typodupeerror

## Comment: Re:tough love (Score 3, Insightful)330

by bware (#45440957) Attached to: How the NSA Is Harming America's Economy

Snowden is a giant monkey wrench in that; He's done more to harm America than pretty much anyone since the turn of the century save perhaps Osama Bin Laden, if we want to count out dollars on it. I hope they find him and make him suffer for a long time, slowly. He claims to be a patriot, but he's done most damage than our biggest enemies.

Maybe was the spying that did the damage.

## Comment: Re:It would be safer if cyclists followed traffic (Score 3, Interesting)947

by bware (#45225533) Attached to: How Safe Is Cycling?

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of cyclists I've seen in the last year who haven't run red lights and stop signs or otherwise ignored basic safety and traffic laws.

I will happily furnish two chairs and as much liquor as you can drink, and we'll sit at the stop sign next to my house. One block away from a school, and one block away from a heavily frequented park. In a residential historic neighborhood with home values approaching seven figures. Speed bumps on almost every street.

You chug a beer every time a car rolls through the stop sign. You down a shot every time someone blows through it without even slowing down. You take a sip when cars bottom out on the dips. Shot for people texting or talking on mobiles. Just a sip for speeding. You want to up the ante? Add a drink for failure to yield right-of-way, or honked horn.

I'll take a shot for every car that doesn't break the law in some fashion.

I'll go home in better shape than you, by far.

Everyday on my bike, someone tries to kill me. Often enough on purpose. On my bike, it's very unlikely that I'll kill or maim anyone, whether I follow the law or not. Every cyclist I've ever talked to who has been in an car/bike accident (and that's just about all of them) was following the law at the time of the accident. And the car wasn't. Guess who got injured?

So the hell with you. Cyclists rarely hurt anyone, and car drivers kill cyclists every day.

## Comment: Re:Yeah, right (Score 2)81

by bware (#45096139) Attached to: What the Surveillance State Does With Your Private Data

And where is the sharing of that information with Israel?

Pages 45, 47, 74, 78 (last two are references).

And where is the part where this is not surveillance, but directly hacking into personal machines and servers planting backdoors on them?

The title is "What the goverment does with Americans' data", not "How the government gets American's data".

I'm not arguing that what the NSA is doing is not evil, just that is not what this report addresses. However, one glaring omission is data-sharing with the DEA.

by bware (#45093519) Attached to: Cost of Healthcare.gov: $634 Million &mdash; So Far Servers from AWS or some other provider would provide capacity and cut back on costs Can the government put HIPAA and PII information on AWS? I'm asking because I don't know. I can't use it, or Dropbox, or Google Docs, or any other cloud solution because ITAR. I'm assuming that's why they have to build their own servers and not use cloud services. ## Comment: Re:simple (Score 5, Insightful)497 by bware (#45093415) Attached to: Cost of Healthcare.gov:$634 Million &mdash; So Far

I've put in many RFQs on government dollars at universities, national labs, and private businesses (I've never been a direct employee of the government). All the law requires is that I get a quote (which usually turns out to be a no-bid) from a minority or woman owned business, and if that quote comes in over, the money still goes to the lowest bidder. The only extra cost is my time in getting another quote. Fair enough.

Pretty much every extra cost that I see comes about because someone abused the system in that specific way that the rule addresses. You can simply look at the process and see, ah, that rule or requirement was instituted because someone was either dumb or dishonest. No matter how rare or unlikely to occur again, however, the bureaucracy will institute a rule or procedure. Because that's what bureacracies do, private or public.

Toss in empire-building and that explains most of it. Though honestly the national labs have been far better places to work than the businesses or universities. Businesses are just as subject to these tides of human behavior as governments. They're just not as transparent, and you get fired for making them public.

I'm not saying this was that Healthcare.gov was the most efficient use of resources ever. On the other hand, the Facebook comparison is ludicrous. FB didn't have to serve 40 million users on day one; they got to scale up slowly. HC.gov is in the unenviable position of having to have a system which will handle millions of users (and almost certainly an overload) the moment it opens, then never having to handle that great a load again. In addition to having to do it in a way that absolutely protects the users HIPAA PII (so don't say cloud), unlike FB, which is in the business of making PII public and faces no penalties if it gets hacked.

## Comment: Re:Comparative sacrifice (Score 5, Informative)273

by bware (#45009241) Attached to: Snowden Shortlisted For Europe's Top Human Rights Award

It was far from the uncontrolled dump that Bradley Manning did

Not unlike Snowden, Manning passed on encrypted files to three media outlets for them to publish after redaction and vetting, but David Leigh and Luke Harding of The Guardian were not as careful as Manning, and managed to leak the passphrase. But "the dump" wasn't Manning.

All this is on Wikipedia.

## Comment: Re:Statistical fallicies (Score 1)351

by bware (#44748959) Attached to: At Current Rates, Tesla Could Soon Suck Up Worldwide Supply of Li-Ion Cells

The cost of labor has not gone down in 20 years.

In 1991, that 486 was manufactured in Austin, Texas. In 1992, it was manufactured in Ireland. In 2009, the equivalent was manufactured in Poland, and in 2013, in Penang and Xiamen.

I think a large fraction (not all, to be sure) of the reduced cost of the 2013 machine versus the 1991 machine is the global pursuit of the lowest possible wage. Ingenuity, yes. But not always technical ingenuity. Also financial, and logistical.

## Comment: Re:We're fucked (Score 5, Insightful)743

by bware (#44708195) Attached to: Snowden Spoofed Top Officials' Identity To Mine NSA Secrets

OMG these people are looking incompetent. OTOH the general public may believe them and think snowden has super powers and this isn't someone elses fault.

This isn't about competence or incompetence. It's about putting as negative a spin as possible on Snowden.

Float a lot of trial balloons, make sure negative things get out there via anonymous sources, even if rebutted the next day, then the "traitor" contingent can forever quote the negative and leave the detailed rebuttals to others, which no one will read.

To wit: in this thread, Manning is excoriated as a traitor for releasing all the documents unredacted, but Manning did not - that was accomplished when professional journalists from the Guardian published the passphrase for an encrypted file.

## Comment: Re:Take a breath, get some perspective. (Score 2)312

by bware (#44585145) Attached to: NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times Per Year, Audit Finds

And also only for the Washington area. From TFA:

The May 2012 audit, intended for the agency's top leaders, counts only incidents at the NSA's Fort Meade headquarters and other facilities in the Washington area. Three government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said the number would be substantially higher if it included other NSA operating units and regional collection centers.

It is a bit interesting that they got that information from "three government officials", instead of a stonewall.

## Comment: Re:Take a breath, get some perspective. (Score 2)312

by bware (#44585089) Attached to: NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times Per Year, Audit Finds

retaining an effective level of intelligence

Define effective.

So far, even while "sacrificing privacy of X thousand citizens", and at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, the NSA and its counterparts have completely failed to predict or prevent everything from the fall of the Berlin Wall to September 11 to the Boston bombers, in arenas both foreign and domestic.

Including failing to prevent Edward Snowden.

## Comment: Re:But why? (Score 2)445

by bware (#44362245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

My floodlights are on motion sensor, however. It helps cut down on the obnoxiousness.

No it doesn't. I hate being blinded by those, without warning, as I walk the dogs around the neighborhood at night. They're far more obnoxious.

## Comment: Re:Unfunded mandate? (Score 2)285

On the other hand, everyone knew we were going to find extra-stellar planets. The math dictated it. Actually finding them was tidying up loose ends.

Cite please. Cause I remember sitting in conferences discussing this with other people in the field, and we were apparently woefully underinformed.

I could, were I so inclined, find you numerous references to discussions of the Drake equation in the 80s and 90s when one of the unknown variables was \eta_{planet} and the explanation was, maybe planets are just rare. Maybe we're special. It's not the way anyone would have bet, but it was definitely a possibililty.

And dark matter is the new ether - it's so obvious until one day it's not.

One, I think you mean dark energy, and two, both dark matter/energy were stunningly unobvious when I was a grad student, even though we were dealing with the same problems that led to the experimental evidence supporting these theories. I don't think the solution was obvious and handed out when I wasn't paying attention in Weinberg's and de Witt's classes.

This isn't any sort of "golden" age.

Holy cow. We've built, launched, and observed so much more in the last 20 years, experimentally, than in the whole previous century. I could hand you my grad school copy of Peebles, and we knew nothing, nothing for certain. All speculation. Now we know, and know that we don't know, and that's old science. What an ingrate.

This is how science is done. I don't care that you didn't get space elevators or jetpacks or a GUT. You might have expected what all those bozos in Popular Science were predicting for five cents a word, but no one else did. Those guys didn't understand orbital mechanics, chemistry, or physics. Huh. Who knew? We don't have flying cars and robot detectives and blasters either. Turns out maybe they weren't such great idea. Or fusion, or cheap reliable nuclear energy. The Jetsons weren't a reliable predictor of the future. We don't get cheap travel to the asteroids. We get GPS and smartphones and digital photography. We don't get fusion. We get Google and cheap travel to other continents and super-reliable cars and global warming.

I don't know what we'll get in the future, but it won't be what you, or I, expect. My grandfather got cars, airplanes, world wars, nuclear energy, and moon travel. I get computers, internet everywhere, and to go almost anywhere in the world I want to go. And realizing that the universe that I was taught we almost understood is 96% unknown. That's pretty awesome. "Everything we knew yesterday is wrong!" That's exciting, if you're a scientist.

Nothing's been done since Einstein and Dirac? All that work towards making and validating a Standard Model and making it calculatable out to 11 decimal places is a big disappointment? Just for instance.

You want new science, and you want it to be done out of trailers in BFE, Texas, and you want it for no money by people who get paid nothing. Land is cheap out there. Go nuts. Elon Musk isn't doing it that way. He's got a pretty nice setup in Hawthorne.

If it were possible to do science that way, most of us would be doing it. I don't know anyone who's in it for the money.

Kickstarter is your metric for what should be done? Look at what's on Kickstarter now if you want a list that's 99% junk. It's worse than Sturgeon's Law! That's why scientists have peer review and decadal reviews when we want to spend a lot of money. I'm not letting Kickstarter decide what science gets done, else we'll all be working on robotic sex slaves and Death Stars.

As far as NASA goes, yeah. More (and maybe bigger) telescopes in different wavelengths, more outer planet probes, more solar system and earth study. Dozens of great ideas are unfunded for the price of peanuts, and would be cheap at the price. One of them might well give us the key that unlocks the beginning of the universe or a GUT, but that's the thing about science. We find things we didn't even know to look for.

## Comment: Re:Unfunded mandate? (Score 4, Informative)285

Look at a list of the last 500 experiments conducted there, and try to find one that someone will care about in 100 years.

Hubble
Kepler
Cassini-Huygens
COBE
WMAP
Spitzer
MSL
GRACE
GRAIL
Chandra
Galileo
SWIFT

We've been mapping the cosmos. We've studied the cosmic microwave background in great detail and discovered that that crazy inflation idea is basically correct (COBE, WMAP). We've determined the Hubble Constant within 9% - we didn't know it within a factor of 2 when I was in grad school (WMAP). We've mapped the large scale structure of the universe, voids and bubbles. Not to mention the numerous theories that have died in the face of experimental evidence from NASA probes, or crazy ideas that have been confirmed.

We've discovered that almost every star we've looked at has multiple planets (Kepler). When I started in this biz, we literally had no idea what \eta_{planet} might be, and now we're closing in on \eta_{earth}.

We've landed probes on Titan (Huygens) and Mars (Rovers, MSL). We're driving robots around on Mars. We've mapped the gravity fields of two planets (GRACE, GRAIL). We've studied the outer planets in great detail (Cassini, Galileo). We've discovered that we don't know what 96% of the universe is made of (HST/Chandra).

Not to mention mapping out gamma ray bursters (SWIFT), x-ray and infrared cosmology (Chandra, Spitzer), and detailed study of the planet we live on (GRACE, numerous others).

We're living in a golden age of cosmology and earth science. You think no one is going to care about these discoveries in a hundred years? Two of those, dark matter/energy and the discovery of extra-stellar planets are paradigm-shifting.

We have the capability to do much more. Give NASA the price of a couple of B2 bombers or an aircraft carrier (or an ISS) spread out over the next decade, and we'll determine the spectra of the atmosphere of other planets light years away (and perhaps find evidence of life), and study the universe in the gravitational wave spectrum. And a dozen other great ideas that simply aren't going to be funded in my lifetime.

## Comment: Re:Orbital pickup truck (Score 1)204

by bware (#43593195) Attached to: Helium Depleted, Herschel Space Telescope Mission Ends

Got it in one.

Shuttle launches cost approximately $1 B each (just the launch, not the mission). Delta IV launches run about$0.6B. The Ariane 5 is listed as $0.2 B, but I wonder how much of that is subsidized. How much does it add to the cost to make the mission refillable? The reliable lifetime of reaction wheels and thrusters isn't much more than a half decade (yeah, some last longer, but you can't plan on it). You could put more backups, but they might not work after sitting for several years unused, and now you've got a much heavier satellite to launch. Doesn't take much of that kind of calculation before you decide it's cheaper to launch another telescope using the information from this one to improve it. And thus Planck succeeds WMAP which succeeds COBE. Space X does not have launch capability beyond LEO yet, though the Falcon Heavy looks promising, and the cost is listed at$0.15 Bish.

Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.

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