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Comment: Re:Indian Point == Ticking Timb Bomb (Score 1) 213

by Dahan (#49656675) Attached to: Transformer Explosion Closes Nuclear Plant Unit North of NYC

That's absolute genius! 6000 mile long superconducting transmission lines from the North pole. Of course, it only needs to be about a 24 gauge wire, since there is no resistance.

Superconductors have a critical current density, above which they cease to superconduct. While I don't know the actual numbers for common superconductors, I suspect that supporting the world's current draw through a 24 ga wire would exceed the current density limit :)

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 5, Informative) 306

by Dahan (#49359981) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

The issue with Obama as it has been stated is that his mother was 18 at his birth and had not lived for five years in the US after she turned 18. So If your mother was under 19 you can't be president. For me, that fucking bogus. An obvious bug, written into the US constitution.

No, that is not an issue at all. While you have to be 35 years old to be president of the US, the age of your mother when you were born is irrelevant. The text of the US constitution is readily available online for you to see for yourself: "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

You seem to be vaguely referencing the requirements for citizenship at birth for someone who was born outside the US, but that's not an issue with Obama because he was born in the US, and is therefore a natural born US citizen.

Comment: Re: Personally I like Microsoft hardware (Score 1) 452

by Dahan (#49279589) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

Microsoft then screwed up their next natural keyboard called the Microsoft Natural Multimedia. It defaulted to using the specialized keyset MS had introduced (help, undo, redo, new, open, etc) rather than the standard function keys, which were on the same physical keys. Brilliant and forward thinking, right? Because soon everyone will be using those instead of the stodgy old F1-F12 keys. *bzzzt* Wrong! And of course, there was no way to change the default in software, so every time you turn it on or reset the computer, you had to remember to turn on your damned function keys. That keyboard sits on my audio workstation, because apparently I'm too cheap to replace an otherwise perfectly good keyboard that has just one irritating flaw.

I currently use the MS Natural 4000 model on my main workstation, and really love it. Hopefully they'll continue selling it for a long time to come. If not, I'll probably buy a dozen of them and hoard them for the rest of my life.

I also like and use the MS Natural 4000, but it has the same "F lock" behavior that you dislike about the MS Natural Multimedia. The F keys default to being Help, Undo, etc... and you have to press the F lock key for them to work as regular F keys. And apparently F lock always defaults to off and can't be changed through software (though apparently you can kludge something up with the Intellitype software that remaps MS's special keys back to F keys--but it doesn't work for programs that use the raw scancodes, e.g., games that use DirectInput).

Comment: Re:No Clinton No Bush (Score 1) 315

by Dahan (#49231597) Attached to: Clinton's Private Email System Gets a Security "F" Rating

How many primaries are closed? I remember when I first voted in Texas, the primaries were open, then the Republicans closed theirs. I left before the Democrats closed theirs, and don't know if the Republicans ever un-closed theirs. And they weren't "closed". They were closed to registered democrats, but not closed to undeclared/undecided.

Texas has never had closed primaries, at least not as long as I've been voting (which is over 20 years)--and neoritter's wikipedia link lists Texas as an open primary state. There's also no official party registration in Texas. Sure, you can send some money to the Republicans or the Democrats and they'll send you a card so you can be a card-carrying [whatever], but at voting time, the state doesn't know or care. There is a restriction during the primaries: if you've voted in one party's primary during the election cycle, you may not also vote in the other party's primary during that same election cycle. But during the next election cycle, you're again free to choose which primary you want to vote in.

Comment: Re: this is malarky. (Score 1) 132

by Dahan (#49068181) Attached to: LG Exec Indicted Over Broken Samsung Washing Machine

The subject is their washing machines, not HVAC systems. While Nortek may use the Maytag brand name on air conditioners, Whirlpool owns Maytag the washing machine/home appliance company. See, for example, their About page which has a link to Whirlpool captioned "Find out more about our parent company."

It's not uncommon for large companies to split off a division and sell it to another company.

Comment: Re: Good and Bad Outcomes (Score 1) 265

by Dahan (#48962193) Attached to: Don't Sass Your Uber Driver - He's Rating You Too

Workers who are in positions where they are 'tipped' earn a minimum wage of a little over $2/hour, plus those tips. They pay taxes on those earnings plus an IRS-calculated percentage based on the receipts from their tables, whether they were tipped or not. Tips are an excuse to underpay staff.

The minimum direct wage is about $2/hour; however, the minimum total wage is still $7.25/hour. If direct wages + tips end up less than $7.25/hour, the employer pays the difference so that the employee makes $7.25/hour. See

Comment: Re:Yes, point is to keep adversary out. It fails. (Score 1) 375

by Dahan (#48932789) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

When you come back from the bathroom, you want to regain access to your own computer. Think about exactly how you do that. Do you press the power button and reboot, and then enter your authentication credentials into a dialog that you know is your login screen, because you know that every step from boot to login, is intended to protect your interests?

You're stuck there anyways because you can never be sure someone didn't reboot the system, run a keylogger designed to act like the lock screen, and then send your password and reboot the machine.

As the guy you're replying to said, "you know that every step from boot to login, is intended to protect your interests." If you're concerned about someone rebooting the system and running some malware, you should make use of the various features designed to mitigate against that. All PCs these days let you password-protect the BIOS settings, so if you've configured it to only boot from the HD, it's not as simple as an attacker putting in a CD or plugging in a USB flash drive with their keylogger. And for even more protection, you can get a computer with more "enterprisey" features, such as a physical case lock and a chassis intrusion detection switch. If the attacker thinks they'll just open the box up and do a quick hard drive swap or something like that, that's not gonna work. And these days, there's also UEFI Secure Boot. Sure, there are ways to attack all of this, but a BIOS password plus case lock is sufficient for the vast majority of people. If you need more than that, you should probably focus on keeping intruders from getting access to your computer in the first place.

Whether it's user mode per se or not, there are tools to change the behavior of ctrl-alt-delete.

As far as I can tell, that's just a utility that changes the options that are already available in Windows--they're normally controlled via Group Policy. It's not actually running any new code, it's just changing behavior in a way that MS has already allowed. It actually is possible to write your own code that runs when the user presses Ctrl+Alt+Del though; it's called a custom GINA DLL. Of course, if an intruder already has Admin access to install their GINA DLL, it's already too late... The point of Ctrl+Alt+Del is to thwart malware running as an unprivileged user.

PS - The other major thing is that Ctrl-Alt-Delete was originally a DOS-ism that had more to do with dealing with misbehaving, yet not malicious, programs and trying to regain some level of control.

That key combo was selected because no application uses it. Other than that, there's no relation to its use in DOS. Bill Gates has said that he (or Microsoft in general) had wanted a dedicated key for it, but IBM (which was a major keyboard manufacturer at the time) didn't want to add a key for MS. I guess MS eventually had enough clout to get everyone to add the Windows and Context Menu keys, but it wasn't worth changing Ctrl+Alt+Del to use the new keys.

Comment: Re:There is more than NYC (Score 1) 397

by Dahan (#48921557) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

And? This is about a blizzard that was supposed to hit the US northeast and ... didn't really happen. It was hyped as "Snowmageddon 2015" and instead of dropping a couple of feet of snow it's dropping inches. The weather reports were completely wrong yet again.

Uh, what? It most certainly did happen. Multiple feet of snow. In the US northeast. Where did you hear that it didn't happen?


Your High School Wants You To Install Snapchat 157

Posted by timothy
from the just-ask-ram-sweeney dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: They would never admit it, but your high school admins would probably breathe a sigh of relief if all of their sexting-mad students would go ahead and install Snapchat so that evidence of (sometimes) illegal sexting would disappear into the ether. They can't recommend that you do this, because it would sound like an implicit endorsement, just like they can't recommend designated drivers for teen drinking parties -- but it's a good bet they would be grateful. Read on for the rest.

Why Didn't Sidecar's Flex Pricing Work? 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-get-what-you-pay-for dept.
Bennett Haselton writes Sidecar is a little-known alternative to Lyft and Uber, deployed in only ten cities so far, which lets drivers set their own prices to undercut other ride-sharing services. Given that most amateur drivers would be willing to give someone a ride for far less than the rider would be willing to pay, why didn't the flex-pricing option take off? Keep reading to see what Bennet has to say.

2014 Geek Gift Guide 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-robot-santa dept.
With the holidays coming up, Bennett Haselton has updated his geek-oriented gift guide for 2014. He says: Some of my favorite gifts to give are still the ones that were listed in several different previously written posts, while a few new cool gift ideas emerged in 2014. Here are all my current best recommendations, listed in one place. Read on for the list, or to share any suggestions of your own.

An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Bennett Haselton writes The corruption of the #Ferguson and #Gamergate hashtags demonstrates how vulnerable the hashtag system is to being swamped by an "angry mob". An alternative algorithm could be created that would allow users to post tweets and browse the ones that had been rated "thoughtful" by other users participating in the same discussion. This would still allow anyone to contribute, even average users lacking a large follower base, while keeping the most stupid and offensive tweets out of most people's feeds. Keep reading to see what Bennett has to say.

Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Bennett Haselton writes A judge rules that a county has to turn over the IP addresses that were used to access a county mayor's Dropbox account, stating that there is no valid security-related reason why the IP addresses should be exempt from a public records request. I think the judge's conclusion about IP addresses was right, but the reasoning was flawed; here is a technically more correct argument that would have led to the same answer. Keep Reading to see what Bennett has to say about the case.

Comment: Re:Of course there will be... (Score 1) 171

by Dahan (#48438323) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

But that's not a Windows program. That's a Java program and that is the coder's issue not MS. The Windows API that returns the Marketing Name have been deprecated as far as I know.

I don't what distinction you're trying to make between a Windows program and a Java program. Windows is an OS, Java is a programming language. Java programs can run on Windows. And sure, it's a problem with the code, but Java programs are popular in big "enterprise" apps, so MS is especially interested in keeping those apps running. The last thing they want is for some company to not upgrade thousands of copies of Windows because a program that company needs won't run on the new version. "DOS ain't done until Lotus won't run" is a myth; MS jumps through a lot of hoops to make sure that almost all programs that run on an older version of Windows will continue running on the new version, even when the coder did something stupid.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.