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Comment: Re:This is why digital sucks (Score 1) 252

by lgw (#47915317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

You don't need a reader though, you just need some patient geeks. Because the media is human-readable, it's just a matter of effort to recover the data. If the military really did back up a synopsis of modern science and engineering, one could imagine a future monastery full of monks patiently transcribing the works to scrolls for wider distribution. Of course, one could also imagine them mindlessly transcribing the pattern of dots with no clue as to the meaning of the holy tape, but that's people for you.

Comment: Re:This is why digital sucks (Score 1) 252

by lgw (#47911199) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Stone tablets from Babylon are still readable because analog degrades gracefully.

Want real long-term storage? Write them to analog tape again.

Metal punch tape - chosen by the military to survive nuclear apocalypse and still be human readable without tools. Much denser than cuneiform, too.

Comment: Re:Final Cut Pro library (Score 4, Insightful) 252

by lgw (#47911131) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

For pro video editing - which is to say lots of content that frequently changes - tape backup still makes sense. There's still no better way to archive large amounts of data, although 2.5 TB (IIRC) tape size for the latest LTO has fallen behind, and the next gen isn't due for likely a year.

But the one-time cost for tape drives is pretty steep. If you're going to use many tapes each month, it's worth it. Heck, I'd say even at 10 TB of new data a month being archived, there's no better way. But for, say, 10 TB of fixed data that just needs to be archived once, it's overkill.

Buy a few HDDs, keep their shipping containers, make a backup and ship them to a friend in a different state. Repeat yearly. That's the economical way. Eventually it will all fit on a single drive, after all (aren't there leading edge 10 TB drives already?), and so you're looking at ~$10/month long term (heck, no matter how much fixed data, eventually it will fit on one drive and cost about that much).

 

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 2) 283

I just come back to "probable cause". Any search without a warrant is bad, and to get that warrant you should need to show that more than half of those you search have the specified contraband. That's what "probable" means, after all.

Bayesian reasoning tells us that's a remarkably high bar to clear based on any sort of profile, but it's technically possible. If, say, you have good evidence that more than half of those who visited Silk Road have illegal drugs in their house right now, then, OK, that's a legit reason to search the houses of everyone who did.

But most profiling and broad searches are closer to 0.05% than to 50%. Search all the computers in the state and find one guilty? What percentage is that? Stop 1000 people at a sobriety checkpoint for every drunk you find? Well, that's a bit less than half, now, isn't it. Search people who fit a profile because they have a one in a million, instead of 1 in 100 million chance of being a terrorist? "They're 100 times as likely if they fit!" Yeah, well, 1 in a million is less than 1 in 2, so keep working on that profile buddy.

Probable cause. It's a simple concept.

Comment: Re:Where is the misuse of military equipment charg (Score 1) 283

Well, if civilian rules of evidence were in play, the evidence should still be thrown out - an overbroad search is an overbroad search. Even though might have found the same evidence with a narrow search, you didn't. But then, I have no clue what the rules of evidence are for the UCMJ, and it's a different world than civilian law. (And of course in the civilian world, they'd just use parallel construction to falsify the origin of the evidence.)

Comment: Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (Score 1) 283

Everyone but you is construing your post to mean that the government investigators was OK to exceed his authority because child molesters are scum. When you call enough people idiots for misunderstanding you, you should start to think that you were perhaps unclear.

Or as the old saying goes "if everyone you see is an asshole, look in the mirror".

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 351

by lgw (#47887225) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

The apps from big companies are there, right? Kindle, Audible, Netflix, that sort of thing? I can't think of any way to filter the rest effectively, since the latest craze always seems to be from some indie company.

Windows has never once succeeded when playing Apple wannabe. If your idea is to make some sort of "elite phone for (people who think themselves) smart people", sorry, MS will never be fashionable. Nor will it ever be geek chic - too many bridges burned. Its current strength is in the low-end market and the app store would need to be compatible with that.

I'd absolutely love to see a store full of $2-5 games with no phoning home or in-app purchases, rather then free games with that BS, and I think it would sell well, but how the heck would you actually do that without a seriously labor-intensive screening process?

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 351

by lgw (#47886793) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

In terms of units sold, Windows phone outsells iPhone in poorer parts of the world.

Honestly, it's fine as a phone, nothing wrong with it. It's not at all like the WinCE phones (seriously, they named the OS "wince", eesh). I played with them in the store this summer, and the UI is pretty slick, but there are so few apps. MS really needs to find a way to run Android apps too if they expect the phone to ever take off.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable (Score 5, Insightful) 461

by lgw (#47885989) Attached to: CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

I was born in America, and thus I am as much a "native American" as one of my great-Grandfathers, a Cherokee, or anyone else born here. There were other people here before the Cherokee came: they displaced the previous tribes to inhabit their lands. No doubt there were wave after wave of conquerors over the ~13,000 years since the Clovis culture. Heck, reading through Wikipedia, they maybe weren't the first humans here either.

No nation lasts forever, due to conquest or occasionally starvation, but the US has a darn good track record of living up to the ideals expressed by the Founders, by the standard not of angels but of men governing men in the real world. This sort of police corruption is distinctly un-American, and we shouldn't put up with this shit.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable (Score 5, Insightful) 461

by lgw (#47883947) Attached to: CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

It's great that our allies are starting to shame us for this! This is such an embarrassing failure of our ideals, and there's really no excuse.

The war on drugs got police in the habit of supplementing their budgets (and wallets) with seized cash. Policy allowing this trained a generation of police that seizing cash was not only OK, but important for the budget. There's little we can do as individuals, but as a democracy we need to push back against this, strongly.

There's no corporate corruption at work here that we need to fight, just the need for governments at all levels to start directly outlawing civil forfeiture without a specific criminal case to tie it to, and even then to keep cash and legal valuables in escrow, not in the cops hands, and insure their prompt return unless forfeiture is a specific legal penalty for a crime that someone is found guilty of.

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