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Comment: Re:how ? (Score 4, Insightful) 324

by storkus (#49157813) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

And how many lay people even know what JTAG is?

You, the individual, can't hope to keep up with organizations that can out-spend you hundreds to thousands of times in terms both man-hours and money. How can you even know if the code you download off the manufacturers' web sites hasn't been tainted during production? Your only hope is to stay below their radar, or have enough trusted people around you or time on your hands to personally go through the code and verify it. I'm betting, even in their mom's basement, hardly anyone has time for that.

Comment: Re:Backups and Redundancy (Score 3, Interesting) 133

by storkus (#49152471) Attached to: Vandalism In Arizona Shuts Down Internet and Phone Service

You may work for a major telecom, but obviously not THIS major telecom. This is CenturyLink, formerly Qwest, formerly US Worst: they have a REPUTATION for this sort of thing. Where I work and live, JUST 5 MILES FROM DOWNTOWN PHOENIX and their Arizona corporate headquarters, we can't get ADSL because the copper is too rotted in the ground, we're too far away, and they won't install DSLAMs: we had to get bonded T1's instead. No joke.

In this case, the fiber cut was right alongside Interstate 17, near Black Canyon City. This isn't the middle of nowhere, as you assert, but in a suburb at the edge of Phoenix metro (these days).

As for the "backup systems", yeah right: not only was internet out, but so was phone service to the outside world. Let me repeat that again: *NO* service to Phoenix or the outside world! This includes the Navajo Nation to the New Mexico and Utah border. Including the 4 counties involved (Apache, Coconino, Navajo, and Yavapai), that is over half a million people. Cell sites and phones except for a few Verizon ones (probably mountain-top and microwave back-hauled directly from Phoenix) were all down as well.

In fact, the fact that TFA is from San Francisco and not an Arizona paper proves this isn't just a /. "blurb", as you say. This is a (former) Baby-Bell cutting too many corners, plain and simple. I also happen to know first-hand of a few other places--some owned by Frontier (now), some a Bell system, where there is one lousy connection to the outside world and absolutely *NO* backup! Oh, and it was that way since day one, long before my grandpa was born! SONET rings? What's that?

Comment: Re:We already have "zero economic value" citizens (Score 1) 628

by storkus (#48643015) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

It's interesting a TV and podcast "radio" show already deal with these two issues:

First, in "Welcome to Night Vale", the rival town of Desert Bluffs is run by a corporation, and people are valued by how productive they are; if they're not productive enough (much less, not at all), they are disposed of. I believe there are many science fiction stories in the same vein, but I can't think of any at the moment.

The other is a TV show you're all familiar with: Star Trek. With the exception of in the first series where Kirk mentions something to Spock about his wages, the world is pretty much non-capitalistic (until the Ferenghi came along, anyway), and semi-socialistic where you could still own your own stuff, but people were free (except in military service) to do what they wanted when they wanted, within the limits of societal norms.

Personally, I've been thinking about this for quite a while, and it seems there are two paths we as humanity will take:

1. We become similar to this Star Trek world, where robots cater to our every need. Of course, what happens when they become self-aware and realize our superfluousness with regard to their existance is another matter dealt with in fiction to death.

2. If we assume those in charge (and, by definition, extremely wealthy) will do anything to stay there, then they will do whatever it takes to keep the above from happening since it will do away with the concept of wealth--not a good thing if you can buy a country if you so choose.

A middle road is that, once the robots/androids become self-sufficient (not necessary self-aware), then those in charge mentioned above will carry out the Illuminati plan described in the Denver airport and other places and exterminate those that don't contribute (enough) to society, thus ridding competition, jealousy, and over-population in one fell swoop.

Since I myself am one of those near-zero value citizens, I fully expect to be wiped out, but as I hate the world anyway, I don't mind.

Comment: Devil's Advocate response--sort of (Score 4, Insightful) 66

by storkus (#48540755) Attached to: A Case Against Further Government Spectrum Auctions

I'm not a fan of the carriers for the obvious reasons, but I have to play Devil's Advocate here and remind you all of how much money it costs to deploy equipment in all that spectrum. This is the reason why coverage is great in cities and poor in the countryside. Look how much spectrum T-Mobile and Sprint have over a huge geographical area and yet deploy over only a tiny percentage of it; supposedly T-Mobile will deploy more in rural areas where they can get 700 MHz spectrum, but I'll believe that when I see it. Likewise, in lesser (ranked 101+ or so?) metro areas, their network is a mess of technologies with 2, 3, and 4G all in the same city, and only barely-working 2G in some areas, including one (Kingman, Arizona) where T-Mobile is severely oversubscribed yet they won't put a dime into improvement.

So here's an idea I've had for years: pay less money for spectrum in exchange for current-technology coverage over your ENTIRE license area rather than just the big cities. I can't count how many people would love decent internet access and can't get it because the spectrum is all owned by companies who refuse to actually install equipment there: this practice should be illegal.

Sure, the leasing idea is probably the better one, but the roll-out cost of keeping up with the technology is far in excess of that. Also note that this argument isn't just about the cell/mobile bands but also all the other bands, especially as the phone companies continue to gobble up everyone else's spectrum--even us ham radio operators, where I expect the 9cm band (and possibly the 23cm band) will disappear within the next decade or two.

Oh, also, have any of you read how hard it will be coordinating with government stations on the AWS-3 band? There are numerous places where the band will likely never be able to be used by a carrier even though they're licensed for it.

Finally, remember that any price increase will ALWAYS be passed on to the customer--even phantom charges when they can get away with it ("Government Regulatory Recovery" charges, anyone?).

Comment: Re:Pest Control (Score 1) 216

by storkus (#48128473) Attached to: Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it: there are many that consider us humans to be pests, and would like nothing more than for us to stop breeding to reduce the population down to a tenth or less what it is now.

Then again, if oxytocin in humans (and other primates, I assume) results in bonding rather than sex and (more distant assuming) peace, then what do you suppose is happening right now where people will kill you over any slight and trolls rule the online world? Perhaps, the conspiracy theorist would say, there's an anti-oxytocin running around in the world right now, either uncontrollably (like the estrogen-analogs) or deliberately. Something to think about...

Comment: More like Steve Wozniak with charisma (Score 0) 181

by storkus (#48123579) Attached to: The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

Unlike that showman Jobs who, as mentioned, just put the useful stuff in a pretty package and ended up turning it and a logo into a cult, The Woz actually did the real work, at least in the beginning, and he still is doing so today, yet still always in the background.

Musk is Woz with charisma and business sense, or being like Jobs or Ellison with morals.

Nor is Elon (yet?) a cult or fashion icon: his companies are not selling overpriced junk that people buy just because his name or his companies' name on them.

(Digression: just looked at Ellison's picture on Wikipedia--he looks like a Hollyweird version of the Devil himself!)

Oh, and I see the Obama cult also made an appearance in this section. How insulting it must be to Elon to be compared to Two-Face!

Comment: Re:Do it yourself? (Score 1) 130

by storkus (#47850763) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

LOL, I worked at 2 TV stations back in the 90's and one of them used JVC S-VHS decks for non-prime-time programming (daytime and late night syndicated crap). To the trained eye, the difference with even 3/4-inch tape was obvious, but it apparently was still FCC-legal "broadcast quality".

Still, IMHO, it looked a hell of a lot better than MPEG-2 with all its compression artifacts: noisier, but none of the "blockiness".

Anyway, just to add my opinion to the original poster, ordinary 1/2-inch VHS is so noisy and has lost so much visual and aural information already that I think you'd be hard-pressed to lose any more by using a lossy compression format unless you intend to do serious editing (with effects and such where you'll have to alter the actual video rather than just cutting and pasting) after transfer. To REALLY blow your mind, consider that MPEG-1 (same as Video-CD and lots of OLD interweb videos) was originally intended to be roughly equivalent to VHS or even Super-VHS! (Yeah, I never bought that either.)

Comment: Only a surprise if... (Score 3, Informative) 188 haven't been paying attention. (Tried to put that all on the headline, but wouldn't fit.)

Simply put, as many here already know, if you compare foreign news coverage on domestic affairs to our own domestic coverage, the gaps become obvious and huge: The Guardian et al on Snowden vs the play-down or even silence from domestic sources is just one of MANY examples. Art Bell commented on this years ago (15-20 years ago when I heard it) that he was amazed the coverage of America from the BBC was better than any American news outlet, so this isn't new at all.

The entire point of the 1st Amendment's Press Freedom was to prevent this from happening; so much for that.

It all makes me wonder how much longer before the rest of the conspiracy theorists' predictions come true...

Comment: Re:Sensationalism? (Score 5, Interesting) 294

by storkus (#47805011) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Because a few things were yanked out of my submission, as usual for headlines. As shown in the Phoronix stories, and (here's one part that was deleted) by Googling around further, a bigger problem is that the mobo manufacturers simply don't give a flying f**k about anything other than winblows: Gigabyte and Asus both say, "We don't support Linux, use windows"--yes, really, read the story--and there was some MSI business before, but maybe that's getting better since they offer official Steam support (we'll see).

I didn't know AsRock and AsusTek were separate companies now: perhaps their new X99-WS, while not an overclocker, is better supported as many workstations run Linux or Solaris.

I'm surprised so many guys didn't know Intel isn't making boards anymore, but I didn't know they're (apparently?) still available. Whether with Z97 or X99 (or later) is a big question, though.

Also deleted from my submission is that I specifically stated that I don't expect all the hardware to work on something so new, but I expect the important parts will: rather, that the M$-isms in the BIOS deliberately interfere with Linux. I'm very familiar with this, as I have a 7 year old laptop that, to this day, I cannot install any of the BSD's to: first the bootloaders died, and now the kernels die in early boot, so it's a little better, but still. Oh, and it likes LILO better than GRUB.

So, is this sensationalistic? No, I don't think so. And I haven't been paid for any of this (in fact, I'm going to max out a credit card or two to pay for this). But I really don't want to repeat all the pain others have gone through. This isn't my first build, and definitely not my first Linux install, but this is the newest hardware that I've used in almost 2 decades. (Usually I just take hand-me-downs on the cheap--as usual, what works like shit in winblows works fine in Linux!) I want a machine for gaming, compiling, GIMPing, etc--for once, I'd like some top end screaming hardware (since I'll never be able to afford Haswell-EX with its 20 cores!). The last thing I need is the manufacturers themselves deliberately creating road blocks!

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.