Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Money class, breeder class (Score 5, Insightful) 632

by garyisabusyguy (#49796227) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

If everybody gets to live a very long time, then we run out of resources

If we figure out how to curb over-population and only the really old live, then we run out of viable sperm and eggs in a few generations

We will need to have people living 'normal' lifespans, unless we figure out how to dodge the who reproduction via sperm and eggs thing

The economics of the situation would probably lead to a self-selected wealthy group occupying the long-life slots and the rest of us toiling away as normal with our lifespans slightly adjusted from what we expect today in order to fill the breeders slot

It would probably make things easier all around if the breeders did not suspect that they could enjoy a long and healthy life

One thing that could potentially change this entire equation would be extending the range in which humans can live, whether it be orbital habitats, terraformed planets or cozy lintel asteroids. A that point ti would be really handy to have extremely long-lived humans taking the not quite as fast as light trips to our nearest stellar neighbors

But then, I tend to be an optimist

Comment: Re:FAS is again full of shit (Score 5, Informative) 67

by garyisabusyguy (#49786561) Attached to: The Marshall Islands, Nuclear Testing, and the NPT

You are starting with a relatively small number of people, probably better to think of it as a percentage

In the short term:
"A number of the 64 inhabitants of Rongelap experienced immediate radiation sickness including vomiting, skin damage and hair loss. By the time they were evacuated from the area two days after the detonation of Castle Bravo, some of the islanders had received 175 rads (See Chart 2) from gamma radiation and 160 rads from I-131"

In the long term:
"We estimate that the nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands will cause about 500 additional cancer cases among Marshallese exposed during the years 1946-1958, about a 9% increase over the number of cancers expected in the absence of exposure to regional fallout."

So, you are probably saying, wow, just over 500 people affected, pretty small number if you consider Bhopal and Chernobyl
But if you consider that the population of the islands was 10,000 at the time, then that is 5% of their population, which is significant

There is also the persistent presence of isotopes that raise the expectation of cancer for all people to 9% over people not from the Marshall islands

They certainly have a legitimate beef with the government, whether they can leverage that to change global policy is another thing.

We would probably not be having this conversation if 5% of the general population had been exposed to isotopes that had caused cancer
I suppose that it is a matter of perspective

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 2) 387

by garyisabusyguy (#49785125) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

" those that drove and continue to drive our economy head first into the ground"

WTF? Is that the new gop line that totally forgets about the recession beginning during GW Bush's presidency and the recovery under Obama's?

You are a different universe than the rest of us buddy, time to wake up to reality

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 1) 387

by garyisabusyguy (#49785055) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

I think that you are confused

The government had access to metadata records stored on telco systems without a warrant as a result of Smith v Maryland that was heard by the Supreme Court in 1979

The systems put in place after the Patriot Act moved that data directly into government systems for direct analysis
Removing the automated transfer and placing the data into the control of the telcos as a complete reversal
Calling it an equal or worse provision is being blind to the history of PEN register use between telcos and the government

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 1) 387

by garyisabusyguy (#49784443) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

To be honest, if we had a right winger in office in 2008 we would have seem the entire system handed over to the private sector instead of the attempts to improve the structure of government to serve the middle class such as the stimulus and the ACA. There would have been a continuation of deregulation and laws to protect the sovereignty of the corporation against the results of their actions


Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 1) 387

by garyisabusyguy (#49784403) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

I remember an interview with Carter when he talked about the briefings that he received after being elected President
There were mounds and mounds of the inertia of the ship of state, most of which he could do nothing to change
It aged Carter immensely and we have seen the effect that it has had on Obama as well
The best that we as voters can hope for it to put decent hard working people into the position to deal with the BS that they would inevitably face
I see little sign that Rand would be that person and plenty of evidence that GW was not

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 1) 387

by garyisabusyguy (#49784357) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

I think that the problem with the option that you identify is that they will not allow it to happen.
It is a form of brinksmanship to have the 'let it go away' option seem so horrible that they can trap you between it and the relatively reasonable option, which they are not going to pass

All that we know about the 'let it go away' option is that on GW Bush's watch it allowed some assholes to fly some planes into high value real estate full of people despite the fact that more than a couple of TLA's had them on their radar at one point or another

Everybody seems to have forgotten what a kick in the balls that was and how we FAILED to identify the failures at the POTUS level to listen to briefings and step up security in the months prior to the attacks as a root cause.

Instead we said, 'give them emergency powers all of the time', with the subtext of 'because our elected leaders cannot handle it themselves'

So, back to the let it go away option

I think that Obama is competent enough to handle the daily briefings and, put in GW Bush's position in 2001, probably could have made the call to step up security to a emergency level. But that is just speculation

I also think that Obama is cautious enough to want all of the tools at his disposal to prevent anything similar from happening on his watch. Given that he has already agreed to the terms of the House bill so stop the government collection and storage of data, I do not understand the reluctance of the gop controlled Senate to do that same, unless they want to use it as another tool in the 2016 elections

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 1, Informative) 387

by garyisabusyguy (#49783897) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

You did read the summary of the article...
"Obama criticized the Senate for not acting on that legislation, saying they have necessitated a renewal of the Patriot Act provisions."

It is the failure of the gop controlled Senate to pass the new rules form the House that has kept the Patriot Act in place

Comment: Re:The difference between a useful meeting and (Score 3, Insightful) 323

by garyisabusyguy (#49779843) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

The first time that I was pressed into being a project manager was at a subsidiary of a new telecom company.
We inherited some basic rules
1. Whoever called the meeting had to prepare the info for the meeting and send it out to the participants at least a day early
2. The meeting could be no longer than thirty minutes
3. Whoever called the meeting would prepare a summary and send it out to all participants with a list of action items before the end of the day

The unwritten rule was that if you started wasting people's time they would stop coming to your meetings
This put the power into the hands of the people doing the work and made the PM a servant to getting work done
That is how is should be, I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to apply the 'unwritten rule' and walk out on some PM that was just sucking all of the intelligence out of the room and keeping people from working

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!