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Comment: Just a moment of madness ... (Score 1) 735

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49344373) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident
All the sequence of events would have been set in motion, just due to one moment of madness by the co-pilot. Might have been depressed or what, might have engaged in fantasies about doing it. Pilot left, may be a restroom break, doors locked automatically, comes back and knocks to be let in. At that moment, if the copilot has decided to act out his fantasy for even a few seconds, he would not be able to reverse course easily. He has to explain the delay, there will be investigations, skeletons in his closet might come tumbling out, at that point co pilot would be in total panic mode with his whole life crashing around him. He would be totally irrational, 38000 feet, 4000 feet per min, it took the plane 10 minutes to crash. Passengers would be in panic, the locked out pilot too. Very very tragic.

Surprised USA has a policy of not allowing the cockpit to be occupied by a lone occupant. Given the staffing cuts and the callousness of the airline management surprised they did not mount a lobbying effort "against the onerous and burdensome regulations by Washington bureaucrats that is strangling the industry and killing jobs" to remove that requirement.

Comment: One guy makes an electric car, ... then.... (Score 1) 226

One guy straps together 8000 laptop batteries to make an electric car, prove its viability and creates the most successful challenge mounted ever to the dominance of internal combustion engines in the luxury car market. Then ...

Every damned fool who was lucky enough or criminal enough to make oodles of money thing they are visionary thinkers too and come up with grandiose projects. Let us award Vladimir Yakunin, the Wannabe-Elon of the Year award.

BTW China just demonstrated the Steel-Silk Road, a rail link between China and Spain via old Orient Express route via Samarkand. Trans Siberian railroad links to Chinese network. Chunnel connects London to European network. There is a railroad in Alaska, but not sure it connects to Canadian national network. Building rail links and putting a roof over them to keep out the snow and and fence to keep out the animals, to provide overhead electric power, to make it an year around service would be a lot more practical. Steel-on-steel rolling friction is much lower than steel hull on water drag. Done correctly, it could peel off a huge chunk of ship borne Pacific freight, reduce the over reliance of West Coast ports. Essentially it would become a conveyor of 40 foot containers.

Comment: Steve Wozniak was scared by Prius (Score 1) 292

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49329101) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk
Sorry for the click bait. But he did post in slashdot about Prius cruise control suffering from what appears to be some edge case coding error. He was not really scared. He systematically debugged the cruise control at 75mph, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, ok overflow error. Then first thing he seems to have done is to post about it in slashdot.

Comment: Hope this makes agencies to take doxing seriously (Score 2) 335

Most soldiers are quite open and public about their service, proudly wear uniforms, sport bumper stickers and baseball hats with their units and affiliation. So this move by IS might get some news play but unlikely to do much damage to the military. There were never shortages of soft targets of US military personnel in the home land. This will not impact our soldiers much.

But doxing of other activists would really have a chilling effect in the political speech. Hope agencies take doxing seriously and if any of the perps are within jurisdiction, hope they catch them and punish them.

Comment: Re:ActiveX (Score 2) 95

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49309295) Attached to: South Korea Begins To Deprecate ActiveX
It is aided and abetted by what are known as Browser Helper Objects, which are further code downloaded from the internet and run natively in your computer without any user intervention or even a notification. Thus the ActiveX dll is merely the entry way. Anything from anywhere gets to run anything on your computer through ActiveX and BHOs. In retrospect it looks like a very dumb idea. But back then, for PCs, the P as in Personal was the dominant part. No clear distinction between user, admin and the owner. No idea that there could be malicious players in the internet. Unix, on the other hand, grew up in universities. Many hundred users and every freshman wanted to hack the university computer. So it had very good security model. But unix did not get the cost amortization benefits that came Microsoft's way because businesses latched on to IBM-PC compatibility to be short cut for interoperability.

Comment: Malware symcyberosis approaching? (Score 2) 70

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49308023) Attached to: Government Spies Admit That Cyber Armageddon Is Unlikely
Very lethal viruses and bacteria kill their hosts so quickly they lessen their chance for propagation. So less virulent forms propagate better. At some point some of their mutations actually help their hosts survive a little longer. Those viruses propagate even better. At some point the benefit provided by these viruses is worth having the infection, at this point the host and the former pathogen enter into symbiosis. Many of the microbes living in our bodies were once free living competing microbes that did all the food gathering, multiplying, fending off their competition etc. The most striking example is our mito-chondrial DNA which are the real power generators in each of our cells, which were once a free living bacteria.

The computer malware is following a similar path. Some of the early viruses were so destructive. Then they got to be less destructive to survive longer. At some point the criminals started protected the computers they have infected from other malware, they reduced their load on their hosts, to survive longer, and to keep the owner fro dumping the machine for a newer one. It is possible there are uninformed computer owners whose computers anti-virus software is actually one of the malware they had picked up. So at some point we will be having these malware incorporated into our computers in some symcyberosis?

Comment: Blind side (Score 1) 70

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49307851) Attached to: Government Spies Admit That Cyber Armageddon Is Unlikely
Most people ignore things whose risk could not be determined. In their mind, they divide issues into what can be estimated and what can not be. Then they spend time on estimating the risk of things that they can estimate. So much of the mind share is taken by things that can do something about, the risks of things they could not estimate gets relegated into some corner.

Some sort of, "we can't do anything about it anyway, so why think about it or talk about it?". That is how people get blindsided. Remember Mitt Romney talking about "there are this 47% we can't do anything about" (I admit what he was trying to convey was not the as bad as the media made him out to be, I am a staunch Democrat by the way). That is a classic top executive way of dealing with things. "Cant do anything about it, forget and concentrate on something we can do about".

But that is precisely where people will attack us. For an enemy of America the first question is, "What is something they can't do anything about? Let us attack there. They can't make every liberty loving American to subject themselves to strip search, gate rape. Meekly walk barefoot in front of uniformed officers? They will get flashbacks of cattle cars and nazis with folding tables snapping 'papers, please'. That for just boarding a plane to fly to Kalamazoo! come on! They cant do that. So let us hijack a plane and hit a couple of buildings."

Comment: Remote driving cheaper than automatic driving. (Score 1) 341

Why try to build a machine to mimic human intelligence. There are 7 billion people on earth. Already remote control tech is allowing soldiers to maintain a 9 to 5 job fighting wars from their Florida bases. So let us equip the cars with real time feedback remove control and outsource driving to drivers sitting in Bangalore, Bangkok, Dacca, Manila... It will be fun to watch traffic.

Comment: Re:Range Anxiety Anxiety (Score 3, Interesting) 286

You don't idle the electric car. It does not consume any power other than keeping the computer alive and the airconditioner/heater. In a snow storm, even with heat off you will survive well inside the car. Just think of the car as a huge insulated jacket.

Already the original batch of engineers who worked with Elon have branched off pursuing other electric vehicles. Almost all the package delivery trucks (UPS, USPS, FedEX) can go electric. 90% of the school bus fleet can go electric. Garbage trucks that make lots of stops and starts will benefit greatly by going electric. Panel trucks used by mechanics, plumbers etc can also become electric. Elon is not pursuing them. But there is an active Elon alumnus working on these projects. With quick swap batteries, taxi fleet can become electric.

It is merely a question of financing. Interest rates are at historic lows. That is what is now fueling the solar panel installations and wind energy projects now.

Comment: Ending range anxiety can be done many ways. (Score 1) 286

Better range estimates to give the user the confidence of the number displayed on the dash. Or even using GPS to find the charging stations nearby and letting the user know where to juice up in an emergency etc. Or even coming to an agreement with a huge chain distributed all over USA that already has three phase outlets (like laundromats or even fast food franchises) to make charging stations available for tesla... Since it is a pure software update it could be along these lines.

But there are other ways too, have spare battery packs that can be towed along available through tow truck operators. Or towable gensets to be rented on demand from U-Haul like operators or through tow trucks operators...

At some point gas car rental companies should move in to grab a piece of the action. If they provide subscription based car rentals (20$ a month, for one day a month, accumulate up to 24 days ) more people will switch to electric cars. Imagine, one could use a low cost high reliability electric car for regular day to day usage, and check out a pick up truck to pick an appliance or a station wagon for the road trip. If electric cars with limited range becomes more popular, the rental companies stand to get lots of business for their gas car fleet. Rental companies should pitch this model to electric car makers to package two year subscription to sweeten the deal and introduce users into this mode of thinking.

Comment: I know what to do. (Score 1) 112

I am going to write up a project proposal to do a scientific study about why scientific studies are exploding at exponential rate. But calling it exponential before the doing the study would be prejudicial, so I am going to have to do a prelim study to determine whether or not it *is* exponential.

Comment: No employee data was leaked. (Score 1) 32

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49262581) Attached to: Uber Sued Over Driver Data Breach, Adding To Legal Woes
Uber probably calls all its employers "partners" or "contractors". It is not the first company. There is this non profit behemoth in Pittsburgh called UPMC. It is totally vertically integrated owning everything from parking garages and ambulances all the way to world leading organ transplant and artificial organ works. But it calls itself non-profit but pays its top C?Os better than for-profit hospitals. Owns a web of companies which all act one-way-valves. Liabilities flow one way assets and profits flow the other way. It calls its employees contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes. Same way Amazon too is spawning shell companies and eventually is able to call all its employees temp staff provided by staffing agencies.

So laws protecting "employees" will not stand in court because Uber has no employees other than the top C?O team.

I am also amused by so many people with employer-provided health insurance dissing obamacare. In the last generation so many of the companies offered pensions and generous health insurance. Just in 10 years all the employees had been corralled into HMOs and the pension plans have disappeared. Just look at the speed at which HMOs were shoved down your throat. All it takes would be a couple of big employers opting out of providing health care, all other companies would follow suit. Remember how fast they competed with one another to out source IT jobs!. It will happen that fast.

It is time for people who work for a salary to re examine their long standing assumptions about their relationship with their employers.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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