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Comment: Ok, serious question time... (Score 1) 107

I'm pretty sure the only military/government interest in being involved with "attack" scenarios on the Internet stems from the military/government having some critical exposure there. Why don't they, instead of making a plan for cyber warfare, make an initiative to fully separate the military/government network from the Internet and let the public Internet fry if it's going to fry. I can't think of a compelling reason for U.S. national security to have any ties to the Internet... can you? Helping out to protect commercial interests from cyber attacks is one thing, but having critical infrastructure/military/government exposure to the extent that it becomes a matter of *national security* just seems asinine to me...

Comment: Re: And was it really a punishment? (Score 1) 97

by skelly33 (#49192123) Attached to: FTC Targets Group That Made Billions of Robocalls
Also, as someone who works with Asterisk/VOIP... it's *really* easy to set your caller ID to any phone number you want - how about a random caller ID rotation through every legitimate phone number in the U.S.? Gonna block them all? And with text-to-speech being able to re-render variations of the message in any of dozens of voices, it could be quite difficult to pick up on patterns from audio streams. Just sayin... this problem is not easily solved. Some layer for verifiability would be needed. Maybe it's time for POTS to go the way of broadcast television with a fully digital replacement that has some accountability built into it...

Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection 135

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-to-gattica dept.
An anonymous reader writes On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a case involving the conviction of a man based solely on the analysis of his "inadvertently shed" DNA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argues that this tacit approval of the government's practice of collecting anyone's DNA anywhere without a warrant will lead to a future in which people's DNA are "entered into and checked against DNA databases and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."

Comment: Re:A better idea (Score 1) 259

by skelly33 (#48991795) Attached to: Washington May Count CS As Foreign Language For College Admission
I see what you're saying, but... the purpose of educating yourself is not simply to pick up a single skill. A good book or a trade school can accomplish that. Universities make it their mission to empower people broadly so that they can become powerfully effective members of society. Reading and interpreting poetry is not my forte, but I will do it if/when my course work requires me to do so - and it will - and I understand that the Student Learning Outcome objectives will include aspects such as improving my ability to interpret abstract information and extract meaning from natural expression... which is something we have to do sometimes as software developers to understand what our stake holders want before we get to coding (for example). No CS book would ever cover this.

I happen to be good at foreign languages and I do suggest others give it a try... but not just because I'm good at it. It has been shown that your chances are much better if you start learning your second language early (before 12-14?) and that was the case for me, but not everybody knows or thinks to make that a priority. When they start later in life, it is much more difficult and they might need different "tricks" to remember things until it starts coming more naturally with time. But the process is one which substantially improves your ability to abstract the core thought from the specific semantics used to describe it for rather complex scenarios - another key survival skill for the CS major.

I would not take foreign language requirements away from the curriculum on the grounds of irrelevancy any sooner than I would English, history, mathematics, the sciences, or other humanities classes.

Comment: Re:Not the same thing (Score 1) 259

by skelly33 (#48991377) Attached to: Washington May Count CS As Foreign Language For College Admission
... and that includes CS majors sometimes. I've known developers with bachelor's degrees in CS who had never seen a hard drive, or understood even the fundamental concepts of what goes on in hardware between CPU, RAM, the system bus, attached peripheral devices, etc. What I've noticed in the school I am at now (back-filling formal education for a well-established career in CS) is that there is only one class that teaches those fundamentals, CS1 - and it is not a requirement for the CS degree program. The "core classes" are the second-level programming and higher... not even the first level programming classes count. Conceivably, one could pass on all the introductory classes and never have any idea what a logic gate is, for example. It is bewildering as to how this can be acceptable. I grew up with schematics for my 286 that showed all the ISA bus lines and timing logic to be able to make my own ISA bus expansion cards to interface whatever I wanted in the real world. The times, they are a-changin`...

Comment: Re:Their buying clout alone should end this deal. (Score 1) 105

by skelly33 (#48982669) Attached to: Staples To Buy Office Depot For $6.3 Billion
This merger doesn't alarm me because I don't see anything special about Staples or OfficeMax. I am constantly going into my local OfficeMax with unreasonably high hopes and finding myself disappointed with their selection. I can get everything in that store at my local K-Mart, Target, BestBuy, Costco, or any of a dozen other local small businesses. Near as I can tell, they only thing they offer is the convenience of not having to hit 2-3 of those other stores because they have everything you're looking for under the one roof.

Comment: Re:lol (Score 1) 323

Giving school officials the power to enforce anything at all is what I take exception to. If it is a legal matter and law enforcement is at stake, then a law enforcement officer... and/or a lawyer... should be involved. I see facebook as the electronic version of a physical, private diary which you may selectively show to whomever you choose - if someone *forces* you to reveal the contents of your diary, well that sounds a lot like search and seizure to me and better darn well involve qualified people - which excludes school officials. I am not in favor of cyberbullies, however I am not in favor of municipalities' continued encroachments on civil rights; they are like children constantly testing the limits of what they can get away with. It is imperative to leverage teachable moments when they present themselves.

Comment: Multi-core? (Score 0) 91

by skelly33 (#48374235) Attached to: Intel Claims Chip Suppliers Will Flock To Its Mobile Tech
My biggest complaint against my last couple Android phones is that when an application starts acting up the device loses its @#$*&@ mind and becomes entirely unresponsive. If Intel were to work closely with a software partner like, say, Android, to fix some fundamental reliability issues (make it a phone first, make the baseline UI ALWAYS respond, even if an app is not), I'd be willing to pay more for the more reliable device. There should be no activity that the phone software can engage in that makes it completely comatose for minutes at a time, as it is often prone to do, such that I can't make a phone call - and if hardware limitations are at the core of that matter, then... there's the opportunity. Every time it happens, all I can think is, "well, I sure hope I don't have to dial 911 any time soon." Perhaps this problem is already solved as my current one is now approaching 2 years old as I have been holding out for the Droid 5, but it's been a frustrating several years between this one and its predecessor...

Comment: Abrupt, but like 100 years abrupt? (Score 1) 132

by skelly33 (#48276189) Attached to: New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation
Having read in the past that although plants normally absorb CO2 while living, they tend to re-release most-to-all of it in death, the first thing that comes to mind for me is... what if global conditions were such that a mass-kill-off of plants occurred from the freeze... seems like that could effectively release quite a bit of CO2, and in quite a hurry, no? Like an advancing cold front year after year until the balance shifted the opposite direction...

Comment: Re:There are none (Score 2) 175

by skelly33 (#45330243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?
I'm no space-radio expert, but.... wouldn't the latency be double that estimate? If it's 25K miles in altitude, and since, last I checked, the Internet itself is not in orbit, then it would be 25K up, 25K down to the target host, then 25K up and 25K back down again for the reply for a total of 100K and more than half a second for a full round trip. Que no?

Comment: It's only a matter of time... (Score 1) 115

by skelly33 (#45255903) Attached to: Is Google Building a Floating Data Center In San Francisco Bay?
it's only a matter of time before they get shut down by environmentalists. The problem with using sea water as cooling is that the net result is the warming of the sea water. Even only a few degrees can alter the local ecology. It would be one thing if what they were doing was a net zero effect, but if they are pulling energy off the grid, then they will be putting grid energy into the water as heat, and that is not good...

Ma Bell is a mean mother!