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Comment oh, for heaven's sake (Score 1) 1116

in GEORGIA (Deep South Georgia, not Mustachestan Georgia, right?) one well-off American makes a comment that gives the store clerk (another American, of similar ethnic origin) reason to believe that the purchase intended will lead to a crime. the store clerk then follows the Federal law (albeit, in perhaps a somewhat picayune interpretation) and denies the sale -- well within the rights of the store. And several people claim VICTIM because the first American has to go to Best-buy to buy an iPad? it happened in GEORGIA. is this really the most racist event we can find? Georgia? really?

Comment Re:mac (Score 5, Funny) 732

the HS down the street from us was throwing away perfectly good TRS80s so i picked up 5 and configured them to run as a Beowulf cluster and i soldered a nice case to carry the boards around. the punch card input via telex works fine now that I have written my own version of DOS and drivers. why would you need a mac?

Submission + - BOLD plan to find Mars life for cheap (tech-stew.com)

techfun89 writes: "There is a BOLD new plan for detecting signs of microbial life on Mars. The nickname is BOLD, which stands for Biological Oxidant and Life Detection Initiative, would be a follow-up to the 1976 Mars Viking life-detection experiments.

"We have much better technology that we could use," says BOLD lead scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch, with Washington State University. He elaborates, "Our idea is to make a relatively cheap mission and go more directly to characterize and solve the big question about the soil properties on Mars and life detection."

To help figure out the life-detection mystery, Schulze-Makuch and his colleagues would fly a set of six pyramid-shaped probes that would crash land, pointy end down, so they embed themselves four to eight inches into the soil. One of the instruments includes a sensor that can detect a single molecule of DNA or other nucleotide."


Submission + - Unintended Consequences of the Prometheus Decision (patentlyo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In the case Mayo v. Prometheus recently covered on Slashdot, the Supreme Court ruled that patents 'based on laws of nature' are not valid. In a scathing 5 part series San Francisco IP Lawyer Robert R. Sachs attacks both the reasoning and the prose of the Supreme Court opinion. As evidence of the decision's potency, several patents have already been invalidated by the Prometheus decision in the month since it came out. For my personal take, I am a graduate student doing biomedical research. After finding a new compound allowing early diagnosis of a disease where the only diagnostic test is symptomatic, I was advised by our legal counsel not to attempt patenting the compound until further court rulings clarify Prometheus. As a result, my compound may never see publication. At the very least my publication will be delayed significantly. It seems that if Prometheus is applied broadly, the only way to profit off of these sort of discoveries will be through trade secrets: a major step backwards for scientific progress.

Submission + - Creepy: FBI wants to "advance the science of interrogation" (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "From deep in the Department of Creepy today I give this item: The FBI this week put out a call for new research "to advance the science and practice of intelligence interviewing and interrogation."
The part of the FBI that is requesting the new research isn't out in the public light very often: the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which according to the FBI was chartered in 2009 by the National Security Council and includes members of the CIA and Department of Defense, to "deploy the nation's best available interrogation resources against detainees identified as having information regarding terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.""

The Courts

Submission + - Reddit Subpoenaed in Wrongful Death Lawsuit (ibtimes.com)

redletterdave writes: "In March, a 51-year-old Reddit user named "Black Visions" wrote his last post on Reddit. He had been writing frequently about depression and suicide, but in his last post where he also threatened his own suicide, others decided to egg him on even further. That turned out to the be the last straw: Seattle news soon reported Jerry had jumped eight stories from a hotel room in the Double Tree in Tukwila, Washington. Reddit announced on Wednesday that the user's sister Sandy has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against nine Reddit users who egged him on, and Reddit has also been subpoenaed in identifying the information of another three individuals."

Submission + - Inside North Korea's Space Center

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "BBC reports that nobody would describe North Korea's mission control as imposing. It is a small, unremarkable, two-story building, tiny compared to Nasa's Houston home in America or Russia's space command. But the North's secretive regime, now headed by the third of the Kim dynasty to rule here, Kim Jong-un, is opening up, for the first time in an attempt to allay fears it is about to test missile technology that could deliver a warhead as far as America. "Sixteen technicians man the satellite command center. Dressed in white coats, like doctors, they sit behind computer screens," writes Damian Grammaticas. "On a big screen are live pictures from the launch pad, showing North Korea's rocket being fuelled up. The satellite it will carry has already been loaded on board, we are told." Pyongyang says the minibar refrigerator-sized satellite covered with solar panels and golden foil to protect its instruments will broadcast martial music praising North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung and is designed to monitor weather, natural disasters and agriculture patterns. As the five-day window for North Korea's rocket launch opens today, the United States has warned a launch would be a breach of UN Security Council resolutions that ban the North from testing missile technology. If North Korea goes ahead it could lead to UN sanctions, it has warned. ""That's why we have invited you, to clearly show that this is a satellite launch not a ballistic missile," says Paek Chang-ho, head of the satellite control center. "I hope you become supporters in showing the transparency of our satellite launch.""

Submission + - Amazon to cut eBook prices, shaking rivals (nytimes.com)

mspohr writes: Looks like that didn't take long. As soon as the Justice Department announced a lawsuit against Apple and several publishers, Amazon will be going back to its old cheaper eBook pricing that they were forced to abandon when Apple and the publishers introduced "agency pricing".
From the article (NYT semi-paywall):
"As soon as the Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it was suing five major publishers and Apple on price-fixing charges, and simultaneously settling with three of them, Amazon announced plans to push down prices on e-books. The price of some major titles could fall to $9.99 or less from $14.99, saving voracious readers a bundle. "


Submission + - ask /.: best book for 11yr old who wants to teach himself to Program 1

waferthinmint writes: what is the best book for my son to use to teach himself to program? He wants to study on his own but everything seems to assume an instructor or a working theoretical knowledge. he's a bright kid but the right guide can make all the difference.
Also, what language should he start with? When I was in HS it was Basic or Pascal. Now I guess C? He has access to an ubuntu box and an older macbook pro. Help me Slashdot, you're our only hope.

Comment Must read (Score 1) 1244

George Alec Effinger: Marîd Audran series When Gravity Fails (1987) A Fire in the Sun (1989) The Exile Kiss (1991) The Audran Sequence (omnibus) Budayeen Nights (short stories, 2003) Mary Doria Russel: The Sparrow (1996) Children of God (1998) Stephen R Donaldson: The Gap series The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story (1991) The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge (1991) The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises (1993) The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order (1994) The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die (1996)

Comment Re:ratio (Score 1) 870

There is at least ten mac hater for every fanboy, each posting ten whining comment for every adulation of apple.
Actually, I think that there are five armies at least: apple fanbois, MS-Shills, apple fanboi haters, linux distro schismatics, and goatse afficianados. There are no "mac haters", just people who hate people who love macs.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Bittorrent equals kiddieporn? (com.com)

waferthinmint writes: A week or so ago I asked a question concerning defensive tactics and whether we would be happy seeing them used to defend more serious accusations; I appears that the Swedish authorities read the comments on Slashdot.

From the article, "Swedish authorities last week were preparing to shut down The Pirate Bay, according to Peter Sunde, one of the site's founders. Was the site facing closure for helping users find bootlegged music or video files, as the film and music industries have long alleged? No, The Pirate Bay was being accused of distributing child pornography, Sunde said."

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