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Comment: The failure of rules. (Score 0) 535

If the rules are the cause of failure (pretty much a given inside government) then you change them. It's the definition of leadership.

As for the email rules, they're impossible. Literally impossible. No politics on government computers. No governance on personal computers. But nearly all activity at the secretary level is politics. And none if it is far from governance.

You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I applaud Hillary for recognizing that up front and making the sensible choice to use an email system that works well.

Comment: shocking (Score 1) 1

If the computer is shocking you, it's time to throw it away. If voltage is leaking to the chassis there's a serious fault somewhere that creates a risk of fire and a risk of bodily harm. You'll know this is the case because it will keep on shocking you, not just once and done.

If you are shocking the computer, it's because you aren't grounded and are building up a static charge. Three things help with this:

1) Wear a grounding wrist strap when you work on the computer.
2) Avoid clothing that encourages static build up, e.g. wool.
3) Increase the relative humidity in the room with a humidifier. The TIA 942 data center standard recommends 40%-55%.

Comment: pick a nit (Score 1) 113

[bypasses] secure sockets layer protections by modifying the network stack of computers that run its underlying code. Specifically, Komodia installs a self-signed root CA certificate

Picking a nit:

1. Installing a new CA certificate does not modify the network stack. Adding and removing CA certificates is an ordinary operation.

2. All root certificates are self-signed. If your certificate is signed by something else, it's not a root certificate.

Comment: Re:last mile (Score 1) 3

by Spazmania (#48937513) Attached to: Title II and the small ISP

Don't get discouraged. The telcos have a habit of outsmarting themselves.

When the FCC first mandated CLECs, the telcos bellyached about how unfair it was that a CLEC could wire up an office building cherry-picking the high-margin clients while the LEC was stuck serving all the low-margin customers it was required to serve by law. This could surely be fixed by requiring the originating carrier to pay the terminating carrier a cent a minute for the call. After all, if the LEC wasn't cherry-picking then it'd all balance out and nobody would pay anybody anything.

Thought themselves right clever. Then the Internet came along and ISPs bought phone lines that did nothing but terminate calls 24 hours a day. Some clever CLECs realized they could provide phone lines to ISPs for free and milk the phone company. Those cents per minute really add up.

Point is, when the rulemaking is done and the tariffs are filed, there will be opportunity. It's impossible to know where it'll be today, but it'll be there.

Comment: last mile (Score 1) 3

by Spazmania (#48936993) Attached to: Title II and the small ISP

Until you actually -can- lease last mile L1 or L2 infrastructure at a sane rate there's little point considering the question.

If you're looking for some meat, read about DSL competition back at the turn of the century. To compete you realistically had to lease space in the telco's facility and then buy expensive SONET service for backhaul, also from the telco who was the only vendor in the telco's facility. And you had to be in every telco facility that served at least one of your customers which except for the smallest towns meant dozens or even more. Small ISP's could not directly compete.

Instead, middlemen like Covad stepped up and built an infrastructure. Small ISPs could buy lines through Covad that came back as virtual circuits on a frame relay or ATM circuit at a convenient location for the ISP.

Your products started at 2 to 3 times the cost of the telco's product, but you could build niche products (IP addresses, routing, etc.) that the telco couldn't or wouldn't replicate.

Comment: slant (Score 1) 2

by Spazmania (#48898083) Attached to: Wikipedia Bans Feminist Editors

That article isn't slanted at all. Not at all. It goes on to complain that traitor Bradley Manning's wikipedia page wasn't promptly moved to reflect her (sic) new name. Because obviously Wikipedia should reference folks by their current names not the ones under which they gained sufficient notoriety to be referenced on Wikipedia in the first place.

Clearly the article presents a fair and balanced view of the arbcom's horrible terrible no good very bad decision.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 497

by Spazmania (#48891895) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

if something new comes up it should be impossible to have a policy for twenty years

I 'spose if the Sun is going to explode next year we should probably act faster but in general that's right: we shouldn't enact policy whose cost has a dozen zeros behind it until the science has been generating reliable predictions for decades.

Comment: Re: Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 497

by Spazmania (#48881569) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

If there was a simulation that not only tested warming, but also provided accurate modelling about what exactly might be causing it, and most importantly, the outcomes of various policy decisions that could be taken to alleviate the issue, you might then be able to more closely compare an engineering task force with national and international politics.

Hear hear!

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 497

by Spazmania (#48881535) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

How does one determine when science has "fully resolved" a question ?

When the theory accounts for the evidence from all repeatable experiments and sufficient time has passed (typically a couple of decades) during which new experiments aggressively attempting to disprove the theory fail to turn up evidence which either contradicts the theory or requires the theory to be modified.

It's impossible to not have a policy while we wait.

We had no public policy on CO2 emissions for most of recorded history. The world has not ended.

Proposed policy on global warming is expensive. Too expensive to get a second chance if we get it wrong the first time. The smart money says: wait until the computer models become reliable enough to simulate exactly what will and won't work. God help us if we regulate CO2 and it turns out that global warming was real but carbon soot was the main problem.

Comment: Re:So, he is admitting that the attacks are true (Score 3, Insightful) 786

by Spazmania (#48784043) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

1) They have a ton of integrity.

Scientists have as much (or as little) integrity as the next guy. Fortunately the scientific method yields tools for outing the ones who acted with little integrity. Unfortunately, scientists with little integrity tend to move the discussion into into politics before the integrity problem can catch up with them, after which science kinda goes out the window.

Manning stands accused of the latter. Some of his emails focused on how to discredit folks who dispute his findings suggest those accusations have some merit. If you want to keep politics out of science, you simply can't engage on a political level.

2) They're succeed by finding new things and changing the established thinking.

No. Just no. Finding a new way to confirm an old theory is just as successful science as testing a new theory. Finding a way to refute an established theory is highly successful science which rarely happens, and finding the new theory that fits all the data -and- whose predictions survive the test of time is rare genius.

Test of time is important. If you have to incrementally revise the theory as new data comes in, it's not a very solid theory.

3) They use the peer review system to enforce rigorous standards.

A theory which, sadly, has been discredited in the past decade or so.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun