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Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 155

by steelfood (#48888907) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

A phone is not a tablet. For most people, phones get replaced once every two years. While tablets are not like computers who have a lifetime of upwards of 7 years, they're in between, around 4 or 5.

And the developer base is different too. The moment Vista came out, people began migrating their applications off XP. But developers were until fairly recently still developing with Gingerbread in mind.

Comment: Re:I'd welcome Google as my carrier (Score 1) 237

by steelfood (#48862425) Attached to: Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

Take that a step further:

You exceeded the posted speed limit by an average of $Z MPH over $W minutes. You were an average of $V distance from another vehicle over $U minutes. You accelerated at intersections $T times. You short stopped $S times.

It'd be easy to build up a driving profile based on GPS data. In fact, insurance companies already do it.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 371

by steelfood (#48861177) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

Land of the free and home of the brave? You have to be fucking kidding us.

You bought into that pile of marketing dog shit?

Reality is closer to land of the diminishingly-freer, home of the cowardly and ignorant but loud.

We're still freer than most countries (for example, we have hate crime laws, but no hate speech laws) and without a strong American traditional culture, more tolerant, which is freedom in a different sense. But we're not that much freer, and we're losing what we have little by little.

Comment: Re:call me skeptical (Score 3, Insightful) 357

by steelfood (#48834643) Attached to: NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

Let's start with the fact that "warming" is the wrong term to use (which is why people use the term "climate change" now). It's not really warming. It's energy retention. Warming is just one side effect of the atmosphere retaining more energy.

There are a lot of feedback loops and redundancies built into the world's natural ecosystem. You see it on a small scale, where a bloom of certain resource results in a bloom of the consumers of that resource, followed by over-consumption which results in the decline of the consuming population. On the large scale, there is the same type of feedback loop that's made up of multiple smaller ones.

Right now, what's happening is that these feedback loops are handling a good chunk of the extra energy retained by CO2 so that actual atmosphereic warming is not terribly pronounced. But there's a tipping point. Once the amount of energy exceeds the capacity for these feedback loops to handle, it's going to shut down, and the moderating factor suddenly ceases to exist. The precise points are uncertain, but we know it'll happen based on what we see happening in smaller systems. For example, as prey increases, predators will also increase. This results in prey decline and then predator decline. But if due to external circumstances, the predator population grows out of control, or the prey population is completely decimated, both predator and prey (whichever wasn't affected by the initial event) will die off.

The real open questions today involve when things will happen, and how bad they'll get when these things do happen. For example, if one system fails, it can cause a domino effect on all the other feedback loops and cause them to fail too. That's a possibility. But it's also a possibility that the feedback loop most susceptable to failure won't affect the others much. It's possible that this will happen in a century. Or it's possible there are yet more feedback loops that we currently don't know about that'll push significant atomspheric temperature increase farther into the future.

What we do know is that there's definitely more energy in the atmosphere today. Weather events are getting more extreme. Stronger, more frequent storms. Colder cold snaps and hotter heat waves. And global temperatures are increasing, even if not by as much as predicted in the short term. Just keep in mind when thinking about these things that the entire planet isn't going to feel the same impact at the same time. It's about averages, over the entire system, over long periods of time (geological time scales). Also keep in mind that while certain one-off events can throw the numbers off, the trends will continue barring no behaviorial changes on our part.

The ultimate point is, we, if not as a species then as a civilization, are not facing any imminent danger yet, but we're getting more vulnurable, and by our own doing. It'd be nice to not be digging our own grave, no matter if we're using a large shovel or our bare hands. Of course, it all may not matter in the long run and our civilization and our species will ultimately be doomed anyway. But I'd rather not think that way.

Comment: Re:Honest question. (Score 1) 479

by steelfood (#48832749) Attached to: Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

You're defending the question, but not why it's a "problem."

Why are there so few non-asian minorities in IT? Why are there few women in IT?

These both are valid, albeit very different questions. The answers may or may not be what people like to hear though, and the correct solution may exist and be easy, or it may exist and be difficult, or it just might not exist. And that last scenario is very hard for certain people to swallow.

Comment: Re:They've had that long. (Score 1) 257

by steelfood (#48827383) Attached to: Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

Religions, civilizations, people, they all go through the same stages of life.

You start off young and starry-eyed. Then you go through your teenage years of rebellion and angst. And then you set off discovering what you want. Then you go do the things you want to do. If you screwed up and your results didn't match your expectations, you go through mid-life crisis. And finally, you sit back and shake your head at all the other younger versions doing the same thing.

Religions are about 500 years to 7 human years. Civilizations are around 100 years to 7 human years.

Comment: Re:What has happened to Linux? (Score 1) 552

by steelfood (#48815643) Attached to: SystemD Gains New Networking Features

In a nutshell: Money started talking.

- Firefox started losing marketshare to Chrome, so they panicked.
- Redhat wants to take over enterprise Linux, hence SystemD.
- Gnome, well, I have no idea what happened there. Maybe it's Redhat again (Redhat has tendrils in a lot of places).

Where there is unrest, you just have to follow the money.

Comment: That's not an apology. (Score 4, Insightful) 106

That's no apology, it's that's just expressing regret.

If they really wanted to apologize, they should be apologizing for subverting the standards process in the first place. Both RSA's and NIST's credibility are in the crapper thanks to them, though it's admittedly RSA's own fault for taking the $10 million.

But there's no point in apologizing to the crypto community or even to any subset of it. This behavior by the NSA was almost expected, and it would be stupid to not believe it given all the pre-Snowden evidence. In fact, it validates a lot of people's conclusion that funny-looking and funny-smelling things should generally be avoided.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970

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