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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

T5 Re:Militia, then vs now (1633 comments)

I find it quite odd that Stevens would make this change, as this was clearly not the intent of the founding fathers. Anyone who's spent even a few minutes with writings such as James Madison's Federalist Paper #46 and a host of other contemporaneous documents would soon be dissuaded of such a delusion as Stevens'.

about 9 months ago

Nelson Mandela Dead At 95

T5 Not news for nerds (311 comments)

How is this relevant on /.? I mean no disrespect, but this is a topic for more mainstream news sources, not a site dedicated to technology.

Let's get back to Geekdom, shall we?

about a year ago

Thieves Who Stole Cobalt-60 Will Soon Be Dead

T5 Re:isn't it possible to detect (923 comments)

The satellites aren't looking for radiation in that manner. There's a characteristic double flash of light from a nuclear detonation that is deemed the signature.

about a year ago

Stuxnet Expert Dismisses NIST Cyber Security Framework, Proposes Alternative

T5 Good luck with that (32 comments)

Given the federal government's complete aversion to risk post-9/11, good luck with that capabilities based approach. The fed push with IT security these days is toward risk management - period.

about a year ago

NRA Launches Pro-Lead Website

T5 Re:The Romans found out about lead (780 comments)

There's no solid evidence of health risks from thiomersal.

Not in the manner in which you were speaking perhaps. However, I am highly allergic to thiomersal. I first ran into this nasty stuff when it was used as a preservative in contact lens solutions in the early 1980s. I still have one pupil that is slightly more dilated than the other as a result of a relatively brief exposure 30 years ago - a few stubborn days figuring that my new contacts would just take getting used to even while my eyes continued to swell, burn, and turn red as a beet.

This stuff is still used medically in such items as flu vaccine. It's difficult and expensive to secure an alternative vaccine for me come flu season.

about a year and a half ago

HP Discontinue OpenVMS

T5 Not surprised OpenVMS lasted this long (238 comments)

I'm not surprised that it took HP so long to figure out


on the whole O/S.

After all, it has a dollar sign in it and they're not particularly astute with cash lately.

about a year and a half ago

Amazon.com: Earth's Biggest Wine Cellar?

T5 Re:Not in Alabama (118 comments)

Not in Tennessee either. We have a rich history of insane alcohol laws and political opposition. For example, a former Speaker of the House, Ned Ray McWherter, who owned a beer distributorship at the time, cleverly crafted the tax schedules for keg beer to exclude, for example, Guinness, which came in an odd-sized keg compared to the domestics which McWherter's distributorship sold. No tax schedule for that size meant that it was not legal to sell here. IIRC it was about a decade after his tenure before the tax schedules were amended to allow for other sizes of kegs.

Even today a liquor license is required to sell beer > 6% ABV. This, of course, applies to wine as well. This means that we get nothing but the low gravity beers in our grocery stores and no wine at all. And the prices at the liquor stores for high gravity beer (what little you can find) and wine are much higher as a result than, for example, in Georgia. Grocery chains like Trader Joe's and Publix are just now making inroads into our great state, largely because of the lunacy of restricted alcohol sales.

more than 2 years ago

In Hot Water: The Effects of Even Modern Nuke Plants On Water

T5 Re:Should read "power plants", not "nuclear plants (303 comments)

...giant atom bomb...


This is the kind of inartfully worded rhetoric that continues to fuel the distrust of nuclear power.

more than 2 years ago

Inside Obama's Twitter Blitz On the Payroll Tax

T5 Re:$40 for Obama (294 comments)

Unless you consider the cost of flying his dog back from Hawaii for a photo op a couple of days ago. That cost we US taxpayers plenty.

more than 3 years ago

Carrier IQ Responds To FBI Drama, EFF Wants More Information

T5 "A fix for the bug"? (140 comments)

The fix is to not install spyware on the phones in the first place. How hard is this to understand?

more than 3 years ago

GM, NHTSA Delayed Volt Warnings To Prop Up Sales

T5 Re:Ohhhh shit (344 comments)

In regards to the Nissan LEAF, the base price is just over $35,000. There are tax incentives that bring this figure down somewhat ($7,500 federal, plus possibly state and local tax breaks - yet more government subsidies), but add back the $2,000 home charger and you're back into the $30K range for a compact car (typically a ~$20K segment) that would only seat 5 smaller individuals comfortably for short distances. In this regard, the very limited range of the car is a blessing.

And I just love how the technological limitations of EVs have been magically transformed into a new psychological condition known as "range anxiety". Sub 100 mile range, reduced range in intemperate conditions, reduced range at night, severely reduced flexibility with route planning, virtually no supporting infrastructure for not-at-home charging, long recharge times, and a 50% initial price premium do not a neurosis make.

I'm glad that the LEAF works for you. It just doesn't work for enough of us from a variety of angles to draw the kind of investment that it would take to overcome many of these issues. There's approximately $1T in petroleum refueling infrastructure in the US alone. That's a lot of J1772 and JARI/CHAdeMO charging station investment (money that could go to improving battery/fuel cell R&D instead of feeding a handful of 1st gen plug EVs), not to mention the upgrade to an aging, outdated electrical grid to support the additional load. Even then, patience and significant planning will be necessary within the limits of current battery and charging technology.

Please don't take this wrong. I'd really love to have an EV (Fisker Karma - drool, drool). The instantaneous torque, reduced fuel costs, potentially reduced negative environmental impact, and various other advantages of an advanced EV would be exciting. But, for me, it's got to have at worst a 300 mile range and at most a 15 minute recharge available nearly anywhere I travel to have a broad enough appeal to justify the additional investment that will make a battery-based EV viable. The EV price premium has to be significantly cut as well. Nothing on the horizon that I've seen comes close to this.

more than 3 years ago

Debt Deal Reached

T5 Re:Could Someone Help Me Out With This? (844 comments)

Simple answer: the government, any government, is addicted to money - our money.

In math terms:
Money = spending. Spending = votes. Votes=reelection. Reelection=power.

more than 3 years ago

How Do You Get Your Geek Nostalgia Fix?

T5 Re:WHAT!? (422 comments)

I just read posts from three digit /. IDs. Lights the ol' wayback machine for me every time!

more than 3 years ago

RIM Collapse Beginning?

T5 Re:Kind of early to predict that (305 comments)

Don't see how the security is any better than a direct https link between Exchange and your phone.

It's not an issue of data in flight. It's a matter of data at rest on the smart phone itself. BlackBerries have strong encryption that covers everything stored on the phone itself, including the removable media. No other smart phone comes close. It's FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 blessed, which is good enough for sensitive but unclassified information storage by US Federal government users. It meets several other governments' requirements as well.

FIPS 140-2 certification is the only reason I'm still on a BlackBerry. iPhone 4 has crypto hardware onboard, but doesn't seem to use it for much of anything. No Android phone has crypto hardware AFAIK and there's nothing until Gingerbread in the Android specs that even comes close to what the BlackBerry has in terms of locally encrypted storage.

more than 3 years ago

Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy

T5 How did this greenlight? (1277 comments)

Has /. become so political as to stoop to this level? This isn't Digg. This isn't $POLITICALBLOGSITE.

more than 3 years ago

Ex-Sun CEO Warns Oracle of Death By Open Source

T5 Re:What he really said (408 comments)

...besides nobody who will live much longer than another 2-3 years even knows who Bill Joy, or a SPARC let alone a 360 was)...

That would be a Sun 3/60, not 360, as in IBM 360. BTW, thanks for giving me only 2-3 years more to live, Doc...

more than 4 years ago

My Automobile Gets __ MPG

T5 Re:Diesel (1141 comments)

US refineries produce less diesel (~10%) per barrel of oil than European refineries (~25%), preferring gasoline as an end product. Unfortunately, it's not a matter of turning a few knobs to adjust fractional outputs. It would take creating new refineries (not likely to happen - NIMBY and expensive, difficult regulatory hurdles) or retooling existing plants (expensive and counterproductive for existing vehicles).

more than 4 years ago

Dell and HP To Sell Oracle Operating Systems

T5 Re:Hey, Dell & HP! (91 comments)

Same deal with a Samsung netbook that I purchased because of its semi-ruggedness (NB30). Out of the box BIOS was junk (ACPI problems, as usual, manifested as dropping keystrokes due to odd, periodic, momentary machine stalls), and the BIOS updater runs only under Windows. You can't even run the BIOS package (.exe) on another machine and manually extract the BIOS - updater recognizes that it's on a different machine and refuses to run.

Contacting Samsung was an exercise in futility. Tech support kept insisting I run the .exe and also told me that I needed to make sure that I installed the battery level monitor .exe beforehand. The tech support person could not grasp that I was running Linux, not Windows, despite my best efforts to persuade them otherwise. Unbelievable.

My mistake was not making this a dual boot machine, just to keep Windows around for such work. It's become standard operating procedure for me now to dual boot any machine that's likely to need a BIOS update (Dell, to their credit, is not one of these vendors). And with the tendency of vendors not to include CD/DVD restore media, I'll have to use some other install media to reinstall Windows just to perform what should be a simple BIOS update.

more than 4 years ago

US Government Begins Largest IT Consolidation in History

T5 Re:Prediction (283 comments)

This being an IT project, I predict it will take 5 years longer than planned, cost 10x the initial budget, and still never really work quite right.

Fixed that for you.

This being a large, overarching, overreaching government project, I predict that it will take 10 years longer than planned, cost 50x the initial budget, and be cancelled halfway through by a shift in the political winds.

Fixed that for you.

more than 4 years ago

Do You Provide Tech Support To Friends and Family?

T5 I have my limits (606 comments)

I have set several limits on whether or not I will work on a "friends and family" computer issue. First, unless I've managed the box from day 1, I will not work on a Windows box unless it's less than two years old. I just don't have the time nor the patience to deal with old, slow hardware plus "Windows rot" and the related cruft that goes with a less-than-fresh Windows installation. Second, I make sure that the owner of the machine understands that I am not responsible for any negative outcome of my working on the machine. If I break it, the owner gets to keep all the pieces. Expectations are set low at the beginning. I can't tell you how many times I've been given a box that's well past saving (hardware issues, malware infestations beyond repair, etc.) and the owner expects a quick miracle. It just doesn't work like that most of the time.

more than 5 years ago


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