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Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 507

by s13g3 (#46717013) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture
Agreed entirely.

"Wah, technology is making our extremely self-isolated, often xenophobic culture irrelevant and unnecessary, and we're losing children to the 'normals' because the 'normals' want our precious deaf babies to be able to hear just like them, and then they won't be able to identify with our problems and won't want to be part of our little culture. Waaaaaahhhhhhhh."

It's a bit like the tiny backwards religions and cults (like the ones that preach total abstinence, for example) who can't figure out why their children don't want to remain part of their tiny little self-isolated ultra-religious, extremely narrow-minded and often rather intolerant communities for the larger world of opportunities without the shackles of self-imposed dogmas or bigotries. "We just can't figure out why these children would want to leave our perfect little nest and see or be part of the wider world."

That's part of what technology does: encourages progress, and helps us ablate away the slough and callouses on our society and cultures. 100+ years ago there were whole, relatively mainstream cultures focused on death because it was such an unavoidable part of life, during an age where you were lucky if 1 in 3 children survived to adolescence, much less adulthood. Since then, medical science drastically increased survival rates, and those cults faded away as fewer and fewer people suffered agonizing, tragic, or otherwise preventable losses, and thus as fewer people needed social support in their grief or hardships, such cults largely disappeared.

Deaf "culture" should be no different. It's a crutch, a support group, for people with similar problems to band together, however it very often creates as many problems as it solves. By pulling people away or serving to isolate them from their larger culture, not as an individual wishing to remain unique, but as someone who sees themselves as irrevocably different from, and outside the groups that would otherwise be their peers, if not for their disability, it creates a barrier to participation or feelings of inclusion in society at large, and in the end can do as much harm as good by fostering resentment toward a society they see as rejecting them, all while they isolate themselves from it further and further.

Comment: In a word... (Score 1) 81

by s13g3 (#46474967) Attached to: Replicant Hackers Find and Close Samsung Galaxy Back-door
> "is a 100% free software mobile device important to you?"

In a word: Yes.

The borderline (and sometimes not-so-borderline) criminal behavior of some software/hardware makers, coupled with often exorbitant costs for a device that will either be destroyed (via being cheaply made) or totally obsolete in a few years makes me quite leery of trusting or relying on a modern smartphone, much less actually spending my own money on one. Especially when my company provides me with a phone, POS though it may be.

Comment: If you can afford to raid out 20TB (Score 1) 983

by s13g3 (#46466117) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?
If you can afford a 20TB RAID *and* have enough data of value to warrant *retaining* 20TB, then you can certainly justify the expense of a tape drive and corresponding tapes to back it all up.

Tape is not dead, contrary to more than 3 decades of claims otherwise. It is, in fact, perfectly alive and healthy, and well worth using (with a proper backup/rotation scheme) when you have that kind of data volume to store.

I've worked for Arcus/Iron Mountain and Recall both, and I can't tell you how many times over my years with those companies I've heard someone say "We don't need off-site backups" or "We don't need tape, we just have the IT guy take the hotswap drives home every day", only to have them come crawling back in tears weeks, months or years later when they've lost everything.

Comment: Re:Hard drives have no future. (Score 1) 82

by s13g3 (#46456265) Attached to: Nanomaterial May Be Future of Hard Drives
*sigh* Let me guess, you're either between 15 - 25 years old, and/or have never worked in enterprise-class I.T.? Otherwise, you really ought to know better.

Before I ever entered I.T. professionally 20 years ago, people had been claiming the impending death of magnetic tape for more than a decade. at least, yet it is still with us today. Sure, the round-wheel tape is more-or-less gone, but tape is still going strong.

Similarly, SSD's are not going to completely replace mechanical storage any time soon, if only because as solid-state memory improves, so will mechanical devices continue to do, and they will almost certainly have a place in modern computing for many years yet to come, barring some as-yet completely unforeseen revolution in materials science lowering materials and production costs while raising quality and value to thresholds well beyond anything currently predicted. Then again, the same advance (such as room-temperature superconductors) could have wide-ranging positive impacts on both technologies, increasing memory operation speeds in SSD's while eliminating the mechanical bearing from HDD's and providing similar performance increases.

After all, I'm pretty sure that if I dig back far enough, I can find at least one thread - quite possibly one I made substantially similar comments in - on this very site from ~15 years ago with someone saying much the same thing about how optical (or magneto-optical) is going to make tape/mechanical-drives obsolete. Now we know optical disks have a life-span before they degrade, making them useless for long-term archival storage, and I couldn't tell you when the last time I saw a mini-disc was.

Comment: Very common in larger businesses (Score 1) 572

by s13g3 (#46410577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Your Employer Perform HTTPS MITM Attacks On Employees?
This is very common in large, enterprise-class businesses with significant numbers of PC's dedicated to end-users, as this methodology is used in various ways to provide security (to the enterprise, while simultaneously robbing the end-user of theirs in favor of the business'). The services provided by companies likeZScaler would be perhaps the most common use of these types of MITM attacks.

Comment: Re:Directed laser dazzling. (Score 1) 478

by s13g3 (#46289021) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Ah, I can understand that fear, but there's really no reason such a system can't be generally safe and reliable, especially as there is no need for the lasers to be on at all times, and its not unreasonable to believe one might be able to source a fairly low-power laser that would still have the desired effect on CCD cameras while being reasonably safe for at least short exposures to the human eye, just in case a motor stops working properly or the like.

Comment: Re: Not plastic, titanium (Score 2) 82

by s13g3 (#46288347) Attached to: 3-D Printed Pelvis Holding Up After 3 Years
Titanium is paramagnetic, meaning that while it is attracted/reactive to the presence of external magnetic fields, it retains no magnetization of its own when removed from said external field. In this specific usage case, magnetization of the part would not be of concern any more than it would be for any other titanium prosthesis.

Comment: Re:Directed laser dazzling. (Score 1) 478

by s13g3 (#46282765) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
So, in fact, does everything you have ever seen in your entire life: otherwise, you wouldn't see it.

The key is the specific frequencies (notice the plurality) of light reflected. The human cornea, like a camera lens, has a rather unique and readily identifiable reflected spectroscopy, and both are easily differentiated from the other.

Seriously, not an NP-hard problem. As is usual, people are trying to make it out as more difficult than it actually is.

Comment: Re:Directed laser dazzling. (Score 1) 478

by s13g3 (#46280949) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Doesn't need one. This is not an NP-hard problem, nor is the proposed solution. It could, in fact, be done on a relatively low budget. Relative, that is, to the costs that might otherwise come with lawsuits or bad media publicity resulting from "unauthorized" video taken by passengers, in any event.

Besides, if he does the footwork and engineering on his customer's dime, he (and perhaps the customer, as a partner in a joint venture) could come out of it with a product they can market and sell to other similar bus operators, theaters, etc.

None of the tech I outlined is rare, odd, or terribly expensive (excepting LIDAR units, at about $5k each), and can be done entirely with COTS hardware and some customized programming that would only have to be built on top of programming that has already been done in this field. In fact, the PS3EYE or Kinect already has most of the capability needed.

Honestly, I've seen homebrewers do much more complex things (including code), such as the home-built, automated air-hockey table built by a father for his daughter, which not only has to identify the puck, but then do loads of computational math to determine angles, speeds and force loads: what I initially described in my original post would almost be child's play by comparison.

Comment: Directed laser dazzling. (Score 1) 478

by s13g3 (#46278111) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Use lasers with non-visible beams connected to actuated, high speed bases and working in tandem with the on-board video cameras. Pre-map the location - including relative distances between each camera (use laser as range-finder) - of all "legitimate" cameras on the bus, then use a filter to scan for the very specific and unique reflected light frequencies created by a camera lens, and whenever found, point any lasers with valid angles to see it at said camera lens: voila, no more unauthorized video.

You might also be able to accomplish this more easily, without having to map your "legitimate" cameras, by mounting said cams behind some sort of cover that would obscure their lenses from being sensed by the anti-camera-camera by dint of the covers by altering/filtering the frequency of the light reflected by the lens.

If you wanted to try something somewhat more COTS than trying to build and program a rig to do this (though a lot of the basic frameworks for things like high-speed visual target acquisition by sensing cameras and pattern recognition suites are already "out there", if you're willing to dig for them or do some legwork contacting the developers), you might try a LIDAR unit of some variety, though you'll almost certainly still have to do some modifications. I have no idea, however, whether or not the light freq's used by common LIDAR units will interfere with a camera the way more traditional lasers do.

Comment: Re:Excellent question (Score 1) 321

by s13g3 (#45653279) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Bitrot Detection For Backups?
This doesn't even count the fact that optical media is still subject to the same degradation and bitrot that tape is.

And anyone who thinks electromagnetic tape is "dead" is naive or just ignorant. People have been predicting the death of tape for decades, and it's no more true today than it was in the 70's. Modern EM tape is typically rated for 15 to 30 years of retention, and as long as it is not over-exposed to moisture during storage, it has proven to be able to last that long: otherwise, the manufacturers would be out of business because the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies - the majority of whom backup to tape and send it off-site - would have sued them to extinction.

On the other hand, according to

"CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is 2 to 5 years even though published life expectancies are often cited as 10 years, 25 years, or longer. However, a variety of factors discussed in the sources cited in FAQ 15, below, may result in a much shorter life span for CDs/DVDs."

Comment: Re:Internet democracy (Score 1) 219

by s13g3 (#45206209) Attached to: How PR Subverts Wikipedia

I'm not going to help edit, because I have little or no use for what common consensus is. I'm interested in fact and truth, not public opinion.

Q.E.D., you are, then, part of problem, and have no right to whine or complain because you can't be bothered to help fix it. Go use Britannica, then... which was found as late as 2005 to be generally no more accurate or reliable than the Wikipedia, with broadly similar error levels. Or how about Nature, who themselves state that retractions in their journal have risen ten-fold in the last decade, even while the number of submissions has only increased 50%. Because they're utterly reliable and the peer-review process can't be subverted, right? How many times was that now-discredited MMR vaccination study reprinted as golden gospel, for how many years? How many times has an outsider to academia and private industry journals made a stunning breakthrough that might have come sooner if only some critical bit information had been publicly available, instead of buried in a back-issue of a private publication? How many millions or billions of dollars have been wasted re-reviewing science that was based on something once taken for truth by the major journal in its field, only to later be proven false?

Like any other information source, Wikipedia will only be as correct and factual as the people contributing to it can muster, and without the help of subject matter experts determined to make sure the truth is told, it will be bottomed on the knowledge available; the Wikipedia, however, has a much larger pool of knowledge and experience available to it - if people choose to take part - than any journal or trade magazine. If people who have and can source/prove/demonstrate the facts on developing, highly technical or contentious subjects would commit to contributing as much to making sure the Wikipedia is accurate as they do to closed academic journals that no one but academics ever read, then we'd be in a much better place, with a better educated populace, as a result of access to true and up-to-date information, as opposed to last year's conjecture and common wisdom. For that matter, how many times did Britannica, for example, choose not to cover a subject - or not cover one in as much detail as was available - in order to conform to demands of governments and corporations, which do not affect the Wikipedia? Somehow I doubt they'd have ever penned more than a footnote - much less an entire article - about FOGBANK... oh wait, look, not even a footnote.

What would lead you to believe that a group of 10 supposed experts in a field editing at a journal are infallible and never make mistakes, but 100 or 1000 people - some of whom may also be just as expert, or even the same experts - cannot come just as close to truth and fact? What makes you think the scientific and history communities have more than a few dozen things they can all settle on as incontrovertible, accepted fact that no one can reasonably debate? Let me guess, you're the same anonymous coward that was arguing a few weeks ago that nobody can make money on making open-source software and that all FOSS sucks because only large corporations get anything done?

How about show me an established article in the Wikipedia - and not a revision someone is vandalizing - that is purporting something to be "fact" that is provably just "public opinion", and wrong at that... and I'll show you an article you should have just fixed, assuming you can demonstrate said fact from a reliable, neutral source. Otherwise, I'm going to have to conclude you're just mad because someone reverted your edits on an article when you tried to assert a claim on a debatable subject and couldn't back it up.

I'd also really like to see this always-accurate-and-reliable source of information you seem to be purporting exists. You know, the one you can always count on absolutely to be so factually complete that you never need to cross-reference another source of information and research - as any good science or research demands - because it's all-inclusive and has settled all questions of science and history... oh wait, that doesn't exist. The Wikipedia is meant to be one more avenue TO research, not OF it. It contains information and references, and you're supposed to do your OWN research, not use the Wikipedia directly as a source for it. If you can't be bothered to flex your intellectual muscles and judge how accurate the information presented is for yourself, and then choose whether or not the information is reliable enough to warrant further investigation on your own, once again, the failing is yours, not the Wikipedia's: no one else can help you if you're too intellectually lazy to do research, and no source of information is reliable enough to simply spoon-feed you without any chance of error. If that's what you want, I suggest you find religion.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.