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Comments

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SpaceX Delays Falcon 9 Launch To Tuesday

Cytotoxic Re:Another another delay? (43 comments)

Shuttle launch delays were the worst.... because shuttle launches are the only one's I have travelled to the cape to see. On at least half of our trips we went home disappointed.

SpaceX will get the chance to disappoint us when they launch the Falcon 9 Heavy. Or when they start landing the first stage back at Canaveral. Either of those will be worth the trip to see. Of course, worst case is that you spend the day splashing around in the bay along the causeway and meeting other dorks who think it is normal to sit around on a causeway all day waiting to watch a launch. A pretty good day even without the launch.

about a month ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Cytotoxic Re:Email recipients (465 comments)

The IRS has already used this tactic to obtain internal emails. This is why the controversy is over the loss of external emails, which cannot be recovered by IRS IT personnel. Of course, it is the external emails that are the most damaging to political interests.

And you also need to know who they sent email to in order to check their local machine for copies of the email. And if 6 of those recipients just happened to also accidentally have hard drive crashes in the same time period, well, you wouldn't be able to find out what those 7 were talking to each other about. But that's a little far-fetched. I doubt that would ever come up.

about a month ago
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Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

Cytotoxic Re:Does it have to come from NSA ? (347 comments)

They seem to be claiming that they do not have archival copies of her emails - that the only such copies were in the local mail archive on her personal computer, which crashed, taking out the archive. No, really. Stop laughing - that's what they are saying.

about a month and a half ago
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Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

Cytotoxic Re:SubjectsForCommentsAreStupid (347 comments)

This was my observation as well. Even absent direct government regulation, the simple fact of complying with discovery requests would lead anyone running an organization of even modest size to implement an archiving/search solution like Vault. With the immense volume of discovery requests that an organization like the IRS must have with its nearly 90k employees I just don't see how you could possibly run the organization without a professional archiving solution.

Really, if they don't have an archiving solution in place they must have an entire building full of email administrators whose only job is complying with discovery requests.

about a month and a half ago
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EU's Online Shoppers Get an Extended "Cooling Off Period"

Cytotoxic Re:14 days for a comic book? (140 comments)

In addition to book exchanges like you describe, here in southern Florida in the US we have a "Santa's helper" table every December, right alongside the road. It has a cool tent and everything. The idea is for people to anonymously leave presents for the needy. People can take what they like if they feel the need. It always seems well stocked.

I'm not sure your image of America is exactly complete. Having done a lot of business with EU companies, I'm not sure your image of Europe is entirely complete either.

about a month and a half ago
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After Non-Profit Application Furor, IRS Says It's Lost 2 Years Of Lerner's Email

Cytotoxic Re:Everyone's Personal Email Server (372 comments)

RE: exchange, etc. If they are relying on the email server to do their document retention then they are doing it wrong. Heck, even if they were just dealing with legal issues like discovery requests that would be the wrong answer. Any organization that has to deal with litigation (pretty much everyone these days) needs an effective way to deal with email discovery request.

I pulled PST copies from the server 15 years ago for discovery requests and spent weeks going through the files looking for relevant information. That was a very expensive proposition - even if you discount the risks of screwing up a discovery request. This is a problem that tech companies solved a long time ago. There have been many document retention / discovery solutions (both on premises and off-site services) for many, many years now.

With the vast volume of document requests the IRS must get I do not believe that they could possibly be making do without a professional archiving/search solution. Please tell me that an organization of nearly 90,000 people that deals entirely in sensitive, private information wasn't relying on local OST files for document retention in 2010. Of course if they were/are, I suppose that explains a large chunk of those 90,000 employees.

about a month and a half ago
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After Non-Profit Application Furor, IRS Says It's Lost 2 Years Of Lerner's Email

Cytotoxic Re:umm (372 comments)

We are not talking about email in 1998. By the early 2000's even small to midsized businesses were having to face document retention policies and discovery requests. Whether by implementing in-house solutions like Vault or using outside services to implement email retention and discovery most companies had to have this in place for more than a decade. The IRS has nearly 90,000 employees. Their IT shop is no mom-and-pop operation.

So to claim that all outside email was lost from 2010 is pretty shocking. The client computer mention might be an error, or it might be that an outside email service was being used. If the latter is the case, this should be a huge red flag.

about a month and a half ago
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New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

Cytotoxic Re:Phone security frameworks are fundamentally fla (249 comments)

This sounds very much like the way Microsoft tried to do security in Windows Vista. People did not react well to so many dialog boxes popping up.

Maybe that is why google decided that most people would rather just not have to deal with permissions in any real and meaningful way.

about a month and a half ago
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Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

Cytotoxic Re:I still don't see the difference... (507 comments)

... between what Uber has set up, and simply giving somebody else a ride, but expecting to be compensated for one's time as well as gas. Is it illegal to carpool if the driver is profiting from it?

Heck, before I got my driver's license, I would sometimes ask my friends who already had their license for a ride somewhere and pay them for their time and gasoline as well. Was that illegal?

From what I understand, it is indeed illegal to do this in many locations. The rate used as the cutoff is usually the federal mileage write off rate. So if you charge more than 56 cents per mile, you are a criminal. Hurrah for regulation!

about a month and a half ago
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Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

Cytotoxic Re:$300k is cheap (507 comments)

It also doesn't imply that the driver can drive or anything like that, because the medallion doesn't have to be held by the driver. The driver can be changed out under the medallion by a taxi company. That's why that medallion proves absolutely nothing to the prospective taxi customer, and offers them absolutely no protection.

Well, to be fair, it does mean that the customer will be paying too much for that cab ride.

about a month and a half ago
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Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

Cytotoxic Re:scabs suck. next you'll skip paying bribes. (507 comments)

Uber works on a fixed price model: I'll give you a ride from X to Y for this amount.

You'd think they could work out something with the government about meters in a case where meters are totally irrelevant.

about a month and a half ago
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Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

Cytotoxic Re:What he's really saying is (422 comments)

I would support this approach. Excel is great for business users to prototype calculations and play around with data. When it is time to put what they have learned into practice, ship it off to software engineers and let them turn it into a more stable product for use by the less sophisticated user.

Of course, reverse engineering a complicated excel workbook can be a royal pain in the rear. This is where you learn just how devilish a tool excel can be, with hidden rounding and other obscure effects.

about a month ago
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Kids With Wheels: Should the Unlicensed Be Allowed To 'Drive' Autonomous Cars?

Cytotoxic Re:2 basic issues (437 comments)

Because until every vehicle is autonomous, there will still be a need to understand the handwaving signals from some guy standing in the middle of the road - he might be a flag man from a construction blockage or maybe just some guy helping out at an accident scene. In any event, with no standardization and no training for the random dude in the street it would be very difficult for a car-bot to understand every possible permutation.

about 2 months ago
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Registry Hack Enables Continued Updates For Windows XP

Cytotoxic Re:Excellent (322 comments)

And if you remember watching the first moon landing.....

about 2 months ago
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Quad Lasers Deliver Fast, Earth-Based Internet To the Moon

Cytotoxic Re:Cool. (131 comments)

We'll get to watch the colonists in HD video as they die of radiation from a coronal mass ejection.

I am deeply skeptical of a moon colony. I really don't think it will ever happen.

You are probably right.... for very small values of "ever". But given that there's probably at least a half-billion years before the sun begins to cook our part of the solar system, there's plenty of time to beat "never".

about 2 months ago
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Quad Lasers Deliver Fast, Earth-Based Internet To the Moon

Cytotoxic Re:To the Moon, eh? (131 comments)

But which of those are available on the moon? Certainly not He3. The elements that the moon are much richer in than Earth seems to be those Earth still has plenty of, like Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Titanium.

From the Wikipedia article on Helium-3:

It is rare on Earth, and it is sought for use in nuclear fusion research. The abundance of helium-3 is thought to be greater on the Moon (embedded in the upper layer of regolith by the solar wind over billions of years)

They even have a whole section about mining the moon for He-3

about 2 months ago
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EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

Cytotoxic Re:Those that forget history are doomed to repeat (153 comments)

Which is funny because the case was decided about a lawyer who wanted to expunge results pointing to news articles about court proceedings involving his personal life and finances. You know, public records that the government maintains and provides to the public.

Truly the court has a dizzying intellect.....

about 2 months ago
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EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

Cytotoxic Re:Counterproductive (153 comments)

I think his point was valid. Sure, Google may end up having to comply. And their results will become less reliable because of it.

So what happens next? If the data is valuable, and the results from Google (and other public sites) becomes unreliable, how long before Experian or some other data aggregator begins selling their own version of uncorrupted search results and personal data that you don't get to see and edit?

Equally valid, if this really does become an issue with the big search engines, how long before everybody starts using the new startup from Indonesia or the Phillipines?

about 2 months ago
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EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

Cytotoxic Re:Why nefarious? (153 comments)

Your example is pretty much the case that came before the court. Some lawyer went through a messy divorce and it and all the financial fallout hit the news. Since it was the most newsworthy thing he'd ever done, it was the topic of the search results on his name even years later. The articles are still live at the newspaper sites. The court isn't ordering them to take them down. They are just saying that Google can't point to the articles.

This is very bizarre. I suppose they see the book burning metaphor, so they won't force the library to take the book off the shelf and burn it. But they will force the library to remove it from the card catalog.

I understand not wanting some upskirt picture from when you were 22 years old to be the first thing people see about you when you are in your 40's and your kids are in middle school, but the EU's solution is terrible.

Charles Manson might be pretty tired of being tied to events of 40 years ago. So might Roman Polanski. That doesn't mean the government should be able to force a company like Google to corrupt their search results.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Measuring the Speed of Light with a Valentine

Cytotoxic Cytotoxic writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Cytotoxic (245301) writes "What to do with all of those leftover Valentine's Day chocolates? — a common problem for the Slashdot crowd. The folks over at Wired magazine have an answer for you in a nice article showing how to measure the speed of light with a microwave and some chocolate. A simple yet surprisingly accurate method that can be used to introduce the scientific method to children and others in need of a scientific education."
Link to Original Source

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