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Comment Re:Your computer will understand you... (Score 1) 143

I doubt very much that you do.

People don't understand other people's thoughts. At best they have a mental map that roughly corresponds to the gist of what they're saying and which triggers a patterned response thought in their heads.

While what I said was very tongue-in-cheek, it's also true. Even couples who love each other spend a large part of their time essentially shrugging their shoulders and thinking "Whatever" while going along with the situation or demands in order to avoid an unnecessary fight or argument.

People are not logical in their communications. They're fragmented and riddled with assumptions about culture, phrasing, and slang. Even when they speak a "common" language, such as English, people from different countries often have difficulty with casual communications because the details of the language as spoken in their homelands is so different.

Getting a voice recognition system to deal with accents is far from trivial, but even that is trivial compared to getting a system to grasp concepts from around the world.

Admit it: sometimes you don't even understand yourself, and wonder what triggered that random/perverse thought that just flashed by.

Comment Yet they didn't stop to Boston bombers (Score 1) 568

Yet despite this dragnet approach to surveillance, they didn't stop the Boston Bombers. Or that elementary school massacre. Or the nutbar who shot up a theatre. Or...

Congratulations to the United States.

Using nothing more than the pretext of "preventing another 9/11", your government has turned into a full-on Fascist Police State, complete with rah-rah patriotism, a vague and unstoppable enemy that can never be defeated (meaning there is never going to be an end to the surveillance requirements), and blatant support of corporatism over the rights or needs of the citizenry. Classic, textbook definition Fascism.

"Land of the Free" my ass.

Comment Re:My goodness (Score 1) 417

I was specifically thinking of crypto containers rather than individual encrypted files. I think a crypto container should be considered the same as a safe, but a crypto file should be considered as a code. It's a fine line distinction, but I don't believe they should be considered as equivalent.

Thus whole-drive encryption would be considered as a safe containing the protected documents.

Comment I should hope so (Score 1) 106

Given that the original video game CPUs were in the 1-2 MEGA hertz range, and modern CPUs (including Arduino) run in the GIGA hertz range (500-1000 times the clock speed), I would be surprised if you couldn't emulate the old video game hardware, even with sloppily written code.

Hell, you should just about be able to emulate that hardware with Java and CLR interpreters on modern CPUs.

Comment Depends what you mean by "credited" (Score 1) 190

I took "credited" to mean that your name is mentioned in "About" box or installation screens of the software, so that's only one or two projects.

But if you're talking development logs and license agreements, there are probably more on the order of 75 projects that I've had a hand in which made it to production during a 30 year career. :)

Comment Re:My goodness (Score 4, Interesting) 417

My understanding of the fifth is that it only applies to information that can't be collected under a warrant.

For example, if you have a lockbox with incriminating documentation, and the police can provide sufficient evidence for a warrant, you can be required to unlock the box. However, you can still plead the fifth if a lawyer is asking about your "intentions" for the contents of the incriminating box.

So I think there is a valid question of whether the FBI had the right to force the lock on "the box" of encryption if they didn't have a warrant already. That's like the police breaking and entering to seize evidence; it would be thrown out in court because it wasn't collected properly.

They have to have evidence of a crime before they can get a warrant. But once they have a warrant, they have the right to open "the box" of encryption.

I believe that also means they have the right to demand the keys to the box: your passwords.

Comment Re:Didn't go far enough with prepaid cards... (Score 1) 230

Prepaid used to work as you described, but unless you are "grandfathered" with such a plan, they're no longer running that way. My folks have a plan they've been on for about five or six years. As long as they top up before their credit runs out, they remain grandfathered. Typically a $50 card lasts them for about four months.

Comment That is not encouraging (Score 1) 326

"Green Lantern" was one of the most poorly done of the crop of super hero movies released to date. The use of effects was capricious and downright silly. I realize the original comic wasn't much better, but at least it had the excuse of being original and thereby not having thought through all the possible powers of the ring.

They're also going to have a tough time replacing the cast of the original with equally compelling actors and actresses. I can't think of anyone in the current crop of "stars" who could replace Ford's character.

Comment I agree: It's the same as fingerprints (Score 1) 643

I agree that DNA swabs are the same as fingerprints.

I've been fingerprinted many times as part of my job requirements. Those prints are on record, even though I wasn't detained, much less arrested. I'd have no more problem with providing a DNA swab than the prints.

But where DNA samples are different is when it comes to things like medical insurance. Having access to a fingerprint stolen from a database doesn't give insurance companies ammunition to do anything; but DNA information could lead to rejection of insurance coverage because one has "bad genes."

I don't think it's a particularly big step for the police to further conclude that blood testing for drugs and alcohol is just part of "due process" and doesn't require charges any more, either. And that does worry me because I'm a medical cannabis user, and would not appreciate having such tests on my records.

Comment Most of the noise in my system (Score 1) 189

Most of the noise in my old P4 based system is from the power supply and the video card. Not that I game any more, but you need 3D acceleration to run the latest and greatest desktops under Linux.

The lower power draw of Haswell and the more-than-adequate 3D support would fit my needs just about perfectly. That 10% performance boost that the article snears at would mean the machine would only run roughly 16 times as fast as my current box.

I think I could live with that. A quiet, low-power system that just does what I need: encode and play back videos, run database software, Eclipse, and day to day browsing/email.

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