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Comment "Pleeeease wipe me!" -- any dev mode Chromebook (Score 1) 492

You have to put your Chromebook into developer mode

And there's the deal breaker. The Chromebook firmware, when put into developer mode, practically invites anyone who turns it on to wipe the whole thing. At power on, it displays "OS verification is OFF -- Press Space to re-enable" (screenshot), but the owner's roommate doesn't know that she can push Ctrl+D to proceed with booting. Instead, she'll probably press Space, see a message to the effect "Reenabling OS verification will erase everything. Press Enter to continue" and do what it says.

I can handle the command line stuff. I can't handle the constant threat of loss of work that isn't committed yet and the use of the machine until I can return home to install media.

Comment Re:But but but! (Score 1) 232

Is this going to be driven by space rednecks with astro-mullets carrying their space shotguns?

I think the image you are supposed to get is of space contractors throwing their space toolboxes and some space lumber into a pickup truck and driving over to a construction site.

Notice that if you hire contractors to do some work on your house, they are more likely to show up in pickup trucks than giant vans.

Realistically it's going to be more like a space van or lorry.

I didn't invent the term "space pickup truck". I saw others using it years ago in Internet discussions of space.

The idea is that it is specifically not a giant van or lorry. On rare occasions you might need a giant van, but a pickup truck can be something you use every day. That's the metaphor.

The Space Shuttle was metaphorically a lorry. It had a large cargo volume and could carry heavy loads... to low Earth orbit, on rare occasions. It would be much much more useful to have a fleet of vehicles that can each only carry a tonne or so but can do it frequently, economically, with little drama.

Space X et al. are really just trying to use current technology

They are advancing the state of the art, but yes they are only using the known proven technology. I just read the Wikipedia page for the Skylon, and if Reaction Engine can get that to work, then they deserve all the money. I hope both companies succeed but I'm not pinning my hopes on the radical new technology.

The Skylon promises to be a reusable SSTO craft with a 15 tonne cargo capacity. Obviously 15 tonnes is better than 1 tonne. If it can fly routinely, without excessive maintenance, it should be a huge step forward. But it's a lot more complicated than what SpaceX is trying to do, and therefore a lot higher risk.

If the Skylon works, but it turns out that the engines have to be torn down and rebuilt after every flight, and SpaceX can make 20 flights for every one Skylon flight, then SpaceX will win.

Comment Re:Robots will continue to win: What do we do (Score 1) 349

Yes, and I admitted it's flawed. But the flaws you point to don't nullify the conclusion they just require complications. Has your physics teacher ever mentioned the frictionless surface, or the massless point. These don't exist either. Nor does a maxwell's demon. but all provide insight. Don't get bogged in the weeds.

Comment Re:Robots will continue to win: What do we do (Score 2) 349

I'm going to get yelled at for posting this but there's this science fiction short story called "manna" by marshall brain. For the record I'm not marshall brain. In fact the story is rather poorly written. But it does contain a brilliant insight on this problem so I recommend it in the same way would recommend the poorly written but insightful science fiction of the 40s, 50s, 60s. A must read.

SO anyhow getting back on track here. These robots would not be used if caused the company to make less money or to produce fewer products. therefore someone is profiting from this. At the same time we just freed up some labor. Now if you have ever studied the debate between Hayak and Keynes economics you know that this presents a problem. If new higher paying jobs don't srping up to use that labor then one can enter a stalled economic situation where one hasn't increased the velocity or the total amount of money in circulation but has created dis-employment. the classic example is the 2 person village where the candle maker buys 2 loves of bread everyday from the baker, and baker buys 2 candles from thecandle maker. this cycle repeats every day. One day the baker decided to same some money to send to his sick mother, so he bought one candle. The next day the candlestick maker only had money to buy one loaf of bread. and the cycle now became one of a lower productivity. Everyone would like to be working at a higher level of productivity but there's no way to get there. The baker only has enough money to buy the resources he needs to make one loaf. He can't make 2 if he wanted to. Same for the candle maker. The a Mr Keynes comes to town and loans the baker enough money to make two loves and the candle stick maker enough money to make two candles. They then resume the 2 by 2 economy. In return Mr. Keynes, who was actually the tax man in disguise, gets more taxes in the long run.

Yes you can poke some holes in that reductionist example but the point is there are different nash equilubria in economines and you can through no fault of your own end up in a lousy one.

As we become more productive with robots one can either go to an economy where fewer people are employed and fewer people buy the now cheaper goods while wealth concentrates into the few people wiht enough capital to buy these expensive robots, or you could consider an increasingly socialist econonmy where we the increasing cheapness of goods lets us lead more procutive happy lives or lives with more leisure. It requires preventing excess capital accumualtion to achieve. This doesn't mean everyone has to be equal. But one can realistically consider a miniium basic income economy (e.g. finland is experimenting with this) where industrious people are free to earn more by working. Everyone can follow their hearts once the robots are able to make cheap buildings and grow cheap food and make cheap clothing, without it being a burden on the people who choose to work or create or invest.

Yes you can quibble, but if you extrapolate to infinite cheapness clearly I'm right. So ar what level of finite cheapness am I also mostly right?

Anyhow read marshall brains story to see how this can be made plausible.

Comment Player's Choice game going for $60+ (Score 1) 117

Oh yeah, ancient used players choice versions of popular Nintendo games selling for $20 gets on my nerves.

If you're referring to used copies of the Player's Choice version of Super Smash Bros. Melee for Nintendo GameCube, it's probably demand from tourney[cigarettes]. A quick Google search shows it going for $60-$70 across multiple sellers.

Comment Internet activation killed PC games at GameStop (Score 1) 117

The same kind that decided a decade ago that PC games were no longer worth carrying.

That was decided for GameStop when Valve introduced Steam. Before Steam was a download store for PC games, it was the Internet activation method for Half-Life 2. Once more PC game publishers adopted Internet activation, GameStop could no longer accept used PC games.

Comment Re:Never saw that coming (Score 1) 250

Assuming DNSSec gets deployed as it should

Not likely as long as domain registrars that bundle DNS service charge extra for DNSSec. <cough>GoDaddy</cough>

someone in the same coffee shop will be able to passively snoop, but won't realistically be able to be in the middle of the communication unless the infrastructure is badly broken.

It is in fact "badly broken." If Starbucks Wi-Fi is "attwifi" (as it often is) and an attacker with two radios makes a bridge with the other end having the SSID "Starbucks", a first-time visitor won't know the difference and will likely choose to associate to the rogue AP.

At that point, your endpoint is untrusted

In the case of Fullscreen API, HTTPS strengthens the identity of the entity that made the endpoint appear less trusted. Under current policy, when an origin goes full-screen for the first time, the browser presents a "cancel or allow" prompt showing the hostname in big letters. But with cleartext HTTP, the user can't be sure that he's communicating with the intended origin instead of an active attacker.

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