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Comment: Re:poor cops have it so hard (Score 4, Insightful) 412

by jythie (#48924431) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'
It is kinda sad how it has, in many ways, crossed that bridge,.. and the only thing that seems to stop it from going down a really dark path is the amount of infighting between the various institutions who want to be the winner in such a situation. Our government's own self destructiveness partisanship might be the only thing preventing a dictatorship at this point.

Comment: Lawful access is uneffected. (Score 4, Insightful) 412

by jythie (#48924411) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'
Encryption does not prevent lawful access to data. If law enforcement gets a court order they can always go the person and require them to decrypt something for search. What it does prevent is LEO going to 3rd parties and secretly getting unencrypted data, which is only 'lawful' because they have twisted things to do so. But search where the subject is aware and can examine the order? No change there.

All common encryption does is prevent law enforcement from creating all sorts of new abilities and powers it did not have before, which is a very different thing.

Comment: For certain values of 'you'. (Score 1) 279

by jythie (#48924097) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One
I know people who have an iPad but not an smart phone or laptop.

I have been seeing a lot of pieces over the last few days interpreting the plateau as some sort of failure, which I find rather perplexing since what it probably represents is simple saturation and a good device lifespan.

There seems to be this almost pathological obsession with constant rapid growth and if something is not on the way to dominating it is somehow failing, usually based off people looking around at others like themselves and considering that the only 'market that matters'.

But in the real world there is more than one type of consumer, more than one use case, and as long as there is enough of a user base to keep production costs reasonable then the segment that is best served by tablets is served by them and the device succeeds. The only time this really breaks down is when the market is small enough that it pushes production prices up like we see with, say, monochrome cameras. The people they work well for love them, but there are not enough such people to keep costs reasonable, so they are commercial failures. On the other hand, DSLRs in general have not 'failed' even though they sit between cheap but goodish smartphone cameras and pricy but awesome MF backs, yet sales have more or less plateaued since they are not exactly 'replace every year' devices.

Comment: Re: Not really. (Score 3, Insightful) 233

by jythie (#48923489) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox
It should also be noted that the '1-10' estimate was based off bomb types that did not exist and might not even be possible. The people working on Orion operated under the assumption that a particularly clean type of bomb could be developed and based all their estimates and calculations off that not yet existing technology. It was in the form of 'if we can develop a bomb with characteristics XYZ, then we can build a launch vehicle with characteristics ABC', but XYZ did not actually exist and does not represent known capabilities even today. Even within those numbers, we know a lot more about dispersal patterns and effects of radiation today than we did back then. Environmental science was at its infancy at the time and there was a lot of 'the environment can take it, treat XYZ as infinite' back then.

So the environmental and health impact would likely be much greater than 1-10.

Comment: Re: Not really. (Score 1) 233

by jythie (#48923405) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox
Ahm, Orion was not canceled because it was 'successful'. It is true that it competed with other projects and got a political short stick, but Orion had only progressed to the earliest of chemical prototypes and still had significant theoretical and engineering problems to be solved. The best 'near scale' it got was half a dozen chemical explosives pushing maybe a 100 kilos a few hundred meters.

It is easy to paint a rosy picture of what might have been when something does not even get past the drawing stages, but really we have no idea if Orion would have ever worked with the materials of the time, and the 'clean' bomb technology that it depended on never materialized. The designers were extremely optimistic and promised all sorts of fantastic things, but that is what people tend to do when plugging expensive projects, so their hopefulness is not the best metric to determine what the outcome would eventually be.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 1) 233

by jythie (#48923337) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox
Not really. While it is easy to blame social convention and some desire to 'not learn', people tend to underestimate just how much of a leg up one gets from previously discovered knowledge and why things moved so slowly for so many centuries. 'Progress' did not happen till certain key discoveries combined with population densities, economic prosperity, and political stability. Not only that but certain critical points had to be reached within certain timeframes, which is why we see so many false starts throughout history where great knowledge was accumulate but then the weather knocked civilization back down. So not 'sillyness', but instead a very difficult hurdle to get over that only seems simple because we happen to be living on the successful side of it.

Comment: Re:Or maybe it's because (Score 1) 233

by jythie (#48923267) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox
That could indeed be at the heart of one of the solutions to the paradox. As a civilization becomes more individualistic and inward focusing, breeding might drop off to the point of extinction. Think about it, if you could live 10,000+ years and have all of your needs (including emotional) met by synthetic means, would you bother having children? How many people would give any thought to the species as a whole continuing if we were not forced to deal with each other?

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923