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Comment Tough, Apple (Score 4, Interesting) 180

"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." - Steve Jobs.

Well, sometimes that comes back and bites you.

"the data will bolster VirnetX's arguments that its patents are technologically significant, hard to work around, and deserve a high royalty rate."

None of this would have happened if IPv6 had been deployed by now, and everything had a static IP address. Then peer to peer services just work.

Comment Re:Seniority being the key word (Score 3, Interesting) 459

I can give a specific example where a single fresh out of university salesman outsold the other 11 salesman combined. He had been put in a crap area where they thought his average sale would be around $10,000-$30,000. So they put him on a small base salary with a 30% commission. His average sale(he made many) was actually around $500,000 and they refused to pay out the commission. They said it wouldn't be fair to the other salesmen and that he would get the same 6% that they did. Oddly enough he took this for a few years but left in the end.

As the CEO of Avis once said, "That's what you want to happen, stupid."

Something similar happened to Ross Perot at IBM. He was on commission, and one year he made more than the CEO of IBM. Then IBM imposed an annual cap on commissions. He hit his cap in late January, and wondered what to do with the rest of the year. So he started EDS and became a billionaire.

Comment Re:But the driver needs to be in control (Score 1) 732

If the system had allowed the elevators to respond would the plane have stalled and made the problem even worse?

From what I have read on this it looks like the pilots put the plane into essentially a non-win situation.

Yes, and the pilot was convicted of manslaughter. Flying at minimum airspeed at idle power at 100 feet altitude was just stupid. With passengers, it's criminal. The Airbus control system managed to bring the plane down smoothly even after running into trees. Other than a handicapped boy, a young girl who was unable to remove her seatbelt, and a woman who tried to get the girl out, all passengers and crew survived.

Comment Re:In Depth Fisking for the time crunched: (Score 3, Insightful) 1255

Even if I didn't agree with it all, the Slate article was pretty well written and had some pretty insightful points to make.

In comparison, I found Larry Correia (who is he anyway, some no-name pulp fiction author?) to be someone with an axe to grind against liberals, and nothing more than corny rebuttals.

His comments lacked much, nay, any insight, and just sounded like an angry diatribe. I hadn't read the original article, but after reading Larry's idiotic rebuttal, I went back and read it, and if anything, the rebuttal made me feel more sympathetic to Allison's position.

Maybe he should stick to writing crappy monster novels and leave the real writing to those with talent.

Comment Failed technology (Score 4, Informative) 132

Wave power has been talked up for years. No project is beyond the prototype stage, even the one in Scotland, and none of them are profitable. It's just not a very good idea.

Anything with moving parts at the ocean surface is going to be a maintenance headache. "Remember that the free surface is neither ocean nor air and that man cannot walk upon it nor will equipments remain stable in its presence. So design your equipments that they tarry not long and that they need neither servicing nor repair at this unseemly interface." - MIT/U.S. Navy ocean engineering expert. Most wave power schemes involve many big mechanical devices at the ocean surface. Fully submerged equipment or windmills above the ocean work better.

Tidal power is only feasible at a few locations worldwide. I read a study once that found ten potential sites in the world. The ideal site for maximum power output is the Bay of Fundy, but it's a long way from potential loads. Also, the way to get the most power out is to build a dam and hydroelectric plant, which totally changes the ecology in the area.

Comment Since A-bombs stopped being cool (Score 5, Interesting) 226

This isn't new. It's been that way in high-energy physics since A-bombs stopped being cool. After WWII, there was a huge interest in getting into physics, and large numbers of PhD physicists were produced. The U.S. Government hired a lot of them. Nuclear weapon design became excessively fancy, much to the annoyance of today's workers who have to maintain the old bombs.

Then, after the US had produced enough bombs for the next few world wars, the nuclear establishment wound down. Los Alamos got into all sorts of strange non-nuclear stuff like chaos theory. Lawrence Livermore became a senior activity center for aging physicists. The average age of the membership in the American Physical Society went up by six months each year. That was back in the 1990s. It hasn't gotten better.

When the USSR wound down, there was a US effort to find jobs for old Soviet nuclear experts. The worry was that they'd go to work for somebody who still wanted to build a bomb or two. Some came to the US.

Comment Dotless domain support. (Score 2) 132

I thought dotless domains were coming, and put full support for dotless domains in SiteTruth.

There was a long discussion of this on the Mozilla developers mailing list. There are some dotless domains right now. A few country codes will resolve to an IP address, and one or two actually have a web site there. Try ac

A lot of software, some of it very low level, mishandles dotless domains. If you look up "ac" in DNS, you'll get a valid IP address. Browsers, though, usually try using it as a search keyword, or try it with ".com" suffixed. There was a concern that if every word typed into a browser's input box had to be checked for being a TLD domain name, it would overload the root servers and delay search responses. DNS TLD "no finds" are relatively expensive operations.

Down at the "getaddrinfo()" level, there's a known bug. There's an exploit for this that drives traffic to subdomains of "", which is set up so that all subdomains of" are full of ad pages. Right now this is just annoying, but it could be exploited in more ways if single-component domain names became popular. That's really hard to fix, because it's in the C library on most machines. Applications would have to be rebuilt.

If you put a "." at the end of a domain name, it's "rooted", and local lookups on your local network do not apply. Type "ac." into your browser's input box, and you'll get some domain registrar who bought the Ascension Island TLD.

ICANN actually did something right.

Comment It's really important now (Score 2) 134

No, you really need calculus in computing today if you're going to get above the peon level. This is recent. I went through Stanford for a MSCS in 1985, and it was all discrite math - number theory, automata, mathematical logic. You didn't even need an FPU back then. That was sort of true until the mid-1990s or so. Then it changed.

Today, it's machine learning, machine vision, deep neural nets, Bayesian statistics, adaptive control... That's all number-crunching intensive. Today, advertising requires calculus. The algorithms behind Google, Facebook, and Amazon all involve heavy number-crunching. So does most of the "big data" stuff. Then there's quantitative finance.

There's an outsourcing firm in India which starts 23,000 people on a six month course in programming twice a year. That's the competition at the low end. You need to know a lot more than they do, and that does not mean knowing Javascript quirks.

Comment Re:iOS doesn't have exploits (Score 1) 178

It merely makes it harder to craft a working exploit from bugs like buffer overflows, but not impossible.

Right. Address space randomization is a form of "security by obscurity". There are "spraying attacks" which try patching multiple likely locations. If you can execute some kind of code on the target machine in a sandbox environment like Javascript in a browser, and also have an exploit which gets you down to the machine level, you can have Javascript which searches for the right place to patch.

Address space randomization has the downside of making bugs less reproduceable, making it easier for developers to deny their existence and refuse to fix them.

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