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Comment There are legitimate use-cases... (Score 1) 49

I've never been to a power-generating station, so my speculations are very general...

Given: you wish to use computers to better manage the power-generation and distribution. Computers run software — either your own, or, more likely, commercial.

Software requires perpetual maintenance — fixing bugs and improving. Most of today's software vendors — both external and internal to enterprises — publish updates online. Voila, your computers need access to the Internet to get it. It may not be direct access — you may be able to limit it only to certain subnets and protocols. But their need to such access is still legitimate.

Even if you lock it all down and update only via a CD or a flash-card, you are still vulnerable. A hostile state can seduce, bribe, or blackmail whoever is supposed to carry the media. Russian prostitutes are the best in the world claims Vladimir Putin — while a hitherto unfuckable geek is getting the "girlfriend experience" of his life, her KGB-colleague can examine and subtly alter the files.

You can not eliminate such risk — you can only mitigate it...

Submission + - Obama commutes the sentence of Chelsea Manning (

mi writes: President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, a sexually-confused army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted his administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures.

The original 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

Comment Re:... move to a shared, distributed database ... (Score 2) 105

unless, of course, you manage to get a majority of the people to record it incorrectly... but gee, that's impossible, right?

Nothing's impossible. However, the relevant question would be, is it harder to subvert a blockchain-based system (where you need subvert "a majority of the people") than the current system (where you need to subvert only one person, as long as it is the right person)?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Any uptick in hate crimes by Trump-supporters? 3

It has been a while since Trump's win, has there been any evidence of the foretold uptick of hate-crimes by his supporters? And I mean, actual crimes — not just speech — that are real, reported to police and investigated?..

Comment Re:John Carmack (Score 5, Interesting) 135

John Carmack was simultaneously working for Oculus, ID Software, and not mentioned at all here is Armadillo Aerospace where he was even doing NASA contracts all at the same time. Trying to be Buckaroo Bonzai by doing everything at once is more than most normal people could do. It was about the time Zenimax took over ID Software that John Carmack wanted to continue doing this sort of multi-tasking, but they insisted he decide who he was going to work for exclusively.... and he told them to go take a hike.

If you are an engineering who is moonlighting on multiple side projects, it can definitely get a little bit fuzzy about what stuff you develop on your own time vs. what you develop for your employer. In Carmack's case, the previous management was a whole lot more open to him pretty much doing as much as he wanted to do and however he wanted to do it as long as they got a piece of the action. ID Software got the better end of the bargain in that situation and made a whole bunch of money off of the work that John Carmack was able to perform on their behalf.

That these asshats tried to kill the goose that laid golden eggs... is what they are pissed about. Even more because that goose flew away rather than them getting to eat goose for dinner and laid some golden eggs for somebody else instead that made billions of dollars for those investors.

Comment Re: Hey, cable companies: (Score 1) 200

if a government official requires that a private utility (e.g. Cable company) makes concessions to the local community as a condition of having access to that community, how exactly is that ineptitude?

If the would-be ISP walks away as a result, the community is left without that ISP's service. Or, as probably happens too, the company says, Ok, we'll do that — and then some, but in exchange you make sure, no one else ever gets to offer their service in your town. Which, obviously, is also quite damaging to the community. Hence ineptitude. And corruption.

I'd call that doing a good job instead of merely taking the shitty deal the utility likely laid on the table to begin with.

The requirements for everybody ought to be the same and clearly spelled-out. In a country with separation of powers, such requirements can not be left to the executive to formulate.

I'm flabbergasted, I even need to explain this...

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 2) 200

If there were high prices and lack of competition in 5 or 10% of locales, then simple corruption and ineptitude would be a reasonable explanation

Why must my methodology differ?

when the problem exists everywhere, you need to look for systemic structural problems.

Indeed it is a system problem. And, according to the article I cited, that problem is the local governments mistreating commercial ISPs. The companies need the governments' cooperation to lay cables, and the local mayors, town councils et al consider it a golden opportunity — to extract favors. The favors are either for themselves (corruption) or for their cities (ineptitude)...

Now, you didn't include the requested citation(s) in your reply. Was that an accident you can promptly rectify, or are you taking back your earlier claim:

99% of the cost of providing service is the trenching


Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 0) 200

Since 99% of the cost of providing service is the trenching, this will make the market far more competitive.

Citation, please...

Imagine how competitive the package delivery business would be if FedEx, UPS, and USPS each had to build their own network of roads?

Kinda hard to imagine... But I don't think, the conclusion you are trying to project is all that obvious. At any rate, there is a LOT more to package delivery, than roads. There is nothing else to ISP beyond running and maintaining cables (and routers), so your analogy is not valid.

A single network of publicly owned roads fixes that problem, and allows competition to thrive.

The real hurdle to ISP-propagation is the local governments' corruption and ineptitude. Giving them more power will only make things worse.

Comment Re:If this is open source... (Score 1) 338

If you're putting out Open Source software for Linux and Mac, a Windows version shouldn't be that difficult.

If that's true and Apple still hasn't done it, then you can assume Apple doesn't care about the Windows platform. I doubt many people would argue with that assumption.

Especially since Apple has Windows development teams on hand to do the work.

I assume those development teams are doing things that are valuable to Apple's bottom line.

Since it is open source, you can do it if you want. Or Microsoft can do it.

Anyway, if you want it more than Apple and Microsoft then you can build it yourself. That's what open source gives you---the ability to take the code and run with it however you want.

You could even look for like-minded developers to help you. That's how open source communities get started.

But crying on Slashdot? That gets you nothing except ridicule.

Comment Re:Make the banks take the risk when an driver hit (Score 4, Insightful) 136

There was no regulation.

Congress "deregulated" that piece of the banking industry when it repealed sections 20 and 32 of the Glass–Steagall Act in 1999.

It only took the corporations 9 years to create a national disaster.

It turns out some regulations are very, very good ideas.

Comment Re:Looks like GM got off easy (Score 1) 126

GM can simply replace the defective ignition switch.

Most of the VM vehicles cannot be modified to comply with the emissions regulations---at least, not without seriously reducing their performance or fuel efficiency.

So a large chunk of the settlement is funding the vehicle trade-in program.

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