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Comment Re:Scams against Cisco? (Score 1) 74

branding the counterfeit gear(I'm just guessing that

I'm offtopic here (checking the "no bonus" boxes), but I notice you continue to omit the needed space between "gear" and "(I'm just guessing)". Your comments would be more readable (and more easily taken seriously) if you followed centuries old proper formatting rules.

Minor nit, far better than some folks here's "todays special's" or "there car is over their". If I were moderating I'd probably have modded you up despite the rather annoying mistake.

Comment Re:Myes, myes... (Score 3, Interesting) 110

Do people that age just drop dead?

Yes they do. Not often, but it happens. I had "sudden cardiac death". I'm alive because it happened in an emergency room in front of a doctor. They called code, and brought me back. I was 30. I'm still here at 45, 5 bypasses, a defibrillator implant and 8 stents later. The odds increase if you consider this researcher was probably a nerd like most of us, meaning he was probably sedentary most of the time, and probably didn't exactly eat the best stuff for his health.

Comment Re:I'll vote for a libertarian when I see one (Score 1) 15

As for the greens, I'm OK with them for the most part. I just don't see pot as being an important enough issue to warrant establishing an entire political party around it.

Actually, I think the Greens' main platform is the environment.

I'll even go so far as to say that the first presidential candidate in 2016 who declares universal single-payer health care as a part of their platform will get my vote as long as I don't have to write them in.

We had a Congressional candidate last election, a medical doctor, who wanted medicare for everyone. Unfortunately, the tea party candidate beat him.

I'd like to have a labor party here.

Submission + - Multi-purpose wings allow flying robot to walk across rough terrain (robohub.org) 1

Sabine Hauert writes: The Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot (DALER) uses its own wings to crawl and roll over a variety of terrains. Using a self-adjusting structure to transform its wings into rotating arms, the robot is able to flip, rotate and navigate its way around and over obstacles on the ground. Sharing the wings across different modes of locomotion reduces the amount of infrastructure and weight the robot must carry, thus improving flight performance. The ability to adapt to a variety of environments is important in search and rescue operations, where both air and ground searching may be required.

Submission + - India Army Mistook Planets for Spy Drones (bbc.co.uk)

hackingbear writes: BBC reports that India's army spent six months watching "Chinese spy drones" violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus. Between last August and February, Indian troops had already documented 329 sightings of unidentified objects over a lake in the border region next to China. India accused the objects being Chinese spy drones. The incident has even escalated to military build-up and stand-off at border between the two countries. High level talks were held between the two military. The Chinese denied they invaded Indian space and told India to shoot down the objects if they can and the India side replied the objects were too high, according to a Chinese news report (Google translation). At the meantime, residents of the solar system are grad that India does not possess the capability to shoot down such high attitude objects.

Comment Re:I'll vote for a libertarian when I see one (Score 1) 15

Logging is sustainable, so long as the trees are replanted and it isn't done in old growth forests or in an area that would endanger species; we're going through one of the largest mass extinctions the Earth has seen, mostly from habitat destruction, and man is almost 100% responsible.

But there's nothing whatever wrong with tree farms.

Comment NO! (Score 3, Insightful) 158

I remember times when I wanted to download some apps and drivers for a broken PC. I was using a Mac to get them. The website refused to allow me to download them, because I was using a Mac, therefore I would only want the OSX apps, and didn't need that driver. I ended up having to grab another PC to get the files I needed. That was just a simple act of determining what I needed by what browser I was using. Only it was completely wrong.

I don't want a personalized experience. I want to see and get what I need. And I don't need some website determining for me what I need.

I really, really don't need nor want personalized ads for things that I have already bought.

I have an idea - how about Firefaux adding a "I can haz Leave me teh Hell alone!" option that is the default? Then if we want some website to know that we have an obsession with Goatse and the PowerPuff Girls cartoons, we can let them have that knowledge, and can receive ads for Depends, laxatives, and Kidz Bop music CDs to improve our browsing experience.

Comment Re:Nitpick in language. (Score 1) 311

Well, I might argue that point.... some people do indeed seek out content that offends them. In fact, at a previous company the warehouse guy had jack shit to do with the majority of his time, so he spent a lot of time looking at porn online (back before companies had filters and logging).

After a while, he got bored with even that and started looking for more and more weird and offensive stuff.... as he went getting desensitized to the point that it became a game for him to try and even find anything that offended him any more.

Comment Re:All simulations lie (Score 3, Interesting) 104

Well, I don't know about engineering simulations, but I've worked with systems that did public health simulations. What laymen *think* a computer model can do is predict the future. And maybe in some cases a model can come close to doing that. But the real value of models is to generate questions and hypotheses for investigation.

The problem with models is that they're only as good as the input data you feed them, and in many cases the data is unknowable or based on assumptions you aren't sure of. And that leads to a practical application of a model. You don't say, "I know that X is true, therefore Y will or will not happen" because you almost certainly don't know everything you'd need to know to make such a positive prediction. Rather, you say, "If you are worried about Y, you'd better check on X."

Tthat Halliburton destroyed the documentation when it knew that documentation was needed for the DWH investigation makes me wonder whether simulation results suggested Transocean (the operators of DWH) ought to be paying attention to certain preventable factors that contributed to the disaster. Even if that didn't let Transocean off the hook, it might change the distribution of damages and fines paid by the responsible parties.

Comment Re:It's a Losing Battle (Score 1) 58

It's not just lawyers. I've tried for years to get my writer friends to use some form of version control, but in vain. One of the great benefits of version control is makes it safe to try radical things with your codebase (e.g. novel or story) because even without branching you can simply recall the state of your work at any point in the past.

I myself used a literate programming tool to generate manuscripts, synopses, excerpts, and even alternate versions, but eventually I gave up because the dominant workflow task in writing, other than sitting down and banging out text, is exchanging manuscripts in MS Word format.

Comment 500K prisoners != the "least important" problem. (Score 5, Insightful) 650

Out of all the problems the world faces, drugs are the least important

Keep telling yourself that mate, don't look at actual figures that say an American is 7x as likely as a Chinese or a European to be locked up. And don't dig down to find that one reason for the appealing lead America has in incarceration rates is the war on drugs*. Ignore the fact that there is a heavily armed swat team knocking down your neighbor's door with a battering ram because someone smelt a wiff of the joint he was smoking. So yeah close your eyes and ears and everything will be just fine and dandy in the land of the free (from drugs) and for god sake don't investigate what happens to the children of the 500K pot smokers you have locked up. Don't inform yourself, just lock em all up and let god sort it out, eh?

Given that drug abuse is endemic amongst low-income minorities in America, I can't help but think that drug legalization is a covert form of racism

Now that's irony with a capital "I" - the American prohibition on dope was promoted by the government of the day as a way to get "lazy Mexicans" back to work.

Your hate for junkies and potheads is clearly and democratically expressed in those numbers, but the facts of life are such that prohibition has never worked and never will, all it does it create a huge black market and what that delivers to society is misery in the form of oppression (note the date on the bend), violence and corruption. Those who are still ignorant enough to support it are the moral criminals in the war on (some) drugs, the fact they are a "well meaning" democratic mob is of little comfort to the victims.

you should be ashamed of yourself

Why? I'm a proud grandfather of three, I'm a degree qualified professional and have not been out of work since 1981, I currently earn around twice the national average wage and live on the shores of port phillip bay. I've been a responsible pot smoker since 1977 but it's none of yours or the government's dammed business how or why I abuse my own lungs in my own home. And yes I'm sure my employer and the US government read my slashdot posts, thing is at 54 I'm too old to be ashamed of my behavior and will happily admit to, and defend, my pot smoking (although I don't normally tell people like you, for obvious reasons).

So next time you're at a work party sipping on your free grog, have a look around. One in five of those people will be a responsible pot smoker and according to you they should be locked up, their children made into wards of the state, and their family home/farm sold by the state as an illegally acquired asset (regardless of where the money actually came from or the fact that there was only a couple of plants in a well lit closet).

* - Not sure if the following stats are on that page, but here is your "non problem" in a nutshell..
-The 27 nations of the EU have a population of 500M and a total prison population of 600K.
-The US has population of 300M, a total prison population of over 2M of which 500K are locked up for victimless drug crimes.

Comment Re:Software is brittle (Score 1) 58

English common law is a set of books written over a period of centuries that would take about 500 man years just to read, let alone debug. In the real world the law is not a set of commandments, it's a guide to what is and isn't acceptable behavior in the society to which it is applied. Old laws are rarely thrown out they just get ignored, however as a non-american it appears the me that it is common practice for US prosecutors to trawl through old laws for no other reason than to get a "credit" on their performance review. If you give these same prosecutors a a powerful computer program to do the trawling the you will end up in Brazil, (the movie, not the country).

I don't know the US legal system that well but I do know a US is the world leader in locking people up, almost 7X the rate the China and/or the EU.

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