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Comment: Re:don't have money to waste (Score 1) 94

by postbigbang (#47547173) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Some people get a lifestyle choice with ACA coverage that's impossible without the ACA: they can breathe.

Others might remove that choice. There's a civics lesson there. If you're talking about covering people with HIV, or who were smokers, then please charge admission for the times when you walk on water. I genuflect.

Comment: Each server is worth $189 or less. (Score 1) 199

by Animats (#47544815) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

If you want more servers like that, Wierd Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale, CA, has the same HP series G Xeon servers for $189. (2 3GHz quad-core Xeons per server! Hard drives are extra, but cheap.) Wierd Stuff has huge supplies of previous-generation data center equipment.

It's amazing how cheap computer hardware is now.

Comment: Space travel isn't feasible. (Score 2, Interesting) 94

by Animats (#47544719) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Reality check: space travel with chemical fuels just barely works. It takes huge rockets to launch dinky payloads, and that hasn't improved in 45 years. Satellites and probes are useful. Man in space has just been a boondoggle.

If fusion ever works, this may change, but with chemical rockets, it's not getting much better.

Comment: Amazon isn't out of expansion area (Score 1) 168

by Animats (#47533631) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Amazon isn't out of expansion area. Their target is all of retail, and there's still a lot of non-Amazon retail. Most other big US companies with lots of cash have hit their natural limits.

Trying to go beyond those limits is tough. Google has not been successful in expanding beyond ads. (Android only makes money as an ad platform; Google's phone revenue is small.) Apple has a lot of cash, but can't find any way to use it that will yield the kind of margins Apple is used to. Facebook is still growing, but again, it's all ads.

There's only so much ad spending in the world, and the ad-based companies are all fighting over the same pot. There's more room to grow when your business model is "sell everything".

Comment: Nice job (Score 1) 60

by Animats (#47520503) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Gameboy

That's a nice job. Of course, the only original part is the case. Coneniently, there's someone who sells a board with buttons designed to fit in a GameBoy case and bring out the buttons for emulation purposes.

If you 3D printed a new case, you would't need a Game Boy at all. I wonder if there's a decal set for that.

Comment: iDrive has the same problem (Score 4, Interesting) 175

by Animats (#47520455) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

iDrive, which is supposed to be a remote backup service, has a similar problem. They used to be a honest remote backup service, with client-side encryption. (They didn't protect the client password very well on the client machine, but at least the server didn't have it.) File contents were encrypted, but filenames were not, so you could look at logs and the directory tree on line. Then they came out with a "new version" of the service, one that is "web based" and offers "sharing".

For "sharing" to work, of course, they need to know your encryption key. They suggest using the "default encryption key". Even if you're not "sharing", when you want to recover a copy of a file, you're prompted to enter your encryption key onto a web page. The web page immediately sends the encryption key to the server as plain text, as can be seen from a browser log. Asked about this, they first denied the problem, then, when presented with a browser log, refused to answer further questions.

They try real hard to get their hands on your encryption key. After you log into their web site, a huge pop-up demands your encryption key. Without it, some of the menu items at the top of the page still work, and with some difficulty, you can actually find logs of what you backed up. You can't browse your directory tree, though.

It's possible to use the service securely (maybe), but you have to run only the application for recovery, and never use the web-based service. They don't tell you that.

This isn't a free service. I pay them $150 a year.

Comment: Re:So, like all other rewards programmes? (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by postbigbang (#47520055) Attached to: Verizon's Offer: Let Us Track You, Get Free Stuff

Your dignity sold. What every ad man wants. Everyone has their price, and the price is frighteningly small.

Verizon already gets LBS, GPS, WiFi, and other info from most phones unless users go to fiendish depth with Snoopwall and other products to stanch the data flow. I'm wondering WHY they're asking for permission. Seems ludicrous to do so when everyone's already giving it up for free. Making it legit?

Legit like net neutrality? Legit like stonewalling their clientele? Doesn't make sense.

Comment: Tool problems (Score 1) 368

by Animats (#47518871) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

The author has a point. At one time, there were development tools, which cost money, were relatively static, and which were expected to work correctly. Then there were applications, which relied on the development tools.

We now have a huge proliferation of tools, many of them open source, poorly integrated with each other, and most badly maintained. Worse, because everything has a client side and a server side, there are usually two independent tool chains involved.

Web programming is far too complex for how little most web sites do. (And the code quality is awful. Open a browser console and watch the errors scroll by.)

"An entire fraternity of strapping Wall-Street-bound youth. Hell - this is going to be a blood bath!" -- Post Bros. Comics