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Comment: 10,000 dead!!! (Score 2) 56

by EmperorOfCanada (#49723337) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic
I was told by a guy who build computer models of pandemics that when the media is blah blahing about ebola and whatnot that the key test is that if we first hear of a disease and 10,000 are dead then it is time to run for the hills but no sooner. Everything else is pure hype. But he also said that he didn't think that the governments of the world fully understood the math behind a truly nasty disease and that they wouldn't do the right thing when it came to quarantines especially with "favoured" countries. He said shutting down all transport to the Ivory Coast was enough of a political hand-grenade so what would be like to shut down all travellers to and from Japan, or England? The key being not most travellers but all including the VIPs who will potentially make calls to the whitehouse or whitehall as the case may be.

So while he thought that we could easily deal with any pandemic along the lines of the worst in history that the mamby-pamby governments of today wouldn't so he had a cabin way in the woods to sit it out until the various governments realized that PR was now out the window and that measures for survival now needed and could be brutally implemented. A great example would be the aggressive measures taken against malaria in the Southern US would be very difficult to implement in today's political climate.

But at the same time he was working on a model that showed that our ability to deal with diseases is soon approaching the point where pretty much no disease could really wipe out huge majorities of populations.

By the way the second test of a really dangerous disease was that another 10,000 were dead in western countries in that many diseases are local by their very nature such as Malaria; so a disease that spread in a modern non tropical country would be a dire problem. Ebola basically not spreading in the West is a perfect example.

Comment: Microtransactions (Score 1) 616

by EmperorOfCanada (#49710969) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral
Around 2000 I was playing with a Digital (the computer company) technology where you could do microtransactions on web pages. I forget the exact size but it was as low as something like 1/1000th of a cent. This was pretty cool in that you could charge customers to visit your website page by page or however you would like to structure the transaction. The idea was that an end user would have put, say, $10 in their wallet and each time they would go to a website it would pop up and say, "This site will charge x amount per page" you could also put limits on a given site or have it pop up every so many cents and so on. This way some site couldn't screw you with frames or some such scummery.

I loved their implementation as it was beta but fundamentally clean. They also indicated that they had a handful of major banks onboard so it wasn't DOA. I think the death of Digital itself was what killed it.

But I would love this and would have no problem paying a tiny bit for slashdot, NYT, The Economist, stack-overflow, even reddit. But I would say FO to sites like huffpo who you know would spread their articles out so thin that it would be pretty much one word per page.

Plus it would be funny to watch great site after great site implode after the MBAs took over and just started to try to skin their customers by jacking up the prices over and over and over until the site collapsed. Which is sort of how many sites operate now as an ever higher percentage of their surface area is dedicated to ads and an ever growing percentage of their content becomes clickbait.

But one of the greatest parts in the Digital plan was that they only took a tiny taste, a very tiny taste vs the massive cut that google takes on adsense and most others take on their ad platforms. So when you gave a penny to slashdot they would basically get that penny.

What is even worse was that at this point paypal wasn't the domination machine that it was to become. Thus this platform could have become the defacto payment system for all transactions in that it didn't only do microtransactions but you could do ebay sized ones without any difficulty but at a much lower fee.

Comment: Yes and no (Score 1) 507

by EmperorOfCanada (#49700863) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?
Agile development in the more pure form such as XP is doing just fine where I see it being used. But the management/certification/terminology/paid courses version of Agile should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot. Basically when I hear a company has SCRUM masters then I add it to the dead pool of tech companies that my friends and I bet chocolate bars on. I have a long list of these sort of silver bullets that can claim to turn shitty programming teams into productive machines. Six Sigma would be another pet peeve.

I am partial though to some parts of the PMI PMBOK type stuff but some care needs to be taken distinguishing between certification and ability. At least half of managing people is being a people person.

But to me agile seems to be mostly adopted by really really shitty programmers who aspire to management so as to cover up their complete inability to get anything done. Also many Agile people tend to use the guise of agile to ram their shitty programming style down everyone's throat as some kind best practice. People who like ++i or have insane commenting styles.

Comment: Re:Aliens!!!! (Score 1) 78

I am going with coverup. Information is power and they would feel so special being in the know of something so momentous when everyone else is in the dark. Even if a few came out and leaked it unless they had a massive massive data dump they would just end up a crank on the History channel. Look at that former Minster of Defence we have in Canada. He is all "blah blah ALIENS blah blah ALIENS!!!" yet outside of crank TV he is ignored.

But for many they would suppress it for all kinds of paternalistic/religious/nationalistic reasons. Then after they suppressed it for a while they would just keep suppressing it so they didn't get the blame for being the one to suppress it.

Comment: Re:Earthlings? (Score 1) 78

One pet theory that I always loved (and finally found in a sci-fi book) is to wonder how far dinosaur civilization would have to have gotten before we would have already found incontrovertible evidence?

I suspect that Neanderthal level would simply have left little trace with any findings being self-supressed by the palaeontologist.

Even North American Indian culture of 500 years ago would still be largely invisible after 65 million years again with the aid of people dismissing the few oddities they found.

But the aliens that I have long thought we would encounter would be some sort of machines sent out to just explore. Not even terribly advanced machines. Think about the warp drive or emdrive that NASA is tinkering with. If we barely got those to work I could see us firing out zillions of little probes to explore and eventually report back. Not all would make it back.

Comment: Aliens!!!! (Score 5, Interesting) 78

For the love of all science fiction be aliens!!! How many Sci-fi stories have we all read where an asteroid/comet/artefact is floating around our Solar system and it turns out to be some uber cool alien thing that has warp drive or a stargate or whatever and off we go adventuring around the galaxy?

In fact I could even narrow the question down to how many sci-fi stories have we all read where the artefact involved Ceres?

So while if I had to bet I would go with ice, soil disturbance, tectonic, or maybe even something a little cool like magnetic. But I want aliens!

Comment: I am thinking satellite (Score 1) 401

I am thinking various space probes floating about. Some of those things will keep going for centuries. There is also some solar powered crap on the moon. That could keep going for stupendous amounts of time. Maybe millennia depending on the degradation of the solar panels.

But maybe there is some geothermal system that will just keep going for eons as the power generation aspect of a thermocouple should last indefinitely and is buried so it won't be subject to any weathering.

Comment: I have worked with these sorts (Score 2) 65

In every single, and I mean without exception, every single consulting company that I worked for/with the "security specialists" were full of shit assholes. The guys who were in charge of the actual network were very well trained and capable security people but they weren't marketing themselves as specialists. The security guys just spouted endless paranoia and blah blah'd about military grade security. Yet when put to a test not a single one of them could exploit a linux system that hadn't had an upgrade in a year.

What they didn't have in skill they made up in swagger and threats. If consultants in the company didn't submit their laptops to them for a security audit they got all shitty saying how our laziness would take down the company. So my solution was to hand them a laptop that I would get fresh from IT with nothing installed, no documents, and fully up to date. Then I would laugh at their report where they would say that I had all kinds of unencrypted documents and had installed insecure software on the laptop. Then when I showed this to upper management they got even angrier that I had wasted what otherwise would have been valuable billing hours, even though it was they who wanted to audit all the computers.

But the thing that finally broke their stranglehold over the company's management was when they bullied their way into a friend's project devastating his budget after they convinced the client he was working for that his unaudited system would leave their company wide open. So he made a mirror image of their laptop from a backup, changed the background to a picture of two guys having sex with the company logo of the client on the face of the guy getting it and a picture of the security "expert" over the face of the guy giving it. Then on the way to the meeting he swapped laptops. Security expert was fired that day.

Comment: An ironic poll (Score 1) 125

by EmperorOfCanada (#49608391) Attached to: I've had my current ISP (disregarding mergers) for ...
I checked the 10+ years selection yet literally tomorrow I am switching. But most interestingly I am dumping not only my ISP but my phone line with it. The new ISP will be giving me internet only and I will be getting my phone from an online service. The savings will be around $40 per month.

This is a couple of years after dumping my cable for Netflix.

So what I want now is some kind of data service that lets me cut off my ISP. I don't know how that would work but I suspect that 10+ years ago the cable/telephone companies didn't see much of a threat from anyone.

Comment: A giant pile of crap (Score 1) 76

by EmperorOfCanada (#49591647) Attached to: Once a Forgotten Child, OpenSSL's Future Now Looks Bright
I said this before Heartbleed when everyone thought that OpenSSL was the best and the programmer who made it, gods. The code is crap. The variable names 70s style crap. The file structure crap. The multi platforming methodology crap. The function names crap. The API crap.

To call it spaghetti code is insulting to visual basic programmers everywhere.

To me this is like what people are realizing with many police departments; it isn't just a few bad apples. If the good apples condone the bad apples then they are all bad apples. It is the same with OpenSSL it was a shitty project before heartbleed and keeping anyone with the project from those days is just wrong. If they were programmers with the slightest sense of decency or capability they would have grouped together and forked the project.

Comment: Re: I like this guy but... (Score 1) 438

by EmperorOfCanada (#49585469) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules
Yes you have hit what the Princeton study nailed. If it matters to the rich elites they get their way; this then leaves the remaining issues to the public to squabble over. Thus gun control, abortion, death penalty, etc all are left on the table. But if for some weird reason abortion became a profit engine for a Fortune 500 company then it would be taken off the table. [Following misspellings to avoid shill searches] Campaine Fineance reform, fud labeling, farmasootical reform, wired TeeVee reform, lowering rates for sellphone companies, halthcare ensurance company reform, guys-who-store-money reform, and my favorite: no eelectroonic vooting.

For any politician and especially party to genuinely take these on is pretty much the end of the show for them.

This is not an American phenomena. Just about all elections everywhere end up with politicians promising "Change" "Hope" or "A better future." But even if one party replaces the other the forces that put them there have the exact same agendas and thus nothing changes. Quite simply there are no billion dollar loobby groups fighting any of the above with vaguely the exception of eco groups who no longer seem to have the big domestic companies as their primary targets.

Comment: I'll take this one and its simple (Score 5, Insightful) 374

by EmperorOfCanada (#49575803) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?
Instead of the law trying to pick a winner on this one just make the law that the disposition of the embryos must be contracted before the service can be provided. Then have a very steep fine for any clinic that doesn't obtain and properly store that contract. Then mandate that there is a maintained copy of a "suggested" set of common contracts that are continually updated to reflect any edge cases that end up in the courts such as one of the partners become mentally incompetent etc.

This way some morality police lawmakers can't step in and turn this in to an abortion/anti-abortion debate where the actual consumer of these services then lose.

fortune: cannot execute. Out of cookies.