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Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 83

by shaitand (#47424627) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
"The only reason prosthetics cost a crapload (sometimes upwards of $100,000) is because each one has to be manufactured specifically to match its intended recipient."

That is a factor but not the biggest one. It's about demand. In the US we have a so called medical "free market" so the cost is as much as the market will allow. So, if you are missing a leg, how much is a prosthetic worth to you? You'll find that unlike with say, a stick of gum, the answer will vary dramatically with the key differentiators being how much the person has and whether they have loved ones they must care for who they value more than themselves. Now, abstract that cost from real people and put it on collectives with billions of dollars to spend (insurance companies) and why wouldn't you charge six figures for a prosthetic?

For $100,000 there are thousands of people who could engineer a prosthetic that can be customized with just a few hours labor. So the $100,000 cost is spread among all of them and the customization part amounts to a few bucks in plastic and under $1000 labor and that is at doctor labor prices and not lab tech prices.

But these products require FDA approval. So that is going to cost another $250k. Which is great for you if you have that money. It means that you get legal immunity at the end. It means little to no competition. It means you won't have to worry about actually improving your device anytime soon. It means you can charge ridiculous prices which are easy to justify, you can point to the need for FDA approval, you can point to the importance of making the device safe for medical use, etc. People will pay anything they can afford and since the bill goes to the insurance company, people will sign off on literally any figure. So it's really just a question of charging as much as the insurance company can afford.

The prosthetics end up costing the manufacturer maybe $2000 customized in the end with everything included and that figure goes down over time but they keep on charging $100,000 a pop because they can.

Comment: Re: Cry Me A River (Score 1) 521

by shutdown -p now (#47420819) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

How can they even whet their childhood apetite with simple code if Windows no longer includes the QBASIC exe?

It does include csc.exe and vbc.exe, however.

An extremely complex barrier to entry needs to be overcome if they want Windows native code

Why would regular people care specifically about having "Windows native code"?

Comment: Re:haven't we learned from the last 25 exploits? (Score 1) 67

by Arker (#47420705) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials
"An HTML-only web is great for relatively static content, but not so great for anything much beyond that. "

This sounds like nonsense to me, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and ask you for *concrete* examples of what you are talking about. I have yet to be cited a single good example here - very often what is being done would work just fine in HTML, with less overhead, but the 'designers' just do not understand HTML, or have any desire to learn it, so they do things this way instead.

Certainly javascript can produce a slicker appearance and make certain things a bit smoother - but to do so it sacrifices device-independence and browser agnosticism - critical advantages that underlie the success of the web and whose loss can only undermine it.

Now if you build a proper web page, and then *enhance* it with javascript sanely, preserving graceful fallbacks, that would be fine. You can have your slick interface without sacrificing the web. And I can choose to avoid your slick interface so as not to sacrifice my security.

The 'designers' that cant be bothered to do that, and the suits that keep them employed, are the reason we cant have nice things. In this case, javascript.

"Is it so difficult to grok why you might want content to change on the client?"

Not difficult to understand why it was desired.

The point is it's harmful and been proven harmful, and far too harmful for the small advantages it brings to outweigh that.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1) 349

There can be no "scientific consensus" in a society that hasn't discovered the scientific method. In those times, at best, what you had was the consensus of the "wise people".

So out of all the things you've listed, the "plum pudding" atomic model is the only one that would even qualify. But there was no consensus that it was like that. At best, it was accepted as the most reasonable model given all the evidence at the time (but, really, physicists had wildly different notions of atoms back then, and none of them were solid theories). It only took five years for more evidence to appear that proved the model was not viable.

Comment: Re:apply this technology where it counts. (Score 1) 83

by shaitand (#47419781) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
You make the fatal flaw of assuming that ethics and prudence are the result of higher cognitive ability. Have you considered the possibility that they understand exactly what they are doing and just don't care?

" This next-generation of politician could one day come to understand the moral and sociopolitical repercussions of things like intentionally shutting down the government."

You mean like having successfully pandered to your constitutes so that you'll be re-elected and can continue to profit from selling out to corporate interests, enjoy the social status of being a congressman, and blowjobs from interns?

Hell most of the the strongest opponents of issues like climate change and homosexual marriage ARE homosexuals. When THEY get busted getting a blowjob it's generally from a male intern or other staffer.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 83

by shaitand (#47419709) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
"Implantable memory even if VERY expensive would be very useful. Why go to college when you can pay $40k
and have a college degree without also having to give up 4 years of earning potential to get it."

I think you seriously underestimate what "VERY expensive" means. That is what such a technology might cost when at the dirt cheap and commonplace level. Anytime in the first 20 years I doubt you'd see a BLANK implant that wasn't priced in the millions.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 83

by shaitand (#47419679) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
It will happen that way first. They'll do implantable blank memory, then they'll have ridiculously overpriced modules that are able to communicate wirelessly so that you can copy and record. Then...

Why don't we just skip the bullshit and put something with both mesh and infrastructure wireless technology in so that it automatically links both to other modules and to a tunneled network in the internet automatically integrating everyones brains into a massive network of shared memory and artificial memory. We can have datacenters where massive external forms of this are connected to the network as well.

Or hey, why not let go of the conscious reigns, put the implantable chip that interacts with brain electrical and chemical signals both capable of generating detectable responses and receiving them. Still put the mesh and infrastructure wireless technology in, still build the tunneled network, but just put enough designed elements in place to facilitate the massively parallel communication high way and let the brains figure out their own higher level protocols.

Worried about security? Don't be that worried. You are neurally linked to everyone you see with an optical connection already. This just steps it up to having a slower link to lots of people all the time.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 521

by Calibax (#47416805) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

I agree. Most of the time it's trivially easy to adapt to new procedural languages. And the more often you do it, the easier it becomes.

However, a primary problem is that although the syntactical differences are comparatively minor, the libraries may be structured very differently. You may well spend a great deal more time adapting to the gross differences in philosophy as well as the discovering the idiomatic nuances of the libraries.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 521

by causality (#47415533) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need.

What you really need is to deal with this anti-intellectualism that's so popular in the culture today, and replace it with genuine curiosity, a joy of discovery, and a delight at learning new things.

Do that, and the rest will naturally follow, and not just in software development.

Comment: Re:haven't we learned from the last 25 exploits? (Score 1) 67

by Arker (#47414205) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials
"If you want the web to be useful, you should be pushing for only the most minimal use of Javascript."

When this crap first started getting pushed, a lot of us saw the potential problems coming and objected. We were assured it was only to be used to 'spice up' webpages, not to replace them.

Such assurances are obviously shit. If it's allowed to use it, then the lowest common denominator of self-proclaimed 'designers' can, will, and must overuse it. This overuse expands steadily and predictably until and unless there is effective pushback. Today we have reached the point where the typical corporate 'website' (and I use scare quotes because these things are NOT websites, at all) consists of hundreds of executable files, fetched from dozens of different servers, all of which the browser is expected to suck in and execute without so much as giving you a warning.

And contrary to the hilarious suggestion I see at the top of many many webpages today ("Enable Javascript for a better user experience") this does not bring with it any substantial improvements for the user. Quite the contrary, it results in a worse immediate experience (no, I didnt want a dozen popups, autoplaying video presentations, and a huge advertisement that floats over the text so I cannot see it!) and also in the longer term (like a week later when you discover that some random ad server sent your browser a rootkit and it happily executed it, oops!.)

But the point is history has proven this is a bad code drives out good situation. If it's allowed, it will take over, just like a weed.

Turn off javascript. See the web as it really is. And support the web that still exists, before it's too late.

Comment: Re:say wha? (Score 4, Insightful) 67

by Arker (#47412415) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials
"English translation: as usual, Flash is useless except as a vector for malware, viruses, trojans and keyloggers. Remove Flash from your system."

That's actually not quite true. Flash is a great way to develop simple games quickly and cheaply.

The problem isnt Flash itself (which is on the whole a fine product, used correctly) but the idea of using Flash as a substitute for a webpage, the installation of it as a browser plugin, and the auto-execution of it by the browser. None of that should be tolerated.

It's still possible to get a standalone flash interpreter and only feed it local, vetted files, which is really fine (or as close to fine as lots of other things you do every day, at least.)  But Adobe seems to be trying their best to discourage that and force everyone to use it as an auto-enabled browser component instead. The one way to use the program that causes major problems is also the one way they want you to use it.

Everyone who has been infected as a result of this should really get together and sue these arseholes, because money is the only language they understand.

Comment: Re:haven't we learned from the last 25 exploits? (Score 5, Insightful) 67

by Arker (#47412367) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials
Excellent advice.

Expect to be flamed into oblivion by all the 'web devs' that cant be bothered to learn how HTML works and rely on this crap instead, though.

The web - the real web, the HTML web, appears to be shrinking at the moment. New content is often hidden behind some kind of opaque app crap for no apparent reason and with no actual webpage for fallback (thanks google!) and old content occasionally gets removed as well. Each time this happens, it makes it even harder and less likely to revive the healthy web we once built with such love and care.

And naturally the people that are making a profit on this crap will just keep right on cranking it out as long as that is true.

The real victims here are future generations, who should inherit that world-wide web, but are set to inherit something entirely different - and inferior in every way (when judged from the users perspective - from the perspective of big Advertising of course the story will be different, but we built this web for humans, not for marketing.)

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito