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Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic

EmperorOfCanada Re:A pilot checking in here (106 comments)

You must be an puritanical American who has been brainwashed that all sinners need to be punished old testament style. How about thinking with your brain for once and asking, which is better for society: To take some dimwit and throw him into the justice system which will chew him up and destroy whatever small(especially in America) chance he had for even a crummy life, or to educate him into being a better citizen and send him on his way?

And before you even spend one keystroke defending America, 70% of Americans approve of the recent torture that was revealed. So my suggestion to you is to stop listening to your American Echo chamber and regurgitating the rhetoric that either the left or the right have told you to regurgitate.

I live in Canada and feel sick every time our present government adopts another American flavoured policy and it makes me sick when normally genuinely free countries do the same.

And your grandmother wears army boots!

11 hours ago
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Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic

EmperorOfCanada Re:A gun nut checking in here (106 comments)

I would have thought that your analogy would have required an extra special level of dimwit except:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

and then there is this nincompoopery:

http://m.wpxi.com/videos/news/...

But my thing is that I like to shoot a laser across say a body of water at the storage building miles away which presuming some common sense results in zero harm. But few would debate the harm in shooting up at an airplane. The key being that a few would debate the harm; a few dimwits. But assuming no harm few would debate that hitting things with a laser is fun as many would think that hitting things with a 50 cal would be fun too. Just clearly more dangerous.

yesterday
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Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves

EmperorOfCanada Re:Marketing?... NOT! (201 comments)

Actually I think that box office statistics would show that it would be likely for someone in his income range and ethnicity to have seen most if not all of those movies. And highly unlikely that a white person in the same pay range would have seen even half of them. And almost no people of other ethnicities would have seen any of them.

So oddly enough people in their business would have about a solid a grasp of the movie viewing demographics of any people alive. While it may have been meant as a racist remark it may be that the would have equally speculated that George Bush liked Top Gun and Ghost.

yesterday
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Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic

EmperorOfCanada A pilot checking in here (106 comments)

I am not condoning this behaviour, and as a pilot would be royally pissed (if I wasn't dead) if someone did this while I was flying. But I recently got a bright green laser and love to see just how far I can shoot the beam to hit things. Basically if it is a clear moonless night I can pretty much hit a target out to the horizon. But if I were a bit of a dimwit I could clearly see the temptation to try and hit airplanes in that it would be cool to hit something moving and at that height.

So while punishing people who do this I certainly hope they take into consideration that most people doing this would not be criminal terrorists so much as criminally stupid. Thus the proper punishment most of the time should be to scare the crap out of them and then ban them from owning a laser pointer for a decade or two. Keep in mind that the goal will be to prevent the dimwits from doing it again; it is generally quite hard to prevent them from being dimwitted and thus identifying the occasional dimwit and training him will be far more effective than trying to somehow reach the dimwits and convince them from doing it trough draconian laws which will largely serve to make the dimwit's lives far worse than they already probably are.

For instance when flying the reports are that the lasers often are coming from trailer parks vs the nice end of town.

yesterday
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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

EmperorOfCanada Re:Ha hee hee ha ha ha (281 comments)

You are probably right that the SEO types would eventually game the system. But if it were way better than google for even a year then google could lose out big time. But my long term prediction is that the best search engines will end up being highly curated. Nothing beats going into a library to look for a book and they introduce you to a local guy researching to write that very book's replacement. It blows an automated card catalogue out of the water. But in that example it is not that the automated cart catalogue is bad but that the two together are very powerful.

At a glance I can tell if a site is aggregated or original with few errors (I did find a recent site on lasers that looks about as domain squatting as is possible but wasn't).

4 days ago
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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

EmperorOfCanada Re:Ha hee hee ha ha ha (281 comments)

I am thinking of a whole new algorithm; just like Google did to lycos, yahoo, altavista, etc. Basically with those search engines you looked up gravel and got porn, looked up bird watching and got porn, looked up pictures of cute pandas and got porn. Then suddenly google came along and you would search gravel and get gravel. Now with google you search gravel and get a wiki page on gravel (which any idiot could build) and then you get things like yellow pages and other aggregate sales sites; basically SEO porn.

But most importantly if I search a very specific search for things like local pizza places I am unlikely to find their poorly SEO'd sites while aggregators will dominate for page after page.

So it I don't see someone beating google by a slightly better system but an aha system that is fundamentally different and completely blows aggregators out of the equation.

5 days ago
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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

EmperorOfCanada Ha hee hee ha ha ha (281 comments)

And then they are one court order away from being unlocked.

Seeing that it turns out that nobody's tinfoil hat was big enough, I am going to make a prediction. It will turn out that Google was sharing data with the NSA as part of a deal where the NSA would share software patent data from potential foreign competitors with google so that google could keep the market on just about anything it wanted.

I wonder how many foreign companies went to file a patent only to find that an American company that was friends with the NSA had filed the patent days before? Siemens filing patents only find that GE had done so the day before?

The NSA would only have had to monitor a very few IP lawyers' offices to vacuum up a huge number of patents. This would then give the NSA something that they could afford with which to trade and it would "Protect" US commercial interests; as it would be a complete disaster for the next facebook or Google to be in a country that isn't friendly with the NSA.

Even within the US I suspect that it would be easier to not have to negotiate a new data access deal with even domestic companies so why not hand their patents over as well.

Think of it this way. If a company were to come up with a better search algorithm (one that didn't always bring up yellow page directories for every damn search, or spammy product sales sites) and I said you should try boobla.com (I made that up) as a search engine and you tried it and it was so much better, would you ever use google search again? How fast would you tell all your friends about boobla? Thus how long before google was seeing 40% month on month drops in search traffic? Unlike companies like Ford where a better car coming along doesn't get you to dump your ford and immediately buy the better car google can see the rug swept out from under them. If they lost search then all their other services combined would not be able to prop up the company. Plus there is no reason that boobla.com can't be Chinese, Korean, Icelandic, German, or Tanzanian?

about a week ago
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Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

EmperorOfCanada I hated Sync soooo much (232 comments)

I rented a car with Sync and it then wanted to tie the phone into 911; I declined. But then every time I started the car this grating woman's voice would come on and tell me that the emergency connection wasn't active. That plus a general late 90s interface told me two things. Microsoft is just coasting and that Ford is run by morons. After sticking with Sync for all these years yet finally dumping it Ford must have at least one halfway witted human there but it also tells me that Microsoft is becoming less relevant than ever.

Adobe switched to a subscription model and is making a fortune. Microsoft is switching to a subscription model and is about to find out that people used Windows because they couldn't bother to find anything better. With a subscription model trying to reach into everyone's pockets MS is about to find out that by giving people an incentive to dump Windows that windows will be dumped in record numbers.

What I love are the grand statements that MS puts out with every new product. I recall MS asskissing commentators breathlessly saying that the new Windows phones were going to have 30% market share by the end of 2015. Let me see, what is the MS mobile market share right now after all those billions in marketing..... oh look it is 2.5 percent after having dropped 20% year on year.

As for Ford being morons, lets see they jumped from a sinking ship with 2% market share to one with 0%. Good job, everyone's a winner.

about two weeks ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

EmperorOfCanada Re:bullshit (280 comments)

This depends upon the range. For instance quite a bit of New York City's Electricity comes from Churchill Falls which is in the far north of Atlantic Canada. Far far far north. So it is a bit higher. I am amazed that more energy than a 9 volt battery shows up at the NYC end.

One of the other factors that encourage people to go off grid is that they are no longer reliant upon a complicated and vulnerable grid. Thus as batteries + solar come into the economic range of grid power the next giant blackout will spur many people to make the switch when they see a few neighbours here and there with the lights on and the cold beer flowing.

I doubt that the power companies will all collapse in an overnight homedepot run for home solar systems but that their monopoly of providing electricity to people's homes/businesses will slowly be eroded one panel at a time. The real key will be when people can afford to have enough reliable batteries to go off grid. Right now that is a finicky expensive nightmare but it is getting better. Plus with more and more people installing LED lighting + far more efficient appliances the graph of usage vs generation ability are converging. Also when enough people start to go off grid a whole host of mainstream appliances will be for sale that do things to accommodate a battery/solar power system.

I was reading about a local factory that went fully solar and basically got hate mail from the local utility where the utility was accusing the company of encouraging the utility to build out its infrastructure to accommodate their needs and then going solar/wind. The company responded by publishing the hate mail and two power bills; one from 2006 and one from 2013. Their 2013 bill was about 40% larger. They also claimed that the payback was going to be under 10 years and potentially under 5 if power rates went up at the same speed. The company said that they would have then eliminated one of their biggest expenses. As I pointed out power rates in this area are about the highest in North America.

about two weeks ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

EmperorOfCanada Re:bullshit (280 comments)

I wasn't thinking so much as their physical ability (which is great because of the land area available) but more the financing. Someone typically living in a nice neighbourhood can financially make the switch on a whim. Whereas a more typical rural person will both have less capital and less access to financing to make the switch.

Two things that might balance this though is that someone of less means might have a greater incentive to trim their budget and will be willing to make compromises to achieve the switch. The other is that rural people often have less reliable power supplies because the power company treats those long extended power systems like crap.

But the person I see switching first is a retiring urban baby boomer who will make the switch for the dual reason that it gives them some more fiddling with their house (no more expansion renovations for the kids) and it will lock in their power bill seeing that their income is now also fixed.

For instance in my locality they are doing a big stupid power project that seems to have a once sided contract that was vetted by a wandering group of drunken monkeys. My guess is that the result is that the power company is going to see the costs on this project go up and up and up. All those "ups" will be passed on to us. So we might go from one of the highest power rates in North America to the highest rate in North America. So from a financial point of view we might very well be a test bed of boomers running for the hills.

about two weeks ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

EmperorOfCanada Re:bullshit (280 comments)

Fuel is a significant cost but not as big as you would think. Running the powerlines, the transformers, etc, and all the administrative aspects of a power company is very very expensive. Also they have losses that a small producer (your roof) doesn't have such as massive transmission losses over distance. Assuming a company is making $0.10 profit per dollar of revenue that they have the problem that if they lose a dollar in revenue they don't lose the entirety of the remaining 90 cents in costs. They might only lose 5-10 cents in costs. Thus a point can be reached where they become profitless without having to lose a significant number of their customers.

The other key is that while there are high density customers who can't easily leave (apartments) there are lots of rich downtown homeowners who can afford the capital costs to go off grid the moment it looks vaguely sensible to do. These are people who can afford the installation costs along with potentially replacing low efficiency appliances with high efficiency one and will be extended the credit to finance the switch. The cost of providing electricity to these customers is lower than those out in the rural areas who are less able to make the switch. Plus as each customer goes off grid they are gone. The trend toward this sort of technology getting cheaper means that it will only be more and more making the switch along with even the larger industrial power users.

Where this will all get interesting (right after I finish my bankrupt power company celebratory dance) is that the remaining few power users are going to be asked to pay for the entire grid. This means that a few companies and tall buildings will be told that they are going to prop up the entire power company's infrastructure. Thus I suspect there will come a point where various governments will try to force people to pay a tax that subsidizes the power company. A solar roof panel tax or some such. That government will not be re-elected.

about two weeks ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

EmperorOfCanada Partially driven by hate (280 comments)

I can say that I hate my local power company. They have thwarted renewables and competition at every turn. I presently pay some of the highest power rates in North America while our Tiny power company's CEO earns one of the highest wages of any power company. Thus if some technology comes along that is 20% more per Kwh I will buy it if can give a big FU to the power company. I very much doubt that I am alone. Minimally nobody "loves" their power company and thus will feel no loyalty and stay if there are better options.

If I had a rooftop solar, a great set of economical batteries, and some sort of crunch time generation capability then I would literally smile each and every time I saw that the power company was struggling financially.

So anyone trying to figure out how many people will make the switch at any given cost they need to remember that customer inertia will be lower as people will be all too happy to make the switch if it is possible.

My hope is that the richer people in my locality will make the switch first which will be in the high profit downtown areas which will put a tiny dent into their profits. Then they will raise the rates a bit which will put another tiny dent into their profits. I hope that this becomes a bit of a cycle until they manage to corrupt a few local politicians into promoting a bill that will make rooftop solar illegal. Then this will hopefully cause a huge uproar that not only loses the government their next election but causes people to redouble their efforts to go off grid because now it is a political statement. Then I hope the power company goes bankrupt.

Oh and we will have a greener planet.

about two weeks ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

EmperorOfCanada Re:What? (127 comments)

I suggest that they advertise it in Neflixes basically how many simultaneous netflix streams the household can handle. This is complicated because it depends upon the device but I suspect that an HD Netflix stream could be an acceptable standard.

And you are correct. If I had a 256k connection with awesome ping times then pretty much every game would be fine. But 1Gbs with a 200ms ping time would leave me a bleeding/resetting corpse in most games.

about two weeks ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

EmperorOfCanada What? (127 comments)

I think these guys don't know what they are talking about. How about 1mbs for $10. That is not net neutrality just a crappy connection. I don't think that anyone disagrees with various speed connections in that it is the end user who makes the choice as to how much speed they want, not some backroom strongarming where they screw the upstream providers out of business.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

EmperorOfCanada Re:Boomers (346 comments)

Engineering? I did a bit of work with a different engineering company that has recently screwed up a local mega project. The average age of an engineer there was around 55 and I could tell the under 40 engineers were just pencil sharpeners. Not a single one of the senior engineers could use any cad software. But the best part was that I got to see a drama played out from both sides. They were hired by someone I know to construct an atrium like building. So just as the aluminium frames were being craned into position a friend of the customer said, "those are aluminium, right? Those bolts in the cement are steel, right? Aluminum and steel are on opposite ends of the galvanic scale, right?" So the engineering company had to eat the cost of the entire building contract as not only were the aluminium frames not accepted but since their incompetence was underlined the whole contract was lost (Concrete frames were used in the end). But when all was said and done all the blame was put on the client. These bozos had all the experience in the world and are doing 100's of millions in local government contracts. Yet there are hundreds of under 30 engineers who would make none of the mistakes they are making.

So the only industries where experience helps much are those where people aren't actively learning as a matter of course or are learning the wrong things.

I program computers and about the only talent that I have developed is the ability to identify bullshit solutions and to learn a new programming language quickly. But anyone who is 25 can easily keep up with me. And my talent to learn new languages is actually rare among people going into their 50s and non existent in software people in their 60s.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Files a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For Activating Pirated Software

EmperorOfCanada They can now go after my parents (268 comments)

My parents bought a branded machine at a big box store and within weeks it popped up and said that the software wasn't genuine. So I ran the software to make it appear genuine and moved on. There was a zero percent chance that I was going to deal with either the branded company's or the big box company's tech support. Zero.

And these companies wonder why we are switching so much of our buying to online. When their tech support people begin by doing a market survey and end with a sales pitch or a bill then nope.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

EmperorOfCanada Re:Boomers (346 comments)

If the person running the company (that is actually running it day to day) can't look out at their minions and know who delivers the goods and who doesn't then that person sucks. I certainly have seen many companies where a few blowhards have the ear of the boss but those companies often suck as well. But those few highly profitable highly productive companies that I have visited over the years ran a tight ship. I can certainly tell you that if someone walked into the bosses office and said, "I have 20 years here and deserve a bigger bonus than that new guy who ran profit circles around me." that there would be laughter. But in those sclerotic companies that are in death's waiting room (Sears like companies) seniority is everything. Where I would see seniority as a bonus is that a company should show some loyalty to those who have shown loyalty to it. So if a guy with 20 years royally screws up for the first time then he should be given another chance before some guy with two weeks in. But their pay should be the same if their performance is the same.

about two weeks ago
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Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

EmperorOfCanada Python? (254 comments)

Will this happen with Python? Is there an internal division about the 3.x situation? Or is the controversy entirely external?

about two weeks ago
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Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

EmperorOfCanada Re:A big fat no! (545 comments)

I ain't won't never not do that again.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

EmperorOfCanada Re:Boomers (346 comments)

In nearly every company that I consulted for if the pay was job based then the young person turnover was very low. If the pay was seniority based then the young person turnover was very high. Basically those people who felt shafted by the company were as loyal as the company deserved them to be. But in no case did I see them leave lightly. It was either one of two situations: Should I leave for another $10,000? Or should I bother even asking these geriatrics to match my $50,000 larger offer? But in either case equal pay would have kept them.

But the best that I ever saw was a company where they lost a pile of junior engineers who started their own company when one particularly charismatic engineer asked over and over to go on a course that would give him a fairly critical new skill. The course was fairly cheap with the main cost his being away for a week as it was just a bit too far for him to drive every night. They said no no no. But then a contract was coming up where one of the engineers would need that course to qualify for bidding (as the young engineer predicted one would) so an old engineer with a few months until retirement was paid to go to a warm and sunny location and take the course with his wife. This way the company could claim they had an engineer who was qualified when they won the contract even though the guy would be gone. The young engineer then took sick leave got the course himself. Came back to find that the older engineer had managed to have a heart attack and didn't do the course. So the young engineer started his own company with 3 of the other young engineers and were the only ones in town with that particular qualification giving them a huge edge in the bidding. They bid low and won. The other company basically lost their shit and tried to scuttle the contract, tried suing, and even went to the engineers society and filed a complaint. That was 10 years ago and I would guess that there are maybe 25 people working their and not a single one over 40. One thing they do that freaks out the other engineering companies is that they pay their co-op students very very well and let them do actual work. Thus they are the number 1 local choice for students.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Japanese can build their own radiation detectors

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "Here is a DIY radiation detector For those Japanese wondering if radiation levels have gone up that can be made with household supplies: any clear sided container with a flat metal(preferably) lid, some black paint, rubbing alcohol, a can of keyboard air duster, and a flashlight . This won't give an absolute measurement but it will tell you if you are in a hot zone. The radiation leaves trails in the mist and looks very cool. Can't beat a home made Geiger counter in 10 minutes and for less than $20 US."
Link to Original Source
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Cheap cloud diffusion chamber with air duster

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "A 15 year old girl has invented a very cheap and easy way to build your own cloud diffusion chamber; which is a neat way to see various radiation particles leave trails. Radiation such as cosmic rays, background radiation, and any handy radiation sources such as a disassembled smoke detector.
Video"

Link to Original Source
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Avoiding eVoting fraud

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 6 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "I am looking for suggestions on how to prevent the use of eVoting in an upcoming election (Mid Oct.) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The city is going to allow people to vote both online and by telephone. As a security aware software developer I am frightened of the number of ways that an electronic portion of an election can go wrong. For well over a year I have been in contact with a senior city official over this issue supplying her with dozens of examples of eVoting going wrong in the many ways it tends to do so. Obviously security theater has won the day and here we are staring down the barrel of an election with votes recorded at the whim of the company running the evoting. How can this be prevented? Does anyone have any good examples of grassroots efforts that succeeded in preventing the use of electronic voting? Is there any way to force an audit of the code / machines / security / raw data that are involved in this craziness? Minimally can people comment expertly on just how stupid an idea it is to allow voting via the internet and by telephone? Thanks, A very concerned citizen."

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