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Comment: Re:Samsung: so sue us (Score 1) 56

Your aren't talking about ethics or morals, you're talking contract law. And we don't know what the contract amounts to. We do, however, know that MS was treatening to sue people right and left over secret patents, so it's quite reasonable that Samsung may have felt that they were coerced into signing the agreement. If so, then it's quite ethical to look for any escape hole.

Comment: Re:Get the concerns addresssed (Score 1) 139

Given the history of government, expect the voting mechanism to be bought from a company which has little transparency, and little interest in fixing problems.

The history a voting machines in the US is a history of fraud and probable fraud. If you switch to an on-line voting system, expect it to be vulnerable to fraudulent voting and difficult to check. And illegal to validate. ("That's our proprietary code your'e trying to inspect!")

Do not support it. Were it an open system, I'd be cautiously supportive, but recent history tells me not to expect that.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the Next Level. (Score 1) 169

by msobkow (#47586363) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

Well, while he's busy sitting on his "proprietary" meta compiler, here's a tool that uses XML to define a business application model and which can be used to produce any text-based language code you might desire. I'm focusing on building Java applications with it.

Unlike some people, I have no where near enough ego to "sit on it" until I "retire." I'd rather people gain whatever use they can as early as they can. Sure it's not perfect and it's not what *everyone* needs, but it works for what it does so far: six database products, a Java ORM, XML parsers, XML messaging for RPC-type behaviour, and I'm working on a prototype/demo Swing GUI right now.

So download, play, have fun, try it out. No charge, no strings, no bullshit.

But most of all, no ego. I know I'm not "brilliant" or "innovative", just stubborn and persistent.

Comment: Maybe (Score 3, Interesting) 169

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47584603) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

It seems really, really tough to get anyone finance-minded in the *business* of making software to understand that it's worthwhile to do exploratory development of tools and techniques to be much more productive later on.

Perhaps, but any such exploration and the resulting tools have to beat the baseline of a decent text editor, a decent version control system, a decent scripting language, and starting to write code within a minute of deciding the project is ready to begin.

For a long-running project with many developers and other contributors performing repetitive or error-prone tasks, maybe it will be worth investigating, selecting and adopting some external tools to automate some of that work, at some stage in the project when you know where the pain points are. But if your development team aren't newbies, they will be perfectly capable of building their code manually at first, they will surely already know their universal Big Three tools very well, and importantly, they will just code up any basic automation on the fly as the project grows and the needs become apparent.

IME, that turns out to be a surprisingly tough standard to beat. I've seen many, many projects get bogged down in their own infrastructure because they felt they should use some type of tool and forced themselves to do it, not because they necessarily needed that tool or found it useful in practice. Of course good tools can be useful, and of course sometimes it is better to bring in help from outside the project rather than being too NIH about everything, but it's important to stay focussed on the goal and not to forget that tools are only means to an end.

Comment: Actually they ARE working on some treatments. (Score 5, Informative) 351

It's not like there is some magical cure awaiting them upon arrival at Emory, there is no cure for Ebola. About the best they can hope for is palliative care, so why not just send a team to West Africa to do the same.

Actually there ARE some experimental treatments and antivirals, both general and specific to Ebola, being worked on. At Emory, in particular. (It's their business.)

In fact, according to previous reports, THIS GUY was working on them. And he had ONE dose of one of them WITH him.

Unfortunately, when he and a colleague both started showing symptoms, THIS GUY gave the ONE DOSE to the OTHER GUY.

Has he had other treatments already that might have made him more resistant than J. Random Villager? Haven't heard yet, but it sure wouldn't surprise me.

Bring this partiular guy back to the US, to the CDC facilities, shove him in a best-of-its-class isolab, and give him the best supportive care available (including more experimental stuff)? This might make sense, big time, despite the risks in transit.

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 436

by HiThere (#47584071) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Well, yes...but if it's illegal (under Irish law) for the company in Ireland to transmit the data to the US, they they are demanding that the company chartered in Ireland under Irish law comit a crime.

I don't know that that applies in this particular case, but there is much information that the EU forbids export of to any country that doesn't protect the information. And that definitely includes the US, where personal information is seen as a corporate asset over which the individual has no right.

In fact, I find it quite plausible that the demanded information might be illegal for the Irish company to transmit. (This goes contrary to the assertion made earlier that the agent of MS merely needs to push a button located in the US and the information will appear...unless there's criminally sloppy systems design.)

Comment: Re: Criminals? Not the word I'd choose (Score 1) 119

by HiThere (#47583987) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

Traitor doesn't fit the definition given in the Constitution. OTOH, they do appear to be guilty of multiple counts of malfeasance and conspiracy to commit malfeasance. So criminal would fit if they were prosecuted.

However, since they have not been formally accused by any prosecutorial authority, I think the best word may be "lying scum".

Comment: Re:or credibility of the government (Score 1) 119

by HiThere (#47583971) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

That's oversimplifying, but it was certainly a big part of it. People are incredibly much so that they don't even notice it. If something isn't affecting them or people that they know directly, most people will just ignore it.

Please note: This is not a criticism of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era. It was a totally stupid war for no reason that was ever explained ... or rather the explanations did not justify it, and were often lies. The ani-war movement was just, moral, and proper. It also woudn't have happened if people who had access to power weren't forced to face what the war might mean to them.

Please note, the current wars in the middle east are much more justifiable, though nobody in government dares to mention the real justification: oil. The wars are a blatant resource grab. (I'm not sure this extends to Afghanistan. I think that may be basically a war to test out the new military toys in a live exercise. But I'm not sure.)

Please also note that the "military toys" currently being developed and debugged are designed to allow a government to attack an armed civilian uprising. And note that simple verstions are being distributed to various police forces all over the US. This may explain what the real purpose of that "war" is.

Comment: Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (Score 1) 119

by HiThere (#47583863) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

No. Some agency is necessary. The CIA and the NSA as currently constituted are not.

To claim that they are needed is as silly as claiming that because a limited copyright is good, one that extends forever it needed. It's as silly as claiming that because some patents are needed, a patent on something that everyone has been doing for decades is justifiable, and that allowing it is mandatory.

Scale the NSA back to what it was in the 1950's, and the CIA back to what it was back in 1944, when it had a different name. Those agencies were probably necessary, but that's not at all the same as saying the current agencies are necessary, or even desireable. They are currently SO bad, that we'd be better off just totally abolishing them, even though that's clearly a bad idea except as one stage of a "redo from scratch" operation.

Comment: Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 119

by HiThere (#47583797) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

Excuse me, but many of us, or at least myself, do believe that they broke actual laws as well as being blatantly immoral. IANAL, so I can't be certain, but I believe that they did.

OTOH, I don't normally condemn people for breaking the laws if I feel the laws are unjust. I'm much more upset that they acted immorally than that they acted illegaly.

Comment: Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 119

by HiThere (#47583735) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

I understand your stated expectations. This is to be expected of one who blindly trusts authority. However it is worth noting that most of the statements by CIA/NSA/etc. spokesmen cannot be checked by anyone not a member of those organizations. (And this is why the "blindly".)

Just not being able to prove them wrong is not grounds for trusting them, when they (i.e. the organizations collectively) are the reason that those statements cannot be checked.

OTOH, statements from "techno libertarians" aren't always correct, but if they can't be checked, then it's clear that they can't check them either. This is a very significant difference.

Comment: Re:won't this zero out? (Score 1) 155

by HiThere (#47583653) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

I don't know the design, but couldn't you use the charge difference to separate them a bit, and then throw both away in the same direction? This seems implied by the comment that it violates conservation of momentum, because if the virtual pair then recombines momentum would seem to have disappeared.

A question is whether you could do this without using enough energy to stabilize the virtual pair as actual particles. It not then it would be extremely inefficient energetically.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.