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Comment Concur. (Score 2) 96

I'm on a small government-ish entity's dev team (I'm ~0.3 of the team) and I wholeheartedly agree with this guy. Our apps are always, always web-only. We simply cannot afford to re-build (and maintain) things for various devices. And why would you, when all these devices have browsers, which are essentially interpreters for remote applications. Not that native apps in are a bad idea in every scenario, but blindly building them because trendy is stupid. Long live the webapp.

Comment All of the above (Score 1) 229

You're wise to do all of these things at once: - Use cloud/Internet (client-side encrypted) in case your house burns down - Use local backups for fast speeds, and in case your cloud breaks down - a combination of continual/automatic (pros: always up to date, cons: susceptible to virus/electrical fault) and regularly refreshed offline (pros: safe against virus/electrical threats, cons: rapidly become out of date) - Use RAID *and* snapshots (or ideally something even better like ZFS that gives you both, plus defense against bitrot, etc.) so maybe you won't even need your backups

Comment Better model? (Score 2) 245

Painfully obvious that a single metric like this would backfire. A better model is one where we assume (unless demonstrated otherwise) that everyone in the profession at hand is striving in good faith for excellence, then provide mechanisms to self-report errors and close calls without fear of punishment. The body handling this then uses the lessons learned to continually improve the systems and processes that the professionals interact with to lessen the likelihood of impact due to human factor errors in the future. Everyone's weaknesses and experiences in aggregate paint a much better picture of what the ultimate risk mitigation strategy looks like. Check out the airline industry. It works extremely well, and I'm underselling this.

Comment Re:Verbosity is easy? (Score 3, Interesting) 414

I agree with this guy. Java forces you to acknowledge and address subtle differences between different types of objects. Yes, sometimes code is overly verbose, but overly compact code that does a lot of "magic" for you, is far worse. I unfortunately work in PHP a lot, and you can pretty much treat any value as any type and usually get away with it, until you suddenly don't. Strong typing and an IDE that whacks you with a stick every time you forget it, is far preferable, even if your code is a few lines longer.

Comment Re:Sort of redundant (Score 5, Insightful) 113

This is a common, but flawed, response to many types of privacy invasion. The thing is, scale matters. The aggregation of lots of data that could otherwise only be had by exerting effort (following someone, staking out a home, etc.) reduces the level of effort required to infringe someone's privacy, and greatly increases the chances that someone's privacy will be infringed. This is why forcing cops to get warrants is considered a good part of the justice system, while the mass "perusal" of aggregated information is considered bad (for privacy).

Comment Re:Should be confidential/private (Score 1) 301

As has already been pointed out, however, what about cases where a police officer is inside your home, responding to a break-in? Do you want footage of the tour of the out/in-side of your home on YouTube? Do you want the toughest moments of the lives of decent people chronicled for everyone to watch? Let me draw a parallel from a world I know - Canada's health care system. It is publicly paid for, like the police, and as such, records and information "belong to the people". However, when I call an ambulance, that record is considered confidential, and requests from the public for access must be justified. A process exists for releasing those documents, and patient privacy is a major component of it. I don't see why, with a police encounter, it couldn't work similarly. Yes, the risks are higher, since police sometimes like to hide things, but involving a neutral third party whose access can't be overridden by police, could mitigate those.

Comment Re:Of course we can (Score 1) 140

Depends on semantics. By some definitions, you could say an accident/trauma isn't medical, while a heart attack is. I've certainly heard the word used that way. In any case, I think the point was: (i) consider aging to be a medical process, (ii) eliminate all medical reasons for death, (iii) it'd take an average of 650 years for a lethal accident to find you. Kind of a neat exercise.

Comment Separate SKUs? (Score 1) 681

It's long been a common complaint that Microsoft has too many SKUs for each version of Windows, and I agree. Vista went way too far on that, and if we ignore "RT", Win 8 was more a reasonable Home/Pro/Enterprise - and I don't know if they had upgrade/oem/retail sub-varieties. It's surely the wrong approach to divide up the functionality by SKU here. Instead, why can't Windows look at the hardware and make educated guesses as to the default behaviors, and then let users customize? Ballmer liked to criticize Google for developing multiple operating systems instead of a single strategic platform, but Microsoft is famous for this crap.

Long-Lasting Enzyme Chews Up Cocaine 73

MTorrice (2611475) writes "Despite cocaine's undeniable destructiveness, there are no antidotes for overdoses or medications to fight addiction that directly neutralize cocaine's powerful effects. A natural bacterial enzyme, cocaine esterase, could help by chopping up cocaine in the bloodstream. But the enzyme is unstable in the body, losing activity too quickly to be a viable treatment. Now, using computational design, researchers tweaked the enzyme (full paper, PDF) to simultaneously increase stability and catalytic efficiency. Mice injected with the engineered enzyme survive daily lethal doses of cocaine for an average of 94 hours."

Comment Re:Thanks for the tip! (Score 1) 448

I remember building a crystal radio when I was a kid - using just the energy from the radio broadcast, the earpiece played audio loud enough to hear. Does that however, mean that I could build something with a miniscule antenna coil, able to store enough energy to transmit Bluetooth and blare a 95 dB piezo? That'd be up to the experts to decide, but it looks like the answer is a big fat "no".

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