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Comment Trello (Score 1) 227

Check out Trello ( Not FLOSS, but a free cloud-based note-taking, project managing, checklist-managing, attachment storage, team-usable swiss army knife. No clue how this thing is still free (shhhh). I use it for just about everything you mentioned. It supports taking notes (called "cards") in Markdown format, sharing individual notes or entire "boards" with others, organizing and labeling notes, and attaching files. About the only thing it's missing is a drawing/sketching tool and better notification alarm options. If I need to refer to something scanned, written, or otherwise graphics, you can attach unlimited files to each card or paste links in your notes. The mobile apps are identical to the web-app version, so you can take it with you to meetings on a tablet/laptop, and then come back to a workstation and see all of the updates on the web version.

Comment 30-40 year old tech still in use (Score 1) 620

At the research center I work for, we have three mass spectrometers (close to $1M when they were first purchased back in the early 90s or so) that are attached to PC-DOS computers. At least one of the computers has died and I was able to replace it with a Windows-XP based system and newer National Instruments drivers (they also still sell the funky interface cards that are used by it).

Another story, secondhand, a buddy of mine works for a large insurance company and said they have a COBOL program close to 40 years old that is still running. Apparently they haven't pushed to upgrade it as it processes something like $1M/day in transactions for the company... not sure in what capacity. However, they approached my buddy, who is younger than the software itself, to see if he was interested in learning COBOL to port the software, as the original developers are all retired or dead.

Comment Re:bad idea (Score 1) 270

Most cars aren't running safety-critical sensors and data over the OBD/body CAN (controller area network) interface. For example, in my '99 Saab 9-3, there are two CAN networks -- the "I-Bus", which runs the body sensors including door lock status, turn signal switches, radio display information, information cluster, and lighting status; the "P-Bus" is completely separate and relays engine sensor, ABS, and such sensors to the car's ECU. The OBD interface cannot connect directly to the P-Bus, although with the CAN tool I have (similar to the popular CAN-USB hardware interface) I could wire into the network if I really wanted to. However, you can query the P-Bus, via the car's computer, to retrieve engine statistics such as RPMs, temperatures, diagnostic codes, etc.

Comment Re:Remove it with ComboFix (Score 2, Informative) 323

The TDSS rootkit (not sure how many variants do this...) installs itself as a Non-Plug-and-Play device driver. You can often remove the head of the rootkit by going to System Properties => Device Manager => View menu => Show hidden devices Then, click the + sign next to Non-Plug-and-Play devices. If there is a "TDSS*" device, you can delete it. I was able to recover a machine by doing this, then scanning for viruses. Obviously it's best to scan the hard disk externally or wipe the whole machine, but that might help someone in a pinch.

Correlation Found Between Brain Structure and Video Game Success 110

kghapa writes "Still want to argue that video games shrink your brain? While video games have been previously shown to stimulate brain activity and improve coordination skills, a recently published study has directly linked structures in the human brain with video game aptitude. And yes, apparently size does matter in this case. Quoting: '... each subject received 20 hours of training to play a video game specifically created for research purposes, called Space Fortress. It's basically an Asteroids-type arcade game, in which the object is to knock down and destroy an enemy fortress while dodging space mines. However, the game has lots of extra twists that require close attention. Some of the players were told to focus exclusively on running up a high score, while others were told to shift their priorities between several goals. The result? The subjects who had more volume in an area called the nucleus accumbens did significantly better in the early stages of training. Meanwhile, those who were well-endowed in different areas of the striatum, known as the caudate nucleus and putamen, handled the shifting strategies better.'"

Comment Re:Technical need is one thing, business is anothe (Score 1) 453

"Jack of all Trades, Master of None."

One of my favorite statements, and one that people have applied to me. I studied meteorology (and will go back to grad school shortly to get an MS) as well as computer science. This allows for all sorts of applications in computer modeling, natural science (geology, chemistry), remote sensing, astronomy, and a ton of other fields. I've always had a ton of interests of varying levels since I was a kid. We need more parents to allow their children to try different things... let them learn computer programming, give them a camera to take pictures, and a violin to study music. We're pigeonholing kids to follow a specific track -- even if they are interested in it already -- without enticing them to look at problems in new ways or link different interests together.

A previous post mentioned being a "miracle worker" when in essence its just skill in multiple fields -- something past the "general level" courses that most colleges have you take. People still have this mindset that it's great to be specialized -- just because you want to be a "doctor" doesn't mean you shouldn't know how to do programming to, say, data mine disease information -- they never learn how to use technology to actually do problem-solving in that field or in life, they just learn how to paste clip-art in PowerPoint.

Comment Re:You wonder why there's doubt on global warming? (Score 1) 489

Let's see, we're supposed to spend literally trillions of dollars to fix global warming, yet we can't see the raw data the hysteria is based on?


This is a big problem, and in the science community in general (not just climate scientists!). The data is safeguarded for some length of time while the researcher(s) publish their findings, personal gain, or simply because the research itself was a very expensive process and the institution wants to "get its money's worth". I work at a climate research center and we've actually had to take hard copies of data and run them through an OCR program like ABBYY because the original scientist wouldn't send us digital versions of the data or even processed maps.

Along the same lines, when is the source code used for the climate models going to be published and thoroughly reviewed?

If AGW is in fact true, it can withstand the scrutiny.

But it is:

and someone made a nice list of models used in the recent IPCC report and if source code is available here:

Comment Re:TCP packet size. tcp window scaling. (Score 5, Informative) 515

I'm a sysadmin at Ohio State, and a number of old firewalls (really old OpenBSD version plus badly-written pf scripts, still in use!) have the same problem. The connection through them breaks when any computer using TCP window scaling over "2" (Windows Vista, Linux) tries to connect to a server behind the firewall. So, yes, window scaling will either make the connection blazing fast, or will block certain users if a bad router/firewall is on the route between the computer and a server.

Comment TypeMatrix (Score 1) 523

My favorite keyboard is the TypeMatrix 2030-DV. It's an ergonomic, small, portable, straight-key, Dvorak-layout keyboard (they also sell QWERTY and blank layouts). I'm only 21 and started to have RSI symptoms from typing/programming a lot -- this keyboard has made those go away and I can type even faster than before. They finally started selling them again:

Submission + - Comcast Blocking

Kainaw writes: For well over a week, I have not been able to access from home (where I use Comcast high-speed Internet). I can access it from work easily. I thought it was a blip for a few days, but then started asking around. Nobody here can access through Comcast. I've called and emailed them in the morning and evening for the last three days and I haven't received any worthwhile response. They just tell me to unplug my modem and plug it back in. So, now I'm thinking about the current push by companies like Comcast to charge for preferred Internet service. Is this the first step — blocking Linux sites to push out those "free software" freaks who demand an equal Internet for all?

Submission + - Island Raised by Earthquake

StupiderThanYou writes: " ABC News Australia is reporting that the island of Ranongga in the Solomon Islands has been lifted three metres higher above sea level by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake on the 2nd of April. A surrounding coral reef popular with scuba divers is now dying in the sunlight, and there are fissures opened up in the island and surrounding seabed. At least they'll be under less threat from rising sea levels."

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