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Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 514

ve said this before -- if you want labels to differentiate, then add a label to non-GMO food (and obviously, enforce truth-in-advertising laws on that). That's not something that a producer of GMO food can reasonably lobby to prevent.

"Reasonable" has nothing to do with it.

In Pennsylvania the big dairies tried to make it illegal to use a "no BGH" label on milk, regardless of whether such a label was accurate or not.

Similarly, the so-called "DARK act" (stupid name) would allow genetically engineered organisms to be marketed with "all natural" labels, in order to defeat negative labeling.

It seems to me that this whole thing smells like a clever attempt by certain corporate powers to undermine a hundred years of consumer information law. They probably don't really care about GMOs so much as they care about regulatory capture.

They want to go back to the caveat emptor era. This is just a skirmish in that ongoing war. They've already crushed the USDA, after all, now they are going after the FDA.

Comment Re:Not actually that bad... (Score 1, Interesting) 387

I read the article...

You must be new here.

...expecting to read Bill slamming NASCAR, but in reality he acknowledges the excitement of speed in a race and the level of engineering involved which is why he suggested a fuel limit to spur advancements in fuel consumption (due to the competitive nature of the race and the engineering component that already exists).

Oh, stop interfering with the narrative. It's important to discredit Bill Nye because he might believe in global warming or something equally non-slashdottish. He probably doesn't even get a woody whenever nuclear power is mentioned! You shouldn't be telling people that he's actually suggested a way to make NASCAR more of an engineering challenge, you're messing everything up with your "facts" and "objective viewpoint".

Comment We used to call those tenements (Score 1) 412

All the downsides of a small rural community (everybody knows everything you're doing and they all gossip so you live inside a potentially absurd reputation maintenance loop) combined with all the downsides of city apartments (you don't really own anything and are subject to the arbitrary decisions of the owners and politicals).

America was for many immigrants a chance to escape the tenements of Europe and carve a new life out of the American Indian...

But if you hate and fear the challenges of freedom, and want to live your life in a totally safe space, maybe tenements are perfect? I dunno.

Comment It should be a plugin, not a feature. (Score 1) 134

what's wrong with firefox sync?

It should be a plugin. I don't want it, don't need it, and it gets in my way because it's on by default. I've deactivated it on three systems this week alone.

I find it pretty useful.

That's exactly why it should be available to you as a plugin.

Firefox was created because Mozilla (now seamonkey) was too bloated. The stated design philosophy of FF was that a browser should browse the web, and have no other features except as provided by way of rich plugin support.

I don't run FF without SDC and Noscript. But I wouldn't dream of inflicting my needs on everyone else who runs the browser... apparently the devs of sync, pocket and hello feel differently.

Comment Delaware data center was a con job (Score 5, Informative) 151

The people promoting the Delaware data center lied to everyone at nearly every possible opportunity, which is why it was so easy to rouse the community against them.

For example, they claimed that their data center would employ lots of local people, when this simply wasn't true. The whole place was going to be nearly lights-out - there'd probably be as many janitors as technicians.

They also misstated the entire purpose of the plant - the so-called data center was always a trojan horse intended to allow them to gain exemptions from zoning laws and secure taxpayer funds to build a noisy, polluting power plant in a totally unsuitable location. That power plant was purposely outsized for the data center in the original plan, and more than doubled in size after it'd gained its initial approvals, and probably would have been built even bigger given the size of the property they were going to put it on. The intention was always to use tax dollars to undercut existing energy providers and sell electricity to local citizens and businesses, the data center was never anything but a front operation.

How do I know all this? Well, I do live here, and I have built three data centers professionally. The whole thing was a total con job from start to finish. That's the reality, and the University of Delaware's investigation revealed this and caused them to withdraw their support from the project (the other backers withdrew their support only because public outcry was calling attention to the many secret side deals they'd made with the power plant builders, that are protected by non-disclosure contracts).

I can't comment on Paris or other places where similar things have happened; maybe those data centers were real. The Delaware one was a power plant disguised as a data center and the people proposing it were liars and con men who were trying to loot the public tax coffers.

Comment Re:putty (Score 1) 164

but how is this different from/better than, say, putty?

PuTTY is an excellent windows SSH client supporting a limited but growing subset of the SSH protocol. PuTTY's author, Simon Tatham, also publishes a fine SFTP client for windows. The only real problem with these programs is that they store settings in the registry instead of simple text configuration files.

OpenSSH is a superb implementation of the entire SSH protocol suite, both client & server, available for multiple operating systems - now including Windows. It's significantly superior in both performance and capability to proprietary servers such as Tectia (I use both every day, so I can compare).

And why should I trust this over putty or running openssh inside cygwin?

You should not trust any of the above if you're running a closed source OS, because either way, you will be forced to run code you cannot audit or verify. Arrange your affairs so that trust is unnecessary, or switch to an OS you can audit, or to an OS that is audited by people you trust.

Comment Re:Snap-tite isn't new (Score 1) 127

Where did the 4th one go? I swear it was 3 nails. One for each hand and a single through both feet. The Romans sure weren't wasting an extra nail!

The Gypsies (AKA 'gyptians) stole it, which is why they have permission directly from God to steal and it is not accounted a sin for them.

(You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. See Mieczyslaw Dowojno-Sylwestrowicz, in Gypsy Lore Journal, i. 1889, p. 253.)

Comment Re:How long to a real revolution in engine tech ? (Score 1) 71

So a vote against nuclear is really a vote for coal, oil, and natural gas. Is that ok with you then?

Ah, the fallacy of the excluded middle. I'm afraid that's complete bullshit.

If you look at any reputable analysis (that is, ignore the fake nuke shill ones put out by Fred Singer and pals) you'll find that solar and wind would be quite possible - as long as you are OK with the same kind of massive public funding and international co-operation that nukes also require. And while tens of thousands of windmills are an attractive military target, a single fission plant is even more so.

But personally I'd rather have a distributed, agriculturally based carbon-neutral methane power scheme. We've already got most of the infrastructure, including coastal pipelines that feed huge natgas power plants. Generate jobs and eliminate pollution at the same time, and go completely coal, nuke and frack gas free in a single generation - all for less than the total amounts spent on the last eight years of war.

Comment Re:How long to a real revolution in engine tech ? (Score 1) 71

The cost/return ratio is, pardon the pun, out of this world. :)

So, exactly the same as nuclear, only with less fetish-stroking.

Nuclear fantasies are a staple of Slashdot forums, but I personally think fission technology is both quaint and unsuited to observable human behavioral patterns. Thank god I live in a country with some pitiful semblance of democracy, so that the majority will occasionally prevails, despite insanities like the Cheney energy policy.

Comment Driver's ed is still being taught in schools here (Score 1) 300

My teenagers were taught how to drive in (taxpayer funded, feeder pattern, majority-minority) public High School. They were also taught epistemology - and also how fuel injection works, and also basic coding...

Apparently kids in the elite schools don't get a thorough education? Weird. Guess they don't need it, though.

Comment Re:How long to a real revolution in engine tech ? (Score 1) 71

We won't have a real advance in rocket motors until we get over our collective fear of "OMG the nuclears!".

Chemical reactions do not provide nearly enough power to weight thrust to move in space at reasonable speeds.

I know, man. If it wasn't for all the NIMBYs, we'd have put men on the moon by now!

Comment I have root. (Score 1) 198

For those of you in the community who have similar positions, what is your experience? Do you have unfettered access to the environment?

Yes. I have root or root equivalent on all company-owned equipment. In the instances where vendors did not grant root access to systems they sold us, I cracked them and gave myself access, with the full knowledge and prior permission of the company's CIO. You cannot audit or analyze a system without full access.

Are purely architectural / advisory roles the norm at this level?

In an organization like yours, where the performance of the chief architect has been visibly unsatisfactory, it is probably normal. In my organization I am trusted not to abuse my privileges, and trusted never to change anything without informing all relevant parties, so nobody minds that I have the ability to monitor and analyze everything that's going on everywhere in the infrastructure.

You have to build trust. I recommend that you never, ever change anything without discussing it with responsible parties first (you don't have to follow their advice, but you have listen, and then you tell them what they are required to do, and don't just do it for them) unless it's a critical emergency, and if you make emergency changes you have to make damn sure that every interested party is informed afterwards of why and when and what you did.

You're asking for them to place absolute trust in you. They won't do it unless they think you deserve it - not as a technical expert, but as a person.

Comment BIND (Score 1) 147

What's a superior DNS, in your opinion?

Point your Berkeley Internet Name Domain server at the root nameservers.

All the services that provide intermediaries to the real DNS are in the business of directing your traffic for their profit. If you are happy being a clueless end-user, the best you can do is (Google) since they are at least built to a reasonable scale.

But it's still not really DNS... it's asking somebody else to do your DNS for you. Which is OK for non-geek end users.

Comment You're offtopic but I'll answer anyway. (Score 2) 384

Is there anything that uses Ethernet without using */IP?

Yes, tons of stuff. Dozens of protocols.

Is there anything that uses Ethernet without using */IP that also uses IP addresses??

Yes; there are a number of "companion" protocols that interoperate with IP when it's on an ethernet. You've probably heard of ARP and ICMP, to give just two examples. Neither of those is actually part of the Internet Protocol, and they don't ride over it, but they do use IP addresses on an Ethernet.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller