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Comment: Re:So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcod (Score 2) 429

by 93 Escort Wagon (#47939081) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

The pass code is limited to four numbers, but you can switch it to a longer pass phrase which may include any number of alphanumerical characters.

Actually this is no longer true as of iOS 8 - it wants you to set up a complex pass code by default.

Comment: Re:Nope they are clever (Score 1) 295

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47935251) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only
NFC implementations (should) be interoperable unless somebody screwed up implementation to spec; but that promises nothing about compatibility for anything built on top of NFC.

Right now, ISO 7813 mag-stripe cards are nice and standardized; but that only gets you as far as having the reader hardware work. Whether your card will be accepted by a given vendor is an entirely separate matter governed by some ghastly pile of contractual arrangements.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 927

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 927

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (Score 1) 532

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47925527) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9
It is a matter of taste; but the proliferation of 'widescreen' has really made multiple orientation setups more attractive. In particular, the ubiquitous 1920x1080 is cheap as dirt and nice and wide; but actually throws fewer vertical pixels than a nasty old 1280x1024 17' from about 2001. If you read or write a lot of text, or code with reasonably short lines, taking a cheapo 1920x1080 and rotating it gives you a 1080x1920: this is handy because it's still wider than 1024(so even old and horrible programs/layouts generally won't break, since anything that old and horrible probably expects 768 or 1024 pixel wide screens); but provides more vertical resolution than even substantially more expensive monitors in their native orientation.

I prefer my 'primary' monitor to be unrotated; but the amount of vertical resolution you can get for the money, without totally sacrificing width, from a rotated secondary monitor is pretty compelling.

Comment: Re:Natural immunity (Score 1) 121

In this case, you might want to go after the vets before the doctors...

It's not an accident that they were looking at agricultural workers (rather than, say, elementary school teachers, who would be seeing the worst of it from antibiotics-for-the-sniffles patients), nor is it an accident that there are 'livestock-associated' drug resistant strains.

Comment: Farmers != Farm Workers (Score 0, Troll) 121

The headline says farmers. The text says farm workers. Very much not the same thing. A farmer is the owner of the farm. A farm worker is generally a hired hand, often (though not always) a migrant, and if so typically from Mexico or farther south.

The story suggests that the multi-drug-resistant bacteria are the result of antibiotic treatment of the animals at the farm. This misses another possibility:

In Mexico, most antibiotics are over-the-counter, much like asprin here in the US. People who feel ill or have some infection often buy and take them. Typically they use them until they no longer show symptoms - then stop, rather than taking a full regimin and killing off all the bacteria. (Why take more of the non-free drug once the symptoms are gone? Waste of money, right?) This is a recipe for creating drug-resistant bacteria.

Of course if an infection is resistant to one antibiotic, a paitent is likely to try another, and another, and so on until they find one that works. THAT's a recipe for maintaining and improving the bug's resistance to the front line antibiotics while breeding resistance to others.

As a result, a substantial fraction of the workers arriving from south of the Mexican border are carriers of multi-drug-resistant baceria.

Meanwhile, a farming operation is likely to give a limited number of antibiotics continuously, so non-resistant infections are wiped out before they can develop resistance, and if they do develop resistance it will be to the particular drugs used, rather than the universe of antibiotics.

Of course, infected workers can infect livestock, just as livestock can infect workers. And infected workers can trade infections around, just as livestock can. (More so, since the livestock tends to be kept separated, to reduce both disease spread and breeding by unintended pairings, limitations that farmers can't impose on their workers - and would be unlikely to try even if they could.)

So it seems to me that responsible researchers would go a bit farther before reporting: Like by doing genetic testing on the strains of bug in the various workers and the livestock, and running models on the results to try to identfy whether the bugs are from the herd or the workers.

I don't see any such work alluded to in this popularized reporting. It seems to just assume that the bugs were developed on the farm and spread to the workers. I hope this is a disconnect between the actual research and the report, rather than an accurate characterization of the research.

Comment: Re:Looking for a Job (Score 1) 70

by Animats (#47923925) Attached to: The Case For a Federal Robotics Commission

Is it just me, or does this sound like an ambitious Law Professor looking for a new job as head of a newly minted agency?

Exactly the feeling I got. We don't even have an Federal Internet Commission, and don't seem to need one.

We do need to have the Consumer Product Safety Commission setting safety standards for the Internet of Things. They're properly the lead agency of safety issues. That will probably happen after the first few deaths due to cloud-based control of home devices.

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