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Comment: Fun, But Useless (Score 3, Funny) 117 117

This is a fun device that can show you what can be done with 3D printed plastic. That said, it's useless. It would be really cool if I could apply 1 pound of force to the crank, turn it a Million times, and have it apply a Million pounds of rotational force at the other end. But it's made of plastic, so it won't do that. Indeed, the fast-rotating parts would wear out before the slow-rotating part made a single turn. So it's not even good as a kind of clock.

All that said, it's a good conversation piece, and probably worth the price for that.

Comment: Re:How much electricity was used last month to min (Score 1) 177 177

Then consider those compute cycles could have been used for Folding@Home and actually helping humanity.

Ending large-scale war and dictatorships will be the most amazing thing to happen for humanity in the past six thousand years.

Yeah, folding proteins is also important.

Comment: Profitable (Score 1) 110 110

Some of those apps are probably really profitable. If you're somebody who likes to listen to lectures and you're not one of the 0.00001% of nerds who use xposed, to turn your screen off while YouTube plays costs $120/yr for a subscription (the feature is non-technically tied to Google Play Music).

There might some apps that have in-app purchase fees higher than $10/mo to keep going, but I haven't run across them. I realize you can't give everything away forever, but Google's got a lock on that market and boy do they monetize it.

Comment: Re:We're All Dicks (Score 1) 262 262

Seriously, does anyone make it to the top without at least some dickness?

Depends on which "top" you mean. If you mean "wealth and power", then, yeah, those are ends that dicks seek and so the successful there are almost entirely represented by that type.

But it's possible to have a huge amount of money and a stupid ugly yacht and for many sensible people to still consider you a failure, especially if you have failed family relationships and your employees fear you.

"Some people are so poor all they have is money."

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 2) 352 352

I don't believe the algorithm is impugning the humanity of my offspring, I just think it is far-from-perfect.

But is the algorithm even wrong? I think the question to the Google recognizer is "of the images in my collection which ones look most like a seal"? If the collection is mostly all pictures of your kids, it'll show you the pictures of your kids that it thinks have the most in common with what it has as an idea about what seals look like. This isn't to make fun of your kids, of course, it's just its best guess due to the nature of the question that was asked of it. A human could make a similar selection when posed with the same question.

So as to the point of TFA, the searcher asked Google for the pictures that are most likely to be pictures of a gorilla inside his photo collection. If we assume that there were not actual pictures of gorillas in the collection, then the guess might not be a bad one. If you gave any human a set of pictures of a speedboat, a skyscraper, a turtle, a box of cereal, and a woman, and asked the human which one of those things looks most like a gorilla, there's only one truthful answer. It might be an offensive one to some people but that doesn't make the guess mathematically incorrect.

Reading the Twitter stream, Google has decided to censor such results. Their first attempt was to say "if somebody searches for gorilla and it matches a picture with a face in it, don't show that". That failed on two pics where a face wasn't recognized, so they added even more filtering and now they're building an i18n wordlist of "offensive" words to restrict the algorithm's output depending on locale.

Being a for-profit company, one of Google's primary concerns is to not alienate its users, so for them I'm sure it's the right move. But we need to be aware that it is imposing censorship (on itself) and that the output of the algorithm is becoming less useful to some degree to avoid offending some people. It's their trade-off to make, for sure, but for the larger computing community it's a valuable lesson to keep in mind. Such trade-offs need to be made carefully and consciously.

Comment: Manage Outsourcing (Score 2) 248 248

You listed a bunch of strengths:
1) she has J2EE experience
2) she lives in Spain where the developer job market sucks
3) she has the talent
4) she'd like to move up to a better job

So, how about she goes and finds un/under-employed local programmers, sets up a syndicate, and manages outsourcing jobs for enterprises in areas where the labor market is tight?

That will gain her marketable sales and management skills which she can then parlay into better career opportunities. Maybe even sell the company once it's successful.

I'm assuming she can speak English about as well as you can, which is plenty good (I can't tell if you're native or not).

Here's the thing that bothers me most about your post, though: she's of child-bearing age, so I'll assume under 40, and you say doing IT is better than picking up a new career now. Don't fool yourself - she'll be working another 40 years (unless the AI's take over) and so she's less than 1/3rd of the way into her career. If you love her, you'll want her to be happy for the next 40 years, and you'll support her in finding/creating something that supports her passions and can pay the bills. So, if she really hates IT, ignore what I wrote above and work hard to help her find her purpose.

Comment: Re:That's not what the blockchain is for (Score 1) 46 46

The bitcoin solution is to sell the space to the highest bidder

'A', not 'the'. Sidechains are a much better bitcoin approach (the blockchain need only record the entry and exit points). Marc Andresson's company has been working on just this for a year or more.

Comment: Re:Apples and oranges (Score 1) 107 107

So then, aren't size comparisons between OpenSSL and s2n at best useless, and at worst intentionally misleading?

Possibly misleading, if one doesn't understand the true claims, but definitely useful.

If you're just using OpenSSL for running servers and s2n can provide all of the functions a server needs, and s2n is is 1% of openssl's size, then it's a much, much cheaper target for auditing, and so it's far more feasible to feel secure about it.

If you're doing something different with OpenSSL then the use case probably doesn't apply.

It may be that a machine analysis of the OpenSSL codebase, starting with the function calls from, say, mod_ssl, could produce a useful graph of the OpenSSL code that's actually in use by typical servers. I'm not personally aware of such an effort, but it seems obvious enough that probably somebody has done it.

Comment: Re: Above Congress? (Score 4, Insightful) 161 161

not sure if serious ... CIA people have been in the Whitehouse since 1980, out in the open (it's debatable before then). They spy on Congress, have their own secret kangaroo courts, and carry out overseas executions all admittedly. One could suppose that there's nothing worse behind closed doors but that would be generous towards spies. Who doesn't really think they're blackmailing anybody in Congress or other high elected office?

Politics remains the entertainment arm of the military-industrial complex. After all, people would be mildly non-plussed to learn that they were secretly ruled by spooks and banksters.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 311 311

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Refill (Score 3, Informative) 189 189

Thanks for this. My experience with the refurb vendors has been fair to terrible. I wonder if I should just replace the caps on a leaky refurb toner I got. Brother makes good machines and sells their carts for a king's ransom. I was literally contemplating $50 more for a new Brother color laser than for a set of toner carts for my existing Brother color laser. The refurbs run 25% of the cost, but I'd rather refill them myself now that I know it's possible.

As to the OP - don't spend a gallon of gasoline to bring a toner cart in for recycling - just toss in the trash if that's your only option (for a brand without a mail-back program). Economics is hard, but recycling without considering economics is stupid.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?