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Comment: Re:Waste (Score 4, Insightful) 170

Makes you wonder what kind of good could have been done or how many lives could have been saved with that $70 million.

It's not like he's throwing bills into a fire. That money goes back into the economy which is good for everybody, and its recipients are still free to spend it on whatever good deeds they want.


How a Massachusetts Man Invented the Global Ice Market 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-it-cool dept.
An anonymous reader writes with the story of Frederic Tudor, the man responsible for the modern food industry. "A guy from Boston walks into a bar and offers to sell the owner a chunk of ice. To modern ears, that sounds like the opening line of a joke. But 200 years ago, it would have sounded like science fiction—especially if it was summer, when no one in the bar had seen frozen water in months. In fact, it's history. The ice guy was sent by a 20-something by the name of Frederic Tudor, born in 1783 and known by the mid-19th century as the "Ice King of the World." What he had done was figure out a way to harvest ice from local ponds, and keep it frozen long enough to ship halfway around the world.

Today, the New England ice trade, which Tudor started in Boston's backyard in 1806, sounds cartoonishly old-fashioned. The work of ice-harvesting, which involved cutting massive chunks out of frozen bodies of water, packing them in sawdust for storage and transport, and selling them near and far, seems as archaic as the job of town crier. But scholars in recent years have suggested that we're missing something. In fact, they say, the ice trade was a catalyst for a transformation in daily life so powerful that the mark it left can still be seen on our cultural habits even today. Tudor's big idea ended up altering the course of history, making it possible not only to serve barflies cool mint juleps in the dead of summer, but to dramatically extend the shelf life and reach of food. Suddenly people could eat perishable fruits, vegetables, and meat produced far from their homes. Ice built a new kind of infrastructure that would ultimately become the cold, shiny basis for the entire modern food industry."

Comment: San Diego (Score 3, Informative) 281

by ShakaUVM (#48643879) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

I live in San Diego, some of the time, and similar results were posted here, too. The increase in rear-end collisions from people slamming on the brakes negates any benefit from reduced T-bones.

San Diego also reduced yellow light times, sometimes to below the legal limit, in order to boost revenue.

A judge looked at the program in 2001, said, "That's bullshit", and banned it for a year, and then the government finally ended it on its own in 2013.

Comment: Can we stop the embellishment? (Score 5, Insightful) 177

by PhrostyMcByte (#48640049) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

I haven't seen any evidence that the mechanics of the attack itself is at all noteworthy, yet we keep hearing about how this attack was unstoppable, "nasty", etc. -- not just from Sony's PR guys, but from the FBI. As if it could have targeted literally any company and caused just as unmitigated damage.

To me, a "nasty" worm is Stuxnet: it spread in a very standard innocuous way and seemed like any other worm, but ended up being highly targeted.

This Sony hack just seems like your average trojan worm leaking an admin password back to someone. The only noteworthy part of this hack is that Sony had such horrifyingly moronic security practices that one attack was able to compromise such a large and varying corpus of valuable data.

+ - OneRNG open source hardware entropy genrator->

Submitted by taniwha
taniwha (70410) writes "Moonbase Otago is pleased to announce its Kickstarter campaign for OneRNG — an open source hardware entropy generator, is already 3/4 funded after 3 days.

OneRNG is a USB key in the same form factor as a USB flash drive, it's an entropy generator, it makes random bitstreams suitable for feeding to your computer's encryption systems to make better and faster keys to make interception of your communications more difficult. It has two entropy sources, an avalanche diode and an RF noise source, either or both can be used

OneRNG is also open hardware, that means all of the design, both hardware and software, is Open Source — you can inspect the hardware and software to make sure there is nothing hidden that stops it from functioning as promised. It also means that you can inspect a unit after shipping to make sure it has not been tampered with, both by lifting its lid to look at the components, and by inspecting the embedded firmware both to make sure that it contains what you think it does and also that it is cryptographically signed with a valid key.

Because you don't truly own your own hardware unless you can reprogram it we're also offering device programmers for those who want to take the existing software and make it better or their own."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:freedom 2 b a moron (Score 1) 1051

by ShakaUVM (#48586467) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

>Why? Excluding religion, there is no reason to believe that vaccines cause any harm: literally every study attempting to find otherwise has either failed or been proven fraudulent.

Uh, no. You're grossly misrepresenting the case.

"Any harm" - really? All vaccines (heck, all medicine in general) carry a risk of adverse effects. There are common and minor adverse effects, and rare and serious adverse effects, including febrile seizures, allergy to the eggs used in the formulation, and so forth. What the scientific consensus is is that *vaccines are still worth it despite the risks*. That's why we don't give vaccines any more for viruses no longer in the wild - the benefit is no longer worth the risk.

From the CDC (, adverse effects include:
1) HepB Pain at the injection site (3%-29%)
2) HepB Fever over 100*F (1%-6%)
3) HepB Anaphylaxis (1 in 600,000)
4) MMR Fever over 103*F (5%-15%)
5) MMR Rashes (5%)
6) MMR Joint Pain (3%)
7) MMR Febrile seizures, which caused the vaccine to be reformulate to reduce risk
8) MMR Aseptic meningitis, which led to the vaccine to switch strains in some countries

And so forth. All of these are based on studies, contrary to what you claimed that have found harm in vaccines.

I think you read a headline once that said, "No link between autism and vaccines" and falsely extrapolated that to mean "no reason to believe vaccines cause any harm".

Comment: Even the TSA knows they've become a joke (Score 1) 184

by PhrostyMcByte (#48578185) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

Last flight I took out of LAX, they were randomly handing out "expedited security" slips to people. Keep your shoes on, laptops can stay in bags, no x-rays or pat-downs, etc. and I was through in about 30 seconds. I even found out after I went through the metal detector that I had left keys in my pocket and my belt on.

Basically, it was like security used to be, pre-9/11. It was marvelous.

Comment: Re:Freenet? (Score 3, Informative) 67

by PhrostyMcByte (#48568251) Attached to: BitTorrent Launches Project Maelstrom, the First Torrent-Based Browser

Freenet had some issues. Most of them won't apply to BitTorrent's offering.

The main one is receiving content was dog slow compared to, say, Tor. This is simply an artifact of how it was routing connections and the distributed storage aspect.

Second, but still contributing to the poor experience is that the app itself had some architectural flaws that made it and your PC run dog slow -- the choice was either use hundreds of threads or let the operations stall.

The third, more of a security/philosophical flaw, is that the base protocol was not documented in any significant fashion. To review the protocol's security, you'd need to have an expert understanding of Java and a large part of the codebase. So it never really had many eyes on it looking for flaws.

I haven't used Freenet in around 5 years, so this may have improved. It was pretty clear why it never caught on at the time.

Comment: Re:why would I write to that? (Score 1) 187

by PhrostyMcByte (#48534659) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Core

Merely needing to convert time zones is a trivial requirement. Work with them any other way and it's a nightmare. My first exposure to it was when implementing a crontab-like scheduling software, which on proper implementations has defined behavior to not fall on its face when daylight savings time wreaks havoc on the world. I couldn't find a way to do this reliably in .NET, but Noda made it possible.

Don't take my word on why Noda should be used though... read from it's blog for plenty of examples for why the seemingly great .NET DateTime can be a minefield in far more common situations than mine.

Comment: Re:why would I write to that? (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by PhrostyMcByte (#48534083) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Core

Why should I have to use a third party library to get decent date support?

I've questioned that myself while working in .NET. Ever needed to write time zone aware code?

Date libraries, as it turns out, are rather monstrously difficult to make. While .NET did a great job for the common stuff, uncommon things can be painful, error prone, or impossible.

The fullest solution I've found so far is Noda Time, which is actually based on the Joda-Time Java library. It feels out of place with a number of Javaisms still in it, but it provides a much richer functionality and better separation of concerns.

Memory fault -- brain fried