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Comment: Re:Not exactly a hack (Score 5, Informative) 64

by arth1 (#49604473) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

This is just plain irresponsible behaviour by PillPack, nothing to do with hacking.

No, this is just plain irresponsible behavior by those who share infomation to PillPack and others.

Recently, I noticed that when I picked up a prescription for a (for me new) medication that's mostly used for one purpose, I suddenly got dozens of spam e-mails wanting to "help" me with a particular diagnosis I don't have. And that's the few that went through the double layer spam filter. It was way too pervasive to be a coincidence.

It's clear that the US prescription system leaks like a sieve, and that even spammers have access to people's prescription history.
Can we go back to paper prescriptions that don't enter a database, please?

Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 433

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49598215) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Good. Now we've gone from "they're all scum" to "some of them (possibly including Rand Paul") are good and trying but the Repubican machine and its operators will block them."

At this point we're mostly on the same page.

Ron Paul is clearly one of those good guys. And the Neocons controlling the R party machine (one of the four major factions) steamrollered him and his supporters (sometimes violently), and changed the rules to make it even harder for a grass roots uprising to displace them.

Two debates are going on right now. One is between working through the R party (is it salvagable?) or coming in with a "third" party - either an existing one or a new one (is that doable or do the big two have too much of a lock?)

The other is whether Rand is a sellout to the Neocons or if he's just more savvy than his dad and trying to look non-threatening to them in order to get the nomination. Andrew Napolitano, who knows him personally, says he knows him to be a genuine liberty advocate, and I trust A. N. on this subject.

Comment: Re:inventor? (Score 1) 430

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49596369) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

If nobody knows how it works, how did the guy invent it?

LOTS of stuff gets invented without the inventor knowing HOW it works, underlying physics wise. All that's necessary is to notice THAT it works, work out some details of "if you do this much of this you get that much of that", and engineer a practical gadget.

As they say, most fundamental discoveries don't go "Eureka!", they go "That's odd ..."

Comment: I'm not holding my breath waiting for superluminal (Score 1) 430

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49596323) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

this gem ... hidden in the article:

"... whether it is possible for a spacecraft traveling at conventional speeds to achieve effective superluminal speed by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it. ..."

They've been playing at that for a while. It would allegedly work by creating a condition of cosmic expansion behind the craft and its converse in front of it, so the spacecraft is in a bubble where it's running slower than lightspeed (i.e. stopped) but the cosmic expansion and contraction regions behind and ahead of it each total to the opposite sides retreating or advancing faster than light (which is allowable).

I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to fall out of this - or anything. Effective superluminal translates to "Sending messaages into the past." and "Violating causality." if you pick your reference frames correctly. So I expect flies to appear in this ointment at some point: Like something broken about what happens at the sides, needing big-bang energy levels (and not being able to transfer them between the front and back so they're free), or not being able to set up the condition in front because the agency making it happen must involve actual superluminal signal propagation.

Nevertheless, an "electric motor" that works by pushing against virtual particle-antiparticle pairs (or the total mass of the matter in the universe, or of an inverse-square weighting-by-distance of it so it's mostly the local stuff, or dark matter, or the neutrino background, or whatever), instead of ejected exhaust, is just DANDY! Let's see if they can make it work for real at human-palpable, nontrivial, efficiencies and power levels.

Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 433

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49590605) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

When the rubber meets the road, people like Rand Paul are not actually in favor of downsizing the government. They just want to eliminate restrictions on business and aid to the poor.

You have the liberty movement confused with their arch enimies the neocons.

Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 433

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49590235) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

A) The rules are already there and need no new legislation. They just need willpower in the agencies involved.

B) Though not as idealistic as his father, Rand has substantial libertarian leanings - and is a major figure in the Liberty Movement. As such his main goals are to downsize the government and free the people

Downsizing the government means you DON'T add new restrictions to "fix" every new manifestation of a political issue. Doing that keeps the government growing. Instead you:
  1) Oppose ANY INCREASE in the government's power and limitations on what people can do.
  2) Look for ways to "solve" problems by REMOVING government power and meddling where possible, or just use the EXISTING powers in the ways they were intended when a "solve by downsizing" isn't feasible.

Comment: FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 433

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49586567) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

In theory, the FCC shouldn't need to regulate the internet at all, but because other government has created a wholly fucked up system, I agree that it's necessary at this point for them to step in.

If any branch of government should step into this, it's the FTC and the Justice Department, not the FCC.

Network Neutrality conflates two issues: Traffic management and anticompetitive behavior. Some packets SHOULD be treated differently than others, in order to make diverse services "play well together". (Example: Streaming vs. File Download.)

The problem arises when an ISP uses the tools to penalize the competition to its own company's and partners' services, extort extra fees, and otherwise engage in non-technical nastiness through technical means.

The proper regulatory regimes are antitrust and consumer fraud. These are the province of the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC.

The FCC is using this as a power-grab on the Internet, in direct contravention of Congress' authorization. THAT is what Rand Paul is opposing.

Comment: Re:Automated sorting of mail and metadata? (Score 1) 66

by causality (#49580127) Attached to: New Privacy Concerns About US Program That Can Track Snail Mail

Get rid of government and see how long your liberty lasts.

Do you deny that liberty tends to erode over time? Or did a hallucination cause you to falsely believe I wanted to get rid of all government?

If neither of those is true, then I cannot understand what motivated you to write that post. It looks like a knee-jerk response to someone else's conversation.

Comment: Re:You want a startup? (Score 1) 208

by arth1 (#49580125) Attached to: IBM CIO Thinks Agile Development Might Save Company

Yes, Agile (if done correctly)

That's like saying "buggery (if done correctly)".

The ones who might take pleasure from it will rarely be on the receiving end.
Even the performers may feel dirty afterwards.

No one does Agile "correctly". The customer doesn't have the time to invest in micro-managing decisions.
The developer side does not have enough time left over to investigate the big picture and have detailed specs before producing code.
And management never gives the dev side enough time to revisit the code. It's always going to be "move on" instead of "move on when ready and move back when required". Things will get handed over the wall just as much as before.

In theory, Agile is fine. But it never survives first impact with customers and management, who invariably wants the benefits of Agile without paying the costs.

In practice, it's running lemming sprints.

Comment: Re:Skype? What happened to Sametime? (Score 1) 208

by arth1 (#49579691) Attached to: IBM CIO Thinks Agile Development Might Save Company

I could be wrong, but I think that high level management are more used to settings where face-to-face communication is the driving force, and that paperwork is something secretaries and lawyers do.
I don't think they really appreciate the need for precision, lack of ambiguity and a verifiable record that exists within engineering and development, and think that face time can replace precise types of communication.

I'm sure the phone companies are happy, though.

Comment: How does that argument play versus Linux? (Score 1) 218

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49569815) Attached to: JavaScript Devs: Is It Still Worth Learning jQuery?

CustomerP are generally too cash poor to be good customers. They are going to nickel and dime you for any project that you do for them because they are either too cheap to invest in newer technology or too poor to do so.

Latest statistics indicate that Internet Explorer has less then 15-20% of market share, with versions older then IE 10 being just 2.5% of the market. Looks like IE 6 is under 1% now.

It was similar arguments that massively hampered the adoption of Linux, Netscape/Firefox, .... Too few users, too cheap, expecting too much frree stuff. No money to spend.

It's one of the reasons general adoption took - and is still taking - so long.

It's also one of the reasons that companies that DID support them ended up with an edge on their competition, becoming some of the big-name companies in their markets.

Becoming market-dominant and ubiquitus includes not dropping substantial chunks of customers because you perceive them as "marginal". If you support 90+ percent of the market and your competition supports 70%, you keep getting little extra advantages. The outcome of competition is driven by tiny margins.

Comment: Ungrounded Lightning (Rod) to Stop Using DietPepsi (Score 1) 629

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49564133) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Aspartame has problems for some people (like my wife and brother-in-law) and not for others (like me).

Sucralose has problems for some people (like me) and not for others (like my wife).

Seems to me the thing for Pepsi to do is to bring out another formula - with a different name - using Sucralose, put them in the stores side-by-side (they get a LOT of shelf space to play with), and let the customers decide.

Changing the formula of an existing brand strikes me as a stupid move. I suspect Pepsi is about to have it's "New Coke!" moment...

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"