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Security

Submission + - What does your dead man's switch do?

LqdEngineer writes: "How many of the Slashdot crowd use or have used a Dead Man's Switch designed to perform some action if you don't check in for a certain amount of time? Recently, I decided to put one together using MySQL and some Cron jobs, but I wanted to see what others have their Switches set up to do in the event you fail to check in. E-mails to loved ones? Send encryption keys to friends/family? Hate mail to your boss? Has anyone ever been on the receiving end of a Dead Man's e-mail? I can't even imagine how creepy that would feel."
Microsoft

Submission + - college math classes forcing windows on students?

OiToTheWorld writes: "I recently started classes again after winter break. On arriving in my math class, we were told that we had to use the MYMATHLAB software to turn in homework online. The catch is that this software/membership that I paid for along with my textbook will ONLY work on Internet Explorer and apparently shows no indication of changing this. Having asked the teacher if I could turn in the assignments on paper because my linux computer could not run internet explorer, I was told no and that I essentially needed to buy a new operating system in order to pass the class.

My questions are these: Is there a workaround method i can use to do my assignments? why would the company that sells the software do this? Has anyone else encountered similar problems with other software?"
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Make Artificial Volcanos vs Global Warming? ideas?

An anonymous reader writes: So, volcanos like Pinitubo and St Helens are thought to have lowered global temperatures. Global warming, is widely publicized as a Bad Thing (dont want that debate here). So, assuming for the moment both are the case:

a) Any ideas on how we might efficiently mimic a volcano and get the same particles or gases into the upper atmosphere?

Should we build the worlds biggest shotgun and point it at the sky? Should we nuke some small, inoffensive country for the nuclear winter effects? (j/k) Should we just try to create a ring of thermal updrafts to make a "chimney" tube, and then inside that tube, try to have some kind of super-thermal updraft? Even if we have to find natural geothermal to power it (ie: bulldoze off the top of a volcano, to expose the hot part), would that actually reach the upper atmosphere? Should we be like springfield and build a protective layer of industrial pollution? Is it cheaper and easier to find a near-earth asteroid, like the one due in the 2030s, and convince it to crash into the earth? (preferably somewhere not in my backyard)

for bonus points:

b) does anyone know the approximate scale of gases/particles that a volcano like Pinitubu releases, compared to some kind of estimate of the industrial release of pollution or CO2, or even compared to cows "releasing" methane?
Education

Submission + - Sex lowers stress levels

Ice Wewe writes: BBCNews has an article on how having penetrative intercourse can help with public speaking.

"New Scientist magazine reports that Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley, found having sex can help keep stress at bay. However, only penetrative intercourse did the trick — other forms of sex had no impact on stress levels at all.

... Volunteers who had had penetrative intercourse were found to be the least stressed, and their blood pressure returned to normal faster than those who had engaged in other forms of sexual activity such as masturbation. "

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