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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 66 declined, 20 accepted (86 total, 23.26% accepted)

Submission + - Slashdot's own "Nobots" is now in print!

mcgrew writes: Nobots isn't a Dice Holdings book, it's a slashdot book. The first chapter written was a response to a comment in a slashdot story way back in 2009. Quite a few chapters were typed directly into slashdot's journal entry. A few were posted before a book became apparent and all of them garnered comments that improved the story, and it became a book. Your book.

Right now you can only get it here, which I hope to change because of problems with the cover, the ISBN, and the bar code.

The crude first drafts of its chapters are here at slashdot already, and the final polished versions will be posted in my site weekly starting next Saturday. Chapter 1 is here. Chapter 2 will be posted Saturday.

The final book is about twice as long as the draft. It's a CC license, free to read, only the printed versions cost. Enjoy!

Submission + - Captain James Kirk is now commanding a destroyer 1

mcgrew writes: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Captain Kirk will be commanding the U.S. Navy’s most advanced destroyer.

On screen, the newest Capt. Kirk is a brash, headstrong, rebellious commander who gets in bar brawls, defies orders from his superiors, and temporarily loses command of the Enterprise. The real life Capt. Kirk is expected to have a much more sedate command. “No stories of him kissing green aliens or yelling ‘KAAHHHNNN!’ on the bridge of his ship,” said Mr. Servello. “No worry over him stealing his own ship to chase after Spock, although I am told he is looking for a chief engineer named Scotty.”

Submission + - Humaniform robot built from human prosthetics

mcgrew writes: calls the device "1st Fully Bionic Man" despite the fact that there's no "bio" in it.

Like Frankenstein's monster, cobbled together from a hodgepodge of body parts, the bionic man is an amalgam of the most advanced human prostheses — from robotic limbs to artificial organs to a blood-pumping circulatory system. The robot, which cost almost $1 million to build, was modeled in some physical aspects after Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland, who wears one of the world's most advanced bionic hands. The bionic man has the same prosthetic hand as Meyer — the i-LIMB made by Touch Bionics — with a wrist that can fully rotate and motors in each finger. The hand's grasping abilities are impressive, but the bionic man still drops drinks sometimes. "He's not the world's best bartender," Walker said.

Submission + - Movie review: a real astronaut's take on "Gravity"

mcgrew writes: When I saw the headline "Astronaut: Gravity gets me down" on Google News I clicked the link thinking it was going to be about bone loss, but it turns out there's a new sci-fi movie named "Gravity". Astronaut Marsha Ivins gives it mixed reviews.

My first take was to itemize the errors. The vehicles are in impossible orbits—wrong altitudes, wrong inclinations. The backpack maneuvering unit has a nearly infinite amount of fuel and comes supercharged—but only until the plot requires it suddenly to run out. Space stations seem to retain pressure in their various modules despite coming apart at the seams. You can apparently close an outward opening hatch against exiting pressure with one hand.

She mentions that she's 'one of the original Trekkies' and loves sci-fi. With Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, this is a movie you could take your girlfriend to.

Submission + - The DC naval Yard Shooter Was One Of Us 1

mcgrew writes: Aaron Alexis, the 34 year old man who shot twenty people at the DC Naval Yards, killing a dozen, was a nerd. He was an IT contract worker for the Navy. What's more, he was an avid gamer. He was almost certainly a slashdotter. I wonder what his slashdot user name was, APK? Ethanol-Fueled? Chances are some of his victims were slashdotters as well, considering that some of the work that went on there was IT related. When I heard that he'd had run-ins with the law involving firearms, once shooting a hole in a ceiling and once shooting out a man's car tires, the question that hit me was "how in the hell did this guy get a clearance??" CNN wonders the same thing.

Former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley says a poor or incomplete background check is to blame. "Most people when they get into that, they are given an interim clearance and that means that the background check hasn't been done but it's in the process of being done," Courtley said. "He may have started out with an interim clearance and a background check should have been done." The former SEAL says just running Alexis' fingerprints would have turned up his arrest record.

The fact that this guy was a nerd brings it a little closer to home. I wonder if he ever killed me playing Quake ten or fifteen years ago? He may have fragged you in some combat game over the weekend for all you know.

Submission + - Fuel cell breakthrough

mcgrew writes: Surfing through Google news I ran across something I found interesting: a new type of fuel cell that is 90% less costly than current cells, one tenth the size (the size of a dishwasher) and far higher efficiency than current cells, and at only 149 degrees Celsius (300F) . It was jointly developed by Diverse Energy and the University of Maryland.

It produces enough power to run a large supermarket, or five homes. A smaller, home-sized unit is on the way. Is the municipal power plant on the way out?

Submission + - Most Eath-like planet yet found (

mcgrew writes: Yesterday, the Keppler telescope found a planet around a G type star (one like ours) in the habitable zone that is only one and a half times larger than Earth. It could easily support life, if it has water and the right atmosphere.

Unfortunately, all of the news reports I've seen pretty much mirror the linked Wikipedia article, none of which say how far the star is or where it is in the night sky.

Submission + - Occupy Flash? (

mcgrew writes: "I don't know why I haven't seen this at slashdot, but CNN is reporting another Occupy movement — Occupy Flash. Their aim: get rid of Flash completely.

In response, a group of Flash developers have started Occupy HTML in Flash's defense.

Popcorn, anyone?"

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Anonymous hacks St Louis Mayor's website (

mcgrew writes: "The St Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that

At least one Occupy St. Louis sympathizer wants to make sure Mayor Francis Slay is paying attention. The same day the mayor dispatched six aides to listen to concerns from the anti-Wall Street outfit camped out in Kiener Plaza, an online poster purporting to be a supporter of the group unveiled what appeared to be hacked information from Slay's website. "YOU CAN REMOVE US FROM KEINER [sic] PLAZA, BUT NOT FROM YOUR SYSTEMS!" the poster wrote on Tuesday. The poster claimed affiliation with the hacking network Anonymous



Submission + - Marooned Off Vesta (

mcgrew writes: "From the AP:

After four years sailing through space, the Dawn spacecraft was expected to slip into orbit late Friday around a giant asteroid to begin a yearlong investigation into the origins of the solar system. It is the first of two scheduled tour stops for the NASA probe that almost never made it to the launch pad. Because of its stunted growth, Vesta holds "a record of the earliest history of the solar system," said the mission's lead scientist Christopher Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles.

The submission's title is a nod to Isaac Asimov. Lets hope Dawn doesn't get marooned!"

Submission + - Don't fly if you just had surgery!

mcgrew writes: "The Chigago Tribune is reporting that the TSA is now worried about surgically implanted bombs.

Are they trying to get everyone to stop flying entirely? I know there's no way they'd get me in an airliner these days. I'll drive, even though it is far, far more dangerous."

Submission + - Ask slashdot: WTF happened? ( 1

mcgrew writes: Slashdot was giving a 503 everywhere for the last couple hours, whether trying to reach the front page, my journal, or messages. Someone on my friends list had posted a journal saying that using https rather than http fixed the problem, but it didn't work this tome.

When it came back up there were two new front page stories with no comments.

Power outage maybe? I remember reading that slashdot moved its servers to Chicago, and parts of that city (sadly serviced badly by Amerin) have been without power for a week since some storms rolled through. Backup power ran out of gas? Router melted? Someone linked slashdot from slashdot and slashdotted slashdot? I'm curious.


Submission + - Phisicist charged with running hooker ring (

mcgrew writes: From the AP:

Former University of New Mexico President F. Chris Garcia was arrested and jailed Thursday in connection with a multistate, online prostitution ring that authorities say was run by a physics professor from New Jersey. Garcia, 71, is professor emeritus of political science at the University of New Mexico. He served as president of the university from 2002-2003. A distinguished professor and well-known expert on New Mexico politics, Garcia served from 1987-90 as vice president of academic affairs, a position now called provost. He was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1980-86. Garcia is also and author whose 11 books include "Hispanics and the US Political System" and "Moving into the Mainstream. A specialist in elementary particle theory, Flory spent a decade in school administration where, according to his website, he worked on human resource database systems and measuring academic productivity. Roseman told The Associated Press that Flory's password-protected website, Southwest Companions, had been the subject of a vice investigation for six months after police received tips from prostitutes and johns.


Submission + - DARPA offers "Star Trek Prize" 1

mcgrew writes: "First DARPA had Star Wars, now they have Star Trek. They're offering half a million bucks for someone to find a way to get people to neighboring stars.

the nearest star beyond our sun is 25 trillion miles away. The fastest rocket man has built would take more than 4,000 years to get there. This isn't just about thinking new rocket methods, Neyland said. It's also about coping with extended life in space, raising issues of medicine, agriculture, ethics and self-reliance, he said.


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