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Comment: Re:Google should be wary (Score 1) 128

by Penguinisto (#47714963) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

I think it'd be a combination of the two - sure, the top three gents would still control the thing, but if GOOG dropped to $0.01 (assuming they weren't delisted first), then they'd have nothing but existing cash reserves to draw from, plus any patent royalties and alternate non-site-related sources of income. That in turn would dry up in a few years (not quite "decades") just from operational costs alone.

Comment: Re:Websites deserve trolls (Score 1) 450

by Penguinisto (#47680743) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

By the way scholarly articles or even books published a century ago have downright incorrect information in them all over the place, even if written by experts, but such is scientific published literature.

True - though to be fair, the really old stuff was based on what they knew at the time (with the rest being based on theories and suppositions; e.g. where posited that "ether" existed in space, where we know hard vacuum exists today.)

It's still fun to read, though - anyone with sufficient knowledge on the subject and a love of the evolution of human thinking can see and appreciate how far we've come, no? For instance, I have a 2nd Edition copy of Worlds Other Than Ours, printed in 1870-something (forgot exactly which year - it's at home.) It even came with color illustrations of various planets that were known about at the time. A huge chunk of it is grossly and flat-out wrong about what our environment is like viz. the Solar System. Some of it is so far off kilter that it's funny that folks seriously thought certain things were true, but at the same time you can still see in those words the yearning to learn more, and to know more - even in a book that claimed to be authoritative on the subject.

So yeah - I wouldn't go too hard on those now long-dead folks. I just wouldn't take everything they wrote as gospel, either.

Comment: Re:Websites deserve trolls (Score 1) 450

by Penguinisto (#47680667) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Depends on the troll...

In the bad/good old days, many of us did it for two reasons: one, to elicit responses and anguish (many of which were often hilarious), and two, to learn a bit more about the 'opposing' side, while forcing them to think harder as well (and not just rely on soundbites.) Many of the most classic trolls were witty, devastating, and sharp as a scalpel... enough so that even if you were the target, you often laughed your ass off in spite of yourself.

It was, sadly, nothing at all like the dreck you often see today.

Call it a nasty side-effect of Eternal September (the AOL/WebTV crowd) - along with the masses coming online, you wound up with their level of thinking. :(

Comment: Re:Funny money (Score 4, Informative) 409

The cost of solar dropped 20% in the last couple years, and is expected to drop quite a bit more, due to both technological and manufacturing improvements.

FYI - the biggest reason for the price drop wasn't economies of scale, but because China flooded the unholy fuck out of the solar market, in a bid to dominate it since manufacturing solar panels isn't all that technically complex (at least not when compared to most other things).

It used to cost around $3/Wp, and China's backing of SunPower, SunTech and similar ventures glutted the price down to ~$0.90/Wp; however, last I checked a couple of years ago (I used to work for SolarWorld) it still cost around $1.25/Wp to manufacture a 250W panel, and that's not counting margins slimmer than even a PC OEM enjoys.

Comment: Re:Do I need to be concerned about this? (Score 3, Interesting) 205

by Penguinisto (#47575417) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"


I once worked for a company that wrote web banking software. The laptops/desktops/etc of certain employees had a 'driver' that continually monitored the USB ports. If anything plugged into it that had storage on it but not the proper corporate auth key to connect as an approved storage device? It would automatically send an email to the IT department, immediately shut off the entire USB subsystem in the OS, and it stayed that way until the device was re-imaged (in many cases making the device completely useless). It also got you immediately perp-walked out of the building and freshly unemployed, unless you could immediately give them a reasonable (and provable) explanation as to why it happened.

Now in this case, I suspect that if the bad stick presented itself to the OS as a keyboard/mouse/whatever, it may circumvent that (I say "may" because I don't know if it would be able to dump any non-keyboard/mouse-related data onto the machine w/o presenting itself as storage.)

Either way, if you're that worried about it, then epoxy the USB ports shut (well, except on the phone for obvious reasons...)

Comment: Re:Send a robot (Score 1) 84

by Penguinisto (#47546395) Attached to: Off the Florida Coast, Astronauts Train For Asteroid Mission

When it's time for an asteroid mission, it will probably be robotic.

Sadly, you're right. The same fuckers that make that decision are probably the same ones who think that artificial insemination is vastly superior to sex. Objectively they'd be right for the purpose of reproduction, but they're still a bunch of heartless assholes for basing public policy on it.

It's amazing how much money NASA can spend not going into space.

Agreed again - open the damn thing to commercial exploitation and see how fast NASA catches up.

Comment: Re:Depends on the tasks (Score 1) 92

The only gain in either situation from replacing them is theoretically increasing longevity. Neither case lends itself to a virtual machine unless the thing running that VM has a sparc processor, in which case there's no point for a VM.

Well, not entirely "no point"... (and I didn't even have to bring up zones ;) )

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken