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Comment Re:This is a real threat (Score 1) 216

It's because it's easy to install a new firmware (ddwrt or tomato), set your country as JP and use channel 13 for instance at full power...

A poor example. The FCC clarified some time ago that they didn't intend to restrict the usage of channel 13 in the way that current firmwares do (usually by locking it out entirely).

If the rule hadn't so obviously been written by Belkin's lawyers as a money grab, we'd be less annoyed with it. As it is, the reason you cite sounds more like an excuse than a reasonable (and legal) justification.

Comment Re:they don't ban installation of open source (Score 1) 216

It would be absolutely fantastic if people would be rational about tech news. Tech people/netizens are starting to sound like my grandfather now. Every change is something to be feared.

It ain't paranoia if they really are out to get you.

Considering DD-WRT was mentioned by name as something that would explicitly be banned, yes, this is something to be feared. If the FCC was doing their job, the job of regulating transmitters in order to preserve the utility of the commons that is the electromagnetic spectrum, the job that someone else pointed out they've been doing for 80 years, then there would be no problem. But when the proposed rule is worded primarily for the purpose of enriching a tiny handful of corporations, and only tangentially justified by their actual mandate, we're going to start sounding a bit shrill about it.

Tired of how shrill Slashdot has become lately? Blame the problem. Regulatory capture, and ongoing attempts such as this to extend it. This is the new normal. So of course we're going to become suspicious of every change, and of course we're going to be shrill about every change, because even when it's not such a blatant attempt at profiteering as this one is, Occam's Razor leads us to the conclusion that it's just a more subtle attempt at profiteering at our expense that we haven't figured out yet. The expense not only of our pocketbooks, but also our freedom, specifically the freedom to do whatever the hell we want with our possessions.[1]

The people running the FCC are people, but they are not just like me. Not in the least like me. The people running the FCC tell 300 million people what they can and can not do. I don't. They are not remotely like me. Therefore if I want to be suspicious of their motives, I damn well can be. Judging by past behavior, I damn well should be.


[1] And before the pedantic among us 'correct' me and tell me I don't have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want with my possessions, it was a rhetorical device. The previous paragraph acknowledging the problem of preserving the commons was your clue. I am perfectly well aware that this is a worthy and laudable goal, and if the number of cases of WiFi AP firmware modification resulting in out-of-spec radio performance that interferes with other uses of the spectrum ever rises above zero, the FCC might have a good reason to issue a new rule. But it still wouldn't be this rule.

Comment Re:Serious, rigorous, academic discipline based on (Score 1) 141

Economics is a subset of history, data from the past, and therefore it is based entirely on correlations. There can be no cause and effect derived from correlations, so 'science' is not possible. Science requires experiments, controlled for 1 variable at a time.

So there's a big difference between "observational science" and "historical science"...

Ken Ham, is that you?

Comment Re:Amen (Score 1) 29

I used mh/nmh for a long, long time. The command-line tools were excellent for quickly filtering emails (thanks to bash and grep and each message being a file in a folder), but really, the tcl/tk exmh wrapper was what I really liked. It did what I wanted, using tools that worked, without me having to memorize all the tools and how they worked.

These days I just use gmail.

Comment Re:Major disconnect from layers (Score 1) 278

The C-suite, whose job is to guide the company strategically, does not need to know how the hardware and software works on a detailed level, or at all really.

And yet, I'm pretty sure Boeing's CEO doesn't order the employees to start building planes without wings (I don't care, just do it! You're the engineer, you make it work or I'll find another that will!) Something tells me he knows planes a bit better than "not at all, really".

Comment Re:Pixel Whores (Score 2) 100

Your false parallel is showing. You can always find something more compute-intensive, as much as necessary for any increase in compute-power to make a clear difference.

The gist of "MHz wars" was that smarter, lower-MHz CPUs were actually better at compute-intensive tasks, whereas something like Pentium 4 could only show higher numbers of MHz and watts.

To me, the real issue is that some of the best technology ends up in dumb consumer devices like phones, while people who write code and perform heavy scientific computing make do with old-school hardware. For example, try finding a laptop with similar efficiency and density of computing power and memory as phones. I'm struggling to understand what people actually do with their 4..8 cores and gigs and gigs of RAM on phones where the OS/UI doesn't let you do any actual computing. It's just perls before hogs.

Comment Re:It benefits content creators over freeloaders. (Score 1) 140

Sure, you can get away with it...but at some point, for most people, life becomes more about right & wrong than what you can get away with.

Clearly you and I have very different conceptions of right and wrong. I believe using force to punish somebody for printing and selling their own 10 million copies of Harry Potter is wrong. To me it's so clearly wrong it's hard to even explain it to those who think otherwise. It's like we are from totally different cultures or something.


Wikipedia Blocks Hundreds of Accounts Doing Paid Editing 138

jan_jes writes: After weeks of investigation, Wikipedia has blocked 381 user accounts for "black hat" editing. The reason for the ban is that the accounts were engaged in undisclosed paid advocacy — the practice of accepting or charging money to promote external interests on Wikipedia without revealing their affiliation, in violation of Wikimedia's Terms of Use. In addition to blocking the 381 "sockpuppet" account, the editors deleted 210 articles created by these accounts.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.