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Comment: Re:Budget Cuts (Score 1) 102

by Mostly a lurker (#49134191) Attached to: Argonne National Laboratory Shuts Down Online Ask a Scientist Program

Using the WayBackMacine to archive the site is risky. Recognize that one line added to the robots.txt at any point in the future can render all the content inaccessible (at least) and possibly cause it to be deleted.

I am quite surprised IBM, Microsoft, Google or one of the other big organizations has not picked this up.

Comment: A pessimistic view (Score 5, Insightful) 258

AI is going to be used by those in power (mainly government, security agencies and military) to extend their power further.Unfortunately, humans are genetically programmed to select leaders who aggressively seek to expand the influence of their own group and of themselves. This was an important survival instinct for ancient tribes. It now contains the seeds of our total destruction, and the scientists will be powerless to prevent it.

Comment: Why migrate? (Score 1) 189

I assume these applications are not running on the original hardware. They should still be working fine on current Fujitsu mainframes. There may be a valid reason to rewrite part or all of the applications because additional functionality is needed but, too often, money is wasted replacing systems (especially mainframe systems) that still meet most of the enterprise's needs, Often, "more flexible reporting" is used as an excuse for hugely expensive rewrites, when a periodic data extract into a separate data warehouse can meet the need much better, much more cheaply, and without disruption to existing production systems.

Comment: Re:Presumption of innocence (Score 1) 181

In a US civil ,action there is no bias towards either side. The case is decided on a preponderance of the evidence. I am sympathetic towards file sharers. I believe they provide a valuable service that is usually legal. That said, I do not think the defendant in this case should just be allowed to get rid of potential evidence without court permission, regardless of whether he thinks it will be useful. My sense is that either the judge did not understand the technology, or he thought the infraction was limited and should not saddle the defendant with a huge default judgment. [I hope that this does not eventually get overturned on appeal.]

Comment: Re:So what exactly is it blocking? (Score 1) 145

by Mostly a lurker (#48690967) Attached to: Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

Wouldn't it be easier to filter outbound packets destined for Gmail's SMTP servers and prevent Chinese email users from sending email to Gmail users? (This is an honest question.)

I think you mean Google's MX servers (the remote end when sending email through SMTP). If so, in a word, "yes", much easier, assuming users are using SMTP servers based in China. Indeed, you could simply prevent the connections from ever taking place, simulating authentication errors.

Comment: Re:So what exactly is it blocking? (Score 1) 145

by Mostly a lurker (#48689217) Attached to: Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

Since SMTP allows forwarding by other servers this would require deep packet inspection.

If you mean the SMTP protocol supports chained delivery routes, then I do not think this is true (at least not used in practice). However, business customers of Gmail (at least) can request that a different SMTP server than Google's be used for outgoing mail, and (of course) anyone using an external mail client can send using any SMTP server they like.

Comment: Re:So what exactly is it blocking? (Score 1) 145

by Mostly a lurker (#48689163) Attached to: Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China
I reckon it is more likely to motivate Chinese private businesses to host their mail outside China. Whatever else you might say about Chinese businessmen, they are very good at keeping their eye on the bottom line. The state sector might not be able to do that, but they are less export oriented anyway.

Comment: Re:from the what-until-they-get-a-load-of-this dep (Score 5, Informative) 292

by Mostly a lurker (#48652139) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens
Actually, your title is an (admittedly exaggerated) example of how hyphens can assist readability. The hyphens make clear that you are using a compound adjective. In fact, a common error in writing is omitting hyphens when they are necessary. For example, someone writing I saw a man eating alligator probably meant I saw a man-eating alligator .

Comment: Re:Big Mistake (Score 1) 33

by Mostly a lurker (#48537961) Attached to: With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions
If you believe advances in lithography are no longer occurring, you are clearly unfamiliar with the huge investments attempting to bring EUVL (extreme ultra violet lithography) to production fabs. However, in another sense, you are correct that other technologies (such as plasmonics) are going to be more important in developing the future 3D chips. You have not convinced me that Intel's move is going to make it much easier for China to become leaders in these areas than Micron's R&D centers in Shanghai and Xiamen and its fab in Xian.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.

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