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Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 151

by EndlessNameless (#47679147) Attached to: Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Zero? No, that is incorrect---both in theory and in the normal conversational context.

Did you read your own links?

Per Landauer's principle, it takes a small amount of energy. In that same article, it states that modern computer consume millions of times the theoretical minimum. So, technically, the energy requirement is non-zero, and practically it can be quite high.

The limits of computation have a great deal to do with energy, as any given computation must occur on some physical medium, and that medium consumes energy while operating. It is extremely myopic to claim that energy has nothing to do with the limit of computation.

IBM, Intel, and the other guys have all done a lot of work to reduce the energy required for computation. The number of operations per watt has skyrocketed in my lifetime---and can continue to do so at the current rate for quite some time. Energy consumption and thermal constraints limit computational capacity at every level, and to claim otherwise is simply ignorant or disingenuous.

Comment: Re:How can you search data (Score 1) 90

I think you don't understand what searchable encryption is. It means you can search the data without decrypting it. Once you find the records you need, you decrypt them.

The only data that is ever decrypted is the actual data that you want.

If you're like me, you probably had a brief moment of "OMG, how is that even possible?" when you first grasped it. And that is why it is an expensive software package for those who need it.

Comment: Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (Score 1) 490

by EndlessNameless (#46606111) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

Because renting physical discs is well-established legally and has a pre-existing distribution model.

Note that they didn't want that either. The studios tried lawsuits and then lobbying to stop Betamax and VHS, the analog predecessors of DVD and Blu-ray.

The movie industry is quite happy with a pay-per-view model. Most content becomes available as paid video-on-demand before it is available on Netflix or cable television.

If Netflix streaming were pay-per-view rather than a smaller monthly subscription, they would probably be happier. But a lot of people wouldn't be.

The movie industry is run by nitwits that still think scarcity and exclusivity are relevant to informational goods.

Comment: Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (Score 1) 490

by EndlessNameless (#46605927) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

To make the old DVDs available online someone would have to invest the time to shift them into digital format.


If it's on a DVD, it's already digital and encoded as an MPG2 stream. Converting MPG2 into another format is simple and available on almost every video editing app in existence.

The idea that old DVDs need to be shifted into a digital format is absurd---they are already digital. And transcoding them into a streaming format is not difficult. There are free tools that do it, and do it well.

If anything, it is the negotiation for distribution rights that would be the real issue. Because delivering DVD-quality video is trivial. It takes longer to install and configure Apache than it does to transcode a two-hour movie.

Comment: Re:Stealing? (Score 1) 197

by EndlessNameless (#46537779) Attached to: Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8

> They have an obligation to do what the corporation was intended to do.

And when a corporation is founded as a commercial entity, its express purpose is profit. The corporate charter may espouse numerous other principles, but a commercial business is legally a profit-generating endeavor---everything else is window dressing.

Henry Ford wanted to lower the price of automobiles and employ more workers in order to bring the benefits of industrialization to all people in exchange for lower profits---and the court told him he could not.

In the US, the board of directors has a fiduciary duty to its shareholders. That duty is ensuring profit, either through dividends or stock valuations. They have no conflicting fiduciary duties to the general public or human welfare.

> Which may not involve making money at all.

I laughed out loud. If we're talking about publicly-traded corporations in the US---and in the case of Microsoft, we are---you are absolutely wrong.

Comment: Windows Store (Score 2) 125

by EndlessNameless (#46476479) Attached to: Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

If they get a cut of all the app purchases, this is an obvious win-win. Manufacturers get cheaper devices to the market, and Microsoft increase its user base.

I can't speak for everyone, but I have spent more on apps than the price of my phone over its lifetime. (The unsubsidized price, at that.)

Comment: Re:Lifers? (Score 1) 597

by EndlessNameless (#46245599) Attached to: Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

If it applies only to full-time students, you have to remain full-time. This limits your job opportunities. Also, higher level graduate studies become rather selective. The number of people who qualify for graduate, post-grad, and post-doc *combined* is a minute fraction of the student population.

Also, post-grads are often working as research assistants or teaching assistants---while receiving a small stipend at most. I'd consider this enough of a public good to not worry about it. Between the small population and the value of the work, I wouldn't advocate a change unless someone finds a way to really abuse it.

I support the general idea. I am happy to pay the tax provided the actual law has no major problems. That is a bigger concern to me---what will the idiots in Congress do with this idea?

+ - Exelon May Shutter Some Reactors in 2014->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Some of Exelon Corp.’s 10 nuclear power plants are unprofitable and may need to close in 2014 if “a path to sustainable profits” cannot be found, company President and CEO Chris Crane said in a Feb. 6 conference call to discuss fourth quarter results.

Exelon runs the nation’s largest nuclear fleet, operating 17 reactors in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. While Crane did not name the plants at risk, analysts believe the Clinton and Quad Cities plants, both in Illinois, are most in danger of shutdown."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Gnome 3 - Windows 8 for Linux (Score 1) 204

by EndlessNameless (#46165505) Attached to: Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

For Windows 8, if you're referring to the new Metro/Modern UI as the new desktop, the lack of Win32 compatibility was not a mistake. There is a huge security shift moving to Metro/Modern.

They finally implemented a secured app ecosystem. Instead of granting installers blanket admin privileges, they require permissions manifests that are enforced by the local security system. This makes some traditional trojans (like keyloggers) impossible without privilege escalation exploits. Their read/write privileges are also restricted unless their manifests request more.

This is similar to how Android presents the user with a list of permissions for each new application (or for an update, if that particular update includes new permissions).

While some apps can never move to Metro/Modern, any non-technical user will have better security with Metro/Modern apps. Personally, I use none of those apps on the one Windows 8 system I have---but I would prefer it if my parents switched. I believe Metro/Modern is useless for Slashdot-level users and an important step for everyone else. Given a few iterations, it could knock down the wall between security and usability.

Comment: Re:The Problem (Score 1) 332

by EndlessNameless (#46040111) Attached to: Marc Andreessen On Why Bitcoin Matters (And A Critique)

This arbitrary fabrication precisely mirrors how Bitcoin started. There will eventually be 21,000,000 in existence. That number was completely arbitrary, as was the original degree of subdivision and nomenclature. The proposed subdivision and nomenclature is equally arbitrary yet functionally equivalent. The method by which Bitcoins are transferred and verified would essentially remain the same.

If there are too many Bitcoins lost (e.g., in the secured wallets of dead people), then further dividing Bitcoins into smaller fractions will have little effect besides slightly increasing liquidity. Any psychological effect would come from people misunderstanding the nature of the system.

If this hypothetical scenario is worrisome to you, you should already be worried about the "fabricated" nature of Bitcoin. Because, fundamentally, nothing changes with OP's proposal.

Comment: Re:Beware of "We" (Score 1) 332

by EndlessNameless (#46039899) Attached to: Marc Andreessen On Why Bitcoin Matters (And A Critique)

living paycheck-to-paycheck need a currency whose value doesn't decay while stored in cash/checking.

Nice try, but this is a red herring.

If you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, your money doesn't sit around long enough for inflation to have a meaningful effect.

Middle-class retirement planning may be affected, but there are already a number of options for those investments. (Granted, they aren't as nice as the upper class options.)

Those of us in the middle class need something that won't fall victim to another anti-Wikileaks financial blockade.

I think this is your real concern. Expand and clarify on it however you see fit, but leave the other garbage out.

Comment: Re:The basics... (Score 1) 324

Fiber is provider-agnostic. Which electrical wiring to run? Most phone companies provide service over twisted pair to the house, and most cable companies use coax. Fiber is essentially a universal medium, and the telco will provide (or spec out) compatible equipment to be installed in the home.

Fiber is the future. Most major telcos have some sort of next-gen internet offering based on fiber. And everyone's fiber service is better than their copper/coax service. Since most of the cost is digging up and filling back in, you might as well spend a little extra to make it worthwhile. There is no reason to tear up the entire neighborhood just to install some obsolete technology.

Fiber is easy. In the past, running and splicing (aka, fusing) fiber was very difficult and therefore expensive compared to copper/coax. This is no longer the case. Fiber has outgrown its early-adopter and premium-price taxes for the most part. Experienced techs are now commonplace. You no longer need a huge box mounted on a pickup truck with a generator to splice fiber---there are handheld units. The tech has matured.

Running copper/coax now is like building a cobblestone road. You certainly could do it, and it would essentially work. But this is not something you should do anymore unless there is a specific requirement to do so.

Comment: Re:This is great (Score 1) 195

by EndlessNameless (#45990903) Attached to: Building an Open Source Nest

Assuming that the data is reliable in any way. I have a Nest, and I've turned off auto away because it was awful at predicting when I'd actually left the house.

First, this is likely to improve over time. Second, whatever raw data is used to determine if you're present could also be collected and stored indefinitely.

Actually, if both of those are true, they could go back and review the data with their improved algorithm and retroactively figure out whether you've been there.

The point about cloud-connected home management is that once they have data, they can do whatever they want with it. That includes the cloud provider, their sponsors, and anyone else who can access their data.

Comment: Re:Battle (Score 1) 214

My tinfoil hat says it worked as intended. Making TOR unusable in this period of time would discourage its use by non-technical computer users who were probably flocking to it for privacy's sake.

Except for the part where MS security researchers asked the Tor devs if this type of installation was normal, and they said "No."

That's why the tinfoil hat moniker came about in the first place: to identify FUD and other nonsense.

At the end of the day, the malware got removed, and there was no public outrage from people losing their legitimate Tor installations---because only the bad ones got wiped.

If you don't run a Microsoft security product and don't choose the Malicious Software Removal Tool from Windows Update, then nothing happens. Granted these are both default options, but if a user doesn't understand enough to choose alternatives that user probably needs both of these tools.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel