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Comment Re:What you need to know about optical media (Score 1) 385

I strongly disagree with what you're saying here. In regards to archival media you should not use CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVD+/-Rs, DVD+/-RW, or DVD-RAM discs. Flat out don't. Note that my comments are targeted at having stuff that will be around in 20+ years. If you're burning discs to just move data around or pass a copy of some files off to someone, anything will work.

It use to be received wisdom that you buy Taiyo Yuden discs and life was good. They are good quality discs, but they are not archival quality. All CD/DVD recordable discs are made using organic dyes (AZO or not) and are susceptible to breakdown over time. Light exposure will hasten this process. Not to mention all these discs all use aluminum reflective layers that are subject to oxidation which will make the discs unreadable.

The recordable layer BD-Rs is made of inorganic alloys and won't break down over time. BD-Rs have been tested to handle extreme temperatures and be perfectly readable. Except LTH discs... They use organic layers and are susceptible to breakdown just like their CD/DVD cousins.

I agree with your recommendation for Panasonic BD-Rs. They're the best in many tests, but unfortunately hard to find. I just got a spindle from Japan last week and they were about $75 for 30, so a bit pricey. Verbatim are just "ok." Sony would be a good second choice after Panasonic. Avoid LTH all together. Not only does it have compatibility issues, but it won't last nearly as long as a regular BD-R (HTL).

Comment Re:In time it will be better. (Score 1) 675

Last October, I spent some time in the US again and I noticed the few places that had started using chip readers had a person standing by to help people. They seemed a bit surprised when I just inserted my card and typed my pin code in a few seconds. :D They didn't even finish their line about being sorry about me having to remember the pin code.

That's interesting - the US uses signature instead of PIN, so I don't know why someone would be apologizing for having to remember one.

Comment Re:Ungrandfathering (Score 2) 460

Being 'grandfathered in' to something generally means old rules continue to apply to you after a rule change. In the case of Netflix the price hike actually occurred two years ago. Any new members after July 2014 are already paying $9.99 a month for the regular package. However, they didn't increase the price for existing members (presumably to avoid a lot of people leaving). These people who kept the old price were 'grandfathered in' to their old price planning meaning they continued to pay $7.99 even though new members paid $9.99.

Ungrandfathering isn't a term I've seen before, but essentially it means time's up, grandfathering is ending. People who were grandfathered into the old price because they were existing members will start paying the increased price now.

Comment Use the right tool for the job (Score 1) 331

This is a somewhat silly question. Programming languages are tools and you use the right tool for the job. How often does a carpenter grab a different tool out of his toolbox? As often as he needs it. Your first paragraph gets to the point. If you're programming a particular target, then there's probably one or two tools best suited for it. Use that one!

Using the head of a screw drive to drive a nail might work, but why would someone do that when there's a hammer?

Comment Re:Not making any sense to me (Score 1) 299

Photons don't cancel each other out. A point of destructive interference in the EM field is a place where photons are not physically present, not a place where they met and ceased to exist. Where do the photons go? They go to points of constructive interference.

Interference just causes the photons to be somewhere else: points of constructive interference, not oblivion. I was going to type up the double slit experiment but someone beat me to it. Their explanation is correct.

Simply put the article is nonsense. Photons can't travel in destructively interfering pairs because they never exist at points of destructive interference in the first place.

Comment Re:If this is correct it should be easy to check (Score 5, Informative) 299

That's not how destructive interference works in the EM field. The photons at a point of destructive interference are diverted to area of constructive interference. They don't continue on as an unobservable photon pair. A point of destructive interference in a wave means the photons aren't there. In terms of the wave equation it means the probability of finding a photon at that location is 0. That's not because photons masking each other, it's because physically they are never present at that point.

Comment Re: Must be a first for slashdot RTFA skimmed summ (Score 4, Interesting) 299

The author of that paper clearly does not understand how constructive and destructive interference work in the EM field. He's correct that the photons do not simply disappear when there is destructive interference, however they are diverted to areas of constructive interference and this would not allow them to leave the cavity of the device if they otherwise couldn't.

What they wrote in the paper may sound good to someone who has a passing knowledge of EM fields and constructive/destructive interference in waves, but to someone who understands this more clearly it makes about as much sense as asking a mechanic to change your blinker fluid.

Comment Re: Republicans hate the Internet and want to kill (Score 2) 280

I'm not aware of this particular executive order, but no governing body is capable of enacting something that it can't itself undo. Congress can create a law that undoes any previous law. A president can issue an executive order or policy that undoes any previous one, and the Supreme Court can issue an opinion that reverses any previous decision. The only way to prevent this would be a constitutional amendment that none of them can override. However, another constitutional amendment can just repeal a previous amendment.

So your premise is flawed from the beginning. Even if such an order exists, any future president could just undo it.

Comment Re: Suggestions anyone? (Score 4, Informative) 457

Nope, they've not been compensated. At least according to the court transcripts:

THE COURT: Look, your language doesn't invoke the All Writs Act, I get that, but in terms of the burden, first, you haven't challenged it and you still haven't explained why not. Second, you provided language for reasons I understand about consistency, but you also did not say anything about burdens beyond the immediate expense.
If you are saying we want to craft language that is going to say here's exactly what we have to do, you require, if I'm not mistaken -- I don't have the language in front of me. Do you require compensation?

MR. ZWILLINGER: No, we've never required compensation.

THE COURT: But you can, and you don't do anything about that.
I mean, the point is well taken that Apple is a pretty darn big company, maybe they don't care so much about the costs of these 70 things in the big picture. It just seems to me that there's a dog that didn't bark here.

MR. ZWILLINGER: I think the way to address this, Your Honor, is the following.
Right now, Apple is aware that customer data is under siege from a variety of different directions. Never has the privacy and security of customer data been as important as it is now. And, in fact, Apple built an operating system which is why we're only talking here about IOS 7 systems, operating systems IOS 8 and IOS 9, that puts Apple in a position where it cannot do this, that is, going forward with 390 percent of the devices involved, Apple cannot perform these services. So, Apple has taken itself out of the middle of being in a position where it can be used as an attack vector or in any way to compromise the security and privacy of customer devices.
So, when the court asks Apple today does the All Writs Act provide authority to force it to do this, Apple says no, it does not, because what we are being forced to do is expert forensic services, we're being forced to become an agent of law enforcement and we cannot be forced to do that with our old devices or with our new devices.

The 390 percent thing is weird, but that's what's in the transcript.

Full Transcript:

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We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.