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Comment Re:Critical thinking (Score 1) 207

It goes deeper than that. Look up a paper by John Taylor Gatto called 'The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher', after reading that short paper if you are interested in the subject at all of the origins of the Public Education system we have today you will want to read his book 'The Underground History of American Education'.

Comment Re:Been there, done that? (Score 1) 137

Yeah-- it had power-ups that were very intuitively obvious and awesome-- but then they abandoned them-- examples were "Instant Gang" and "ElectroFingers".

I remember when the 3D GTA came out for PC and PS2 I was very disappointed. Sure, the graphics were massively redone-- but it lacked the original feel. The announcers voice was gone, no Hare Krishnas's running around chanting, etc etc.

If any game brought back that original feel, with powerups like 'Instant Gang', I'm sure it would be a success. At least with me :/
Wireless Networking

Submission + - How do you extend your wireless connection?

ganjadude writes: "So I am moving to a location where the cell signal is very poor, (I don't get signal inside my house) and I have been looking at wireless extenders such as the ones that sprint and Verizon have. I am brought down by the cost (Sprint charges monthly, Verizon 250$ up front AT&T.... well they are AT&T) Being that this is Slashdot, and a lot of us live in basements, (I kid!) I assume that some of the crowd has had this issue in the past. My question is what have you done or what alternatives are available to someone in such a situation without bending over and taking it from the phone company?"

Comment Re:You know what's really sad? (Score 1) 902

Hmm. 'Better', relatively.. maybe.

What I mean is, at least in the past they sort of hid the nasty details (for example, any information gathered through the use of the constitutionally illegal warrants that the FISA courts handed out under the Carter administration couldn't be used as evidence in a court, because the information was gathered outside of the boundaries of the constitution).

So was what they were doing technically illegal? Well... I think so-- but at least they didn't flaunt it out in the open.

The patriot act changed all of that in the sense that it took the information gathered from those same very legally questionable warrants and said that not only could you now use them in court, but that you were legally bound to use them as evidence in the court.

So why aren't so many people challenging the government on against these illegal warrants? Because part of the draconian tyrannical clause included in the warrant itself says that if you reveal to anyone that you have been served one of these warrants it is a federal offence punishable by 5+ years in prison. So, if today, the FBI comes knocking on your door with one of these warrants to rummage through all of your personal belongings-- if you tell anyone, including a Judge in a Federal court room, you will be arrested the moment you step foot out of the court.

It's always been bad, but it's never been this openly bad.

Submission + - Microsoft Turns 35: Best, Worst, Most Notables (

CWmike writes: It's hard to believe, but Microsoft turns 35 this year. Preston Gralla takes an opinionated look back, calling out the highs and lows of Microsoft history: the most reviled OS, smartest acquisition, worst PR disaster, best hire, sneakiest software bundling, prickliest partnership, biggest under-the-radar success, most embarrassing product glitch, weirdest company spokesperson and more.

Comment Re:Child pornographers. (Score 1) 646

Yeah, that is true. The only way to be completely sure would be to do some serious damage to the platters and scatter their remains in various places.

But also, with modern drives it would probably be much harder to recover data after a major catastrophe like that. I remember reading that article about them eventually finding the hard drive from the shuttle- it was an old Seagate made way before 2000. I was pretty amazed that it survived, but I do believe that the density difference in storage nowdays would have made it very very difficult if not impossible to recover any large amount of the data off a newer drive under similar circumstances.

Modern drives are not made a durable as those older drives were, and, they are packed far more dense-- the first 1TB drives were using 5 platters, nowdays I believe the latest Samsung Spinpoint F3 only uses 2 platters -- that's 500GB per platter-- Thats a huge jump. I am almost positive that the Seagate drive from the shuttle disaster was less 1GB, probably 500MB, and probably had at least 3 platters- the difference in density is massive.

Nevertheless that is amazing that they were able to recover the data. I think it would be rad (albeit probably very tedious) to work in a clean room doing serious data recovery. I wonder how much that data recovery ended up costing them? Almost certainly over 10k

Comment Re:Child pornographers. (Score 5, Informative) 646

That is a really persistent myth (that magnets will erase/corrupt data on a modern hard disk drive).

Inside of all harddrives for the last 10 or so years are multiple, very powerful neodymium iron boron magnets that move the actuator arm over the surface of the discs. If magnets outside of your drive would erase data, then surely these intensely powerful magnets inside would do the same, no?

The most conclusive testing I've seen done on this was several years ago. A guy had stacks of dead hard drives, and he decided to harvest the magnets from them. He had a stack of 50+ very powerful NIB magnets. He then took a working HDD, full to capacity, and covered the entire hard drive in them- front and back, with layer upon layer of magnets. Then he set the drive in a desk drawer for a few weeks, after which he plugged the drive up, and all of his data was still completely intact. Not 1 file was corrupted in any way.

Now, if you put a .40 or .45-caliber round through a platter, you can be certain the data is unrecoverable. Last time I checked, HDD platters are made out of some sort of silicon composite, so a bullet should shatter the entire plater (or at least half of it) into tiny fragments.

Submission + - ARM: The Democratization of the CPU (

doctor_no writes: ARM is the democratization of the CPU outside the Wintel paradigm. ARM has become the CPU of choice for mobile devices, and as demarcation between mobile and immobile gets further eroded by devices like the iPad and Chrome OS, the ARM architecture has become the most viable x86 killer that has ever existed.

Submission + - Oracle/Sun enforces pay-for-security-updates plan ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, the Oracle/Sun conglomerate has denied public download access to all service packs for Solaris unless you have a support contract. Now, paying a premium for gold-class service is nothing new in the industry, but withholding critical security updates smacks of extortion. While this pay-for-play model may be de rigueur for enterprise database systems, it is certainly not the norm for OS manufactures.

What may be more interesting is how Oracle/Sun is able to sidestep GNU licencing requirements since several of the Solaris cluster packs contain patches to GNU utilities and applications.

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