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Comments

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New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste

LessThanObvious Re:What else can they do? (168 comments)

I've heard that breeder reactors are safe and produce a fraction of the waste compared with light water reactors that initially took hold in the industry. The claim has been made in documentaries that embracing breeder reactors could offer a sane alternative. I'm not educated on the subject. I'm curious if anyone can comment on those claims and give any insight into which type the industry is using in modern plants.

2 days ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

LessThanObvious Re:No, it's not anonymous. It's full tracking. (256 comments)

Thanks for pointing out the loss of anonymity concerns. I really hope the auto makers kill this one, if not I guess I'll never actually own a new car. I fundamentally refuse to allow my car to communicate with anything, ever. If they install it, I will break it, if they won't sell it without one I'll buy an old used car. Now, how much tin-foil does it take to make a car cover...

2 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

LessThanObvious Re:This is good! (513 comments)

Maybe it will backfire on them. In my view "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.", could just as well mean that you have to accept the scientifically proven age of the earth and any notion of it being 10,000 years old would be prohibited. Same goes for other junk theories that contradict accepted science. This is wishful thinking of course because these kind of idiots get their say in text book and curriculum choices.

Cite TFA http://arstechnica.com/science...

2 days ago
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

LessThanObvious Re:Parallel BS (207 comments)

...and I thought "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" doctrine was a bedrock concept. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... If investigators can show that they would have arrived at the same conclusion or would have found the evidence through legal means they can get around it, but the judge has to know all the facts to determine if investigators discovery was truly inevitable.

2 days ago
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

LessThanObvious User input not required (501 comments)

I'm surprised they even tried to go without manual controls. There will ALWAYS be situations where a human may have to take over.
1.) Safety override. 2.) Driving in an open field or on the beach without a precise destination. 3.) Parking garage, car wash, mechanics bay or other situation where it MAY be necessary to maneuver the car in a way that would be impractical to tell a computer what to do. 4.) Weather conditions could prevent automated operation. 5.) The ability to violate laws when an emergency situation demands it.

The driver must always be ultimately responsible for what happens while they are behind the wheel, a person cannot be accountable without control.

3 days ago
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

LessThanObvious Parallel BS (207 comments)

( "Parallel Construction" = Lying = Prosecutorial Malfeasance = A Crime ) It makes my skin crawl knowing that these guys are so out of control that we have an official term for lying to the judge and defense counsel about the source of evidence. If the NSA hears about a delivery of 500 Kilos of drugs and they intercept it, I'm fine with that, but unless the actual source of the information is disclosed it should be a crime to fake the investigation process to get it into court. If they can't prosecute, oh well, seize the drugs and call it a win.

3 days ago
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UPS: We've Been Hacked

LessThanObvious EMV will...oh no it won't (62 comments)

The sad thing is EMV chipped cards won't even fix this or the target breach. Malware can still get the card info even if you authenticate the card. Someday in a few years when most in person transactions are EMV enabled, the card-present fraud ( fake card used in person ) will drop significantly, but unless the credit card companies allow you to deny all card-not-present and non-EMV transactions it won't fully work. I want one card that I use for EMV only that has no other capability and another that I use only online that I can monitor. On a side note does anyone know why they say that if we actually used Chip & PIN instead of Chip & Signature the CC companies would consider that a cash advance? I find it seriously annoying that we get chips with no PIN and I just don't get it? Why should the authentication mechanism change the transaction type?

about a week ago
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Students From States With Faster Internet Tend To Have Higher Test Scores

LessThanObvious New Study (175 comments)

I'm looking for funding for a study to show a relationship between useless pseudoscience and states with high internet bandwidth per capita.

about a week ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

LessThanObvious What they define as the internet (609 comments)

Their definition of the internet is a little off. It's not the internet, but all the services on the web that we take for granted as being free. My Comcast bill would not change for lack of ads, my ability to use the internet to access sites made freely available would not change without ads. What would change is that search engines would have to be subscription services paid either by the user or the sites indexed. Facebook, YouTube and email services would have to charge users. Companies would simply no longer be able to operate 150,000 servers to provide a service that isn't billable.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

LessThanObvious Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

Is it really that bad out there? Are programmers outside of the big geographic technology growth areas really undervalued?

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

LessThanObvious Re:Apple as a model (726 comments)

I agree with a lot of that. Apple's market share in desktop is lower partly because mass adoption wasn't the goal. They won't sell outside of their high priced, proprietary hardware which keeps Macs out of the running in many segments including business desktop. It's the relationship Apple has with the user and the usability I was trying to highlight. It's the difference in the user experience between Mac OS X and Linux that is still a wide gap. I'm not an Apple fan by any means, I haven't had an Apple product since my hand me down Apple IIe. Hopefully someday we will have an open (not Google) Linux based OS that can truly compete head to head with Mac OS X and Windows for mainstream use, but I don't see it on the horizon. Until then I will be grateful for Linux as a server OS and for my own desktops when I need only secure web browsing.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

LessThanObvious Apple as a model (726 comments)

Apple's success is an interesting model for what it would take to make Linux mainstream on the desktop. The average non-techie Apple user doesn't know or care that there is BSD running beneath the GUI or that a UNIX command line even exists on their Mac. Granted there is a legacy there where people are already comfortable with the idea of a Mac being a legitimate alternative to the Windows PC, but it is the seamless user friendly GUI and fully developed application ecosystem that make it desirable. The argument can be made that Ubuntu and maybe others are pretty usable and are getting close to mainstream useability, but we aren't quite there yet. Until there is a GUI that is so fully featured and bulletproof that the user never needs to do anything at the command line to achieve reasonable efficiency at all common tasks and the application ecosystem is developed to have decent parity with current mainstream OS in use, Linux doesn't stand a chance in the desktop. I'm not sure that the financial payoff is there for any business to undertake the investment needed, but I certainly hope we get there someday.

about two weeks ago
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Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

LessThanObvious Gym Membership (181 comments)

Companies like Comcast only know how to make money when the relationship to customers is like that of a gym membership, that is where lots of people pay monthly for a service they rarely if ever really use. They need us all to pay high fees to have big data pipes, but if all we do is regular web surfing it's almost impossible to use much bandwidth. Bittorrent and streaming video are the common ways people can actually generate significant usage. Comcast knows people love television and it's clear society is going to try to make the internet the delivery system for the modern replacement for television. As streaming media grows many people will not be in the gym membership you pay for and never use category, we'll have average users that are actually trying to use a good portion of what they pay to use. TFA talks about congestion at the ISP hand-off between Comcast and Netflix. Ethically I think it's on Comcast to provide carrier services for the traffic generated by and sent to their subscribers even if that demand is concentrated among a few high bandwidth services. I'd be willing to by into forcing Netflix to spread out their ingress access points geographically to efficiently distribute load, but I suspect that already happens. I do have to wonder if an entire nation streaming broadcast quality media to their televisions is going to prove a prudent use of resources.

about two weeks ago
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How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

LessThanObvious How the Patent System Destroys Innovation (97 comments)

There is a right way and a wrong way to own patents. When a patent troll buys a patent not to collect legitimate licensing fees on the intellectual property or to pursue a legitimate business endeavor, but rather just to sue anyone and everyone they can for damages then that is the wrong way. Just because I can buy some obscure overly broad patent that never should have been granted and use that as leverage to suck money out of legitimate businesses doesn't make it an acceptable business practice. Laziness, resource issues and an overly accommodative relationship with big business on the part of the USPTO have created this mess. It's no surprise that lawyers are happy to help game the system. Now, having masses of bad patents in effect we are stuck because if someone has a patent that is legit on paper and they sue they isn't any way to quickly and cheaply nullify the suit. I hope we find ways to resolve this while still allowing the little guy a fair shot at obtaining patents and defending those held.

about two weeks ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

LessThanObvious Re:Who pays the ticket? (475 comments)

I think the reality is that nobody will buy a car that can't speed. Who would want a high tech car that drives slow? If you drive the speed limit on many highways you will incite road rage in other drivers. It is a this time in the U.S. socially unacceptable to observe the letter of the law.

about two weeks ago
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Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

LessThanObvious Medical industry is not prepared (171 comments)

This is just more evidence that the medical industry is not prepared to provide adequate protection for online medical records. I remember a televised discussion of online medical records and privacy concerns. The reporter asked the executive in charge of a major online records project about the potential security risks of online medical records. The exec replied "Well, we use a username and password for access, so it's secure" (cue face-palm). I know HIPAA compliance does a lot, but we have hospitals that are more than a decade behind the times in terms of security, they are not at all prepared to provide online access to records and patient privacy from determined hackers.

about two weeks ago
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

LessThanObvious Nicely done, Phoenix (199 comments)

This is exactly the kind of legislation we need nationally. Whatever we make OK for the public will automatically be OK for law enforcement. I don't consider a house with a six foot fence around the yard to be lacking in an expectation of privacy. We should have a right not to have gadgets flying in the airspace above our property. Just because an individual or a member of law enforcement can take that which is not in plain view and cause it to be in plain view by taking photos from a vantage point that defies reasonable expectation does mean it should be allowed.

about two weeks ago
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Kevlar Protects Cables From Sharks, Experts Look For Protection From Shark Week

LessThanObvious Re:Most documentaries suck (103 comments)

There is little in media that has integrity. The Discovery Channel used to seem like educational programing. It is now as mentioned just alien, monster shark, swamp logger, pawn shop, gas monkey reality TV BS. Watch Gasland and then FrackNation (documentaries). Everything is presented in ways that the average person cannot tell journalism from opinion and science fact from sensational conjecture.

about two weeks ago
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How California's Carbon Market Actually Works

LessThanObvious Carbon Success (97 comments)

They will succeed in reducing California emissions. It's easy to do when you drive and real industry out. :)

about two weeks ago
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Samsung Buys Kickstarter-Funded Internet of Things Startup For $200MM

LessThanObvious Re:Hesitant about Kickstarter and hardware (107 comments)

The issue I think with crowdsourcing where the contributors were investors is that it complicates everything. It isn't easy to legally sell investments in privately held companies to those who aren't "accredited investors". http://www.sec.gov/answers/acc... I

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask SlashDot: What should the NSA be able to do without a warrant?

LessThanObvious LessThanObvious writes  |  about a month ago

LessThanObvious (3671949) writes "We have a general consensus in the U.S. and abroad that says the NSA has overstepped their boundaries in data collection and surveillance. The costs to liberty, free speech, privacy rights as well as economic and foreign policy costs outlined in the New America Open Technology Institute July 2014 Policy Paper — "Surveillance Costs" have been broadly discussed. It seems now that there is enough political inertia post Snowden and enough economic incentive to make changes to protect U.S. competitive position and international trust relationships for real change to come about. It is also pretty much a given that an organization like the NSA with a multibillion dollar budget is not going to simply dry up and blow away.

In a world where we are trying to defend our nation and others around the globe from highly sophisticated cyber-crime, cyber-attack and serious terror threats at home and abroad, it does seem that the NSA and other agencies have a legitimate role to play. Let's imagine a world where the NSA and other agencies rewrite the rules of when and where information could be collected, allowing for adequate transparency and protections for U.S. and foreign individuals rights. How can we find the needle in a stack of haystacks if they are no longer permitted to disturb the haystack?

Now under those circumstances what should the NSA be allowed to do without a warrant?"

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