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Comment Re: They're not going to arrest him! (Score 1) 312 312

Mounting a gun on my car and driving it around is illegal.

Is it?

Fine and dandy, that is what the gun rack in my pick-um up truck is for.
Loaded not legal. Discharge from a vehicle commonly illegal with some rodent exceptions.
Partly because of the power of the spot light and the damage to water control levies
and the risk from flood damage when a levy breaks. Yabbees?

Hunting laws make it clear that firearms in a vehicle are a no no in most locations.

Comment Re:This is outrageous (Score 1) 267 267

These jail terms are higher than an armed assault theft, or murder...
All this indicates excessive lobbying or even corruption.

It is not just the jail term -- the ugly part is: " proposed measures are mainly targeted at the distributors of pirated content".
Mainly I am against legislation that is mainly targeted to one poorly specified class of offenders. The abusers are ready
and waiting in the wings.

By way of bad law example the Asset forfeiture or asset seizure laws in the US was mainly intended to gather
up the ill gotten gains of drug lords domestic and international. To this end the requirement for a conviction
was not written in the law and now we are seeing cities, towns, states and federal agencies squabbling over
the piles of assets that are extracted.

A copyright violation might be a foolish student with a difficult to pronounce foreign name
that appeared to submit a ghost written paper as his or her own.

Bad laws are just bad.

Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654 654

Is it convenient? If I take the transit and it only extends my commute from say 10 minutes to 20 minutes, but I don't have to worry about paying for parking, finding parking, etc. sure I'd take it. But I probably already would be. If it took 1.5 hours and two transfers where I have to wait 20 minutes each at a terminal, vs 30 minutes driving, no, I would not take transit.

As a test to see if public transit had coverage for the origins and
destinations the drivers are interested in it was a success.

Most automobiles are already paid for or continue to have a loan payment
most would opt to use what they are already paying for.

If by chance the test ran long enough that auto replacements could be deferred
or skipped.

In this area public transit has sad coverage the trains run on the half hour to destinations
that are only 15 min away by car and then require a 40 min walk. Miss the express to the city by ten seconds and
the trip balloons from 40 min to 90 min. With clear traffic it is 35-40 min.
Parking on the other hand is expensive unless you add in an hour of billable
time to take a bus from the train station cross town.

Groceries for three... ice cream is melted before you get home too.

Public transportation statistics are full of averages applied to binomial distributions.
They under serve one hump and over serve another. The customers that are overserved
are often the politically active rich that talk the talk but do not walk to the public ride.

Public transport is hard..

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674 674

You do realize this is the UK? We don't use dollars here.

I agree however, with the sentiment of your post.

What is the smallest coin in the UK?
My guess it is still 100+ times too valuable to represent the
cost of the electricity an iPhone could gather in an hour.
Someone with data please do the math.

Submission + - US Government detained Laura Poitras every time she flew ..-> 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: Since the 2006 release of “My Country, My Country,” Poitras has left and re-entered the U.S. roughly 40 times. Virtually every time during that six-year-period that she has returned to the U.S., her plane has been met by DHS agents who stand at the airplane door or tarmac and inspect the passports of every de-planing passenger until they find her (on the handful of occasions where they did not meet her at the plane, agents were called when she arrived at immigration).

Each time, they detain her, and then interrogate her at length about where she went and with whom she met or spoke. They have exhibited a particular interest in finding out for whom she works.

Link to Original Source

Comment Old news but so is BBQ (Score 1) 1 1

OK this is old news but since it is a big BBQ weekend in the USA
we (OK I) can let it pass.

The fun bit in all this is the cost of instrumentation has dropped
and computer monitor tools built on the like of a Raspberry-Pi also pull the
cost of tinkering and doing this down to the price of a large cut of beef or pork.
This and a well insulated cooking container allow many old school cooking
tricks to live in a clean food safe 55gallon drum when the best we could do 25 years
ago was a crock pot and liquid smoke.

Myself.. I have a fine Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus close enough
to shop with ease and far enough that I can keep the budget for food
in check. Their smoked __fill in the blank__ are fine as heck...

And yes I did just pick up a cool as heck infrared thermometer to
get heat of the ban for hot cakes in the morning closer to right for
the first batch. That means the first burned or too raw result no longer
go to the poor dog -- I will have to hunt safe snacks for the dog.

Well off to polish up some left overs... yumm...

Submission + - How IKEA Patched Shellshock->

jones_supa writes: Magnus Glantz, IT manager at IKEA, revealed that the Swedish furniture retailer has more than 3,500 Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers. With Shellshock, every single one of those servers needed to be patched to limit the risk of exploitation. So how did IKEA patch all those servers? Glantz showed a simple one-line Linux command and then jokingly walked away from the podium stating "That's it, thanks for coming". On a more serious note, he said that it took approximately two and half hours to upgrade their infrastructure to defend against Shellshock. The key was having a consistent approach to system management, which begins with a well-defined Standard Operating Environment (SOE). Additionally, Glantz has defined a lifecycle management plan that describes the lifecycle of how Linux will be used at Ikea for the next seven years.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:The irony (Score 1) 294 294

We have been making progress towards a much better world. The problem is that it doesn't leave room for doomsayers and scaremongers

Also doesn't leave room for millions of other species.

The interesting component in this seems to be invasive species.
Cats took out the Dodo bird.

This invasive species component alone can account for a large percentage
as the small, medium and large invaders upset the local ecology.

Replacing one species with another reduces the resilience of the eco system
but the modern mobility and transportation of species is new.
Grasslands now grow grain... and feed billions, is this good or bad.

This invasion effect is new and will so dominate the data that important perhaps smaller changes
can be missed until too late.

Comment Re:But will it be free? (Score 1) 277 277

You know... it's funny because a few weeks ago, I made the point on Slashdot that I, too, believed Windows 10 was Microsoft's vehicle for moving people to a subscription model for their OS upgrades. But I was immediately modded down as a troll.


You may be right.
Borrowed a spare tinfoil hat from a neighbor and got the
impression that there was a gentle PUSH from a TLA to
fix some or all of the security issues in WindowZ and also...

The subscriber model makes it easy to deliver targeted software
and it also makes it easy to squash the world wide explosion
of bot systems abused by criminals and foreign nationals.

The security flaws are seen as a power token by some small minded
departments but the net sum of the known bugs risks global chaos.

Comment Re:Obligatory reading (Score 1) 419 419

Actually, eating one banana per day increases your risk of getting a cancer as much as smoking half of a cigarette per year.

WTF does all this shit come from? ..... Also the detector shit is a fairytale since human beings contain more radioactive material than a banana.

Banana boats can be differentiated from a boat load of pears
simply based on the K40 radiation signature. Same is true for
many of the "low sodium" salt replacements that replace NaCl with KCl.
As for bananas.

K40 is very easy to measure. The Beta and Gamma radiation
is vastly easier to measure in a mass than alpha emissions of
other isotopes.

While a small percentage of K in the crust K40 is still a major component
of the natural radiation dose because there is so much of it (K) in the
crust of the earth.

The sensitivity of nuclear measurement tools is hard to comprehend.

One interesting application involves the abrasive qualities of tooth paste.
Irradiated dental material is "brushed" with a test toothpaste and
the trivial abrasion is measurable. Given that people brush their teeth
for a lifetime the measurement of abrasion is a real world application
of some interest to all.

Some cosmic rays have astounding energies... approaching the energy
of a thrown baseball.

Comment Re:The Dark Age returns (Score 1) 479 479

The problem is that schools don't teach science. .....

I recall my HS teacher teaching us about the "hollow earth" theory.
He "taught" a longish list that included accepted and OMG foolish
old theories. He did not take sides to the point that I at the time
I wondered how the heck the hollow earth thing worked. Raquel Welch
sort of made me not care if it was real for a couple hours...

Ultimately he had us looking at the list and thinking about it
critically. Some were so silly as to be easy to dismiss but
he had us dismiss them.

Yes the notion of critical thinking was rather soft but he had
us do it.

The reality is science if full of historic ideas that have mostly
been replaced with new and improved ideas. The puffery
of some science guys on TV belies the reality that we only
think we know something that is true, today.

Comment Does anyone think this is a good ... (Score 1) 3 3

Well duh.... Someone at MS thinks this is a good idea.

Given the terrible terrible pile of bugs that MS has created, fixed and recreated
no individual is in a position to pass judgement on patches and fixes for
a closed source operating system. For the large numbers of home users
this is a darn good thing. For ISPs that suffer a lot of network and mail resource
load as a result of millions of badly managed, systems now operating
as bott farms for bad boys.

The recent federal data hack was apparently a failure to update to a vendor
supplied patch. Lazy??? Stupid??? Arrogant??? Foolish???

Another that might like this is the difficult to enumerate tupple of TLA's
that may wish to man in the middle update the system of one, two,
three,... many, all and insert then perhaps later remove a side door flaw to their
own end.

Cyber security is a pain to do right. Only fools think they have it solved.
Sadly MS has yet to design and deliver a consumer OS that has a chance of staying
secure. The NT kernel did have some nice security features... I see that
NT.mumble got booted on a recent Windows system.. Perhaps...

One real problem IMO with the NT security model is that it makes invisible security
modes and settings outside of your pay grade. Like VMS it placed a lot of power
behind opaque policy walls. If all is well this is good. If a breach happens it
is too easy to to hide. Given a well considered policy that includes an audit
system perhaps ...

The free update to Win-10 has interesting security footprint impacts
it could help a lot but the pessimist that I am doubts it.

Comment Write your congress critters. (Score 1) 1 1

OK this is important stuff.
It is so important that people across the globe must
make a point of informing their elected and appointed
officials that data insecurity is not acceptable.

There are agencies small, medium and large some well known
by a TLA that see power in keeping secret knowledge of
vendor system flaws.

This is false and fantastic logic and risks social stability
around the globe.

It is important for all responsible individuals and organizations
large and small to report these flaws to the vendor and then
the vendor has an obligation to address them.

Some agencies may wish to be anonymous... they might do
well to recruit individuals to act as their proxy and submit
the bug. Perhaps a retired individual in need of a house payment
and something to do (yes pay these agents a living wage).
Perhaps someone with a family history of Alzheimer's' so they
can honestly say they do not recall.

Of interest -- the new Microsoft 10 business model of giving away
free updates seems to be a darn interesting strategy. They will
be able to walk away from W7 and W8.n quicker and will be able
so load up the W10 engineering staff and minimize the expense
of maintaining the old stuff. Time will tell -- if they embrace systemd
I will take that as a disappointing signal.

Comment Sigh... (Score 1) 364 364

Sigh... some of modern science is so astoundingly expensive
that this may be the only way to play the game for the vast
majority of talent.

However as a man with knowledge of Greek said he has
little issue with the language.

Yet, one man published a paper that caused harm.
The Wakefield Lancet paper was presented as science yet was
just a well crafted fiction. It is this Wakefield like cruft that
must be squashed.

A neighbor mentioned in passing that it can be more difficult
to write fiction than fact because fiction must be consistent.
He referred me to to M Twain.

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”
      Mark Twain

Comment OK how does science update (Score 1) 639 639

OK how does science update observations without a time machine?

Observations are observed facts and by their nature do not
change unless a calibration was found to be incorrect and
then it is not the observation that changes it is the computed
result after application of calibration data.

I am a believer in global warming and global climate change.
I am not a believer in much of the "science".
I balk at consensus science.

My personal bias has many origins but the one the gets me
was a "customer" complaining that his new supercomputer
was giving him an incorrect 19th digit in the resulting output.
I cracked open the deck (old FORTRAN) and noted on the
first screen "PI = 3.14". This tells me that NOTHING in
the output that involved PI had any validity beyond three digits.
Yet this guy was concerned with the 19th.

I asked why he did not substitute a value of PI from math.h
and he explained that the code was unstable if given more
digits to PI. OMG I said to myself.

Then I looked at his published research and yes he was worried
about CO2 in the ocean but in specific he wanted to eliminate
natural regions of the sea floor low enough in O2 to sequester
organic matter. i.e. he was worried about a natural process that
reduced CO2 in the air and wanted to eliminate it.

I happen to live down wind of "El Niño" and am astounded by the inability
of the global weather services to model and measure this. I see
headlines like: ""El Niño might “push the needle on global temperature” toward unprecedented warmth""
This is a conjecture for the 2015-2016 rainy season in Calif less than a year away
and others are telling me that the sky is falling in 100 years.

Like I said I am a believer that man is altering the planet weather.
I do believe that the ostriches in government need to fund quality
research and fund better data gathering efforts.

The United nations needs to mandate that all commercial aircraft, trains and all ships at
sea carry an instrument package to assist in data collecting efforts.
And that that data be delivered to the UN for use by all UN members.
This does leave big data voids but it would be a start.


Like punning, programming is a play on words.