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Comment: Re:Serious range disadvantage for naval warfare. (Score 1) 294

by Vexar (#35264626) Attached to: US Navy Breaks Laser Record
Leave it to the French to use a catapult and throw cows at the US Military, defeating so many high-tech toys with mass and velocity. I can just see the battle group comm chatter: "Attention all ships, attention all ships: Run Away!"
Sonic technology is much more capable than laser technology.

Comment: Re:Serious range disadvantage for naval warfare. (Score 1) 294

by Vexar (#35264606) Attached to: US Navy Breaks Laser Record
That is a very astute observation. Probably not suitable for squads, but definitely for bases, if they can airlift it. And the nuclear reactor to power it. Oh wait. So much technology relies upon electricity and the military is powerless to get beyond its naval reactors. Or those monstrous diesel generators.

Comment: Why the accounts are getting hacked (Score 1) 215

by Vexar (#33706828) Attached to: Google Warning Gmail Users On Spying From China
For everyone who has an online account, here's the issue: There's no anti-fraud checking for your "forgot my password" tools. So that means, if you are in China, and hacking an account, you go to the "I forgot my password" link for that account, and answer the question. voila! You are in. Sure, might take a few times, but who cares? I asked someone I know with a relationship with Google and Yahoo to do something with the info, and the response was un-flattering. So please, if your question is "what is my favorite color" and it is red, white, or blue, come up with a better answer. Like "red-blooded American" or "white like the stars" or "blue a shade after midnight" This will foil the Chi-coms so they can't use a dictionary attack. Longer the better. 20 characters, and Google itself would have a hard time doing a brute-force rainbow attack.

Comment: 3. Profit! 4. Fix the problem? (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by Vexar (#32945132) Attached to: IEEE Looks At Kevin Costner's Oil Cleanup Machines
Wow. I don't care if whatever Kevin Costner invested his fortune in amounted to something as hare-brained as a Brewster's Millions investment scam, he did something to try to prevent a dystopian future. Yay, Kevin! Even if the apparent goal of WaterWorld was to bankrupt Sony Pictures, you at least did something. I wonder if guilt motivated his actions at all? Oh well, all good.

Comment: Re:What A Flawed Premise... (Score 2, Funny) 496

by Vexar (#30903494) Attached to: Prison Bans D&D For Mimicking Gang Structure
Yeah, you're right. On the scale of "North Korea" where they just make people disappear. I can just see the state letter:

Dear Madam,
On behalf of the People's Correctional Facility of North Korea, we are most sorry to report your son, while playing a banned D&D game, failed his dexterity roll against a spellcast as well as a critical hit save, the monster involved was level 20, and the spell involved resulted in a permanent Invisibility curse. We lack the ability to detect your son, however we do believe he is alive and well, somewhere on this planet. We are returning his personal affects as some comfort, however we think his shoes are cursed, and recommend you not let anyone wear them.

Most Sincerely,
Wei Tu Yun

Comment: Re:Is it just D&D ? (Score 5, Informative) 496

by Vexar (#30903336) Attached to: Prison Bans D&D For Mimicking Gang Structure
This is a debate over "fun" versus paying a debt to society and investing in the social adjustment that is supposed to improve a criminal's ability to return to society. You can't fight D&D. It is paper and pencil and dice, or it is excellent memory skills, and any number of ways to generate a random number. Flutter a few scraps of paper to the ground, or a dried leaf. Which end is up determines the number value. Strategy, chance, and imagination. That's where the fight really is.

Do these elements show socialization skills? Cooperative ability? Evaluation of morals? Imagine if the prison ruled that all players must be Lawful Good. All these scenarios acted out in imagination helps decision-making, provided there's a good GM in charge of player role accuracy. I actually think role-playing games could be very useful. Role-playing is quite useful in psychological counseling, is it not?

If I were imprisoned, I'd consider it a significant investment in an opportunity to work hard on improving myself, so as to no longer be a detriment to society. I would certainly not expect to be permitted to write Mein Kempf, or plot my next Una-Bomber attacks, much less communicate with folks on the outside to plot the next tragic act in my Jihad against the Great Satan.

Prison should be about rehabilitation, not detention. In there, it is a battle for hearts and minds on an individual level, and the treasure of redemption. I say someone takes the fight into the dungeons, and helps slay the dragons on the inside of every man's heart.

Comment: Re:I recommend ... (Score 1) 687

by Vexar (#30809412) Attached to: Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project
I see a very clear ramification: defamation of character lawsuit. Show negligence on the part of the vice-principal. Record the humiliation and emotional trauma of the poor kid being picked on, teased, mocked, for what probably was a well-intended science project at a tech school. If the kid followed any of the guidelines for a science fair project, he should have submitted designs and worked with his teacher on it. I notice no discussion of the electronics/ general science teacher was involved. Some of this story is missing. This is LOUSY journalism.

Comment: Re:"Whoops, sorry" - this is AFTER.. (Score 2, Funny) 125

by Vexar (#30617366) Attached to: TSA Withdraws Subpoenas Against Bloggers
Is it me, or does the "Federal Agent" badge look really tarnished now, from the technology vantage? I mean, who out there *can't* image a hard drive? I'll bet they broke it because they weren't grounded. Besides, opening a laptop these days, that's a difficult task. Need more than a few certifications, I say. Last time mine was professionally serviced, it needed a motherboard replacement after it was fixed. So, I wonder if the federal agents just took the laptop to the Geek Squad and asked them to do it for them?

The Best Robots of 2009 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-show dept.
kkleiner writes "Singularity Hub has just unveiled its second annual roundup of the best robots of the year. In 2009 robots continued their advance towards world domination with several impressive breakouts in areas such as walking, automation, and agility, while still lacking in adaptability and reasoning ability. It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable, but in the meantime they are still pretty awesome."

Comment: Re:Hypocritical (Score 1) 686

by Vexar (#30523098) Attached to: Not Enough Women In Computing, Or Too Many Men?
The last time I did a code review, it was with a development team in Latin America, writing an application for me. I think my days of code reviews are over. The largest amount of time I spent doing code reviews was when I worked QA at a medical claims transaction processing company. It really lost its nuance then: everything was Object-Oriented Perl. If you ever see my face, you might imagine several scars from when I tried to claw my eyes out during one of those code reviews.

The official hospital report recorded: "injuries sustained while attempting to read someone else's regular expressions."

These days, I spend most of my time convincing people that ODSM is not an add-on level to Halo, trying to convince people that entitlements are not hand-outs of money but important technological elements of information security, and building virtual machine demo images at about the pace of a boy with a new set of Legos on Christmas Day. Coding is just another tool for my job.

I do have a co-worker who is a woman, and she tells me plenty of stories in line with this. She's got I think a Master's in Computer Science, and the customer will just talk like she doesn't know anything, or she's not even in the room, which is impressively rude, given the fact that she is frequently the tallest person in the room.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982