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Comment: Re:The reporter does not like electric vehicles (Score 1) 609

by Lance Dearnis (#42910011) Attached to: NY Times' Broder Responds To Tesla's Elon Musk
Reading over this, it seems pretty clear that Broder is an idiot. He claims to have been given bad instructions - when a moment's thought ("Accelerating and breaking will give you MORE CHARGE!", "Running my car with the heater on but not driving will make the range magically rise", "...The magic rising battery meter with heat didn't work last time, LET'S TRY IT WITH DRIVING TOO") would realize is impossible ("Wait, wouldn't that require this to be a perpetual motion machine and violate the second law of thermodynamics?") More likely, I bet, is that he's an idiot who misunderstood instructions given to him by these Tesla engineers - possibly on purpose (Guy's got a bit of a history of being a probable oil company shill, do some googling). All of his arguments against the Telsa S are really arguments against the quality of Tesla employees... ...Who apparently made major failures of common sense. Over multiple people. On three different incidents. While the car actually did exactly what it said it was going to do the ENTIRE TIME. And then he tries to call this a gross failure of the car? No, he's looking for a scoop. I'm just wondering if he's acting the idiot, or is an idiot.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 449

by Lance Dearnis (#42436099) Attached to: FAA Device Rules Illustrate the Folly of a Regulated Internet
Wrong. Synthetic CDOs. Let me explain them, briefly: You want to buy a batch of subprime mortgage CDOs. BUT,t here are no more! We've already made all the loans we can? So what do we do? We get someone to go 'short' (Bet that they're bad) and agree to pay 'insurance premiums', basically, on a set of bad mortgage loans. Because we think they're still good, and that this idiot is just handing us money. We KNOW they're sound. Meanwhile, his payments - we take a cut, then pass along the rest to someone who went 'long', betting that they are good, and thus, that they're getting free money. Note both sides are betting. There are no loans involved. You know why this structure evolved? THERE WERE NO MORE LOANS TO MAKE, BUT WALL STREET WANTED MORE. That's it. You want some facts? Here's one - look for a book called "Liar's Poker". Published in 1990, by a Salomon Brother's bond salesman (Salomon Brothers, by the way, invented mortgage bonds) about his experiences in the 80s. Well before the "Community Reinvestment Act". Hell, the book was PUBLISHED before that act. CRA is just another tool for Wall Street to shift the blame from their own greed.

Comment: Re:Random E-Mail Attachments = Sidewalk Cuisine (Score 1) 202

by Lance Dearnis (#36887002) Attached to: The Rise of Polymorphic Malware
Oh, for sure. I remember dealing with one system as the Family Tech Guy that had Anti-Virus software - that had not been updated since I first installed it 850 days ago. When I informed them they had a virus, they thought it was impossible. Didn't I put Anti-Virus software on it?

The computer wound up trashed because it needed a reformat and they had long ago thrown out things like their Windows discs, and I wasn't going to bother with that much work for free.

Comment: Random E-Mail Attachments = Sidewalk Cuisine (Score 1) 202

by Lance Dearnis (#36886108) Attached to: The Rise of Polymorphic Malware
A lot of people just innately trust anything on the PC. Not just their address book, but anything they find. What we need to do is, yes, build a culture of suspicion into this - Why is this thing you want available? Why is someone sending you this offer? Why are you receiving an attachment from this person? If you can't figure it out, then you need to either realize you're taking a risk and search for more info/evalute if it's worth it (What we do, particularly if we're searching for pirated software or the like where there IS a risk), or just back away and don't do it.

What most people do is find out by clicking - the equivalent of taste-testing stuff off the New York Sidewalk. Maybe if someone started a seminar where attendees who blindly open attachments are forced into such unsavory blind taste tests, we'd see a little improvement. Even the BEST viruses I've seen as far as making a 'believable' e-mail, are obvious to me. Even if it came from my brother I wouldn't click on 'em. Because I have some healthy mistrust and suspicion of the internet.

Comment: Re:Seriously, making excuses? (Score 1) 504

by Lance Dearnis (#36882902) Attached to: Court Filing On How 2004 Ohio Election Hacked
In 2000, because the ballot was clearly screwed up. You clearly had a problem in people voting for Buchanan, in a more then large enough margin to swing the state and a Presidential Election. You're joining the problem here in that you're ignoring, the same way that Bush (And I admit, Gore too) did - assuming that there was 'nothing that could be done' about the screwed up Buchanan votes. That should have forced a re-election. Yes it would have been expensive, yes it would've been a pain, and you can start by taking the money straight from the officials in Florida who didn't fix this problem before hand. But in all seriousness, if at my job, I ran something that screwed up, tried to say 'nothing could be done', and forced through a change based on bad testing, they'd fire my ass, and maybe even take me to court for negligence to take the cost of fixing it out of my paychecks. And, this is why I consider the exit polling more reliable - not because exit polling is awesome, reliable, or favors either side, but because it's done in public and thus has more accountability then these voting systems people have got. In other words, it's the failure of the competition that makes them arguably superior.

Comment: Re:This just proves (Score 1) 504

by Lance Dearnis (#36882842) Attached to: Court Filing On How 2004 Ohio Election Hacked
Or, take a look at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/24/AR2007012401441.html where you have the evidence of election staff being -convicted- of tampering with the election! Ohio law requires that 3% of votes be manually counted as selected at random, and if there's a discrepancy, to have a full recount to weed out potential tampering; this is a case where workers were convicted of picking ballots they knew would not force a recount.

We need to actually have a system for revotes rather then recounts in our elections. We've had multiple tainted elections now. Wish to god people cared enough to have fair elections in America.

Comment: Seriously, making excuses? (Score 2) 504

by Lance Dearnis (#36882370) Attached to: Court Filing On How 2004 Ohio Election Hacked
Exit polls are, frankly, more reliable then our actual vote tallies now. The Florida ballot was, quite clearly, confusing. Go look at it from a statistical perspective - Buchanan's results were clearly skewed, as acknowledge by everyone but Bush (Meaning, Buchanan agreed they were screwed up too!), because only Bush had soemthing to gain. Oh, and he was elected president without a plurality popular support. In Florida, back then, the Republicans clearly proved that they were in this to win the presidency, not win an election. If you want to contest this, offer more proof.

Meanwhile, in this article, the argument is not as simple 'It COULD have happened therefore it happened", which would be the grounds you would use to contest any election in any system no matter what. No, here, you have a clearly partisan system, you have an unexplained security lapse, you have an unexplained vote shift. You have strong circumstantial effort of foul play - and while it's not enough to convict someone, this bloody well should have invalidated the election results and forced a revote. You need to know that your election system is clean and reliable, and in this, Ohio's system failed - there's just too great of a chnce for the election to have been stolen to tolerate it. We're America. Run another election. We're supposed to care about that, right?

Comment: Useless already. (Score 1) 330

by Lance Dearnis (#36875622) Attached to: Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?
The Bachelor's Degree, in my experience (Of having gotten one, graduated, and entered the job maket) is nigh-worthless already in actually working. Someone said that it signals you're willing to do the 'deep dive' - in short, that you have tolerance for an extraordinarily large pile of bullshit to be shoveled into you.

But you know what I've learned, very quickly, in the business world?

They've got no interest in shoveling it at you! They've got to actually produce a product of some kind, that people want to buy, in order to survive! The colleges work on a circlejerk philosophy; the more people they produce, the more valuable their product becomes (As you're comparatively worthless - see how they cut on Masters just because they can), and thus, more demand for their educational product.

If you know economics, lemme put it this way: For colleges, when their supply goes up, their demand also goes up. And based on how tuition is skyrocketing, at a faster pace. This is why janitors will have PHDs; they set a standard and keep raising it. Nobody seems to care that the experience is irrelevant - at least not now. Businesses can hire Masters at BA prices right now with such a crappy economy, so they win. Colleges get more money, so they win. The student loses if they don't get a degree because of the competition. The student loses if they do get a degree because they're wasting more money. And the quality of the degree is meaningless because even from the same INSTIUTION, the professors you have make a monumental difference. (I had two professors who were crappy enough to get FIRED! Compared to other students in my class who took classes in a different order, thanks to that, they're much better prepared then me.)

We need an educational overhaul. The teachers are problematic, the obsession with testing is pointless, the obsession with degrees is pointless, and we're just stacking illusory value on top of illusory value so that nobody realizes just how screwed up it all is. Too busy looking at the new sleight-of-hand to remember the old. Can't wait for it to collapse and stop wasting time as college gets away from academia and back towards more useful skills and teaching.

Comment: Re:2.5 years in prison for this? (Score 2) 84

by Lance Dearnis (#36875508) Attached to: Japanese Man Arrested For Storing Malware
The problem is that if you're uploading something to infect people, there's a risk, for one, that it'll get out of control; and for second, that you might interfere with law enforcement efforts. If I pulled the same stunt here, and infected an FBI system with my virus, then who wouldn't expect them to come rip me a new one? If they wanted honeytraps set they'd do it themselves and get the laws written for it, because, they can shout "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" and get the permission to do it in a second.

This guy might not be the best example of a conviction with the new law (It'd be nice to have one of the fake AV program writers get busted for it), but on the other hand, I'm glad to see such a law being put on the books and enforced. It's even got the exceptions for AV and anti-malware programs so that they won't get busted, or white hats. Sounds solid to me.

Comment: Re:Decent idea. (Score 1) 407

by Lance Dearnis (#36875056) Attached to: Massive Solar Tower Planned For Arizona

Sigh... I have a pen, anyone have an envelope?

So the company's annual revenue should be in the ballpark of $65 M/yr.

The estimated cost to build the thing is $750M, and their estimated payback period is 11 years. That doesn't quite jive with the numbers I've come up with, and doesn't take into account net-present-value calculations, financing costs, operating expenses, etc. But, even so, you should certainly be able to pay for the thing over its many-decades-long lifetime.

If I had to guess, it's that they're adjusting the revenue (That 65M/yr) for inflation because it's not all going to be in today's money, but not the $750m, since that's going to be spent relatively quickly. This is entirely a guess - I don't know how businesses usually account for this - but it would close up the logical gap you're pointing out, without requiring fancy stuff.

Comment: Decent idea. (Score 2, Informative) 407

by Lance Dearnis (#36873894) Attached to: Massive Solar Tower Planned For Arizona
This is, by far, the kind of tech we need to be investing in, preferably starting a decade ago. Genuine renewable, reliable power - are deserts hot? Yes? Let's make power from it! It'll be terribly uneconomical at first, of course, but it can improve given time. And it's worth trying out. It might not pan out, but it's sure as hell a better investment then 1.1 million in legal fees trying to surpress video games or whatever other legal action is popular at the moment.

So even if it's silly, go for it, Arizona - this is a much better investment then your immigration laws. In fact, triple your budget for this.

Comment: Score one for someone. (Score 2) 204

by Lance Dearnis (#36873514) Attached to: Iran Forced To Replace Centrifuges To Stop Stuxnet
Sounds fun as hell, and pretty probable too, TBH. Number one is hat Stuxnet got in there -before-; nothing keeps it from being re-inserted, possibly with modifications to avoid re-detection. Secondly is - think back to your corporate IT department and how often they make all their fixes right. They screw up sometimes, don't they?

Trust me, the Iranian government's a lot worse. They've got less expertise, less experience, less skills, and a language barrier to deal with most the time. I'd consider it a safe bet that they could've screwed up the cleanup, especially since they also tend to go cheap compared to other militaries (Look at rifles for a basic example here).

Either way, whoever's doing Stuxnet, good job here. I've got more faith in this then I do our diplomat's efforts for the reasons mentioned before - we bend over backwards for anyone who DOES have nukes and invade people who give 'em up. Doesn't take much IQ to see that throwing out your weapons program is a boneheaded idea if you're not going to take that 500 million bribe straightaway and retire before you get bit in the ass.

Comment: Encourage Better Teaching (Score 3, Interesting) 496

by Lance Dearnis (#36871160) Attached to: Gates: Not Much To Show For $5B Spent On Education
School priorities are still screwed up. To put this in perspective: At my school, I was a member of the Quiz Bowl and Deabte teams both. And in terms of the attention we got from the school newspaper, announcements, and so forth, it was, quite literally, about 10% of the coverage that our sports teams got.

Education was clearly a second priority at times - teachers showing up baked, obsession with authority, and, of course, not much prize placed on student interaction with the lessons. School's a job for kids and it's always such a rare and special thing for a teacher who has kids that 'love to learn' - bloody hell! Maybe if we started treating the teachers well and clearly explaining their jobs, this would be [i]every[/i] class. They teach stuff that's interesting as hell! American History and Civics? You've got Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, FDR, JFK...Chemistry? Work more experiments in, kids like combining stuff, especially if it looks pretty, explosive, or shiny. English? Focus less on literary classics (You know, which let you not update your lesson plan for 20 years) and work in books that the kids will actually like to read and discuss them.

Teachers will half-ass it because their pay and direction are half-assed; they're treated more like bureaucrats then educators, so why are we surprised that throwing money at the problem without fixing the broken fundamentals has resulted in little improvement? The only reason that you see the H1-B discrepancy is the monumental difference in effort that comes from living in a harder life, having more pressure, but that's not the only way to succeed - good teachers can produce these results from all students. We just don't have, and don't encourage, good teaching.

APL hackers do it in the quad.

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