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Comment: Re:Not sure (Score 1) 78

by danheskett (#47957269) Attached to: Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

You bring up a great point about the rule of law. This is something that attracts investment, and it's something is close to undefinable. Not being governed in a logical way is business negative, but it's a gray line of when you go from a country ruled by law, and not.

The US has been sort of the gold-standard on this. Most large business disputes are handled in Federal court, which despite the reputation of the government, is well regarded as efficient in the international business world. It's the "rocket docket", meaning cases move. In some countries a business dispute could take 5+ years to get to trial, or resolution. In most Federal jurisdictions, with motions, filings, pre-trial conferences, it's between 12 and 24 months, with many on the lowside of that scale.

There is an untold economic benefit to this. Investors are unlikely to invest large capital outlayws without assurance that if something goes wrong they have an avenue of legitimate relief. Russia and China goes through spurts of foreign investment, but it comes and goes, largely because of this issue. When Putin starts jailing critical corporate executives and nationalizing large businesses it creates a tremendous amount of consternation within the investor class.

This IPO is interesting because it's a test case for how well China can provide a code of laws assurance to the worldwide investor. So far, so good. But the Chineese system has a similar habit of disenfranchising shareholders, and in this case, it could happen in the blink of an eye.

Comment: Re:Public access (Score 3, Informative) 46

by confused one (#47953165) Attached to: Boeing To Take Space Tourists On Its CST-100 Spacecraft To the ISS

You haven't paid for anything yet... The 4 billion is for development and infrastructure. You're paying for the pad modification/construction, manufacturing of first articles, flight certification and testing. Normally, if this were a commercial airliner, Boeing would pay for this themselves. They would recoup the cost over the couple hundred planes they constructed and sold. Since there is no business case with and end result allowing them to recoup the cost, they're having the primary customer (NASA) pay the Non Recoverable Engineering costs (NRE). This is standard practice in industry (any and all industry).

Once certified, NASA, as a customer, will be buying seats on the CST-100, as a service. They're not buying the rocket for their exclusive use; think of it as buying seats on a commercial airliner. NASA will be the primary customer initially; but, not the only customer. Same thing happened with the commercial airliner industry -- in the very early days, one of the major customers was the government and a buyer of cargo space was the U.S. Mail service.

ISS is not going to be the only destination in the future. Bigelow Aerospace plans to launch a habitation module or two in the next few years. They already have a contract with Boeing to use CST-100 as a transport. It's just the beginning...

Comment: Re:Public access (Score 2) 46

by confused one (#47953103) Attached to: Boeing To Take Space Tourists On Its CST-100 Spacecraft To the ISS
Although NASA is helping fund the development of the vehicle, to meet their safety specifications, NASA is buying seats on a CST-100, as a service, not buying CST-100s. Think of it as NASA buying seats on a commercial airliner. The vehicle has 7 seats. The way I read the story, NASA is requiring 1 seat for a NASA pilot on the test flight and 4+ seats per launch to ISS. That leaves empty seats...

Comment: Re:Flash and Silverlight (Score 1) 61

by ncc74656 (#47952041) Attached to: Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

Frequently the bank forces the user to use exploitable means just to communicate with the bank.

IE6+ActiveX required, anyone?

If your bank requires you to use that steaming pile of fail, why haven't you left yet?

Wells Fargo used to throw up warnings when you used a browser they hadn't yet evaluated, but I think the rapid-release schedule taken by most browser vendors put a stop to that. Even then, it was just a warning...it didn't affect functionality.

Comment: Re:Paid advertisement (Score 1, Insightful) 48

by ncc74656 (#47950417) Attached to: SteadyServ Helps Keep the Draft Beer Flowing (Video)

If you told me someone was selling draft beer supplies (or whatever this crap is), my first assumption would be that it was for bars and taverns, not for home use. Thanks for taking time to point out the obvious.

I take it you don't know any homebrewers, then. Kegging is a hell of a lot easier than bottling. That said, the usual insurance against a keg running out is...wait for it...having a second keg on tap. Cheap and low-tech.

Comment: PDP11 (Score 1) 276

by danheskett (#47942197) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I had a PDP11 in my basement, all full working, with loads of equipment to go with it. I had a fun time learning about the genesis of the industry and learning about the internals and workings of the machine.

Then I had a housefire. The machine and all of its components were completely ruined. I had a good laugh explaining it to the insurance adjuster. I think I got decent money for it because it was an antique, but it was limited because I didn't declare it separately on my policy.

Comment: Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 501

by daveschroeder (#47938235) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

An oversimplification. The US, UK, and allies variously broke many cipher systems throughout WWII. Still the US benefitted from this.

What if the Germans were using, say, Windows, Android phones, SSL, Gmail, Yahoo, and Skype, instead of Enigma machines?

Comment: What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 501

by daveschroeder (#47938053) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

I presume you wouldn't say it was "wrong" of the United States to crack the German and Japanese codes in WWII...

...so when US adversaries (and lets just caveat this by saying people YOU, personally, agree are legitimate US adversaries) don't use their own "codes", but instead share the same systems, networks, services, devices, cloud providers, operating systems, encryption schemes, and so on, that Americans and much of the rest of the world uses, would you suggest that they should be off limits?

This isn't so much a law enforcement question as a question of how to do SIGINT in the modern digital world, but given the above, and given that intelligence requires secrecy in order to be effective, how would you suggest the United States go after legitimate targets? Or should we not be able to, because that power "might" be able to be abused -- as can any/all government powers, by definition?

This simplistic view that the only purpose of the government in a free and democratic society must be to somehow subjugate, spy on, and violate the rights of its citizens is insane, while actual totalitarian and non-free states, to say nothing of myriad terrorist and other groups, press their advantage. And why wouldn't they? The US and its ever-imperfect system of law is not the great villain in the world.

Take a step back and get some perspective. And this is not a rhetorical question: if someone can tell me their solution for how we should be able to target technologies that are fundamentally shared with innocent Americans and foreigners everywhere while still keeping such sources, methods, capabilities, and techniques secret, I'm all ears. And if you believe the second a technology is shared it should become magically off-limits because power might be abused, you are insane -- or, more to the point, you believe you have some moral high ground which, ironically, would actually result in severe disadvantages for the system of free society you would claim to support.

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