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Comment: Get our act together (Score 1) 95

by zoffdino (#47116403) Attached to: Robots Will Pave the Way To Mars
The appropriate way to get our act together is for the President to set a goal, give money and step the fuck away from NASA. We went to the moon with slide rules. In the era where a smartphone has more computing power than an entire Lunar Module, times 10, we are paying the Russians to send us to Low Earth Orbit. I'm not a proponent of human mission to Mars. The trip means little other than felling-good-about-my-country and flag planting. Send a robot there and we don't have to worry about a return trip, always harder than departure.

Comment: Sometimes, no computer is needed (Score 1) 201

by zoffdino (#46969809) Attached to: $7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

These people don't need computer, they need food. The project founders seem to assume a lot: that there's electricity in the slums, that they can pay for it, that the computers won't be taken apart for the little scrape metal they hold, that the slums won't turn into a new dump for e-waste, that people are literate enough to use a computer or do anything useful with one (reading local news, for e.g.), etc.

$7 is almost 4 days of work for those poor people. I would rather see charities spend it on food than computers and training.

Comment: Re:Other options? (Score 1) 247

by zoffdino (#46351841) Attached to: The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle <em>Columbia</em>
The difference with Apollo 13 is the worst case cost did not involve the loss of a second screw. They worked the heck out of the engineers on Earth to try bringing back that Moon capsule. No one had to claim on a second spaceship and hook a tow line to get it back. For Atlantis, you are risking a second vessel to save the first, with no guarantee that either will return successfully. The stake is much higher.

Comment: Re:Which shows that people don't understand (Score 5, Insightful) 846

by zoffdino (#46012489) Attached to: Global-Warming Skepticism Hits 6-Year High
One third of us still deny evolution as a fact. A smaller percentage want "Creation Science" to be taught in school (well, there's no creation, nor the subject scientific to begin with). When people can deny 4 billion years worth of evidence for a natural process, what do you think make them better at understanding something with only 100 years of evidence. God bless the stupidity of Americans.

Comment: What clock does this run on? (Score 1) 222

by zoffdino (#45966891) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Remains at Five Minutes to Midnight

The US and Russia have had nukes for 70 years now. I don't know the exact numbers but IIRC a Tom Clancy's novel says Russia / Soviet Union has 27,000 nukes alone. India and China have possessed them for the better part of the last half-century. North Korea can always go nut, but their nuke is more is a gerrymandering device than a serious global threat. They may hit Seoul... if they aim at Tokyo.

Climate change take years to become a major problem for homo sapiens. The dinosaurs took 100,000 years to go extinct from the impacts of the K-T event. And that's considered a very rapid extinction.

If the 24-hour clock is the age of the Earth, human only existed in the last minute. 5 minutes to catastrophe is plenty of time.

Comment: Unequal treatment (Score 1) 243

by zoffdino (#45774777) Attached to: Ulbricht Admits Seized Bitcoins Are His and Wants Them Back

I find it funny that downloading a song mean $22,000 fine. That software are only "licensed", not sold to you so you can't do everything you want to with. That importing books you legally acquired from a different country is a violation of copyright, and needs the Supreme Court to clarify that it's not. Meanwhile, the police can reason that seizing $700K in Bitcoins is just copying a file.

I don't know what Ulbricht's connection to Silk Road is, but the Crown must be prove that this asset is acquired through illegal activities to seize it.

Comment: Re:And the moral here is (Score 1) 117

by zoffdino (#45724969) Attached to: Massive Android Mobile Botnet Hijacking SMS Data
It's the biggest challenge in software design. There are lots of dumb or technically-inept people. 20% of the cars are stolen each year when the drivers left their vehicles ' engines on, with keys still in ignition. If people don't have common sense like that, how do you expect them know that a flash light app doesn't need access to SMS, photos, emails and contacts?

Comment: Re:I was hoping for MagSafe (Score 1) 289

by zoffdino (#45717195) Attached to: Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC

As I recall, Apple is also unwilling to license that patent at all.

You have the right to refuse to rent out your home. You have the right to deny a hitchhiker a ride. Their property, their choice to license it or not.

Someone had to do it first. Unfortunately for us, it was apple.

Fortunately for us, they are the one who dared. The others are too cost-conscious, too cheap to look at the lowly power adapter.

Comment: I was hoping for MagSafe (Score 2) 289

by zoffdino (#45714223) Attached to: Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC

Everyone here chides Apple for putting a deep fryer plug on a laptop and get a patent for it. Truth is, if they don't, someone else will and sue the heck out of them for it. If it was so obvious, why haven't anyone thought about it before Apple?

It's better if they can convince Apple to put up the MagSafe patent as FRAND. It'll be a bad joke if Apple has to include a MagSafe-to-whatever adapter with their MacBooks

Comment: Crocodile's tears (Score 1) 504

by zoffdino (#45703319) Attached to: CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans

Note the multiple qualifiers here: communications, of Americans. They capture metadata for every other Americans, and voice data for the rest of the world.

Snowden's activity caught the notice of other System Administrators

And they did nothing about it until Snowden has fled to Hong Kong. Good to see my tax dollars being spent on those government employees with full pensions and top secret clearance.

NSA considered the possibility that Snowden left malicious software behind and removed every computer and cable that Snowden had access to from its classified network, costing tens of millions of dollars

Sometimes when watching their foes (or more likely, their fellow citizens), they forgot to look out for their own kind. Expenses well deserved.

The NSA's work is driven by requests for information by other parts of the government

How can we know that this is true? There are multiple gag orders preventing companies from disclosing those requests, and the NSA has not been forthcoming in those either. Say what you want, NSA, I'll choose to believe it when I see the evidence of it.

Comment: Re:I am afraid tech lines are being narrowed... (Score 1) 137

by zoffdino (#45562371) Attached to: China's First Lunar Lander To Launch Today; Manned Mission Planned By 2030
The fact that China holds a large portion of US debt highlight their weakness: if they declare war with the US, what stop Congress from passing a constitutional amendment that nullify this holding? They will find their pocket short 1 trillion coins or so. Militarily, China is no match for US. Nobody has invested as heavily in military technologies as the US since World War 2. The Soviet Union went bankrupt trying to keep up. Their own version of the Vietnam War—the Afghan War, drained their treasury much worse than the Vietnam War on the US.

China sees itself as the center of the world. Their very name translates to "the elite center". If anything, they are becoming the Japan of the early 20th century, invading (in this case, claiming exclusive rights to) nearby resources.

Comment: Re:follow the money (Score 1) 334

Nah, TL; DR; I used to work as a system analyst (I'm a project manager now), and hate complicated diagrams. Other than developers, any diagram that takes me more than 60 seconds to read is too much. They could have made it simple if viewed from a purely SOA architecture: a health exchange module (with potentially 50 interfaces), and plan comparison module (just define a standard and make all insurance companies use it), a self-server portal, etc. It's not simple, but having clear distinct make it less of a mess than the clusterfuck that is now.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.