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Comment Bird's eye view (Score 1) 350

Birds supposedly have UV vision, and some of their markings are for each other, and are more clearly distinguished by other birds that can see UV.

So you might consider observing birds and making sketches of their markings, much like the naturalists of 100 years ago, so that the rest of us can see what the birds can see of each other.

Google

Google Patents Telling Time 267

theodp writes "Will Google's battle against Microsoft and Apple over their use of 'bogus' patents result in greater scrutiny of its own IP holdings? Take Google's new patent on 'Electronic Shipping Notifications' (please!), which might pique the interest of Amazon.com, UPS, the USPS and others in the shipping business, since providing customers with guesstimates of what time The King of Queens will show up at their door with Christmas presents could now constitute patent infringement. From the patent: 'The broker sends an electronic message, such as an email or text message, to the customer prior to the estimated shipment arrival time to inform the customer of the impending arrival. The customer can thus arrange for someone to be at the shipping address to receive the shipment at the estimated arrival time.' To help the USPTO understand its invention, Google supplied this diagram."
Science

Is Science Just a Matter of Faith? 1486

Hugh Pickens writes "Pastabagel writes that the actual scientific answers to the questions of the origins of the universe, the evolution of man, and the fundamental nature of the cosmos involve things like wave equations and quantum electrodynamics and molecular biology that very few non-scientists can ever hope to understand and that if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we accept the incredibly complex scientific phenomena in physics, astronomy, and biology through the process of belief, not through reason. When Richard Fenyman wrote, 'I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics,' he was including himself which is disconcerting given how many books he wrote on that very subject. The fact is that it takes years of dedicated study before scientific truth in its truest, mathematical and symbolic forms can be understood. The rest of us rely on experts to explain it, someone who has seen and understood the truth and can dumb it down for us in a language we can understand. And therein lies the big problem for science and scientists. For most people, science is really a matter of trusting the expert who tells it to us and believing what they tell us. Trust and belief. Faith. Not understanding. How can we understand science, if we can't understand the language of science? 'We don't learn science by doing science, we learn science by reading and memorizing. The same way we learn history. Do you really know what an atom is, or that a Higgs boson is a rather important thing, or did you simply accept they were what someone told you they were?'"

Comment Verizon blocks at the "free" router (Score 1) 459

I've run my own mail and web servers from my home for years, so I was worried about this when I was making the switch from Time-Warner cable (who didn't care, BTW) to Verizon Fios. One person I know reported that Verizon did indeed block port 25 (and port 80) inbound, while another told me his setup worked fine, once he replaced the free router they gave him with his own router.

And indeed, after making the switch, I still am able to get mail inbound on port 25. The modem/router they gave me does have controls to adjust security settings, which look a lot like Windows trusted -vs- untrusted controls. But I can't really tell if they do much. The key thing I found was to set up port forwarding to send port 25 to the machine in my internal network with the mail server. Same for port 80 to the web server.

Outbound I route through the ISP. Postfix makes that easy. I found a few years ago that certain domains I sent to, though not all of them, started bouncing mail even though I had an SPF record, just because my IP address was in a range listed as "dynamic" (i.e. "residential"). Clearly that's for spam control. Not everybody does this, and I could send direct to those who do not, but it was simpler to just send everything out via port 587 to the ISP.

Apple

The iPad Will Get Playboy In March 223

Stoobalou writes "Playboy boss Hugh Hefner has confirmed that — despite Steve Jobs' protestations that Apple is pure and Android is for porn — an app for browsing uncensored back issues of Playboy is to launch later this year on the iPad. The news, which is likely to generate significantly more buzz for Apple's popular tablet as a publishing device than Rupert Murdoch's delayed digital newspaper The Daily, comes courtesy of Hefner's Twitter stream, in which he proclaimed: 'Big news! Playboy — both old & new — will be available on [the] iPad beginning in March.'"
Censorship

WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack 870

wiredmikey writes "WikiLeaks has reported that its Web site is currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack. The attack comes around the time of an expected release of classified State Department documents, which the Obama administration says will put 'countless' lives at risk, threaten global counterterrorism operations and jeopardize US relations with its allies."
Facebook

Facebook To Own the Word "Face" 311

Dthief writes "The US Patent And Trademark Office has sent Facebook a Notice of Allowance, which means it will grant the 'Face' trademark to the popular social networking site. Facebook now has three months to pay an issue fee before they officially own the word. From the article: 'For all intents and purposes today's status update bodes well for Facebook's hold over 'face' usages in 'Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.''"
Books

Kindle Allowing Chinese Unfettered Access To Web 138

jcl-xen0n writes "Apparently, some Chinese Kindle owners have discovered that they are able to access banned sites such as Twitter and Facebook without a problem. The article speculates that Amazon may be operating a local equivalent to Amazon Whispernet with a Chinese 3G provider. Professor Lawrence Yeung Kwan, of the University of Hong Kong's electrical and electronic engineering department, told the paper that mainland internet patrols might have overlooked the gadget (perhaps because they consider it solely a tool to purchase books). How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?"
Space

Saturn's Rings Formed From Large Moon Destruction 115

Matt_dk writes "The formation of Saturn's rings has been one of the classical if not eternal questions in astronomy. But one researcher has provided a provocative new theory to answer that question. Robin Canup from the Southwest Research Institute has uncovered evidence that the rings came from a large, Titan-sized moon that was destroyed as it spiraled into a young Saturn."

Comment Re:Recommended alternatives? (Score 1) 194

If you take a hash (eg SHA1 is better than MD5) of the UDID you get a unique string that is not the UDID. Of course if other apps do the same then these could be compared to identify users -- not necessarily by name, but connecting a user on one server with a user on another.

So concatenate the App Id, which is unique to the app, with the UDID, which is unique to the device, and then take the hash, which is then unique to both and not invertible. Do this once, on the device (not on your server, or the UDID has to be transmitted), and use that as a unique identifier of the user/device.

Space

Astronomers Find Diamond Star 4,000 km Wide 197

tclas writes "The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallized carbon, 4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It's the compressed heart of an old star that was once bright like our Sun but has since faded and shrunk. Astronomers have decided to call the star 'Lucy,' after the Beatles song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.'"

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