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Comment: Re:Not a Piece of Shit (Score 3, Interesting) 127

by DutchUncle (#49538519) Attached to: POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990
... And every single customer will wind up calling customer service asking why they can't get into their system. The papers got filed in shipping, or in finance, or tossed with the packaging. Maybe you could print it on a sticker, just like the serial number; then you have the physical security issue, but at least there's no global exposure.

Comment: Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 1) 189

by DutchUncle (#49525401) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record
It's not about the damn train, or even the people on it. It's about screwing up transportation for many thousands of people, if not millions, for the multiple years that repairs would take. It's about making millions of people in the region, and more around the world, feel constantly endangered. It's about setting fire to our social contract.

Comment: Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 2) 189

by DutchUncle (#49525363) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record
Remember, there are only two tunnels, and they're over 100 years old, and one of them got flooded with salt water during Hurricane Sandy, and people are already talking about how to shut them down for refurbishing. Besides, I figure explosion in the tunnels is a much better engineering bet than in the open on a bridge; there's got to be some bonus for the confined space. How about smashing a window and triggering the explosive between the train and the tunnel wall if there's enough clearance? Though obviously the preferred direction is "up", because that's where the water is, which is much more interesting than just blocking and damaging the tracks and tunnel and wiring and electrification . . . Ooh, right, gotta get that 480 volts involved somehow.

Civilization only works because most people, most of the time, are civilized. And that's even counting the people stealing cables and pipes out of the walls for the scrap metal. Most people don't see any profit for themselves in random destruction, beyond maybe the immediate lulz. But in the never-ending battle between order and chaos, chaos has by far the easier victory conditions.

Comment: Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 1) 189

by DutchUncle (#49524771) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record
The point of the most famous airline attacks was not to destroy the plane, but to use the plane to destroy something much bigger. Destroying a train track would certainly kill a bunch of people, but getting a few suitcases of explosives ON the train and blowing them up under the middle of the Hudson River might well damage the tunnel for years of work. There are multiple bridges from Manhattan over the East River which carry either rails only or rails & road, all of which are old and any of which would cause a significant dent in traffic.

Newark Airport has been open since the 1920s; the monorail to the train station was only added in 2000. JFK opened in 1948 as Idlewild; the AirTrain connection to Jamaica only opened in 2003. The taxi and transport industry had lobbied against easy train connections from the early days. I compare and contrast with the European airports I have passed through incorporating train stations directly underneath the terminals.

Comment: Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 3, Insightful) 189

by DutchUncle (#49522479) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record
Trains don't have security theater yet because of the lower perceived potential impact - you can't crash a train into something, for example. This is, of course, an display of lack of imagination. Living near NYC, I am all too familiar with a multitude of bridge and tunnel crossings. Damaging a train - even a local subway train, not a commuter or long-distance route - in the middle of any one of those would cause serious headaches, if not major consequential damage. The real point is that an ultra-speed line operating the Boston-NYC-Washington corridor, or any other section of the major city routes, would become a much more attractive target because of (1) its very newness and shiny-ness, and (2) the higher possibility of doing consequential damage by damaging a train at higher speed. One must assume, then, that some degree of security theater will be imposed on the new rail system.

One must also assume that since the new tracks will have to be totally new, they will have an excuse not to follow existing tracks into the old center city stations along highly expensive rights-of-way, but will instead stop at new stations outside of cities . . . maybe at airports, to take advantage of at least *some* infrastructure. This would be OK if there were better local connections, except in the US many airports have no connections to their cities; the three New York City area airports, for example, despite being in one of the best mass transit centers in the country, were never fully connected to the existing local commuter train lines. And bus service is laughable.

Comment: Transportation and access to jobs? shopping? life? (Score 1) 536

Yes, I saw the bus stop. One bus stop. There's a reason poor areas congregate, besides history (such as old urban centers becoming run-down): if you can't afford a car, there's only so far you can go. These could be very nice suburban garden-apartment living quarters, but a lot less livable if the access to shopping etc. is limited to infrequent bus service.

Comment: Re:Damn! (Score 1) 106

by DutchUncle (#49438441) Attached to: Bell Labs Fighting To Get More Bandwidth Out of Copper

I'm convinced that most of the problems with US broadband aren't political. They're simply a result of the typical American just being a moron.

I think you're missing a connection here. It is precisely because of the second that the first is permitted to happen. The soi-disant "service providers" convince the political powers that they are doing the best for the price; the political powers don't have the technical knowledge to see through the lies; and the typical American, having even less knowledge, doesn't push his government to push the providers. (Besides, the few have convinced the many/morons that "standards" are a bad thing, rather than the only way to maintain interoperability.) (See also "The Marching Morons", Cyril Kornbluth, 1951)

Comment: Do you close the bathroom door when home alone? (Score 4, Insightful) 200

by DutchUncle (#49423031) Attached to: Snowden Demystified: Can the Government See My Junk?
My usual response to anyone of the "I have nothing to hide" mindset: Do you close the bathroom door when you go to the toilet? I'm betting the answer is "Yes." Why? Modesty? Propriety? Custom? Doesn't matter. The question is: Does it mean you have something to hide? Not something evil or wrong, just private? So maybe it's OK to have things to hide . . . or at least not flaunt in public.

Now, Do you also close the bathroom door when you are home by yourself, and know for certain that nobody is there to see? Again, I'll bet the answer is "Yes". Why? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE? Oh, right, you have nothing to hide, so why are you hiding? The guilty hide when none pursueth! How easy it is to infer guilt!

Comment: Re:Sen. Feinstein (Score 1) 538

The machine doesn't work in a vacuum. Machine politics could be compared to cars. American cars were the undisputed kings of the road against all those dinky foreign imports . . . until at some point the foreign imports were visibly higher quality and higher tech, at which point you got people changing and swearing they would never go back, and eventually Detroit tanked. The Democratic "machine" is well-tuned and smoothly operating. To beat it, the Republicans would have to nominate... not necessarily a "Hispanic Lesbian", but someone who is accepting of immigration (currently a national Republican no-no), accepting of non-traditional social issues (Republican anathema!), and otherwise acceptABLE to the voters of California on the social side, while being more Republican-fiscal-conservative. It would be possible, and would have been much more possible when the Republican party wasn't held hostage by their lunatic fringes to the right and the religious directions (much as the Democratic party has long been inconvenienced by its lunatic fringes in the opposite directions).

Comment: Re:This is the wrong battle (Score 1) 1168

by DutchUncle (#49389603) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory
I agree. They're certainly not showing their own desire for tolerance, any more than the bakery.
Now if only it were as easy for religious people to be tolerant of letting others be as they want to be, as I can be of them . . . It's all about whether one is imposing one's views on others (which, again, is what I agree with you about).

Comment: Re:This is the wrong battle (Score 1) 1168

by DutchUncle (#49389527) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory
I would reply no to either, but that's certainly a different description than the other articles I saw. Yes, turned down immediately. And actually I agree with you on this story: the reaction is overkill. Not that that ever happens since the Internet and Twitter :-( There would seem to be plenty of bakeries in Lakewood, according to Yelp. OTOH, again, if they had turned down a mixed-race couple, it would be a federal case.
Maybe it's because I belong to a very minority religious denomination myself, and maybe because I'm not strident about it, but I just don't see baking a regular cake as causing a crisis of conscience, especially if it's your business (not a personal favor or a hobby). It's not like they were looking for a vulgar design or shape, just a normal (if colorful) tiered cake, right? That's not a religious icon worthy of protection.
I wonder if anyone would turn down an order for three birthday cakes . . . and some dowels . . . :-)

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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