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Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 5, Interesting) 495

by DarkOx (#47414979) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

I don't think its fair. A modern web application is expected to do a whole heck of alot more than COBOL as it was originally designed even envisioned. You can still bang out a simple shell script or procedural program in Ruby today without knowing much of anything but we just don't consider those things 'applications' anymore.

Hell COBOL (propper) isn't really even interactive, its read in records, and write out some other records. You needed something like CICS to do much of anything interactive and guess what its not so easy to use or understand anymore once you go there.

Lets not even talk about the job control stuff to get your program running in the first place; normal people were never expected to handle that, it was the job of the OPERATOR who HAD EXTENSIVE TRAINING to do that.

So really its just not true.

Applications are more complicated to build today fundamentally because they are more complex in terms of what they do. Could it be simplified yes, we could fix lots of the technical kludges by replacing http and other web technologies with some truly stateful application delivery protocol and languages + libraries but it while it would be simpler it would not be simple.

His view of the past is skewed, things were never really available to regular people. There was always specialized professionals in the background handling the details. Except for a breif period in the late 80's and early 90's during the height of the PC revolution. Those machines though were a great leap backward in terms of what the limitations were as compared to the mainframe, and in leaving those limitations like (single user) behind we have put all the complexity back in.

Comment: Re:How big is the problem really? (Score 1) 201

We can make an argument the framers would not have found it reasonable as well. Just look at how our courts function.

We have a formerly strong but at least still strongly worded 4th amendment that at the time it was written would have greatly inhibited spying. "The right to be secure in ones papers and effects" in the late 18th century left the state with following you around in public and asking people what you were up to without much ability to compel them answer.

The we have the innocent until proven guilty concept, and the beyond reasonably doubt standard; which again show the intent of our societies founding document was very much to ensure the rights of the innocent were protected even at the expense of letting the guilty escape punishment and public safety allowing offenders to go free if we were not reasonably certain they were really offenders.

So all the necessary for security arguments are fundamentally invalid because the very purpose of the organization "The United States of America" is to "Secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves..." Actions that infringement on liberty is incompatible with our national objectives. The "General welfare" argument does not hold either, look at the phrasing government is to "Promote" the general welfare but "Secure" liberty; the framers absolutely intended liberty to trump welfare where required.

Comment: Re:Actually makes good sense (Score 1) 657

by DarkOx (#47399177) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

That would be security problem in itself. The sucuritly line at a big airport is like the perfect freaking place for a suicide bombing; lots of people in at least for many airports a pretty confined area.

Easy way to trigger you bomb to just wait for a current across the pins. Letting people 'plug stuff in' in the security line seems like a terrible idea to me.

Comment: My question (Score 5, Insightful) 657

by DarkOx (#47398537) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

In theory if you can't get through the security check you are allowed to leave with your property. In practice people have been prevented from doing so.

If someone does arrive at the security checkpoint with a $600 dollar tablet that happens to have a dead battery, for their $130 flight is the TSA going to let them just leave?

Comment: Re:Very promising ... vs Re:This is scary (Score 1) 283

by DarkOx (#47398461) Attached to: Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Right, but that can probably be pretty well managed with opiate pain killers, for any major procedure it generally has to be anyway. Addiction issues aside they risk of cardiac, respiratory failure, liver and kidney damage etc, is much lower when you are not using as many drugs and in such high dosages to leave someone unconscious.

There is also the issue that these drugs stress the body during the already stressful surgical procedure.

I am not a medical professional but if there was a safe way to just turn off someones awareness during a surgery and then limit anesthesia to post operative pain management I suspect safety could be improved a great deal.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute! (Score 2) 74

Spying on your enemies makes sense, they are after all your enemies.

Spying on your allies makes sense to a degree as well in that everyone has always done it. You might for example want to develop your own assessment of their military readiness and capabilities. You might try to obtain information about their long term economic prospects such as total mineral reserves and stuff like that as well. What you generally do not do is industrial espionage and you probably should not be directly spying on their secret government proceedings and the like, least it be discovered and you suddenly take on the unfriendly appearance of possibly attempting to manipulate or subvert their sovereignty; that is the sort of thing that turns allies into enemies.

Its a fine line, but at least when we are talking about a stable and relatively open society I think we should be erring on the side of "don't do it", especially if you think the revelation of it would be the least bit astonishing to anyone not completely naive about statecraft.

Comment: Judgement (Score 1) 210

if people and companies always had "good judgement" there would be no need for laws and legal precedents in the first place. Laws are a fundamentally there to replace judgment, they provide a prescription of what one can or may do given a set of facts. They replace the use of ones judgement.

Maybe the EC should recognize that the problem lies with their law codes and their courts and not with Google.

Comment: Re:Why do we have screen savers? (Score 4, Informative) 348

by DarkOx (#47368085) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

Burn is a huge problem on plasma screens and there are still lots of those out there, there is NO WAY a set top box maker should be shipping something without a screen saver on by default!

It would be nice if they had settings to turn it off if you wanted and maybe even send a CEC power off to the TV if you like, but at the very least set top boxes still MUST have a screen saver. Now in another 10 years when most of the plasma TVs have been put out to pasture, it will be a different story.

Comment: Why can't (Score 1) 348

by DarkOx (#47368033) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

I don't like caps. I don't think they should sell you bandwidth and than charge for data. I also understand the need for ISPs to over subscribe. Its simple economics most users are going to use very little of the bandwidth most of the time.

I suspect a lot of throughput is consumed by malfunctioning stuff that dumbly makes the same requests over and over and things like this. Why can't the ISPs just kill the caps and let customers know in a not so threatening letter, "hey I think you have a problem Did you know your port is lit up at 80% capacity 24-7 if you do that's find but if not there is probably something really wrong on your network"

Comment: RSS is the right way! (Score 1) 130

RSS is the right way. Distributions lists for notifications of this type have been done with mail historically because it was there not because it was a good medium.

Consider if you use e-mail for this sort of thing you need to take care of several functions e-mail does not itself take care of:
*allow people to subscript
*allow people to unsubscribe
*scrub you mailing lists for dead addresses.

Your mail servers might be stuck with large disk queues waiting on dead domains where the MX server does not answer etc too because well that his how mail works. All of these things are not as simple as they first appear. Do you remove an address the first time you get a 500 error? Because some admins server sends an improper error code, then a bunch of users start screening about how they signed up and never get their news letter.

With RSS you just put the link out there, you don't have to manage your subscribers. You don't have to provide any unsubscribe function users can take care of themselves. You if anything from your web logs get better feedback about how often the messages are viewed because you can assume people pulling the feed actually receive it and that its not just getting filtered off to junk/spam folders.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel