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Comment: Re:Bi-partisan resonse to Obama plan (Score 1) 146

by darkmeridian (#47399563) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

You're forgetting that the Constellation program was based around a very flawed man-rated booster, the Ares I. For instance, an mission abort 30-60 seconds after launch would kill the entire crew because the exploding solid-fueled rocket fragments was ignite the parachutes that would allow the crew to land safely. The rocket also had oscillation issues, and also caused severe damage to the launchpad. It was also on a spiraling cost pattern when it was canceled; the predicted budget went from $28 billion in 2006 to $40 billion in 2009. And the anticipated cost per launch was north of a billion dollars.

Comment: Re:Face it ... (Score 1) 560

That's pretty edgy and cool but it's also completely wrong. Read the decision. Let's start with the simple notion that the Fifth Amendment protects you against self-incriminating testimony, but it is not an absolute bar against all kinds of self-incrimination. The court can still compel you to provide non-testimonial aid in their prosecution of you. For instance, the court can get a blood test to show that you were drunk while driving, or swab your cheek to test for DNA, get an example of your voice to play to witnesses, to have you participate in a line up, provide a sample of your handwriting, a sample of your hair, putting on a costume that the suspect was wearing, etc. If this were not the case you'd never be able to convict anyone of any crime.

The defendant in this case was read his Miranda rights. He said that the computers were encrypted, and that he could decrypt the files but would not do so. That doomed him. The court said that decrypting the hard drive was not testimonial in nature. If he had shut the fuck up and said nothing, then the court would probably would have denied the prosecutor's motion because decrypting the drive would be an admission that he knew and owned the contents of the drive. But this fuckhead had already bragged to cops that he could decrypt the data but wasn't going to do so. Thus, there was no self-incrimination.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 3, Interesting) 250

by darkmeridian (#47272713) Attached to: TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

That's what the NSA wants you to think: that the rest of the world is not within its grasps. Note that CryptoAG was a Swiss company that was allegedly compromised by the NSA back in the 1950s. God knows what other foreign companies have been hacked by the NSA. Samsung (South Korean) and Huawei (Chinese) hardware have been reportedly compromised by the NSA. If hard drives made by the goddamned Communist Chinese are being shipped with NSA-compromised firmware, then how the hell is stuff coming from Taiwan (nominally a US ally) and Europe going to be any better?

Comment: Re:How will history judge the F-35? (Score 1) 417

by darkmeridian (#47179997) Attached to: Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

The wild card with the F-35 is whether or not its avionics will be outstanding enough to make up for a relatively crappy jet. The self-defense detection packages are integrated into the body of the aircraft, and is more advanced than even its F-22 counterpart. The stealth and flight performance may be lacking, but earlier detection and evasion of enemy threats along with earlier lock-on/launch may prove a decisive encounter in air-to-air or air-to-ground fights. If the data-link works as promised, then shooting at a flight of F-35s might prove to be a stupid idea because the wingman can lock on without emitting any radiation using data provided by another aircraft.

So it depends. On the other hand, we'll probably be fighting countries without air forces or only rudimentary air defense systems. The star of the show in a denied area will probably be drones carrying jamming systems or even anti-radiation missiles. Sure, you can turn on your radar to try to detect stealth aircraft, but this undetectable stealth drone is floating around ready to pop you if you do so.

Comment: Re:If people would fight their tickets... (Score 1) 286

The administrative law judges that hear parking tickets are hired by the Traffic Violations Bureau, aka, the people who wrote the tickets. You may be surprised to know that ALJs have strong incentives to keep their jobs, I mean, uphold tickets. It's not even to save time. It's to save their jobs.

Comment: Re:Software methodology for automobiles (Score 1) 106

by darkmeridian (#47167615) Attached to: Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

Ford also has running upgrades and new features for cars in the same production year. For the 2013 model year Ford Fusion Hybrid, for instance, they added a special air intake with noise-attenuating baffles to all Job 2 and latter vehicles. It apparently makes a pretty big difference to the perceived noise in the cabin when the gas engine runs. There are also special options such as specific paint colors, seat belt airbags, and leather colors that are only available in the latter runs of the same model years. The Ford ETIS system keeps track of all the specific features on each specific car based on the VIN. I think that Tesla is probably doing something similar.

Comment: Re:Cold Weather Package (Score 1) 106

by darkmeridian (#47167601) Attached to: Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

I drive a Ford Fusion Hybrid. I think that in cold weather, most hybrids have to run the internal combustion engine to heat the coolant to operating temperatures. This is inefficient because the ICE could otherwise be turned off. I think that the Prius has a special insulated place for warm battery coolant to be stored so it will not need to be reheated as much. The Tesla feature appears to use battery power to heat the fluid so that ICE can be turned off sooner when starting in cold weather.

Comment: Re:But can you actually trust it? (Score 1) 100

by darkmeridian (#47167527) Attached to: Google Announces 'End-To-End' Encryption Extension For Chrome

I'll go further and say that if the NSA has forced Google to compromise the extension, you shouldn't be using Google or Gmail at all. If the NSA has already coerced Google, obviously, then there's no reason to compromise the extension or PGP; the NSA will just get the mail straight from Google.

Comment: Re:Demanding "safe" vaccines (Score 1) 588

by darkmeridian (#46747925) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

It's not even that she wants vaccines that are proven to be 100% safe with no side-effects. She wants vaccines that she thinks is 100% safe with no side-effects. There is already significant medical evidence that vaccines are worth the cost-benefit analysis but she just thinks that doctors and big pharma are horrible folk who just want to rip her off.

Comment: Re:McCarthy the Playmate? (Score 3, Insightful) 588

by darkmeridian (#46747889) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

The problem is that she's the face of the issue. She is not going on TV saying, "I'm Jenny the Playboy Playmate." She's saying, "I'm Jenny the mother who just knows that vaccines aren't what doctors say they are all cracked up to be." That makes her more pernicious than a crackpot who publishes a report saying that thimerosol causes autism. Basically, she's the Bill Nye the Science Guy of the anti-vaccination crowd.

Comment: Re:But they can't build anything (Score 1) 218

by darkmeridian (#46679757) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Google doesn't have to make software in order to make money. About half of its revenue comes from advertising. All Google has to do is to grow the number of consumers who use the Internet. As long as Gmail, Google Search, and Android keep people using Google to search, then Google can sell ads, and then Google can make money. AdSense and AdWords are revolutionary. It's so easy to buy and sell ads using the Google system. The bottom line is to force the advance of Internet capable systems.

That's why Google fostered Android. You can hate Android, but you can't deny that it increased the number of mobile Internet devices, and that most of those users rely upon Google services. Chrome made web-browsing more consistent, which meant that webmasters could make better pages, which meant more advertising. So Google doesn't care who makes the smart phones so long as smart phones are being made.

Comment: Re:Don't think custom domains were his problem (Score 1) 448

by darkmeridian (#46100827) Attached to: Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

The problem with customs domains is that it created another attack vector that no one really thinks about. The attacker hijacked his mx records and directed his email away. Up until now, I was sitting pretty thinking that I was safe because I used LastPass to create a long fucking Google Apps password and Google Authenticator for two-factor security. I never considered the notion that someone could hijack my mx records. I'm going over to namecheap to enable two-factor authentication.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.