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Comment: Information overload (Score 4, Insightful) 56

There is simply no way human beings can sort through that much data. That means relying on gadgets and software to do the sorting for the humans. Anyone who manages big data can tell you how corrupt most data sets really are. Names spelled different ways, bits of information incorrectly transcribed, copy errors, format errors, import errors are all low probability events but, when you're dealing with billions of records, there are a lot of them. Just in general, gadget security doesn't work.

In nearly every terrorist event that's happened in the U.S., the FBI had tips from alert citizens. That was true for 9/11 and almost all of them in between. The FBI even interviewed the Boston Marathon bombers. HUMINT works.

Funny that the FBI screw ups don't get more media attention. In nearly every case they didn't effectively use the information they had, so how is more information going to make things better?

Comment: Prime example (Score 4, Insightful) 103

by HangingChad (#49550691) Attached to: Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach

If anything points out that software patents should be completely thrown out it's this kind of nonsense. The computer world used to joke about the "Microsoft tax" on new computers due to the cost of Windows. This is, literally, a Microsoft tax on Android devices. At least with Windows you got something, this is money for nothing. This is not what the patent system was designed to do.

Comment: Always felt silly for doing that (Score 1) 225

That sounds like a good time for a duress password.

I always took the time to make two containers with one accessed through a duress password. I felt silly for doing it...less so now. It was something I did because I used to travel a lot internationally. That was before Customs started cloning people's device drives.

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 0) 334

by HangingChad (#49539137) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

he'll be prosecuted for manslaughter, right?

Sure, we should stop fighting terrorists because they hide behind hostages. That's a brilliant strategy. And then prosecute the people launching attacks against terrorist bases overseas. Another brilliant plan! Pure genius.

Maybe a better plan is for civilians to stay the fuck out of conflict zones or face the fact there's a risk of getting killed.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 2) 533

by HangingChad (#49505215) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Is this industry BS, or is there something to this claim?

The power companies do actually have somewhat of a point but, in many ways, the issues are very similar to what's going on with internet technologies.

Part of your electric bill goes to maintaining the electric grid and the LV (Low Voltage) network that serves your neighborhood. Suppose there are 10 homes on an LV network and 2 of them install 7,000 watt solar arrays. Now the cost of maintaining the LV network has to be split among 8 homes instead of 10. At first that wasn't any big deal but, as more people add solar power, the power companies still have to maintain the grid and enough excess capacity to make up the shortfall on a cloudy day. As the use of solar power starts going up geometrically, it is really pounding the snot out of your local power company (not that they don't deserve a little of it).

So let's suppose we charge everyone a connect fee for grid maintenance. That covers the cost of maintaining transmission systems, LV networks and excess unused capacity. It will also raise the cost of utilities for the poorest fraction of society. I was shocked to learn that there is a large segment of utility customers who use very little electricity. A connect fee would, for many of them, be a significant price increase.

Some of these problems can be mitigated by smart grid technologies. Now we get into a pissing contest between utility companies and regulators about who is going to pay for the upgrade. Utility companies want the government to pick up the tab, even though that wasn't the deal when they were granted a monopoly. Just like telecos want the government to upgrade the internet so they can step back in and reap the profits. Free market corporate welfare. Utilities are hesitant to invest money in a rapidly diminishing market.

This points out one of the big reasons why privatizing utilities is such a monstrously bad idea. Once profit becomes the prime driver of utilities, the greater good is completely out the window.

+ - NNSA Buying Yet More Supercomputers to Model Potential Nuclear Disasters->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A supercomputer like the upcoming Trinity machine is the only class of system that could adequately tackle what is known as “The Problem” in the weapons stockpile world. Their multiphysics 3D simulation, which (let your imagination run wild on this horror) factors in complex models that simulate thermonuclear burn, fission, hydrodynamics, and the photonic interactions from radiation.

Although the existing Cielo machine is far from puny, the code could only run on half the machine after a three-to-four day wait for an eight hour run because of so many other projects eating the machine. Aside from that more practical concern, nodes cannot go down during such a simulation and fast interaction between nodes is critical.

Link to Original Source

+ - Six Net Neutrality Lawsuits: What Are the Complaints About?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: One of the main arguments for the trade groups and ISPs that have filed six — yes, six — lawsuits against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules is that the agency violated a 69-year-old administrative procedure law in crafting the new regulations. A second argument: the agency violated ISPs’ Fifth Amendment rights by taking their private property for public use without paying 'just compensation.'
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Hell No Hillary (Score 4, Insightful) 676

by HangingChad (#49459571) Attached to: Hillary Clinton Declares 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid

Please don't vote for Hillary just because she is a woman.,

This election won't be about gender or any substantive issues. The only choice is going to be between Crazy and Not Crazy and Hillary wins that going away.

The GOP doesn't have any policies to run on, they've turned into an endless fountain of negativity. Benghazi! Tax cuts! Email server! Job creators! They're anti-science, anti-abortion, anti-everything except starting another war in the Middle East.

No one that isn't as batshit crazy as they are is going to vote for a GOP presidential candidate.

Comment: Re:Never (Score 4, Informative) 181

by HangingChad (#49454719) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

3. Dangerous

What's dangerous is 3,000 pounds of metal being controlled by a driver who is impaired by alcohol, drugs or messing around on their phone. Around here the greatest impairment is age. A good third of the people on the road around here can barely see. Self-driving cars don't have achieve some lofty safety record to become the standard, they only have be better than humans and that's already within easy reach compared to the technical hurdles already overcome.

4. No one controls when and where I go

That may be the dumbest excuse to oppose technology I've ever read. If you fly, ride the bus, train or cruise ship, other people control where you go.

I remember people in a video forum in 2004 telling me they'd be shooting film the rest of their lives. That was just 11 years ago. In just that short time span video has not only rivaled film but surpassed it. Long before video surpassed film in terms of quality, video displaced film on the basis of cost and ease of workflow. The technical hurdles in 2004 for video to replace film were huge and it happened in less than a decade.

Cars are not only going to rival human drivers but surpass them, and definitely a lot sooner than you think. It won't be that long before people who insist on driving themselves become the hazards on the road and I don't think your right to seize the steering wheel is going to trump the lives of other drivers.

Comment: Re:Yeah, right. (Score 1) 892

The wage-gap argument doesn't even make sense. Just imagine if a company could get the same productivity out of women and pay them 30% less. It would have an enormous competitive advantage over every other company in its industry and all the companies would quickly be forced to either hire all women themselves or go out of business, not because of any misguided government interference, but purely because of overwhelming free-market forces. The same argument applies for women in the boardroom. If they gave a company a distinct competitive advantage, every company would already be forced by the market to have lots of them.

You are being very stupid. Your basic mistake is in assuming that the free market is 100% efficient and free of prejudice. What on earth gives you that impression? Hiring and firing responds to the trends of the day. Why do you think the participation of women in the economy has been changing over time? Why do you think the wage-gap has been changing? Why is the level of the pay gap perfect and just today, of all days, when it wasn't back in the 90s, the 80s, the 70s or the 1840s?

The fact is, prejudice exists despite the fact that it creates inefficiencies and makes more prejudiced people and companies perform worse. Because prejudice takes time to work itself out of the system! The Nazis refused to allow women into their munitions factories all the way until the end, even though this terrible decision contributed to their defeat to the Soviets who did so, and even put women into the front lines. If your argument was correct, the Nazis would never have done so, they would have seen the effects of their prejudices coming a long way off. But they didn't because they were idiots and in the real world there are a lot of idiots.

Ellen Pao's experiment, whether it works or not, is part of the process whereby inefficiencies are removed from the system. To do so, after all, people need to try different things. People like you, who think the status quo is perfect already, have always existed, and have successively been proven wrong again and again throughout history.

Comment: Re:Everything's a negotiation (Score 1) 892

I think there are a lot of definitions of 'good' negotiators in play here. Like, a 'good' negotiator in a pay negotiation might be someone who opts for a lower salary because they understand the pressures the business is under and do not want to earn more than their colleagues doing equivalent quality work. Such a person, willing to sacrifice for the greater good, would be a good asset to the company. However in the context, a 'good' negotiator is a person that is simply better at extracting more money from the company for their personal enrichment, at the detriment of everyone else, by refusing to compromise.

Why should that be rewarded with higher pay? Why is that good in a team member?

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 892

If they make the "best offer" and the pay gap disappears, then what? Will *you* go nuts?

I also don't believe that ending negotiations would result in decreased salaries on average - it could well result in increased salaries, since the default salaries can be set to be higher because there is less need of an allowance for unexpected changes due to negotiations. From a management perspective, that increased certainty would be worth paying a little bit more. Ending haggling in retail, for example, has enabled shops to offer on average better deals than previously.

It seems like a worthy experiment, in general.

Comment: Re:Sensors wrong (Score 1) 460

by HangingChad (#49421519) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots

Air France 447 was one of those incidents.

But who's to say a remote pilot would have done any worse? Everyone died on that flight, so how much worse could the remote pilot have done? Air France 447 isn't the only crash to take place because of clogged pitot tubes. There was also Birgenair 301 and a couple others.

There seems to be a perception that a remote pilot would somehow do a worse job than someone on the flight deck. Until there's actual experimental data to support that claim it's not a valid argument. Right now you're all going on your perception as someone sitting in the passenger seat. The airline pilot's union is hardly a disinterested third party, it's their jobs on the line.

And what about accidents cause when the flight crew was distracted or confused? That's a long list there.

Automation shouldn't need to reach some ridiculous extreme in safety to be considered the superior alternative. It should only have to be +1 better than human pilots. Anything else is irrational.

Comment: What I can't figure out (Score 1) 258

by HangingChad (#49410605) Attached to: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

With the push for autonomous vehicles what I can't understand is why cargo ships still have a crew? It seems like shipping would be a far better candidate for automation than cars. You'd need a harbor pilot to steer into port, just like you do now, but it seems like the other 98% of the time cargo ships, with the proper tracking technology would be a slam dunk for automation.

Still, when it comes to cars. If a self-driving car was available I'd definitely buy one.

It is better to live rich than to die rich. -- Samuel Johnson