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Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 345 345

Its like saying "Hey, Chevrolet, you know your customers like the radio station set to 101.9, why cant you engineer your cars to respect their choice instead of forcing your nefarious 101.5 agenda."

Yeah, but this is a Mozilla car analogy we're talking about here.

In the current 2015.7 model, release, the UX team has decided that a 5-button hamburger menu on an AM dial (and only from 1100Khz to 1150KHz in 10KHz increments) is all that's needed. Users who want to access a wider range of frequencies in the AM band are free to write an extension or purchase a third-party radio head unit.

To further improve the user experience, we remind prospective extension developers that in the Aurora channel for the 2016.1 model year, the about:config setting for frequency.megavskilohertz has been removed, along with the FM antenna. The UX team has made this recommendation based on telemetry that suggests that few drivers actually listen to FM radio, especially since the 2013.6 model, in which the AM/FM toggle switch was removed because the UX team for 2012.1 felt it was cluttering the dashboard.

Comment Re:Not to be taken seriously (Score 1) 109 109

I didn't say it was proven. I said it was a result. We don't have a formal proof that P != NP, but find me a single practitioner who thinks we'll find a proof of P = NP.

At some level math works on the basis of consensus. Consensus determines whether we accept a proof or reject it for omitting an important step; consensus determines which axioms we accept to be true. And so far, the consensus seems to be "BQP != NP, just like P != NP."

But yes, we're going to keep looking for the proofs. :)

Comment Re:Not to be taken seriously (Score 1) 109 109

Depends on what you mean by proven. It's believed about as strongly as people believe P != NP. There's zero evidence BQP can address NP-Complete (or, for that matter, even interesting parts of NP), and a lot of good reasons to believe it can't. However, a proof has been as elusive as the P != NP proof -- another thing which pretty much every CS nerd agrees to be true, but it hasn't been rigorously proven yet.

Comment Not to be taken seriously (Score 4, Interesting) 109 109

Quantum computers cannot solve NP-Hard or NP-Complete problems -- at least, no faster than a classical computer. This is one of the most basic results in the field, and the author keeps on making hash of it. This article should not be taken seriously if it's rife with such basic errors.

Comment Re:10 LET M$ = "Microsoft" (Score 1) 132 132

I was around when the M$ nickname got coined.

It was a shortening of Micro$oft. We did the same thing with the Compuserve Information Service (CIS), which charged such outrageous rates that we started calling them CI$. Replacing the "s" of rapacious firms with "$" was pretty much standard practice then -- and, at that time, nobody deserved it more than Microsoft.

Comment Re:How sad (Score 2) 132 132

Apparently, you missed the news from a while ago about Microsoft releasing the CLR under a free software license. Check it out.

I've been a Slashdot reader since back when it was called Chips & Dips. Back then, Microsoft deserved the M$ appellation. Today, not so much. They're cooperating a lot more with the libre software community. Now, you can either shake your fist at them and scream how they'll never be forgiven for their sins... or you can smile, extend a hand, and welcome them to the party.

The world works better if more people choose the latter. And that applies to life in general, not just Microsoft. :)

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 2) 654 654


Free isn't free. If it costs more time and effort than the equivalent (because the equivalent is more reliable, gets you within a block of your destination, and runs 24 hours a day) then "free" public transportation is still more expensive than the equivalent. Even a poor person who can't really afford to own and operate a car (witness the predatory reposess-a-car loan scams) will drive a beater to commute because the alternative is losing their job because they aren't able to get to work consistently on time.

If on the other hand, public transit is reliable (trains every 5-7 minutes, so you don't have to arrive 10 minutes early to avoid missing a train and waiting another hour for one) and the alternatives have heavy costs (looking for parking downtown that doesn't cost $$$, and enduring traffic in/out of a venue) then public transit is a no-brainer. This unfortunately doesn't happen due to the chicken and egg dilemma of modern urban planning - mass transit is a money-loser until you hit a certain population density, but to achieve that level of population density, you already need to have mass transit (otherwise that level of density is unobtainable because you've locked it up in roads and parking lots in order to serve the levels of population density leading up to that point.)

Submission + - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Other reasons (Score 1) 306 306

No, it wasn't like that. After graduating with a CS degree in 1998, the job offer I was planning on taking paid $25K -- or $36K in today's 2015 dollars. I wasn't happy about it, but I was happy to have an offer. At the last minute another offer came through at $35K ($50K in today's dollars), and I was the envy of that year's CS grads for getting the largest job offer. Literally no one received this "started at $40,000" business you're talking about.

Comment Re:I have Bronze blood (Score 1) 97 97

For whatever reason the target recipients did better with their actual blood type. B- being 2% of the population (and half of that being CMV+) put it in high demand in that small audience (which is why I give myself a bronze since my bloods high value has such a narrow focus). Or so they said. All I know is that I donated gallons of the stuff, along with a shit load of platelets, because they said very young children needed it for the above reasons. Sounded good enough for me.

Like you I then I went to Iraq, donated a bunch there, and was told on my return no more blood drives for 5 years.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll