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Comment: Re:What the fuck are you talking about? (Score 1) 385

by An dochasac (#49506889) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

I would have to say the technological part was not so bad, but we played with Hitler's love of the occult in 1954 and that ended the separation of church and state, it has been a downhill run ever since here.

OK so Godwin's Law holds true. I was going to send this link to a highly intelligent friend who constantly doubts his self worth but this whole tangle of threads proves that any mention of intelligence on Slashdot soon evaporates into a singularity of shallow thoughts about politics and religion.

I'm depressed not because I'm intelligent but because the world must face such vast infinities of stupid...

Comment: Shortwave frequencies = over-the-horizon snooping? (Score 2) 449

by An dochasac (#49086171) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Unfortunately, peak fraud is ahead of us with the widespread adoption of a poor implementation of RFID. The EU and ROW were wise to jump to chip and pin while the US dragged its feet for a decade with cashiers expected to be CSI signature verification specialists. But the move to pinless RFID rolls security back to the days when cashiers were expected to peer through lists of bad credit card numbers. Actually it's worse than that because card dup information is conveniently broadcast on 13.5 MHz, in the 22 meter amateur radio band. This is a great frequency for over the horizon broadcasting in summer. Not so good for secure communication over a distance that is supposed to be in the range of a few centimeters.

Its sad because properly implemented RFID has the potential for enhancing the security of paypoint transactions. This implementation will have so much fraud, people will forever associate RFID with fraud.

Comment: Music and mathematics (Score 1) 210

by An dochasac (#49079095) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question
How would you explain the relationship between music and mathematics? How can this relationship be leveraged to help reduce innumeracy? (For example a two dimensional touch screen can be used as a visual theremin where each axis plays a frequency. The frequencies can be continuous or as steps in integer ratios corresponding to chromatic, pentatonic, pythagorean, blues, arabic and other musical scales.)
The Military

US May Sell Armed Drones 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Nations allied with the United States may soon be able to purchase armed, unmanned aircraft, according to an updated U.S. arms policy. Purchase requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and foreign military bodies would have to agree to a set of "proper use" rules in order for the U.S. to go ahead with the sale. For example: "Armed and other advanced UAS are to be used in operations involving the use of force only when there is a lawful basis for use of force under international law, such as national self-defense." These rules have done nothing to silence critics of the plan, who point out that the U.S. has killed civilians during remote strikes without much accountability. The drones are estimated to cost $10-15 million apiece.

Comment: Re:The new power supplies may be sensitve to EMP (Score 4, Interesting) 192

by An dochasac (#49010379) Attached to: Xenon Flashes Can Make New Raspberry Pi 2 Freeze and Reboot
Put your electronic flash next to an AM radio (you might find one in an antique shop ;-) You'll find considerable EMF comes from the electronic flash circuit as it charges the big capacitor. For fun we used to heterodyne this against the EMF from an LED pocket calculator for some very bizarre spacy effects.

Comment: Ending stereotypes about US homeschooling (Score 4, Insightful) 700

by An dochasac (#48978881) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

In the US homeschooling is more popular with the religious right who don't want them "larnin' bout how we's sended from munkehs". In the UK, it's more associated with drippy-hippy Woodcraft-folk types.

This stereotype holds only for those who are unfamiliar with the reality of American public schools. In the US, homeschooling is more popular with parents who understand that typical US public school systems are a collision of bureaucracy, politics and labor unions where education is an afterthought. It is popular amongst parents who understand that No Child Left Behind's (NCLB) obsession with exams leaves behind children with special needs and punishes educational creativity. It is popular amongst parents who believe that being bullied by a drug-soaked mob of feral children and exposed to peer terrorism and gunplay is not a mandatory component of healthy socialization. It is popular amongst parents who believe that by banning Christianity and a handful of religions from public schools while allowing pseudo-scientific dogma, mammon worship, celebrity worship, political party tribalism, sports worship, brand idolatry, gun idolatry, flag idolatry, Apple idolatry and other forms of materialism provides a toxically unbalanced view of reality.

Comment: Re:Farewell, TRS-80 (Score 1) 242

by An dochasac (#48969555) Attached to: RadioShack Near Deal To Sell Half of Its Stores, Close the Rest

As far back as the early 80s I noticed that Radio Shack rarely had the parts to service its own branded consumer electronic products. It's only in retrospect that I understand that this lack of serviceability was being built into all consumer products and was not specific to Radio Shack

It's unfortunate that Radio Shack's leadership missed the Maker movement and hacker renaissance. It didn't help that RS management's obsession with employee polygraph tests in the 1980s drove out the last of the nerds and hackers from their staff. Shortly after RS's CEO announced a return to its hobbyist roots I asked staff at our relatively well-stocked local branch about ultraviolet LEDs and arduinos. They had never heard of either even though both were on their shelves.

Radio Shack nearly killed all independent electronics stores while it killed itself. Thankfully a few brick and mortar independents such as Chester Electronics (ignore their vacuum tube era website) and American Science and Surplus still survive.

Comment: Double it (Score 1) 825

We should double the proposed off-shoring tax to 28%. The US dollar has risen more than 28% against the Euro so even with a 28% off-shoring tax, the cost of operating the Irish facade would be the same as it was in 2008.

This would also be the perfect time to impose a 50% tax on oil. This too would be easily absorbed as oil priced have dropped by more than 50% since 2008. A higher oil tax would keep domestic oil and alternative energy industries alive and it would provide Americans with a buffer against future OPEC price volatility. It would also weaken OPEN and give us more control over oil prices.

Comment: If (Corporations == People) require(Passports) (Score 1) 825

We don't need a corporate Berlin wall, we need to balance a toxic asymmetry: Jobs can be exported with very little economic friction while labor faces considerable friction when it attempts to follow those jobs.

If a country wants to export labor, export commodities or import jobs from the US market, they should balance this against labor imports, job exports and commodity imports. Taxes must provide just enough friction to correct any imbalance and compensate for the jobs sucked out of the US market. Is this unfair use of US hegemony? Maybe but US hegemony currently benefits only the 1% while the 99% suffer the resulting wars and economic ruin

While we're on the topic of hegemony, why do US corporations get a free ride at destroying our reputation overseas while ordinary American citizens who misbehave have their passports revoked? Since US corporations have the same legal rights and responsibilities as US citizens, corporations should be required to hold passports.

Corporations which do not behave responsibly should have their passports revoked and should not be allowed to operate overseas. Most of us can come up with examples of corporations which have committed acts of treason. These should not only have their passports revoked, they should face the possibility of execution.

Comment: Re:Except for not being true (Score 1) 271

by An dochasac (#48868099) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

Sure, there are large layoffs in the tech industry, but big layoffs are not a new thing.

Two of the largest layoffs in US history occurred in 1993. 60K employees at IBM and 50K employees at Sears/KMart.

Big layoffs are a result of other business conditions, including.

An actual need to cut expenses -- bloated, slow-moving companies find themselves in the condition of declining sales, and big losses.

Or cutting product lines because they only make a few percent in profit or a decent percentage profit but not enough revenue to make a dent in a goliath company's portfolio. This leaves gaps in the market which can be filled by small companies which is a good thing. If government weren't so entangled with the goliath companies, the corporate ecosystem would be much more weighted towards start-ups and we'd have a much more inventive and agile economy.

A desire to increase profit margins, often linked to increased stock prices -- CEO's can get lots of bonus compensation in this form

When SEC reporting rules punished companies with a business plan extending beyond 90 days "in order to prevent fraud", they allowed a kind of fraud where hiring, layoffs and inventive accounting are regularly used to game the 90 day reporting cycle.

Comment: Re:Fear the Asian carp (Score 2) 118

by An dochasac (#48548243) Attached to: How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

Even if the canal were closed, it is a just a matter of time until someone with an evil bent or an adolescent sense of humor deliberately introduces a few carp into the lake -- that's all that's needed.

To those who still claim that humans are far too small to effect the environment, the Great Lakes are a great counterexample. Three times in my lifetime I've watched the biological ecosystem of these lakes change dramatically. The 70s Alewife invasions made hundreds of miles of beaches unbearable, the zebra mussels cleared the water but gave small fish no place to hide and allowed sunlight through to cause the huge blue-green algae blooms that shutdown Toledo's water supply this summer. The Asian carp carp invasion of the Great Lakes is a foregone conclusion. Their DNA is already in Lake Michigan and more exotic species such as the Yangzee river freshwater jellyfish are already found in tiny isolated inland lakes in the Wisconsin north woords. There isn't enough law enforcement to check all of the jet skis, kayaks, ski-boats, sailboats, fishing boats and prevent deliberate introduction. It's already too late, sustainability is impossible. Resilience and/or recovery are our only options.

Comment: Job migration vs worker migration vs robots (Score 1) 111

by An dochasac (#48414387) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question
Jobs face little friction as they migrate towards the places where the cost of labor is lowest. Workers, however, face considerable friction when attempting to follow those jobs. What affect will this imbalance have on the average worker? Will the affect be greater than or less than the affect of robots?

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer