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Comment: Re:How much is that doggy in the window? (song lin (Score 1) 136

by TWX (#48027331) Attached to: LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

peer to peer communication during extended blackouts? File transfer? gaming? video chat?

And probably still counting against one's data plan, even though it bypasses the cell-towers.

Kind of like now, how they want to deduct minutes from my cell plan when I'm using my home 802.11n wireless to make phone calls through my cell handset.

Comment: Re:Overseas? (Score 1) 47

by TWX (#48027217) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference
Because it's a lot easier to target specific individuals or a specific group of individuals to actually get something useful, and for it to work undetected for longer, than it is for something to be ubiquitously deployed where it actually provides specific, useful results and remains undetected.

If there are only a few thousand materials scientists working on processor tech that will advance microprocessor development, it's easier and cheaper to drop a few thousand trojan-horse USB memory FOBs with hacked USB subsystem controllers that will get what I want than it is to attempt to infect every device being sold new. These FOBs won't be quality-checked either, while batches of new devices for retail sale probably will get at least some checking.

Comment: Re:This is the wrong attitude (Score 3, Interesting) 80

by TWX (#48026937) Attached to: California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

Wait, so we reject it because it provides more protections than the bare minimum required by law?

He is the head of the executive branch of government of his state, which means that ultimately he's in charge of the State's Attorneys General office, and since officers in California are deputized at a state level too (for arrests as criminals change jurisdictions) he has a stake there too.

The Executive branch's job is to represent the operations of the State. The Legislative branch's job is to represent the citizenry/populace. I hate to break it to you, but this is actually working in the way it's meant to. If the Legislature wants this law to pass then they need to come up with a supermajority to override the veto.

Or, let the situation reach a prosecution, and then appeal the grounds of evidence from the drones and wait for it to go through the State courts, possibly ending up in Federal courts.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 206

by TWX (#48026889) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
I donno about you, but as the Start Menu got more and more cluttered since its debut with Windows 95 I've tended to put stuff in the quicklaunch area, or for commands with short names that have had the same name for many years, Window+R -> exename worked well too. Now that the Start Screen is so intrusive I've doubled-down on Win+R and on "pinning" things to the taskbar.

Comment: Re:Who enters stupid headlines? (Score 2) 25

by TWX (#48021991) Attached to: Court Rules Nokia Must Pay Damages To Buyers of Faulty Phones In Mexico
People don't even read the article before submitting the story in the first place.

If it's any consolation that's one of the things that's bothered me about Slashdot from the beginning- it often takes awhile for one's submitted article to be rejected or occasionally approved for the main page, but it seems like the moderators or admins don't actually research the summary before posting it.

Comment: Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (Score 1) 125

by TWX (#48014143) Attached to: Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

How could companies justify plowing money into oil wells, semiconductor plants, toy factories, apple orchards, etc. if they don't have assurances in place that the cash will be recouped? Yet people invest in those things everyday. What makes launch services any different?

Because all of those things were able to start small, relatively speaking, where only a handful of people were necessary to get the initial ball rolling. Even semiconductors; We looked at a house for its detached garage and the previous owner apparently had a small semiconductor fab set up in there at one point.

By contrast there's no real option for someone without already established financial means to launch things into space.

Comment: Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (Score 1) 125

by TWX (#48014135) Attached to: Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

No one should be left out because there should be no contract. Instead, NASA should be fostering a spot market for launches. They should have a separate bid for each launch: "We want X satellite in Y orbit, and insured for Z dollars." Then give the launch to the lowest bidder. That way each company can work continuously to cut costs and improve services, knowing that if they leapfrog the competition, they can win the next launch, instead of being locked out for years.

This won't happen either; it's very expensive to develop the tech to do the launches, let alone to build production. No one will take the risk to develop unless they have so much guaranteed production as to amortize the cost of development over those units.

This isn't like the beginning of civil aviation or even how companies that want to design planes get into civil aviation now, building small planes until their success with small planes gets them the revenue stream to let them build bigger ones, etc, this would be like coming into the market and jumping straight to long-range widebodies. To my knowledge, the only companies that have even come close to that have all been government-sponsored.

The only way that you're going to get someone to pay for the development costs themselves is to give them enough production to justify those development costs, and the only way to do that is to guarantee them so many launches. It applies to both SpaceX and to Boeing.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 591

by TWX (#48008025) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy
I've never found a low-flow shower head that I liked, always had to spend an inordinate amount of time bathing if the flow was too low in order to get the shampoo and soap off, negating the savings. Being tall I've always had one of those "S" pipes with my own shower head to replace the downspout pipe, when I was a renter I'd install that and save the landlord's shower head to put back on when moving back out again.

Many low-flow water fixtures use a little plastic washer bushing thing inside that can be removed in a couple of minutes.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_