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Comment Re:Why use untrusted wi-fi? (Score 1) 44

For 120$ a month, I get four lines with unlimited text, voice, and 2GB of "high speed" data. Then it gets throttled to 128 kbps. That speed is good enough to provide turn-by-turn driving instructions. I don't stream videos. So I don't even use this much of data. Anyway if I am a security professional, the company issued phone would come with some decent wireless data plan provided by the employer.

Comment Operation Quicksilver needed. (Score 1) 301

Operation Quicksilver was a WW-2 operation by Allied Army stationed in UK. They created a fake army with inflatable tanks, and cardboard barracks and painted log canons. But the deception unit also sent thousands of fake radio traffic, drove a few trucks endlessly around to create fresh tracks every night etc etc.

We should kickstart some crowd funding to create a mod for android that recognizes a Quicksilver password. Once the quicksilver password is entered, the phone would unlock, but log in you with a pre selected account or mode. Everything there would be very innocuous, but enough stuff to make it appear normal. We might get some crowd sourced "safe browsing history" updated daily and very innocuous email traffic and very bland but seemingly very normal WhatsApp and SMS traffic with very recent date stamps. Some AI generated Mad-Libs like combinatorial content generator.

There should be a very special Slowsilver password that would turn off Quicksilver return the phone to normal mode.

Comment Why use untrusted wi-fi? (Score 4, Informative) 44

The data plans have become very affordable. I don't find the need to ever use "free" wi-fi. I use wi-fi at home, and then it is the standard data plan from t-mobile. I don't even use the free wi-fi provided by my employer at work. ( No, no, I am not Visvesvaraya, the legendary minister of Maharajah of Mysore who kept two sets of candles and made sure he did not use the government issued candles while attending to personal work. Just simply privacy concerns, why even let the employer know my browsing habits? )

Comment GPUs have limited applications (Score 4, Insightful) 108

It keeps coming back. Massively parallel machine, thousands of cores all working in parallel. Naively multiply add up all the megaflops and get some massive number and tout it big. We can simply add all the flops of all the servers in some Amazon cloud and claim that is the super computer. Back in the 80s "transputer" was all the rage. Before that it was the "vector" computers. Then "the network *is* the computer", then GPUs...

As of now there are very few applications for massively souped up GPU processes. Fluid mechanics loves this GPU. Navier-Stokes is probably the most difficult equation to solve, agreed. But it is hyperbolic, with limited "zone of influence", and numerical equations are quite simple, just mass, momentum and energy balances in the control volume. It plays well in GPU, the calculations fit inside the teensy memory and processor. All time domain problems are hyperbolic and they all can be ported to GPU, theoretically. But try squeezing Maxwell's Equations into that teensy processor!

Graphics card companies are desperately looking for new markets and they keep pushing this. They might as well push a wet noodle across the table. It ain't gonna go nowhere it didn't wanna go.

Comment Re: Yay! Cruelty-free bacon! (Score 1) 126

There are tons of things not in the food, vegan, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-lacto-vegetarian nor in full red meat. Our bodies can synthesize, and do synthesize it. Of course there are things we can't synthesize. Vitamin C for example. Most mammals can synthesize vitamin C. Only the bats and primates who adopted a fruitarian diet some 30 million years ago lost it. The entire gene factory to synthesize vitamin C exists in our DNA, but a key sequence is lost thus rendering it inoperative DNA.

But B12 is something we can synthesize. It is the gut bacteria complex that generates B12. B12 created in colon gets excreted and does not get absorbed. But enough gets created in small intestine, it is enough. B12 is very efficiently recycled by the body.

Comment Make perfect the enemy of good. (Score 2) 52

It is true in software engineering, and it is true everywhere.

Perfection is the goal. But doing better than current version is the shipping criterion.

Auto captioning is better than no captioning for hearing impaired.

And human captioning is not perfect. I remember watching Lion King with closed captioning turned on and they had missed a crucial "o" in some dialog that had the word "count".

Comment Identity verification is a mess in India (Score 5, Informative) 56

In India verification of identity has been a mess for a long time. Much of this complaint is true, and the Indian government can mess things up royally or vice-royally. But you can compare the new system with perfect system and carp about it. Perfection is the goal, but doing better than current version is the shipping criterion, as any coder knows.

Before aadhaar (meaning proof in Hindi, cognates with similar word in most of indian languages) it was an incredible mess. For most people "the ration card" issued to families to avail services of subsidized food served as a form of identity. Originally it had no photos, and it was one per family, not individual. But the state governments made some basic efforts to curtail fraudulent cards, so it served as an identity card. Voter registration lists were inflated. Migrant people did not have one. Credit worthiness could not be verified. So unsecured loans are never available from organized sector. All unsecured loans were made by local loan sharks who knew people personally. Almost all the commerce was done by cash. Allowed untaxed black money to mix freely with white money. So much so that the government had demonetized 500 Rs, and 1000 rs currency notes. Unless you can prove you had that note legally, you can't exchange it for the new legal tender. It did it back in 1976 too. The country was formed only in 1947.

The mess is far larger than any one can imagine or fix in short term. Finding fault with any new system is easy. Unless you offer viable solutions and work to address your concerns, one would think, it is just a troll or astro turf or feigned outrage.

Funny story: I was a lucky person with a propane gas cylinder account with a government owned gas supplier when I graduated from college. Propane gas stoves are the way most cooking is done in India for about half the population. It was a hot thing to have a gas cylinder account! All due to the foresight of my mom who "registered" my name using the ration card when I was in sixth or seventh grade. When I left for America, that account became very valuable. I gave the cylinder I had to my friend. So every time the cylinder would run out, he would use my name and get a replacement. Not sure if I gave my ration card to him too. When I ran into him some 15 years later he said, "I never forgot you. How could I ? Every 20 days, I had to call the Indane Gas company, and identify myself as 140mandak262jamuna!"

Comment Setting up for a shakedown (Score 4, Interesting) 640

Standard operating procedure for the ambulance chasers. Sling as much mud as possible, watch to see what sticks, and then pile on to use that kind of mud in the trial. I am sure they are trying to find what would make Tesla settle out of court. Then the avalanche will start.

The way the courts work, if there are N causes for an accident, all N causes are liable for full 100% of the damages. This is a necessary consequence of allowing limited liability corporations. If we assign liability proportionally, immediately all corporations will spawn child corporations that will all act as one way valve. Profits flow upstream and liability stops with them. So they will not have the assets to pay for the damages they cause. It is already happening to some extent, in taxes, income stream management, and a few other areas.

But the way the system is gamed, no one seems to benefit, other than the trial lawyers.

Comment Stonehenge, without the stones? (Score 5, Informative) 147

They found what they call geoglyphs. Circular earthworks and with a ditch around them. Some places two level deep ditches and earthworks. But so far there is no evidence there was a stone structures, especially the classic a lintel propped up on top of two stone pillars is not found. It is the structures that were stunning and their alignment with equinoxes and solstices that make them very special.

Earth work and ditches would have been the earliest form of defenses. Let us not belittle the discovery. These earthworks tell us a lot about early settlers in the Amazon region. Also they discovered agriculture late. Eincorn wheat was domesticated in the Levant 11000 years ago, rice in China 9000 years ago. Corn was domesticated in South America just 3000 or 4000 years ago. Domestication of crops correlates with sedentism, and a transition from hunter/gatherer to farmer. We remember that transition in the New World as the story of Cain (farmer) and Abel (hunter). We need to learn the transition in the New World from these clues. So the findings are very very significant.

It is already a great and significant find. Comparing it to stonehenge is counterproductive. Stonehenge was 5000 years after domestication of crops in the New World. These geoglyphs seem to be concurrent with the domestication of corn. It is unfair to compare geoglyphs with stonehenge.

Comment Re:Skeptic (Score 1) 398

When government spends it, we can make it spend in America. Even if those who take it from US govt imports it from abroad, there is a percentage left in the hands of Americans. If you cut the govt and give all the money as profits to private sector without low or no taxes, they spend ALL of it abroad.

Comment Re:Skeptic (Score 0) 398

And John Galt who was the greatest entrepreneur in the whole damned world got stumped because some rail road would not run a line to Galt's Gulch. So he took his marbles and went home. That was the story in a nut shell by Ayn Rand. Insane story written by a deranged social security collecting leech.

Comment Re:Skeptic (Score 1) 398

Rich are not the one "producing". It is the consumers who create the jobs.

If a town of 10,000 has about 300 people willing to buy pizza on any given night, that is the job creator right there. If one rich guy does not want to "create the job" by our rules, move along buddy, there are other rich people who would. The world is sloshing with 2 trillion dollars of money looking for a place to invest. There are no good investment opportunities anymore, I did not say it, CNBC is blaring it almost every quarter.

There is only one way to deal with the rich people. Call their bluff. They would do every trick in the book to scare us. They got rich by playing hardball. Being rational and reasonable with them is insane. They will play chicken and will win because, rational people always lose the game of chicken. The only sane, rational thing to do is to appear to be even more insane than they are. Scare them with communism, nationalization, eminent domain, till we instill a panic and fear in them. Then they will play by the rules.

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