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Comment: Re:I am skeptical (Score 1) 146

Geoengineering has effectively caused this problem, even though it wasn't necessarily planned geoengineering. Simply burning less fossil fuels isn't going to fix the problem. The ship of climate change has already sailed. Completely halting the release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere today will not turn the problem back in anything less than geologic time.

I like that you mentioned that we won't know if we don't do the research. However, the question that seems to elude many is "what if we don't?". So far, much of the discourse revolves around reducing carbon output...which isn't entirely unhelpful. It's just not entirely practical. Questions about "how do we deal with the projected changes" are pretty practical. And again, when discussing geoengineering, it's not so much what happens if we's what happens if we don't.

Of course, I've always had this sense that there is an attitude from those who consider themselves environmental activists of this dogma that everything that humans do is inherently evil. I don't share this worldview...but this sense will certainly bring any efforts (or perhaps even discussion) of geoengineering to a halt.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 928

yeah, we're robots with no brains. we follow orders. don't question stupid rules and never use human judgement. we are humans, but we should be thought of as cattle.

Hold on...What you're saying suggests to me you may not understand how the process works. Whether or not the father of this family knew it, he was trying to game the system. Sure, he had frequent flyer privileges, but his kids did not. He could have paid extra for them to be up there with him, but he didn't. That's the deal with Southwest. If he doesn't like it, he can fly another airline. Maybe he didn't understand the policy, but the gate agent explained it to him. Here's the thing - he's a frequent flyer. He probably should have known better. Maybe other gate agents have made an exception for him, but they weren't required to. He wasn't entitled to that exception. On other airlines, it would be akin to you buying a first class ticket and two coach tickets and demanding that your coach companions get first class seats...probably bumping two other passengers who paid for those first class seats.

Who should the burden of thinking be shifted to, the airline employees or the traveler? What if you and your companion didn't get to sit together or had to check your bags because this guy's kids cut in line without paying for the privilege (even though you may have)?

I'm not saying that the gate agent acted correctly throughout the course of this (and I don't know if she didn't). In this situation, however, I'm inclined to give her more of the benefit of the doubt than this passenger, given the details of the story.

Comment: Re:No retrofit (Score 1) 106

by j-turkey (#47161033) Attached to: Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

Since you didn't understand my comment and therefore don't even know the topic of conversation, what could you possibly hope to add?

Actually, I had plenty to add, but since the ability to engage in civil discourse eludes you, and you would rather smugly demonstrate that you're more of a subject matter expert than everyone else, I have desire to engage in any discussion with you. Seriously, do you really talk to people like this, or does Slashdot just have this effect on you?

Comment: Re:No retrofit (Score 1) 106

by j-turkey (#47156325) Attached to: Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

Tesla must be using a seriously traditional wiring harness. When will automakers move at least the accessories to a bus-style model for both power and communications? I get why all the signals and so on should run through a traditional wiring plant, but the rest of this stuff really needs to belong to a more distributed network. The wiring that could be eliminated in the power window system alone would save pounds.

You mean, like CAN bus? Most already have.

Comment: Re:Caps Are Definitely Coming (Score 2) 475

by j-turkey (#47009179) Attached to: Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

You make a good point. However, this isn't universal. First of all, as the proverbial fat guy at an all-you-can-eat buffet, I've already chosen pay a higher price for significantly more bandwidth than my neighbors. I have an expectation that I have full access to that. I am also lucky enough to have a choice in ISP's where I live. I cancelled my capped service for a more expensive (and even faster) uncapped service. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but I'm willing to pay more for a bigger plate - I just don't want to be gouged by my ISP for that plate. I'm not saying that they can't say "no" to that either - it's their network. I just know what I want as a consumer, and my hope is that I live in a place where competition is great enough that I have that choice.

Another thing that is rapidly changing is the ease of access to streaming for the masses. It used to be that only geeks like me would build a dedicated media PC tied to a TV for streaming video. Now, streaming appliances are ubiquitous. Streaming for Netflix (and related services) is available on dedicated devices (like a Roku) for $100. It's built into TiVo, and it's even integrated into most TV's and Blu Ray players. My parents stream internet video, and they're in their 70's. If that isn't a litmus test for the masses streaming internet video, I don't know what is.

The other thing that you mention is that the vast majority of ISP's do not offer any TV service at all. I am not sure where you're getting your numbers on this (and it could be that you're talking about the amount of ISP's versus the amount of subscribers). I presume that you're referring to residential broadband internet. Most Americans choose between Cable and DSL, and some can get FTTH. According to this report, as of late 2013, over 50% of American residential broadband internet is delivered via Cable. DSL is at 34% and is trending downward. I'm not trying to get into a pissing match here, as you make a good point, but what I'm saying is that most customers purchase internet connectivity from providers who do sell TV service. Given this information, it's no surprise that it's not in the best interest of the largest type of ISP to be entirely friendly to streaming video service. This is even more poignant given that the cable and FTTH providers are all trying to sell their own competing streaming service to us. Finally, remember that the AOL/Time Warner merger, while an utter failure, was (in large part) supposed to merge internet and video service to dominate the VOD marketplace. Again, it didn't work, but this has been on the mind of big companies for a very long time.

I'm not arguing against what you suggested that I'm the fat guy at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I totally am that guy. But things are changing. The average consumer is streaming internet video, and the whole content industry is shifting in that direction (e.g. 95% of the HBO-produced shows will shortly become available on Amazon Prime Instant Video). The writing is on the wall, and many of these companies are trying to milk returns from their legacy investments for as long as they can. I can't fault them for it, as these are expensive networks to build and maintain. However, they need to tread lightly, because given the lack of competition in most marketplaces, anything viewed as abuse will make these ISP's ripe targets for federal regulation.

Comment: Re:Only pirates & terrorists need more than 30 (Score 1) 475

by j-turkey (#47008905) Attached to: Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

When I canceled my Comcast subscription due to the cap, the person handling the call explicitly told me there was no legitimate reason for that kind of usage so I must be a pirate. When I tried to politely explain that my Netflix usage exceeded that, I was again told there was not legitimate reason for the kind of usage.

...which is exactly why you fired them. They didn't understand (or care about) the needs of their customer, lumping you, as an outlier, into a group of pirates. They didn't want your business.

I did the same thing with Cox Communications. They had an (unenforced) cap. I know that it was unenforced because I routinely exceeded the cap. Still, I routinely exceeded it with my regular use, which was a liability. I switched to a more expensive FiOS service because it was not only significantly faster, but it was also unmetered. Then again, I am fortunate enough to live in an area with competitive service. The funny thing is that the faster FiOS provided crappy service to intermediary backbone peers, degrading Netflix and YouTube in my case, there simply wasn't enough competition.

Comment: How do you think that it should work? (Score 4, Insightful) 141

by j-turkey (#46370189) Attached to: Live Q&A With Ex-TSA Agent Jason Harrington


Thanks for being here and answering our questions. Given your experience working as a "line" TSA screener, how would you propose that we fix airport security, making it more effective, yet less intrusive for travelers? Clearly, the TSA isn't going away, and they will be the agency that regulates airport security for the foreseeable future. However, would you (for example) suggest empowering agents with additional flexibility? Perhaps implement policies more in-line with real security and risk management strategies, eschewing the current models of "security theater" and reactions to past threats? Maybe eschewing use of TSA's screeners, and having private firms provide security (again, under TSA regulations)? Something else altogether?

Comment: Re:Enough with the security theater! (Score 1) 289

Personally, I think any TSA employee in charge of TSA procedures needs to go through said procedure/screening every day before work.

Actually, they need to be fired and replaced by people with proper risk management training, as opposed to risk avoidance.

Risk Avoidance: Do everything in your power to prevent some risk, no matter the cost Risk Management: Assess the risk, consider the liklihood of the risk, the damage it will cost if it happens, then look at mitigations, how likely they are to work, how much they'll cost, etc... And make the cheapest decision. IE if on average the mitigation will prevent more loss than it costs, you impliment it. Otherwise you just accept the risk.

I agree with you in principle, however, this ignores how politics have played into the equation. What made me realize this was when the TSA proposed a change to the rules to allow small knives (up to 2.36") on planes again. At the time, this seemed like an exercise in proper risk management to me. However, there was an uproar among citizens and flight attendants. For (what appears to be) strictly political reasons, these proposed changes were cancelled.

It seems that the public suffers from a strange dichotomy where many of us are critical of security theater, but we still want security theater. Many want to believe that the government offers a great big security blanket that will never let anything bad happen to us. I'm sure that you and I know that there is no such thing, and the cost of this illusion is extremely high (both financial and to that of liberty).

Comment: Re:Depends on China (Score 5, Interesting) 325

by j-turkey (#46276459) Attached to: N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'

You nailed it, DPRK is very much dependent on China for support. I don't fully understand why China wants to keep DPRK in power either, but I can shed a bit of light on the issue. You mentioned China's desire for a buffer between their borders and a westernized and America-friendly South Korea, this is a major issue. Another huge issue is that if the North Korean regime fails, China will have millions of refugees crossing its eastern border into areas that are already less stable than they would like. These areas have not developed at a rate consistent with the larger Chinese cities, and millions of Korean refugees would be a huge burden on those areas, threatening the regional stability - which is a hot-button issue for China.

I can't say that any country is immune from supporting regimes where atrocities exist when it supports their interests...but it doesn't stop me from being frustrated with China for supporting a failed regime like DPRK.

Comment: Re:It's not about Snowden! (Score 1) 148

by j-turkey (#46261435) Attached to: LA Times: Snowden Had 3 Helpers Inside NSA

Yes it is about Snowden. And who is helping him both in the country and out of the country. And what his agenda is, because it wasn't brought up in any election debate outside of Ron Paul's camp. And it was a fringe position there at the time.

This story has been played out and the vast majority of the people care a lot more about the weather, Olympics, jobs, their financial outlook or a bunch of other things that are more important than this. Foreigners care and are more than happy to see our power get taken down by our own traitor.

Agenda? He has made that clear. He's no Assange, he's not in this for the publicity. Have you bothered to watch the interview or read the articles?

American power taken down? That is an absolutely ridiculous statement. This is a government being is embarrassed by its own actions. Traitor? That's also bogus language - traitor to a government or its people? Which is more important, the nation and what our people find acceptable or protecting a government? I think the former - especially when the government is breaking its own rules, and circumventing the intended legal oversight. That's why it's not about's about what our federal government is doing - more inside its borders than outside of its borders; but if it takes an international embarrassment to begin an actual discussion of what we find acceptable as a society, so be it.

Comment: It's not about Snowden! (Score 5, Insightful) 148

by j-turkey (#46259757) Attached to: LA Times: Snowden Had 3 Helpers Inside NSA

This feels like a big fat smoke screen to me. This isn't about Snowden, it's about the federal governments wholesale wiretapping and warehousing of our personal data, an unprecedented overstep of policing and surveillance power. It's about secret FISA courts and undisclosed secret warrants that are rubber-stamped by appointed-for-life (unaccountable) federal judges in the name of national security. It's about a lack of oversight.

Every time we make this about Snowden and how the data was collected, "they" win a little bit more.

Comment: Re:Verizon is denying it: (Score 2) 298

by j-turkey (#46168259) Attached to: Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

This is kind of old news. There are a series of articles from last year that suggest that the issue is a peering arrangement.

The articles that I've read seem to suggest that: Cogent is one of Netflix's primary ISP's. The ports used for peering between Verizon and Cogent have become saturated due to Netflix traffic to Netflix/Verizon residential customers. Since the flow of traffic is overwhelmingly to Verizon customers, Cogent feels that the peering arrangement is significantly asymmetrical that the onus is on Verizon to purchase additional ports (one article claims that each 10G port costs Verizon about $10k each). For various reasons, Verizon is not willing to do this - and it is widely speculated that Verizon is disincentivized from doing this due to their competing services. Further, Verizon could purchase relatively inexpensive 4u "Open Connect" boxes from Netflix, which will deliver content directly within their network - significantly reducing the bandwidth costs of delivering content over multiple networks. However, it is speculated that Verizon does not do this for the same reason that they don't add additional ports to their peers (such as Cogent).

This article explains it all better than I have.

Comment: Re:Good news !! GCHQ couldnt crack the password (Score 2) 374

by j-turkey (#45977483) Attached to: Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

Yes and no. I'm neither a security expert nor an expert in intelligence/counter-intelligence. However, if I were to break a crypto scheme, it is paramount that I never reveal that I have broken the crypto scheme. That way, I can continue to intercept and decode your secrets while you believe that your crypto scheme is safely protecting them.

If AES were broken, the last thing that a government entity would want to do was reveal that it is broken. In fact, if AES has been broken, UK law enforcement officials are extremely unlikely to even be aware of this. It would most likely be an entirely different branch of government (or a different government altogether - e.g. US) who has knows of and has the means to break a scheme like AES.

Don't get me wrong. I agree with your assertion that crypto is good, but this story does not in any way suggest that AES has not been broken yet. I am still suspicious, particularly given that the scheme was "blessed" by the American NSA.

Comment: Re:Cry me a fucking river... (Score 1) 374

by j-turkey (#45976977) Attached to: Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

The CNET article fails to mention context, and my understanding of the case law is that it isn't so simple. I can't speak to the specifics of the Colorado case in the CNET article, but I do know that the case of the Sebastien Boucher/CBP, Boucher was compelled to reveal his key based upon more than just reasonable suspicion. In this case, agents had actually seen child pornography on the system, and then shut the system down. The key was flushed from memory upon shutdown, rendering the data inaccessible. However, officers had already seen the incriminating data. Certain federal district courts have protected defendants from being compelled to reveal keys for the purpose of "fishing expeditions", when it is uncertain whether or not there is any incriminating data.


Elegance and truth are inversely related. -- Becker's Razor