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Comment: Re:Scale and proportion. (Score 1) 480

Your claim about the number and frequency of rocket attacks is essentially false. There has been a steady stream of rocket attacks this year, as there are most years.

Does that link include asterisks next to the all the provably false-flag "rocket attacks"? Y'know, like today'd "hospital" attack that used munitions far more powerful and accurate than anything Hamas has, which the UN categorically denied as coming from a UN-controlled hospital, and in response to which Israel announced an immediate escalation of hostilities?

Tough to pick the more evil side in this one, but shit like that makes it a lot easier.

Comment: Re:How to regulate something that is unregulateabl (Score 1) 129

by pla (#47551827) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation
I wonder how are they going to "regulate" something that is not supposed to be regulate-able?

Simple - They will effectively exclude businesses in their own states from participating in the BitCoin economy.

This won't affect the vast majority of individuals, because they can't stop individuals from buying from vendors in another state; and it won't affect businesses in unregulated states - Well, I take that back - It will benefit businesses operating outside those states that try to regulate cryptocurrencies.

I fully expect, however, that this will end up at the USSC. As much as the asshats in DC have abused the "interstate commerce" clause, this issue actually falls under that particular umbrella.

Comment: Re:Ignorance is no excuse ... (Score 3, Informative) 88

by pla (#47550929) Attached to: Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government
USA routinely tells google to hide sensitive areas and google complies voluntarily

...With the inherent irony that you can then use that hidden data specifically to find "sensitive" areas you might not have known about (just randomly load highest-zoom tiles until you find one with artificially degraded resolution) - Then pull up the same data at 1m resolution from the USGS quarter quad library.

You want something hidden from space? Build it deep enough underground to hide its IR footprint. Attempting to hide things through censorship works sooo well - Just ask Babs S.

Comment: Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (Score 1) 425

by pla (#47549081) Attached to: Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture
I don't feel a lot of workaholism in that story - ridiculously overpaid unscrupulous douchebag with too much time and money that has saddened and humiliated his family managed to have what looks like plenty of leisure time.

I agree with you about the workaholism angle as complete BS, but I think you go too far with the second half of your statement.

Geeks in general seem to seek out novelty, which as an underlying character trait, makes us good at what we do. Seeking altered states of consciousness, in my experience, just comes with that territory. That doesn't depend solely on having too much money and free time (though the lack of either certainly limits opportunities to get high) - Just how we view the world.


Oh, and this shit is not new at all - been happening in this industry for decades. more noticeable now that a Googler has publicly disgraced himself.

Really? I don't see it as all that disgraceful - He died having a good time, rather than lying in a hospital bed in agony. Good for him! I hope to die as well, someday.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 3, Interesting) 143

by pla (#47548487) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
From my experience you need less Linux sysadmins to begin with. Its easier to do remote admin. So the TCO numbers Microsoft claims are usually bullshit.

You have thought about that in terms of doing machine-by-machine maintenance. A large school district has a similar topology to a large enterprise corporation - thousands of systems spread out over dozens or hundreds of sites, with dozens or hundreds of different user-types grouped by function, having various seemingly-arbitrary blocking and auditability rules, and possible liability for certain types of breach, etc.

For maintaining a farm of identical servers, I agree with you completely. For maintaining Grandma's desktop remotely, I agree with you completely. But for maintaining an enterprise desktop environment, Microsoft simply has the best tools for the job. Linux AD-via-Samba quite simply doesn't even come close for the convenience of centralized GP maintenance, and has aothing anywhere near the convenience of drag-and-drop group-based software installation (though Linux does have non-stock application deployment packages available, like Puppet, that partially fill that last point). Linux has nothing even remotely like (W)SUS. And those two alone count as complete showstoppers when it comes to minimizing the number of people required to maintain a large network.

I love Linux, I use Linux, but Linux at the enterprise scale amounts to a non-starter.

Of course, the biggest irony here, school districts don't tend to use Windows, either - They loooove them some Apple products, which have all the same problems described above, plus the pricetag (not saying Apples still cost more, but they don't come free). So in that sense, yes, I can see how Linux would save school districts a hefty chunk of money; at some scale, however, you'll find that switching to MS would likely save money vs the overhead of sys/net ops and helpdesk staff.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 640

by pla (#47545983) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"
There is an obligation to not be abusive

Hi! Welcome to the real world. You'll find the dumpster for your "participation" trophies to the left; and here, you get paid for winning, not "trying" or "good sportspersonship".

Linus doesn't suffer fools gladly. And I applaud him for that.

Comment: Scale and proportion. (Score 4, Insightful) 480

This sickening content is peculiar to this conflict. The war in Syria does not trigger these kinds of comments.

The war in Syria doesn't involve a nuclear state casually bulldozing civilian houses, complete with civilians inside, all because a handful of pesky terrorists keep lobbing ineffective bombs into empty fields.

Israel's problem really boils down to a matter of proportion. Yes, they have an unenviable situation to deal with; but they have chosen to respond in a way that makes them look like monsters (to the point that even many Jewish Israelis consider their government's behavior nothing short of reprehensible). When you cook ants with a magnifying glass, no one blames the ants, even if one or two do manage to sting you.


As for the FP's hypothetical French forum moderator - You count as part of the problem. When people can freely say things such as what I wrote above, they can contribute to the discussion, sometimes even vent a bit, and move on. When, however, fairly peaceful discussion vanishes under some bullshit pretense of racism - People then feel the need to escalate the impact of their few words making it through to other eyes.

Comment: Re:What's it going to take? (Score 1) 119

by pla (#47542781) Attached to: When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You
Heck, even the Supreme Court [supremecourt.gov] disagrees with you. But whatever, it's not like it is their job to interpret the constitution.

Believe it or not, the USSC does not have that as part of their job description - The constitution just sets it up as essentially the highest appellate court in the land. Not until John Marshall's tenure, and particularly starting with Marbury v. Madison, did they claim the power to overrule Congress in "interpreting" the legality of a law.

That said, I generally don't agree with sumdumass, but on this one, he has it nailed. We can reinterpret the applicability of the constitution to the modern world, and if necessary, amend it; But the words themselves must of necessity retain their original meaning even as the common use of those words may change. Anything else leads to exactly what the GP described - crackers and chocolate, to some degree.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 5, Insightful) 89

by pla (#47537917) Attached to: How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO
Or if you're into math, you invoke the pigeonhole principle

Though technically true, in fairness we need to differentiate between meaningful data and noise. Yes, a universal compressor doesn't care. Human users of compression algorithms, for the most part, do care.

So the limit of useful compression (Shannon aside) comes down to how well we can model the data. As a simple example, I can give you two 64 bit floats as parameters to a quadratic iterator, and you can fill your latest 6TB HDD with conventionally "incompressible" data as the output. If, however, you know the right model, you can recreate that data with a mere 16 bytes of input. Now extend that to more complex functions - Our entire understanding of "random" means nothing more than "more complex than we know how to model". As another example, the delay between decays in a sample of radioactive material - We currently consider that "random", but someday may discover that god doesn't play dice with the universe, and an entirely deterministic process underlies every blip on the ol' Geiger counter.


So while I agree with you technically, for the purposes of a TV show? Lighten up. :)

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 5, Insightful) 391

by pla (#47537877) Attached to: Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling
It is also possible the the VPN packets are transiting a different upstream peer from Verizon and bypassing the peering bottleneck at issue. Assuming that Verizon is performing inspection of packets and throttling only Netflix packets is quite a leap.

Failing to have peerage agreements in place to honor your downstream sales commitments is a form of throttling - Or, I would daresay, a form of outright fraud.

If I offer to sell you "unlimited" beers from my fridge for $50 a month, but I only resupply it at a rate of one six-pack per week, I have intentionally cheated you. That basic relationship doesn't magically change because of some hand-waving technobabble about peerage agreements and network congestion.

(Yes, I know those don't strictly count as technobabble, and what they really mean - But they effectively reduce to Verizon having zero interest in upgrading its infrastructure to support its commitments to their customers as long as the FCC and FTC will allow them to outright lie)

Comment: Re:I don't see what good unlocking does (Score 1) 77

by pla (#47537821) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill
Or a month's unlimited data [three.co.uk] for $25. And interestingly (for this topic) a 3UK SIM can be used in a handful of countries without roaming charges - including the USA [three.co.uk] (but data's limited to 25 gigabytes per month and you're not allowed to tether.)

Holy crap... Can I sign up with them AS an American? Tethering aside, that beats my current plan by 5GB and $50.

No, the US doesn't need to regulate the greedy-four in charge of our cell networks - We clearly have the best products and services available at the best prices thanks to free market pressures.

Comment: 2+2=? (Score 5, Insightful) 223

by pla (#47518913) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding
Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree

So perhaps he can reconcile those two concepts and explain why we allow H1Bs when we have MILLIONS of unemployed college grads?

Mr. Biden, I have a word of advice for you - CEOs lie. And not just a little, but as their primary (and sometimes only) qualification. You might not want to go around repeating the crap they spew to try to sway you to do their bidding. It just, y'know, make you look like a little like a Special Olympics winner, if you get my meaning.

Comment: Re:Question for someone with Legal? (Score 4, Insightful) 282

And that said, I'm still fucking pissed that my state labor regulator basically told me I wasn't a contractor and had no right to negotiate a contract like that, and basically scared me into not being able to help them in the future.

When the state steps in on contractor-vs-employee issues, they have no authority to do anything to you-the-contractor. They can only punish the company by making them retroactively pay your portion of payroll taxes. "Labor regulator" doesn't actually mean they regulate the laborers, it means they regulate employers. You can negotiate any contract you damned well want - Whether the employer can get away with it? Not your problem, so sleep well, friend! Worst case, you end up owing 10k less in taxes. How awful, right?

If you really want to worry about it, you can either work through a contracting agency (aka "give them a cut"), or just make sure you having more than one client at a time, and the whole issue becomes moot. This only comes up when you contract directly with a single client for long stretches. FWIW, my employer actually has a standing agreement with a local outsourcing agency for exactly this purpose - If we need someone back for a few weeks, they sign up with the token shell-temp-agency and get "placed" with us. I honestly don't know how well that arrangement would hold up in court, but again, who cares - not the contractors who have the potential to get screwed here.

None of that relates to the present situation, however - Microsoft's layoff memo spells it out pretty clearly: "We expect to focus phone production mainly in Hanoi, with some production to continue in Beijing and Dongguan. We plan to shift other Microsoft manufacturing and repair operations to Manaus and Reynosa respectively, and start a phased exit from Komaron, Hungary". Microsoft has too many highly paid Western workers, and needs more 3rd-world slaves. Simple as that, really.

Comment: Re:bad design (Score 1) 100

by pla (#47499139) Attached to: New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation
Wrong. It has not centrally defined value, but it has value. If you give me X for this painting on my wall, then X is its value, regardless of what X is. It could be US$ or pieces of cake or a service.

Yes, I said that poorly, but you chose to ignore my point. The whole reason we use token currencies comes from the convenience of not pricing things in terms of goods or services. We don't need to value a shovel in terms of chickens, or a cow in terms of a number of hours spent weeding your garden. We can agree that X units of currency will pay for a shovel, Y units for a cow, and Z units per hour for weeding the garden.

As for the "value" of DocuCoin, I would repeat (or perhaps clarify) that the coins themselves have no value, in the same way that me scribbling a crappy picture of a cat on an old napkin has no value. Now, if Jim Davis draws a cat on a napkin, you might have something you can sell on ebay for a buck or two - But that has nothing to do with the underlying "coin" of doodling-on-a-napkin. The drawing, and more importantly, who made it, has value; but that puts us back to "how many Garfield sketches does a cow cost?"

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?

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