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Comment: Re:Camden, NJ?! (Score 1) 194

by bill_mcgonigle (#48285219) Attached to: Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

Submitter must be some uneducated PC technician fuckwit to live in that ghetto...

You may be unaware of how big Camden County is. Points for harshing on Camden (city) but full penalty and three-game suspension for reading comprehension failure and then calling the submitter names about his intelligence because of your fail.

Comment: Re:Speed (Score 1) 726

by bill_mcgonigle (#48285043) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

they want systemd to become the kernel.

I thought that, but no - they want everything *but* the kernel, and maybe steal away a few features from the kernel (*cough* VC's *cough*) and glibc at some point.

Because if you run a systemd system, you can swap out linux for bsd or mach or qnx and not really notice, if the hardware is well-supported.

Comment: Re:Not voting!=voting no to all (Score 1) 194

by bill_mcgonigle (#48284965) Attached to: Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

Not voting isn't the same as expressing dissatisfaction with all of the candidates

Partial credit.

it is the same as voting for the candidate who wins.

No, it's the same as stating "I have no confidence in this system". Imagine if only 10% of the population voted - who could rightly claim legitimacy? By voting, you legitimize the system, one that ...

In a real voting system, one of the options would be "none of these candidates should be allowed to hold office"

is rigged for there to be no means of expressing complete dissatisfaction.

@kreuzotter wrote:
We should have an amendment that every ballot must contain the choice "none of the above". I would go voting every time.

So, now are you going to get the Dems or the GOP to support that Amendment? Trick question! - you need both to get the requisite majority in Congress and at the States to pass an Amendment. So, hahahhaa - yeah ... now you understand.

Corrupt government? Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

Comment: Usability Nightmare (Score 1) 34

by bill_mcgonigle (#48284639) Attached to: LG's 0.7mm Smartphone Bezel Is World's Narrowest

News for LG - some people, nay - lots of people - put their so-beautiful-we-can-hardly-stand-it LG phones in cases.

I run a GS4 for a daily driver, and it has as thin, but not micro-thin bezel. If I'm selecting some text that goes to the edge of the screen, I still have to pull back the silicone "layer 1" the wraps just around the edge.

This is not a good feature.

Maybe the new LG is shatter proof and waterproof, though, in which case I withdraw my criticism. I would never be so cynical as to suggest that making cases impossible to use would improve profits through increased unit accidental destruction.

Comment: Re:Someone in the know please explain (Score 2) 15

I am not aware of any non-mobile hardware powered by Qualcom graphic chips.

Qualcomm is in all sorts of embedded, not just mobile, and Android is only a share of mobile, much less embedded.

Is this for going to be bitcom-mining GPU farms?

GPU mining of bitcoin is dead. GPU's are still useful things, though.

Comment: Re:This is the latest in a long unfortunate evolut (Score 2, Insightful) 275

Great post. One point you missed, though:

Suddenly non-university vocational institutes were looked on as crappy and inferior, and it became a mantra (for no good reason) that you needed a 4-year college/university degree

It's the "no good reason" part that's the real problem - because there are reasons and they are good for some people, if not most.

First, there's an oversupply of workers for an undersupply of jobs, so why not be picky with your applicants if you're an employer? A stupid regulation like "4-year degree required" gets rid of more potential bad employees than it excludes potential good employees for many jobs. Part of this is that high school diplomas are merely attendance certificates now, but that's only a tiny part. A bigger part is a slowing of the economy, in real terms, since the early 70's, and a lack of real, good jobs. Stagflation was papered over with sheets of hundred dollar bills - the structural issues were never "solved" and still aren't. We're about twelve miles up on the structural Jenga stack at this point.

The result was a massive spike in the number of people going to 4-year colleges--that number has sextupled or so over the past 60ish years

Yes! There's your oversupply.

and a massive decline in the number of people going to vocational and technical schools

and there's definitely an undersupply there. Why? One is heavily subsidized and one is not. The one that gets the massive subsidies (grants, student loan programs below market rates, etc.) gets two things - an influx of demand, and a concomitant increase in price. It used to be 4-year students could work during the summers to pay for their tuition - but they didn't get Pell Grants, so that was awful.

Tech school prices are nowhere near as inflated, at least yet. People can still afford to go to tech school, and they're, in large numbers, starting to wise up about that. Let's hope nobody starts trying to heavily subsidize it.

But why did the US go full-on socialism with the 4-year student loan program, in particular? There's an assumption that if only the US can produce a huge number of university brainiacs then it can maintain its economic leadership position in the world, maintain its high tax base despite the competition from cheaper labor doing the same work, and therefore maintain its World Police stance. Because if it can't, China is going to eat the US's lunch, and that would be bad for the people in power. People in Power who have lots of university degrees and are, upon self-reflection, smarter than everybody else in the room, so the degrees must be causal.

Dirty secret: populations are, on average, just as smart from generation to generation, no matter how diplomas are being hung on walls.

Second dirty secret: a China-dominated world will cause the citizens of the US to be as miserable as the citizens of Luxembourg and Denmark are today. I'm just hoping the death throes of the Empire don't include firing shots at the new guy. I'm sure some school offers a degree in how starting unwinnable wars is good for an economy.

Comment: Re:Anonymity? (Score 4, Insightful) 120

by bill_mcgonigle (#48280229) Attached to: Facebook Sets Up Shop On Tor

So you go through Tor to access Facebook, where you immediately have to log in, and...

You really don't know anybody who uses Facebook pseudononymously? If you make an account called 'Hootie McBoob' you might get dinged, but there are thousands of 'Bill Riker's (have some fun with it).

If you're coming in from your home IP or a Verizon or AT&T mobile, you're gonna be decloaked in a hurry, even by a passive listener. So, if you want to participate in a community that's on Facebook but not be known to the outsiders, Tor makes sense. Right now you can exit Tor on one of the spooks' exit nodes, but then you're just enabling the traffic analysis. By offering Tor directly, you avoid the risk of using an additional hostile exit node.

This looks to be Facebook engineers doing the best they can given the cards they're holding. It's obviously more secure to not use any social networking systems at all, but if you rank security/privacy below functionality for some uses, this move makes sense to improve the situation.

Comment: Re:Van Eck phreaking (Score 1) 78

by bill_mcgonigle (#48279651) Attached to: Breaching Air-Gap Security With Radio

This isn't new. Wim Van Eck [] did it back in 1985

And the spy agencies well before that. I had a high school computer teacher who worked after school at a computer store that just happened to be down the street from a sigint Army base and they had the Compaq franchise for the area - he probably told us way more about the special Tempest-hardened models he had been selling them, in 1987, than he was supposed to. He couldn't help it - the tech was way cool and he was a card-carrying nerd (RIP).

I always suspected after that that Compaq, like so many other tech companies, got their legs on spook funding. It's funny - I spoke with a former Air Force guy the other day about the same thing and when I mentioned 'Tempest' he had a shudder - in the late 70's, early 80's, that was one of two words you could get shot for saying in his unit (probably figuratively...).

It is neat, though, that with an SDR and some DSP code you too can be a spy agency for $50 in 2014. Quick, Otterbox, design a $500 case with a 25' long braided copper cable attached!

Comment: Re:Drake equation (Score 1) 201

by bill_mcgonigle (#48278233) Attached to: Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless

my mistaken(?) impression that key finding was "fraction of those stars that have planets" is lower than what we previously believed.

It's "the fraction of the planets that have stars" which does not affect "the fraction of stars that have planets" because the new thought is that there are _way_ more planets than previously estimated.

To be fair, the conversational second-person italics! style of the article is maddening to read, and far worse to skim.

As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making it round this time. - Mike Dennison