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Comment Robots.txt is not only for privacy (Score 3, Interesting) 151

It is also for variable random content. Imagine a service that returns a webpage containing the product (of the multiplication) of two numbers, followed by a list of links to ten other random number pairs you could try. It would take a 1kB page to write, but infinite space to archive *all* the results. For effect, imagine the service generates a video to show a kid how to multiply the two numbers, or drive from one place to another, or whatever use people have have now found for the Internet.

Submission + - What a Trip: First Evidence for Higher State of Consciousness Found (

baalcat writes: Researchers observe a sustained increase in neural signal diversity in people under the influence of psychedelics.

Scientific evidence of a ‘higher’ state of consciousness has been found in a study led by the University of Sussex.

Neuroscientists observed a sustained increase in neural signal diversity – a measure of the complexity of brain activity – of people under the influence of psychedelic drugs, compared with when they were in a normal waking state.

The diversity of brain signals provides a mathematical index of the level of consciousness. For example, people who are awake have been shown to have more diverse neural activity using this scale than those who are asleep.

This, however, is the first study to show brain-signal diversity that is higher than baseline, that is higher than in someone who is simply ‘awake and aware’. Previous studies have tended to focus on lowered states of consciousness, such as sleep, anaesthesia, or the so-called ‘vegetative’ state.

Submission + - When science brought Americans and Russians together 1

Lasrick writes: The first Russian explosive device to land on US soil wasn’t delivered by a Russian missile, as Americans feared might happen throughout the Cold War. It was delivered by FedEx. This is a great story of true scientific cooperation from the great metallurgist and nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, who recounts the story of when an explosive magnetic flux compression generator arrived at Los Alamos National Laboratory in late 1993, shipped from the Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNIIEF. It allowed Los Alamos and VNIIEF scientists to conduct a groundbreaking joint experiment to study high-temperature superconductivity in ultra-high magnetic fields. Great stuff.

Comment Re:Rule Change when it's in his best interest? (Score 1) 450

That's a matter of perception. "activists" vs "actual". Others may see the issue exactly the opposite way as you. Both side can shout "You're WRONG!" at each other until they're blue in the faces.

Really, at the end of the day, Global Warming will be a litmus test on this. If the Republicans are right on this issue, things will continue similarly to the way they've been, with minor variations. If the Democrats are right, we're in a heap of trouble unless we take corrective action. But on this matter, Nature will be the judge, and all the shouting and blue faces won't make a speck of difference.

Comment Re:A little late? (Score 2) 386

Ubuntu users who were Unity skeptics didn't flock to GUbuntu, they flocked to Mint.

Well, I tried Mint when the Unity thing happened, but the whole, "google needs to pay us or we'll remove it from the list of default search engines in our version of Firefox" thing bothered me on a philosophical level (I know I could and I did manually add it, but they were trying to charge money to stop them from removing a feature instead of charging money to add a feature, and that rubs me the wrong way) and I immediately returned to Ubuntu. Not GUbuntu, but not unity either. You can always just apt-get gnome, which I did, after trying KDE4 and thinking it was even worse.

At the time Gnome3 was much worse than it is now, but now it can be customizable to the point that I prefer it to Gnome2 and the alternatives that try to emulate Gnome2. And if you don't agree, you could always apt-get MATE.

People freak out over Unity and whatever else, but those are just default options. Install whatever window manager you want.

Comment Re:Horrible spelling on Slashdot, again -- not (Score 1) 237

A random AC said:

It's "rouge". Rogue is what old-fashioned women apply to their faces so they'd look healthier.

Umm, no. You got it backwards, and (for once?) the Slashdot editors do it better than the random contradicting AC.

"Rouge" (French for "red", same Latin origin as "ruby") is the cosmetic, and rogue (from Latin "rogare", "ask"/"beg", same origin as "interrogate") is a excellent word to describe the guy in this story. Just because it's on Slashdot doesn't mean it's *wrong*.

I don't care about correcting AC who will probably never see this, but some poor guy might read that and believe it...

Comment Re:Who will care? (Score 1) 547

The problem with that is that while OpenVPN works and is relatively straightforward to set up, it's not the best performer in town. I have an OpenVPN endpoint too, and use it in situations that make sense for me.

I don't believe your default route is one of them. Whatever VPN I end up using, I'm probably going to take known sites and send them straight out. I'm not concerned about anyone knowing that I visit Slashdot, Ars Technica, Google, Amazon, Newegg, etc. What I'm concerned about are the other sites - the places I go based on a (https-based, of course) Google search.

Comment Re: Lots of valuable information... (Score 1) 404

I've also been considering getting a VPN service. I run OpenVPN, in order to get to my home network while away. I've found a service, and one of the VPNs they support is OpenVPN. But I've heard that OpenVPN isn't that great in terms of performance. It doesn't matter now, because I don't push that much traffic through it.

But if the VPN is becoming my default route, performance will be much more important. Which has also let me to realize that I'll probably do somewhat messy routing, letting primary sites go directly out, while "other stuff" goes through the VPN. I don't care if advertisers know I visit Slashdot or Ars Technica, nor if I go to Amazon. It's all of those other links, like non-Amazon shopping or medical searches. Who cares if they watch me downloading OSS to compiler for Gentoo?

Submission + - Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges (

rmdingler writes: A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase “patent exhaustion” is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?

Here’s the background: Lexmark makes printers. Printers need toner in order to print, and Lexmark also happens to sell toner.

Then there’s Impression Products, a third-party company makes and refills toner cartridges for use in printers, including Lexmark’s.

Submission + - Astronomers Observe Supermassive Blackhole Ejected by Gravitational Waves (

An anonymous reader writes: From NASA:
"Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

Though there have been several other suspected, similarly booted black holes elsewhere, none has been confirmed so far. Astronomers think this object, detected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very strong case. Weighing more than 1 billion suns, the rogue black hole is the most massive black hole ever detected to have been kicked out of its central home.
Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy."
The findings of the study will be published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics on March 30th.

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