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Comment: Re:Bad guys will use it anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 160

But folks - which one of those is better for us? Prevention or prosecution?

That's entirely the wrong question. The operant one is, "which one increases the power and wealth of the ruling class? (aka the politically-connected)".

The "bad guys" won't use strong encryption under the proposed regime. The FCC will force the ISP's to install filters that only allow packets through that are co-signed to the government (y'all wanted Net Neutrality right?). If you try to pass unsigned data it will be blocked and a SWAT team will show up at your house to put a semi-automatic rifle barrel in your face and toss you in a cage for a decade or more. Tunnelling that data will be made a crime and the NSA has the technology to detect it already. You MAY not speak privately from the government.

There is zero chance of countering this existential security threat while pretending that the ruling elite are interested in the benefit of the People. Security folks need to adult-up and face reality - we're past the point of this ending nicely; it's only a matter of which shit-sandwich we get to swallow at this point. Pixie dust and unicorn farts won't change that. Rand Paul won't be allowed to win the Presidency (but I repeat myself).

Comment: Re:This is a great example. (Score 1) 118

by bill_mcgonigle (#49827755) Attached to: Mystery Company Blazes a Trail In Fusion Energy

If you waited for private entrepreneurs to do fusion, you might well wait forever, even with payoffs with a dozen digits or so.

Maybe, but the other possibility is that the model has always been wrong.

It was always assumed, "we're going to put thing n into space" - how much is that going to cost?

When the question instead became, "we're going to put things into space for $50M - how are we going to do that?" a whole new engineering methodology unfolded.

I've spent time at a plasma physics lab - they're amazing, and everything inside is amazing, and massive, and expensive. The scale of some of the things is enough to make a nerd giddy.

But maybe it's not the right approach to actually solving the problem. I'll forgo the cynicism and not assert that it was the right approach for getting lots of grant money over the years, because fusion is one of the three key technologies of the 21st century's technological revolution (genetic engineering and AI being the other two breakthroughs about to happen; computing is just evolutionary at this point).

Comment: Re:Impossible to care anymore (Score 3, Insightful) 86

by bill_mcgonigle (#49826121) Attached to: Perl 5.22 Released

Perl updates for the past ten years have been mostly unloved features and cruft. If 5.6 didn't get the job done then 5.22 won't either.

This is just a "look at me, I'm uninformed about the languages landscape" post (good thing you went AC). Like Perl or not, most people who care about open source development know that the Perl nuts have been busy backporting the ideas that were supposed to show up in Perl 6 to Perl 5.

Whether or not that goes anywhere is separate from being ignorant about what's going on.

Comment: Re:Perl still around? (Score 1) 86

by bill_mcgonigle (#49825961) Attached to: Perl 5.22 Released

Isn't Ruby the true heir to Perl, though?

That was the theory. People got tired of waiting for a fast, memory-efficient runtime. Python is faster, if you have tremendous amounts of memory and can accept the syntax.

That perl hasn't been supplanted by a better scripting language doesn't say as much about perl as about everything else. There's some scuttlebut that Rust may do that, but it's early days and Mozilla still has plenty of opportunity to destroy it.

Comment: Re:Cost effectiveness (Score 1) 103

Because that is exactly how the free market works.

"Free market power companies." Cool, where can I get one?

The ones I have available are state-granted monopolies (fascism). They take any operating profits and pay a "healthy" dividend to investors - there's no need to invest in future-benefit infrastructure because the PUC will always give them a rate increase if they can show present supply and demand data, discounting all past squandered opportunity. It would be foolish for them to ever do anything else because they face no competitive pressure.

That's where solar comes in ... the only feasible competition to the extant fascisitic power system. Solar itself isn't that smart, but a second choice is leagues better than no choice at all.

Comment: Re: Copies Tesla??? (Score 1) 103

Daimler and dozens of other companies have been doing battery storage power facilities for decades before Tesla existed.

Is it just that Tesla has better marketing? Because none of these other "players" have put out a press release with a website to sign up for an install in the next year, at functional prices, that I've ever seen.

Links appreciated to equivalent product, since Tesla sold out before the SolarCity offices opened in my state (the drywall is still going in).

Comment: Re:One connector to rule them all. (Score 1) 170

they didn't stop to think if they should.

They definitely should. It's a great connector - everything will be using it in the near future and then for a long time. I have twenty solder-pad connectors on the way from China for a "completely unrelated" project prototype (unrelated to anything USB has been proposed for - not even for traditional "computers", really).

If you think Micro-A USB is popular, wait until you see your grandkids getting devices with USB-C. Sure, it's no Anderson Powerpole, but it's the next-best thing.

People can have their Centronics parallel, HD-15 and RJ-45 crap - I'll take something less onerous, expensive, and/or fragile any day!

Comment: Re:Making ThinkGeek even less relevant, hmm? (Score 4, Interesting) 85

by bill_mcgonigle (#49824395) Attached to: GameStop Swoops In To Buy ThinkGeek For $140 Million

At least Hot Topic owning ThinkGeek was amusing

I think, of the two, Hot Topic could have significantly grown the brand - and ultimately that would have been good for geekdom, writ large.

Not sure how the deal is being structured, but if it's a stock deal, this is bad for shareholders. Gamers aren't going to spend their cash on a bunch of crap that they can't play and non-gamer geeks aren't going to go hang around in Gamestop shopping for stuff with all the smelly gamers in there. Whatever the difference per diluted share Gamestop is bringing, that'll all get pissed away within the first year.

One presumes, though, that it's a partial cash deal and the extra dozen-million bucks or so will be split up among the managers. So ... good news for the competition. Around here we have a chain called Newbury Comics that competes in this space. Right now is the time for them to get a huge funding round...

Comment: Re:On a positive note (Score 1) 335


If you mean creating a small number of jobs, like hiring professional sock puppets to troll social media, to try to sway people who can't think rationally ... then maybe you have a point, AC!

Tell me again about how the economy will collapse without slavery - I love it when you government types talk dirty. Hey, maybe the TSA could get some training on that? A junket to Hawaii maybe?

Comment: Re:Wow, 22.88? Seriously? (Score 2) 45

he hasn't updated Flash in years and got hit by malvertising.

You don't have to be that bad, even. My parents' PC had Flash 12 on it and Flash 9 on it. Where did Flash 9 come from? It was installed at the same time as the updater software for their GPS device.

The whole ecosystem is toxic and hateful towards the user.

Comment: Re:Goddamnit (Score 3, Insightful) 97

Humanity moved beyond pictogram-based languages for a reason, and now the internet - that paragon of human achievement - is moving us back to pictograms again. WTF?

It's about the limbic system. Alphabets are a good invention for low-bandwidth communication (including fingertips) but also "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Comment: Re:Does this mean... (Score 2) 144

A jury might find that a reasonable argument, but state legislatures have decided that youths need to be protected from sex so much that, like the gp said, it's a 'strict liability' law, even if the minor wants sex so bad they're willing to lie and obtain forgeries to help assist with their lies.

This is why jury nullification is so important - to keep psychopathic legislatures from incarcerating the entire population. A jury has two jobs - to judge the facts and to judge the law. Lawyers and judges try to diminish the second for their own benefit.

On the other hand ... this isn't some trifling matter of stealing trillions of dollars, lying to Congress, or starting wars based on lies - this is consensual sex! So, off to the gallows with him.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov