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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

TWX Re:Urban legend? (215 comments)

I don't know, both the French and the Germans attempted to conquer a frozen Russia/Soviet Union and ultimately failed. the Soviet Union attempted to conquer an even more frozen Finland and failed. From the climate perspective it wouldn't be terribly easy to invade and conquer as a lot of armchair chickenhawks like to think.

And even if Canada were successfully invaded and occupied, and if somehow the British Crown didn't object and rally all of the other Commonwealth Realms to make war, there's the issue of the shared language and similar cultures making it extremely easy for Canadians to blend-in to commit acts of insurgency inside of the United States. Think of the issues that the UK had with Irish insurgency during The Troubles, where appearances were similar even though accents were vastly different, and now dampen down how much difference can be quickly profiled through speech, and one would have a really big problem.

Don't get me wrong, the United States could probably still do it, but it wouldn't be a simple walk in the park either.

3 hours ago
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Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

TWX Re:Bott's dots (71 comments)

That way, a vehicle telling cars to "slam brakes, veer hard left" while everything else around is giving an "all clear" can be ignored or weighted negatively (thank SpamAssassin), with other vehicles passing the "dude, this car over here is on crack; ignore it" messages to others around.

That may not work out well; if a car has declared an emergency then it's more likely to be an actual emergency than it is erroneous crap, and that may be the first or only car to discover that it's an emergency. You can't discard its input solely based on its singularity. It's not like e-mail where you have time to sift, or where your e-mail server may be processing mail for thousands of accounts and the pattern-matching between received messages for multiple accounts at the same time will allow one to find things. You have to react to the first declaration of emergency or else you yourself may be involved in that emergency.

3 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Re:Terrible names (311 comments)

"Start" is at least short. On my Linux box at work, I renamed the XFCE "Applications Menu" to "Xfce" so that it wouldn't take up unnecessary space on the panel.

I wish they would have named it something like "Fn Menu" for Function Menu- when I did phone support it would have been fun telling users to go to the effin' menu on the bottom left corner of the screen...

3 hours ago
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Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

TWX Predatory policing (220 comments)

When I was in my late teens I moved out of my parents' house and lived in a city whose police felt predatory, somewhat during the day, but especially after dark. Simple traffic stops would result in at least two units showing up half the time, and at night they were constantly racing around on the main streets, but never could be found in the actual neighborhoods. I've never been into drugs, never driven drunk, and at the time my vehicle was only six years old and in fairly good repair, but it felt like the police were actively looking for an excuse to pull me over. Literally within five miles were three other cities, and I never felt anywhere near as uncomfortable in those cities than I did in the one I lived in at the time.

I now live one city over, and there's a major state university here, but even with all of the youth hijinks and the college dropout slums a few miles from the school it still doesn't feel as predatory. Only time I was pulled over in this city I deserved it, and the officer was professional and civil even if he was firm in issuing me a citation. When pulled over in the previous city it always felt like the officers were just looking for excuses to get tough.

3 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Re:Terrible names (311 comments)

The choice of name of the Start button was poor, but the idea that a single button on one corner of the screen would give the user access to nearly every kind of function on the computer was not a bad one. Apple did it with the Apple menu. When the Start Menu was created, Microsoft's Windows Logo was not obviously a window, it was so stylized, so simply putting the icon by itself on the button wouldn't have helped those doing tech support explain to users how to get to that menu.

8 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Re:Terrible names (311 comments)

Those commercials for adult charm-bracelets, very-much overpriced mass-produced jewelry that husbands are supposed to purchase so their kids can give it to mom, are what I think of.

That, and the Irish serial killer from one of the Austin Powers movies...

8 hours ago
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Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

TWX Re:Wow .... (135 comments)

Heh. It's actually fairly common to cook something one way until it's mostly done, then finish it another way so that it takes on the character of that second way of cooking. It can be a bit difficult to cook fowl on a grille without drying it out, so it's often baked and then finished in the grille to change the characteristics of the skin and to put the marks on.

Sounds like the grille at the KFC wasn't hot, so all you got was the carbon-buildup rubbed on to the outside of the already-cooked meat.

8 hours ago
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Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

TWX Re:Bott's dots (71 comments)

Yeah, the reflective raised markers are an evolution of the Botts design if I remember correctly. The actual round dots are pretty much obsolete now.

I'm actually not so worried about terrorism as I am people attempting to give themselves priority. In some cities there are already problems with non-emergency vehicles activating the sensors that change the traffic lights so that emergency vehicles get the right-of-way, I don't want people tricking self-driving cars into merging right or waiting. That's a matter of hacking your own car, not even theirs. I'm also worried about such means being used as vectors for car theft- root a car in-motion that you later want to steal, then find it after the driver has parked it and make it self-drive away to a collection point. Get a whole bunch of cars to meet there, load them on a trailer, then disable them so they don't report position and drive them away.

8 hours ago
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Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

TWX Re:Bott's dots (71 comments)

Yeah, they don't use the above-pavement versions in the northeast and other cold places, but a similar system could be packaged multiple different ways, including plow-friendly ones. It'd be harder to replace them or rearrange them, but since they have to cut grooves into the asphalt for the embedded ones anyway then it still wouldn't be harder to install them than the status-quo anyway.

I've been thinking about this for a long time. Early on I thought about embedding a cable in the road in the center of the lane for the cars to follow or in-between lanes, but those aren't easy to modify. using the lane markers themselves as ways to transmit information seems a lot more practical. One could even build similar RFID tech into portable construction barriers, with codes to override what's picked up from the normal lane markers when the area is rearranged for road construction. Could also create codes for emergency responders for traffic cones kept in police cars and fire trucks, so that they can route traffic around with an even higher priority than the construction ones.

8 hours ago
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"Once In a Lifetime" Asteroid Sighting Monday Night

TWX Re:If I have a really long telescope... (53 comments)

I don't think you're legitimate. You didn't say, "...blizzid heah." Too many uses of the letter R.

8 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Re:Terrible names (311 comments)

I blame the newest distributions and projects. Older project, when the UNIX mentality was still in force, seemed to be named, to an extent, based on what the thing did. Early Linux distributions modeled themselves on commercial UNIX and followed suit for a long time. Also for a long time, code-names for distributions (like Lenny, Squeeze, Sid, etc) were short and simple, and not really necessary to know when there were other terms (unstable, testing, stable) to be used too.

Somehow the use of the code-name as something much more important has happened though, and I'm not entirely sure why. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense and just confuses the point. To an extent I blame Ubuntu, they seem to be pretty bad with it, but a lot of other projects and distros are suffering the same thing.

9 hours ago
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Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

TWX Re:Still sounds like early flight... (71 comments)

Inevitably someone will invent new Bott's dots that install like the old ones that can be sighted by the lane tracking system, and contain directional flow, speed, lane number, and other information that can be passively interrogated by RFID, and when they need to be changed, they can be scraped up like existing ones are. Might not be good for urban city streets, but should be good for highways and freeways, and combined with object detection and tracking and a computer's ability to predict speed and direction changes of other cars and of objects, there shouldn't be much of a need for more than that.

I think it's a mistake for cars to communicate with each other. I don't trust programmers to write bug-free and exploit-free software to run on those cars, and I don't want someone's car lying about its speed or other characteristics such that it may cause me to crash.

9 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Re:Terrible names (311 comments)

His name wasn't too bad, and worked fine as the owner of the bar on the Promenade...

9 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Re:Terrible names (311 comments)

Huh?

Where were we talking about open-source projects?

10 hours ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

TWX Terrible names (311 comments)

Charms bar? Continuum?

Names used to be fairly intuitive, and even when they weren't completely intuitive their names were derived from their technical function. I'm thinking "context menu", "start menu", "task list", "quick-launch menu", and "system tray".

Now they're just marketing doublespeak.

10 hours ago
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Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

TWX Re:Cryptography is lost (135 comments)

boiling != scrambling. Your analogy is safe for now.

Besides, like brute-force crypto, in some instances it may be possible to un-boil some aspect of the egg, but it appears to be an extremely expensive process carried out by only highly trained professionals and only workable in very specific circumstances, so it's very unlikely that it'll be commonplace in the total number of instances of boiled eggs or encrypted data.

11 hours ago
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Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

TWX Re:Wow .... (135 comments)

I guess the next step is to un-fry a chicken.

There's a particular Wendy's that I won't eat at; they seem to have mastered this technique based on what I've been served between two pieces of bread.

11 hours ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

TWX Re:Missing (371 comments)

I don't like hierarchy where it serves no purpose, or serves to promote cliques.

I'm in a social club that has four elected officers, and those are the only people with any sort of actual rank in the organization. Those people are elected annually, but their authority in the organization is solely based on agreement by the members. They can't spend more than something paltry like $20 of club funds without membership approval, they can't call unscheduled business meetings, they can't order anyone around. Many of them have duties that actually make being an officer in the club a chore, as they're responsible for the refreshments, the minutes of the meetings, the newsletter, keeping the small bank balance maintained, and communicating with other organizations for when we want to do things. By contrast, being a member is simply paying one's $15 annual dues and showing up to events.

11 hours ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: What would you actually want in a smart watch?

TWX TWX writes  |  about 4 months ago

TWX (665546) writes "With the hype in recent Smart Watch offerings lately, no one seems to be truly happy with what's available or the capabilities in various devices. I personally want one that acts a a central hub for 3G/4G/LTE connectivity for any other kind of device that I want to use, but manufacturers now seem to be stressing more functionality on the watch itself as opposed to a modular approach. So, what do you want in a smart watch and other wearable, personal computing?"
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Poll: Magnets near my electronics?

TWX TWX writes  |  about 5 months ago

TWX (665546) writes "Poll Options:
Get that thing away from me!
I know in my head it's fine, but no.
Eh, whatever.
Pretty magnets stuck to my case.
Tablet magnetized to my case!"
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The sorry state of FOSS documentation

TWX TWX writes  |  about 6 months ago

TWX (665546) writes "I've been out of computers as a serious home-hobby for many years and in returning I'm aghast at the state of documentation for Open Source projects. The software itself has changed significantly in the last decade, but the documentation has failed to keep pace; most of what I'm finding applies to versions long since passed or were the exact same documents from when I dropped-out of hobbyist computing years ago. Take Lightdm on Ubuntu 14.04 for example- its entire configuration file structure has been revamped, but none of the documentation for more specialized or advanced uses of Lightdm in previous versions of Ubuntu has been updated for this latest release. It's actually harder now to configure some features than it was a decade ago.

TLDP is close to a decade out-of-date, fragmentation between distributions has grown to the point that answers from one distro won't readily apply to another, and web forums for even specific projects are full of questions without answers, or those that head off into completely unrelated discussion, or with snarky, "it's in the documentation, stupid!" responses. Where do you go for your FOSS documentation and self-help?"
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Resources for a new Infrastructure Specialist

TWX TWX writes  |  about 3 years ago

TWX (665546) writes "I've just graduated at my employer from desktop support to network infrastructure support, dealing with everything from smashed telecom receptacles to switch failures and single-mode fiber between campuses. They're interested in purchasing equipment for the job beyond the punch tool, sheetrock saw, and 10/100 Fluke Nettool that we already have. I'm looking for suggestions for tools and equipment, specifically to test gigabit copper and both single and multimode fiber. Anything else special that you think would be useful for an infrastructure technician in an organization with upwards of a hundred sites with hundreds of telecom rooms, a hundred-thousand copper horizontal runs, and miles of fiber would be much appreciated."
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Would you buy a color E ink ebook reader?

TWX TWX writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TWX (665546) writes "Yes!
Maybe, depending on how it looks.
No, I prefer my ebooks LCDish
No, I prefer dead-tree editions
I'm stuck with monochrome, you insensitive clod!"
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Inexpensive wifi/radius for home hobbyists?

TWX TWX writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TWX (665546) writes "I'm looking to get some hands-on experience with Radius and commercial-style Wifi. I'll also soon have an environment where three or four APs will be necessary to cover everywhere, so there's a practical side as well. The trouble is, all of the equipment that I can find is prohibitively expensive, and while I expect to spend something on APs and cabling, I really would like to avoid paying for expensive commercial APs if I can avoid it. I'm looking for consumer-priced solutions, if any exist, and documentation. I know that several consumer APs are marketed as friendly to hobbyists who wish to modify them, so I'm hoping that some project for those APs to make them work with Radius is available..."

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