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Comment: No more plugins (Score 1) 405 405

I never cared for Java, or Silverlight, or any other language that requires plug-ins.

It's turning into a nightmare at our enterprise. Some teams have projects that are only compatible with older versions of Java, and the GPO keeps pushing out new versions of Java to keep up with the security updates, and then it breaks the older projects.

So it's a scramble for the support team to figure out all which versions you can use for which project.

And then on top of that, we can't use Chrome because for some reason it disables Java if it's not the newest version, and even after downloading and installing the latest Java, Chrome still doesn't recognize it. I think it has something to do with 32-bit vs. 64-bit. So basically my app that runs amazing on Chrome, can't be used because I have to link out to these other older projects that still use Java.

Such a PITA.

+ - What PRISM Program Really Is

jmactacular writes: It sounds like there is some technical confusion about whether major companies have provided direct server access.

The NSA is not tapping in there, they are tapping in much earlier in the data stream at the regional ISP switching centers.

The PRISM program operates in secret rooms, where it splits the fiber optic cable, where one fiber cable continues on to the ISP switch, and the second fiber cable is fed into a NARUS STA 6400 that does real time packet inspection of the entire data stream.

It seems like the program name PRISM is based on splitting light in fiber optics, like a prism that can split light.

This was uncovered by an AT&T tech named Mark Klein, who reported it to the EFF. The regional switch was at 611 Folsom St. in San Francisco, and the NSA room was on the 7th floor.

It's detailed in the NOVA program "The Spy Factory" at around minute 00:40 here online:

It was also covered in the Frontline doc "Spying on the Home Front", here's an updated story with a clip.

Comment: Re:I work at Google... (Score 1) 103 103

haha :)

Maybe Google X should mine more movies for ideas. Nixon asked his science advisers what to do after putting a man on the moon, and they all pointed to the film 2001 and said we want to do that... speaking to the shuttle program and space station. He said pick one.

Seriously, self driving cars will be a revolution, keep that going. Just from a guys perspective alone, and especially an introvert, that 20-30 minutes of decompress time relaxing in your car, taking a nap, or reading Slashdot while your car takes you home, before you get home to the family with the todo list... More than just safety... you'll be saving marriages! lol

But really, how are we not doing the stuff in Minority Report yet? Not only the cars. Remember those FOLED like newspapers on the subway? Why the h are we still fiddling with these thick form factors? Why are we fiddling with screens and devices at all?

I think you guys should do more than have people write code. Maybe you should also ask them to dream up the future. So we can build it! That would be a fun interview. Certainly more fun than running and stuff.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't a Provisional Patent As Prior Art Sufficient? 3 3

jmactacular writes: Patents suck, and I know the difference between a provisional and a utility. But follow my logic here. If you file a provisional patent purely to try and protect yourself, wouldn't that document the "invention" sufficient as such to be considered prior art? And if prior art is a valid defense against someone else who files a patent for the same "invention", is it necessary to even file a full patent? What am I missing?

Comment: What is Good? (Score 2) 507 507

My top 3 practical criteria to judge whether code is "good" or not.

1) Performance. How fast does the application actually run.

2) Complexity. How many layers and levels and do you have to trace down into to debug something.

3) Flexibility. Can it be modified easily as new change requests come in.

Comment: Re:An Idea (Score 1) 780 780

What is the virtue of a "legislative personnel layer"? When they vote without even reading bills, or regulate the internet without even allowing experts to testify much less understand it themselves.

Sometimes it's hard for people to imagine the possibilities of the future when only considering from the context of today.

I imagine if we as citizens saw the cost, our tax dollars that we are paying for these policies, more would take the time and interest to become educated on policy. And even if not, if it doesn't gain enough support, chances are it's not a necessary law or policy to begin with.

We should operate our democracy in the manner that only laws that are absolutely necessary are those that we as tax payers fund. Anything more, is simply undemocratic. I'm astonished how many laws we pass restricting our freedom, given how many Americans have literally died to provide. Bottom line, I never voted to waste over $1 Trillion dollars to for police to pull up weeds and arrest my citizens over plants. Just for starters.

Comment: An Idea (Score 1) 780 780

Individuals select a bullet list of policies (i.e. drug war), they support on their tax return and are willing to pay their share to support the policy. To put their money where their mouth is so to speak, by way of paying taxes per policy by a percentage calc. The law is written that if not enough citizens support the policy, and therefore don't provide enough funding, the policy expires and the law is repealed.

I'm tired of paying for taxes on policies I don't support and never had a say in. And I'm tired of politicians passing laws I never asked for.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 780 780

One tax employers can't avoid, and don't avoid, is paying the other half of payroll taxes that fund medicare and social security. Many employees don't even realize their employers pay this on their behalf. For those of us who are self employed, we have to pay both sides.

Comment: Re:DOA.. (Score 2) 377 377

Why can't people think past today? Think forward. Yesterday, as I was doing some iPad app development, I accidentally touched my laptop screen to scroll, thinking it was a touch screen for a second.

Why not enable touch on that screen as well to simply supplement current input methods? Let people use either depending on the moment and context of what they are working on.

All day vertical touch screen use would be tiring, of course, but there are plenty of plausible short term use cases, including the one I just reached for the other day. I would also love a digital marker white board in conference rooms that I didn't have to erase, and could email as a screenshot when we're done. Right now, we take a picture of the whiteboard with our phones!

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"