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Comment Re:what happens (Score 5, Informative) 57

It's far easier for astronomers to identify black holes by how nearby objects behave--especially by observing their orbits, and the gravitational lensing effects.

I suspect you're thinking about black hole evaporation? It's a real phenomenon, at least theoretically, but the energy radiated in this manner from a typically-sized black hole is way less than the background radiation of the universe, so the mass/energy of the singularity continues to grow.

Incidentally, the evaporation phenomenon is also why you don't have to worry about the LHC ever producing a black hole that destroys the earth--any black hole it could create would radiate to nothing almost instantly.

Submission + - Surprising legal facts about BYOD - seizures, searches, and more (

mattydread23 writes: Did you know that if you use your personal smartphone for work, it can be seized as evidence in litigation against your employer? With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) the lines between personal and work information are blurred. Here, a lawyer explains some of the fine points, and teaches companies how to craft a BYOD policy that fairly lays out the risks.

Submission + - Open Build Service 2.4 adds Arch support (

colinneagle writes: Package management on Linux is a pretty amazing thing. But building new packages (and new scripts to generate those packages) can become a major time sink. And which formats/distros do you create them for? Ubuntu 32bit .deb? Fedora 64bit RPM? After you start taking all of the various incarnations, of just the major versions of, the major distros into account... you've got a lot of work ahead of you.

Luckily, there are some ways to make this whole process a bit less painful. One of the most mature and flexible being the Open Build Service, which is part of the openSUSE project. And they have just announced version 2.4 of their package-building solution.Let's say you want to release a new version of your software. You put the files up in the Open Build Service (which is, as you might have guessed, Open Source) – or the public instance which is in place at – then you create your configuration and utilize their web interface to automatically create the packages you'd like. Now, here's the cool part: You can tell it to create packages not to use for openSUSE... but for Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora and plenty of others. And, as of version 2.4, it will build for Arch as well (in the form of PKGBUILD).

Submission + - not enough garbage? (

lister king of smeg writes: Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by burning garbage — household trash, industrial waste, even toxic and dangerous waste from hospitals and drug arrests — has a problem: it has literally run out of garbage to burn.
The problem is not unique to Oslo, a city of 1.4 million people. Across Northern Europe, where the practice of burning garbage to generate heat and electricity has exploded in recent decades, demand for trash far outstrips supply. “Northern Europe has a huge generating capacity,” said Mr. Mikkelsen, 50, a mechanical engineer who for the last year has been the managing director of Oslo’s waste-to-energy agency."

I have to wonder why we would sell our garbage when we could be doing this ourself?


Print-On-Demand Publisher VDM Infects Amazon 190

erich666 writes "In recent months a flood of so-called books have been appearing in Amazon's catalog. VDM Publishing's imprints Alphascript and Betascript Publishing have listed over 57,000 titles, adding at least 10,000 in the previous month alone. These books are simply collections of linked Wikipedia articles put into paperback form, at a cost of 40 cents a page or more. These books seem to be computer-generated, which explains the peculiar titles noted such as 'Vreni Schneider: Annemarie Moser-Pröll, FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Winter Olympic Games, Slalom Skiing, Giant Slalom Skiing, Half Man Half Biscuit.' Such titles do have the marketing effect of turning up in many different searches. There is debate on Wikipedia about whether their 'VDM Publishing' page should contain the words 'fraud' or 'scam.' VDM Publishing's practice of reselling Wikipedia articles appears to be legal, but is ethically questionable. Amazon customers have begun to post 1-star reviews and complain. Amazon's response to date has been, 'As a retailer, our goal is to provide customers with the broadest selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any item they might be seeking.' The words 'and pay us' were left out. Amazon carries, as a Googled guess, 2 million different book titles, so VDM Publishing is currently 1/35th of their catalog, and rapidly growing."

Comment Re:Doesn't matter what country you are in... (Score 1) 667

Not gonna comment on any of the views on issues you've offered, sorry. :D I prefer my conversations civilized, and I don't see that conversation going anywhere but down. I will, however, happily respond to your meta-politics.

their platform to privatize many Crown Corporations including Canada Post, CBC, and Petro-Canada. To be fair, Petro-Can did eventually start to lose money and the government eventually sold it to Suncor. The Reform Party was also very pro-life, opposed homosexual marriage, opposed government-funded bilingualism and multiculturalism, and opposed immigration policies that would "radically or suddenly alter the ethnic make up of Canada". I don't know about you, but those beliefs seem pretty radically right to me and, I would venture to guess, many other Canadians.

To Canadians, yep, that's a sea change in what government does. To Americans, however, they'd wonder what the big deal was with denationalizing, not having two official languages, and restricting immigration- and my motivation for pointing that out is that I didn't figure Americans would translate "Canadian far right" with "the Democrats only wish they had our policies." I would point out, on the other hand, that since a sufficiently hefty number of people voted for the Cons in the last two elections to give 'em power, it's not necessarily that the party's views on public funding of abortion or selling Crown Corps or gun control are shocking (or objectionable) to people, it's more that we had one party in charge for a long, long time, with very few changes in their basic views, and this is the first time there's been a substantial difference in federal government in a while. In other words, different ain't necessarily bad. Or good, see below.

Heavens, I wouldn't accuse you of being NDP- you made no demands that /. be nationalized and its corporate parent's assets distributed to the poor. ;P I assume you're a Liberal, but don't care. I don't think it's reasonable to speculate on a politician's intentions, save for "they want more power" and "they want to use the power they have." I've heard a lot of paranoia from, say, CBC talking heads, or Layton, or Iggy, about how Harper is some radical-right Americanizing demon sent to destroy our soft-socialist utopia, and it really doesn't fly with me. I think he's a lying, slimy bastard, just like everyone else on the hill. He's right-wing for Canada, but not particularly so from a global or historical perspective, but that really only changes how he screws the people, not whether.

And, personally, I'm a political radical on just about any account, so the whole left-right thing seems kind of pointless to me. Nuke Parliament, it's the only way to be sure.

Comment Re:Typical /. summary (Score 2, Insightful) 292

It's not hard to monitor typing into an edit box using JavaScript. The script could compute some kind of typing signature and then send that to the server. Copy-pasting all text is a very odd way of typing and could be flagged.

I doubt such a detection algorithm would be accurate for all people, so they should not start auto-suspending accounts based on this. But it would help if a human moderator gets some hints about which accounts to pay closer attention to, since manually monitoring everything is not feasible.

Comment Re:GM's eyes are bigger than its stomach ... (Score 1) 206

You guys need to stick to trying to make what people want now

With gas prices hovering around three bucks NOW, cheap transportation is what folks want now. Plus, this is a concept car; concept cars are supposed to be what people want now but can't have, or what people are likely to want in the future.

However, this paticular car doesn't seem practical, with only 40 km between charges (24 miles) and a top speed of 40 kph (24 mph). Drive one of these on a road with a 40 mph speed limit and you're likely to be pulled over for blocking traffic.

Give it a 45 mph top speed and 75 miles between charges, keep the cost of the vehicle low enough, and you have a winner. But this ain't it.

Seriously? Toyota -- the guys who ate your lunch in the marketplace -- can't even make a software-gas-pedal work correctly and you're trying to float an EV that navigates autonomously?

TFA said nothing like that; the best it will be able to do is park itself.

Comment Re:I'm convinced! (Score 1) 378

The GIMP is brought up because it's the flagship application of the Linux/free software/open source crowd.

GTK+ is (basically) the GIMP Toolkit. GNOME is built on GTK+ and was at one time the only totally free desktop environment because KDE was built on Qt, which wasn't free-libre.

In fact, what would be really weird is if there were a Photoshop thread in which the GIMP wasn't mentioned.

An alternative question would be: why is Photoshop compulsively mentioned whenever there's a new GIMP release?

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982