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Comment: How much coding was involved? (Score 1) 192

by istartedi (#48635251) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

How much coding was involved? I'm not aware of the mechanics of the break-in. It could have been pure social engineering. It could have been a mole. That doesn't involve any coding. It could have been spotting a vulnerability. People who do that usually do some coding, but such attacks involve a lot of analysis of existing code as opposed to creating new code. The actual attack may require code; but it's usually not a lot. So. "Coding" as the "super-power" behind the attack? Meh.

Comment: Re:Classic pricing problem (Score 2) 315

by istartedi (#48614895) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

You left out a biggy: 5. Don't punish conservation.

How do some CA utilities punish water conservation? It goes like this: A. drought hits. B. utility requests conservation. C. Good citizens comply. D. Because utility revenue is proportional to usage, utility has less revenue. E. Utility has to raise rates. F. Good citizen who complied is a chump. He ends up paying more because he did a good deed.

Comment: Re:Wait, how is this possible? (Score 2) 114

by istartedi (#48604871) Attached to: The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

Command economies like the USSR, Cuba, and DPRK work poorly in general; but they can concentrate their efforts to excel in specific areas. Thus, the USSR could beat the US in the early days of the space race; but couldn't supply consumer goods very well. Cuba also still operates much like the USSR, with similar problems in daily living. OTOH, they produce a lot of doctors and send them all over the world. Their command economy actually focuses on this. It almost makes you want to like their government. Almost. It isn't hard to see through all that, and if they simply taxed a more efficient market economy they could probably send even more doctors. DPRK? I'm not sure if they excel in anything. Even their feared nuke program is kind of a joke. AFAIK it's just a really sucky command economy; but it wouldn't surprise me if they produced a hand-full of really fantastic pocket watches every year. When you control the output of an entire nation, you can easily direct it disproportionately in one area at the expense of many other things.

Comment: Re:Move to a gated community (Score 3, Interesting) 593

by istartedi (#48603189) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

In certain parts of Montgomery County, MD I recall they placed DO NOT ENTER signs on streets that were obvious short-cuts. They were usually qualified with rush-hour times. In other words, the signs made them into temporary one-way streets that were against the short-cut direction. That's probably the most cost-effective and least annoying solution. The threat of a moving violation was enough to keep most offenders in check. Local residents are only mildly inconvenienced by having to circle the block. I suppose they could have put "except local traffic", but I think they wanted to keep it simple.

Comment: Probably won't own anytime soon. (Score 1) 171

by istartedi (#48592197) Attached to: 3D Printer?

I probably won't own a 3d printer anytime soon; but that doesn't mean never. Let's face it. Sometimes subtractive techniques are better. Something like a 3-d printed rifle is mostly a "because we can" exercise. The best parts for something like that will probably always be milled. I hedged my answer with "probably" because I can see using 3-d printing techniques for non-critical trim parts on some hobby item or household good I might want. 3-d printed window curtain slider...sure, why not? The reasons for not printing such items now are 1. Any affordable printer I've seen shows visible voxelation in the finished product. 2. I don't already have one, so the TCO still favors going to a store and buying parts which are better than anything I could print myself.

These problems might be solved by people that love 3d printing and play with it all the time. I'm just not one of them.

Comment: Re:I was actually going to add... (Score 2) 465

by istartedi (#48591895) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

I'm a "spanner" myself. WW2 parents, Gen-X peers. This happens when your WW2 parents don't have you until they hit their 40s. Thus, you skip the entire generation and have some anomalous things going on, such as all your cousins being *adults* while you're growing up. Silly me, aren't cousins always adults? Nope. For most people, those are aunts and uncles, and aunts and uncles aren't so old.

I've run into a few other people with the same "span" and it's always interesting. In some ways, I can relate to boomers more than I do to my peers.

By now, we should have some Millenial "spanners" too--people who skipped Gex-X and grew up with adult Boomer cousins. I have no idea what that'd be like... but maybe we'd both have the common ability to understand that to some extend, all of this generation bullshit isn't really that damned important. People are people, and while analyzing cohorts isn't an entirely worthless concept, it needs to be kept in its place..

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 2) 514

by istartedi (#48582571) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

It's hard to find people willing to be shot at who actually take the job to protect and serve the public. So these jagoffs are filling the gap.

Actually it isn't that hard. It's called the military. People are willing to go into places much rougher than the typical American city for far less pay. Put the cops on the same pay rate as GIs, and it will actually be easier to get cops than it will be to get soldiers. Why? Because it'd be the same deal as the military except you can drive home each night.

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 1) 514

by istartedi (#48582505) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

And get new ones. What's so difficult about that?

Union. Unions that funded the campaigns of anybody who might be able to do that. Unions that negotiated the rules that say you can't do that, with the guy they funded sitting on the other side of the table. In short, corruption through-and-through, stinking to high heaven. The only real fix may be to for a citizens militia to seize the apparatus of power, and that's not something into which we should go lightly. In short yet again, the same causes that lead to the first revolution, and to various civil disturbances. The biggest of these was the Civil War, but there have been many other smaller ones. You may or may not have been taught about them by your teachers, who belong to similar unions.

Comment: It sounds like they got greedy and corrupt (Score 1) 698

by istartedi (#48549173) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

As an end-user, I expect my ad blocking to block ads. If they sell out and let some ads in for a fee, why would I use it? I don't know anything about French law; but this sounds a lot like the Yelp problem, except they're shaking people down to let their ads in instead of shaking them down for good reviews.

Comment: 12 years old? (Score 4, Funny) 197

by istartedi (#48536941) Attached to: Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

12 year old software? No way. We need to fix that. There's no way we're going to Mars without rounded corners, infinite scrolling,and a tiled UI. If we don't launch in beta, all the other countries will think we're not hip. We won't get seated on the Trilby committee at the UN. Get some interns and fresh grads on this project, pronto.

Comment: Re:TFA title is "Fear and Promise" (Score 1) 461

by istartedi (#48536829) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

the local power company wants to charge out the ass to solar customers that are grid-tied, basically to make it as expensive as if you're buying power from them, and they want to pay jack and shit (and jack left town) for power that you sell back to them.

Of course this will vary by situation, but why not use the grid for things that need it, and use solar for things that don't?

For example, you might power an air conditioner totally with solar. That could be one of the biggest energy consumers in your house. The air conditioner could just be connected directly to the solar. The power company doesn't even have to know. From their PoV, it's just this guy that doesn't use much. Let the power company have the crumbs, like night-time lighting and the fridge, which don't work well with just solar.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist