Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Falling on deaf ears (Score 1) 102

Come on, dude. You REALLY believe that the .gov contract does not go to the cheapest bidder, the one who uses off-the-shelf components?

Computing has an interesting problem right now: The most viable, the most powerful, the cheapest components are the ones available to consumers (or at least very closely related to them), because of the sheer amout of units shipped and the harsh competition in the market. Any we-don't-use-off-the-shelf-components attempt at computing right now is doomed to be late, extremely expensive, full of bugs, and at least two generations behind.

Yes but if you've worked for the government nearly all your life as I have, you'll know that the bolded part is going to happen for any government-grown solution regardless of whether it's a piece of software or a tilt-rotor aircraft. My point being, if you're offering that result as something that is supposed to stimulate government agencies to avoid that approach, well, it usually doesn't.

Comment Re:I feel like we are living in an 'outbreak' movi (Score 1) 258

I don't know what the normal procedure is in American hospitals but at least in Finland where I live, you're 100 % the hospital's responsibility once you're there - i.e. they have to ask the right questions and even if you're dishonest with your answers they can still be held responsible, if it's something they "should" have noticed (which of course is relative). So if you go to the ER and staff ask if you've been drinking and you lie and say no and some nasty shit happens because drugs they administer have contraindications with the alcohol in your system it's a case of malpractice because they should rely on a blood sample and not a patient's word.

From the perspective of one American, that sounds insane to me. Patients absolutely must share the responsibility for receiving proper care. Holding staff responsible for a patient who directly lies about their medical history is incredibly cruel to the staff and terribly inefficient because then it would logically mean staff must test for any and all potentially relevant conditions, genetic markers, chemicals, antibodies, bacterial cultures, etc. for every patient. That would be very costly to the system. If patients expect that society has an obligation to take care of them, doesn't it seem logical that the patient has a reciprocal obligation to society to be forthright in their medical history so as to free up as many of society's resources as possible for the next, potentially sicker, patient?

Comment Re: Or so they say... (Score 2) 142

It's like you have no clue how jury selection works; and have only seen the movie Runaway Jury. Juries can vary in size, anywhere between 6-12 plus backups totaling about 15-30. Attorneys can only challenge the selection a set number of times. Most cases this is 3. So in a majority of cases at least one juror is completely untouchable by the attorneys (if you exclude the backup set).

I've been through voir dire twice and in both cases (criminal assault) not only did the attorneys get their allotted strikes, but toward the end of the questioning process the judge also had notes and called certain members of the pool to the bench and further questioned them about their opinions, dismissing some of them to go home. The judge is already there as a representative of the State, so naturally his dismissals will also tend to enforce jury orthodoxy. No libertarian who believes in nullification is EVER getting on a jury unless he perjures himself.

Comment What is Solyent Green? (Score 1) 390

If this system can automate driving, then we should be for it.

The worst system are ones that rely on the public for its reliability and safety.

Systems should be engineered so that the public can do whatever the fuck they want, because they will, and it will still be safe.

I don't want my safety to be based upon somebody else's responsibility, because I know the public is irresponsible.

We need our systems architects to assume such.

This is why we liberals prefer a socialized government, because we assume the worst in people, and design our systems around that, whereas conservatives place their responsibility on the public, because they assume people are good and responsible and hard working and careful, which they obviously are not.

Personal responsibility is equivalent to government irresponsibility.

What a complete logic fail. Your semantic processing is so myopic and shallow that you end up believing something exactly the opposite of reality. Here's your homework assignment: describe what a "socialized government" consists of; include especially its component parts such as the agents which enact its rules, maintain its structure, and execute its policies. Then tell me that you "assume the worst in people".

Or do you perhaps have citizenship in some heretofore unknown computer-operated Algorithm Nation?
Even if so, please describe the agents which write and implement your nation's algorithms.

Soylent green is people.

Comment Re:Water cooling FTW (Score 1) 371

Sounds like a very well-thought out setup that you've fine-tuned over many hours of work. I bet it really impresses the girlfriends you bring over.

It probably does, lots of girls are into gaming. I'm sure they are impressed at what a massive jerk you are.

WHOOSH!! ...went the boilerplate/obligatory Slashdot humor.

Comment Re:Water cooling FTW (Score 0) 371

Sounds like a very well-thought out setup that you've fine-tuned over many hours of work. I bet it really impresses the girlfriends you bring over.

Why thank you. I'd expect it would still impress slightly better than snarky and irrelevant comments about their hobbies though.

Aw man, it's an obligatory Slashdot joke. Nothing personal.You know, it's just like when you and another PC-thermal-dissipation guru are at the batting cages practicing for your baseball team's upcoming game, and you make snarky deprecating comments about each other's swing. Or when you and a buddy are down at your boxing gym sparring with each other and trash talking each other. Or whatever other sports you and your many friends play. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Comment Re:Water cooling FTW (Score 2, Funny) 371

Sadly, just about every "water cooled" computer requires both. Water cooling is rarely anything more than a way to put your air cooling in a more convenient location.

True, but when you can actually have the air cooling with much larger surface area in a convenient location, you can do much better than to just stick a radiator and fans inside or on the side of the case.

I use water cooling to almost silence my gaming "rig". I built a chimney of sorts behind my bookshelf, and have an array of passive radiators hidden there. Also the pump is at the bottom of the chimney, in foam padding. I have a fan at the bottom, and it is being controlled by the water temperature, but the ~250W (guesstimate) that my GPU and CPU dump into the water while gaming can be cooled fairly well with just the chimney effect. It's fairly inconspicuous too, since on the side of the bookshelf the visible bits are the reservoir at the top, the air intake with fan and two tubes coming out of holes at the bottom.

The PSU, chipset, SSD and HDDs need to be cooled by air in the case, so I need fans, but they can turn at a fairly quiet 600 - 800 rpm. In addition to the PSU fan, I use three fans to have slightly positive pressure inside the case, but I could probably do with just a single one if I took the effort to modify the case and make most of the case airtight so I could control the airflow better. The HDDs are suspended and sandwiched, but I think they wouldn't be too noticeable even without the extra soundproofing.

I sunk a fair amount of time and money into this (one needs quality components), but the silence is golden. Maintenance, however, can be a bit tedious because of the amount of coolant that needs to be bled and replaced. Also cleaning all tubing and connections is a chore. With the coolant split into 6 parallel flows for the radiators, filters, monitoring sensors and ports to help bleeding add up to quite a few fittings.

The setup would, of course, be pure overkill if the whole system wasn't in a silent space, but my "office" is an old studio with good soundproofing, so there isn't too much ambient noise. Computer fans do not bother me in more noisy environments, but they really started to bug me in that space. Now if I could just do something to the electrical noises my the components and display make...

Sounds like a very well-thought out setup that you've fine-tuned over many hours of work. I bet it really impresses the girlfriends you bring over.

Comment Re:BSkyB didn't even have a SkyDrive (Score 1) 197

Always struck me an odd line. Imprisonment must surely count as taking the sky from someone.

You're being too literal. The song is the psychological theme of the entire series -- the ship's crew are all in their own way voluntary rebels or involuntary outcasts who for one reason or another are only at home IN "the sky", that is, trawling through space visiting world after world with no solid ground, only the ship as "home" and only each other as "family/friend". They are ramblers and frontiersmen. The song isn't actually claiming that it is physically impossible to prevent them from seeing or entering "the sky". It's their creed; both a statement of defiance and a statement of purpose -- no matter what else each one of them may have lost, they are determined to preserve their freedom.

"The sky" isn't just the physical sky. The lyric is a metaphor.

Comment Re:Whistleblowers to the NY Times not China ... (Score 1) 822

Whistleblowers go to the press who then informs the public. They do not go to China or Putin's Russia where these countries respective security services can pressure a person to reveal things they might not want to.

You mean, the members of the press who Snowden, of all people, knew very well were being surveilled directly or indirectly by the people he sought to blow the whistle on?

Irrelevant, once he informs the press they are free to report it. The NSA can not stop the NY Times from publishing a story on their activity.

Irrelevant, once his first couple calls to establish contact are accessed by the very people he is wanting to report on, he is arrested and jailed without legal representation under various "homeland security" protections before he can actually meet with the press to release any information.

Comment Re:Whistleblowers to the NY Times not China ... (Score 1) 822

Whistleblowers go to the press who then informs the public. They do not go to China or Putin's Russia where these countries respective security services can pressure a person to reveal things they might not want to.

You mean, the members of the press who Snowden, of all people, knew very well were being surveilled directly or indirectly by the people he sought to blow the whistle on?

Of the many horrible decisions made by President Obushma in the last 10 years, I think his most enduring political legacy might just be his excellent job of prosecuting/persecuting whistleblowers and stifling public review of how the governmental sausage-grinder works. By the end of the second decade of the 21st century, people will have been molded into an attitude of reflexive submission to their Overseers.

Comment Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (Score 1) 822

I'm glad we know what he told us. But you can't not prosecute people who undoubtedly did commit crimes because you agree with their stated motives.

Sure you can, if you gloss over the legal issue of whether you can even know whether someone "undoubtedly did" commit a crime until as a minimum you have followed due process and tried their case before a competent court.

For one thing, the US government is demonstrably willing and able to grant retrospective immunity to parties who have probably broken the law if it wishes to do so. There are well-documented examples related to the same kind of surveillance issues Snowden raised, they were just applied to parties on the other side of the debate.

Exactly. The government goes out of its way to grant legal immunity to telecom/info companies for leaking private customer information to the government, because the government decrees that it has an unlimited "Need To Know" clearance on all its citizens actions, but of course when an individual leaks information about what the government is privately and illegally doing, the government decrees that the citizens have zero "Need to Know" on what their government is doing.

The liability/criminality arrows increasingly flow one way these days. Within 5-10 years any remaining vestiges of privacy will have been neatly sewn up. Just like the cliche that "the Internet views censorship as damage and routes around it", well, the government's Big Data agencies view privacy as damage, and legislate around it.

Comment Re:Planned intimidation tactic (Score 1) 1034

Oh come on.

This is about someone who just could not put down recoding device in enviroment in which it is big issue.

He could not put the "recording device" down because it is also his glasses, which he needed to see the screen from his seat.

This is going to happen more and more - wearable tech which augments is going to merge with prosthetic tech which enables / replaces. In future people who are currently blind may see via retinal implants coupled to electronic glasses with cameras (which may or may not record - how would you know ?).

What are you going to say to such people in your environment "in which it is a big issue" ? What do you suggest - deny the disabled prothetics for fear of the cyberman ?

In the future dystopia dominated by a few giant megalopolies, the company making your enhanced prostheses will also own the entertainment companies. Your RetinEyes implants will come hardwired with company-approved DRM which will automatically deactivate recording functions when presented with the subliminal QR command codes that flash every 10 seconds on the movie screen.

Comment Re:Don't go to college, it's clearly not for you (Score 3, Insightful) 384

Very few people have been killed by others getting their diplomas.

Thousands of DOD-contractor engineers over the past 60 years would disagree with you. Highly-credentialed scientists have been responsible for millions of deaths in the modern world.

Comment Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (Score 1) 961

You don't REALLY need to make those decisions if you trust your healthcare proxy (I hope you all have one) to know what your wishes are. The doctors (if they are good) will talk to them about the available options if such a need arises (I hope it doesn't for you or anyone else).

This seems like dangerous advice if you care about the psychological well-being of those you leave behind. Look no further than the Schiavo case. If you have all your conceivably anticipated situations spelled out in legally sound documentation, then the context of your death becomes about your loved ones learning to cope with the reality that you are going to die -- which is a reality we all will face anyway. If you just leave it up to one person to do it, you create a situation where disagreements among loved ones might possibly destroy relationships or at least cause severe emotional pain as people have to deal with the natural tendency to contextualize your death as "my brother-in-law didn't love my sister enough to keep her alive and hope for a miracle".

Comment Re:do tell (Score 1) 233

Millions of Millions of cells in your body now are not the same cells as three months ago. Yet "you" as a system persist.

Are you the same person as you were when you were 4 years old? 10 years old? 15 years old? You may be labelled the same person but your thought processes and decisions are very different. You as a person are different every year.

I didn't say 40 years ago. I said three months ago. Obviously the systems which propel the world today are not the same systems which propelled human society in its early stages.

they recognized a group of people in control is a system which has certain inherent tendencies that lead to bad ends, and therefore we must build in limits to those tendencies.


You didn't FIFM. You simply spoke again of trees when I addressed the forest. The whole is greater than merely the sum of its parts.

The question is "would today's government make the same decisions as the one 30 years ago? The answer is "probably not".

That's exactly backwards from the question I might ask. The real question is, "Would the leaders of 30 years ago make the same decisions as the ones today?" The answer is, "Probably so, because they would be working within the bounds of the same system". It's all social engineering and choice architecture.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.