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Comment stealthy plus accurate nukes are a bad idea (Score 1) 228

One of the reasons that MAD worked through the cold war was that both sides could be reasonably sure to annihilate the other because of the early warning systems. This is why the Cuban Missle Crisis and the mid-range nuclear missles in Turkey were so destabilizing at the time. The risk of stealthy and accurate weapons is that the other side is more likely to fire off theirs early if they think it might be their last chance to strike back. There have been numerous cases of cold war systems reporting false attack data that both the Soviets and the US waited out knowing that even if wrong they could strike back. But what if you are a second or third world power with just a couple of nice weapons sites. If you thought it might vaporize any minute you'd be pretty damn tempted to push the shiny red button before your enemy took it away. Think India/Pakistan border. Nukes are a genie out of the bottle which keeps things complicated and interesting-but in general we should leave them as a weapon of absolutely last resort lobbed from far, far away.

Comment Will be the norm shortly.... (Score 1) 572

As someone that recently spec'd out new firewall hardware for a medium sized company I found this 'feature' available on the latest, greatest boxes. This is the newest way for companies to run Intrusion Detection (for instance looking for CCs or key words in documents leaving the network) as well as throttling Bit Torrent and other undesirable traffic hidden in encryption. I would expect this to become the norm in the next couple of years as Gartner repeatedly writes that thorough IDS is best practice on networks in this day and age. Personally I felt like a mini-NSA and declined to roll this feature out - but I have the luxury of being the decision maker at a small company. If I was spec'ing gear for an enterprise--I'm pretty sure the hunger for latest and greatest to protect IP from the unwashed masses would prevail.

Comment Cory Doctorow already solved this.... (Score 1) 888

In his book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Doctorow describes the post scarcity economy as running on a form of social capital called 'Whuffie'. Although everyone has their basic needs met their 'reptutation', or opinion's of others adds or subtracts from their Whuffie. They can exchange Whuffie as payment and can earn and lose Whuffie both through direct and indirect means. Shoving through a crowd rudely could result in those that were shoved and witnessed the shoving to lower their opinion of you (even if they don't know you) while those that enjoy a poem you wrote would increase your Whuffie. This is all made possible by the fact that everyone has a computer implanted in their brain that measures and tracks both the history and current values of everyone's Whuffie. I always found this to be a clever and more likely shift for capitalist society than going to a Star Trek economy.

Submission + - How secure is VOIP from my internet provider?

Wandering_Burr writes: I recently added VOIP to my TWC bundle as it is actually slightly cheaper than not having it. They provided an Arris modem and told me to hook my phone up to it.

What I haven't been able to find is if/how they encrypt the data between the Arris and their network. Skype is transparent about their encryption, but is it safe enough to use TWC (or 8x8, AT&T U-Verse) or others to call my bank and do business without having to worry there might be an eavesdropper?

Comment NAS with backup (Score 1) 499

I considered the online cloud solution but for long term i just wasn't comfortable with that. I bought a NAS product that mirrors one drive to a second. Many of these offer backup to a remote NAS drive that runs as a croned rsync across the internet. For my dollars this makes the most sense. Optical data is a pain and degrades over time. My setup I just swap out the drives as they fail and they get re-mirrored. But the backup to the backup is to sync to an external drive once a month or so and keep that offsite. My biggest challenge is having all the computers in the house access the same file set without danger of corruption. I just let my wife edit files on her local machine then once every few weeks copy her file set onto the NAS. When you get to the part of the project about how to best keep metadata about your photos come back-i'd love to have help in that area as it is a total mess in the marketplace. Congrats on the baby!

Comment Is it the multi-tier system breaking? (Score 2) 346

At the end of the day content producers and owners need to recognize that there is value to having people seeking out your show. Whether that is watching it live, later on DVR, or on TWCs iPad app because the DVR missed the episode it is contrary to their interest to make that content difficult for a fan to find.

The ecosystem also needs to clean up the rights to broadcast/stream so it is clear what is being purchased when a show is sold to a network. This should include a plan for getting content everywhere that Netflix streams to. They currently have 35 hardware devices on their supported tech list. They range from game consoles to Roku boxes to phones. If you own content you should have a plan to get your content to a sizeable chunk of this list. Having TWC send it to iPads is a good start. Clean up your contracts so it is clear if they can.

The crazy thing is they could probably get me to watch a non-skippable commercial on the TWC/iPad stream which I would skip right past on my Tivo.

[cc: any thread about hulu on non-computer hardware]

Comment It's all just posturing. (Score 1) 583

Fact of the matter is, OS's should be Malware free. But also, copy protected software shouldn't be crackable. Encoded movies shouldn't be copyable. Married women shouldn't be ****able. Banks shouldn't be robbable.

Anytime somebody wants bad enough to accomplish something, they will. The real thing protecting Apple and Linux... lack of market share. The pros don't target bums for the big heist. If you you are going to put effort into something, you do it for the returns, and writing a devastating linux/mac malware (when linux varieties are far less standardized than MS OS's, and mac has 80%+ less market share) just isn't going to get you the attention/money etc. that tampering with the market share leader will accomplish.

Comment Anthropogenic Causes (Score 4, Insightful) 882

Many people who doubted AGW (humans causing the hockey stick graph, or the graph itself) are claiming this is some sort of smoking gun. I claim it's scientists being scientists, and failing at being politicians.

The very fact that this reveals some scientists are doubting some results is exactly what should happen in science. This is why there is a consensus among scientists. Doubting is a part of science and skeptics alike, but discovering the reasons for the doubt and changing a viewpoint when good, conflicting data are found are hallmarks of the scientist. Skeptics will cling to disproved data, hoping it somehow becomes true if they believe it hard enough.

There is no doubt that the earth is warmer, but mark my words: some idiot media personality will make claims to the contrary due to this. They thrive on confusion, and there's nothing more confusing (and humorous) than watching scientists wrestle with politics.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 401

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
        Albert Einstein

Things that stir the soul of one culture need not make any sense to any other culture.

Other than having a professional demeanor while at work, I see no reason that a person would need to be a social chameleon. Sure you may dress up when you go to a costume party, or quiet down when attending church, but in general, one should be able to be oneself at all times.

My friends, family, and coworkers could all easily distinguish activities I probably have engaged in from ones I probably would not engage in if given a list, and those will generally all match up very well(not counting the lists from a current or former girlfriend, but those things are private between the participants and need not be shared)

Then again, I suppose not everyone has the foresight to select and train for a career they actually enjoy, and so must put on a mask every day lest their coworkers see the quiet desperation in their eyes as they try to 'make do'

And I suppose that many are not confident in and of themselves so that they feel they must wear a mask to get people to like them, a mask that they must then wear any time they are around their 'friends' who are not really their friends, but friends of the mask that they wear.

Just considering those two situations is depressing enough, I don't even want to consider a person that feels a need to wear a mask around their own family.

Comment Re:Lenovo (Score 1) 583

Certainly there are now more simple PDF readers out there, for instance OSX Preview can show basic PDFs, but there isn't really a drop-in replacement for Flash Player yet. There are competitors like Microsoft's own Silverlight, which they would love for you to use instead, and HTML5's impending <video> tag, but mainly you are stuck with Flash Player for many web sites out there.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Software services - how to pay?

Wandering_Burr writes: An old boss of mine wants me to come on board to create and run a software services group to complement the web software he is selling. The question is with a manager and a couple of service folks and focus on cash flow and a quickly ramping customer base what is the best model of compensation that is fair to both company and employees. In the past I've been a customer liason for software projects into large enterprises so have no experience with incentive based, SPIFs or how service ties into sales. For those of you in this space what has been the type of arrangement that you have found works best(ie: keeps both sides happy). Right now we are agreed that with the first dollar in some amount of that should go to the service employee but how that looks beyond that is a mystery. As I proof this it sounds like a pretty corporate question-but think of me as a loyal slashdot reader that needs help climbing up to the next rung... Thanks.

Comment To those arguing the legal q: Can Amazon Blacklist (Score 2, Interesting) 756

I agree that once Amazon shipped the products the sale would appear to be complete and they have no legal recourse to recoup the lose. But, do they have the right to refuse to do future business with those customers that do not cough up the money or movies? I would think that would be the proper/legal way for them to procede rather than just charging peoples credit cards retroactively. Ban the username/account-refuse to ship to that name at that address.

It certainly wouldn't be completely effective but it would seem to fit our model of transactions better. More of a shopkeeper telling a regular customer, "We both know you purchased that item for a price that was obviously a mistake, essentially free. And now I'm asking you to make it right by agreeing to pay what the advertised price was, the price that you saw it was supposed to be when you put it in your cart. You have the right to say no, to not pay, but if you take that path you are no longer welcome to shop in my establishment. Please take your future business elsewhere."

And to those that would argue that they believed Amazon was actually giving away boxed DVD sets for $.01 I shake my head wearily.

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