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3D printed skull replacement implanted for the first time ever

Posted on March 28th, 2014 at 17:45 by Paul Jay in category: News



 Dutch hospital has successfully performed the first operation replacing a patient’s skull with a 3D-printed version.

The 22-year-old patient suffered from a rare disorder that caused the bone in her skull to thicken abnormally, from the normal 1.5cm to 5cm thick.

The condition gave the woman poor eyesight, severe headaches and the inability to perform facial expressions, with doctors saying the pressure on her brain would have certainly killed her in time.

The operation took 23 hours to perform and was led by Dr Bon Verweij from the University Medical Centre Utrecht.  3D-printers have previously been used to replace skull fragments, but this is the first time such an extensive area of the cranium – nearly a full hemisphere – has been transplanted.

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  1. That is all kinds of cool.

    Now, if they could just do something about the insides of the skull … 🙂

  2. Can you please do another article? This picture is grossing me out.

  3. She can audition for the next hellraiser movie, as a substitute for pinhead 🙂

Georgia Gun Laws – Cancel My Dinner Reservations In Georgia

Posted on March 27th, 2014 at 21:01 by John Sinteur in category: News


I am not about to debate the Second Amendment here but to equate carrying an unlicensed gun into a bar or restaurant with a basic American right is sheer idiocy. Alcohol and guns don’t mix well in bars, and what possible rationale is there to allow them into a restaurant? Well, here’s one possibility: under the rules of Stand Your Ground, if the guy at the next table flirts with your wife and you ask him to stop and he tells you to go screw yourself and you see he’s got a pistol in his belt, then you have a perfect right to pull out your own gun and blow the fucker way—all perfectly legal. By the way, the same goes for the other guy.

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  1. You just never know when you might get pissed off and have to kill someone.

  2. Can someone explain why so many Americans are so sold on the dream of ‘living in the old West’, when a man wore a gun as he walked down the street and got -respect- (and men were real men, women were real women & small green furry things from Alpha Centaurus were real small green furry things… oh, and sheep were real nervous). People who wore six-shooters on their hip were the exception, not the rule.

    If it weren’t for the fact that it’s usually the bystanders who get shot, to say nothing of the kids, I’d encourage Americans to wear their guns and let the Darwinian process take its course…

  3. Actually, the GOP are the Darwinians, wanting to kill off the weak (unless they’re rich). I don’t know why they don’t believe in evolution.

  4. @Kharkov – because they are completely divorced from reality after being fed steady diet of propaganda from big corporate power brokers that control media, food, and all things social. The place is f_kdup, actually been f_kdup for a long time.

Dwarf planet discovery hints at a hidden Super Earth in solar system

Posted on March 27th, 2014 at 12:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


The latest work has already thrown up an intriguing possibility. The angle of the body’s orbit and that of Sedna’s are strikingly similar, an effect most likely caused by the gravitational tug of another, unseen body. One possibility is a “Super Earth” that traces so large an orbit around the sun that it has never been seen.

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  1. Wow! An new planet that we’re never going to see. I think we should name it. My suggestion is that we could could call it the Leveson Enquiry, after the report on the war crimes of Tony Blair and George Bush, because it’s something else not likely to see the light of day. In the meantime all we have is the Leveson Musical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UurG_AWcXM

  2. Ooops, I have confused the Leveson enquiry with the Chilcott cnquiry, Leveson has been published, Chilcott has not.
    Its planet Chilcott we are not going to see, also there is no musical for this one.

  3. @pete: Secret enquiries that we don’t need to know about,explaining that an illegal war was conducted somewhere?

    But the video was time well wasted…Mr. Murdoch looks more like the Mekon every time I see him!

Attention Suckers: Please Send Us Your Money

Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 18:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


Talking people out of $2.4 million dollars in exchange for zero percent equity is a perfectly legal scam. Then selling the company for $2 billion dollars is simply how this particular crowdfunding works.

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  1. Interesting. Kickfunders get bragging rights as well as a T-shirt and a warm fuzzy feeling. They clearly can afford the flutter. Imo, it’s like gambling or giving money to the church. Promises of bliss and untold future treasures. A tax on imbeciles that I’m happy not to pay.

    Gambling and church donations usually give some kickback to charities, some good may come of them. Would the Oculus Rift have got off the ground otherwise?

  2. And all of that for the promise of something that anyone who has ever really tried knows it makes most very nauseous.

  3. Maybe the title should be ‘OMG, someone else than venture capitalist got rich!’.
    I have absolutely no problem with kickstarter and crowdfunding. For 99,9% of the actions that are crowdfunded – they would not take off, and for 0,1% that has some commercial value behind it… what’s the problem?

    It’s as much ‘scam’, as donating for charity. If I give to charity should I be up in arms that this money will be used to buy food for someone, because some company – food producer, store, etc. will benefit from it?

    Before venture capital to make and sell product from idea to prototype you would need investment – that would mean your savings or loans going into product without any outlook on return.
    Then came venture capital – but you would have to find like minded person with money to invest in your idea. Crowdfunding is great next step from that. You can easily reach like minded potential customers 😉

    So who benefits? Inventors and customers.
    Who loses? Investors and banks.

Trickle-up economics

Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 4:16 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News

Quote via Economist’s View

The top 1 percent of Americans raked in 95 cents out of every dollar of increased income from 2009, when the Great Recession officially ended, through 2012. Almost a third of the entire national increase went to just 16,000 households, the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent, Piketty and Saez’s analysis of IRS data shows.

By contrast, in 1934, the year after the Great Depression officially ended, the 1 percent of the 1 percent saw their incomes slip by 3.4 percent

It is different this time! The article is a review of an economics book.

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Reaction to no makeup selfies reveals how most of us really feel about cosmetics

Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 0:36 by John Sinteur in category: News


A wealth of research has shown us that we are all pretty awful at understanding the preferences of the opposite sex. These misunderstandings are at the root of body image and self-esteem issues, causing people to engage in behaviours that are at best unnecessary, and at worst damaging to their health.

The recent wave of “no makeup selfies” that have raised more than £2m for Cancer Research was based on a simple premise – women removed their makeup, photographed themselves and shared the image. After donating, they nominated their friends, who did the same.

The idea behind it was that removing their makeup, the women exposed their vulnerable, “real” selves, emulating the way cancer can devastate a person’s life. Despite being incredibly successful, the trend had an interesting result. Even on my own Facebook account, I saw hundreds of compliments to those going bare-faced, with men and women alike commenting on how much more attractive everyone looked. And if so, are we wrong about the perceptions created by makeup?

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  1. Myself, I prefer women with little or no makeup. It brings out their natural beauty. Tired, not getting enough sleep? Those circles and bags under the eyes evoke (in me at least) a strong feeling of sympathy, not a bit of “Oh God, you look horrible!”. More of “Dear, you’ve been working too hard! Let me fix you dinner and give you a back rub…” 🙂 That worked well for me, and in less two weeks we will celebrate our 40th anniversary! She says it was my back rubs that did the trick, though it seems I am still fixing dinner! Gotta go and check on the stir-fry.

  2. This is a serious threat to society! The economy would collapse if women went hairy, unpainted, uncoiffed, and dressed in stuff that was comfortable and didn’t itch. (What we have is an idiotic arms-race of fitness signals competing with other women imo.)

    Everyone would be happier (except the masses of unemployed estheticians, hairdressers, cosmetic surgeons, fashion and shoe makers and sellers, those peculiar white-coated women in department store cosmetics departments, podiatrists, psychiatrists, etc. etc.)

    @Spaceman: that old school kind of feminist, a gentleman, right? Domestic god? Fabulous lover? Scientist? Great cook? Back rubs? Silverback male signals of breeding quality?

Microsoft makes source code for MS-DOS and Word for Windows available to public

Posted on March 25th, 2014 at 22:33 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


On Tuesday, we dusted off the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows. With the help of the Computer History Museum, we are making this code available to the public for the first time.


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  1. Anyone remember Doonesbury’s first meeting with Windows 95?

    “It’s printing out its list of demands…”

  2. So, now they’re not the Evil Empire? Let me find my “Sex, Drugs and Unix” button (the T-shirt no longer fits 🙂

  3. the T-shirt no longer fits

    I feel your pain…

This Is a Generic Brand Video

Posted on March 25th, 2014 at 18:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. I don’t know what they’re selling. I don’t care. I just want to buy it, man.

  2. Wonderful voice talent; husky, older white male, undoubtedly makes his living poking cows’n’shit and smoking Marlboros.

Two Dutch F-16s Scrambled To Intercept Unidentified Boeing 777

Posted on March 24th, 2014 at 18:23 by John Sinteur in category: News


There is no evidence of foul play, but if one wants to quickly reduce their life expectancy, the best way to achieve that is to fly a 777 with transponders switched off near a city where the world’s leaders are currently located.

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Posted on March 23rd, 2014 at 17:55 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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  1. I’ll just repeat what I hear others say at funerals. He’s in a better place.

  2. If they gave him an enema, they could bury him in a matchbox. (© Christopher Hitchens)

NSA spioniert chinesische Staatsführung und Huawei aus

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 at 12:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


Sie infiltrierten Netzwerke, lasen E-Mails und stahlen Firmengeheimnisse: Mit großem Aufwand hat der US-Geheimdienst NSA nach SPIEGEL-Informationen chinesische Politiker und Konzerne ausgespäht. Eines der Ziele war der Huawei-Konzern – wegen seiner zunehmenden Bedeutung für das Internet.

Die amerikanische Regierung hat eine digitale Großoffensive gegen China gestartet und dabei auch die chinesische Staatsführung und den Huawei-Konzern ins Visier genommen. Das geht aus Unterlagen des ehemaligen NSA-Mitarbeiters Edward Snowden hervor, die der SPIEGEL einsehen konnte. Zu den Zielen, die der amerikanische Geheimdienst attackierte, zählen der ehemalige Staatspräsident Hu Jintao, das chinesische Handelsministerium, das Außenministerium, Banken sowie Telekommunikationsunternehmen.

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Science Lab

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 at 2:28 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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  1. You forgot the caption, John. It should run:

    I have no idea what I’m doing…

  2. How about “I have ruff idea what I am doing?”

  3. I thought it was a typical day at the Discovery Institute’s science lab…

  4. What do you call it when Science Lab sniffs a fire hydrant?

    Pee Review!

  5. See that gray thing next to the other gray thing?

  6. “…and this is why you shouldn’t eat your own poop…”

Apple’s iPhone 5c ‘failure flop’ outsold Blackberry, Windows Phone and every Android flagship in Q4

Posted on March 22nd, 2014 at 18:02 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


From the constant harping about the supposed “failure” of Apple’s iPhone 5c, you’d think the phone is selling poorly. The reality is that middle tier model, while dramatically less popular than Apple’s top of the line iPhone 5s, still managed to outsell every Blackberry, every Windows Phone and every Android flagship in the winter quarter, including Samsung’s Galaxy S4.

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  1. You’d think that Apple was trying to gain marketshare with the new model rather than keep losing. ‘The constant harping’ was based on numbers as the quarterly earnings were not as predicted, and actually Apple’s own CEO Tim Cook had this to say about their middle tier model: “It was the first time we ever ran that play, and demand percentage turned out to be different than we thought.” ‘Different’ being the politically correct term for lack of expected succes, otherwise he would have bashed the success-drum a lot more loudly.

    The iPhone marketshare has been dropping for three years now, so even if it outsels the other models on individual basis (which is an odd comparison considering Apple sells two different new models now compared to many more from other manufacturers), that still does not make it the success it was intended to be.

Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim right to read user emails

Posted on March 22nd, 2014 at 16:48 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Privacy, Security


Microsoft is not unique in claiming the right to read users’ emails – Apple, Yahoo and Google all reserve that right as well, the Guardian has determined.

The broad rights email providers claim for themselves has come to light following Microsoft’s admission that it read a journalist’s Hotmail account in an attempt to track down the source of an internal leak. But most webmail services claim the right to read users’ email if they believe that such access is necessary to protect their property.

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Using graffiti, Turks share tips for getting around Twitter ban

Posted on March 22nd, 2014 at 16:44 by John Sinteur in category: News

top turkey


Turkey may have blocked the use of Twitter, but that hasn’t stopped many Turks from continuing to tweet. Technologically-savvy youth are quickly getting their fellow citizens up to speed on how to bypass the ban by posting instructions online as well as on city walls.

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  1. With reports already in that Turkey has blocked the Google DNS servers, this makes the ‘hasn’t stopped many Turks from continuing to tweet’ wishful writing, but a little less accurate.

The irony, oh it burns!

Posted on March 22nd, 2014 at 14:05 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


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  1. The irony is the Taliban are here, as well as there.

  2. @Sue W.
    The sad part is that these id10t’s don’t recognize that they are the Taliban of the west… 🙁

Louisiana’s Official State Book

Posted on March 22nd, 2014 at 1:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


Louisiana has a state motto, state bird, and state flower.

Louisiana has a state motto, state bird, and state flower.

Now, Rep. Thomas Carmody wants to suggest a state book.

Guess what it is.


I’ll give you a hint: Carmody is a Republican.

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  1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe?

  2. Ah, the hypocrisy of the christian-pagans. How would we survive without it?

  3. I’m just very surprised it’s not the King James version.

NYC Pride Responds to Catholic League’s Bill Donohue’s Interest in Marching in Parade

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 22:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


Last night we reported that Catholic League mouthpiece Bill Donohue had applied to march in NYC’s LGBT Pride parade carrying a “Straight is Great” banner in a challenge to its inclusiveness following controversy over gay exclusion from the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

NYC Pride has responded, it tells Towleroad:

In response to email communications from Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, NYC Pride representatives provided instructions for the March’s online registration system.

“Mr. Donohue and his group are free to participate in the 2014 March. His group’s presence affirms the need for this year’s Pride theme, ‘We Have Won When We’re One.’ Straight is great – as long as there’s no hate,” said David Studinski, March Director of NYC Pride.

Chris Frederick, Managing Director of NYC Pride, added, “Straight allies are great. We have thousands of straight people participating in the Pride March, including Catholic groups, who support LGBT youth, families and married couples.”

GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project provided background information on Bill Donohue’s recent statements on LGBT people. On February 27, 2014, Donohue gave a video interview with World Over with Raymond Arroyo in which he stated, “If I wanted to get into their gay pride parade with my own float with big banners saying ‘straight is great,’ they would have a right to feel put-upon and I wouldn’t do that to them.”

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You’re Doing it Wrong

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 22:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Regular readers don’t need a name, and understand why I don’t give one.

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 20:30 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

I have never wished a man dead, but I have read many an obituary with great pleasure.

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  1. Mr Darrow had a way with words. 🙂

  2. I won’t be attending (or picketing) the funeral, but I will send a nice letter saying I approve of it.

  3. Or to quote Hitchens, if they give the man an enema, they can bury him in a match box.

  4. Those whom the gods love, die young.

Russia and the US: The veritable chess players

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 16:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


And one last thing: Don’t pay too much attention to the rhetoric that originates from Washington and Moscow and at meetings between their high-level officials.

Trust me as a former Kremlin and government adviser: Behind the scenes it is mostly all handshakes and smiles.

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  1. “Trust me…” lol…as if.

US tech giants knew of NSA data collection, agency’s top lawyer insists

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 16:37 by John Sinteur in category: Do you feel safer yet?, Privacy, Security


The senior lawyer for the National Security Agency stated unequivocally on Wednesday that US technology companies were fully aware of the surveillance agency’s widespread collection of data, contradicting months of angry denials from the firms.

Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies – both for the internet collection program known as Prism and for the so-called “upstream” collection of communications moving across the internet.

Asked during a Wednesday hearing of the US government’s institutional privacy watchdog if collection under the law, known as Section 702 or the Fisa Amendments Act, occurred with the “full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained,” De replied: “Yes.”

When the Guardian and the Washington Post broke the Prism story in June, thanks to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, nearly all the companies listed as participating in the program – Yahoo, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL – claimed they did not know about a surveillance practice described as giving NSA vast access to their customers’ data. Some, like Apple, said they had “never heard” the term Prism.

De explained: “Prism was an internal government term that as the result of leaks became the public term,” De said. “Collection under this program was a compulsory legal process, that any recipient company would receive.”

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Student suspended for taking razor from self-harming classmate

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 15:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


We teach kids that honesty is the best policy, but at one Virginia Beach middle school it might be better to keep the truth to yourself.

Last Thursday at Bayside Middle School, sixth grader Adrionna Harris came to the aide of a classmate who was cutting his arm. She faces expulsion for taking a razor from the student, throwing it away and convincing him what he was doing wasn’t right. She thought she was doing the right thing, so on Friday she told the school administration what happened. The way school officials responded led to this question: was the school’s zero tolerance policy taken too far?

Does the Pope shit in the woods?

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Where Time Comes From

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 12:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Guess the quote

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 8:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

This is from:

A) The Sopranos
B) The Godfather III
C) A New Jersey car dealer


“This Musk guy, he wants all the profits for himself,” says Tom Dougherty, a 25-year veteran of the business.


“They wanted to go direct, which means no sales force. That’s cutting out a lot of people. No way that’s gonna fly.”

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  1. That “less recurring revenue to the dealership” line is crap. They would love to just sell you the car and move on. ALL automakers would sell direct if they could get away with it. Dealers are a nuisance to them. Further, most dealerships would do away with parts and service departments if they could get away with it. Parts and service are a nuisance to them. Consumers used to buy cars direct. Dealers sprang up to help consumers get the cars off of the trains, remove the various transport blocks and nails, and show people how to safely crank their engines. They have evolved from that. Dealers, laws, and franchise agreements between automakers and their dealership networks arose to protect consumers from people like that Tesla clown. I know those vehicles will never, ever break but imagine the one time one of them does and the closest qualified repair facility is 800 miles away.

  2. It’s a cartel.

  3. I’m not an expert on car sales or anything remotely close to it but I am a Musk fan so perhaps it’s worth putting some of Musk’s own words here. These excerpts are from the Tesla Motors Blog.

    “The intent (of the currently existing law) was simply to prevent a fair and longstanding deal between an existing auto company and its dealers from being broken, not to prevent a new company that has no franchisees from selling directly to consumers.”

    “The evidence is clear: when has an American startup auto company ever succeeded by selling through auto dealers? … there have been dozens of failures, Tucker and DeLorean being simply the most well-known. In recent years, electric car startups, such as Fisker, Coda, and many others, attempted to use auto dealers and all failed.”

    “An even bigger conflict of interest with auto dealers is that they make most of their profit from service, but electric cars require much less service than gasoline cars. There are no oil, spark plug or fuel filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks needed for an electric car.”
    end quote
    If people want to say that dealerships are worth having, with many benefits, then more power to them say I, but I don’t see a problem with people buying cars direct as long as they’re aware of the alternatives.

  4. “An even bigger conflict of interest with auto dealers is that they make most of their profit from service, but electric cars require much less service than gasoline cars. There are no oil, spark plug or fuel filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks needed for an electric car.”

    Call your local dealer, Kharkov, and ask them how much they charge to perform a “smog check”. I don’t doubt that there may be such a thing but I do doubt it’s a significant revenue stream. According to the quote, electric cars “require much less service”. Maybe so but who is going to provide the service they do require? A lot of the service dealerships perform are the services that independent repair shops can’t perform or don’t want to perform. Who is going to repair them when they’re in a collision?

    If they’re going to make stupid statements, they need to be challenged. This isn’t a guy who just wants to cut out the middle man. He wants to cut out the responsibilities that the other OEMs, his competition, are saddled with.

  5. @rob
    Again, not an expert – I’m in the PRC so I don’t even have a car. But perhaps the 2 most significant things are A: the history of electric cars failing when sold through dealerships & B: Consumers having the freedom to buy directly from the manufacturer, so long as they’re aware & fully informed.

  6. A) Millions of cars are sold each year through dealerships. Electric car manufacturer’s are not failing because of them. They’re failing because OEMs can’t get a reliable product to market for a price people are willing to pay even though there is most definitely a market for the first OEM who can do that. No one is happy about the price of gasoline or the damage the fossil fuel industries exact on the environment. People want to go green. B) Consumers can still do that if they want. It’s not convenient or practical but if service on those vehicles is not going to be convenient or practical then sales needn’t be, either.

    I’m all for electric cars but not until they have some infrastructure in place to make them at least a little practical. It doesn’t necessarily have to be dealerships but they have to have a presence reasonably near the point of sale. It’s not like you can pack it up and ship it off to a repair facility like you would a mobile phone or food processor.

  7. If the cars need service, call the Maytag repairman.

  8. There are a lot of electric vehicles around here: golf carts, wheelchairs, mobility scooters (4 wheels), 2-wheel scooters and bicycles. My neighbour’s family has three electric scooters.

    Maintenance isn’t a problem at all. Remembering to plug the thing in does seem to be 🙂

Popcorn Time And Tech’s Duty To Do The Right Thing

Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 20:53 by Desiato in category: Commentary


People should be uniting around Science and Technology, not against it. Technology must be viewed as something magical instead of malicious. It is so easy for technology, computing especially, to seem cold, self-interested, and reckless; making it friendly, warm, and benevolent will take effort.

Technology has enabled piracy to flip the media industry upside down and that is just the beginning. Very soon, technology will start having more pronounced effects on labor and manufacturing through 3D printing and the internet of things. We won’t be talking about piracy and media then, we’ll be talking about millions of jobs and economic conditions never studied in recorded history. As a whole, our quest for innovation must be balanced with careful wisdom and — I’ll say it — an appreciation for the status quo.

We cannot enact change that affects billions of lives and then say “fend for yourself, figure out the new rules”. I believe we must hold out our hands, share a vision for what is newly possible, and, most importantly, show people what role they can play.

That is in our ability — no ones else’s, and thus I believe it is our duty.

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  1. This is like the “Tragedy of the Commons”. People at all levels arrange things to their perceived advantage, regardless of “rights”, laws, or, indeed, common sense.

A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 18:18 by Paul Jay in category: News


There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Terrorism, hijacking, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it’s almost disturbing. I tend to look for a simpler explanation, and I find it with the 13,000-foot runway at Pulau Langkawi.

We know the story of MH370: A loaded Boeing 777 departs at midnight from Kuala Lampur, headed to Beijing. A hot night. A heavy aircraft. About an hour out, across the gulf toward Vietnam, the plane goes dark, meaning the transponder and secondary radar tracking go off. Two days later we hear reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar, meaning the plane is tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the Strait of Malacca.

The left turn is the key here. Zaharie Ahmad Shah1 was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us, and airports ahead of us. They’re always in our head. Always. If something happens, you don’t want to be thinking about what are you going to do–you already know what you are going to do. When I saw that left turn with a direct heading, I instinctively knew he was heading for an airport. He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer.

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NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls

Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 14:37 by John Sinteur in category: News


The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

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  1. FWIW, this isn’t implemented for any & every country, but for a half-dozen specific countries. Assuming that those don’t include the U.S. [1] or its allies, it seems like the sort of thing the NSA actually *is* expected to be doing. At least expected by (say) a majority of Americans and not illegal under the Constitution.

    [1] If the U.S. *were* one of the countries, there’s NO way the WaPo would have dropped that info from the article on the gov’t’s request.

Distant Planet Terrified It Might Be Able To Someday Support Human Life

Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 13:41 by John Sinteur in category: News



Claiming that the mere thought is an “absolute nightmare,” WR 67c, a terrestrial planet from the distant Gamma Velorum star system, expressed its profound terror Wednesday at the possibility of one day gaining the capacity to sustain human life.

The 5.2-billion-year-old celestial body, which is located roughly 1,100 light years from Earth, said that for both its own sake and that of its entire solar system, it can only hope to never possess the necessary planetary characteristics and chemical elements needed to support either a deep-space human outpost or, more gravely, an entire human colony.

“Luckily, with my high levels of atmospheric sulfur dioxide, methane, and radon, there’s no way any human could survive on my surface for more than a few seconds,” said WR 67c, adding that it is “incredibly lucky” to have developed extremely violent and widespread volcanism in addition to its poisonous atmosphere. “But I don’t know, what if I produce a magnetic field that blocks out stellar wind and cosmic radiation? What if I develop an axial tilt that fosters a mild global climate? It’s terrifying to admit, but my surface temperature already sometimes drops to 120 degrees Fahrenheit at night, and their species can technically survive in that.”

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Subway will probably open a new store in the bus stop

Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 11:11 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


here is the “before” picture.

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