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Comment Re:Seems silly. (Score 1) 66 66

The cooler thing would be if you have enough high speed printing capacity that you could manufacture and assemble a 1000 drone swarm in a very short period of time and overwhelm an adversaries defenses without requiring a ship big enough to carry a 1000 completed drones. And then another one, and another one. You would need a tanker full of plastic and a freighter full of batteries, electronics and propellers.

âoeKill decisionâ baby.

Comment Re:You just described SoylentNews. (Score 2) 550 550

I would mostly agree with parent. Soylent is fine execpt the community isnt big enough so the comments are barely there or worth reading, the name is kind of bad and the stories are routinely just old enough to be yesterdays news on Slashdot or Hacker news.

Their Twitter feed, which is where I get my news feeds, also puts these really annoying lame "from the deptâ attempts at humor in the tweets instead of just the title of the story and the link:

Razer Acquires Ouya Software Assets, Ditches Hardware from the kicked-down dept

They will even thorten the title to make room for the utterly stupid âoefrom theâ.

The best solution to replace Slashdot would probably be if Hacker news grafted the classic Slashdot look, commenting and moderation system on to their generally good stories and great community.

Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 4, Insightful) 592 592

There is a high probably no Sunday talk show would have let him speak once they found out what he was going to say. They are all owned by giant media conglomerates you know. They wouldnt risk the wrath of the Federal government. Pretty sure Snowden went to Greenwald because he was one of the few journalists with the balls to do the story. The Guardian was hammered by the UK government for running it.

Remember when the CEO of Qwest defied the NSA plan to tap all data and phones lines after 9/11. The Federal government pulled all their contracts from Qwest, hammered their stock and then put him in prison for a phony securities rap. Qwest was a rare corporate hero among telecoms, long since swallowed up by CenturyLink who are just as bad as all the rest.

Comment Re:Thank the gods (Score 1) 151 151

Yup, they sure do. Not only is HTML5 video in ads happening a lot more these days, some sites insert the ads in-line with the article making it difficult for adblock software to distinguish them from graphs and other things that are part of the article.

I've got adblock installed in chrome, but not firefox yet. For some reason some sites think I'm on a chromebook when I use chrome, instead of DragonFly, which I find hilarious. Adblock in firefox is next.

No flash for ages. Last thing I would ever do. HTML5 or nothing, baby! I complain to sites like Pandora that still have flash requirements for certain browsers, but not for others.

-Matt

Comment Thank the gods (Score 3) 151 151

We finally get video and sound working properly and it's just been driving me BATTY when I have 30 firefox tabs open and can't figure out which one is making all the noise.

My absolute favorite is actually when a video site has video ads on the side bars that play over the video in the article. Sometimes more than one at once.

On the bright side, it finally caused me to get off my duff and map the mute and volume keys into X.

-Matt

Comment Re:But it's SATA (Score 1) 195 195

Just in case you didn't know, SATA and SAS use the same physical interface on the drive side. For systems with a small number of drives there isn't a whole lot of difference. The main issue comes down to how fan-out is handled when a large number of drives are available but the driver is simply so that vendors can pump up the price for the controllers and drives (double, triple, etc for basically the same hardware). The SATA protocol was intentionally hobbled in order to not compete with the SAS protocol. However, for a small number of drives, performance will basically be the same and the cost difference has driven lots of vendors to simply support both and use point-to-point links instead of fan-out anyway.

-Matt

Comment Re: It's like Venezuela but without all the gun c (Score 2) 431 431

Iâ(TM)m not blaming âoebankersâ exactly, Iâ(TM)m blaming people who loan money to people who are may or may not pay it back and when they dont get paid back they go running to their central banks or governments and demand they get made whole at the expense of everyone else. Same thing happened in the U.S. in 2009 with the TARP and assorted other bail outs.

Yea the rating agencies really sucked especially leading up to the crash in 2008, but it doesnâ(TM)t relieve lenders of ultimate responsibility for their actions. If the credit ratings are wrong its the responsibility of the lender to figure this out, no one else.

Lenders collect interest on their loans partially to cover the potential risk they wont get paid back, the higher that risk the higher the interest they collect. If they collect high interest rates on risky mortgages and then when someone defaults on them central banks and governments make them whole it creates massive moral hazard.

If the Greeks were a bad risk prior to 2008, which they probably were, the interest rates they had to pay should have been higher and they would have been dissuaded from borrowing or lenders would have been dissuaded from lending to them. Instead the EU created a perverse system where risky borrowers (all of the PIIGS) got relatively cheap money and a lot of it and were incentivized to take as much of it as they could. The EU and the lenders are 100% to blame for this situation for throwing the money at them.

The PIIGS shouldâ(TM)ve never entered an economic union with Germany in the first place, they had no chance of competing with Germany locked in to the same currency. It was a win win for Germany on all fronts.

Comment Re: It's like Venezuela but without all the gun cr (Score 5, Insightful) 431 431

You donâ(TM)t actually know what you are talking about do you.

Most of the loans in question here were in fact loaned by German and French bankers to the Greeks prior to the 2008, Deutsche bank was one of the biggest. They could get somewhat higher returns loaning to Greece and they had some security because Greece was in the Eurozone. That security unravelled with the 2008 crash.

The ECB, EU, IMF gave massive loans to Greece in 2010, and most of it immediately went to extricate the German and French banks from their bad greek loans. If the Greeks has defaulted on the original loans then there would have been a massive banking crisis in Germany and France. The 2010 EU bailout was to save their banks more than it was to help the Greeks.

The Greeks just got more debt piled on top of too much debt and its totally destroyed their economy. Recently released IMF studies confirm the Greeks canâ(TM)t sustain their current debt load and it has to be restructed or they have to default. If they stay the current course with austerity and more and more bailout loans they are doomed.

If the Greeks had been smart they would have exited the EU and defaulted on the debt in 2009 and the people who made the bad loans, the German and French bankers, would have paid the price. Instead they got off scot free.

Iceland immediately defaulted in a similar situation, they had some short term pain but they rebounded, while the Greece has gotten nothing but worse and worse under the yoke of a corrupt European and global banking system.

For banking and loans to work there is a simple rule, if you are foolish enough to make a bad loan to someone who probably wonâ(TM)t pay it back, then you pay the price when they default. Instead the people who make the bad loans (i.e. bankers) get to keep their bonuses profits and everyone else gets to pay for their stupidity, greed and corruption.

Comment Re:This is a GODDAMN DISASTER! (Score 0) 179 179

Sure, but having the bitcoin sitting in the bitcoin wallet doing nothing makes it kinda worthless, yah? The whole idea is to use it for commerce, at which point you are vulnerable to all sorts of scams and theft that you would normally be protected from.

Then there's liquidity. Most transactions are off-block-chain (as in one block-chain transaction per every ~400 or so off-block-chain transactions). They have to be, because putting a transaction on the block-chain takes too long. This means that you must inherently hold a balance, in bitcoin, with a third party, if you actually want to be able to use your bitcoin for general commerce. There are currently no protections whatsoever against that balance.

And then of course there's the volatility of the buying power of bitcoin itself. It's one of the most unstable and volatile currencies in existence.

That said it is better than nothing and certainly better vs certain emerging market currencies undergoing hyper-inflation.

But it isn't better than the dollar or any western currency and never will be.

-Matt

Comment Re:Shocked (Score 2) 179 179

This isn't correct. Banks can only lend out what they have. They can't manufacture leverage out of thin air. Leverage is a function of being lent money, not of lending out money.

The correct example is that the bank receives $1,000 in deposits from Alice and is allowed to lend out $900 of that. However, this means that the bank only has $100 cash on-hand so it cannot return Alice's $1,000, at least not immediately.

This does not mean that banks do not employ leverage, banks do borrow money, typically in the form of a preferred stock issuance. Just that they basically aren't allowed to in the example you gave. This is all laid out in bank financials. for example, for 2014 Wells Fargo had assets of $1.7 trillion and loans of $863 billion. The Deposit base is around $1.1 trillion.

So, $863 billion in loans on a deposit base of $1.1 trillion.

The mortgage crisis created a situation where loan losses exceeded the regulatory pad for many banks, and in several cases made them effectively insolvent. The Fed provided liquidity temporarily to give the banks time to become profitable again in order to be able to get back into compliance. Which most did. Most of those that did not, such as Washington Mutual, were either forced to be sold (at the beginning) or became desirable assets sold to other banks who were able to take over the deposit base without incurring losses to depositors. Most of the FDIC's losses (since recovered) occurred with smaller banks who had gone so deep into the red that they could not recover even with the extra few years the Fed gave them to become profitable again.

That's the reality. You don't have to like it, but people who deeply believe in bad information tend to wind up unhappy their entire lives when it turns out not to be true, over and over again. There's been a lot of that, too.

-Matt

Comment Re:Once Again (Score 2, Interesting) 141 141

You know whats worse than todays pilots flying ancient airplanes, a brand new extravegantly expensive F-35 that cant match an F-16 or F-15E built in the 80s, planes built for a fraction of the price.

The F-35 might be an OK successor to the F-117 as a mostly stealth small bomber, but all indications are its completely worthless in a close in dogfight, you just have to read the leaked report from a recent test against an ancient F-16.

The F-35 simply doesnt have enough power, cant turn fast enough and bleeds off to much energy. The pilot found one manuever he could use to shake the F-16 but it consumed so much energy he had to run away and try to get the energy back.

The F-35 will also be horrible in the close air support role at which the A-10 excels, again at an even smaller fraction of the price tag.

F-35 is a classic jack of all trades and master of none.

There might have been a place for a few hundred of them but for the U.S. and every allied air force to think they are going to use one horrible design to replace every fighter they have is complete insanity. If it ever reaches full deployment, one accident or problem and the entire western world will have no air force. At least the Navy has the sense to keep the F-18 alive.

The F-35 is a tribute to the extent Lockheed has seized total control of Congress and the Pentagon, they could literally sell the Air Force actual turkeys for a hundred million a pop and get away with it.

Those B-52â(TM)s still flying today is because Northrop, has also seized control of the Air Forces generals made the B-2 so expensive and so few in number the Air Force canâ(TM)t afford to risk it in combat.

Besides the U.S. has been fighting people living in mud huts who have no air force and air defenses for over a decade, B-52â(TM)s and A-10â(TM)s work incredibly well in that role.

Comment Re:Wealth inequality (Score 1) 940 940

For renters it is pushing out people with lower incomes. Not everyone (due to rent control in areas), but still quite a lot of people are getting pushed out I think.

For existing lower-income homeowners it creates an opportunity to get a really good price for their home and then move to cheaper environs. (aka Gentrification).

The remaining pre-existing homeowners are not necessarily going anywhere. Prop 13 means that their property taxes are not changing radically and living costs are otherwise on a less steep ramp.

Gentrification is a two-edged sword, for sure, but I'm not sure that anything can really be done about it. The people protesting the changing nature of their neighborhoods are in the same economic class as many of the people selling and moving away. A person from group A can't really force a person from group B to not sell their home.

-Matt

Comment Blame posix (Score 1) 233 233

Blame posix for making all the goddamn pthread *_timedlock() calls take an absolute real time instead of a monotonic clock.

In anycase, I'm not even going to bother doing anything fancy. I'll let the system suddenly be one second off and then correct itself over the next hour. I'm certainly not going to do something stupid like letting the seconds field increment to 60. Having the ntp base time even go through these corrections is already dumb enough. Base time should be some absolute measure and leap seconds should just be adjusted after the fact in a manner similar to timezones.

-Matt

Comment TRIM -- command of mass destruction (Score 5, Interesting) 182 182

The only TRIM use I recommend is running on it on an entire partition, e.g. like the swap partition, at boot, or before initializing a new filesystem. And that's it. It's an EXTREMELY dangerous command which results in non-deterministic operation. Not only do SSDs have bugs in handling TRIM, but filesystem implementations almost certainly also have ordering and concurrency bugs in handling TRIM. It's the least well-tested part of the firmware and the least well-tested part of the filesystem implementation. And due to cache effects, it's almost impossible to test it in a deterministic manner.

You can get close to the same performance and life out of your SSD without using TRIM by doing two simple things. First, use a filesystem with at least a 4KB block size so the SSD doesn't have to write-combine stuff on 512-byte boundaries. Second, simply leave a part of the SSD unused. 5% is plenty. In fact, if you have swap space configured on your SSD, that's usually enough on its own (since swap is not usually filled up during normal operation), as long as you TRIM it on boot.

-Matt

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.

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