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Comment Re:Equal rights (Score 1) 832

1. Your lack of understanding of mammalian biology is apalling.
2. But there is discrimination aplenty here. This perk is for YOUNG(ish) people of child-bearing age. These people are presumably healthy too. As they can no longer work from home, they are presumably not handicapped to the extent that commuting is difficult for them, and do not have dependents with disabilities at home. As high-tech places tend to encourage way more than 40 hours per week, these young, healthy people tend to burn out as they get older. As they burn out and leave the company, Yahoo keeps a young employee profile, reducing their health insurance costs, saving them more than the cost of the perk.
So we have age discrimination, not sex discrimination.

Comment Was this a SCADA infrastructure attack? (Score 1) 422

Granted, it COULD be an accident or a non-cyber insider attack.

If it was not, would there be any evidence left? Could someone out there start looking?

Are we still checking the parts for cargo containers from N. Korea, which may be radioactive and/or ticking?

Or did we get distracted by the pressure cooker bomb?

Or were we distracted by the argument over whether they could put a nuke on a missile?

Comment Re:Hey, wait a sec... (Score 1) 80

Very interesting. My specialty is mathematics and I am somewhat of a science critic, so I shouldn't have an opinion but that has never stopped me before.

What OTHER complex chemicals are found in the dust clouds in the universe?

While there is naturally an interest in detecting our own Earth-based type of life, I feel we can get distracted by DNA-centric prejudice and may be missing out on the chemical precursors of other types of life that may even predominate in the universe.

As a meta-scientist I looked for people working on this and was relieved to find Lee Cronin http://www.ted.com/talks/lee_cronin_making_matter_come_alive.html but he isn't too interested in extraterrestrial life, he just wants to create his own inorganic life.

I'm just as interested in what other complex chemicals could be found on meteorites.

Since you are a grad student I thought it would be good to ping you on this. You could become the Galileo of non-carbon-based astrobiology.

There could be such life lurking very near to us in the solar system, but if we aren't looking for it, it could find us before we find it.

Comment malware on a plane (Score 1) 449

hopefully the malware will be called 'snakes'. people are already spoofing GPS, and countermeasures which don't require new satellites are not too good.

actually if i was going to bring down a plane i would prefer to do it from a nice apartment near the end of a runway, or better yet a parking garage. that way i could watch or tweet the crash without having to sacrifice much on my end.

the guy who crashed his plane into the austin irs office a few years ago could have just as easily rigged the plane up to fly pilotless if he had waited a few years. 'fly the friendly skies.'

let's not regulate the internet. let's instead try to retrofit every piece of hardware on the internet to handle a vastly messy solution to the ip address exhaustion problem, called ipv6, which has in its favor that it is very expensive, is now and will create more security holes than it fixes, and solves a problem that could have been solved much more easily at the ISP level without everyone needing to change all their stuff out. Damn the government for thinking up ipv6! What? It was designed by academics and hardware vendors? Not the government? Well damn the government for letting them do this anyway!

Comment not to rain on anyone's parade.... (Score 1) 271

the thing is 17 light-hours away from us or 17 light-hours +/- 8 minutes from the sun.
The edge of the solar system is supposed to be the oort cloud at about 1 light-year away
So voyager has another 12 years or so to get one light day away, and even assuming it maintains the same speed, another 364.25 times 50 years, to reach the oort cloud, so check this space in another 18000 years. if we start now we could have a camera orbiting alpha centauri by then, even on a voyager-sized budget, using a solar or magnetic sail, and the pictures would start coming back 4 years later

Comment 'unemployed' is a job (Score 1) 306

I really wasn't expecting the age issue to be a big deal as I've always performed well for over 30 years and got the best job of my life, doing head-down programming, at 55.

But the economy and the extra seven years since I was last in the market seem to have made a big difference.

Start a real company for a couple hundred bucks. It's good experience and looks better than 'unemployed' on a resume.

Create your company's web site and get it hosted for a few bucks a month.

Fill in the gaps with online free courses. They show your mind is still working. Google 'MOOC' for the latest, but coursera.org is one I've benefitted from.

If you want a challenge that will prepare you to be a consultant and you can drop when something better comes along, consider substitute teaching.

I'm in the same boat as you and want to thank everyone for their hopeful comments.

Comment speaking of manual labor -- lance armstrong (Score 0) 162

The Lance Armstrong solution:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmzeKNiMkAs
Of course he would have to be moved up out of the basement.
Off-topic, still a Lance fan, he never failed a drug test during the event so what is the problem. This is as stupid as disqualifying the Olympic badminton players for losing on purpose, within the rules, to improve their chances of medaling. Cycling and long-distance running are brain sports. You calculate when to draft and when to sprint. You work within the rules. You don't do maximum exertion all the time. Ditto any sport where there are multiple heats before the finals, disqualify anyone who paces themselves?

Comment always with the nukes (Score 1) 166

Does the nuclear industry have a program where scientists proposing to put something on the moon get paid for adding in a nuclear reactor to the plan? Or is NASA in the nuclear industry's pocket? Are big rocket makers also into nukes? Gee! GE!

That half of the moon is in the sun 14 out of every 28 days, even though it is the 'dark' side. I cannot believe a humongous set of batteries would cost/weigh less than a nuclear reactor, and it definitely would be easier to maintain. There are numerous other options for energy storage and retrieval, which would be more appropriate and make more use of found materials on the Moon. Solar cell manufacture on the Moon, from lunar materials, is another technology it would be very good to master.

Comment this is old news (Score 1) 223

this actually happened on July 28, as may have been noticed by others.

these guards are not public employees as some seem to be trying to assert.

as someone who lives near enough to Y-12 to be incinerated if anyone has a bad day out there, I am afraid these contractors would turn tail and run in the face of a real attack. The only reason there are not highly trained and motivated Marines guarding the place instead of the fat, old, lazy wighams is a long standing desire by DOE to do its own thing independently of DOD. I for one would be very happy if DOE started its own elite guard school, or farmed it out to the military, and got rid of the hessians.

with a private contractor motivated by money rather than patriotism you always have to wonder how cheaply the security force could be bought off, and the whole cookie jar ripped off or destroyed, leaving us with no cookies at all or having to make the unfortunately-worded request 'please send back our nuclear warheads as quickly as possible'.

although i doubt it i hope the cookie jar is really a honeypot designed to lure in the bad guys, while the real nukes are in an abandoned bowling alley somewhere.

Intel

Submission + - Intel to replace passwords with handwaving (huffingtonpost.com)

tbonefrog writes: "Intel is building a biometric palm scanner into laptops and tablets. Just off the top of my head, use of this technology to 'replace passwords' has a few flaws: no information on how to register a user, what if I injure my hand, what if my palm data gets stolen, who is going to correlate palms with fingerprints, if they want my laptop do they have to also cut off my hand..."
Bug

Submission + - Why does Percona cause SSL issues in Postfix? (anchor.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Anchor shrugged off a small issue as a one-off, it wasn't worth investigating further. Then it kept happening — why on earth was the database server affecting SSL in the mail server!?

Percona is a popular high-performance fork of MySQL, but it's not without issues. Anchor went digging to root out the problem, and traced it back to a perverse dependency on MySQL.

Google

Submission + - Google Bans Online Anonymity While Patenting It

theodp writes: 'It's important to use your common name,' Google explains in its Google+ ground rules, 'so that the people you want to connect with can find you.' Using a 'secondary online identity,' the search giant adds, is a big Google+ no-no. 'There are lots of places where you can be anonymous online,' Betanews' Joe Wilcox notes. 'Google+ isn't one of them.' Got it. But if online anonymity is so evil, then what's the deal with Google's newly-awarded patent for Social Computing Personas for Protecting Identity in Online Social Interactions? 'When users reveal their identities on the internet,' Google explained to the USPTO in its patent application, 'it leaves them more vulnerable to stalking, identity theft and harassment.' So what's Google's solution? Providing anonymity to social networking users via an 'alter ego' and/or 'anonymous identity.' So does Google now believe that there's a genuine 'risk of disclosing a user's real identity'? Or is this just a case of Google's left hand not knowing what its right hand is patenting?
Power

Submission + - Fusion power breakthrough near at Sandia labs? (sciencedaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An achievement that would have extraordinary energy and defense implications might be near at Sandia National Laboratories. The lab is testing a concept called MagLIF (Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion), which uses magnetic fields and laser pre-heating in the quest for energetic fusion. A paper recently published by Sandia researchers state that the Z-pinch driven MagLIF fusion could reach "high-gain" fusion conditions, where the fusion energy released greatly exceeds (by more than 1,000 times) the energy supplied to the fuel.

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