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Comment: Re:14 already executed.... (Score 1) 83

You are assuming that they care. But what they're probably regretting is that they haven't killed all to ones convicted on fraudulent evidence.

O, wait, you said "people". You didn't mean officials.

N.B.: The laws are made and enforced by organizations composed of people who hold power. They *like* holding power. And they are quite willing to kill innocent people to keep it. Some of them would cavail at mass murder.

Comment: Re: It Has Begun! (Score 1) 48

by HiThere (#49504179) Attached to: Resistance To Antibiotics Found In Isolated Amazonian Tribe

You left out 1 1/2 considerations:
1) Most of the antibiotics in use are essentially identical to antibiotics long existing in soil bacteria, and so there will have been a long development process where bacteria resistant to the antibiotic mechanism will have had an evolutionary advantage to compensate for the extra costs (which don't usually appear to be excessively high, probably due to long refinement).

another half) Most bacteria can freely share genetic mechanisms for things like coping with environmental stresses. So when one strain of bacteria develops a capability, it is likely to soon get widely shared with other quite different strains.

So, yeah, keeping resistant bacteria from appearing is going to depend on developing antibacterial mechanisms that there isn't a long history of pre-adaptive mechanism development. And since some of the adaptive mechanisms are pretty generic (like pumping out a wide variety of chemicals that you don't expect to have in your body [think kidneys]) this is likely to be quite difficult.

Comment: Re:Why it is hard to recruit... (Score 2, Interesting) 37

by Rei (#49503837) Attached to: US Military To Recruit Civilian Cybersecurity Experts

The majority of major, targeted hacks (rather than just sweeping the net for vulnerabilities) - aka, the kind of stuff that the US military cares about - involves sending emails or making phone calls and introducing yourself as Bob from IT, and sorry to bother you but there's a problem that we need to discuss with you, but first a couple questions...

They don't need script kiddies, they need social engineers. Question number one in the job interview should be "Is your native language Russian, Chinese, Farsi, Korean or Arabic?" And even as far as the more traditional "hacking" goes, rather than script kiddies they're going to need people who are going to custom analyze a given system and assess it's individual vulnerabilities, people with real in-depth understanding. One would presume that in most cases that the sort of targets that the US military wants to hack are going to keep themselves pretty well patched to common vulnerabilities.

AIs doing hacking? What are you talking about? This is the real world, not Ghost In The Shell.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 1) 194

by ultranova (#49503647) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Meh. Didn't we hear the same argument when color TV was introduced? Or CDs, Digital TV, Digital cameras, Fly by wire, the Internet etc etc every other technology implementation ever?

Cassettes and analog cameras weren't banned. They simply fell out of favor because CDs and digital cameras were way superior as far as the end user was concerned. By contrast, digital tv and digital radio don't benefit the end user, they'll simply let parts of the spectrum be auctioned off; so they require legislation to force the end users to pay the costs for the transition so someone else can profit.

Comment: Re:Scientific American begs to differ (Score 1) 302

by ultranova (#49503611) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

What is 'general intelligence'? (Anything like Colonel Panic?)

Self-metaprogramming, basically. You are smart if you can repurpose existing neural circuits to handle new problems (because that way your consciousness is freed to consider things like consequences, and specialized circuit is of course faster than general-purpose one), you learn fast if you can build such circuits fast, and you are insightful if you can examine your own mental subroutines and how they work - if you actually learn to reprogram them consciously you'll likely find a new religion or something.

It does not follow that being able to understand calculus gives you peace, happiness and longevity.

70 years is equivalent to 411,222,120,000,000 miles. It might not actually be longer, but it sure sounds bigger :).

Comment: Re:Read "Outliers" (Score 1) 302

by ultranova (#49503573) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

It's not a debate that I mean to stir up 3-deep in a Slashdot thread, but just to say that the vast majority of people at most places on the political spectrum agree: Those that have the ability to succeed, should have the opportunity to. It's just the mechanics they disagree on that are sometimes, sadly, mutually exclusive.

The disagreement is about what happens to those who won't succeed, to Joe Average and Joe Hobo. Currently, Joe Average's position is getting worse and worse, which is a huge problem because modern economy can't actually work without them having money to act as consumers. And as the economy stalls and enters a tailspin, Joe Succesful shifts the blame to Joe Hobo, closing his eyes from the approaching ground because doing something about it would require taking a break from his personal interests to visit the cockpit, and getting Joe Average to get along with it because pretending bad things only happen to deserving people is a pleasant fantasy.

Of course such situations are always rectified eventually, the only question remains whether it's by recycling the wreckage.

Comment: What is wrong with SCTP and DCCP? (Score 4, Interesting) 55

by jd (#49503031) Attached to: Google To Propose QUIC As IETF Standard

These are well-established, well-tested, well-designed protocols with no suspect commercial interests involved. QUIC solves nothing that hasn't already been solved.

If pseudo-open proprietary standards are de-rigour, then adopt the Scheduled Transfer Protocol and Delay Tolerant Protocol. Hell, bring back TUBA, SKIP and any other obscure protocol nobody is likely to use. It's not like anyone cares any more.

Comment: Re:privacy? (Score 4, Insightful) 212

by Rei (#49501647) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

I just want the search engine to stop changing what I'm searching for. I don't want to have to quote every word like I have to do with Google to make sure that the word is actually in the page, and by "the word", I mean "the word I type, not a word that Google things may be similar to the one I typed". It's worst when you're searching for foreign words, product names, acronyms, or whatnot and Google tries to treat them as if they're English words and declines them or chooses synonyms.

"Did you mean X?" is fine. Even "Searching for X (see original results here)", if you're very confident that the person made a common spelling error or whatnot. But just going in and swapping out words as if this is expected behavior? Terrible. At least let me disable it if you want to do that...

Beyond all this: I do like how one can do simple commonn operations on Google - math, conversions, etc. The more of these the better IMHO, so long as they have a standardized format - be they tracking numbers, flight lookups, whatever. It's okay in my book to be a bit Wolfram-y.

Keep the interface plain, simple, the sort of thing that'll work on any browser, from a modern Chrome to a simple text-only browser. Only use javascript where it's not essential for the site to work. Here's an example of something that would be a good use of javascript: if you need to track clicks, like Google does, do it through javascript rather than by having a link redirect like Google does. I hate how I can't just right click and copy link on Google without getting some massive Google redirect link.

Just my thoughts. :)

Comment: Meh. (Score 3, Interesting) 61

by Rei (#49500531) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

About 10 years ago I worked on simulating a rocket with electric turbopumps for fun. The concept was the exact same as theirs - minimize the number of parts that have to operate in harsh environments to reduce cost, maintenance and risk of failure. You don't even need any penetrations of the propellant lines, the rotor of the electric motor is the compressor itself.

I have no clue whether the design will actually be practical. But it's certainly not new. I'm sure I'm not the first person that this concept occurred to.

Comment: Re: Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 1) 261

by jd (#49500235) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

He claimed he could hack the plane. This was bad and the FBI had every right to determine his motives, his actual capabilities and his actions.

The FBI fraudulently claimed they had evidence a crime had already taken place. We know it's fraudulent because if they did have evidence, the guy would be being questioned whilst swinging upside down over a snake pit. Hey, the CIA and Chicago have Black Sites, the FBI is unlikely to want to miss out. Anyways, they took his laptop, not him, which means they lied and attempted to pervert the course of justice. That's bad, unprofessional and far, far more dangerous. The researcher could have killed himself and everyone else on his plane. The FBI, by using corrupt practices, endanger every aircraft.

Comment: Re: Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 1) 261

by jd (#49500221) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

Did the FBI have the evidence that he had actually hacked a previous leg of the flight, or did they not?

If they did not, if they knowingly programmed a suspect with false information, they are guilty of attempted witness tampering through false memory syndrome. Lots of work on this, you can program anyone to believe they've done anything even if the evidence is right in front of them that nothing was done at all. Strong minds make no difference, in fact they're apparently easier to break.

Falsifying the record is self-evidently failure of restraint.

I have little sympathy for the researcher, this kind of response has been commonplace since 2001, slow-learners have no business doing science or engineering. They weren't exactly infrequent before then.

Nor have I any sympathy for the airlines. It isn't hard to build a secure network where the security augments function rather than simply taking up overhead. The same is true of insecure car networks. The manufacturers of computerized vehicles should be given a sensible deadline (say, next week Tuesday) to have fully tested and certified patches installed on all vulnerable vehicles.

Failure should result in fines of ((10 x vehicle worth) + (average number of occupants x average fine for unlawful death)) x number of vehicles in service. At 15% annual rate of interest for every year the manufacturer delays.

Comment: Re:This should be amusing (Score 3, Interesting) 42

by Rei (#49499623) Attached to: Google Ready To Unleash Thousands of Balloons In Project Loon

They talk about how they need to regularly pick up and relaunch balloons when they come down. I don't see why they would need to design the balloons without any sort of reinflation system. The leak rate is tiny, right? So:

1. A little more solar panel area than they already need.
2. Hydrogen filled instead of helium filled.
3. Tiny container of sulfuric acid (hygroscopic - self-dilutes down to a given concentration with atmospheric moisture)
4. Electrolysis cell (sulfuric acid is used as the electrolyte in some types of electrolysis cells).

Problem solved. Sulfuric acid draws moisture from the air, and during the day the solar power electrolyzes it it to produce a minute trickle of hydrogen into the balloon, which replaces the minute trickle that leaks out. Your balloon's lifespan is now as long as your electronics and envelope last.

Comment: Re:A dollar in design... (Score 1) 143

by Rei (#49499137) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

Indeed, the figures Musk cited a couple years ago was that over 80% of the part count of a Falcon 9 is sourced in-house; it's a critical part of their approach to keeping costs down. He wanted to do that with Tesla as well but it proved impossible, only about 20% of their parts (at the time) were produced in-house. Unsurprisingly the biggest problems in their early days came from external suppliers, like the gearbox issue on the Roadster.

Comment: Re:Give the money to Elon Musk (Score 2) 143

by Rei (#49499119) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

ESAB is a Swedish company. What use is it to NASA to dote largess on a Swedish welding firm?

I'm actually rather disappointed with ESAB here. I have one of their MIG welders from the 1960s and it still works; they're a respectable name.

I feel bad for NASA mind you, in that I don't think many of their problems are their own. They get all sorts of legacy systems forced upon them due to political reasons ("You can't do decision X that would be more efficient because 1000 people in my district would lose their jobs"), they never get the funding to engineer new things from scratch based on lessons learned, etc. I do wonder, mind you, whether their heavy reliance on external contractors is something they could reform.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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