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TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment Re:Clueless (Score 2, Funny) 549

I will be happy to pay the $100, in fact, I will read it again and pay you $200. However, I will need your assistance in handling some fees on my end in order for the transaction to work. For various reasons, I cannot make these payments directly. Please wire $100 to the specified account as soon as you get my $300 money order from Nigeria.

I would normally just ask one of my many rich uncles to pay it (they're all Generals), but they keep dying on me, and I'm just having the darndest time trying to retrieve the funds.

Comment Re:Blow by Blow? (Score 1) 257

If that was the case, then Suzette would fail miserably. The bot rebuffed all my advances.

ProKras - so suzette, what are you wearing?
[ Af:0 At:20 Sp:0] My usual style, jeans and a t-shirt.
ProKras - anything else?
[ Af:0 At:20 Sp:0] Sure, but it's your turn.
ProKras - ok, I'm wearing a t-shirt and boxers. no pants because i'm about to go to bed
[ Af:-1 At:20 Sp:0] Thanks for telling me that.
ProKras - why don't you take your pants off too
[ Af:-1 At:20 Sp:0] Pants is used to keep lower torso warm.
ProKras - come on, take them off
[ Af:-1 At:20 Sp:0] There's nothing wrong with a good sexual titillation.
ProKras - yes, that's exactly what I'm trying to get at
[ Af:-1 At:20 Sp:0] It is?
ProKras - of course. now take off your pants for me
[ Af:-3 At:20 Sp:0] That's enough of that.
ProKras - awww, you're no fun
[ Af:-3 At:20 Sp:0] That's enough on that. What are your hobbies?
ProKras - All my hobbies are sexual now. I've ditched the others
[ Af:-3 At:20 Sp:0] My hobbies are: sewing clothes, printing fabric, making ceramics, making jewelry - you might call them the wearable arts.
ProKras - Wearable is good. especially when they come off
[ Af:-3 At:20 Sp:0] I don't know. Whenever.
ProKras - so, come on, take off your clothes for me
[ Af:-7 At:20 Sp:-1] I'm beginning to take a dislike to you. But does that just apply to you?

Comment Re:9 months (Score 1) 432

I've never heard of the US coming to any expat's rescue.

It has actually happened several times. Take a look at this page and do a search for "citizen". You will find over 15 incidents where the US sent in its military to protect its citizens.

Another time I can think of offhand was in Greneda where US marines helped to evacuate US medical students studying on the island.

Submission + - Pidgin AIM / ICQ connection error- quick fix found (techspot.com)

ProKras writes: In the past few days, many users of the popular open-source messaging client Pidgin have reported trouble connecting to AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ networks. Typically, the user will receive an error message such as: "Received unexpected response from http://api.oscar.aol.com/aim/startOSCARSession". Fortunately, the fix is simple. In the account settings, on the Advanced tab, users should uncheck 'Use clientLogin'. Pidgin's developers are aware of the situation, and have posted the fix on the project's home page . Changing to different versions of Pidgin appears to have no effect, so it seems that AOL has made a change on the server side.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Digital fundraising still pushing Haiti relief (cnn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A 48-hour-old fundraising campaign to help Haiti earthquake victims, done solely through text messages, was already stunning Red Cross officials on Thursday when it hit $3 million. By Friday morning, the tally had more than doubled.

Comment Get an LCD "TV" without the tuner. (Score 1) 549

Most of the extra cost of a "TV" over a similar-spec "monitor" is not the extra connectors, its the cost of the NTSC/ATSC tuner. There are lots of units out there that are marketed as home television sets, but don't have any tuner (and therefore cannot legally be called "Televisions" or "TVs"). Without a cable box (or satellite box or external ATSC tuner) no television watching is possible. A lot of these units are fairly inexpensive; you may be able to find some at prices less than similar-sized LCD computer monitors, but you might need adapters to connect it (VGA to component or DVI to HDMI).

As soon as others realize no TV-watching is possible on these sets they shouldn't complain about the old guy getting a "big-screen TV". If people are going to complain simply based on size (because their own monitors aren't 24-27 inches) then you're going to hear complaints no matter what.

Comment Re:My job used to be like this.... (Score 1) 1006

I agree that a gradual approach is probably the best. I was lucky enough to be brought on board as IT manager (for a small accounting firm) just when the company was expanding and purchasing a lot of new hardware. From the beginning I advocated using as much FOSS as possible. Management, who had never heard of the concept, was excited that they could get legit, good quality software at no cost. There was a bit of grumbling in the beginning about some of the FOSS since there was a learning curve for some. Once people got used to it, though, it became a non-issue. For any non-open-source software that was free (as in beer) I made doubly sure that commercial use was permitted under the free license, otherwise it was gone. I was also fortunate in that the most critical software for the firm was already SaaS, and there was no need to change there.

As we upgraded the existing hardware, any questionable software on the old hardware has been removed and replaced with FOSS, or software that was definitely properly licensed. Now nearly everyone is now using OpenOffice.org, although we do have a couple of machines with legit Microsoft Office licenses (necessary, for example, when we have a spreadsheet that requires macros to work right. Also, the boss wanted to keep Outlook because of some issues with scheduling meetings with clients in Thunderbird+Lighting). In cases where no good FOSS alternative was available, we purchased (legit, unused) licenses from ebay or elsewhere, and documented this fully in case of any audits down the road. (If a license sounded like it MIGHT not be legit we stayed away. We looked for original disks, packaging and manuals before buying.)

The most important step, I believe, was to get management interested in the idea of FOSS early on as an alternative to more expensive options. I also gently warned them about the potential for software "not working right" if it was not properly licensed (because of lack of updates or activation issues). I never had to mention the BSA at all to convince management that adopting FOSS was a smart move.

Comment Re:Troubleshooting skills. (Score 1) 829

why didn't anyone in the Star Trek universe ever come up with the idea of using warp drives as weapons in a systematic way? A runabout crashing into a borg cube at warp seven would do quite a bit more damage than a photon torpedo, I would imagine. I guess kinetic energy just isn't "futuristic" enough.

According to some of the best speculative physics out there, warp drive must operate by either manipulating space-time itself, or by creating an artificial wormhole or some other means of traveling in extra dimensions. Within your local frame of reference your velocity would be quite low, as would your kinetic energy. You could also move at EXACTLY the speed of light by reducing the relativistic mass of your vessel to zero. Still no kinetic energy weapon there.

Using warped space itself as a weapon is a possibility, but who is to say that phasers don't already do some of that. Phasers certainly can't work merely by firing a beam of photons at the target, like a laser. If they did work like lasers, you wouldn't be able to see the beam.

Sublight engines, on the other hand, might be a possibility as the basis of a kinetic energy weapon. IIRC impulse drive could move a starship somewhere around 1/2c.

Comment The other side of the carbon equation (Score 1) 101

Just read TFA and it looks like the project's goal is not to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but to find out how to use sunlight as an energy source to synthesize molecules.

Over here, across the pond, we've got a team of Yanks already working on the other side of the carbon equation: Artificial leaves to capture CO2 from the air. And, in typical Yank fashion, its being done by private enterprise.

They were featured recently on Nova ScienceNow.

Comment Re:Does anyone really prefer NEMA 5-15? (Score 2, Insightful) 711

The reason NEMA 5-15 uses blades is to easily differentiate it from NEMA 5-20. Most NEMA 5-20 sockets are designed to accept either NEMA 5-15 or NEMA 5-20 plugs. But you can NOT plug a NEMA 5-20 plug into a NEMA 5-15 receptacle. And they're still backwards-compatible with older devices using the non-polarized non-grounded plugs.

Their bendability can sometimes be an asset. I'll bend my blades out a bit if I want a connection that is more difficult to pull apart.

NEMA has a huge range of plug specs for different applications. Just take a look at this . The system works well enough so that lesser devices can often be connected to higher rated circuits but not vice-versa.

It is still possible to touch exposed live blades with NEMA 5-15, but until people start killing themselves while plugging in devices there will never be any political will to change.

I'm not a NEMA fanboy or anything. My vote is for IEC C13.

Comment Re:IEC C13 (Score 1) 711

I'm surprised IEC C13 isn't getting more attention. No matter what country you live in, every slashdotter probably has at least a dozen cords with this connector in their closet. I have one for every power supply and every monitor I've ever bought (and a UPS and a few other random devices too).

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