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Comment Police searches (Score 4, Interesting) 224

One interesting use I can think of is to simply carry one around in case you get arrested by the police.

Supposedly police require a warrant to search your personal papers such as your cell phone, so this shouldn't be much different. If they take the USB drive over to the cruiser and plug it in "just to see" then this will fry their system.

You can even tell the officer not to plug the device in, that it's not a thumb drive, and that there's no information on it.

It would probably work at airports as well.

I really don't see a downside to this.

Comment Economic theories (Score 3, Interesting) 444

Economy does not work that way, sorry. Hawking should read from a real economist, like Milton Friedman. Middle class jobs have to remain, but the exact majority of work a person does will differ. Hawking knows political hyperbole, not economics.

The problem with "real" economic theories is that there are so many to choose from.

Here's a different economist who extends our current economic system to its logical conclusion, and also presents a viable alternative. It's very readable and a quick read - well worth a few moments if you want to see where we're headed.

It's clear to anyone who studies economics as a math problem that our current system is untenable going forward. In the limit of extremes, automation will supply all of humanity's production needs, while employing no one.

A fine situation, but in that scenario who will have money for purchases?

We're already feeling the pinch here in the US due to globalism. Real wages have been stagnant (against inflation), good jobs are increasingly hard to find, and people are forced to work multiple mc'jobs to make ends meet. Automated vehicles and drone delivery systems will put perhaps 10 million people out of work in the next 10 years.

America can stem the tide a little by stepping away from globalism, bit it's a temporary measure. Ultimately, AI will take over more jobs than it generates, people will tighten their belts and reduce spending, and this will continue until our current system collapses completely.

Something has to change, and we pretty-much know *what* has to change, but no one has any idea or plan on how to get there.

Traditional economics is religion, not science. It never predicts what will happen, only why something *did* happen. It makes conclusions by building a model to fit past data.

If you want to fix the economy, you have to look to the future.

Real economists don't do that.

Comment Better question (Score 1) 184

He campaigned on a platform of isolationism. Why would he care if two countries on the other side of the world are hacking each other?

I have a better question:

Why does this concern *us*?

Is there an actual tech issue here, or is it just another chance to get a dig in on Trump?

Are we to consider how Trump would react to every small and subtle world news item until he takes office?

Could we at least wait until he makes some sort of statement?

Comment And the leftist position is? (Score 3, Insightful) 1042

He's already broken hate speech rules repeatedly for basically his entire campaign. What alternate world are we living in here, where we're now pretending he did otherwise?

I'm anxious to hear the left's comprehensive rules that identify hate speech in a non-partisan way. Rules that clearly delineate unbridled hatred (to be banned) from opposing political views (to be discussed).

You guys keep pounding on how every slight and subtle thing Trump does is wrong, how about showing us your vision of how things should be?

Note that illegal speech has a fairly clear and specific definition, along with examples, and has been vetted through the court system. Saying "all abortionists should be killed" is not illegal, but saying "abortionist John Doe should be killed on Tuesday outside his house in Durham" constitutes a threat.

Go ahead, shoot holes in the first amendment and get the big companies to enforce your safe spaces. Your ends always justify your means.

All you leftists have is anger and hate.

Use it to take out the first amendment.

Comment Leftists complaining (Score 2) 191

Seriously - I want to hear from an avid trump supporter on how this - as well as his other cabinet appointments is draining the swamp (of special interest lobbyists).

Firstly, this isn't a cabinet appointment.

As to draining the swamp, he's already done this.

Thirdly, he's not in office yet, wait to see what he actually does.

And finally, you always have to ask "compared to what?"

The Democrats have no vision or leadership on this issue, or any other.

Calling Trump bad on his choices is all they have.

Comment I dunno... (Score 3, Interesting) 191

There's nothing sensational, leftist, or tabloidish about this story.

Net neutrality is a frequent topic of discussion on Slashdot. Anything that the President-elect does that could affect it is news for nerds and stuff that matters.

I dunno - it sure seems sensational, leftish, and tabloidish to me.

The left is carping on every slight aspect of everything Trump does, and in a negative tone.

Honestly, we don't know *what* will happen in the future, and even if the absolute worst case imaginable for this specific issue... nothing will change.

As far as I can tell, there's no legislation demanding net neutrality in the US. We have an FCC regulation that's been tied up in court for a year and a half, and meanwhile Comcast is free to degrade Netflix and demand an internet levy on Netflix as a customer.

I further note that Trump has a tendency to be concerned with voter needs as opposed to corporate needs, and wants to build up his brand by being the best president in the last 50 years, and the best of all time if possible. He also has shown a willingness to take actions in contradiction to advice(*).

We don't know what he'll do, but it can't be much worse than what was done under Bush, or under Obama. Which was basically "companies can do what they want, the US government can do what it wants, and screw the needs of the people".

Obama expanded internet surveillance, and spent trillions on unneeded military buildup while letting our own infrastructure decay. It's been that way for years, coming up on decades.

Is appointing a net-neutrality opponent really that sensational?

I suppose if you're a Democrat, it is.

We elected Trump for the actions he will take.

So far, he hasn't really done anything except prevent a bunch of jobs from leaving the US.

(*) Hillary chose to take out Qaddafi in contradiction to advice as well. The advice pointed out that it would lead to the formation of ISIS, but it was her decision to make.

Comment Down ballot elections (Score 2) 153

Bear this in mind: A Democrat tried to block the FBI from hacking any computer anywhere and a Republican tried to stop it.

And yes, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has been opposing this snooping since he entered the Senate in 1996, so no, it doesn't have anything to do with Donald Trump or President Obama.


Taking $60 million from down-ballot campaigns and giving it to the Clinton campaign so she could defeat Bernie Sanders doesn't seem like such a good move now, does it?

Comment You're cute (Score -1) 552

To be more clear, I now consider Democrats to be the equivalent of the "other side" in a war - they will still oppose every and any thing your side does, they can lose a battle and still wage war, incessant and total non-compliance, they will fight to the last man, and any victory - even pyrrhic - is still a victory. Any means are justified in the pursuit of their ends.

So... in other words, the Democrats are now going to do what the Republicans have been doing for the past 8 years.

I don't recall the Republicans calling half the nation "deplorable", or rioting when Obama was elected. Or rioting when [Bill] Clinton was elected.

But please... hold your breath until you're blue in the face.

You're so cute when you do that.

Comment Democrats are the enemy (Score 4, Interesting) 552

I hate pointless fear mongering articles. Best example of fake news there is right here on slashdot.

Trump isn't likely to abuse the alert system but leave it to slashdot to make an issue of it.

  Trump won. Get over it already.

I'm so weary of all this one-sided bickering and sniping over Trump that I've decided that Democrats should be considered enemy combatants.

To be more clear, I now consider Democrats to be the equivalent of the "other side" in a war - they will still oppose every and any thing your side does, they can lose a battle and still wage war, incessant and total non-compliance, they will fight to the last man, and any victory - even pyrrhic - is still a victory. Any means are justified in the pursuit of their ends.

All the things an unruly child does, but forever.

In my mind the Democrats are *permanently* a party of dishonour, disgrace, and corruption. A group that simply gets no "benefit of the doubt" or "concessions of fairness" or anything like that. They are children, now and forever. We should treat them as such.

I was thinking through the recent news (last night) that Trump got Carrier to keep 1000 jobs in the US, and how I couldn't see a way to frame that in a bad light. Lo and behold! Recent comments on Slashdot manage to paint this as a bad thing. They even pulled out the Hitler comparison for good measure.

The Democrats are defeated. Leaderless and feckless, the only thing they can do is complain.

No plan, no leadership, and rife with corruption.

It's hard to see why anyone would be a part of that crowd.

Submission + - A physical model for (some of) Tabby's Star's light dips. 2

RockDoctor writes: A fresh paper on Arxiv describes a model proposed to explain at least some of the light dips in "Tabby's Star" (Kepler Input Catalogue KIC 8462852). When the irregular light received from this star was recognised in 2015, nobody could come up with a credible explanation for the irregularity of the star's light dips, or their depth. Further studies suggest sustained dimming over the photographic observation epoch, further deepening the puzzle. This new paper proposes a model of a jet of material which leaves the star's surface, then casts off a plume described as "smoke plume" which is swept around in the stars orbit. The opaque jet and the less-opaque "smoke plume" then intersect with the light travelling towards us to generate an asymmetric dip in the star's light curve, as observed in the past.

Which is an interesting model. The big peculiarity is that the "smoke plume" orientation with respect to the material jet implies that the outer parts of this star's envelope is rotating faster than the inner part where the jet originates. Which would raise almost as many questions as the original discovery.

Definitely, this is a very peculiar system.

(PDF here ; NB, the paper does not appear to have been submitted to a journal, or peer-reviewed.)

Comment And in other news (Score 2) 72

In other news, Josef Prusa has his PayPal account locked the day before black Friday.

Prusa is the maker of the (fairly well known) Prusa 3-d printer, and as is typical in these PayPal situations, he hasn't the first clue why it happened. They locked all his funds - he can't fulfill purchases and can't even refund his customers.

At least in the Europe case it was the police doing it. When companies do this on request of other companies it puts them in a very hard position.

I wonder how many *non fake* websites got caught up in the sweep, and how many legitimate businesses will be trashed as a result?

Comment Was that on purpose? (Score 2) 145

RT? That's what you're using as a source? The state-sponsored mouthpiece for Russia? The "news" organization who only says what Putin tells them?

I'd take the Fox tabloid over RT any day. At least Fox puts out something truthful once in a while.

I notice that you don't say the claim is wrong.

Was that on purpose?

Comment And furthermore (Score 4, Insightful) 145

Assange doesn't have the funds and probably also not the influence.
In any case, the whole "russians are hacking us" is mostly paranoia.

"Mostly" is being generous.

Assange took the unprecedented step to say specifically "it was not the Russians". He has stated that they never reveal their sources, so to go that far (eliminating Russia gives information about the actual source) he probably felt the fear-mongering was a prelude to a declaration of war, or at least minor hostility.

(And to be fair, it sure looked, at the time, that America was ginning up for a fight with Russia.)

And as for Clinton wanting to kill him, she specifically asked in a meeting "can't we just drone this guy", apparently was not joking, and as a result of the meeting the aides sent her a list of "legal and non-legal strategies" for dealing with assange.

But then again, this could be fake news. Hillary doesn't remember joking about Assange, and Snopes has the "drone strike" claim listed as "unproven".

(Note: The "legal and extra-legal" link is to a copy of the actual memo sent to Hillary.)

Comment Clinton joining the process (Score 5, Interesting) 1424

The Clinton campaign announced today they're joining the recount process:

I'm in favour of recounts in general, and for this election in particular. It tells us about the reliability of the election process, and hopefully might shed light on hacking and other skulduggery. The information will be used to fix future problems.

As to Clinton, she's joining because Jill Stein can't call for a recount. In at least one of the states (probably all of them) you can't call for a recount unless you are aggrieved, which means that you think the recount would change the outcome.

Jill Stein can't reasonably say that she might have won, so she officially can't be aggrieved.

Hillary most certainly *can* make that claim, since the margins for her loss are so slim in those states.

That's why she joined the process. For the recounts to happen, she's the one to request them.

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