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Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next 193

ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."

Comment Re:Velcro strips (Score 1) 323

No unitaskers in my toolkit! Never overlook the power of nylon tie wraps for bundling stuff up either. Cheap to make mistakes with. Second that about the "gardening" hook and loop . I bought some to tie back the Dahlias and said "darn, this would work great for other stuff." The best part is that it does not stick as tenacioiusly as standard hook and loop stuff so when you're standing on your head trying to untie something it's not nearly as annoying. Just cut off a bunch, wind it in a tight spiral to overlap 3/4 of the layer below, voila. If you put a drop of super-runny CA glue (get it at hobby shops) in the right place, it becomes a lot more permanent. Need to be careful not to glue the cable casing unless that's what you wanted but it works.

Comment Re:A bit overblown (Score 1) 790

Goldberg, amen. Many of the posters to /. need to be watered to be sentient. I've flown planes at 600MPH plus and have raced cars at 180MPH. The car thing is WAY more attention-getting. I still fly planes that go high and fast. Common sense caused me to give up the racing cars. (that, and one too many "if it gets quiet don't unbuckle your belts - you might be flying through the air." incidents and weariness in turning money into noise.)

Comment Re:Guilty conscience? (Score 5, Insightful) 790

Actually, rich people are the lousiest charitable givers. Those below the poverty line in the US give a much higher percentage of their earnings to social good. I've been on several boards for charitable organizations and trying to pry money out of rich people directly is impossible. If they have a trust set up, you have a much better chance. I'd sit in the office of one of my causes and folks would walk in off the street and give us crumpled up $5 and $10 bills because the organization helped a friend or relative out.

Comment Jackass (Score 1) 1144

What a jackass. I've dealt with folks like him and the best thing I can possibly say is he's a slaver. It's likely his company takes passports away from outsourced individuals and thinks fear is the best management technique. They deliver adequate product against Moore's Law and think that's that's intelligence. Listen up, mister idiot. We invented most of the tools you rely on to drive your Dilbertspace. You've pissed me off enough to think about a tool that will replace you. You are a fly waiting for the windshield to come.

Ubuntu Download Speeds Beat Windows XP's 515

narramissic writes "Doing a download speed test of his Time Warner cable connection, James Gaskin discovered something odd, something that he is quick to note isn't a rigorous benchmarked lab test. The discovery: His Ubuntu machine 'returned a rating from the Bandwidth.com test of 22-25mbps over several tests' while the same test done from a Windows XP PC returned a rating of 12-14mbps. The two computers used in the test are 'almost identical: both off-lease Compaq small form factor D515s, part of the very popular corporate desktop D500 family. Both have Pentium 4 processors running at 2GHz. The Ubuntu machine has 768MB of RAM, while the XP box has only 512MB of RAM. Both run Firefox 3 as their browser.' Gaskin's question: Can a little extra RAM make that much difference in Internet download speeds or does Ubuntu handles networking that much faster than Windows XP?"
The Internet

Doubts Multiply About the "Long Tail" 194

fruey sends in a New Scientist analysis of the many second thoughts about the Long Tail theory. It summarizes four studies that show, in different markets, that the tail is both flatter and thinner than originally supposed, and that blockbusters are not going away in those markets — they are getting bigger. It's theorized that widely used collaborative filtering software is magnifying the winners' share of the various pies, and peer influence is a large contributor to consumer behavior.

Sleep Mailing 195

Doctors have reported the first case of someone using the internet while asleep, when a sleeping woman sent emails to people asking them over for drinks and caviar. The 44-year-old woman found out what she had done after a would be guest phoned her about it the next day. While asleep the woman turned on her computer, logged on by typing her username and password then composed and sent three emails. Each mail was in a random mix of upper and lower cases, unformatted and written in strange language. One read: "Come tomorrow and sort this hell hole out. Dinner and drinks, 4.pm,. Bring wine and caviar only." Another said simply, "What the......." If I had known that researchers were interested in unformatted, rambling email I would have let them read my inbox. They could start a whole new school of medicine.

Comment Hole (Score 3, Informative) 412

Stuart Cohen is a hole. I don't say this lightly because he "laid me off." After building OSDL in his addled image that didn't get it, does not get it, and is entirely involved in being involved with himself; not to mention Daniel Frye's relentless preening and internal positioning.

It wasn't a hard thing for me to adopt OSS. It was a marketing idea that brought Cohen and Frye to this. They are both relentless fools.

Comment Go away, leave us alone (Score 3, Interesting) 112

It is Microsoft's board goodbye to Ballmer. He could not exist outside of Microsoft so giving him half of their cash to watch him go down in a self-involved ball of flames is reasonable. The bleeding will stop far short of that. His ego will not let him do something else. After all, he never dated. He married an employee. He is a weak thinker and undisciplined, at best. I keep remembering the desparate "I need a boot loader" email I got from his sorry ass via UUCP. I contributed one out of common grace. And in that he fucked me. At that point I came to realize the poor quality of many people in our business and Ballmer in particular. My butt still hurts. It is time for you to go, Ballmer. You are not interesting, you were never interesting, you are a clown that makes development at Microsoft incredibly difficult if for no other reason than you are an incompetent developer.

Comment Nothing changes. Really. (Score 5, Interesting) 268

Paul, as usual, backs into the key argument.

This keeps coming up in various shapes and forms but the fact of the matter is that brilliant, high producers aggregate in places; and so do idiots.

Tom DeMarco ran a study of this in the 80s wherein teams were asked to solve the same problem. He expected a scatter-plot. It was a 45 degree line between the people who knocked the problem off and those who were clueless.

What didn't matter:

Platform. Language (except assembler, those folks were _lost_.) Operating System.

What did matter:

Team coherence and capability.

Design and planning; raw ability to design and plan as a coherent team. And not just a bunch of losers following a Pythonesque "Book of Common Knowledge."

(I have been to many "Does the witch weigh less than wood" meetings...)

Look at the back cover of Boehm's "Software Engineering Economics." What he _measured_ was that team capability overarchs everything. Period.

I would also ask you to look at the surface exposure of development. Folks who develop on the shoulders of many giants can and should be trying lots of stuff, because that's why platforms are built.

Folks working closer to the core (the OS, drivers, fundamental code) don't change as quickly, nor should they.

I've worked as a hatmaker (sheer, unbridled creativity with fancy ribbons and flowers and such) for high-end ladies and I've sat, confounded by bad documentation for UARTS.

Two different regimes.

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