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Comment: Re:Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (Score 1) 419

by hawguy (#47505665) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isn’t destroyed the interceptor failed.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see the immense flaw in this logic: if someone fires a missile at you and you aren’t hit that is good news.

These are unguided rockets, not cruise missiles. They aren't targeted at a person or home, they are targeted at entire neighborhoods or city regions. If a rocket is heading to a neighborhood across town and iron dome disables the rocket and forces it down in your neighborhood, is that a "win"? destroying the warhead limits the damage, but even falling rocket debris can cause injury and damage.

If the 5% figure is right then it takes around $1.6M worth of $80K interceptors to stop each $800/rocket. Is that worth to price? Does a 10kg warhead routinely cause millions of dollars of damage and/or human casualties?

Comment: Re:Sigh. (Score 4, Insightful) 102

by hawguy (#47494715) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

"One of the comments levelled at self-service check in is that it has lost the human touch that people had when checking in at a traditional manned counter,"

So we're going to take away the last humans and replace them with mindless robots.

It's a self-service check-in, it's already a mindless robot.

Though I fail to see how replacing the dumb kiosk with a more intelligent avatar will really make anything better, I don't really want the kiosk to ask me how my day is going, or tell me I better bundle up because it's going to be a cold day in Chicago, I just want to check in as quickly and easily as possible.

Comment: Re:Netflix rating engine sucks (Score 2) 86

by hawguy (#47400411) Attached to: Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

Netflix's rating system is worse than ever. It recently said that I would like "Amber Alert" at a 4.8 out of 5. I thought, "Not likely", but I tried it anyway. I turned it off in 10 minutes and rated it a 1 (which for me means couldn't finish). How on earth did it think I (or anyone else) would like that horrible movie with ugly, stupid people screaming at each other the whole time?

To be fair, even humans aren't always great at choosing what another human will like, based on some of the horrendous Christmas presents I've gotten from close family members over the years.

Comment: Re:1.8 million drivers will lose their job. (Score 4, Insightful) 142

by hawguy (#47388417) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking

But I cant wait to see the rules list to replace years of pull 80,000 LBS over Mountains in the snow.
And I cant wait to see the computer chain up.

The automatic trucks can be stopped miles away from the snow, patiently waiting for many hours without getting tired or running into problems with rules about allowed hours behind the wheel. Then when conditions are better, the automated trucks can form a train behind the automated snowplow/salt truck and trudge through the roads at 10mph for hours while remaining 100% vigilant at monitoring road conditions and the truck's reaction to the road -- to the point where any slippage of any wheel on the truck or trailer can be detected and compensated for. A professional driver might be able to do better in some conditions after a good night's sleep, but not when he's already exhausted from spending hours sitting in the truck waiting for the roads to be open, then hours more trudging along slowly in the snow.

For chains, many roads that have chain restrictions (at least in California) already have chain installers waiting on snowy days to help motorists that don't know want (or don't know how) to chain up their own car -- these same crews could be used to chain up trucks.

Or automatic chains can be used.

Comment: Re:wut (Score 1) 113

Or maybe "oh here's a door. I wonder if it's locked. Newp. Well then, I guess I better go inside, take some photos and read some of their documents. And then use that information for presumably commercial purposes. It's got to be legal and right, the door was unlocked."

Why do people keep using that flawed analogy, Google didn't open any doors, not even unlocked ones, the Wifi signals were broadcast in the clear for all to hear -- including bad guys. They captured only plaintext, they didn't break any encryption, not even WEP.

What Google did is more akin to photographing the contents of the papers you left sitting on your desk... which you left sitting out on the sidewalk for all to see. If you didn't want other people to see your private documents, you shouldn't have left them sitting out on the sidewalk.

Comment: Re:The 'Internet of Things' is the next NoSQL, RoR (Score 1) 186

by hawguy (#47240307) Attached to: The Nightmare On Connected Home Street

Amen, brother! Amen, amen, AMEN!

I've had to see through so many meetings now where some hipster dickweeds keep going on about the 'Internet of Things'. It is all so very tedious. It's just like three or four years ago, when they wouldn't shut the hell up about NoSQL. They said it would 'change the world' and we'd have to get rid of all of our real DB systems. MongoDB! Cassandra! Redis! They couldn't go 10 minutes without dropping one of those names, even when we were talking about rugby during lunch. And then they were proven wrong. Those technologies faltered and withered.

NoSQL technology did not falter or wither, it's stronger and more popular than ever and works quite well in certain circumstances. NoSQL didn't replace relational databases, but when used appropriately, it does exactly what it's supposed to.

Comment: Re:An interesting caveat (Score 4, Insightful) 216

by hawguy (#47186077) Attached to: $57,000 Payout For Woman Charged With Wiretapping After Filming Cops

I've personally sat through a case where a bystander's filming was manipulated and only pieces of it brought to court. Without the full context, the film was a lie. That sent a good police officer to prison. The laws are far behind these double edged swords... whatever happened to "the full truth"?

It's too bad that the police don't have access to the same advanced technology that normal citizens use to make recordings.

There is no excuse for police not having body-cams and dash-cams that signs and dates all recordings and are unalterable by the officers. (and they should have enough recording space/battery life to stay on during an entire shift so you don't end up with a situation like "Oh gee, we shot someone by mistake, but none of us remembered to turn on our cameras)

Then when a citizen's camera shows the police in a bad light, the police can counter with their own camera footage.


LAPD Gets Some Hand-Me-Down Drones From Seattle, Promises Discretion 108

Posted by timothy
from the orange-groves-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see dept.
After Seattleites objected to the local police department's plan to deploy unmanned aircraft, that plan was withdrawn. Now, it seems, Seattle has found a willing recipient for some of the drones that it no longer has use for: the Los Angeles Police Department. From the linked article: "The Draganflyer X6 aircraft, which resemble small helicopters, are each about 3 feet wide and equipped with a camera, video camera and infrared night-vision capabilities. In making the announcement, however, department officials were at pains to make it clear the LAPD doesn't intend to use the new hardware to keep watch from above over an unsuspecting public. If they're used at all, the remotely controlled aircraft will be called on only for "narrow and prescribed uses" that will be made clear to the public, the statement said."

Comment: Re:Classify net access as a utility? (Score 5, Informative) 343

by hawguy (#47138785) Attached to: Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

No, not unless you would like your Internet access technologies refreshed and upgraded about as often as your water pipes or electric lines are. Which is to say approximately never.

In the past 10 years, I have never turned on my water tap and had no water come out. In the past 5 years (which is as far back as I have log files from my UPS), I've experienced 2 power failures lasting longer than a few minutes (I recorded 7 outages lasting less than a few minutes, but some of those were when I unplugged the UPS or turned off a breaker to do some electrical work), one was a regional power outage, and one was caused when a car accident took down a utility pole.

However, I experience regular internet outages, the last one was last week, and lasted for 3 hours, cable TV was fine, but internet (for me and a neighbor down the street) was out. It took 30 minutes to get someone at Comcast to realize that there was a problem, but they had no idea what was wrong, nor any ETA for a fix.

So I *wish* my internet connection was managed as well as water and power.

Comment: Re:AWS is too expensive (Score 1) 142

by hawguy (#47128733) Attached to: Amazon Wants To Run Your High-Performance Databases

1) I guess it goes down until it can be fixed under warranty (same or next day depending on purchase option). Redundancy is expensive. What happens when your single instance of AWS goes down with an "oops amazon is having problems with a datacenter" message?

Well i guess the same thing that happens when the datacenter that my 1U server is colocated in goes down -- I either bring up the server n a DR region (which I can set up nearly for free with AWS), or wait until the datacenter problem is fixed. In the past 2 years, haven't experienced a single multi-AvailabilityZone outage with Amazon, and only 2 short single AZ outages that resulted in no loss of service since my servers are split across multiple AZ's. I've never had to fail over to the warm-spares in a separate region (other than during testing).

3) Reserved instance is cheaper, but at that price still more than a dedicated server and the server typically comes with a 3 year warranty and will likely last past that (Dell will warranty for 6 years). Assuming it only lasts 3 your cost for running on AWS is nearly 3 times higher even when figuring in an improved warranty and OS licensing. I concede that short duration projects or very spiky loads are a great use for the cloud, but long running relatively even loads simply don't make sense form a cost perspective, nevermind the fact that you now lose access to your database if your wan connection goes down (unless you build out multi-wan, but there is yet another expense).

Coloc space is not cheap, so don't forget to factor that into the costs. Running a datacenter in the office is even more expensive due to the costs to add the needed redundancy (power, cooling, internet) to an office tower.

Comment: Re:Infectious diseases ... (Score 4, Insightful) 493

by hawguy (#47119309) Attached to: Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

The point still stands. If it's not 100% then someone who is immunized can catch and STILL give it to you. Thus both immunized and non-immunized pose the same threat to you.

The point only stands if you pretend that there's no real difference between an unimmunized person and a immunized person with 0.3% chance of catching the disease, and if you ignore the science behind herd immunity.

Comment: Re:Infectious diseases ... (Score 4, Informative) 493

by hawguy (#47119161) Attached to: Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

How can you get infected if YOU have been inoculated??? So how are they a public risk to you?

Because no vaccine is 100% effective, even if you're immunized, you can still catch the disease.


Why aren’t all vaccines 100% effective?

Vaccines are designed to generate an immune response that will protect the vaccinated individual during future exposures to the disease. Individual immune systems, however, are different enough that in some cases, a person’s immune system will not generate an adequate response. As a result, he or she will not be effectively protected after immunization.

That said, the effectiveness of most vaccines is high. After receiving the second dose of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) or the standalone measles vaccine, 99.7% of vaccinated individuals are immune to measles. The inactivated polio vaccine offers 99% effectiveness after three doses. The varicella (chickenpox) vaccine is between 85% and 90% effective in preventing all varicella infections, but 100% effective in preventing moderate and severe chicken pox.

Further, some individuals are unable to be vaccinated due to underlying medical conditions (allergies, compromised immune system, etc).

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?