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Comment Re:Wrong Headline (Score 1) 121

Shouldn't the headline be "Microsoft fails to fix exploit for months"?

Technically, yes, you are correct.

But if this were applied in reality, there would be so many news articles of the same name – each tranche covering yet another un-patched MS exploit, that it would become impossible to follow any individual one.

There are just so many of these things. . . We need a way of telling one from another.

Comment Re:They might but not as a gift. (Score 1) 294

Putin most definitely does not want another Cold War.

That must explain why he invaded Ukraine.

They have some things to fix first. But let's at least leave the door open...

Even if he has the purest of intentions, returning Snowden would make the US less stable.

Crimea was for access to the Black Sea, so they could run a direct oil pipeline to Western Europe without incurring fees and such from Ukraine. Putin wants profits for Gazprom. A war would result in things that prevent that, so I don't think that he wants a big war, such as Cold War II. Russia is rich with oil, and they want access to the markets.

And I wasn't speaking about "pure intentions". I can't read minds. As HornWumps corrected me below, Geopolitics is poker, not chess. And it's definitely not charity.

Comment Ticketbastards (Score 1) 120


They have exclusive contracts with so many venues that an artist cannot find a place to perform that does not have a "Ticketmaster-only" contract for shows. Ticketbastards run an obscene, monopolistic racket.

Comment Re:Just use the Galileo navigation system instead (Score 1) 68

... At least they flagged a potential reliability problem with GPS *before* they were launched. ... Unfortunately, (or fortunately) space is hard...

It is fortunate for the failure analysts. When a satellite is nearing launch and there is an issue with some part – that is when the money hose opens wide, and the USAF SMC's failure analysis lab (an FFRDC) is called upon, the money just gushes. They throw every analysis technique at the thing, whether it is appropriate or not. And they punish employees who solve the problem too quickly. I have personally been commanded to, "Go back and keep working on it for a couple of more weeks." That's just one example.

You see, at a failure analysis lab supporting anything DOD, Program fuck-ups are very good for business. The managers tell basically all employees to drop their current work and just bathe in that sweet, sweet FA "root-cause failure analysis" money. No matter whether your technique can help – just do something with it.

It is the craziest thing I have seen in my career. Space is expensive because it is expensive. This FA aspect is a nutty drain on the US Federal budget.

Comment Re:They might but not as a gift. (Score 1) 294

If they do this, it wouldn't be to "curry favor" with Trump, it would be a move to further destabilize the US. As a result of multiple factors (including Russian interference) we have a the most unpopular president in a century who is extremely divisive. Returning Snowden would be a move to stoke those flames and cause more unrest. There are many reasons for doing this but ultimately, a less stable US is better for their own nation.

Yes. Geopolitics is a chess game.

But also, Putin has stated that "there is only one superpower" in the world. Also that Russia wants to be a nation that works and trades with other nations. Putin most definitely does not want another Cold War.

They have some things to fix first. But let's at least leave the door open...

Comment Re:both outcomes were hostile. (Score 1) 294

He wasn't trying to go to Russia, he got stuck there. It was an accident.

More to the point, we stuck him there. After his travel documents were revoked, he couldn't go anywhere else. He is precisely where we apparently wanted him.

EXACTLY. The US took away any other options for him, and effectively pushed him into having to choose Russia, a non-extradition country.

What Snowden does there, I have no idea. Nor do I care – because the US forced him to go there. It is bad for US security, almost undoubtedly, but the US government created the stupid situation, and we US citizens might pay some price for it, thanks to our own government's departmental overreach for power.

The checks and balances are not working. But how do we reform them?

Comment Re:both outcomes were hostile. (Score 1) 294

It's fine to have a national intelligence service.

It's not fine to turn it inward on its own population, Stasi style.

It's not fine to use "parallel construction" and have the government lie about the nature of evidence it presents against people.

The NSA violated the highest law of the land on a vast scale, as a matter of policy, and thus has lost its legitimacy as a public institution. That fact needed to be made clear to the people.

Yes, yes, yes! NSA internal-US shenanigans are Stasi-style. "Parallel Construction" is a crime. The NSA should be gutted, abandoned, and a new organization with the actual, core task be re-created. And not populated by ex-NSA management.

I'd mod up, but this thread is closed for mods, but I just wanted to emphasize your concise statement.

Comment Re:It's SANCTIONS not Snowden (Score 1) 294

Can I remind you of some of my other predictions.... namely 6 eyes, Russia added to 5 eyes on excuse of fighting ISIS? Or Iran attacked to force them over to Russia, giving Russia effective control of the region.... that one is also in progress.

Yes because, well, they are neighbors after all. Only 50 miles of land separates them at their closest point. They also share a sea.

Comment Re:Radiation wrecks robots? (Score 2) 307

Neutrons don't usually cause double strand breaks in DNA. Alpha particles are much more trouble; then betas, then high energy gamma, then lowly neutrons!
Viewing the nuclear cross sections can be done with the even more powerful tool JANIS

Alphas are indeed much more trouble. But also, alphas can be blocked by a piece of paper, while neutrons just keep on sailing through for a good while. My point is that alphas are not a problem in the real world unless you ingest or inhale an alpha-emitter––that is the only way they can cause serious trouble – be being inside you and wrecking whatever cellular matter they are sitting next to.

Comment Re:The cost of doing business (Score 1) 267

... A $17,000 fine may cut into profits a bit, but it is hardly punitive. At $5,000 a pop, that starts to be enough to discourage the behavior. But even then the venture appears, if not wildly profitable, still better than having the units sit empty.

Good observation on the nuisance-level penalty.

But I disagree that it is better than having units sit empty. In either case, the unit is off of the market for long-term rentals (>1 year). The function of short-term accommodations is fulfilled by the hotel/motel industry –which can only be built where zoned to allow for it.

Comment Re:Go! Government! Go! (Score 1) 267

... Nobody gives a shit who's living next door in large cities. You would probably only notice that someone in your apartment megacomplex died because after a few months in Summer it starts to smell funny.

Nonsense. Condo homeowners' associations work to keep the property values up – by law – so they order maintenance & repairs, and hire & track services such as janitorial, gardening, and so on. Many in the community take their turn on the HOA Board every few years, depending. This keeps things stable for the community.

Now imagine one owner starts renting out their unit to vacationing groups of frat boys every weekend. I might not know my neighbors' hobby (actually I do), but the HOA Board will be hearing from me, and that same neighbor will be hearing from the HOA Board, which functions as an intermediary.

Short-term rentals are against zoning laws, HOA rules & regs, and the very concept of having a home in a "community".

Comment Re:Wrong Book? (Score 1) 659

And in many ways closer to Jules Verne's Paris in the Twentieth Century.

It was spot-on with people's absorption with their smartphones and tablets. And living in "micro-spaces". And the demise of literature in libraries. And technology-worship.

Comment Re:welcome to *public* utilities (Score 1) 502

If you learn how to escape the effects of being an individual among a group of co-equals, then I and many philosophers, political scientists, and people in general will be delighted to hear it.

I don't have an answer to that problem, but that's not the problem private associations answer. Private associations, rather, ensure that you are at least an individual among co-equals, as opposed to an individual subject to arbitrary outside force.

Fair enough. You seem to be saying, effectively, that the US (for example) has strayed far from the "... all men having been created equal ..." part of the US Constitution. Yes. Yes we have.

The US is a (doubly) Representative Republic which is likely on the cusp of diving sharply into fascism, towards which we leaned anyway. All this "free market" and "the market is the most important thing" and "growth must be sustained" are all in essence statements used frequently to justify political actions – self-serving or segment-serving ones – which are at-root fascist in holding the markets as more important than the people.

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