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Comment Interesting timing (Score 2) 33 33

This call for patents comes just after HEVC Advance announce a HEVC patent pool to compete with MPEG LA. DASH is a complimentary technology to HEVC (h.265), and MPEG LA know it. By offering both DASH and HEVC patent licensing portfolios, they probably believe they are making themselves more attractive to deal with than HEVC Advance.

Nevermind that this patent licensing competition is actually likely to impede the uptake of both technologies.

Comment Wait... this rhetoric sounds familiar (Score 1) 42 42

"...Iran and other countries were already using lasers to target ships and commercial airliners..."

This sounds an awful lot like the scaremongering that was put out surrounding Iraq and its WMDs. We all know how that turned out.

Laser targeting and guidance systems have been about for decades. These days a simple laser pointer can be considered a laser targeting system. It is a massive technological leap to go from milliwatt laser pointers to 150kW directed energy weapons: a technical leap that Iran, and countries like it, simply are not capable of.

The Navy are clearly banking on the fact that Politicians simply will not know the difference and will just allocate more money to Defence Budgets out of misguided fear. Nevermind that the Navy's own Laser Weapon System's performance has actually been rather lacklustre.

Maybe the Directed Energy Weapons program is yet another area of US Military spending that is deemed 'too big to fail'... just like the F35.

Comment What the NTSB actually said (Score 1) 61 61


In determining the probable cause of the accident, board members were focused on how well officials prepared for the worst. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said Scaled Composites "put all their eggs in the basket of the pilots doing it correctly."

"My point is that a single-point human failure has to be anticipated," Sumwalt said. "The system has to be designed to compensate for the error."

Accusing the test pilot of being untrained and/or incompetent or whining about the risks of interlocks is both irrelevant and stupid. Single point operator failures should be designed out of any system that can cost a human life. That's why there are airbags, seat belts, and crumple zones in cars: because people fuck stuff up. If a new car that costs $15,000 can have these safety features then leaving equivalent features out of a spacecraft is engineering malpractice and possibly criminal negligence.

But no one will be held personally accountable. And whatever safety culture does result won't last. By the time there is a 20% staff turn over it will be completely gone. Why? Because: we're makin money here, if you don't get that then get the fuck out.

Just like in the Challenger disaster, when a technical person objects a manager will say "Take off your engineering hat and put on your management hat." And people will die and nothing will change.

Submission + - NTSB finds SpaceShip 2 crash resulted from ignoring potential pilot error ->

Required Snark writes: The NTSB has issued it's finding on the SpaceShip 2 crash, and said that both Scaled Composites and the FCC failed. The direct cause was preventable pilot error:

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said Scaled Composites "put all their eggs in the basket of the pilots doing it correctly. My point is that a single-point human failure has to be anticipated," Sumwalt said. "The system has to be designed to compensate for the error."

As for the FAA: "The recommendations included assigning FAA staff to individual operators instead of individual flights. That way, they have more time to become familiar with the training and operational controls that they're charged with inspecting."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Not an AMD CPU (Score 1) 49 49

I'm bully on ARM, with the (almost) collapse of AMD as a "first rate" processor, it's good to see Intel get some serious competition in a significant market space.

My only beef with ARM is that comparing CPUs is harder than comparing video cards! the ARM space is so fragmented with licensed cores and seemly random numbers indicating the "version" that I have no idea how, for example, a SnapDragon 808 processor compares to a Cortex A9 or an Apple A7.

Really, I'm lost. But the $40 TV stick with the 4x core A9 works pretty well...

Comment Re:No kidding. (Score 1) 250 250

How many popular web apps can you name that completely separate the back end and the front end and provide documentation for users to talk directly to the back end and substitute their own UI or amalgamate the data with that from other services?

I can't count every web site that has an API, but examples include Amazon, eBay, and Twitter.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

I did scraping before (and note that we aren't talking about screenscraping here, but rather website scraping) - I once wrote a scraper that presented an entire online forum as a newsgroup. Based on my experience with that, and on the layout of the RCW website, scraping this particular thing is absolutely trivial.

I agree that we shouldn't have to do that. I'm just saying that I find it doubtful that they do it to extract money from people, because I just don't see that working well when it's so easily scraped. If someone were to hire me to do that, it'd probably take me something like a few hours, and I wouldn't ask more than $200 for such a job.

Comment "I/O gapped" is the new "Air gapped" (Score 1) 79 79

If it's not "I/O gapped" - that is, if state changes aren't completely undetectable outside of the "secure environment" - then for all practical purposes it's not what we used to mean when we said something was "air-gapped."

In today's standards, it needs to be in an EMF-shielded room with an independent power supply (probably batteries), and it needs to be powered down completely when the shielded room's doors are open.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

All I can say is that I regularly look up RCWs pertaining to different things where I have doubts or am just curious about it, and so far I haven't found any trouble finding the relevant bits.

From a lawyer's perspective, perhaps this all is still missing crucial bits. If providing, say, a single-page HTML download would be immensely useful, then sure, they should do it (especially as they already likely have some kind of script along these lines, as you do have a single-HTML option for individual chapters).

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 1) 554 554

So far, all the people responding to my example have overlooked one crucial word in it: "force". Does Finland merely provide incentive for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Or do they actively force people into such a lifestyle. That's the main distinction here.

Comment Re:Yeah, So... (Score 1) 250 250

I use JS on my site - to drive navigation. Show me another way to do this efficiently and dynamically

Use some sort of server-side code?

Using "some sort of server-side code" would require re-sending the entire web page if one small part of it has changed. This is slow and expensive on cellular or satellite connections. It also requires a hosting plan that allows use of "some sort of server-side code", unlike ad-supported shared hosting providers that have historically supported only static HTML files.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.