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The Military

KGB Software Almost Triggered War In 1983 ( 198

An anonymous reader writes: Who here remembers WarGames? As it turns out, the film was a lot closer to reality than we knew. Newly-released documents show that the Soviet Union's KGB developed software to predict sneak attacks from the U.S. and other nations in the early 1980s. During a NATO wargame in November, 1983, that software met all conditions necessary to forecast the beginning of a nuclear war. "Many of these procedures and tactics were things the Soviets had never seen, and the whole exercise came after a series of feints by U.S. and NATO forces to size up Soviet defenses and the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 on September 1, 1983. So as Soviet leaders monitored the exercise and considered the current climate, they put one and one together. Able Archer, according to Soviet leadership at least, must have been a cover for a genuine surprise attack planned by the U.S., then led by a president possibly insane enough to do it." Fortunately, when the military exercise ended, so did Soviet fears that an attack was imminent.

Comment Re:lower price means more usage (Score 1) 53

Take your argument to its logical conclusion... $200 -> $15 -> 1 cent. How about lowering the price to the cost of an aspirin. Which would likely be the actual per-dose cost of many addictive substances, absent prohibition. Or take alcohol - widespread addiction/abuse, but very few people robbing the Walgreens for a dose of MD 20/20.

Comment Re:Self inflicted damage (Score 0) 241

I would pick a Ford over either in terms of reliability, cost of ownership, and value. Well, perhaps give Mercedes the edge on reliability. However, I do agree it's sad that America lacks industrial capacity in the areas mentioned. Probably has something to do with complete lack of industrial policy (other than prison industrial complex and defense industrial complex).

Comment Re:Logical (Score 2) 211

That's cool that you are attending tech social events and such. But ultimately "you're doing it wrong" (or they are). OMG we can't get someone with 5 years mongodb experience at $140K. Rather than attending more events, the effective approach is likely to try advertising the position at 1.25X the compensation level every few months. It works. Someone *will* leave their current position for something better. But not at like 5 or 10 % more because they like you. That being said, perhaps just wait a few months. The pendulum will swing the other way, and desperation will happen eventually. It's been a long, happy run, and I fear that the economy may cycle down prior to our reaching astronomical IT consulting fees seen circa 2000. Adjusted for inflation we're not even close.

Comment "repeatable independently verifiable reproduction" (Score 1) 350

Good luck with that. If anyone ever succeeds in LENR, the only convincing evidence will be a working industrial plant. Nobody in their right mind would release sufficient details to fully replicate before that... this would be a world-changing discovery of incalculable value. Trade secret at all costs.

Comment Re:Any suffiently advanced tech... (Score 2) 986

Have you read the report? Power input was monitored. At this stage, either this is the most elaborate scientific/engineering hoax in history, or he's stumbled upon something novel. It happens. Unfortunately, the exact inner workings (fuel composition, ...) are being protected as a trade secret.

Comment An unschooled perspective (Score 1) 470

Approaching this empirically, with a couple of 50-year intervals:
1912-1962 general relativity, discovery of DNA, yada yada
1963-2013 quantum chromodynamics, I grant you that... and supersymmetry or some such shit, various biotech engineering feats working out the details
There does seem to be a trend towards application of established theories (essentially an engineering exercise) as opposed to new fundamental discoveries.

Comment SAP policy of age discrimination? (Score 2) 441

Though SAP is German, and this brilliant fellow is based in India, they should be careful. These kinds of statements suggest a more widespread policy of overt age discrimination at SAP, which is illegal in the US, among other countries. SAP should release a statement disowning this rant. Imagine: 'My experience is that race X is generally not as productive as race Y, so I prefer not to hire anyone of race X'. Also, gender F tends to go on maternity leave and not come back, so I prefer to hire gender M. Unacceptable.

Comment Re:Try Forty Instead of Four (Score 1) 524

1972 - parents working as teacher and nurse, moved into their first house with a modest mortgage (in Canada, I should mention). Lots of free time, not tons of money, but enough, and already had a cottage/camp, which boggles the mind
2008 - grim... looked like my employer (small startup) was about to fold, was picked up for a dime by a billion-dollar company
2012 - fixing up my first house (bought last year at age 40 cash-only). Still w/ the same company that acquired the startup. Daughter and wife are healthy and happy.

1972 -> 2008 worse
2008 -> 2012 better
1972 -> 2012 about the same

Submission + - Cold fusion: It's Real. What are the ramifications? (

ztexas writes: Interesting points from last page of the slides:
Anomalous Heat Evolution Effect is repeatable by the nano-metal-D(H)-gas loading method
  High energy density (>800eV/Ni-atom) power lasting several weeks or more, with negligible radiations (to be confirmed by scale-up exp.)

There have been many unverified/unrepeatable claims, but this seems very credible. What are the ramifications of eventual commercialization of energy production from Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR)?

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.