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Comment Re:The value isn't in review, it's in revocation. (Score 2) 206

-1, wrong.

Yes Google does have the ability. If I get an app from the Play Store and it is removed by Google, they have the ability to remove it from my phone. Its happened a couple times with emulators. Now if I decide to circumvent the Play Store that is a different story.

However, that is what Android gives... choice. With the App Store you don't have that choice; you only use what Apple lets you use. If you want to be a moron and run any old app, you can't.

Comment Typically, It's too late. (Score 1) 189

A lot of the time, by the time you hear that ABC place is the really cool place to be, the people who made it a really cool place to be have moved on to other locations, having been replaced by other people who have all these other ideas as to how a shop should run (which do not involve being cool), and now that really cool place to be is now "meh, not so much" similar to investing is stocks, by the time the mass market gets in on it you may be on the wrong side of the curve.

Comment Where is it practical? (Score 1) 127

But it does not allow rockets to reenter the Earth's atmosphere at orbital velocities, slow down, and land.

How about the Moon and Mars? It seems to me that the fuel capacity of Dragon isn't enough to do both lunar descent and ascent just on the Super Draco thrusters and the trunk's fuel capacity.

Comment What's really impressive (Score 2) 127

The impressive part is that they do it with an actual rocket that is 106 feet tall, and that they have launched it 7 times with 0 failures.

Using the same engine, rather than treating the engine as a disposable object that only performs one burn in its lifetime. Most rocket engines can't be throttled, can't be shut down and then restarted in flight or otherwise.

The tricky part is going to be for any stage to have enough delta-V to return to the pad after lifting a payload to orbit. Also, as far as I can tell, this takes a drag chute for lower stages, and a re-entry shield for upper ones.


Submission + - Is Europe's Recession Really Over?

jones_supa writes: Bloomberg, WSJ and NYT cheered to report that the Euro Zone's economy has showed signs of recovery after two years of decline. They're all based on the news that Eurostat, the keeper of economic statistics for the European Union, says GDP grew 0.3 percent within the EU's borders from the end of March through June. As Olli Rehn, Eurostat's vice president, writes on his blog: 'I hope there will be no premature, self-congratulatory statements suggesting "the crisis is over."' He calls the GDP report only another sign of 'a potential turning point in the EU economy.' The quick conclusion by some economists and some in the news media that a slight rise in one quarter's GDP means a recession is over ignores how experts figure out when an economy is either in a significant downturn (a recession) or enjoying steady growth (an expansion).

Submission + - Moser Lamps Illuminate Homes Without Using Electricity

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Gibby Zobel reports at BBC on Alfredo Moser, a Brazilian mechanic, whose invention illuminates over one million homes during the day without electricity — using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach. So how does it work? Simple refraction of sunlight, explains Moser, as he fills an empty two-liter plastic bottle. "Add two capfuls of bleach to protect the water so it doesn't turn green [with algae]. The cleaner the bottle, the better," Moser adds. "You fix the bottle in with polyester resin. Even when it rains, the roof never leaks — not one drop." While A 50 Watt light bulb running for 14 hours a day for a year has a carbon footprint of nearly 200kg CO2, Moser lamps emit no CO2 and the plastic bottles are up-cycled in the local community, so no energy is needed to gather, shred, manufacture and ship new bottles. Following the Moser method, MyShelter started making the lamps in June 2011. They now train people to create and install the bottles, in order to earn a small income. The idea has really taken off in the Philippines, where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, and electricity is unusually expensive, with 140,000 homes now fitted with Moser lamps. The idea has also caught on in about 15 other countries, from India and Bangladesh, to Tanzania, Argentina and Fiji. "Alfredo Moser has changed the lives of a tremendous number of people, I think forever," says Illac Angelo Diaz. "Whether or not he gets the Nobel Prize, we want him to know that there are a great number of people who admire what he is doing."

Submission + - MIT: Future Smartphones Will 'Listen to Everything All the Time' (

dryriver writes: Ubiquitous surveillance to 'detect your moods', 'pinpoint the sources of your stress', and 'present relevant information'. — The development of new smartphone technology that constantly records your private conversations in addition to all ambient background noise in order to 'detect your moods' could mean the NSA might not have to bother with tapping actual phone calls at all in future. A report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hails the era of 'technologies that emphasize listening to everything, all the time', ubiquitous surveillance aided by microphones installed on new smartphones, such as Google’s Moto X, that do not run off the main battery and can, 'continually monitor their auditory environment to detect the phone owner’s voice, discern what room or other setting the phone is in, or pick up other clues from background noise.' While the article fails to mention the nightmare privacy implications that this technology would engender, it focuses on the innumerable apparent benefits. The technology could, 'make it possible for software to detect your moods, know when you are talking and not to disturb you, and perhaps someday keep a running record of everything you hear.' It sounds like Big Brother and invasive Minority Report-style advertising rolled into one. Chris Schmandt, director of the speech and mobility group at MIT’s Media Lab, relates how “one of his grad students once recorded two years’ worth of all the sounds he was exposed to—capturing every conversation. While the speech-to-text conversions were rough, they were good enough that he could perform a keyword search and recover the actual recording of a months-old conversation.”

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Printing options for low resource settings

bjhonermann writes: The Zambian government (along with partners) are currently rolling out an electronic medical records (EMR) system in public health facilities. The project has been going on for some time and is already in 600+ facilities with more than 700,000 patient records. One problem we're facing is that most information is still being double entered in the EMR as well as on primary paper documents at the facility, and sometimes additionally transcribed to paper registers. This double/triple entry takes time away from nurses who are already in short supply. There's an inability to fully move away from partially paper based systems both because clients often move between ‘paper clinics’ and ‘electronic clinics’ in the same communities and for follow-up care, and because the power systems in many sites are unreliable and require that there be sufficient paper backups of records for operations during periods where power is unavailable — perhaps for weeks at a time. We're providing solar panels and battery backups for sites, which work increasingly well with newer low power cpu’s, but even if the power issue were solved this would not address the need for portable paper documents. The key objective of eliminating redundant manual entry of forms and paper registers by nurses might be accomplished if we had low cost low power B/W printers available at sites so that critical information could be entered electronically and then printed out as needed, either for client carried purposes (transfers/visits to ‘paper facilities’) or to serve as local backup when power is an issue. However, we've yet to find printing solutions that seem appropriate to the context and are hopeful the Slashdot crowd may have some ideas.

Criteria we're looking at:
1. Reliability: The printers need to be very low maintenance and be able to cope with dusty environments.
2. Cost: Obviously, costs need to be kept as low as possible. No cap on the cost of printers precisely, but the net cost per page over time is critical. More expensive printers with cheaper and standard consumables are likely to be preferred to cheaper printers with expensive consumables.
3. Ink duration/lifespan: While all sites would be printing at least weekly, the amount actually printed may vary between no more than a few pages each week to several hundreds of pages. This means that whatever ink/toner cartridge/etc needs to have a long shelf life as well as lifespan. Zambia is not terribly hot, but has a humid rainy season and no climate control can be expected.
4. Low power consumption: As stated, ~15% of sites (and growing) are operating only with solar panels.
5. Quality: The quality of the printing can be quite low. Must be legible but can be ugly. No need for color. However, the pages/text need to have approximately a 5yr duration before the ink is unreadable.
6. Label Printing: There is also a need to print labels for specimens (freezer tolerant) and for drug dispensations. This may well be a different product, and early implementations will be in higher volume facilities that might not be as sensitive to power, but there will be a need for a low-power version eventually.

Our instinct is that dot-matrix printers would fit the bill nicely, but the options there seem to be limited and the long-term sourcing of supplies (ribbons, perforated paper) isn't entirely clear. What other options would the Slashdot community recommend?

Submission + - Changes in Earth's orbit were key to Antarctic warming that ended last ice age (

vinces99 writes: For more than a century scientists have known that Earth’s ice ages are caused by the wobbling of the planet’s orbit, which changes its orientation to the sun and affects the amount of sunlight reaching higher latitudes, particularly the polar regions. The Northern Hemisphere’s last ice age ended about 20,000 years ago, and most evidence has indicated that the ice age in the Southern Hemisphere ended about 2,000 years later, suggesting that the south was responding to warming in the north. But new research published online Aug. 14 in Nature shows that Antarctic warming began at least 2,000, and perhaps 4,000, years earlier than previously thought.

Submission + - US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement ( 1

itwbennett writes: From the solving-nonexistent-problems department. The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkelin July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said.

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