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Comment: I'd take the Samsung check (Score 1) 192

by tjstork (#48854129) Attached to: Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost

So a well funded player rolls out a new camera missing a feature its established and highly regarded competitors have, and a web site gives them a great review. Dang, why didn't I have that domain name! I should write bad reviews of the new Samsung and wait for the next model and ask for a reviewers copy. I ought to get some spending cash then!

Comment: So what (Score 1) 160

by tjstork (#48853339) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

I think that could, in the modern American political discourse, be the refrain. Have a look at a map. Generally speaking, urban areas vote blue and in favor of some sort of a national vision, whereas rural areas consistently lap up a steady diet of misinformation that says they are supporting the cities when every outlay from the state capitals to even the federal government suggests the opposite is true. The rural areas say they hate government and redistribution of wealth - fine - then let them do without the wealth redistributed to them and maybe cities, unshackled by them, can begin to turn their own finances around.

Comment: Enough of the anti-city agenda (Score 5, Insightful) 160

by tjstork (#48852587) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

Laws prohibiting municipal broadband are entirely anti-city. In a country where politics is such that cities are routinely decried (while ironically states redistribute their tax revenues to rural areas and suburbs), I think it is time to frame broadband rights as a freedom from government for cities.

Cities should be allowed to be more independent from the states that hold them. They should not be stripped of the competitive advantages that localized economies of scale provide. They should be allowed to offer their own utilities, to toll the interstates that cut through them, and they shouldn't have to pay a gasoline tax that largely serves rural interests, and above all, part of that independence should be to allow them to offer broadband.

Comment: There's no such thing as externalities. (Score 1) 441

by tjstork (#48851151) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

You invent externalities as if there is some kind of mandate that "Society has to bear the solution to some problem." Here's the reality. I absolutely do not. You can't argue in generalized terms about the affairs of humans in a digital age where everyone is perfectly capable of understanding their economic interests. If I live on a big hill, I don't have to care if your beachfront sinks. If it is cheaper for me to burn coal to heat with, I'm going to burn coal. It's that simple. Raising the taxes on my energy is really, to me, you screwing up my life so that you can have your fancy beachfront house. It's equally not fair, either way, and there's not so much as the notion of external costs as it is you are looking to raise a rent on the poor to preserve your beach property and fancy solar sailboats while the rest of us try and buy bread. We don't need you. We don't need your coasts. There's too many people already, as your side is fond of saying!

Comment: Bring it. (Score 1) 441

by tjstork (#48851101) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

Your theory of damages is entirely ridiculous. If I burn a mount of coal in Kentucky, then the best you can say is that technically, perhaps, I helped make global sea levels rise. That would suck if you were living in New York or on the coast.

But, let's review the science:

a) CO2 is making sea levels rise and warming the planet and changing the climate. But no mathematical or climate model has been remotely accurate. The models do NOT actually predict climate, and that's really a huge problem. So you can't remove my burning coal mountain, then re-add it, and hold me culpable for anything, with any degree of certainty at all other than your lunatic religion.

b) Any contemplated action proposed by the environmental left, from carbon taxes to transaction taxes, has the effect of creating an enormous economic problem for the poor and middle class. If I 'm poor, I don't care if the coastlines sink. I don't own my building. Landlords do. So screw them! I'll move! Why should I care about your solar panel house in New Jersey with your scenic rich yardwork, when I'm poor in Kentucky? Answer is, I don't. All I see is that you want to make my fuel more expensive, my food more expensive, everything more expensive, when I'm trying to get the basics, and that cuts into whatever savings I have... makes me poorer, and having your cronies take those taxes to build a library for "me" doesn't cut the rusk as some kind of compensation.

So the bottom line is that. If you really want to save the planet, then go right ahead and invest your money in whatever it takes to make green stuff. If it is cheaper, I'll buy it. But if you are going to spend your life making my life miserable to save your beachfront property, when I don't even have property worth saving other than a burning pile of coal and a rifle, then show up claiming you are coming after me, then you're gonna get the rifle, and deserve it!

Comment: Re: No control experiment (Score 1) 132

by tjstork (#48788545) Attached to: Short-Term Exposure To Diesel Fumes Causes Changes In Gene Expression

Not everyone has the same harm vs benefit outlook. You might want a perfect green earth but I like cheap energy today and can live with the health risks. We are all going to die someday and at least I want to be warm. So the short answer is, I don't care about your genes and you don't care if people freeze. To each his own. There is no "we".

Comment: I doubt it (Score 2) 265

by Ckwop (#48143283) Attached to: Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

I'd be surprised if a random member of the public could even define what free software is. They'd probably think it's connected to the cost of the software rather than its freedom giving properties.

That said, I think that the view that with enough eyes all bugs are shallow is false. Given that bash is used in millions and millions of servers and the bug took decades to root out, we must think of a better way to get eyes on the code.

The whole stack needs a line by line review by security experts. That will cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars but my view is that it's probably worth it. Then we have to make sure all changes get reviewed in the same way.

The result of this process would be a super-hardened version of OpenBSD. It would come with a nice fat government certification and if you want to do business with the government, you have to use that distro.

That might rub people up the wrong way but I think that's what's ultimately going to happen eventually. A lot of this infrastructure is so critical to the modern economy that we can't just run any old code anymore.

Comment: Actual Reality (Score 1) 136

by tjstork (#47822225) Attached to: Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

Well, you have a few stumbling blocks:

a) While the mechanism for AGW is pretty obvious and indisputable, the actual predicted value of climate models has been lacking. That's just a fact. They are getting better, and they will get better, but it is fact that they are inaccurate today.

b) The private sector is already pricing risk due to climate change into models for various natural disasters. Right now this is just best guess based on the models, but as the models improve, so will the risk models based on them. So, the "cost" of climate is something the market is working towards deciding. Until that actual cost is well known and understood by all parties, it will be politically impossible for anyone with any degree of skepticism towards the government in general to agree to let government decide what that price should be.

c) Since, the price of doing nothing is not even agreed to yet, it follows that any mitigate response must be viewed with suspicion, because, you can't compare the cost of action with the unknown cost of damages. A tell tale sign that there is a perceptual agreement on this issue by everyone, purported denier, and believer, is that, most believers remain anti-nuclear power, and I've seen little evidence this administration has even considered increasing research into nuclear fusion.

d) If the climate is always changing, it doesn't matter in the minds of some, if man is changing it or not, when something else will change it just as well.

So, the actual dollars and cents reality is that the proponents of climate change reform are asking everyone to make some rather radical changes in their life, to let there be new winners and new losers, when it is not at all understood how much the winners will win and the losers will lose, if we choose to do nothing but let fossil fuels exhaust themselves or deal with doomsday when it happens. Sure, there's denialism, but by casting opponents of your point of view into that camp, all you've done is basically positioned yourself as someone who is advancing a political agenda with climate change as its mask, rather than fixing any problems of climate change itself.

Comment: Re:Straight to the pointless debate (Score 2) 136

by tjstork (#47822189) Attached to: Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

There is nothing particularly unusual about our local weather station's story which hasn't been repeated in most cities around the world. So it is not surprising that noisy long term time series need to be cleaned up before being fed into sensitive predictive models. It would be dishonest not to if you know there was a change in the sampling history which required it.

But at that point, aren't you really basically just making it up? Granted, even satellite temperature sensors drift, but it seems that the real long term answer here is to just accept that the historical data is going back in time, and we're really just "guessing" at previous climate, as we simply didn't have the foresight to measure it correctly for the way we want to use it.

Comment: Re:Property rights (Score 1) 215

by tjstork (#47804059) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

There's actually an international treaty that prohibits countries from claiming property rights on celestial bodies due to their being in space. By signing that treaty, countries agreed that the property of space effectively belongs to the United Nations or whatever treaty body controls claims for it. But yes, suing for space is ridiculous, but, is noise pollution for airlines flying above your house as ridiculous? What about drones flying 500 feet overhead, or even 100 feet? I think as a property owner you should be compensated for that. It's your land, and you are entitled to "some" of the airspace above it, and I wouldn't be so quick to just hand that value of that away to another corporation to make money off of. I mean, would you let someone set up shop and frack in your back yard? What's really the difference?

Comment: Re:Property rights (Score 1) 215

by tjstork (#47804031) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

Why are you so quick to give away for free something that a major corporation will make tons of money on? That transit conduit has a value and it is only because of government that I cannot get some value out of it. You can call me a hick all that you want, and maybe I am, but you're the one advocating a system where people are going to use a resource that you possess, for free, and without even a shred of protest. "Here Amazon, go ahead and make billions of dollars flying drones 500 feet above my house, for free." Yep, that's what you want. I think that's stupid.

Comment: Microsoft is a spent force (Score 4, Interesting) 142

by Ckwop (#47707005) Attached to: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Microsoft doesn't have many fans on Slashdot but even the most die-hard of fans must now see that they're in a real bad position.

The used to be invincible in the consumer space but now the computing device of choice is either the tablet or the smart phone. Precious few of these are Windows based.

The used to be invincible in the business user space but the move to mobile computing means business people are using iPhone and iPads, not Windows Phones and Surface.

Then there's Bing, who's only claim to fame is being the world's greatest search engine. For. Porn.

Then there's Azure. We actually looked at Azure and discovered that the same hardware in EC2 was half the price. If you going to twice as much you might as well give up and go home.

Then there was the own goal of the latest generation XBox. They managed to piss everyone off for no discernible gain.

The only area their grip is still strong is PC gaming. For how long, who knows?

Microsoft is a spent force. They're out of ideas. In a few short years they've gone from being the 800lb gorilla to just struggling just to remain relevant.

It reminds me of Brazil versus Germany at this year's world cup. I'm not celebrating any more; it's just sad at this point.

Comment: Could you use this for body building? (Score 1) 39

by tjstork (#47504989) Attached to: Method Rapidly Reconstructs Animal's Development Cell By Cell

I know it sounds vain but it does also have practical applications for people with muscular deficiencies owing to immobility. From what I've gathered, no one really knows what happens, precisely, to cause muscles to "grow". Sure, there's a hundred different theories tossed around on body building forums, but a lot of sounds more like pseudo-biological nonsense rather than real science. There's precious little experiment in the field and my lay understanding is that it is because the only method of looking at muscles is biopsy.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos

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