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Comment: Re:If it ain't broke (Score 1) 141

by Transkaren (#41367085) Attached to: Microsoft Wants To Nix Data Center Backup Generators
No, but in a worst-case-scenario - say, a nearby gas main explosion that takes out the local electricity - they will only have as much gas as they have stored, and be unable to get more easily. Contrast this with a system that, as noted, uses fuel that can be obtained at almost any gas station. Local stations are closed? Go a bit farther out.

Comment: Re:Sigh. (Score 1) 289

by Transkaren (#41325449) Attached to: QR Codes As Anti-Forgery On Currency Could Infect Banks

* FIX

They're stupid enough to execute code formed from non-executable input.

* FIX OVER

Yes, let's go ahead and presume that the institutions that figuratively and in some cases literally built the first world nations we sit on our asses in have no idea how to sandbox and bound check a code read from a scanner in order to stop an "infection" from taking over... Why, there is no way every single bank, even the podunk credit unions that dot the land near and far, can figure out how to run a completely public banking portal without getting completely pwned on their first day and having their vaults emptied. Wait, no, I have that backwards. Good security IS possible, it's just hard for most slashpundits to imagine since it is completely beyond them.

My spouse used to do IT at a financial institution. Some of her tales scared the hell out of me - I don't keep any money at that bank anymore. Not that I ever had much to keep there in the first place, mind.

Comment: Re:Yay, but ... (Score 4, Informative) 95

by Transkaren (#40828889) Attached to: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Hits Primetime
The CW actually has a lot of decent scifi/fantasy shows. True, they're more aimed at a teen audience, but Supernatural's probably one of the best shows on television period, Smallville was a pretty decent take on Superman (Michael Rosenbaum is an incredible Lex Luthor in that show!), Nikita's a pretty decent spy/action show, and they usually add at least one scifi/fantasy show a year (I think they're showing "Arrow" this year - a show about the Green Arrow.)

That said, Comedy Central would be slightly more appropriate for the Sing-Along Blog.

Comment: Re:According to the FBI it is "THEFT" (Score 0) 220

by Transkaren (#40678343) Attached to: Anti-piracy Group Fined For Using Song Without Permission

So we don't need to discuss this anymore. Copyright infringement is "THEFT"

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber/ipr

Preventing intellectual property theft is a top priority of the FBI’s cyber program. We specifically focus on the theft of trade secrets and infringements on products that can impact consumers’ health and safety, such as counterfeit aircraft, car, and electronic parts. Key to our success is linking the considerable resources and efforts of the private sector with law enforcement partners on local, state, federal, and international levels.

No, according to the FBI theft of trade secrets is theft. Trade Secrets are on a completely different (and pretty much reasonable) level than simple copyright infringement. In fact, infringement on movies & music isn't even listed there - counterfeit parts are again a legitimate concern. Not that I believe they won't go after music & movie infringers, but that claiming that they call it "theft" is incorrect.

Comment: Re:Whatever happened to transparency? (Score 2) 376

by Transkaren (#40197837) Attached to: Whose Cameras Are Watching New York Roads?
Obamacare could have - should have - been a lot better, but it's probably better than no change in the area. At least it's gotten people *talking* about health care reform... and if it gets stopped by the S.C., I would be willing to bet good money on a new version with a public option being put in place within a year or two.

Comment: Re:No DRM but has tracking (Score 1) 196

by Transkaren (#39503677) Attached to: What Book Publishers Should Learn From <em>Harry Potter</em>
So what you're saying is that there is a benefit to buying a physical product instead of licensing an electronic one? Who would have thought.

Alternatively, keep track of who you sell it to: Make them sign something and mail (separately) two copies to you, then open only one of them. There's your (datestamped) proof of sale. Or use some other convoluted scheme. What it comes down to is that the publisher is in no way required to go out of their way to make it easier for you to sell your copy of the book: They can if they want, but it's not required.

Comment: Re:No DRM but has tracking (Score 4, Insightful) 196

by Transkaren (#39500817) Attached to: What Book Publishers Should Learn From <em>Harry Potter</em>
And the problem with this - assuming it doesn't interfere with the function of the book in any way - is what exactly? It's like a registered serial number - it's *your* copy. Quite honestly, it's probably the single best copy protection method out there - both from an enforcement ("See this? It's yours") and rights (But make backups and change formats as much as you want) way.

Comment: Re:Might be cheaper to just rebuild the house. (Score 1) 243

by Transkaren (#39221125) Attached to: Japan Creates Earthquake-Proof Levitating House System

Unless you quote the person who, in your opinion, is "full of it", it's difficult to determine whom you think is full. You seem to be disputing someone who advocated steel and concrete construction, and you hypothetically put your own life on the line to attest. Really, regarding the ability of a structure to endure an earthquake, to make a judgement, much more information is needed beyond the type of construction employed. One steel structure is weaker than another, for example. And, in construction, there is a size division between single-family and multi-family dwellings that must be considered. But anyway... I'll clarify some terms. Most houses today (post WWII) are built using a wood construction system called "platform framing". Colloquially, this is called "stick built". However, stick build is a more general term just meaning using 2x4s and can include systems that are not platform framing. In platform framing, one story is built after another. This is opposed to obsolete balloon framing which uses structural members that span more than one story. Platform framing uses the familiar stud and plate (top or bottom horizontal member) wall arrangement. Timber framing usually means post & beam construction, which is also called post-frame construction. Large pieces of wood spaced a few feet (a couple meters) apart form the structure. In this thread, some seem to be using "timber" to simply mean wooden. Steel-reinforced concrete is a very strong method of construction. The Japanese buildings using this method did well in the recent earthquake. And we must remember, earthquakes aren't the only possible hazards. Nowadays, a larger building should also be able to withstand small bombs, high winds, and vehicle impacts. Another method of single-family dwelling construction is SIP (Structural Insulated Panel). The walls are made with SIPs, which are composed of thin plywood exteriors encasing thick polystyrene foam in-between. Sure, wood platform framing is economical and sufficient for small structures, like single-family dwellings, but it's not suitable for larger structures. And in terms of a single-family dwelling contest for ability of withstand to withstand an earthquake, a mobile home on beam (rather than discrete "jacks") supports wins.

Bah, I was replying to the person that said:
I need to use more smileys :-( . Just sayin', walls built of sticks or straw are not real walls as the GGP claims. Japanese houses, like American houses, are not built to last. But I understand that Japanese and Californians have good reason not to build solid walls.
Steel and concrete construction is perfectly fine, but so is wood - and, assuming I'm in a small building, I prefer wood construction over steel or concrete.

A few years ago, my area had a worst-case windstorm. We had a brief boom in business - mostly dealing with houses and other buildings with cosmetic or tree damage. Despite the fact that windspeed exceeded the design value by 20%, there was minimal permanent damage. This is despite the fact that 90% of construction in my area - logging country - is wood, and that a large percentage of it is at least thirty years old.

As for the manufactured home, maybe. Depends on if it's properly braced - a lot of them aren't. And they're really not good when it comes to wind loads.

Comment: Re:Might be cheaper to just rebuild the house. (Score 1) 243

by Transkaren (#39220991) Attached to: Japan Creates Earthquake-Proof Levitating House System
Actually, I suspect I'd feel less than secure there. While it sounds horribly overdesigned, that's more of a problem than you might think: Your octagon won't bend, it will shatter. That's why they design weak points in steel and concrete buildings: A bent beam can still hold up a floor, while a broken connection is useless. Sure, it'll take one hell of a jolt to do it, but once it's failed it's gone.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

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