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Comment: Re:Time to build a cruise missile and send it over (Score 2) 107

by dkf (#47735355) Attached to: Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

I did and they have another hostage ready to chop his head off.

The way to deal with these people is to ignore whether they have the second hostage (assume he's already dead, even if that's technically premature) and to bomb the area, preferably with something like white phosphorous incendiaries. It also needs to be done soon, because people regard such actions less favourably when it is longer from the event which the punishment is being meted out for. Make it very clear that once someone starts killing hostages, reprisals will come. If you don't, the next damn terrorist group will think they can get away with this sort of thing too; you're not protecting those already captured, you're protecting everyone else.

It's a shame, but being this nasty is the only way of hammering home to idiots that fucking with is a seriously bad idea (unless you can act with more precision and kill just the terrorists). And it does work: it's been proved to work over and over throughout history. It probably needs to be accompanied with a full apology to any innocents caught up in the crossfire to mitigate incidental downstream trouble.

Comment: Re: Self Serving Story? (Score 1) 267

by dkf (#47693989) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Really ? you are kidding right ? It's clearly not backed by gold anymore. So what's it backed by ?

It's backed by the fact that the government can shoot people until everyone agrees that it is valid. We could beat around the bush a lot more, but the threat of force (together with the ability to pay taxes that follows from that) is a key thing in making a currency valid.

Comment: Re:Yes, no, maybe, potato salad (Score 1) 291

by dkf (#47676945) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

There is no table, that I know of, that lists all the features versus all the paradigms versus all the languages.

That would be a very large table indeed, as there are a lot of critical nuances and a lot of languages (even if we exclude the ones without the ability to do a useful subset of all system calls).

Comment: Re:Some of us do still assemble, even now (Score 1) 291

by dkf (#47654935) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Many (most?) AAA games use C++ to build a specialized runtime and the actual game logic is implemented with scripts running on it.

If you're lucky, the scripts are in Lua (or possibly even one of the other embeddable scripting languages). If you're unlucky, they're in something custom...

Comment: Re:Jaw dropping (Score 1) 120

by dkf (#47654359) Attached to: Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

I think England is culturally tied to the idea of keeping the home fires burning which give nuclear power a kind of hold on them that technically it does not merit. That may explain the huge price they are willing to pay.

The English power consumption profile is winter-biased, and that's when loss of power can really cause trouble. Politicians think it is better (in electoral terms) to over-spend than to have the lights (and heating!) go out; they may be right on that.

Comment: Re:Useless (Score 1) 177

by dkf (#47621291) Attached to: Algorithm Predicts US Supreme Court Decisions 70% of Time

According to http://www.scotusblog.com/stat... the Supreme Court recently affirmed 27% of lower court decisions and reversed 73%. This means that if you guess that the Supreme Court reverses the lower court every time, you'll be 73% accurate. 70% accuracy is ridiculously low if you can get 73% accuracy *without* taking into consideration the records of each justice or any other kind of details.

Of course, the usual reason why the case got to the Supremes in the first place is because there were two cases by different Appeals Circuits which conflicted.

Comment: Re:cretinous because (Score 1) 316

by dkf (#47612355) Attached to: Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Speaking strictly about wireline ISPs, no wireline ISP sells a consumer grade plan as 20Mbps for 24/7 usage.

Mine did, but doesn't now: their lowest grade plan is now faster than that. The upper tiers might have throttling, but I don't thing the base grade tier can hit the level at which they care.

But then I'm not in the US. We have real competition between communications providers.

Comment: Re:Public transport will be obsolete (Score 1) 84

by dkf (#47592361) Attached to: Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

Once driverless car technology has sufficiently matured, there will be no need for buses, underground trains, or any other current public transport system.

Are you sure about that? You seem to be assuming that everyone will be travelling from and to different places and that there will be no concentrations of people attending the same location at the same time. It's been my experience that people don't work like that. I also suspect that the price that these vehicles would charge would make them rather less economic than you think. Unless there's evidence that what you propose would be cheaper than public transport currently is, or that there will be no common locations and times for people to go somewhere, there will be an incentive to have public transport of some form.

Comment: Re:Trains sound like a good idea. (Score 2) 84

by dkf (#47592335) Attached to: Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

US moves 10 times as much over rail as Europe does, over 25% of all freight is moved by rail in the US

I suspect that this difference may be in large part due to the more widespread use of water-based transport in the EU; it's a lot more efficient than even rail (provided you've got a suitable river going in the right direction or are close to the sea, which describes more of the EU than the US).

Comment: Re:ATO - GoA 4 (Score 1) 84

by dkf (#47592325) Attached to: Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

Operating the doors in a safe manner. (hard)

How so? You don't even need a computer. Just make it so the train doesn't move if the doors aren't closed, the doors move with little force, and if they fail to close they re-open and try again in 5 seconds.

I've seen a few driverless trains around the world (e.g., in Paris, Copenhagen and at ORD in the US for transfer between terminals) and they usually operate with two sets of doors: one set on the train, and the other on the platform. This keeps people from accessing the track area except when the train is there to let them board. Combine this with obstruction detection when the doors are closing (without which millions of automatic doors wouldn't be safe) and I think we can say that this particular problem is solved.

Or was the GP foolishly assuming that they had to use the existing equipment? That no investment was possible?

Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 1) 150

by dkf (#47548465) Attached to: Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

Amazingly, security libraries are often in this category. Is there a really good writeup ANYWHERE about SSL, certificates and signing practices? And IPSec with all its intricacies?

Funnily enough, on Stack Overflow! Not all of the security-related questions are overflowing with shitty misinformation. (SO might not be great, but it's better than the squillion shitty places for question answering that preceded it.)

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