Senators Recommend FTC Perform Antitrust Investigation Of Google
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?
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?
Demystifying UEFI, the Overdue BIOS Replacement
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?
Fukushima: Myth of Safety, Reality of Geoscience
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.
MIT Researchers Create New Tiny Energy Harvester
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."
Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story
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.
Teachers, Students Fight To Be Facebook Friends
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).
Cut Down On Nukes To Shave the Deficit
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?
Silver Pen Allows For Hand-Written Circuits
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!
US Congress To Use Skype For Video Teleconference
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?
US Preserves Smallpox For Defense
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="http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6445&page=79"> 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.
Mandatory Automotive Black Boxes May Be On the Way
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...
New Bill Pushes For Warrants To Access Cloud Data
--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.
US Preserves Smallpox For Defense
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?
US Preserves Smallpox For Defense
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?
Microsoft: One In 14 Downloads Is Malicious
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...
Miguel De Icaza Forms New Mono Company: Xamarin
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?
PROTECT IP Act Follows In COICA's Footsteps
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...
Can Open Source Hardware Feed the World?
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.
DNA Testing Proposed For All Felony Arrests In New Mexico
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?
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