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Comment: Crowd Source Cabin Security (Score 1) 364

by Black Copter Control (#49364327) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up
Have a sequence where you input a secret code, and there is an auto-announcement on the intercom:

"Attention: Cockpit Intrusion alert! Cockpit intrusion alert! . . ."

Then let the passenger deal with it. They will.

After 2 minutes of the announcement, pop the door.

9-11 happened because, previously, Passengers were trained to leave air security to "The professional authorities". Stewardess assaults were on the rise and the most that passengers could be expected to do, in the case of a crew assault, was start a pool on how many visible bruises she would have at the end of the assault.

Post 9-11 someone who assaults a stewardess has a small (but non-zero) probability of being thrown out of the plane mid-flight. Passengers know that we are the last line of defence for our aircraft. Arnie isn't gonna climb into the wheel-well from the wings of a fighter, and those F-18s on "security escort" have terms of engagement that include Shoot-down Authorizations.

Since 9-11, passenger actions have probably saved more lives (and aircraft) than just about any security theatre that the FAA has done to inconvenience passengers...

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 1) 1080

by Black Copter Control (#49260277) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

The reason, not excuse, to execute someone is simple, they've executed someone else themselves. This isn't a difficult concept really. Just because you don't agree doesn't mean you are right or more advanced. You may be, you may not be, but you are not in the position to make that determination.

If America wants to execute people, THEY WILL. Not having the drug sold to them will not change that, as clearly demonstrated by finding alternate methods.

You're right -- people are eager to see justice done for an unjust killing. Unfortunately, that justice is far to often wreaked upon the innocent. Here in Canada, we gave up the death penalty after a 14 year old boy was almost executed for the rape and murder of his classmate. -- He was acquitted 48 years later.

But here's my offer: I'm willing to help you develop a method of execution that appears humane and can't be blocked by sissies in other countries... but if anybody is executed by that method who is later proved innocent, I get to 'test' it on you to prove that the innocent person died in the most humane way possible.

You willing to take me up on the offer? I would consider it Darwinism in action.

Comment: Re:Network file transfer (Score 1) 466

by Black Copter Control (#49145309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem
You can get a pcmcia ehternet card used for pretty cheap. TCP stacks are/were (if I remember correctly) available from both Microsoft and third parties.

If you don't get smb networking, then you can start up an FTP server on your recieving machine. (probably easier to do with a Linux box than WIndows)

Run FTP, and connect to your recieving machine..

bin (( make sure you do the transfer in binary mode, not text mode ))
then use mput to bulk transfer files.
mput *.*
If that blows up because of too many files, you may have to break it into pieces

mput a*.*
mput b*.*
. . . . You pretty much have to do that for each folder (most ancient FTP clients won't mput recursively)

Comment: A reason to go with Open Source (Score 2) 156

by Black Copter Control (#48863731) Attached to: Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July
It's a bit late for these businesses, but one of the pro's of Free and Open Source software is that you always have the right to get the source code and pay somebody else to support your operating system version when the official supplier pulls their support. That's something that Microoft makes very clear is illegal for Windows users to do.

Comment: Re:Democrats don't want this to pass (Score 1) 216

by Black Copter Control (#48758529) Attached to: Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs
Yep. Perfect timing. Between the timing, and the fact that (even if it passes), it doesn't seem to address the most grievous of the net-neutrlity issues (ISPs blocking or degrading competing services to force customers to use their extra-cost service). It really seems like they just don't want to see net neutrality really pass.

Comment: Re:Optometrist? (Score 1) 464

No. He wasn't being a bastard. He was coming from "I'm a professional -- I have hundreds of years of experience, trial and error and years of study behind me. I know what's good for you better than you do!" The real problem is that you're both right. His solution is best for the 'average' user. The distances that a computer user experiences aren't consistent with the centuries of collective experience that the optometric industry has accumulated. -- but trying to tell any professional that he's stupid and doesn't understand what she's doing isn't going to get you very far.

One friend of mine was an electrical engineer, and trying to describe to an electrician how he wanted his house wired (quite non-standard) was ... an experience.

Don't come from 'you're a fool, and you don't understand what I need". Come from "Yes, I know that this turns your experience and training on it's head. I'm trying to do something abnormal, and I'd like to use your experience to improve on my abnormal request".

Comment: Re:Optometrist? (Score 2) 464

It can depend. When my mother (an optometrist) first prescribed progressives for me, she had my best interests in mind. Money wasn't an object because I got my glasses for free. However, she was going by optometric best practices -- which were set when 'standard' distances were far away (20 foot nominal focus distance) and arm's length (reading). Computer work doesn't fit neatly into those best practices. It was a long discussion with her, and money had absolutely no part to do with anything.

Your results may vary based on the professional. A real professional is professionally bound to do what is 'best' for you. Nominally, this is standard 'best practice'. Again, computer user distances don't properly fit into the standard 'best practice' fold, so some sturdy discussions may be required to get proper compliance. It helps to come from an understanding of the optometrist's point of view -- which is that (s)he is working with a couple of century's worth of trial, error and research, and knows what is best for you.

I'm asking for something non-standard is likely to get you better results in such a conversation than "I know what's best for me better than your century's worth of history and decades of experience". The latter conversation won't do you well with pretty much any professional in any field. The former will take some sternness and understanding on your part, but is much more likely to ultimately succeed.

Comment: My mother is an optometrist (Score 5, Informative) 464

coke-bottle, generally, refers to thickness. Technically speaking coke-bottle is the effect you get from stong near-sighted...

The coke-bottle tickness for glasses can now be much reduced by using high-densidy (and now even ultra-high-density) glass/plastics which have a (much) higher than normal refraction index, The higher refraction index means that you don't need as sharp a curve (and, thus thickness) to achieve the needed focus correction.

A you get older, your ability to change focus for various distances reduces, and so multi-focal lenses start to become valuable. When you first get them, they suck, but as your focus ability declines, they can become more useful. Bifocals (and, similarly progressives) are meant to give you easy access to reading at short (book) distances. Progressive lenses have two advantages over regular bi/tri focals:

  1. you can focus at ANY distance by choosing how low in the progressive field you place the prime focal point, and
  2. they look nicer (they make it less obvious that you are now old enough to need bifocals.

The problem with progressive is that (as pointed out), they have a smaller sharp-focus field, at any distance, and they take more getting used to. (once you get used to them, they are, actually, pretty useful for a lot of things)

One problem for computer users is that -- especially for desktop uses, we often are reading at mid distances -- neither far focus nor book distances. This is outside the historical "Best Practice" for the optometric profession. The first time my mom 'surprised' me with progressive lenses, we had a long talk about how my distances were not 'normal'.

What I would suggest doing is talking to your optometrist about the standard distances you encounter at work. (use a tape measure and actually MEASURE the distances), then come up with a bifocal pair for those> distances... having some hard numbers will also make it a bit easier for your optometrist to determine whether multi-focal lenses are even a good idea. This would probably also mean talking to a real optometrist, and not just an optician (essentially just an optical technician).

The probable best result (my guess) would be two pairs of glasses -- one set for work distances, and another set for 'normal' uses. If you go that path, you might want consider avoiding the 'pretty' stuff for the 'work' pair (i.e. don't bother with really high density glass, or anti-reflection coatings) It'll make the second pair that much cheaper.

Comment: Let's put this in perspective, shall we? (Score 3, Insightful) 420

Although I have generic sympathy for people being dicked around by an uncaring corporation, we're talking drunk drivers here. According to MADD, each year, Drunk drivers kill just over 10,000 Americans. In other words, Drunk drivers killed more innocent Americans in the last 4 months, than Al Quaida and the Taliban killed in the last decade (yeah, you can throw ISIS into that mix as well).

In all honesty, the biggest problem I have with the way that these companies (this company?) dicks people around is that they don't advertise it as a feature. Part of the reason why these machines are so finicky is that they have to be to keep people from gaming the system. The rest, I'll just put down to karma.

Seriously: You don't want to be dicked around by this system?


You have a death wish, then play russian roulette -- but don't bring innocent women and children into the game. ; You don't care about putting innocent lives at risk? Don't expect me to get all teary-eyed when it's your life that gets messed with -- at least its' not an innocent life being affected.

Sorry to be such a dick about this, but sometimes it takes people being a dick to shock drunk drivers out of their petty little world, and into thinking about the effects of their actions.

Comment: And in other news: Pharmacist complaints. (Score 1) 420

DUIs kill innocent people, so I'd say "Karma's a bitch". Pharmacists can also kill people if they fill prescriptions wrong -- or just fill a wrong prescription -- so I'm more upset reading what some chain pharmacists have to say (in that same thread) about how they're told to 'do' their job by beancounters.

People can die, end up in Intensive care or just plain psychotic as a result of a prescription mix-up. Pharmacists are the last line of defense against that happening. When a pharmacist is forced to fill prescriptions on very tight time limits, they stop being a line of defense against such problems and really end up being a potential source of problems on their own. Pharmacists are a profession for a reason -- turning them into pill-counters is a recipe for death and disaster.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington