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Comment: Re:Um (Score 1) 217

by jeffmeden (#48172171) Attached to: Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

What the hell am I reading?

>Disaster preppers have a saying, "two is one and one is none," which might also apply to 24x7 base load energy sources that could sustain us beyond the age of fossil fuel.
How does a non-nonsensical saying apply to energy? Explain yourself.

A saying like "Ai = MTBF/(MTBF+MTTR)" just doesn't have that same ring to it. Preppers aren't known for a keen embrace of statistics.

Comment: Re:Wikipedia article deleted (Score 2) 98

by jeffmeden (#48170477) Attached to: Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

If Wikipedia was a person I would smack it upside the head for shit like this. There is absolutely no reason not to have an article on LMDB, and deleting a perfectly good article for no reason is evidence of a mental disorder. It's not like they have to spend an extra penny for a piece of paper to hold the article, possibly making the book too thick. Wake up.

Yeah, I'm FAR from a Wikipedia hater, but when it pulls shit like this it reveals its stupidity.

Wikipedia has a pretty standard bar for articles it should curate (which is decidedly not free) and that is, does the subject have any sort of peer-reviewed literature available (and source code comments, howtos, etc don't count)? This goes directly to the "no original research" policy, which basically asserts that Wikipedia editors (including the one that created the page) should not be writing the article based on their original work, since Wikipedia is not the place for peer review to happen. Long story short, the author/editor should do his peer review somewhere else (preferrably not some other wiki site) and then submit that work as a source. They do this to keep the amount of edit wars/debates/flame-fests to a minimum (and there are still plenty, even when sources are available). Wikipedia is trying quite frantically to focus on its core competency as editors walk away due to political/moral/religious squabbles, and this is one way to do that.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 608

by jeffmeden (#48146111) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Your average modern car has dozens of processors and up to 100 million lines of code - that's a lot of IP.

A modern wind turbine is a long way from your great-grandpa's old windmill but its not really that complicated; and if you think it's more complicated than a car, you're smoking some seriously bad crack.

If you think it's easy to read wind speed, direction, and grid demand (from potentially dozens of different sensors) and come up with blade pitch, turbine heading, and generator engagement on the fly to optimize efficiency and still work in concert with 500 similar and dissimilar devices on the grid and in your nearby airspace, AND have the wherewithal to manage 1 to 100mph wind conditions without falling over or spinning apart, you fucking try it. Until then get over how fancy you think cars are, they are just gas burning stereos with recliners crammed inside.

Comment: Re:Snipers love it (Score 3, Insightful) 79

by jeffmeden (#48141909) Attached to: Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

This is meant to be used inside bases. How many Americans have been killed by snipers while inside their bases recently?

Even more specifically, it seems ideal for someone working in/on the hull of a Navy ship where heavy welding, cutting/grinding, and riveting equipment is common. They tend not to build navy ships in conflict areas, and it seems like a very impractical device for combat zone use unless the weight it was intended for was body armor, making the sniper point moot yet again.

Comment: Re:Oh great (Score 1) 546

by jeffmeden (#48140699) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

> asserting that a single point of ultimate failure is the most important technology

Yeah, it's important all right. Critical, even.

We're being awfully slow about teaching people to adopt passphrases. Simple, no number no symbol nonsense.

"rrrybgdts" is a nursery rhyme. It doesn't even have to be written on a sticky.

9 alphas in lower case counts as sufficiently complex? That's like 42 bits. How about "r^3ybgdts,m^4libad". Still a nursery rhyme, eh?

Comment: Re:symbols, caps, numbers (Score 1) 546

by jeffmeden (#48140623) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

And yet this exact 'verification' was a way to steal control of accounts a while back.

Basically, apple asked for the first four digits of your CC for secure verification, Amazon asked for the last four. Each were happy to give the four digits at the opposite end of your account and, worse, Amazon would let you add a new CC to your account, verify yourself with that credit card, then provide the other four digits of your other card. This was used, successfully, to attack a person's Icloud account. I am not sure about now, but I really hope both companies have changed their policies, particularly in regards to phone support and scripted replied to requests for control of accounts.

Apple was doing something pretty stupid; the first six digits of a credit card number are assigned to the issuing bank so it would be pretty easy to guess ANYONEs first 4 digits if you have on hand a few big bank CC prefixes.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 608

by jeffmeden (#48140261) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

If you assume 1 acre per windmill that's a square 11 miles on a side filled with windmills.

This is a bit of a ridiculous assumption. A square acre is 208 feet on each side... a 213 foot tip-tip wind turbine could RUN INTO the one next to it for fucks sake. Placing a wind turbine close to another one (even if they don't touch) results in very little output since wind gets slowed dramatically by a large turbine generating power. Actual projects spread them at about 60 acres EACH to maintain effectiveness. So going back to the math, 10 windmills per square mile means 8,000 square miles to power Germany, or an area 90mi x 90mi. Germany does have 137,000 sq miles in its borders, but it would probably rather not use them all (or even 6% of them) for windmills.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 608

by jeffmeden (#48140145) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Modern wind turbines (even at only 30% capacity) will run more like 1000-2000 homes each.

80,000 wind turbines sounds like a lot, but it's not really. Cars are much more complex machines than wind turbines, yet Germany churns out 6 million cars *every single year*. BMW alone probably builds 1 million cars a year in Germany.

This is patently false and a bit ridiculous. A single wind turbine costs over a million dollars to buy and install, not because it costs a lot to rent a crane (it does) but because it is a seriously fucking complicated device. 3 giant blades, a hub that can synchronously pitch the blades between 0 and 90 degrees, a shaft that not only holds up 3 huge, heavy blades but also transfers up to 2,000,000W of power (that's 2,600 horsepower, how much does a fucking BMW have?) I could go on and on. Wind turbines are so hard to design and build, most of them are imported (only a handful of firms can do it well). The IP surrounding wind turbine design is coveted as closely as military secrets (and stolen like military secrets, via state/state espionage and other clandestine acts.)

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 261

by jeffmeden (#48132503) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

Maybe it shouldn't delete it but maybe more than one folder or putting a confidence level might be nice.
It has multiple categories for the inbox now, why not multiple categories for spam? There is spam and
then there is SPAM. My spam folder on google is full of stuff like viagra, russian bride, nigeria scams,
emails written in chinese I can't even read and other 110% obvious SPAM. There are also a few emails
or newsletters from companies with mediocre records. If my spam was split into 2 categories, my
guess is that 100% of the messages that occasionally get misplaced in my spam folder are in this
questionable category not the blatantly obvious category.

You mean you don't have the option to use a "Promotions" folder in Gmail where commercial email will go automatically? What are you using, the free version? Chuckle.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 261

by jeffmeden (#48132433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

Spam folder in my Gmail catches 99.9% of all spam I receive.

As a bonus: it's also excellent about learning what I mark as spam, and dealing with false positives.

Exactly. Even without much training, my gmail inbox is as clean as clean can be. Soliciting emails that I want to see (stores I frequent, etc) are properly shunted into "promotions". It has been at least a year or two since I have seen anything resembling a 419 email. I would posit one of two things is going on; either the submitter has done a good job of confusing the filter by moving/marking the wrong items out of the spam folder, or there really is a Nigerian prince looking to strike a deal to get his vast fortune out of Africa.

Comment: Re:Straw Man (Score 2) 622

by jeffmeden (#48131915) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

That's quite a closed-minded way to go about understanding someone else's point of view isn't it. The analogy I've used before is the criminal is guilty of committing a crime, but even so probably shouldn't have left your entire life savings on the coffee table of your ground floor flat with the windows wide open, whilst you went out to the shops to buy a spicy vegetable and quinoa laksa.

The problem is that thieves will be thieves. If your pile of cash is well hidden they will just keep looking until they find someone else's (maybe it's even yours, if your neighbors happen to be all better at securing their valuables than you are). Look at what's happened to the world of car theft (a very well studied phenomenon.) Cars for a decade have generally all come equipped with simple ignition lockouts that make hot-wiring impossible. Thieves now prowl exclusively for cars with keys in them. What was once a relatively safe act (idling a car unattended to warm it up/cool it off) is now the most probable way to have it stolen, since thieves know that cars are worthless without keys. One group gets safer (those who never idle their cars unattended) and the other gets much less safe. It's zero sum unless you come up with a way to actually DE-incentivize the act of theft.

Comment: Re: Pay me once, shame on me. (Score 1) 106

by jeffmeden (#48114489) Attached to: Amazon Robot Picking Challenge 2015

The cost of entering is too high and has too big of a risk walking away without my expenses covered.

Indeed, go big or go home. Impressing the likes of Amazon would mean millions of dollars in contracts (even just for the IP surrounding advanced robotic processes) so if the reward isn't big enough to counter the risk (i.e. you think you won't do well) then by all means move along.

Given the increasing visibility of the negative externalities of human pickers at Amazon's third party fulfillment locations, they are going to be increasingly eager to do anything they can to reduce the number of humans involved in order fulfillment.

Comment: Re:Pay me once, shame on me. (Score 1) 106

by jeffmeden (#48114439) Attached to: Amazon Robot Picking Challenge 2015

So basically they're paying the winners less than one year's salary for a picker, in order to develop a technology that will permanently replace virtually every picker in all their warehouses. I see how this is a good deal for Amazon, not so much how it's fair for the competitors or good for the human race.

It doesn't mention anything about intellectual property, patents, etc except this bland remark: "Participants will be encouraged to share and disseminate their approach to improve future challenge results and industrial implementations."

So, it is doubtful that entry into the contest or acceptance of the prize would compromise intellectual property (trade secrets, patents, copyrights, etc) of the creators. Much as the X prize, Grand Challenge, etc did not require contestants or winners to forfeit any IP. From the look of it, Amazon is staging a contest, paying travel expenses, and offering a prize, all in lieu of executing a RFP and performing testing themselves. Still probably a win for them in the end, if one or more of the contestants is in fact a commercial robotics vendor.

The rule on staying alive as a program manager is to give 'em a number or give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.