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Comment Re:Only in Google Fiber Cities + Chicago (Score 1) 93

Well, for now it is only in those few places. But DOCSIS 3.1 does offer the potential to easily upgrade almost any cable customer, eventually. Minor head-end changes and new customer modems are all it needs, so at some point probably almost any Comcast customer will be able to get it.

And "at some point" is going to be soon, as this is rolling out everywhere in the next 18 months. The fact that they can do this without digging one shovel of dirt is pretty neat. It is a solid solution. It's too bad it's Comcast.

Comment Re:I saw this coming, except the pilotless part (Score 1) 70

The TSA is security theater. They do nothing to address the actual security risks and vulnerabilities, which are numerous and very dangerous.

For example, the major airport near me is extremely vulnerable to things like vehicles getting on a runway. There is less protecting those runways than there is protecting my backyard. Oh there are cameras and crap but it's far too big to patrol. Security cannot stop someone who really wants to get out there, so imagine if some terrorists on the back of a truck got on to the runways and began shooting up planes in the queue to take off. Hit the first plane and it stops, Then go down the line taking out plane after plane which can't escape, can't back up, can't go anywhere. Thousands could die. Blow up the fuel depot for extra fun. It's unprotected. Hit more than one airport like this at the same time and air travel will collapse worldwide.

Even the TSA checkpoint is meaningless. Someone with a backpack bomb could kill hundreds queued up in those lines. You don't need to get through security. The potential victims are all nicely lined up there.

Comment Local helipads? Where? (Score 1) 70

Where are these "local helipads" supposed to be? There are various private buildings with helipads on their roofs, and plenty of open parks and maybe some parking decks with room on their roofs, but nearly all of these are private properties not open to the public. Most of them show "PRIVATE!" when seen from the air.

I can't think of a single spot in my city where you could do this kind of operation. Sure you could use a park once or twice, but try to make it routine and the cops will probably cite you for trespassing.

Comment Re:One more reason I hate Lenovo/Mororola support (Score 1) 39

My Nexus 6 is similar to your X Force... perhaps somebody can get one of the Nexus 6 ROMs to work on not just your device but all the other Motorola models that are relatively similar.

But even Google says they will stop guaranteeing updates for the Nexus 6 once Nougat is released. Keep in mind, the Nexus 6 was still a current product up until 9 months ago and you can still get them new in the box. But they've already warned us to not expect much. Not sure if this is Google or Motorola or both declaring this thing dead but damnit this was still a mainline product within the last year. And now it's already an orphan?

Well, I suppose I should not be too upset: the four Android phones I had before this one got only one or two updates between them, ever. The Nexus 6 has gotten monthly security patches and IIRC 3 major OS updates in the last few months.

Comment Nah. We're looking all wrong; we're idiots (Score 2) 250

We haven't found signs or evidence because what we are looking for, or expecting to find, is just all wrong.

To understand the problem, first think about what we know of life. It is all around us. The Earth is covered in life, in the air, in the soil, in the sea, on the land. It is everywhere. From small microbes to giant whales and even bigger creatures that have long since died out. Life comes in so many forms, it might as well be an infinite variety. It remains well beyond human ability to catalog and classify and identify.

So we have a lesson staring us in the face: life comes in all shapes and sizes and kinds, and that's just this ONE planet. If this is typical, we can expect other planets might have similar diversity. When we look out into space, logically, we could look for this sort of world. It is, afterall, the only one we know. The only pattern.

But that's not what happens when we look for life out there. Oh hell no. All we look for is radio signals. Look at the Earth: teeming with life, crawling with it, covered in it. Only one has ever invented radio. And then only for a bit over 100 years. None of the other billions of fine creatures has ever bothered with radio. That we know of. Just one.

So when we look out into space, we aren't looking for life at all. We ARE looking for a copy of us, in this brief window when we had radio and made enough noise with it that it might be heard across short interstellar distances. But nobody really knows how far our signals get. And if you were on alien world doing what we do, listening for signals, but you did it 200 years ago, the Earth would be a silent and dead world. So that settles it: there is no life in space. Right?

This is basically what is being said now: we, in our infinite wisdom, have decided to look only for exactly what we are this very moment, and having not found that so far, we have unilaterally decided the universe is empty and nobody is home.

This is absolutely asinine. The stupidest mistake in human history: to expect to find ourselves out there, to LOOK only for that, using only primitive methods only really useful because it's all we've managed to invent, and we we do not find signs of life after just a few years looking, we declare the universe is dead.

Netcraft now confirms: the universe is dead and you will be too, soon.

That's pretty fucking arrogant.

"Pathetic Earthlings. Throwing your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling WHO or WHAT is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would have hidden from it in terror." -Dessler of Gamilas


Comment Re:Two more problems with Venus (Score 1) 211

Terraforming Venus was shown back in the old Cosmos series. We humans made it rain or some such thing. Hurray! We are on our way to making another home!

The rains fell on Venus and out of the rocks emerged some sort of worm-like life form, which was promptly killed off by our helpful rain. The point the show was trying to make was that we don't understand all the consequences of doing things like that.

My additional point is that we humans don't OWN the Solar System, or even the Earth. We have no automatic right to do anything as we please. Sure, nothing is standing in our way but that does not give us right to do whatever the hell we want, terraforming Mars or Venus or plonking down bases all over the place.

And if we are exceedingly lucky and somehow manage to survive and actually become a space-faring race, we may eventually run across worlds where life already exists. Then what? We have even less right to do with it as we wish. And if we are really unlucky, we will run into some worlds inhabited by intelligent beings who won't particularly like human invaders. We sure as hell won't have any rights there.

This may sound all silly scifi but up to now in human history, everywhere mankind has gone, we have owned. The plants and animals and microbes have never objected. This doesn't extend out there. We may find, in fact, that the environment of space and other words presents a very strong objection.

Comment BULL (Score 1) 279

They want to further obfuscate and restrict observations and reporting of the process, the people, the companies, the machines, the software, and the flaws and exploits and unresolved issues.

They have already gone to great lengths to silence reporting and brush issues under the carpet and pretend everything is fine when multiple independent observers and investigators have revealed major problems that SHOULD have us all questioning the whole process.

By making it a critical infrastructure, they will shove it all behind a wall and merely promise us all is well. When they have done this before, they have LIED. We have no reason to trust them and every reason to doubt every single thing they say.

Comment Re:Take a page from the NFL's playbook (Score 4, Insightful) 188

The Olympics charge the broadcast and cable companies a fortune for coverage rights. Comcast NBC paid $1.23 billion for Rio alone.

In return for all that money, the IOC tries to make sure viewers HAVE to use the various channels and outlets who paid. They have to defend the licenses they sold for so much money. If people can get Olympics footage or see the games without a licenced TV partner involved, the IOC won't be able to charge as much money.

And yeah it is all about money. The IOC could care less about the sports. It's all about license fees and rights and getting paid enormous sums to watch poor atheletes living in squalor back home try to compete. They make a lot of money off these kids.

NBC has contracted through 2032 to carry the games so they are dropping close to 20 billion dollars on this stuff. The IOC better defend that. Or else.

My response is to not watch any of the coverage. I used to be a rabid Olympics viewer. But it all changed after 1996 when I was much too close to the games and saw first hand it really is all about the money, not the sport and not the atheletes.

Comment Two can play at that game (Score 1) 188

Not necessarily in response to this, but because I want to, I have banned all Olympics TV coverage from my home. Not one single moment of it will appear on any TV, tablet, phone, laptop, roku, talking trout on the wall or written in blood on the walls.

The IOC is corrupt and full of shit and the USOC is right up there with them. They can all go to hell. But meanwhile, I won't watch and I won't spend a dime on sponsored stuff. Because any business who'd sponsor this is either stupid for ignoring the crimes these people have pulled, or they don't care. Either way. I can buy or use some other brand of everything. Easily.

Comment Re:Declutter an OEM install (Score 1) 177

Yikes yeah nuke that McAfee from orbit. Getting rid of that turkey will help a lot.

Otherwise, throw Classic Shell on there and it will behave a lot like Windows 7 except it will probably run better with 10.

Just installed Windows 10 Pro on an old Dell D630 Core 2 Duo laptop which has been running Windows 7 Pro. It's a spare machine so I did it just to see if I could and see what would happen. The D630 is not officially supported.

Long story short, it runs better than 7 did. Oh it's pretty bad anyway because it IS an ancient piece of junk. Nobody would dare use this now as their daily driver (well, I hope not) but it handled the update just fine and is probably good to run for years more.

The things wrong with 10, such as the privacy crap, is just unfortunate. The underlying OS is actually pretty good and didn't need to have it's reputation wrecked like that. Oh well.

Comment Re:Please stop (Score 2, Insightful) 177

A friend of mine does consulting work for software companies, often involving Microsoft products. He has shelves full of the software at home. A lot of his friends, myself included, are more into alternate OSs and homebrew and other similar things. We used to rib this guy for working so closely with Microsoft. But he shut us all down with one simple comment: He's made a LOT of money working with those products. Bought two houses, supported three kids and ex-wife and managed to acquire a mid-life crisis convertible car and a much younger new wife.

And he asked us, collectively, which was like five people at that moment, how much we had made off FOSS and AmigaOS and whatever. And the answer is, one guy works as a package handler at UPS, one works for Subway, one can't keep any job and the last guy still lives with his mom. So it's hard to say who has it best here. All are happy. But one of us has leveraged Microsoft to make a living.

It changed how I felt about the company. I keep hearing his words "Hey Microsoft has helped me make a LOT of money!" echo in my head.

Comment Why does it matter? You aren't liable (Score 1) 385

Why do so many people worry about credit cards? You aren't liable if the card or number is stolen or misused. Keep an eye on your accounts and just file the charge backs, change the card number, and go on with life. Worst case, all you have is a maxed out card until the chargeback process is completed. All your actual money is still in your pocket/bank account. Ideally you'd ONLY use a real credit card for purchases just to reduce liability.

I wonder if the banks laugh at how people freak out about leaked credit card numbers when the customers don't usually bear any liability for them. We worry about something that is the bank's problem. It's backwards.

Now, a debit card which directly draws against the cash in your bank account is another matter. THAT one you need to protect. Still not liable if the card is stolen but the hassle of getting your own money back and dealing with other things bouncing is a mess.

That said, my bank has issued a new debit card with the chip and roughly 80% of the places I use that card do make me use the chip reader AND my pin so it achieves Chip and Pin just as in Europe. Although it seems they don't always ask for the pin if it is below a certain dollar value. Some sort of calculated risk on that. But at least requiring the chip protects against fake cloned cards.

Fun tip: all this worry about card numbers is fine but look at your checkbook: a paper check has printed right on it all the info anyone would need to do horrible damage to your account. And if you still use checks at all, every single one of them you write or mail off is really a financial weapon that can be used against you, yet you put the thing in the mail or hand it to a store clerk and you have NO idea what happens to that check next or who sees and copies it completely out of your control. And unlike a credit card or even a debit card, checks have very minimal protections and it can be a gigantic mess trying to recover from it. Meanwhile the cops treat stolen checks that fail as if you wrote the bad checks yourself and they WILL come and arrest you and throw you in jail.

Checks are an absolute disaster in the wrong hands. Yet people freely write them for stupid crap like groceries or bills and think nothing of it, while they obsess about credit cards which carry zero risk. We worry about the wrong damn things. We need to look at a paper check like it's a loaded gun pointed at our finances. The credit card doesn't even rate in terms of threat.

Comment Where are the editors? (Score 1) 177

This block of text inside ( ) has NO NEED to be bracketed like that. It is a thought consistent with the one before and the one after and not some sort of abstract that needed to be separated. It's also huge, much too large to be an aside. Where are the editors and proofreaders these days? A properly written and constructed article should never need to break out into brackets.

... Soviet forces. (The National Security Agency has continued that tradition, monitoring underwater fiber cables as part of its globe-spanning intelligence-gathering apparatus. In some cases, the government has struck closed-door deals with the cable operators ensuring that U.S. spies can gain secure access to the information traveling over those pipes.) These days, ....

Comment Re:It's not money (Score 2, Insightful) 150

It's only a symbolic representation of value. A bitcoin doesn't have _real_ value, the way, say, a 10 dollar bill does.

Cash money has no real value either. It has value only because a lot of people agree that it has value. Otherwise it is just some slips of colored paper.


Comment Simon says no (Score 2, Interesting) 260

The cities and towns who want to regulate this and Uber and the like are doing so not because there is some sort of crisis or need for regulation. By their own admission, they do not have control over it now and yet there are very few reports of problems, which strongly suggests there aren't many issues.

No, they don't want to solve anything. They're just mad that somebody is doing something without asking permission and paying for licenses and other crap. An awful lot of government is devoted to making people ask for permission to do things and making them pay fees to get that permission.

If people realize they can do things just fine without permits, then all hell will break loose of people doing stuff on their own for free! How can bloated bureaucratic governments survive and justify their own existence if people just DO stuff?

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