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Comment Re:Rosetta Project/Long Now (Score 1) 277

As they store the data as images, there is no limit to what can be archived. I guess they just chose languages as the most important starting place, as presumably in the far flung future one might have decoded English, but be in possession of a treasure trove of documents written in Kanji that are utterly indecipherable without some sort of reference.

Comment Start simple (Score 2) 274

Probably the worst thing you can do is start with some complex clustered architectural design.

Just start on a single server with technologies that are scalable, and design with future scalability in mind. Also design in the ability to capture detailed performance metrics of every tier. When, and if your application usage grows, scale the parts of it that need scaling.

The biggest issue with scaling is usually the database, and for applications where you are just using the database as a simple persistence store for user settings and simple small data sets, you are probably best to go with one of the many scalable "NoSQL" type solutions such as MongoDB, as they've got scalability baked in for free. If you're trying to run heavy duty analytics that join and aggregate massive datasets, there are single DB clustering solutions, but they aren't cheap. You can always scale out SQL databases horizontally, but then you've got issues cloning and replicating, though there are a lot of products in that space, both free and commercial. A cheap place to start would be with PostgreSQL, which appears to have multiple open source replication products.

I don't think there is anything inherently limiting to sticking with Java. It's what you know, and the toolsets are deep and rich. No, it's not the hot new thing, but sometimes that can be a good thing.

Comment Good ole days. (Score 1) 238

I remember those heady days well. But over time slashdot's lost relevance to me. I stopped posting long ago as the quality of the discourse dropped, and I started linking directly to most of the sites slashdot regularly references. I also became unable (or unwilling) to comprehend the complicated comment filtering crud several years back (really, what's up with that?)

I do have slashdot to thank for helping me discover arstechnica - which has mostly replaced slashdot for my tech news discussion forum needs.

But still, I check slashdot daily.

Have fun Rob, enjoy your family, and find something new and interesting to do.


Requiring Algebra II In High School Gains Momentum 490

ChadHurley writes with this quote from the Washington Post: "Of all of the classes offered in high school, Algebra II is the leading predictor of college and work success, according to research that has launched a growing national movement to require it of graduates. In recent years, 20 states and the District have moved to raise graduation requirements to include Algebra II, and its complexities are being demanded of more and more students. The effort has been led by Achieve, a group organized by governors and business leaders and funded by corporations and their foundations, to improve the skills of the workforce. Although US economic strength has been attributed in part to high levels of education, the workforce is lagging in the percentage of younger workers with college degrees, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development."

Comment Radio broadcast (Score 1) 266

Just have the darned black box broadcast all of its data once every millisecond. Put receivers on satellites and on grounds stations or even on other planes. Give the transmitter a range of several thousand miles, and come up with some scheme to avoid broadcast collisions (either time or code division multiplexing).

If a plane goes down go back to the recorded transmissions, of which there should be multiple copies.


Mozilla Exec Urges Switch From Google To Bing 527

Andorin writes "Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development, has published a brief blog post in which he recommends that Firefox users move from using Google as their main search engine to Bing, citing privacy issues. Disregarding the existence of alternative search engines such as Ask and Yahoo, Dotzler asserts that Bing's privacy policy is better than Google's. Dotzler explains the recommendation with a quote from Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google: 'If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines — including Google — do retain this information for some time...' Ars Technica also covers the story."

Scientists Create Artificial Meat 820

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have created the first artificial meat by extracting cells from the muscle of a live pig and putting them in a broth of other animal products where the cells then multiplied to create muscle tissue. Described as soggy pork, researchers believe that it can be turned into something like steak if they can find a way to 'exercise' the muscle and while no one has yet tasted the artificial meat, researchers believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat in as little as five years' time. '"What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue. We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there," says Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University. "You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals." Animal rights group Peta has welcomed the laboratory-grown meat, announcing that "as far as we're concerned, if meat is no longer a piece of a dead animal there's no ethical objection while the Vegetarian Society remained skeptical. "The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered. It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust.""

The Mass Production of Living Tissue 157

An anonymous reader sends in this moderately disturbing quote from Gizmodo: "I'm touching a wet slab of protein, what feels like a paper-thin slice of bologna. It's supple, slimy, but unlike meat, if you were to slice it down the center today, tomorrow the wound would heal. It's factory-grown living tissue. The company behind the living, petri-dish-grown substance known as Apligraf hates my new name for it: meat band-aid. 'It's living,' Dr. Damien Bates, Chief Medical Officer at Organogenesis, corrects me. 'Meat isn't living.' But no one argues with me that this substance is really just a band-aid. A living, $1500 band-aid, I should say. Apligraf is a matrix of cow collagen, human fibroblasts and keratinocyte stem cells (from discarded circumcisions), that, when applied to chronic wounds (particularly nasty problems like diabetic sores), can seed healing and regeneration. But Organogenesis is not interested in creating boutique organs for proof of concept scientific advancement. They're a business in the business of mass tissue manufacturing — and the first of its kind."

Italian Scientists Put Robot Spiders In Your Colon 203

Sockatume writes "Scientists in Italy have developed a robot which will move around the lower digestive tract using legs. The 'Spider-Pill' is fitted with a camera and will stow its legs until it reaches the lower intestine. Once there it can crawl around and take pictures under direction from surgeons. Its USP is that it's more appealing than an endoscopy." The BBC also has video.

NASA Discovers Giant Ring Around Saturn 255

caffiend666 writes with news that scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a very large, previously unknown ring around the planet Saturn. According to NASA, if the ring were visible to the naked eye from Earth, it would cover a patch of sky roughly twice the angular diameter of the Moon. "The new belt lies at the far reaches of the Saturnian system, with an orbit tilted 27 degrees from the main ring plane. The bulk of its material starts about six million kilometers away from the planet and extends outward roughly another 12 million kilometers. One of Saturn's farthest moons, Phoebe, circles within the newfound ring, and is likely the source of its material. Saturn's newest halo is thick, too — its vertical height is about 20 times the diameter of the planet. It would take about one billion Earths stacked together to fill the ring. ... The ring itself is tenuous, made up of a thin array of ice and dust particles. Spitzer's infrared eyes were able to spot the glow of the band's cool dust. The telescope, launched in 2003, is currently 107 million kilometers from Earth in orbit around the sun."

Comment Re:hmm .... (Score 2, Insightful) 776

The reason you are experiencing pain is that one side of the thick wedges of foam in your shoe has lost it's spring, turning your shoe into a crappy little ramp that actually accentuates whatever that wedge was meant to correct.

The proper corrective for poor form is not a running shoe. It's either running barefoot, or running in a shoe with a thin rubber sole that serves as protection only. Try if for a month, but build your miles slowly. All the muscles, tendons and ligaments that your current shoes have allowed to atrophy will build up, and eventually you will be running like nature intended, with nearly perfect form.

Comment Re:Hmm, no... (Score 1) 776

You can protect your feet without slapping an inch thick slab of foam rubber under them.

I run in thin soled canvas shoes and have never had an injury from stepping on something. In fact I've had fewer ankle turn injuries as I can actually feel the surface and react if I've stepped on something that might cause my foot to slip or roll.

Spam Finally Moving Email To Port 587 195

The Washington Post's Security Fix blog is reporting that Verizon, long identified as the largest ISP source of spam, is moving to require use of the submission port, 587, in outbound mail — and thus to require authentication. While spammers may still be able to relay spam through zombies in Verizon's network, if the victims let their mail clients remember their authentication credentials, at least the zombies will be easily identifiable. Verizon pledges to clean up their zombie problem quickly. We'll see.

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