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Comment Re:so it must be good (Score 1) 291

If governments urge you not use a specific type of encryption, then you know you are using it right.

Remember that the government warned against the use of DES a few years ago because it WAS open to attack, though it took a few month for the drtails to become widely known. If you use DES today, you KNOW that anyone can crack it, so the warning was exactly right.

Comment One of hte last (Score 1) 220

In 1971 I took the required freshman Engineering slide rule class. Not too difficult as I had been using my father's K+E Log-log Duplex Decatrig for many years and my father had taught me many tricks to squeeze out one more significant digit. (I still have it.) Not only was it dropped from requirements, but it was not even taught the next year. I still think it was a bad idea.

I also took tube design (valve to you Brits) and I still think that what I learned there was invaluable even though I never worked on any tube circuit other than CRTs and Thyratrons.

Slide rules still catch errors that a calculator won't.

Comment Re:End the drug war (Score 1) 245

yes, you have to be hit with the stupid stick to get on a jury

Or maybe a lawyer does.

I was selected for a jury when my employer of 35 years was one of the defendants. I just assumed I'd be kicked by the plaintiff at once, but the lawyer in the lung cancer case (asbestos) said I was fine. I'd like to think I'd be unbiased, but...

The judge had more sense and met in chambers with the attorneys after which another juror and I were sent home. (The other juror had a close business relationship with a different defendant.)

Comment Publicly acessible WiFi makes this look very nice! (Score 2) 182

I am a Comcast customer and everyone using their "home gateway" (most customers) are providing free, limited bandwidth access to other Internet customers who are within range. As I walk the dogs I find that I am almost continuously connecting to one house or another. Same when driving around. My phone checks for adequate performance when connecting, but hangs onto the connection even though throughput is about 10 bytes per second. and, even when the signal is lost, it takes about 20 seconds before giving up.

I am forced to turn off WiFi to listen to stream or even get a sports score update. Then I get home and forget to turn on the WiFi and THAT is when I waste a bunch of my data allowance.

As to not noticing the switch-over, streaming apps do have a noticeable "glitch" when moving from WiFi to LTE. It's quite likely that you would notice. The app has to detect the change, open a connection via the LTE address and start the new stream running before the buffer empties... when the low quality can only be detected until the buffer is already shrinking rapidly. There are several tricks apps can use to minimize the delay, but I have yet to find one that does the switch transparently on audio, let alone video.

Comment Re:Move and die! (Score 1) 351

I think you miss the point, With all the ad scripts in so many pages, it was taking many seconds for anything to render. Users complained to Google, Mozilla, Apple, etc about this. The web site running the ads also complained. No one was happy. The easiest way to make people happier (NOT happy) was to start displaying the rendered main page as soon as possible instead of waiting for all of the called JavaScript to be rendered. I believe Chrome was first, but I suspect others followed quickly when Chrome started picking up more users. It is probably universal by now. I only run Firefox and Chromium, so I can't say anything about others.

This changed the behavior in the manner you described with NO change to the website or the ads and is really unavoidable. There MAY be a way to override this, but most sites would never do this, as it would return the long delay before a page will start to be displayed. Too many users will just give up. A study by Yahoo about 5 yeas ago showed a significant decline of completed renderings of its pages if they took over 3 seconds to start displaying. That means real $$$. Sites could reduce ads, but that also costs $$$. Result... You lose.

I run NoScript which nicely resolves the issue as the advertising scripts appear to be rendered instantly, but the typical user would not put up with the issues NpScript causes.

Comment Re:Move and die! (Score 1) 351

This is not actually malicious, but an artifact of the rendering engines and the order in which they render things.

If they choose to wait for all of the external references to other JavaScript stuff and render when this is all processed, all pop-ups and other content will appear it their specified locations, but it often takes so long to do this, due to those ads, that some browsers are rendering as soon as the main script is processed and then "adjusting" positions or adding pop-ups late... often very late. Of course, it is possible that some designers are deliberately taking advantage of this.

This is quite likely a response to the many complaints of the delays before the page starts rendering by users and webmasters. On some things, you just can't win.

Comment Re:Not all signees are climate "scientists", exact (Score 1) 737

is the Director of Climate Change Communication,

I'm seriously questioning why a university feels the need to have a Director of Climate Change Communication.

Hmm. From some comments (and threats) I've seen levelled at those who do climate research, it's probably a good idea. Silly mistakes and such could have very nasty results.

Submission + - FDA ordered study shows antibacterial soap no better than plain soap

kevmeister writes: Time magazine reported that an FDA ordered study of the efficacy of antibacterial soap showed that for normal hand washing (20 sec.) antibacterial soap was no more effective than plain soap. The report showed that antibacterial soap needed to be used for nine hours before it showed an advantage.

Other studies have listed several possible risks of triclosan , the anti-microbial agent used in these soaps including cancer, it is questionable whether anyone would want to use it or whether the FDA will continue to allow its use in soap.

Comment Re:Waiting for it to update without prompting (Score 1) 867

If this is running as part of regular Windows Update, I'm curious to know whether or not this is going to just start installing the update to windows 10 without asking the user at some point.

I made the mistake of allowing the installation of new Defender signatures yesterday and what should appear but "Windows 10 downloading"! Looks like updating anything will trigger the download. I was VERY annoyed.

Comment Re:Ed Tufte (Score 1) 28

I was involved in research on effective color mapping at Lawrence Livermore 40 years ago. The issues discussed here were ones we analyzed and designed mapping tools to provide mappings that worked well for a variety of applications. Mapping proved closely linked to both the nature of the data (e.g. smooth vs. high contrast edges vs. noisy) and what the goal of the mapping was. I know of photography and graphics designers who still use the papers generated from this research, but mostly it seems to have been forgotten,

Rainbow color maps are occasionally useful, but for most cases they are dreadfully bad. Sawtooths are very good for many applications and we found that random walks, with appropriate parameters, were especially effective even though a bit of trial and error was required tor good results. A rainbow that was adjusted for the perception of the human visual system was a good general purpose mapping, but it looked quite a bit different from the normal, flat rainbow most commonly used both then and today.

Comment Re:Dumbest thing I've heard today. (Score 1) 576

FedEx packages are travelling through a confined system of checkpoints. Unless Christie wants to put checkpoints all around America and have everyone showing their papers to TSA agents on every public highway, it just won't work.

The day is young! This most likely means you have just not heard the latest comments from some other candidate. If all else fails (and it probably won't), you can depend on The Donald.

Comment Been there... done that... didn't get a T-shirt (Score 1) 50

Very nice, but hardly new. Both ESnet (U.S. DOE research network) and Internet2, the national collegiate research network have been running at Nx100G to major research sites and the rest of the Internet for at least two years. They provide Internet service places like CalTech, MIT, the University of Califorrnia, Berkeley Lab and Fermilab. These are full production networks with ESnet already moving vast amounts of data from the LHC to the US for storage and dissemination to many public and private research facilities.

Comment Re:Not the right tool (Score 4, Interesting) 144

It's really amazing what you can do in a spreadsheet.

Several years ago I was involved with management of optical wavelength switching gear (DWDM) in conjunction with a large, national telcom. They had some very well designed tools with very nice GUIs to allow things like building an optical path. Things that require managing complex database and doing a lot of checking on availability of resources and validity of the circuit.

It was all written in Excel!

I was amazed at it all. Nothing looked at all like a spreadsheet. and it actually worked and seemed pretty maintainable. I'm sure that they would have been delighted to see this sort of things as the one issue was the time it took to update the screen when certain changes were made (re-calculation).

Use the Force, Luke.