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Comment: Re:so adkins was basically correct? (Score 1) 375

by HiThere (#47809459) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

No, he didn't get shouted down. And this doesn't say he was basically correct, either, it says ONE of his ideas was pretty good. If you go on an actual Atkins diet, expect your triglycerides to rise...which is not good, even if your weight goes down (which it is also likely to do).

FWIW, my doctor and the dietician she referred me to both said "Atkins is ok for the short term, I guess. But I'm not really happy with it, and don't stay on it for a long time." I think they were excessively chairitable towards him. Rising triglycerides is very not good, and I came off that diet "consistent with pre-diabetic", when before my only problem was weight.

OTOH, I still avoid refined carbohydrates, potatoes, etc. I'm hoping that the triglyceride levels will soon drop again.

Comment: Pumped storage and transport (Score 3, Informative) 211

by fyngyrz (#47803603) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

I like pumped storage:

o Lovely water recreation areas - swimmable, boatable, fishable
o So while it costs land, it returns most of that land for public use
o Fish and other aquacritter habitat
o excellent control of recovery rate
o doesn't significantly wear out (and if you were to make it underground, won't even evaporate... expensive, but...)
o easy maintenance
o highly scenic
o No red-hot nothing, no batteries, works fine unless it freezes (so in higher latitudes... not good.) ...there's lots of pumped storage already (~104 GW). More. More! MOAR!

I *also* like this idea for pumped transport:

Imagine a C shape that is almost closed -- just a few feet short of meeting at the ends. It's an almost circular canal. From one end of the C, you pump water into the other end of the C (and add any replacement volume required by evaporation.) This creates a current that operates the entire length of the C. Now, put two of these next to each other. Pump the second one in the opposite direction. Put cranes (or locks) at the ends, so that transport platforms can be moved from one direction to the other. Cost? Initially, Pumps, cranes, canal, transport platforms. In operation: pump energy (solar, please) and evaporation refill. Unless you roof it. :) Length? very, very amazingly long, and if roofed, even longer.

Air pressure. Gravity. Water. Make it work for us. :)

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 435

No. The only way to hope to (re-?)establish order and honor in the police is to hold them to the very laws they are expected to enforce. If there are no consequences when they disobey the laws, then they will continue to become more arbitrary, dishonorable, an untrustworthy.

For that matter, they should be held to a higher standard. A police officer should be held more stringently to obedience to the law than a normal citizen, and the punishment should be harsher (though not by too much) when they break the laws.

That they are not is quite clear, so their powers should be reduced, because they have been repeatedly shown to not be trusted with the ones that they have. For this reason I am in favor of requiring a camera that they cannot disable to be upon them at all times, and that malfunction of the camera should mean that they are not paid for that period AND that an independent investigation of the case is launched. It should record sound as well as video, and should be immediatedly transmitted to a secure read-only cache. Also, they should be on leave without pay from the instant the camera is disabled until it is repaired.
This is clearly an onerous requirement, and if the police had been shown to be at all trustworthy I wouldn't consider anything this strict. They have, however, shown that they cannot be so trusted.

Also, any action that they take while the camera is known to be non-operational and they are in uniform should be considered taken "under the cloak of authority", i.e., if they commit a crime, there is an additional penalty because they are fraudulently claiming to represent the law. Because of this the camera should be equipped with a soft beep that plays intermittently while it is operational, and a louder chirp that plays intermittently (once every 2 sec.?) while it is non-functional. Perhaps the chirp could encode the camera id, so that others recording in the area would have information as to which one.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 435

OK, then *I'll* say that the supervisor who said that was legal superior and ordered police to follow it should be charged with ... I want "conspiracy to commit manslaughter", but I don't think that's possible, so I'd settle for malfeasance. And I don't think that excuses the officer from negligent homocide....unless you want to argue that he did it intentionally.

The fact that this is a part of a pattern of behavior means that I don't think he should be exonerated even if the evidence were to show that in this particular case the bicyclist *did* swerve out in front of him.

Comment: Re:Free market escapades! (Score 1) 74

by HiThere (#47802043) Attached to: China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

Imagined? I doubt that. From what I read in the summary it sounded like they were pissed off when their old programs couldn't read the new file format. To me that sounds fair. I don't think very highly of breaking backwards compatibility. It's occasionally necessary, but extremely more rarely than it is done. Usually it seems a strategy to force a purchase of new versions. And to me that sounds like abuse of a dominant market position. (I'd say abuse of monopoly, but somebody always thinks that means there aren't any competitors.)

Comment: Behavior (Score 4, Interesting) 298

by fyngyrz (#47801883) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

> If you cannot even trust the platform, then how does your logic work?

The logic works fine. Platforms can work fine too. Society, however, doesn't. So that part is up to you.

> Can't trust cell phone cameras. By definition it's a camera attached to a communications device. It's designed to share that photo.

Exactly right. Buy a DSLR if you require discretion in photography. Ensure it does not have network connectivity (some do... Canon 6D, for instance.) If you take an image with a cellphone camera, be aware before you ever shoot it that you can have no reasonable expectation of privacy whatsoever. It goes further than that, too. When using a smartphone, again be aware you have no reasonable expectation of privacy whatsoever with regard to texts, voice conversations, video conversations, email, your location, billing, logging and so one for every service the phone provides you (or others) with.

> Can't trust storing it on a PC as PCs are connected to the Internet in the overwhelming majority of instances.

No. If you want to store something that requires discretion, then you require a non-network connected PC. There's no inherent need to connect a PC to a network. Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to. Nor is there a need to construct a PC with bluetooth, wifi and so on. Nor is there a need to leave a PC in a generally accessible location and/or condition. These are all user choices. Make them wrongly, and your security is compromised. But they are not inevitabilities. There's a lesson here: just because others do something in some particular manner does not mean that you have to do so.

> Then there's the whole point of a picture, looking it at it. Typically that means more than just the picture-taker looking at it

Again, no. This is also user choice. You are responsible for the consequences of your choices, and for knowing the things you need to know to make those choices well. The key here is to be informed enough to make the most correct choices. "It's typical" is not a metric that binds anyone in any way. If you embrace such a thing, you either choose to do so or you are so ignorant that you know no better, in which case anyone who trusts you with data that requires discretion is making a serious mistake.

The images I have taken or otherwise created that I have *decided* you may see are here. The ones I have *decided* you may not have access to, you will never, ever see, barring use of military levels of force. These conditions were quite literally trivial to instantiate and maintain. Think, choose, easy implementation, all done.

> For all we know, none of these women's accounts were compromised. Their boyfriends, husbands, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends accounts could have been, or those people could have shared the photos with others, and their accounts were compromised.

The issue isn't account centric. It is behavior centric. You must identify data that needs protection; you must identify the trustworthy in regard to both persons and systems; you must control distribution; you must employ discretion and ensure that your knowledge is up to the task of seeing all these things through. If you cannot do these things, you are (at the very least) a potential victim of your own limitations. And you should probably fix that. :)

Comment: Use case is the issue (Score 2) 298

by fyngyrz (#47801649) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

To be fair, there's the good Cloud and the bad Cloud.

No. There isn't. There's good use of cloud and bad use of cloud. If it's not a problem for random people, business entities, criminals and governments to have access to your data, then cloud storage can be convenient and harmless. Using cloud for storage of anything personal, proprietary, secret or dangerous is outright stupid. Marketing bullshit aside, you are putting your data in multiple-someone-else's hands and you have *zero* control over where it goes from there. There is no assurance of security whatsoever. There never has been. It is extremely unlikely there ever will be.

These truths extend to your own use of storage. Storing information on your boot drive can expose it to others if the machine ever needs repair and you cannot do the work yourself and you let the machine out the door with the boot drive and/or backup drives still installed. Connecting a machine with information on any attached storage device to the Internet creates a risk constructed of a very long list of possible errors whose genesis can be traced to the author(s) of your operating system and/or your own security procedures. Allowing others physical access to your machine can expose your data. Even the possibility of physical access to your machine, regardless of your authorization, can do so.

Most people don't understand security, and have not learned to be discrete, and are very poor evaluators of who, and what, are actually trustworthy. Unfortunately, this creates a situation where the gullible fall into the trap set by marketers claiming things like cloud storage are "safe." We can't fix this without specific education on the matter, and with a school system that can't even graduate people who can read and write well, the required understanding of secure data handling will almost certainly remain in the realm of the sophisticated technical person. And the clouds will continue to precipitate data the owners wanted to remain undistributed to many places it wasn't expected to go.

Comment: Wrong idea. (Score 4, Interesting) 298

by fyngyrz (#47801497) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

What it comes down to is, if you don't want naked pictures of yourself to end up for all the world to see, don't take naked pictures of yourself. Famous or not, just don't do it.

No. What it comes down to is who, and what, are trustworthy. Cloud services are not trustworthy. Some people are not trustworthy. This doesn't just apply to images; it applies to financial information (banks are not trustworthy), to your behavior in public (those other people at parties are not trustworthy) and so on.

There's no need to give up intimate entertainment. You just need to learn to be discrete, and this means very carefully evaluating who, and what, are trustworthy. I will grant that in the face of all the cloud propaganda, the social networking tsunami, the government's drive to list everyone and everything, and people's innate tendency to gossip, this may no longer be obvious, but discretion is, in fact, one of the key characteristics of a mature and healthy personality.

If you don't want something repeated, don't say it. If you don't want it shared, don't share it. But you can still do it. From there, the advisability of "doing it" becomes a question of one's morals and ethics -- and perhaps the law. While the law is often completely wrongheaded, we must always remember the amount of power in the system's hands.

Discretion: That's what is at the core of all of this. Not self-censorship.

Comment: Re:Globalization (Score 1) 403

by HiThere (#47794395) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Sorry, but I think you're wrong.

The problem here appears to be that the Irish subsidiary of MS is a wholly owned subsidiary, so MS (the US corporation) has control over it. If MS were an Irish corporation, and the US corporation were a wholly owned subsidiary of it, then the US corporation would not have control over the Irish corporation.

A secondary problem is that currently the US corporation is being ordered to force the Irish corporation (which it controls) to violate Irish law. Presumably if the ownership were inverted the Irish court would not do some equivalent ruling (being a bit less megalomaniacal). But even if it did something stricktly analogous, the US doesn't protect the data on consumers so there would be no law violated. (Which, of course, means that it's not strictly analogous....analogies are slippery.)

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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