Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 2) 293

'... not supposed ...'. In a perfect world, maybe. The reality is that in a major event, all sorts of equipment, communications and networks are pressed into service. Off-duty responders in area may not have the ability to return to base to get the official equipment, qualified civilians and volunteer groups also participate not only in actual emergencies, but also preparatory drills and exercises. Probably the best example of this is when the DOD 'defuzzed' the GPS signal during the Gulf War ( .... The number of GPS receivers that they had available that could translate the encoded military signal was not nearly as many as needed. The military bought several thousand commercial receivers, and distributed them army and other ground units. To enhance the role of these systems, the Air Force stopped degrading the GPS signal, so that these commercial receivers could provide 16 meter accuracy. ... from ). Also, military personnel were actually having their families send them civilian units to make up the shortage. Active Interference with any network is usually a bad idea, the exception might perhaps be correction other secure facilities.

Comment Genomic Views of Human History (Score 1) 541

See "Genomic Views of Human History", by Mary-Claire King ( ) at Basically, from examining in excruciating detail the DNA of groups and subgroups, human beings throughout prehistory were considerable more mobile than previously assumed. Essentially, there is more genetic diversity between individuals from the same village than there is between any given 'racial' groups taken as wholes. Because of human mobility ( refugees, war brides, immigration, guest labor, etc.) the genetic distinctions of 'race' become even more indistinct.

Comment Maybe History, not 'Future Scenario' (Score 1) 380

China may have had their own Stangelovian incident.

From Page 5, "The Move from Qinghai to Taibai",

"Another security consideration may have led to the move. During 1967, the nuclear weapons program in Qinghai became subject to Cultural Revolution strife, including attempts by rival factions to seize nuclear-related facilities in both Qinghai and Xinjiang. On March 5, 1967, Premier Zhou Enlai, at the urging of CMC Vice Chairman Gen Nie Rongzhen, declared martial law and placed Jia Qianrui in charge of enforcement. Along with Hong Youdao, Jia oversaw the relocation from Qinghai to Taibai County in 1969 and 22 Base operations until the unit’s subordination to Second Artillery in January 1979."

Comment Re:I don't get it at all (Score 1) 212

I don't understand why there's a want or a need for a national ID system. If you're a citizen, you already have Social Security documentation, and probably a passport/driver's license. ...

A national ID is a Single Point of Failure. I have had several cops / security folks tell me that a collection of documentation greatly increases the difficulty of forgery, because they have to be mutually consistent over space and time. A variety of documents provides a multitude of entry points and traversals for even a cursory on the spot casual interrogation. For example, some of the digits of the SSN associate with certain states at certain times, so even if the SSN Card isn't produced as ID, a question to tell the SSN orally, Followed by a remark like "Do you parents still live in State X" can trip someone up. Also, some states have had difficulties with corruption and counterfeiting in DL bureaus, but perhaps not all states at all times. Relative wear, like marks and de-lamination, also are giveaways, along with other seemingly innocuous contents of a wallet. Collections of anything will exhibit patterns of differences and similarities from individual to individual, and will be characteristic of a given 'locale', and these will alert an experienced observer. A national ID would tend to be adopted by any and all agencies as proof o person, if just as a cost and complexity saving measure. But it's that same complexity which trips the impostors.

Comment Re:Wrong Solar System? (Score 1) 47

Not NASA trolling, They learned their lesson about conversions after the Metric Mix-up with the Mars Climate Orbiter ( ). I suspect the residents HD 38801b, HD 5319 b, WASP-18b, or even HD 45364 in Canis Major. Probably running some sort of Devil's Tower subliminal suggestion trick like they used in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and much less expensive than Monoliths. I, for one, welcome our new Canine Overlords!

Comment Wrong Solar System? (Score 3, Interesting) 47

Scanning through some of the releases on "NASA's Stardust-NExT mission took this image of comet Tempel 1 at 8:40 p.m. PST (11:40 p.m. EST) on Feb 14, 2011, from a distance of approximately 946.05 trillion kilometers (587.85 trillion miles). The comet was first visited by NASA's Deep Impact mission in 2005." 587.85 trillion miles? ( See for both defintions ) This would put it 6,314,828 A.U., or about 23 times the 4.365 Light years ( 276,041 A.U.) distance to Alpha Centauri. ... or maybe it is just damn fine imaging! :-)

Comment In the Beginning was the Command Line (Score 1) 467

The first day I'd assign reading Neal Stephenson's "In the Beginning was the Command Line" ( and online ). I've used it in situations with even non-technical people to explain "Why Linux", and it's highly entertaining even if one is an expert. As another poster said, there is some "History and Philosophy". I also use it as an ESL text for engineering graduate students :-)

Comment Scientific Conclusions (Score 1) 1039

No particular individual dataset of observations definitively 'proves' the correlation of human caused climate change. But the cross correlations between an incredibly diverse set of observations does provide a basis for a pretty well based assumption. These include ice cap bores from Greenland, species in seabed sediments, coral growth, tree rings (even petrified trees :-), even historical accounts from a very wide variety of scientific disciplines, which use different methodologies and models, each subject to peer review within their own disciple.

What hobbles this in every case is the sample space, what is needed a fine resolution chronographic continuous globally distributed climate record. I.e. the ice caps are only located in certain areas and so it has only been in the last few years we have had satellite platforms to global measure sea temperatures. Global weather monitoring on a regular basis only started during World War Two, mostly driven by military aviation.

If Climatology is a tough nut, Paleoclimatology is even tougher. Ironically, the world wide exploration for oil combined with temperature as an indicator for petroleum formation has provided one possible set of observations. See " Optimal Surface Temperature Reconstructions Using Terrestrial Borehole Data" (and others) at This area of current relies on ancillary data, but could be extended to deeper wells and better distributed locations to increase the time horizons.

The diverse and broad studies around climate change complement and supplement one another to reach the conclusion and correlation. Sunspots and lemming migrations can be argued endlessly, but it is the meta analysis of all these efforts that matters. If the media has a hard time with translating and portraying the problem and controversy inside a particular specialized scientific study, it is absolutely incapable of informing the public about the meta analysis. So drowning cute polar bears isn't scientifically precise, if the imagery causes behavior change, all the better.

The other aspect of the debate is the time dynamics and values of the risk situation: What is the cost of doing business as usual in the event the warming hypothesis is wrong? If we mitigate the carbon impacts and it's wrong, so what? We have a vastly more efficient and clean economy. If it's right, the downside is potentially death and disruption for billions. Also, how long do we have to figure it out?


Submission + - EU: Telcos don't have to identify p2p users (

ccguy writes: According to El Pais (article in Spanish), Promusicae, yet another Spanish IP rights association sued Telefónica -largest telco- because it refuses to identify users. The Spanish law is clear: Non profit sharing is not a crime. The judge however, asked the European Union whether there's any directive on this. Answer: If there's no crime personal information must be kept private.

Submission + - AniBOOM (

Laura Lazear writes: "Hello, I thought you and your readers would be interested in checking out AniBOOM (, which launched officially in the U.S. Aug. 21. Aniboom is a premier animation network that partners with animators around the world for multiplatform distribution of original content. Driven by the passion of the art form, professional animators, animation students, Web 2.0 enthusiasts and animation fans come together at to create, watch and share a wide range of animated shorts and series. AniBOOM offers unique online animation tools called Animachines, which allow anyone to create their own high quality content. Aniboom recently launched a great new animation widget tool called MicroSmotion — which allows you to animate yourself or anything else into a video. You can then embed it on your favorite social networking site, including MySpace, Facebook, Frienster, Xanga, FreeWebs and more, use it to comment on someone else's blog or create your own original video greeting cards & send them to your friends & family! Also, you can embed any animation you create using AniBOOM's Shapeshifter tool into your social networking site of choice. Also, Aniboom's Creators Studio allows animators who have a great idea for an original animated web series to pitch, produce and monetize high-quality original animated series spanning a variety of genres for worldwide channels of distribution. and AniBOOM also provides each creator with simple revenue share models- all animators receive a fair share of advertising and licensing revenue. We hope that you will consider sharing this info with your readers, and become part of the AniBOOM community. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Laura Laura Lazear mPRm Public Relations 5670 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 2500 | Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel: 323.933.3399 ext. 4259 | Fax: 323.939.7211 Email: |"
The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia blocks from editing 1

thefickler writes: Known for having a media director that obsessively stalks critics,'s IP address range has now been banned from editing on Wikipedia. Longtime Wikipedia staffer, David Gerard, posted this on the Administrators' Noticeboard Tuesday afternoon: "I've just blocked, which is an IP range (a) owned by (b) widely used by them for spamming, COI editing and attempted intimidation of administrators dealing with them. I strongly suggest against unblocking this range under any circumstances"

Submission + - Hackers using YouTube to spread latest Trojan

thefickler writes: Social engineering attacks are showing a strong rise this Summer. The latest trick is manipulating YouTube users to infect their PCs with a Trojan known as the Fake Codec. For most media, a certain codec is required to encode and decode a digital stream such as audio or video. When a user tries to view a video that requires a specific codec, they'll usually get the message, "Codec not found" or "The proper codec to play this media is not installed." Some sites will usually direct you to another website to download the codec; however, an increasing trend in late August is for hackers to direct users to download a fake codec, which will in turn install malicious software on the user's machine.

Submission + - Indictment highlights file-sharing risks (

Bomarc writes: "From KOMO TV website, an article about how Gregory Thomas Kopiloff used Limewire, Soulseek and other "peer-to-peer" file-sharing programs to troll other computers for financial information, which he used to open credit cards for an online shopping spree, according to a four-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

The news article isn't big on details, but it does outline the risks with "peer-to-peer" file-sharing programs. Carried by the By Associated Press"

Slashdot Top Deals

Real wealth can only increase. -- R. Buckminster Fuller