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Comment Re:Laser defense (Score 2) 183

I really want to build a laser mosquito zapper (like this one: However, this looks pretty pricey (multiple cameras and galvanometers).

If the expense/time is a bit daunting, mosquitoes are attracted to heat, so some incandescent bulbs in front of a fan, with a mesh bag behind it, will scoop them out of the air (along with lots of other insects.) I had a friend with one of these and she collected something like a pound of insects per night.
With that said, I don't think either one is going to make a dent in your local mosquito population unless you had two dozen of them running nonstop. Getting rid of stagnant water in your neighborhood will do far more than any amount of adult mosquito hunting.

Submission + - Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists Graduate (

An anonymous reader writes: the republicans in AZ are trying to force kids to swear an oath to get a diploma.

A quote from the proposed bill Arizona House Bill 2467
"Beginning in the 20132014 school year, In addition to fulfilling the course of study and assessment requirements prescribed in this chapter, before a pupil is allowed to graduate from a public high school in this state, the principal or head teacher of the school shall verify in writing that the pupil has recited the following oath:

I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God. "

Submission + - Automatically sanitising PDF email attachments

supachupa writes: It seems the past couple of years that spearfishing is getting very convincing and it is becoming more and more likely someone (including myself) will accidentally click on a PDF attachment with malicious javascript embedded. It would be impossible to block PDFs as they are required for business. We do disable javascript on Adobe reader, but I would sleep a lot better knowing the code is removed completely.

I have looked high and low but could not find a cheap out of the box solution or a "how to" guide for automatically neutralising PDFs by stripping out the javascript. The closest thing I could find is using PDF2PS and then reversing the process with PS2PDF.

I wonder if any of you slashies have worked a solution for this that is not too complex, works preferably at the SMTP relay, and can work with ZIPed PDFs as well, or otherwise have some common sense advice for dealing with this so that once its in place, there is no further action required by myself or by users.

Submission + - Scientists seek biomakers for violence ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A Newtown couple, both scientists, who lost their daughter in the school shooting, are wondering whether there were clues in the shooter's physiological makeup — his DNA, his blood, his brain chemistry. They are now involved in a search for biomarkers, similar to those that may indicate disease, for violence. They are raising money to help fund this research, but the effort is running into obstacles, in part, over ethical concerns. "I'm not opposed to research on violence and biomarkers, but I'm concerned about making too big of a leap between biomarkers and violence," said Troy Duster, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. There is concern that science may find biomarkers long before society can deal with its implications.

Comment Re:Typical console developer rant, IMO. (Score 1) 157

You didn't follow the link, did you? It's a situation that's called "a tragedy of the commons", which doesn't mean it's a tragedy.

And anyhow, it's not about battery life, but applications using more than their fair share of memory, IO or other resources contribute to starvation for other apps that run at the same time, possibly causing crashes in other apps when they cannot allocate memory (because they're well behaved and allocate when needed and free when done), cannot update alarms in time, can't take a phone call(!), can't AV scan an incoming e-mail, or a million other things that can go wrong if too many apps on a system are hogs.

Submission + - Richard Stallman: Snowden leak a chance for privacy, time to fight Big Brother (

An anonymous reader writes: Video interview with RMS on RT: "Snowden and Assange besieged but not defeated, while privacy has a better chance now than it had before. We talk to freedom activist and free software developer Richard Stallman, who believes the fight against the total surveillance on the part of the governments is far from over."

Comment Re:Typical console developer rant, IMO. (Score 1) 157

added to the fact that not all code needs to be optimized, only the little portions that perform the most critical tasks.

That this is false is my point - it's only true if your app is the only app on a system. On a shared embedded system, the portions that don't do critical tasks are just as important to optimize for the rest of the system.
Because there's no penalty to your own app, it becomes a tragedy of the commons.

Comment Re:Typical console developer rant, IMO. (Score 1) 157

To follow up on my own post, what we see in environments like the Android world is a tragedy of the commons. If everybody played nice, everybody would benefit. But there's no penalty to yourself for being greedy, so you are. And so are all others.

Android really needs something like strictly enforced cgroups.

Comment Re:Typical console developer rant, IMO. (Score 1) 157

Even though it's unrelated with my original post, you are saying that not going native is worse because it uses more CPU cycles/battery?
Explain to me why, for decades, the industry used J2ME, Java (Android) and now ObjC (Apple). I guess the entire mobile industry is selfish and greedy?

Of course they are. But that's beside the point. Development is a trade-off - you have to work with the market you have, within deadlines that means you'll sell, and developers you can find and afford. So yes, you make do with what makes the task feasible.
But you don't have to make it any worse than necessary by allowing bloat and doing things inefficiently. Adapting a mindset that you do work in a shared embedded environment, and do things frugally doesn't incur a great cost.

You probably didn't understand GP, though, the message is that you don't need to optimize something that doesn't consume enough cycles be a performance problem.

It's not just about cycles. It's also about resource use in a shared environment. The key word being shared. Whether something doesn't impact your own application isn't the problem - unless you have thought about how it could impact other applications and the overall system, you haven't done your job.

Comment Re:Typical console developer rant, IMO. (Score 1) 157

It's impossible to personally attack an Anonymous Coward.
But I'm glad you recognize what you are doing.

As for "What wasting", I asked you(?) to re-read the guy's second paragraph, but this was apparently too hard. So let me quote it:

Any attempt to raising a point about how you don't need to optimize everything but only few critical zones of your code (what matters), or that a cache wasting algorithm can end up being faster anyway just because it's more efficient, immediately results in myself being dismissed or treated as ignorant because, something inefficient is obviously inefficient and I must be stupid for not realizing that.

That wasting. Right there.

Submission + - Doctor Who (Actor) Warns Against Facebook (

judgecorp writes: Matt Smith, the current actor playing Doctor Who, doesn't use Facebook or Twitter, despite his geek icon status. He worries that social media encourages us to create "surrogate versions" or "celebrity versions" of ourselves. He also, arguably, doesn't need their help, being a celebrity already. Smith made the comments in St Petersburg, where he hosted the final of Microsoft's Imagine Cup for student inventors, won this year by a British team with a mesh music-playing application.

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Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton