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Comment: Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (Score 1) 145

How is blinding someone with a laser worse than killing or maiming them with a bullet?

The assorted 'laws of war' are heavily leavened by what their framers suspect that they can actually get at least some people to agree to; but the overall theoretical foundation always seems to be an attempt to steer weapons in the direction of "Kills outright, or leaves a wound that, if treated, will heal with comparatively limited permanent damage."

It's not an easy standard to maintain(both in terms of convenience, mass-maiming is a hell of a shock to morale and logistics, and engineering, something that will kill if it hits you as designed will likely cause serious tissue damage and/or amputation if it scores a sub-par hit); but it's not really a terribly strange shared desire, from the perspective of the warring European powers of the 20th century that wrote most of them.

Comment: As a layman... (Score 1) 89

I'm fairly out of my depth with this stuff, so this is an honest inquiry: how do the magnetic nanoparticles fit into the equation?

I realize that, once coated with a suitably tailored binding protein, the particles will collect whatever target the binding protein was specified for (presumably this could even be tailored, for any target where a suitably tame binding compound is available), and probably fairly efficiently because of the absurd surface area of nanoparticles.

What I don't understand is the necessity of using the nanoparticles. It was my understanding that, outside of seriously immunocompromised victims, T-cells(and possibly other flavors of phagocytes, I'm fuzzy on the details) are extremely adept at engulfing and destroying foreign bodies, including 'clumps' produced by targets bound to the antigens produced by B-cells. This technique appears to be using a synthetic/introduced antigen(which makes sense if the immune system isn't producing the necessary antigen, or not ramping up production fast enough); but it also introduces the nanoparticles so that the antigen clumps can be magnetically scrubbed from the bloodstream, rather than cleaned up by the T Cells.

What is the peculiarity here that would make introducing the novel clump-scrubbing mechanism necessary and worthwhile?

Comment: Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (Score 4, Interesting) 145

The Protocol contains a loophole large enough to drive a truck through, never mind some photons:

"Article 3 Blinding as an incidental or collateral effect of the legitimate military employment of laser systems, including laser systems used against optical equipment, is not covered by the prohibition of this Protocol."

As long as the blinding is a side effect (mitigated by "all feasible precautions to avoid the incidence of permanent blindness to unenhanced vision") of a non-blinding purpose(setting things on fire, destroying machine vision/optical sensor gear, 'dazzling', and basically anything else you might feel like using a laser for, it's all legal. That is not exactly fertile ground for any sort of serious arms control, even if lasers weren't comparatively cheap and trivial to build, especially at the modest powers that will really boil your eyeballs but aren't subject to the engineering challenges of aspirational air-defense and antimissile systems.

It gives me no pleasure to say so; blinding is a pretty ugly thing to do; but the Protocol as written is about as effective as forbidding murder; but making it legal to put a bullet through any hat you see, regardless of whether it contains a head or not.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 319

It's also an overcomplicated solution. OBD can get pretty nasty if you want access to esoteric stuff or manufacturer proprietary crap; but a basic, bluetooth-capable, OBD dongle that'll report the rough outlines of how a vehicle is being used is quite cheap indeed and not especially complex. I wouldn't necessarily want to try dead-reconing with nothing but that output; but answering "Am I driving right now?" is considerably less demanding.

Comment: Re:+-2000 deaths? (Score 3, Informative) 119

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47898637) Attached to: US Scientists Predict Long Battle Against Ebola
It's not really polite to say so that bluntly; but the difference is that measles deaths are basically optional(1st world anti-vaxxers) or just another bad thing that happens to poor people in poor and unpleasant places. By contrast, Ebola is currently just another bad thing that happens to poor people in poor and unpleasant places; but we've got basically nothing available to do about it if it spreads beyond the usual outbreak sites(yes, unlike the usual outbreak sites, we have limited supplies of high grade medical isolation gear and some interesting experimental drugs; but nobody has enough of the cool tech to deal with an outbreak of nontrivial size, especially if they want their medical and logistical systems to continue handling routine functions and care at the same time).

There are loads of places far less poor and squalid than Liberia and the other oubreak sites; but without any good options on the table it wouldn't take long to run through your supply of isolation wards and fancy positive-pressure protective suits even in the most upmarket first world locations with well regarded research hospitals and such, were the population to be affected.

Comment: Horse, meet barn door... (Score 0) 159

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47898029) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World
Was she asleep for, oh, the past quarter century? We've put together a neat little system (really an untidy patchwork of them) such that you can't touch something Turing-complete, drive on a substantial percentage of reasonably major roads, or do just about anything involving commerce without it dropping into the gigantic database somewhere and she's freaking out about somebody's little model airplane with a gopro?

It is the case that there are quite a few values of 'somebody' where worrying might be a good idea; but as a relatively petty footnote to the Orwellian world we've already put into operation. Pretending otherwise is clueless at best and actively dishonest at worst.

Comment: What's the angle? (Score 1) 35

I can understand the interest in the existence of Eucalyptus itself (it's a more or less interface compatible implementation of a bunch of Amazon's heavily used 'cloud' services that you can run stuff on in house or at a non-Amazon 3rd party). Amazon's pricing is crazy aggressive; but sometimes you need to do things in house, want to do things in house, or want to go mixed-strategy(in-house/Amazon for overflow, spread across more than one 3rd party provider, etc, etc.) and in general it's not a good feeling to have a stack of important stuff dependent on a single vendor.

What I find much harder to understand is what HP gains from this, or what I, the hypothetical customer, as supposed to be willing to pay HP to put its name on here.

Is this just more HP flailing, or is there an angle I'm missing? Are there lots of potential customers who won't touch Amazon (perhaps because they have to keep stuff internal); but won't touch Eucalyptus without some giant company selling them a support agreement? If so, since Amazon is off the table, why would they care about Amazon API compatibility? Who is the target here, and why aren't they either DIYing it, paying Amazon's incredibly aggressive prices for the real thing, or using an architecturally different cloud/VM arrangement?

Comment: Re:Why not all apps at once? (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47886411) Attached to: Chrome OS Can Now Run Android Apps With No Porting Required
Even if it were perfect, almost no ChromeOS devices have touchscreens and almost all Android devices do (especially if you count on the ones Google even slightly endorses, not the media-player-mystery-HDMI-dongle stuff). For applications that are basically hobbled by the touchscreen, a keyboard and mouse will be an improvement. For those that are enhanced by, or actively dependent on, it, that will be a bit of a mess no matter how perfect the runtime is.

Unless those proportions change fairly markedly, it probably makes sense for them to start with some popular, mouse and keyboard friendly, applications that don't lean on native ARM blobs much or at all.

Comment: Re:Pricing? (Score 1) 47

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47881803) Attached to: Intel Releases SD-Card-Sized PC, Unveils Next 14nm Chip
Sorry, my phrasing was ambiguous: the rPi I/O is 'broken out' in the sense of 'breakout board', it's substantially accessible on reasonably friendly headers that you can connect to without tiny elven soldering fingers or oddball connectors; unlike the (otherwise cheap and quite tempting) 'buy an android mini-stick-thing/used phone with 3rd party firmware support' option, which gets you power, sometimes a screen, and a few peripherals for crazy cheap; but where you'll be lucky to find a handful of undocumented test points, much less any headers.

The chip the rPi is based on really isn't quite right for the job(but feel the price...) so eth isn't so hot; but I've never had any serious issues, assuming an acceptance of the speed limits.

Comment: Re:Ignorance is self-righteous posturing (Score 1) 528

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47879089) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion
I am genuinely baffled at how the embargo is supposed to support US policy interests(either idealistic, cynical, or both); but alleged damages that high do seem to suggest that the "It's pointless, they'll just trade with the EU and BRIC and things" theory is limited at best. I honestly would have expected a smaller effect myself. I just can't fathom why anyone thinks it's a worthwhile plan.

Comment: Re:Who knew? (Score 1) 198

In all honesty, it's really a testament to Excel's relatively favorable balance of power and ease of use, even non-techies can do some reasonably heavy lifting and more sophisticated users can do some fairly impressive rapid prototyping.

Unfortunately, these sorts of horrors always seem to be the result. What I don't know is how much of the disaster is caused by Excel just not scaling well(which, at least in theory, is something that could be improved) and how much is caused by the fact that non-programmers may be scared away from programming by the stuff that Excel is good at hiding; but still get bitten by the stuff they don't even know is there(which, in fairness to them, is the same stuff that usually bites actual programmers, though less often if they are good ones).

Comment: Re:Ignorance is self-righteous posturing (Score 1) 528

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47878817) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion
$1.1 billion over 55 years is $20 billion/year, in a country with a GDP of ~$70 billion, so that arguably puts the embargo into the category of 'surprisingly effective; if not exactly at achieving any of the US' alleged objectives'.

When it comes to 'terrorizing and vile violations of human rights', though, that barely registers. Did this guy sleep through the entire 20th century?

OS/2 must die!