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Comment: Re:Guam is in the Maldives now? (Score 1) 175

by Tuidjy (#47408375) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

This is not the first time the United States does something similar, i.e. has the authorities in country A apprehend someone who is not accused of anything there, expel him from A without notifying the country of origin, and 'somehow' have US officials waiting to arrest the 'expelled' individual on 'international' ground.

US lawyers have consistently explained that this is somehow very different from illegal extradition/kidnapping which is explicitly condemned by the UN. It only looks the same. And I very much doubt the States are the only ones doing it. The Brits and Russians have done the same.

Is it a travesty of justice? Meh, I'm not a lawyer. Is it an example of the strong getting what they want? Hell, yeah!

The only thing that makes this interesting is that the Russians will raise a more stench than usual, because the arrested individual is more than just a 'paysan'.

Comment: Re: One non-disturbing theory (Score 5, Insightful) 304

by Tuidjy (#47355109) Attached to: Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

I am not buying the universal solvent theory, because even accounting for the salts in the water, it would take hundreds of years for most plastics to dissolve.

The bacteria theory is more likely, because I remember reading something about bacteria living in trash dumps, and supposedly breaking down plastic. I do not remember a followup, but it's still more likely than the above. The problem is, this does not necessarily result in harmless components being the end result.

Here's another theory that I consider more likely: algae and barnacles attach themselves to plastic objects, and eventually sink them out of sight. Not as perfectly conductive to happily singing "La-la-la" and dismissing all worries, but hey, if you wish, you can just come up with more comforting theories, like "Magical pink narwhals are spearing the floating plastic, and melting it in underwater volcanoes to build underwater cooling systems to fight global warming".

Comment: Re: work life balance is a myth (Score 3, Interesting) 710

by Tuidjy (#47313101) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

My salary is below 150K. We're an aftermarket automotive manufacturer, and times have been better.

Last year, I declared 170K from programing projects.

I billed anywhere from $110 to $350 per hour for side projects, and I prefer negotiating for payment upon completion rather than having to give an estimate, and charging per the hour. Many customers prefer it this way, are ready to just pay 5-10K to get something done, and do not really care how long it takes me, as long as I'm done before they need the results This is especially true for companies who are forced to migrate from one application to another, and who do not want to pay a new service provider to transfer old data to the new system, but still want to be able to access it.

It takes a fraction of a weekend to write a program to pull the data from a ADP payroll database, a Kronos timekeeper system, a Business Works Accounts Payable module, a Solomon Ledger, etc... transfer it to MariaDB and throw together a few reports that can answer 99% of the client questions about their past history.

Service providers easily charge 50k+ for stuff like this. Big companies pay without a second thought, but privately owned shops balk. And people in the same industrial parks talk to each other... to the point that I simply do not have the time to take all the lucrative projects that come my way. (Or the inclination, really. Computer vision and game AI is what really gets my attention nowadays.)

Comment: Re: work life balance is a myth (Score 4, Interesting) 710

by Tuidjy (#47311585) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

I got excited about computers when I saw a computer with BASIC in a chain store in the early 80's. Must have been a Vic20.

I took an 'Informatics' High School curriculum, got an M.Eng. in Computer Science, and started as 'The Computer guy' in a small, privately owned manufacturing company. Now the company has four plants, 50 warehouses, 600 PCs, and my card says CTO. I still do some programming on the job, but it's probably less than 5 hours per week.

But in my spare time, I take on real programming projects. My last three were a IDE interface for company that uses hardware that is WAY too old, a computer vision search tool, and a video game AI module. I earn more outside of my day job, and have to refuse projects... but of course the day job comes with security and health insurance.

But, yeah, mileage varies. There is nothing I would rather do to earn money than write code for applications where a small memory footprint and execution speed are the first priority. This has not changed since 1988, except that since then I've decided that maybe I can afford to use C as opposed to assembly. And, yeah, I have written AI routines for two games released in 2013 in plain old C, because pointy headed bastards think that AI does not deserve ANY resources...

Comment: Re:Bets, anyone? (Score 1) 431

by Tuidjy (#47256247) Attached to: Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

No, because I drive a 1990 Toyota Supra, and a 2004 Volvo S60-R, and the electronics on both are quite fine, thank you very much. I sold my previous 1990 Supra in 2010, because a cop read ended me while I was fully stopped, and twisted the frame like a pretzel, but before the crash, the electronics were just fine.

Crap has always been crap, and quality cars have always been quality cars. Take your own advice, and do pop a panel. The quality is very different between a Volvo S60-R and my neighbor's Ford Mustang (I helped her change a brake light) I can vouch for that, even though they were both made in the mid-2000s.

Comment: Re:Bets, anyone? (Score 2) 431

by Tuidjy (#47256043) Attached to: Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

I own a Volvo S60-R made in Sweden, in 2004. Before we got married, my wife bought a Volvo S40-1.9T which was made in the US, in 2001.

Apart from regular maintenance, and consumables like tires and oil, the S60 has needed its turn signal stick replaced and its CD player repaired. True, I have replaced the original clutch, turbo and downpipe, and I have added a second intercooler, but this was done to increase performance in 2005-2006. Since then, the car has been rock solid.

The S40 had the shocks, the engine mounts, the catalytic converter and more replaced since 2009. A headlight fell off, the exhaust burned through. At some point, my wife got a new car, so I stopped throwing money at the damn thing. We still keep it, because she does not drive stick, and likes to have a car when the Audi is in the shop. The AC has its own mind, the stereo is busted, the transmission computer is on the blink, and it leaks a bit of oil. Its MPG is comparable to that of the 460hp S60.

I am not saying that this is anything more than anecdotal evidence, and that all Sweden made Volvos stack as well against all US made ones. But I would not be even a little bit surprised if the China made ones differ from the Swedish ones just as much.

Comment: Re:Origin story sounds familiar (Score 2) 98

You'd think so, but I remember that in the early 90s, the Bulgarian Air Force School in Dolna Mitropolia was still flying them.

Considering how great the country has been doing since, I doubt they have been replaced... and considering how long they have already lasted, I doubt they are no longer being maintained.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 0) 376

by Tuidjy (#47209743) Attached to: Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

I would certainly kick people out of my property if I disapprove of what they are doing. I have not had to do it for a T-shirt or tie, but I can imagine T-shirts and ties that would piss me off enough.

I am also very much OK with a bar/restaurant's owner/manager kicking out people they do not like. Depending on their reasons, I will be more or less likely to patronize their establishment.

In my book, it does not matter whether you are using a Google Glass, a phone, or a hand-held camera. If it looks as if you are filming people who have made it clear they do not want to be filmed, you have to be prepared to deal with the repercussions. If you are on the property of someone who will not allow it, you may be asked to leave. If you are in a place where you cannot defend yourself, you may see your toy in pieces.

Comment: Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (Score 1) 309

by Tuidjy (#47208115) Attached to: Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

The modified Turning test:

One human judge, who knows that he is dealing with one human test subject and one computer test subject. The judge talks to the computer and the human for five minutes, then tries to guess which is the human. If the judge guesses incorrectly, both he and human subject get whipped for five minutes.

I bet you that if you were to test the program from the article my way, you would not get anywhere close to 30% of judges guessing incorrectly. If you restrict your judges and test subjects to non-masochists with an IQ above 90, you probably could not break 10%, either.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 0) 376

by Tuidjy (#47207879) Attached to: Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

No need for violence.

Three days ago, I had my first experience with a Glasshole.

I was in a bar at the edge of Chino's industrial park. Most of the patrons were people who stopped for a few beers after work. At some point a few people in their thirties showed up, and one of them was wearing Google Glass. His girlfriend or whatever kept a running commentary on the bar, the dartboard action, and how they were going to see "The Edge of Tomorrow."

At some point one of the other patrons got pissed off and asked the Glasshole to get rid of his toy. Before the situation could escalate, the barmaid stepped from behind the bar and told the guy he would have to leave unless he removed the glasses. He started to say something about having paid for the drinks, but at some point realized that he was getting really dirty looks from almost everyone, and got lost.

I fully expect that as Google Glass and similar devices become more popular, some places will welcome them, and other won't. As far as I am concerned, this is how things should be. I certainly know which kind of bars/restaurants/clubs I'll choose to patronize.

It's no different from Thad Starner at MIT back in the 90s. He got asked to leave quite a few parties, but he was also welcomed by many. I didn't particularly enjoy meeting him in E14 after pulling an all-nighter and feeling/looking like shit, but at least I knew that no one was looking at his feed.

Now that storage is cheap, and processing is becoming much cheaper, I am even more leery of being recorded in some specific situations. A friend of mine has the device, and I hope she has the bad taste to use it when I am hosting a party at my house.

Comment: Re: As painful as it is... (Score 2) 552

by Tuidjy (#47080707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

What kind of nonsense is this?

The original article makes it absolutely clear that she is able to communicate. The only person who should decide whether she will live like this or be unplugged is the woman herself.

That was "should". In the real world, the costs of keeping her alive matter. But suggesting to unplug a human being who can think and communicate is in no way different from advocating murder.

Hale and happy as I am today, I think that I would like to be unplugged in her situation. But I may feel very different if I actually were in the state she's in.

So, try to help the original poster and his sister with their predicament, and please keep your sociopathic tenancies to yourself.

Comment: Re:can we think bigger picture? (Score 1) 33

by Tuidjy (#47040271) Attached to: NASA Looks To Volcanic Rocks As Target For Next Mars Rover

1) Name one.
The term "Spinoff" was coined to describe exactly this. NASA publishes a list, which was up to 1500 last time I checked... but I guess your Google is broken.

So, I'll just mention something I learned last week, when I had some Teflon-coated fiberglass installed. The contractor mentioned it was developed by NASA for astronauts' suits, and I checked it - he was right.

2) Sounds an awful lot like circular reasoning... like a religion!

"Do this, and you may have a result similar to what has as has occurred 1500 times for NASA, and innumerable times for other people (Viagra, aspirin, porcelain) ..."

May I inquire which religion you are referring to, so that I hurry up and join?

Comment: Re:can we think bigger picture? (Score 4, Interesting) 33

by Tuidjy (#47039467) Attached to: NASA Looks To Volcanic Rocks As Target For Next Mars Rover

Well, your post does deserve a counter-argument, if not a down-vote, and not for the misused vocabulary, either.

First of all, I can't really get very upset over 1.5 billions, because the US government is spending a lot more on things I like a lot less. But we do have a set of laws that govern how money is collected, allocated and spent, and if there's a country that does better by me on all three, I'm not aware of it.

Second, I actually personally know two different groups of people who hope to hitch their projects on this horse. One of their projects has immediate applications to alleviating the frequency shortage that the US is experiencing, and the other may end up with some interesting applications for jet engines, which may eventually trickle down to civilian aviation. So just because the rover is a near copy, there's no reason to expect that there are not a number of significant improvements along for the ride (or on the ground)

Third, space exploration has had unexpected benefits, and the thing about unexpected benefits is that you can't tell what they are before hand. This goes for all branches of research, and if we had anyone who does not like a specific 'useless' project stop it, you'd be probably arguing that urine is perfectly fine for tanning hides, thank you.

And fourth, the people who are going to get those 1.5 billions are scientists/engineers/technicians in the existing facilities of entities which already have their claws deep inside the hide of the US government. This money will go on buying votes and influence, one way or another - best politicians money can buy, and all that. So it may as well go to Boeing/JPL for a flight to Mars, rather to be spent of 'clean' coal and pushing corn into everything you can think of.

Comment: Re:Don't tell them. (Score 4, Interesting) 84

by Tuidjy (#46902997) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Communicate Security Alerts?

They ask. They hear something from their friends and colleagues, and retain a garbled version ranging from "OMG, everything Microsoft needs to be erased!" to "Go to this website and it will fix your IE". If you are lucky, they call you before they try to do something astoundingly stupid.

I'm the IT director for a aftermarket auto-manufacturer, and we keep our Internet facing network and our production/POS/ERP networks physically separate. Each of our Internet facing PCs has IE, and a crippled version of Chrome (same idea as Iron) installed.

A few nights ago, I ran a script that stored everyone's IE bookmarks in a backup, and overwrote them with a list of less than a twenty bookmarks, including the company's website, the banking sites for scanning checks, the website that stores our scanned invoices... you get the idea.

I sent an email instructing them to use IE only for the sites for which there is a bookmark, and use the crippled Chrome for everything else. Last night I restored the bookmarks, and while I was at it, checked a few histories here and there. People seem to have complied with the instructions. I saw only one clear violation, and it was work related, to a website that I may have added to the bookmarks, if I had thought of it.

Today, according to my assistant, there have been three calls from people who did not get their bookmarks back, and a few from people who did not know about bookmarks before, and now want the 'official list' back.

All in all, I'm glad how it went.

backups: always in season, never out of style.