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Comment Not obsolete if it meets specs (Score 4, Insightful) 617 617

It's not obsolete if it's still capable of performing its function within specifications.

The ability to *alter* it to match *new* specifications should be taken into account (if it's written in a language no one speaks any more), but that doesn't prevent it from functioning.

Systems that have to deal with altered specifications because the environment around (physical or virtual) them changes can become obsolete faster than systems that are disconnected from their environment.

Note: That's an excellent reason to keep your systems disconnected from the environment.

Comment Re:Roberts admits to being wrong (Score 1) 591 591

Jonathan Gruber wasn't a member of Congress, and didn't vote on the passage of the ACA. As such, his intentions regarding the legislation are irrelevant. The Supreme Court need only concern themselves with the intentions of the legislators that actually voted on the legislation.

Actually "intentions" are only relevant when the text is unclear or irrational. The fact that this statement was made during the passing period (and not immediately rejected) indicates that it was a *plausible* or *rational* intention. It's only when something doesn't make sense that you should have to go to intent.

Comment Re:Roberts admits to being wrong (Score 4, Informative) 591 591

The text is essentially a hunk of code describing how to execute the law.

The controversial section is a bug.

Do you think the courts should faithfully execute the buggy code, crashing part of the country in the process, or do you think they should fix or ignore the bug and allow the law to execute successfully?

Well, according to one of the law's architects, it was a Feature, not a Bug:

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. (via NB

So to answer your question: Yes.

Comment Re:Prime Scalia - "Words no longer having meaning" (Score 5, Insightful) 591 591

If SCOTUS can twist these words what stops them from twisting ANY words?

Except that if "State", only means individual states, then many of the constitutional amendments - including the second - fall apart on the federal level.

That's why in laws (especially 2400 page monstrosities like this one) they have sections on Definitions to specifically say whether "State" means "50 States", "50 States + US Territories like Puerto Rico", or "50 States + Territories + District of Columbia", etc.

In this case, the law was originally drafted to deal with State-level exchanges. A Federal exchange was an afterthought one they didn't expect/hope would be used. (And according to Gruber, was intentionally left out of this clause.) Whatever the case, the courts should be rewriting when it's a clear cut, cut-and-dried case of an error. As long as there's a plausible rationale for why the text is the way it is ("To discourage States from relying on the Federal exchange, at the cost of the Federal funding that we'd otherwise be giving to the citizens of that State to help with the insurance fee we're forcing them to pay"), we should be relying on the text.

Typos can indeed lead to ludicrous conclusions that can be corrected judicially. This was not one of them.

Comment Re:Capital of bad drivers (Score 1) 203 203

Is that the greater city area or just the centre portion zoned as being the local government district. I have noticed more and more fudging going on, where positive propaganda calls up greater city statistics and negative reports are down played by only calling up the specific city centre local government.

Want safer cities with regards to cars, have less cars and that means substantively bigger buildings, where people can work, live and play within the one structure and receive services support from directly adjoining major structures. Arcologies would have to become the norm else, cities will choke to death with traffic problems and making traffic flow worse will certainly no solve problems just lead to permanent traffic jams and economic avoidance of problem traffic areas.

That phrase / metric refers to the City of San Diego, although I guess we've dropped down to 8th at this point.

That being said, unless you're comparing jurisdictions or running for office we refer to the overall area as just "San Diego". The city of San Diego is huge and broken up into about 100 different neighborhoods, some of which are just as large as the smaller cities that the City of San Diego now adjoins but which were once 10 miles away. cf vs,_California#Communities

Between having a strong County government system in California, a surprisingly effective regional planning council known as SANDAG, and a huge 20 mile desert and/or 80 mile national forest separating the county/region from surrounding areas, we don't care too much. Non San Diegans barely think of San Diego in the first place, so they're definitely not going to know what you're talking about if you say you're from "Santee" instead.

Also, we hate dense urban development. The vast majority of San Diego county is composed of single family homes, aside from the downtown core, where there are lot of condos. Pretty sure San Diego is the last urban place that's going to become an Arcology... the people that want that will move up to the Bay Area, or the blurry mass that is Greater Los Angeles.

Comment Re:Capital of bad drivers (Score 1) 203 203

There were only 32 people murdered in San Diego in 2014. As cities go it's a pretty safe one.

This. We're the sixth or seventh largest city in the US (or Greater San Diego taken as a whole), but it's really more of a large small town. Our Downtown is nice, but it's nothing next to the urban monstrosity that composes most of the other big cities in the US.

Crime was higher in the 90's, but crime was higher *everywhere* in the 90's.

Also, we have a ton of cars, and a freeway system that's twice as dense as the Bay Area, LA, or most of the rest of California.... So yeah, that statistic is quite believable. Still a very safe place.... America's Finest City (political scandals notwithstanding).

Comment Re:Wiki-Enquirer? (Score 3, Insightful) 100 100

How is this at all what Wikileaks is supposed to be for? At this point it seems more like crass voyeurism than any type of serious attempt to shine a light on corporate misconduct.

Sony has done a lot of evil in the past (remember rootkits?). By dumping this dataset, Wikileaks is doing two things:

1) Airing Sony's misdeeds, with the possibility of bringing them to justice. Possibly getting tried in the court of public opinion.

2) Encouraging other companies to not be evil. If everyone knows that their illegal activities might come to light, it'll act as a deterrent.

Note that the 4K stuff was picked up by Apple Insider, and consider their mandate.

Hold off a bit before passing judgement. If a more journalistic outlet finds something newsworthy, it might paint the data dump as worthwhile.

Oh, for God's sake. GTF over yourself.

Sony Music (aka BMG) 10 years ago has absolutely nothing the fuck to do with Sony Pictures today.

There's nothing in here that's not standard corporate negotiation -- just trade secrets, voyeuristic awareness by Internet douchebags, and information primarily useful to its competitors. And a whole hell of a lot of invasion of privacy for Sony Pictures employees.

Comment Re:Bah! Media! (Score 1) 173 173

Sony must not have been either when oodles of data got pulled out of them... or those detection measures were not enough.

Even if you are looking for mass uploads or downloads, there is no reason the bad guy wouldn't be willing to have the ex-filtration take a bit longer by spreading it between multiple offsite servers with smaller packages of data and over a longer bit of time.

Someone truly interesting in getting data out of a location who had enough access to get it in the first place can virtually certainly get it out electronically. All by the most secure, EAL7-type outbound control will have a way to leak data.

Sony (and most enterprises) are pushing multiple GB/s... If they got in, pretty sure you're not going to find their needles in that haystack in real time. And that's if they don't, as mentioned below, just physically walk out the door with it.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 4, Insightful) 830 830

I would also argue that the trivial benefits the imperial system has in being "good for some things in day to day life" are far outweighed by the inconvenience of every other country on the planet using a different measurement system.

Except it's not. Seriously, the average American is not inconvenienced in the slightest by using a different measurement system than "every other country on the planet." If you're constantly traveling internationally, sure, maybe. Or if you're in the import/export business. Otherwise there's essentially no drawback for the average US Citizen. And if your response to this is "Oh, well let's just make it inconvenient for Americans and then they'll *have* to change!" then you're what the average American hates about top-down social manipulation.

Judging from this thread, it's clear than non-Americans really don't understand much about Americans at all. Sure, they think they do... but they really don't.

Comment Re:Why are "feature phones" still a thing? (Score 1) 66 66

I'd second that question. Genuine 'dumbphones' are still way too cheap(and very easy on the battery) for Android to be relevant; but 'featurephone' BoM and specs start to head toward the land of Allwinner, Mediatek, and other somewhat downmarket but adequately punchy Android-oriented SoCs.

I imagine that one barrier to reasonably stock android is screen: all the default Android UI/UX very strongly assumes that you have a screen of decent resolution, typically multiple point touch is expected unless it's a set top box setup. Dumbphones, by contrast, frequently still have smaller, lousier, screens, non-touch, and a UI that depends on buttons only(or a blackberry-style little touch area).

As long as you don't care about Google's blessing, there's no reason you couldn't build your horrible little ecosystem of crap on top of Android, rather than BREW(and whatever its analogs are in GSM land) and one of the dinky JVMs, so I have to imagine that licensing costs for those components are something that vendors don't try their luck on, so maybe that keeps them in the market?

It's hard to beat the truly "dumb" phones in terms of ruggedness and reliability, but I truly loved the "high end phones" of the 2005-2010 era. My EnV / LG Voyager and related ones (candybar, but flipped open to a chiclet QWERTY keyboard) had a good mix of "advanced" features for the time, while still getting a good 2-3 days between charges. (The camera on one of those had a configurable exposure time, which allowed for some pretty amazing starry-night shots when set to 15s... Hell, my current phones can't do that!)

I only broke down and got a smartphone (HTC Thunderbolt) when I started getting SMS-of-Deaths on occasion, that would cause it to freeze up when it was received. (And given what recently happened with iOS, it's hard to blame them too much for that.)

Smartphones are awesome, but I hope more basic (read: more reliable) communication devices stick around for use cases where they're appropriate.

Comment Re:Just GBE everywhere! (Score 1) 557 557

One more thing I forgot. One thing you don't need is the old phone sockets. Just replace with Ethernet and use VOIP. So much better and cheaper (although sometimes a little less reliable).

Just make sure to setup e911 on the home VOIP phone.

Why? RJ-11 provides a small power drop without the need for expensive electronics with a PoE solution. You could probably make all the components you need to power the wire with random gear you'd find in someone's garage.

I certainly wouldn't advise *only* having that, but there's something to be said for a trickle power option powered by the local CO (even leaving aside all the other reasons a land line is still good).

My advice? Do everything. Put so many conduits in your house that it looks like a giant Habitrail, ensuring you have both star, bus, and per-floor-isolated topologies. Use smart or breakout outlets at first, but keep your options open.

Depending on your budget, fiber should be considered (and definitely at least accounted for in turning radius/pinch point design).

Every room should have at least two distinct Ethernet drops, and one drop near the ceiling. Anything resembling a media room or bedroom should get an HDMI pull and RJ-11. Anything else being "hard wired" in (smoke detectors and whatnot) should be seen as an opportunity for another set of ports.

Comment Why make it less secure? (Score 2) 384 384

Dear Lord...

You have an airgapped network that prevents remote access, reducing the question of security to one of physical security... which is typically handled with big locks, cameras, 24 hour staffing at the gas station, and maybe men with guns if it comes down to it.

Why would you network these together and create an avenue for simultaneous, surruptitious hacking and attacking of your industrial equipment?

Be thankful you have a job, and don't let the SysAdmin's (natural, and usually good) desire for laziness and efficiency to lead to a future security issue justified by convenience.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll