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Comment: Re:Clipper Chip Anyone? (Score 4, Informative) 443

by bill_mcgonigle (#48040263) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it....even if they have to force it down our throats.

Holder doesn't fail to understand it - he and his ilk are back for Round 2. They will persist until the liberty is removed, however many rounds that takes. Then they will move on to the next liberty that still stands. If they can't win at the Federal level, they will get it done at the State level (e.g. California's back door requirements for cell phones).

That's how government works; I guess your point is well-supported by the history after all.

Comment: Billionaire Computer Science Major Judith Faulkner (Score 1) 222

by bill_mcgonigle (#48039411) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

billionaire computer science major Judith Faulkner

What? Who says things like that? Is there even any semantic meaning in context of the issue? </aside>

My understanding, especially from friends still-on-the-inside (of clinical information systems), is that EPIC's main product is a SEP field.

I used to work on what was once hailed as a model clinical information system, but it was killed by beancounter CIO-types, angling for bonuses on unspent budgets, and eventually they were replaced by the clinicians who just wanted something where they felt they could get features and reliability (internal requests for such were almost always turned down by management because of perverse incentives).

Not being qualified to make technical decisions, [as I understand it] the clinicians went for big & popular, as it was felt that at least that stood a good chance of being decent. But more importantly, the internal bureaucrats were always angling for budgets and lawyers while the outside vendor is able to offer relief from all of that for merely a mountain of money. Clinical functionality is somewhere down the list in terms of required features.

Comment: Re:Kill two birds with one stone (Score 1) 138

by bill_mcgonigle (#48038365) Attached to: Aral Sea Basin Almost Completely Dry

Obvious downside: fossil fuel use to get water where it is most useful may exacerbate the problem over time.

We know just fine how to build nuclear-powered ocean vessels. Maybe Congress can give the corporate welfare to the MIC to build iceberg haulers instead of battleships.

Since we're on the subject, does anybody know how to calculate the centripetal and gravity effects of a long-range tunnel bored through the earth's crust? I suspect there must be a maximum achievable tunnel length but also maybe the rotation of the Earth could be used for pumping energy, depending on direction.

It might just be easier, though, to warm to environment and have some of Antartica melt again, and re-humidify the atmosphere. People cannot seem to wrap their heads around the ice sheets, but if you told them there was a hole bigger than the United States filled with 500 feet of fresh water that was locked away from the atmosphere - that they could get. Even fewer can understand that the oceans have risen 120m in the past 20,000 years - geologists aren't welcome in the mainstream (pundits won't even accept those graphs in the IPCC reports).

Comment: Re:The water wars are coming (Score 0) 138

by bill_mcgonigle (#48038273) Attached to: Aral Sea Basin Almost Completely Dry

All the water that used to be in the Aral Sea, had to go somewhere. Today it is in the oceans, raising global sea levels by several millimeters.

I can see not reading the article, it is Slashdot, but to jump to comment before even the second paragraph of the summary ... that just leads to embarrassment.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 267

by bill_mcgonigle (#48023307) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

Sorry but if you can afford a Tesla you ARE on the fringe!

Not really. We had a 2005 Pontiac minivan. Between acquisition cost, gasoline, repairs (and repairs and repairs), and depreciation, it cost us $50,000 over three and a half years, and that was before the inflationary boom when steak was half the current price.. We had to unload it due to the gas and repair costs and ate it so hard on the depreciation.

The Tesla is slightly more expensive than that, and that was aimed squarely at a typical young American family. The 10-year cost on a Tesla model S is going to be a lot cheaper, not to mention the model 3. It's simply a matter of financing.

Comment: Re: Best outcome (Score 2) 199

when the US petrodollar is completely decoupled from oil it loses about 5/6ths of its value intrinsically. The subsequent run on the currency could be an order of magnitude higher. Putin knows this and so do the Chinese but don't look to the Chinese to suddenly weeken its largest single purchasing market. The IMF will likely try to float SDRs to replace FRNs as the world currency but Russia and China stand to gain little by supporting it. Don't keep your long term wealth in current financial instruments.

Comment: Re: Bash is a very crappy programming language. (Score 2) 326

by bill_mcgonigle (#48019125) Attached to: Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

To be fair, perl had these problems in the early 90's and "taint mode " was introduced to protect against them and unforseen future variations on them. I seem to recall a release of PHP in the past couple years has adopted some of the same techniques. Bash folks won't be able to achieve a great result over a weekend. That we're here two decades later tells you most of what you need to know about the appropriateness of selecting bash for this kind of work.

Comment: Re:If there's a systemic problem (Score 1) 185

by bill_mcgonigle (#48007567) Attached to: Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

If there's a single systemic problem with HTTPS, it's that we're still largely relying on Certificate Authorities which charge a lot of money. The expense and complexity discourages people from using SSL more ubiquitously.

I don't think that's really it - I can get as many commercial-grade SSL certs for 7 bucks as I want. I got a couple at Namecheap for $2 when they were running a special. That's a large coffee at McDonald's. I've purchased 5-year wildcards for $150.

How cheap does it need to be to be usable? For most people setting up a CA takes more time than $7 is worth.

If there's an immediate problem, it's the default root stores. Why would I trust the US DoD to sign certs for Google, or, heck, even my own mail server? A default install of most browsers and OS's will. Oh, but we should be afraid of the NSA exploiting heartbleed? Heh, ceilingcat don't need no protocol exploits.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison