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Comment Re:Every single company (Score 1) 236

But many of the steps that could be taken to prevent the problem are relatively low-impact. These also aren't taken.

I do agree that security professionals tend to overemphasize low probability events. If they didn't have that mindset they wouldn't be security professionals. But there are lots of things that could be done, that are low impact, that AREN'T done because it would require management to authorize it, and the people who understand it can't communicate the importance to management. And lots of things that are almost "security theater" are done just because they are easy to explain.

Comment Re:Posting anonymously for obvious reasons... (Score 1) 236

In your situation it sounds like what you need to do is impose a short timeout after each failed password entry, and lock the account after 3-4 consecutive failed password entries. Perhaps you could just impose a temporary timeout on the account after each failed attempt, increasing after each consecutive failed attempt, but I don't think I've ever seen such a system in use.

There's a good argument that this kind of thing should be routine anyway as long as it's reasonably easy to unlock the account. (I.e., the user has to be able to contact tech. services in a timely manner, and they need to be able to deal with it quickly.)

Comment Re:Whats wrong with init? (Score 2) 279

Thank you for finally providing an answer that made sense.

Outside it that, I fully understand that attitude of people who don't like change for the sake of change...I'm one of them. Having to learn a new configure language is a pain when I'd rather be doing something else. But if there's a valid reason, that makes things more acceptable.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 888

That is currently true. It's not clear that it will continue to be true. Sand and carbon are rather plentiful, and so is Nitrogen. There have been some experimental circuits built that don't use much else, and they included transistors, resistors, inductors, and memory diamond. They aren't currently practical, and I really doubt that they'll be practical in a decade, but if prices go up enough, then they eventually will be...though there's lots of development work yet to be done.

P.S.: Rare earths aren't actually rare, they're just hard to separate, and good ores of any particular one are uncommon. And we haven't been intentionally using them for very long, so there hasn't been extensive development work on mining them. Until recently some mines originally built to extract them had been being closed as unprofitable. Now I've heard they're being re-opened, because now there's a market.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 888

Lack of imagination isn't sadism. Neither is lack of belief in an attractive imagined solution. It may, or may not, be wrong, but that's a separate question.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 888

You *are* aware the the populations in industrial countries are declining, aren't you? That's one of the reasons that Japan is putting so much effort into home-care robotics. They've got an increasingly elderly population, and they discourage immigrtion, so they need something to take care of the elders. Most industrial countries give that role to immigrants, but as industrialization spreads this is going to be problematic.

OTOH, the population is still rising, and a collapse because of limited resources before we get down to a sustainable level isn't improbable.

Comment Re:MUST BE STOPPED (Score 1) 239

This relies upon the meaning of the amendment being enforced by court decisions. Sorry, but I'm quite skeptical that this will happen.

Court decisions have more frequently extended the power of the federal government than limited it. Frequently at the expense of the state governments, but when the right was supposed to reside in "the people or the state", moving it from the states to the feds is a regressive act. (I'll grant you that many states have given them reasons for the move, but that's a separate issue.)

E.g.: The Warren Court, during the Civil Rights movement, extensively moved power from the states to the feds. They appear to have had the best of intentions, but the long term results are mixed. The result is that instead of having several states with extremely repressive governments, we have a country with a moderately repressive government, and a highly intrusive one. It also helped abate the most extreme racial injustices...though recently we've seen some steps backwards on that ground from the federal level.

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 1) 380

IIUC, the provision in the constitution for the legislature to reign in the executive is to refuse to pass any appropriation bills. ANY. Because the executive was known to intentionally pervert the intention of any bill that was passed.

Of course, that means that the feds would shut down. Originally that was much less of a big deal. These days...there aren't many places to homestead anymore. But it means shutting down Social security, the treasury, the military, the TSA, the Air traffic controllers, the FCC, etc. Somehow people don't seem to be quite willing to do that. The Feds have taken over many jobs that were intended to be done by the states. And they've used legal interpretations to weasel their way into all sorts of nooks and crannies where dislodging them would grossly inconvenience or endanger people. Because of this, shutting down the government would not be looked on kindly by the vast majority of citizens. Some of this was done with good intentions, but good intentions or malicious, it was done, and no other organization exists to do many of the jobs that need doing.

FWIW, congress is allowed to define whatever it chooses as "grounds for impeachment". If I recall correctly the only definition is "High crimes and misdemeanors", and that term is not further defined. But your point about "If you don't have the votes for legislation, you sure aren't going to have them for impeachment." is quite valid.

I do agree that the case is just grandstanding, though. IIRC the president can decide that he refuses to allow himself to be sued. (Otherwise every president would end up spending all his time defending himself against claims of impropriety...even before he took office.)

Comment Re:MUST BE STOPPED (Score 1) 239

Care to suggest a *method* for stopping this kind of abuse?

We are clearly headed into an era of coupe d'etats, as the government is acting in ways that remove all belief in it's justice, so there will be small interest among the citizenry if one gang of theives and murderers ousts another. But a way to reform the government before this occurs is not obvious.

Comment Re:One of the most misunderstood term. CE (Score 1) 108

Where did you get that idea that tool usage is recent? People and Chimpanzees both use tools, so the conservative assumption would be that tool use pre-dates the split between the species. And it's not like it requires immense brain power. Crows use tools. Some of Darwin's Finches use tools. And many others. (Too many to list.)

The problem is, most of the tools are wood or straw, so they don't tend to be preserved. The ones I listed are all modern species, and the reason for that is that if we didn't watch them using the tools, we wouldn't know that they did. There's no evidence at all that it's recent along ANY of the gene lines. (For that matter, I believe that British Great Tits learned to use tools to pry the caps off milk bottles to get at the cream. This is a species that has, I believe, otherwise only been observed to use tools in nest-building.)

Comment Re:Unknown species (Score 1) 108

Depends on the layman. Still, there could be species that are radically different from any currently extant. E.g., I believe that all current species that have blood rather than ichor use either copper or iron as an oxygen transporter...but there could be something else. Also, all known species use 4 DNA codons (AGTC) or RNA codons (substituting Uracil for one of those...I'd need to look up which). It could be that there were earlier species that had more (or fewer) than four. That would be pretty much of a shock....though proving it from a fossil would be really tricky. They could find that feather-like things emerged as soon as multi-cellular animals. Etc.

Mind you, these are just examples. It would be REALLY shocking if one of them were true. But that there should be something equivalent that was true wouldn't be surprising, though any particular example would be quite surprising. Like feathers on a T.Rex. Or the brontosarus having the wrong head (so now it's an apatosarus, which isn't anywhere near a good a name, and the head is very different).

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