Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 1) 372

They charge the insurance compaines more because they know they can get it.

No, that's not why they do it... Well, maybe, but it is not the only reason.
It's call "cost-shifting."

They do it because for some procedures / treatments / claims, they get less from some insurance companies than the office normally charges, so to make it up, they charge others more. That's why there are anecdotal stories of $25 aspirin dispensed in a hospital.

Comment Re:Geographic redundancy (Score 1) 174

The best camera is the camera you have with you when you need it.

This is very true.

There are 3 primary variables when it comes to camera selection: physical size, photo quality, and price.
My advice (based on my experience) is to get the best camera you can for a size that will make it easy for you to carry with you. While cost was important, it was the least important of the 3 variables.

I went with one of the Canon point-and-shoots ( PowerShot SD1100 IS) partly because it was supported by CHDK which enables me to take pictures in both jpg and raw formats and its small size makes it easy to carry in my pants pocket.

I bought that at least 5 years ago, so there may be better choices now. I took it with me on my last overseas deployment and it worked quite well. I was able to take a number of pictures that I would not have been able with a DSLR just because of physical size. I was able to stick together a number of panoramic shots that turned out quite well.

Also a last piece of advice is don't try to live the moment through the camera. If something happens that is worth a photo or two, take several in quick succession realizing that most may be crap, but one or two may capture the moment... Then put it away and actually live the moment.

Comment (Score -1) 368

Well... first, I think it would be appropriate to just start a casual conversation; set the mood. You don't want to rush into things as that may scare the drone off. Then, if things seem to be going well, maybe a cup of coffee and lunch. If things still seem to be going well, then the next step is dinner and a movie followed by drinks. Then, SURPRISE!!! Sex!

I get really tired of the phrase "take out" when what people really mean to "kill" or "destroy." Have the intellectual honesty to use the words which mean precisely what you are describing.

Comment vaporware (Score 1) 79

...should be ready to serve as a nuclear safeguard in less than two years

a detector parked outside in a shipping container could do the job.

How does this really help us NOW?
Assuming that such a detector is possible, can be built, and does work, then the next problem is getting the Iranians to allow it to be emplaced and not tampered.
Also, who pays for it? Money stopped growing on trees sometime ago. As a US taxpayer, why should I have to foot the bill for something to ensure that a rogue state is playing by the rules to which they agreed?

Comment Re:Party loyalty is the root of the problem ... (Score 1) 191

Members of Congress may be peers, but they are in no way equals when it comes to influence.

Membership and especially chair positions on some committees (House Ways & Means, Intelligence, etc.) have a lot more power than other committees and those memberships are not handed out to the freshmen class.

Comment Re:Just great (Score 2) 211

I prefer intellectual honesty.

You comment only addresses one of the two comments that you quoted.
I get it that plans change. Conditions change so it is reasonable that plans offered change as well. That is NOT what POTUS promised. It was a foolish promise and never should have been made.

Comment Re:Memory Safe Languages As Countermeasure (Score 1) 165

I do wish for a resurgence in Ada's use.

As do I.

Security depends on the programmer mainly (regardless of language), but there are better tools to do it right in Ada than most other languages. This doesn't mean it is a one size fits all language... but for code that is critical to security, it might be wise to use a language designed with security from the ground up. Spark Ada has provable security, for example (as per "SPARK - A Safety Related Ada Subset")

Hear, hear. I have no doubt that such a world would be trading one set of problems for another, however, I do believe that the second set of problems would be much smaller than the first.

Comment Re:FFS just keep the Warthog (Score 5, Informative) 279

Yes, that is very true. The USMC is the closest we have ever had to what you are proposing.

I think that merely changing the organization for service-oriented (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) to one service with "specialty branches" (or whatever you want to call them) would not change anything. Sure, it may offer some small amount of consolidation, but that is what DoD was created to do. (Yeah, I know... obvious jokes will follow). Seriously, though, as long as the combined size is about the same and the respective size of the service branches (or "specialty branches") stays the same, all you will have done is to (slightly) rearrange the deck chairs.

On a positive note, having been in the Army National Guard for over 25 years (including overseas deployments), I have worked with both the Navy and the Air Force. I cannot speak specifically to the "historical antagonism" the gf mentioned, but I can say that overall, everybody I worked with generally wanted to do a good job without deference to service branch. That especially includes a USAF NCO who I knew for a short period of time and was killed by the enemy.

Comment Re:Why not train? (Score 1) 308

You post has some good points and I thank you for posting it.

then if physical fitness needs to be fixed the taxpayers can fund it -- call it a perk of the job from a personal health perspective.

I think that I disagree with this part of your point. If they were capable of being fit to the level required for entry into the military service, they would probably have done it already. Really, the physical fitness level required for entry is NOT that high. Obviously, the original story says this is a problem.

My alternative is to take that money and invest it into a sharp junior NCO to make them into a warrent officer. I see a lot of the key cyber positions being intel and signal warrent officers. You get the benefit of a know quantity of a junior NCO, you are giving them a career track to grow into, and you get deployability inherent as a prior servicemember. The military also gets the inherent benefit of the warrent officer as a career professional who stays within their specialty as opposed to commissioned officers whose assignments go between one associated with their basic branch and "broadening" ones.

It is also important to understand why those physical any physical fitness standards exist. Yes, it is in large part to ensure the service member is capable of performing their job. Another reason is the ability to deploy world-wide. At any given time, a certain percentage of the armed forces is non-deployable for any number of reasons. The higher the percentage of non-deployable service members, the larger the required size of the standing force.

Deployable means being sent to places within a wide range of conditions, from the higher-echelon HQs and units (mostly above Division-level) that are within well-established fixed locations with permanent facilities at one end of the spectrum to the most austere environments at the other end and everything in between.

A counter argument then follows of "do they really need to be deployable?" Maybe, maybe not. If we want to deviate from a standard that applies to the bulk of the force, so be it. I am not necessarily opposed to that, I am pointing out that such a deviation should only be done after careful consideration for the second / third order effects.

To some extend, I do believe that there is some differences with how medical professionals are handled. I am referring to specialized medical professionals. They also have a whole separate accession process and perhaps that would be the appropriate model for the cyber field. As far as I know, the same physical and physical fitness requirements still apply to those medical specialties.

I hope this has been relatively coherent. Time for me to go to work... :)

Comment Re:What a great idea! (Score 1) 308

Unfortunately, it's sometimes the people who most enthusiastically live up to the organization's standards that you have to watch out for.

I don't understand that how that could be an issue unless the organization's standards are themselves immoral or illegal.

Please explain.

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.