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Comment The same way you weather any bubble (Score 1) 135

You survive a tech bubble the same way with a lumber bubble, or an oil bubble, or a tourism bubble. You diversify your investments, and insure yourself against losses and unexpected events. Instead of relying on the government or a severance package, keep 6 months of living expenses stored up in an emergency fund in case you get laid off. Invest your income into a diversified portfolio, using something like Vanguard. Have adequate insurance on your property and health.

As far as the meat of your question with regards to what path to take in your career to somehow minimize the damage a tech bubble can do to you, I think this is something you can't really plan for in this regard. Focus on doing the best job you can at the subfields that interest you in your career. Gain reputation for doing good work. Excellence is always rewarded in the long run.

Submission + - Dumb Bosses Infect Company Networks from Viewing Porn Sites and Getting Phished (cnn.com)

clustro writes: A recent survey of 200 malware analysts investigated the sources of infections on senior executive's devices. 40% of them had to clean an infection from a senior executive's computer after he had viewed porn on the internet, and 56% of the respondents stated "clicked on a malicious link in a phishing email" as the infection source. Other causes include attaching privately-owned, infected devices to company networks, and letting family members use company devices. When data breaches occur, the public is not informed of them. On average, 57% of the companies do not report data breaches to their customers — with some industries (e.g. utilities) at nearly 80% non-disclosure.

Submission + - DOJ Lawyer argued that Guantanamo prisoner searches are just like TSA Screenings (politico.com) 1

McGruber writes: Last Monday, Justice Department Attorney Edward Himmelfarb argued in court that searches of Guantanamo prisoners heading to meet with their attorneys were just like the searches that Transportation Security Administration performs on travelers at U.S. airports: "As a couple of spokesmen for Guantanamo said in the articles that are in the record, it's basically like a TSA search at the airport...a supplemental search," Himmelfarb told the court, according to a recording of the argument (http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/recordings/recordings2014.nsf/1D6FABA4014A1F9385257C3C00759E3A/$file/13-5218.mp3). "That's basically what it is and people fly all the time, including devout Muslims. It's not as bad as it sounds. The genital area is touched through the clothing with a flat hand, the way the TSA does," he added.

David Remes, an attorney representing Guantanamo prisoners, immediately sent the court a letter after the argument, disputing Himmelfarb's assertion that the search procedure is "not as bad as it sounds." "Clients who are willing to see me, or to have calls with me, describe a search procedure that is far more invasive and degrading than the light pat-down passengers get at airports: The guard feels the detainee’s penis, cups the detainee’s testicles, and feels inside the detainee’s crotch," Remes wrote in his letter (http://images.politico.com/global/2013/12/13/hatimremesltr.html).

DOJ Lawyer Himmelfarb then sent a letter to the court Friday afternoon (http://images.politico.com/global/2013/12/13/hatimltr.html), in which he said he wished to revise his remarks. "I would like to clarify that while the search procedures employed at Guantanamo bear some general similarities to patdown procedures employed at airport security checkpoints, the two sets of procedures are not identical. Although the Transportation Security Administration's patdown procedures cannot be publicly disclosed in detail...they differ in certain key respects from the searches conducted at Guantanamo," Himmelfarb wrote. "I regret any confusion my statements may have caused."

Submission + - NSA Phone Program Likely Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules (huffingtonpost.com) 3

schwit1 writes: A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program is likely unconstitutional, Politico reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon said that the agency's controversial program, first unveiled by former government contractor Edward Snowden earlier this year, appears to violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which states that the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” Leon wrote in the ruling.

The federal ruling came down after activist Larry Klayman filed a lawsuit in June over the program. The suit claimed that the NSA's surveillance “violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens."

Comment Just more tax money wasted (Score 1) 340

Give them a conventional laptop, install Linux and Octave on it, and bam, you've got the most powerful calculator you can get for zero software spending.

But these sorts of common sense approaches don't result in money being spent, so they never seem to come up in educational policy discussions.

Comment Risky alright, but for different reasons (Score 2) 580

Tyson is wrong in his belief that free market capitalism abhors risky investments. On the contrary, the free market scenario minimizes risk for any investment, simply by ensuring government will not interfere and change the rulebook during halftime. Sure, there are substantial risks in space travel. But as has been discussed at length in these comments already, risk is only one-third of the equation:

Payoff = (1 - Risk) x Reward + Risk x Loss

There is no way to dismiss an investment purely on risk. If the Reward and the Loss are in alignment, any risk can possibly be worth it. Heck, what if the lottery was free to play - what idiot wouldn't play each week?

To be blunt, there are terrestrial ventures that seem riskier than space mining. Heck, look at Afghanistan. That country isn't poor - its filthy rich. There are over $1 trillion in minerals beneath the feet of those backwards Pashtuns. Their mineral wealth could pave their streets with gold, send every child to school, modernize (or render extant) their food, health, and transportation sectors.

But it borders on impossible. First, the Taliban have fought the mightiest army in the world to a standstill. Any mining venture would be subjected to relentless and bloody attacks, as well as sabotage. To them, Afghanistan's greatest resource isn't minerals, oil, or anything else earthly - it is Islam. Large-scale mining would need roads to be built pretty much everywhere, since much of the country has none. Despite the enormous benefits mining could bring to their country, Afghanistan has a corrupt government, riven by tribal and family squabbles. Much like Africa and Iran, it is not difficult to foresee corruption leading to a small number of connected tribesmen becoming multi-billionaires, while the rest of the country wears sandals.

Space mining at least doesn't require miners to duke it out with decapitation-happy, Third-world savages.

Another argument against Tyson's claim is that, quite simply, we do not practice free market capitalism in America (nearly any Western country) anymore. We practice crony capitalism, where huge swaths of production are controlled of a few powerful men, with loyal (or, if nothing else, frightened) men filling legislatures and working on their behalf. Instead of focusing on improving the productivity of their industries, their main pursuit becomes rent-seeking. Regulations are applied stringently to those outside of the inner circle, to raise the barrier-to-entry. Inside players are allowed to skate.

Here is a general, dismal scenario:

1. Some company shoulders enormous financial risk at developing space technologies.
2. After much hardship, this company actually pulls it off, e.g. a working mining pipeline from the Moon or Mars.
3. Stakeholders in the current economic landscape view this activity as a threat, and dispatch their political Sardaukar.
3. Laws are passed plunder the company, and/or take over administration of their operations.

One can easily envision some slimy future President lecturing the American public on how regulation of space mining is necessary to prevent the sale of yellowcake to terrorists.

Submission + - Taliban Bans Viagra; Deemed "Un-Islamic" (indiatimes.com)

clustro writes: "The Taliban contingent in Peshawar have banned the sale of all pornographic films, magazines, and Viagra pills, on the grounds that they are against the Sharia. The Taliban have enforced their hardened stance on the issue in the past by bombing DVD shops that ignore them. A reprisal bombing in Kalaya on February 8, 2013 killed 10 and wounded 26."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - If Xbox rumors are true, Microsoft may be making a huge mistake (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: EDGE Online has the rumored details and specs on the next-generation console, which some fans call the Xbox 720. The specs look great and rumors of a Blu-ray player are excellent news. But one thing gives me major pause: a persistent Internet connection is required and the console will not allow for users to play second-hand games. EDGE went on to say that all disc-based games for the new console will include one-time-use online activation codes.

As it is, activation codes are used on PC games, and gamers hate it. However, the PC market is small compared to consoles. This attempt at gaining control over buying and play habits of consoles is far more significant and needs to be pushed back.

From attempts by the record companies to tax blank tapes back in the 1980s to record labels attacking used record stores to Circuit City's epic failure with Divx, content owners have barely masked their greed and desire to control your consumption habits over the years. Generally speaking, when you buy something, you have a right to do what you want with it. The record industry tried to stop used CD sales and failed. Back in 1993, Garth Brooks (at the height of his popularity) attempted to refuse selling an album in stores that also sold used CDs, and it blew up in his face. Not only that, but the major labels wound up under an FTC antitrust investigation for their attempts to stunt used CD sales.


Submission + - Deloitte: Use a longer password in 2013. Seriously. (deloitte.com) 1

clustro writes: Deloitte predicts that eight character passwords will become insecure in 2013. Humans have trouble remembering passwords with more than 7 characters, and it is difficult to enter long, complex passwords into mobile devices. Users have not adapted to increased computing power available to crackers, and continue to use bad practices such as using common and short passwords, and re-using passwords across multiple websites. A recent study showed that using the 10000 most common passwords would have cracked >98% of 6 million user accounts. All of these problems have the potential for a huge security hazard. Password vaults are likely to become more widely used out of necessity. Multifactor authentication strategies, such as phone texts, iris scans, and dongles, are also likely to become more widespread, especially by banks.

Submission + - Google SSL Blocked by Schools Across the World (blogspot.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Over the past several weeks, the rolling out of Google SSL search has been getting attention here at slashdot, but also some not-so-pleasant obstacles have been in the making much to the frustration of school students and teachers alike. All of this is due to the fact that many content filter vendors have decided to block all google ssl traffic.

While this is being worked on by google to appease these vendors, my question to slashdot is this, "Is it the right of a company to restrict SSL traffic so they can snoop your data, or is it the right of an individual to be entitled to encrypted internet facilities? Also, is the search data you create your data, or your company's?" IANAL but this all seems at odds with the Data Protection Act as some local governments here and here possibly use the very same filtering service for their government employees (as well as the one I work for), and it would also seem to go against the spirit of FIPS (though I appreciate Federal standards are separate from schools in the states).

Comment Eh.... (Score 1) 1

I don't think the problem is the immobility of desktops - I think its just that the market is flooded with shitty desktops that can't run games or other resource-hog stuff (like video editing, or even scientific computing), which is the main 1-up that desktops have over laptops. Plus, they usually only give you a monitor that is slightly bigger than a laptop monitor - a large monitor should be standard for a desktop.

Just go to Best Buy or hh Gregg and look at the overpriced crap they sell. Integrated Intel graphics cards that can barely run 2004-ish games. The computers are basically little better than for typing, movies, and music. If that's all the computer is going to be for, then the protocol is obvious - get a bargain laptop, and buy a console.


Submission + - DHS Wants to Monitor Web for Terrorists (foxnews.com) 1

clustro writes: Under the belief that terrorists are "increasingly" recruiting U.S. citizens, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says that increased government monitoring of the internet is necessary to thwart terrorists. It is believed that Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad were inspired by radical internet postings. Speaking at a meeting of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Napolitano said, "We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable."

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Space is to place as eternity is to time. -- Joseph Joubert