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Comment: Re:Who likes their utility? (Score 1) 85

Many utilities operated under a cost-plus arrangement. If they waste more money, they make more profits.

That is why stuff like this has to be prevented.

This is why Bell Labs back in the day got Nobel Prizes. This wasn't corporate philanthropy - at the time they could consider that R&D expenditure part of providing phone service and charge higher rates to recoup it, plus a profit on top. When the rules were changed, Bell Labs died (at least, in the sense of what it used to be).

Comment: Re:hope they win (Score 2) 85

Agree. This isn't an SEO issue so much as stewardship issue. Utilities shouldn't be advertising, unless it is part of some kind of public service goal (like informing poor people of benefits programs or something like that).

Utilities are generally monopolies. If I want electricity for my home, there is exactly one place to get it. If I don't want it, that should be fine. There should be no expenditure of what amounts to a form of tax dollars to advertise services that aren't in competition with anything else.

Ditto for utilities sponsoring the Olympics and such. If funding the Olympics is a valid political goal then it should just get a spending bill in the legislature like anything else.

Comment: The good news? (Score 0) 87

by Arker (#47443341) Attached to: Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction
It sounds like these two will soon be executed. Without being in favor of the death penalty it sounds like it may well have a silver lining in this case. If the facts are as presented, at least, it's probably a very good thing they wont be reproducing again.

Still, surgical sterilization would do the job as well, and unlike the death penalty, it is at least possible it could be reversed, should it eventually come out that the two were somehow framed and not really guilty.

Comment: Kudos to Dennis Fisher (Score 0) 72

by Arker (#47440961) Attached to: Source Code Leaked For Tinba Banking Trojan
For writing an article about IT-criminals in which he refers to them as IT-criminals.

Even if it does appear on a page with a prominent link to another article which misuses the term 'hackers' in its very title. I am sure that was beyond his personal control.

Also it sounds like some really good programming! 20kb compiled, and full functional. From <a href="">this report</a> it appears that it's written in assembler. Does anyone have a link to the actual code?

Comment: Re:Needs functionality (Score 2) 341

by Arker (#47440677) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?
"I guess if you didn't turn it on, and I'm calling BS."

I had a laptop of that era that lasted me days between charges at times, and the battery on it was old, I could easily see it going weeks with light use and a fresh battery.

It had a low power monochrome display, and was mostly solid state. The only moving disk was the 3.5" floppy, the OS was built in on ROM, it had 2mb RAM so there was plenty for ramdisk. The only thing that really hit the battery at all was the floppy, and with the ramdisk that didnt need to be hit very often.

Just because it isnt part of your experience does not mean it didnt exist.

Comment: Re:that's not the FAA's job (Score 1) 186

by Rich0 (#47438057) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

What is the risk of a drone hovering 100 feet up taking photos of a house?

Just have the FAA issue $50 ADS-B transponders which anybody can install on a drone or aircraft and that would probably do a lot more to promote collision avoidance than keeping people from taking pictures of their own houses.

As far as heavy drones go - regulate them like baseballs hit into windows and such. You don't need a license to operate a baseball and yet we don't have them showering down on our cars all day long.

Comment: Re:Wha? (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by Rich0 (#47437433) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Flatten the organization is simple enough - fire or demote managers so that there are more people reporting to any particular manager.

Really this sounds like the kind of buzz-speak I was hearing at work a few years ago when the same sorts of things were done. The same Accenture consultant probably wrote the slide deck.

Fewer people = fewer people involved in each decision, etc. They always talk about changing the culture, because talking about layoffs doesn't exactly make people excited to go to work.

Comment: Re:The Elephant in the Room (Score 1) 93

by Rich0 (#47437423) Attached to: Arecibo Radio Telescope Confirms Extra-galactic Fast Radio Pulses

You get a radio pulse every time lightning strikes. I think that this is a fairly unlikely explanation. If it were more regular and had some kind of repeating pattern to it then I'd start thinking galactic navigation beacon or something, but natural pulsars probably work well enough for that already.

Comment: Re:LoL... (Score 1) 273

by Rich0 (#47437317) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Yeah, I get a chuckle every time I hear some IT manager at my employer talk about "big data." Often it is followed by a reference to an archive of raw scientific data which spans maybe 8-10 TB from the last 6 years or so and is mostly junk in a huge variety of formats.

When your big data problem can fit in the PC sitting under my desk, it isn't a big data problem. Heck, I'd give them "you can solve it like you would a big data problem" angle except they're not really doing that either.

Comment: Re:Sure you can, here is how (Score 2) 273

by Rich0 (#47437295) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

The problem with this is the tragedy of the commons. It would be like letting your kids decide how to spend the household budget. You'd go to 14 movies each weekend, and eat Happy Meals every night, and nobody would pay the mortgage.

If the average voter can't figure out how to vote for somebody other than the guy with the biggest campaign fund, how is giving them a line-item veto over the budget going to help?

Oh, and keep in mind who pays all the taxes. Funding for the pesky SEC, who needs that? ERISA and OSHA - how quaint! Let's go ahead and spend the national budget on more corporate bailouts!

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 0) 26

by Arker (#47436585) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive

Which is why I do not in any way defer to their judgements, but make my own.

"To draw truths from reading for yourself."

Drawing truths from the book with the longest continuous editorial history known to man, one that warns you it has been tampered with by scribes with lying pens (Jeremiah 8:8) is not an easy thing, it is a puzzle. But our creator gave us rational minds to solve puzzles with.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 26

by Arker (#47434269) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
No, I am sorry but you are wrong. They were certainly not part of the original Bible. They were *added* to some Greek translations of the Scripture, somewhere around 100bc, but no one considered them Canonical until centuries later. We are talking the 4th century AD on the "Christian" side and perhaps a couple of centuries earlier on the Rabbinate side, but in each case it was a multi-generational project to ultimately *add* these books, to elevate the works of men to the status of scripture.

Comment: Re:Preferred Screening Gender (Score 1) 160

by Rich0 (#47432107) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

Do you have a choice of the gender of the TSA screener, or just a right to one of the same gender?

Must make it fun dealing with people with Klinefelter's. Just how do you define "gender" in today's society? Today we're just getting started with the marriage debate, but in 20 years we'll progress to figuring out what to do with bathrooms and workplace etiquette.

The universe is all a spin-off of the Big Bang.