Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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

Comment Re:Until I forget that I have them! (Score 1) 308

I mean, I had a keyboard plug converters from 10 years ago, for crying out loud.

Damn it man! I was looking for one of those just the other day. I know I had one around somewhere. Luckily I still have at least one old AT keyboard that I didn't have to go digging for. Even though a couple keys on it don't work, it's still good enough to get Slackware installed on an old Pentium machine to use as a router/firewall.

Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

Comment Re:you can thank Patron Saint Orrin Hatch for this (Score 1) 713

it costs a LOT more money than you probably think to get 100 people and run a controlled study,... which in reality involves usually thousands of animals, several phases of toxicology testing, piloting production processes, and many et ceteras before those human trials even get approved,...).

And that is part of the problem and why it cost so much - use of methodologies which have no significant scientific application.
Which animal is anatomically, physiologically, immunologically, genetically and histologically identical to a human? None.

Monkeys/chimps may be a close relation, but strychnine isn't fatal to them as it is for humans. Testing pharmacueticals destined for human use on animals is a useless practice and throws science out the window - this is sanctioned quackery and much worse than any 'alternative medicine.' Which may in fact have real value, even if it's only the placebo effect which leads to the body healing itself via the immune system doing its job without the patient adding to the overall stress on the body by worrying about how sick they are. Certainly the FDA with all it's regulations is not much of a help in verifying the actual safety of many things.

You hit the nail on the head though, it's about making money. Tongue of newt could be the greatest thing since aspirin or penicillin (either of which anyone could technically get on their own from nature) but it will never be approved and given the official FDA nod in such a form simply because the money wasn't spent to adhere to the regulations, therefore no money could be made on it. So the wonder miracle cure achieved from tongue of newt would never be seen as anything but quackery and would forever be relegated to the realm of alternative medicine.

Comment Re:Looking from afar... (Score 1) 1515

Quite simply because it's something to bicker over and try to reaffirm one's own beliefs which in this case happen to have no solid proof by which to support those beliefs on either side no matter how much they blabber on. This is not unlike many other "issues" that politicians/media/etc. bring up about various candidates.

Technically one could argue that the educational opinions of anyone in D.C., much less the White House, has no bearing on anything whatsoever since public education is the responsibility of State and local governments and not that of the Federal Government. The mere existence of the Dept. of Ed. itself is constitutionally questionable. From what I recall there is no mention of education in the US Constitution so Congress has not been given any such authority. Meanwhile education is mentioned in at least most, if not all, State constitutions.

What some candidate thinks regarding the origin of our species, the existence of aliens, which OS is better, etc. is completely irrelevant. But of course candidates views on issues which, if elected, they will have the ability to affect are ignored. Nothing new here.


Submission + - Atom-smasher not to be feared (

T3Tech writes: "Set to be fired up in August, the Large Hadron Collider, a 17 mile in circumference ring of supercooled magnets attached to huge barrel-shaped detectors, located 330 feet underground on the French and Swiss border, could apparently take months to get up to full power.

Scientists plan to hunt for signs of the invisible "dark matter" and "dark energy" that make up more than 96 percent of the universe, and hope to glimpse the elusive Higgs boson, a so-far undiscovered particle thought to give matter its mass.
Critics of the LHC filed a lawsuit in a Hawaiian court in March seeking to block its startup, alleging that there was "a significant risk that ... operation of the Collider may have unintended consequences which could ultimately result in the destruction of our planet." One of the plaintiffs, Walter L. Wagner, a physicist and lawyer, said Wednesday CERN's safety report, released June 20, "has several major flaws," and his views on the risks of using the particle accelerator had not changed.
Critics like Wagner have said the collisions caused by accelerators could be more hazardous than those of cosmic rays. Both may produce micro black holes, subatomic versions of cosmic black holes collapsed stars whose gravity fields are so powerful that they can suck in planets and other stars.

But not to worry say the scientists. Though if a black hole ends up swallowing the planet I guess we should just sit back and enjoy the ride as well as get used to weightlessness.
An interesting aside from TFA is the apparent data requirements of the LHC:

Each year the detectors will generate 15 petabytes of data, the equivalent of a stack of CDs 12 miles tall. The data will require a high speed global network of computers for analysis.


Comment Gun Rights (Score 4, Interesting) 2221

I'm a liberal, but I'm from Texas. Gun rights are about the only opinion I share with the right wing, though likely for different reasons.

There are tons of arguments against guns, such as safety in the home or availability to criminals. But in my mind it comes down to just one thing -

The availability of guns to the general public is the last safeguard against tyrrany. It becomes much easier to fight an oppressive government if you have the weapons to do it with.

And let me preempt a few arguments right here - a few of you might ask how a bunch of rag-tag resisters can fight against the most powerful, technologically advanced military in the world?

For your answer, take one look at Iraq.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Our vision is to speed up time, eventually eliminating it." -- Alex Schure