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Comment Re:We need a new class of 'ultralight' cars (Score 2) 353

We have very safe cars but they're also very heavy as a result. Granted gains can be made with expensive and exotic materials, but how about CHEAP and LIGHT cars that could be had for just a few grand, and get 80-100MPG?

Cars don't need to be made much lighter to get incredible gas mileage. I drive a 20 year-old car that has airbags, side-impact beams, crumple zones, etc, terrible aerodynamics, and it gets 37MPG (US) hwy (and drivers report even better real-world results). Why? Because the engine is 85HP. It accelerates onto the freeway just fine, passes most other drivers going up hills, and I've taken it up to 100MPH without breaking a sweat.

These days, engines have improved DRAMATICALLY. Engines 20% smaller, develop DOUBLE the horsepower (just one example I looked up). But instead of selling cars with sub-1.0 litre engines, they sell cars with incredibly excessive power, and terrible fuel economy as a result.

A dirt cheap car should be able to get 80MPG these days. But instead the cheapest, tiniest cars have more HP than you need to tow a 30' travel trailer...

Comment Re:Economic Development Administration? (Score 1) 254

I don't think so. I think that companies fail, for sure, but this just doesn't lead to any grand arc of improvement. What it means instead is that the companies that remain are the ones that still also make a lot of mistakes and are filled with incompetence, but are more capable of absorbing this failure - typically by being larger and more diversified. Gradually the market gets taken over by these large monolithic entities, as things get tougher and tougher on the lower end since the threshold for failure gets lower and lower for the little guy.

Ensuring meritocracy isn't a private sector monopoly, it's just general good management, and can be imposed in any organisation or metaorganisation.

Comment Re:Economic Development Administration? (Score 1) 254

Right, the line from the article people ignore is:

"The NOAA isolated and cleaned up the problem within a few weeks."

The NOAA did it in-house, with well trained and well motivated government employees who knew what they were doing, and the problem was sorted out.

The EDA went to the great american private sector, outsourced out to contractors, and the whole thing blew up into a huge mess.

What's the lesson here? The lesson here is that governments should collaborate between departments, communicate better, and make use of the resources they already have. Not that the private sector is superior.

Comment Re:fud (Score 1) 213

Security researches can't do reverse engineering or publish too soon what they find, at least if they are working in the open (think that don't applies to black hats). Government, in the other hand, have first hand the information of exploits far before is patched, or even could get intentional backdoors in commercial software.

Anyway, patching a bug won't remove the already put backdoor in that computer, unless you do a clean reinstall after those bugs are fixed.

Comment Re:Rings of bullshit. (Score 1) 213

They are at the bottom of the chain of watchers, so are watched too. But they know that if they want to take advantage of this and gets noticed, well, they should fly to Taiwan, and then get luckier than Snowden, that at least wasn't a criminal like them. Of course, the higher levels of the chain are unwatched, but they win enough in a way or another.

Comment Re:saber rallying (Score 1) 213

This is about population control, not hypotetical enemies. You critizice something the government or any of their protegees do, then you are a potential threat, no matter how fair or obvious is your critic or complaint. And anything they collect could be used to silence you.

In the plus side, is a good way to make everyone agree.

Comment Re:Judicial control is what was missing (Score 1) 146

I think he's right. The military -- all branches -- operates with a code of honor that they're pretty darned proud of, and generally stick to as a matter of course. The NSA and CIA operate under the guidance of "we think we need to do X" and very little else.

Regardless of the original genesis, I would far rather trust a platoon of marines or soldiers or sailors, etc., than any number of NSA or CIA employees above zero. The military guys would almost certainly call me "sir" and get between me and any real threat. The NSA and CIA guys... not so much.

As you may have inferred, I support our military; I am under the very strong impression that they do the (crazy difficult) jobs they are assigned, and they're quite careful to do them within the limits of honor and constitutional obligation with very few exceptions indeed. I do not, however, think that they are being well used. But that's not a problem with the military. That's a problem with our political (cough) leadership.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 566

That would be as using a "telnet like" client command for http 2.0, don't feel as the same as directly telnetting without nothing in the middle with their own potential problems/bugs/warnings/etc doing a translation (other than the stack tcp/ip, of course).

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 566

Considering that most of http should go now to port 443 (and with perfect forward secrecy, to make it harder), and that is a bit more complex to debug it by telnet, it could not be a great loss.

Anyway, will miss the good times when telnetting to port 80, 25, 110 and so on were common debugging tool.

Comment Re:Going nowhere (Score 1) 137

Is about dynamics. Add heat to a system and you should think that particles should move faster, and even if some of them move slower, should be very few and not able to be noticed in the big trend. While you have a culture where the ultimate goods are money and power the trends just go in one direction. And the power is accumulated enough to reach the critical mass to avoid any kind of potential threat, with worldwide surveillance and more active methods.

Could be hope in changing the global culture, but the push is too big in the wrong direction. Maybe something big and widespread enough (yellowstone, antarctic ice melting, a big pandemy) could change things, but nothing coming from people in the short/middle term will fix the mess we are into.

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