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Senators Recommend FTC Perform Antitrust Investigation Of Google

CodeShark Senators == Conflicted Interests anyone? (315 comments)

Assume the following premise: if I, Senator (fill in the blank) come from a state where M$ has a large presence and/or I receive a large PAC or other donation traceable to M$ or M$ dominated interests, I will of course want to investigate all of the other nasty players in the software industry who are of course trying to become (presumably) evil monopolies. If I, Senator (fill in the blank) come from California, etc. where Google, et. al is strong and Apple is strong, I of course will want to investigate all of the other nasty players ________ who aren't buying my influence..... (?)

Now does anyone wonder why a Senator from Utah is so up in arms that he wants unpaid unelected bureaucrats to get nasty with Google, et. al?

more than 2 years ago

IE 10 breaks Javascript compliancy record

CodeShark Aurora 10: 7 errors except in one area (1 comments)

Not sure how valid this test suite is, whether or not Google came up with it or Mozilla is currently hosting it. The main page for the test states that it is still a test suite in development, and in my book multiple iterations revealing the same error is likelymore of a suite problem than a code problem: if every following routine calls a buggy earlier routine, etc. the fail count escalates. For example, in the 10.0a2 build of Firefox (Aurora 7 errors out of 160 were different. The remaining 153 were all "object create" related and failed in one main batch. So the question is: which is valid, the error result or the test?

more than 2 years ago

Demystifying UEFI, the Overdue BIOS Replacement

CodeShark My question isn't about big corps, but big crime (379 comments)

Yes, I recognize that MS can abuse UEFI. Given that my work machines are WinXXXXX I don't have a choice about that, and I would assume that at some point there will be mobos that aren't controlled by M$.

My question is ten times simpler: If this thing is flashable memory, etc., doesn't it open the doors to way more cracking by folks I'd really rather avoid, that is, identity thieves et. al? How is going away from silicon going to affect this?

about 3 years ago

Fukushima: Myth of Safety, Reality of Geoscience

CodeShark Tsunami: not sure anything could have helped (206 comments)

For every thousand people wringing their hands about all of the "coulda shoulda woulda(s)", there seems to be only a voice or two that really comprehends the size of either the quake or the Tsunami. Yes, TEPCO and the government regulators should have paid attention to what other researchers were saying about the likelihood of a big tsunami hitting the Tokai plain, including the area where Fukushima Daiichi, etc. were located.

I lived in three of the areas hardest hit: Ishinomaki, Northeast Sendai, and Fukushima. Damages further north and south on the coast are equally indescribable. To put it in perspective though..... Let's say California got pitched the same distance to the west that Japan did in the mega quake. There would now be an eight foot moat around anything west of the fault line. Any building lower than about 30 feet (the highest tsunami readings were nearly double that) not made of pretty much stone, brick, or cement would be gone. Assume you'd built a ten meter sea wall -- and then not only does the seawall get smacked by the quake, but the quake takes out all the backup systems designed to shut your big old project down safely -- and the roads required to get new backup equipment in place. In fact, pretty much all you can do is spray water on a hot spot.

You'd have as much luck avoiding a disastrous ending as you would n putting out a forest fire with the results of that 32 oz big gulp soda you drank an hour before the fire broke loose.

Any questions?

about 3 years ago

MIT Researchers Create New Tiny Energy Harvester

CodeShark RTFPATB: (Read the Fine Print At THe Bottom (101 comments)

This would be NEWS.... or is news, but not technology -- yet. Nearly the last sentence in the article states that it worked: at higher frequencies than are likely to be found and therefore useful at the vibrations available where MEMS devices normally would be used. In other words useful news that matters -- "once the lab techies make it work for real world conditions."

about 3 years ago

Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

CodeShark And what happened to Mitochondrial Eve? (1014 comments)

Thought that was supposed to be well established by DNA research.... and now we are being told that they can't get the count below 10,000? Make up your minds, science folks.

about 3 years ago

Teachers, Students Fight To Be Facebook Friends

CodeShark This isn't just an EFF type issue (286 comments)

There are aspects of the law that are good-- strengthening the reporting requirements, etc. to make sure an abuse case can't be suppressed by the school administration, et. al. The problem is quite profound in terms of our current legal system in fact. A comparable case is that "it is legal in the United States to buy certain types of high explosives, but not to make them", as the buying can be regulated so that not just anyone can go out and buy TNT at the local "five and dime let's make a bomb shop". But because of the Bill of Rights, nearly anyone (felons excluded) can own just about any type of "arms" (weapons) because we have the right to keep and bear arms. And that right is strongly protected.

Even though we all agree that teachers coercing or molesting students is a bad thing, it's not a preventable by destroying an aspect of the bill of rights thing. They call it the slippery slope and it's the same kind of thing with free speech. You are free to yell "fire" at the top of your lungs --but not in a public place --unless there is actually a fire. So the laws designed to protect students can't just say who can talk to whom and how as a method of preventing child abuse, they have to be crafted so dang specifically that they fit existing crime statutes, for example, it's illegal to engage in speech "soliciting" or "coercing" behaviors such as sex with minors, prostitution, etc., but not to call and talk to a student about an activity or grade. And a parent monitoring a child's FB account would have the right to raise holy hell for any teacher risking that kind of speech, etc. online anyway.

So the likelihood of the freedom of speech issue surviving a court challenge as written is probably nil.

(EFF ==> Electronic Freedom Foundation, btw).

more than 3 years ago

Cut Down On Nukes To Shave the Deficit

CodeShark According to Joe Average Congress Critter (369 comments)

Congress critter discussion:

--sarcasm mode on--
Of course we need all of those things in the budget for the next X number of years. It's either that or lay off the trained force that builds the darn things and scale back the number of defense spending related jobs in my home state. And those people vote, darn it, and they by golly are not going to vote for me if I cost them their jobs by doing the RIGHT THING!!

* Rubber Stamp *

---sarcasm mode off---

Any questions about why we need these weapons now?

more than 3 years ago

Silver Pen Allows For Hand-Written Circuits

CodeShark Time to draw me out a 6503! (161 comments)

Okay, just joking. But IIRC the fellow who designed the 6502 that started the PERSONAL microcomputer revolution big-time, AKA Apple, Commodore, etc. drew the masks by hand and to most people's astonishment got it right on the first interconnect cut. Hand him the pen and let him loose!

more than 3 years ago

US Congress To Use Skype For Video Teleconference

CodeShark Oh great! (96 comments)

Now that Microsoft is thinking about patenting the ability to let law enforcement folks tap VoIP conversations when wrongdoing is suspected, our beloved congress persons will have to do their dirty deals without using Skype. What Will We Do?

more than 3 years ago

US Preserves Smallpox For Defense

CodeShark Re: antiviral drugs (248 comments)

K a minor correction, same article... "Unlike most antibiotics, antiviral drugs do not destroy their target pathogen; instead they inhibit their development"

to which I add <a href=""> quotes</a> about what the review of many scientists say on the subject:

Genomic sequencing and limited study of variola surface proteins derived from geographically dispersed specimens is an essential foundation for important future work. Such research could be carried out now, and could require a delay in the destruction of known stocks, but would not necessitate their indefinite retention....

1. The most compelling reason for long-term retention of live variola virus stocks is their essential role in the identification and development of antiviral agents for use in anticipation of a large outbreak of smallpox. It must be emphasized that if the search for antiviral agents with activity against live variola virus were to be continued, additional public resources would be needed.

more than 3 years ago

Mandatory Automotive Black Boxes May Be On the Way

CodeShark Re:very good, iff done properly. (619 comments)

Very well put. Thanks. Wish that we'd get a whole lot of commentary just on your thoughts and get it refined to the level where the EFF could try to get something like this posted to the type of sites where they generate the "model" laws that a whole lot of smart people think are both good at the civil liberties level and that will withstand the weird challenges that it might need to from nefarious folks like corporate sponsored local government officials...

more than 3 years ago

New Bill Pushes For Warrants To Access Cloud Data

CodeShark Oh peachy: Leahy and my Civil Liberties (97 comments)

--sarcasm mode on--
I can sleep better knowing that Sen. Leahy is looking out for my civil liberties, especially where the 'Net and privacy are concerned.
--sarcasm mode off--

This may sound jaded but any time that particular name is associated with anything to do with our rights and civil liberties, I always seem to be saying under my breath "repeat after me: check the fine print" as there are very few individuals at the national level that I trust less. And I would love to see if the /. community agrees or disagrees with my assessment of his record on those issues.

more than 3 years ago

US Preserves Smallpox For Defense

CodeShark RE: Stocks of smallpox are not needed (248 comments)

See my other post on this. And yes you are correct that smallpox virus is not required to MAKE the vaccines.

Try this thought on for size though. Do you really want to test a smallpox vaccine on anything other than the deadly cousin of the vaccine's organizm, aka the REAL smallpox virus?

more than 3 years ago

US Preserves Smallpox For Defense

CodeShark The issue isn't smallpox. (248 comments)

Mankind has yet to invent event one "antiviral" that stops an infection from progressing, in say the way that antibiotics can stop a bacterial infection in it's tracks. Meaning that vaccines/inoculation are the only way to stop them -- via prevention, not cure. SO until a cure exists for even ONE virus, the world's most dangerous viruses need to have vaccines for them available.

The point for keeping the viruses is that because mankind can't re-synthesize an active virus to test against, there needs to be a stock against which the vaccines can be tested. The point to having a particular number of vaccinations available is that in the event that an outbreak were discovered, a much lower threshold of containment can be accomplished by inoculations in a circular shape around the outbreak(s) so that responders and other possible people exposed can be protected.

Change the name of the virus to "Ebola" for which they can still basically only theorize the still don't know the original transmission vector. Or "hantavirus" in the US, [if it were spreadable other than by rodent / flea type infestation]. Assume 25 years has gone by and now that there's no ebola samples or hantavirus samples to test against, and then a vector hits a major population center at the time of the World Cup in soccer, or the Olympics, etc.

Change the topic back to smallpox... Do you still want them to destroy the few remaining smallpox VIRUS stocks they need to test new vaccines and drugs against?

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft: One In 14 Downloads Is Malicious

CodeShark Only 1.5 malicious code downloads blocked? (290 comments)

Heck, I blocked that many by myself a couple years ago. Switched to Linux on my home machine, Firefox with noscript ON, and Chrome on my work machines. No more MS updates or weird IE toolbar launches.

Oh wait. I forgot to put on my flameproof underwear before I posted that...

more than 3 years ago

Miguel De Icaza Forms New Mono Company: Xamarin

CodeShark demise of open source ".NET-ness", a good thing? (286 comments)

Given that there is nothing MS would have liked to do more than to shut down Novell for ANY reason whatsoever, why would people consider the demise of ".NET" ness that is clearly open source and in many ways immune to patent litigation (although possibly not DMCA reverse engineering litigation -- I've heard that folks thought that was a possibility at one time) a good thing?

That would be like saying that SCO's lawsuits had merit for including major Linux distributions in it's target scope, would it not? And I don't think Miguel et. al are so stupid as to put themselves blindly as targets in microsoft's corporate crosshairs, do you?

more than 3 years ago

PROTECT IP Act Follows In COICA's Footsteps

CodeShark Re:Damn Republicans! (162 comments)

With the duly noted sarcasm meter note, it is sad that NEITHER of the major political parties are one whit interested in this little thing known as the preservation of civil rights as much as they are about the seizing and holding of the political power of the purse for their own ends. If that meets kowtowing to corporate and monied interests, so be it.

What is more disturbing is the lack of public and news outlet reaction. Of course, most news outlets now being owned by extremely large corporate interests is in this case, no help at all...

more than 3 years ago

Can Open Source Hardware Feed the World?

CodeShark too high tech (231 comments)

While this list is interesting, it requires an excessive amount of two commodoties: precision cut metal engines and "green friendly" fuel /energy sources and doesn't address three issues: lack of ground source water, lack of non-mosquito generating water purification, and what we could simply call the 'community cost of ownership". Because if there's not enough groundwater available, all the wells drilled by the machine simply compound a problem. If you have sufficient ground water but it is not pure, or mosquito free, you generate another set of problems. Finally, every member of the community needs to have the economic ability to participate in both the work requirement AND the benefit of large scale farming, which, to my knowledge has never been accomplished in the history of the world, including in the so called "first world".

Open source machine designs are cool. Making something work for 3,4,5,6 or ten family units on a reasonable amount of land with good clean water will do a lot more because after that it's mostly fertilizer, seed, and sun.

more than 3 years ago

DNA Testing Proposed For All Felony Arrests In New Mexico

CodeShark Pre-emptive arrests (155 comments)

Interesting question. Let's assume a theoretical person "I". "I" am "pre-emptively arrested" for a felony in order to get a DNA sample, but that specific arrest itself is later to have been found to be without reasonable cause, AKA it was a fishing expedition. Let's also assume that "I" have other warrants or am a suspect in crimes where there is an existing DNA sample. Mostly these would be sexual crimes, assaults, and murder related, that is, I don't think that police departments are DNA swabbing every known crime scene (burglaries, car thefts, etc.). In this scenario, the tainted match results in the possibility of a conviction for an unrelated issue. The false arrest is a legal taint -- the police aren't allowed to do it -- and so any evidence recovered in this manner would become unusable in BOTH cases.

As opposed to "I am brought in for questioning", offered a drink of water, a cigarette, or WHATEVER as a ruse for the police to get a DNA sample, a fingerprint, etc. -- tactics that have been held to be legal in many many court cases. Why would I as a police department risk the inevitable lawsuit and serious legal expense, or the loss of a predator/violent criminal/murderous type with an arrest when I can do something much cheaper to get the DNA sample I need?

I think the bigger "security vs. freedom" issue would be along the lines of "we got a DNA sample on file for you and we can keep it and share it with anyone we want for whatever reason and you will never know who/how/why it was shared". Because we trust governments SO much to only do the right things with our personal information, to never allow their databases to be sold, shared, hacked, etc., right?

more than 3 years ago



Firefox Aurora finally aces Acid3, beats Chrome

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 2 years ago

CodeShark writes "Seems late to the game, but the nightly build for Firefox (Aurora 10.0a2) finally aced the Acid3 JavaScript test suite, but equally important in my book, beat the current build of Chrome by an impressive 13% on the Webkit started Sunspider benchmark as well on my Windows7 machine."
Link to Original Source

Let the 'Droid Sharp Games begin!!

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 3 years ago

CodeShark writes "Miguel Miguel de Icaza the chief high mucky muck tech-driver in charge of the Mono project reports that "having fixed all the embarrassing bugs in Mono for Android", the code base is now open for previewing and presumably for lots of us developer folks to test and use outside the "hallowed walls".

Mono for Android brings the full Mono VM to Android but eliminates a lot of the functions, libraries routines, etc. that just don't apply to mobile devices."

Malaria vaccine: via mosquito

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CodeShark writes "The AP is reporting that mosquitoes have been used for the first time to deliver anti-malarial "vaccine" through their bites. According to this article the results were crystal clear: 100% of the vaccinated group acquired immunity, everyone in the non-vaccinated control group did not. Those in the control group and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later, the vaccinated group did not.

Malaria kills nearly a million people per year, mostly children. Compared to any injection regimen, if this technology comes to fruition, could this be the end to a dreaded killer?"

Firefox Beta score 93 on Acid3 test

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CodeShark writes "Mozilla released their latest Firefox 3.X beta today (3.5b4), and increased their score on the Acid 3 test to 93 [on my XP laptop], with tests 70,71, and tests 75-79 being the final challenges. Curiously though, the current release of the top Acid3 performer — Apple's Safari browser still not only rates higher(I got scores of 99 once and 100 most of the time) but is usually faster by a little (1.1 sec avg. vs. 1.4 over ten runs apiece) but only because the new Firefox beta was all over the map — frequently better by 25% (.85sec) or tanking badly with rendering times in the 2.5 — 3 second range, and both suffer performance hits on one test (#69)

What think ye all? what kind of results are you seeing, especially in other languages and on other platforms?"

IE 7 CSS scorecard results are in. It stinks.

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CodeShark writes "This may not be news to some high end web developoers, but it certainly was to me. After reading the Site point article reporting some near absolute failures by IE7 to correct known CSS implementation bugs, I wondered how well Microsoft's recent browsers rate in terms of over all compliance with published web standards. I figured the margin vs Firefox et al would be within a couple of percentage points either way with Internet Explorer winning a few, and the other guys winning a few.

Wrong. According to feature by feature survey, Firefox 2.X and Opera 9.X are within a couple points of each other with IE6 and IE7 are so far behind they might as well not be in the same race. Given this, my thought question is this: why don't the nearly 100% compliant browsers dominate the corporate intra-net workspace?"

Participatory Journalism: an open source method?

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CodeShark writes "I recently read an excellent article discussing a citizen network of about 1500 volunteers who have essentially become "extended reporters" that provide both fact checking, a sort of localized polling, and other journalistic type functions under a single masthead. With the idea that citizen-based reporting is probably a good thing, [think Pamela Jones (PJ) at Groklaw multiplied by 1500] I set about to find open sourced software (other than Blog-ware) that would make the development of networks under a "single site" like this a simple proposition. I was rather disappointed with my search results, which brings me to ask the /. readership my question: what, if any are good packages that I might consider, including good points and failures, and if there just isn't a good solution at present, what kinds of packages and features from the blog-sphere and CRM, etc. would you want to be included for the resulting set of applications to be considered truly "awesome"?"

Patent Nonsense extends to retiring a medication

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CodeShark writes "Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new Asthma rescue inhaler for the beginning of the school year that the school keeps on hand for my daughter. Usually this requires a $10 copay for the generic — but now the generic is no longer available, leaving my only choices to be very expensive patented versions of the same medicine. When I went up on the web to find out why, I found this article from US News and World Report that just happens to explain that that Asthma inhalers no longer qualify for the "essential use" of a CFC propellant, therefore the only choices left happen to be those patented medications — even if the only difference is the propellant that delivers the albuterol from the inhaler.

Those patents don't run out until around 2012 — and it strikes me that this is more about corporate greed than it is about health, the ozone layer, or any other good reason for the FDA to make the change. Doesn't this strike you as governmental regulation gone horribly terribly wrong? And more importantly, how can we do something about it?"

The computer that never loses.... at checkers

CodeShark CodeShark writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CodeShark writes "According to researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada)'s Computer science department, the game of Checkers is "solved." What this means is that from a starting position, the second opponent to play (black) can only play to a draw against a perfect opponent — and the Chinook has apparently reached this milestone. According to the web site, "This is the largest non-trivial game of skill to be solved — it is more than one million times bigger than Connect Four and Awari (the previously biggest games that have been solved)."

Yahoo has a basic summary of how the U of Alberta team accomplished the goal including every possible board position from to two up to ten checkers on the board, with apparently 39 trillion calculatable positions for the endgame available from the 10 checker level.

Mathematical proofs aside, Checkers is still fun even if I won't ever beat Chinook. What do you think?"


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