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Comment Re:This is a real threat (Score 1) 216

Gah! I posted so I can't mod you up! This is reeeaallly important!
It's the second attachment in the FCC link in the summary. Page 2.

What prevents third parties from loading non-US versions of the software/firmware on the device? Describe in detail how the device is protected
from “flashing” and the installation of third-party firmware such as DD-WRT.

I work for a fortune 500 company and we use DD-WRT on the routers in our labs. They will definitely hear from me!

Comment It was FICTION, sheesh! (Score 1) 239

Is Slashdot modding up posts that judge science by fictional TV shows?

No goalposts were set since that show wasn't making actual scientific predictions. It was a pseudo-reality TV disaster show. People were even encouraged to send in their own footage imagining future disasters caused by global warming. It was called "Earth 2100" because the depictions of the year 2015 were just setups for the disasters that would happen 100 years later in the show.

Here's a quote from the producer:
"this program was developed to show the worst-case scenario ... we are not saying that these events will happen..." According to the linked article, some of the scientists consulted on the show didn't think the scenarios were plausable even in 2100.

Let us not judge science by TV shows. If we did, I'd be complaining about the lack of robots with vacuum-cleaner hoses for arms. :-)

Comment The rebirth of trade schools (Score 1) 176

Is this the rebirth of trade schools?

IBM backs four of them, but they'll also be run by tech giants like Microsoft and SAP, major energy companies like ConEdison, along with hospital systems, manufacturing associations, and civil engineering trade groups.

This is either a new form of trade schools, or some kind of corporate takeover of education.

Comment Re:4th amendment (Score 1) 690

This is where the theory and the practicality collide. Even if the founding fathers intended for citizens to have the same weapons as the government, we cannot allow citizens to have nuclear weapons. It would be too dangerous. Of course, a nuclear weapon is probably not so useful against a tyrannical government anyway.

Thinking further, I wonder where that line should be drawn? Should it be okay for individuals to own armed fighter jets? How about aircraft carriers?

Comment What IED? (Score 1) 87

I'm constantly dismayed when terms get misused to the point that they lose their original meaning, but the culprits are usually people wanting to use words they don't quite understand to look smarter than they are. Your sentence "Hayabusa 2 is carrying [...] an IED meant to blow a hole [...]" is an example - do you actually know what the "I" in "IED" stands for? Hint: if it's carefully designed, it's not improvised.

Sadly, most things called IEDs aren't particularly improvised either, they're just "ED"s - or as they used to call them, "bombs".

Comment This summary is fishy... (Score 2) 213

YouTube claims that I haven't been able to prove that I have commercial rights to this video of Superman.

I've never heard of YouTube doing this. If this is the US, then something is missing here.

If YouTube wants safe harbor under the DMCA, my understanding is that they can't require that you prove you own the copyright. Instead, they have to let you publish the content, then wait for someone to file a DMCA complaint against you. Then, once you file a counter to it, YouTube must allow the video to go back up. I'm not aware of any point in the process where YouTube gets to determine who owns the copyright.

You didn't mention anything about anyone filing a DMCA claim against you, so I'm totally confused where this requires to prove your commercial rights comes from. Ultimately, the answer here is probably "get a lawyer." Especially since you mention "commercial."

Comment More than 90% (Score 2) 417

The Permian-Triassic extinction event didn't just kill of 90% of all life. It killed of 90% of all species - that is, it killed off 100% of 90% of species. Of the remaining 10%, it killed off 99% of some species, 98% of others, and so on. It was frighteningly close to sterilizing the planet.

Humans do have the capability to actually do that - sterilize the planet. It's highly unlikely, but possible if the entire world economy were dedicated to that - and it could be, as a side effect, because of two important effects:

  • The result of all technological progress is to allow people to do things they couldn't before, either by making something new possible, or making something existing available to more people.
  • There will always be some fraction of those people who are sceptical of the consequences, ignorant of them, or think they can get away with it just for themselves.

This means there will be a steadily growing number of people who are willing and able to do an increasing amount of damage in pursuit of their own goals, and if those goals result in hugely profitable corporations that can influence (or ignore) government policy throughout the world, extinction of all life could then become the main product of nearly all human activity. And humans are pretty good at accomplishing their goals.

To be fair, at some point the consequences will be obvious and the number of people willing to continue will fall. But that's as likely to be too late as not - see Rapa Nui (Easter Island) for what tends to happen then. And see Venus for how bad it could get.

Comment Re:Don't trust the BIOS? (Score 1) 163

Yeah, if you don't trust the BIOS then you are not in good shape.

Yes, we would. We very much would. Such a "fix" would almost certainly end up locking you into one particular driver version, "helpfully" rolling back any newer driver you installed to fix additional issues/a

That's a strawman attack. I specifically said "installing a fix for a video driver that they knew caused lock-ups." You changed my scenario to "overwriting the video driver blindly" then attacked that scenario.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.