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Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can't Be Searched Without a Warrant

EngineeringStudent stingray - groundwork for criminalizing use of (249 comments)

So the large majority of content on my phone is illegal to search without a warrant
And it gets there from the internet, and goes to secure places on the internet through radio waves

At what point does the use of a stingray without a warrant violate civil rights here?

about 7 months ago

New Sensors Will Scoop Up "Big Data" On Chicago

EngineeringStudent It is enough to make a big brother (64 comments)

MIT has "I track body motion by how it disturbs cell signals" technology. Look it up.
They are talking about literally the ability to track everyone all the time without implanting a chip.

"It is all fun and games until" this system tracks mouth motion of two dirty chicago politicians - and that data can be used against them.

about 7 months ago

Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

EngineeringStudent Economics 101 (538 comments)

There is an infinite supply of cash in the form of student loans that schools have access to. They have increasing demand no matter how high they raise the price.

Quality is no longer a differentiating factor in the nature of the product - why not water it down to maximize revenue?

Oh - you want ethically competent students graduating college? Are you willing to pay for that??

(end cynical comment)

about 7 months ago

Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors

EngineeringStudent Weak (340 comments)

A good fab will cost ~7 billion dollars. A few million dollars is not enough to staff basic operations for a year.
Making chips from Intel spin-off ARM derived engineering isn't the same as making your own.

It is not remotely in-house development. It does not remotely remove the "built-in backdoor" problem. It does not remotely make Russia self-sustainable in terms of design, fabrication, production, distribution, or utilization.

At best this is very weak propaganda for people who know nothing about silicon.

about 7 months ago

Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

EngineeringStudent Ignorance usually leads to inequity (649 comments)

There is not one creationism. To treat it as a monolith is false.

Old-earth creationists are given short shrift in this approach - an approach that is not about being anti-religious. Atheism is not the same thing as pro-Scientific.

Questions of the super-natural are, by definition, outside of the scope of proper science. Science is about the natural.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

EngineeringStudent LabVIEW (466 comments)

LabVIEW has C# backbone, very fast develop and deploy and seems acceptable (or even ideal) for web-based applications. You might consider it.

about 7 months ago

US Pushing Local Police To Keep Quiet On Cell-Phone Surveillance Technology

EngineeringStudent Then they learned nothing from Snowden (253 comments)

This is going to come out. Not if, just when.
When it does - lots of local heads will roll. Politically, not literally.

The scope is very large. The level of participation is very large. The value of a leak is huge, so the first leaker wins the lottery - made for life. Do police get paid enough for that to make economic sense? nope.

The blowback for those who administer this outside of "required to cooperate" is huge. The only response of the leaders that gets them off the hook is to pass that buck upward. "The law made me do it" or "the feds made me do it" will save their careers, some.

Eventually it has to break. How is it handled at that point?
Look at the NSA/Cisco/IBM related consequences of Snowden and imagine that at a local level.

That or those who rule by consent of the governed would want to educate and train the people (not serfs) under them so that there is sustainable rule of law AND good quality of freedom enjoyed in the land of the free, home of the brave, place where justice wears a blindfold. Too bad those way up in power are less interested in that quality - they are the ones with the greatest ability to support it.

about 8 months ago

Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality

EngineeringStudent lawsuit material (170 comments)

Use of a name like that has risk. Doesn't comcast risk a class-action suit by those whose names were falsely named?

about 8 months ago

Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order

EngineeringStudent When I want to buy, I buy - w/wo Bezos (210 comments)

I don't need Amazon. When I want to buy it - I go as far upstream as I can.
No need to have more hands touching the product, adding actual if not communicated costs.
Why isn't this a losing strategy for Amazon in this bullying?

about 8 months ago

Cisco Opposes Net Neutrality

EngineeringStudent Its Cisco's money, but not mine (337 comments)

Cisco can make lots of money selling hardware that moves different streams at different speeds.

I don't like it. I don't have to buy their products. I don't have to shop at places that use them for infrastructure. I don't have to support politicians that want to break net neutrality.

Cisco may see that sort of (blood) money in their future, but it isn't going to be coming out of my pocket. Maybe some other folks agree.

about 8 months ago

Scientists Find Method To Reliably Teleport Data

EngineeringStudent Where is the money (202 comments)

I think they are working to answer a good question, but not necessarily a high value question. Why does distance matter? Scientific inquiry is good, but the goal is return of value to humanity. If you worked on making computer parts that could transmit information faster and more reliably over a very short distance, somewhere between a meter and a millimeter, then you could plausibly improve the lives of most of the folks on the planet, or at least enable them to check slashdot or facebook more cheaply.

about 8 months ago

Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

EngineeringStudent Re:saw this coming (522 comments)

Our leadership has no vision for anything more than lining their pockets. Long term success of the nation - nah.

Let the people learn to speak chinese ... or russian.

about 9 months ago

Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought

EngineeringStudent This is the tail - it means more (172 comments)

We don't have enough history to gauge what actually has happened over time, so we have to estimate.
We approximate by finding big rocks or chemistry on earth, looking at craters on the moon, or this.

In all these cases we are using the small but frequent to infer the distribution of big but hugely problematic events. Our best answer the question about the likelihood of a killer impact is grossly changed if this tail is changed.

Think about it like floods. We ask how likely a 10,000 year flood is going to happen next year. We have ~100 years of rainfall data. We fit it to a distribution that is appropriate and then use those fit parameters to make a best guess. If our rain gauge was only measuring half the rain, we might under-estimate the actual risk by a factor of 10x or 20x.

There is good correlation between "killer impacts" and location of the sun in the galaxy (yes it moves around). We are starting to enter a higher risk region (transition to edge of arm) and perhaps the fundamental distribution is changing. In that case the history of craters on the moon or other might not be meaningful indicator of the near future.

Considering this I think good tracking is not a bad idea and should be thought out well and properly considered.

about 9 months ago

I expect to retire ...

EngineeringStudent Modern American (341 comments)

I'm currently on track to work myself to death. And the national debt has my kids also working their entire lives with nothing to show as well.

What is the difference between this and slavery? It is not going to get better, and I can't seem to get out of it.

about 9 months ago

Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers

EngineeringStudent Re:I wonder... (102 comments)

The refrigerant in most air conditioner systems boils at about 45 F. The ability to transfer heat to the outside world depends on the compressor power - not on what the boiling temperature is. Because of the temperature and chemical compatibility with systems that run R-134a, there are going to be a lot of hardware cost reductions, multi-source suppliers, and existing infrastructure to support that technology. That boiling point yields a better technology ecosystem.

about 10 months ago

The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

EngineeringStudent Re:Idiocracy (509 comments)

You are upside down. If in 1776 there were to be ~300 million people living in the United States of America, but the population of the planet had not changed, it would require ~1/3 of the world population at the time to relocate.

Americans may have a poor reputation, but you are demonstrating that the non-Americans of the world prefer to jump to conclusions before they understand what another person meant.

China is demonstrating its desire to be the ruler of the world. It may succeed. There are enough idiots in charge in places where it counts - folks with money myoptia who can be bought or bullied - that a single dominant power over the world may arise. Every "king of the hill" is a tree planted by the last "king" - this is a pattern in humanity that is thousands of years old. This is a good lesson for new "kings" and old - nobody lives on the top of that hill forever.

about 10 months ago

How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

EngineeringStudent Re:How many Earthworms? (392 comments)

Time and circumstance. If one of those things gets radiation poisoning or is killed by a meteor - that part of the gene pool is lost. Only if you can guarantee 100% survival do you pull a Noah and pack species in by twos.

about 10 months ago

How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

EngineeringStudent Easily done (392 comments)

All you must do to ensure this is guarantee that the generation before arrival is able to be impregnated with human children, and bear healthy young. Then you could have a repository of ... ahem ... genetic material from as many people as desired. In fact you could continue allowing insemination after planetfall - and effectively carry the genetic diversity of hundreds of thousands of unique donors, with a minimal crew.

Now about protecting the integrity of the .. genetic material. That might require sterner engineering.

about 10 months ago

The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

EngineeringStudent Idiocracy (509 comments)

In business, if a manager doesn't know their product, their market, the employees and the job - they are junk.
In politics, they are elected.

I think there is a problem of scope. When the constitution and balance of power were created the "leader to citizen ratio" was likely hugely less adverse. Who in the 13 colonies would have imagined the number of people in the USA would equal 1/3rd of the planet's population. In 1776 there were 800 million living humans. Right now there are 350 million Americans. I don't think the government "balances" were built to work as well with that many people.

This has likely been going on for some time. The refreshing thought is that as soon as a different system becomes even a little more efficient, it will start outpacing the US in terms of real innovation, real economics, and great decisions by leaders. It is not a question of "if" something better is going to come along and show the un-bright folks what they are - it is only a question of when and how.

about 10 months ago


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