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Comment: Re:Can't we just let the market decide? (Score 1) 102

by firewrought (#49600505) Attached to: Should Developers Still Pay For Game Engines?

Not everything is an attack on your political ideology. True, the title is poorly worded, but if you read the fine summary (or god-forbid, followed the links) it's clear that timothy is really asking "Do developers still have to buy game engines?". He's not proposing anything that would infringe on the capitalist primacy you and so many other AC's are leaping to defend.

Also, don't insult your audience: repeatedly wrapping a slur in quotes doesn't absolve you anything. If you feel the need to use a slur, just straight up own it.

Comment: 2 Billion?? (Score 1) 499

by firewrought (#49595745) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

Musk thinks the market for home batteries will expand to at least two billion, eventually.

This is a HUGE number. There are only ~1.5 billion houses/households in the world, the vast majority of which could not begin to afford something like this, even on lease.

Also, it's hard to see where the demand comes from. If these things take 5-7 years to pay off using nighttime pricing, that's not very convincing. Better to spend that money on insulation or better windows. The argument for home batteries is better if you already have solar, but it's still going to be years before solar tops 2% of U.S. homes.

Supposing 10% of US homes go solar by 2025 and they all buy home batteries, then that's maybe ~12 million units. If US units account for 10% of world consumption (more likely I'd say 35%), than we're looking at 120 million units top in this rosy scenario.

'course, I'm just eyeballing various numbers. I'd love to see somebody do the math. Hopefully Musk has firmer numbers/models to support his optimism (either that or he's counting net demand over the next fifty years). I really want to like Musk, but sometimes I fear he's just blowing a bunch of hot-air. :-\ (Come to think of it, that's what the real Tesla ended up doing. :O)

Comment: It's a Complex World (Score 2) 278

by firewrought (#49586911) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

While interesting, this study is also sort of meaningless for making any sort of policy decision. I take far away vacations because the plane makes it possible. If planes weren't an option (due to price or policy), then I would shift to taking vacations closer to home (with maybe 1 trans-Atlantic cruise to explore Europe late in life), and my business travel would shift to teleconferencing. Would the resulting environmental footprint be better or worse? Hard to say. And presumably train usage would (after a few years of infrastructure investment) boom under this scenario, changing things again...

There are too many variables interacting for this study to "prove" anything.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 52

by firewrought (#49570303) Attached to: TeslaCrypt Isn't All That Cryptic

Would you trust the guys that infected your system, removed your access to files, ransomed the decryption key from you etc. to correctly - and perfectly - restore your untouched data?

Yes, I would. The original authors have (1) the most technical experience with their particular product and (2) strong financial incentive to provide a "good" extortion experience. By contrast, Talos is working from what they can reverse engineer, and they may not be aware of all variants/quirks of the malware.

Blocking the infection vector is infinitely more important than anything else.

They've already owned your machine with the payload of their choosing, and it's probably even self-updating. While I wouldn't exactly trust the malware folks to leave your machine clean, they already have the power to add whatever they want (whether you pay or not).

What's to say that their decrypt / encrypt routine isn't just a smokescreen to infect all your files with something else en-route?

Fair point, but it's more true for EXEs and DLLs than it is for Office documents and text files, so you could do some measured restoration. And again, if they've infected your machine already it would have been simpler and more successful to just silently compromise your files to begin with.

The option of "pay ransom" is really a sign that you've failed yourself.

That's for damn sure, but among homeowners and small business owners, how many people have the skills, time, and discipline to setup offsite, incremental, "pull" backups? And even a "pull" strategy (like mlts mentions in another comment) can be subverted if an attacker is clever enough.

Aside for those who want to get serious about backups: here's one strategy to consider. Combine with a weekly/monthly drive swap-out to offsite location for best effect, and remember that untested backups are no backup at all.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 629

by firewrought (#49562723) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

I've always found it funny when people order like that. As if the diet pop is gonna counter the 2234872184732 calories of a double big mac you're about to wolf down.

Big Mac: 530 calories. Large fries (no ketchup): 510 calories. Large coke: 280 calories. I wouldn't ridicule a 20% calorie reduction made by those switching to diet. And that's before refills are taken into account. If you're an obese person who's been drinking full-calorie beverages, a shift like that is enough to start taking weight off, provided you don't "reward" your effort with a HoneyBun later on.

The problem isn't the diet coke (gut bacteria research aside)... it's the other 1040 calories. Hold the mayo (doesn't apply to Big Mac?) and save 100 more calories. Drop the fries for apple slices plus a small bag of potato chips (later that afternoon) and save 200 more calories. Take the stairs for 4-5 stories to get that bag of potato chips from the top floor vending machine and now you've got a little cardio happening.

None of that's going to be enough to get you to your ideal weight, but all you have to do is move the needle a little bit and amazing things will start happening, because you will start being in control of you.

Comment: Re:Feminism ruins society again... (Score 1) 599

Feminism ruins society again...

Feminism (once you sweep aside academic verbosity) boils down to some very simple ideas about women being able to vote, have careers, use contraception, etc., and not being predestined to a life of child-rearing/cooking/cleaning whilst subservient to her husband. That feminism has almost been a success in western civilization, though many would like to drag us backwards. Moreover, it bore good fruit for other afflicted parties: if you're Jewish, black, LGBT, disabled, or foreign, you have feminism to thank (in part) for the opportunities afforded to you by modern society.

Are there feminist extremist? Sure. Is society over-correcting for its past? Yes. However, the proper response isn't to jerk backwards and polarize; the proper response is to reaffirm first principles (human rights, equality, due process, etc.) and temper extremism from both ends.

Comment: Re:If you demand all your supporters be flawless.. (Score 1) 653

by firewrought (#49415199) Attached to: Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' On Gay Rights

He's gay and claims to be a Christian. Pretty hypocritical if you ask me (or Moses or Jesus or the Apostle Paul).

Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. -- Luke 3:11

How many shirts do you own, PRMan?

Comment: Re:Yeah good luck with that... (Score 2) 587

by firewrought (#49415065) Attached to: Hugo Awards Turn (Even More) Political

SJW^h^h^h People of all stripes have one thing in common: a relentless drive for conformist groupthink on the issues they fight for.

FTFY... we all feel most comfortable around people who have the same politics/ideology/worldview as us.

Few people are as scary and dangerous as the ones who are convinced that theirs is a righteous battle, and are prepared to fight it, whether their belief flows from religion or from ideals.

I'll buy that.Most injustice (at societal scale) involves either greed or ideology, and the greedy tend to be easier to fight or negotiate with.

And what appears to make the SJW crowd more belligerent is the fact that often they are right, in that there are still plenty of inequities and social injustices.

I'm not sure I follow. Perhaps you are simply saying that because public sympathy largely aligns with "SJW" values, it's harder to temper their extremes w/o being portrayed as an extremist yourself. GamerGate, to the limited degree I've researched it, seems to be an example of it: there are many reasonable voices on the pro-GG side, but their cause has been "helped" (/s) by extreme right-wingers, men's rights groups, and trolling 15-year-olds. Which made it easy for the anti-GG side to tar the whole thing as misogynist (especially since they owned the media outlets being criticized).

Compared to other "noisy" groups like extreme right wingers, these are the noisiest, most exclusionary, and indeed most violent.

Noisiest? That's subjective, but it seems like staunch right wingers have some powerful megaphones (Fox news, AM radio, plenty of pulpits, etc.). Progressives own more megaphones, but tend to be softer-spoken with them, though a good argument can be made that this is less true as time goes on (MSNBC, for instance). Increasingly, it seems like civilized discourse in our society is just two extremes yelling at each other.

Violent? Whoa whoa whoa... don't see where you're getting this. There's very little ideologically-driven violence in the United States, but notable incidents (Una-bomber, Eric Rudolf, Oklahoma City bombing, various anti-LGBT murders/assaults) are exclusively committed by right-wing actors. (Feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong.)

And the really scary part is that because the issues they attack are real, this mindset is percolating into the mainstream. Writers being excluded from an association or from an award because they have the wrong ideas. Or in my home country, where no one so much as blinked when a school official stated that "if you have the wrong ideas or are a member of the wrong political party, perhaps you shouldn't be a student or a teacher here"

So it seems like the question is: how, and how much, should we tolerate the intolerant? Legitimate food for thought.

Comment: Re:Probably Xamarin (Score 3, Insightful) 96

Write your logic in C or C++. Its how cross-platform has been done for decades.

Yep... just like people keep talking about this "car" gizmo when we've had decent horse-and-buggy technology for centuries! I don't understand why anybody would want to cross the country in this proprietary Ford nonsense when--with just a little knowledge of horsemanship, veterinary science, metal-working, carpentry, wilderness survival, food preservation, hunting, and gunsmithing--they could take the slow, dangerous, proven approach!

Comment: Re:Reminds me of one thing (Score 1) 737

by firewrought (#49347545) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

We (almost) have self-driving cars. Aircraft generally self-drive themselves almost all time now. Why not have self-driving aircraft?

Seems a lot safer for now. Pilot can enter anytime if an emergency of non-standard situation is declared (and verified).

You're not thinking like an attacker... sure, this removes the homicidal co-pilot from the equation, but now you have to worry about the homicidal operators who oversee remote control of the system, not to mention the homicidal engineers/programmers/telecom folks who helped design the system and the homicidal hackers who figure out ways to seize control of it. Those would all be new areas of expertise, too, so you're going to discard the time-hardened crew system we currently use and replace it with a bunch of unknowns; that means flawed designs and fresh incompetence, which means many hard/painful lessons over several decades before aviation safety could return to its current pinnacle.

Basically, commercial aviation has gotten almost as safe as it can get. Make any one aspect safer and you're probably adding more danger than you're taking away. That's not to say we shouldn't try: real engineers and analysts need to study the problems and tackle them, but just about every "internet solution" is naively looking at this one situation without considering the system as a whole.

Comment: Re:it always amazes me (Score 1) 341

It always amazes me when people try and censor stuff that is already public.

What's most egregious is when the US military banned their staff from viewing Wikileaks. This suggests one of several possibilities:

  1. Military leadership is completely out of touch, believing that the they can put the genie back in the bottle by burying their heads in the sand. (Not unbelievable for a hierarchical/bureaucratic/authoritarian organization helmed by senior citizens.)
  2. Military leadership plans to use NSA intelligence to detect/find future leakers, and a staff-wide ban reduces the background noise/false negative rate in making that detection. (Very believable.)
  3. Military leadership is afraid that the existing leaked materials could spur staffers to make additional leaks. (Also believable, since there's bound to be [scattered throughout the sprawling military-industrial complex] a bunch of folks who've witnessed corruption/wrongdoing/gross incompetence and then subsequently been frustrated by formal channels for redressing such wrongs [or afraid to use such channels].)

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"