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Comment: Re:"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (Score 1) 52

by Just Some Guy (#46789491) Attached to: The Internet of Things and Humans

When I step on my scale, it tells me if I need to carry an umbrella today (based on the weather forecast it downloaded). Then it sends my weight etc. to my iPhone where it's merged with information from my fitness wristband and my diet tracker. Based on that, I get suggestions like "you've been going to bed a little later than usual. You should catch up." or "drink more water today" or "try to walk this much further than you did yesterday".

I think that's not so shabby.

Comment: Next up: customer notification (Score 1) 151

by Just Some Guy (#46788513) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

One thing I haven't heard discussed is whether affected companies should be notifying their end users about whether they were affected and when it was fixed. I haven't heard from my bank, for example. Where they ever vulnerable? Should I update my password? If they were vulnerable, is it fixed now or would I just be handing an attacker my new password if I were to reset it today?

I wrote up a proposal called Heartbleed headers for communicating this information to site visitors. While I'd like it if everyone picked my idea as the new standard way for doing this, I just wish admins would start using something. We're so close to having a browser plugin be able to tell you "you need to update your password on this site" as you browse. How nice would that be?

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 379

Snowden has been careful to release only the things he feels violated the oath he and others took to the U.S. Constitution

Please point out the part of the US Constitution that says the Federal Government can't spy on foreign countries, then justify Snowden's leaking of intelligence methods and sources that had nothing whatsoever to do with American domestic civil liberties.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 0) 379

What the fuck do you milquetoast standard-bearers of pusillanimity expect him to do?

Put his actions before a jury of his peers, like the numerous whistle-blowers who came before him, none of whom fled to hostile countries? Restrict his leaks to pertinent information, rather than dumping EVERYTHING? Attempt to work within the system before trying to blow it up? Leak the information without outing yourself, remaining anonymous like Deep Throat did?

Anyway, I'm all for the balance of power. The best antidote to an abusive US empire is an abusive Sov^WRussian empire.

You'd probably have a different perspective on that if you lived in the Baltic States, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Finland, Georgia, or any of the Central Asian Republics.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 0) 379

Yep -- if the US wanted to not give Putin a propaganda tool, they could have welcomed him back home with a guarantee of safety.

It'd make more sense to play the realpolitik game: "Put Mr. Snowden on a flight to New York and we'll quietly acquiesce to your annexation of Crimea."

Unfortunately realpolitik is not something the current administration is very good at. They're very good at making promises they can't keep, and threats they won't follow up on, but making cold calculations to further American interests in a dangerous world? Not so much.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 283

by Just Some Guy (#46781275) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

So... the business made a stupid decision, and when they realised the error of their ways, rather than trying to reach agreement on the best way forward, you delighted in rubbing their noses in it, using processes designed to protect you to hurt your employing organization instead.

One of the most important pieces of career advice I've received is to make sure that people who cause pain feel the pain. It is not my job to be a whipping boy who suffers for every bad decision I tried to warn someone about. If management insists that I do something really goofy, then they should not be spared from the consequences of their plans. Insulating them only enables them to keep making bad choices and inflicting them on codependent organizations.

You say "rubbing their nose in it". I say "making sure decision makers understand the results of those decisions".

Comment: Re:RAID? (Score 2) 247

by Just Some Guy (#46780513) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

From a review of the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD I just stuck in my MacBook Pro:

  • Sequential READ: up to 540 MB/s
  • Sequential WRITE: up to 520 MB/s
  • Random READ: up to 98,000 IOPS
  • Random WRITE: up to 90,000 IOPS

From the same site reviewing a WD Black 4TB HDD:

Performance from the WD Black scaled from 66 IOPS at 2T/2Q to 86 IOPS at 16T/16Q, versus the 7K4000 which scaled from 82 IOPS to 102 IOPS.

So assuming IOPS scales linearly with heads (they don't), you'd need about 1,000 heads to get similar random access performance out of HDDs as one SSD.

There's a reason everyone's migrating to SSDs for anything remotely IO related.

Comment: Founding Father and Direct Democracy (Score 1) 793

by DrYak (#46777691) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

There are reasons why the Founding Fathers rejected direct democracy.

First, they wouldn't see how a direct democracy (i.e.: where everybody decides and vote about everything) could scale on a larger scale than classical Greek city-states and small communities. (Where the dozen, maybe hunderd of decision-making citizen simply gather and discuss together).
Their solution back then was instead to keep the Greek city-state model (have a small bunch of people gather together) except that each one of the gathering people is representative of whole regions/populations/etc. (instead of managing to gather every single person of the huge population in a town's central plazza).
Thus was birthed representative democracy.
It might have sounded good back then, but you see the effect now: the representatives tend to prefer representing whomever pays them the best. Power is back in the hand of the elite and big corporation, only with a thick political layer inbetween.

Well technology marshes on, since founding father, communication technologies have simply been on a constant growth. A rather explosive growth.
Thus later on, you can see whole countries like Switzerland that function on a direct democracy. They have moved on from "Landsgemeinde" (the Hlevetic equivalent of greek city-state gathering in the central place) to direct voting accross the whole country, both in election booth and with voting-by-post.
So even if switzerland is bigger than a greek city-state (currently more than 7m people), thanks to the modernization that existed back then (post & phone & railroad) it has since then been able to coordinate country-wide votation and election very regularily (every few months).
The process is completely open and any one can watch and check.

Now Switzerland is still smaller than other European country or even huge continent-sized countris (like USA, Russia or China, for exemple). But, guess what, technology is STILL marching on and has come up with things like internet and cryptology.
(These are already put into production in some parts of Switzerland. Mainly for expatriate and in a few small commune).
And with these technologies, direct democracy can even scale up to larger populations.

The fear of your founding father about democracy being not practical on anything but smaller greek city-state is simply deprecated by technology.

Other fears against direct democracy usually include that people are stupid and might react stupidly due to mass panic, or because they are selfish and only think about quick personnal profit. Imagine if one would vote about a law for definitely supressing any tax however. People will never vote for tax! The state will go bankrupt!
Politicans know better, let's have them take the actual decision, and have only people voting for politician based on approximate general tendency of them.

Well you've seen the result in TFA's study: Politicians do know better, they specially know better how to earn more money by abiding to the highest paying oligarch.

Meanwhile, direct democracies like Switzerland DO VOTE about taxes, and guess what, big surprise: THEY HAVE VOTED FOR TAX INCREASES, SEVERAL TIME.

Thinking that "sheple don't know, politicians know better" is a horribly condescending paternalistic approach.
Yes, voting blunder can sometime happen (see votation about Minarets, about life-sentences or, more recently, the problems between EU and Switzerland regarding migration freedoms). But they can be mitigiated. At the heart, the main problem is information, if "people don't know" perhaps, instead of deciding for them, you might try to inform them so they make an enlightened decision? Modern communication mean can do help a lot here. Mass media like Press, Radio, TV have been around for decades. Internet is newer and offers even more possibilities for communication (including for minorities which might lack the budget to do it on Mass Media).
Also, patience and time help. People new to Swiss politics might wonder that everything is so slow. Well, it helps staying calm and thinking a bit, and nut rush some policies in a hurry. All the various checks and controls help to diminish the risk that some law is enacted due to mass panic (see you Patriot Act). In Switzerland, it has often happened that a people's motion has been submitted regarding a pressing problem, and by the time it goes through the pipeline, politics had time to adjust and propose a better, "less stupid beause I react" proposition to submit during the same vote. It has often happened that the people committee asking for the vote retract their own proposition because they find the new one better and people only end up voting for/against the one by the state.
And there are also internal checks, Switzerland is a signatory of the human rights convention and other similar international treaties. If any new law is deemed to contradict such international law, the new law can't be enacted (see Switzerland's voting blunder about life-sentences).
Meanwhile, USA has such wonders as Patriot Act, DMCA, etc. law that clearly only profit the corporations or organisation which paid the representative for.

Comment: Two rounds mandatory (Score 1) 793

by DrYak (#46777471) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

With the advent of the internet, voting could be done online, and most people could do it at home (and those who cannot afford or do not own a computer could use public computers set up at their local town hall where they vote now).

Voting IS done online. Currently not enabled everywhere. But's that already a possibility for swiss people abroad, and some comune start to enable it locally too.

The president can be the candidate with the purely majority vote.

Due to Duverger's Law, when there's a single voting round for a single key position (or for a single exclusive composition of a group), system will inevitably degenerate into a bi-partisan mess (see USA), because voting for a less popular 3rd party ends up being "throwing your vote away". And that sucks because usually the two finalist end up being always opposing each other while not doing much useful actually (again see USA).

One solution is to introduce 2-rounds voting (as in France): this dissociates the "trying to support an interesting 3rd party" and "voting against the bigger evil candidate" into 2 separate rounds. You don't "waste a vote" by casting for a 3rd party, you'll have plenty of opportunity to vote for the lesser evil on the next round.

Meanwhile, here in switzerland, the top of the executive is held by a *group of 7 persons* (with "president" being a simply honorific title for protocol purpose passed around in a circle each year). It's a group of person of mixed partisanship.
Currently, that's the only indirect voting system in switzerland (citizen vote for parliament, which is of proprotionnal composition, and the parliament functions as a "electoral college" by electing a similarily proportionned group of 7). But there's no major problems into introducing direct election. (People directly vote for parties and presidential candidate. Group proportion is based on party votes, and then places are populated by candidates based on popularity within party).

When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson

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