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Comment Re:Good on him (Score 3, Funny) 136

My Tesla is a far superior driving experience than any ICE car I have ever owned (i.e. Porsche, Audi, etc.). It is faster, quieter, smoother, better handling. Better in every way. There is no way I will ever buy an ICE car again.
The subsidy was a very small percentage of the cost and was not a factor in the purchase.
Whatever you do, don't take a Tesla test drive. It will make you hate your slow, noisy, polluting ICE car forever.

Comment Re:Young engineers ... (Score 5, Insightful) 136

It is said that Microsoft in the early days hired only young fresh software engineers so they wouldn't be corrupted by "old school" thinking.
These engineers went on to build software that re-created every mistake in the book about how and OS should be designed and implemented.

Submission + - A look back at 40 years of energy policy - predictions and reality (medium.com)

mspohr writes: Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has written a review in Medium (https://medium.com/solutions-journal-summer-2016/soft-energy-paths-f044e7b65443#.eyikcq16c) of his 1976 article (Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-C...) where he reviews his predictions as well as government predictions for the energy future.
"At that teachable moment, my Foreign Affairs article “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” reframed the energy problem and added an alternative vision of U.S. energy strategy. The “hard path” was more of the same; the “soft path” combined energy efficiency with a shift to renewable supply. The article soon became that venerable journal’s most-reprinted ever, spreading as virally as pre-Internet technologies permitted. Forty years later, a review of its initial reception and continued influence shows what lessons have and haven’t been learned."

"In contrast to the soft path’s dependence on pluralistic consumer choice in deploying a myriad of small devices and refinements, the hard path depends on difficult, large-scale projects requiring a major social commitment under centralized management. The hard path, sometimes portrayed as the bastion of free enterprise and free markets, would instead be a world of subsidies, $100-billion bailouts, oligopolies, regulations, nationalization, eminent domain, corporate statism.”

Interesting look back from the perspective of 40 years ago to see how energy use, policy, and supply have evolved.

Submission + - British Companies Are Selling Advanced Spy Tech To Authoritarian Regimes (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Since early 2015, over a dozen UK companies have been granted licenses to export powerful telecommunications interception technology to countries around the world, Motherboard has learned. Many of these exports include IMSI-catchers, devices which can monitor large numbers of mobile phones over broad areas. Some of the UK companies were given permission to export their products to authoritarian states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Egypt; countries with poor human rights records that have been well-documented to abuse surveillance technology. In 2015, the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) started publishing basic data about the exportation of telecommunications interception devices. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Motherboard obtained the names of companies that have applied for exportation licenses, as well as details on the technologies being shipped, including, in some cases, individual product names. The companies include a subsidiary of defense giant BAE Systems, as well as Pro-Solve International, ComsTrac, CellXion, Cobham, and Domo Tactical Communications (DTC). Many of these companies sell IMSI-catchers. IMSI-catchers, sometimes known as “Stingrays” after a particularly popular brand, are fake cell phone towers which force devices in their proximity to connect. In the data obtained by Motherboard, 33 licenses are explicitly marked as being for IMSI-catchers, including for export to Turkey and Indonesia. Other listings heavily suggest the export of IMSI-catchers too: one granted application to export to Iraq is for a “Wideband Passive GSM Monitoring System,” which is a more technical description of what many IMSI-catchers do. In all, Motherboard received entries for 148 export license applications, from February 2015 to April 2016. A small number of the named companies do not provide interception capabilities, but defensive measures, for example to monitor the radio spectrum.

Comment I'm quite ignorant of the KKK (Score 1) 1

All I know about them is they hate blacks, Jews, and Catholics (presumably all non-protestants, but as I said, I'm ignorant). What views do they have that aren't hateful? I'm curious.

As to BLM, the entire reason that movement HAD to happen was because there really ARE people who think black lives DON'T matter, including black gangsters and bigoted whites. You have some citation for BLMers advocating hatred or violence?

Like the late humorist Will Rogers said in the 1930s, "all I know is what I read in the papers" and I have a LOT more newspapers available than he did, thanks to the internet.

Submission + - SpaceX Dragon Returns Home From ISS (floridatoday.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A SpaceX Dragon capsule that helped prepare the International Space Station for future commercial astronaut flights has returned to Earth after a stay of more than month-long mission. A robotic arm released the unmanned capsule packed with 3,000 pounds of cargo at 6:11 a.m. EDT, then fired thrusters several times to move a safe distance away from the station orbiting about 250 miles up. The departure began a less than six-hour journey that culminated in a Pacific Ocean splashdown at 11:47 a.m. EDT, about 300 miles southwest of Baja, California. The Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral early July 18 on a Falcon 9 rocket and berthed at the station two days later. Among the cargo brought back from space Friday were a dozen mice from a Japanese science experiment — the first brought home alive in a Dragon. Samples from mice euthanized as part of an experiment by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly also were on board. Results were returned from an experiment that studied the behavior of heart cells in microgravity, and from research into the composition of microbes in the human digestive system, NASA said. Findings from both could help keep astronauts healthy during deep space exploration missions.

Comment This is not a new issue (Score 2) 338

R/W or even write-once CDs and DVDs have been known to have finite shelf lives for decades now. Yes.

One solution is to rewrite them every few years, but that's time consuming, and unless you have a really compelling reason to do so, the investment needed to make this practical, with autoloaders, labelers, and such is prohibitive. At work, the old mainframe reel tape libraries were converted to robotics 30 years ago, then converted to cartridges, and and finally about 12 years ago to a virtualized tape environment - all the requests still refer to carts and such, as if the arms are still running around grabbing plastic, but it's in a SAN and that's properly backed up and virtualized, at least so far as we can tell. Hopefully it's secured better than the storage on the Z series that went tits up this spring. I only lost around 20 VMs, but one had around 100 million customer reports that were lost, and the application software, and the server OS and all other software. About 7000 or so VMs were lost, some irretrievably since the owners didn't have offline copies. If Infoworld still published on paper, this would have worthy of the back page.

The best practice is probably to replicate that and copy optical media to something more durable, replicate it, and keep the originals if you must in a cooler environment, as heat seems to be a factor. Some brands have had worse longevity than others, but that's a crap shoot.

Now ask me about my cassette tape archives, or the 10" reel tapes I would have to buy a machine to use... Sentimental value now, I'm sure they would need go go back to 3M to be recovered.

Data archiving is a pain. I've given in to archiving everything, rather than wring my hands over what 10% of it I really don't need.

Comment Yard Sales (Score 3, Interesting) 338

I buy a lot of older CDs at yard sales to fill in my collections, though others are figuring this out.


- No DRM, subscriptions, licensing. These are MINE, all MINE! Bahahahahah!

- Rip them to my music services.

- Save them to both my archives.

- Long-term storage of the discs.

- And it's a cheap way to buy old music. Oh, I mentioned that.

Comment I paid for WahtsApp (Score 5, Insightful) 89

It had a one year free use, and 1$ a year, 5$ for five year price back when it started. I am a paid user of WhatsApp. It has no right to share my phone number with facebook. I don't even have a face book page, I have taken steps to stay away from Linkedin and Facebook.

Hope a paid alternative to WhatsApp emerges.

Submission + - FBI Files Say China Firm Pushed U.S. Experts for Nuclear Secrets (bloomberg.com)

mdsolar writes: A state-owned Chinese power company under indictment in the U.S. pressed American nuclear consultants for years to hand over secret technologies and documents they weren’t supposed to disclose — and in some cases it got them, several of the consultants have told the FBI.
Summaries of the consultants’ interviews with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were filed this month in a federal court where the company, China General Nuclear Power Corp., has been charged with conspiring to steal nuclear technology.
The FBI documents surfaced shortly after the same company became a focus of concerns across the Atlantic: The U.K. last month delayed approval of the country’s biggest nuclear power station in a generation as questions swirled about whether China General Nuclear’s investment in the plant poses a security risk.

The filings provide a window into the tactics of CGN, China’s biggest nuclear power operator. One of the consultants said CGN employees asked for off-limits operational manuals to nuclear equipment and software, according to the interview summaries. Another said he was asked to provide proprietary temperature settings for material used to contain nuclear fuel. After he refused, he wasn’t offered more consulting jobs, he told the FBI.
Employees of CGN “frequently asked for documents which were proprietary or limited to restricted access,” according to a summary of one interview. In several instances, the company got what it wanted, according to the FBI documents.

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