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Comment Re:The real issue: U.S. government corruption. (Score 2) 555

You don't have to know anything about how encryption works at all to be aware that normal citizens have been compelled to turn over their passphrases just because encryption just makes it look like you have something to hide.

In fact, the more ignorant about encryption itself, the more you are likely to come across stories that resulted in the "plausible deniability" encryption, where you take one container with innocuous but private material, like bank accounts, and an alternate container with the good stuff. Which is exactly what gweihir recommended.

It drops off at some point, at the zero point of encryption knowledge you would be unaware of any story.

As a general rule, if you have to qualify yourself or give a personal anecdote, you are undercutting your message. It doesn't make it any less true, just harder to believe without looking, or knowing. But having read slashdot since 2000 or earlier, I've seen a goodly number of stories. Search the archives and read in wonderment.

Comment Re:Money is great, but regulations are the problem (Score 1) 132

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc., in Pennington, New Jersey, will work on developing the float and spar â" or cylindrical body â" components of their PowerBuoy wave energy converter. These two components account for 50 percent of the deviceâ(TM)s mass, so improving materials, manufacturability, and durability of the float and spar could reduce the cost of energy and significantly improve the deviceâ(TM)s powerâtoâweight ratio. This work will make the PowerBuoy more reliable and marketable. DOE Funding: $1,000,000. Total Project Value: $1,250,000


Comment Re:Obvious patents and patent trolls (Score 1) 179

It is very VERY difficult to judge what was inevitable, because things in hindsight often look obvious.

I could take 10 of the smartest people here, who hadn't seen this patent - only the problem it was supposed to overcome. And we could spitball ideas for a few hours. And maybe come up with a solution. Does that mean it is inevitable?

No, because even though that team possessed the ability to solve the problem, statistically speaking they were not ever tasked to solve the problem, and so would not have done so.

This is why we have multi-disciplinary projects at research institutions - to find discoveries by putting together people with new and different understandings and backgrounds. And what they come up with is novel.

To be inevitable, you would have to come up with a solution that worked, within the existing framework, and was capable of handling the type of data requested.

Patent 1:

A plurality of computer nodes communicate using seemingly random Internet Protocol source and destination addresses. Data packets matching criteria defined by a moving window of valid addresses are accepted for further processing, while those that do not meet the criteria are quickly rejected. Improvements to the basic design include (1) a load balancer that distributes packets across different transmission paths according to transmission path quality; (2) a DNS proxy server that transparently creates a virtual private network in response to a domain name inquiry; (3) a large-to-small link bandwidth management feature that prevents denial-of-service attacks at system chokepoints; (4) a traffic limiter that regulates incoming packets by limiting the rate at which a transmitter can be synchronized with a receiver; and (5) a signaling synchronizer that allows a large number of nodes to communicate with a central node by partitioning the communication function between two separate entities.

Some of that sounds rather basic, but together, with the other involved patents, it is well more complicated than "let's use that p2p stuff I heard about". Please, if you want to, go into the specific claims of the patents and tell me what is inevitable, and how, rather than taking the terrible summaries of the patents as being representative.

Comment Re:uhuh sure (Score 1) 179

I don't think you can dismiss out of hand the possibility that this was a planned outcome.

That sounds very weaselly, in the sense that if one person anywhere had such a thought but never spoke it, your statement would be true. And it sounds like the kind of baseless nutball regurgitation we have come to expect from internet conspiracy crazies.

You should meet AC, he's informative but shy. This is probably why it was marked troll initially, since it has been going around for a while, and calling out the NSA is standard fare for a frosty piss.

Skype was moved to centralized servers so they could survive the new era of communications: mobile devices. It was impossible to do Skype on mobile devices without centralized servers because the P2P communications would eat your battery AND your data bill. I'm sure this helps with interception as well, but it wasn't he main intention. This is discussed in detail by a former Skype engineer here:

Your post should have consisted solely of This link followed by this link which it took me all of 3 minutes to find, so I would know whether to make fun of you or support you.

How Brazil-ian that the line between "chicken little" ignorant asshattery and fact has completely disappeared.

Comment Re:Less than $1m each? (Score 1) 132

Scotland is way ahead and therefore invests more than that? Which is the cause, and which the effect?

Better yet, why doesn't the DOE just ask Scotland what it's up to? Sounds like a stupid waste of money.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, will quantify the distribution, behavioral response, and general patterns of fish movement around an operating tidal energy turbine. The research team will conduct an analysis of individual fish movements using previously unanalyzed sonar data collected at Verdant Power's Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project, located in the East River near Manhattan. This study will provide the industry with a complete analysis of fish interaction data at a fullâsize turbine that developers and regulators can use to estimate the likelihood of encounter and injury at tidal and riverine sites. The tools refined in this study will be widely applicable to other sites and conditions, and the results from this study will be used to refine estimates of potential effects, design mitigation to minimize impacts, and develop monitoring protocol. DOE Funding: $95,000. Total Project Value: $132,000.

Oh, these are specific grants to specific institutions and companies with established tech to figure out how to improve efficiency and lower impact on the environment. I guess I'll go be outraged that Scotland hasn't spent public funds to do this sort of things.

Comment Re:Speed limiters a good idea but 70 is too slow (Score 2) 732

I think speed limiters for most people's cars are a good thing

Think about the one day this fails for some reason, and someone is unable to get out of harm's way, or the brake inexplicably turns engages, and someone is hurt or injured.

Now, instead of it being a jackass driver's fault, it is the government's fault. A law-abiding citizen, perhaps, who did nothing wrong other than live in the EU. That's why this is a terrible idea.

new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded.

So many reasons why a person would be injured instead of saved - I won't bother picking this apart because the details are not my point.

The shift in blame is the problem. Putting breathalyzers on the ignition of someone convicted of drunk driving, and having it false positive, can be a consequence of violating that law. Here there are consequences to just being alive, and that is unacceptable. You should not think this is at all a good thing.

Speed governors on commercial vehicles are a tested technology, and a hard upper limit like that would be much safer than one which changes. If I were you, I would support that instead. But I'm not, so I don't.

Comment Re:STEM or VISA? (Score 1) 284

I would like to see the cause and effect tree that shows who the actors of this conspiracy could possibly be. not theoretically possible, but actually in real life because of something observable possible.

I could tell you, but you won't like the answer because it does not confirm your bias. so I'll let you go first.

Comment Re:I'll believe the stem crisis is real (Score 1) 284

your individual experience means the whole thing is made up?

I got into .net because asp support was being dropped, so I had to. we used vb because of the similarities. having done c++ I could also work in c# if needed.

but the main point - c# is really just a way to access .net framework, and it is HUGE. knowing c# by itself means nothing. I suspect this is your problem. that, combined with "most of what they do isn't that hard". get over yourself and start learning the framework.

Comment Re:Hanlon's Razor (Score 2) 284

every 20 years or so, education reform comes around again. the rallying cry has been "more stem" due to differences in USA vs Asian test scores. now schools are picking up on that, whether it is needed or not.

same time, "work readiness" is a big focus on what business wanted for 20 years. that is also a focus for reform. work ready means trained to be an employee, not employer. most people will be employees, so it makes sense if everyone gets the same basic curriculum, to teach employable skills.

now we have an education system primed to pump out serfs, and no one really to blame. independent actions and reactions. just failure of the people making decisions, because on average, they are average, and will reach faulty conclusions.

I say go back to teaching philosophy and argument, back to Greek basics, and wait it out.

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