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Comment Clever, but not that useful in practice (Score 1) 55

91% success is impressive performance, but it maybe isn't that useful for, eg, spotting suspects on CCTV footage. For example, the London Underground carries nearly 5 million passenger journeys per day. 9% of that is 450,000. So, if we are talking false positives, nearly half a million non-suspects for humans to check every day. To put it another way, it's several non-suspects to check in every single carriage of every single train during peak times. This is why global surveillance often isn't a very good way to catch the bad guys.


Report: US Government Worse Than All Major Industries On Cyber Security (reuters.com) 124

schwit1 quotes a report from Reuters: U.S. federal, state and local government agencies rank in last place in cyber security when compared against 17 major private industries, including transportation, retail and healthcare, according to a new report released Thursday. The analysis, from venture-backed security risk benchmarking startup SecurityScorecard, measured the relative security health of government and industries across 10 categories, including vulnerability to malware infections, exposure rates of passwords and susceptibility to social engineering, such as an employee using corporate account information on a public social network. Educations, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries also ranked low, the report found. Information services, construction, food and technology were among the top performers. And we are supposed to trust them with healthcare? This report comes after President Obama recently unveiled a commission of private, public and academic experts to bolster the U.S. cyber security sector.

Comment Re:On the other hand (Score 1) 342

Yes. But the technically impossible problems were solved, and it has transformed the way people travel over that particular route. My daughter now takes a train from the South of France to London, non-stop, in only slightly more time (city centre to city centre including check-in) than it would take by plane. And tunnels last for quite a long time, so it makes sense to take the long-term view.

Comment On the other hand (Score 5, Informative) 342

The article sounds remarkably like the articles written when the Anglo-French Channel Tunnel project was proposed. Various aspects of the project were allegedly impossible when digging began, including concerns about the nature of the rock under the Channel and that the air in the tunnels would overheat because of the absence of ventilation tunnels under the sea. The project did run over-budget, but it worked, and is still working, and has transformed the way people and freight travel along that route.

Comment Haven't we been here before? (Score 1) 243

All the arguments made for Tizen were made a few years back for Bada, another Samsung "for entry level phones" OS. It worked on a technical level. At one point it was selling reasonably well in some European markets. I have a Bada phone I bought for development. If you're in the US and never saw Bada, it's because it never made it to the US, and now it's history. Really not sure why Tizen is going to fare differently.

Comment C++ is C (Score 1) 641

Modern, best-practice C can be compiled with a C++ compiler. (There are a few gotchas moving in either direction - http://www.cprogramming.com/tu... - but it's not hard to avoid them.) For all its object-oriented impurity and spec-bloat, the one thing I love about C++ is that you can write relatively high-level code when that makes sense, but you always have the option to grapple with all the fine detail when that's useful.

Comment H1B applicants are people too (Score 5, Insightful) 190

The article doesn't seem to point out the obvious explanation, ie that H1B applications contain personal data (of the type Slashdotters are usually passionate about protecting), and that it is good practice not to keep such information hanging around once it has served its primary purpose. There are presumably solutions to the research concerns, such as aggregating the data before it is deleted or collecting the specific data necessary before the records are deleted.

The Military

Air Force To Take Over Two Ex-Shuttle Hangers In Florida For Its X-37B Program 48

schwit1 writes In an effort to find tenants for its facilities, the Kennedy Space Center is going to rent two former shuttle processing hangers to Boeing for the Air Force's X-37B program. "NASA built three Orbiter Processing Facilities, or OPFs, to service its space shuttle fleet between missions. All three are located next to the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building at the Florida spaceport where Apollo Saturn 5 moon rockets and space shuttles were 'stacked' for launch. Under an agreement with NASA, Boeing will modify OPF bays 1 and 2 for the X-37B program, completing upgrades by the end of the year. The company already has an agreement with NASA to use OPF-3 and the shuttle engine shop in the VAB to assemble its CST-100 commercial crew craft being built to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The company says up to six capsules can be processed in the facility at the same time."

Comment Another cure that is worse than the disease (Score 5, Interesting) 170

This sounds great in theory but, in practice, it's going to be almost impossible to enforce (eg whose definition of 'vulnerable'?) and it would promptly create several new Internet plagues, eg the "Your server has a vulnerability, pay us now to stop us reporting it" spam email.

Comment Re:That's overly simplistic - population density k (Score 3, Insightful) 569

The picture you paint of Europe is a little simplistic too. France has a few large cities, but the tenth-biggest one has less than half a million inhabitants. It has tens of thousands of villages with 1000 or less inhabitants. And you get a choice of cheap ADSL provider in most of those small villages.

Comment Re:Obvious but baffling that it's not done yet (Score 1) 1532

Well, looking at the US deficit and debt, one could argue that the Tea Party might be loonies but at least it isn't their policy to spend their grandchildren's earnings.

It wasn't Bill Clinton's policy to spend his grandchildren's earnings either. He left office with the budget in balance.

It was George W. Bush's policy to spend that surplus on tax breaks for his billionaire friends, and then spend $3 trillion for a war in Iraq for the purpose of (what was it again?), most of which went to his no-bid contractors like Halliburton. Bush left us in debt that your grandchildren will be paying for.

The Tea Party is funded by the same loonies that got those no-bid contracts.

yeah man no bid contracts never go to Haliburton under Obama! He farts rainbows and rides a unicorn to work every day!


Comment Not if, when (Score 1) 466

The answer to "Could someone else make this thing I just made" is always "yes", eventually. We have patents to slow the arrival of the "yes" answer enough so that the first person to do so gets to make a bit of money.

But in this case (and most other cases) there's more than one way to do it and a lot of relevant technology, a lot of which is general car technology. And in every case, sooner or later, the huge company with a huge patent portfolio and huge expertise in manufacturing is going to win the "lowest price point" game... if they want to.

At the moment, the big players don't think there's a big enough market to make it worth their while to compete aggressively. At some point that will change, and at that point GM and other huge companies will develop, licence or acquire whatever technology they need. At the moment, Tesla is selling a niche product. That's great, but it hardly the same as producing electric cars for everyone.

Or, to put it the other way round, does anyone see Tesla scaling production up to anything like GM's level while GM quietly hands them market share and eventually gets out of the car business?

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