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Cutting Through Data Science Hype

Antique Geekmeister Re:Missing the forest for the trees (77 comments)

Catastrophe is a critical factor in most evolutionary history. Practices and traits that were successful, successful enough to become part of the biology or lifesstyle of an organism, often fail as circumstances change. I'm afraid that abrupt changes in environment are a common, through often unpredicatable, factor in many species.

2 hours ago
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Cutting Through Data Science Hype

Antique Geekmeister Re:IBM (77 comments)

> With a large enough sample size, the effects of time can be eliminated from the statistics.

Oh, dear. This is so wrong, on so many levels, I'm having difficulty even knowing where to start. But "time" is one of the most critical axes in any systems involving feedback and cannot be safely ignored.

2 hours ago
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VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Antique Geekmeister Re:Does It Matter? (253 comments)

"Template based deployment" is not "guest OS customization". Re-arranging disk sizes, RAM and network configurations, and even system hostnames and credentials are considerable extra work.

10 hours ago
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The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Antique Geekmeister Re:whose payroll is the scientist on? It matters (448 comments)

> A recent GAO report said that $106 BILLION was spent by the US government through 2010 on global warming research

Im staring at the Forbes report at http://www.whitehouse.gov/site.... Note that a lot of that money is involved in "clean" energy projects which have dual or triple use: reducing pollution, improving arable land, water management, emergency planning for coastal areas, and switching from unsustainable fuel resources to sustainable, less greenhouse gas producing fuels.

I'm also afraid you're comparing apples to oranges. Most of the federal budget is not "advertising" to compare to oil companies, it's a great deal of real work with multiple scientific. urban development, and economic uses. If you compare it to the amount of money oil companies spent on drilling for new oil or on research to expand their markets, you'd have a better scale.

yesterday
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The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Antique Geekmeister Re:Blame politics (448 comments)

> It doesn't help when scientists pushing the fear also push the politics.

Given the resistance to basic knowledge, informing the public and other scientists is part of their role as scientists proving their science. Given their humanity, getting other humans to act on that knowledge to make money, improve lives, or prevent disaster is a logical and natural behavior. Why would you be surprised if, in some cases, it goes beyond mere publication to outright political advocacy?

yesterday
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Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

Antique Geekmeister Until the disk drives fail en masse (253 comments)

This has happened repeatedly. The most notorious example is the "IBM Deskstar", which failed en masse after consistent amounts of use. They destroyed RAID arrays around the world because the individual drives could not be replaced fast enough to secure the data before multiple drives went offline simultaneously.

yesterday
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FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

Antique Geekmeister Re: I am mad if I cant unplug my employee hotspots (128 comments)

> If the employees are turning on their personal hotspots and using that, you don't have a security problem.

If they connect anything that lives inside your network, at any time, or that even has a VPN connection your internal networks at any time, you have a security problem. It may be one you choose to accept as a matter of policy, but the risk is very real. Worse. Most admins simply do not have the tools are buy-in to review and monitor systems for gateways, remote console access, or network tunnels that may expose your internal network through precisely such a hotspot or modem access.

I agree that by current regulation you may not run a hotspot jammer. The FCC regulations are quite clear about this, partly because they block other cellular communications and services such as telephones and GPS. But I'm afraid I disagreee vehemently with you that their use does not constitute "a security problem".

3 days ago
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FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

Antique Geekmeister Re: I am mad if I cant unplug my employee hotspots (128 comments)

Just like modems on laptops or in the server room are not a security risk?

The problem is that people can, and do, connect the same device simultaneously to the hotspot or the modem and to the internal network. And then they port forward. I've certainly caught people doing this, especially among non-technical staff who try out "this cool thing they read about". I'm afraid it's often even worse among software architects who use passphrase free SSL or SSH keys "to save time", who lock their passwords to never expire, and who are very careful never to explain what they're doing to anyone else.

I've encountered far too many cases of such setups used for business critical services, unknown to anyone else, that collapse during network cleanup efforts or when the employee finally moves on.

3 days ago
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Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

Antique Geekmeister Re:Social Networking is a mess (114 comments)

> You seriously think the developers decided any of that?

Yes, they often do. Software developers often have to "sell" their projects at planning meetings. They can choose, and do, which features to emphasize.

> Also, there is nothing inherent in the use of javascript that affects security in any way; a site using multiple

It's complexity, and frequent use to cause the client to do anything other than a simple "pull" of content, create profound vulnerabilities.

> But you're wrong in cases where it is done right

These are increasingly rare. The Slashdot "beta" page is a wonderful example of abusively over-aggressive complexity, at the expense of legibility and usability.

> Loading and rendering only the data that needs to change is *much* faster

But this is not what is happening. It's being used to generate "churn" on the page.

5 days ago
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OpenSSL 1.0.2 Released

Antique Geekmeister Re:Obligatory reminder that an alternative exists (96 comments)

Hard coded may be too strong. They're certainly the mandated defaults at installation time. Extracting them is a laborious and painful manual process, likely to be overwritten by the very next security update in most packages with most installers. Disabling them disables hosts of automated tools which rely on ordinary HTTPS, and there are certainly core software repositories which rely extensively on ordinary root authorities to verify their SSL signatures. These include Github, bitbucket, sourceforge, and many commercial sites. And they are certainly hardcoded in the sense of "these are the signature authorities used by most vendors".

5 days ago
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Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

Antique Geekmeister Re:Social Networking is a mess (114 comments)

> Actually, genius, "Javashit", as you call it, when used properly, is leaps and bounds better than iFrames

Neither of which is better than actually keeping the content in clean plain text format. Excess eye candy damages performance and risks security on both ends of a web connection, and also makes the content less accessible to older hardware and to people with visual difficulty or limited mobility. I'm afraid that I _do_ blame web developers, because their excess reliance on eye candy leads to things like the new Slashdot interface.

5 days ago
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OpenSSL 1.0.2 Released

Antique Geekmeister Re:Obligatory reminder that an alternative exists (96 comments)

You _can_ do so, but the hardcoded reliance on the master signature authorities in nearly every popular software tool makes such efforts problematic. It's exceedingly difficult to _excise_ these master keys, or to display them as "not trusted due to federal key access", without breaking many tools.

about a week ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Antique Geekmeister Re:Interstellar missions... (211 comments)

You're quite right. That was my error: I was confusing it with the geodesic dome, for which Buckminster Fuller is indeed renowned.

about a week ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Antique Geekmeister Re:Interstellar missions... (211 comments)

Decades ago, Buckminster Fuller described this as a means to live forever: suspend all organic processes for increasingly long periods to re-activate for increasingly short durations. The ideas was that even as the universe approached heat death from uniform entropy, the little remaining energy could still be used to extend life perpetually.

Like many of his ideas, such as the "Fuller dome" to encase entire stars to collect all energy and provide enormous living space, it's extremely impractical, But it's a wonderful thought experiment.

about a week ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Antique Geekmeister Re:Oops (211 comments)

And _this_ is why I use things like these, wehre possible, in machine rooms and office spaces.

                          http://www.homedepot.com/b/Ele...

It protects the power plugs from being jarred and dislodged by someone poking around the back of an ill-managed server cabinet, and it can be labeled to indicate which machines or rack it currently powers. It can even be marked with the relevant fuse from the wiring closet.

                     

about a week ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Antique Geekmeister Re:Bullshit (211 comments)

> You probably could stop someone's heart with 15 mV.

Applied where, and when? Even the 'action potential' of a nerve involves a roughly 25 mV change to trigger the nerve to fire. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... ) Thinking about this, I realize that I was only thinking about pulses, not DC. I'm not sure if you could ruin nerves or disable them with an extended 1 mV DC, or 15 mV DC at the right place.

As near as I can tell from my limited work with machine room safety, and limited work with the results of machine room accidents and personal research, the results of electrical damage can be very confusing. Getting the current past human skin is critical to doing real damage: skin typically has about 1 MOhm impedance measured with a household voltmeter. But the paths it will take can become very strange, very quickly, depending on sweat, penetration of skin, and many other factors.

If I wished to be certain of killing someone with household voltage, personally, I'd go for the head. Where to put the electrodes gets very macabre, very quickly.

about a week ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Antique Geekmeister Re:Interstellar missions... (211 comments)

> (a) has no temperature of its own, and (b) is a wonderful insulator.

Oh, my. I'm afraid that both these assumptions are overstated. The background temperature of the universe is only a few degrees Kelvin, but the "vacuum" in near Earth orbit is considerably warmer and more dense than the universe at large. It's also a very good insulator as you state, but when exposed to sun light it has to cope with roughly 2 Watts/square inch of solar radiation. Even left to itself, in the shadow of some astronomical body, it will continue to cool from 'black body radiation', even if it is white or reflective.

The effects may be much more insulating than planetside environments, but these kinds of factors do affect space craft power supplies.

about a week ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Antique Geekmeister Re:Bullshit (211 comments)

I do believe that you're thinking of "mA", not "mV". 15 mV is even less than the trigger voltage of an ordinary nerve cell. A few mA, through the right nerves of the heart at the right moment, can _decouple_ the heart's normal pulsing rhythm, causing fibrillation. It's well worth a bit of research into how "defibrillators" work: I'm afraid I'm old enough that I have some acquaintances with implanted pacemakers to control just that sort of problem.

about a week ago
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Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

Antique Geekmeister America is worse. (191 comments)

I'm afraid you need to look up his case. His employers said "stop" and ended the funding, especially of technician time and equipment. He then completed the work on his own time, out of his own salary, with equipment and materials he bought. The company did wind up owning the patent. But this is a case where the inventor did, indeed, act as a dedicated scientist and engineer, not merely as an employee under managerial direction.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

Antique Geekmeister Re:Hang on WTF? (191 comments)

> As for being the source of the innovation, there is no question that he is a brilliant scientist. But there are lots of brilliant scientists. If another had been given the same job as him there is nothing to say they wouldn't have been the one to have come up with blue leds.

Anyone who knows the field would say so. Other colors for LED's were a long sought goal at the time, and the new technologies required several genuine developments and insights. When told to stop working on it at his company, he continued the research on his own, with materials he paid for out of his own salary. His was a classic case of a dedicated scientist completing a tack considered too difficult by his superiors.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Twitter discards client UI community

Antique Geekmeister Antique Geekmeister writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Antique Geekmeister (740220) writes "Twitter has just decided to discard the community of developers who've created interesting, innovative, and exciting to start-up company applications. The announcement at http://groups.google.com/group/twitter-api-announce/browse_thread/thread/c82cd59c7a87216a?hl=en shows that they intend to switch from the "bazaar" model of development to the "cathedral", with much tighter control of user interfaces for "security" and "consistency"."
Link to Original Source
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Oranges with THC Bio-Engineered

Antique Geekmeister Antique Geekmeister writes  |  about 6 years ago

Antique Geekmeister (740220) writes "A biochemist, Irwin Nanofsky, irritated by the confiscation of his family car when his son was caught with drug paraphernalia in 1984, has wreaked biological revenge on Florida law enforcement 24 years later by developing, and releasing, fertile orange seeds for oranges that contain the major active ingredient of marijuana http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=57839045341&h=3VR1O&u=IDqVi.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, in a tall glass, with a plate of waffles."

Link to Original Source

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