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Comment: Re:That would be a Directed EMP (Score 1) 208

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48866833) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

Mortars are not going to disappear because they are useful, but there are many known practical countermeasures to mortars, including mortar counter fire.

Drones offer a special new kind of threat because it is easy to imagine them having the intelligence to home in from many locales miles away and create an overwhelming & lethal swarm in a particular area. The ability to mass firepower is a basic combat strategy. Drones offer new ways to mass firepower quicker than ever from disparate military units spread over 100 square miles or 1000 square miles or 10000 square miles.

Comment: Re:For the sake of discussion... (Score 3, Insightful) 316

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48835605) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture
I do not think anybody particularly cares about cash found next to the evidence of an overtly prosecutable crime. The problem is when the cash itself seems to be the target, in the absence of any apparent crime. The examples the made the news were things like driving 64 mph in a 55 mph zone with $5000 cash on hand -- here is your speeding ticket and the police keep the $5000 cash.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin still seems sleazy to me (Score 1) 161

Personally, I think bitcoin will always be pointless to the average consumer, because hyperinflation AND hyperdeflation are the kinds of things that normal people would be wise to avoid. But I can imagine that someone might use bitcoin or similar technology as their secret sauce to back a new kind of normal-ish credit card. If the merchants had to pay, say, 1% off the top instead of 3%, they might be open minded to new technology and new risks...

Comment: Re:Bitcoin still seems sleazy to me (Score 1) 161

An exchange (or some kind of moral equivalent) is a logical necessity to have sufficient liquidity for bitcoin to be a currency for normal grownups. Mind you, failing to accomplish such does not necessarily mean that bitcoin is not a "success" by some rational definition, only that it is not really "money".

(FYI: I would bet a large amount of money that MtGox will eventually prove to be an inside job.)

Comment: Is she a good manager or a PHB? (Score 5, Insightful) 222

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48630237) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles
It some ways, I think Mayer's is a great fit for the job. But in others, well, the NYTImes article painted a very unfavorable picture of her ability to hire or manage compensation policy. The other problem is that, as TFA article points out, the core Yahoo business has shrunk to a 5-10 billion dollar company in a mature industry and zero prospects for rapid growth. Yet she was hired wave a magic "reinvent" wand and return the company to 100 billion dollar glory -- that is not a problem with Mayer, but the Board.

Comment: Re:Bewitched? (Score 2) 222

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48630159) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles
According to the NYTimes article, she has had two years and the prospects for the stock look flat. Two years is a long honeymoon for a CEO. Is it long enough? Probably not. But if she cannot point to a reason for gross revenues to do better than flat in the near term, then two years or four years, it hardly matters.

Comment: Re:Nope... Nailed It (Score 1) 186

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48437281) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process
Weird as it sounds, you might be able to count yourself lucky. At least this company described here is re-setting expectations in a drastic and somewhat realistic manner halfway through the quarterly debacle. Instead, the management could hold steady 75% of the way through, then squeeze the developers for 90 hour weeks for three months "because you all are behind, and we have to make good on commitments, even if late".

Comment: Re:Adorable. (Score 1) 46

Cryptocurrency exchanges seem to have a much higher risk of catastrophic implosion than a random 19th century bank. People who romanticize unregulated Wild West capitalism now have their opportunity to experience it first hand, on steroids. I am not going to say they deserve to be ripped off, but post-MtGox, they need to factor in some "special" risks of exchanges.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin was invented so that... (Score 1) 46

Gold is, however, immensely more difficult to transmit through the internets...

Ultimately it boils down to transaction costs. Sophisticated gold bugs do not have trouble moving gold large distances, for a modest cost. The very very low transaction costs of cryptocurrency is only true for a very small population of very technically sophisticated persons -- maintaining safe and secure encrypted data backups involves the kind of skillset that companies pay good money for, so doing this as a hobby is not exactly "free" in any practical sense. The rest of us will need to lean on exchanges, and factor in how to pay for insurance against another apparent (IMHO) inside job like MtGox.

In the future, I am sure I will own cryptocurrencies, but not on purpose and only for hundreds of milliseconds. They will just be another kind of exchange medium hidden in the implementation of some credit card. The costs of those exchanges imploding will only be borne indirectly by me, as part of the hidden fees, and I can walk away and let that be the vendors headache, just like a credit card.

Comment: Re:Not news (Score 2) 134

I remember an editorial in the The Economist in praise of the admittedly tawdry British practice of campaign donors getting conferred titles by grace of the PM. The way they put it is that most big time donors surely expect something for their efforts, and better a not very meaningful title than a valuable ambassadorship or, far worse, an actual voice on policy. When they put it that way, I almost wish the US would start dishing out knighthoods.

Comment: Re:Recognition (Score 1) 150

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48197005) Attached to: 'Microsoft Lumia' Will Replace the Nokia Brand

Your point about policy management makes a lot of sense. Every software company I have worked at in the Valley has had IT with excellent non-Windows chops, yet they all still end up installing MS Exchange. There are certain solutions areas where MS has plenty of street cred among those who have to make the decisions.

It is still an uphill battle. IT is often desperate to reduce the scope of device support, and they are not allowed to say no to the iPhone, and probably not Android either. If it comes down to a battle some VP will complain and the CEO will lay down the law that the E-teams favorite phones will be supported.

Comment: Victim blaming? (Score 0) 622

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48131699) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers
I can tell the difference and you cannot, as proven by your second example. The 1st and 3rd are merely risks; perhaps unwise actions, but (usually) small risks. The 2nd is just being stupid, as you are, for writing your post. That you are juxtaposing these three means you are not mentally or morally qualified to comment on the topic. TFA explains this point. Perhaps you could read it?

Comment: Re:Group of supremely well educated (Score 1) 283

by Comrade Ogilvy (#48094687) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science
Paying very bright minds little while they are grad students working under the guidance of a seasoned researcher is baked into the economic model of the grants. The universities are not subsidizing the PhDs. The future PhDs are indirectly subsidizing the rest of the university, because gard students working for little makes grant giving attractive, and the university skims every grant with overhead charges.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk