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Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 3, Interesting) 124

Then nothing is different.

Female mosquitoes aren't going to breed more because of this. Part of what makes mosquitoes so unpleasant is that their breeding mechanism is awkward and requires, for example, blood - our blood - to work. Finding a partner to breed with is the last of their worries.

As a result, what this boils down to is:

Status quo: virtually all females will breed with a regular mosquito, lifestyle unchanged.

Changed to: sizable numbers of females will breed with a GMO mosquito instead of a regular mosquito.

If plan works, enough females will go with the GMO, and breed shorter lifespan mosquitoes of their own, resulting in a (probably temporary, alas) reduction in the mosquito population. If the plan fails, either because the altered genes fail to do their job, or because females avoid the GMO mosquitoes somehow, NOTHING IS DIFFERENT.

What's the issue here? What can actually go wrong that's worse than the status quo? What scenario are you seeing that could happen as a result of this particular project? It's not like this is something out of a Michael Crichton novel. "We think we can reduce the mosquito population by releasing this RADIOACTIVE MOSQUITOS into the population! Their UNTESTED RANDOM GENETIC DIFFERENCES will render the entire population dead within the week! Also let's breed the mosquitos with FROGS just beforehand! Nothing could possibly go wrong!"

We know the generic differences. We know what we're releasing are otherwise regular mosquitos. This is not that terrible novel.

As someone who has good medical reasons to fear mosquito bites more than most, I sincerely hope this works. And I applaud them for trying.

Comment: Re:pot and kettle (Score 1) 167

by rtb61 (#48938117) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

There is a whole wikipedia article on the machinations of M$ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C..., then there is Embrace, extend and extinguish Embrace, extend and extinguish and there is also Fear, uncertainty and doubt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F..., with M$ having a reputation for having mastered it. So the fellows at M$ were pretty naughty but that seems pretty much typical for major corporations when they become dominant, they just automatically turn into a great big old bag of exploitative dicks until they end up being sufficiently punished by the market. They of course try to fend this off, normally seeking government assistance to protect their position via the application of hoards of corrupt lobbyists.

Eventually once sufficiently punished and managed largely replaced they can sometimes come good although they can never ever be trusted as a dominant player again. There is of course no harm in using them to weaken other players who have gained dominance, maintaining a balance in suppliers being important.

Basically over sized corporations are just a really, really bad idea and breaking them up and keeping them small often serves everyone far better.

Comment: Re:Add noise (Score 2) 82

by rtb61 (#48935833) Attached to: Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap

In actual use faraday cages can be readily subverted by incoming power lines. For a building wide faraday cage to be secure power lines must be conditioned to prevent data interception via subverted hardware within the faraday cage, otherwise that unsecured wire leads right from the supposedly secure hardware to a power station many kilometres away and connected to every other device hooked up to the same power source. Other things must also be looked at like water pipes, tapping into the earth circuit or even using the farady cage itself as conductor. Digital security is a mindless headfuck, no matter what you do to secure it, it can be subverted, which is why manual system are becoming preferred again for real serious security as they require direct personal access.

Comment: Re:Power Costs (Score 1) 243

by rtb61 (#48935745) Attached to: Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

The real question is whether running down maintenance ability will sound real fine up until the moment of catastrophic failure and their ability to react to it has been totally compromised. This would result in hugely extended down time in the event of that catastrophic failure, what ever it's cause. Looks great on a spreadsheet and pumps up an executives bonus but the whole company ends up going boom when a catastrophic failure occurs because customers will not tolerate extended downtime and that downtime might not be hours but weeks on even months as the try to rebuild maintenance efforts so that their maintainers can rebuild the system.

This kind of evaluation extends out to government, should governments pay the costs of maintaining manual systems ie pencil and paper because in the event of catastrophic failure recovery is bound to their ability to sustain the essential elements of government whilst digital system are rebuilt and as it will be required to rebuild those systems. Corporate executives abandon these ideas because of course costs affect bonuses and golden parachutes in the event of failure.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 1) 140

by rtb61 (#48935667) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

Any solution should be readily human detectable so as to prevent bad mistakes being made. Nitrogen is extremely dangerous (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bag) in terms of person being able to react to it prior to loss of consciousness.

Of course putting data in a bunker still does not solve the real problem, what point securing your data if no one can access it ie the infrastructure outside of the bunker is non-functional, what exactly are they attempting to preserve. Whilst they do try to wrap perception of value around data enabling companies to basically print funny money based around those perceptions (eg targeted manipulative advertisements, with the style of advertisement target at the psychological profile of it's victim, man, woman or child and the corporate value of that private citizens data) the true value of unused data is zero. For data to have value it must be used, when it is not used it is just empty cost and has no value.

So cut the cable that leaves the bunker and the reality is, you have nothing. On an interesting side note, does the data being stored have a positive or negative value as far as the majority of citizens are concerned and how far over the line has it gone in evaluating of people's psychology and manipulating them upon an individual basis by controlling the type of information they receive.

Comment: Re:I prefer a tablet for some things to a smart ph (Score 1) 288

by rtb61 (#48928239) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Actually there is one function a tablet is really good for and the only reason I am in the market for one. A better more interactive remote control for a big screen smart TV. The tablet provides the keypad, the track pad and the touch pad but as yet the interface between the two doesn't seem good enough yet.

Comment: Re:DoJ zone of lawlessness (Score 1) 418

by rtb61 (#48928207) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

Speaking of governments, an interesting thought by the the US Department of in-Justice (let's at least be honest with that, three tier justice system, poor - always guilty, middle class - pay through the nose but still guilty and rich - innocent or somebody else pays the penalty). When things are kept secret they become a "zone of lawlessness", so national security is evil because when the government keeps secrets that would affect the elections they become a "zone of lawlessness", well, I would most certainly have to agree with that. So I gather that they will now be focusing their efforts on where secrets do the greatest harm (wars for profit, collusion on tax havens, corrupt lobbyists), ha ha ha.

What this really is all about, governments of the day don't like your political choices, they can ban you from flying, subject to random gropings including strip searches (normally called sexual assault), block your employment, cancel contracts, block all digital financial transactions and, then still use search warrants to invade your home, steal stuff and trash the rest of your in the process, whilst threatening you life and possibly ending it. All made laughably easy by the simple expedient of selectively presenting the information they have gleaned about you, including times you lack a alibi (even when they know exactly where you were), false association of facts, selected out of context information and claiming random internet interactions with other suspects as conspiratorial interactions. Hell, they can even perversely hack you computer systems and then claim that all the information is true because of course no one could have hacked it and planted it all, even when their hacking code is released to the wild by them using it and then subsequently usurped by organised crime (thanks for that idiots) ?!?

Comment: Re:Bad comparaison (Score 1) 135

by rtb61 (#48928047) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

According to the Hollywood accountants somewhere in the negative range and yet for some inexplicable reason they still keep functioning. Something to do with tax havens, sexually compliant starlets and perverted politicians but as yet taxation agencies from around the globe have still not managed to figure it all out after decades of trying. Apparently it is easier to gouge the rest of us at the tax office to pay for their subsidies and the free ride they get on the infrastructure we pay for, whilst they cheat us on the social services they should be paying for.

Comment: Re:Can they do it with corporate code? (Score 1) 217

by rtb61 (#48928021) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

Just curious, how are larger companies going with algorithm libraries and variable naming rules to ensure maximum re usability of code (variables named by function rather than named by application). Any change, is most of it done from scratch, any fancy algorithm data bases with search functions based upon algorithm descriptors and software engineering. Also things like software language translators or the same algorithms stored in different languages. Any shift away from writing code to more assembling algorithms that can expanded or reduced and snapped together.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 462

by rtb61 (#48927939) Attached to: Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

In point of fact if you are buying games from Steam, there are just so, so many of them, the only time to buy them is on discount or package deal. So buying a bundle of games during the specials season and then playing them for the rest of the year. This combined with F2P MMO really does provide all the gaming even the most intense gamer needs.

There is absolutely no excuse for buying games when they are not on special, as for the uPlay B$, well, don't buy any uPlay games at all, except those you buy, by accident on Steam discount. That one being Farcry with the B$ compulsory cut scenes which you can only get rid of by buying an expansion so screw Ubisoft (an interesting new scheme to kill re-playability, long annoying cut scenes which become intolerable upon replay, what will the asshats think of next).

If you are paying full retail, you should buy the box set at a retail store and screw over the publishers profit. Don't forget to return the game when they kill your licence and wait a year before buying it again at a steep discount with at least some of the bugs removed.

Comment: Re:Bless you. (Score 1) 124

by rtb61 (#48921789) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

True, but it sure will alter it's attitude and orbit. A distributed system can always do more and will always be more durable, it can point in more than one direction at once, when a major target is not the focus and of course find many more major targets of interest. Should the focus be in orbit or should the real global focus be a permanent moon base, a real achievement for humanity and the required step to really reach further out. We could do it easy if we just dropped the focus on murdering each other with more and more advanced weaponry.

Factorials were someone's attempt to make math LOOK exciting.

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