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Comment System Specs - Primary Rig (Score 1) 558

Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Intel 330 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (OS and installed apps that do not allow default install location to anywhere but the C:\ drive)
Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card x 2 (CrossFire enabled)
Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
Philips 227E4LSB 60Hz 21.5" Monitor x 2
Corsair Vengeance K60 Wired Gaming Keyboard
Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse
NZXT Phantom 630 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case
Total cost (thank you Christmas, Boxing Day, and Black Friday sales events): $1200 approx.

Submission + - This Gif of a Potato-Like Earth Has Confused the Internet for Years ( 1

sarahnaomi writes: This gif of a bumpy, rotating, potato-like Earth is weirdly ubiquitous online.

It resurfaces every few months, paired with the explanation that the image is demonstrating what the Earth would look like without water. It will show up on a message board one day, then a few months later on a random website. It’s been posted on Reddit and Imgur, included in a Buzzfeed listicle, and it popped up again two days ago, gaining more than 100 retweets. Nearly every time it appears, it’s alongside the label: what the Earth would look like without water.

But as one or two rational people point out every time the gif makes the rounds: that is not what the Earth would look like without water.

Comment Depends on the workstation (Score 2) 611

For my netbook (first gen/2008 Acer AspireOne), LXDE (formerly Xfce in a prev. ubuntu netbook distro).
For my VM on my gaming rig, Unity or GNOME. Largely this is due to not being particular about what's running and why. I'll admit that I wasn't a fan of Unity initially, but I've grown to appreciate it (read: not care about its issues or style difference).


Identity Dominance: the US Military's Biometric War In Afghanistan 83

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "For years the U.S. military has been waging a biometric war in Afghanistan, working to unravel the insurgent networks operating throughout the country by collecting the personal identifiers of large portions of the population. A restricted U.S. Army guide on the use of biometrics in Afghanistan obtained by Public Intelligence provides an inside look at this ongoing battle to identify the Afghan people."

Comment Spacing on the Beta page (Score 1) 2219

I've noticed so far that there's a lot of border spacing around posts and the comments system. Overall I don't mind the more open, less 'condensed' approach, but think that the beta page's spacing may need to decrease about 25% overall. Now that I think of it, it reminds me bit of viewing a 'mobile-version' of the site, but on a desktop display (21.5" wide screen LED backlit LCD monitor).

Comment Re:Personal Recommendations (with reason[s]) (Score 1) 796

I'm kicking myself in the head for this. Another excellent core series to read is the Dune franchise, by Frank Herbert (and the subsequent complementary work by his son, Brian Herbert, and his collaborator, Kevin J. Anderson). Space Fantasy not being locked down by rigid technological detailing, if I ever saw one. Concepts focused are on apex human evolution, parallels in historical patterns/fallbacks to feudalism and matters of ecological and resource-based monopolies. Religious tones interestingly used to push an exotic, spiritual experience without being stuck up its own proverbial rear.

Comment Personal Recommendations (with reason[s]) (Score 1) 796

Person recommendations (with short-form reason[s]):

The Quantum Thief (and I'd assume, the sequel "The Fractal Prince"), by Hannu Rajaniemi - the story dives into topics of personal security, public access memory, intra-stellar colonization,and hitting one or more Singularity events in technology and social splintering. Pacing is quick, detailing incredibly potent, yet giving you time to see parallels in where we are and where we could be, in the not-so-distant future. A wake-up call started decades ago by previous and existing speculative fiction authors and thinkers.

Sprawl Trilogy novels (Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986), and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988)), by William Gibson - cyberpunk literature that looks at the embedding and transformation-strong elements of technology alongside its own and society's deterministic properties. Puts to task the idea of isolation of the self and the integration of society into a ubiquitous whole through cyberspace, and its physio-socio-psychological backbones. Admittedly, Gibson's writing style can be very sparse/minimalist at times (especially with the more recent literature in the Bigend Trilogy) but the ideas are there and strong, nonetheless.

Heck, anything from William Gibson (including the Bigend Trilogy, in the last decade or so) is a good read.

Last, but not least, is More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon. This focuses on the idea of a potential future evolutionary adaptation, where a consummate human being, a gestalt, comes into being through a variety of children - should one be lost or removed permanently, another will be compatible elsewhere in the world. Individually, the children have limited abilities. In tandem as the gestalt (still physically separate), their abilities amplify.

There are more, but their names escape me, which tells me that they're not as crucial or best suited for this post.


HDCP Master Key Revealed 747

solafide writes "The HDCP Master Key has allegedly been revealed. If true, this information will allow anyone to create their own source or sink keys, essentially making HDCP useless for content protection permanently. No word yet on how it was obtained, but if true, this is a great day for content freedom around the world!"

Submission + - HDCP Master Key Possibly Leaked

Vertana writes: HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection and is used by content providers to secure digital works on the connection between digital displays. It does this by encrypting the stream of data between two digital connections (ie an HDMI to HDMI connection) and having the destination (your monitor) decode it and display the data. This has caused older displays that do not come equipped with HDCP to display high definition content (such as Blu-Ray movies) even if they have the digital ports required. In order to fight this issue, someone has now leaked the alleged HDCP Master Key. This is being discussed here and here.

Google Responds To Net Neutrality Reviews 265

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Google has written a defense of their joint Net Neutrality proposal with Verizon, responding to criticism like the EFF's recent review. Google presents its arguments as a list of myths and facts, but too many of them look like this one: 'MYTH: This proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless. FACT: It's true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services. However, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye. Why? First, the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from. Second, because wireless networks employ airwaves, rather than wires, and share constrained capacity among many users, these carriers need to manage their networks more actively. Third, network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this space.'"

Senate Approves the ______Act Of____ 571

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently the Senate was in such a rush to get out of town that it forgot to name an 'important' bill that it passed, so the bill goes to the House as The ______Act of____. That's how it appears in the Congressional Record, though the Library of Congress has it listed as The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX. As for what's in the bill, well that appears to be as mysterious as the name. It was officially announced as a bill to tax bonuses to execs who received TARP money. But then someone simply deleted the entire bill and replaced it with text about aviation security. And then it was deleted again, and replaced with something having to do with education. However, because of these constant changes, many of the services that track the bill have the old details listed. On top of that, Nancy Pelosi called the House back for an emergency vote on this unnamed bill, and anyone trying to find out what it's about might be misled into thinking its about aviation security or something entirely unrelated to the actual bill. And people wonder why no one trusts Congress." It appears that the government's new martial law plans are being passed after all.

Comment Re:Clearly Made Up (Score 1) 525

The Canadian Celcius
Temperature Guide

+10 New Yorkers turn on the heat: Canadians plant gardens.
+4.444 Californians shiver uncontrollably: Canadians sun bathe.
+1.667 Italian cars won't start: Canadians drive with the windows down.
0 Distilled water freezes: Canadian water gets thicker.
-6.667 Georgians wear coats, gloves, & wool hats: Canadians wear T-shirts.
-9.444 Californians begin to evacuate the state: Canadians go swimming.
-17.778 New York landlords turn on the heat: Canadians BBQ before it’s cold.
-23.333 People in Nashville cease to exist: Canadians lick flagpoles.
-28.889 South Texans fly to Mexico: Canadians throw on a light jacket.
-40 Hollywood disintegrates: Canadians rent videos.
-51.111 Mt. St. Helen's freezes: Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door to door.
-62.222 Canadian Boy Scouts put off "Winter Survival" camping till it gets cold enough.
-73.333 Santa Claus abandons the North Pole: Canadians put on their toques.
-113.889 Ethyl alcohol freezes: Canadians get frustrated – their screech kegs won’t thaw.
-177.222 Canadian cows complain of farmers with cold hands.
-273.333 Atomic motion stops: Canadians start saying, "Cold nuf for ya, eh?"
-295.556 Hell freezes over: the Stanley Cup returns to Toronto!

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