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Comment Re:Morons (Score 1) 296

Why do people think things like the Bechdel test are worth more than a fart in the breeze

A test is just providing some objective information about something.

What you do with that is your business.

The Bechdel test was presumably invented to identify movies that fail the Bechdel test as deficient, problematic, etc.

But the test can just as easily be interpreted the other way. Netflix might someday soon come up with a category called "Bechdel Failures" and learn that it is extremely popular with men.

I think it would be great if there was some kind of logo or something that indicated if a movie passed or failed the Bechdel test; feminists could look for passing films, and I could look for failing films.

Comment Re:Is he going for irony, here? (Score 3, Insightful) 193

Yes.

I think my Linux is more secure than my Windows, but honestly it only takes one exploit.

If the spooks or large organized crime want in, they're in. Small fry *may* be kept out by best practices, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Anything secret shouldn't be on a computer, let alone a computer on the internet. But then there's the eternal trade-off between security and convenience.

Submission + - RIP John Ellenby, godfather of the modern laptop (nytimes.com)

fragMasterFlash writes: John Ellenby, a British-born computer engineer who played a critical role in paving the way for the laptop computer, died on Aug. 17 in San Francisco. He was 75.

Mr. Ellenby’s pioneering work came to fruition in the early 1980s, after he founded Grid Systems, a company in Mountain View, Calif. As chief executive, he assembled an engineering and design team that included the noted British-born industrial designer William Moggridge.

The team produced a clamshell computer with an orange electroluminescent flat-panel display that was introduced as the Compass. It went to market in 1982. The Compass is now widely acknowledged to have been far ahead of its time.

Comment Re:Ye olde 'negawatts' concept (Score 1) 155

California has given up on bringing new power generation online,

"Almost half of all capacity added in 2013 [across the US] was located in California." "Nearly 60% of the natural gas capacity [across the US] added in 2013 was located in California." http://www.eia.gov/todayinener...

California's total electrical generation capacity has gone from 55,344 MW in 2001, to 79,359 MW in 2015. That's an average increase of 1,644 MW of new capacity going online each and every year.

http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/el...

Energy standards in California call for 33 percent of the stateâ(TM)s power to come from renewables by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030, and so the state is building new wind and solar capacity as fast as possible. The recently built Ivanpah plant was the world's largest, and it's in California, not Arizona, for good reason.

In fact you can get a current list of power plants planned, under construction, and newly online, here:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitin...

Conservation is fine is a short-term solution to shortage - of anything - but in the long run there is no substitute for generating more power

California "has one of the lowest per capita total energy consumption levels in the country. California state policy promotes energy efficiency. The state's extensive efforts to increase energy efficiency and the implementation of alternative technologies have restrained growth in energy demand." https://www.eia.gov/state/anal...

Comment Re:HD on cellular (Score 1) 91

Do people really have to watch HD videos on cellular? Can't they wait until they get home near their WiFi's?

The cellular market is competitive, while the wired internet market is not. It won't be long before cellular internet service is cheaper than wired. In fact that has long since happened for light users.

You get charged about 3X as much for the same DSL speeds today as you did a decade ago. Cable has side-stepped the issue by just NOT providing lower speed service, and having their lowest-cost offering being $60/mo. Just look at Charter buying TW and dropping those pesky $15 service plans. And these are increasingly getting a low bandwidth cap, and customers are being forced into bundles.

Comment Re:We need this (Score 1) 239

My old flip-phone from 10 years ago lasted about a week on a single charge. Obviously, though, that's because it was doing jack-crap processing-wise compared to the mini-supercomputers we now all have in our pockets,

But how many years of process shrinks, improved LEDs, better radios, higher capacity batteries, etc., has it been since that flip phone was made? If manufacturers were chasing battery life, instead of biggest screen, thinnest phone and fastest processor, we could easily have smartphones running for several days between charges. Charging your phone twice a day has become the new normal, so nobody returns their power-hungry phones, and it's not prominently advertised, so manufacturers don't expect more sales from improving upon run-time and don't bother.

Think of it like web search engines just before Google came along... Everybody sucks equally, and one disruptive innovator jumping in could wipe the floor with everybody else.

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.

Submission + - Trump's shock troops: Who are the 'alt-right'? (bbc.com)

alternative_right writes: Anthony Smith, a journalist for the website Mic, got a tip that the image had appeared on 8chan, an extreme message board with many users who self-identify as members of the alt-right movement.

At first Smith was sceptical that he'd be able to stand the story up. The message board is fast-moving, threads get deleted quickly, and it's difficult to search for and find images. But within an hour, he had his answer.

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