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Comment Re:Mod parent up. (Score 1) 201

Software isn't mechanical engineering.

Unlike in the software world, in (real) engineering degrees matter. You cannot become a professional engineer without out a BS in engineering.

Getting a masters degree is great if you are interested in the work. As long as it is an accredited school, where you got it from won't matter in the long run.

Comment These things flame out (Score 1) 1128

It's like the 'Coffee Party' or the 'No Labels' groups.

This will get lots of press for a few weeks (Palin + internet shenanigans = ratings/pageviews) and then fade away because there isn't a real grass roots push to do it.

Also they are about a year too early to affect the primaries.

Palin's not going to run. She's making lots of money, has some political juice and no responsibilities. I bet she really likes not having any responsibilities.

Comment Re:Google is the key here (Score 1) 686

Google doesn't care.

Licensing H.264 is cheap and provides the knowledge that they aren't going to get sued. If they push VP8 they are going to spend years in court fighting MPEG-LA and all of the patent trolls out there.

If they succeed with VP8, what happens? VP8 gets supported in Chrome, Firefox and maybe Opera? Yay 20% of the market, while the other 80% will require the H.264 stream anyway. I'm sure supporting H.264 & Flash streaming isn't easy, adding another codec just makes it that much worse.

Submission + - Hackers release British climate science research (

definate writes: has an article on "COMPUTER hackers have broken into Britain's leading climate science research centre, making public thousands of private emails between top climate change scientists." where the hackers released "more than 2000 emails and 3000 documents" showing "bitter disagreements about the cause of climate change" and cheering "news of the sudden death of a prominent Australian climate sceptic". The emails go on to show a lack of objectivity and a large amount of bias amongst some lead researchers "In one email, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the US Centre for Atmospheric Research, who supports the theory of man-made climate change, says: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can't."".

Submission + - US Government Using PS3s to Break Encryption ( 1

Entropy98 writes: As reported here and here.. It seems that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center, known as C3 have replaced their "$8,000 Tableau/Dell server combination" with more efficient and much cheaper $300 PS3s. Each PS3 is capable of 4 million passwords per second, and C3 currently has 20 PS3s with plans to buy 40 more.

Naturally this is only being used to break encryption on computers seized with a warrant and suspected of harboring child pornography.


Submission + - Dating help for nuclear geeks (

An anonymous reader writes: NRC is now offering to help find dates for their engineers. From the article: "Jim McDermott, chief human capital officer of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, thinks he’s found a foolproof way to convince young engineers to come to his agency: Find them dates.

“There are incentives, and then there are incentives,” McDermott told a crowd of human resources officials at the HCMF Conference in Arlington, Va., earlier today. ”When we’re hiring, we say, ‘Is there a significant other in the picture?’ If there’s no significant other, I tell them, ‘We can help.’ ”"

Comment Re:Explain? (Score 2, Interesting) 135

I started using them initially because I wanted an email address @ my domain along with IMAP and fastmail was about the best provider out there. Now, I just like to have e-mail that is independent of the 'big guys' and that isn't going to go down. Also they have e-mail proxies that can get around any ISP or business port blocking. If you are happy with webmail and don't mind occasional downtime, gmail is fine, I use it, too.

iPhone As a PC Game Controller 54

TechCrunch has an article about a startup called iMo, which aims to enable control of any PC game using an iPhone or iPod Touch. The idea is to reduce the need for gaming peripherals while you're on the move, and make motion-control available to more players. Quoting: "The system also features onscreen controls for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as not every PC game will benefit from using things like the accelerometer, obviously. This all works via both Bluetooth and WiFi connections between your device and your computer. The plan is to offer iMo in the App Store for $0.99; the first version should be available new in the App Store. And long-term, the company hopes to make it available on other mobile platforms as well, including Android. And ultimately, they'd love to include support for gaming consoles as well, like the aforementioned Wii, the PS3, and the Xbox 360."

Submission + - US Customs Can Confiscate Laptops Without Cause (

Mattazuma writes: "Under new rules released today, the US Customs service can confiscate electronic devices and media without cause. They are looking for files related to terrorism, child pornography and (of course) copyright and trademark violations. But don't worry, they'll try to give your laptop back within 30 days.

If I was leaving the country with a laptop, I'd make sure all of the data is backed up before I left the country.

Over 1000 laptops or other electronic devices were confiscated last year under the old rules."

Comment Re:Hrmmm.. (Score 1) 336

A bushing failure could have started the main fire/explosion. There was a bushing failure at a power plant in the US a few years ago where parts of the bushing penetrated the walls of nearby buildings and started a fire in a nearby building. There isn't a great deal of insulating/cooling oil in a bushing so if there is a leak, things can go bad pretty fast. If the transformer tank steel wasn't particularly thick, I could see how a bushing failure could penetrate the tank and cause the transformer itself to fail.

Company Awarded "The Patent For Podcasting" 202

Chris Albrecht writes "VoloMedia announced today that it has been awarded what it called the 'patent for podcasting.' According to the press announcement, patent number 7,568,213, titled 'Method for Providing Episodic Media,' covers: '...the fundamental mechanisms of podcasting, including providing consumer subscription to a show, automatically downloading media to a computer, prioritizing downloads, providing users with status indication, deleting episodes, and synchronizing episodes to a portable media device.'"

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