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Comment: Re:5th Admendment? (Score 1) 446

by rsclient (#48509249) Attached to: 18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

Quote: "within their jurisdiction". That means that the court has ordered (in compliance with your rights) that certain data be discovered or turned over. Seriously, folks: the police do get to investigate crimes. If they need to look at your car (or, in 18th century terms, your horse), they get to.

+ - Khrushchev's 1959 Visit to IBM->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "In September of 1959, Nikita Khrushchev, the premier of the Soviet Union, spent 12 days touring the U.S. One of his stops was IBM's facilities in San Jose, which helped to create the area later known as Silicon Valley. The premier got to see the first computer which came with a hard disk, which IBM programmed to answer history questions. But what he was most impressed by was IBM's modern cafeteria. Over at Fast Company, I've chronicled this fascinating and little-known moment in tech history, which will be covered in an upcoming PBS program on Khrushchev's U.S. trip."
Link to Original Source

+ - NASA Spacecraft Images Crash Site of Retired LADEE Probe->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In April, NASA ended the mission of its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission by de-orbiting (read: crashing) it on the far side of the moon. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has now directly imaged the crash site, showing a small crater and the spray of rocks and dust caused by the crash. "LADEE's grave lies about 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) from the eastern rim of the larger Sundman V crater, just 0.2 miles (0.3 km) north of the spot where mission team members predicted the spacecraft would go down based on tracking data, NASA officials said. ... The new crater is less than 10 feet (3 meters) wide. It's so small because LADEE was just the size of a washing machine, and the probe was traveling relatively slowly (3,800 mph, or 6,116 km/h) when it impacted the surface. The LROC team was able to spot LADEE's impact crater after developing a new tool that compared before-and-after images of the same lunar sites, researchers said.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most by Obamacare

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "We know that about 10 million more people have insurance coverage this year as a result of the Affordable Care Act but until now it has been difficult to say much about who was getting that Obamacare coverage — where they live, their age, their income and other such details. Now Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz report in the NYT that a new data set is providing a clearer picture of which people gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The data is the output of a statistical model based on a large survey of adults and shows that the law has done something rather unusual in the American economy this century: It has pushed back against inequality, essentially redistributing income — in the form of health insurance or insurance subsidies — to many of the groups that have fared poorly over the last few decades. The biggest winners from the law include people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas. The areas with the largest increases in the health insurance rate, for example, include rural Arkansas and Nevada; southern Texas; large swaths of New Mexico, Kentucky and West Virginia; and much of inland California and Oregon.

Despite many Republican voters’ disdain for the Affordable Care Act, parts of the country that lean the most heavily Republican (according to 2012 presidential election results) showed significantly more insurance gains than places where voters lean strongly Democratic. That partly reflects underlying rates of insurance. In liberal places, like Massachusetts and Hawaii, previous state policies had made insurance coverage much more widespread, leaving less room for improvement. But the correlation also reflects trends in wealth and poverty. Many of the poorest and most rural states in the country tend to favor Republican politicians."

Comment: Re:Not that hard (Score 3, Insightful) 131

by rsclient (#47733705) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

Actually, it is that hard. I needed some CR32032 batteries, and looked on Amazon. Guess what? There's a ton of sellers, claiming to sell from a ton of vendors. I'll guess that many of them will sell me a battery with the right physical and electrical form factor, but....

Which brands last longer?
Which sellers are selling official brands, and which are selling indistinguishable knockoffs?
Are the knockoffs actually worse?

Is something that looks more official and appears more reputable actually selling something better? Or am I paying for reputation and not actual quality?

How valid are the reviews? Are they astroturf? Does it matter? How can someone tell a good battery from a bad one, anyway, right after getting it. Are the just giving 5 stars because the batteries came quickly in nice packaging?

I think these are all reasonable questions, but I don't have an answer to any of them. I'm hoping that someone has done a real comparison, and can provide some kind of solid data.

Comment: Re:It's not "buss" - its bus. (Score 1) 124

Funny, I remember the same thing. And it's an old usage to -- I see from the Electric Interlocking Handbook (1913) at http://books.google.com/books?id=ZPINAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA93&dq=%2B%22buss%22+electric&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4kfUU4_2McW1iwKwyYHIBA&ved=0CFgQuwUwBg#v=onepage&q=%2B%22buss%22%20electric&f=false that it's been used in the industry.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

by rsclient (#47221995) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

What's the probabilitiy...
It's easily possible to idly speculate on answers:
Probability of life starting? On Earth, life started up pretty much right away. If it was unlikely, it's more likely to have started later, not earlier.

Probability of life becoming complex: low (ish). Out of roughly 5 billion years, 4 billion were spent on one-celled organisms

Probability of sentience: out of a metric buttload of species, we know of exactly one species with both sentience and high technology. That kind of indicates that's it's not so much a survival trait :-)

Comment: Re:Basic programming principles what? (Score 1, Offtopic) 127

by rsclient (#47160327) Attached to: GnuTLS Flaw Leaves Many Linux Users Open To Attacks

Actually, most of the comments I've seen about the OpenSSL code are immature, and show a lack of appreciation for the changes in the industry.

Like, remember that if-isupper-then-tolower code? Well, back in the day, tolower on most platforms would just bit-bang in a '1' bit. That will convert A to a, but also converts at-sign to back-tick. In "modern" toolchains, this doesn't happen any more; tolower is expected to handle all chars, and work correctly.

But -- as a developer, can you prove that every system that you're running on has a proper implementation of tolower? It's easy for me; I only work with one version of Visual Studio, and I can quickly prove that tolower work.

I've done code that works on multiple platforms. It used to be really, really gnarly: everything platform was always just a little bit different. And you get code that looks just like what I've seen in the snarky comments.

Comment: Re:The Science is settled! (Score 1) 330

From TFA (2007): "Gore said that Arctic ice could be gone entirely in 34 years, and he made it seem like a really precise prediction"

OK, it's been 6 or 7 years since then. Would you say the artic ice is substantially less, substantially more, or about the same from then?

Hint: data at http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicen...

Eyeballing the data, there's a ton of noise but there is a decent trend in there. And the data in the last 7 years doesn't look like it is violation of that trend, or the prediction voiced by Mr. Gore.

Comment: Re:The Science is settled! (Score 1) 330

WTF? Are you mad? Or drunk? The whole point of a model is to predict the future. And they can, and do, make predictions. And over time, we can see if the predictions worked.

And your biggest issue is that the model conserved energy? You do know that in the middle of a time-step, things get wonky, right? And that the modelers know this, and therefore apply some brainpower to make it work?

The early models of galaxy collision (per the Toomre brothers) were astonishingly low-res, and yet they captured some pretty subtle effects. And guess what? They had to apply fix-ups on each time-step, too!

Climate researchers have certainly put some real thought into geo-engineering. The neatest simulation was, "what happens if we try geo-engineering, and have to stop". Result: everything goes to heck, and in a hurry.

Comment: Re:Not a market back then (Score 1) 272

by rsclient (#46771933) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

I've used some of the earlier "internet tablets" (e.g., the Nokia N800) and PDA. Early machines had real issues with being powerful enough to actually work well -- something my low-end phone still struggles with.

(Not to mention the terrible, terrible connection managers. For one particularly horrid PDA, I spent more time trying to get on the internet than actually using the internet)

Comment: Re:see where your taxes go (Score 1) 322

by rsclient (#46738149) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

That's a pretty strong accusation. Other than, "I don't know anything about this government department, so I'll throw around a random accusation", do you have any actual evidence?

For example, how well do they handle paperwork compared to a typical insurance company? Personally, I find the IRS documents more straightforward and less confusing.

How do they compare in cost to a typical payroll processor like ADP? They have about the same scale; according to because ADP is private and the IRS is public, ADP should have radically lower costs. Do they?

In short, just because they are big, that doesn't make them "inefficient".

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