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To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution

Oceanplexian Re:ISPs simply need to be regulated (338 comments)

Tom Wheeler may have connections and we might hate his guts but it's silly to think that the pittance he donated matters. Obama appointed him for political influence, not money. Money in politics isn't the problem, power is. Thinking that lobbyists buy votes is third grade logic. You sound like the people that claim we go to war for oil. It's a convenient lie for people that can't handle the more complex geopolitical power struggles that keep the system running.

The anti 'Corporate Personhood' argument is extremely misguided, dangerous idea. Corporations are fictitious entities composed of people. Anyone can start one. I have a right under the constitution to assemble a group of people and have my speech protected. What about nonprofits? What about industries that genuinely need their interests represented?

Shouldn't an American manufacturing company be able to lobby against trade agreements with outsourced third-world labor (e.g. China)?

The Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that the system is working as intended. If we take money out of politics the problem won't magically go away. Politicians will still be corrupt, wars will still be waged and the average American will still be thrown under the bus. The only difference is that we slide one step closer to tyranny. The solution isn't to take away money, it's to take away power. We need less government, not more.

about 6 months ago
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Drones On Demand

Oceanplexian So much hype... (49 comments)

As someone who builds model aircraft, multirotors (aka 'drones'), and flies these things as a hobby -- man this video infuriates me.

These guys really think the FAA is going to let a business fly a flying projectile through the middle of San Francisco using Chinese-made hobby-grade equipment, with no formal airworthiness standards and no understanding of why we have federal airspace in the first place?
Who's going to be responsible when the thing loses a flight controller and it spins out of control into someone's car/house/child? This video is riddled with technical failings.

The worst part of this is a disturbing trend of: 'Hey, let's just ignore all the real-world problems and make a slick video'. Somewhere along the way, all these kids in San Francisco forgot that you need to put in effort before bragging about something.
We don't need social media affixed to toy helicopters, we need real engineering and hard work.

about 6 months ago
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Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

Oceanplexian Re:So much nonsense in terms (258 comments)

It's funny, but growers usually know more about lighting than most engineers.

Marijuana plants like direct, intense sunlight. Unfortunately LEDs aren't very scalable. As you increase the current they start to run into physical limitations and the efficiency goes to hell. A 100W led may only put out 50lm/W, where a 1W led could put out 100lm/W.

HIDs are actually extremely efficient (Around 100lm/W) and scalable (bulbs go up to 1kw+). To get and equivalent amount of light out of LEDs with some sense of efficiency, you'd need thousands of them. This may be suitable for plants that can deal with indirect sunlight, but it is not ideal for Cannabis.

about 6 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Oceanplexian Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding of American politics by Europeans. You're not supposed to vote directly for leaders; it's by design.

Even a pure democracy is natural rigged to defer to tyranny of the majority. Voters would simply stop voting for taxes until government was bankrupted out of existence. So yes, in that sense, our representitive democracy is working just fine. The general public is notoriously bad at understanding geopolitics, foreign policy, or the economy. I, for one, do not want a majority of Joe Sixpacks in a room deciding if we go to war or not.

As for our two party system, there are a lot of examples of multi-party systems that are a complete failure (Italy). The prime minister needs a majority in both the Senate and House of Deputies which is nearly impossible, so nothing gets done. Obviously you need some balance between a single party system and a pure democracy, go figure. You'd be surprised how effective a benevolent dictatorship can be (e.g. Pax Romana), so our founders tried their best to come up with a reasonable compromise.

That said, corporations do tend to trip up the system, I'll be honest. The US has lobbying groups and campaign finance problems, but those things too have a valid place in government. A business owner should be able to petition the government! Sometimes the corporation is an expert in a subject that the public is not. There should be ways to reconcile these differences but majority rule or restrictions on free speech are not the answer. Regardless, any path should be tread carefully or we risk removing the very safeguards in government that are designed to protect us from ourselves.

about 6 months ago
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Fukushima Photo Essay: a Drone's Eye View

Oceanplexian Not a drone (66 comments)

That's not a drone.

It's a small EPP foam toy flying wing. You can build one for about $150 in parts. I'm astounded that people put the same label to these things and small multicopters that they do to a Predator Drone, for example.

about 7 months ago
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SpaceX Wants To Go To Mars — and Has a Plan To Get There

Oceanplexian Re:Groovy ... (236 comments)

If I were to put my money on something, it wouldn't be a non-redundant system with more single points of failure than your average unpatched Windows XP desktop.

The Earth has a vast history of extinction events, conservation or not. Humans have quite successfully endured by 'shifting locations'.

about 8 months ago
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Germany's Renewable Plan Faces Popular Resistance

Oceanplexian Re:NIMBY (176 comments)

It's all because of the the LNT model

There's definitely a lot of evidence that low exposure is not dangerous (beneficial...the jury is out). A lot of the wildlife around Chernobyl had dramatically recovered despite high levels of radiation. I don't think this is unusual -- lots of places on Earth see elevated background radiation and we have a history of cosmic events. Most life probably has some yet-to-be-discovered adaptation mechanism.

We know that high levels of radiation are dangerous but statements like "A million people are 1% more likely to get cancer" grind my gears because they're based on a poor model.

about 9 months ago
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RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

Oceanplexian Re:even a broken clock... (523 comments)

The counter-argument is that we've changed a lot less than you think.

Transportation, communication and technology may have changed, the country may be a lot bigger and the world a lot smaller, but human nature goes back thousands of years unchanged. The struggle between large and small government goes right back to the Whigs and the Federalists. Our founders, too, stole lessons and concepts of governance from thousands of years before their time when writing the Constitution.

about 9 months ago
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Does Anyone Make a Photo De-Duplicator For Linux? Something That Reads EXIF?

Oceanplexian Fuzzy Hashing (243 comments)

I would try running all the files through ssdeep.

You could script it to find a certain % match that you're satisfied with. Only catch to this is that it could be a very time-intensive process to scan a huge number of files. Exif might be a faster option which could be cobbled together in Perl pretty quickly, but that wouldn't catch dupes that had their exif stripped or have slight differences due to post-processing.

about 9 months ago
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Global-Warming Skepticism Hits 6-Year High

Oceanplexian Re:Which shows that people don't understand (846 comments)

Why don't people actually work to solve these things instead of whining about how much water we use or fuel we burn? Drought or not, it shouldn't matter one bit. We're overextended and either need to

A) Kill everyone off
  or
B) Fix the damned problem

Climate change breeds anthrocentrism. The universe is a tough place and we need to fight to survive. Trying to preserve oil or water is no different than putting quotas on how much wood you can burn instead of inventing petrol.

Screw conservation, bring on the technology. Nuclear desalination should have solved this problem 50 years ago.

about 9 months ago
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How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

Oceanplexian Re:local weather (517 comments)

Yes except weather has and always will be highly variable. Pointing to records that have happened in our short human lifetimes don't tell the whole truth.

Are the number of anomalies increasing? Possibly.
Is looking at the past 100 (short) years of data to justify your climate change theory ethical? No.

about 10 months ago
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4K Is For Programmers

Oceanplexian Too big (520 comments)

For the time being, there is no single higher-productivity display for a programmer.

You can currently buy a 2560x1440 27" display for around $350. The Seiki display they refer to is actually two 1920x2160 panels stitched together and limited to a painful 30hz. Second, the monitor is not 4k, it's 3840x2160 which is only UHD. 4k is 4096x2160.

Finally, this is a nearly 40 inch display. They look ridiculous as a computer monitor and the ergonomics suck.

Just give us 4k in a 27-30" form factor for people that aren't blind. I'm amazed that phones can have higher pixel densities than computer monitors.

about 10 months ago
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In Three Years, Nearly 45% of All the Servers Will Ship To Cloud Providers

Oceanplexian Re:Goodbye Server Admins (152 comments)

Sysadmins are worried about a lot more than how fast something is for development.

As a DevOps minded person who does code and understands hardware very well, Amazon and Rackspace are both a pile of garbage. They run on 4-year old Xeons that have been split 30 different ways. There are major IO contention issues. Snapshots take hours. SSDs cost thousands a month. They lock you into their service by using proprietary standards (e.g. RDS disables external replication). They come with little to no SLA.

Secondly, we've got privacy and security issues to worry about, regulations like HIPAA, PCI compliance, backups, redundancy, failover, documentation and continuity of business planning. We'll probably still be working for the company long after Amazon has gone out of business and the development team has been replaced or quit.

So, please, forgive your admin if he gets upset. A lot of us are in it for the long game and prefer not to shit all over our employer so they can continue to do business in the future.
 

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Stop a Debt Collection Scam From Targeting You?

Oceanplexian Get the real number (497 comments)

If you're up for it, just run the calls through an Asterisk server running off a 800 number or PRI from a provider that actually gives you the real caller data.

At that point you'll have the real ANI instead of the CPN (caller ID). Grab that number, track down who owns it, then get a lawyer to serve them with a cease and desist.

about a year ago
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Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

Oceanplexian Re:Why put the automation in if not to use it? (270 comments)

If it were so easy to just automate extreme failures, websites like Google, Facebook, and Amazon would go down a lot less often. Unfortunately despite thousands of employees with extreme technical skill, there are still mistakes that bring them down from time-to-time. If we didn't have human SREs or System Administrators, things would be a lot worse. A computer doesn't have the analytics skill of a pilot and never will unless we end up with a singularity.

We don't have strong AI yet and pilots will never just "sit down with a programmer". Automation has to be tested thousands of times across thousands of scenarios in different aircraft and conditions for decades. Even then, there's always the chance that some snippet of code is waiting to kill a plane full of people because it got the wrong set of sensor inputs.

about a year ago
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Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated By Half

Oceanplexian Re:Double down (534 comments)

Personally, I'm confident the experts can be very wrong because if you look at history, it's happened time and time again. Computers and spreadsheets don't change that.

I'd say the science is pretty new. Things need time to settle down before we can sit back and take them for what they're worth.There simply hasn't been enough time for it to have established rigor and respect.

This doesn't mean I don't believe in AGW, but it also doesn't mean I blindly support the deindustrialization of the western world without, you know, a little more investigation.

about a year ago
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Startup Touts All-in-One Digital Credit Card

Oceanplexian Re:Great for CC scammers (222 comments)

More secure for the Bank that is. In the US we see so much fraud because merchants are negligent. I'm not sure if you've heard the horror stories, but in Europe banks will refuse to admit that fraud has occurred because they consider the system unhackable.

When someone uses a rigged terminal to capture your pin AND card data, you're up shit creek and the stuck picking up the pieces. The credit card company will not do a chargeback.

about a year ago
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Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

Oceanplexian Precedent? (599 comments)

Doesn't this set dangerous precedent?

Plenty of organizations have dozens or hundreds of passwords. Is it really the employee's responsibility to remember each and every password and keep records of them indefinitely after employment? Should I be required by law to produce network diagrams?

Yes, this guy was a douchebag, but he shouldn't have to turn over anything.

Access control policy is the responsibility of the employer. If they fail to set policy or fire employees before it's too late, it's their own damn fault. This is just another example of mismanagement backed by a broken justice system.

about a year ago
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4 Prominent Scientists Say Renewables Aren't Enough, Urge Support For Nuclear

Oceanplexian Re:Not good at math (776 comments)

You only need to cover a half a percent of the Earth's surface with

The minute someone starts talking about energy sources in terms of "How many percent" of the Earth's surface they need to cover, I stop listening.
It's just number-crunching mental-masturbation to actually think that our energy problems can be distilled down in such a simple way.

If you live anywhere with actual seasons, and if you actually do crunch the numbers, you'll find that a rooftop solar array actually generates zip in the real world.
The 15% efficiency figure is pretty useless when the clouds are out and you've got 6 hour days with a low angle to the sun.

we'd rather squander our inheritance on monster SUVs and petroleum-based fertilizer to feed dozens of billions of people

As you've just demonstrated, electrical capacity is a small fraction of our global energy requirements

If you drive a RAV4-EV powered by a nuclear generating plant, the whole "SUVs are bad" argument becomes pretty meaningless. When the petroleum runs out, we need a power source that can run all our vehicles, transportation infrastructure, agriculture, and more. Solar/wind/hydro just isn't going to cut it.

about a year ago
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Amazon One-Click Chrome Extension Snoops On SSL Traffic

Oceanplexian Re:color me surprised (95 comments)

What's fascinating is that Apple was the last to go onboard according to the slide. Granted, I don't trust them but I wonder if Jobs was involved and in any way resisting that program.

We always like to think of Apple as the bad guys, but clearly they could've sold out much earlier. Apple also has a good history of security (FileVault), promoting good security practices, and not giving in to law enforcement (iMessage).

about a year ago

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