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Comment Waste of money! (Score 2, Interesting) 370

If someone proposed that we spend a trillion dollars on building lightning rods around the country to save people from possibly being struck by lighting, you'd probably say, wow that's an incredibly dumb idea. But yet, the reality is, this incredibly dumb idea would likely end up saving more lives than what we've spent on the "war on terror".

Americans need to get a grip, we don't need the paternalistic government to protect us, after all on the last two airplane bombing attempts, it was the passengers that jumped the would be bombers. Let's all just relax a little, ask the politicians to stop spending money hand over fist in the name of safety, and let us live our lives.

If terrorism ever becomes a real problem, we can revisit this...

Comment Re:Popular Java Myths (Score 1) 171

As far as I can tell neither the compiler nor the JIT do even the most rudimentary of optimizations, like CSE elimination, dead code elmination, loop unrolling, inlining, etc.

Just write 1 function that spins in a loop doing something like:

for(i=0; i 100000; ++i) { a = 5; }

The Java compiler is a joke, if they even made a little effort Java could be so much faster.

Comment Re:Not quite as impressive as it sounds (Score 1) 139

One other difference:

"we asked the Google File System to write three copies of each file to three different disks."

"On the larger runs, failure is expected and thus replication of 2 is required. HDFS protects against data loss during rack failure by writing the second replica on a different rack and thus writing the second replica is relatively slow."

Google is using 4x as many disks, but writing 1.5 as much data.

I'm actually more impressed that Google is cramming 12 disks onto a single machine, how do they get them to fit?

Comment Re:The Only Change You Can Believe In (Score 2, Informative) 788

FISA says you can start a wiretap without a warrant, but you have to get a warrant eventually.

The thing is, what the NSA is doing now is tapping _all_ phone conversations and not getting any warrants until they get a hit, then they get a warrant for that one conversation.

There was a writeup awhile back, a guy that worked for AT&T basically told what was going on. In the main San Francisco telco central office, the NSA owns a huge room, where all communications are routed. This gives them a central point to tap and monitor all conversations. I'm sure they are doing this in all of the major metro areas as well.

From an intelligence point of view, this is really the only way to collect this data, but from a civil liberties point of view its a huge violation.

The "government" just thinks we're too stupid to know what's going on, and admitting what they're doing would be a huge black eye I guess. Especially since Obama could have shut it down, but chose not to.

Comment Re:Making Available (Score 5, Insightful) 347

You know, it's kind of funny. At this point they are trying to make a moral case for this: Giving people the tools to infringe copyright is wrong.

But in countries like the USA their are companies that sell guns (locally and abroad, even sold them to the evil taliban). People will stand up and shout "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Well I say selling guns is more morally objectionable than providing a tool to allow copyright infringement. Torrents don't infringe, people infringe! Err, something like that.

Comment Re:Give it some time. (Score 1) 443

This is a little bit different, DirecTV has a huge advantage in that there is a hardware assisted encryption mechanism. The smart card that you insert in the directv box knows how to get a valid DES key, but the smart card is pretty hard to tear open. Being able to peer inside the PC, and tear apart software like PowerDVD to see how they work make things much much simpler.

Comment Re:Assembler... seriously (Score 1) 592

I do agree that assembly is important, it wasn't until I learned assembly (6809 for me) that I understood what a pointer was, or how it worked.

On the other hand, I think language is actually a really small part of comp sci. The language is just a mechanism for expressing the concepts you will learn. It's much much more important to learn and understand the conceptual things, like sorting, searching, trees, etc etc.

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