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Comment Re:How wiretaps actually work... (Score 1) 519

... and I get a cookie for calling it.

I said: "Assuming that Mr. Trump had contacted Russians or those suspected of being Russians then his network would already be flagged as interesting and you'd already have transcripts."

and today...

Politico: "House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trumpâ(TM)s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following Novemberâ(TM)s presidential election."

Comment Re:All too true (Score 1) 266

Computers are today faster than they need to be for nearly all applications the average office runs into.

... or the users have learned to live with it. There are a painful number of spreadsheets out there running real businesses using macros that take minutes or hours to run.

When you can fix those to get them to run in seconds you get really popular. (Perhaps not so popular with the original "developer", but that's part of life, eh?)

Comment Shameless Plugs (Score 1) 126

I've worked in Austin, and the traffic wasn't terrible for me. Waze made a huge difference. YMMV.
IMHO, it's worth living in this city solely for the ATX hackerspace and the fantastically well equipped TechShop.

I live in Nashville and I love it here. IT is in strong demand and the cost of living is low. No state income tax on wages is fantastic. I wish our airport was still a hub though. Always having to make connections sucks.

Science

Arctic Ice Loss Driven By Natural Swings, Not Just Mankind, Says Study (reuters.com) 279

Alister Doyle, reporting for Reuters: Natural swings in the Arctic climate have caused up to half the precipitous losses of sea ice around the North Pole in recent decades, with the rest driven by man-made global warming, scientists said on Monday. The study indicates that an ice-free Arctic Ocean, often feared to be just years away, in one of the starkest signs of man-made global warming, could be delayed if nature swings back to a cooler mode. Natural variations in the Arctic climate "may be responsible for about 30-50 percent of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979," the U.S.-based team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change. Sea ice has shrunk steadily and hit a record low in September 2012 -- late summer in the Arctic -- in satellite records dating back to 1979. The ice is now around the smallest for mid-March, rivaling winter lows set in 2016 and 2015. The study, separating man-made from natural influences in the Arctic atmospheric circulation, said that a decades-long natural warming of the Arctic climate might be tied to shifts as far away as the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 203

The problem with the Ribbon is that unless you use it for hours a day, the menu is faster, because you can find the items much more easily.

Office user here: I feel the pain on this. For that random thing you use once in a blue moon it can be a PITA to find it on the Ribbon or Menus. Office 2016 has a "tell me what you want to do" box above the ribbon now. I use it a lot instead of trying to find the button to insert data from an ODBC source or convert text to columns.

Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft helping Enterprises fix and deploy Windows. The above is my own opinion and not paid shilling.

Comment Why pirated content? (Score 1) 244

Here is why people choose pirated content:

"Every movie you've ever searched for" is unavailable to stream. This title is available on Netflix DVD.
-and-
You can stream this, but we have non-skippable commercials poorly cut in and if you pause or seek it the episode will restart. Also, we use dumb buffering, so that every commercial causes the buffer to flush and you'll end up watching most of the video at 180p, not 1080p, quality.

Comment How wiretaps actually work... (Score 1) 519

If we're going to title the article "How wiretaps actually work", then you have to make at least a small head nod to the Snowden disclosures.

"Wiretaps" actually work by asking an NSA employee or contractor to take a coffee break, sit down at their station, and type in the phone number. You'll have metadata immediately, and if you tag the phone number as interesting you'll have real time intercepts from that point forward.

Assuming that Mr. Trump had contacted Russians or those suspected of being Russians then his network would already be flagged as interesting and you'd already have transcripts.

The question is "Will someone risk their career to explain this to the President in idiomatic pictographs or take the safe route and shift-delete it?"

Robotics

Skin deep? Robots To Wear Real Human Tissue (thememo.com) 77

Scientists are already growing muscles, bones, and mini-organs in the lab. But these tissues are generally small and simple. That's why two scientists from Oxford University are proposing that we use humanoid robots to grow engineered tissues instead. From a report: Robots dressed in human flesh would benefit people who need tissue transplants, Oxford University researchers have said this week. At present human cells are grown in stationary environments, but moving humanoids could help them develop in a far more healthier way. Robots could "wear" tissue grafts before transplantation, researchers Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy and Andrew Carr propose in the latest issue of Science Robotics. Today sheets of cells are grown in stagnant tanks, but these "fail to mimic the real mechanical environment for cells," say the scientists. The resulting tissues aren't used to moving, stretching and straining, which make them problematic for use by patients.

Comment Re:That explains a lot.. (Score 5, Interesting) 114

This is worse for many H1-B workers here in the US from major consultancies.

They sign on to 12 or 18 month commitments with penalties of thousands of dollars per month for early termination. They also can't begin work until they've provided a bond to cover this penalty. Their contracts also include provisions for binding arbitration, no class action lawsuits, a requirement to notify the employer before any legal action, and a gag clause so they can't talk about it.

Combine this with consultancy blacklisting and "Indentured Servitude" is absolutely correct.

Comment Re:Editors, you stripped the original title (Score 1) 642

Realistic medium term plans for space mining call for mining supplies for further space exploration and eventual manufacturing in space.

I apologize for clouding my point. Asteroid mining is the simplest case. You land on an asteroid and start mining "stuff". You want that stuff to be in a convenient orbit for rendevouz and pickup. The equipment you use to put your "stuff" into a circular orbit can also be used to put it on a collision orbit. The farther you are from Earth, the smaller the delta-v difference between LEO and an impact trajectory.

The moon is a little different. You have to escape the Moon's gravity well to drop things on Earth. You could (politically) limit the maximum power of mass drivers to less than the Moon's escape velocity, but then you have to go into the Moon's Hill sphere to pick up your supplies instead of shooting them into LEO.

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