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Comment: Board with a Display System or without? (Score 1) 177

One of the cool things about the Beaglebone Black and the Raspberry Pi is that they've got GPUs powerful enough to drive an HDMI display, and give you 1080p graphics if you make sure there's enough electric power and not too much interference (my RPi was a bit wonky on the last display I tried), so you can drive a decent monitor for programming or use it as a TV video player.

But if you don't need that, because you're doing X windows or just doing a bunch of ssh terminal sessions, you've got more potential choices, possibly lower power, possibly more memory. It depends a lot on what the target platform for your development is going to be, and on how much effort you plan to spend getting things set up, compared to just taking the BBB or RPi and calling it a day.

Comment: Who's the Spook? (Score 1) 204

You may or may not have noticed that the US press hasn't mentioned the name of the departing CIA Station Chief, but they haven't. Why not? Because it's A Secret! The Germans know who they're kicking out, but the US press goes along with the pretense that it's secret, and other people he might spy on in the future won't know he's a spy, and people who he's hung out with in the past might be exposed as having been spies too. In some cases it's illegal for US government officials to reveal the names of spies, but if they leak them for administration political purposes, like Scooter Libby outing Valerie Plame, they get pardoned, and if they get leaked by accident, like a White House Press Release "notice what name is missing" oops a few months back, the press politely pretends they didn't see anything.

If the Germans are really mad? Merkel can tell the German press the guy's name, and ask them to print it and put it online.

Comment: Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 1) 56

by Sloppy (#47427477) Attached to: The Future of Wearables: Standalone, Unobtrusive, and Everywhere

As intrusive as the Google Glass has proven to be, it will only be worse when observation recording tech is more difficult to detect.

I disagree. The exact opposite: when people stop noticing, they will stop caring. It won't be perceived as intrusive anymore, and people will be less annoyed by it.

It's the conspicuousness of the camera in Google Glass, the constant reminder that you might be recorded, that makes most people feel creeped out. For the previous decade leading up to that product, nobody cared about small+cheap camera tech itself. And people walk/drive by fixed-position cameras all the time, and don't give a fuck there either. Peoples's behavior shows that "intrusiveness" happens when a cameras looks like a camera, and I suspect it also has something to do with being face-level, literally "in your face" and you're making eye contact with it, unlike the case with less conspicuous cameras. It was never about privacy; it's some aspect of self-consciousness kind of related to privacy, but a different thing.

You might say "maybe you, but I sure care. Hell yes it's about privacy." Of course you say that. I'm talking about how people behave and the emotions they display. Not their innermost secret thoughts that they are always terrified to express in voting booths or policy decisions, yet are happy to speak of on the Internet.

You know, the Internet, where they don't have a camera in their face making them all self-conscious! The Internet, where instead of a terrifying 1x1 pixel image that makes you think "WTF is that? That's weird! Are you watching me?" you now instead see a bunch of "like buttons" which are obviously for liking things, not getting your browser to send a request to an unrelated tracking server.

In addition, there's a certain inevitability about it all. The cameras have been there a long time, there are more today, and there will be even more tomorrow. You can't do anything about it, except stay at home. So you'll either accept or you'll go insane and get selected out. You'll handle it. (Contrast that to Google Glass, the one small camera out of the hundreds out there, that you actually recognize and is also rare enough that there's little social cost to shunning. With GG you can refuse to accept and also stay within social norms, so GG is different.)

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 292

If Lloyd Blankfein and others who attested to the veracity of their financial reports even after they were repeatedly warned their mark-to-market was completely unrealistic, which in turn led to the largest financial disaster in over 70 years, are not being prosecuted for false reporting, I don't see why the police should be.

Especially as in this case no one was harmed. Can't say the same thing about the millions who lost their money or homes, can you?

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#47424471) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Bitcoin's primary purpose is to traffic/launder money and goods.

Objection. Will stipulate that its primary purpose is to traffic. But I call mega-bullshit on its primary or even secondary purpose being to launder, though there might be a way one could use Bitcoin for that.

Comment: Re:Cosmic Baking (Score 1) 79

by smooth wombat (#47423867) Attached to: Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different
But later, Earth got into drugs and became like Lindsey Lohan.

But drugs are cool. I'm always told how great it is to do drugs. Just look at Elvis, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cory Monteith, Dee Dee Ramone, Jim Morrison and whole host of others who extolled the virtues of drugs.

P.S. If Lohan would drink water instead of alcohol, she'd look (and feel) a lot better than she does.

Comment: Re:Lawn Dart Alert! (Score 1) 352

by smooth wombat (#47423511) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You need to qualify your statement about large quantities overcoming a qualitative difference with the following: had Hitler not ordered a full stop of the Panzers before they reached Moscow and given Russia six weeks to rearm, reorganize and regroup, Russia would not have been able to deliver the large quantities of tanks it eventually did.

Go read "Hitler's Panzers East" by Stolfi for a fantastic discussion of why Germany beat Russia in World War II except for the fact Hitler meddled in operational control.

Here's a brief synopsis: the German military laid out the plans necessary to defeat Russia before the winter set in. Without exception, they met every single objective in the time allotted and in some cases ahead of schedule.

Before the halt ordered by Hitler, there was only one remaining pocket of strong resistance in the South. Russia, at that point in time, had no other forces available to offer any significant resistance to the German armies anywhere in the country. Had he wanted to, Guderian could have literally driven his 2nd Panzer Army into the streets of Moscow in late August.

Comment: Latest LEDs are Too New To Fail Yet (Score 1) 201

by billstewart (#47422215) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Duh, that should be obvious. The only reason they would have failed is if they were DOA or smoked when I plugged them in or something else was defective or the lamp fell over; bulbs that are supposed to last tens or hundreds of thousands of hours that I put in this year haven't had time to fail.

CFLs are different - they've been out a few years now, and I've had plenty of them fail, and worried about whether dead ones break before I get them out of the house and over to the recyclers.

My most recent not-really-energy-saving bulbs failed in 2-3 months. They were little red night-light bulbs from the dollar store post-Christmas discount, and one can argue that they're "energy-saving" because they're only a few watts (3 or 10 or something), but they were incandescents, not LEDs, so they're really not. I've replaced a couple of them with LEDs that haven't failed yet.

Japan

How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the left-it-in-my-other-pants dept.
Lasrick sends this quote from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Most people would agree that keeping track of dangerous material is generally a good idea. So it may come as a surprise to some that the arrangements that are supposed to account for weapon-grade fissile materials—plutonium and highly enriched uranium—are sketchy at best. The most recent example involves several hundreds kilograms of plutonium that appear to have fallen through the cracks in various reporting arrangements. ... [A Japanese researcher discovered] that the public record of Japan’s plutonium holdings failed to account for about 640 kilograms of the material. The error made its way to the annual plutonium management report that Japan voluntarily submits to the International Atomic Energy Agency ... This episode may have been a simple clerical error, but it was yet another reminder of the troubling fact that we know very little about the amounts of fissile material that are circulating around the globe. The only reason the discrepancy was discovered in this case was the fact that Japan has been unusually transparent about its plutonium stocks. ... No other country does this.

Comment: Re:Not new (Score 3, Interesting) 253

by AuMatar (#47412597) Attached to: US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

I've been doing technical interviews for 15 years. And any day of the week I'd take someone with a degree over someone with 5 or 6 years more experience without one. Oh, I'll miss a few good hires that way, but I'll miss out on more bad ones. And that's what far more important- its better to miss making a good hire than make a bad one. In those 15 years I have seen perhaps 4 people without a degree have even a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of the craft-- and 2 of those I'm thinking of dropped out their senior year of college for medical or family reasons. The rest have all been language of the week cruft who I wouldn't hire to write webpages. I won't even interview them anymore- too many have failed, the small percentage of useful hires you'd find aren't worth the time.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

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