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Comment: Nevermind - I'm an idiot (Score 1) 118

Okay, I'm more ignorant than I thought an I'm an idiot for posting without verifying that what I thought I knew was actually true.

5 minutes of Google should've made me realize that some of the things I thought I knew about EMP are based on mis-information I got years and decades ago.

Memo to self: Do homework fist, THEN post to /.

Comment: Car crashes (Score 1) 118

The people who die in the first few minutes are going to be those who's lives are dependent on technology. That's list contains almost exclusively those in planes and those dependent on medical devices.

You forgot automobile drivers who are caught off guard by their engines stalling at the same time as those in the vehicles around them stall. There will be some car crashes and some who die as a direct result or as a result of not being able to get immediate access to adequate medical care.

If you extend "minutes" to "the first 59 minutes" then you can add more people to the list.

Interestingly, some older, non-fly-by-wire planes can be landed after a complete electrical shutdown if there is no other damage to the plane, the pilot knows what he's doing, and there is a landing strip available.

Comment: Re:One word: FUD (Score 1) 118

A solar EMP could easily hit the entire US.

Of course, a solar EMP isn't likely to be big enough in localized intensity to do any damage to small things like aircraft.... but it could still damage the electric grid on the ground, which has wiring that is many miles in length and so exceptionally large voltages can be induced by such an event.

Comment: Re:how (Score 1) 118

Except that those individual things wouldn't be tend to be affected by a solar generated EMP... A solar generated EMP isn't like an EMP weapon, which may do a lot of damage to only a very localized region. A solar EMP is ultimately only a threat to wiring that is on the order of multiple miles in length, such as the electric power grid. They are a threat to individual devices and appliances only to the same extent that they may be connected to a grid which is itself vulnerable.

Comment: Re:Personal Experience (Score 1) 278

by mark-t (#46805563) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

My grandfather asked me to go golfing with him when I was about 7. There was some conversation among the adults concluding that, based on my age only, I was a hazard to the green and therefore would have to just watch. So I followed around old guys for an hour on grass that I was not worthy to putt on. I realize this is an antecdote. Fuck golf.

Your anecdote resonates with another experience I had as a youngster... I wasn't excluded from playing like you were, but my father's preoccupation with golf while I was growing up very nearly ruined my parent's marriage, and without me even realizing it at the time, created a psychological barrier that left a profound disliking for the game in general for many many years... he invited me to play with him a few times, but I never really enjoyed it. it would not be until I was in my early twenties when some peers invited me to go golfing with them that I finally realized what preconceptions about the game my subconscious had put there, based solely on my experiences I had while I was growing up.

Going back to your story, however, hopefully, you've matured enough since that time to realize that in your case, this was a problem with the alleged "adults" who decided you were a problem for their game than the sport itself.... if your grandfather had more character, he would have told those assholes that they were being arrogant pricks right then and there, and taken you somewhere else instead of just going along with their suggestion and making you sit on the sidelines.

Comment: Re:I would think (Score 1) 345

by Simon Brooke (#46803947) Attached to: OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

The often repeated mantra that high level language compilers do a better job than humans isn't true, and doesn't become true through repetition. The compilers can do no better than the person programming them, and for a finite size compiler, the optimizations are generic, not specific. And a good low level programmer can take knowledge into effect that the compiler doesn't have.

Two things. Programmers are expensive, silicon is cheap. And really good low-level programmers (which I am not and don't claim to be) are (and deserve to be) very expensive indeed.

When you're writing a bit of code which is going to run on hundreds of thousands of processors all over the world (as OpenSSL is), the cost/benefit does move in low-level programmings favour. If you save just a few cycles on each of billions of operations on millions of processors, it's worth throwing resource at that optimisation. But OpenSSL (like the Linux kernel) is a special case. Most perfectly ordinary good programmers will write more cost-effective code using languages which don't require them (for example) to keep track of memory assignment.

Also, most human beings can't hold an effective map in their minds of the operating states of a moderately complex program. And people make mistakes - even the best of us.Software, by contrast, is very good at detail, repetitious, complex tasks like keeping track of what bit of memory has been assigned for what purpose, and noticing when nothing remaining in the system holds a pointer to that data. There are whole classes of programming error which good compilers will simply never make.

I was doing a post-accident audit on safety-critical (closed source) code a few years ago. The reason for the failure was that someone had used strcat to concatenate strings for an error message, where the strings being concatenated were stored in the data segment (yes, think about it for a moment). It cost millions of pounds worth of damage, and it was very lucky no-one died. If the software concerned had been written in (for example) Java, the accident wouldn't have happened. Yet the software had been written by a very senior C++ programmer, and had gone through four separate code reviews before being accepted into service - and all four had missed it.

Comment: Re:No escape from the tea party nomenklatura. (Score 3, Insightful) 216

by Sique (#46803647) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand
I got herpes already at birth. Pray tell me, o wise Anonymous Coward, how I could have possibly avoided it. (Herpes is a STD in just the same sense that the Common Cold is a STD. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact, but this is not their main infection vector.)

Comment: You already have a scouting drone for driving (Score 3, Informative) 46

by SuperKendall (#46803191) Attached to: Drones On Demand

I wish my car had a drone for instant scouting of traffic-jam alternates.

You do, it's called the Waze user that is ten minutes ahead of you down the road, mixed with many road sensors reporting traffic flow rates.

If you are using navigation many mapping applications automatically route around traffic issues (including Waze). I personally just have it up while driving, not really using navigation but just to keep an eye on traffic rates and issues. I've turned off many a highway before to avoid a Waze reported issue and taken a pretty obvious alternate route you could see at a glance on the map.

For anyone that has not tried leaving modern mapping applications open with traffic status enabled, I highly recommend it - just get a decent car mount so it's easy to see the display. I recommend Waze in particular only because it's one of the best at taking in user reports as to police or road hazards (like chair in right lane! just one example of something I have reported in the past).

Comment: It is possible to know (Score 1) 216

by SuperKendall (#46803131) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

It's probably impossible to know until you are actually in the same situation.

It's possible to know because you know how it is from the side of people noticing things. I find artificial hands immediately obvious, as much so as a robotic hand would be.

I think either would fare just as well in terms of not attracting notice when covered by a glove. Why not, then you would just look a little odd in summer...

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten