Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: can be under emergency authority, but politically (Score 1) 146

by raymorris (#49498809) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

That CAN be done under certain conditions, but unfortunately the political discourse of the time makes that politically expensive. For example, vice president Al Gore gave an award to one particular company and presented them as a case study of efficient and effective government contracting. He was right, they did a good job.

  A few years later, when the Bush administration needed to have infrastructure rebuilt in Iraq, they turned to the same company. Since they were known to be good and they were one of only two or three companies who could quickly accomplish projects of that type, they got an efficient deal - here's what needs to be done, and here's what we'll pay, now get started. (As opposed to 4 1/2 years for just the bid process). For the next ten years, those who voted for Gore vilified Bush for hiring the company Gore presented an example of excellence, Halliburton. It doesn't matter how good and how efficient they are, people will vilify you if you don't waste half the money on a thousands of pages of bid documents over several years, followed by tens of thousands of pages of oversight and compliance.

Comment: Nah, McCarthy realized she was wrong and retracted (Score 2, Informative) 314

by raymorris (#49498399) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

"in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy"

When Jenny McCarthy found out that what she was saying was wrong and harmful, she largely retracted her entire position. Oz knows what he's saying is wrong and harmful, but he keeps doing it, for the money.

Comment: have to rewrite muc federal law to not micromanage (Score 4, Informative) 146

by raymorris (#49498373) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

"and not micromanage it". That's the rub. The micromanaging, the reporting and compliance costs, can be over 50% of the cost for some federal contracts, but most of the time that's required by thousands upon thousands of pages of federal law. When you have a comoany that knows how to do a certain thing , aka one of those evil corporations, getting hired by the federal government, some people want to do a lot of paperwork and stuff to keep track of what's going on, and other people go crazy with it. The organization I work for used to do a lot of federal contracts. We quit and now just do state contracts for states that are reasonable.

    Still other people added a bunch of requirements for federal contracting that aren't really relevant to the project. For example, how many black women work for each of your major suppliers? How much do your interns make? Are all of the web pages and documentation you've ever made fully accessible to people who are both blind and deaf?

We quit dealing with the feds and certain states because it's just not worth it. It would cost SPACEX five times as much to build a federally-contracted rocket than it costs to build their own.

Comment: If you are ABLE to be a hooker, detain you? (Score 3, Funny) 265

by raymorris (#49494215) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

> HE claimed he was able to hack the plane. That would be a potentially very serious public safety issue. It is only right that they question him and search his equipment to see if that is true.

I hereby claim that I have hands, therefore I am able to stab someone. Should I be detained and my property seized because I am ABLE to commit a crime? 50/50 chance you have the skills and equipment to be a hooker. Therefore you should be treated as a hooker?

Comment: Instead of bias, let's consider the specific facts (Score 4, Insightful) 192

by raymorris (#49491343) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

Rather than vague statements that say nothing other than what our biases are, let us look at the specific facts of the case.

We can start with one issue mentioned in TFS. Microsoft complains that they aren't able to index Youtube as well as the site can index itself, with direct access to the database. Instead, Microsoft / Bing needs to either a) spider the site like every search engine does on every other site in the world, or b) use the APIs that Google has made publicly available at no charge . Microsoft complains that those APIs are insufficient. Let's consider that, by comparing them to the norms in the industry. How good are the Youtube APIs compared to the APIs that Microsoft provides for MSDN? Well, Google provides an API an Microsoft does not.

It iseasier for Bing to index Youtube than it is for Google to index MSDN.

One can imagine that it might be fair for someone say "you should give us just as good as we give you." Here Microsoft is saying "you give us an API, but we want you to provide a better one, while we provide none at all." A basic concept of fairness is that the expectations are the same for everyone- that one should not demand from others something you are not willing to do yourself. Until Microsoft makes an indexing API available for their own properties, it seems rather strange for them to demand others provide even better APIs to them.

Youtube supports HTML5 video, aka modern browsers. Microsoft complains that they are having trouble pulling YouTube's videos out of the web pages (where the ads to pay for it and track views are) and display them in their own app. Does Microsoft provide their content for free, to be pulled out of their web siye and served up separately? Can Google rip the MSDN content and display it in an app, rather than on Microsoft's web page? Microsoft doesn't allow that, so how can they insist that Google not only allow it, but make it essier for them?

Comment: both, like a dragster. Chute would help stabilize (Score 1) 340

It occurs to me that a small chute at the top would help keep it vertical for a landing, as well as slowing it down a bit. Like the tail of a kite or dart, even a small amount of drag really would help keep it straight.

Top fuel dragsters show that a chute can be combined with other types of braking effectively.

Comment: GOP senate: TSA is "lost and bloated". Obama defen (Score 1, Troll) 294

Actually you might want to read a news site sometime. (Comedy Central isn't actually news). GOP leaders, such as Republican senators, describe the TSA as "lost and bloated" and even "out of control". The (Democrat) Obama administration has been defending the TSA.

Comment: you underestimate tamperers. Child resistant (Score 1) 342

by raymorris (#49473623) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

You under estimate the cleverness of those who seek to tamper. Tamper resistance somewhat weaker than the content protection on DVDs isn't too difficult. As you probably know, many people break that protection without even knowing that they are doing so. What you describe isn't tamper-proof, merely child-resistant.

You mention chips packaged with the intent that if the plastic is removed from the top of the chip, it stops working (sometimes). That's when you use thin needles to probe the chip right through the thin plastic. In some cases, you can simply remove the covering from the BOTTOM of the chip rather than the top.

Comment: case study on smoking twice as much (Score 1) 291

> Smoking double isn't going to drop your grades by 100% after all.

It did in my case. Twenty years later, I'm trying again. So far it's. Working a lot better after reducing marijuana consumption by 100%. No doubt, getting stoned was fun. It just wasn't compatible with doing much else.

Comment: MORE pot perhaps. candy and soda aisle length ma (Score 1) 291

> who would not smoke when it is illegal but would when it is legal to swing the overall grade by 5%.

Grocery stores know that they sell a lot more candy of they put it at the checkout counter. People buy a lot more if it's within arms reach than if they have to walk down the aisle to get it. For pot we talking about much more than walking an extra 30 feet, you have to call and wait for a pot dealer, andbpot dealers are notoriously unreliable and rarely punctual. Vs stepping inside the store you're walking by across from campus.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if many people who used to smoke a few hits once a week now walk by the pot store and decide to take a few hits TWICE per week. Even the guy who used to smoke most nights may well do more lunchtime tokes if carrying it isn't going to send him to jail. So the people who would smoke anyway could easily smoke 5% MORE.

  Also, there are a few law abiding citizens who don't illegal drugs. Particularly young people haven't yet firmed up their own beliefs as much, so they look to others for validation of their potential decisions . Having the entire population vote that pot is okay will influence some young people's decisions.

Comment: fed Constitutional republic of enumerated powers (Score 1) 297

Personally, I'd prefer a federal Consitutional republic in which the national government has enumerated powers. Let me break that down:
Federal: the people grant some power to their state, who in turn grant some power to the national union.
Consitutional: the role of government officials agreed upon ahead of time and written down. The congress and the president serve as written in the
Republic: citizens vote leaders
National enumerated powers: Washington handles certain things, like military defense, and anything not listed as Washington's job your state can tty it their way.

All of the above is what the Constitution and contemporary documents say the US should have. Notably, the national government was purposely NOT given the general police power, so the FBI really shouldn't exist without a Constitutional amendment authorizing the feds to police general crime.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

After EFF Effort, Infamous "Podcasting Patent" Invalidated 58

Posted by timothy
from the there-should-an-absurdity-check dept.
Ars Technica reports some good news on the YRO front. An excerpt: A year-and-a-half after the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a crowd-funded challenge to a patent being used to threaten podcasters, the patent has been invalidated. In late 2013, after small podcasters started getting threat letters from Personal Audio LLC, the EFF filed what's called an "inter partes review," or IPR, which allows anyone to challenge a patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The order issued today by the USPTO lays to rest the idea that Personal Audio or its founder, Jim Logan, are owed any money by podcasters because of US Patent No. 8,112,504, which describes a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence." The article points out, though, that the EFF warns Personal Audio LLC is seeking more patents on podcasting. Mentioned within: Adam Carolla's fight against these patents and our Q&A with Jim Logan.

Comment: How about drawing it and THEN coating it (Score 1) 27

by raymorris (#49451795) Attached to: Another 'Draw Your Own Circuits' System at SXSW (Video)

I wonder if one could draw or print a circuit, then coat it to be thicker. For example, we know if you lay a cheap circuit board with copper traces into a pan of melted solder, the solder will only stick to the copper traces, making them thicker while rolling right off the bare board. Perhaps a copper based pen/marker could be used in that way. You'd prefer something more convenient than melting enough solder to the bottom of a pan, but the general concept make work.

Along the same lines, when I was a little kid I attached a battery to a copper penny and a quarter, then left them in water overnight. That resulted in electroplating the quarter with copper. It would therefore be possible to draw or print your circuit, then easily electroplate it with pure, low-resistance copper. I think electroplating applies a very thin layer. You might need it thicker, so again that concept would need to be refined.

Comment: could never wrong. fast and furious, feds killed (Score 1, Flamebait) 297

> What happens when one of their sting operations don't go according to plan? Maybe their guy goes a little nuts and decides to do things his own way,

A federal sting could NEVER go wrong. It's not like the federal government (illegally) provides weapons to murderous drug cartels, who then use exactly those weapons to kill border patrol officers and others. Well okay, that could happen, but if it did, they'd immediately put a stop to the program. They wouldn't KEEP selling weapons to organized crime even knowing the weapons were being used to kill people in Texas. Well surely they'd stop when the information became public. The feds wouldn't send Eric Holder to go lie to Congress about the whole thing.

Nothing like that could ever happen, because whatever the problem is, the federal government is always the solution. The feds are never the problem, and the Constitution is "just a piece of paper", ad one famous law professor / community organizer put it.

Comment: theory about what *would* happen vs has happened (Score 2) 81

> It makes absolutely NO sense for them to flaunt their ability and willingness to do so as the simple course of action the entire reset of the world would take is a simple matter of NULL routing China and going on about their daily business

It amazes me how many Slashdot posts theorize about what *would* happen, under conditions that *already* have been going on for years. If you said that in 1990, it would be a reasonable prediction, an intelligent guess. After 20 years of attacks, very few networks have blocked China completely. We know what *would* happen, because it's *been* happening for many years.

    PLA Unit 61398 hacked a few low level sites, the US and Europe did nothing. They hacked some smaller companies. The US and Europe did nothing. They started blasting US and European banks and other key targets with constant attacks. A few web sites started blocking Chinese traffic locally. The US and Europe did nothing. The hacked solar companies and started shipping panels baed on technology recently developed in the US. A couple of government bureaucrats grumbled. They hacked some shell companies nominally involved in solar, but primarily engaged in federal grants and political donations. The US government indicted their officers, a purely ceremonial exercise - we're not actually going to go get those officers and put them in jail.

That's what actually HAS happened. Your theory about how the US WOULD respond might have been a reasonable guess in 1990, but it's rather outdated now. Like the arguments about what the results would be from banning guns - the UK DID ban handguns, violent crime did double. it already happened. Pretty silly to make guesses about what you think might happen.

You do not have mail.

Working...