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Comments

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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Shoten Re:wow (561 comments)

Yeah, you say that now, but when we get more power, you can all but guarantee we'll use more power.

Probably, we'll start creating climate controlled neighbourhoods or something, live in Sunnyvale Town, where it's 30c all year around!

Actually, I'm not entirely sure this is correct. There are other factors that would act as choke points. Portable devices, for example, and their batteries; you'll go out of your mind if you treat your smartphone as though power was infinitely cheap. Transmission/distribution infrastructure is another MAJOR issue...even if you wanted to ramp everything up to 465KV lines everywhere, there's only one company on earth that makes the transformers, the power cables can't handle it, and within the existing rights-of-way for transmission lines that much power would introduce problems with foliage (the safe zone around a line increases with the power it carries), and we'd likely see a repeat of the 2005 blackout on a regular basis. And that's just what I can list off the top of my head.

But even aside from all that...so what? Your point is like saying that cars that get good gas mileage are a bad thing, or that Moore's law sucks because it just means we can do more with our computers now.

4 days ago
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Netflix To Charge More For 4K Video

Shoten Re: Thats Fair (158 comments)

I'd pay more for better bandwidth.

The problem isn't the bandwidth. Verizon FIOS has the bandwidth, and Netflix has the Bandwidth. The problem is not the bandwidth, the problem is you, willing to "pay more" to get Verizon and Netflix to install a cable between their switches at the COLO facility, which is something they should do. But if Verizon FIOS is anything like Comcast, they want to charge Netflix to bring Netflix to their own customers.

You are Netflix Customer
You are Verizon FIOS Customer
You are already paying for their service (both sides).

Actually, the problem is bandwidth. Remember how it turns out that most big ISPs are throttling Netflix traffic, and trying to get Netflix to pay them extra to pass their content? Yeah, well, Netflix has had to cave a bit. Comcast is getting paid by Netflix now, and thus the more bandwidth needed, the higher the cost.

But there are other challenges as well. Content providers charge more for media in multiple formats than they do for media in just one format. Pushing the data, even within Netflix, does require more drive space and internal bandwidth and capacity (or, in Netflix's case, a higher bill from Amazon since they are hosted in AWS). They need to build their systems out (i.e., pay for more cloud) to manage the bifurcation between content types as well.

And in other news, you get what you pay for. Extra features, upgraded content, etc. have never been free. They come at a premium. Everything else is just an explanation as to why that might be.

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Shoten Re:Straw Man (622 comments)

I see your point and I suspect the complexities of internet security, like those of bike locks for the uninitiated, are somewhat perplexing. People need to realise that putting pictures onto the internet is more like sending a postcard than a wax sealed envelope. Of course cloud and social media companies definitely don't want their customers to realise this too soon.

Yes, you do have a point with regard to the complexities of internet security. BUT...these are not ordinary people. These are celebrities. Celebrities, especially on the level of famous actresses, engage the assistance of executive protection companies and PR firms. Both of these are quite familiar with the incredibly complex concept of "don't store nude pics of your body online somewhere," and are quite able to help sort things out for them.

This isn't a new kind of hack, it's not a new kind of problem, and the solution isn't a new kind of solution. Even so and even then, these people had access to others who could help them with it.

about a week ago
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After Dallas Ebola Diagnosis, CDC Raises Estimate of Patient's Possible Contacts

Shoten Blindfolded, but can't see anything wrong... (258 comments)

are not being watched or monitored and are not showing any symptoms of the illness

How the fuck can the latter be stated with any kind of confidence in the same sentence as the former?

about two weeks ago
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When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

Shoten Re: Depending on the plan... (175 comments)

A perfect example of why connectivity should be controlled by the PUC (and considered a public utility). I don't want providers shoving locked, altered OS's with applications they deem necessary or recommended. I don't want to be told what type of device I can use to access bandwidth running RFC spec communication protocols. I don't want your DNS servers shoved down my throat, providing compensated landing pages in lieu of the address I requested. I don't want them believing they have a right to profit off of any data I care to view.

  Venturing even further, you can take your POTS system
separation from my bandwidth and the double income you have been earning for the past 15 years and put it where the sun doesn't shine.

I feel better now..

There are three problems with that:

1, the PUC is a local...VERY local...authority, at most reaching to the borders of a state. There are hundreds of them in the US alone. Unless you want things like wireless standards adoption to be fragmented across that large a scattering, you don't want this.

2, there's a nation-wide PUC equivalent that deals specifically in the things you just spoke about. And it's called the FCC. Which proves that the basic hopes and dreams you have are unrealistic, based on their past and current performance as a regulating entity.

3, what you're talking about has nothing to do with most of what TFA was getting at in the first place. Connectivity is not the core of it all.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

Shoten Re:Wisdom (354 comments)

i wonder if he got the same reaction, if he had called the guy a fascist.

If he'd said the same thing with only that one substitution...that fascism = all other authoritarian forms of government? Sure, I'd have responded in much the same way. Though, it actually would have been less ridiculous, since historically fascism hasn't been the doctrinally-sworn enemy of all other forms of government to the same degree that communism is. In other words, there would have been less stark examples of how fascism is not interchangeable with other authoritarian forms of government than there are with communism.

I wonder in turn...if he'd called the guy a fascist and I'd replied much the same way, would you have posted as an AC?

about three weeks ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

Shoten Re:Wisdom (354 comments)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

All "communist" countries were all about being authoritarian regimes, not about communism. So what is the difference again?

The same as the difference between communism and fascism. (Mussolini and Franco, both facist leaders, fought the Communists tooth and nail in their day.)

The same as the difference between communism and the Taliban. (The Taliban emerged from the fighters that overthrew the Communist regime in Afghanistan.)

The same as the difference between communism and monarchies. (It bears mentioning that one country...Russia...had its monarchies ended by Communism in a bloody civil war.)

The same as the difference between communism and National Socialism (Nazis..who hated communism pretty hard, by the way, and killed 25 million of them).

Saying that someone is the same as a communist because they are authoritarian is as far off the mark as saying two companies are the same because they are direct competitors in the same market. Communism is a subset of authoritarian government forms, not the same set, and it's not at all compatible or even friendly with most of the other forms of government that share its authoritarian characteristic. I know it feels good to throw words around that make someone sound bad, but really...if you want to be a truly active and useful participant in a democracy, you have to pull your head out of your ass and deal in terms of fucking reality.

about three weeks ago
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

Shoten Re:One of the most overpaid execs in history (142 comments)

Screw the shareholders. What about the rest of Oracle's workers? You know, the people who make Larry Ellison look good by busting their asses? Why not give them a raise?

Oh don't worry about the employees, they'll be fine. With Mark Hurd at the helm, they'll be...*laughing*...*doubling over laughing*

Oh, I'm sorry...I couldn't QUITE make it through the rest of that sentence without laughing my BALLS off!

about a month ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Shoten Re:WTF? (981 comments)

It is a little unexpected.

Islam, but obviously not this particular splinter, has a long and glorious history of cultivating math and science. Specifically, they invented some aspects of linear algebra to solve inheritance issue – the Koran is very specific on how much the various wives and children get.

You're confusing past nations that were inhabited by Muslims with Islam itself. This is like saying that Christianity has a long and glorious history of cultivating the Internet, since most of the people at CERN who invented HTTP were Christian.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Shoten Thoreau already covered this (232 comments)

From Thoreau, in Walden:

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Based on this, it seems to me that every one of us who has ever been involved in development projects for any significant amount of time has encountered fear as a major force in one or more projects. For that matter, I'd say we've all encountered it as a force in many things we've been a part of.

about a month ago
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SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

Shoten This answers a question... (210 comments)

The new GoPro camera...which hasn't come out yet...is said to effectively capture video at double the rate that it currently does. So it can do 1080p at 120 frames/second.

But there's a problem with that...the existing GoPro, at half that speed, requires the very fastest of SD cards (UHS Speed Class 3) to be able to write the data fast enough. So I was wondering how the hell the camera would even be able to work at 120 fps 1080p resolution in the first place. This card, with its throughput, answers that, since it's triple the UHS Speed Class 3 specification.

about a month ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Shoten Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

Baloney. As someone who deals with the military industrial complex on a daily basis, I know for a fact that the forms you submit to the OPM ask you in plain English "have you ever belonged to an organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of the US government" and these forms are retained by the OPM for something like 7 or 10 years, after which you are required to resubmit them. If she said "no" to the question in question, but knew that her acquaintances went to jail, something objectively doesn't add up. The best possible excuse is that she's just pathologically oblivious, not that the OPM has trumped up charges out of nowhere.

Agreed. From TFA: " Barr says she was casually acquainted with two of the convicted murderers, Judith Clark and Kuwasi Balagoon (née Donald Weems) but had no prior knowledge of their criminal activities." I think that 1, if she'd known them beforehand, it would have been obvious to her that they were a bit past the "baking cookies" level of extremism, and 2, she'd certainly have heard about it when they were arrested/tried/convicted/imprisoned for their role in the attempted hijacking/resulting murder. That is, if she didn't know about it after it happened, but before they were arrested. When an acquaintance who is part of your circle of friends gets involved in something like that, I would tend to think you'd notice.

about a month ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

Shoten Re:Decisions, Decisions... (123 comments)

Actually, as someone who just bought an Audi, I disagree. The Volvo was by far the most sedate brand in its class. BMW/MB/Audi all had it beat. Even the Hyundai blew it into the river for fun factor. (The new Genesis by Hyundai...especially with the BIG motor...is a beast.)

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

Shoten Re: The Measure of Man (471 comments)

So, bank account balance would be useful.

Yes. Especially if you're male and dating.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

Shoten Re:Perchance (471 comments)

Is the submitter of the article a developer looking for ideas?

I hope so...if so, he's doing it in a very clever way. Provided, of course, that he can determine the difference in ideas between that which comes from a fairly normal user with a standard need/desire as opposed to a socially-incompetent neckbeard.

about a month ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

Shoten Decisions, Decisions... (123 comments)

As an astronaut, I wonder which would appeal to me more? The "Exciting Choice" or the "Safe Choice?" On one hand, I'll be strapped to it as it launches it (and me) into space. On the other hand...I'm an astronaut! My choice of car is probably NOT a fucking Volvo.

about a month ago
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Intel Unveils MICA "My Intelligent Communication Accessory" Smart Bracelet

Shoten Re:Just the warm-up (48 comments)

Some technologies just don't make sense. At least with our current battery and silicon constraints.

A nice tablet at $500 didn't make sense... until the iPad came out. (Some early speculation had it priced at @$1,000). An expensive smartphone without a keyboard didn't make sense... until the iPhone. A laptop that is .68 inches thick (and gets thinner from there) didn't make sense... until the MacBook Air.

Apple has a track record of pushing limits, and of not releasing products that aren't highly refined. If they come out with an "iWatch," I'd bet it will be something special. And the following iterations will only improve it.

Your point is merely that innovation is something people don't see coming. I don't think it applies here, however.

Everyone wants an "iWatch," so much so that you can use the term and everyone knows exactly what you mean by it. Everyone wanted an iPhone...they were freaking begging for it for years before it came into being.

In this case, though, Intel's made a massive mistake. You can't pair a highly-durable good (bracelet with semi-precious stones, precious metals and exotic materials like "water snakeskin") with something based on personal technology. Very few people will spend $1,000 for the non-functional components of something that they'll replace as often as a cell phone. And almost nobody will do it twice.

Even more notably, the pictures they sent are of bracelets that make distinct statements with regard to color, texture, etc. They won't match just any outfit...which means that either the user must not come to depend on the bracelet (or they'll be disappointed when it clashes with their outfit and so they don't wear it) or buy multiples (which only amplifies the cost/disposability conundrum).

If they had a form factor that allowed for separation of the cosmetic (semi-precious stones, snakeskin, etc.) and functional (electronics) components such that you could swap the electronics module between shells and update it without having to throw away the whole bracelet, then this could work. It would also allow for a platform, however, where you could just wear the electronics module in something like a silicon wrist strap...and thus, that negates the whole point of Intel's idea here by caching the thing as a fashion accessory. As soon as someone puts it in a $10 wristband and notices that it doesn't do all that much that they need, everyone notices the emperor is naked, and they go back to buying bracelets from Cartier or Tiffany's instead.

The key to the iPad and the iPhone was that they were, at their core, supremely functional. That they had lovely form factors was just icing on the cake, and their cache as items of status followed from that...not the other way around.

about a month and a half ago
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Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto Over Internet Governance

Shoten Re:Does it matter? (65 comments)

An American would think that. Citizens from other countries may well disagree there. Especially because of that unthinking American preference for Americans in charge everywhere.

Really? Do tell us about all the governments that would rather have Iran or North Korea in charge of ICANN. Please :)

about 2 months ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Shoten Re:MUCH easier. (239 comments)

You are speculating on a system that would be able to correctly identify ALL THE OBJECTS IN THE AREA and that is never going to happen.

It doesn't have to identify all the objects in the area, it simply has to not hit them.

Actually, since the whole question of TFA is about ethical choices, it does have to identify them. It can't view a trash can as being equal to a child pedestrian, for example. It will have to see the difference between a dumpster (hit it, nobody inside dies) and another car (hit it, someone inside it may die). It may even need to weigh the potential occupancy of other vehicles...a bus is likely to hold more people than a scooter.

The question at its heart is not about object avoidance in the article...it's about choices between objects. And that requires identification.

about 2 months ago
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Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

Shoten Okay, then... (181 comments)

...who's going to make the obligatory, in-poor-taste cancer joke?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Cost and Build Problems with Death Star Project

Shoten Shoten writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Shoten (260439) writes "Foreign Policy magazine has a fascinating analogy for real-world timeline and cost overruns on military projects. Apparently, the IGAO (Imperial Government Accountability Office) has run a review of the project to build the Death Star, finding multiple issues. At the top of the list? "Frequent Turnover in Senior Personnel Hampers Continuity," with a recommendation to stop using strangulation as a management tactic. Design flaws relating to reactor shielding and anti-fighter defenses are also cited."

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