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Comment Re:Jeremy clarkson does not approve (Score 1) 766 766

No, we don't. Most people are not car people. A car is a tool. We don't care about it specs, and I don't want it to make any more noise than it has to. It adds nothing to the experience and annoys anyone else around you.

Hell, i even enjoy a nice ride in low traffic- but the sound isn't part of the fun, it just detracts from the radio or the sounds of nature around me.

You're a very tiny minority.

Comment Re:Seems silly. (Score 1) 63 63

The cooler thing would be if you have enough high speed printing capacity that you could manufacture and assemble a 1000 drone swarm in a very short period of time and overwhelm an adversaries defenses without requiring a ship big enough to carry a 1000 completed drones. And then another one, and another one. You would need a tanker full of plastic and a freighter full of batteries, electronics and propellers.

âoeKill decisionâ baby.

Comment Re:You just described SoylentNews. (Score 2) 550 550

I would mostly agree with parent. Soylent is fine execpt the community isnt big enough so the comments are barely there or worth reading, the name is kind of bad and the stories are routinely just old enough to be yesterdays news on Slashdot or Hacker news.

Their Twitter feed, which is where I get my news feeds, also puts these really annoying lame "from the deptâ attempts at humor in the tweets instead of just the title of the story and the link:

Razer Acquires Ouya Software Assets, Ditches Hardware from the kicked-down dept

They will even thorten the title to make room for the utterly stupid âoefrom theâ.

The best solution to replace Slashdot would probably be if Hacker news grafted the classic Slashdot look, commenting and moderation system on to their generally good stories and great community.

Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 4, Insightful) 586 586

There is a high probably no Sunday talk show would have let him speak once they found out what he was going to say. They are all owned by giant media conglomerates you know. They wouldnt risk the wrath of the Federal government. Pretty sure Snowden went to Greenwald because he was one of the few journalists with the balls to do the story. The Guardian was hammered by the UK government for running it.

Remember when the CEO of Qwest defied the NSA plan to tap all data and phones lines after 9/11. The Federal government pulled all their contracts from Qwest, hammered their stock and then put him in prison for a phony securities rap. Qwest was a rare corporate hero among telecoms, long since swallowed up by CenturyLink who are just as bad as all the rest.

Comment Re:Can email service providers do more? (Score 1) 58 58

Regarding your number 2... Frequently get tampered with in transit? Really? I have, literally, never seen this....

You're lucky there. I see such tampering several times per day, and fixing the problem often takes a lot of time (and soto-voce swearing ;-).

The reason is that I deal with a lot of data that's "plain text", but is computer data of some sort, not a natural language like English (which is sorts stretching the meaning of "natural", but you know what I mean). Or it's in a human language, but not English, and the character encoding uses some 2-byte or longer characters.

The simplest example is computer source code. The tampering is often caused by the "punch-card mentality" coded into a lot of email software, which often doesn't allow lines longer than 80 (or 72) characters, and inserts line feeds to make everything fit. Many programming languages consider line feeds to mean something different than a space, usually "end of statement". Inserting a line feed in the middle of a statement thus changes the meaning, and very often introduces a syntax error.

Even nastier is the munging a lot of other plain-text data representation that mixes letters and numbers. Inserting spaces or a line feed in the middle of a token like "G2EF" usually destroys the meaning in a way that can't be corrected automatically at the receiving end. Usually the way to handle such tampering is to reply to the sender, saying "Can you send me that in quoted-printable or base-64 form?" And you try to teach everyone in the group that such data should always be encoded in a form that's immune to the idiocies of "smart" email handlers.

Text in UTF-8 form, especially Chinese and Japanese text, is especially prone to this sort of tampering, which often leaves the text garbled beyond recovery.

Anyway, there are lots of excuses for such tampering with email in ways that destroy the content. It's not always for nefarious reasons; it's just because the programmers only tested their email-handling code on English-language text. And because they're idiots who think that lines of text should never be longer than 80 (or 72) characters.

Comment Re:Redirecting (Score 1) 188 188

When I noticed that the address was the address of my machine, I did a quick find(1), but couldn't find the IMDB files or the takedown letter. Do you think I should contact Universal Pictures and ask them to send me another copy of the letter, so I can figure out which file to take down?

Actually, I noticed that all of our home machines (we have several, including tablets and smart phones) seem to have the same address. I guess that's to be expected, since ISPs only give us a single address, so we all have to use that silly NAT protocol and try to make sense of the confusion that it always creates. Anyway, I did look around on all of them, and still couldn't find anything with "Universal Pictures" inside. I did find a few files that contain "IMDB", but they're in the browsers' cache directories, and I got rid of those by simply telling the browsers to clear their cache(s).

But somehow I don't think this has taken care of the problem. So who should I contact at Universal Pictures to make sure we get a copy of the letter and purge our machines of their files?

(And for the benefit of many /. readers and mods, maybe I should end this with: ;-) Nah....

Comment Re:Profits are important to allocate resources (Score 1) 93 93

What rate of return would convince you to put your money in an investment if you knew it was going to be 10 years before you received the first dollar back - and there was a 90%+ chance of failure to boot?

Funny thing; those numbers were used back in the 1980s, with interesting results. The topic wasn't drugs, though, but rather solid-state manufacturing, and very similar numbers were widely quoted in east Asia. At the time, it was generally estimated that to build a new solid-state facility would require several billion dollars, and would take around a decade to become profitable, due to the extreme difficulty of achieving the required low level of contaminants inside the equipment. Much of the decade would be spent making test runs, discovering that the output was useless because of some trace contaminant in one part of the process, and redesigning the setup to get past yet another failure. Success wasn't predictable; the 10-year estimate was just the minimum.

But people in east Asia (mostly Japan and Korea) argued publicly that the American companies that controlled most of the production at the time wouldn't be able to get funding for new factories, because American investors would refuse to invest so much money in something with no payoff for a decade. If Asian investors would step in and support the effort, in 10 years they could own the world's solid-state industry. Enough people with money (including government agencies) listened, made the gamble, and a decade longer, they owned the industry.

It's probably just a matter of time before the American drug industry goes the same way. Would you invest in something with no payoff for a decade or more, and wasn't even guaranteed to pay off then because nobody had yet created the drugs that might be created? If you guess that few US (or EU) investors will do this, you're likely right.

In particular, the Republican US Congress is highly likely to continue its defunding of academic basic research, partly due to mistrust of investments that won't pay off during their current terms in office, and also due to a serious religion-based dislike of the biological sciences in general. Without the basic research, the only "new" drugs patented by industry will continue to be mostly small tweaks of existing drugs, which under US law qualify as new, patentable products.

Of course, this is all a bunch of tenuous guesses, based on past behavior of the players. That's what investment is usually like. It's entirely possible that they'll wise up, and not abandon the drug industry the way they abandoned the electronics industry. The US does actually have a few solid-state production facilities, after all, though they're now a small part of the market.

But, as the above poster said, would you be willing to gamble your investment money on the hope that US private drug makers will support the research that the US government is getting out of? Remember that, to corporate management, scientific research appears to have a record of 90% failure; i.e., 90% of funded research projects fail to produce a patentable and marketable product. This is the nature of research, which only discovers facts and theories, not products, and where the outcome of a study is unpredictable before the fact. (If it were predictable, it wouldn't be called "research", it'd be "development". ;-)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 173 173

Why does a car have a wireless system, and why is this wireless system accessible from outside the car?

So that the manufacturer can access the car, collect data on where and how it's been driven, and sell that information to anyone willing to pay for it.

The idea of sending "data" to the car was an afterthought, when they realized it could be useful for things like disabling a car that's behind on the payments.

Note that both of these motives contain the string "pay". That's the hint you need to figure out the other intended uses. ;-)

Comment Re:Screws with users (Score 2) 319 319

Automotive control interfaces change all of the time.

Really? The "control interface" of my '81 Ford is the same as the day it was purchased.

Well, the auto makers have "fixed" that problem in their latest models. They now have those little "onboard computers" that constantly scan many of the controls and figure out how to map them to physical actions. This means that any "upgrade" to the software can change the functioning of all the controls. You can think you're just getting an upgrade to improve the mileage, but that upgrade can flip the meaning of the turn-signal controls.

Some of the latest models have wifi, so they can do upgrades while you're traveling. We'll probably soon be hearing of accidents caused by a sudden change in meaning of what the driver did with the controls. (Yes, they may say the upgrades won't happen while the car is moving. What that means is that if you stop at a stop sign or light, when you start moving again, the controls may have silently changed. And if you think they wouldn't do upgrades without your permission, you haven't been paying attention.)

If computer-industry history is any guide, it'll probably take decades for all this to settle down to an intuitive, reliable auto UI. And the security problems still won't be solved, so your car can be taken over at any moment by "hackers" - or the police - or your insurance company.

(I wish I were joking ... but I'll probably get a "funny" mod for this anyway. ;-)

Comment Re:He might be right on the point of law here... (Score 1) 305 305

Simple way to fix it- require that any H1B hired must be paid twice the highest paid domestic worker. That means they'll only be paid if they really are necessary. Any company that's found breaking this rule is not allowed to hire an H1B again- ever. And they're fined 20 times what the salary(s) were supposed to be.

We can't throw companies in jail, so breaking the law should be fucking punishing.

Comment Re:The H1-B Needs to Go (Score 1) 305 305

The reason IT jobs are down is a combination of things:

1)Too many people went into it, because it was seen as hot yet didn't require a degree, just certs (or nothing).
2)Improved knowledge of computers by the general public, and improved software for them to use (its not like the 90s when you had to really know Windows to set up a network). Not many people need to call helpdesk to plug in a mouse anymore.
3)Automation and improved infrastructure. It takes fewer people to manage a fleet of machines because the software is better.
4)We don't fix hardware anymore. We replace it. This is a lot lower effort. Also a lot of the hardware is more reliable.

IT jobs went away because demand decreased while supply increased. There's still a fuckton of jobs writing software, but we don't need as many people to take care of the hardware and administrate the systems. Those jobs aren't going completely away, but they'll never spike again.

"Facts are stupid things." -- President Ronald Reagan (a blooper from his speeach at the '88 GOP convention)