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Comment Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 1) 299

I've pointed this out before and I'll have to again. Healthcare.gov, in it's entirety anyway, is probably the most complex and complicated IT project any government or private enterprise has actually attempted, the fact that it works at all is kind of a miracle.

The other point of course is that while you and me most certainly aren't being watched. It's likely that every single employee of Kaspersky probably is, and yes most likely by multiple governments. A high profile IT security firm in Russia that's revealed things like FLAME and which works closely with any number of questionable governments. The Russians are watching them at the very least, I mean it's not like the FSB is a defender of human rights. The NSA probably is actually watching them as well. If I were the guy writing the article I'd assume that not only have multiple governments hacked my computer, but my apartment and car are probably bugged to. Hell, it's entirely likely that some of Kaspersky's employees actually work for the NSA and FSB.

Comment Re: Matter of time (Score 1) 149

The haircut to token exchange rate is determined by the market, which is actually what makes money interesting. When you barter directly the market which determines the value of your goods is very small. Essentially it's the value of the good or service you have to trade to the person who has the good or service you want. This is seriously distorting. For example if you're a hog farmer and the person you're trying to trade with is Jewish or Muslim, you're broke even if you own a million hogs.

One of the fundamental aspects of money is that it is for all intents and purposes worthless beyond what you can purchase with it. This has always been true. If the US currency were all of a sudden backed by gold again the amount of gold you'd get for your dollar would be tiny a gram of gold is worth $41 at the moment. As I said previously even when we actually used specie the amount of it in regular use coins was so small as to be worthless. If money were actually worth something on its own you'd have massive market distortions as people tried to trade around the item itself. That's what makes it special, it isn't worth anything at all, fiat, gold backed, actually made of metal, it doesn't matter.

Comment Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 1) 299

There are a few reasons why US internet speeds have stagnated, and neither of them have anything to do with the NSA, if the NSA is doing anything to anyone it's doing it to everyone.

The first reason is geographic, the US is a very large country with a very dispersed population. This makes delivering high speed internet to the majority of the population a very large infrastructure project. Most of the countries with much better internet are much smaller and more densely populated or have a very different population distribution pattern.

The second major reason is unlimited data caps. Under unlimited schemes every economic incentive is to oversubscribe and under invest. You don't make any money by increasing capacity, just by increasing customers. I know this is an unpopular opinion in the US, but it's reality. If you want your ISP to be motivated to get you speeds, pay for use.

In the absence of private investment to build this kind of infrastructure you're only real option is public money, this is happening a little bit at the local level, but debt aside major infrastructure projects with huge costs and timelines are political poison at the state and federal level. Rolling out a network that could deliver what South Korea has for instance would cost several trillion dollars(FTTH was projected to cost about 50 billion to deliver to 93% of Australian and well over half the Australian population lives in 5 capital cities with most of the rest in cities a couple hours drive from those same cities). It's just not going to happen in the current political climate.

Comment Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 3, Interesting) 299

It's not so much "WHY" they have the information or even "WHAT" their intentions are. It's tremendously unlikely that the government has raw computer capabilities even as high as an order of magnitude more than what's currently available on the market. They simply don't have the expertise and such huge amounts of private money are going into the same kind of R&D they'd be doing. I suppose it's possible that all the cost overruns in every government IT project and every recent military project have been going into some sort of super secret project to build high capacity storage and really fast processors, but I think it far more likely that that money has gone to making immensely powerful planes that are useless in modern warfare and paying for 50 levels of contracting.

The most recent data I can find indicates that in 2012 just under 28 exabytes of data per month was flowing through the internet and it was increasing at about 7 exabytes year on year, so a relatively safe assumption is that internet traffice for 2013 was probably about 35 exabytes a month. Based on an old whatif" from xkcd, the highest density storage we have microsd cards is about 160 terabytes per kilogram. Let's assume for the sake of insanity that the government can store 10 times that in a manner which is actually practical to process, so we'll give them a data density of 1.6 petabytes per kilogram. This is obviously insane, but let's do it anyway. By that math storing all internet traffic everywhere will mean 35 tons of storage every single month. Note this is ridiculously low and the actual figure is likely substantially higher not counting the mechanisms to actually process and archive all that information.

None of that even comes close to all the data that isn't on the intranet that they're supposedly trying to siphon down, which probably easily doubles or trebles this figure. This is how we know they aren't storing everyone's information indefinitely, or even temporarily, they can't.

Comment Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 1) 299

The animosity is the usual Slashdot hatred for JavaScript. It was just as bad when they moved to what people are now calling "classic" from the previous version.

It's probably also not so much a matter of flexibility as a matter of cost. Maintaining two UI's has a cost associated with it and that cost is probably 90% of why they're moving to the new UI in the first place(to make it more like the mobile version), given that they're building the new UI to avoid having to support two UI's I doubt they'd ever consider keeping the old in one in play.

Comment Re: First Things First (Score 1) 158

I think that having courses like that available is an excellent thing, I think staff pointing students who might be interested in such courses into them is also great. I think that actually teaching the concepts you're talking about to every student is a great way to get a whole mess of students even less interested in schools.

Just because we love doing it doesn't mean everyone does, and there's a reason why computer programming teams tend to have more than their fair share of people with autism spectrum disorders.

Comment Re: Matter of time (Score 2) 149

You're not far off, but it's more accurate to say cash is a representation of value.

The problem with traditional barter is that it becomes difficult if not impossible unless both parties have goods of roughly equivalent value that they both want to exchange. I'm not going to trade my house for a haircut, but the hairdresser still needs a house. Instead of going through a few dozen trades to convert what people traded for hair cuts into something worth enough to trade for my house that I actually want, we use cash to represent the value of those haircuts.

The cash in and of itself is worthless, but it represents the value of the thousands of haircuts the hairdresser performed to accumulate that money. This was true even when we had actual metal currency. The small amount of copper in most coins was worthless to your average person. Even gold coins which few of us would see in such a system are useless.

Comment Re: Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (Score 1) 149

But lots of idiots thought exactly that which is the point. The money launderers knew better off course, but folks like Sheen quite obviously didn't follow the laws and were perfectly happy to facilitate crime even knowingly. This isn't about the legal status of bit coin it's about why there is so much illegal use of bit coin. The answer to that is pseudo anonymity and poor reporting practices at the exchanges combined with high volatility to hide gains. It was easy and low risk to launder through bitcoin.

Comment Re: Bullshit (Score 1) 192

Certainly a questionable case, though without witnesses it was always going to be a difficult case to prove. Schizophrenics can be extremely violent and unpredictable. More importantly its actually a counterargument to you assertion. The police officers involved had charges laid against them, those charges were upheld several times through appeal, they were acquitted yes, but by a jury.

Comment Re:Works for Slashdot as well... (Score 1) 367

You can dislike Javascript interfaces, but the war to stop them was lost more than a decade ago. When you bitch about them now, you just look old and resistant to change. Javascript performance on a PC is a non issue for anything as simple as this site and the current UI doesn't work for shit on mobile anyway, so what's there to lose.

The UI designers are making the decision that Dice doesn't want to maintain a mobile interface which supports touch and an outdated PC version which doesn't so they're upgrading the main site to something touch compatible so they can have everything work the same. It reduces code rework, makes testing and security easier and has a whole mess of other benefits. Whatever you or I might think, they're not going to back down from that, and realistically they probably shouldn't.

Comment Re:Slashdot takes advise from EA (Score 1) 367

Javascript is fine, there's liabilities in terms of allowing arbitrary javascript to execute, but Slashdot doesn't and never has allowed that, adding some javascript onto the site is perfectly fine. It's only really a problem when you're allowing XSS and since slashdot doesn't allow javascript in comments you're pretty safe from that unless the site itself gets hacked in which case you're done anyway(you can do anything you could do with javascript on the server side. Heck Slashdot already has plenty of javascript.

The reason the current UI has to go is that it's shit on mobile. They've built a new mobile interface, but it's so vastly different from the dated crap they've got currently coded that they have to maintain two entirely different interfaces which to be honest, costs them more money than the anti-javascript brigade will cost them if/when it leaves. Hell, the current UI is fairly crap on a regular PC.

Even if you believe that Javascript spells a massive change(which it doesn't) a security vulnerability(which it doesn't), or some other horrible violation of your rights, the constant bitching about the new beta is doing more damage the "quality comments' whatever those might be when they're at home than the new UI could even it didn't allow for posting at all, which it does.

Comment Bullshit (Score 0) 192

Just because the news stories stop after "administrative leave" doesn't mean they don't get punished later.
Cops get a lot of leeway because they make split second decisions on inadequate information as part of their job, but usually in cases like this the homeless man either wasn't actually all that innocent or the cops actually do get punished.

Comment Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (Score 1) 149

As a non currency a Bitcoin exchange would have been legally liable to report any purchases of Bitcoins over $10,000, but unless they got caught under some sort of investment legislation that would have been it. Regardless of what they should or shouldn't have been doing no one was doing anything about it so whether it was legislated de jure, de facto it wasn't.

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