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Comment Here's why mobile ads will be an epic fail (Score 2, Insightful) 983

Currently, developers use the in-application ads to monetize free applications. This means that the only people who will see those apps are freeloaders who don't want to pay $0.99 for the full version of the app. Those folks won't tap on the ads, and even if they do, they won't buy stuff. Epic fail.


Submission + - With the help of Google Earth New Hominid Species (

An anonymous reader writes: Dr. Berger used Google Earth technology to map identified caves and fossil deposits and to discover new caves via satellite imagery: “With the help of the navigation facility and high-resolution satellite imagery in Google Earth, Professor Berger went on to find almost 500 previously unidentified caves and fossil sites, even though the area is one of the most explored in Africa. One of these fossil sites yielded the remarkable discovery of a new species, Australopithecus sediba.

Submission + - Economist: Shorten copyright terms (

lxmota writes: The Economist says that long copyright terms are hindering creativity, and that shortening them is the way to go: 'Largely thanks to the entertainment industry’s lawyers and lobbyists, copyright’s scope and duration have vastly increased. In America, copyright holders get 95 years’ protection as a result of an extension granted in 1998, derided by critics as the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act". They are now calling for even greater protection, and there have been efforts to introduce similar terms in Europe. Such arguments should be resisted: it is time to tip the balance back.'

Comment Re:FP (Score 1) 368

Isn't it ironic that Ham Radio is meant to be a communications system for amateurs?

Amateur has a number of meanings. The relevant one is:
a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons. Compare professional.

In other words, with some extremely limited and very specific exceptions, hams cannot be compensated for their work.

Comment Re:Become a ham because it's fun, not just for emc (Score 1) 368

In fact, in most areas of the country, to participate in WX nets you must have a RACES appointment.)

Define "most". It may be true in some areas but I have a hard time believing it's most. While in many areas you are encouraged to have taken (free) NWS training to become a Skywarn spotter, you aren't required to do so. As an example, the New York City metro area most certainly doesn't require RACES certification to participate in any of the nets, and as a former Skywarn Deputy Coordinator, I can tell you that such a thing was never even discussed.

That said, it is unfortunate that there are some people who seem to have a "control complex" and are more interested in being in control of others than they are of providing service to others.

Comment Re:For one thing... (Score 1) 368

On "HF" or shortwave radio, you can talk to people around the world with 100watts of RF power. 100w is probably 1/3 or less of the power used to run your desktop computer.

Needless to say, 100w is also about the same power as a 100 watt lightbulb, to make an even simpler comparison.

Although more challenging, you can also communicate around the world with far less power (what us hams refer to as "QRP", meaning low power). Many people enjoy the challenge required to "work the world" with 5 watts or less, sometimes much less. While you can do this with a GSM cellphone with 2 watts of transmit power, it requires an awful lot of infrastructure to make it work, and the aggregate power required by all that infrastructure is substantially higher.

Comment Re:For one thing... (Score 1) 368

You won't find ham gear or information in your local hobby shop (or at the anachronistically-named Radio Shack, which doesn't sell much in the way of 2-way gear other than cell phones.) However, you can find a lot of information about ham radio at We Do That Radio or the The American Radio Relay League as well as a Google search, Wikipedia, etc.

Comment It's not an IP stack (Score 4, Insightful) 81

It's not an IP stack at all (and requires one to function). It replies to a packet that is assumed to be a ping without any error checking. In other words, it's a very short, clever, but minimally functional ping function. The fact that it's short is nice, but that's about it.

Submission + - Scientists Wonder What are Fingerprints for?

Hugh Pickens writes: "The BBC reports that scientists say they have disproved the theory that fingerprints improve grip by increasing friction between people's hands and the surface they are holding. Dr Roland Ennos designed a machine which enabled him to measure the amount of friction generated by a fingerprint when it was in contact with the acrylic glass. Ennos expected the amount of friction to increase in proportion to the strength at which the acrylic glass was pushed against the finger, however the results showed that friction levels increased by a much smaller amount than had been anticipated debunking the hypothesis that fingerprints provide an improved grip. Ennos believes that fingerprints may have evolved to grip onto rough surfaces, like tree bark; the ridges may allow our skin to stretch and deform more easily, protecting it from damage; or they may allow water trapped between our finger pads and the surface to drain away and improve surface contact in wet conditions. Other researchers have suggested that the ridges could increase our fingerpads' touch sensitivity. Dr Jon Barnes, a biomechanics expert at the University of Glasgow, is sanguine about the results. "It's always nice to knock down an urban myth with good data.""

Submission + - Lucky Thirteen on the ISS

Hugh Pickens writes: "Things may get a little tight in space as seven shuttle astronauts blast off from Florida on June 13 to join up with six colleagues already on the International Space Station (ISS) bringing the ISS contingent to thirteen, the largest number of individuals on the platform ever at one time. The 13 spacefarers represent seven from the US, two each from Russia and Canada, and one each from Europe and Japan. "I don't know what it's going to be like," says Endeavour commander Mark Polansky, a veteran of two prior spaceflights. "We know it's going to be challenging with 13 people aboard." During five spacewalks, an external platform will be added to the lab which will enable those experiments to be performed that require materials to be exposed to the harsh environment of space and astronauts also have to fit equipment to the exterior of the platform such as batteries and a spare space-to-ground antenna. "It's like having your family descend on you for the holidays, right? And they're going to stay for a very long time. And they come, and they're bringing all their stuff," said Mike Moses, chairman of NASA's Mission Management Team at the Kennedy Space Center. Senior NASA official Bill Gerstenmaier has offered assurances that the space station has the capacity to play host to 13 astronauts at once, but he acknowledged: "It's a very complex and challenging mission for the team.""

Painting The World's Roofs White Could Slow Climate Change 712

Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as Energy Secretary, wants to paint the world white. Chu said at the opening of the St James's Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium that by lightening paved surfaces and roofs to the color of cement, it would be possible to cut carbon emissions by as much as taking all the world's cars off the roads for 11 years. Pale surfaces reflect up to 80 percent of the sunlight that falls on them, compared with about 20 percent for dark ones, which is why roofs and walls in hot countries are often whitewashed." (Continues, below.)

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