Police Say No Foul Play In Death of Bitcoin Exchange CEO Autumn Radtke
I was waiting for someone to post that. However, I am going to offer another view on Todd's death. Todd made a lot of claims that he was being forced to work on a project that was willingly dangerous to US national security. An official inquest found that Todd committed suicide and the US embassy in Singapore called the inquest "comprehensive, fair and transparent". I'd like to suggest that things are what they seem - Todd had psychological issues and he killed himself. I get that his family cannot accept this, but that in and of itself does not mean it's not true.
I've been to Singapore several times and while I like it a lot, it's not for everybody. If you're not rich, it can be oppressively hot and humid ("normal" people there don't have central air conditioning - usually just ceiling fans) and some people aren't really able to deal with that very well. As a white person you will very visibly be a minority there and while that doesn't bother me in the slightest and I have never been mistreated, some people may have problems with that. Singapore is very Asian as it should be given its location and ethnic makeup. It's not like living in a slice of the USA near Malaysia. Also, knowing Singapore and how it works, I do find it unlikely that a Singapore business would willingly be working on a project of immense benefit to China and one that would put the US security interests at risk. I just don't see it. I know it's not what his family and friends want to hear, but it seems a lot more likely to me that he had serious mental problems and delusions of grandeur (ie. overinflating the value of his work) that led to him committing suicide than him being a victim of a plot against the US government.
Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots
You can win with morons. If you don't debunk the whole autism thing, parents won't get their kids vaccinated. If you do debunk it, they decide that they can't trust the scientists and they don't get their kids vaccinated. Does any other developed country have to deal with this kind of idiocy or is it unique to the USA?
Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain
I'm curious - what exactly does "computer-directed flight control" mean for a plane from 1939?
MtGox Files For Bankruptcy Protection
And as soon as someone dares to sell oil for anything but USDs, it will become obvious.
The irony about it all is that
Do tell - what exactly is stopping them?
There are at least a few oil producers who are completely opposed to the USA, some of whom are so blinded by ideology that they would cut off their nose to spite their face to damage the US. What exactly is stopping one of them from demanding Euros, for example, for oil? I'm pretty sure China would pay in any currency imaginable in exchange for discounts in price. Iran has actually been paid in Euros since 2003 for most of its oil exports, yet that has hardly had a chilling effect on the dollar.
To me this is just like the gold standard nut jobs. If the gold standard is so good then why do zero counties use it? Yet the Paul-ites in the USA insist that the gold standard solves all ills, yet not one nation on the planet has chosen to use it.
Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?
If you agree to a pay cut, then you do so with the complete and full understanding that it will be very difficult to make that up down the road. You will almost certainly have to leave the new company to go to yet another job to make up for the salary you are giving up. And note that there are no guarantees that you will be able to find another job that will pay you more, especially if you don't live in a large metro area. If you really think that you must take the other job, hold out for the same money. Refuse to take a pay cut and stick to it. If you are good then they will pay it. I can tell you from personal experience that salary offers are a game to HR and they like to lie about what they can pay because HR people are either sociopaths or they get their own pay based on how much they can screw you out of by talking you down to a lower offer. The odds are pretty high that this new company can match your current pay, but they always like to play the "We're a poor, young start up who can't compete on salary" card because guys like you fall for it.
I work for a company that was a successful start up that got bought out by a Fortune 500 company. I have no problems working for The Man. But a lot of my co-workers just could not take working for a big company and they left. One of the problems I have seen with them is that they tend to romanticize everything about their start up days and their egos are gigantic as a result of being part of a successful start up, so I have seen them leave for various other start ups that - wait for it - failed. Stun. Shock. Disbelief. Are you really comfortable that this new company is going to be around in a year? I saw a handful of co-workers all leave to go to the same start up within a short period of time and they all got laid off within at most 2 months of leaving us. I agree with what another poster says in warning you that you are likely to be on call all the time in this new job and have your stress level go up. Yeah, sure, it sounds great, but think about what could go wrong because I promise you the odds are higher that this new company will fail than it will succeed. Small companies are notorious for their pie in the sky promises that don't come true. On a different job some years ago, I had a couple of co-workers who left before the big Internet stock bubble hit and they passed up maybe $30,000 in stock options that they never got because they left. Their new job promised them shares in the company and they did really get them, but when the company got sold they got somewhere between $2000 and $5000. Everybody thought that they were going to get a lot more than that who got the shares, but that's what happened. I never had the heart to tell them how much they passed up by leaving.
Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
Sounds like much we already knew or suspected. I'm more interested in why some people keep trying to show us what an awful character Assange is, instead of focussing on what he has done. Love him and Wikileaks or hate them; the latter seems a lot more relevant.
Probably because like here, the people who support him make a ton of noise about how he is just a saint who has been vilified by a vengeful US government and those who say "Hmm... maybe he's not a good guy after all" tend to get drowned out. Bradley Manning might have an interesting take on whether his friendship with Assange was worth it in the end. And as to a certain extent he's arguably a criminal avoiding justice, it does tend to cast a negative light over everything he does. My biggest questions are things like "Why do you only seem to publish things that put the US in a bad light? Where are the secrets from places like Russia and China, where we know corruption is the norm?" Suppose he was given information about how top Chinese Communist Party officials secretly own various businesses and profit extraordinarily from them while they keep wages down for their employees and he chose not to publish it. Would those of you who defend him still do so? How do we really know that he's not selectively releasing the information he gets to suit some ulterior motive that most supporters wouldn't like?
Ask Slashdot: Is Crowd Funding the Future of Sci-Fi?
Crowdfunding is not the future of Sci Fi, well unless you have infinite amounts of patience it's not. One of the things I have learned is that people will pay for Star Trek. Sometimes they'll pay for other things. Sometimes they won't. DC Fontana and some others tried to raise $600,000 for a new 4 episode Sci Fi series that had nothing to do with Trek but did involve a few Trek actors and they didn't even come close to getting the money necessary. Tim Russ, who played Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager, raised over $200,000 late in 2012 to do a one shot Star Trek web episode that he hopes (no guarantees though, he admits) will inspire CBS to pick it up and pay for an ongoing series. It should come out sometime this year, I think, but we're still waiting. Star Trek Continues, referenced above, has a whopping two episodes and 3 shorts available. Probably the best of the financed Trek series, Star Trek Phase II, has produced only 8 episodes (and 2 or 3 shorts I think) in 10 years. Fan financed productions are certainly better than nothing, but given the slowness with which even the best operate and the always possible chance of donor fatigue and unwillingness to support expensive projects, I don't really see fan financing as an option.
House Committee Approves Bill Banning In-Flight Phone Calls
They're so concerned about people making calls, yet they've had airline phones for years.
When's the last time you've flown? Because while at one time they did have such phones, I haven't seen one in years and I do fly at least once a year, sometimes internationally. Surely you do know that when you have pay airline prices to use their phones, when they were available, no person in coach was going to talk more than a few minutes due to the cost.
New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom
You're correct but it's not obvious that the law will actually be applied in this case. Clearly,
the NZ and US both really, REALLY want to crucify Dot Com and are willing to break
the law, cheat, lie, steal, defraud and everything else in order to do it.
As an American, I can tell you that US definitely wants to get him as it's what our overlords in Hollywood (including the RIAA) want. It's really difficult for me to see why NZ would care much at all, but I can understand that the US might use pressure to make them care. However, I have to agree with what another poster said in saying that NZ might be deliberately screwing up as a way to (secretly) protest being goaded into action by the US.
Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record
That's really only half true. Informed buyers know that a slow charge time (16 hours or so for the Leaf if I recall) is annoying and unusable.
I disagree. I lease a Leaf and I love the car. I fully admit it's not for everybody but I needed a 2nd car that I could use as a daily driver (I live approx. 20 miles from work) and my work commute stays well within the expected range (75 miles and up depending on your sources - Nissan says it will do 85 miles on a charge if the weather is not unreasonably hot or cold). I have no big need for quick charging and am quite content with standard trickle charging from a 110 outlet overnight. I have a gasoline burning car that I can use anytime I want, it just doesn't get great gas mileage in the city. I do a lot of stop and go driving to work, so it's expensive to drive my gasoline car to the office. More range in the car would be great as I could take it to visit family members who don't live very close to me, but I love the car. I've talked to others who also have one and I can't tell you how cool it is to pass by convenience stores and gasoline stations and know that you don't have to stop for gasoline. It's not practical as an only car unless you simply do not ever need to go beyond the charge range, but as an additional car it can meet a lot of people's needs.
Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion
like so many other articles, this just seems like another reminder to never ever use godaddy
Huh. The conclusion I came to is "NEVER use Twitter". I've deliberately refused to join it and that just reinforced why I refuse to do so. I can't be targeted for my Twitter handle if I don't use the service. GoDaddy has its problems for sure (and I admit to being a customer at present) but I'm not totally convinced that no other registrar wouldn't have done the same thing.
Bitcoin Exchange CEO Charlie Shrem Arrested On Money Laundering Charge
It's a competing currency. The marketplace says "we have no faith in your dollars." Government says "so?" The marketplace says "we will replace the dollar." Government says "no."
I just wonder how it took so long.
There are a finite number of bit coins. You can only get more by getting them from other people. Let me guess - you're one of those gold standard people too, right? The dollar is in no danger of being replaced by bitcoin, as if such could ever happen. Shrem seems to have believed that he could act as an intermediary for transactions that he knew were in violation of US law and not be held responsible. He can test that assertion in a court of law. When bitcoin exchanges that don't have ties to Silk Road start get closed down on trumped up charges you might have a point, but right now your "evil government took them down because it feared them" hypothesis isn't strong.
Edward Snowden Says NSA Engages In Industrial Espionage
The spying, if it is actually happening, may not necessarily be for the benefit of American industry. German companies have been known to have secret deals through intermediaries to sell banned technology to countries that their own government does not legally allow them to sell directly to because of international sanctions. Anybody here watch the American TV series "Breaking Bad"? It featured a crystal meth drug empire that used a German conglomerate to provide the equipment necessary to run the secret lab used for much of the series. There is some chance that basically the NSA just wants to know if Siemens is selling things in violation of UN rules to countries like Iran and North Korea.
Facebook's Biggest Bounty Yet To Hacker Who Found "Keys To the Kingdom"
You're comparing apples and oranges by suggesting that all paid jobs are equivalent. First of all, I have no idea what the workers on those jobs were paid and I suspect neither do you. So you may have no way to know if the pay was average, above average, or less than average. Since the Hoover Dam was constructed in the middle of the depression, I suspect that the pay was good only in relative terms as getting paid for any job beat getting nothing to not work. 11 people died in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. As best I can tell, as much as could be done for safety was done. Only 5 people died in building the Empire State Building. But 112 people died in building the Hoover Dam. Does that fit the bill of "considering the welfare of their employees sacrosanct"? I'm not thinking that it does. I've come to the conclusion that even with the absolute best practices, it is impossible to write any sizable code that can not be exploited, and the bigger the project, the more likely it can be exploited. You are right that Facebook does indeed try to be cheap in some ways with regards to employees (Zuckerberg is a very loud voice in the "We can't function without more H1-B visa employees!" argument) but the problem is that when you are a big website, some guy with time on his hands may try to crack your security for giggles. It's kind of like having a dozen people every day trying to take down and destroy the Golden Gate Bridge than what you imply, which is that Facebook is just too cheap and maybe too stupid to write good code.
Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse
I've been many times to Ukraine, although the last time I went there was 8 years ago and I have no reason to return any time soon. I was actually in the country, by blind chance, during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and had a chance to see it first hand and talk to various Ukrainians at the time. Everybody knew the election results were crooked, even those who liked the original outcome, and the result was that when the army refused to intervene and the police decided to stay out too and the Ukrainian Supreme Court demanded another election, Viktor Yushchenko won.
Yushchenko was a friend of the West (EU and USA) and while as best I can tell he had served competently as Prime Minister in the past, he was as incompetent a man as could ever be put into the presidency. His incompetency led to Yulia Tymoshenko (the Sarah Palin of Ukraine) exploiting the situation and trying to grab power legally via the office of Prime Minister. Under enormous pressure and horrible circumstances she negotiated a truly horrible long term deal with Russia to pay historically high prices for natural gas. This deal quickly haunted Ukraine as natural gas market prices fell far below what Ukraine was now legally obligated to pay their "friends" in Russia. This deal has had a very large and very negative impact on the Ukrainian economy as they can't live without the natural gas and are still obligated to pay prices far above current market prices to Mother Russia for it.
Yushchenko made some feeble attempts to implement true reform and start cracking down on corruption, but when faced with opposition he quickly gave up and nothing really changed. Tymoshenko refused to cooperate with him, trying to position herself for a future run for president. The Sarah Palin link is pretty accurate with the exception that Palin probably knows on some level that she can't ever be president (too polarizing and even a majority of her own party don't back or respect her), Tymoshenko's ego refused to allow her to cooperate with Yushchenko, so they became bitter enemies and in fact Yushchenko was forced at one time to get his mortal electoral enemy, Viktor Yanukovych (the current president and loser of the 2004 re-vote), to serve as Prime Minister as working with him seemed better than working with the self-serving Tymoshenko.
Yushchenko ran for a 2nd term and since he and Tymoshenko hated each other so much, they split the anti-Yanukovych vote with Tymoshenko coming out on the better end of that split. The country is roughly half pro-Russian thanks to the Krushchev era decision to enlarge the Ukrainian SSR with what had always been Russian speaking and ethnically Russian lands. The half of the country that considers itself Ukrainian is pro-EU and very anti-Russia, remembering well how poorly Ukrainians were treated in the USSR days (even today most Russians think of them as being something like country bumpkins or rednecks). The country is roughly split 50-50 along those lines, so when the pro-EU side has no unified candidate (Yushchenko and Tymoshenko hated each other so much that neither would give up a run for the presidency to consolidate behind the other), the pro-Russia side wins. Yanukovych is fairly smart and devious but he fails to realize that the pro-EU half of Ukraine still has no unified candidate to oppose him (there are currently roughly 3 candidates splitting support), so while half the country hates him, they can't get enough votes to defeat him in the next presidential election (2015 I think). Unfortunately Yanukovych is an old school, Soviet era politician and he remembers the failure of the 2004 cheating to give him the handoff victory he expected (he was the handpicked choice of the outgoing president), so he is going to change the game where the opposition simply cannot legally mount the kind of protests they need to get rid of him. Since the various self-serving members of the pro-EU side refuse to unite behind a single candidate, the pro-EU opposition remains hopelessly split and unable to effect change. Tymoshenko, although rotting in jail, refuses to give up her dream of being president one day, so the egos of the opposition party leaders all have them wanting everybody else to give up and support them, with nobody being willing to do so.
What amazes me, and I have no explanation for it, is that it seems that the Ukrainian military and police are now firmly in the pro-Russia camp after 10 years ago being extremely pro-EU and pro-West. If anything I would have expected the younger generation to be more anti-Russia as the older guys knew very well that they can't trust Russia, but somehow it seems that those in power are the pro-Russia forces. At this point the only thing that could stabilize the country is for the army to enact a coup and force new elections with Yanukoych being imprisoned on some kind of charges, but they seem completely disinterested. So far they haven't been willing to crack heads, but if you read about the Ukrainian army being mobilized to put down the protesters, then I can promise you that the opposition is finished in Ukraine and Ukraine will continue to be run by the pro-Russia forces for decades to come.
Hacker Says He Could Access 70,000 Healthcare.Gov Records In 4 Minutes
I get between a few hundred and a few thousand USD for any given contract, and my clients actually expect their software to work. How does one go about getting this much money for a steaming pile of shit?
My first job out of college was working for the Department of Defense as a civilian programmer (I worked for a specific branch of the US military, but I'd prefer not to name it). I can tell you based on what I saw that the answer to your question is "Get a contract awarded to you." My first job was that I was hired to work with a small team trying to finish up a salvage operation on some old IBM hardware that the contractor never completed the project on. We were finishing up making it work after the contractor gave up and gave us the computers. I can't say this with 100% absolute certainty, but the senior guy on the project insisted that the contract got fully paid and the vendor never was sued for giving up on the project without meeting what the project called for. He said they just turned over the computers and the source code for as far as they had gotten and called it a day with Uncle Sam just shrugging his shoulders about it. I learned while working there that literally anything can be justified if it's on a contract. No cost is so high that it can't be justified if it's on a contract between the DoD and a private company. The right wingers unfortunately help to waste US taxpayer money here by insisting that everything there is can be done "cheaper" (ha ha ha) by any private company. Almost all of my DoD career was spent working on various projects where the government reclaimed them from a contractor (sometimes after completion, sometimes when the contractor just gave up on it) and everything was significantly cheaper for us once we took over the projects. So what happens is that unscrupulous vendors bid cheaply on contracts they can't be sure that they can actually complete because they're rarely sued and they can usually get fully paid or close to it for any half-way attempt they make on the project. Nobody on the right ever questions the wisdom of this process because it is "saving money".
HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8
It's been about 8-9 years since I last bought a PC in a store rather than built my own, and the one I bought was HP. Why? They used really good quality parts. And the crapware they put on wasn't any worse than anybody else's, at least back then. Plus they used standard parts which was great, because it meant that you could buy off the shelf stuff to upgrade the PC and it would work instead of being locked into that evil world of having to buy parts only from the manufacturer because they used customized parts and connectors everywhere.
Maybe you don't remember, but Vista was such a turd that all the major PC manufacturers started selling XP boxes as an option instead of Vista, well after Vista had been planned to be the only option available. HP and other manufacturers forced Microsoft to grudgingly support this at the time. So yeah, most of us have seen this movie before.
Lots of industry insiders say that the vast majority of Microsoft's revenue comes from Office and Windows and that both are in an inevitable decline and will shrink every year. Microsoft spent years in reaction mode, watching where the industry went and getting to the party late, claiming that they were always there, they were, uh, just in the back talking to somebody else, but yeah, there were at the party since it started, sure. It worked well for them as they just hopped on the bandwagon on most trends and let somebody else take the risk to see if anybody wanted it before they committed to it, but that proved to be a failure when mobile devices succeeded and their puny attempts to enter the markets failed. Even when they finally got on the tablet bandwagon, their original price point was absurd and nobody would pay it. In the past, just like Intel, they've just rolled the dice without any real thought to whether what they were doing made sense or not, as it was easier to just throw money at the mistakes and move on than to think carefully about whether they should be doing what they were doing. PCs last years and only gamers have a compelling reason to upgrade every 1-2 years. So now people are keeping old PCs because they still work and asking "Why do I need to pay $150 (or whatever) for a new version of Windows?". Microsoft depended on PCs being eclipsed every few years to the point that users felt compelled to upgrade and that hasn't been the case for years, so the reason to get a new version of Windows vanished with it. And when that new version of Windows sucks as bad as Win 8 does, nobody is going to want it. A surprising number of people are finding that things like iPads and Chromebooks meet their simplistic "computing" needs very well and they don't really need to buy a new PC and pay for Win 8 just to send email and watch YouTube.
AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer
Which is why you need the two magic phrases: "Am I free to go?", "I want a lawyer".
Seriously, hours of a moron trying to "verbal" a confession out of someone when he had the whole and entire evidence in his possession. This is a perfect example, you are never helping yourself by cooperating with this crap.
Am I free to go? [No.] I want a lawyer.
This sounds great. And maybe for some people it is. Do you have a lawyer on retainer? Then by all means, this is for you. I'm pretty sure that Joe Average Citizen does not have his own personal lawyer available at a quick call. So what happens then? Do they just assign some random lawyer to you from the public defender's office? In that case you might be better off trying to be your own lawyer. Suppose they just give you a phone and say "OK, find a lawyer to call"? Who do you call when you've never had to do that before? Yes, this sounds great, but the odds of some average guy getting Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad reference, for those who don't know) to magically fall out of the sky to defend him seem pretty remote to me.
IBM Dumping $1 Billion Into New Watson Group
IBM is spending a billion dollars on AI. That's serious. IBM usually succeeds at making what they set out to make.
In the past, that was true because IBM had some genius leadership at the top in the past. I do not believe that to be true today. The current management at IBM has one goal - to keep their stock price high. As a result, they continually gut first world employees and reports are that they are saving management jobs as they send people in the trenches home with a severance package. I worked for a company on a previous job that tried this approach and it was not successful. IBM seems to be a pretty employee hostile place to work in places like the USA and it's hard for me to believe that this bet is going to pay off, but we shall see.
China: The Next Space Superpower
The United States is going more and more decrepit. I for one am glad there's Russian, European and Chinese alternatives to fall back onto if the GPS system becomes useless for one reason or another.
Yes because we all know that neither the Russians nor the Chinese would ever under any circumstances manipulate such alternatives that they controlled if it suited their whims to do so and only the "evil" US would ever do such a terrible thing. Right....
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