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Comment: Re:Better Idea (Score 1) 60

by jc42 (#47787721) Attached to: Robot Printer Brings Documents To Your Desk

But you can't then just leave the printed document in the tray. That's not secure. You need to have a shredding module attached so that after the email is sent the original can be destroyed.

Well, maybe, but neither the sender nor the recipient knows anything about the various other addresses that have received a copy of the document, plus information on the send/receive times.

It's not clear how any of this could be made secure to either party's satisfaction. If the printer can decode the document and make a legible copy, it can also forward the electronic version of that copy (and/or the decoding keys) to a third party.

Comment: Talking to "different" people is bad for you (Score 2) 52

by Animats (#47787707) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

This is fascinating. It's not the classic "people don't have social lives in the real world because they are on line too much" argument. The authors argue that following people who are "different" from you is bad for you. They write:

"Compared to face-to-face interactions, online networks allow users to silently observe the opinions and behaviors of an immensely wider share of their fellow citizens. The psychological literature has shown that most people tend to overestimate the extent to which their beliefs or opinions are typical of those of others. There is a tendency for people to assume that their own opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are âoenormalâ and that others also think the same way that they do. This cognitive bias leads to the perception of a consensus that does not exist, or a 'false consensus' (Gamba, 2013)."

"The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt afterwards; the more they used Facebook over two weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. The effects found by the authors were not moderated by the size of people's Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression, thus suggesting the existence of a direct link between SNSs' use and subjective well-being."

This is a new result, and needs confirmation. Are homogeneous societies happier ones? Should that be replicated on line? Should efforts be made in Facebook to keep people from having "different" friends?

Comment: Re:"Moderation?" Don't you mean "Censorship?" (Score 1) 52

by jc42 (#47787659) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Call me cynical, but I just don't see Facebook adopting a sane moderation system, like for example anything that approximates slashcode. Their equivalent of "moderation" would better resemble censorship. They would simply hide the thoughts and comments they don't think you would like. Of course, it would be for your own good...

It's likely that a portion of the story is something that we also see here on /.: None of them really support anything that might be called a true "discussion". The reason both here and FB and the other "social media" is the approach of having a running string of "latest" topics, which quickly scroll off the bottom and out of sight. If you don't happen to see a thread in the first hour or so, you generally won't ever see it, and won't contribute to it. So, except for a few rabid topics like religion or partisan politics, where a small group can have fun running it out to thousands of rephrasings of each person's personal views, most discussion threads are typically shallow, and peter out at a depth in the single digits.

I've talked to a number of people here who express disappointment at how shallow the /. discussions usually are. They start of hoping to find in-depth analyses that point them to information that they hadn't run across or noticed. But they're disappointed with most of the threads, which only repeat a few things that those familiar with the topic already know, and then the threads just stop.

FB is quite a lot worse this way than /., of course. I've been on it for some years, and I've never noticed a "discussion" that got to depth greater than 3. I'm sure they exist; I've just never seen them. And a lot of my friends are quite well-informed "geeks" who in person can engage in long discussions. Why don't they do this on FB? Well, they may try, but quickly learn that few people ever read, much less reply to, their comments. Over here, we do sometimes get a bit deeper than that, and I've seen a lot of good information here at depth 5 or 6. But still, that's not very deep as discussions go.

I've seen much better (i.e., deeper and more informative) discussions on nearly every mailing list I've been on. If you want actual informative, socially interactive discussions, that's a noticeably better model for a forum's structure.

But the "social media" is primarily just an electronic form of the old "see and be seen" sort of social event. Such things have always been known as shallow and uninformative, although they can be fun if populated by the right crowd.

Comment: Re: 5820K is an extremely nice part (Score 2) 132

by Kjella (#47787515) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

Yes but X99 and DDR4 blows any chance of doing Haswell-E on a budget. I need a new PC and is considering either 4790K or 5960X, the former is fine now while the latter is going all out on new tech which I hope will last longer. Eight cores crushes the mainstream chip in multithreading. Eight RAM slots in case I want to double up, of a type that will exist long and improve much. Plenty PCIe lanes. Slightly weak single threaded performance at stock but considerable overclocking potential. With 10% performance improvement per generation it'll take ages until I need an upgrade again. On the other hand, a 4790K might last me long too.

Comment: Re:Media (Score 2) 285

by jd (#47773019) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Yeah, I can see you do great on statistics, too.

Death stopped being binary some years back (suggest you read medical news) but this isn't about that. This is simple numbers. If device X kills N times out of 100 and device Y kills M times out of 100, where N != M, the lethality of the devices is not the same.

Comment: Re:Media (Score 4, Insightful) 285

by jd (#47772299) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Cops are not doing a good job. Estimates range from 400-1000 unjustified deaths a year. To put it into context, since 9/11, there may well have been 4 times as many unjustified deaths by cops in America as unjustified deaths by Al Queda.

That isn't acceptable by any standards.

Or perhaps if you'd like, I can put it another way. There have been three times as many incidents of manslaughter and murder by American cop per capita of population than there have been incidents of manslaughter or murder in Britain in total.

That number is WAY unacceptable.

Cops carrying guns confer no benefit to those in the area (80% of bullets fired by police handguns miss their target, they don't vanish and they do hit passers-by, sound crew, hostages, etc).

Cops carrying guns confer no benefits to law and order, since alternatives from stun guns to pain rays (microwave stimulation of nerve endings, if you prefer) to teargas (which isn't great but is less lethal than a lump of lead) already exist and criminals are less likely to carry when running is a more practical option than a shoot-out. That has always been the British experience, which is why you now get regular shoot-outs where British cops are stupid enough to carry where you'd previously have had maybe one a decade versus an armed response unit.

Cops carrying guns confer no benefits to the cop, since dead weight can result a cop becoming dead, accidental shootings are very likely to produce retaliation, and "utility" belts stop utilizing when they terrify locals, intimidate visitors, but bolster thugs who gain greater mobility and dexterity from not wearing them.

Look, this is all very simple. Too simple for nutters, perhaps, but simple nonetheless.

First, preventing crime by eliminating prime environmental and psychological causes is a good start. If there's no crime, there's nobody to shoot and nobody shooting back.

Second, preventing cops turning bad by preventing them developing a "them vs us" attitude is essential and you don't achieve that by giving them scrutineering powers and not those they are scrutinizing. It has to be a two-way street to prevent that kind of mindset.

But that requires one additional ingredient to work properly:

Third, preventing cops turning bad by preventing them from being have-a-go heros. They should work with the community, be a part of the community, guard it from within. And, like all good guards, they should NOT be on constant alert. They should be constantly engaging on a social level, not a paramilitary one. If a crime happens, let the criminal go somewhere where there ISN'T a huge danger to others. Inanimate objects can look after themselves, people need a bit more effort.

It is better to let a gang "get away" from the scene, with no bullets fired, be tracked safely and then be apprehended INTACT when it is safe to do so. Going in there guns blazing will cause excessive damage, risk the lives of those supposedly protected and served, and for what? Some carcases. No trial, no determination of the chain of events, no proof even that the dead body is the guilty party. It can't exactly answer questions in the dock, can it?

No, disarm the cops, give them high-res cameras (and maybe girls gone wild t-shirts, I dunno), and let them be what cops should be - good citizens. They are NOT the army, they should NEVER be allowed military-grade weapons, they should deal with matters calmly, quietly and sensibly.

If they're not capable of that, they're incapable of good. Of any kind.

Comment: If a ruggedized camera breaks (Score 2) 285

by jd (#47772225) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Then it wasn't an accident. Simple as that. People seem to forget that you can build these devices to withstand any force a cop's skull is likely to take, and more besides.

Storage is a non-issue because you don't need to store a lot locally. Local storage can be limited to the time the cop is outside of radio contact plus the time to clear enough buffer that no information is lost. So unless the cop is riding a motorbike in a cage, it's just not enough to create serious issues.

Battery will be a bigger issue. It'll take a lot of batteries to keep transmitting at a decent resolution. However, as cops with guns cause more trouble than they prevent, that's also easy to fix. Sufficient batteries will consume no more weight than a sidearm plus extra ammunition.

Actually, it might not be that bad. With the proposed mandate for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, a cop radio could turn the entire road network into a gigantic adhoc wireless network. You don't need as much power for a short-range transmission. Might as well get some value out of these stupid ideas.

Comment: Re:Developers prefer Ubuntu? (Score 1) 231

by jd (#47771989) Attached to: How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

Why would developers want/care about long-term support?

There are a tonne of packages out there that will grab source from a repository and compile in a root jail. You now have binaries for every permutation of dependencies ever produced. Test harnesses (you remember those, the things developers are supposed to use) can give you a list of regressions and compatibility bugs within minutes of a commit.

Long term support encourages developers to be lazy, to presuppose things that may not be true.

Developers are best supposing nothing, testing everything and isolating the conditional (which they should be doing anyway, good software design). If you don't have time to be competent, then you certainly don't have time to be incompetent. So find time.

Comment: Re:Developers prefer Ubuntu? (Score 0) 231

by jd (#47771969) Attached to: How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

As a developer, I categorically state I hate Ubuntu for development work. It is horribly sub-optimal, poorly organized and package management is unstable and space inefficient. It also doesn't run on several of my white box PCs. Very standard, old white boxes.

Red Hat is only marginally better on efficiency, but recovery is ugly.

Gentoo would be ok, except that compiler flags are a bother. I can't use utilities for using profiles to calculate optimal flags when those flags will vary down the dependency chain.

Linux From Scratch is good, it's essentially how I put together my own systems between the last of the MCC builds and the first Red Hat I considered tolerable enough.

Look, I don't expect miracles immediately. Only after the updates from the repository. There simply isn't any reason for so much broken code and suboptimal configs. Not when Ubuntu is run by a billionaire who can afford a few extra hard drives for high-end builds.

Comment: Re:Two dimensional? (Score 1) 49

by jc42 (#47771883) Attached to: Scientists Craft Seamless 2D Semiconductor Junctions

... We live in a 3 dimensional world any solid objects existing in this world has 3 dimensions>

Or, as some physicists like to argue, we actually live in an 11-dimensional space, but in 8 of them, the universe is only one particle or so thick, so we can usually get away with pretending that we're living in a 3-dimensional world.

(And that's ignoring the time dimension of it all. Lessee; how many of those are there? ;-)

Comment: No, it's not anonymous. It's full tracking. (Score 4, Informative) 256

by Animats (#47769815) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Here's a more technical discussion from NHTSA. At page 74-75, the data elements of the Basic Safety Message I and II are listed. The BSM Part I message doesn't contain the vehicle ID, but it does contain latitude and longitude. The BSM Part II message has the vehicle's VIN. So this is explicitly not anonymous.

Back in the 1980s, when Caltrans was working on something similar, they used a random ID which was generated each time the ignition was switched on. That's all that's needed for safety purposes. This system has a totally unnecessary tracking feature.

Most of this stuff only works if all vehicles are equipped. It also relies heavily on very accurate GPS positions. However, there's no new sensing - no vehicle radar or LIDAR. The head of Google's autonomous car program is on record as being against V2V systems, because they don't provide reliable data for automatic driving and have the wrong sensors.

If something is going to be required, it should be "smart cruise" anti-collision radar. That's already on many high-end cars and has a good track record. It's really good at eliminating rear-end collisions, and starts braking earlier in other situations such as a car coming out of a cross street. Mercedes did a study once that showed that about half of all collisions are eliminated if braking starts 500ms earlier.

V2V communications should be an extension of vehicle radar. It's possible to send data from one radar to another. Identify-Friend-Foe systems do that, as does TCAS for aircraft. The useful data would be something like "Vehicle N to vehicle M. I see you at range 120m, closing rate 5m/sec, bearing 110 relative. No collision predicted". A reply would be "Vehicle M to vehicle N. I see you at range 120m, closing rate 5m/sec, bearing 205 relative. No collision predicted". That sort of info doesn't involve tracking; it's just what's needed to know what the other cars are doing. It's also independent of GPS. Useful additional info would be "This vehicle is a bus/delivery truck, is stopped, and will probably be moving in 5 seconds.", telling you that the big vehicle ahead is about to move and you don't need to change lanes to go around it.

Comment: Address space randomization does not help. (Score 5, Interesting) 98

by Animats (#47763103) Attached to: Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

64-bit systems should remain safe if they are using address space randomization.

Nah. It just takes more crashes before the exploit achieves penetration.

(Address space randomization is a terrible idea. It's a desperation measure and an excuse for not fixing problems. In exchange for making penetration slightly harder, you give up repeatable crash bug behavior.)

"Our reruns are better than theirs." -- Nick at Nite