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Comment: Re:Very smart! (Score 2) 634

by RabidReindeer (#49344651) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Sorry, but having two people in the cockpit is a safety measure, not a security measure. It helps if one pilot has a heart attack, but it does pretty much nothing if one pilot is a suicidal, murderous maniac.

I wouldn't say "nothing". It's hard to concentrate on suicide if you're busy trying to murder someone.

Comment: Re:Not always true... (Score 4, Interesting) 634

by RabidReindeer (#49344609) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Before we got so efficient, a cockpit would have 3 or 4 personnel. Pilot, co-pilot, engineer, possibly radio officer. If there were always at least 2 people in the cockpit at all times, then it would be much harder for a single berserker to crash.

Unless of course, you arm the pilots and they shoot everyone else first.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 480

It isn't a free market if state laws restrict who can do business with whom. Remove those laws and the free market would push Comcast right out the door.

Sure. The "Free Market" offered me exactly one alternative to Comcast.

I took it, but only because it was that or Comcast.

Comment: Re:You should title this "Patriot act to be repeal (Score 1) 183

by RabidReindeer (#49335417) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act

I would in principle support reigning in on the patriot act, and possibly this bill.
However, something tells me "This bill might be a trap", an item with no chance of passing; but either they want to figure out who will support the bill, so they can start investigating these people, or they will bury some Trojan horses in the bill itself in order to kill.

A congressperson votes for the bill, then they will be immediately under investigation as 'an enemy of the state' and attempts by the executive in response to undermine that person's support.

Will folks be shipped off to Guantanamo, for petitioning their representative in support?

We live in paranoid times, it's true. And a lot of things that people didn't want to believe about the US Government have been demonstrated to be fact.

But I don't think we're quite that far gone yet. I'd rather take the risk. Besides, how many people can Cuba hold?

Comment: Re:End the Fed! (Score 2) 160

by RabidReindeer (#49332103) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

It's not a linear conversion. Even a $5 suit in 1913 was likely to be hand-tailored simply because mass-production wasn't as far advanced back then. Electronics were esoteric high-tech devices, not something run off en-masse by extremely specialized automated machinery. Food, on the other hand, was quite labor-intensive and made up a big chunk of where most people's paychecks went. It still has a lot of labor in it (hence the exemption from minimum-wage laws for farm workers), but we've managed to come up with a lot more farm automa since then, and no few items that use those much cheaper, more compact, and more reliable electronics that people so love to use as a false measuring stick of time-relative purchasing power.

Inflation is destructive when the relative values of income versus expenses rises rapidly or disproportionately. An extreme example was given me by an old German teacher who said that her grandfather sold a solid wood wardrobe in the morning pre-WWII and in the evening was barely able to buy a pound of bacon with the proceeds. In our day, inflation in absolute terms is mostly low and thus it would take longer to make such a radical difference - you'd have had to stash the money in some non-appreciating place for a relatively long period of time to get that kind of hurt. Instead what hurts us is the downsizing of positions such that so many people have to take lower-paying jobs even while the absolute salaries are more or less tracking inflation. Meaning that there's effective high inflation despite little absolute high inflation.

The absolute number written on a dollar bill is almost meaningless. What matters is whether or not buyers and sellers are both receiving enough of them to be satisfied. That's equally true for shiny yellow rocks, but some people can't seem to understand that. They think the rocks have some sort of absolute value.

Comment: Re:Are the CAs that do this revoked? (Score 1) 132

by RabidReindeer (#49331943) Attached to: Chinese CA Issues Certificates To Impersonate Google

If you can't trust that the entity with which you're exchanging information has the security of the information as their highest priority, no amount of securing of channels is going to help.

Why sir, I have no doubt that my insurance company/big-bog retailer, etc. is totally dedicated to keeping my information secure and not in simply making the cheapest token security gestures they can get away with.

After all, if you can't trust major corps like Anthem, Home Depot and Target, who can you trust?

Comment: Re:Are the CAs that do this revoked? (Score 1) 132

by RabidReindeer (#49331923) Attached to: Chinese CA Issues Certificates To Impersonate Google

Realistically, what we need is a "web of trust". The idea that there are certain incorruptible agencies who can vouch for anyone is pretty preposterous to begin with.

If, instead, anyone could vouch for another and we could build up our own list of trusted authenticators and score unknown parties against their associations, a la degrees of Kevin Bacon, it would probably be a lot more secure than the current binary system with unreliable certifiers in it.

As it is, I'm already dealing with a number of agencies who've allowed their certs to expire but I have to bite the bullet and trust that their site isn't being spoofed. Local/state government agencies are especially bad at this, since they frequently have crap tech resources to begin with. If the city, county, and/or state could be a trust source in its own right and vouch for local agencies it would be a move up.

Comment: Re:Training Your Competition (Score 1) 108

by RabidReindeer (#49329339) Attached to: IBM Will Share Tech With China To Help Build IT Industry There

Consider the case of the Americans and the atomic bomb technology, and how quickly the Russians achieved parity.

Well, considering that they continuously kept getting information from the inside and it still took them four more years, perhaps one could say that it wasn't all that quick.

Then again, the Russians had to work to steal it. IBM's actively pushing it out.

Bought a motherboard or LCD TV lately? Don't even bother to TRY to find one built without Chinese labor in it.

You can be replaced by this computer.