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Comment: Still not easy (Score 1) 36

by Errol backfiring (#47943383) Attached to: The Myths and Realities of Synthetic Bioweapons
IT would probably be easier, bot not exactly easy. Off course, terrorists could "cook up a weapon" as they need it, and if they can use suicidal people to do that for them, they have a severe advantage to military forces. Making such weapons is hard, but storing them is also quite hard. So if you use someone else to make it for you, these weapons are useless unless you use them immediately.
Software

Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the hubs-to-control-your-hubs dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Household devices are getting smarter these days: the so-called internet of things is bringing software-controlled thermostats, lighting, and other appliances into the mainstream. Many companies are fighting for a piece of the pie, but Logitech is taking a different approach. They're mostly known for computer peripherals, but they also make multi-function remote controls, and now they're trying to build remotes that will control all of a home's smart devices. "Logitech doesn't want to own the device, it wants to own the app experience. But to do that, it had to build a software overlay and a controller that would convince people to put it in their homes. So it's offering a $100 hub that combines IR, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RF that will let you use the Logitech Harmony app to control gear that uses those protocols. This means if you have a SmartThings, a Peq or a Lutron hub, the Wi-Fi in the Logitech device will let you control the others' gear from Logitech, which so far seems to have a much nicer interface." They've worked out partnerships with a lot of companies that are big in the home, like Nest, Honeywell, and Philips, all of whom seem to want this extra layer of control for the user.

Comment: Re:COBOL and FORTRAN (Score 1) 385

by Errol backfiring (#47869785) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

I would not replace it with something new, but migrate it to something maintainable.

you know the mantra:

  • If it ain't broke, maintain it
  • If it's broke, either repair it or discard it
  • If it's beyond maintenance, it's definitely broke

The fact that it is a core business system does not provide an excuse, it makes it even worse.

Comment: Re:No surprise, but a bad idea (Score 1) 97

by Errol backfiring (#47869769) Attached to: Dirty Diapers Used To Grow Mushrooms
You'd be surprised. My compost toilet is a "collector" type, so it is basically a bin with a toilet seat on top (see http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... ) and it must be emptied on a compost pile. So the composting should take place outside the toilet itself. However, the composting process already starts in the toilet and hardly needs any mass at all. It just needs rest and the right ingredients.

Comment: Re:COBOL and FORTRAN (Score 1) 385

by Errol backfiring (#47862643) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

, but he was also getting paid something like 4-5x his previous salary as a consultant to maintain the systems he used to simply because there wasn't anybody else on the planet who knew it.

Wow, that is an extremely expensive mistake. He's bound to take his final breath at the least convenient moment. In fact, the later the less convenient. If you rely on tools that much and have no control over it, you have a very dangerous business.

Comment: Re:No surprise, but a bad idea (Score 4, Informative) 97

by Errol backfiring (#47832847) Attached to: Dirty Diapers Used To Grow Mushrooms

Nothing new. If you have a compost toilet, you will have encountered spontaneous mushroom growth on your compost pile often enough. Also edible ones, like inkcaps. There is nothing against seeding it with a known mushroom kind. When you do that for your own household, you will know what diseases you have, and you get them anyway or are already resistant to them. Also know that the compost process kills any disease over time, and most diseases within days.

But I would never add a plastic, chemically poisoned diaper to my compost pile. Most modern diapers are chemical waste and need to be processed as such.

Comment: Re:Too simple (Score 1) 588

by Errol backfiring (#47806787) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study
I am talking in this case about the sliced meat you eat on bread. In the local shop, only the super-expensive, high-garlic "Italian" meat is sugar-free. The rest contains both sugar AND at least one kind of syrup. The ingredient list is on the back side, so if you see, for example, roasted chicken meat, you would not think that it would contain anything else than roasted chicken. But if you turn over the package, you see what junk is used to produce it. Hey, but it is organic junk!

Comment: Too simple (Score 5, Interesting) 588

by Errol backfiring (#47805765) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

That is a bit too simple. Lots of modern food contains so much energy that our internal alarm switches are blown off-line. Therefore, you don't feel full anymore and you keep eating. That is called Insulin resistance (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... ) It is hard to overeat on apples. It is easy to overeat on sweets.

Off course, the food industry just loves to create food that makes you keep eating, because that will also make you buy more of it. That is why even organic meat contains sugar and all kinds of syrup nowadays. The first step to a healthy life is to eat real food.

Comment: Open it up: "internet of electrical devices" (Score 1) 117

by Errol backfiring (#47754701) Attached to: Securing the US Electrical Grid
Design the grid in such a way that devices (solar generators, wind generators, storage like your hyped elecrical car) can plug on and off. Allow anyone to build his own grid. That way, you can easily detach your own local grid when the "Big Bad Grid" has been compromised. Off course, this means getting the control OUT of the hands of monopolistic companies and governments must somehow grow a facilitating mindset. Mind you, control is still necessary, but it does not need to come from technical dinosaurs.
Security

Securing the US Electrical Grid 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the locking-things-down dept.
An anonymous reader writes The Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress (CSPC) launched a project to bring together representatives from the Executive Branch, Congress, and the private sector to discuss how to better secure the U.S. electric grid from the threats of cyberattack, physical attack, electromagnetic pulse, and inclement weather. In this interview with Help Net Security, Dan Mahaffee, the Director of Policy at CSPC, discusses critical security challenges.

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