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Comment: Re:Faraday Cage / Tempest (Score 1) 57

by timeOday (#48041405) Attached to: Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

Honeywell had suggested that airlines should be forced to install new screens only if wi-fi enabled tablets or other such equipment were used in the cockpit.

However, the FAA rejected these complaints saying it wanted to "eliminate" any risk of interference.

That said, I sort of lost interest at this: "It estimated that the replacement programme would cost about $13.8m (£8.5m) to implement." The FAA is imposing a small cost for a small increment in safety. Not much to see here.

Comment: Re:Bruce Perens (Score 1) 167

by timeOday (#48039255) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records
I dunno, because openness does not actually ensure consistency and compatibility, which is what is needed here.

Linux never did (yet) conquer the enterprise; instead they found interoperability by converging on Microsoft. Similarly, Internet standards bodies are increasingly irrelevant as most users flock to proprietary solutions, e.g. using Facebook instead of email to communicate with family and friends. And mobile computing (smartphones) never found mass adoption at all until it was packed into a managed walled garden, from which it shows little sign of wanting to escape.

We can't just wave this off with "it's all just bribery!" and leave it there.

Comment: Re:Before you even start (Score 1) 220

by timeOday (#48038693) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

The drivers are black. It has nothing to do with speeding or infractions. Cops don't charge anyone for actually doing something wrong.

This has been proven much closer to the truth than you probably think. For example, in this study, black and white women were found to be equally likely to use drugs during pregnancy, but black were ten times more likely to be reported to police:

Among the 715 pregnant women we screened, the overall prevalence of a positive result on the toxicologic tests of urine was 14.8 percent; there was little difference in prevalence between the women seen at the public clinics (16.3 percent) and those seen at the private offices (13.1 percent). The frequency of a positive result was also similar among white women (15.4 percent) and black women (14.1 percent)...

During the six-month period in which we collected the urine samples, 133 women in Pinellas County were reported to health authorities after delivery for substance abuse during pregnancy. Despite the similar rates of substance abuse among black and white women in our study, black women were reported at approximately 10 times the rate for white women (P < 0.0001 ), and poor women were more likely than others to be reported.

(cite - note, this is the New England Journal of Medicine!)

Drug use and speeding are probably close parallels in that a tiny proportion of all violations of the law are prosecuted, so who gets punished depends more on whom society chooses to scrutinize than actual crime rates.

Comment: Re:"Contrary to what we were sometimes taught" (Score 3, Interesting) 199

by timeOday (#48033323) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity
More fundamentally, ALL equations are only approximations. They are just models of reality that fit well enough to suit the purposes, or as well as we can currently measure. The Laws of Physics are our current understanding of the truth, not the truth itself.

Comment: Re:Unified Experience Across Devices (Score 1) 619

by timeOday (#48030683) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Which basically means that the UI for all platforms are dumbed down to the least capable device.

Wrong. What they are claiming is exactly what you asked for:

a tailored experience for all hardware across a single platform family.... Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time.

I think this is a good vision - you shouldn't need a different technology to target each platform (now that smartphones are fairly powerful); you want consistency in the UI between devices where possible, but that doesn't mean they can or should appear just the same, either. It is a tall order, and one has to question whether it is actually worth it, since switching between Windows and Android (or iOS and OSX) doesn't seem to have caused users' heads to explode, nor have developers been slow to discard PC code and re-implement everything for mobile.

Comment: Re:Can this peer-to-peer like Bittorrent (Score 1) 150

by timeOday (#48025033) Attached to: LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers
Dunno about latency, but it doesn't matter because the power requirement would be astronomical. 2500 miles in (at most) 500 meters per hop is about 10,000 hops, so 10,000x the battery power, total.

Granted that's without agglomerating any messages, but it's also assuming zero overhead for routing or reliability.

Of course short of nuclear holocaust, power outages are local so you only need to get out of the impacted zone before you hit the backbone.

Comment: Re:IBM is dying (Score 4, Interesting) 48

by timeOday (#48020597) Attached to: Lenovo Set To Close $2.1 Billion Server Deal With IBM
Which can easily result in the business streamlining itself out of existence:

Clayton Christensen explains why the basic thinking taught in business schools and promulgated by consultants is killing innovation and the US economy:

Christensen retells the story of how Dell progressively lopped off low-value segments of its PC operation to the Taiwan-based firm ASUSTek - the motherboard, the assembly of the computer, the management of the supply chain and finally the design of the computer. In each case Dell accepted the proposal because in each case its profitability improved: its costs declined and its revenues stayed the same. At the end of the process, however, Dell was little more than a brand, while ASUSTeK can-and does-now offer a cheaper, better computer to Best Buy at lower cost.

Why is this happening? According to Christensen, the phenomenon is being

"driven by the pursuit of profit. That's the causal mechanism for these things... The problem lies with the business schools which are at fault. What we've done in America is to define profitability in terms of percentages. So if you can get the percentage up, it feels like we are more profitable. It causes us to do things to manipulate the percentage....

Thus when a firm calculates the rate of return on a proposal to outsource manufacturing overseas, it typically does not include:

  • The cost of the knowledge that is being lost, possibly forever.
  • The cost of being unable to innovate in future, because critical knowledge has been lost.
  • The consequent cost of its current business being destroyed by competitors emerging who can make a better product at lower cost.
  • The missed opportunity of profits that could be made from innovations based on that knowledge that is being lost.


Comment: Re:Really? (Score 3, Informative) 491

by timeOday (#48009049) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit
"Relatively small" is subjective, but solar production in Germany is what I would call "surprisingly significant":

Germany generated over half its electricity demand from solar for the first time ever on 9 June, and the UK, basking in the sunniest weather of summer during the longest days of the year, nearly doubled its 2013 peak solar power output at the solstice weekend.


Germany is really leading the way.

Comment: Re:So offer a cost effective replacement (Score 1) 185

by timeOday (#48004441) Attached to: Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market
Our over-reliance on credit card numbers as "keys to the kingdom" is indeed bad, but what does it have to do with SSL?

15 years ago I had an MBNA credit card. On their website you could generate a one-time credit card number that was only good for the stated amount. That was a big improvement. I guess not enough people bothered to use it though.

Comment: Re:Technical flaws are beside the point (Score 4, Informative) 185

by timeOday (#48004389) Attached to: Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market
Give the article some credit, that is largely what it is about:

To evaluate both legal and technological solutions, an understanding of the economic incentives of the stakeholders in the HTTPS ecosystem, most notably the CAs, is essential. This article outlines the systemic vulnerabilities of HTTPS, maps the thriving market for certificates, and analyzes the suggested regulatory and technological solutions on both sides of the Atlantic. The findings show existing yet surprising market patterns and perverse incentives: not unlike the financial sector, the HTTPS market is full of information asymmetries and negative externalities, as a handful of CAs dominate the market and have become "too big to fail." Unfortunately, the proposed E.U. legislation will reinforce systemic vulnerabilities, and the proposed technological solutions are far from being adopted at scale. The systemic vulnerabilities in this crucial technology are likely to persist for years to come.

Most all the responses I see to this story so far are kneejerk response to the summary, not very relevant.

Comment: Re:Yeah sorry, no (Score 1) 299

by timeOday (#48002533) Attached to: Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography
I know, and I largely agree with you, too. But you're comparing the National Forest land with an ideal that it never was in the first place.

The American West was first stolen from native americans, then gifted to the barons of railroads, mining, logging, and ranching, because they owned the government - Federal to a large degree but state to a huge degree. It was an incredible battle for Teddy Roosevelt to establish federal control of the lands and the US Forest Service at all, and would never happen again today, who would even dare try? The land was already being exploited and it took decades to reign it in even to the point where it is now. Setting aside all that land as wilderness was never in the cards. Look at the entrance signs - "Land of Many Uses." It is a compromise. Europe has nothing like it. Don't get me wrong, we should absolutely keep bitching about sweetheard deals and encroachment, but I also run trails in the national forest near my home every morning before breakfast, and I feel very lucky to do so.

Comment: Re:Yeah sorry, no (Score 5, Informative) 299

by timeOday (#48000193) Attached to: Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography
The odds of them actually fining a reporter doing anything like reporting are nil. That is clearly not the intent of it, as it has an exception for reporting news. I guess the problem is writing the law in a way that disallows shooting commercials or movies, without creating some objectionable corner cases.

Unless there has actually been any issue with this, it's just another trumped up nonstory that will be inflated to cartoonish proportions in the comments to follow.

One small step for man, one giant stumble for mankind.