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Comment Re:IPv6 shortcomings? (Score 4, Insightful) 595 595

It isn't (and never was) a question of capabilities. It is a question of cost. Most decision makers at every level from individuals on up to CEOs view IT (correctly BTW) as an expense, not a corporate treasure. The IP6v train left the station without the capabilities required to make eventual I{Pv4 replacement cheap and easy -- backward capability and NAT. Lots of people tried to point out that was a mistake. It was done anyway, and the same folks that didn't understand why it was a mistake still don't seem to understand why it was a mistake.

Compared to the average business or public organization, our home setup here is not very complex at all. But we still have about two dozen devices whose software would need to be upgraded in order to change from IPv4. to IPv6. And we'd probably have to buy some new kit because some of the routers and software probably have flawed IPv6 implementations -- if they have IPv6 at all. And, of course our ISP is IPv4. Assuming they can/will deign to talk to us using IPv6 it's a safe bet that "upgrading" would cost us more time and money.

And what do we get from all that? IFAICS all we get is the capability to expose all the digital devices in the house to external hackers. Why would we want to do that? Much less spend time and money to do that?

It'll most likely be a long, long time before IPv6 completely replaces IPv4.

Comment Re: .txt (Score 1) 200 200

Yes text handling for non-ascii characters can be surprisingly maddening to work with. (Wasn't UTF-8 supposed to fix that?). Problem is that wrapping txt in some more elaborate format like HTML often doesn't make the problem go away. With apologies to Jamie Zawinski It just means that now you have two problems.

Comment Re:.txt (Score 1) 200 200

Pretty much my thought. Use the simplest format that will do the job. It it's just prose, use txt. Does anyone seriously believe that One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch is somehow enhanced by saving it as .doc or .pdf or .htm or god knows what else? If the text needs some bold and italics, use .txt with markdown. If it needs lots of markup, then something more elaborate -- preferably something with standards and a DTD or equivalent indicating what standard applies. If there are flat tables, use csv. Spreadsheets? Best use their native format (.ods, .xls, etc) I should think. Images and music? Not my area of expertise. I use jpeg and mp3 respectively for myself, but I wouldn't be at all surprised that there are better choices

Comment To what purpose? (Score 1) 167 167

It the risk of coming across as being really dense, what are people gong to make in this here space or shop or whatever? If they are just going to modify some ill designed plastic stuff, then a couple of Dremels, a selection of bits, eye protection, and a vice may be all they need. If, OTOH, they are going to build a CubeSat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... They possibly need some sophisticated metal working stuff and some basic electronic test equipment..

I'd start off by surveying the potential users if you can find any and see what they want to do that they can't do, and aren't doing, in their dorm rooms right now. You might also survey the teaching staff and see if any of them will actually send users to the "space" to do stuff somehow connected with the college's perceived educational mission.

Comment Re:I wish there was an easy way to understand it (Score 1) 129 129

All in all, two thousands years ago, in Greece, people were arguing if the world rests on the backs of three elephants or three whales, and assumed that the world is flat.

Actually, I think the Greeks pretty much agreed that the Earth is a sphere with a radius of about 6000 km (Erosthenes-roughly 240BC) What they were arguing about is whether it or the sun is the center of the universe (Aristarchus of Samos-about the same time)

(Don't you just love it when some bozo comes along and knitpicks your rhetoric?)

Comment Re:Maybe so but... (Score 1) 171 171

Actually, the chances of winning a lawsuit are probably pretty good although a cynic might suspect that the lawyers will be the big winners. One thing though. If there are sufficient stresses built up for a magnitude 7 earthquake, doesn't that suggest that there will eventually be a 7.1 or 7.2 or greater quake when nature decides in her own inimitable way to relieve the accumulated stresses without human help?

Think about it.

In the meantime one wonders what drillers are going to do with zillions of gallons of contaminated water. I'm confident they'll figure out something -- probably something that will appall environmentalists even further.

Comment Re:Start with an erroneous *world view* ... (Score 1) 181 181

but take into consideration that the army has autonomous vehicles right now that drive offroad constantly.

Well, no. They don't seem to. They're talking about autonomous vehicles And there is at least one far enough along for photo shoots. http://rt.com/usa/driverless-a... But it's often a long way from capability demonstration to proven capability. Not to mention that there may be some significant differences between the appropriate method for an autonomous APC to deal with a couple of cows in the road and the same situation in a Fiat Panda.

Comment Re:Why is the cloud not a solution (Score 1) 446 446

> If you just encrypt the data before sending it to the cloud, nobody in their sane mind would waste resources decrypting it (specially for such low hanging fruits).

Same's true of an encrypted sd card or USB stick under the liner in the trunk of your car. And the data transfer rate to put it there is a lot higher than a typical internet connection.

Comment Re:Never (Score 1) 181 181

> And early results will show reductions in vehicle fatalities ...

And accidents in general. It's extremely unlikely that autonomous vehicles will travel over the speed limit (when the actually know what it is) follow too closely except in some unusual and hard to detect road/weather conditions, or fail to notice vehicles that have managed to find their way into "blind spots". There will still be accidents when front wheel bearings seize, etc. And initially, software and hardware bugs are going to kill and/or maim a few people.

The fact that courts will probably assign liability to the creator of bad code, is probably going to come as an unexpected surprise to a software industry that is used to blaming all their problems on user ineptitude.

No, I do not know what will happen to US police forces when traffic tickets cease to be a reliable source of revenue.
I imagine they will think of something.

Comment Re:Never (Score 1) 181 181

> Nice try, but we're already seeing it in consumer^Wautomotive-grade cars.

Might want to discuss OBD-II diagnostics with your mechanic. Be prepared to hear a LOT of profanity -- especially wrt On Board Vapor Recovery system "errors".

That said, the mechanical stuff generally is pretty reliable with a few notorious exceptions like GM's ignition switch problems. The software? It's not that complex I think. And it still sort of sucks much of the time.

Comment Re:Never (Score 1) 181 181

The irony here, of course, is that you're the one assuming the programmers making these systems are egomaniacs who don't take any exceptional cases into account and never test for them.

You seem to assume that's not an accurate description of many programmers and even more of their managers. And in any cases, the bugs that one needs to worry about with physical devices like cars probably largely fall into the "Well shi.... Who could have guessed the damn thing might do that? catagory."

Comment Re:Start with an erroneous *world view* ... (Score 1) 181 181

No reason that autonomous vehicles can't handle most unpaved roads eventually -- after decades of development and a lot of "incidents" -- some amusing, some tragic. And a LOT of lawsuits incidentally. Unpaved rural roads that are well maintained are fairly common in rural areas of the Eastern US. They really aren't much different from urban and suburban surface streets except for more washboarding, more washouts, more livestock in the road, no curbs, and perhaps fewer potholes. Poorly maintained unpaved roads are possibly going to lead to an issue of the car telling the occupants, "You want to continue down this purported 'road' feel free, but you're driving it, not me."

That said, I think fans of autonomous vehicles vastly underestimate the difficulty of navigating anything other than expressways or the variety of unusual and hazardous situations that need to be dealt with maybe once a year or once a decade even on expressways. 99.99% reliable and capable is great. But if the other .01% puts one in the hospital or morgue many folks are going to be a tough sell. Keep in the back of your mind that the automotive industry has yet to master even the comparatively simple problem of designing intelligent braking systems that work worth a damn on ice and snow even after decades of trying.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

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