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Comment: That's not the reason you're being ignored. (Score 5, Insightful) 405

by sbaker (#48140939) Attached to: Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

People don't listen to that preflight announcement stuff because they've heard it a hundred times before. People who've flown even a couple of times before don't need to listen. People who are on their first flight, where it's all new and exciting are paying attention.

So, no - I know how to wear a seatbelt and that my seat cushion can be used as a floatation device and to check where the nearest exit row is...yadda yadda yadda. I can stick my nose into my phone and I won't miss anything important.

What's needed is either to make those instructions INTERESTING (like the Southwest Airlines people often do) - or to only give the routine instructions to people who need it. That way, when something truly important comes up, people will pay attention.

Comment: Re:Bad example, interesting points. (Score 1) 240

by Simon Brooke (#48140211) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Clojure is designed to be be compatible - not backwards compatible, but intercalling compatible, with Java. The consequence is that a Clojure program can crash out of stack when it still has masses of heap. Why? Well, the JVM was designed for small embedded devices which would run small programs, which weren't expected to do a lot of recursion; and were low power with limited memory so allocating stack as a vector was seen as an efficiency win. The fact that most of the time we don't run Java on small embedded low power limited memory systems is beside the point: Java is designed to work in those circumstances, and therefore it allocates stack as a vector of fixed (limited) size. When it hits the top of that stack it's stuck, and falls over hard.

Clojure doesn't need to be like that. Even running on the JVM, it would be possible to implement a separate Clojure spaghetti stack in heap space. But the design decision was to make Java interoperability easy at the expense of limiting recursion depth. Similarly Clojure does not automatically fail over from storing integers as java Integers to storing them as bignums, as many much older Lisps are able to do. It easily could have, but it doesn't. Again, I think this is for interoperability with Java; otherwise it looks like a really odd decision.

Easy Java interop is not a bad thing. It's a good thing. It allows access to a wealth of pre-existing Java libraries. But it's a choice, and one should not blind oneself to the fact that other choices could have been made - and would have had significant merits.

Comment: Re:as the birds go (Score 1) 608

by Simon Brooke (#48138751) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

No. Birds can perch safely on high voltage wires - and you'll frequently see them do so. The reason is obvious. They aren't connected to the ground; there's no potential difference across their bodies. High voltage wires - provided wires carrying different phases are further apart than the wingspan of the bird - pose no threat to birds.

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 1) 975

Or he found a way to sneak in energy without the researchers knowing it.
The problem is that there is still no credible known mechanism for producing or storing it inside the box.

The opinion "Doesn't work" is still valid, but after this one should atleast acknowledge that it is at the very least an ingenious hoax....

Comment: Translucent OLED, stereo cams, tracking, etc (Score 1) 16

Seems to me that the ideal headset:
* has dual high-res cams located above the eyes, or quad cams above and below, which can 'average' out to eye level
* Is translucent/transparent with an electrochromic backplate
* has pupil sensors on the inside
* is wireless, perhaps with a battery 'pendant' that incorporates some UWB connection to the host computer
* integrated mic on the bottom of the goggle frame as well as noise-cancelling mic on top
* face cams can recognize fingertips, physical cues (like a laser mouse) to handle fine head orientation
* possibly incorporate hardware neural net coprocessors for support features as well as image/pattern recognition

Awhile back, hopefully suitable for 600+dpi displays:

And a consumer level version of this might be cool:

Comment: Re:The real questions to ask (Score 1) 209

Verizon doesn't get why canceling those plans is very harmful to them. All they've done is succeed in getting us to stop using the phone, not in extracting more money out of us.

They've forced us into locating where wifi access points and then switching to use them. Before we were blindly using Verizon and didn't care. Now they've taught us there are options and it is likely that Verizon is not going to be one of them in the future. I'm never going to pay $10/GB in overages - the phone is just set to shut off cell Internet access if the 6GB runs out. Now that we're being careful about using wifi its not clear that we even need much of a data plan.

Comment: Re:The real questions to ask (Score 1) 209

Wrong - we recently upgraded a phone and ended up in a big fight with Verizon. When we upgraded the phone in the store we made the rep swear on a stack of bibles that the unlimited plan would not be terminated. We even made him bring over his manager.

Next month we get bill with $100 of overages and find we are now on a 2GB plan for same price as old unlimited plan. Of course we screamed. Store was locked out of computer for making changes. So we spent about two weeks harassing them over the phone. Finally when we brought in all three phones we had back to the store and told them to compute the early termination charges did they start talking.

They ended up giving us 6GB for the same price we were paying for unlimited previously and took off the $100 overage. We are still not happy about this and will definitely be shopping vendors when contract expires.

So it is not clear to me if there is a solution to keeping the unlimited plan. We were ready to terminated our entire 10 year relationship with Verizon and still they wouldn't give it back. Now they have just deferred things for two years and we will definitely be shopping then.

Comment: Re:Of course it does. (Score 1) 173

by jonsmirl (#47996181) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

This article explains it more clearly, the author at Discovery is confused.

For sure the hydrogen and oxygen are much older than the sun, but are the water molecules older than the sun? The formation of the sun may have caused the creation of a lot of new water molecules out of the ancient elements. Or did the water molecules form in interstellar space before the sun's birth?

Comment: Re:Don't complain... (Score 1) 212

by Simon Brooke (#47991909) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

I would say the world is going more lefty, with governments consolidating their power bases and censoring/silencing criticism. It's the left that wants to grow the size of government and have it spy on/manipulate as much of peoples' lives as it can.

The left-right axis is orthogonal to the authoritarian-libertarian axis. There are as many right-wing authoritarians as left wing authoritarians, as many left wing libertarians as right wing libertarians.

Comment: Re:Australia voted... for a kick in the nuts. (Score 4, Insightful) 212

by Simon Brooke (#47991871) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

The actual libertarians call themselves either anarchists or communists. The 'libertarians' in the US are conservatives. They believe in laws such as property laws which protect the rich against the poor, but no laws which protect the poor against the rich.

Comment: Re:No one's neutral (Score 4, Informative) 132

by jonsmirl (#47965261) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

"As much as 70% of Internet-distributed data is now video, 50% of it from Netflix. This new video industry — growing exponentially and transforming the nature of entertainment — is getting a free ride on the cable and telco investment in broadband. Arguably, this is unsustainable free distribution, overtaxing networks and slowing the Internet for everyone."

I just gag on "free ride". 11M Netflix subscribers pay Verizon/Comcast/etc $50 * 12 * 11m = $6.6 billion a year for this "free" ride. Margins on Internet services at Verizon/Comcast are believe to be in the 90% profit range.

I can help the FCC solve this. Require that ISPs provide at least one settlement free peering point for each customer in their network with no peering point providing access to less that 10,000 customers. 10K because after all they are ISPs and they should do something for that $50/mth (i'm sure Verizon would immediately declare this settlement free peering point to be the customer's wifi node without this rule).

Comment: The same public key can map to many private keys (Score 2) 76

by Simon Brooke (#47962839) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

Private key and public key are factors in a two factor mathematical relationship.

So there can potentially be many (possibly infinitely many, I haven't tried to prove this) valid private keys for any given public key.

So I can see that, given the public key, I can see that there could be potentially many private keys. I see how you could brute force selecting a private key that matched your public key, and I can see that, depending how the brute-forcing is done, it would not be determinate that an attacker also trying to brute force a private key from the same public key would not come up with the same private key.

What I can't see is how, if you have a message which unlocks with the public key, how you can tell whether it was locked with the 'authentic' private key or with an attackers' inauthentic private key.


Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.