Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:It is a terrible idea (Score 1) 582

What I find amazing is the apparent ignorance of what Amateur Radio Operators have to do to get their license in the first place, or what the limitations are. Yes, hams are involved in emergency communications, but that has as much to do with situation awareness as anything else.

If you are interested in getting into amateur radio, go for it. The barrier to entry for the technician license is to correctly answer 25 questions out of 35 questions out of a pool of about 350 questions, and a nominal fee of less han $20 per exam attempt. If'n you're an overachiever, for that same fee, and learning of a few more questions, you can walk out having passed all three exams.

Granted there are limitations that might affect a few readers, affecting people with felony convictions, and such. And there's the minor issue of buying equipment. Quite a bit of low cost equipment in the VHF/UHF showing up on the market over the past couple of years, as that's the range of frequencies that China is happy to let it's Amateur Operators use, since it is pretty much a line of sight set of frequencies. If you want longer range comms, you're going to want to look for other deals, unless you've got cash burning a hole in your wallet.

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 1) 644

obamacare is just a malformed first step, the best that was possible considering the kind of temper tantrums we see in resistance to what is obviously better

universal healthcare is next, which works in all of our social and economic peers

of course you can find problems with government run anything. but we're not aiming for perfect. just better and cheaper

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 0) 644

those who are rich are asked to give more. they receive the most benefits from society, therefore they should shoulder a larger burden. furthermore, those who are rich are often rich through no real effort of their own, or, after a certain threshold, it's profit for little effort. no one is for punishing success and hard work. a couple of extra thousand to a millionaire is not anything remotely like punishment. what i believe in is meritocracy, like you. and a modestly larger tax burden for success does not dissuade people from hard work. what dissuades people from hard work is unfairness. that the middle class don't deserve healthcare because they can't afford it, for example

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 4, Insightful) 644

what about police services?

do we have to do a financial means test before cops answer 911?

what about fire services?

do we have to a financial means test before the firemen turn on the hose?

healthcare is same necessary fundamental service, where no questions are asked and response is automatic

therefore it must be paid for in the same way as police and fire, and understood in the same way: a fundamental necessary government service, the way it is all of our economic and social peers (who pay fractions of our healthcare rates, because their policy matches the reality of what healthcare is)

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 4, Insightful) 644

>That's called something else that was tried numerous times in the 20th century and proven a failure.

the american system is a failure. we pay ridiculous multiples as compared to other countries with universal healthcare/ mandatory insurance, and we have lower quality of care than them

what you call a failure has been proven to be a success in all of our social and economic peers

this is where you trot out out horror stories from countries with socialized medicine. as if the american model has no horror stories, including avoiding the doctor until it is too late because you can't afford him

socialized medicine is not perfect. it's just a hell of a lot better than the american joke of a system

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 3, Informative) 644

most people live paycheck-to-paycheck. most people can't put away $100,000 for the cancer treatment

what most people do is get insurance, as this is the most financially responsible and intelligent thing to do, and your plan in your comment is bonkers and not financially responsible nor intelligent

Comment News? Well, interesting perhaps... (Score 4, Interesting) 236

Considering the Nova episode 'making things faster' with David Pouge as the host presented this over a month ago, and they have production lead time delayse amounting to months, I'm with the people suggesting that this is a repeat. And hardly qualifies as 'news'.

That said, cool.

Also noted in the Nova episode was that the physical path that the fiber-optic route takes is going to be longer than the path that the microwave route takes.

If they are not doing it already, I would suspect that the next step will be to move the repeater electronics up to the microwave dishes at the intermediary locations. My experience with telcom is that this is usually housed in the shelter at the base of the towers, however if they can locate it with the dishes it will eliminate a path distance of at least twice the sum of the elevations of the dishes, divided by the velocity factor of the media they use to connect those, (roughly 1 for dry waveguide, and usually between .6 and .9 for different varieties of co-ax media.) It's not a lot, but if they are looking to eliminate every possible delay, that's got to be in their plans.

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 2, Interesting) 644

you aren't immune to sickness and accidents

if you don't get insurance, and break your arm, you avoid the bill because you can't pay it, or you declare bankruptcy

and that makes you an irresponsible freeloader, because the rest of us have to bail out the hospital for unpaid bills with our taxes

insurance rates should be, and are, graded according to risk, like life insurance or car insurance, so chill out and get your health insurance

unless you are telling us your real motivation is to be an irresponsible freeloader, and avoid your hospital bill if you get hurt or sick

Comment Re:Officials say? (Score 5, Insightful) 644

there's no such thing as something cheaper than mandatory insurance

anyone who doesn't get insurance is someone who thinks they don't need insurance. while those who get insurance really need it. so costs are spread amongst fewer people and they go up, if you respect the "freedom" of some freeloaders to be stupid and irresponsible

then those assholes without insurance break their arm and get sick anyway, and then they avoid the bill because they can't afford it, and the taxpayer has to bail out the hospital

so you pay for it anyway, in the most wasteful, stupid way possible, and you pay for irresponsible freeloaders

that's why healthcare is such a joke in the usa and is so incredibly expensive

now forcing 50 year old to buy childbirth insurance does sound crazy so you fix that specific problem, you don't jettison the entire superior idea

any questions?

Comment Re:Crypto in Syme may be unsound (Score 3, Insightful) 162

Read the link you provide - startCollectors is not required when the browser supports the proper crypto RNG, Chrome does, and they only support Chrome. So there is no bug.

A bigger problem is the possibility of back doors. Their privacy policy merely asserts that they would rather shut the service down than add a back door, but when the men in black come knocking they won't be given any choice in the matter so this assertion is worthless. What's more Chrome apps silently auto update. I won't be too harsh on them for this though because fixing it would require them to split the RSA key used for signing updates, find people in other jurisdictions who can review their code (assuming it's open source - their website didn't seem to say), and generally making the whole process deterministic. BTW if the authors are reading this comment, I have an open source RSA threshold signature library (but which isn't publicly available, it's the result of some academic research project). Feel free to email me and I will send it onwards. It might make it possible to ensure app updates have to be signed by a large group of people before they take effect.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman