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Comment: Isn't freedom itself a potential lawless zone? (Score 5, Insightful) 391

by popo (#48924269) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

The notion that liberties could be misused and potentially give way to lawbreaking behavior is never a justification for the repeal of liberty.

We are always and everywhere free to break the law. That our social contract with government grants government the ability to prosecute law breakers ex post facto, does not equate to a wholesale license to restrict a liberty prior to its potential abuse.

To jump to such a conclusion would equally justify a national curfew. After all, who knows what we might get up to after dark?

Liberty by definition, always carries with it the potential for individual abuse.

Comment: Here's my problem with this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by popo (#48885681) Attached to: New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed

For one, Nicotine (when smoked) passes the blood-brain barrier within seconds.

The notion that a human antibody can intercept (and neutralize) a foreign substance that quickly is highly questionable. (If not silly).

However, the half-life of nicotine is 1-2 hours, and the metabolites have a half life of up to 20 hours. So let's assume for a minute that the vaccine does have an effect on systemic nicotine 'at some point' over the course of it's metabolization. Okay, fine. But the nicotine still went 'straight upstairs' after that first puff. Which means the only effect I can conceive of here is that the smoker will need another cigarette more quickly.

Is that a good thing?

Of course, IANAD so please correct me if I've got something wrong.

Comment: Re:Google Plus Defined Itself As a Hazard (Score 5, Insightful) 209

by popo (#48872145) Attached to: Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+


Google+ wasn't ever *just* a social network. It was a real-name, real-identity service tied to the entire universe of Google products.

This made Google+ decidedly dangerous for a vast majority of users who enjoy anonymity as one of the principal "features" of the web.

Google had an opportunity to create a fantastic service but their extremely weird philosophical tirade to bring identity to the web, coupled with an overly aggressive "whoops, you just created a Google+ ID and revealed your identity on 5000 YouTube comments" rightfully turned off millions of users.

They deserve this failure. Pursuing products that nobody wants, by ramming them down the throats of their existing customers, is a bad idea in any business.

Comment: Re:It was the best Windows (Score 4, Insightful) 640

by Octorian (#48802565) Attached to: Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

Don't kid yourself. XP was just as bad as Vista at first, but everyone forgets that. It didn't become the "Windows to stand the ultimate test of time" until XP SP2.

Windows 2000 was also one of the best versions, IMHO. It just often gets left out, because it wasn't marketed to "the average home user." (But I wish it had been, instead of that trash called ME.)

Comment: Not expensive for an audiophile device (Score 5, Insightful) 391

by popo (#48744537) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

Audiophile equipment often costs in the tens of thousands of dollars -- and there will always be a market for it.

Regarding your title: SONY clearly does not think *you* will pay $1200 for this device. But they know that *someone* will. This isn't a mass market device. It's a very niche product, well-targeted at its niche.

More importantly: It's great for publicity. After all, it's already being discussed on Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong with Blackberries (Score 1) 252

by Octorian (#48730535) Attached to: US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

Remember that many places are still running older devices (e.g. Bold 9900) with their old operating system (OS 7.x or below). This old OS is what everyone continues to point to and make an example of when complaining about the company and their products. Often this is done in an atmosphere of complete denial at the very existence of their newer OS and products.

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Whitehouse has not yet upgraded their devices and infrastructure from BB7 to BB10.

Some comparable jumps in the computer world would be Mac OS 9 to 10, or Windows 3.x to NT/2000. Yes, its that big a change. No, it doesn't happen quickly. In the interim, there's a lot of overlap and strong opinions that are dismissive of the newer product.

Comment: Torvalds is half right (Score 5, Insightful) 449

by popo (#48715249) Attached to: How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

The problem is that Linus is discussing two different things at once and so it sounds like he's making a more inflammatory point than he is.

The issue is not whether parallelism is uniformly better for all tasks. The question is, is parallelism better for some tasks. And as Torvalds points out, those tasks do exist (Graphics being an obvious one).

The nature of the workload required for most workstations is non-uniform processing of large quantities of discreet, irregular tasks. For this, parallelism (as Torvald's correctly notes) is likely not the most efficient approach. To pretend that in some magical future, our processing needs can be homogenized into tasks for which parallel computing is superior is to make a faith-based prediction on how our use of computers will evolve. I would say that the evidence is quite the opposite: That tasks will become more discrete and unique.

Some fields though: finance, science, statistics, weather, medicine, etc. are rife with computing tasks which ARE well suited to parallel computing. But how much of those tasks happens on workstations. Not much, most likely. So Linus' point is valid.

But I have to take issue of Linus tone in which he downplays "graphics" as being a rather unimportant subset of computing tasks. It's not "graphics". It's "GRAPHICS". That's not a small outlier of a task. Wait until we're all wearing ninth generation Oculus headsets... the trajectory of parallel processing requirements for graphics is already becoming clear -- and it's stratospheric. The issue is this: Our desktop processing requirements are actually slowing and as Linus points out, are probably ill-suited for increased parallelism. But our graphics requirements may be nearly infinite.

Unlike other fields of computing, we know where graphics is going 20 years from now: It's going to the "holodeck".

Keep working on parallel computing guys. Yes, we need it.


Comment: Re:They're assholes. (Score 1) 336

by rossz (#48678607) Attached to: Why Lizard Squad Took Down PSN and Xbox Live On Christmas Day

I think at least some blame does need to be lay at the feat of Sony and Microsoft here, but not because of 'network security' but rather creating the risk in the first place where there does not need to be one.

How about I kick in your front door and steal all your stuff? After all, you didn't put in place absolutely perfect security, so it's really your own fault for allowing me into your home.

Or a better analogy. I park a big rig in your driveway so you can't get into your home. That's what a DDOS is, basically. And if the "enemy" has enough resources, a DDOS is nearly impossible to prevent.

OS/2 must die!