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Comment Protect their IP? (Score 2) 79

From the link: "HP said it will continue to use security features that "protect our IP..."

What IP is being protected exactly, by preventing consumers from using cheaper, third party ink?

They (again) got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and are dropping buzzwords to draw attention away from their anti-competitive practices.

Comment Maybe if we can outlaw bribery (Score 1) 33

The way politicians work is via quid pro quos. A large donor gives them (specifically a shell organization) money or other enticements, and they provide favorable legislation for the donor. I don't think there were entities large enough to rival countries back in the days of the Constituion, so this threat to the republic is a new one. There was that Oxfam study earlier this year which stated 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world. WalMart has more revenue than Norway's GDP, for example.

So, I don't think the Founders saw this coming. Might need a carefully crafted amendment to deal with this issue.

Comment Re:Not a nice way to die (Score 5, Informative) 429

Asphyxiation via C02 is an absolutely HORRIBLE way to die, regardless of the creature. There's a reason Carbogen (C02/Oxygen mix) is used to induce anxiety to test out anxiolytics. I mean I get that they need to solve the infestation problem but can't we choose a method that isn't also a completely inhumane method?

This is just not true. Low concentrations of CO2 can cause distress. High concentrations are fast and painless.

There have been lake and volcanic outgassing events which release massive amounts of CO2 and it kills people and animals where they stand, in seconds.

See the Lake Nyos incident to see how CO2 kills.

And here's the final report on the incident from the USGS (PDF): "In this incident, asphyxia resulted from the displacement of normal atmosphere (approximately 21 percent oxygen) by a cloud of carbon dioxide gas. Under such circumstances, victims will literally "drop in their tracks" after taking a few breaths and experience no feeling of suffocation. The actual mechanism of death is believed to be a paralysis of the respiratory centers in the brain by very high concentrations of carbon dioxide. Lethal levels of carbon dioxide are in the range of 8 to 10 percent (Sittig, 1985)." - pp. 18-19

Also: "Additionally, many victims were found in their beds still covered by bed clothing. Victims found outside appeared to have collapsed suddenly without substantial movement. Animals were described as "dead in their tracks" in herds rather than dispersed." - page 17

An accepted humane way to kill lab animals is with high concentrations of CO2. The key is "high concentrations."

This concept, of dry ice generating carbon dioxide which flows down into holes at high concentrations, is actually brilliant and humane.

Comment Let me be honest (Score 1, Troll) 343

I don't really care about more surveillance if it means people's lives will be saved. I've concluded the people who have the most to lose from increased surveillance are drug users, pedophiles and those paranoid of the government. I'm willing to be inconvenienced if it saves someone else's life.

Yeah, I get the typical standard response of wrapping oneself in the 13-starred early American flag wearing a 3 pointed hat, and shouting, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety!" I'm not giving up any freedom. I'm still covered by the Constitution.

If there is a compelling national security interest to tap my phone or monitor my communications - I won't like it (obviously) but I'm okay with it. But there isn't so I feel comfortable communicating embarrassing information and even communicating thoughtcrime from time to time. But if someone did get on the government's national security radar, I'd want the government to be able to surveil them in the hope that it might save lives. And in saying I'm okay with it for another means I must accept that risk/inconvenience for myself. Because, like I said, I'm willing to be inconvenienced if it saves someone else's life.

Having said all that, I do respect Edward Snowden for his courage and for bringing this out into the light, and not letting the program run away. I wouldn't want to see NSA employees using the infrastructure to gather LOVEINT, i.e. stalk ex-girlfriends, or politicians using the infrastructure to gather opposition research and the like. On the other hand I personally wouldn't hire Snowden because I get the impression if he saw something that went against his grain, he'd divulge company secrets in a heartbeat.

Comment Re:Won't work in America (Score 1) 630

I have an acquaintance - an engineer with an engineering degree - who married a woman from a poor background. His big complaint? While he was working and saving, she'd (marginally employed) spend money continuously on idiotic trinkets. He tried to teach her the importance of saving and fiscal prudence but it was lost on her. They eventually divorced.

Comment Re:Pile it on.. (Score 2) 306

it creates a chilling effect on dissent and discourse

What creates chilling effect on dissent and discourse is tyranny and political correctness. When Dissent is chanted down by the Mob crying "racism" or "Bigotry" or "sexist" or any number of other terms that are designed for ONE thing, to quell the voices of those opposed to the march towards tyranny. ONLY Approved voices need to speak, all others will be punished mercilessly.

Agreed. However, posting PII/PHI of private citizens should be illegal. Just as shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater is illegal. Because the social and personal cost is greater than any conceivable benefit.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 1) 77

I was always puzzled about the outrageous rates at which companies billed out software engineers. But when I got into consulting, I found out the hard way how important lawyers are. And then the larger the company gets, the more specialized people are needed. Contracting officers, accountants, site security, hardware, health insurance, unemployment insurance, taxes. All of those costs have to be covered by the revenue from products, services and billed-to-the-client staff. That made the hourly rates suddenly seem much less dazzling, and let me understand why I got such a small slice of them.

Comment Re:If you want to get an appreciation for this (Score 1) 326

You have to get senior database and programming and UI architects in some of these decisions to reintroduce some sanity and control over the complexity of the solutions.

And when I say "senior", I mean SENIOR. Like 15 to 20 years of experience working with databases with lots of tables and millions of rows. Someone who's actually been around the block and understands how things work and don't work. At a minimum, that's the database person necessary. Also having true senior programmers and UI types would be very useful it seems to me.

Comment If you want to get an appreciation for this (Score 3, Interesting) 326

If you want to get a visceral appreciation for the complexity of medical billing today, check out the Medicare Claims Processing Manual.

It almost seems like you can't merely get an administrative assistant, but you need someone with an A.A. in medical billing.

The thing that really left me aghast was the move from ICD 9 to ICD 10 (diagnosis codes and descriptions). Those #$&!!?! policy geniuses completely abandoned the ICD 9 codes and instituted all new ICD 10 codes. There was a big infrastructure around ICD 9. There is plenty of overlap in the codes, so it's a recipe for mass confusion. It's stunning that there was not even any attempt to have even a scintilla of backward compatibility.

It is almost like there are no senior database or programming architects involved in any of these decisions regarding medical IT. From what I've seen, it seems to me that it's purely non-technical policy staff driving this stuff. You have to get senior database and programming and UI architects in some of these decisions to reintroduce some sanity and control over the complexity of the solutions.

Comment How well does it scale? (Score 3, Interesting) 62

So you've got this encrypted system that's kind of like a Usenet for transactions. I make a change locally, eventually it propagates across the world. The databases are on everyone's computers versus on several hundred servers like Usenet.

The "distributed ledger" is supposed to be the Next Big Thing. And I don't mean that with any sarcasm or negativity. But how well will it scale really, if the ledgers/databases are on people's computers instead of a network of several powerful servers connected by a fast backbone?

I'm a total tyro when it comes to the distributed ledger. I've never used Bitcoin. But it - the distributed ledger - seems hackable, with no recourse if you lose your stash. And its scalability seems limited.

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