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Comment Re:Answers (Score 1) 77

keyrings [...] key derived from some set of hashes on machine-specific data, like hardware serial numbers. If you want to go hardcore, use a hardware encryption dongle (HSM).

I'm not an expert, but I'd be wary of storing passwords into a keyring that I can no longer open if some piece of hardware fails. Wouldn't a well-chosen master password be safer?

Comment Stop justifying SLS already, use many launchers! (Score 0) 77

The SLS is not needed, if only because the Falcon Heavy, perhaps even a super-heavy version, has a good chance to be ready before SLS.

Even better, stop relying on single launches of heavy launchers, and develop automated in-orbit refueling instead. A lot of the required mass is going to be fuel anyway; why not launch probes (or ships) with empty tanks on a parking orbit with medium launchers, and send fuel on several launches of small/medium launchers? Small launchers used often are bound to cost less in the long run than a heavy launcher that flies once a year.

On-orbit assembly could also work: either automate docking of the probe with separate fuel tanks or booster stages; or let astronauts assemble it at the ISS (with multiple launches, the penalty due to the ISS' orbital inclination can be overcome by sending extra fuel); or even astronauts at a dedicated short-term mini-space station made of a Dragon or CST-100 capsule docked to a SpaceHab or Bigelow module.

It's only a question of time before payloads (e.g. manned ships) outgrow even the heaviest launchers and require on-orbit work. Why not develop that right away?

Comment Not law yet (Score 4, Informative) 195

Only the National Assembly has voted; the bill must also pass the Senate. That said, given the multipartite consensus on it, there's not much chance that the Senate won't pass it.

You never know, though: given that the Senate is often deemed useless (in France, the Assembly has priority), sometimes it attempts to actually work on the bills, debate in more depth.

Also, the bill has been submitted to the Constitutional Council (which is unusual, before it's voted on). They too can veto it. We'll see.

Comment Re:I am wondering (Score 1) 295

independant workers who paid in the 100kâ - 300kâ range to get a state-regulated taxi licence plate. ....

Please show evidence/source of what you write here and where in the Euro-Zone those prices appear.

For Paris, I found at least one English source: If you read French, you may try Wikipedia or this article in Le Figaro.

Comment Re:I am wondering (Score 1) 295

what would happen if the cab drivers would also act as Uber drivers?

They'd lose their taxi license / medallion, which they may have invested over 200,000 euros in, depending on where they operate. The license price is dropping, though, with the arrival of Uber and similar services.

That's the basic problem: the government used to enforce a license scarcity that drove prices so high that taxi drivers now consider it an investment or a retirement package. It's very like a housing price crash, except that the government has a direct responsibility for creating this bubble and letting it burst. No wonder taxi drivers are angry.

Comment Re:The issue seems simple (Score 1) 295

The problem, if I understood it correctly (not a given as I know only the german taxi situation well), is that french taxi have some hoop and loop to go thru ( roughly translated says you need a licence, you need to not have been guilty of certain crime, there is some lessons you ened to follow). All costs.

What the page you cite doesn't tell is that the number of licences is limited, like taxi medallions in some US cities; you can get one free after a couple of decades on the waiting list, or you can buy one from another taxi driver who retires. In Paris, the market value of such a license is over 200,000 euros; in some other cities, it's even higher. However, the arrival of Uber and similar services are making these values drop.

So, when they speak of "families" left out to dry, they actually mean that they won't be able to sell the license they invested in, as they expected to. A bit like a housing price crash, except that license prices used to be kept high by a state-mandated scarcity. I guess taxi drivers are lashing at the government for not enforcing this scarcity anymore.

I don't really have an opinion on this subject. I think the government is at fault for letting people depend on a business model and then not being consistent. On the other hand, it happens all the time with any change in subsidies and policies. And blocking roads is definitely a step too far, but it's not the first time: the French administration has never been a good negotiator in that kind of situations; violent strikes have kind of become the default solution...

Comment Re:Mint (Score 1) 303

I thought Mint just used Ubuntu packages?

Regular Mint, indeed, is based on Ubuntu and each Mint release is derived from the corresponding Ubuntu release. LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) is based on Debian, and doesn't really have releases: the packages get upgraded (from Debian Testing, I believe) perhaps twice a year.

On paper, I'd prefer LMDE's update scheme, but the apparent lack of day-to-day security updates is a big no-no.

Comment Re:Mint (Score 1) 303

I personally use Mint's Debian-based distro

How do you handle security updates? I thought this distribution (LMDE) was ideal for my needs until I realized that, apart from Firefox and Thunderbird, practically no packages were being regularly updated despite vulnerabilities being discovered: LibreOffice, ffmpeg, file, apt, libnss, qemu to name some recent ones. Bash did get updated recently, and openssl eventually did after heartbleed, though I'm not sure it got all the updates.

I read some flamew^Wdebates on this topic online, which I think boil down to "LMDE is not a server OS, if you want security use Debian". This neglects the fact that even an end-user's desktop or workstation handles data from the network, which could be malware. To this kind of security philosophy, my reaction is that LMDE shouldn't be used except in very controlled environments.

As for regular Mint, I like it better than Ubuntu, though I was disappointed by their not supporting OS upgrades: as I understand it, installing a new Mint version requires a reinstall. (I tried doing it anyway, from 15 to 16 I think, and X broke. That's when I decided to try out LMDE, in fact.)

Any advice?

Comment Re:The real question.... (Score 1) 72

If you worked in this particular mission control group, how could you possibly resist setting all the clocks forward about 2 minutes on the day in question?

Hold that thought, think of the tense wait... Then consider that the signal was actually received 18 minutes later than expected.

Comment Re:Dark != Far (Score 3, Insightful) 79

...the rotation of the moon just about exactly matches the revolution around the Earth

I think we can say exactly, as it's not a coincidence that the rotations align like that, it's a stable configuration of two bodies in orbit

Yes but there's still libration. Although the Moon's rotation and revolution periods are indeed exactly the same, its orbital speed changes slightly over each orbit. So "just about exactly" is justified too.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle