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Comment Re:The endless contractor cycle has to stop (Score 1) 184

Not to mention the decade long trend of replacing internal IT staff with contractors. That way you have very few IT internal staff that know anything about anything, and those that do have no time to do anything, and many of them are retiring. Because of "big government". When all it really amounts to is a game of legerdemain, you have a smaller "salary" footprint, but you probably spend twice that on consultants anyway, just to look smaller. When all your projects are done by consultants, what few internal staff you have spend all their time trying to make/keep halfassed systems working, with no resources or money, and it doesn't take long before you run out of thumbs to stick in the dyke. Not to mention the lack of accountability of say some consultant rolling out whatever with default everything, if ever called on it, they'll just blame stupid ol' government for not running it properly.

Want to increase security? Increase your IT staff to an appropriate level. Don't overload them. Keep them well trained. Provide training to regular staff. The rest will follow. As anyone with half a brain can tell you that 99.99 percent of hacks are not some super evil genius listening to NIN hammering on a keyboard some arcane code to finesse or brute force your system. Just about everything is A) People being stupid and doing stupid things, B) Not updating or maintaining systems as they should (due to resources, money, or ignorance), C) and lastly though remote, is treat your staff with respect, pay them a decent wage, and don't threaten to lay them off every other day...
 

Comment Sort of. (Score 2) 81

AMD is a large company with many divisions. Some are "doing just fine", others not so much. Pointedly in the context of this particular thread, the previous poster is correct, in that AMD had "brief period of success in the early 2000's", however in terms of mid-range to enthusiast retail CPU market. At the low end they do fine, and for the server market they do even better.

You're right, the x64 was created by AMD, during that period of time, and was cutting edge and way before its time. Too far, in that no one really used that instruction set until many years later, after the chips that introduced it have long since obsolesce. Anyway I remember longing for the Athelon 64's back in the day, but in that one market segment, ever since Core 2 Duo they have never managed to catch up. However since then they have also gotten into the video GPU market in addition to those listed above. Anyway I would love to see them challenge Intel again in that segment (though in some very specific applications they do, just in general no so much).

Comment Regardless (Score 1) 176

Looking at a scale depiction of our solar system and possible orbits, if true, it is only really true for very large definitions of "solar system". It apparently ranges from 400AU to 1100AU on a 15,000 year period. To be blunt, even at its closest, it's way fscking out there... It is interesting none the less I suppose.

Comment Sounds like good news really (Score 3, Interesting) 107

I'm sure we all remember the hilarious Iran Photoshop of their missile program. Having Iran dependent on Russia for satellite launches means they have one less reason to try to advance their own rocketry science. If all it takes is a token Iranian photo-op on the ISS then that is a pretty cheap win. With oil in the toilet Russia could probably use the currency also, and a stable Russia is probably a good thing.

Comment Knotted Fields (Score 1) 51

OK, can we start calling these things Warped Fields, or Warp fields yet? :) Now we just have to start factoring them (I suggest a metric scale of 1 to 10)!

Though I know not really related to this quantum topic, but as far as applied physics, if I remember correctly (and I perhaps don't) that new exotic fusion reactor that the Germans built, used warped magnetic fields to contain plasma... Or it could be they just use magnetic fields to contain plasma and the reactor itself is warped shaped, which I guess would be a bit different... maybe.

Comment Re:Is there a false assumption here? (Score 1) 307

I was thinking this myself. Also the idea that IQ is an accurate measurement of intelligence is a bit questionable as well. Indeed the entire study seems like something a pothead might dream up. :)

I think even without a proper study, it is pretty obvious that smoking weed has little effect on intelligence. Motivation on the other hand, probably does take a hit. I'm sure all of us know plenty of smart people who lack motivation regardless of smoking weed.

Then again, there is the question that even in regards to that statement, that weed causes motivational changes. It could be just as likely that those that are prone to abuse smoking weed, are already predisposed to a lack of motivation to begin with...

I think there have been legitimate studies that indicate a negative effect on short term memory, which might give the impression of reduced intelligence, simply because they might have a slightly more difficult time remembering some things useful in testing.

Comment Reminds me of a Simpsons epsoide (Score 1) 875

If Trump wins, and Hillary wins, it seems like something out of a Simpsons episode.

I mean Trump is a ridiculous human being, and the other candidate is named CLIN-TON.
Somehow I can see a debate ending with them taking off their human disguises, and laughing maniacally about the failures of the two party system!

Queue the Alien Overlords with whips forcing Americans to build a giant ray gun, er I mean Apple Smartphones...

Comment Safety Net (Score 1) 875

I don't disagree, however further to this, three points:

1) It is called a "safety net" not "irresponsibility net". Sure there will be those that take advantage of the system, there always will be. You can be totally responsible, and try to plan for things, but sometimes life doesn't quite cooperate. Anyone could be hit with something that could destroy them, the net is there for that purpose.

2) Not all things are equal. Certain people are going to have better success being responsible and planning for things. I would say that it pretty directly proportional to how well off your family is (and all sorts of related topics such as better education, health, etc...). Essentially if you already have support, it is easier to responsibly support yourself. The rich have an easier time of it, the poor not so much.

3) A safety net allows those in certain situations, such as coming from a poor family, a better opportunity to end the cycle, and with that additional state sponsored support, become more responsible and plan for things, thus eventually (ideally) reducing the amount of folks that actually need such support into the future.

However you will have those situations where folks in a negative environment abuse the system, and then learn how to abuse the system themselves perpetuating the abuse. So it is important to be vigilant and try to reduce this. However addressing this issue is complex.

Comment "Dealing" with it (Score 2) 187

There was a great video on the topic by John Oliver as to how exactly how clothing companies have been "dealing" with the same issue. Basically it is about plausible deniability. Except in this analogy (Tech VS Clothing), it is another degree of separation. Company A (Clothing/Technology Company) deals with a Company B (Supplier) usually in China/India/Etc... and is told to adhere to code of ethics. Company B subcontracts out to Company C and D (also Suppliers). Company C and D subcontract out to Companies F,H,I, and J (Manufacturers)... It is found that Company I and J use child workers. Company A says they had no idea, and told Company B to act ethically. Companies I and J go out of business (briefly) then start up new companies K and L, and start all over again. In this instance, it is like Companies F,H,I, and J get their materials from Company M (as it produces 50% of the worlds X so is cheaper).

Anyway bottom line, is keeping the whole supply chain straight (pardon pun) is complex and difficult to enforce any adherence to ethical standards upon. Amd that's if you are really intent and interested in doing so, not just giving it lip service for when it pops up in the media every decade or so... Probably made even more difficult when as the article says, the offender supplies most of the worlds cobalt, so sourcing from else where in volume is probably logistically difficult and expensive. Then again, with the commodity cost of cobalt and how much of it is used and given say the markup on these sorts of devices (I'm looking at you Apple), you'd think they could be a bit more discerning without much hit to their bottom line if they cared. Unfortunately, they likely don't.

Comment Re:GMO itself isn't the problem. Its how its used (Score 1) 357

Also I read some time ago (during a GMO debate) that really no one does this anymore (keeping seeds). Most modern farms where by far the bulk of our food is grown, buy seeds every year. Small hobby farms or family farms might still use this practice, however in the larger picture they are irrelevant.

The Daily Show or John Oliver did an excellent video on debunking the GMO myths a while ago. While there may be other concerns to the GMO big picture, science apparently isn't one of them. In fact GMO's appear to have a lot of positive spin off benefits related to their main features, like having to use less pesticides, less fertilizer, less water, etc... Really the only big concern that comes to mind, is that they work too well, and make a lot of competing crops obsolete, meaning they may be used far less and eventually disappear which may still have useful traits in the future. However this has been going on (abet not as fast) through selection and cross breading anyway for centuries. At least now we have things like seed banks and the like to try and preserve some of the species for later use.

Comment Sorta (Score 1) 174

First off does anyone use synthetic benchmarks anymore? I mean they were proven to be cheating like a decade ago. Anyway I'd agree with AMD that it isn't a good measure of performance.

Having said that, there are different types of performance for different things. However there are limits. So while generally speaking, saving some money on a CPU, and spending it elsewhere may make sense for gaming, there are limitations. I think generally speaking, you're wrong about AMD being a "better value" for gaming. Then again, it depends on your definition of "gaming" a bit also. The only chips AMD has had in years that are a "value" for money spent, are the *very* low end, none of which are suitable for gaming (other than of the very light variety). No you do not need an i7, but a mid-range i5 for example is better bang for buck than AMD offering. As to what you spend it on, I would agree you will see immediate gains with a SSD, however that "performance" is limited to load times, which is also governed by your CPU to a degree, so that does make sense. However a SSD will not do anything for quality, or speed. For that, the GPU is the big gun, however even it can be limited by your CPU. So buying a low end AMD, and tacking a med to high end GPU to it, may not be the best solution either. As for the memory, it likely isn't needed. Additional memory is really only used either for very specific applications, or if you need to run a large number of applications all at the same time, or if trying to future proof you system against possible increases in demand (which really hasn't manifested in recent years).

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