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Do Car Safety Problems Come From Outer Space?

Celeste R Cop-out (437 comments)

This sounds more like a cop-out for Toyota's design practices than anything. If it's not reliable enough for the road, then don't sell it! (safety laws and all).

What's so wrong with simple and effective that good design philosophy gets thrown out in favor of industry buzzwords?

more than 4 years ago

US Air Force Confirms New Stealth Aircraft

Celeste R Re:Old news to me (287 comments)

I was referring to the 24+ hour flight.

I should have clarified, thank you.

about 5 years ago

US Air Force Confirms New Stealth Aircraft

Celeste R Old news to me (287 comments)

This craft is also capable of bombing missions, according to the Military Channel's own documentaries on experimental craft. It DOES have a bomb bay and missile mounts.
The same documentary also said that this craft is capable of completely autonomous aircraft carrier landings, and can even do so in the dark. (a milestone feat in itself, due many factors)
It's also capable of 24+ hour flight, which is awesome for scouting missions waiting for a mobile target, and is capable of mid-air refueling. (this is a living pilot no-no, and potentially keeps the craft up as long as it needs to be).

Eventually, this will be flying more than our own pilots will be, due to the fact that pilots cannot be mass-produced. Eventually, we WILL be putting arms on them, even if only because there might not be a good enough alternative.

Also, rumors about similar tanks are in the works... that are so overengineered that they tried to break it and couldn't (experimental model).

about 5 years ago

Fedora 12 Lets Users Install Signed Packages, Sans Root Privileges

Celeste R Re:Users should not get to be root. PERIOD (502 comments)

RH didn't give any go ahead, it was the PackageKit upstream that did it without any communication.

NO documentation about this 'feature'.
Terrible configuration system.
Also, the entire mailing list had to do their own homework about this policy.

more than 5 years ago

Fedora 12 Lets Users Install Signed Packages, Sans Root Privileges

Celeste R Re:This makes sense (502 comments)

Reading the thread itself:

the configuration is difficult to change and not in a traditional location, and even then, most opt for a dirty 'patch' designed to turn PK authentication into a blacklist, instead of getting it to work right.

Uninstalling PK is also a no-go, since it breaks packages.

A regular RH user can:

crash the system by filling up / (root installation of packages, so no 5% wall)
install packages with known security holes
install packages that are automatically enabled (PulseAudio defaults on, as do a few others, and I recall a PulseAudio security hole being exploited recently)
install packages from only enabled repositories (the main one in specific is default)

All in all, this is making RH a lot less secure by default than it should be. I'll shy away from RH this time around, tyvm.

more than 5 years ago

Software Piracy At the Workplace?

Celeste R Re:recommend free alternatives (1006 comments)

As an alternative to Office, use OpenOffice.

However, it _must_ be pointed out: you'd be making a lot of changes. Some people (especially management) see that as rocking the boat when it's 'going along just fine'.

The best thing to do (from my point of view): Educate your boss, keep a diary of what you're trying to do to be ethical, and do your best to get out of a sticky situation before it gets worse.

Once you're out, of course, you can drop the bomb.

more than 5 years ago

The Ethics of Selling GPLed Software For the iPhone

Celeste R Unfair (782 comments)

It's not unreasonable to ask for a way to recoup your development/porting costs.

It's also not unreasonable to try to abide by the wishes of the development team.

I'm guessing that the original development team already have stable jobs -- do you? is your freelancing consistent? I'd venture "not completely"
I'm also guessing that this individual developer feels that the only business model for Linux is to make free software, and screw any bottom-line business model.

This specific developer in question sounds like he got burnt by focusing on the development of xpilot at the sacrifice of his finances. While I admire his support of the community to such lengths, it's not fair to think that everyone should make the same mistakes he made.

You can do a multitude of things. The single BIGGEST thing you can do for this project is bring this back into the public eye, which you're doing now. A microtransaction of a few dollars isn't going to break anyone's bank (compare free Linux to commercial UNIX, and it's a very clear distinction). I feel that you're on the right track myself.

DO keep the source code available though. You're looking at this as under a VENDOR paradigm.

more than 5 years ago

Hacker Group L0pht Making a Comeback

Celeste R Re:Hmmm... (110 comments)

There's how many Evil Scientists bent on destroying the world around?

Most people just want money; money that keeps coming.

more than 5 years ago

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man

Celeste R Re:Limits like this don't work (652 comments)

Augmented humanity vs unaugmented humanity will be a big question of the future.

The way I see it, I'd go along the lines of nonsurgical augmentation (my personal transcriber for the book I'm writing? sure!). It's the sanest balance in my opinion. I can still go outside, hike the mountain, and escape from the Matrix.

I'm a big believer in balanced lifestyle, and whether this means including machines in the decision-making process or saying that I need my space away from them, it's a practical and meaningful way to live.

When a machine can meditate side-by-side with me, I'll consider them a suitable part of all aspects of humanity.

more than 5 years ago

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man

Celeste R Re:john markoff!? (652 comments)

Simulating a brain is not equal to machine intelligence.

It takes a lot more effort to simulate something that's represented in hardware.
It takes a lot less effort to actually do something on the bare iron.

There's various routes to machine intelligence. One such route is say.. fractal representation of a machine's knowledge of what's around it and what it can do with it.

This is a very different route from doing a neural network representation, that tends to require high-performance massively parallel computing.

Of course, with the given rate of things as Moore's Law stands, it may indeed take until 2020, but that doesn't mean that current methods don't already work (take a look at the Japanese robotics contests sometime).

more than 5 years ago

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man

Celeste R Limits like this don't work (652 comments)

Putting limits on the growth of a technology for the sake of social paranoia only goes so far... someone will ALWAYS break the "rules", and at that point, the cat is out of the bag.

Furthermore, some AI scientists enjoy having the 'god complex', the idea that you're the keystone in the next stage of humanity.

That being said, the social disruptions are what we make it. Were there social disruptions when the automobile was introduced? Yes. the household computer? yes. video games? yes.

We have to take responsibility to set the stage for a good social transition. Yes, bad things will happen, but we can focus on the good things too, or things will quickly blow out of proportion. (and yes, I realize that's really not likely, but I can do my part)

more than 5 years ago

The Rocky Road To Wind Power

Celeste R Re:Oh boo hoo (281 comments)

They do, and they'll continue to push those boundaries.

Tell me, do you think they like losing money on undeliverable products?

My guess is that most wind farm manufacturing will go to the sea-side, shipped by sea, and delivered by practical routes from the sea.

more than 5 years ago

The Rocky Road To Wind Power

Celeste R Re:Oh boo hoo (281 comments)

This is indeed a logistical problem, and not an inherent problem. It's also not a problem with weight.

Wind turbines and wind towers for those turbines are very different. Towers are large and bulky, built to be structurally sound. Interstate laws require that only so much weight can be put on any given set of wheels. Heavy, illegally-running trucks (liquid haulers, etc) can easily get much heavier, on fewer wheels. The weight problem is already managed, and oversize trucks are routinely checked, where other trucks aren't as much.

If smaller roads that happen to carry large amounts of truck traffic are getting torn up, then it's not surprising, given that trucks are trucks. This Texas road in specific is notorious for being undermaintained, and the Highway Department can whine, but they know they need to do something.

I seriously doubt that this remark about 'a big gouge in Route 1' was because of weight, but rather because of size. Perhaps it clipped an overpass. Perhaps (god forbid) it actually slid off the truck. Accidents are remembered, but gradual wear and tear on a road isn't an 'accident' that happens all at once.

Putting a truck laden with a section of tower can clog up a heavy construction area for hours. Can you plan around that? Yes, but only so much. Incidents will happen, and I distinctly remember one of these trucks knocking down all the cones in a construction area, because it was either the cones or the signs.

This is 'routine' logistical work for any oversize hauler. If someone's screwing up, fingers are easy to point. It may be the driver, or it may be that construction crew that was lazy with their cones, but it's manageable, up to a point. If you can't get it through no matter which route you take, it's too big to transport.

For states back east, it's messier still because the roads are smaller (you can't fit one of these around most of those corners) and the clearances are sized to match.

Eventually, wind tower construction companies are going to have to mobilize. Contract for several years here, and several years there, and it makes more sense to actually relocate the manufacturing facility for large products to save costs.

more than 5 years ago

Cable Management To Defeat Clutter?

Celeste R Options (323 comments)

To keep computer cables managed, I'd suggest you simply bundle them together, and where possible, get shorter cords or wrap them up. the monitor, box, and printer cables can generally be consolidated fairly easily, and that's just a start. You can also get away with bundling data-carrying cables with each other (yes, I know, RFI, but you'll get more RFI from power cables).

Three computers and their connecting cables: go with wifi internet where practical (G or N, you're not actually hosting anything, are you?) As far as the utility cables, I'd suggest cable bundling where practical (you wouldn't bundle that wired mouse, for example, but the keyboard? probably.)

Two cellphones? Phone charger plugs were standardized around USB not too long ago, and with those, you can ditch the wall plugin by getting a simple adapter cable. Even the USB-to-proprietary adaptors would clear up a bit of wall adapter mess.

Video and Photo cables should be bundled as well, and as for their proprietary chargers/cables, tuck them away neatly.

Printers are fairly easy to keep neat, especially if you have a print server. It's not hard to do. For that matter, external hard drives tend to be practical with a single fileserver, because it keeps the extraneous clutter managed, and it's consistent to access. For three computers, do you really need two NAS'es where one will do well?

The phone system should be fairly straightforward, but if you're looking for reducing cable clutter for an office workspace, I'd personally go the cell phone route.

Audio systems go two ways: wired, or wireless. I prefer very low lag in my sound, so I prefer wired, but that's my preference. Either way, you're talking about hiding either power cables or the audio wires to your speakers, and those aren't that hard to hide. Do keep them hidden, and not crossing any traffic though, no matter how much better it might sound with it placed a certain way.

Routers and switches are nice and all, but so is the ability to go wireless. Choose something that will get you the least interference and the best signal (I've been happy with my DD-WRT), and choose a good channel (avoid those overcrowded factory settings channels like the plague). Sure, you'd lose an expansion slot, but you'd also lose those cables, as well as the hazards those cables bring with them. Go with the N standard if you have interference issues where you are at, because so few people actually have wifi-N to interfere with you.

If you'd like to watch your power consumption, get one of those load meters. They'll help you figure out whether or not it's those idle bricks that are pulling more power, or that idle photo printer. The wireless router may pull a good draw though, I'm not sure.

In general, my own cable mess is tucked neatly out of the way. The things I use (like my cell charger) is accessible, on the desk, attached to my USB hub. My printer is easily turned off (and stays off for the most part), as is my monitor (max power saving is good).

You can tuck those power strips anywhere, including under furniture (properly insulation is a good idea). Power bricks are harder to hide, but they can be put with them (and hot bricks should -always- stay where they can at least maintain a good temperature). As such, I tend to avoid the cabinetry, since my laptop brick can get scalding hot sometimes, and tend to opt for the behind-the-cabinet approach, where if something does go wrong, I can take care of it. Forgotten surge strips are useless surge strips.

Use your intuition, and be safe!

more than 5 years ago

NSA To Build 20-Acre Data Center In Utah

Celeste R Re:Nothing secret here (226 comments)

That's great! Thanks for sharing this information :)

more than 5 years ago

Bike Projector Makes Lane For Rider

Celeste R Re:This is a pretty stupid idea (856 comments)

'Making my own lane' isn't a solution in those situations, because 'making my own lane' only works well on wide roads at nighttime. Tell me, what's the right solution?

The visible intent here is to give cyclists some safety space while they have to ride among the cars, especially at night. Cars tend to push that safety space to the limits (how many times have I almost been clipped by a car's mirror?), and any practical edge is worth it.

Who pays for the road is a question of how corporatist might makes right. The real, tangible question here is SAFETY. Is it safe for me to share the road with cars? Generally so, but how about doing the same, going up hills? Or in inclement weather, like wind, or heavy rain? That is why bicycle lanes are important.

I am responsible for my own safety, and moreso, because I don't have the protection that a car would afford me. I have to be able to say that it would be better for me to ride slowly on that sidewalk than it would be for me to ride among the cars in heavy, visibility-reducing rain, or when I'm riding into the sunlight at dawn or dusk (sunglare on windows and/or driver dazzle).

Bike riders may put themselves in danger by not following the rules, but pretending to be something I'm not (a car) has landed me in more potentially dangerous situations than taking comprehensive control of the situation in the first place. To my irritation, that also includes bending rules not meant to be bent. What is truly important here is that we be given a place (a bicycle lane) where they can both follow the rules and be safe 99% of the time.

more than 5 years ago

Bike Projector Makes Lane For Rider

Celeste R Re:How about projecting an object on the left? (856 comments)

The bike projector would give a similar reaction to a car driver.

Even a wobbly line would tell a driver "oh, i need to give him a little space if possible". Lines and space-giving are very much in a driver's mentality. Scoring points (+1 for that cyclist!) isn't reality.

I agree that most drivers tend not to care, and that's why we need things that work, even if they don't work perfectly. I seriously doubt that this would give a driver a "hunter mentality".

more than 5 years ago

Bike Projector Makes Lane For Rider

Celeste R Re:Just get off the damn footpath (856 comments)

In many parts of the country, keeping off the pavement means riding through mud, grass, and people's property. Riding on sidewalks is not a safe solution, and is prone to finding that crack in the sidewalk that punctures your tire, but it's often (at least in my experience) a better solution than running along with thoroughfare traffic.

Lumping bicycles together with large vehicle traffic is an imperfect solution (30mph tops, sometimes on 50mph roads), and is a 'solution' that the highway department doesn't want to solve appropriately by actually building more infrastructure. Building appropriate lanes would also encourage proper rule-following.

We can hold bicyclists to the same rules as cars, but this is like expecting an oversize truck to share a road with a car on a narrow 2-lane road. Someone has to give, and it makes sense to avoid an accident in the first place. I'd rather face the ditch than to face (another) car who thinks that it's safe to tailgate me when the road is wet, very dry (sand drifts), or debris-ridden.

There is much more liability to a bicycle rider in an accident. Sure, carrying insurance helps, but it doesn't fix your broken back from when a car rear-ended you. We also know that insurance companies don't have your welfare in mind.

The problem isn't the rules; the problem is the way that we expect to put apples and oranges together and expect apple juice, when clearly it would be better separately.

more than 5 years ago


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