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Comment: Don't hold your breath waiting for news of them... (Score 1) 74

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49351405) Attached to: Facebook Sued For Alleged Theft of Data Center Design

Most of the claims aren't listed so it's hard to draw a conclusion.

And don't hold your breath waiting for them to be listed publicly, either.

If this is over trade secrets, the alleged trade secrets, if legitimate, will still be secret. So unless/until Facebook gets a judgement that the claims are bogus, the proceedings will be under seal.

Even if they ARE bogus it may not be in Facebook's interest to publish them, either. They might be little-known enough that exposing them to their competition might make the competitive environent tougher for Facebook.

So don't be surprised if the "secrets" and the details of the verdict or settlement remain under wraps.

Comment: Gerrymandered a PRESIDENTIAL election? Say WHAT? (Score 1) 184

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49346483) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act

... in the last election the powers of greed tried to elect someone who was neither conservative nor liberal but really a direct representative of the 1%. They spent 3 to 4 times as much money, made people stand in 4 hour lines to vote, maximally gerrymandered every district they could...

While your underlying perception is largely correct, your supporting argiments are not. You need to understand the system more if you want to be convincing,

Of particular note is bringing up gerrymandering. In virtually all the states the electoral college votes are chosen in a statewide, popular-vote, winner-take-all contest. Gerrymandering doesn't affect this at all. (Which is good for the Republicans, as the Democrats have been far more effective at it.)

As for spending: With the support of labor unions and the media empires, the Democrats get massive, uncounted, campaign subsidies, while the Republicans mostly have to pay for their own propaganda directly..

The big exception to that is Fox News: But IMHO they, and the party establishment, are what lost for the Rs the last time around. Fox was blatantly pure Neocon (the faction of Romney, the R establishment, and the 1%ers,) The primaries are where the parties' candidates are chosen. Fox's hilariously biased reporting and the R establishments massive (and often violent) cheating, alienated the supporters of Ron Paul, to the point that they would not support him - virtually to a man - and also alienated many Rs who observed this circus. Romney lost five states by margins smaller than the number of people who voted for Paul in primaries and caucuses. Had they not done this, Romney might still have won the nomination honestly, and received eJ.nough votes to swing those states.

So, yes, their money didn't buy them the election. But IMHO what really lost it was intra-party behavior so corrupt that major factions of the party's voters decided they could not be allowed to have control of the government's levers of power - even if the alternative was an exceptionally effective, avowedly-Communist, Chicago-Machine politician

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 2) 339

No, the alternative was to wait.

It should be noted that:
  - The Japanese, like the Germans, had their own nuclear weapons program in progress. (That was how they were able to recognize the nuclear bombs for what they were: Bombs were SOME of the possibilities they were pursuing.)
  - While they thought nuclear-reaction bombs were hard but doable, they were actively working on the immanent bombardment of the West Coast of the Untied States with radiological weapons - "dirty bombs" spreading fatal levels of radioactive material. (Remember that much of the US war infrastructure, including nuclear laboratories such as Livermore and the Navy's Pacific fleet construction and supply lines, were on or very near the west coast. The prevailing winds are from the west and able to carry fallout blankets to them.)
  - The primary reason for using TWO bombs, only a few days apart, was to create the impression that the US could keep this up. The Japanese had an idea that making the bombs took so much resource that the US could only have a very few. And they were right.

As I understand it went something like this: There was enough material for no more than two or three more, then there'd have been about a year of infrastructure construction and ramp-up, after which the US could have started with monthly bombs and worked up to weekly or so. If the US could have gotten to that point unmolested, Japan was doomed. But a LOT can happen over that time in a total war - and big projects can get hamstrung when the bulk of the industrial output and manpower has to be used to fight off conventional attacks meanwhile. The idea was to give the Japanese the impression the US was ALREADY that far along.

Comment: $12,000 with air conditioner? (Score 1) 78

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49335727) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)

12 grand with the air conditinoer and some unspecified options that don't prevent it from being stacked up like coffee cups?

For only a couple grand more I purchased, new, an 19 foot travel trailer, with kitchen, (propane stove, micrwave, propane/electric refrigerator) beds for five (if one is a kid) and two are friendlly - six if two are infants), which double as a daytime couch and bedding storage cabinet, TV antenna and prewire, air conditioner, bathroom with enclosed shower, closet, white grey and black water storage for two days if everybody showers daily, a week if they conserve, all hookablel to water and sewer if available, air conditinoier and furnace, lots of gear storage, two nights of battery power (though the microwave and air conditioner need shore power - the furnace runs on the batteries/power conditioner), hitch, dual-axle with tires, awning, etc.

This looks like a very pricey, very heavy, hardshell tent - with some lights, cots, and a big-brother computer monitoring system.

But I bet agencies would love the monitoring system.

Comment: Re:Google wants a monopoly... (Score 2) 133

by swillden (#49332903) Attached to: Chinese CA Issues Certificates To Impersonate Google

Google is completely OK with sharing personal info with all governments

Not true, not in the slightest. Google has fought hard to minimize the information they have to give to governments, and to be as transparent as the law will allow about what they do give. Remember that Google created the transparency report, and was the company that managed to negotiate permission to share aggregated data about National Security Letters. Many other companies have followed suit, but Google led the way.

They have already been caught supplying users' data to the US government.

No, Google has been shown to comply with legal requirements, and to fight questionable requests in court. Snowden also revealed that the NSA was tapping Google's fiber. Google responded by encrypting the data on that fiber.

They make money on that as well because they charge the US government a fee for that service.

Cite? Since Google is a publicly-traded company, it should be easy to point to that line item in their SEC filings.

Stood up and achieved what? Get told by the Chinese government to STFU or GTFO?

No, told by the Chinese government to participate in government-mandated censorship or GFTO. Google participated for a while and then decided it wasn't what they ought to be doing, and so chose to GTFO of the biggest market on the planet (albeit one in which they had a small market share.

Comment: My art is prior. (Score 3, Interesting) 160

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49332793) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

My first unix box was an Altos. Don't recall exactly when I got it but it finally died in the late '80s.

The thing burned something like a kilowatt. It also had a four-inch muffin fan - blowing outward. While this sucked dust in all the openings, it was convenient for heat scavenging, AND exhaust. The latter was important in my non-air-conditioned college-town house.

I got a couple 4" drier vents, some drier vent hose, and a heat-scavenging diverter valve (which were big that year - for electric driers only!). Took the flapper valve and rain shield off one of the drier vents, yeilding a fitting that I mounted on the pancae fan's four mounting screws. It coupled the airflow nicely into the drier vent hose, which was essentially exactly the diameter of the fan blade shroud. A few 2x4s mad a wooden insert that went into the window in place of the screen unit, with the other vent in the middle of it. Hooked the two together with the hose, with the diverter in the middle of it, and the third hose segment feeding the hot air register.

In the summer the space-heater's-worth of hot air went out the window instead of into the house. In the winter the hot air fed the furnace distributon, providing a base heat supply to the house with the furnace coming on to "top it off" to the desired temperature.

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

except that polling it continuously will keep the device from going to sleep (have an impact on battery life).

It doesn't seem to have a significant impact, AFAICT. I haven't benchmarked with and without, but at leas on my Nexus 6 I didn't observe any obvious decrease in battery life when I turned it on.

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

I've been using this feature for a few months now (I work for Google) and I think on balance it significantly improves my security. It means that I can set my phone to lock instantly on display timeout, with a one-minute timeout, lock instantly on power button press, and use a long, complex password... and not be inconvenienced by having to constantly re-enter a long password. This is a security win, because if I did have to enter a long password two dozen times per day, I wouldn't do it; I'd choose a simpler password and settings that lock my device less aggressively. Even better, I find myself subtly encouraged by the phone to keep it in my pocket, rather than setting it down on tables, desks, etc., because if I put it down somewhere I'll have to re-enter my password.

If I were mugged, I'd just hit the power button as I remove the phone from my pocket. Actually, what I'd really like to do in that case is to power it down, but I'm not sure I could get away with that, since it requires holding the power button for a couple of seconds, then tapping the confirmation dialog. Since my phone is encrypted, getting it into a powered-down state makes my data quite secure. Not that the lockscreen is necessarily easy to bypass, but it's part of a large, complex system, which means there's a lot of attack surface. Once the device is powered down, the risk model is very simple and well-understood: If the attacker can't guess my password, he can't get at my data. Thanks to the hardware-backed encryption used in Lollipop, password guessing is rate-limited by the hardware to a level that would require, on average, about 70 years of continuous trials. Even if the attacker were that patient (a) nothing on my phone would be worth anything after a decade or so and (b) I doubt the device would last that long. Mobile devices aren't built to run flat out for years.

I've also used the bluetooth proximity Smart Lock, paired to a smartwatch, but I've decided I like the "Trusted behavior" feature better, so I've stopped trusting proximity to my watch. The range on bluetooth is large enough that I can set my phone down and be far enough away that someone could use it but still within range for keeping unlocked. Plus, I really like the encouragement to keep the device on my body. In the long run, that user training will, I think, do more for my device security than anything else.

I do still use bluetooth, but paired to my car's bluetooth, so I can put the phone in a cradle or on the center console and have it stay unlocked. I also set the phone to trust proximity to the bluetooth headset I use when cycling, because I put the phone in a cradle mounted on the handlebars and want it to stay unlocked as I use it to track my ride.

The discussion on this thread about phones being snatched from hands, though, makes me think that perhaps I should re-enable trust of my smartwatch. That would address high-speed theft pretty well. I just tested and taking the phone out of range of my smartwatch does lock the phone, even if it's in my pocket. So a thief couldn't just grab it from my hands and drop it in their pocket to keep it unlocked.

However, this means I lose the on-body self-training. I suppose if I turn the smartwatch linkage on only when I'm outside my home or office, I'd get the on-body training most of the time but the smartwatch linkage all of the rest. Hmm... I wonder if I can create a Tasker profile to automate that...

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

you do want the screen to turn off and lock from input when you place the phone in your pocket, unless you enjoy random stuff happening.

The proximity sensor (same one that prevents you from hitting buttons with your cheek while talking on the phone) should turn the screen off and disable input without locking the screen when it senses your leg/hip.

Comment: Re:Cowards! (Score 1) 299

by the gnat (#49303245) Attached to: Scientists: It's Time To Resolve the Ethics of Editing Human Genome

These people want to put a stop to progress because they think humans are some kind of holy ground that must not be tred upon.

Actually, those people are involved in (at current count) at least two companies that have targeted therapeutic modification of humans as their primary business goal.

Comment: Re:I'm all for this (Score 1) 299

by the gnat (#49303175) Attached to: Scientists: It's Time To Resolve the Ethics of Editing Human Genome


research is needed to understand and manage risks arising from the use of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Considerations include the possibility of off-target alterations, as well as on-target events that have unintended consequences. It is critical to implement appropriate and standardized benchmarking methods to determine the frequency of off-target effects and to assess the physiology of cells and tissues that have undergone genome editing. At present, the potential safety and efficacy issues arising from the use of this technology must be thoroughly investigated and understood before any attempts at human engineering are sanctioned, if ever, for clinical testing. As with any therapeutic strategy, higher risks can be tolerated when the reward of success is high, but such risks also demand higher confidence in their likely efficacy.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce