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Comment Re:Article is Troll **AND** Flamebait all in one! (Score 1) 642

Emminent scolars in the field of radiation and medicine do not agree with the conclusions that the wikipedia information that you present asserts. See, for example, this letter from UCSF faculty in bilogy and medicine, here:

With all due respect, I would assume the sigtanators to this letter to certainly not be "purposefully ignorant" on this matter.

Comment Re:Article is Troll **AND** Flamebait all in one! (Score 1) 642

Come on, what real proof is there the rule change is to be more "embarrassing"? It's utterly stupid on the face of it if you think AT ALL about airport security as it is, and will be in the near future:

1) There are not enough scanners to process traffic flow at any airport.

2) (the big one) only a handful of people get pat downs - the ones who fail the metal detector. Which you don't realize until AFTER you have gone through it, so how is a slightly more embarrassing pat-down which no-one even knows about going to make you want to choose a scanner? Since people assume they are not going to trigger the metal detector why would behavior change in the slightest?

Honestly, more and more SLashdot stores are devolving into utter paranoia. And not even the productive kind.

Pat-downs are given to those who fail either of the automatic methods, or to those who explicitly request opt-out from the backscatter xray.

I belong to the latter group, those who request opt-out. As it would be, hospitals and veterinary clinics have highly trained people with advanced degrees who, when taking any kind of medical imaging, are tracking exactly the exposure that their patients get (and over time). This, so as to minimize and manage the risks from being radiated. They also have people at hand who know how to deal with radiation burns etc.

Airports have.....the TSA. They're neither trained in radiation nor tracking exposure. As exposure is cumulative, there is a real risk.

The general advice has been around here, that if you have a melanoma in certain forms, you definitely should refuse backscatter x-ray because we simply do not know that it won't worsen it, and we suspect that it may.

Thus, having a (common form of) skin cancer sufficient reason for the TSA (the employees of which, for the vast majority, are not licensed to practice medicine) to present "more embarrassing" treatment.

I systematically refuse to go through backscatter x-ray, as I find it unduly invasive, and that it does nothing to further aircraft security. Sometimes the TSA agents ask, and I reply "on medical grounds" - as they are not physicians, they are not competent (and they start to know this) to discuss passengers' medical conditions.

And, for the record, I know of at least one sexual molestation lawsuit having been brought against a TSA agent and the TSA, who enjoyed the "pat-down" of a teenage girl a little too much. Note to TSA agents: if you want to group a teenage girl, pick one whose dad is not both a trial lawyer and just behind her in line .....

Comment Re:This is why airbii make pilots nervous. (Score 1) 403

i want a solid mechanical link between the controls I'm pushing on and the control surfaces on the wings... That way, even if EVERY computer on the plane dies, I can still control the damn thing...

And yes IAAAP... (I Am An Airline Pilot)

Do you by "mechanical link" mean "hydraulic link", by any chance? I am personally not convinced that hydraulic control of surfaces is any less prone to problems than are electric control using localized actuators and possibly disjoint/redundant electric linkage through the fuselage. FBW is not my greatest worry a - a hydraulic failure/leak is hard[er] to recover from than is a computer failure [where you have redundant computers and channels, and possibly various restart options].

It's true, however, that the automatization of the flight deck has radically changed the role of a pilot -- I still haven't made up my mind if that's for better or for worse.

Comment Re:No RedBull for the French either (Score 4, Informative) 290

I was surprised, while living in France last year, that RedBull is illegal. I was even more surprised when they told me you can buy Poppers at clothing shops like nothing happens. Any Frenchie care to comment on it??

You asked for it, there you have it. I am not a Frenchie and can't speak for the availability of poppers -- but Red Bull *was* illegal due to its taurin content. The French equivalent of the FDA didn't think that it was possible to determine, based on available studies, if the product was safe, and was citing at the time (if I recall correctly) something about detected hyperactivity in animals who'd consumed high doses of taurine. In April 2008, in a neutered version (arginine instead of taurine and much less caffeine...) was approved for sale in France.

In, I think, later 2008, the unneutered Red Bull entered the French market: this time it was the EU that forced the French to accept it. A product sold in one EU country can legally be imported and sold in an EU country (or something to that effect), and Red Bull was/is sold in many (but not all) EU countries.

Social Networks

Submission + - Social networks help fuel democracy in Moldova (

koavf writes: "Young Moldovans have employed text messaging, Facebook, and even a custom searchable tag on Twitter to help oust the Communist government amidst allegations of vote tampering. With social networking technology, a half-dozen democrats recruited over 15,000 youth to storm Parliament in a matter of hours. In a television broadcast, Moldovan president Voronin described the protests as "well-designed, well-thought out, coordinated, planned and paid for.""

Submission + - SPAM: Researcher's Death Casts Pall Over Major TCP Fix

narramissic writes: "Security researcher Jack Louis died on March 15 of smoke inhalation from a fire in his home. Prior to his death, Louis had discovered vulnerabilities that could be used to attack computers via the Internet. 'These vulnerabilities have been around for a long time, and to the best of our knowledge they have not been used in the wild,' said Robert E. Lee, the Outpost24 researcher who worked with Louis on the issue, and who has had to step in to fill his colleague's shoes. Louis didn't have the chance to hand over all of his vulnerability research before his death, Lee said. 'There were a number of additional [vulnerabilities] where Jack didn't have enough information to give the vendors,' he said."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microsoft kicks Windows XP off support list (

Slatterz writes: Come next week, Microsoft will be in the unusual position of no longer offering mainstream support for its most widely used product. Windows XP will pass another milestone on the road to retirement next week when Microsoft withdraws mainstream support for the operating system. Mainstream support for XP will end on 14 April 2009, over seven years after the operating system originally shipped. While the company said that it will continue to provide free security fixes for XP until 2014, any future bugs found in the platform will not be fixed unless customers pay for additional support. Windows XP accounts for about 63 per cent of all internet connected computers, according to March 2009 statistics from Hitslink, while Windows Vista makes up about 24 per cent.

Submission + - New Tools Automate Hacking of Backbone Networks

yahoi writes: A pair of German researchers at Black Hat Europe next week in Amsterdam will release tools that hack backbone technologies used by service providers in MPLS and Ethernet enterprise network service offerings. Until now, the exploitation of these network technologies has only been theoretically possible: "Our release of the tools closes that gap of these attacks being only theoretical, to being practically exploitable now," says Enno Rey, one of the tool's developers. "These technologies do not provide any security themselves, but just rely on the assumption that the underlying network is secure.";jsessionid=EY5MX5WBIUF0IQSNDLPCKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleID=216403220

Submission + - Digitally remastered Beatles coming in September

mknewman writes:

Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music have announced that as the date for the release of the entire original Beatles catalogue, digitally remastered.

That includes all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK. The package will also contain the LP version of "Magical Mystery Tour" (initially released as a double-EP in Britain, though available on CD since 1987) and the collections "Past Masters Vol. I and II" combined as one title

In acknowledgment of the more technologically advanced listeners, each CD will contain, for a limited time, an embedded brief documentary film about the album.

The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-released studio chat from the Beatles.

Submission + - IPRED law in Sweden - Watching the watchers

digithed writes: In response to Sweden's recent introduction of new laws implementating the European IPRED directive a new Swedish website has been launched allowing users to check if their IP address is currently under investigation. The site also allows users to subscribe for email updates telling them if their IP address comes under investigation in the future, or to report IP addresses known to be under investigation. The site can be found at:

This is an interesting use of people power "watching the watchers". The new Swedish laws implementing the IPRED directive require a public request to the courts in order to get ISPs to forcibly disclose potentially sensitive private information, and since all court records are public in Sweden (as are all government records) it will be easy to compile a list of IP addresses which are currently being investigated.

Submission + - Microsoft Sued for $558 Million Over Uniloc Patent (

eldavojohn writes: Microsoft has been served papers claiming their state of the art product activation system infringes on a Singapore based company named Uniloc's patent. Bloomberg is reporting that a lawyer for Uniloc asked a federal court for $558 million in royalties from Microsoft. The official court order is here in PDF. This concerns the activation system of Windows XP operating system and some Office programs--Uniloc has decided that royalties of $2.50 for each of the 223 million activations is a fair price for Microsoft to pay. The patent ax swings both ways. The two seem to have a long history of court action.

Submission + - SPAM: Heat shield from hell to protect future astronauts

coondoggie writes: "NASA today made one of the most important decisions for the future of its space flights — the heat shield material that will protect future space explorers from the hellish heat of space travel. The space agency went with a technology it was quite familiar with, a fiberglass, silica, epoxy combination known as Avcoat. The heat protection technology was used on the current space shuttle missions as well as the Apollo spacecrafts, NASA said. On the blistering return through Earth's atmosphere, the module will encounter temperatures as high as 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating rates may be up to five times more extreme than rates for missions returning from the International Space Station, NASA said. Orion's heat shield, the dish-shaped thermal protection system at the base of the spacecraft, will endure the most heat and will erode, or "ablate," in a controlled fashion, sending heat away from the crew module during its descent through the atmosphere. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Sun made colossal mistake in turning down IBM (

jbrodkin writes: "With IBM/Sun negotiations reportedly at a standstill, a consensus seems to be emerging among industry analysts: Sun has made a colossal mistake in turning down IBM's $7 billion acquisition offer. "My first thought was, IBM threw Sun a rope. They used it to make a noose," says Annex Research analyst Bob Djurdjevic. "Pure insanity" is the phrase used by Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Babineau to describe Sun turning down the premium offered by IBM. IBM/Sun merger talks collapsed after "disputes over millions of dollars of payout to Sun executives, in addition to the takeover price and conditions attached to the deal," the Bloomberg news service reported Monday. "If it is indeed true that the Sun Board turned down the IBM offer because they thought a 100% premium on the value of their listing ship was too low a price in the midst of an economic storm, then Sun deserves to go down," Djurdjevic says. "And to go down in the history of IT as yet another company that let pride get in the way of good judgment.""

Submission + - 45th anniversary of the mainframe

jacobsm writes: "Today, April 7th is the 45 anniversary of the announcement of the IBM System 360. This computer is the foundation of all current mainframe computer systems. Some other historic events in 1964 were, Ford motor company introduced the Ford Mustang on April 17 and Stanley Kubrick had lunch with Arthur C. Clarke at Tavern on the Green in NYC to discuss the possibility of making the "definitive science fiction movie".....the result was "2001: A Space Odyssey". A PDF describing the history of IBM mainframe computing is at"

Submission + - Anti-Counterfeit Treaty 'Classified', Alarming

nandemoari writes: "Details of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being negotiated across the globe are now labeled as a "properly classified" national security secret by the White House, in spite of a Freedom of Information Act request. Leaked documents posted on WikiLeaks suggest that the proposed trade accord would criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches, and allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to monitor customer communications."

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