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Comment Re: If that's how Pokemon Int'l treats its fans.. (Score 1) 211

Corporations only own our culture because we buy our culture from corporations. If people don't want to be owned, they should stop being a fanboy of someone else's ideas and make their ideas. Of course this will never happen in society at large, it is an individual choice, and once you go it alone you cease to have a meaningful impact on culture. The vocal minority (backed by advertising $$$) will always hog the spotlight and create that gravitational center we think of as culture. Like it or not, our culture has been hijacked and we can't do jack shit about it.

Comment Re:Icehouse Earth (Score 1) 637

Human dry biomass is only about 100 billion tons. In other words, if all humans were dried out to be burned as fuel, we would supply our own energy needs for about 2.5 days (if we paradoxically had energy needs after being dried out to use as fuel).

So the average human has a dry mass of 14.3 tons... that means a wet mass of 22 tons... seems a tad high. Oh wait, is shit considered biomass?

Comment Re:Affirmative Action is not the same as sexism (Score 1) 517

Oh no doubt! A generation of restless, unemployed, discriminated-against, angry young men will be very beneficial to society. Just think what they will accomplish in their free time! The lessons they will learn! One very important lesson is that women should do all the work, leaving them to their entertainment. Hmm I wonder what forms of entertainment they will engage in? Idle hands are the mother of invention, isn't that how the proverb goes? Wait, no it was idle hands are next to godliness. No that isn't it either. It doesn't matter, history is for losers anyway. The important thing is that testosterone is well known as a great cure for resentment, especially when combined with poor education and a lack of opportunity. Our grand social experiment was such a success with minorities, it is now time to implement it at all levels of society.

Comment Re:The future is now. (Score 1) 155

The trouble with software not coming from the wild is it means there era of the hobbyist programmer is over.

There will always be hobbyist programmers. We are slowly transitioning from the Wild West (a free for all where anyone can participate) to a mature technology (a cartel of established players), but that doesn't mean hobbyists will go away.

Hobbyists are their own worst enemy. Crackers are just hobbyist programmers using their skills for evil. You give freedom to the general public and you're going to get evil along with the good. Take the freedom away and you take away the good along with the evil. We have been searching for a way to keep it under control, without success. It's not like murder or theft. With a computer you can do a LOT of damage instantaneously, and computer crimes are notoriously hard to track down. It's more like nuclear missile technology. You can be a nuclear hobbyist, and there used to be nuclear hobbyists, but nobody is going to let you build a bomb.

Really the public wants the hobbyists brought under control. We romanticize gunslingers and pirates as folk heroes, but we don't tolerate them. Same with hobbyist hackers.

There are still electronics hobbyists in this age of surface mounted custom chips. There are still automotive hobbyists in an era of integrated microprocessor controlled engines. There are still video hobbyists in an era of encrypted hdmi. Nothing is stopping you from taking up telegraphy in an age of satellite TV and the internet.

Hobby programming will continue, and you'll pay extra for the privilege. Computers used to cost a pretty penny, and a hobby quality machine (not locked down) will again be a premium, high-cost, niche item, just like it was in the late 70s. But it will never go away.

Comment Re:The future is now. (Score 3, Insightful) 155

This is the slow boiling of the frog. Convincing people that they "want" a lack of control is the key.

But people DO want a lack of control. I want a lack of control in some cases.

I have no interest in working on my car. In fact, not being able to work on my car is a great excuse to pay someone else to do it. But seriously, I wouldn't know what I was doing anyway. I certainly don't want to have to buy tools and teach myself grease-monkery! Lots of respect to those who can do that sort of thing, and I'm happy to throw money at them, I just have no interest or time for it. I would love a car that was immune to breakdowns, you buy it and it runs for 200,000 miles and never needs oil or anything.

To most people, computers are like their car: they just want it to work. A virus is like an oil change or a flat tire, something annoying that maybe they could fix on their own but they'd rather not have to. They really want the computer sealed and immune to breakdowns, and have zero interest in ever tinkering with it. If you could eliminate viruses and Windows-entropy, they'd be thrilled.

So you don't need to convince them. They need to convince you that is what they really want.

It's not a society of simpletons, it's a society of people who have better things to do.

Now I'm not playing devil's advocate. I'm with you, I want full control. That's because I know what I'm doing, and what I don't know I want to learn. It frustrates me no end to be prevented from tinkering. Hell it frustrates me just to have to use badly written software. But my mom doesn't care. The computer is just an appliance for accessing Facebook. It doesn't need to be user-serviceable any more than the sewer pipe running under your lawn.

Comment KISS (Score 1) 279

If he's smart and malicious, you're already screwed before he ever told you he's leaving.

If he's not smart, you have little to fear, but may get a good laugh out of it.

So, having him delete his personal files (for reasons of courtesy and legal liability) and then backup his work. Part as friends and professionals.

Comment Re:My mother died of the same... here's what she d (Score 1) 698

Parent posted much of what I was going to say, so +1 from me

Tell her all about yourself. I am blessed to still have my father and mother around, but I still don't know enough about their lives. Make a mini-autobiography for her. Be detailed or stick to the highlights, whatever your style is. As you get this all out, you will also reveal who you are, and she will read and re-read it in years to come.

I encourage you to be open and honest about your mistakes. A lot of people want to cover them up and forget, take them to their grave. I was in my mid 40s before I really understood the problems my parents had faced... and how these were the same problems I was facing, and how much my actions were learned/inherited unconsciously from my dad. Learning this has been incredibly valuable to me, perhaps my most important life lesson ever. So share not just the good parts about you... share your pain, your failures, your hard won lessons. Love her enough not to hide from her.

For sensitive things, put them in letters and entrust them to your wife, to reveal at an appropriate time.

But spend time with her, all the time you can. Not on outings and vacations, but quality time. Talk. Interact. Hug her often. Laugh together. Get sleeping bags and have a slumber party with her, stay up talking and tickling and whispering - that is so much fun for kids, and so memorable. If you get the opportunity, sleep outdoors and count shooting stars. Spending quality time with your daughter is also one of the finest gifts you can give your wife.

Here's a thought: if you are going to make a video, do at least some of it with her, interactively. Put the whole family in the video. She will certainly have questions, and that gives you a chance to answer them, and gives your wife an opportunity to add perspective.

If you can, take some real pictures on old fashioned paper. They last forever, and can be taken anywhere. Digital formats do become obsolete, and media can be damaged.

Give thought to eternity and your soul, and consider that it may not only benefit you but be a comfort to your family.

Submission + - Super Advanced Malware discovered by Kaspersky (

maharvey writes: Kaspersky reports an extremely advanced malware that cannot be removed from hard drives by disk formatting or OS reinstallation. It reprograms drive firmware using secret manufacturer APIs to hide in inaccessible sectors. Even reflashing the drive may not even remove it. The malware is known to be able to reprogram drives from five manufacturers, and Kaspersky theorizes that only the US government has the resources to accomplish this.

The malware contains a tool suite that resemble that used by US intelligence, including techniques described in the NSA leak of 2013. The malware is deployed by a secret group known as Equation Group, and is very selectively targeted at high value installations in the Middle East and Asia.

The article also describes Fanny, a worm deployed by Equation in 2008 that is so similar to Stuxnet that it must be common origins. Equation seems to have been active until 2013, when it changed tactics and disappeared again. 2013 was when Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the NSA.

Comment Re:Backpedalled? (Score 0, Flamebait) 740

Some kids also have legitimate health reasons why they cannot withstand the impact of an automobile. People who could choose not to drive but don't put those kids at higher risk.

You cannot eliminate all risk in life. Where are we gonna draw the line?

Some kids have legitimate health reasons why they can't survive cancer. People who could donate money but choose not to put those kids at higher risk.

Again where do you draw the line?

Some kids have legitimate health reasons why they cannot survive without food. People who could feed them but choose not to put those kids at higher risk

If you have 2000 calories a day and clothing, you have all you need. If you don't donate everything in excess of your need, you are withholding from those who have less than you do. Shall the government force you to give. Hell, it's easier to just take everything you have and give you food stamps and a room in the local public housing development, then the government can give your entire disposable income where it can best be used.

Where are you going to draw the line?

What if you work hard in good conscience, and another loafs around all day. You are taxed 100% to feed the hungry and cure cancer, but the loafer pays nothing. Now how do you feel about that? Where do you draw the line?

A lot of kids injure themselves tripping over their own shoelaces. Anyone who could put them in a helmet and kneepads and a leash and does not do so puts them at higher risk. Why aren't we legislating this? Why don't we outlaw sugar and alcohol and sushi? Why do we allow people to have laptops when the batteries might melt in their laps? Why why why? Oh won't somebody think of the children!!!

And why stop with children? Adults need vaccines too. Adults trip too. Adults teeth rot too. Lets protect everyone!

Vaccinations are a great thing, but this argument sticks in my craw.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss