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Comment Google+ card look (Score 1) 1

I just saw it. "Cards", yes. That post was phrasing it politely.

WHAT is Google doing?! Google+ looks like Newsvine or Tumblr now, with three columns of stacked "card" blocks. I liked Google+ a lot for the past 2 years. Now, it is a mess. 41 changes were rolled out today.

Submission + - Google's House of Cards 1

theodp writes: In The Design That Conquered Google, The New Yorker's Matt Buchanan reports that "cards" — modeled after real cards — are set to become one of the dominant ways in which Google presents certain types of information to users. The power of a card as a visual-organization metaphor, the secret of its infiltration, said Matias Duarte (lead designer of Android), is that "it makes very clear the atomic unity of things; it’s still flexible while creating a kind of regularity." Hey, maybe that Bill Atkinson was really on to something with that dadgum HyperCard software of his back in the '80s!

Submission + - Canada courts, patent office warns against trying to patent mathematics (www.slaw.ca)

davecb writes: The Canadian Intellectial Property Office (CIPO) warns patent examiners that ..."for example, what appears on its face to be a claim for an “art” or a “process” may, on a proper construction, be a claim for a mathematical formula and therefore not patentable subject matter.” (Courtesy of Paula Bremner at Slaw)

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What is the best hard-copy backup of my digital identity? 1

Megaport writes: 'Digital identity' can mean whatever set of unique digital artifacts happen to be most precious to you, or the keys to those things. In my case, it probably comes down to all my ssh & gpg keys and password safes. What is the best way to get a printout or other physical representation of that data in a medium that is inexpensive and inconspicuous?

My current idea is to pass-phrase encrypt and ASCII armor all my keys and safes, then sign the package using each of the keys it contains. I've collected these through 20 years of working in the industry with a lot of people who would be easily able to recognize and verify them from among their own crypto-collection, so my feeling is that this could also be useful for establishing myself in a digital environment through ad-hoc webs of trust.

Put the whole thing onto a QR code, print it out cards, stickers and t-shirts which I take everywhere and also leave in my trail behind me. My digital identity would be secure of everything this side of a rubber hose for the pass-phrase. Is this a reasonable security trade-off?

Please slashdot, tell me how paranoid I need to be. Anyway, I can't think of anyone better to ask whose name doesn't start with 'Bruce'.

Submission + - North Carolina May Ban Tesla Sales To Prevent "Unfair Competition" (slate.com) 7

nametaken writes: From the state that brought you the nation’s first ban on climate science comes another legislative gem: a bill that would prohibit automakers from selling their cars in the state.

The proposal, which the Raleigh News & Observer reports was unanimously approved by the state’s Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, would apply to all car manufacturers, but the intended target is clear. It’s aimed at Tesla, the only U.S. automaker whose business model relies on selling cars directly to consumers, rather than through a network of third-party dealerships.

[The article adds] it’s easy to understand why some car dealers might feel a little threatened: Tesla’s Model S outsold the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8 last quarter without any help from them. If its business model were to catch on, consumers might find that they don’t need the middle-men as much as they thought.

Comment Re: Moxie (Score 3, Interesting) 128

Aside from the fact that he's been championing against the certificate authority system...

Yes! I was wondering when someone would mention this! Anyone who's curious can glance at Moxie's repositories on Github. It is exactly as you described, about his efforts to make a better certificate authority system. I don't know if it was because it gave the U.S. too much power, or because it was not especially reliable (I think DigiNotar or Digi something cert auth break happened around then), many other issues.

I have mixed feelings about Moxie. He's very much the Anarchist, rebel hax00r. But he isn't insufferably arrogant like some of his peers are. He's a good sailor (not yachts!); sometimes I like what he has to say. And he looks sweet, handsome in the one photo I've seen of him, not overstated or hipster-odious. Anyway, the last time I checked, Moxie was a Twitter employee.

Good point too about the oddity that "agents of a foreign power", whether Saudi Arabia or any other, would approach Moxie for such work. It is unlikely that Saudi Arabia would be less informed than you and I. Moxie has a hefty entry in Wikipedia. I even wrote a post on my hobby blog about one of his projects a few years ago! I have no doubt that retaining Moxie's services would be worthwhile. But there are many less visible, less vocal alternatives.

I wish I could say "thank you" to whomever submitted the original post here. Good find!

Comment Re:why not ban capitalism? (Score 1) 353

The rules are U.S. society are increasingly becoming anticompetitive though. And I think thats what many are railing against, and perhaps, rightly so.

I'm sorry for replying so after-the-fact. Yes, I nod my head vigorously regarding your last comment!

The opposite of competition is monopoly. It is ironic, because "big business" reviles socialism and communism because of the repressiveness of central planning, one entity (the government) controlling everything. Yet capitalism "run amok" has resulted in the same concentration of power, i.e. concentration of assets, control by one entity. The entity is a corporation rather than government in a monopoly situation, but it is as bad (or worse) than all control held by government.

I don't think this is the inevitable consequence of capitalism though. While it does seem to have happened that way in the USA, sorry, it HAS happened that way, there are other countries that have capitalist economic and governments that aren't as inequitable as we are now.

Submission + - Oracle Introduces Insane New Java Numbering Scheme (infoq.com) 1

twofishy writes: "To avoid the confusion caused by renumbering releases", Oracle has announced that it is adopting a new numbering scheme for JDK 5.0, JDK 6 and JDK 7. "The next Limited Update for JDK 7 will be numbered 7u40, and the next 3 CPUs after that will be numbered 7u45, 7u51, and 7u55.” The vendor notes that a more elegant solution would require the changing of the version numbering scheme to accommodate different kinds of changes (for example by using 7u44-2 ). However this cannot be implemented outside of a major release, since doing so might break existing code that parses version strings (possibly including the Java auto-update system)

Submission + - International Space Station switching to Linux (extremetech.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: The United Space Alliance, which manages the computers aboard the International Space Station in association with NASA, has announced that the Windows XP computers aboard the ISS have been switched to Linux.

“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable.”

In specific, the “dozens of laptops” will make the change to Debian 6. These laptops will join many other systems aboard the ISS that already run various flavors of Linux, such as RedHat and Scientific Linux. As far as we know, after this transition, there won’t be a single computer aboard the ISS that runs Windows.

Comment Re: Psychiatry is not medicine (Score 1) 185

Psychiatry IS medicine. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, must have an M.D. first, then specialize in psychiatry. Some (many?) so-called mental health conditions are caused by lifestyles vastly different than those under which we evolved, granted. Let's exclude them.

Chronic depression is terrible. I was less than 40 years old when my husband, my father, and my little baby died. I cried every day, for two years, no end in sight. I didn't remember to eat, comb my hair, brush my teeth, change clothes. I'd wander around my neighborhood in my nightgown, giving what little money I had to anyone who was homeless, because it was the only thing, their smiles, that relieved the sorrow for a tiny moment. Finally, I went to a psychiatrist. Treatment wasn't tranquilizers (Valium), anti-psychotics or stimulants. The very first anti-depressant the doctor prescribed started to help after about three weeks. No side effects, just that I had to take it at the same time each day, else I got a headache. We titrated the dose to the minimum level necessary to be effective. No brain biopsies or blood tests were necessary. Then I asked for the generic version, as it is a lot cheaper.

I still cry a lot, but I remember to eat and sleep. I got a used Toshiba Satellite laptop for $50, learned CSS and some Web 2.0 stuff, re-learned SAS, SPSS and some Fortran. I got a job (only part-time was available) working from home, which paid more than enough to cover rent and food for me and my mother. It was contract work, so I'm looking again, but I think I can find something. I doubt any of this would be possible without the psychiatrist and anti-depressant medication.

There are plenty of whiny, self-indulgent malingerer's in this world. Lots of attention-seekers too. One could certainly argue that they have problems! But they are not of the sort that require medication, or care of a psychiatrist. I will be happy when I don't need medication or care either.

Submission + - Bat's tongue could inspire miniature surgical robot design (mongabay.com)

Damien1972 writes: Nectar-feeding bats shift the shape of their tongue to slurp up sugar from flowers upon which they feed, finds a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using histological techniques, high-speed videography, and anatomical studies, biologist Cally Harper found that the bat Glossophaga soricina relies on hair-like structures known as papillae on its tongue to extract nectar from flowers. The structures, which become erect when muscle contraction fills them with blood, increase the surface area and width of its tongue tip to create a hydraulic process that causes nectar to flow along the tongue into the bat's mouth. The mechanism is "surprisingly clever" and could inspire medical device design, according to the researchers.

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