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Comment Re:Brilliant (Score 1) 74 74

The trouble here is that the rest of the monitor is pedestrian as all hell(gosh Samsung, 1920x1080 on a 27 inch screen! I can practically taste the future...) and the presence of the charging widget in the stand suggests that you aren't going to be VESA mounting this one. If you really care about 'de-cluttering', you are much better off having your monitor float conveniently above your desk, not being stuck with the lousy stock stand.

At least the color scheme is atrocious.

Comment Re: A plea to fuck off. (Score 1) 326 326

It's not hard to understand why using passwords is so popular; basically all software supports it as an authentication method, it requires only hardware that you can safely assume that all your users have; and even an idiot understands it well enough to do it dangerously weakly but more or less correctly.

What is frustrating is how few even offer the ability to do anything else. There has been some uptake of shitty little cellphone-based systems(either using SMS or some 'authenticator app'); but RSA-type fobs are pretty much exclusively for accessing corporate systems(and, as a fundamental limitation of their design, they can only be securely used to authenticate against one entity; since, unlike asymmetric key systems, the authentication server must know the initialization seed values of the fob in order to validate authentication attempts, so anyone in a position to authenticate you could impersonate you anywhere else the same fob was accepted); and certificate-based auth is either something you do yourself for SSH(often without secure hardware for storing the certs) or something you basically have to do work for the DoD to encounter.

I'm actually currently in the process of trying to switch banks because, when I inquired about authentication options that weren't pitiful bullshit, they gave me what amounted to "that's adorable; add three or four factors of ten to your account with us and maybe I'll transfer you to somebody who gives a fuck." Blizzard cares more than that. FFS.

Comment Re: A plea to fuck off. (Score 4, Insightful) 326 326

The frustrating thing is that we have better technology available; but we mostly can't use it because sites don't support it. PKCS#11 is older than God, and ICs to suit are nice and cheap because SIMs also use them; but when was the last time you saw a non-state site supporting that? The RSA style auth fobs are also better, as long as you don't let somebody steal the seed data(looking at you RSA) and they don't even need a card reader on the client device. Whatever the 'FIDO' people are messing around with is immature and barely adopted; but also is better than passwords. Aside from a few token "we'll send you a text message and call it two-factor" options, and amusing little pace-of-adoption quirks that make it easier to get a hardware token to protect your WoW account than your bank account, the sites that control the login options haven't done a damn thing in two decades.

Comment Re:Workstation Tests (Score 1) 75 75

Isn't that the only reason to care about this particular part? The laptop version is of interest because it has the distinction of being the fastest GPU(and probably pretty close to the fastest CPU) you can buy in any laptop too small/thin/etc. for a discrete GPU. The desktop version is just a solution looking for a problem unless the extra cache makes it better than other i7s.

Comment Re:NVidea's problem, not Microsoft's (Score 1) 308 308

It's also not comforting that these windows update drivers are breaking all over the place; because(at least for GPUs) the ones on windows update have historically been the relatively conservative option. They are frequently behind the curve compared to the direct-from-vendor ones; but are also supposed to be the ones that aren't breaking things just to improve some benchmark score.

Comment Re:Never understood (Score 1) 428 428

Lawyers are paid to advance their employer's interests, not to achieve correctness. If one wrote up a contract that was so full of shit that the entire thing got tossed they would indeed get poor marks(this is why contracts usually insist on 'severability', so that any sections determined to be bullshit shall have no effect on the remaining sections). As long as they can avoid that, though, any advantage that they can derive by inserting scary-but-groundless language is pure gravy. If somebody doesn't know that it is baseless, or can't risk fighting about it, you get compliance without even needing the law on your side. If they do, well, it's just a severable clause, so no harm done.

It's an ugly sort of business; but pragmatic.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 4, Funny) 269 269

You guys are fucked. Enjoy your draconian regulations.

To be fair, New Zealand is the country iconic for having flightless birds that are utterly incapable of surviving against species introduced to the island. It seems only appropriate that their drone situation should be similarly flightless and delicate.

Comment Re:Bed Nets (Score 3, Insightful) 34 34

Drugs are a huge business; but if you are in it for the cash you would be chasing male pattern baldness, obesity, limp-dick-itis, and other lifestyle problems of people who have money. Vaccines are a perennially under-performing item; and vaccines for diseases that mostly affect the dreadfully poor are even less promising. I assume that there's some Gates Foundation money in it, and Uncle Sam would probably pay for something that would allow troops to operate in malarial hellholes without the drawbacks of today's chemical prophylaxis options; but anyone hoping to get rich would be doing R&D elsewhere.

(In the medium to long term, though, a malaria vaccine might be worth a great deal of money, indirectly. One of the nasty things about malaria is that it doesn't kill too many people; but it weakens and debilitates the infected on a massive scale, so regions where malaria is endemic lose huge amounts of school attendance and labor force participation to malaria, which helps keep them poor.)

Comment Re:Bed Nets (Score 1) 34 34

There are a variety of efforts(different organizations and programs involved at different times) that do just that. Especially in areas moist enough that you can't just do a 'don't leave stagnant water sitting in containers/gutters/etc' campaign to eliminate much of the mosquito breeding area, bed nets are the low-hanging-fruit in terms of reducing the average number of bites per person, especially when you consider how cheap they are and how long they last unless abused(the insecticide-impregnated ones do eventually turn into normal ones; but are still mechanically effective).

I assume that the vaccine efforts are partially a matter of "Well, I'm an immunologist not a field health/education worker, so what am I best suited to do?", partially a matter of protecting people during the time they aren't in bed; and perhaps also the hope of eventually making a sufficient portion of humans resistant and crashing the population of malaria causing protozoa entirely. P. knowlesi unfortunately has an animal reservoir(some non-human primates); but some of the other common plasmodia don't, so if you could increase resistance enough you might be able to hit the point of substantial additional gains 'for free' as the number of infected mosquitos drops and the population crashes.

Aside from immediate considerations, working on a malaria vaccine probably gets some additional interest because of its greater value(both humanitarian and commercial) if climate change should cause the current range of the disease(mostly ghastly tropical pestholes filled with people who can't afford expensive drugs) into wealthier areas of the world. There may also be a basic-research interest: unlike most pathogens, plasmodia are eukaryotic; so I'm sure that the relevant specialists find all sorts of fascinating differences between the biology of the pathogen/host interaction in malaria vs. that in infections by bacteria or viruses. You aren't going to commercialize a drug on basic research alone; but if you want research to happen it certainly doesn't hurt to be novel and interesting.

Comment Re:Equitable pay? (Score 1) 428 428

My pleasure. I'm always glad to see a discussion take a turn for the better rather than just sliding off the rails. Unfortunately, it seems as though the value of known-inaccurate simplified models is often enough poorly understood that some people treat them as "Haha, your model doesn't happen in real life, therefore Economics Refuted!" and others treat them as though their results can actually be trusted when talking about the real-world situations that they are intended to help analyze.

In this case, perfect information is obviously not happening(if nothing else, you'd be crowned God-Emperor of HR for all eternity if you actually found a way of objectively ranking an employee's expertise with enough precision to justify the difference between their salary and the category average down to the last dollar, or even the nearest $10k in a lot of cases); but it does seem like a pretty decent example of how a situation goes from being substantially not-'free-market'(information is both imperfect and asymmetric, with Google knowing all the salaries and each employee knowing only their salary) to one that is markedly closer to 'free market'(Google knows all the salaries, each employee knows at least a fair number of salaries; and is negotiating from a position of much better price information).

I admit that my initial post was pretty snippy; I get annoyed at the cries of "SOCIALISM!!!", especially now that the Cold War is over, all the 'communist' states have either collapsed or turned into crony-capitalist states of various flavors; and the closest thing you can find to 'socialism' is capitalist countries with comparatively cushy social safety nets; and whoever the AC was pushed my buttons.

That specific annoyance aside, though, I'm actually rather fascinated by how useful(across a wide variety of disciplines) models that we know are false can be, despite their falsehood. They are wrong; but by being wrong in well defined ways that are amenable to (relatively) simple analysis they can be such a good jumping off point for examining the real world and figuring out how it must be different in order to produce the results you see.

Comment Re:Please Stop (Score 1) 154 154

I find the 'esport' label irksome, mostly because I've never understood the big deal about watching sports; but if the defining characteristic of 'sport-ness' were physical rigor; coal mining and working in a sweatshop would be major athletic events and they'd force golfers to walk the entire course and carry their own bags.

Gaming is obviously pretty low intensity for most muscles, though the rigor of the mental drill is considerable; and the amount of carpal tunnel and similar injuries are actually alarmingly high.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder