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Comment Re:That's fine and dandy (Score 1) 289

That seems a tad slow. I can write and verify a 5GB DVD in about 8-10 minutes, and that's using a four-year-old burner. You may want to see if something on your machine could be tuned a little better.

It might be an issue of SATA vs PATA. I discovered that for some reason when ripping my music CDs that one drive was a hell of a lot faster than the other. I had several hundred CDs to work through, so I stuck a new SATA drive in the PC so I could rip 2 CDs at once. The existing drive was an old PATA thing I've had for years. In fact, the PC didn't support PATA so I had the drive connected to a USB converter and ran the cable to a USB port.

The thing is though, the PATA drive worked through the disks in a minute, while the SATA drive (properly connected to the motherboard) took 15 minutes or more per disk. The speeds were similar even when each drive was used on its own with the other disconnected.

Not to say that it should take him 20-30 minutes, but if my experience is anything to go by, maybe he encountered the same weird bug that I ran into?

Comment Re:I want extras, director commentary tracks, etc. (Score 1) 289

Film lovers/buffs like me love the extras that often come with optical media - commentary tracks, "making of" videos, interviews, alternate versions, etc.

I haven't seen these available on streaming services yet (granted, I haven't checked all streaming services to see). That, plus lag time for HD video makes me far prefer optical media. Even if connection speeds could handle all of this, I think I'd still prefer to have a physical copy. Just old-fashioned I guess.

I've noticed an annoying trend, at least with the Pixar films on FIOS, is that the shorts which normally precede the main films have been stripped out and are sold as separate rentals/purchases.

I was a bit dismayed to discover this because when I rented "Up" to watch during a movie night with my children, it went straight into "Up". I was expecting the same experience as if I had rented the DVD or watched it in the theater. Later, I discovered the short was being sold as a $2 rental all on it's own. (And $2 is a freaking ripoff for a 5-10min short).

It bothers me because companies like Comcast, Verizon, Amazon, etc are charging the same (if not more) than what it would cost to buy a physical copy.

Comment Re:Intentions (Score 4, Interesting) 229

Nothing more parasitic than a songwriter getting paid for the public performance of their work... shame on those people... shame.

With how much our culture and technology has been retarded in the name of preserving archaic quasi-governmental licensing systems...

I shed the same tears for the newspapers who lose revenue when jurisdictions no longer require legal notices to be posted in the classifieds. Won't you consider the jobs of the fax machine manufacturers? If signatures can be electronically signed, what will happen to the market for specialized devices designed to print images received over outdated phone lines?

Comment Re:Their loss (Score 1) 410

Is it racism to be concerned that our military is using computer parts that can't (or won't) be produced at home?

A major factor in designing any system is taking careful analysis of the risks and considering the cost of avoidance/mitigation with the cost of risk realization.

Analyze the cost of the risk occuring, the likelihood of that occurance, and the overall expected cost of the risk.

Now consider how expensive it would be to mitigate that risk. If the cost of mitigation is greater than the expected cost of the risk, you are better off putting your money elsewhere. (This assumes that you have fully analyzed the risk and considered ALL costs in your evaluation.)

When it comes to computer parts, sometimes you go down the route of 'trusted foundries'. However, that is an EXPENSIVE route. You will often find that you can plan around the risk, or you might be faced with the fact that your system is just too dangerous to operate given your original CONOPS.

Rough Example:
You need a data store, but you can't be completely sure that the hardware in that data store doesn't have a backdoor that would allow remote access to the data stored in that system.


1. Build the hardware using a trusted foundry. This is expensive, slow, and often behind the latest tech.

2. Rebuild the industrial capability in your country to manufacture the hardware. This will take a while. Also, why should you trust it just because it's in your country? The only thing this helps is to ensure that you can build replacement parts. (until the factory is bombed)


Why not reevaluate your design and see if you can mitigate this risk with some design changes?

Encrypt the data before it crosses into the domain of the suspect system rather than encrypting it in place after it enters into the domain of the system. Now you don't have to care about the potential for that aspect of the backdoor, and it cost you a hell of a lot less than sourcing from a trusted foundry.

Obviously there is a lot more that most backdoors will allow other than just pulling data. The point is that once you start getting to the point that you are strongly considering using a trusted foundry, it is critically important that you evaluate your design because there are often ways to render the threat moot in design, rather than trying to completely trust your supply chain all the way to the end user.

I once had to design a system that needed to support the same radios for 20 years. Did I enter into a contract with motorola to keep a manufacturing line up during those 20 years? Nope. I analyzed/tested to see how they would handle sitting on a shelf. Pre-purchased enough radios to handle the expected DoA/Spares/need for 20 years. Since I only needed 100 of them, that was an option. If it were 1,000,000? Well, then Motorola might have considered keeping that line open on their own dime.

The point is, understand your design, and try not to paint yourself into a corner where you NEED to care about such a situation.

Comment Re:Testla is good... (Score 1) 452

That's a bit disingenuous. You can't pick out a single stage of the process and compare that while ignoring everything else if you want an honest assessment of the efficiency.

The reason I focused on a single stage of the process is because the post I was responding to was discussing the relative waste of transmission line or truck delivery. Total system efficiency is certainly something worthy of discussion, but that wasn't the point of discussion. Everything that occurs before, and everything that occurs after is irrelevant because the point of discussion was loss during transmission.

Comment Re:Outrageous (Score 1) 453

I departed from Munich for the US in 2007 and had to pass through three nearly identical security checkpoints. (basically security metal detector lines 3 times).

It was very odd, the only thing I can think of is that my terminal was nested. ie: first line was for all europe flights, second line was for international, and the third line was for US destinations. ie: had I just been going to Paris, maybe I would have only hit one line?

Comment Re:Planetary magnetic field (Score 1) 98

I contend that the core had cooled and was emitting no gases so the air 'evaporated'. I believe that our hot, steamy core is what regularly replenishes our atmosphere, and is made breathable by plankton as it bubbles up from the sea floor.

Volcanism is responsible for a great portion of our atmosphere. Early life cracked carbon dioxide and increased the oxygen content of the Earth. This early oxygen was absorbed by the surface of the Earth until it was saturated (or bound as more H2O due to reactions with the protoatmosphere). Once the crust was saturated with oxygen, you saw a very sudden spike in Oxygen content of the Earth's atmosphere once the free hydrogen was bound and the crust was saturated. The Oxygen had nowhere else to go. You can actually see this effect by looking at estimates for atmospheric oxygen content and the increases/declines/spikes.

Long story short, it's not that the atmosphere is being replenished, but without volcanism there wouldn't be enough initial atmosphere to ever really get started.

Comment Re:Can we discuss the fourth amendment now? (Score 1) 322

And if it produces 10,000 false positives to yield one valuable lead, how does that impact you? It's not like that turns into 10,000 knocks on 10,000 doors by 10,000 special agents. It gives them more trails to follow.

If each false positive requires 1 hour to identify as a false positive, you will have tied up 5.5 agents for an entire year in which they will have contributed exactly nothing to identifying 1 valuable lead.

You can estimate the cost of one government employee at $200k/year in actual billed cost. The result is that you will spend $1.1 million dollars for 'one valuable lead'.

You state that it gives you more trails to follow, but you don't want more trails if those are just wild goose chases. Wild goose chases are expensive, and they divert resources away from actual gainful endeavours. Every dollar you waste on a wild goose chase is also a dollar you didn't spend on timely analysis of valid leads.

Comment Re:Planetary magnetic field (Score 3, Insightful) 98

You are correct that the solar wind would strip off hydrogen, but the reason it isn't stripping it isn't due to the magnetosphere alone.

Part of the reason Earth has hydrogen is because it also has oxygen. While the two elements (at least hydrogen) would be stripped by the solar wind if they remained separate, the Hydrogen is 'weighted down' by being bound in water molecules with Oxygen.

The solar wind has stripped most of the Helium from our planet's atmosphere because it is a noble gas and doesn't react with other elements. If the solar wind is already strong enough to strip off the He, it would certainly be strong enough to strip off the much lighter Hydrogen.

Comment Re: But unlike Android apps (Score 1) 107

Old school apps, the programs we used to run on PCs automatically had access to everything that the user who ran it had access to. And that didn't seem to be a problem. People would report "spyware" and programs that did badness would be shunned.

My old school PC did not have an always-on internet connection, it did not have a GPS chip installed in it, it did not have all of my contacts packaged behind a convenient API (my contacts were handwritten in a little book) When I didn't want a program to have access to the internet, I didn't grant it access to the internet via the firewall, or I didn't even run it while the modem was connected.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982