Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Thus showing CO2 is hardly related to warming (Score 1, Flamebait) 134

by SuperKendall (#49635239) Attached to: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record

Warming is obviously a lot more complex than CO2 levels, because warming has continued to basically flatline as it has for decades now. So why are we still so concerned about CO2 emissions when the runaway effect predicted is simply not occurring?

There are simply too many natural processes in the earths climate that deal with variances in heat, most variances from other causes are vastly greater than the current minuscule levels of CO2 we see (they are historically high but factor in very little in terms of atmospheric mix).

If we're lucky, we'll get a nice 2C boost for a few hundred years out of all combined warming effects, before sliding into yet another ice age. Sadly I do not think we will be that lucky.

Comment: Re:Spot the Fed comments in TFA were pretty tame (Score 1) 63

by tlambert (#49634383) Attached to: FBI Releases Its Files On DEF CON: Not Amused By Spot-the-Fed

Looks like typical bureaucratic language. I think there is some kind of law that says all reports must be written in in passive voice and with no humor at all. I'd bet some of the Feds found Spot the Fed humorous...

Passive voice effectively disclaims responsibility, and disclaims chain of responsibility, by making a statement without anyone owning it. It's also frequently used as an argument-without-evidence technique.

Comment: Re:U.S. government is EXTREMELY CORRUPT. (Score 4, Insightful) 63

by tlambert (#49634367) Attached to: FBI Releases Its Files On DEF CON: Not Amused By Spot-the-Fed

We are seeing many extreme examples of U.S. government corruption.

Uh... what other governments in supposedly non-corrupt jurisdictions respond to "Freedom Of Information Act" requests with ... actual information?

Try getting information on e.g. "Pussy Riot" out of the Putin government.

Comment: It's not taking a DNA sample on the iPhone (Score 1) 92

by SuperKendall (#49631097) Attached to: Apple's Plans For Your DNA

You can't actually take the sample on the phone - the idea is that you can get your DNA sampled, then the results get stored on your phone - which you can if you wish share that anyone who would like to have it after that, if you choose.

So it's pretty close in terms of value (because if a lot of people do this a lot of researchers could get quick access to DNA data instead of having to do it once per test). But it's not as widespread as direct collection would be.

I don't think I'd want my phone actually being the DNA collection point anyway as it would think I was some kind of human/cat hybrid.

Comment: Re:Vaginosis/Vaginitis Plus (Score 3, Informative) 463

by tlambert (#49630475) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

This is trivial, given that there are only a couple of federated diagnostic testing services in her area.

Looks like a bacterial infection of some kind, although they also checked for Pappilomavirus, two other STDs, and a fungal yeast infection, BVAB2, and strep.

87481 SureSwab ®, Vaginosis/Vaginitis Plus
87481 SureSwab ®, Bacterial Vaginosis/Vaginitis

87491 SureSwab ®, Vaginosis/Vaginitis Plus
87491 SureSwab ®, CT/NG, T. vaginalis
87491 Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae, T. vaginalis, Qualitative, TMA and HSV 1/2 DNA, Real-Time PCR, Pap Vial
87491 Chlamydia/N. gonorrhoeae and T. vaginalis RNA, Qualitative, TMA, Pap Vial

87798 SureSwab ®, Trichomonas vaginalis RNA, Qualitative, TMA
87798 SureSwab ®, Vaginosis/Vaginitis Plus
87798 SureSwab ®, CT/NG, T. vaginalis
87798 Trichomonas vaginalis RNA, Qualitative, TMA, PAP Vial
87798 Chlamydia/N. gonorrhoeae and T. vaginalis RNA, Qualitative, TMA, Pap Vial
87798 Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae, T. vaginalis, Qualitative, TMA and HSV 1/2 DNA, Real-Time PCR, Pap Vial

105 Chlamydia trachomatis
127 Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
164 Bacterial Vaginosis Associated Bacteria 2 (BVAB2)

These are probably not test codes that she should have published, given their sensitive nature.

I do agree with her assertion that medical billing is kind of terrible.

On the other hand, they intentionally make billing and coding as difficult as possible so that the doctors office has to correctly code it to the insurance companies liking before they are obligated to pay. Usually a medical office will try a couple of times, and then give up if they don't hit pay dirt, and just send the bill to the patient, and let them argue with the insurance company long enough to damage their credit for non-payment, or pay it out of pocket to save their credit.

HMOs are absolutely the worst for this, followed by PPOs.

I would have much preferred a single payer system, like Richard Nixon wanted (he was the first president to propose a national health care system), rather than the TARP III bailout for the insurance companies which we ended up getting with the ACA.

Comment: They pretty much requires a commercial policy. (Score 1) 251

by tlambert (#49628137) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

They pretty much requires a commercial policy.

"Insurers writing automobile insurance in the state are allowed to exclude any and all coverage under the driver’s or vehicle owner’s insurance policy for any loss or injury occurring while the driver is logged on to a TNC’s digital network or providing a prearranged ride."

So basically, it's requiring that Uber carry the insurance on their drivers, rather than the drivers self-insuring, and gives insurance companies an "out" if they want to exclude insurance while the driver has the app running (i.e. is "on call") and while the driver is actually driving.

What insurance company is going to pass up being paid double for what would otherwise be a single policy?

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? Yes. (Score 1) 397

by tlambert (#49627609) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

Couldn't they leave the crapware and drivers alone and still provide critical security updates we expect and need on computers since well, the Windows XP SP2 days?
Instead of updating the whole OS, Google would better provide say monthly security fixes for three years on the Android 4.4 OS, the 5.0 OS, the 5.1 OS etc.

This is not going to end well, I guess fragmentation hampers malware somewhat but what if some powerful piece of malware manages to get installed on say 10 million of Android computer phones and starts doing something really nasty?

I'm fairly certain that the biggest security threat is unverified and unmoderated software packages in the various web stores, and the ability to side-load applications. Most of the malware probably comes through the app installer, rather than a security exploit.

Although there have been issues with untrusted parties signing domain certs -- the latest was China's CNNIC root certificate removal -- and there are the heartbleed and other SSL exploits -- those are mostly untrusted public hotspot access or governmental eavesdropping attacks.

Malware is a much bigger problem.

Note that Apple is starting to have this same problem in China: there are unauthorized app stores which pirate apps (at best) or pirate them, and bundle them with malware, and then use an enterprise enrollment to let you install from their "enterprise app store", which is actually a pirate/malware site. But it's not nearly as widespread or fragmented as the Android marketplaces, and it's pretty easy to avoid -- unless you are going there because the app you want is not legally being sold by the app vendor in China. In which case: you take your chances.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? Yes. (Score 3, Interesting) 397

by tlambert (#49626541) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

In other words, it's a lose for everyone involved, due to the way the Android/OEM/Carrier relationship is structured, and there's no product continuity upsell like you have with the various iPhone models.

This is only true as long as consumers don't prioritize upgrades at point of purchase. If we could get OEMs to begin making binding upgrade and update support commitments, and get consumers looking at and comparing devices on that basis, then OEMs would be motivated to provide updates.

They can prioritize all they want, but no one wants to pay for the carrier certification of thee modified SDRs, particularly when using a T-Zone on a Snapdragon chip in order to run the baseband, and the FCC demands that the SDR be certified as a unit (software + hardware). That's a carrier certifiiation per carrier, per country, per device, per version update.

Also no carrier using a contract lock-in revenue model is going to provide an update that doesn't lock you into a new contract, and a version update won't do that unless there's a charge for the update, based on FAS (Federal Accounting Standard) rules, since without an exchange of consideration, there is no contract. This is why Apple charged for the WiFi software update on iPods, and non-cellular network iPads, but didn't charge for cellular connected iPads and iPhones. It had to do with realization of revenue over time, versus a one time sale, and adding features to the device via software.

You should also be aware that the image that's shipped by the OEM is often not even buildable by Google engineers; apart from the fact that the devices used during development are generally signature neutered, and it's impossible to cryptographically sign the image for the given device without it either being neutered like that, or signing code that they device manufacturer generally does not share due to it containing a signing key they don't want out there... they entirety of the board file is generally not committed back to the Google maintained Android source tree. Nor is it maintained going forward so that it's up to date, nor is the remainder of the OS productization standardized across all the OEMs. They are trying to differentiate their products, after all, and my Samsung device looking and feeling exactly like a non-Samsung device is not in Samsung's interest: it makes them into a commodity, which is a quick race to the bottom on margin.

Google has significant dictatorial powers when it comes to Chromebooks, which are not available to the Android folks, even if they had the ability to code sign, and could dictate a code cut, the Android in the tree is pretty raw, and never productized.

Finally, Android lacks a uniform app ecosystem; this is a more or less direct consequence of having allowed third party stores, without a strong compatibility for the apps across all devices.

Seriously, one of the smartest things that Apple did was keep the baseband processor separate from the application processor so that there was no telecom recertification required, unless they were explicitly hacking the baseband for some reason (e.g. the carrier lock they did by re-doing the SIM/IMEI handshake when doing a hand-off between cell towers in order to intentionally break SuperSIMs and similar techniques for hardware carrier unlocks).

Without the app ecosystem and the continuity of app and other content going forward on Android -- which it doesn't -- I don't see a means of enforcing carrier lock-in to support that economic model, particularly if you started supporting software updates.

Comment: A sneak peak at the results (Score 4, Funny) 54

by SuperKendall (#49626235) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

Don't tell anyone, but I'm from the future and wanted to give you a heads up how it goes:

Test 1: Make sure all thrusters installed pointing out.

Test 2: Humans can only withstand how much thrust?

Test 3: Make sure to thrust away from, not underneath, falling debris.

Test 4: Emergency homing signal for safe landing should be changed to not match Arbys drive through wireless mics. "Smoked with real smoke from real wood that's on real fire" ended up being a grimly accurate tagline.

Test 5: Turns out Ed was right and we really do need to add a laser canon for those damn pelicans.

Test 6: Success!

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?