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Comment: Re:Once more (Score 3, Insightful) 99

by Shoten (#48888125) Attached to: U.S. Gas Stations Vulnerable To Internet Attacks

We have to ask why everything NEEDS to be internet connected. A local connection to the sensors will allow the station to determine when they need to refill said tanks. Not much point in putting it out there on the big scary internet. :D

Reason for these to be Internet-connected? Simple...supply chain. Next time you go get a fill-up, go interact with the guy inside the gas station and then ask yourself, "Do I think this guy could operate a control system and get a reading from a serial interface on a timely fashion so that the regional product distribution centers know when they need to schedule a fuel delivery?" At most gas stations I've been to, they can't even keep those little paper towels filled in the dispensers outside. (You know, the ones you need to wipe the oil off your dipstick? Okay, that looks dirty when I type it out...but I digress.)

On the other hand, if you connect these to the Internet, then an automated system can poll them periodically, automatically, and a lot of the workflow around keeping gas stations provisioned with fuel gets simplified and automated. You also get better metrics about consumption, which in turn allows for better forecasting so the local depots can, themselves, make sure they don't run dry. (There's a much, much longer lead time for getting a product tanker to drop off fuel than there is for a gas truck to bring fuel to a gas station.)

That said, these should be configured NOT to listen to requests from outside a certain subset of network ranges. Having them listen to the open Internet is, frankly, fucking stupid.

Comment: Re:you can't print 3D books! (Score 1) 97

by Shoten (#48849913) Attached to: Shanghai Company 3D Prints 6-Story Apartment Building and Villa

But as there is no specific national standard for 3D printing architecture, we need to revise and improve such a standard for the future.

and how will that standard be published and disseminated?

2D printers sigh with relief, they are still relevant

Only until they find out how crap Chinese building standards are!

Comment: Re: Fix the damn markup (Score 1) 778

by Shoten (#48829261) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

Guess your one of those smarter than the rest of the world techs, nerds etc. A colleague confining with others on his life matters and you want to bust balls about how tech Davy you are. 15 maybe? Damn man grow up.

The irony is strong with this one.

Good sir, I would like to resurrect an old online tradition by awarding you one million internets.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 134

by Shoten (#48780795) Attached to: For the First Time In 3 Years, Investments In Renewable Energy Increased

I don't get it, wouldn't lower oil prices reduce demand for renewable energy, thus reducing investment?

Very little power is generated using oil. The exceptions are places like the Bahamas, where coal isn't really accessible and it's easier to get oil on the island...but in those cases, there's really no effect from lower oil prices anyways because oil/diesel are incredibly expensive when compared to pretty much every other kind of generation. Also, oil only just recently dropped in price; planned projects related to the study here would have been planned out two years earlier (at the earliest) and capitalized a year before when budgets were worked out. It's odd, because the report talks about "industry concerns" related to this...but I work in the power industry, and nobody there even notices that the cost of oil has been low. So I don't understand who these analysts are speaking to, or how much knowledge they really have of the power sector.

What's behind this is another thing that the analysts totally don't see...the challenges of managing generation from renewables, and the fact that power companies have been able to make strides towards this. Generation and load (sink) have to be in balance...otherwise you get variations in both voltage and frequency. This has been a hard enough challenge to manage when the utilities had solid control over generation (they have very little control over load, and what control they do have is caused by "load shedding," whereby they cause a small, localized blackout). But when you add renewables, they lose control over some of their generation output as well...the wind picks up/dies down, clouds cover (or uncover) solar panels, etc. This was further validated as power companies started solar and wind projects, and saw the impact that came from them. The problem can be managed, but it requires more analytic systems (Transmission Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems, and Advanced Distribution Mangement Systems), AMI meters, and a host of other things that are referred to as "WAMPAC," or "Wide Area Monitoring, Protection and Control". These technologies have been developing over the years, and they all take a lot of time and money to implement. That said, power companies have been busily rolling them out, and now a lot of them are far better-prepared to absorb the fluctuations incurred by renewable energy sources.

So, in short:
-Renewable projects fired up some years ago
-They made it harder to manage the grid, as is
-Power companies, now having solid hard information as to how renewables impact their own piece of the grid, set about dealing with the problem with new tech
-Now they're better-prepared to roll out more renewable generation capacity

Comment: Re:Don't put cameras on everything (Score 1) 138

by Shoten (#48766079) Attached to: Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

Maybe because of the lack of rifle able to aim from a mile afar and, at the same time, broadcasting it live to the Internet.

No, because they had to enter the building in order to see their targets. They forced one of the employees to surrender her pass-code in order to enter the offices.

Um, no.

They chose to enter the building in order to attack their targets. Because when you're using automatic weapons against multiple unarmed, unarmored targets (one person was armed, but all you have to do is shoot him as early on in the process and the dynamic stays the same) you want to have them in an enclosed area so that you can keep them corralled while you slaughter them. Simple truth, dark as it may be. But they had an option. In fact, they exercised an alternate option in the case of the first person they encountered...whom they ambushed in the open when she went about her daily routine, so that she could be coerced into granting them access to the building in the first place.

But if your tactical options change...instead of an en masse shooting at close range using relatively inaccurate weapons, you can shoot at a distance...then you can change your tactics. The goal here is to incur fear (hence, "terror"ism) in a larger population. I live in DC, and remember what it was like when Malvo (that piece of shit) was shooting people at random. It would be way, way worse if there was video of it, and it would be even worse for their intended fear-target (the media) if they demonstrated that such death could come from out of the blue, anywhere. And if they don't start shooting everyone on the same day, then you get a strange challenge: Do I not go to work? If so, isn't that capitulation? For how long do I not go to work? If I don't go out at all, how can I do my job...but how do you protect me and my staff from snipers who can hit us from range in an urban setting? It sounds like a really awful, terrifying way to live...and with every subsequent shooting, the news cycle reboots and it gets on the front page.

Comment: Re:Don't put cameras on everything (Score 3, Insightful) 138

by Shoten (#48760321) Attached to: Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

Live-streaming of a rifle-scope? That sounds like death-porn. Who's the audience?

And what's next? Cameras installed in the bullets?

Despite the chill this technology gives me, I can see military applications (e.g., real-time mission-monitoring) but its use by consumers makes no sense to me.

That's what I was thinking...but with a chilling difference. Imagine if the shooters in the Paris attack had something like this, and chose to shoot their targets at distance, while producing videos they could later put up on YouTube? Not good...

Comment: Re:Someone please aware me: (Score 1) 303

by Shoten (#48749449) Attached to: FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

How is this not, basically, wiretapping (for which a warrant would ordinarily be necessary)?

It's not wiretapping. The FBI says so. Apparently, the FBI is saying that any private citizen can just set up their own "stingrays" to intercept phone calls as long as they're in public places, and the FBI won't prosecute (at least, not with wiretapping laws). This makes sense.

This makes as much sense as waterboarding without consent not being a crime.

Oh, thank goodness it works that way...the entity that is subject to oversight can state that no oversight is needed. Cool!

Dear FBI: I don't need a permit to have a grenade launcher!

Comment: Re: Can shoot a person, can't take down a server (Score 2) 96

by Shoten (#48705977) Attached to: FBI Monitoring Hacking Targets For Retaliation

No, but the Natural Laws upon which Western political thought is based do give you the intrinsic right to self preservation, right up to terminating the threat.

But not in this context. If someone shoots you today, you can't go after them with a gun tomorrow after you get out of the hospital. These actions are not self-preservation at all, just retaliatory in nature. And that is clearly defined in both the explicit statutes and case law as a no-no.

Comment: Irrelevant (Score 1) 349

by Shoten (#48695541) Attached to: United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

Everyone's missing a significant point here: the airlines severely penalize anyone who travels in this fashion. Yes, there are insanities about their pricing models that make it possible to actually save money this way. But the first time you do it, you will get a nastygram from the airline...and if you continue to do it, they will actually ban you. Furthermore, if you're doing this on the first half of your trip, you'll find that your return flights have all been canceled; even worse, the airline will NOT be sympathetic to your plight when you call them up to try and get back home.

I wish I could remember the industry term for this practice, but suffice it to say that a database of flight options that allow you to do this is essentially useless anyways. Google it...type in "skipping the last leg of a flight" and see what you find.

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 1) 681

by Shoten (#48689597) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

On the other hand, being misunderstood does nothing to contribute to improving the education and awareness of those who misunderstand.

With a succinct message, Tyson started a discussion that spread to thousands of people. Some people misunderstood, and despite the elegance and artistic quality of his written words, that misunderstanding tarnishes his reputation in their minds, and that extends to everything he supports - most notably science and an appreciation of the beauty of the observable world without religious connection. By explaining his meaning clearly, and expressing no wish to offend, some of those people will see the mistake for themselves, and open their minds again to science.

It's not about winning or losing, or of being the stalwart champion of misdirection. It's a matter of graceful interaction with other humans.

Based on that perspective, Sarah Palin would be a marvel of helping human knowledge and understanding progress.

Only, she's not :)

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 0) 681

by Shoten (#48689571) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Tyson's job is to explain things to the masses.

It's his job.

No, it's not.

It's no more his job to explain things to me than it is for some guy to just barge into my home and begin telling me how I should redecorate. I didn't ask him to, I didn't hire him to, I didn't indicate any desire on my part for him to do so.

What his role is, however, is much closer to someone you meet at a social gathering who has views on things. He has no particular obligation to conform to guidelines given to him...but at the same time, it's not exactly wrong to push back on what he has to say either. He wasn't hired, he wasn't even invited, and so it's not like asking someone for their views and then whining when you get them. We're allowed to find fault with the man.

Comment: Re:Very doubtful it was North Korea (Score 5, Insightful) 282

by Shoten (#48670305) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

Kim Jong Un is exactly the type who would accept undeserved credit for a cyberattack. "What, who me? I did what? Uh ... oh really? Oh! OK, yeah everybody, I did it!"

Except that historically, he's always denied responsibility for attacks that were clearly accredited to NK. It's kind of like Putin's behavior in the Ukraine, only even a bit more bizarre.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 3, Interesting) 265

by Shoten (#48664023) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

I never have understood the world's fetish with the US dollar. Every nation has a currency. The US economy is just as prone to stagnation, deficit, over, and under valuing as any other currency.

I'd like nothing better than to see the Rothschild's hold on international markets broken. If it takes China to do that, then all power to China in the endeavour.

Oil...no matter where you buy it on the planet, or from whom...is priced in dollars. In no market is the price of a barrel of crude listed in euros, pounds sterling, or any other currency for that matter.

Why does this matter in this case? Because Russia is basically an entire economy propped up solely on oil revenues. If the ruble devalues against the dollar, then essentially they are subjected to a brutal form of arbitrage where oil is cheaper from Russia than other places. So they get less money than the other oil producers do. If they boost production, it drives the cost of oil down even further. If they restrict production, they get less money that way too. Either way, they're fucked.

And you know what? GOOD. Fuck them.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...

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