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Comment: Re:Reality in the USA.... (Score 1) 529

by kgwilliam (#46509713) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

If this were true people would not worship Michael Phelps.

If this were true people would worship the owners of most small to medium sized companies who are making more money than an NFL star, but not as much as the NFL team's owner.

People worship lots of different things for different reasons - physical capability (the NFL star), wealth (the lottery winner), business success (Gates, Buffet), religion (the Pope - note: the current pope who advocates charity, not the last pope who liked his bling), civil rights (Rosa Parks), power (the President), etc. To try to sum up worship as being one and only one thing is just being obtuse.

Comment: Re:Failed experiment? (Score 1) 124

by kgwilliam (#39841101) Attached to: Navy To Auction Stealth Ship

She was an abysmal failure. For a reasonable amount of armament, she ended up much larger more expensive than a ship with a conventional displacement hull.... and she wasn't actually all that stealthy. (In particular, her wake could be trivially detected using the same radar used to detect submarine periscopes.) On top of that, because of displacement limitations, she was highly vulnerable in combat, had low survivability, limited endurance, maintenance issues, and had habitability issues as compared to an equivalent conventional design.

tl;dr version: The Navy already had a stealth ship (the fast attack submarine) that filled the various mission needs that the Navy needed stealth for. Sea Shadow had no particular advantages over the submarine and several key disadvantages. Other than her one party trick (stealth), she was inferior to conventional surface ships but had a considerably higher price tag.

I don't think you understand what "tl;dr" means....

Comment: Re:Customers don't know what they want. (Score 1) 360

by kgwilliam (#37640450) Attached to: Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy

I think you are confusing 'customers are clueless morons' with 'people value different things differently'. Just becasue you don't have the same values as someone else, does not make them a moron, nor does it make you an enlightened consumer.

Full price MMO + monthly payment --- There are lots of MMOs that don't charge full price, and also don't charge a monthly payment. Why do people continue playing WoW? Because they see the value in a high quality game with lots of content, frequently updated content, strong control on cheaters, etc.

DLC --- Lots of people really like DLC because it lets them extend playability on a game they really enjoyed. Fallout 3 was a fantastic game on its own with no DLC and lots of people bought it as is and thoroughly enjoyed it. Other people enjoyed it so much they wanted even more Fallout 3 and bought the DLC.

DRM --- Yeah, this one is harder to defend from a consumer perspective and I do agree that it is a bad trend. But if it lets companies control piracy losses, and keep game prices lower, then most consumers are at least ok with it. And in the case of games where there is an online economy (ie. Diablo III) then it may even add some value to help protect the securty of that online economy.

I remember when everyone was pissed that game companies had the nerve to ...

No, you remember when the game blogs, slashdot, and message boards had lots of conversation about people being mad about this. This is a very narrow scope to base your world view on. You didn't hear my feedback, because I was one of the millions of people who wasn't pissed about it and could see the value.

Comment: Re:So Apple turns user data over to the government (Score 2) 230

by kgwilliam (#37302956) Attached to: Apple's iCloud Runs On Microsoft Azure

I am surprised this pure FUD got modded up. The Patriot Act affects every US based company and Apple would have to turn the data over even if they hosted it themselves.

"Any data which is housed, stored or processed by a company, which is a U.S. based company or is wholly owned by a U.S. parent company, is vulnerable to interception and inspection by U.S. authorities."

Comment: Re:Not that unreasonable (Score 1) 516

You are right, the government does have a responsibility to disclose public information in an easy to use mechanism. But there is a balance between ease of access and cost. Extreme ease of access means that your city would host all public hearings streamed live over the web with integrated polling functionality and a live twitter feed. But the cost of doing this is unjustifiable to the taxpayers for all but the most progressive cities.

Try this... Call your local government office and make a foia request for something. If that information isn't already online, do you think they are going to put it online just for you, or do you think they are going to tell you that you are welcome to come on down to the office during business hours and they are happy to print it out for you?

To your point, yes it is very likely that they could have and should have used their existing infrastructure. But my point was that nobody on slashdot knows anything about their existing infrastructure or any other legal, technical, manpower, or fiscal challenges they may face in putting this information online. Yet most of the posts here are crying about conspiracies and incompetence because they limit their perspective to a 10 line perl script and a bittorrent feed which should solve the whole problem.

Comment: Re:Not that unreasonable (Score 1) 516

This response just shows that you are not thinking outside of the technical box where every problem can be solved with a script. Your statements about sorting files into multiple folders and running scripts to convert to PDFs are very technology focused without any concept of the bigger picture. You do realize that my examples which you are attempting to argue are merely examples of some of the challenges they could potentially face and not the exhaustive list? But you attack those specific examples with the typical approach of a purely technical person who thinks that solving one or two of the technical issues solves the entire problem.

Let me try again with another example, but this time try to extract the context of the big picture without trying to solve the technical question...
Who is going to write the script to covert the emails to PDFs? And remember that the script has to filter out the legally redacted emails and the emails where only a portion of it is redacted. I am sure you are a very smart person who could do it in 15 minutes, but a government office in a town of 30,000 may very well not have an in-house IT person capable of doing this since they outsource the bulk of their IT work. Should they pay a consultant to come in and write that script? What incentive do they have to spend their taxpayers' dollars in order to make it easier for CNN to consume the information? Alaska can and is charging CNN the actual cost to create the paper version ("man the printers" as you say) so it is free to them. It is quite likely they would not be able to pass on the cost of an IT consultant to CNN.

Comment: Re:Not that unreasonable (Score 1) 516

You make a good point. I dislike Palin as much as anyone and I am definitely not trying to defend her, and it is quite possible (likely even) that the state of Alaska really is playing games to purposely make it harder. I am just trying to point out that the typical slashdot response of "ZOMG Print to PDF and bittorrent solves all their problems so therefore it must be a conspiracy!" is a bit naive and not very well thought out.

To your point about the lawyers having access, they may very well have been sitting at a desktop in the state office using the same email server. Just because the lawyers have looked at the emails doesn't mean that Alaska has secretly been passing them around electronically and is just now deciding to make it difficult by printing to paper.

Comment: Re:Not that unreasonable (Score 1) 516

And you sir demonstrate the critical thinking abilities of a junior developer straight out of school. You think problem A leads directly to solution B without thinking of any of the other ramifications or what-if scenarios.

Is it trivial to think about a modern email server with easy-to-use capabilities such as print to file? Of course, which is exactly what you and the majority of slashdotters immediately do. Unfortunately the thought process too often stops there and people immediately villify everybody who doesn't come to the same conclusion, regardless of the lack of supporting knowledge of the system.

If you put a little more critical thought into the scenario are you able to imagine an antiquated email system (you know, like the kind which might be in use in a government office of a town of 30,000) which might have a more antiquated print to file system (perhaps one which requires user input to enter a unique file name for each file, or even just click OK on each file)? If you put a little more critical thought into the scenario you might also imagine that the office manager and secretary who are trying to fulfill this foia request have never even heard of "Print to PDF" (my mom has never heard of the feature, and she was a non-technical government employee). You might even make the stretch that the in-house IT staff of this office doesn't have the technical skills to implement the end-to-end scenario. And do you think that the manager who's ass is on the line to meet all of the legal requirements of a foia request is going to risk giving it to some junior IT person?

The key thing to remember is that they are not under any legal obligation to provide the foia information in an easily consumable way at their own expense. Yes, foia law allows them to collect reasonable expenses, but that probably doesn't include the cost of hiring an outside IT consulting firm to help put the information online.

Comment: Not that unreasonable (Score 3, Insightful) 516

The slashdot crowd of course is going to lambast this decision. But if you take time to think about it rather than reply with a knee-jerk reaction, it really isn't that unreasonable.

What is required to host thousands of emails online?
  - A web server. Presumably they have one of these, but is it just a simple website at some hosting company and not very easy to configure or mass-upload to, and perhaps with a limited storage quota? Is it their same server they had in the late 90's that might choke on 24,000 files in one directory?
  - How do you convert the emails to individual files which can be hosted? Convert to PDF perhaps? File -> Save As? Either way, it is going to be very labor intensive. Perhaps the email system is old enough that it is even more difficult and time consuming?
  - How long do you have to store the online files? Every day they store the files on the server costs them extra $. And every person who downloads the files costs them extra $.
  - What type of technical knowledge is required to put all of the pieces together? To a slashdotter it might seem trivial, but a town of 30,000 reachable only by water and air is not the type of place who will employ public servants with the technical expertise of a slashdotter. Their IT staff might consist of a guy who knows how to replace a monitor and reformat Windows XP. They may outsource all of the rest of their IT functions at an hourly cost to the state. All of these email requests are probably going to some poor secretary who has a hard time opening her own email.
  - Who should have access? IANAL, but this is a foia request so I presume anybody in America, but is Alaska required to make government documents readily available to the governments of North Korea and Iran? If not, who is going to setup the security to prevent unauthorized access?

Remember, this is a foia request which Alaska has to respond to, but they have no incentive to make it easy at their own taxpayer's expense. It is far cheaper and easier for a small town government office to tell people to come and get the information than it is for them to make it easily accessible over the internet.

FORTH IF HONK THEN

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