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Comment Re:How about the old design? (Score 1) 1191

"at least it ... doesn't have somewhat related stock photos taking up space on the page."

And like everyone else says, the articles are skinnied down to newspaper width so you have to scroll and scroll and scroll and etc. And the comment organization is way better in the old system.

If you want the stuff to be all cutesy on a mobile, then just have a button near the top that says "mobile format." Sheesh. You'd think that wouldn't be something that needs saying on a geek-run site. (Or is it these days? Has Marketing taken over?)

So, yeah, like everybody else, one more vote for "Hate the new design."

Submission + - "Black body" solar collector in the works (mcclatchydc.com) 2

quixote9 writes: Ronald Ace won't say yet how he's doing it. Part of me sympathizes, given the track record of big corporations ripping off inventors. Part of me says "vaporware." But very exciting vaporware.

“Anybody who is skilled in the art and understands what he’s proposing is going to have this dumbfounding reaction: ‘Oh, well it’s obvious it’ll work,’” said Darnell, a biochemist with an extensive background in thermodynamics. ...

A major stumbling block for solar thermal energy devices invented to date has been that, as temperatures rise, increasing amounts of energy escapes, or radiates away, from their receivers. At 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit, currently designed receivers would radiate as much energy as they collect, sinking their efficiency to zero, solar experts say.

In his patent application, Ace wrote that his invention amounts to “a high-temperature blackbody absorber”. ...

The key, he said, is his trap’s ability to absorb nearly 100 percent of the sunshine that hits it, while allowing only a tiny percentage of energy to escape, even at ultra-high temperatures.

Such a feat would astound many solar experts, who have had little success combating radiation losses in pilot solar plants, which use fields of mirrors to redirect and concentrate sunlight on common receivers.


Submission + - Danish scientists on brink of HIV cure (telegraph.co.uk)

quixote9 writes: HIV is hard to cure because it hides inside the patient's DNA. The Danish research follows a strategy to unpack the DNA, expose the viral bits, and then use immune stimulation to get rid of it.

The technique uses drugs called HDAC Inhibitors, which are more commonly used in treating cancer, to drive out the HIV from a patient’s DNA. ... The scientists are currently conducting human trials on their treatment, in the hope of proving that it is effective. It has already been found to work in laboratory tests. ... In vitro studies — those that use human cells in a laboratory — of the new technique proved so successful that in January, the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12 million Danish kroner (£1.5 million) to pursue their findings in clinical trials with human subjects. ... “The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”

But the really interesting bit is this:

The Danish team’s research is among the most advanced and fast moving in the world, as that they have streamlined the process of putting the latest basic science discoveries into clinical testing.

Cutting edge molecular biology and bureaucratic breakthroughs. How cool is that?

Submission + - SOPA Creator Now in Charge of NSF Grants (huffingtonpost.com)

sl4shd0rk writes: Remember SOPA? If not, perhaps the name Lamar Smith (R-TX) will ring a bell. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology chose Smith to Chair as an overseer for the National Science Foundation's funding process. Smith is [PDF] preparing a bill which will require that every grant must benefit "national defense", be of "utmost importance to society" and not be "duplicative of other research". Duplicating research seems reasonable until you consider that this could also mean the NSF will not provide funding for research once somone has already providing results — manufactured or otherwise. A strange target since there is a process in place which makes an effort to limit duplicate funding already. The first and second requirements, even when read in context, still miss the point of basic research. If we were absolutely without-a-doubt-certain of the results, there would be little point in doing the research in the first place.

Comment Admin wasn't just the default password (Score 2) 110

I've used Wordpress since forever (2006?), and I seem to remember that at least back in the bad old days the admin username had to be "admin." Nothing else. There are probably millions of people who set their blogs up back then and haven't looked at that setting since.

I wonder what they're doing this for? What does blowing up a planet's worth of little blogs get anyone? Does anyone know what this thing actually does?

Comment Re:Exactly. Help set it up and they're happy users (Score 1) 366

Yup, work and games are the two biggies. Two profs (and me) who are linux users from way back (around '95, Suse; '98 Redhat to Ubuntu to Debian; 2005 Ubuntu to Linux Mint) all have to have fairly actively used installs of virtualbox or vmware to work with colleagues.

My friends and relations are using it on their home/personal stuff, and aren't gamers. Linux is actually working way better for them than Windows because they don't lose all their files every few months because they catch something nasty and need re-installs. (Yes, I told them about a million times not to download wallpapers and ringtones from Transdniester :P, or to click on email links promising pictures of cute cats.) They're the opposite of power users of anything, not just the OS.

An insightful commenter once said that Linux works great for people willing to learn it or for people who just want an appliance. It's the medium-level users who have the hardest time switching, and that sounds more like your circle of friends and relations.

Comment Exactly. Help set it up and they're happy users (Score 1) 366

I have a bunch of friends and relations for whom I've set up Linux (ubuntu, more recently LinuxMint). Usually what made them willing to try it was total fed-up-ness with endless viruses. I made sure to install with a desktop arranged as much like what they were used to as I could.

Result: not one single complaint, not one single reinstall, not one single virus of course. They range from a 65 year-old tech Luddite, to a fourteen (now 17) year old facebooking teenager. They've installed software they want. ("Oh? I just go to the Software Center? That's all? Cool.") I haven't had to help with any of that. One support issue in three years: setting wireless back up when a provider changed settings.

I think the best thing we could do is a system of (not-Tupperware)Linuxware parties/installfests. Like Arlo Guthrie said long ago, first there'd be one, and they'd think we were weird. Then there'd be two and they'd think we were gay. Then there'd be three, and they'd know it was a movement.

Comment So, time for some rights online yet? (Score 1) 333

When is the legal system going to catch up? (I know. Stupid question.) Years ago I didn't sign up for Facebook because it was pretty clear there were zero protections for my rights to my data or my privacy. I'll wait till there's some laws so which reduce the chance of being screwed over, I thought. Won't take long, I thought.

Well I'm still waiting. And when it comes up, I see more and more people who've convinced themselves this is just the modern world and there's nothing to be done about it. (Read: nothing they need to do about it.) Like epine's brilliant comment said in the Google Glass thread, it's the pragmatism of the damned.

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