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Comment: Re:Been Done (Score 1) 73

by Lennie (#49747425) Attached to: New Chrome Extension Uses Sound To Share URLs Between Devices

If you read on WIkipedia it says it wouldn't be impossible:

"In December 2013 computer scientists Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz released a paper to the Journal of Communication demonstrating the possibility of an acoustic mesh networking at a slow 20 bits per second using a set of speakers and microphones for ultrasonic communication in a fashion similar to BadBIOS's described abilities."

Comment: Re:These wouldn't be the microwave comms... (Score 1) 218

So, I think what they are saying is:
split traffic at the ISP-router and sent latency sensitive traffic over the microwave link.

They say the investment is:
"At a $100,000 installation cost per tower, this network would cost $253 million, with a $96 million per year operating cost. Amortized over 5 years, the yearly cost would be $147 million."

If you build it, providers will buy it ?

I wonder how useful that will be as the world has already started deploying all the new technologies: CoDel (which fixes bufferbloat), fiber-to-the-home and HTTP/2 and QUIC (which supports network coding to fix packet loss. Especially useful for wireless devices).

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: Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 1) 294

by Lennie (#49705717) Attached to: The Solution To Argentina's Banking Problems Is To Go Cashless

You should look at it an other way:

Greece and Germany 2 very different countries shouldn't have been part of the same monetary and economic policy system, in this case the Euro.

When Greece wanted to join they had to much debt to be allowed to join by the EU-rules.

So far so good. Nothing bad happened.

Now there is this company in the US called Goldman Sachs which was willing to take on this debt for a number of years in return for a hefty payment.

Greece accepted that offer, which if they really understood the terms and consequences of the agreement they probably would have never done so.

If I remember correct they for example had the interest rate pegged on an index inverse to the GDP of Greece or other similar variable connected to the economy of Greece.

Now after that deal Greece didn't have that large of a debt any more and was able to join the EU.

The terms of the Goldman Sachs agreement said they would need to pay it back after 10 years or whatever but after at that point Greece would not only get their debt back but also a new debt with Goldman Sachs. Obviously Greece couldn't pay that. They probably paid the at least part of the Goldman Sachs debt by getting loans from others. Because the interest of the Goldman Sachs loans was very high especially after the financial crisis.

So Goldman Sachs made a lot of money and had very little risk as the EU would have a big stake in Greece not failing and if the economy of Greece was doing awesome Goldman Sacks would also get paid.

Have a look at the video, you'll probably want to enable the subtitles:

Now Germany and a lot of other EU countries want to put as much of the burden of this problem with Greece, as much as Greece can bear.

Basically about trying to find the right balance:
The people in Greece say: we are suffering enough, our economy is shit and things will get really bad and recovery will take decades.
Germany and other EU countries are saying: you can bear some more of the burden.

However Germany and others are not interested in seeing Greece leave, that would be bad for the Euro.

So the Greece government had some leverage there to force the other EU countries to help them.

As I mentioned at the start, Germany and Greece shouldn't have been in the same monetary system, if they were not Greece would have been able to go bankrupt and just take their losses. They would have recovered much faster from that then being stuck as they are.

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: Re:Bad Idea (Score 1) 276

by Lennie (#49666089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

- you are partly talking about niche users: it's the same situation as: most people working at an office aren't developers that need big workstations. Yes, these people are important, but they don't represent the general public. Certain organizations have certain workloads that only run well on mainframes. You might not believe it, but I believe the mainframes market was even growing a in 2013, haven't really followed it lately though. That doesn't mean that mainframes will be the next trend.

- you mentioned: 3D. You might not have noticed but more than 75% of website visitors now have working WebGL stack, which means a working: browser, underlying hardware, OS and graphics drivers. I'll tell you something else: browser makers are now working on WebVR, thus this time they are working on this before consumer hardware has been released.

- offline support: there was a very large 'installed base' of existing web applications which didn't have good offline support. It took web developers some time to find good models to do though. This has improved and is still improving, for example browser vendors are adding a new API as well.

- what a lot of people don't seem to understand is that you don't need to store the data with the (web)application either:

So I won't say it isn't possible to build the webapplications for the catagories you mentioned. And some also exist.

BUT: I do think it would be better if I can just download a Linux container (with this server-/web-application I need) and run it on the server of my choice.

It's not an optical illusion, it just looks like one. -- Phil White