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Comment Here is a list of things he deserves (Score 1) 822

Let's see:

  • A full, immediate pardon. (as a legal mechanism, not because he committed any crimes by being a whistleblower).
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • A serious discussion and legislative effort about surveillance and how surveillance was allowed to reach clearly illegal levels
  • A continous whistleblower award for the rest of his life, so that he doesn't have to work ever again. He put everything on the line for his beliefs, did more than the vast majority of people. The SEC and other groups already give out multimillion dollar whistleblowing awards for mere white collar crime, exposing the surveillance programs ought to rate higher.

Comment No, node.js and mongodb are cancer (Score 3, Interesting) 354

The real thing that's turning javascript into the lingua franca of the web are really three things:

  1. JS is already supported by all major browsers, modern ones with JIT
  1. asm.js - which turns anything from a LLVM intermediate representation into javascript code that runs around 2x the speed of native c/c++ code in supported browsers and as fast as any other piece of JS code in all the other browsers
  1. HTML5, WebRTC

It's an inside-out stack.

Comment Insecure throughout the year (Score 1) 94

If we ask the question: "for how many days in a year is a specific browser/application vulnerable to an unpatched exploit?", then we get awful numbers. There are plenty of applications used by millions of people where that number is more than half of the year.

The 7 day limit is probably a compromise between trying to get the vendor to fix the vulnerability that is actively being exploited and disclosing the information and thus increasing the pool of people who'd use the exploit.

For vulnerabilities where there is no known active exploitation, we should assume that there is. 30/60day delays are unforgivable.

Comment We need to pay for content creation (Score 3, Insightful) 68

The current mostly advertisement supported model that's dominant on the internet is warping how we interact with each other and how we use services - reminds me of a bad mix of Orwell's 1984 and The Matrix (the part where humans are used as batteries).

I'd gladly pay for a lot of content on the internet, but currently I either don't have the option or the pricing is outrageous - scientific articles and newspaper subscription comes to mind as being way overpriced. We need microtransactions and the first step is building the infrastructure to make it possible. Things like app.net instead of surveillance supported services like facebook are the step in the right direction.

Comment Re:UK only. (Score 1) 709

I believe the article was referring to the UK. I don't know what the laws are there, but here in the U.S., a company would be closed down quickly if it were found the meat had been adulterated like that.

Oh boy, you're in for a shock then. Meat (and in general, food) safety in the US is way behind most of the EU countries. Eric Schlossers' excellent book - Fast Food Nation - details the US meat packing industry (from wikipedia's summary):

In his examination of the meat packing industry, Schlosser finds that it is now dominated by casual, easily exploited immigrant labor and that levels of injury are among the highest of any occupation in the United States. Schlosser discusses his findings on meat packing companies IBP, Inc. and on Kenny Dobbins. Schlosser also recounts the steps involved in meat processing and reveals several hazardous practices unknown to many consumers, such as the practice of rendering dead pigs and horses and chicken manure into cattle feed. Schlosser notes that practices like these were responsible for the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, aka Mad Cow Disease, p. 202-3), as well as for introducing harmful bacteria into the food supply, such as E. coli O157:H7 (ch. 9, "What's In The Meat"). A later section of the book discusses the fast food industry's role in globalization, linking increased obesity in China and Japan with the arrival of fast food. The book also includes a summary of the McLibel Case.

There is much more material, but this should suffice as a quick summary. The book is a decade old, the problems are current however.

Comment Re:Low-dose radiation isn't a big deal (Score 4, Informative) 124

I'm going to undo a bunch of mod points with this post, but I wanted to point out that the blog post you cite is flat out wrong.

I'd like to say that I'm for building more nuclear plants of 4th or later generation design and that even with the LNT model, the maximum number of deaths from Fukushima might be on the level of a single bus accident. That said, the blogpost is incredibly misleading. It took me a while to track down the original source that the post claims to cite from UNSCEAR and it's this paragraph:

In general, increases in the incidence of health effects in populations cannot be attributed reliably to chronic exposure to radiation at levels that are typical of the global average background levels of radiation. This is because of the uncertainties associated with the assessment of risks at low doses, the current absence of radiation-specific biomarkers for health effects and the insufficient statistical power of epidemiological studies. Therefore, the Scientific Committee does not recommend multiplying very low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or lower than natural background levels;

What they are saying in short is that the statistical uncertainty is strong enough at low levels of radiation doses WRT cancer risk is that it's not possible to tell whether the LNT model is true or not and THEREFOR it shouldn't be used to say "this many people will die from this much low level radiation". They aren't saying that LNT is wrong. They aren't saying that LNT is right. They are saying we don't know.

The quote from the report is from here. It's from the latest report to the general assembly, page 16.

Comment Re:Link doesn't work (Score 1) 121

This is exactly what I wanted for my home: to measure temperature/light/humidity with 4-5 various sensors placed around the house that transmit data wirelessly to a base station which is capable of logging / exporting / graphing the data in fairly standard ways, without the proprietary junk.

I was considering this controller with some sensors, but at $150 each, it's a tad expensive. I could probably build it myself from some raspberry pi derivative, however I'd rather not reinvent everything from scratch.

I was really surprised not to find a much less expensive solution and an open source ecosystem that provides this kind of home monitoring solution (with the possibility to base some home automation on this)

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