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Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skills

Fire_Wraith Obviously Crowdsourcing an RPG System (70 comments)

Comprehensive list of skills, in multiple languages, free to use for non-commercial purposes... So will the RPG they're making with this be a purely skill based system, or will it be tied to attributes and levels? Will there be perks available?

about two weeks ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

Fire_Wraith Back to the drawing board (127 comments)

Here's hoping this means that Wheeler's plan to split the baby in half is dead, and we'll get some real action in terms of Title II classification.

about two weeks ago
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The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles

Fire_Wraith Re:Poor Promotability too (176 comments)

Yes, it's a very small percentage. Look at who does get promoted to the highest ranks though - every Chief of Staff of the Air Force has been a pilot, unless I've missed one somewhere. That's not to say you will never get promoted if you're not a pilot, just that it's the one with the best potential.

about two weeks ago
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The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles

Fire_Wraith Poor Promotability too (176 comments)

Part of the reason that morale is so low is that not only is the work long and tedious, but it's also horrible in terms of career path. The most desirable/promotable career path in the Air Force is that of a pilot, and (at least as I understand) the missile officers are about as far from that as it gets.

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Fire_Wraith Re:Obama (704 comments)

Because right now we're getting the worst of both worlds - a (state/local) government granted monopoly, and no oversight or regulation to anywhere near the extent that your actual utilities (such as water or gas) are. There are different ways to approach solving this problem. Heavily regulated utility status is one, but not nearly the only option. Perhaps a better solution would be to separate the pipes themselves from the service provided over them. To use a car analogy, right now Comcast owns the roads, and if you want to travel on them, you have use the Comcast Bus or Comcast Taxi service. Separating the infrastructure from the service provided, and regulating the infrastructure, would mean that there would be a level playing field for competition in service. That way, you or I could choose from any number of Bus or Taxi services, or starting up your own carpool (stretching the analogy a little, perhaps, but that's the general idea).

about two weeks ago
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Espionage Campaign Targets Corporate Executives Traveling Abroad

Fire_Wraith Re:marketing (101 comments)

My understanding is that as a security professional, this is part of my job. It's risk management, not risk elimination. I need to be able to make the case that the security controls I'm proposing will make economic sense for the company. To use a physical example, sure, I could probably eliminate shoplifting if I put TSA style guards and nude scanners at the entrances of every store, but between the cost of all the machines and guards, and the fact that nobody would shop there anymore, it far outweighs any benefit in reduced shrink. From the sound of it though, you've experienced all this as a regular Admin who was shoehorned into also providing security work, probably because the company was too cheap to hire people specifically for that, which says a lot just to begin with. What follows is utterly unpredictable, and you're absolutely right to document everything you can, and hope that your next job is with a company that's at least slightly less mismanaged.

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Fire_Wraith Re:not falsifiable (704 comments)

Any sort of human endeavor is subject to corruption, whether it is governmental, corporate, or otherwise. That doesn't mean that any of them are inherently evil, just that they can easily become so if allowed to run unchecked. Regulatory capture is bad, no regulation isn't better, so what's needed is reform and oversight, preferably before we "hire a dingo as a babysitter" (to borrow John Oliver's description). As for Net Neutrality, there are market competition based solutions that could address the problems, and possibly do a much better job than turning ISP service into a bunch of heavily regulated local monopolies. We're just not hearing about them because the only politicians that are actively proposing solutions seem to be on one side (which is a bad thing, in my opinion).

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Fire_Wraith Re:You know they'll botch it (704 comments)

This is why I wish we were having a debate about solutions to the problems we're facing, rather than people like Ted Cruz shouting that this is the Obamacare of the Internet. There are conservative/libertarian ideas for addressing this, but they're not being brought up by Republican politicians (with perhaps a few exceptions, but by and large). We need reasonable debate, not just so that the problems get fixed, but that the fixes we get aren't themselves problematic, and are more acceptable to the widest possible number of people. That's how democracy is supposed to work.

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Fire_Wraith Re:GOP are not rational actors (704 comments)

That's what I find sad here. Rather than having a debate about what to do about a given problem, the trend seems to have been to deny that any problem even exists. Thus, rather than having a debate about whether to move to a highly regulated utility monopoly model, or finding ways to enable real competition in the ISP space, it's "We need Net Neutrality!" versus a chorus of denials and misdirections. We wind up being lucky to get any solution to the problem, and have to be happy with whatever we can get, instead of working out the best one.

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Fire_Wraith Re:They ARE a utility. (704 comments)

It's a question of what is meant by "deregulation". I suspect what the GP means is not "no more rules/laissez faire", but rather that the pipes are regulated, and anyone can deliver service via those pipes. In your neighborhood, Comcast would be forced to separate operating the pipes and providing service. They could still offer ISP service, but they'd have to charge their ISP division the same (regulated) rate that they charge anyone else who wants to operate an ISP over those pipes. You, the customer, would then have a choice of any number of ISPs operating over those same pipes, and those ISPs would compete on a level playing field. This is not a perfect solution, perhaps, but it does eliminate (or at least severely regulate/restrict) the ability of Comcast to leverage its pipeline monopoly into an ISP monopoly.

about two weeks ago
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Long-term Study Finds No Link Between Video Game Violence and Real Violence

Fire_Wraith Re:Sweet, can we stop talking about it now? (250 comments)

Moral Panics are by no means the exclusive preserve of conservatives, because having the government police morals is something of a separate spectrum. The US political spectrum doesn't always match it, since there are libertarians on the right, and nanny-staters on the left, just as there are religious moralists and civil liberties people respectively. A lot of it can depend on the issue (abortion, guns, etc), too.

about two weeks ago
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Long-term Study Finds No Link Between Video Game Violence and Real Violence

Fire_Wraith Re:Sweet, can we stop talking about it now? (250 comments)

Don't forget comic books, which saw a significant moral panic in the 50s that led to the creation of the Comics Code.

about two weeks ago
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FTC Sues AT&T For Throttling 'Unlimited' Data Plan Customers Up To 90%

Fire_Wraith More of this, please. (179 comments)

Now if we could only get the FTC to deal with more of the underhanded stuff that AT&T etc are doing. If anything, they have as much of a mandate to crack down on the deceptive trade practices ("Unlimited! - Except really not.") as the FCC does, if not more. Words and advertisements have meaning, and it shouldn't matter one bit if you bury some obscure definition on page 3923 of the terms of service that alters it to be something completely different from what the average person would think it means.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

Fire_Wraith Re:Good luck with that (308 comments)

Note that I'm not saying I agree with it, merely pointing out how it presently stands (or stood a few years back), and admittedly from an anecdotal standpoint, but I strongly suspect that what I and others I spoke with observed was roughly accurate. You make good points though, and if I were to suggest how I think things ought to be, that's exactly what I'd do. Establish physical fitness requirements based on your job, and make those unisex (and possibly even age neutral). That way everyone doing the job can meet the physical requirements expected for that job, whether they're male or female. Presently, it's one size fits all, whether you're front line infantry, or a clerk at the Pentagon, and the only differences are your gender and your age.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

Fire_Wraith Re:What a great idea! (308 comments)

None of that would disqualify you, unless you had a conviction. In that case depending on what it was, you might be able to secure a waiver. (This was a lot easier to do when they were having trouble meeting recruiting goals during the Iraq war). You'd need to disclose it for any Security Clearance, which any sort of 'Cyber' MOS will undoubtedly require, but all they care about there is that you were honest and can't be blackmailed about it, and that you aren't still using weed/etc.

about a month ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

Fire_Wraith Re:Good luck with that (308 comments)

It's not just that. This would take an entire rethinking of the Army Culture, from the ground up. The Army has had non-combat MOSs for a long time, but physical fitness is a huge deal. It doesn't matter how good you are at your job - you could be the best IT admin in the world, but if you can't pass the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), you're a sh*tbag. Even worse, if you fail to meet height/weight standards (or the body fat composition 'tape test' that follows), you're even worse of a sh*tbag, and it doesn't matter that you can max your APFT. At this point the only thing your command and your senior NCOs care about is this - not getting the mission done, not even in a war zone. They're going to make your life miserable trying to force you to meet the standards, and you can forget about having a good OER/NCOER, let alone awards or promotions. And it's not as if this isn't for good reason either - the Army learned some hard lessons in the Korean war with out of shape soldiers; and if anything, the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have further blurred the lines are between combat and non-combat MOS's. If anything, they'll probably become ever more reliant on contractors, with a handful of uniformed soldiers to act as supervision, and to press the actual "go" button, since only the soldiers have actual Title 10 authority.

about a month ago
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Judge Says EA Battlefield 4 Execs Engaged In "Puffery," Not Fraud

Fire_Wraith Re:PUFFERY? (95 comments)

Puffery, as in Puffing... So what the judge is saying is "EA Blows"? :)

about a month ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

Fire_Wraith Re:The Conservative Option (487 comments)

As I understand it, this has nothing to do with race, post-colonial guilt, or anything of the sort, and everything to do with making a calculated decision about risks. Perhaps we could have that conversation, rather than making this about partisan politics, the current US president, or anything of that sort? That out of the way, my understanding of the arguments go something like this: - That a travel ban would not adequately eliminate the possibility that an infected person would be able to travel to the USA or Europe - That having such a ban would encourage potentially exposed persons to hide that status, making it much more difficult to find and identify any who turn out to be infected - Would severely hinder the aid being sent to the affected countries, and the movement of aid workers, exacerbating the already bad situation there Given that #2 is the one that most directly affects our ability to identify and contain any such outbreak to limit, compared to the threat of a potentially unchecked outbreak, I find it to be at least an argument worth considering. What scares me more about the Texas case was not that the man was able to pass the screenings, but that when he showed up to the hospital the first time they failed to identify and quarantine him right away. I'm certainly not going to say that a travel ban isn't worth considering, but we should do so from a rational, and not partisan, one.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

Fire_Wraith Re:Just what we need in our server rooms (299 comments)

You have both a rank and an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). Both of them differ in terminology between the different services, although the ranks all correspond to the same pay grades. For instance, a Sergeant First Class in the Army, a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marines, and a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy are all pay grade E-7 (Enlisted 7). In some cases it can be confusing, as a Captain in the Army, Air Force, and Marines is an Officer in pay grade O-3, but a Navy Captain is pay grade O-6. Your MOS is whatever you've been formal trained/rated/etc in. For instance, in the Army each MOS had a two digit number and an alphanumeric letter, such as 11B for standard infantry. The number referenced what the overall group was, such as Infantry, Combat Engineer, Air Defense, Mechanic, Communications, Intelligence, Medical, etc. The letter would be the sub-specialization within that group, such as Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic vs Tracked Vehicle Mechanic, Human Intelligence vs Signals Intelligence, Armor vs Cav Scout, and so forth. Some had more than others, and sometimes old ones were merged or retired or reassigned. For instance, Intelligence used to have 3 different series, 96/97/98, but was merged into the 35 series, and Electronic Intelligence Analysts (98K) and Signals Intelligence Analysts (98C) were merged into 35N. Regardless of what your MOS is, you will also have a rank if you're a uniformed soldier, so that IT Specialist E-5 is a sergeant, is paid as a sergeant, although there are special incentive and duty pay options, even if those don't necessarily keep pace with civilian equivalents. Also, if your MOS is in high demand, there are options for large bonuses each time you re-enlist.

about a month and a half ago

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