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Comment Re:Get out of jail free card (Score 1) 51

Well, the way I read it, the problem wasn't that he choked storage with copies of the virus but that he screwed up in thinking that the phone system could handle all of these copies of the virus trying to make calls at once. He didn't realize the phone system was mechanical, for some reason, and couldn't handle a number of calls from a geometrically huge number of sources, all at once. Which is how the virus first got noticed. If I read the articles on the worm correctly.

But his mistake, in my opinion, wasn't writing the virus. I have to say and admit publicly, that I don't think RTM was ethically wrong in creating that hookworm and letting it free. See, he had already gone to people -- people in positions of authority -- who should have been more interested in what he was saying. And they failed to take much interest, and he was marginalized because of his efforts to do the right thing.

In the long run, we can measure the economic loss to the RTM worm in scant thousands of dollars in immediate cost. Projected costs, if we take into consideration that perhaps not being able to connect over the phone system to somebody in Massachusetts caused some broker to fuck up a $10,000,000 deal, we could add $10mil to it, but realistically it wasn't a huge fucking deal. Even calling it a m|stake begs qualification of the term, for the sake of clarifying the direction of the vector his mistake was scalar to.

Comment The Shockwave Rider (Score 1) 51

I read a great article on RTM called "Shockwave Rider" or something like that. It was called that because RTM Sr. used the book "Shockwave Rider" to explain to his son how what he did was right in a certain way of looking at it, but wrong in every other way of looking at it. Can't remember what magazine the article was in. It was a good article to read back in the early 90's.

We still have a lot of mechanical devices hooked up to the internet, today. Some might say more every day. I say "mechanical devices" in reference to phones, because the exchange hubs used rotating disks (implementing their own optimized form of binary counting) to connect calls.

Considering we've had one major blackout in the United States due to a power station being online to the internet and left vulnerable, I'd say this is a very relevant topic today.

When I was taking a college course on transformers, the instructor used to come to class bragging about the work he did (his other job) for Siemens, designing and building transformers. He was a real egotist. He'd not only brag to students, but he wasn't very in touch with theory either, as I found out. Coming from electronics 101, you tend to want to ask some questions about electronics theory to your other instructors, stuff that they should by all means be well acquainted with. Well, this guy didn't know. So he'd get pissed, and when he got pissed, he would literally say, "oh yeah, well can you do this" and start writing out schematics for transformers according to code on the blackboard, and then take a calculator and figure out how many turns of what gauge wire was needed to fit the demand according to code. Yaba yaba yaba. A very insecure individual. So I not only wasn't surprised when I read in the newspaper that semester that Siemens transformers that had some kind of internet-capable component were found 100% irreversibly vulnerable to attack over the internet through a backdoor that presumably some disgruntled, insecure "mage" installed before leaving the company -- I also wasn't very surprised at all when that jackass had jack shit to say when I mentioned the story to him except stare at his shoes awhile and get on with the next lesson in rotating transformers (to use the Tesla coined phrase, which that instructor hated so damn much whenever I said it.)

Anyways, it's always going to be relevant. That hookworm was elegant and though not thoroughly thought through, it did show the potential for electronic disaster in the form of less than a handful of barely discernible on's and off's.

Comment Re:We're not all farmers. And even if we were, wtf (Score 1) 545

>> I've never met one person, my whole entire life, who felt that Daylight Savings Time should be maintained. Especially while I've lived in Michigan...

I should have corrected that to, "and the sentiment against DST is Especially strong in Michigan", because I was already speaking in an absolute term. I have never met anybody who supported DST and thought it was a meritable exercise, but I have met people who "never really thought about it". In Michigan, I've met very, very few people who don't have some strong opinions about Daylight Savings Time and how it needs to be put where the sun doesn't shine.

Comment We're not all farmers. And even if we were, wtf? (Score 1) 545

I always hear about how DST was about "giving farmers more daylight to get their farming done to keep America's breadbasket full".

That's so stupid. I've lived and worked on a farm. You tend to get up early enough that it's dark out any way. You tend to go to bed when the work is done whether it's still light out or not. We have electricity and light, these days. For the most part, work gets done early and you tend to go to bed while it's still partially light out, either out of exhaustion or because there's nothing to do and you'd like to be well rested for the morning. The clock often doesn't get switched to daylight saving's time until a day or two later when somebody gets back from town and remembers to mention the clocks are all different. Everybody's too busy to sit down and fiddle with their clocks. Daylight savings, whether forward or back, is immediately met with ridicule and complaint.

I've read about some really rustic farmers who still get up at "the crack of dawn", sandwiching wake-up somewhere between the rooster's call (which can be at 3am, you never know) and the beginning of sunrise, as long as a look out the window shows some light. I don't think they give a rat's ass about daylight savings time, either.

And if you aren't a farmer, how much does one hour of daylight savings save you? Save you in terms of what? Save you from a boring life where time is reliable and routine is, well, routine? I've never met one person, my whole entire life, who felt that Daylight Savings Time should be maintained. Especially while I've lived in Michigan, where the concept of daylight is sort of a joke. Nobody here in Michigan would care if the beginning and end of the day shifted back and forth, and in my opinion most people would be slightly more intelligent because they would benefit from a direct relationship with the real nature of astronomical time, of light and the effect it has on the seasons due to axial precession. Shifting the frame of reference back and forth robs people of this natural adjustment to their latitude, and attempts to stuff them into a weird and artificial day.

Granted, most people would just get up when they felt well rested and felt like doing things, and would just go out and hunt and gather, if left entirely to themselves. But, we work according to a clock. But shifting the clock back and forth under command does, as I pointed out, rob a person of the ability to experience the regular, back and forth shifting of natural light. I think people would find it very worthwhile to get to experience how driving to work at 8am means driving under a different ambient light at different times of year, and that the degree of change is different depending on what latitude they live in. It would be a decent trade-off for living on a clock.

Comment Re:Pearson (Score 1) 663

Why? What's wrong with trick questions?

It's public education we're talking about, so in all likelihood these children will also attend public (community) colleges as well.

This sort of testing will prepare them for the overpaid egotists who didn't make "professor" grade, and who take it out on students by giving them trick questions for simplistic subjects like intro cultural anthropology or intro electronics, or transformers and rotating machines, etc.

Comment Re:popularity? (Score 1) 98

More importantly, they should be served the same *nutritious* glop day by day, to ensure that they don't die in custody of cruel and unusual treatment such as malnutrition.

I am 10,000% certain that nearly every food that is "popular" with institutional crowds is far from healthy.

Comment Re:Screening areas as terrorist targets (Score 1) 520

You seem to be missing the point: the profiling is effective security. Are you saying that Americans should continue to Abhor things even if that attitude places them directly in harm's way, basically causing widespread cultural self-harm?

Get real, get brutal, get anything but in the way of progress. There's no time in the rapidly changing civilization we all have to suffer through, now, to stop and coddle people who don't feel right about the direction things are going.

There can't be any room for whiny idealists who aren't making any real or logical points, who are just torch-carriers for philosophies and politics that have failed, whose arguments are entirely emotional.

Comment Re:Unsound mind! (Score 1) 101

I certainly can't claim origin. I am just carrying on a philosophy / mentality that has been a "torch light" for the DIY / engineering community for decades.

I'm glad you see the merits in that simple statement. I'm also glad I was able to have my cognitive faculties intact enough to still produce a statement that concise.

Comment Re:Unsound mind! (Score 1) 101

You entire argument rests on the assumption that your bump key for your front door is secure.

Answer? Obviously, it isn't! All you are saying, here, is that you have PURCHASED an insecure system in lieur of a security system, that you know fully well its weaknesses and that it can (basically, let's admit it -- WILL) be defeated by easy to replicate means, and that your only HOPE is that law enforcement will discourage your predators.

I expect better debate than this out of Slashdot. Please don't respond if you aren't going to win the debate with your next words. Thanks but no thanks.

Comment Re:Can't Stand (Score 1) 283

Just realized that the original Kelley (sp) rendition of Bones McCoy also tended to set off my gaydar. So, I guess the new McCoy is closer on that I figured -- hey, what do you know. I just referred to him as "the new McCoy". Guess some of those character flaws are more subtle than we might think.

Comment Re:Very good. (Score 1) 283

Well, come on, maybe it's not a holodeck. Maybe it's a holographic projector in a room fitted with 4 wall-sized PMOLED screens.

They even showed the "rustic" projector rigs jutting out of the walls. TNG didn't give us that, just gave us dialogue expecting us to suspend disbelief.

I don't think it's fair to call what Kirk was enjoying a "holodeck".

I'm interested in seeing whether the writers can show restraint in maintaining it as a degraded technology.

Other missed it, but to me, it was a subtle dig at the TNG writers. The "Continued" writers included this prototype of something leading up to the holodeck, but then they left it behind and didn't bring it up again in the same episode, at all, whatsoever.

Tell me, what technologies introduced in TNG or its spin-offs were just throw-away introductions that didn't somehow deal into the plot? Including in that notoriously crutch-like way?

I think that by bringing in this primitive holodeck precursor and then not mentioning it again, they were doing two things:

1) Acknowledging the mistakes TNG made in relying heavily on the holodeck as an ever-present antagonistic threat to the Enterprise and crew

2) Laughing it off by doing the exact opposite of what TNG did.

I wouldn't be surprised if the writers didn't plan to mention this holodeck precursor again in the series, except maybe as a nearly humouristic element in a single episode. Certainly not the recurring, weird-assed, existential problem the 1701-D faced so often.

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