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Comment: SOX, HIPAA, SEC & other regs (Score 2) 385

by prgrmr (#48859077) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN
There are a host of federal regulations regarding maintaining the privacy of data that necessitate the use of corporate VPNs. Were the FBI to hack a corporate VPN and expose regulated data to the internet or the public via documents in an open hearing, the circus that would ensue as the Attorney General would try to explain how the FBI is exempt from all of those regs would be both entertaining and horrific.

Comment: Re:PICK Basic Variants (Score 1) 242

by prgrmr (#48750013) Attached to: Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay
I used to be a Pick programmer, but was fortunate enough to switch over to system administration just in time to survive the dotcom bust and remain employed, while some of my former coworkers who had jumped ship to various start-ups were now out looking for work. Then I discovered Python, which, unlike perl, java, or php, has gotten me to consider jumping back into being a full-time programmer again.

Comment: taxes, revenue, and budget (Score 1) 78

by prgrmr (#48746207) Attached to: Space Policy Guru John Logsdon Has Good News and Bad News On NASA Funding
There is plenty of money to be had for NASA, Congress simply needs to do its job better to get it. Stop monkeying with the tax code and make corporations actually pay income tax and there will be plenty of revenue. Stop giving already profitable industries tax credits. Big Oil is going to get 20 billion in tax credits, deductions, and actual subsidized dollars handed to them. Take 15% of that and hand it back to NASA and they can fund, for example, any of the several proposed follow-on missions for Cassini and send an airship to Titan to do further and more detailed exploration of one of the more earth-like bodies in our solar system, and make use of the single window of opportunity we will have prior to 2050 to get there. Or create a corporate version of the alternative minimum tax so that no Fortune 5000 company gets to skate tax-free and then use those funds to begin a program of not just Lunar exploration, but the establishment of a permanent base on the moon. But most importantly, if we don't better fund the Near-Earth Object search, none of the other things will matter at all.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 460

by prgrmr (#47964851) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem
How is field work not science? How is field work appreciably different from office/lab work or academia that it warrants your implied "one of these things is not like the other, one of these things doesn't belong"? And why is self-reported not verifiable? How is "self-reported" different from survey results? The logical fallacies you invoke are more than sufficient to invalidate your ridiculous conclusion that science doesn't have a sexual assault problem--particularly given that the only acceptable number of men raping any number of women over any given measured span of time is zero. And as things currently stand, that number is well above zero.

Science, as a profession and as a culture, has a problem. And scientists everywhere ought to be embarrassed by that.

Comment: Re:Society also does this.. (Score 2) 128

by prgrmr (#47757943) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain
So many poor assumptions there. The average life expectancy was a lot less 100 years ago: Consequently, people got married earlier because they died sooner; this goes back through the beginning of recorded history, and it was really only in post-WWI 20th century that marrying while a teenager became not just not the norm, but socially frowned upon. Also, look at the drops in life expectancy in 1918 and 1943; what you are seeing it the effects of both world wars and the spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. So life wasn't just short, it was unpredictably precarious in a very real, life-limiting way.

While there are definitely observable fetish aspects to the celebration of youth in our current culture, we no longer marry immediately post-pubescent because, for the very most part, we no longer need to as a practical necessity to be able to have family or an otherwise "full life".

You assumptions on economics are so bad they border on ridiculous. Up until the 1920s, 30 percent or more of the US population were farmers: And yes, as the percentage of workers in agriculture declined, those in manufacturing rose; however, the real economic differentiator remains education, and that trend has only been slowly improving:

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 748

by prgrmr (#47704287) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban
You were kicked out of kindergarten as a child for not playing well with others, weren't you?

Or, if you require a religious analogy, if worship is an act of volition (i.e., you have to chose to worship God), then approval also has to be an act of volition; as opposed to tolerance, which simply involves a choice to ignore behavior that doesn't otherwise interfere with your personal choices. Or do you not believe in or not understand free will?

Comment: Re: Now thats incentive (Score 2) 564

The average human is only of average intelligence, and average intelligence isn't all that smart.

If we ever get to the point where there are self-aware machines, it is infinitely more likely they will be borg-like with a collective consciousness than not, which means no one machine needs to "know" or be able to "remember" everything, just to know where in the network to access the knowledge repository.

And saying "only natural" about artificial constructs completely invalidates your conclusion, as does thinking humans optimize. People, in general, follow the path of least resistance. See my first sentence above for why.

Comment: Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (Score 1) 45

by prgrmr (#47399933) Attached to: Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn
It's more complex than that: Cassini has 3 RTGs, plus a dozen or so pellets in the Huygens probe to keep its instruments from completely freezing during the 7 year trip to Saturn. The ultimate "doomsday" scenario would have to have the entire spacecraft vaporizing less than a mile over a major metropolitan area, scattering plutonium dust as it goes. However, I would be much more concerned if it exploded over a fresh-water lake or reservoir, tainting the water supply. Given that 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, an ocean landing would have been much more likely had it crashed. The biggest risk was the launch: 1 in 40 rocket launches blow-up on the pad or before maximum velocity is reached.

Comment: store credit (Score 2) 162

by prgrmr (#47350045) Attached to: California Legalizes Bitcoin
Store credit has always been legal. Stores allowing customers to use credit from other stores it has a reciprocal agreement with for honoring store credit has always been legal. As long as a place of business is willing to accept US dollars, it can accept whatever other form of credit, discount, or voucher that it wants. And given that the federal constitution declares that the US dollar is the currency of the nation, the state law was, at best, redundant.

Individual states weighing in on bitcoin doesn't make it any more or any less valid or relevant in the market. When the IRS, SEC, and US Treasury finally make definitive policy statements specifically mentioning bitcoin, then you'll have your validity, or invalidity, as the case may be.

Comment: fraud by the LECs (Score 1) 534

I haven't yet looked for it, but I suspect the law that authorizes the creation of the LECs in the first place would implicitly preclude them from filing for non-profit status in the first place, so the LECs have committed fraud by doing so, and should be prosecuted in Federal court accordingly.

"All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific." -- Jane Wagner