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Comments

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Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Chas Re:Not Boeing. (216 comments)

Thanks.

Saw that in the article and totally brain-farted while typing.

yesterday
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

Chas Is this worse than Win10 Test? (305 comments)

Indubitably. Win10 Test is a product demo. So Microsoft is going to monitor it in a way that would be unfeasible for a shipping OS. They're trying to collect user data to make sure people are using Win10 the way they THINK people are going to use it. This is a byproduct of the Windows 8 metro/modern UI fiasco. If they don't disable/remove this level of monitoring when the OS ships, corporate customers will simply opt not to run with the OS...AGAIN.

Seriously, NO company that's in ANY way serious about security is going to put up with a built in keylogger that's reporting back to MommySoft.

Apple is doing the same thing with a live, shipping OS. Which is completely fucking heinous.

Now, will they get away with it?

Probably, because the rabid, turtleneck-and-jeans brigade of Mac fanatics will buy absolutely ANYTHING from Apple, so long as it has the Apple logo on it.

yesterday
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Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Chas I agree with this sentiment. (216 comments)

There's almost zero reason we should put LFTR and Fusion into an adversarial relationship.

LFTR is closer to market right now, and fuel for it is ridiculously plentiful. It can easily power this planet for hundreds of years.

At the same time, Fusion is around the corner (though it's been "around the corner" for several decades).

Still, instead of dealing with:

* Nasty, polluting fossil fuel generation
* Solar/Wind/Hydro installs that fuck up the local ecology
* Dirty, ancient solid-fuel fission tech

Take the first step forward with LFTR and MSR fission.

Yes, we'll have waste still. But it's FAR easier to design storage/depletion facilities that last 100-300 years. Current fission plants are producing stuff that'll be hot for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. And, quite simply, we can't guarantee anything we engineer will last that long. The oldest (mostly intact) megastructures on this planet are the Egyptian pyramids. And they're only about 4500 years old. Mostly because they're just a giant pile of stone.

Still with LFTR/MSR, we can lower emissions and give ourselves time to grow and improve the grid while we get the kinks out of Fusion technology.

With portable, modular solutions like Boeing's fusion skunkworks project, we can put cheap, safe power generation capacity just about ANYWHERE.
When more power's needed? Just drop another unit next to the first and keep adding until your requirements are met.
And when it's time to decommission a unit? Simply truck it away!

And both of these technologies are engineered, from the get-go, to be inherently safe.

With LFTR/MSR fission. If power is cut, you don't get a runaway reaction. By design, the reactor dumps the medium into dump tanks, away from the reagent.

With fusion, you turn off power to a fusion reactor or change the dynamics inside the reactor, and the process shuts down naturally. Snuffed like a blown out candle.

But, will all the "nuclear = bombs" hysterics ever allow this to go through?

Hell no!

3 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Chas Basic plan (348 comments)

Step 1: Build permanent habitation in orbit. In a way that can easily be converted to a "space dock".

Step 2: Use it as a launch pad for permanent habitation on the Moon. Build the infrastructure, build large (mega-engineering projects). Once it's done, THEN move people in permanently. Use this method as the basis for expansion elsewhere in the solar system.

Step 3: Once permanent habitation has been done within Earth-orbit, send out automated devices to construct a similar space dock in Mars orbit, and possibly one in Venus orbit.

Step 4: Use the Mars dock as a launch pad for permanent habitation on Mars using the Moon's habitation as a template. Due to Venus' EXTREMELY unfriendly atmosphere, I'd likely say convert the Venus station into a solar power-to-battery facility.

Step 5: Once the Moon and Mars colonies are firmly established, use the template for occupying the moons of the outer planets.

Basically the orbital facilities would be staging areas for occupation of the various planets/moons. They serve as fall-back points in case of catastrophe. And, once the colony was safely established, they'd become fuel depots.

Going with a "launch from orbit" model also saves fuel and wear and tear on interplanetary vehicles.

4 days ago
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The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users

Chas Whisper's already denied this (180 comments)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2014/10/16/secret-sharing-app-whisper-to-the-guardian-you-published-a-pack-of-vicious-lies-about-us/

Whisper, darling child of the online anonymity surge, is going to war with the Guardian over a story saying the app tracks the identities and locations of some users.

Launched two years ago, Whisper says it’s the “safest place on the internet,” a social networking app that lets people anonymously share short messages — “whispers” — supposedly detached from any identifiable information.

But in a lengthy takedown published Thursday, the Guardian claims otherwise, saying Whisper uses a handful of tools to subvert its own claims of privacy and anonymity. Whisper, according to the Guardian report, tracks newsworthy users and uses roundabout methods of finding out the locations of users who decline to share it; the company then shares that information with third parties, including the U.S. government, the Guardian reported.

The outlet also said the app changed its privacy policy after it was made aware that the Guardian’s story would run.

All of these claims, Whisper officials said, are patently false.

Whisper’s editor-in-chief, Neetzan Zimmerman, went into attack mode immediately after the story was published, saying it was a “pack of vicious lies” and that “the Guardian made a mistake posting that story and they will regret it.”

Reached by phone, Zimmerman categorically denied the basis of the story, saying that while certain degrees of tracking (such as a city of location) are possible through simply connecting to the Internet, the methods the Guardian described are “either outright false or misguided or misinformed.”

“Clearly, their intention was for absolutely no reason to write a hit piece about us and try to scare away our users,” Zimmerman said, sounding irate at times.

The Guardian story describes techniques that Whisper allegedly uses to find “newsworthy” users, such as those who work at Yahoo and Disney, or on Capitol Hill. It also says there is a technical backdoor that allows Whisper to pinpoint the location of users who have declined to share their location with the app, and that Zimmerman and another executive had requested staff to exploit it.

But Zimmerman, fuming at the accusations, said such backdoors are “technically impossible.”

“That is false, that is 100 percent false,” he said. “That was never said by anyone. I have no idea where that quote came from. I have no idea what they’re talking about. I have never, ever, ever asked anybody in my life, and would never ask anybody, for information on a user who opted out of user location. That cannot be overemphasized. That is a 100 percent lie.”

He added that no change was made to the app’s privacy policy as a response to the Guardian’s story. (Still, my colleague Brian Fung noted that any changes to a privacy policy may invite inquiry from the FTC.)

Whisper employees can, however, search for keywords (analogous to a Twitter search) to find users and their “whispers” that may be interesting to some of its media partners, including BuzzFeed, which publishes an ongoing series of posts that highlight interesting or newsworthy messages on the service.

A BuzzFeed spokesman told Valleywag on Thursday: “We’re taking a break from our partnership until Whisper clarifies to us and its users the policy on user location and privacy.”

Zimmerman also said the Guardian has had a months-long partnership with Whisper that used the very techniques the article decries.

“There are at least three Guardian stories written off Whisper, and two of which were using the methods the article is attacking,” Zimmerman said, adding that the outlet initiated the partnership. “The CEO and executive editors were in here, and they were all privy to all this information and explained to us that they were supportive of everything that they had seen.”

Guardian spokesman Gennady Kolker said the outlet “has no comment at this time.”

The Washington Post has used Whisper at least once to find story sources. A spokeswoman for The Post declined to comment.

4 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

Chas Re:(Re:The Children!) Why? I'm not a pedophile! (281 comments)

What would I punish the guy for?

Oh. Let me count the ways.

And seriously. You're allowing him the Nuremburg Defense? ("I was only following orders")

Sorry, NOT a good reason for violating people's rights.

4 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

Chas Re:(Re:The Children!) Why? I'm not a pedophile! (281 comments)

I, for one, REFUSE to be pre-criminalized...

Too late... already happened

Touche.

The only appropriate answer for this sort of thing is "Fuck you. Get a warrant."

Enjoy your stay in government housing while we wait...

If necessary. I will. Part of the reason that the government gets over so much nowadays is that people are TERRIFIED of being seen as a criminal, and they're scared shitless of ANY form of incarceration.

Jim Comey needs to be told to shut the hell up, do his job *RIGHT* and be a good little soldier.

Remember who gives the orders. He is a very good little soldier, getting up there and barking like a dog, very well trained. And maybe he too, will write a tell-all confession after he reties, if the right book deal comes along.

Even the best trained dog gets a rolled up paper across the snout once in a while.
I have no problem being such. As there's nothing in my life I couldn't stand to lose.

4 days ago
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Data From Windows 10 Feedback Tool Exposes Problem Areas

Chas Re:Windows 7 (138 comments)

All the excessive logging in Win10 is due to the fact that it is a TECH PREVIEW.

Once we get to the RTM, you can be sure things like the click-tracking, key logging, etc are all going to be turned off. Because, were they NOT, Win10 would bounce off enterprise/business customers faster and harder than Windows 8 ever did. NO business is going to put up with their OS vendor keylogging them.

4 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

Chas (Re:The Children!) Why? I'm not a pedophile! (281 comments)

It is not our job to make his job easier or effortless.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Our phones and computers are the modern day equivalent of "papers and effects".

Encryption affords us the security promised by this amendment.

Does this make the collection of data by various "letter agency" and police law enforcement departments tougher? YEP!

Does it raise the possibility of criminals "slipping through the system"? YEP!

I, for one, REFUSE to be pre-criminalized , simply because I don't choose to automatically drop trou whenever someone demands to see "ze papers". The only appropriate answer for this sort of thing is "Fuck you. Get a warrant."

I also refuse to abrogate my rights and privileges due to an idiotic appeal to emotion (think of the CHILDREN!)

*I* am not victimizing children. But, the way law enforcement wants to set things up, EVERYONE gets lumped in as would-be rapists, molesters and murderers.

Jim Comey needs to be told to shut the hell up, do his job *RIGHT* and be a good little soldier.

4 days ago
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Data From Windows 10 Feedback Tool Exposes Problem Areas

Chas Re:Windows 7 (138 comments)

Guess no compelling reason the ever upgrade to windows 10. I'm staying at 7...

Honestly, 8 had some nice little technical improvements under the hood (such as being able to directly mount ISO images as filesystems, etc.
The big problem with 8 was the forced UI changes.

Win10 retains all of those little technical improvements and is looking to (at least partially) undo the UI mess that was created in Win8.

They still have a way to go though. There's a lot of Metro/Modern UI crap that REALLY needs to be cleaned out.

5 days ago
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Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

Chas Can the sun realistically power datacenters? (236 comments)

Short answer: No

Long answer: No. Because the tradeoffs just aren't worth it, considering that you'd have to invest in a solar field nearly 400 times the size of your data center and you'd have to allot still MORE space for a HUMONGOUS unobtainium battery setup to store power in off-production hours.

Then there's the environmental impact of clearing that much land just to let it like barren and house all those panels.

We won't even go into the issues of the environmental impact of actually MANUFACTURING that many panels

about a week ago
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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

Chas The app store can be beneficial... (229 comments)

This directly contradicts Apple's mission of maximizing shareholder benefit by wringing every last possible cent out of every transaction FOR THEMSELVES and telling everyone else to go pound sand.

about a week ago
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Federal Government Removes 7 Americans From No-Fly List

Chas They removed ANYONE? (124 comments)

*Drops dead in shock*

about a week ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Chas Cook, cook, cook the books. Till they say anything (608 comments)

The report demonstrates that if you were to take into account mining, pollution, and adverse health impacts of coal and gas, wind power would be the cheapest source of energy

Sure! Tack in total costs across progenitor markets, and assume a 100% penetration on pollution and health impact. Ignore things like land use, fines for filling endangered species, costs of NECESSARY storage systems, etc, etc.

Yes! We too can cook the books!

Oh yes. And let me know when you have a reliable wind source that blows steadily enough for 24x7 power generation.

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Chas Simple solution (622 comments)

If you don't want something potentially blasted out to every other human on the planet, DO NOT PUT IT UP ON THE INTERNET!

PERIOD!

If you want to call this "victim blaming", fine.

I don't use various web services to take/store private pictures of myself.
Therefore, I do not have naked photos of myself strewn across the web after the inevitable account compromise.

Anyone trusting an Internet service to keep things "private" for them is a fucking moron.

about a week ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Chas "How can WE run the system?" (283 comments)

You can't?

EVERYONE wishes they could choose a career that would go out of its way to manufacture a choice and cushy position for them on-demand.

Reality is, if you choose to go into a field with a glut of participants, jobs are going to be lower paying and few and far between and it becomes a race to the bottom.

Do like everyone else does when trying to break into a particular career. Get a job.

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Chas Lawsuit in 3...2...1... (742 comments)

If he's telling the truth and wasn't name-dropping, then Comcast has some explaining to do. To a judge and jury.

Granted, they have deep enough pockets to tie it up for years. But...

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Chas Lawsuit in 3...2...1 (742 comments)

If this person is telling the truth, and they had NOT been name-dropping, he's got a hell of a lawsuit on his hands.

Granted, Comcast can tie it up in the courts for years...

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Netflix pay us. Verizon keeps throttling.

Chas Chas writes  |  about 3 months ago

Chas (5144) writes "Even though Netflix caved to Verizon's demands and is now paying protection money to them to ensure better service, Netflix performance still has not improved on the Verizon network.

This is the problem with giving in to extortion like this. Sure, Comcast at least made a token effort to improve performance for end-users. Verizon just treated it as a payday, and maintained status quo, continuing to blame Netflix."
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CEO of Bitcoin exhcange found dead

Chas Chas writes  |  about 7 months ago

Chas (5144) writes "And still more hoopla surrounding Bitcoin. 28 year old CEO of First Meta Autumn Ratke was found dead in her Singapore apartment on February 28th. Local media is referring to it as a suicide, but officials are waiting on toxicology reports."
Link to Original Source
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Maxis/EA admit SimCity could run offline.

Chas Chas writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Chas (5144) writes "Well, after a week or so of denying that SimCity "could not" be run in an offline mode, Maxis GM Lucy Bradshaw has reversed herself.

According to her blog, Maxis COULD have implemented an offline mode but "It wasn't part of their vision".

This coming to light after modders have come forth to show that the game can be played almost completely in offline mode.

And in other news, apparently they're also censoring their helpdesk number now as well.
1(866) 543-5435 (By the way)"

Link to Original Source
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Can the City of Heroes save... itself?

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Chas writes "As reported earlier, NCSoft has announced the impending closure of the City of Heroes superheroic MMO. So that's it. The end. Finis. Rocks fall, everyone dies.

Or is it?

Apparently they didn't reckon with a community that's spent the better part of a decade fighting evil and myriad world-ending threats. Now the citizens of Paragon City are stepping up to bat again. The stakes? The end of the world.

In a surprisingly civil and well coordinated effort, thousands of City of Heroes players have come together in a campaign to convince NCSoft that City of Heroes is worth saving. With online events, letter-writing campaigns, presence in social media and an online petition that's now in excess of 17,000 signatures. On top of that, they're seeing support from various people with some celebrity of their own such as Neil Gaiman, Felicia Day, and Mercedes Lackey.

So, while saving this game is still probably a long shot, many people, including those in the media, think that this group might just be able to save the day."

Link to Original Source
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Community seeks to stop closure of City of Heroes

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Chas writes "On Friday, NCSoft announced the shuttering of Paragon Studios and the imminent closure of the City of Heroes MMO. After a brief period of shock, the budding heroes in the community sprang back into action. This time, facing a much different foe.

Multiple, coordinated actions are now under way, ranging from petitions to NCSoft against closure of the game, letter writing campaigns, attempts to find a potential buyer and new publisher for the game, as well as attempts possibly acquire the game via a crowd-sourced action."

Link to Original Source
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Researcher Trolls MMO, Ethical violations

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Chas (5144) writes "Approximately two years ago, a story popped up on Slashdot about a researcher, David Meyers (aka Twixt) who had supposedly spent time "studying" players in the City of Heroes MMO. At the time, there was a lot of media attention about the subject. After a short time, it dropped and nothing more was heard on it until now.

Apparently one of the players who was upset did more than simply rant on a board. The player, who had some of their own training in sociology contacted both NCSoft and Loyola University to notify them about the ethical violations of experimenting on people (especially minors) without their permission.

Since then the Mr. Meyers has scrubbed almost all reference to his paper from his CV, and a book deal was quietly killed."

Link to Original Source
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Chas Chas writes  |  more than 7 years ago

FreeJeremyDOTcom (5144) writes "Jeremy Hammond, of Chicago was sentenced last Thursday to two years in Federal Prison for hacking into the ProtestWarrior.

According to his plea-bargain agreement, he admitted to hacking into the ProtestWarrior servers and stealing upwards of 5000 credit card numbers. Reportedly, he had plans to use them to make fraudulent donations to various liberal causes.

In addition to his two year sentence, he was ordered to pay $5,250 in fines and restitution, and is barred from participating in any of the various hacking and anarchist groups for a period of 3 years after his release.

For the most part, all the various links point back to this article (may require registration/login) at the Chicago Tribune.

Of surprising note is the marked lack of support in the local hacker and anarchist communities for this person."
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Chas Chas writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Chas writes "I guess it's just me, but I find the notion that sound purchase decisions for IT-based solutions can be achieved solely on brand-name recognition by the luddite "general public" is not only insulting, but ridiculous as well.

I mean, YES, there ARE mental defectives out there who will simply buy ANYTHING with a specific brand name on it (*COUGH*APPLE*COUGH*). But using that to gauge technical merit of a purchase?

Again, I'm not saying that various-and-sundry intellectual cripples don't do this. But I'd like to think that the rest of the people researching solutions, or making the purchase decisions are at LEAST making the attempt to inform themselves before making a purchase decision.

Whether this means they go with *INSERT BRAND HERE* or *INSERT ANOTHER BRAND HERE*, doesn't make a bit of difference. Merely that they made an informed choice (even if the information was wrong/incomplete/biased)."

Journals

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I am so SICK of brand-fapping.

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I guess it's just me, but I find the notion that sound purchase decisions for IT-based solutions can be achieved solely on brand-name recognition by the luddite "general public" is not only insulting, but ridiculous as well.

I mean, YES, there ARE mental defectives out there who will simply buy ANYTHING with a specific brand name on it (*COUGH*APPLE*COUGH*). But using that to gauge technical merit of a purchase?

Again, I'm not saying that various-and-sundry intellectual cripples don't do this. But I'd like to think that the rest of the people researching solutions, or making the purchase decisions are at LEAST making the attempt to inform themselves before making a purchase decision.

Whether this means they go with *INSERT BRAND HERE* or *INSERT ANOTHER BRAND HERE*, doesn't make a bit of difference. Merely that they made an informed choice (even if the information was wrong/incomplete/biased).

top

Chas Chas writes  |  about 12 years ago

Been a while since I've looked into my preferences section. Indeed, I'm somewhat surprised at the host of options available to me now.

Quite cool in fact.

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