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Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 438

by JakartaDean (#48464421) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

In 1987, I bought an 80 MEGAbyte drive for $775 (around $1600 today), thinking how amazing it was that disk drives had broken the $10/MB barrier. When the first 1GB drives came out a few years later, I remember thinking, "Who would trust that much data to a single device? What an amazing single point of failure!" Now there are 128GB MicroSD cards for under $1/GB. Even understanding the technology, the mind boggles.

You got a deal. Around 1989 I sold a 315MB IBM "Winchester" drive to the phone company, for a whopping $10,095 (list price at the time). It slid into a fairly clunky PS/2 Model 80, as I recall.

Comment: Re: Why giving ? (Score 1) 92

by JakartaDean (#48447427) Attached to: How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

China has the right idea. If you don't work, you don't eat.

I imagine that would do wonders to clean up my city's streets from the hundreds of young people who prefer to camp there 24/7 versus getting a job.

Where I live and work (as a CSR consultant), Indonesia, people also don't eat if they don't get a job. Among other failings, malnutrition of children under 5 years runs at around 35%. That causes stunting and is associated with poor cognitive test scores, which is in turn correlated with lower income. I don't have the data for China handy, but your solution is overly simplistic and reflects poorly on your understanding of the article and the issue.

Comment: Re:Don't go the way of Vancouver (Score 1) 169

by JakartaDean (#48416081) Attached to: City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

Was just in Vancouver and learned that they've done away with Uber. It was horrible. Not enough taxis so it was impossible to get around the city. Frankly, it will impact my decision on whether or not I go back to visit. Unless your taxi companies can offer the same level of service, killing Uber will result in an impact to tourism... maybe just from me, but it'll be an impact. :)

Toronto has poor to adequate taxi service. Vancouver has NO taxi service. It is not a taxi town, everyone drives cars. Taxis, when you can get them (airport or phone in) cost real money. Public transit is perfectly fine for the young and poor. Vancouver also has the worst traffic in North America, according to Wikipedia.

Comment: Re:Yes yes yes (Score 1) 405

You could work the same hours (per family) today and still have a vastly higher standard of living than people had in the 60s. You might have a lower standard of living than your neighbors, with 2 earners, and that's mostly what people care about, but that's a relative, not absolute, measure. And we are absolutely doing better now.

I understand your point -- please don't jump up and down saying I don't get it. I disagree with it. You are correct that your money today, even in nominal terms, can arguably buy more value in manufactured goods. That may or may not be true, but it is only a small subset of what we buy. Manufacturing (both what we buy and who we employ) is a constantly decreasing share of the economy in most countries -- including some in the developing world. Services can generally be grouped into professional and unskilled, and there are more and more people looking for fewer and fewer unskilled jobs.

Others are correctly pointing out that the important criterion is what the person with the median income can buy. That excludes the education many of us older folks got, the DB pension our parents got and many other things. Medicine is probably a wash, depending on where you live and in the US your coverage.

There is, tragically, no doubt that the median earner has experienced a decline in his standard of living. Real median incomes are declining, and the cheaper cost / higher functionality of manufactured goods today is not enough to compensate.

+ - JP Morgan Chase Attacked; data for 76million stolen

Submitted by JakartaDean
JakartaDean (834076) writes "J.P. Morgan Chase said about 76 million households were affected by a cybersecurity attack on the bank this summer in one of the most sweeping disclosed breaches of a financial institution.

The largest U.S. bank by assets said the unknown attackers stole customers’ contact information—including names, email addresses, phone numbers and addresses. The breach, which was first disclosed in August and is still under investigation by the bank and law enforcement, extended to the bulk of the bank’s customer base, affecting an amount equivalent to two-thirds of American households. It also affected about seven million of J.P. Morgan’s small-business customers. It isn’t clear how many of those households are U.S.-based.

The bank said hackers were unable to gather detailed information on accounts, such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers or dates of birth. Customer money is “safe,” the bank said in a statement to customers on Thursday."

Comment: Re:The London Bus is a good place to start (Score 2) 491

by JakartaDean (#47868305) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars
I've long thought flywheels were an ideal component of an urban bus, but you wouldn't need them for an electric bus with batteries since the motors are efficient-enough generators under braking. For a diesel bus they make a lot of sense in theory, but machining them is expensive, and to be really efficient they would need to spin really, really fast, with possibly deadly results if it begins to wobble.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1, Insightful) 465

by JakartaDean (#47727051) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

But the bottom line is: people aren't as stupid as you'd like to think they are...

Your post is strong evidence that at least one of us is. Since you're taking on and defaming scientists as a group, perhaps you would care to share your analysis leading to your figures of "trillions" and "5%".

+ - IBM Creates Custom-Made Brain-Like Chip

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a paper published Thursday in Science, IBM describes its creation of a brain-like chip called TrueNorth. It has "4,096 processor cores, and it mimics one million human neurons and 256 million synapses, two of the fundamental biological building blocks that make up the human brain." What's the difference between TrueNorth and traditional processign units? Apparently, TrueNorth encodes data "as patterns of pulses". Already, TrueNorth has a proven 80% accuracy in image recognition with a power consumption efficiency rate beating traditional processing units. Don't look for brain-like chips in the open market any time soon, though. TrueNorth is part of a DARPA research effort that may or may not translate into significant changes in commercial chip architecture and function."

+ - Origami-inspired robot folds itself—and walks away->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Using origami-inspired computing, researchers have built a crawling robot that assembles itself in 4 minutes. The team made a five-layer composite out of paper, a flexible circuit board, and shape-memory polymers that contract when heated to 100C. Heat generated locally by the embedded circuits triggers hinges in the composite to fold, while mechanical features in the composite determine how far and in what direction each hinge bends. The precise folding pattern is generated by origami design software and programmed into the robot’s microcontroller. Once the machine is assembled, a motor interacts with linkage structures in its legs to drive it crawling and turning without human intervention. The researchers hope this early prototype will eventually lead to cheap, quick, and customized robot manufacture. One possibility: mass deploying the flat robots into collapsed buildings to navigate small spaces in search-and-rescue missions."
Link to Original Source

Schneier: The US Intelligence Community has a Third Leaker->

From feed by bsfeed
Ever since The Intercept published this story about the US government's Terrorist Screening Database, the press has been writing about a "second leaker": The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration. The article cites documents prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after...
Link to Original Source

+ - US Supreme Court affirms legislative prayers are constitutional

Submitted by JakartaDean
JakartaDean (834076) writes "Eugene Volokh, in the Washington Times, says, "The Court is unanimous in its view that, generally speaking, some legislative prayers are constitutionally permissible." Even the dissenters agree that "such a forum need not become a religion-free zone." Apparently the whole thing is based on tradition: "Under Marsh, legislative prayer has a distinctive constitutional warrant by virtue of tradition." Is this really the best the USA can come up with in terms of decision making at the highest level?"

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 119

by JakartaDean (#46882199) Attached to: Bloomberg's Trading Terminals Now Providing Bitcoin Pricing

Everybody who's against Bitcoin is mad because they didn't mine it in the early days.

I didn't invest in google in the early days either, but I don't hate them.

I hate bitcoin for a number of reason. The few that top the list: 1) I hate the idea of having all of these computers working harder and harder, using more and more energy, and every day there being more miners setting up more computers, all of it in an unproductive pursuit of nothing but wealth. The energy wasted for no real societal gain makes it more socially useless than a marketing department for a law firm.

2) The price varies so wildly, but it's all based off of nothing. At least with stocks, you have company metrics and financials you can at least try to use to figure out where it's going. At least with national currencies, you can look at what the country is doing politically and financially to try and guess where the currency is going. With bithcoin, it's like it's decided by a magic eight ball...there is nothing you can base decisions on other than a random guess.

Here's where we disagree. I don't believe fundamentals influence, in any way, exchange rates. What influences exchange rates is only expectations of future exchange rates. These are regularly very different from past experience. I speak from intense personal experience in Indonesia in 1999, when the rate of the local currency dropped from 2,500 to the dollar to more than 15,000 in a little more than a month.

Stock prices yes, exchange rates no -- they are solely based on subjective impressions of future trends.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."