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Comment Re:Next up (Score 1) 355

Gradeschool and Highschool for me always required a Librarian to scan the book and then input your name. However, our Librarians knew every student by first and last name. College for me has a photo identification card that needs to be shown (with a magnetic stripe) and the books are linked to whoever is on the photo (you must match the photo).

I dislike the idea of using fingerprints. The government should NOT maintain this information. I can fully understand someones approach to this and why they want to use this, but as this gains popularity, it will become far easier for the governments to say, Hey, lets have a universal id system using fingerprints. Oh, you'll need the fingerprint to check out books, identify yourself for guns, for paying at the gas station, for getting on the city bus, etc. Yes it can create a significant convenience for the consumer, but now the government can track your every move, every purchase. Today's kids are going to be used to handing over every bit of personal information, our government certainly isn't going to protect our rights at this point, we need to protect them ourselves. (How often is the government supposed to be overthrown? Every 200 years?) I realize this article is about a school, but it all starts somewhere, right?

Comment Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (Score 1) 368

I bought a cheap sirius radio about 3 years ago. After three years the unit burned out, and for no charge Sirius sent me a free radio. The problem Sirius has right now, is that they need a larger market. If it became "standard" that all cars had sirius, it would be great for them. Their monthly fee is 12.95, and I think that's cheaper than WoW. Internet Radio is NOT the market for sirius (but they do offer it). Sirius also offers business deals and campus deals. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, you can hear Sirius channels playing in the dining areas, in the gym, and in general all around campus. Since attending college I gave my parents the car unit, and picked up a second subscription and a stiletto. It can hold about 18 gig or so of music, has streaming internet access when your indoors (for music only), and streaming sattelite radio when your outdoors. So, it can compete with Slacker quite well. Many restaurants fail on the first attempt, are bought out, and become successful on the second buyout. I have a feeling the same will hold true for Sattelite radio.
Enlightenment

Submission + - Drive for Altruism is Hardwired, Like Sex or Food

Dekortage writes: "Your brain is pre-wired to enjoy placing the interests of others ahead of your own. At least, that's what neuroscientists are claiming in the Washington Post. In studies, "generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex.... Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable." Such neuroscience "has opened up a new window on what it means to be good," although many philosophers over recorded history have suggested similar things. Are you hardwired for good?"
Security

Submission + - Weak GMail Security

Martins writes: "About a year ago, I was sent an invite to GMail to my email account at the time at Telus. I set the account up but didn't use it immediately. A month later, I changed my ISP and email to Shaw. I then tried to get into GMail but had forgotten my password. I clicked on the appropriate link, and instead of asking me the security question as I'd expected, GMail emailed my password to my old Telus account, which had since been registered by someone else. I've tried contacting Google support to get my account back, even providing them with the original invite email that my friend had sent to me. However, I get back one or two form replies stating that they cannot help me because I don't have the received invite email — the one that has been appropriated by the user @ telus.net. After the form reply, Google tech support ignores my emails. This seems to me to be a huge security risk, what with the transiency of email accounts, to have a forgotten password automatically emailed without a verifying security question first. I was also hoping for better technical support from Google. I don't think my expectations are that unrealistic."
Supercomputing

Submission + - Mouse brain simulated on computer

atamyrat writes: "BBC has an article about mouse brain simulated on a Blue Gene L supercomputer. Quote: "The team, from the IBM Almaden Research Lab and the University of Nevada, ran the simulation on a BlueGene L supercomputer that had 4096 processors, each one of which used 256MB of memory. Using this machine the researchers created half a virtual mouse brain that had 8,000 neurons that had up to 6,300 synapses. The vast complexity of the simulation meant that it was only run for ten seconds at a speed ten times slower than real life — the equivalent of one second in a real mouse brain."
Article refers to this research report[PDF] titled "Towards Real-Time, Mouse-Scale Cortical Simulations""
Slashdot.org

Submission + - Syncing and backing-up files cross-platform?

Blakey Rat writes: "I have one of those problems that you'd think would be easy to solve until you actually start solving it. I have a folder of important files I want synced and backed-up in one step across three computers: my desktop G5 tower, my iBook laptop, and my generic Windows XP SP2. The theory is that every time I save a file on one of the computers, it is uploaded to online storage somewhere (serving as a backup), and the other two computers would detect that and update their local copy of the file. With the laptop, I'd like the files available offline, as it's frequently in locations with no Internet connection, or an Internet connection so flakey it might as well not exist.

So far I've tried Apple's .Mac service, which includes iDisk syncing software. While iDisk has an offline files mode it frequently fails when copying multiple files into it, claiming it needs to resolve conflicts for thousands of files where no actual conflicts exist. I've tried setting up a WebDAV folder on my web hosting account, but OS X fails when copying files to it with mysterious "insufficient permissions" errors that I can't figure out how to solve. In addition, OS X seems to have no offline files mode for WebDAV shares. I currently use rsync to do backups, but I don't know if it can be set it up to notify me when sync conflicts occur. A friend also recommended setting up something using MacFUSE, but it's version number is still 0.2 which doesn't help me trust important files to it, and the setup seems very complicated.

I'm looking for something that's easy-to-use, can mount as a disk in OS X and Windows XP, has an offline files mode, and can resolve conflicts when they occur. Bonus points if I can use my existing web hosting account as storage, and I'm not opposed to commercial software if it gets the job done. I'd also prefer something that encrypts data traveling over the network and is at least version 1.0. Can anybody offer any suggestions?"
Enlightenment

Submission + - Why is RAM so bloody expensive?

LuckyEdBoy66 writes: This has annoyed me for a while, but today i was surfing Newegg for some RAM (Random Access Memory), and I was outraged by the price tags on those things. none that i found were under $100 for 1gb (ok, i didn't look that hard). What is the deal? I have seen 1gb SD cards for under $10, so why is RAM so pricey? sure they use different types of memory and formating, but if technology can produce cheap SD cards and flash drives, one would think it could do the same for RAM... The only possible explanation i can think of is that all the people upgrading to Vista are flocking to upgrade their machines and thus causing a huge supply shortage (ya, right. we all know better than that...). ok, so if thats illogical, then where IS the logic? is there any foreseeable price drop in the near future?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - College student murders for video game money

dido writes: "The Mainichi Daily News reports that a college student has been arrested for withdrawing money from the bank account of a man found murdered last January 28. The suspect, 21-year-old Hiroshi Shimura, has further admitted to killing the man and his mother, telling investigators: "I spent the money at video game arcades. I murdered them so I could steal some money.""
Slashdot.org

Submission + - The World's First iPod Vibrator

playafly187 writes: "http://www.johnchow.com/onmibod-the-ultimate-ipod- acsexsory/ That's right ladies! The OhMiBod offers a completely new way to enjoy your iPod (or any other music player). Not only will you get your own personalized experience set to your own tunes, but you also get to feel the music in a whole new way. The OhMiBod shakes, buzzes, moves, and grooves to the beat of whatever you're playing."
Google

Submission + - What Working at Google Microsoft and Yahoo is Like

Anonymous Coward writes: "Tastyresearch shares stories about interning and working at Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. He barbecues with Bill Gates at his house, dines at the Google cafeterias, gets stood up by Yahoo, and details his interviews. He notes that many Microsoft interns end up at other places he works (reading between the lines). A chart compares Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo from the perspective of monitor sizes and perks. Prospective applicants are advised to learn about sorting and linked lists."
Biotech

Submission + - Sight for the blind.

Manifold Space Traveler writes: "The primary problem with this technology is that the neural pathways are set at an early age and the mind is not like a hard disk, you cannot simply erase a lifetime of experience and then reinstall linux. Existing research seems to indicate that late acquired sight adversely affects the mind so much, that it leads to depression and in some cases suicide. This technology is several years old and is not "news" at all."

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