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Comment: Can cell towers/protocols find & blacklist the (Score 1) 146

by swb (#48443301) Attached to: Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

Is it possible for the existing cell network/protocols to identify "unknown" towers -- ie, those that appear in the spectrum but aren't known to be legitimate cell towers and somehow blacklist them to limit their functionality?

Do cell towers have a way of communicating to handsets which towers should be avoided or not used?

Comment: Gary Taubes spelled much of this out (Score 1) 232

by swb (#48443285) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood "Good Calories, Bad Calories".

Some of it is historical -- prior to the Ancel Keys bad science about diet, it was a commonly held understanding that cutting carbohydrate consumption contributed to weight loss. Taubes cites numerous sources, some dating back hundreds of years. IIRC, even the science was trending this way before WWII but a lot of it was German-led science which the war lost and competitiveness from American scientists chose to bury.

The science behind insulin as the primary hormonal regulator of fat accumulation has been known since the 1960s.

Most troubling from Taubes' book is the weird politics of dietary science and how senior people who control funding for studies get wed to particular theories and hang on to them even when evidence doesn't support them, even suppressing promising science that tends to discredit these ideas.

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 1) 179

by swb (#48439615) Attached to: Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

I'm curious how more competition for entry-level or low skilled jobs helps African Americans. Their unemployment rate is nearly 14%, probably higher in lower age brackets. And given the school "achievement gaps" and lower education attainment for African Americans, these are precisely the jobs they need to work their way out of poverty.

Racism is a common argument for African American unemployment, but how does this stand up when the prime competitors for these jobs are non-white and in many cases marginal English speakers and functionally illiterate in English? Just who are these anti-African American, pro-Latino racists, anyway?

You could make the argument that African Americans don't get hired due to racist criminal justice policies which leave them with criminal records, but again I ask -- who are these people discriminating against African Americans with criminal records yet hiring illegal immigrants with false papers or whose "past" is essentially unavailable because their past is unobtainable in Mexico?

You could make an argument that African Americans don't want to or are incapable of work, but that argument is inherently racist. Their may be qualitative criticisms of entry level jobs (low pay, "jobs nobody wants") but if you buy that argument, then why do Latinos take those jobs? One variant explanation is that African Americans have some moral entitlement to better jobs (eg, due to past discrimination), but I'm not sure how that's supposed to work and the functional equivalent of this argument, affirmative action, hasn't worked and has been mostly discredited.

Comment: Re:Rape Apologetics Go Here (Score 1) 237

by swb (#48433447) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

IIRC, the rape setup was a squeeze play perpetrated by the maid and her accomplice. DSK was a habitue of sex clubs/prostitutes, making it seem not unlikely that his aristocratic privilege and sexual appetite would have led him to be vulnerable to that situation.

On top that, the idea of replacing the dollar with another currency was hardly some new idea, it's an idea that has floated around for a long time. It doesn't seem plausible that a conspiracy against one man would be enough to suppress this idea if it was actually a viable alternative. Euro market weakness and the risks of default in some Euro countries mostly rules out the Euro, the lack of Chinese transparency and currency manipulation rules out the Renminbi. Beyond those two alternatives, there aren't any global currencies with enough depth and market adoption able to replace the dollar.

Further, if dropping the dollar was a profitable idea, why wouldn't global markets just do it? I'm sure many countries would LOVE to stick it to Uncle Sam and our banks, but it seems like they like profitability even more.

Comment: Re:"Getting whiter" (Score 2) 485

by swb (#48428289) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

You want a peaceful civilization? Encourage lots of different people to live next to each other.

Wow, I feel misinformed despite my NY Times subscription. You mean to tell me there's a war going on in 90+% white Scandinavia and I didn't know about it? Given how oppressive their governments are known to be and the complete absence of social welfare there, such barbarism I guess should be expected.

I'm especially glad to know that multiethnic regions like Africa and the Middle East are so peaceful and nonviolent, that must have been another article I missed out on.

Comment: "Getting whiter" (Score 5, Interesting) 485

by swb (#48427295) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

Can someone explain to me how a city getting whiter is necessarily worse for the city?

Is there a specific race that is missing? If you made it 30% Chinese, 30% White and 30% Indian is that good enough, or do you need some minimal proportion of every race?

And is it really "race" we need -- ie, if we bulk up on suburbanized, native-born nonwhites (like Mindy Kaling or Aziz Ansari as an example) does that really count, or is what we're looking for some kind of non-white cultural influence, so non-whites who act white don't count?

Please, someone tell me what the ideal racial combination is.

Comment: Re:Bad sign. (Score 1) 217

by swb (#48427151) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

Solar only feels like half a solution without cheap, high capacity heavy-cycle batteries capable of running everything for several days with zero power input and providing boost power for when solar output lags.

I'm thinking like 120kWh for under $10k.

If there's some way to store enough potential solar energy you can generate then even something like 15w/sq ft ought to be adequate.

Comment: Re:Yawn ... (Score 2) 165

by swb (#48418497) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

We can then put that money towards more developers (or better salaries for us current devs), as well as paying for training, nicer dev machines, etc. At the same time, if we do have a problem with any sort of hosted service through azure, support is literally a phone call away, and I can't remember the last time a resolution didn't happen within a couple hours.

Who's this we? Are you some kind of dev-only shop, self-managed?

I would bet that in most instances, the "savings" from moving to cloud never becomes more budget for the IT department, especially if its money for salaries. If anything it just cuts your budget or feeds some bonus pool for executives.

Comment: Dead wrong (Score 1, Interesting) 71

by andyring (#48417573) Attached to: How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

The /. post's author says "The company insists that it favors no particular ideology and that its efforts are “neutral.” The first part is likely true..."

Completely false. Zuckerberg is as far left as they come. I'm not aiming to make this discussion political, but it's abundantly obvious in the policies he, and by extension his company, endorse. Obama tells Zuckerberg "Jump" and Mark immediately asks "How high?"

Comment: Re: Solar power terminology (Score 1) 498

by swb (#48416579) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

which in the case of the 85kwh Model S, would be enough to power me for 2 days.

I'd swear someone in my family has a secret pot farm hidden in my 2,000 sq ft house someplace because every time I see electricity usage on Slashdot I wonder where the hell all my power goes.

My bill for October (no heat, no AC usage) was for 987 kWh. Most of my lighting is CFL or LED (all of the lights that get used a lot are), my fridge is less than 5 years old and we use natural gas for cooking and heating. I do have about 4 PCs but two are diskless and one is off more than it is on.

A roughly 40kWh used Tesla battery would get me through a day but probably be most useful for runtimes of an hour before starting an external generator.

Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger