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At 40, a person is ...

Nkwe Re:Poll purpose (160 comments)

Am I being overly cynical and just imagining things?

No, you are just old.

2 days ago
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Military Laser/Radio Tech Proposed As Alternative To Laying Costly Fiber Cable

Nkwe Re:whoosh! (150 comments)

The idea behind the "increase power" and "repeat as necessary" parts was that if you increase power *enough*, you'll end up with line-of-sight, even if you didn't have it to start with.

I am glad someone got the joke. I considered talking about two modes of operation ("line of sight mode" and "make line of sight mode") instead of error correction algorithms, but I thought the error correction thing was more subtle and humorous. I guess it was too subtle. I don't plan on quitting my day job.

about a month ago
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Military Laser/Radio Tech Proposed As Alternative To Laying Costly Fiber Cable

Nkwe Re:cheaper perhaps (150 comments)

Lasers require line of sight, which is obviously a problem.

Not if you have the right error correction algorithm. If packet transmitted successfully, send next packet; otherwise increase power and try again. Repeat as necessary.

about a month ago
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Microsoft To Open Source .NET and Take It Cross-Platform

Nkwe Open, but will it run? (525 comments)

In concept making the .NET framework open source sounds cool. But, does making it open source mean that I can make a change to the framework, recompile it, distribute the binary framework along with my dependent application, and expect that someone else can just install my version of the framework and be good? Or does it mean that if I want to distribute a modified framework, I have to go through some sort of code signing process in order to allow it to run on someone else's computer? What would this signing process look like? In addition the assembly loader in .NET makes certain assumptions about version numbers of assemblies. It will be interesting to see how it works when due to multiple development paths, core assembly version numbers are not necessarily sequential / increasing over time.

about a month ago
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I expect to be conventionally alive ...

Nkwe Re:Dying is for sissies (187 comments)

I plan to be part of a virtual community with proper permissions settings

My recommendation: Read the CC&Rs very carefully.

about a month ago
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Gigabit Internet Connections Make Property Values Rise

Nkwe Re:One of the first things I checked (108 comments)

Security and safety of my children came first, of course. Can the home(s) I'm looking at be connected to high-speed internet service was near the top of the list though. I have access to Cox and FiOS up to 150Mb, which meets my needs for the immediate future. Gigabit would be nice to have though...

When I purchased my house, I wrote availability of high speed Internet into the contract. This was 10 years ago at a time when the phone company would not tell you in advance if a particular address has DSL service available; the only way to know for sure was to put in an install order. My real estate agent whined that I couldn't put that in an offer, but I said, "Yes, I can. It is a contract and I can put in anything I want." I put it into the contract, ordered the DSL service, and once the DSL was turned up (which it did), the deal was done. Fiber has since come to my area so life is even better now.

Point of all this is that in my case, high speed Internet had a huge impact on the property value to me. No Internet means the property value is zero in my mind. Sounds like I am not alone.

about a month and a half ago
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Australian Gov't Tries To Force Telcos To Store User Metadata For 2 Years

Nkwe Make it clear to customers (58 comments)

I would suggest adding a fee to each bill that is clearly labeled "Government surveillance charge" to drive home the point and to remind customers of what is happening.

about 1 month ago
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Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Nkwe Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (1007 comments)

Or, are you saying that the crazy homeless guy on the street may in fact be making a valid point and we should give him equal time?

The crazy homeless guy on the street gets his "equal" time in proportion to his audience and the reception of his message from his audience. He has (and generally receives) the right to stand on the street corner and express his point (within reasonable civility constraints). While his point may or may not actually be valid, society in general has voted that it is not valid (because he is called crazy and is standing on the street corner and not in a lecture hall or in a more formal public venue.) The only real difference from an opinion expressed by a crazy on the street corner, a creationist at a university lecture, and published peer reviewed scientist is the size and caliber of the audience - in general "society's" opinion or "vote" on the message.

This discussion here on slashdot and the controversy on campus about this particular conference are part of the process of society reviewing the opinion of creation. While I personally don't believe in creation, at least not in the last ten thousand years / biblical sense, I am fine with civil discussion and debate of the topic on a university campus. That being said, it does need to be a civil discussion and there must be room for debate.

about 2 months ago
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Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

Nkwe Re:Randomized MAC for background scans ... (168 comments)

Of course, that doesn't work if you are using the phone to read Twitter while waiting in line, because seriously, what else are you expected to do while shuffling along?

Reading Slashdot?

about 2 months ago
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Barometers In iPhones Mean More Crowdsourcing In Weather Forecasts

Nkwe Re:What for? (79 comments)

I know my android device has a barometer, but I can't seem to figure out why. Sure it's kind of neat to be able to see the pressure graphed over time, but I don't think it's a big selling point on devices. Is it just a side effect of some other hardware that makes it easy to implement or something?

Accurate altitude detection? GPS altitude isn't that accurate (at least on cheap consumer level GPS receivers). I have a hand-held Garmin GPS targeted at hiking and it has a barometer built in for more accurate altitude. Perhaps phones are adding them for the same reason.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

Nkwe 1984 Called (100 comments)

An update to the Casio AT-550?

about 2 months ago
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Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

Nkwe Re:Next steps (252 comments)

  • * No little plastic cows, because global warming.
  • * No jet airplanes, because they pollute so much.
  • * Nothing related to Japan, because whaling.
  • * No circus sets because poor animals.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Good, but not for the reasons listed. I always thought Legos were better before all the "special" bricks and items. "Better" as in better for the imagination. Some of the sets these days are almost entirely custom pieces that are not useful for building things other than the picture on the box.

Get your special pieces off my lawn.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

Nkwe Re:SamKnows from the FCC (294 comments)

Thank you for mentioning that. I am a FIOS customer in the Washington, D.C. area. I regularly interact with remote machines at my employer in North Carolina. I have the Verizon FIOS 25/15 plan. During normal business hours, it works great. But starting in the late afternoon, usually around 5-6 pm every night, round trip times go to crap.

[...]

Have you experienced this kind of problem, and did it change after you installed your samknows box? Thanks...

I am in the Portland, Oregon area. When FIOS first came to the area it was put in by Verizon. Since then they have sold the assets to Frontier, who now runs my FIOS. My experience has been that I have always gotten full speed from my FIOS connection under both Verizon and Frontier and both before and after the SamKnows box was installed. I haven't seen a change in behavior. Note that I have had my FIOS service since 2007 and participated in SamKnows since 2010. The public NetFlix related complaints with Verizon FIOS are relatively recent, so I don't know if my continuing good performance is due to me now being on Frontier, the SamKnows box, or just good luck. I am also on a business FIOS connection (to get static IPs), so that may help as well. I have had excellent customer service with both Verizon and Frontier over the life of my FIOS connection.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

Nkwe Re:SamKnows from the FCC (294 comments)

https://www.samknows.com/

I'm doing this because I'd like to think it helps the FCC keep the ISPs honest.

It probably also helps to ensure that *your* connection gets priority...

I have one of the boxes as well and ensuring that my ISP is motivated to give me good service was part of the reason I put it in. I also think that it is a good idea to have a FCC based performance monitoring infrastructure out there. While I don't think the program is monitoring user's activity, I am a bit on the paranoid side, so I don't run all my traffic through the box (which is a supported configuration.)

As an aside, I am on FIOS and according to the FCC monitor box, I almost always get my advertised speed. My gut feeling with day to day operation of my connection is that the FCC box is giving me real numbers.

about 2 months ago
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Only Two States Have Rules To Prevent Cheating On Computerized Tests

Nkwe Re:Or how about... (95 comments)

Just yesterday I was chatting with a student in a programming class. She was complaining that she got in trouble for using language features that were "not taught yet" in the class. And this is exactly why the United States is falling behind in science and technology compared to other countries, because people are punished for self-education and innovation within our "education system"

What if the point of the lesson was to solve the problem within a set of constraints? While I am not fond of our education system's apparent drive to the least common denominator, I don't think this example is a good one to support the argument of the United States "falling behind".

For argument's sake, let's say that the lesson was to sort some data and the class had not yet covered the language's (or standard library) sort function. If the student used the built-in sort function instead of implementing the sort algorithm by hand, the student would not be demonstrating that they had learned the algorithm or understood the fundamentals of sorting. In addition, if the real requirement was to implement a sort that would run in other environments that don't have built-in sort, "being creative" and using out of scope features, would be a fail.

An exceptional student would have done the lesson the proper way (as instructed and within the constraints given), and in addition provided an alternate solution using the extended or not yet taught language features. This would demonstrate understanding of the solution with both the constraints given and what would be possible if the constraints were not in place.

about 2 months ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

Nkwe Re:Incentives to pay less (410 comments)

If everyone pays a flat sales tax rate, the people who spend more will bear most of the economic burden.

So you are creating an incentive for everyone to pay less and you think that will somehow help the economy? Curious bit of logic you have there.

Please read the context of the thread. I am not advocating a flat sales tax. I was disputing the GP post that suggested a flat sales tax shifts the overall economic burden to the poor. A flat sales tax would impact the poor more than the rich in terms of percentage of income spent on taxes, but those who spend more (the rich) would shoulder more of the overall economic burden.

about 3 months ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

Nkwe Re:Solution (410 comments)

If everyone just pays a flat sales tax rate, the poor bear most of the economic burden.

No. If everyone pays a flat sales tax rate, the people who spend more will bear most of the economic burden. The poor would pay a smaller part of the overall economic burden (because the poor spend less money in the overall economy than the rich do.)

It is possible and likely that the burden on the poor would be more as the percentage of they money that they have that goes to taxes could be higher, but it is inaccurate to say that poor would pay more of the overall burden to the economy a.k.a. "the economic burden".

Please do not confuse "the economic burden" with "the burden on the poor". It is an important distinction. They are both important issues, but they are different issues, and should have different arguments and conversations behind them.

about 3 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Nkwe Windows (545 comments)

Windows needs to have windows. With "windows" being rectangular application client areas on the screen, ideally resizable with UI elements common across the system for closing, moving, and resizing.

Hierarchical start menu.

about 3 months ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Nkwe Re:Next steps (600 comments)

If this or a similar technology ends up in guns (and assuming it can actually be made to work), we end up with a computer in the gun that knows who fired the gun. It is not a technical stretch to add time and location detection circuitry and end up with a record of the when, where, and who of each firing.

While I am generally opposed to such technology in guns, I can see one positive aspect: We could prove what we have known all along, Han shot first.

about 3 months ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Nkwe Next steps (600 comments)

If this or a similar technology ends up in guns (and assuming it can actually be made to work), we end up with a computer in the gun that knows who fired the gun. It is not a technical stretch to add time and location detection circuitry and end up with a record of the when, where, and who of each firing.

This is either a strong positive or negative depending on which side of the "gun issue" you are on, but I haven't seen much discussion on what the tech could lead to (and its ramifications to each side of the debate). There are many interesting potential ramifications:

  • Privacy
  • Use of the log as evidence
  • Static Geo-Fencing (prevention of gun use in predefined locations)
  • Dynamic Geo-Fencing (on demand prevention of gun use in dynamically added locations)
  • Firmware updates
  • Taxes or fees per round fired

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Nkwe Nkwe writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Nkwe (604125) writes "In order to ease border crossings Washington State is introducing 'Enhanced' (with RFID) driver's licenses.

"They will look much like conventional driver's licenses, but will be loaded with proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border."
The requirement for a passport at all US borders is an issue local commerce between Washington State and Canada, and the new driver's license is less expensive then a passport, but what "other" costs will it create?"

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