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Comment I guess that's the question; was he a spy? (Score 2) 369

My personal opinion of the person is that is he cracked in the head; homosexual or not. And while I do feel that he failed in his duty and honor I don't think he was in a fit state of mind. Those that put such a nut in such a position of responsibility should be held accountable for dereliction of duty. When I first herd his story I felt he was a dishonorable solider but a contentious american but now I realize believe he was a cracked nut to begin with and the military just added heat and made pop-corn.

But lets just assume he qualifies as being criminally rational at the time he did the things he did. When I think of spying or being a traitor I think of it being for the purpose of specifically benefiting another group or groups. One such group could of course be himself if he could expect some significant benefit such as money. But I don't see any of that here. He didn't pass along information in private that could benefit a foreign power. Some may even say that what he made public helped Islamist's in the middle east in their revolutions; those most opposed to his own political leanings.

I think some distinction much be made between a cracked contentious whistle blower that tarnishes his honor by not keeping his mouth shut and a true traitor that in his position could have done far more damage.

Comment Re:Math Prof here... (Score 1) 245

For $120 a pop you can get a cheap tablet today and they are only going to get cheaper. I predict $25 and $50 cheap versions to be as cheap as they will get. On this hardware you will be able to run android, windows 8, or anything else designed for a touch interface.

Software the equivalent of mathlab or autocad.

For tests you can give out tablets that will have permitted apps already installed and the device hardened to being modified. Same approved apps students use on their own personal devices. Simple to reset to a base configuration. For this purpose I expect apple to give away much hardware in order to compete (for heart and minds) with cheaper android commodity hardware.

Lastly schools need to update practices. The paper book library is obsolete. It really really is. It and maybe a few school rooms can be converted into study halls/test taking rooms. A little bit of money to remodel them and you can install a the equivalent of a faraday cage and prevent radio signals entering or leaving the room. Each room would have it's own wifi router and you can only connect to it. Simple desks could have optional integrated wireless chargers under the desk surface and or USB and network ports. Put that woodshop to use!

Basically 50-100 devices. Start with something like 25. If all the schools in the each or a bunch of states get together they could spec, prototype and bulk order directly from china. Don't see why you would need consumer devices except for apple which again they should more or less give you since it promotes the students using apple for their personal devices. You would also want to spec your own devices to make them a little more rugged. If students really want to they can purchase one of the school tablets at it's student store.

Comment I want the walled garden for luddites (Score 1) 244

I don't use windows. What self respecting geek does? Windows is a joke and only good for games.

I use to buy $500 a year in games I hardly ever played (more of a collector). I have a box full of smashed down game boxes from back in the day just to illustrate my point. But I more or less quit cold turkey like 7 years ago. I just got tired of the 800 pound gorilla and it threatening DRM and security wise how buggy the platform was. Sure I use to warez games but I was still buying 10+ games a year for $50 a pop not counting other software. The major attack vector was and still is the web browser(not warez) so I jumped ship.

Then I bit the bullet and moved into the Unix world. I had a vary hard time with the GPL philosophically. There are programs that should be GPL but I'm mostly against it. Then I graduated to Freebsd/Openbsd. And my life was changed. I would switch to windows just to play games but I grew tired of 5 minute changeover for a quick game and eventually stopped cold turkey without realizing it.

Back to the point. I no longer need windows! Not for apps. Not for games. And ironically I'm totally for a locked down windows. The only time I use windows is helping other people with their computers. These are people that are looking for the Apple experience on cheaper commodity PC hardware. I'm all for Microsoft giving people what they really want: an appliance. I want a computer so I don't use windows or spend any money on it. But I'm at the upper end of the 2% of computer users that are enthusiasts; we are the people that push the purchasing decisions. I'm content with letting Windows be a dumb locked dump platform and purchasing it just for that purpose. I have my workstation!

Comment That's your security? (Score 1) 186

It's obvious where your transit router is. They can monitor IP addresses, connection times and bandwidth to determine the load balancer. From the load balancer they can find the virtual machines which you use as muscle for the search engine and backend processing.

Any VM image can be accessed live. They can inject all the Trojans they want and track everything. But most importantly they can monitor where the admin commands come from. Have to assume they/you use tor or a botnet proxy. But everyone slips when it comes to security. Just takes one ping from a non anonymized computer to catch the scent. Then they can piece together all the admins one by one within three months.

Now of course there is more to your security than this. But let's not call your implementation here security.

What I would call it is robust and practical.

What I think would be more impressive is if you implemented your own voluntary cloud with all your willing users out there.

Comment Temptation to lie (Score 1) 533

The lists may be 99% true but I know if I were in that business and I went down I would want to take others down. Specifically those in power be they in government, police or influential businessmen. 80% of those people probably are already customers so that would only be a few names would need to lie about.

It sends a message to those that publicly persecute prostitution that their names will be dragged through the mud as well.

Comment Re:But are we really trying? (Score 1) 209

I completely agree. Fresh water is the limiting factor. So much fresh water can produce only so food. While farms may be more efficient that means they are getting smaller because the amount of water is not changing that much.

A sealed hydroponic farm would only lose as much water as would be present in the food that actually left the facility.

Comment With sales tax in CA, I expect shipping next (Score 2) 104

(I absolutely hate the short title requirements)

I expect that now that Amazon is charging sales tax in California for them to start stocking massive warehouses just outside major cites and to start running their own fleet of delivery trucks.

They could have showrooms throughout the cities and less than 24 hour delivery service. Want to try a product? Then just arrange for it to be shipped to a nearby showroom. Free returns anyone? What about a try before you buy Netflix type product a week? Try a new laptop every week.

Comment Was there EVER really privacy? (Score 2) 96

We have the right to record things in public. That means we can freely follow and track other people. Pretty soon everyone with be walking around with a camera on their person. The camera will tie into a computer and will be able to take clues from the environment as well as to record everything that happens within a two day period. Where did I leave my keys? Just rewind...

So are we going to take away the right to record in public? What happens when devices will be able to record directly from our brain activity? Is everyone going to have the equivalent of copyright to their own images? Is everyone going to be forced to forget everyone else and submit to memory wipe everyday as a result of a DMCA like forget notification?

When it comes to location and tracking on that point we have to surrender. There is no way to put that genie back in the bottle. And to me when anyone in the pubic can do it I see no reason the government couldn't do it as well. That cat is simply out of the bag.

Comment Anyone can do it; anyone can be good at it (Score 1) 767

I pay you enough money you will be motivated to get good at it. The question is how naturally will it come to you. The followup is how good you will get.

Those that it comes to naturally will need less money and will be better at it for that money. So your priced out of the market unless you have a natural interest and aptitude for it.

The vast majority of programmers start out as science types that have to learn programming out of necessity since can't afford to hire anyone else and they need their work done right. They are already procedure and process minded.

Comment The should be able to put a costco in orbit (Score 1) 220

Sending people to mars is one thing. You schedule it to take the shortest route. But sending equipment and supplies is different. They should be sending supplies for 10 years prior to the mission.

The hard part is getting the stuff into orbit. Then you blast it on any convenient trajectory available. You don't have to go very fast at all. In fact you want it to have plenty of fuel when it gets there so that it can park itself in orbit and then be brought down anywhere on the planet using probably the bumper ball landing system. Any fuel left if the craft can be salvaged later.

The food will super freeze so it might be necessary to make a reverse fridge to insulate the food and keep heat inside the storage compartment. You can definitely send all the ice cream you want. And you probably don't need to sterilize it at all if the trip takes two years since the food will be exposed to cosmic rays all that time. The food you send should be as dehydrated as possible, sending frozen water separately. Lots of rice, beans, pasta, quinoa and spices. Dehydrated tomato paste. Lots of aging cheeses. Concentrated milk and cream.

Comment How it's relevent (Score 1) 267

For all we know about sub atomic particles and forces this was something not in the least predicted.

What if another reaction within the sun could cause massive decay all over the earth? Periods of mass extinction or mass mutation.

On the practical side it hints that decay rate can be controlled. Could be really important for subatomic particle researchers trying to produce and observe particles with ridiculously short life spans.

If the effect could be produced on demand within a localized area for long periods of time then it could possibly be used to semi neutralize rector waste or to make normally unusable radioactive elements practical fuels.

Comment I'll purchase it for my 80 yo father (Score 1) 362

I personally wouldn't be caught dead using it. It's basically a locked down windows "app store" version.

Microsoft and the rest of the DRM lawyer crowd is going to discover drastically that locked down products have a limited market. 80 percent of pirating is try before you buy or convincing someone else to use a product. The OS has to be reinstalled every 6 months so when people lose software and discover they need it that week they buy it. So while Microsoft lost on OS copies they more than make up for it with copes for office.

I can remember buying three copies of roxio dvd 5-6 even though I had a free copy at home simply because I didn't have a copy available where I was at the time.

If I were MS I simply would have spun it off as a separate product. Even giving it away for free because they will make money primarily from their app store. I might not have even used "Windows".

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