Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal
Who says that government is inefficient?
NASA Wants To Go To Europa
It's their anti-science position. Going to Europa and finding alien life might encourage the teaching of evolutions in schools.
It will also interfere with their plan to teach that the Earth is a the center of the universe, and the eventual mandate to make it official policy that the world is flat.
That will put the godless atheists in their place: in the lower left corner of the flat world, where the climate is terrible and all the icky stuff collects at the bottom.
The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry
Your not so humorous bullshit comment falls into the category of "not even wrong".
Child Porn Arrest For Cameron Aide Who Helped Plan UK Net Filters
It's a common pattern. Someone has a dark secret and they end up persecuting those who have the same impulses. They simultaneously engage in behavior they see as evil while doing the same thing themselves. It's why we continuously hear about virulent ant-gay politicians and religious leaders who have a secret gay life. Just look for the people who are screaming loudly about a specific sin, and there you will find a greater then average concentration of sinners.
Sulfur Polymers Could Enable Long-Lasting, High-Capacity Batteries
First, you have to prove that you deserve a flying car.
Then you have to prove that you can be trusted to dive/pilot a flying car.
Given how the vast majority of people drive, almost no one passes the second test.
I'm not claiming that I do either. I also know that I should not ride a motorcycle because I don't have the right kind of attention for it.
MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners
At some point in any belief system, reality demonstrates that the system is not a complete model of how the world works. Sometimes this is minor, and sometimes it's huge. If a believer becomes even more convinced that they are right after a extreme event, they have embraced delusional thinking. (Note: one of the differences between the scientific method and other belief systems is that new results are often are used as evidence to alter the belief, i.e. hypothesis, so the belief system expands.)
There are a lot of people these days, many of them readers of Slashdot, who espouse a belief system with a lot of delusional features: Libertarianism. This position, along with the similar political belief of the U.S. Republican Party, the British Torries and Canadian Conservatives share common beliefs. One prominent belief is that all government regulation of business is always evil. They are particularly adamant that financial regulation is always destructive.
An epic recent example is the admission by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is self described as "lifelong libertarian Republican".
In Congressional testimony on October 23, 2008, Greenspan acknowledged that he was "partially" wrong in opposing regulation and stated "Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity – myself especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief." Referring to his free-market ideology, Greenspan said: "I have found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact." Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) then pressed him to clarify his words. "In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working," Waxman said. "Absolutely, precisely," Greenspan replied. "You know, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well." Greenspan admitted fault in opposing regulation of derivatives and acknowledged that financial institutions didn't protect shareholders and investments as well as he expected.
Matt Taibbi described the Greenspan put and its bad consequences saying: "every time the banks blew up a speculative bubble, they could go back to the Fed and borrow money at zero or one or two percent, and then start the game all over", thereby making it "almost impossible" for the banks to lose money. He also called Greenspan a "classic con man" who, through political savvy, "flattered and bullshitted his way up the Matterhorn of American power and ... jacked himself off to the attention of Wall Street for 20 consecutive years."
The failure of Mt. Gox is a inevitable consequence of an unregulated financial market. Bank failures were common in the U.S. from it's founding until modern baking regulation started after the Great Depression, when they became uncommon. This situation was stable until the Reagan Revolution, and steady removal of the previously working regulatory regime.
Greenspan is the poster child for the catastrophic effects of delusional right wing economic thinking, and the 2008 crash along with the current debt of the U.S. are the legacy. The world economy is still recovering from that disaster, and no one can say how long it will take for a full recovery. Note that the so called recovery of the financial markets is simply an extension of the policies that lead to the crash in the first place. What Matt Taibbi described is still happening: "they could go back to the Fed and borrow money at zero or one or two percent".
Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are the high tech realization of delusional right wing economic thinking. They are ideologically founded on the idea of avoiding government economic oversight. Lack of regulation inevitably leads to a boom/bust cycle and poisons economic growth.
The real world has, in effect, presented right wing thinkers with an intelligence test. The results so far are they they have doubled down on their delusional beliefs. They have shown no ability to learn from the past.
Here's the short version: they were stupid, they are stupid, and they're planning on being stupid in the future.
Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor
The Lords of Google have been forced pay attention because the peasants are actively resisting the annexation of the formerly free city of San Francisco by the Sovereign Realm of Google. The Realm needs to annex the city for housing for it's ever expanding noble classes. (See Lebensraum.)
The current plan is to allow the children of the peasants to gather windfall in the orchards of Google. This costs Google a tiny fraction of it's vast wealth, and makes it seem that they care about the peasants, because they are selflessly helping the children! Hopefully the stupid peasants will shut up and gratefully accept this bright trinket, so the serious project of evicting them from their land can continue unimpeded.
Don't (get caught) doing evil.
Ask Slashdot: What Essays and Short Stories Should Be In a Course On Futurism?
Yes, it's brilliant. Dark humor, and a tangibly real decaying future. I read it when it first came out and still remember it vividly. I'm sure it still has the power to make people uncomfortable after all these years. Read it if you can find a copy.
Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible
What's the tallest thing we could build right now?
Neal Stephenson and Keith Hjelmstad who is at Arizona State University have looked into this. The thought is to build a structure that reaches the stratosphere and then launch rockets from the top.
The Tall Tower
I have no idea if this is easier or harder then a fulls space elevator. I would guess not as hard. Sadly, the web site has little activity since I firsrt saw it. Still, it's interesting in the context of a space elevator.
Why Is US Broadband So Slow?
First, I must thank you for letting me know that a Socialist had been elected to a public office in Seattle, I'll tell my Socialist friends about it and they will be very happy.
So on to your assertion that "The situation was made worse recently when we elected a socialist that is very anti-Internet.". I asked Mr. Google about it, and I could find nothing about the internet policy position of Kshama Sawant, the politician in question. It seems absurd that Socialist policy would be anti-Internet. I could see the Socialists position being to make internet access a free public utility, but that is not the same as being anti-Internet.
So if you have any "facts" you can refer to, as opposed to unsupported statements, let me know. Otherwise I'll assume that you are engaged in a typical Republican/Right Wing paranoid rant rooted in your irrational hatred of anyone with beliefs that you don't like.
TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs
My crystal ball is working and I can predict your future:
You will be talking to a Federal Law Enforcement agent very soon
BSD Real-Time Operating System NuttX Makes Its 100th Release: NuttX 6.33
From the FIRST PAGE of the web site under Networking.
BSD compatible socket layer.
Networking utilities (DHCP server and client, SMTP client, TELNET client, FTP server and client, TFTP client, HTTP server and client). Inheritable TELNET sessions (as “controlling terminal”).
NFS Client. Client side support for a Network File System (NFS, version 3, UDP).
A NuttX port of Jeff Poskanzer's THTTPD HTTP server integrated with NXFLAT to provide embedded CGI.
UDP Network Discvory, XML RPC Server.
You should stop posting stupid stuff and just hang around and lurk until you grow up.
Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years
You know, like dog chow or cat chow.
Do Hypersonic Missiles Make Defense Systems Obsolete?
Absolutely correct. That's why we need to drop a few hundred million on reviving the horse cavalry and wood sailing ships.
Just ignore the pork and campaign contributions. It's DEFENSE, so we need it.
First Evidence That Google's Quantum Computer May Not Be Quantum After All
You are so wrong. The way that corporations use the patent system is a "scam". They extort money from each other as well as suppress innovation. Just look at the patent war between Apple and Samsung. It has nothing to do with capitalism. There is no public benefit in this vast world wide litigation. They fight to become the dominant monopoly so they can maximize profit without government oversight or competition. Then they make as much as they want.
Want another example? HDMI cables. All the HD patent holders are in a consortium and they all get a cut from the licensing fee for the cable. This is a tax, enforced by the legal system and collected by the patent holders. The cost of the cable has a floor, which is pure profit. If there was competition, the cable price would drop to a market derived value. The price of a cable is set by a monopoly, no actual capitalism is involved.
Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy
Attributed to Edison when describing how many times he tried and failed to make a useful light bulb:
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
In case you haven't noticed, you are not sitting around at night in a house illuminated by candles, kerosine, whale oil or burning gas. This is because inventing new useful technology is hard, and takes many trials over a extended period of time.
There are at least two startups with new technology battery systems installing units in the next year or so: Ambri and Aquion .
Anyone with $0.05 shouldn't give it to you because it would be a waste of resources. They should invest it in one of these companies (or competitors) and take a chance on making money and making the future more sustainable.
Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops
This will have the same useability as the CELL CPU. From TFA:
Second, while Knights Landing can act as a bootable CPU, many applications will demand greater single threaded performance due to Amdahl’s Law. For these workloads, the optimal configuration is a Knights Landing (which provides high throughput) coupled to a mainstream Xeon server (which provides single threaded performance). In this scenario, latency is critical for communicating results between the Xeon and Knights Landing.
So there will be a useful mainstream CPU closely coupled with a bunch of vector oriented processors that will be hard to use effectively. (Also from TFA).
The rumors also state that the KNL core will replace each of the floating point pipelines in Silvermont with a full blown 512-bit AVX3 vector unit, doubling the FLOPs/clock to 32.
So unless there is a very high compute to memory access ratio this monster will spend most of it's time waiting for memory and converting electrical energy to heat. Plus writing software that uses 72 cores is such a walk in the park...
Searching the Internet For Evidence of Time Travelers
An equally useful and scientifically valid effort.
Oil Train Explosion Triggers Evacuation In North Dakota
The real world disagrees with you:
If you want to argue about the safety of oil transport then I'll have that argument. I'd then demonstrate the statistical safety, low cost, and minimal carbon output of nuclear power.
Nuclear power has an intrinsic government subsidy that you (and all nuclear advocates) ignore:
Insurance available to the operators of nuclear power plants varies by nation. The worst case nuclear accident costs are so large that it would be difficult for the private insurance industry to carry the size of the risk, and the premium cost of full insurance would make nuclear energy uneconomic.
The next paragraph says the same about installations like dams, but you made a blanket statement about nuclear power, and I'm addressing that topic.
For a real world example, what is the cost of the Fukushima disaster? I suspect that this question literally has no answer, since there are so many unknowns in dealing with the aftermath. One figure is $58 billion. I suspect this is wildly optimistic, since every evaluation to come out of official channels in Japan has been that way since the earthquake hit. Other values are $100 billion and $250 billion. Some of this variation may be due to what is considered a direct cost vs. what is being ignored.
To give some perspective of how things are being managed, consider this recent report on labor used for the cleanup
In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp's network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project.
In the October case, homeless men were rounded up at Sendai's train station by Sasa, then put to work clearing radioactive soil and debris in Fukushima City for less than minimum wage, according to police and accounts of those involved. The men reported up through a chain of three other companies to Obayashi, Japan's second-largest construction company.
Do you expect that homeless exploited workers who suffer from exposure to radiation and other environmental toxins will be accurately accounted for in the cost of the cleanup? Does this give you any confidence that the cleanup process itself is going to be done correctly, even with a multibillion dollar price tag?
And remember, the disaster isn't over yet. Of the four units that had explosions, two of them have not had a survey of reactor damage because no technology exists that can stand up to the radiation. They could be going through a process that could release more radiation and the only way we would find is is when it happens. Speaking of
which: steam of unknown origin is coming out of Unit 3.
Fresh plumes of most probably radioactive steam have been detected rising from the reactor 3 building at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said the facility’s operator company.
The steam has been detected by surveillance cameras and appeared to be coming from the fifth floor of the mostly-destroyed building housing crippled reactor 3, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the plant’s operator.
This started on Dec 24, i.e. last week, and is continuing intermittently. It could be rain water contacting surfaces heated by radioactive decay, or an early warning of the damaged core or fuel pool becoming critical. The scary thing is nobody knows. They can't even say how radioactive the steam is. So like I said, the disaster is not finished.
And I won't even mention what could happen if another major earthquake hits and the fuel storage pools loose their water and there are additional meltdowns. (Note the plural: four spent fuel pools are vulnerable and they have already sustained an unknown amount of damage).
Happy new year...
Unintended Consequences: How NSA Revelations May Lead To Even More Surveillance
The unintended consequence of overblown surveillance is the loss of vast amounts of business for US companies.
Boeing lost a $4.5 billion fighter aircraft contract to Saab in Brazil because of the revelations about spying.
Cisco has also seen major losses, and lots of other companies big and small are hurting as well.
The US Constitution may have been put in the shredder, the courts may be rubber stamps for the US version of the STASI, and the Congress may be brain dead along with the DOJ, but now it turns out that all this useless spying has hurt the bottom line of Big Corporate American. You screw these people over, and your government funding is going to be severely impacted.
The NSA and the other alphabet soup spying agencies have hurt the only group in the US with the clout to shut them down. The are going to be backing off big time.
On the individual level, government intelligence insiders are going to discover that they will have a much harder time finding those cushy high paying civilian jobs that they expect to be handed when they leave the government. That's what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you. This could have the biggest impact of all, because the revolving door is a major motivation for the entire system in the first place.
Thick Chinese Smog is Harming Agriculture
Required Snark writes "The smog in China is so thick and pervasive that it is having a large scale negative impact on agricultural production.
Scientists say China's smog blocks natural light, thus slowing down the photosynthesis process necessary for plants to thrive.
He Dongxian, an associate professor with China Agricultural University's College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, conducted experiments in Beijing over recent months which she says showed a drastic slowdown in the photosynthesis process.
As part of He's experiments, chili and tomato seeds, for example, took more than two months to sprout at a greenhouse farm in Beijing's Changping district, while the same outcome is typically achieved in 20 days under artificial light in a laboratory. Air pollutants adhere to greenhouse surfaces, reducing by half the amount of light available to the plants, she said.
Most seedlings at the farm were weak or sick, He told the Post. "They will be lucky to live at all."
If China's smog persists or intensifies, He warns, the country's food supply faces devastating consequences. "Now almost every farm is caught in a smog panic."
According to the story "much of north and central China — about one-seventh of the country — was also covered in smog last weekend", so the problem extends far beyond Beijing."
Link to Original Source
San Francisco Rail Commuters Ignore Man Flashing Gun: One Killed
Required Snark writes "
The man drew the gun several times on the crowded San Francisco commuter train, with surveillance video showing him pointing it across the aisle without anyone noticing and then putting it back against his side, according to authorities.
The other passengers were so absorbed in their phones and tablets they didn't notice the gunman until he randomly shot and killed a university student, authorities said.
"These weren't concealed movements — the gun is very clear," District Attorney George Gascon said. "These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They're just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They're completely oblivious of their surroundings."'
The next time you are out in public, put in your ear buds, and zone out while connected online, just remember even though your mind has "left the building", you are still actually physically present..
Sometimes ignoring your surroundings is the wrong thing to do. In this case, everyone was so spaced out they were all sitting ducks.
So ask yourself: when was the last time I was so plugged in that I missed something big? Has anyone had a life threatening experience due to being on line at the wrong time?"
Link to Original Source
Lockeed "Skunk Works" Announces Fusion Power Demo in Five Years
Required Snark writes "
At the recent Google “Solve for X” conference on February 7, Lockheed Martin's long-term R&D department (“Skunk Works”) announced they are working on a compact fusion reactor. With what seems a 4th generation prototype called "T4", the aerospace giant says to have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and faster development timeline.
Public reactions describe the announcement of their activities on nuclear fusion remarkable, because Lockheed Martin doesn't usually make public announcements about Skunkwork projects unless they have a high degree of confidence in their chances of success. The developement timeline indicates plans to have a prototype 100-megawatt nuclear fusion machine of Lockheed Martin tested in 2017, and that a fully operational machine should be grid-ready ten years from now.
Some of the properties reported from the presentation:
- A self-tuning feedback mechanism whereby the magnetic field increases the farther out that the plasma goes
- Novel magnetic field configuration that has very few open field lines compared to tokamak design
- Very "good arch curvature" of the field lines
The system has a beta of about 1
- System is working with D-T fuel
Although the presentation is short on details, Lockheed Skunk Words has a phenomenal track record, and they are putting their reputation of the line when they make this kind of announcement at a high profile Google event. A video of the presentation is here."
Link to Original Source
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of C
Required Snark writes "Let the Language Wars Begin (Again). Damian Katz of CouchDB published a blog post entitled "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of C".
"For years I've tried my damnedest to get away from C. Too simple, too many details to manage, too old and crufty, too low level. I've had intense and torrid love affairs with Java, C++, and Erlang. I've built things I'm proud of with all of them, and yet each has broken my heart. They've made promises they couldn't keep, created cultures that focus on the wrong things, and made devastating tradeoffs that eventually make you suffer painfully. And I keep crawling back to C."
Among it's other virtues, he points out that it is a fantastic high level language that "makes it easy to reason about high level algorithms and low level hardware at the same time." It offers the best speed, debugging environment, consistency of execution, a uniform ABI, compatibility with other languages, and a fast build-test-debug cycle. It has many flaws, but as Katz says "Its flaws are very very well known, and this is a virtue. All languages and implementations have gotchas and hangups. C is just far more upfront about it."
So, Slashdot, is everything old new again?"
Link to Original Source
High Frequency Trading: Far Worse then you Thought
Required Snark writes "High Frequency Trading is a software engineering disaster, according to a study by the Chicago Federal Reserve. As reported at The Economic Populist, problems include:
Industry and regulatory groups have articulated best practices related to risk controls, but many firms fail to implement all the recommendations or rely on other firms in the trade cycle to catch an out-of-control algorithm or erroneous
trade. In part, this is because applying risk controls before the start of a trade can slow down an order, and high-speed trading firms are often under enormous pressure to route their orders to the exchange quickly so as to capture a trade at the desired price.
Another area of concern is that some firms do not have stringent processes for the development, testing, and deployment of code used in their trading algorithms. For example, a few trading firms interviewed said they deploy new trading strategies quickly by tweaking old code and placing it into production in a matter of minutes.
Chicago Fed staff also found that out-of-control algorithms were more common than anticipated prior to the study and that there were no clear patterns as to their cause. Two of the four clearing BDs/FCMs, two-thirds of proprietary trading firms, and every exchange interviewed had experienced one or more errant algorithms.
To sum things up, the well being of the entire world economy is now in the hands of greedy, incompetent corrupt insiders who will do anything to achieve a profit. The regulators are all off on a permanent vacation. (The Federal Reserve does not regulate HFT.) What could possibly go wrong?"
Link to Original Source
Former IBM Japan President Otoshi charged for taking up-skirt pictures
Required Snark writes "Takuma Otoshi was the President of IBM Japan from 1999 to 2008, and had an ongoing senior adviser position until his recent arrest. According to Toyko police reports:
Police records say that around 8:00 AM on August 22nd, Ototshi was cited for violating Tokyo’s public nuisance ordinance by using his Apple iPod’s recording function to film up the skirt of a woman as she rode an escalator at the JR Yotsuya Station. A nearby male commuter is said to have witnessed what happened and told the station’s authorities. Investigators say once Otoshi’s iPod was checked, they found a number of incriminating pictures.
Does this mean that IBM endorses the IPod?"
Link to Original Source
Hunters Shoot Down Drone of Animal Rights Group
Required Snark writes "A remote control drone operated by an animal rights group was shot down in South Carolina by a group of thwarted hunters.
Steve Hindi, the group president said "his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying." After the shoot was halted, the drone was launched anyway, and at this point it was shot down. "Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter." "It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway," Hindi stated in the release."
Link to Original Source
Sea water can cause uranium polution from fuel rod
Required Snark writes "UC Davis researchers have found a mechanism where the sodium in sea water can cause uranium nano-particles to be released from nuclear reactor fuel rods. Normally the uranium oxide compounds composing the rods are very resistant to leaching into water. This could have serious consequences for the Fukushima disaster, since sea water was used for emergency cooling."
Link to Original Source