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Comment Re:Birds... (Score 1) 170

Glad to know that there are no drones that weigh over two pounds. I was also completely unaware that drones were made of bones, feathers and bird meat. No difference really.

So ingesting a bird into a jet engine is identical to a mechanical object. Something that by design uses high strength materials like carbon fiber and possibly metals like aluminum or titanium. So you got the references to the FAA verified tests that equate bird engine ingestion to an equivalent amount of flying structure? Those test have already been completed and are in the regulations, right? And they were no more difficult to perform then the bird tests, because just like birds drones are made of materials that are very predictable.

And the flight characteristics of drones are identical to birds as well. I really love those nature shows where they describe how geese fly just like hummingbirds and can hover, go vertically up and down and then dart off in any direction. It shows the magnificence of nature that something that weighs multiple kilograms has the same manouverability as something that is only a few grams. And since pilots who fly fire drops are already use to hovering big birds, drones will never cause any confusion.

It never ceases to amaze me how Slashdot Pundits can take almost any problem and show that there is a simple minded solution that people with all kinds of experience, degrees and certifications just can't find. You are obviously a great mind and your country needs you. I suggest that you immediately drop whatever you're doing and go to the FAA headquarters in DC and tell them what you think. I bet that they will fire whoever else they have now and put you in charge of all drone related matters.

Comment Re:The Verge is 100% wrong (Score 1) 56

I concur. The definition of "value" that the Verge is using reflects the attitudes of marketeers who are incapable of original thinking.

In reality, there is no "need" to have anything beyond a basic smart phone. People rarely use all the possible bells and whistles in their existing high end phones. This is highlighted by recent statistics showing that most downloaded apps are used less then five times. What people really do on smart phones consists of calls/texting, games, photos/video, navigation and searching nearby locations. None of these require a high end phone.

So how do you break out of the mold and differentiate on anything other then price? According to the deep thinkers at the Verge "cleverer design" is the road to failure. They seem to be forgetting that Apple started it's iPhone empire using "cleverer design", as did Tesla and Dyson. They all have premium prices and are doing just fine. Check out the advertising and their competitors are either explicitly or implicitly comparing themselves to their respective high end brands.

Does creativity guarantee success? Of course not. Is it a risky but potentially good strategy? Absolutely. So it seems tha the Verge is enamored with doing more of the same and turning up it's collective nose at anything new.

Comment Workers at Goldman-Sachs don't screw hookers (Score 2) 147

They screw entire countries. They screwed everyone in the country of Greece before the 2008 meltdown. First they invented a bunch of semi-illegal schemes to fund the government and at the same time they placed huge bets that the Greek economy would fail. Of course they made a huge profit up front with these scams, and even bigger profits when it all went to hell.

Now they are eyeball deep in the looting scandal that stole over $2.5 billion dollars out of the Malaysian economy.

Goldman Sachs' (GS.N) work with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB is under the spotlight over U.S. government allegations that billions of dollars were diverted for the personal use of officials and some people associated with them.

The Wall Street bank helped 1MDB, which was founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in September 2009, raise $6.5 billion in three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 to invest in energy projects and real estate to boost the Malaysian economy.

Instead, more than $2.5 billion raised from those bonds was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB officials, their relatives and associates, according to U.S. Department of Justice civil lawsuits filed in court on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs, which earned close to $600 million to arrange and underwrite the 1MDB bonds, has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Still, the lawsuits allege investors were not properly informed about the use and nature of the bonds.

The U.S. Justice Department said that the offering circulars for two of the bonds issued in 2012 contained "material misrepresentations and omissions" over what the proceeds of the bonds would be used for and the nature of the relationship between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), an entity owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

So no matter how much fun it is for Wall Street types to tie up hookers, or be tied up by them, nothing comes close to egomaniac thrill of wrecking entire economies for profit. That's why they keep doing it over and over again.

BTW, one of the truly ironic features of this case is that some of the stolen money was used to fund the film The Wolf of Wall Street. You can't make this kind of shit up.

Comment Re:Is this available to the US also? (Score 3) 360

Google should be forced to register as the agent of a foreign government. When they make that level of commitment to India (or anywhere else) they are exploiting their privileged position in the US at the expense of the people and economy here. They take all the government support, tax breaks (which they get by lobbying) and legal advantages of being based in the US and effectively transfer wealth to India to improve their bottom line. Short of industrial spying it's hard to be any more aggressive about putting the interests of one country above another.

Of course IBM is way ahead if them in this regard. A few years ago they quit reporting the number of people employed per country. That's a clear sign they know they have something to hide.

Here's an idea: US companies that have overseas branches have to report the number of employees the have in all the countries they do business (roll in consultants as well). Make exemptions for smaller firms, or companies that take no US tax deductions or other government assistance. It's an impossible dilemma for companies that are trying to have it both ways. Do they give up all the subsidies, both direct and by tax tricks, or do they have to admit that they are parasites?

If this was put forward in legislation American business interests would squeal like stuck pigs. They want to grab as much as they can from the public coffers without having to admit anything or face any consequence. They figure, correctly, that as long as they can keep the public in the dark about how they play this rigged game that they can get away with almost anything.

And if you think this is bad, just wait for the TPP to kick in. If it does happen, US employment figures will be dropping by multiple percentage point on a quarterly basis. It might take a few years to get that bad, but considering it is primarily intended to move jobs overseas no one should be surprised. This is exactly what happens when greedy self serving corporate interest run amok. Under the hood it's just like the 2008 economic meltdown. In that case Wall Street had no effective oversight on real estate lending and almost took down the entire world economy. With the TPP the corporate class is now negotiating international trade policy solely for it's own profit. It is entirely likely that this next folly will make 2008 look like a walk in the park compared to the antipersonnel cluster bomb that is the TPP.

Comment Re:Full of Shit (Score 1) 148

Not quite right: "your great-grandchildren have to be able to make money" should be replaced by "their great-grandchildren have to be able to make money." It's not the artists/innovators who are raking in the cash, it's the parasites who control the content distribution. Creators, except for a very luck few, get almost nothing for their work.

This is a case where fleas are claiming ownership of the dog, and are adamantly defending their right to stop any kind of flea treatment because Profit!

Comment Oracle deliberately broke the rules (Score 4, Interesting) 78

Bringing this up in open court was a deliberate and hostile act. Oracle and their attorneys knew that this was very proprietary number and that putting it into circulation would damage both Apple and Google. Now when any of the big players negotiates fees with either Google or Apple they will have this benchmark. It's a game changer.

It is impossible that this was a mistake by Oracle and their law firm. It's very normal that corporations learn proprietary information during a big suit like this, and there are all sorts of rules pertaining to how it can be used and who has a right to see it. Without these rules legal actions would be used all the time to find out how the competition is doing internally.

Take a look at the letter that Google's law firm sent to the judges in the case. It's short and does not contain too much legalese. It refers to the relevant case law and asks the judge for sanctions. They are going after both Oracle and their law firm, and accuse them abusing the courts and not respecting the judges.

Accordingly, Google respectfully requests permission to file a motion for a finding of contempt and the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to: an Order precluding further access by Ms. Hurst to Google and third-party confidential information; an Order requiring all of Oracle’s counsel to sign undertakings under the Protective Order, reinforcing the importance of the Order; an award of Google’s attorneys’ fees and costs necessitated by Oracle’s and its counsel’s violations of the Protective Order; and such other relief as the Court deems appropriate.

This is the legal way of asking the judge to throw the book and Oracle and it's lawyers. Asking to have the Oracle legal team sign a document saying they will obey the law in the future makes them look really, really bad. Asking that Hurst not be allowed to see information means she can't continue to work on the case. If her law firm is looking for a scapegoat for loosing, she just got a target on her back. This sanction could end her career, so it is not likely it will be granted. Still, findings of contempt are very serious and have significant longer term impact. It boils down to how far the judges think that Oracle's law firm went over the line and how much they disrespected the judges and the law. People sitting on the bench take this very seriously so it could be a big deal.

Comment Mozzarella: The Movie (Score 4, Funny) 91

The most popular cheese in the US is Mozzarella because of it's use on pizza. Since it's such a commercial hit with so big a fan base, clearly it deserves a CGI heavy blockbuster production.

Unfortunately there are rumors that a rival film is headed towards a competing release the same summer: Pizza: The Movie. Both projects may be delayed because of impending cross litigation over rights to the original concept. This may help green light the dark horse project that seemed to be going nowhere: The Grilled Cheese Saga. It's complete lack of mozzarella may turn out to be it's saving grace. Given that cheddar is the second most consumed cheese in the US, Grilled Cheese Saga with it's multi-cheese fan appeal could satisfy the market for cheese themed blockbuster entertainment.

Comment Re:Crowdfund (Score 0) 79

Until some part of the Federal Government takes responsibility for stopping this crap it will continue, and even get worse. No individual, non-profit or trade organization has the clout to stop this bad behavior. (Sorry libertards, this is where the real world intrudes and crushes your anti-government delusional thinking.)

So why hasn't this happened already? Because of the famous step 3: Profit! If some one at the federal level takes this seriously enough to intervene, then it sets a precedent that companies involved with the internet are responsible for security failures. This won't be limited to companies in China making internet gear, but it will necessarily include US businesses that get hacked. So banks (Hi Bank of America), retailers (Hi Target!), information services (Hi Facebook!), entertainment companies (Hi Sony!), and federal agencies (Hi OPM!), along with everyone else, will face real legal responsibility. Since legal responsibility is the enemy of Profit! no one wants meaningful security standards for the internet. (Except the people who get screwed, who are mostly not Big Corporate America.)

This is why there are no federal standards for security on the internet. Midway through his Presidency Obama tried to get legislation passed, but it was a nonstarter. The US Chamber of Commerce shot it down. The best the administration could accomplish was create some administrative guidelines, which counts for almost nothing. Now there is a government/business joint panel studying what to do, which is the equivalent of having a pretend friend doing your homework.

So the internet will be much more dangerous because corporate greed takes precedence over responsibility. Time for a car analogy! It looks like VW is going to face a $15 billion cost for cheating the EPA. Until some big name US business faces a similar economic hit nothing will change. (Although it is puzzling that Ford, after committing mass murder by killing over 125 people with a bad ignition switch, did not suffer anywhere near the economic hit. Due to arbitration they were able to pay off most of the claims for $1 million a piece. Peanuts compared to billions. I guess it makes a difference if your based in Detroit vs Germany.)

The two trends that might upset the current apple cart are the rise in ransomware and attacks on medical facilities and equipment. If 10 million random people suddenly have to pay a ransom to get their computer running, or a noticeable number of hospitals get shut down then there will be serious repercussions. Also, if people start dying because of any kind of medical hack it will be panic button time. Suddenly Congress will be shocked, shocked, that this happened. All the collusion fueled by corporate donations will suddenly be forgotten, and somehow the "government" will be blamed. Forgetting, of course, the Congress is "the government".

Comment Re:Democracy restored (Score 5, Insightful) 1592

By the same "logic", the UK is undemocratic because of the Queen and the House of Lords. Even if you argue that the monarch has very little actual power, the House of Lords, which has only appointed and hereditary members still has a fair amount of clout. So if the English were actually interested in democracy, the next obvious step would be to formally end the monarchy and write a constitution.

Some how I doubt that is going to happen. Because leaving the EU is primarily about racism, not bureaucracy.

Personally I expect to experience a great amount of schadenfreude watching the consequences of this circular firing squad. Now the UK's economic and political situation is in complete chaos, and that will inevitably lead to an economic downturn. Markets are allergenic to uncertainty. It's not going to work itself out quickly, so the economic mess will linger.

In terms of mass stupidity, I also suggest that they drop the metric units system and join the US in using imperial units. As long as they want to deny the relevancy of the rest of the world, it's another way to be out of step with (almost) everyone else.

Comment It does almost nothing very very fast (Score 4, Informative) 205

If you read the two page technical paper you will see that there is much less here then the hype suggests.

Each CPU supplies an amount of computation less then a single instruction on a regular CPU. Think of it as a grid of instructions not a grid of computers. A processor has a Harvard architecture with 128 instructions of 40 bit size and a separate data memory with two banks of 128 16 bit data values (256 16 bit data words total). It says nothing about register files or stacks or subroutine calls. It's likely that the two data banks are in effect the register set. The paper implies that a CPU can compute a single floating point operation in software.

Compiling means mapping code fragments to a set of connected CPUs and routing resources, and then feeding the data into the compute array. After some circuitous path through the grid the answer emerges somewhere. There are also 12 independent memory banks each with a 64KB of SRAM that are available to all CPUs.

History has not been kind to this kind of grid architecture with lots of CPUs and very little memory. Almost none of them ever made it out of the lab. It's symptomatic of hardware engineers who are clueless about software and design unprogrammable computers. They confuse aggregate theoretical throughput with useful compute resources.

Debugging code on this would be a nightmare. It's completely asynchronous, there is no hardware to segregate different sets of CPUs doing different computing tasks and so few resources per CPU that software debugging aids would crowd out the working code. The people listed on the paper should be punished by being force to make it do useful work for at least a year. They would be scarred for life.

Comment Re:Captain Obvious (Score 2) 75

Considering that everyone on Slashdot agrees with this deep insight, it must be the case that we all took economic advantage of the situation and are now all exceedingly rich.

I know that I am fabulously wealthy and have multiple houses in expensive locations and can go anywhere and do anything I want, which is why I spend time on Slashdot instead of going to incredibly trendy locations with the other beautiful people.

Comment Re:But what if we fed it more power? (Score 5, Insightful) 299

No, it's different the cold fusion. The people who discovered this do not claim any magic sauce. No information is being withheld.

This is proceeding the way that scientific progress normally works. An experimenter found an effect that did not fit in the current paradigm. Other experimenters found similar results. Now theoreticians are coming up with hypothesis that may explain the result. Other theoretical types will either agree or disagree. Other experiments will be done to test the hypothesis. Eventually a general consensus will emerge. It's all completely normal.

Remember it was 100 years ago that Einstein predicted gravity waves, and they were just detected. Eventually can be a long time.

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