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Comment Re:They also believe (Score 2) 117 117

I do not expect this to happen quickly, it'll be on a hundreds-of-years timescale.

Which rather underscores the point that idiots investing dollars today in pie-in-the-sky schemes like asteroid mining are most assuredly throwing their money away.

I think the better way of saying this is that it underscores the point that obstructionist idiots have held back progress substantially because they are incredibly short sighted, and we should have been to that point decades ago.

We went from cars to landing on the moon in less than 60 years.

It's now been almost another 60 years. What significant progress has been made, while you idiots are all wasting time oppressing and shooting at each other?

Exactly.

Comment Zero-days are not "back doors". (Score 3, Insightful) 81 81

Zero-days are not "back doors".

Unless the zero day flaw was put there intentionally, as back doors are put there intentionally, a zero day flaw is not a back door, it's just some incompetent who should be employed asking me "Do you want fries with that?", rather than employed writing security sensitive software. In other words: your average bad programmer.

ISS

Video Urthecast Brings You Earth Images and Videos from the ISS (Video) 16 16

Most of us probably won't ever visit the International Space Station (ISS) and look down at the Earth (motto: "The only planet we know has beer, so let's not ruin it"). Looking at pictures and videos made by cameras mounted on the ISS is about as close as we're going to get. There's already an ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment on Ustream, but Urthecast is putting out higher-definition images than what you see on Ustream, and has plans to put out even clearer images and video before long. While Urthecast is likely to accumulate plenty of "oohs" and "aahhs" as it rolls along, according to CEO Scott Larson their real objective is to sell imagery -- and not necessarily just from the visible light band of the overall spectrum -- to industrial and government users. People like us are still invited to look at (and marvel at) lovely images of our planetary home.

NOTE: Today's video is about 4:30 long. If you want to watch and listen to more of Mr. Larson, we have a second "bonus" (Flash) video for you. Or you can read the transcript, which covers both videos.

Comment Re:Percentages? (Score 1) 371 371

That isn't relevant. The named numbers are usefull in his cause, so they are presented as fact. That happens everywhere - remember the "indisputable" proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

To be entirely fair there, the U.S. and Britain knew he had them because we sold them to him in the first place.

http://rense.com/general29/wes...

GNU is Not Unix

Video Purism Offers Free (as in Freedom) Laptops (Video) 75 75

Purism uses its own OS, PureOS, which is a Debian derivative by way of Ubuntu and other members of the Debian-derivative family, but with no taint of proprietary code. Now imagine all the binaries stripped out of the Linux kernel, making it closer to the FSF ideal of a 100% free operating system than the Linux kernel in use almost everywhere else.

They're still using a proprietary BIOS, but have people working on a Free one. The main thing, though, is that Purism is working to give you all the privacy and freedom they can -- with more coming as they keep working to replace proprietary bits of the OS, BIOS, and hardware drivers with Free Software. Best of all, even if you don't need a new laptop right now, you can download PureOS and run it on any compatible hardware you already own.

Comment Re:Obligatory "why" post (Score 1) 76 76

Corection, kerberos & nfs difference between client and server generally should not be more than 5 seconds, so above should be +/-2.5 second.

That's a protocol design bug.

Specifically, there's actually no reason that protocol traffic wouldn't include a "this is my idea of the current time" in the requests and responses so that delta times could be locally calculated from the packet contents on the receiving end. This would work, no problem, for a protocol like NFS.

Kerberos is more of an issue, but since all parties have to trust the ticket granting system as the trusted third party -- so you might a well trust their timestamp as well, since you've already established a trust chain dependency on the third party. You mode the protocol to send the timestamp within the security association, and you are golden (regardless of whether you are running an adjusted or monotonic clock).

This is how DCE RPC handles byte order: receiver translates to local byte order -- if the byte order is different. If it's not, then there's no need for translation, and it saves CPU on both ends of the connection. Receiver translates to a delta time from which the timestamps are derived, and timesync is no longer a problem.

Comment Re:Great - except for one thing (Score 1) 132 132

The business side is why the company exists. When they add feature creep etc, it's generally because they don't really know what the customer wants and are trying to see what lands.

In my experience, this tends to happen when marketing gets involved in the design process, and starts asking for previous_product++. One of the reasons Steve Jobs was so effective is that he understood the technical side of things well enough to help make design decisions.

They tend to not even really understand how to tell if a time estimate is BS or not.

The best way to get good at estimating is doing a couple of fixed price contracts that end up working out to you making less than minimum wage. Then you either get good at estimating, or you go out of business.

All managers who've worked with people who are bad at estimating automatically apply a scaling factor, which usually depends on the person making the estimate, and then you scale it for the real estimate, because people are frequently bad at estimating. In general, there are two types of people (substitute gender, if you wish to): Mr. Right, and Mr. Right Now. Both of these can be valuable to a company, but generally, if you want to scale to a large number of customers without huge built-in costs, your prototype is done by Mr. Right Now to get to funding, and then your released product is done by Mr. Right.

Comment Re:Cycle of life (Score 2) 132 132

All things are born, grow up, grow old and die, corporate citizens are not excluded from entropy.

The oldest continuously running company is Kongo Gumi; it was founded in the year 578. Not dead yet.

FWIW, there are 5,586 companies older than 200 years. Like the Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant in Austria, which was founded in the year 803, or Sean's Bar, an Irish Pub, founded in the year 900. Even the U.S. has gotten into the act; Shirley Plantation is a farm founded in Virginia in 1613. A surprising percentage of them are alcohol related, although there are also a lot of hotels, confectioners, and other businesses.

Security

Video Veteran IT Journalist Worries That Online Privacy May Not Exist (Video) 43 43

Tom Henderson is a long-time observer of the IT scene, complete with scowl and grey goatee. And cynicism. Tom is a world-class cynic, no doubt about it. Why? Cover enterprise IT security and other computing topics long enough for big-time industry publications like ITWorld and its IDG brethren, and you too may start to think that no matter what you do, your systems will always have (virtual) welcome mats in front of them, inviting crackers to come in and have a high old time with your data.

Note: Alert readers have probably noticed that we talked with Tom about cloud security back in March. Another good interview, worth seeing (or reading).

Comment Re: Not the best summary... (Score 1) 195 195

My son got his first vaccinations at 1 month... By the time he was 2 years old he had over a dozen... We *did* choose to stretch out the vaccination schedule a bit (to avoid giving 4 vaccinations at once, etc.) and we've been very careful to screen which drug company's vaccines we use as many contain "non-medical' ingredients that are actually drugs (below the minimum dosage for adults) that are not otherwise approved for use in children.

Sadly, drug companies are not liable for adverse reactions to vaccines (you pay a small fee for every dosage to fund a government-backed plan instead), and (to the lay person at least) it seems like a lot of new vaccines are getting rushed out and pushed on the population at large without regard to the risk/reward or efficacy of the vaccine - I'm thinking particularly of the often-required chicken pox vaccine that is widely marketed as preventing shingles later in life, but which the drug company explicitly disclaims prevention of both chicken pox and shingles (on the drug info sheet we got from the doctor after she gave the vaccine to our son).

IMHO, the government, drug companies, and doctors have all done a really bad job of educating the public - clearly forcing people to vaccinate their children against everything without regard to safety or personal concerns, and telling parents that have concerns that they are stupid and that they will call child services if they don't give their child a particular vaccination, is not the right approach.

Comment Re:I AM AMAZED! (Score 1) 12 12

Re additive technology: You're right. This is why I don't care much about the people who "make guns" with their 3-D printers. Some of them make lower receiver units because that's the legal definition of a "gun" even though in my eye's it's kind of like making the driver's door frame on a car and claiming you made a car because that's where the VIN goes.

To make a gun or anything else that needs to contain strong forces, I'll join TWX and put my faith in old-fashioned, non-groovy tools like milling machines, lathes, and drill presses. Yay, subtractive technology!

(Not knocking the 3-D print people - Fun stuff, no question.)

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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