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Comment I see that idiots still hate geeks... (Score 2) 390

I'm not a fan of BBT at all, for the various reasons described on the "geek" side above. But I gotta say, after reading these Yeah, the show's not getting taken down anytime soon on account of these chuckleheads.

Here's a subset of a particular gem:

He is harass and reached out via his mother for helped and asked them to stop-In other words he reported it, his mother reported it and the bullying proceed. -message that we as responsible adults want to give to our children and others

Okay, that's about all I can take of that. There's only so much I can stand of prose written by a lifetime aficionado of the flavor of paint chips.

Comment Re:Why don't taxis just provide good service?! (Score 4, Insightful) 135

The airport is within a mile of the casinos how much can you reasonably charge for what amounts to a few minutes ride. Vegas was purpose built for travelers the airport and main attractions are all grouped together.

Um...I don't think Uber charges less. Just sayin'.

The issue here is demand and supply. There are X number of taxis, the streets can carry Y number of cars (anyone who's been to Vegas in the last decade or two knows what I'm talking about here) and there are Z number of people...many of whom are drunk, out of control, depressed because they just lost their next three mortgage payments at the roulette table, or in other states of unruly/headache/disaster.

I would wager (no pun intended) that being a cab driver in Vegas carries challenges and problems that aren't found in other cities. Sure, you get a degree of batshit crazy in New Orleans around Bourbon Street, but Vegas is like dozens of square miles of Bourbon Street, filled with millions of people acting accordingly who range from sane and sober to...well, there's a reason the "Hangover" movies take place in Vegas.

I've cabbed in Vegas a lot over the years, and I've always found the cabs to be clean and in good shape, the drivers (with one exception out of a long list) to be polite and capable, and the fares consistent. I've never been taken on a long ride, and I've actually gotten a lot of good information from the drivers about going-ons in the city. I'm a huge fan of Uber, but Vegas is one place that, to me, isn't screaming for a replacement option as much as other cities.

Comment Re:Big jump (Score 1) 112

It seems to me a big leap to go from 'hosting company is sending all login credentials unencrypted' to a silo on a private island guarded by mercenaries, which seems to be what you are now looking for. Find a less idiotic host and stop worrying about govt agencies - if they want your data they'll get it, and the best you can hope for is that is all they want from you.

Agreed. It seems the OP makes a jump from "I realized that my hosting provider has been going short-bus full retard with regard to even basic security" to "To what nation should I migrate my online assets to protect them from even the most highly-resourced nation state actors?" I don't see why the pendulum has to swing so far to the other side...and really, the odds are overwhelming that none of the nation-state actors that would be affected by going that far care about his stuff anyways.

And something else to consider, especially as some people recommend he go to hosting providers in places like's entirely possible that he'll bring scrutiny upon himself by taking such measures. If his online presence contains nothing of any real interest...and he's doing this just on principle...then maybe he should consider that it's possible to act like you have something to hide by, well...acting like you have something to hide. Even if you don't. And if people who snoop think you have something to hide, they'll come looking...and KEEP looking, until they go over everything with a fine tooth comb to be sure that you don't.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 1) 166

Congress should repeal it, but they won't because those with actual political power like it.

That is the voters' problem. If they don't vote for a congress that will repeal the DMCA, it simply won't happen. Pretty basic, don't you think?

Actually, there are a couple of intermediate steps missing here.

The first thing you have to do is know who your Senators and Congressman (Congresswoman? Congressperson?) are. ("Do you know?" he asks, rhetorically, to the reader...)

And then, the second thing you do is to sit down and have a talk with them...and tell them your views on the matter. Don't come across like a fanatic or a crackpot; It doesn't matter how wrong you think the DMCA is, nor does it matter how strongly you feel it. What matters is *why* it's bad, in the frame of a logical argument. Facts and other such dispassionate information are what you want to have backing you up here.

Once enough people do those two things, it'll be enough of an issue that you'll actually be able to tell where a candidate stands on the matter. As it is today, I doubt very much that it'd be possible to figure out the stances of 90% of people on Capitol Hill without having to ask them directly, when it comes to this. The other 10% would be those who have spoken out...but 10% isn't enough to swing the issue at the voting booth.

Comment Ah, yet again... (Score 1) 244

To quote Eddie Izzard, himself paraphrasing someone else:

(running to one side of the stage)
"I've got a new idea, I've got a new idea..."

(turning, and running away in the other direction)

The ability to predict crime has been the holy grail of law enforcement for over a century now. They've tried psychology, sociology, biology...even try and point the finger at people and say "Yep, that guy's gonna commit some crime; let's harass the living fuck out of him so we catch him when he does!" What none of these attempts ever, ever seem to try and ponder is the base rate (most people aren't criminals), it's relevance to statistical probability (it means that you're looking for a needle in the haystack even if you make the haystack smaller), and the impact of false positives (which means you're going to piss off a shitload of people unless your method is impossibly accurate). And until they can account for and address those three factors, I think that any attempts at achieving this goal are entirely doomed.

Comment Re:transcript of rose (Score 2) 58

"Question: If a bed doesn’t fit in a room because it’s too big, what is too big?
Rose: I don’t even want to pretend that.
Question: If Alex lent money to Joe because they were broke, who needed the money?
Rose: huh?
Question: Should Greece leave the Euro?
Rose: Seems like a nice place."

How, uh, impressive. If by "impressive" you mean "pathetic".

It's all about context. For example, Ashley Madison had great success with this technology. (The site charged money, in the form of "credits" that you had to buy, to chat with women. And by "other women," it turns out that they meant "bots.")

"Question: Hey...looking for a 50-year-old uncut accountant with a few extra pounds?
Rose: I don’t even want to pretend that.
Question: Does the carpet match the drapes?
Rose: huh?
Question: Want to come with me on a getaway to the Caribbean for a super-hot ungreased backdoor lovefest?
Rose: Seems like a nice place."

Moral of the story: The unstated variable of the Turing Test is "desperation."

Comment Re:Its all in the taxes and incentives. (Score 1) 211

You can't just "do" something with surplus power on the grid...

Actually, you can and in Virginia we do. The Bath County Pumped Storage Station uses surplus power (from a nuclear plant) to pump water up into a reservoir to later be used to generate hydro power during high demand.

Also see: The Inside Story Of The World’s Biggest ‘Battery’ And The Future Of Renewable Energy

That's an experiment, not a reasonable solution that exists for widespread use today. Also, good luck finding hydroelectric facilities that can be used that way in Texas...or, for that matter, in most places. The fact that a handful of facilities, scattered around the world, that have experimented with various forms of bulk energy storage does not mean that bulk energy storage is suddenly a widespread option for an area the size of ERCOT's BES region. These are laudable projects that aim to address the two biggest problems with the grid today: that renewable energy is uncontrollably variable and that the peaks and valleys of load are getting larger. And someday, I hope that at least one of them results in something that will make a big impact. But today, they're essentially lab experiments. You may as well hope for clothing made of graphene to show up at Walmart tomorrow.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 3, Informative) 211

One of the ongoing challenges with renewable sources of energy is the unpredictable nature of their production.

There are many storage methods available for this excess energy.

Seemingly concerned with the "Texas" angle, TFA fails to mention if this is a rare anomaly or worthy of storage development.

Coming from a career working in the power industry, I gotta tell ya...that Wikipedia entry is about experimental methods, not things meant to store energy on a bulk scale. Bulk storage is an end goal, but saying that "there are many storage methods available" is like saying we could have gone straight to the moon as soon as Yuri Gagarin got into orbit, or we could go to Mars today. It just isn't true.

Yes, there are many approaches being experimented with, and some of them are very large facilities. No, none of them work as needed yet.

Comment Re:Its all in the taxes and incentives. (Score 3, Informative) 211

Wind farm owners get lots of taxpayer help paying for the construction of the wind farm, then forced production credits means they get paid if power is needed or not. Apply this to any generation technology and the result would be pretty much the same.

The model is even worse in place where the grid is forced to purchase power a even higher rates.

In this model, who pays for the reliable backup?

Actually, this isn't true at all. Wind farm owners are participants in ERCOT like any other generation facility; if there's too much power on the grid, they are given directives to throttle down, even to zero if necessary. This applies whether the wind farm owners are a larger utility (like CPS Energy, Centerpoint, etc.) or a standalone entity with only wind farm generation.

The reason behind this is simple; sink (also known as load) and generation must be in balance. You can't just "do" something with surplus power on the impacts both the voltage and the frequency of power. The second is the more frightening result, as over/underfrequency events do enormous damage to many different components of the bulk electric system. Even a difference of half a cycle (in power, a cycle is 1/60th of a second) is catastrophic.

Comment Re:Black Boxes??? (Score 1) 247

And how does all of this tracking make you feel?

It's not tracking. It just isn't. (And I suspect you know that, else you'd have not posted as an's not like being anti-tracking will get you modded down on Slashdot, after all...)

It's like a flight recorder, so that data on the state of the car in the last moments immediately before a crash are available for analysis. I'm fine with this personally, since it's something that's fair and objective.

If, for example, some guy cuts me off and then slams on his brakes suddenly...causing me to hit him...under the "old way" there'd be almost no way to prove that he caused the accident instead of me. But when you throw accelerometers and information about throttle position and braking force into the mix, then you suddenly are able to put together a true picture of what really happened. And that's aside from the fact that the NTSB has always examined fatal accidents of significant and/or unusual nature, in the fulfillment of their extremely quiet and extremely successful mission to make cars safer. Giving them more data of this kind is hugely helpful.

But it's not tracking. It's not even available until there's an accident, much like a flight recorder on a plane. If you have an issue with tracking, speak up about OnStar, UConnect, BlueLink, etc. THOSE involve tracking.

Comment Re:Theory... (Score 2) 591

I grew up in the South, and I don't think I ever heard "evolution" or "natural selection" ever even mentioned in school by a teacher. The closest thing I remember to it was another student asking my middle school biology teacher about evolution once. She basically told us she wouldn't talk about it because she didn't want to lose her job. And that was that. I had no idea how these process even worked until I read about them later and started to understand their importance and implications.

I've spent time in the South as well, and I never heard the phrase "natural selection" uttered either. I DID see it play out, however...usually preceded by a "Hey, y'all...WATCH THIS!"

But all kidding aside, you make an excellent point by illustrating exactly how the various forces at work come into play here. This law is a good move, and a step in the right direction for a state that consistently ends up being the butt of jokes because of a stereotypically uneducated (outside of Huntsville) populace. As soon as an idea, concept, or theory is banned...either explicitly as used to be the situation that led up to the Scopes Monkey Trial or implicity, as in the situation you encountered...knowledge slides backwards. Truth is never served by censorship.

Comment Deter, Prevent, Prosecute? (Score 1) 212

These are the three aspects of what you should consider.

  • Deter = indicate to a potential thief that they would be better off going somewhere else. It could be a "Protected by ACME Security" sticker in the front window or sign on the front lawn, even if it's not backed by anything else. It could be one of those devices that makes lights flash like someone's home watching TV even when nobody's around. You get the idea...and it's also a component of an existing security solution that actually does something, if it's visible/perceptible.
  • Prevent = keep someone who is actively trying to break in from being successful. Mul-t-lock makes front doors that are a nightmare to get into. Bars on windows help a lot, even though they definitely make a home feel less like a nice place to be. Burglar alarms count here alarm that goes off is likely to send a thief scurrying away. And as before, many aspects of this feed into the "Deter" aspect of it all.
  • Prosecute = gather evidence during a break-in so that there's an opportunity to get the guilty parties arrested and *maybe* get some of your stuff back. This also tends to add to the "Deter" component of the overall solution...though video cameras are also pretty easy to set up in ways that make them vulnerable, and thus useless.

Ultimately, here's the problem: the only requirement you've put forth is that it all be Linux-based. Why? What about Linux makes for a superlative home security solution? This is a silly requirement. I'd step back and ask myself what I really wanted to accomplish with regard to the three aspects above. And then I would look at what's out there on the market ranging from home-built-and-installed options to professionally-installed options, and figure out what best fit my needs and my budget.

If the reason you want Linux is that you want it to be cheap or free, then I think you probably want to reconsider the new job, because the security and safety of your home is definitely not something you should architect solely around price...and if you can't afford to live someplace safe on what they're willing to pay you, it doesn't sound like they value their employees much at all.

Comment Re:Why now? (Score 1) 234

Her claim is that "I saw how hard it was going to be to win when every potential juror who expressed a belief that sexism exists in tech — a belief that is widely recognized and documented — was not allowed to serve on the jury,"

I don't think I'm somebody who knee-jerk jumps to discrimination. However, if they were filtering out jurors who believe that sexism exists in tech, that certainly seems to be unfair, IMO. Most people certainly would not consider it fair if a gay person was filing a discrimination suit and jurors who believe that discrimination against gay people exists were excluded from sitting on the jury.

I'm not necessarily saying that was the case here, and I haven't read enough to have a strong opinion on whether the case had merit or not. But if those allegations are true then that certainly stands in the way of a fair trial and should be fixed.

In other words,

"I saw how hard it was going to be to win when every potential juror I wanted to stack things in my favor was not allowed to serve on the jury."

What she doesn't state is whether or not the potential jurors that DID end up on the jury believed that sexism was impossible, or if they simply had a balanced view on the matter. I'm betting her legal team dismissed more than one or two people themselves, and that the balanced view prevailed.

Comment Re:Gotta love it (Score 1, Troll) 264

"The Obama administration is seeking to block the release of further information about how the predictions are made, as damaging to national security."

Yeah, but it's no big deal that the secretary of state was using her own private email server to store top secret and confidential information.

I wish Obama would have turned out merely as bad as I thought he would be 7 years ago - he's so far exceeded my expectations. know that this all started under Bush, right?


To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T