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Comment Crocodile Tears (Score 2) 182

Is he also concerned with widespread ownership of assault weapons? Is he doing anything about those who lose their lives in car accidents, drown in their bath tub, or for that matter are killed by FBI agents who improperly assess the situation. "If the public does nothing, (stuff) like that will continue to roll out," "It has public safety costs. Folks have to understand that, and figure out how they are going to deal with that. Do they want the public to bear those costs? Do they want the victims (of these circumstances) to bear those costs?" Mr. FBI should focus on serious threats, and encryption is not one of them.

Comment Always the well compensated flunky, (Score 1) 186

Michael Powell, former FCC Chair and now head of the Cable & Telecommunications Association, writes in a letter to the NY Times today that "Big Tech" doesn't need help from Big Government -- it can negotiate for rights like everyone else. Let me know when your cable company lets you hook up a 3rd party cable box you bought on ebay for $35.

Comment Doesn't everybody know that by now? (Score 2) 441

The advocates of wind energy make no claim that the wind generators will run 24/7. Nevertheless, calculating payback as if they do provides a convenient comparison to other power sources. In practice, a combination of wind, solar and natural gas can economically provide power and greatly reduce the generation of greenhouse gasses and should cost less as usage of the technology grows. In fact, similar technology works for hybrid cars and for Florida Power & Light's hybrid gas / solar electric plant (http://www.fpl.com/environment/solar/projects.shtml). Obviously this is still an experimental arrangement, but it works for cars, so why not commercial electric power?

Comment Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (Score 2) 83

yet most of us would be hard pressed to remember a case in which it was successfully asserted. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laches_%28equity%29) Are we to believe that it took Spherix five years to check whether the world's largest manufacturer of network products was violating their patents? Assuming that Cisco is in fact infringing those Nortel patents, justice in this case would be served if they got an award based no more than six months worth of Cisco's sales of the products cited by Spherix.

Comment So now we now the NSA's plans for growth... (Score 4, Insightful) 234

Is my Kaspersky Antivirus going to find and remove their viruses? Or even better, perhaps some enterprising hacker will write a tool that that sends its own malware back through the NSA bot net and trashes their servers. When I was a youngster "We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us" was amusing. Now it it taken as a guiding principle by our intelligence services. It's sad.

Comment Re:Rather early to call the site a failure, isn't (Score 1) 497

It is all too easy to join the mob, shout invectives at the speaker and drown out reasoned debate. This post has it exactly right. We don't know yet whether the 36 state system simply underestimated the traffic, has some sloppy coding - which will be corrected quickly, or has fatally flawed architecture that cannot be easily corrected. Did they use Top Down Design, Bottom Up Design, or perhaps, as seems more likely, the designers are advocates for the Agile Software Manifesto. By January, we will know a great deal more about what they did, what went right and what went wrong. The are important lessons here for anyone who writes software, and it is too early to make valid conclusions until the details are made public.

Comment Re:In the the land of he free (Score 5, Insightful) 1233

You got the wrong Arthur Dent quote - should have been this: “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..." "You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?" "No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people." "Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy." "I did," said Ford. "It is." "So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?" "It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

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