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Comment: Re:that's the problem. 3/16th" hole = opened (Score 1) 364

by hey! (#48935183) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

The issue as I'm sure you know isn't "opened", but rather "opened within a certain length of time." Obviously given unlimited time you can get into anything, and you probably can get into an ATM a lot faster than a decent safe. But once you have the explosion routine down pat, you can probably be away with the ATM money in *seconds*. In terms of practicality and low risk, that's hard to beat.

Comment: Re:When everyone is guilty... (Score 4, Interesting) 422

by bmajik (#48926695) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

#insert observations/law/drferris.h

(preprocessed for your convenience)

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted â" and you create a nation of law-breakers â" and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.â

Comment: Re:God, what drivel ... (Score 2) 207

by bmajik (#48921453) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

You know, you're right. Nobody should ever try anything new with voice interaction. We should leave that shit off because its buggy or only knows how to do web searches based on bad guesses.

We shouldn't spend any time putting this stuff in front of users and learning what works well, what doesn't work, what people like, what they don't like. God forbid we try and see if there are ways to integrate it with how people currently use computers.

Instead, what we should do is wait until the 23rd century, when we have starships. Even though we've done no incremental work between now and then, in the distant future, voice recognition and natural language processing is just going to be really, really good, because The Future. It's just going to build itself, and when we are bald and say "COMPUTER" to our starship, its going to listen and then do exactly the right thing, and nobody is going to ask why the bridge has so many buttons and levers and consoles and shit if there is a ship-wide computer with unlimited power and perfect human voice recognition. And we're going to gloss right over how a near-Ai level of natural language understanding still needs us to say COMPUTER first before it figure out who we're talking to, as if anyone else on the bridge could execute the command we're asking when we're staring off into nowhere instead of at another human in the same room...

Anyway, I'm running 9926 on two machines - neither of which are touch-enabled. I've never talked to the thing yet. It appears to run faster than 8.0/8.1. The start menu behavior is better, and you can flip back and forth between little-menu-on-desktop or "big screen of metro" with a simple gesture.

The UI feels positively snappy. The paradigm has been reversed entirely from 8 - now, metro apps run on your desktop - instead of your desktop is some weird bad neighborhood nobody wants you to go to.

I think a lot of people will like Windows 10.

Comment: Re:Not their fault (Score 1) 396

by hey! (#48918827) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Something worth considering. We associate snow with cold, so it's tempting to see more and frequent snowstorms as disproof that the planet is warning. However temperature is only one of the constraints on snow. The other is moisture.

I have lived here in Boston over fifty years, and in the 60s and 70s the December climate was bitterly cold and *bone dry*. In recent decades there has been a marked tendency toward warmer AND wetter Decembers and Januaries, and thus frequent significant snow storms in December (almost unheard of) and January (rare until the 90s).

This storm was particularly intense, and in my town got two feet or more. This has happened on six prior occasions, once in 1888, and five times since 1969.

Comment: Re: There are still contingency plans (Score 3, Insightful) 308

It depends on the specific service member in question.

During the time of the US Civil war, Americans shot their literal brothers - not just their squad mates.

It starts with one soldier. How many follow, and when they follow, depends on the rhetoric of the separatists, how they conduct themselves, how they spread their message, and the counteracting rhetoric and actions of the government.

All of us are alive because people on both sides of the Atlantic with their finger on the "launch" button skipped opportunities to press it. Soldiers are people in difficult situations, trying to balance many opposing directives.

Comment: Re: What did you expect? (Score 3, Insightful) 196

by grub (#48903763) Attached to: Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data
PGP/GPG is much easier to use these days than it was in the 90's. Plugins exist for many mail clients that do the heavy lifting in the background.

Friends and family are surely tired of my tinfoil hat, they just do not seem to care about their privacy. Many say the "I have nothing to hide" line.

Comment: Re:Ppl who don't know C++ slamming C++ (Score 5, Insightful) 200

by hey! (#48894501) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

Well it's been many, many years since I've used it, which was back in the late 80s and early 90s. My impression from this time is that C++ is unquestionably a work of genius, but that I didn't particularly like it. Part of that is that we didn't really know how to use it effectively. In that era most object oriented programmers used concrete inheritance way too much. Part of that is due to aspects of what we thought an OO language should have that turned out to add complexity while being only marginally useful in practice (e.g. multiple concrete inheritance and operator overloading).

But in terms of meeting its design goals C++ is a tour de force of ingenuity -- even if some of those goals are questionable by today's standards. The very fact that we know some of those features aren't necessarily ideal is because they were taken out of the realm of academic noodling and put into a practical and highly successful language that could tackle the problems of the day on the hardware of the day. It's hard to overstate the practical impact of C++ on the advancement of both theory and practice of software development.

Any prize for contributions to OO programming pretty that didn't include Stroustrup in its first recipients would be dubious.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 3, Informative) 304

by hey! (#48894185) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

I have an even better idea: let's find a way to fix human beings so that they're perfectly consistent in their behavior.

While certainly taking demonstrably bad drivers off the road is a no-brainer, even good drivers have lapses. My teenaged son is learning to drive, and whenever someone does something like cut us off I make a point of saying we can't assume the driver did it on purpose, or did it because he was an inconsiderate or bad person. Even conscientious and courteous drivers make mistakes or have lapses of attention.

It's the law of large numbers. If you spend a few hours on the road, you'll encounter thousands of drivers. A few of them will be really horrible drivers who shouldn't be on the road. But a few will be conscientious drivers having a bad day, or even a bad 1500 milliseconds.

The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.