top "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery
Exactly the first image that comes to my mind at the words "Magic helmet", too.
top "Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim
What's really needed (short of scrapping the whole thing) is to change the law so that DMCA takedowns must be of the form "I declare under penalty of perjury that I am the owner of this copyrighted material, and it is being used here in violation of my copyright." And start putting some of these bastards in jail for perjury if they keep this crap up.
top Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job
College administrations are bureaucracies, and what's going on is the Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
In any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
(Thanks to Jerry Pournelle for this observation of emperical fact. Alas, without any sure-fire way to kill the damned thing.)
top Microsoft's Cloud Storage Service OneDrive Now Offers 15GB For Free
Note also, if you take him up on that referral link, not only does he get an extra 5GB, but you do, too. 20GB, not 15GB. (Rats, he beat me to it...)
Another feature of copy.com is that the storage accounting for shared storage is shared. So, if you have a 1GB file that you share with nine other copy.com users, you each get charged only 100MB.
top Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks
My great grandfather was Mohawk. I typically say I'm part Mohawk, not indian or native American.
That brings up a question I've never been able to find the answer to -- is there, in any Native American language, a word for "Native American", as opposed to the people who came to this hemisphere a few thousand years after their ancestors did? I'm looking for a word that existed before, oh, say 1800 or so, not a recent coinage.
top Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?
This. I've idly thought about this every now and then, and passguardian.com is exactly the tool I was thinking of.
In my case, what I'll be distriubting is parts of my LastPass login and password, with the actual data stored there.
top Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks
That's what I get from Native Americans I know -- they don't give a rip about sports team names. They've told me the only ones that make a noise about this are "Professional Indians". (They say with a grimace of distaste.)
Basically, I don't much care, because I despise all professional sports equally, but I don't have any evidence for the claim that actual Native Americans find the team name offensive, and I do have evidence otherwise.
about a month and a half ago
top After Non-Profit Application Furor, IRS Says It's Lost 2 Years Of Lerner's Email
There's an 18 minute gap in the backups.
about a month and a half ago
top After the Belfast Project Fiasco, Time For Another Look At Time Capsule Crypto?
The difficult part is finding some place to put your device where it can transmit data that everyone can receive, but it can not be otherwise accessed. ("Recipe for unicorn soup: First, catch a unicorn...") However, there are some possibilities. On the Moon would be good for a decade or so. Even an ordinary orbit, with "destruct if anyone gets close" circuitry, would be a possibility.
Now, the easy part. Generate a bunch of ginormous public/private key pairs, one for each day of secrecy expiration you want to provide with this device. Store the private keys on the device, programmed to continuously transmit all expired private keys. Publish the public keys.
Now, to encrypt something to be revealed on January 1, 2038, you just encrypt it with the "January 1, 2038" public key. Not even you can decrypt it until the private key is transmited by the repository.
Of course, there is the itty bitty trust issue that the entity making the device didn't keep a copy of the private keys.
top US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities
Isn't that what was done before? With Nevada winning the competition, and all those jobs building the repository at Yucca Mountain?
top Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates
Heh... Yeah, I'd like to see this fully generalized: If law enforcement is allowed to have it, private citizens are allowed to have it. If private citizens are not allowed to have it, law enforcement is not allowed to have it. No exceptions whatsoever, period, ever.
top Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't
As I was reading that article, my thought was "Who wrote this crap?" Tendentious scare-mongering and blatant misrepresentation of
... practically everything he mentions.
Then I looked at the URL at the top of my web browser. thebulletin.org. Ah. Figures. If I'd looked at where that link went before I clicked on it, I'd probably not have bothered.
Ah well, looking on the bright side, at least it wasn't a goatse link.
top A Look at Smart Gun Technology
Every place in the entire Federalist Papers that firearms are mentioned, maybe?
top Interviews: Stewart Brand Answers Your Questions
In a TED Talk debate by Stuart Brand and someone who was taking the "All we need is sunny days when the wind is blowing energy" type person, Stuart Brand made the statement:
"I am not so much pro-nuclear as I am pro-artithmetic."
This, big-time. Industrial-technological civilization is not compatible with "energy only on sunny days when the wind is blowing". The numbers just do not add up for the energy storage schemes proposed.
Aritimetic denialism seems to rule the day among most of the people who claim to be oh so very concerned about CO2, alas.
top Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014
If you haven't seen or used modern Fortran and think it's anything like Fortran 66/77 then you're mistaken.
As Seymore Cray said, when asked what the scientific programming language of the 21st Century would be, "I have no idea what it will look like, but I'm sure it will be called Fortran."
top Study: Earthlings Not Ready For Alien Encounters, Yet
Meanwhile, nobody has solved the Drake Equation, to actually give us the correct odds of either extreme.
No, but one term in it, the probability of a star having planets, has recently been determined to be pretty close to 1.0.
Doesn't tell us anything about abiogenesis, etc., of course.
top Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun
Besides, speaking as someone who made quite a bit of that particular mixture
... oh, 40 something years ago ... I can state as a fact that James Tomcat Kirk's formula could not possibly have worked. Sure, he probably had the proportions right. But getting a kaboom? That requires extensive grinding to get the mixture really thorougly incorporated together at a small scale before you get anything that's possible to light at all. Then, for any kind of projectile device, there's the korning process...
top Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
Fortunately, I've got a friend who does taxes professionally. I suspect what he bills me is less than his normal rate.
I used to use software (Anything But TurboTax: IA! IA! INTUIT FTHAGAN!!!) but one year, I dumped a bunch of ESPP stock into a managed investment account, which does well, but THE TAX FORMS!!! It's a metropolitan phone book sized stack of paper, and I could not figure out what of all those pages and pages and pages of numbers in very small print were supposed to go in what boxes of the tax forms.
As violent Rambo-esque fantasies started to dance around in my brain (which at my age and shape (round) is really ridiculous) I decided to seek professional help, and that's what I've done ever since.
top Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member
How many decades is it going to be before the hyper-partisan Democrats are going to be able to admit that maybe, possibly, it just might be that some things that "aren't right" are not, after all, George Bush's fault?
top Jesse Jackson To Take On Silicon Valley's Lack of Diversity
Has Jackson forgotten what happened 15 years ago when he brought his extortion racket to the Valley and tried it out on T.J. Rodgers over at Cypress.
Heh heh... Great quote from T. J. Rodgers: "Jessie Jackson is like a seagull. He flies in, craps all over everything, then flies back out again."
Mike Van Pelt has no journal entries.