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Comment Re:Lots of GMTO Articles (Score 1) 51

Here's a list of the largest telescopes in space and on the ground:

The diagram is probably the most informative part of the document:

Imagine if both Europe and the USA could build two large telescopes that could be combined together to form a stereoscopic telescope the size of the planet...

Comment Re: We are returning to the dark ages. (Score 1) 59

We are descending into a dark age. We have a culture of death, where we've replaced reproduction with immigration. This has been true for decades, and is becoming more pronounced with the passage of time. We have too many elderly, and our women are facing ever increasing pressure to choose service over family, creating a spiral effect. We will reach a point where we don't have the numbers to keep the infrastructure going. Our modern technological society relies on myriad resources being available, and as those resources become unavailable, all the knowledge in the world won't matter. Once we're unable to implement our discoveries and designs, people will forget them.

As we became more advanced, our creations became more delicate. The more delicate they are, the quicker archeological evidence of them deteriorates. There is no reason to believe this hasn't happened before.

ISIS are standing in opposition to this pattern, but I doubt they will be effective enough to prevent it. I'd say a dark age is pretty much guaranteed.

Comment Re:Um... not to should rude (Score 1) 298

Sure, but I bought it at the end of 2008 specifically knowing I'd run Vista on it, and my way of future proofing is as much cheaper trailing edge CPU as I can find, and as much RAM as I can afford -- especially since I'd seen our poor QA guys trying to run it on a cobbled together machine with 512MB of RAM.

It worked just fine until the machine keeled over about a year ago, but it was starting to push the memory (I was also running VMware on it).

Then I replaced with a box with an AMD FX-8320E/8 core and 16GB of RAM ... over many years I've found almost nothing future proofs a machine than what sounds like a stupid amount of RAM.

Part of the problem is I don't think "minimum specs" for a Windows machine has ever been anything but a lie. It's always required much more than MS ever claimed it should.

It still amazes me that people are still selling machines with 4GB of RAM like it was 10 years ago. That just screams of leaving people with machines with far too little resources.

Even in 2008 machines with 4GB of RAM wasn't nearly enough.

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 298

While I'm glad you like Mint, you might give Ubuntu a try. (I suggest the KDE version.) I found mind to be relatively slow on my machine. (Warning: KDE was slow until I disabled Nepomuk. Perhaps there's a similar problem with Mint that I just didn't stumble across the answer to.)

OTOH, If you like older MSWind desktops, check out the xfce desktop. Perhaps you can use that in Mint, you can certainly use that in Ubuntu.

That said, I prefer Debian. But it's not what I recommend to newcomers. My wife uses Ubuntu + KDE (perhaps it was actually Kubuntu, but it's about the same thing) and had minimal problems with it.

THAT said, try looking at something from a LiveCD before you install it. You can't get a feel for the speed or action from one, but you can really see what it looks like.

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 298

Depends on what you mean. I believe that any program complicated enough to count as an OS is guaranteed to have bugs, and if it is also connected to the Internet it's probably guaranteed to be exploitable.

OTOH, for different values of trust one could say that any OS not connected to the Internet is trustable...but then someone could sneak in and write the saved data to a removable storage you need to ensure that it can't write to removable storage media...but then they could sneak in and copy the disk drive, so you need to ensure that it doesn't save data to disk...

When I was in my teens I followed instructions in Scientific American and built a computer out of matchboxes, pieces of paper, ink, thread, and pieces of candy. It could learn how to play tic-tak-toe. (AND you got to eat the candy when the computer made a losing move while learning.) But even THAT isn't secure against physical surveilance, unless at the end of the training session you eat ALL the candy, so it forgets the moves it learned.

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 298

Well, if that's so then their cheapest solution should be to replace the current system with a virtual system running MSVista (or earlier) and a tight firewall around all internet connections to prevent virus infections. By firewall I don't just mean a set of IPTables, I means something that will sanitize outgoing, and probably incoming, messages. What the firewall would allow would need to depend on the required connections, of course, but it should certainly limit the IPs that binary messages could be sent to or be accepted from.

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 298

Well, Linux is not only weak on the desktop, it doesn't even have one. Now KDE, Gnome, Mate, xfce, etc., they have desktops. The problem is that there are too many for a new user to wrap their mind around. I find that KDE is the best general desktop, with xfce next. Gnome used to be right up there, and for awhile Gnome2 was ahead of KDE4, but Gnome3 I find totally useless. (Some people seem to like it.) xfce works well in low resource environments, though if you've got a really low resource environment, there are other options...but they aren't suitable for a new user.

The problem is desktop applications. This has largely been well addressed, but not totally. There are still niches that are not well served by Linux based programs. And sometimes the problem is that people just don't want to learn a new program...which can be the real problem even though it may manifest as complaints about missing features that aren't really used.

FWIW, after decades of redoing work, I decided that proprietary file formats were totally unacceptable. So for me Linux is the far superior system.

Comment Re:The way to fight this (Score 1) 298

Sure you can block one IP address at a time. Then they'll switch to a range of IP addresses, then funnel *everything* through a single IP address with a proxy server. I got fed up of constantly seeing IP traffic sent out, so tried blocking things. I'm using Privacy Badger:

Safe Browsing also stores a mandatory preferences cookie on the computer which the US National Security Agency allegedly uses to identify individual computers for purposes of exploitation.

"Add-ons Blocklist: Firefox contacts Mozilla once per day to check for add-on information to check for malicious add-ons. This includes, for example: browser version, OS and version, locale, total number of requests, time of last request, time of day, IP address, and the list of add-ons you have installed. You can turn off metadata updates at any time, but it may leave you open to security vulnerabilities."

"To help display relevant snippets, Firefox sends Mozilla a monthly request to look up your location at a country level using your IP address. We then send that country level information back to Firefox, where it's stored locally. Firefox will then choose snippets to show you based on the locally stored country information."

Comment Re:And who trusts Financial "Advisors"? (Score 1) 71

There's a number of reasons. The top one is that I'm unwilling to devote significant effort to following the stock market. A large secondary reason is the cost/trade overhead. And just about as important as the other two is that if you don't have enough money to risk losing it, you don't take long odds.

None of these apply is you're handling other people's money. I doubt that most financial advisors follow their own recommendations...even though they might believe them, because the risk of losing is more than they can afford.

OTOH, if you're talking about the personal decisions made by the wealthy and powerful, they are frequently operating off of information that you don't have, and they certainly have connections that you don't have. (It's also true that many of them have only a "don't get caught" respect for the law, and no concern for the consequences to others. But this is not true of all of them, while the preceding statements are.)

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 298

Read the article, temetry wasn't disabled.

If I read the actual article correctly, it was just a Vanilla install of Windows 10 enterprise. There was no active attempt to disable or block any of the actual telemetry features at all. He did go through the customized install and turned off the 'cloud/personalization/sync options there', but that's it.

The actual telemetry features would still have been on.

Not to mention all the usual windows features that phone home:

Everything from windows update, to time sync, to the regular ping it does to see if you have internet connectivity would have still been on.

I'm guessing all the live tiles in his start menu were still on too, so they'd have been pulling ads and updates, etc.

Seriously... it's an interesting exercise and an interesting article about what one's computer is doing. But it doesn't show what anybody here is really concluding.

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