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Comment Oticon (Score 2) 183

I wear an Oticon Chili SP9, which is a high power digital aid, programmable by the audiologist. There's a DAI (direct audio input) boot available, which I use with my low-end MP3 player. There's also a much more sophisticated set of devices called "Connectline" http://oticonusa.com/Oticon/Professionals/professional_products/ConnectLine.html based on a gadget that hangs around your neck or in your pocket. It adds Bluetooth connectivity (and limited control of the aid) from the gadget. It only works with certain Oticon aids using a protocol I haven't been able to decode.

The Connectline gadget seemed like a good idea at the time, and I willingly spent the (lot) of extra money, but I find I mostly use the wired DAI boot. The Bluetooth gadget is more of a pain than a help. The battery doesn't last very long (less than a workday) and has to be shut off to recharge, which it does via a mini-USB connector. And it only links to one or two Bluetooth devices at a time. Also, it interferes with the Bluetooth system in my car.

Comment Re:Survey? (Score 1) 349

"Hi, this is Bob in accounting, the Help Desk app looks like it's down."

"Hi Bob. Yup, its down. There is no ETR. I can't give you a ticket number because it's down."

And poof! We're back to scribbled notes on paper, and a really bad day for the poor folks on the Help Desk. And in the meantime, there are no tickets coming in, so the folks who can actually fix anything are clueless. Great plan.

Comment Re:I'm really sick of this trend (Score 1) 165

Yes, need.

My local paper of record (the San Diego Union-Tribune) REQUIRES a valid Facebook account to comment on everything they publish online. Given that I'm not quite willing to forgo my right to comment publicly on what they publish, I need to have a Facebook account.

(I leave the idiocy of their decision for another comment.)

Comment Re:Now all we need is... (Score 4, Informative) 315

People have been doing that for many years with the common hop vine (Humulus lupulus) which is also a member of the Cannabaceae family. Grafting hop vines onto a good Cannabis rootstock yields a scion with strobili that are visually indistinguishable from an ordinary hop flower. Unfortunately, the product is not very potent-- the best outcome is maybe 1.5-2% THC (and only trace amounts of other interesting compounds) which is terrible compared to the 10-20% THC that you can get from a well-managed C. sativa or C. indica flower. Also, the graft process is very finicky, the scion does not grow as well as an ungrafted vine, and your resulting plant is annual (like Cannabis) rather than perennial (like Humulus.) The hops you get are not terribly useful for beer-making, which is pretty much the only use for hops. (Some people like to make a sedative tea from hops, though I doubt that would be a good delivery method for the THC, since it's not water-soluble.) One other major "gotcha" is that the Cannabis plant matures much faster than hops, and the production density is hundreds of times better for Cannabis than Humulus.

Interestingly, there is some published scientific literature (see Crombie) that claims this grafting process does not work. However, I wonder, because Crombie talks about the hops "leaves" even though the only useful part of the plant is the flower (or properly, the "strobile.") The research I mention above has not been published, though the "1.5-2% THC" value I quoted has been measured by GC-MS. And, of course, there are just tons of anecdotal evidence from amateur gardeners that support either opinion.

I'll let someone else do the genetic research, but I think it may eventually be possible to engineer an algae that eats sunlight and poops THC. Wouldn't that be fun!


Girl Claims Price Scanner Gave Her Tourette's Syndrome 558

Attorneys for Dominica Juliano claim that she was burned and developed psychological problems after a store clerk aimed a hand-held price scanner at her face. Store attorneys say their scanners uses a harmless LED light and that the girl had serious health problems before she was scanned. From the article: "Dominica Juliano was 12 when she and her grandmother entered the Country Fair store in Erie in June 2004. A clerk allegedly called the girl 'grumpy' before flashing his hand-held bar code scanner over her face and telling her to smile. Attorneys for Ms. Juliano and her guardian say the girl was sensitive to light and burned, and later developed post-traumatic stress and Tourette's syndrome."

Scientists Discover Booze That Won't Give You a Hangover 334

Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong of Chungnam National University have discovered that drinking alcohol with oxygen bubbles added leads to fewer hangovers and a shorter sobering up time. People drinking the bubbly booze sobered up 20-30 minutes faster and had less severe and fewer hangovers than people who drank the non-fizzy stuff. Kwon said: "The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage reduces plasma alcohol concentrations faster than a normal dissolved-oxygen alcohol beverage does. This could provide both clinical and real-life significance. The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage would allow individuals to become sober faster, and reduce the side effects of acetaldehyde without a significant difference in alcohol's effects. Furthermore, the reduced time to a lower BAC may reduce alcohol-related accidents."

Facebook Master Password Was "Chuck Norris" 319

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Facebook employee has given a tell-all interview with some very interesting things about Facebook's internals. Especially interesting are all the things relating to Facebook privacy. Basically, you don't have any. Nearly everything you've ever done on the site is recorded into a database. While they fire employees for snooping, more than a few have done it. There's an internal system to let them log into anyone's profile, though they have to be able to defend their reason for doing so. And they used to have a master password that could log into any Facebook profile: 'Chuck Norris.' Bruce Schneier might be jealous of that one."

Comment Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (Score 1) 189

I suppose it's ironic that I am currently adblocking as much of Slashdot and the associated domains as I'm blocking on Yahoo.

And the really ironic thing is that I keep seeing this stupid message that says something along the lines of "because you are such an excellent Slashdotter, you're eligible to block ads if you click here." Uhhh, what?


Submission + - Monitoring Software Helps Police Find Laptop (signonsandiego.com)

fhic writes: "A father installed monitoring software on his son's laptop. The laptop was stolen and used by the thieves. The monitoring software worked as designed, and emailed the details to dad. Dad called the cops, and they were able to locate the laptop and arrest the thieves."

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