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Comment Drinking Water Isn't So Easy As You Think (Score 3, Interesting) 247

When I was a kid I did Unicef collection every Haloween. We got an orange cardboard coin box at school, and collected donations to it along with our trick-or-treat. Unicef used these funds to build water wells for people in Africa who had only access to contaminated surface water.

A decade or two later, we found that many of these wells accessed aquifers that were contaminated by arsenic. And that thus we kids had funded the wholesale poisoning of people in Africa, and that a lot of them had arsenic-induced cancers that were killing them.

OK, we would not make that mistake again, and today we have access to better water testing. But it caused me to lose my faith that we really do know how to help poor people in the third world, no matter how well-intentioned we are.

And we had better not go around curing disease withoput also promoting birth control. Despite what the churches say, and the local dislikes and prejudices. Or we'll just be condemning more people to starve.

Comment Re:Er, wait, what? (Score 5, Insightful) 140

Well, nuclear reactions that we can turn off like laser-initiated fusion are a lot nicer than the alternatives. The inside of your car engine is a raging inferno shot with electric sparks and compressed with inexorable steel cylinders. That doesn't keep you from going on a nice drive with your sweetie.

Comment IOMMU (Score 4, Informative) 125

Yes, when I saw this I thought that this was a reason to make motherboard IOMMUs a security feature. Also, the DMA destination memory pages should not have the executable bit turned on. Recent generations of Intel/AMD CPUs have provided the ability to turn that bit off.

Submission + - Multi-Display Gaming Artifacts Shown with AMD, 4K Affected Too (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Multi-display gaming has really found a niche in the world of high-end PC gaming, starting when AMD released Eyefinity in 2009 in three panel configurations. AMD expanded out to 6 screen options in 2010 and NVIDIA followed shortly thereafter with a similar multi-screen solution called Surround. Over the last 12 months or so GPU performance testing has gone through a sort of revolution as the move from software measurement to hardware capture measurement has taken hold. PC Perspective has done testing with this new technology on AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA Surround configurations at 5760x1080 resolution and found there were some substantial anomalies in the AMD captures. The AMD cards exhibited dropped frames, interleaved frames (jumping back and forth between buffers) and even stepped, non-horizontal vertical sync tearing. The result is a much lower observed frame rate than software like FRAPS would indicate and these problems will also be found when using the current top end dual-head 4K PC displays since they emulate Eyefinity and Surround for setup.

Submission + - Slashdot blocked in Switzerland (Possibly other parts of Europe) 1

Wattos writes: On my daily commute to work, it is my habit to check several websites for the latest news. Imagine how surprised I was that when slashdot.org was not accessible anymore. Instead I received a 403 Restricted error page. Initially I thought that this would have been a simple mistake by my mobile ISP, so I connected to my home VPN. Slashdot was blocked including many links to websites with vpn services. After connecting to a VPN provider outside of the country (in Poland) slashdot was accessible again.

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