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U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

AtomicSnarl All or Nothing? (190 comments)

Since when is everybody entitled to a 4 lane highway to your front door? Yes, most everybody and their dog wants fast, faster, fastest internet, the provider has to pay the bill according to customer receipts and good standing with the banks to get money for more gear and laying cable. Once upon a time, telephone systems used party lines to get their customers wired, and they gradually migrated up to individual POTS as the systems and business environment improved. To have the government wave a legal wand proclaiming all or nothing most often results in nothing. Case in point -- a school that wanted to issue Tablet Computers for it's students, but DOE shot them down because they weren't usable by the blind. So much for reasonable accommodation -- why can't they still use what they were using before the tablets. Be very careful when demanding government solutions to market problems.

about 5 months ago

Oil Train Explosion Triggers Evacuation In North Dakota

AtomicSnarl Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (199 comments)

I don't recall ever hearing about a pipeline colliding with another pipeline. Pump failures, punctures, and such maybe.

Anybody have statistics on ton-miles transported per accident rate for petroleum pipelines vs railroad tank cars?

about a year ago

'Energy Beet' Power Is Coming To America

AtomicSnarl Re:All Biofuels are a crock.. (238 comments)

Hmm... Explain to me how you are going to charge a 60KwH battery (Tesla, 200 mile range) with a 200 W/m2 solar panel on a 100m2 roof (20KwH) overnight?

about a year and a half ago

Supreme Court To Hear First Sale Doctrine Case

AtomicSnarl Threads That Bind (242 comments)

As if EULA on software wasn't bad enough...

more than 2 years ago

Sixty Years On, B-52s Are Still Going Strong

AtomicSnarl Re:B-2 Spirit unit price - $3b? Said who? (403 comments)

Point taken. The main idea is airframe cost vs total development and delivery cost. The 747 and subsequent models have had R&D split among the several thousand airframes built. The B-2 had only 21 build, so while the airframe cost is low, the overall cost is huge, split among very few airframes.

more than 2 years ago

Sixty Years On, B-52s Are Still Going Strong

AtomicSnarl Re:B-2 Spirit unit price - $3b? Said who? (403 comments)

By comparison, a unit cost for a Boeing 747-8 is around $330 Million, vs the around $1,000 Million for a full production run B-2. Just remember the 747 cost does not include the R&D costs of the decade it took to develop the design and build the factory, etc, whereas the full R&D cost is part of the B-2 cost. If you strip out the development costs, a B-2 airframe runs around $600 M, roughly twice the 747 costs for an aircraft with much, much more, very specialized capability. Overall, not a bad price for what it can do - haul 20+ tons of weapons 8,000+ miles unrefuled, invisibly, and hit a 3 foot circle. Many of them.

more than 2 years ago

Wind Map of US Will Blow You Away

AtomicSnarl Training and Visualization (104 comments)

As a retired weather guy with over 25 years working with and training weathermen, this is one of the best tools I've seen. Applause!

Understanding fluid flow and visualizing it is not easy, but it crucial to meteorology because that dynamic drives and reveals the mechanisms that create the weather systems we track, such as fronts, storms, and so on. Given the tools seen are usually something like this (from ADDS) or this (from CoolWx), the WindMap does a much more intuitive job of showing the strength and patterns in merging flow.

So, well done! The only improvement I can think of for better use operationally would be an hourly looper of, say, the past six hours with a 3-4 second pause for each hour. This would let you track specific features as the day goes on.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Patent Aims To Curb Obnoxious Employee Behavior

AtomicSnarl Orwell (312 comments)

Cue the Big Brother - thoughcrimes comments.

So, really -- what's the point of this? PC enforcement? Social modeling? Productivity improvement? Lawsuit prevention?

If it isn't about productivity, it is probably a drag on the organization.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

AtomicSnarl Decisions, decisions... (735 comments)

Even a crap job is tolerable if the people are decent and the money is fair. Loyalty is due where loyalty is repaid. Granted, employment contracts and Non-Compete clauses always limit and grate, but is where you are now giving/getting you what you want? Will the green grass over the fence do better for you in the long run? Do you accept the burdens of those changes in the short run?

It can be pretty cheesy to attempt to "measure" your friendship, much less deliberately test it, but if you feel you're part of something larger (and a good part at that), then you don't even need to ask the question.

It's the old 4-panel plan problem. Take a sheet of paper, fold it in four, and mark them 6, 12, 5, 100. Then list things you want to do in the next 6 weeks, 12 months, 5 years, and 100 years. Review it carefully. The 6/12/5 items should lead somehow to the 100 year items. Climb a mountain? Sure! Learn mountain climbing? Yeah, I can do that in 5 years easy. Ah -- get fit first. Yep, can start that this year. Six weeks to find a good trainer -- can do!

So -- where are you going, and and is where you are (or wish you were) part of getting there?

more than 3 years ago

The Mathematics of Lawn Mowing

AtomicSnarl Re:Now solve the problem... (514 comments)

Harvesting wheat? Don't you want the 20 foot head with the 20' turning radius?

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements?

AtomicSnarl Re:CLEP Tests (913 comments)

Yes.. CLEP and DANTES tests if you can get them. Based on work experience, I was able to max the 2 year stuff with just those tests. I then submitted for an AA Business degree that needed only 2 residency courses for business related topics. The AA then covered all the Gen-ED stuff for my 4 year degree, again except for 3 residency courses on English and Geography (elective minor related to my work). The rest was all directly related to my focus.

Shop around and see what you can stack to speed up your path.

more than 3 years ago

Palin Fans Deface Paul Revere Wikipedia Page

AtomicSnarl Re:Paul Revere's own words... (767 comments)

Further info: Experts back Sarah Palin’s historical account

From transcript:

(Revere)“warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.”

If somebody told me I was about to encounter several hundred armed opposition, I would take that as a warning. Advice, at least.

more than 3 years ago

Too Much Data? Then 'Good Enough' Is Good Enough

AtomicSnarl Ambiguity Management (56 comments)

The problem being encountered is one I've faced often in 30 years of weather forecasting: Ambiguity Management.

The weather business deals with reams of data from thousands of sources and all the complexity of trying to follow a single swirl within a flowing river to figure out where it will be tomorrow. Decades of research and modeling have evolved into dozens of primary rule-based tools available to forecasters which are applicable to most situations. Objectively, you should be able to follow the rules, weed out the conflicting or contradictory ones, and get a reliable answer. Realistically, you don't. Why? Two reasons:

1. The dataset is incomplete.
2. The tools are imperfect.

You simply can't have perfect knowledge of all the relevant details in the atmosphere to feed a completely objective tool (computerized model or whatever) to get your perfect prediction. Like Rosanne Rosannadana's mother said, "It's Always Something!"

The trick then in being a good (aka reliable) weather forecaster then is how you manage the ambiguity of incomplete data filtered through inherently biased tools. Some weather stations run hot or cold, have local effects enhancing or reducing pressure or winds, etc, etc, etc. Good models account for this, but that's a static adjustment, not a dynamic one. Models run hot or cold, fast or slow, depending on their structure and assumptions, and they reval their strengths and weakness over time compared to other models and reality at verification time.

The basic forecasting questions are - Where is it, Where is it going, an what will happen when it gets there? Because the models are perfect (100% replication of output from identical starting states), but are always wrong (inherent model and data limitations), you make your money examining the consistency. The model(s) are running slow and cold recently due to the whatever event going on? Ok -- warm it up a few degrees and expecting things a few hours earlier than it forecasts tomorrow. Some models handle well in winter but get klutzy with large thunderstorm events. One model I worked with covered the world in clouds if you waited long enough. Solution? Don't trust it past X number of hours. And so on for the family of models through the decades and to today. Some models have high skill up to a certain point then it drops off quickly. Others show less skill, but are decent for the long haul. You get the idea. You can make a forecast using only one tool, but you can make a better one using several and sorting out their differences by using ambiguity management.

Needless to say, you needed a solid understanding of the physics and dynamics of the atmosphere to help make good decisions to do all this effectively. The modelers and users now data mining these huge collections of information likewise need a solid understanding of Statistics and the event mechanics they're examining to make any good sense of it all. At the very minimum, a large poster announcing "Coincidence is not Causation" needs to be in every office, otherwise you start getting breathless announcements about how underarm deodorant "causes" cancer because people eating hamburgers had a lower incidence rate by comparison.

Your Mileage May Vary -- a lot. That's the point.

more than 3 years ago

The Arduino Project Gets a Core Memory Accessory

AtomicSnarl Obligatory (46 comments)

Yes, but can they build a Beowulf cluster out of... --- oh, never mind...

more than 3 years ago

Minecraft To Officially Launch 11/11/11

AtomicSnarl Re:rememberance day (235 comments)

No -- they just want their Trench Warfare bonus pack to be a nice surprise!

more than 3 years ago

The Right's War On Net Neutrality

AtomicSnarl Re:Who do politicians work for? (945 comments)

Indeed! Do we want the Internet run (or overseen) by the Post Office? DMV? Medicare? Etc...

more than 3 years ago

Lost Online Games From the Pre-Web Era

AtomicSnarl Blue Wave and e-mail games (186 comments)

From the 2400baud days, Blue Wave was a store-and-forward e-mail system. BBSs were part of a network which would call each other a few times a day, and Blue Wave would pass mail packets back and forth. It also served as a mail reader, so you could log on, up/download your mail, and read at your leisure later.

From the mid-90s, I remember joining some E-mail games where some BBS hosted the game and 3-8 other people turned in moves. Operations was very similar to a D&D game master leading the people on a quest, following a game template, all by e-mail.

I think one was called Toonville or Toon Town (something like that) where you chose your character (literally anything), chose a few unique skills, and others provided by the game master. I was a radioactive fuel rod with a beret, beard, and electric Hupmobile. Another character was a constantly angry wheel of Cheddar cheese with a slingshot and a pet moray eel. Simply boarding the plane enroute to Banana Island took a dozen hilarious moves. "Welcome aboard Trans-Debris Airline! We try to fly, and it shows!"

Talk about adventure fiction -- Good days those...

more than 4 years ago

Why Warriors, Not Geeks, Run US Cyber Command Posts

AtomicSnarl Re:Different psychology (483 comments)

Hear hear! Mod parent up.

Being a soldier is not the same a being a brain dead grunt. The officers exist to understand the big picture (as much as they can see, anyway) and set the wheels into motion toward some goal and provide the resources to achieve that goal. The NCO's exist to ensure the people are properly trained to use those resources, can achieve those goals, and manage things while they do it. The rest of the enlisted force are the bullets, boots and brains that make it happen. And every one of us knows we're expendable.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Damn straight.

The death of the 600 was due to a communications screw up. The commander got his orders and set about to do it, and the men did their job.

What if it had been the proper thing to do? The cavalry attacks the line and forces a pivot to face them. The line is poorly trained or led and overdoes the pivot. This allows the battalion to attack the weak end of the emplacement and capture the line. Now the defenders have a huge hole where their vaunted cannon battery used to be and a full brigade pouring in the gap.

Sacrifice a company to rout the enemy? Yes. That's how it's done, and it does not require the company commander to know the big picture. It requires people on the scene who know how to work together and achieve the targets given, even at the expense of their life. Such is war.

You can't wait until you line up your ducks. The ducks are trying to kill you!

more than 4 years ago

A Brief History of Social Games

AtomicSnarl Re:VGA Planets (33 comments)

You're not alone! Ah, the skills of making alliances with other races (Borg/Crystal -- Colonial/Cylon, etc) and trying to plan three moves ahead at least... and then winning because the other team simply ran out of fuel! Ha!

Good times for the novice web surfer and gamer!

more than 4 years ago



How to Undelete Camera Phone Images?

AtomicSnarl AtomicSnarl writes  |  more than 2 years ago

AtomicSnarl writes "What tools are out there to recover deleted camera phone and other similar video or imagery? Consider this case, for example, where a Memphis News photographer had his images deleted by police, but was not charged or otherwise detained. I know Hard Drive file undelete is a simple process — how do you do it with memory cards and phone camera? Lawsuits are much more fun with recovered evidence!"
Link to Original Source

Court - EULA No Defense for Sex

AtomicSnarl AtomicSnarl writes  |  more than 5 years ago

AtomicSnarl writes "Remember the woman convicted for violating the MySpace EULA?

The Volokh Conspiracy points to another possible EULA case:

Don't sue the dating service that set the two of you up, in a context where it was clear the dating service wasn't screening members for age (and couldn't reasonably do so). That's basically the holding of Doe v. SexSearch from the Sixth Circuit.

Since the teen violated EULA to get on the site in the first place, should she be next up facing a felony conviction?"
Link to Original Source


Poll - Women of Slashdot

AtomicSnarl AtomicSnarl writes  |  more than 6 years ago

AtomicSnarl writes "Gurlz



Heh, heh, boobies...

3d6 PMS of Doom

How dare you, you insensitive clod!

(Cowboy) Kneel, you worm!

There are women here?"

Court Orders Breathalyzer Source Code Released

AtomicSnarl AtomicSnarl writes  |  more than 7 years ago

AtomicSnarl writes "An accused DUI Driver has won access to the breathalyzer source code by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Voting Machines are already under intense scrutiny — what other police or government tools, like radar units, need to be open for public review?"

AtomicSnarl AtomicSnarl writes  |  more than 7 years ago

AtomicSnarl (549626) writes "When the Carlisle, PA, police noticed their traffic stop was being videotaped, they arrested the video taper for felony wiretapping. From the story: 'Kelly is charged under a state law that bars the intentional interception or recording of anyone's oral conversation without their consent.'

Hasn't it already been settled about the 'expectations of privacy' in a public place? What of the next Rodney King tape? What about cell phone video with sound showing up on YouTube? Political Speeches where it's open to the public, but a 'no camera' policy? Newshound video sold to the local TV station — Will/can they then charge you with wiretapping for recording anyway?"

AtomicSnarl AtomicSnarl writes  |  more than 7 years ago

AtomicSnarl (549626) writes "An AI program has been found guilty of practicing law without a license, and the conviction was upheld in appeals court! Which is to say, the operator of said expert system was held responsible for this act.

This means the program has passed the Turing Test for legal accountability for it's "behavior". Civilization and Technology have gone round a corner on this one! Where next?"


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