection. Win-Win.

My additional $.10

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