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Comments

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Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

David_Hart Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (269 comments)

SD slots on every phone would be worse for the environment. In the cloud, you can store everyones data efficiently instead of using millions of inefficient SD cards. Plus the the SD card approach will create more waste as cars go bad or break.

LOL.... What? Have you had your coffee or energy drink today?

1. Having stuff that you can download and keep on SD cards uses a TON less energy than having to stream it every time. You are missing the energy required to transmit packets, to run routers and switches, etc...

2. Obviously you "know nothing, John Snow...." I've never had a SD card break, let alone stop working. My biggest fear with the MicroSD cards is that I will lose them, they are so tiny... So far so good...

3. Maybe this was meant as sarcasm and I missed it entirely.... doubtful though....

yesterday
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

David_Hart Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (532 comments)

I'm considering doing that. I'm 45 and my eyes have just begun to change. I'm still generally myopic, but so far the change just requires me to take my glasses off when doing close work.

I'm also 45 and I'm experiencing the same thing. I am overdue for a new set of glasses anyway, but I've noticed my new farsightedness the most when doing work on the test bench. I've had to start using a set of head-mounted magnifying lenses regularly for close-up work. If I was to consider some sort of corrective procedure, I'd need something that's compatible with close-up hands-on work, staring at a computer screen most of the time, and shooting which requires both close-up vision (to see the signs) and long range vision (to see the target). I haven't researched yet whether any of the existing procedures would be a good option for a person of my age with my vision and range of activities.

I'm 45 too, am near-sighted, and have the same concerns (reminds me that I also need to get my annual checkup). I make my living off of my eye sight (network engineer), drive a lot for both work and play in all kinds of conditions, am a bit of a armature photographer, like downhill skiing, and one of my passions is movies. All of which could be screwed up if things went badly. When I am at work I wear glasses and when I play I wear contacts. Both of these are easy and cheap to fix and replace, unlike my eyes.

3 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

David_Hart Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (454 comments)

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

The rockets generate more psychological damage then physical. As far as weapons go, they are rather pathetic. All the iron dome really has to do is to make those it protects feel safe. If statistics have the potential of damaging this feeling of safety then you ca be assured that they will be kept secret.

The other purpose of the iron dome is to limit the desire to fire the rockets in the first place. If one thinks their efforts are in vain then they are less likely to follow through. If Israel can convince members of Hamas that their rockets are not working then there will be fewer rockets launched at Israel.

Hamas is more likely to think like the Chihuahua in the Taco Bell commercial: "I think I need a bigger box..."

5 days ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

David_Hart Definition of a successful intercept... (454 comments)

It seems that Ted Postol defines a successful intercept as one where the opposing warhead is completely destroyed in mid-air and doesn't count a rocket being damaged enough to be knocked down over an area where it can detonate harmlessly. He also relies on personal and public photos and reports to draw his conclusions. This would miss a good portion of the rockets fired as most are fired at night, when photographing rockets and interceptions are much more difficult.

I'm not going to argue that he is right or wrong. It just seems to me that his extrapolations are not based on enough factual evidence to draw a conclusion with any amount of confidence.

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

about a week ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

David_Hart Re:meh. (285 comments)

The school my 9 year old son is at is pushing for parents to donate so they can buy iPads too.

Given iPads are like $400-500 each and a good Android tablet is maybe $150 (and also has access to a lot more useful free software than iPads do), this kind of crap makes it obvious that the education sector is at least very badly managed and more likely very corrupt. I'll bet that someone high up in the education department is getting a very nice fat kickback from Apple.

Just because of this locked-in pro-Apple money wasting mentality I refuse to donate or vote for the very populist local props in my area that want to raise our taxes to give more money to supposedly underfunded schools. Its already very clear that all they are all planning to do with any extra money is blow it on yet more overpriced Apple products.

This reminds me of the 80's when a lot of Elementary and Middle schools bought Apple II and III computers and the obligatory 2 to 3 Macs. Apple had a big push to capture the educational market. After about 3 years, most of the Apple computers ended up in closets collecting dust. Universities and High Schools went with PCs and the education software market followed. In my opinion, history is about to repeat itself....

about a week ago
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New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

David_Hart Re:Warrants are supposed to be narrow (150 comments)

I imagine searching an entire hard-drive would be broad enough to catch most /. users.

I am not a lawyer but as far as I know, search warrants are tied to a specific crime. Any evidence of any other crime is inadmissible in court. Of course, if investigators stumbled on evidence of something like terrorism your still likely to end up in Gitmo.

about a week ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

David_Hart Re:Free market economy (528 comments)

You as Americans have a choice and a vote, each 2-4 years. You can either do something or you don't want to. The spiral and time is working against you.

Every so often we get to vote, but we are limited to two choices, both of which have been given large sums of money by various PACs, which are essentially just fronts for various corporate officers. Often, the same PAC will back both candidates in any given race, just so that they get the benefit of backing the winner every time. There is no democratically elected leadership in this country anymore, there is only a selection between two candidates presented to the masses by the 1%. In all the ways that really matter (fiscal policy, economic policy, regulation, law enforcement, etc...), the candidates are identical. They will debate and argue over the issues that the public has been trained to believe really matter, but in reality the issues that are hotly contested don't really matter, and the ones that do, are quietly agreed upon behind closed doors. How many politicians that truly have power have done anything to end Guantanamo, or the rights abuses happening there? How many have done anything to end the systematic dissolution of our constitutional rights? How many have actually taken steps to fix the systemic problems that led to the recession? How many have taken any action to help eliminate the vastly disproportional power the 1% wield in our political system? How many have taken steps to address the extraordinary and growing wealth and earnings inequalities in our society?

The answer to these questions is now, and has been: none that matter. The only way we will be able to undo the damage the 1% have done to our country will be through an extraordinary action outside the accepted political system, because everything inside the political system has been thoroughly corrupted by those with the real power: the 1%.

Plus, the striking down of the law limiting corporate contributions by the Supreme Court has made things even worse. Now they can give as much as they want.

How a corporation came to have the right of free speech is beyond me...

about a week ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

David_Hart Re:Finally! (473 comments)

It might cause a few deaths but it also sustains the multi billion dollar prison industry and employs well over 1 million people in the US alone, and that it just counting the lawfully employed.

The government profits from illegal drugs even more than drug cartels do.

The reality is that law enforcement, and other areas of the government, used the war on drugs as justification for increased budget, manpower, weapons, laws (search & seizure), etc. Now that the justification has moved towards terrorism, both real and based on hype, and the drug war isn't needed any more. In fact, most law enforcement agencies now have bigger and more expensive toys today (i.e. drones, highly weaponized SWAT teams, etc.) based on terrorism.

As you said, the one lobby that NEEDS the war on drugs to continue is the US prison industry. From Wikipedia "Drug related charges accounted for more than half the rise in state prisoners. The result, 31 million people have been arrested on drug related charges, approximately 1 in 10 Americans." Granted, a good portion of this includes people who are violent criminals and are also booked on drug charges. However, there can be no denying that if 1 in 10 people are going to jail based on a single type of crime, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate public policies and whether these activities should be considered crimes.
 

about a week ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

David_Hart Re:Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

Went here to see whether a comment about Virtuix Omni has made it into the top three, was not dissapointed.

Haha, me too! Although combining an Occulus Rift and and Omni is probably a bit too much like actual exercise to really take off in a big way. Yeah it's a neat gimmick, but not conducive to gaming for hours. Unless you are specifically using it to make your exercise routine more interesting, in which case it's a great idea. That would be a different user base than for most video games, though...

It's true that most gamers aren't exactly fitness buffs. However, If VR and the Virtuix Omni makes a game more compelling and gives a player an advantage, then I think that you would see a higher adoption rate than you anticipate.

Personally, I was thinking that if the Virtuix Omni becomes popular, gamers could become as fit as some professional athletes. Think about it, if you game for 6 hours a week using the treadmill, ducking, jumping, etc., all while having fun, you would get into shape fairly quickly.

about two weeks ago
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MIT May Have Just Solved All Your Data Center Network Lag Issues

David_Hart Re:Token Ring is dead. (83 comments)

Nearly any network tech should be faster than Ethernet in certain circumstances. Ethernet is generally good though and appears to be quite good a scaling.

The key word, there, is scaling.

It looks like this is meant to make the network more efficient within a data center that handles a high volume of traffic, including high traffic spikes, by receiving a network time slot request from the end point (i.e. software running on a UNIX server) and sending a response that schedules packets to arrive just-in-time along a specific path to avoid queuing.

However, there is a less complicated way of achieving the same goal: Scalability - Increase your switch and server up-link bandwidth to eliminate congestion and queuing.

Yes, it costs money to add network capacity. But the big question is which would cost more? Adding capacity? or installing a pair of servers, rolling out software clients to all of your endpoints (servers), and supporting the system? Personally, I'd rather add network capacity and be done...

about two weeks ago
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NIF Compresses Diamonds With 50 Million Atmospheres of Pressure

David_Hart Diamond monopoly.... (81 comments)

So that's how De Beers keeps their monopoly, they dispose of extra diamonds... by crushing them with a really expensive laser...

about two weeks ago
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

David_Hart Re:PPC macs were awful (236 comments)

Right, so this is the infamous mac os 7 era right? Powermacs? Where motorola code was emulated to work on PPC? Apple being led by non-jobs? When Macs didnt just needed a restart every 24 hours (like windows did) but would outright ruin there system install every other week?

That was the most shitty Apple period ever.

Windows NT 4.0 never needed a restart every 24 hours, desktop systems maybe. If you had Windows NT servers that needed reboots that often, then you simply had bad Windows NT admins who didn't know how to resolve device driver, memory, or disk issues.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

David_Hart Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (435 comments)

For me, the biggest attraction of a driverless car is that I could go to work, then send it home. Or send it to pick the kids up from school.

I can't believe how many people seem to actually want this!.

The main argument is that automated cars will reduce traffic accidents and save lives. Personally, I'm willing to bet that automated cars will suffer from similar accident statistics, they will just be shifted to things like software bugs, automated network down (solar flares, weather, etc.), failed sensors, hacking, etc.

Personally, I'll never buy an automated car. But, I can understand why some people would want them.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

David_Hart Re:No thank you. (87 comments)

I'm assuming that it will be the same books that are in the Kindle lending library. It's a feature of Amazon Prime where you can check out 1 book at a time (and only one new book per month). It's limited as it currently exists, but I assume when this feature hits, your Prime account will let you have one book out at a time with more than one swap per month.

Our family and friends share an Amazon account for Kindle books.

If the subscription service allows books to be installed on more than one Kindle (i.e. up to 5), then this might work for us. It would allow us to use the same account but have access to the full library. However, if it is limited to the lending library, does not have newer books, or does not allow multiple Kindles then I'll pass.

The ideal would be to to have a subscription service that allows multiple Kindles and has access to the full Kindle library. I'm willing to bet, though, that Publishers would only be willing to sign up for something like this if it is restricted to older books. They will still want the revenue from full priced new books.

about two weeks ago
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Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

David_Hart Re:What's the big deal about win8? (346 comments)

I had to get a Windows 8 laptop, Surface 2, and Windows phone for work to test an application we're working on. I use OSX and Android day-to-day so from all the stories I expected to have an awful time trying to navigate through windows to even get to the application to start my testing/dev work but I don't see what the big deal is. The interface was intuitive enough for me ...maybe i didn't try to do enough, I just looked at the screen for the app, then click/touch it. :shrug:

The big deal is when you have a laptop or a desktop without touch or you just hate having a screen full of fingerprints. When using a mouse, the windows 8 GUI is inefficient and poor to navigate. Of course, those unhappy with the Windows 8 or 8.1 interface can easily find add-ons that fix the Start menu and re-enable boot to desktop. Personally, I installed Start8 and have been happy ever since.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

David_Hart Re:Murphy says no. (265 comments)

Here is what I have done in the past with network gear:

1. Make sure that you have a test environment that is as close to your production environment as possible. In the case of network gear, I test on the exact same switches with the exact same firmware and configuration. For servers, VMWare is your friend....

2. Build your script, test, and document the process as many times as necessary to ensure that there are no gotchas. This is easier for network gear as there are less prompts and options.

3. Build in a backup job in your script, schedule a backup with enough time to complete before your script runs, or make your script dependent on the backup job completing successfully. A good backup is your friend. Make a local backup if you have the space.

4. Schedule your job.

5. Get up and check that the job complete successfully either when the job is scheduled to be completed or before the first user is expected to start using the system. Leave enough time to perform a restore, if necessary.

As you can probably tell, doing this in an automated fashion would take more time and effort than baby sitting the process yourself. However, it is worth it if you can apply the same process to a bunch of systems (i.e. you have a bunch of UNIX boxes on the same version and you want to upgrade them all). In our environment we have a large number of switches, etc. that are all on the same version. Automation is pretty much the only option given our scope.

about two weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

David_Hart It depends... (502 comments)

My Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro 7.1 surround 24-bit 192KHz with an external breakout box (1/4" MIC, optical, etc.) has now been in 3 systems and is still going strong. I'm running Windows 8.1 using the DanielK drivers. It's PCI, so as long as I can buy a modern motherboard with a single PCI slot, I'm golden. In my opinion, is is one of the last great Creative Labs discrete sound cards.

I tried switching to the on-board sound in my latest build but I prefer the sound from the Audigy. My current motherboard is an Asus P8Z77-v deluxe and has a Realtek ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC.

However, much like computer systems in general, people have different requirements. If you just want something that will play sound, music, videos, games, etc. then the on-board sound should be adequate. If you get into podcasting, video creation, etc. then you might want something that can provide good quality I/O ports (i.e. MIC, Line-in/out, etc.). If you want excellent separation of sound for movies or gaming, then you are better off with a discrete sound card.

Is Creative the best? Probably not. But I haven't researched discrete sound cards since I bought the Audigy 2 about 9-10 years ago....

about two weeks ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

David_Hart Re:Why I like programming (285 comments)

One of the things I love about programming is the moment you have to remind yourself that your program is simply executing algorithms that you told it. Depending on how clever the algorithms are it can appear as if the computer is thinking for itself. Programming allows you to encode intelligence in non-thinking machines.

No... programming does not encode intelligence in a machine. Intelligence indicates the ability to think for itself and come up with a creative answer that isn't part of it's original programming. When you write a program, all you are doing is telling the computer what to do given a specific input. There is no intelligence involved.

about three weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

David_Hart Re:One simple rule ... (389 comments)

When I see something which says "In 15 years the world will be like this", I think "My, what drivel", and move on.

From what I've seen in my lifetime, futurists and prognosticators are usually dead wrong, clueless, and writing little more than fiction.

It offers a sobering conclusion: We might be able to pull it off. But it will take an overhaul of the way we use energy, and a huge investment in the development and deployment of new energy technologies. Significantly, it calls for an entirely different approach to international diplomacy on the issue of how to combat climate change.

In other words, it will require the impossible, need huge sums of money, depend on a level of consensus and cooperation unlikely to happen, and a near complete re-tooling of societies.

Blah blah blah.

Especially since it takes 15 years+ to get a Nuclear plant off the ground in the US... In order for this to happen, every single power provider in the US would have to submit plans to build Nuclear reactors this year. It's not going to happen, especially with large natural gas reserves and low natural gas prices.

about three weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

David_Hart Re:Actually makes good sense (702 comments)

You're just not thinking outside the box enough. *Finally* we have a way of getting rid of all all of our broken electronics without having to pay those exhorbitant recycling fees or sneaking out in the dead of night to dump it at some ad-hoc "landfill" site!

"Sorry, officer, I must have forgotten to charge that one too... here you go! Shall we try this... um..." *wipes dust off logo* ...Compaq now, or just move on to the next crate?"

FYI: Your local Best Buy will take back broken or unwanted electronics (assuming you are in the US)....

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Sony Cuts PS2 Price By 23%, PS3 untouched

David_Hart David_Hart writes  |  more than 5 years ago

David_Hart (1184661) writes "Sony is reducing the price of the PS2 by 23%, from $129 to $99. The price of the PS3 remains untouched, despite an anticipated $100 price reduction. Analysts now expect the price of the PS3 to be reduced in the next 60 days."
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