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Comment Re: No More Muslims (Score 1) 365

it wasn't until the US spent billions on the "war effort" that the mismanagement of The New Deal was undone even though FDR doubled the national debt.

And that New Deal led to the most prosperous period in US history, and FDR was elected president four times.

Call me when Donald Trump wins his fourth presidential election.

Comment Re: No More Muslims (Score 1) 365

Nice try but the 40s were barely the hallmark of social justice and the left did not want to go to war.

So, Franklin D. Roosevelt was not a leftist? The New Deal was not leftist? You mean you've been bullshitting about him for all these years?

Back to the Breitbart of Deplorables for you, lad.

Comment Re:I am amazed that there is no current limiter (Score 2) 195

'I'd argue that the device would be far more destructive if it pumped -12v instead of -240v since it would be able to output a lot more current.'

IANAEE, but as I understand it: high current can cause heat damage and possibly fires, but high voltage can jump lines and cause failure in more than just the circuit it was introduced to.

Both are potentially (no pun intended) very bad. But a high voltage spike will cause much more widespread damage in a very short span. This is why we treat static electricity (high voltage, low current) with such respect around electronics.

Submission + - Cyber-Security: Prelude to cyber-war? (

shanen writes: Trump can't wait, can he? Now he's decided he needs to piss of the Chinese, world leaders in cyber-warfare defenses. A few days ago he tried to make nice with Pakistan, which is liable to piss off the Indians (as if he isn't doing enough to offend them with his America-first India-last trade policies). India certainly has the potential to participate in cyber-warfare, though they don't have or even need much in the way of cyber-defenses right now. It's actually the good old USA that has the most to lose in a serious cyber-war.

Crazy prediction time: An alliance of China and India using Nigerian mercenaries to do the dirty work. Can't let the Russians, Ukrainians, and Macedonians have all the fun.

Already a bit dated, but there's a good book called "Cyber War" by Richard Clarke. He rates America as having high offensive capabilities for cyber-warfare (along with Russia), but with the greatest economic vulnerability to cyber attack and with almost no defenses. Trump needs to learn about "the cyber", eh?

Comment Re:This MUST be fake news (Score 2) 195

I still can't buy into it. If you REALLY want to disable the USB port, you go inside and cut the leads. If you want to test the USB port for something like resistance to static electricity, then you need to use proper test equipment. Presumably it would be destructive testing and you would want to increase the shocks gradually to determine the safe levels.

According to the description, all this thing does is attempt to do some random damage. I say the story is bogus.

However, I finally did think of a legitimate use for the story. The cops want to find out who would try to buy such a device. Along with his shipping address.

Comment This MUST be fake news (Score 1) 195

Why in gawd's name would anyone mass produce such a device? This must be one of those fake news stories we've been hearing so much about.

In technical terms, the USB ports could be designed with diodes to prevent this sort of attack. Perhaps they already are, but in fake news terms they could just up the stored voltage until it's stronger than a lightning bolt. Of course, in technical terms there is no reason it has to be that small anyway. You might as well run a wire to a USB connector and then touch the exposed lead to a fully charged Van de Graff generator. (Now I'm wondering how much static electricity protection USB ports already have.)

The story is credited to a "new submitter". I think he's just a new sock puppet and my proposed maturity filter might have dealt with him.

I'm trying to figure out how to cover the open base... What if it isn't a fake news story? I can't imagine any legitimate use for such a device, so I assume it would be made illegal as soon as the politicians can get off their duffs.

Comment Re:My, how times have changed (Score 1) 33

Not sure how this branch got dragged into the pre-WW-II topic again, but some people are always looking to attack IBM (and various other companies) on the basis of their business dealings with Germany in the 1930s. I suppose you can argue that those were politically tainted business decisions at the time, but mostly I think people are misusing their hindsight. At the time no one knew how bad Hitler was because he had only begun to be bad. Even today and notwithstanding our extra bits of hindsight, we still don't make business decisions based on the worst possible outcomes.

I was focusing specifically on corporate policies against political activities that involve the IBM name. Much of my career involved IBM, so I read those statements a number of times. I don't remember every detail now, and I don't even know if those corporate policies are still in effect, but they were pretty strict. For example, IBM was not going to endorse any candidate or donate to any political campaign. There were even limits on when a politician could make a speech or presentation at an IBM facility. Basically it wasn't allowed during some period prior to an election. This obituary is for one of the most important IBMers of those old days...

My main point was that I think the current CEO is changing that approach because ANY overture to Trump is intrinsically political. The Donald makes EVERYTHING about politics. He has no boundaries, so Ginny Rometty can't really believe that her letter was a nonpolitical action. At least one IBM employee regarded it as so political that she chose to resign from the company because of it. In my rejected submission on the topic, I even suggested that might be one reason Rometty published the letter in the first place.

The Carrier thing is another example of the politicization of business dealings. I suppose that comes back to the first paragraph of this reply, but apparently the topic is also forbidden on Slashdot. At least that's how I'm interpreting the response to my submission on the Carrier topic (which included its relationship to the IBM thing). It's not just the moderation system that's broken, eh? (So much for that complicated submission about cyber-warfare, but if allied China and India start using African mercenaries, you read it here first. Or much more likely you won't read about it on Slashdot until it's old news.)

Comment Re:He's right. (and has been for hundreds of years (Score 1) 406

"that word doesn't mean what you think it does" regarding "decimate"

I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking knows what "decimate" means, and his use is absolutely correct.

Either definition is true. Automation has already reduced a large percentage of the jobs in manufacturing (def. 1) and has at least replaced one in ten workers in traditional manufacturing (def. 2).

That Stephen Hawking. He think's he's so smart, amirite?

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"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel