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Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 57

by Opportunist (#48640605) Attached to: NASA Video Shows What It's Like To Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere

Fuck money. You know when the US made its biggest leaps ahead? When money was pumped into NASA for the moon shot. The 60s where THE decade. World leader in anything technology, and not resting on its "we're #1, why try harder?" spot but gaining enough momentum that it lasted well into the 80s before anyone could come close in any field of technology. Jobs were plentiful and people had money, and they spent that money on more things, creating more jobs. And with the success in space came a really powerful "can do" spirit that drove the economy ahead again. The heroes were the astronauts, people who dared to brave the perils ahead of them in a quest to push the boundaries of humanity and to prove that anything is possible if you just put your mind to it and focus on the goal.

We need that again. I mean, look around you. It's getting hard to remember when the US was #1 in anything, even the Chinese economy is about to take over, if it hasn't already. Jobs are hard to come by and usually they are barely enough to get by, no money to spend, no way to create a job for a hairdresser or a plumber because you can't afford them. And with that drag comes a "no can do" spirit that quenches the last bit of will to compete and succeed. The current american dream isn't to work and climb the ladder, the dream is to buy a ticket and win the lottery.

Not to mention that the heroes of today are idiots in casting shows, people whose biggest dare is to face the verdict of Simon Cowell, with the focus of 5 minutes of fame.

Comment: Re:Supreme Leader (Score 1) 88

by Opportunist (#48640575) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

If I bought one of their rootkit CDs and infected my system, I could see getting a bit miffed, especially after that idiotic statement of how ""Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" and the "settlement" which essentially said Sony can do whatever they please and don't even get a slap on the wrist.

You see, when the law fails, vigilantes are not far.

Comment: Re:correct if wrong (Score 1) 88

by Opportunist (#48640573) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

You would, and so would I and probably anyone who doesn't think TCP is the Chinese secret service.

But do you think Sony would pay either your or my "asking price"? For what I would command they could easily hire three "admins". They might consider TCP the Chinese secret service and have generally zero clue about security or anything related, but hey, they will just take twice times the time I need to get something going, and with a salary a third of mine, that's still coming out ahead!

That the reason they spend twice as long is that they use copy/paste configuring and try&error as a way to figure out how to get stuff going, leaving ports open and vulnerable behind them in their battle against the system, who cares? It works, doesn't it?

Comment: Then maybe we can finally answer an old question (Score 2) 88

by Opportunist (#48640549) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

I think it was Thomas Hesse, back when Sony distributed Rootkits with their CDs their President of Global Digital Business, who said "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?".

Well, Sony? I'm fairly convinced your execs don't have the foggiest clue about malware but ... do you care about it?

Comment: Re:cis and mi regulation is not "bad" code (Score 1) 10

by Cyberax (#48640241) Attached to: Machine Learning Reveals Genetic Controls
Uhm, we know pretty well that most of the junk is just junk. The recent _high_ estimates of human genome that has some function is about 10% (or about 15% with structural elements). That's a _high_ estimate based on analysis of evolution of genomic sequences.

And it's nothing unusual in the animal world. The difference is even more glaring in plants - a good old Arabidopsis is just 135Mbp and Paris Japonica is 150GBp. That's a difference of three orders of magnitude between plants that have no really special external characteristics! And even Arabidopsis has plenty of junk in its genome.

Comment: Re:$32 million of greed. (Score 1) 121

by Firethorn (#48640169) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

Can you self-publish and get any respect from college book departments? Professors might be fairly easy, but getting the okay from your department to use a non-certified publisher/reviewed book might be difficult. Can you sell enough in order to justify printing sufficient quantities such that printing costs alone don't swamp most of the price difference?

It's not easy. Especially if he was under contract with the publisher for it and they pulled some shenanigans in order to raise the price.

That being said, I'd love to pull in some charity minded professionals to write and deliberately open source sets of textbooks.

Comment: Re:What are the implications for the textbook mark (Score 2) 121

by Firethorn (#48640155) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

It's pissing me and the students off because they really do need to have a text.

How long is this going to be true with resources like Khan Academy, Purple math, and everything else out there?

I am currently pissed at my calculus text(Larson/Edwards 5thEd ETC). While I read the chapters, more than half the book is actually just problems to work out, and worse, the methods to solve said problems are often not in the text. So I'd place my actual learning at about 10% textbook(and I'm being generous), 30% lecture, 20% math tutoring/TA help, 40% internet.

When the teacher is assigning roughly 1/10th of the problems as homework in a manner that often resembles 'this looks good, I like this one', etc... It should be trivial for him to do up said problems on a handout. Well, I'd recommend he make the problems up himself, but you should get the point.

Comment: Can we stop the embellishment? (Score 2) 88

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.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 300

by lgw (#48639971) Attached to: Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

I predict that tomorrow, there will be weather! Yeah, that's not what people mean by predicting the weather. Sure: the 24-hour weather forecast is better than random guessing, but it's still not much better than looking at the sky, and a barometer. And the 5-day forecast? Accuracy isn't in it.

Comment: Goal is cooling, not reduction of warming. (Score 1) 97

by SuperKendall (#48639905) Attached to: Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

The climate is already changing, the goal is to reduce the amount of change.

The problem is the effort is not to reduce the amount, the effort is to send change, however slightly, in a VERY BAD direction.

We already know the Earth will enter a glacial period again. It may even be tending to do so now, we really don't have the understanding of climate to say for sure.

What we do know is that entering a glacial period is something we would vastly rather avoid over any of the climate warming models to date (now that we know runaway warming is simply not going to happen as the doomsayers predicted). Glacial periods will mean mass extinctions all over, and a huge shortage of arable land unlike the greatly expanded land that can be used for agriculture in a warmer Earth scenario.

It's fine to come up with ideas that promote the reduction of things that in theory increase warming, but it's extremely dangerous (or at least stupid) for life on Earth to do anything on a large scale that promotes global cooling of the atmosphere.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay