anorlunda (311253) writes "Facebook annoys me (and millions of others I'm sure). In order to see pictures and news of family and friends, I have to be exposed to all their "likes" and "shares" and now plain ads. Facebook won't let me filter those things categorically.
The stage seems ripe for a third party client that will access my Facebook account, but that caters to my wishes about what I don't want to see. There must be thousands before me who had the same idea, yet I find no trace of discussions on this topic on Slashdot.
Of course Facebook will hate this idea but that hasn't stopped third party apps in many analogous cases. How does Facebook prevent third party clients or third party apps? How do they suppress even discussion of the topic?" top
anorlunda (311253) writes "The NYT has a story called, "Wind Turbine Projects Run Into Resistance." It tells about military opposition to wind farm projects; especially in the Mohave Desert of California. Apparently, the spinning blades interfere with radar, both military radar and weather radar.
They go on to say, "The military says that the thousands of existing turbines in the gusty Tehachapi Mountains, to the west of the R-2508 military complex in the Mojave Desert, have already limited its abilities to test airborne radar used for target detection in F/A-18s and other aircraft."
Now there's a road map to a modern air defense system. Just put wind farms around your most important targets and the US military will be hindered in attacking you by air." Link to Original Source top
Namely, it says Population delta + per capita GDP delta + Intensity delta = Emissions delta
An interesting side point is that the current world-wide recession causing big negative GDP growths will have a huge inadvertent impact on emissions.
Most important, the equation makes clear that if we continue to allow population to grow, and if we are committed to elimination of poverty, and ending the recession, then population and GDP growth inevitably overwhelm any gains we can make in intensity (i.e. energy consumption and efficiency). There is no scenario in which technology can outrace population x GDP.
Despite that, it seems that 100% of the debate hot air on climate change is over intensity. We are barking up the wrong tree! Assuming that we remain committed to elimination of poverty, the only way that we can beat the climate change problem is to reduce population. Efficient light bulbs be damned; how are we going to reduce global population?
Here's some figures from the report (in percent per year.) ... Population delta + per capita GDP delta + Intensity delta = Emissions delta ... global: +1.4 +1.7 -1.6 = +1.6 ... USA: +1.2 +1.8 -1.9 = +1.0 ... China +0.9 +9.1 -4.9 = + 4.8 ... EU-27 +0.3 +1.8 -2.4 = -0.4 ... Russian Fed -0.2 -0.4 -2.0 = -2.7" top
anorlunda writes "The NYT reported today that "Power Failures Outrage South Africa" The crux of the story is that politicians in South Africa screwed up by delaying approval of needed new power plants and failed to deliver on alternatives. They were warned in 1998 that this would lead to shortages in 2007, but they ignored it. Now, South Africans are subject to daily rolling blackouts. It may take as long as five years to repair the problem. By then, the South African economy will be completely trashed.
Could a similar problem happen in the USA? Sure; in fact it already did to some extent. The 2000 power crisis in California was primarily caused by flaws in the 1996 law that allowed predators like ENRON to run wild. It resulted in rolling blackouts reputed to cost the California economy $1 billion per day. Fortunately, the USA still regulates power on the state level, so political mistakes are likely to affect only one state or one region at a time; not the whole country.
Power reliability engineering is a subject so crushingly boring that it can bring tears just to read about it. The reliability councils tell us how much reserve generating margin of what type we need in which locations to maintain reliability. That it is something that is highly likely to be overridden by politics.
The sad news is that energy plans must be so conservative that we refuse to let go with one hand until the other hand has a firm grip on the rock face. We need to plan to build both the dirty (but proven and doable) conventional plants and renewable plants. To the extent that the renewable plants actually get built and actually produce, the conventional plants can lay idle or just sit around for possible backup use or their construction plans can be canceled. We must not the country hostage by canceling conventional plans for keeping up with electric demand while hoping for newer and cleaner alternatives to take their place.
If we screw up the reliability engineering in our rush to stop polluting, then we risk the same fate as South Africa. The consequences could make the great depression seem like a picnic." top
anorlunda writes "I'm retired and all my money is in an IRA account at TD Waterhouse. I access it online the only way I can, via public WiFi hotspots. Naturally, I'm very concerned about security. If someone hijacked my account I'm dead broke.
The TD Waterhouse home page has fields for logging in. However, IE6 does not show the SSL icon for the page on the status line. Firefox shows neither the SSL icon nor the signer's name on the status bar. However, near the login fields there is a padlock icon.
TD Waterhouse has a second page specifically for, client login, and that page shows the SSL icon and the signer's name in the Firefox status bar, as it should.
TD Waterhouse should be a trusted source, so I emailed them this question and got the following reply.
Information entered on http://www.tdameritrade.com/welcome2.html in the sign-in box is transmitted through a secure server. Please notice the lock on the "Log on" button. This segment of the page is secure.
Client Support, TD AMERITRADE
Division of TD AMERITRADE, Inc.
Should I believe them? He seems to claim that a segment of a page can be secure even if the page itself is not secure.
My instinct tells me to ignore any text or graphics in a web page's content that claims that it is secure, and to believe only my browser (if anything). After all, any old scam artist could put a padlock icon on his web page." top
anorlunda writes "This is pure speculation. I notice that experts seem to be increasingly concerned with zombie PCs on the web and all the damage that they can do. There will come a day when an injured party sues the zombie's host ISP claiming negligence. A natural reaction to that could be for the ISPs to insist that their PC customers use the most hacker resistant, yet ubiquitous OS around — namely Vista.
I can hear the screams of anger now from millions of users who don't want to switch. On the other hand, few or none of them would stop using the net or even switch ISPs. Most would probably grumble, then switch to Vista. Hardware and third party software vendors and congressmen would back the ISPs because it would trigger the biggest mass upgrade since Y2K and create a surge of thousands of jobs.
The security debate to be acted out before congressional committees would be entertaining. We would pit the antimonoculturalists on one side versus the ban-those-Win95-skeletons proponents on the other side. It would also make the perfect opportunity to advocate the mobile browser plus net apps as the non-PC alternative architecture.
Could a major ISP successfully refuse Mac and Linux customers? I see no legal impediment. They can argue security and simplfied support as their motives. Once again, most aggrieved Mac and Linux customers would scream, but they would rather switch than go back to dial-up. Therefore, relatively few customers would actually defect.
I hate bringing up such an ugly speculation. I can see the flames coming my way now. But, the simplicity and rationality of a Vista-only future from the point of view of the ISPs and others seems too powerful to ignore. Perhaps the question should be, what would stop it from happening?"