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Comment: Re:Still don't get where the market is (Score 2) 138

I used to think this way, because if you want to know the time look at a clock or cell phone. Then I got a Pebble, and found that it's fantastically useful to have little bits of info pushed to your wrist to see at a glance, and to have your watch know your schedule and location rather than just the time, so it can tell you things like "you should leave for your next appointment now, given where you are and where you need to be and the traffic". Then you only need to pull out your phone occasionally, she you want to actually talk with someone or use a large screen. It's very convenient.

Comment: The article isn't about PGP, but web-based email.. (Score 1) 89

by laird (#49419599) Attached to: The Problem With Using End-to-End Web Crypto as a Cure-All

The article isn't actually about end-to-end email security, but about using web-based email, because you can't trust the contents of the browser window. The answer, of course, is to use a Mail app, and not web-based email. If you use a mail app, end-to-end security works great!

The real problem that needs solving isn't hacking PGP into web-mail, it's making certificate management user-friendly. And that's not even that hard to do!

Comment: Re:Supercomputer Cluster? (Score 1) 68

by laird (#49273233) Attached to: GCHQ Builds a Raspberry Pi Super Computer Cluster

Sure. But the goal was educational, not production, what they did is pretty reasonable. That is, they built a large cluster of computers for kids to learn parallel programming on, using dirt-cheap commodity components accessible to kids. Sure, it's not a supercomputer in that it won't be on the Top 100 list, but it's a good educational "trainer" supercomputer, in that learning parallel programming teaches the the programming models (though not the specific languages) used by the real supercomputers.

Now, if they could get FORTRAN running parallel on the cluster, that's be really useful for teaching kids to be ready for supercomputing! Not as 'hip' as Node.js, but really useful for doing supercomputing.

Comment: Re:The Rules (Score 1) 347

by laird (#49246879) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

One correction - from what I've read Netflix demanded that Comcast give them direct transit for free, Comcast insisted that it be paid transit, through a provider, which is how pretty much all web sites operate - they pay their ISP, the web site's ISP buys transit to the consumer ISPs, and the traffic gets delivered. Netflix refused to buy more bandwidth from a provider, insisting that Netflix be able to bypass their ISP and deliver transit straight to Comcast, and they should get the transit for free from Comcast. Then Netflix tried to push more traffic to Comcast then their ISP was paid to deliver, the connections from Netflix to Comcast saturated and started dropping packets (or were throttled by Comcast, hard to tell from the outside). Netflix' bet was that if their service degraded on Comcast, they could tell their customers it was Comcast's fault, and force Comcast to provide transit for free to avoid the bad PR.

Comment: Re:The Rules (Score 1) 347

by laird (#49246829) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

The rule only says that ISPs have to transit traffic without differentiating between it.

Paid caches aren't network transit. They're not affected by this rule.

Peering arrangements are network transit, but the rule just says the ISP has to deliver the traffic they're paid by customers to deliver, whether or not the ISP likes the specific web site the data is coming from. It's not relevant whether the transit is free (peering) or paid transit.

Comment: Albert is doing amazing work (Score 5, Informative) 43

by laird (#49246781) Attached to: Tony Stark Delivers Real 3D-Printed Bionic Arm To 7-Year Old Iron Man Fan

Albert Manero at his team at UCF are doing a great job. One bit I want to add: the community that he's working in is e-NABLE ( http://www.enablingthefuture.o... ). The "one note" stuff is just a Microsoft sponsorship deal, done after-the-fact, and while their financial and marketing sponsorship of Albert's work is awesome (his work takes time and money, even if he gives the results away for free), it would be better to credit the actual community that contributed to the design, not the made up community that MS created for marketing spin. In particular, the hand used in the Limitless design is Flexy Hand (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:242639) by Gyrobot, who's a very cool guy who deserves some credit for his work.

Comment: Re:1st Amendment (Score 1) 449

by laird (#49239977) Attached to: Cody Wilson Wants To Help You Make a Gun

No, the first amendment says that The People have the Right to form Well Regulated Militia. The Founders strongly opposed the idea of private armies, and in fact when people tried to set up their own military force outside of the Militia they were found guilty of treason and shut down by the army.

It's weird how modern gun salesmen have managed to twist "the people have a right to form well regulated militia" into "gun companies have the right to sell unlimited quantities of any kinds of guns to anonymous buyers over the internet".

Comment: Re:thanks (Score 1) 211

by laird (#49099097) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

Keep in perspective that the "too low" Medicare and Medicaid payment schedule that the hospitals and doctors claim they can't survive on is still much higher than is paid by any healthcare system in any other country on the planet. So why is it that doctors and hospitals in the US charge more than in Japan, Germany, France, the UK, etc., while at the same time delivering inferior medical outcomes? Are they stupider or more wasteful? Or do they just have a higher profit margin? As a patient, I want to pay for healthcare, not profit margins.

Comment: Re:News (Score 0) 211

by laird (#49099009) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

And, on the flip side, 10m people are insured that weren't before. And lots of people's coverage is a lot better than it was before. And, on average, insurance rates only went up 2-5%, when it went up 6-10% annually pre-ACA. So from what I can see, insurance coverage is better, and costs are going up more slowly than ever in my lifetime. Not a bad deal.

Comment: Re:The big picture (Score 1) 211

by laird (#49099003) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

Interesting anecdote.

On average, healthcare costs were going up 6-10% a year every year for decades, and 3-5% a year since ACA. So as a public policy it's working.

So why is your insurance deal so much worse than what everyone else is getting? What's so different about your personal situation to drive your prices dramatically up with millions of people are seeing the opposite?

Comment: Re:The big picture (Score 1) 211

by laird (#49098983) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

Healthcare costs have always gone up every year. The reality is that healthcare costs have gone up under ACA at half the rate of the pre-ACA increases (3-4% under ACA, vs. the 6-10% annual increases every year for decades!). That's better.

As for worse insurance, that's unlikely. For example, the insurance companies aren't allowed to waste more than 15% of what they are paid, when previously there was no limit. And they were allowed to take insurance away from people that had been paying for it, if they became sick and required expensive coverage. And they were allowed to refuse to insure people with "pre-existing conditions" so people could lose coverage if they switched jobs. And they could sell insurance that turned out to be worthless. And the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US was medical bills to PEOPLE WITH INSURANCE who were driven into bankruptcy by their insurance companies. All those practices are illegal, making everyone's insurance (and lives) better.

And hospitals don't have to lose a fortune on providing services to uninsured people, which they covered by inflating the charges on the insured patients. So because the uninsured rate at hospitals has dropped dramatically, hospitals can stop having to cover the loss. Which is one of the many reasons that healthcare costs have stopped skyrocketing.

And 10m people have insurance that didn't, and will therefore lead healthier lives, which is an ethical improvement. If you care about people.

Comment: Re:News (Score 1) 211

by laird (#49098963) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

Of course, all of the "nullification" laws get thrown out by the courts, but it gives the state legislatures a chance to grandstand for their dumber voters.

Note also that in reality the state and local governments are less competent and more corrupt (on average) than the federal government. Because there's _way_ less oversight the more local the government is.

Comment: Re:News (Score 0) 211

by laird (#49098953) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

In reality, of course, the reason that the web site had problems is that it's an absurdly complex integration of hundreds of back-end systems driven by the perverse insistence that we avoid the simple, efficient solution (let everyone buy into Medicare, a one sentence change to the law requiring no new technology) in order to create more opportunity for state-level corruption and political sabotage.

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.