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Comments

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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

bill_mcgonigle Re:The good doctor was born in 1957 (389 comments)

Lets see what he does in 2032.

Right. Everybody I know cares about saving the planet from global warming until I ask them if they've started taking cold showers. Nobody needs a hot shower - they're actually quite unnatural and bad for your skin too. Yet, I've not once gotten an affirmative answer (stick a RADAR gun on how fast they can change the subject!)

We need to stop ascribing any virtue whatsoever to hypocrites who only want other people to sacrifice (and actually call them out on their ill behavior - it's harmful in aggregate).

13 hours ago
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Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

bill_mcgonigle Re:Nobody's neutral because it''s important (113 comments)

Yeah, and if you ask most people who have an opinion on net-neutrality, "should an ISP with settlement-free peering arrangements be able to give preferential QoS service to their paying customers on congested interfaces?" most of them will have their eyes glaze over and start rambling about censorship or something.

You don't conduct a man-on-the-street interview to understand the energy of the Higg's Field, you build an LHC. Engineering and economics can work around opinion polls and popularity contests, but they sure aren't goverend by them, no matter what anybody wishes were true.

yesterday
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

bill_mcgonigle Re:What the (640 comments)

Fuck

samzenpus

yesterday
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SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

bill_mcgonigle Re: So we just gave all this money (127 comments)

Where is Boeing's reusable, low-cost, kerosene (safe) launch vehicle?

2 days ago
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SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

bill_mcgonigle Re: Any news on the first stage landing tests? (127 comments)

Came here to ask the same. Somebody is patent-troll threatening them from testing landings on a barge offshore which was the sensible thing to do before actual land - for safety, not ease (waves). I'm planning to drive the family down for the first land landing, and it looks like imaginary -property knaves are doing their best to screw up this trip (and retard the progress of science and the useful arts, as usual).

2 days ago
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Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

bill_mcgonigle Re: Thugs on the DC Metro? (175 comments)

Can't tell if real or sarcasm. Well played (or my sympathies) .

2 days ago
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Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

bill_mcgonigle Re: Star Wars (137 comments)

"Hold your fire - there's no life forms aboard."

2 days ago
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TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

bill_mcgonigle Re: "CipherShed" (260 comments)

but in this case the authors were anonymous - they are NOT going to de-cloak to enforce a trademark.

It's probably better for the security of the community at large to carry on calling it TrueCrypt (3.0, clear who the new team is, etc.). Trademarks exist to prevent confusion - in this case, using the same name is the minimally confusing option. The license is unenforceable and securing people's communications is more important to society than the wishes of the retired authors.

Imaginary property ain't real but the risks of electronic adversaries certainly are.

3 days ago
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Amazon Purchases .buy TLD For $4.6 Million

bill_mcgonigle Re: Bestbuy is a dying company (64 comments)

People just look at domains at BestBuy, then purchase them from Amazon.

3 days ago
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The Minecraft Parent

bill_mcgonigle Re:In the woods? (171 comments)

How about trying *actually" being in the woods with your friends?

Right. My kids visited with some family friends, and their kids play Minecraft 3-4 hours a day.

I guess it's entertaining, and they do neat stuff _in_ Minecraft, but it'll all illusory.

When they came home they asked me if we could get Minecraft. I told them, "of course not - go outside and build a treehouse. Get some sunshine while you're at it".

Minecraft is conditioning the factory workers of tomorrow. If we're to build a digidystopia, at least my kids can be running the thing. :/

3 days ago
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U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

bill_mcgonigle Re:confused (348 comments)

it shows that neither know what they are talking about

no kidding - you could make a drinking game about how many elements of this story sound like they're from 2002.

The industry already settled on mp3, sans DRM. The market is not demanding anything Apple is offering.

And Bono can keep on trying to make sure poor African kids can never listen to his music (they'll never pay two days' wages for his post-Zooropa music). It's just sad that he pretends to care otherwise.

3 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

bill_mcgonigle Re:In before... (323 comments)

Can we quibble about the statistical method to use after we've settled the basic cause and effect relationships? Here's the retired TED talk: Religions and Babies.

I think the title is supposed to be provocative but I find it has the opposite effect (two things young men don't want to talk about...) - it's really about assumptions underling the modeling of world population.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

bill_mcgonigle Tech Management (391 comments)

If you have a degree from a top liberal arts school and a working knowledge of the tech, many corps will hire you "to manage the MIT kids" whom they do not trust to get anything done on their own.

5 days ago
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

bill_mcgonigle Re: Translation... (198 comments)

Fascism - aren't you paying attention? Since when is SpaceX selling weaponry - their brand of non-violent commercialism is harmful to the health of the State.

If I were Musk, I'd put up my own space station, if this goes to Boeing. I bet one with rotatational gravity and a zero-G hub is now feasible and commercially desireable. The hub can be arbitrarily long as long as the habitat area is decent for humans, lots of work can get done at the best cost and the zero-G area can be expanded modularly.

about a week ago
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

bill_mcgonigle Re: nananananananana Elon! (198 comments)

without being a fainting Musk fanboi, if I had to choose between him and Obama to manage the country, it's Elon all the way.

Let's just assume that Obama was born in Vancouver, to level the playing field, so precedent isn't really am issue.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

bill_mcgonigle Re:Safe deposit box (268 comments)

you can also do something like:

    zfs set copies=2 backups

to protect against single sector errors (another use I have for $200 10TB drives).

about a week ago
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Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets

bill_mcgonigle Re:What ? That's not biologically possible (106 comments)

Maybe there's a cytokine storm afoot? Occasionally they're worse than the infection.

about a week ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

bill_mcgonigle Re:A solution in search of a problem... (326 comments)

It is a lot like driving with one hand verses two at the ten and two positions. Many people can safely drive with one hand but it is safer to be in the ten and two positions with two hands which is why we need to do it to pass most driving tests.

In theory (one, anyway) 10 and 2 are the best positions, so DMV examiners have been insisting on it.

In reality, it turns out, 9:30 and 3:30 are safer.

In theory, talking on the phone is distracting.

In reality, it's been shown that drivers who are a little bit tired are much safer if they're also talking.

In theory, texing bans will reduce traffic accidents.

In reality, people in those States text below the steering wheel, completely taking their eyes off the road, to avoid cops seeing then, while those in States without such bans tend to text with the phone at the top of the steering wheel, so they can at least keep half an eye on the road. Paradoxically, texting bans are deadly.

Tibbit's "solutions" work in theory, but reality is far more messy. To assume otherwise is hubristic.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Killing Off Its Free P2P Money-Transfer Service WebPay On October 13

bill_mcgonigle Re:And.... (34 comments)

I hadn't heard of it, and I have been an Amazon Prime member for a few years...

Same here, which means they never advertised it on their own site, which means they didn't want it to succeed for some reason.

Lord knows they've have no problem advertising the Fire Phone or various Kindles over the years.

about two weeks ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

bill_mcgonigle Re:define "customer" (290 comments)

"Describes the rules you agree to when using our services." Most sites have something like this, and they all start out with "By using this site you agree to..."

And they're all bullshit, like any one-party contract. There has to be an offer, consideration, and acceptance at a minimum.

An "I agree" button _might_ be enough to make that legal, but if somebody has never read those terms they are certainly not bound by them. Google could very easily make somebody sign in to use their service, but they choose to make it completely open instead.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Snowden NSA Claims Partially Confirmed

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year ago

bill_mcgonigle (4333) writes "Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D NY) disclosed that NSA analysts eavesdrop on Americans' domestic telephone calls without court orders during a House Judiciary hearing. After clearing with FBI director Robert Mueller that the information was not classified, Nadler revealed that during a closed-door briefing to Congress, the Legislature was informed that the spying organization had implemented and uses this capability. This appears to confirm Edward Snowden's claim that he could, in his position at the NSA, "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president." Declan McCullagh writes, "Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval." The executive branch has defended its general warrants, claiming that "the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without [constitutional] warrants", while Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney at EFF claims such government activity "epitomizes the problem of secret laws.""
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World's First Bitcoin ATM

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client, held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner, fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, and got back a confirmation QR code on its display (which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL). The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."
Link to Original Source
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Intel to Attempt A-la-carte Television over Internet

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Updating the previous story, Forbes and Gigaom are now reporting that Intel is running an internal startup aimed at offering a Internet-connected set top box with a-la-carte 'cable' channel subscriptions. They also apparently plan to record everything and offer all content on-demand. While some are skeptical that content providers will give up their cable cash cow, perhaps the economic effects of cord-cutters are finally making this business model viable."
Link to Original Source
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Amazon Data Center Outage Takes Out Netflix & Others

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Many families sat down this evening to watch a Christmas Eve tale on their favorite streaming service to find a Grinch in their cloud computing service as both Netflix and Amazon Video services were unavailable (with error messages saying that their Internet connection was bad). It turns out that Amazon's East Coast data center is having yet another outage, causing a loss of service on several platforms. Other AWS-based sites are affected as well."
Link to Original Source
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Capitalists Who Fear Change

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "In his essay, Capitalists Who Fear Change, author Jeffrey Tucker takes on "wimps who don’t want to improve." From DMCA take-downs on 3D printing files to the constant refrain that every new form of music recording will "kill music", Mr. Tucker observes: "Through our long history of improvement, every upgrade and every shift from old to new inspired panic. The biggest panic typically comes from the producers themselves who resent the way the market process destabilizes their business model" and analyzes how the markets move the march of technology ever forward. He takes on patents, copyrights, tariffs, and protectionism of entrenched interests in general, with guarded optimism: "The promise of the future is nothing short of spectacular — provided that those who lack the imagination to see the potential here don’t get their way.""
Link to Original Source
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NASA Laptop Stolen With Space Station Command Codes

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "A year ago, NASA had an unencrypted laptop stolen, containing "algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station," according to NASA’s inspector general, Paul K. Martin. Also stolen were devices with "Social Security numbers and sensitive data on NASA’s Constellation and Orion programs." Since then, NASA has encrypted 1% of its mobile devices. Martin tells Congress, "Until NASA fully implements an Agency-wide data encryption solution, sensitive data on its mobile computing and portable data storage devices will remain at high risk for loss or theft.""
Link to Original Source
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Deterministic Multithreading Solves Race Condition

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Researchers at Columbia Engineering School have developed PEREGRINE, a system that promises to improve the reliability and security of multi-threaded programs by addressing what they claim is the root cause of data race conditions in multi-threaded programs: non-determinism. Peregrine works with existing languages and "can make threads deterministic in an efficient and stable way. Peregrine can compute a plan for allowing when and where a thread can 'change lanes' and can then place barriers between the lanes, allowing threads to change lanes only at fixed locations, following a fixed order. This prevents the random collisions that can occur in a nondeterministic system.""
Link to Original Source
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Cause of Redbox Price Increase? - Congress

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Following up on the previous story story about the Redbox price increases, Redbox's third-quarter earnings announcement ends the speculation. Redbox explains, "The change is primarily due to the increase in operating expenses, including the recent increase in debit card interchange fees as a result of the Durbin Amendment." The Durbin Amendment creates a 'debit interchange fee floor', which increases costs on small transactions made with debit cards — estimated to be an additional ten cents per Redbox transaction."
Link to Original Source
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Netflix dumps Qwikster, keeps DVD service on netfl

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "In a sudden fit of sanity, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has announced that Netflix will not be splitting its DVD service into a separate website.

He writes, "It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs. This means no change: one website, one account, one password in other words, no Qwikster." He forgot, "one queue, one recommendation engine preference set."

Netflix had previously detailed plans to split its DVD-by-mail business into a separate business, Qwikster."

Link to Original Source
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Wired Releases Full Manning/Lamo Chat Logs

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "After more than a year, Wired has finally released the (nearly) full chat logs between Adrian Lamo and Bradley Manning. Glen Greenwald provides analysis of what Wired previously left out. Greenwald writes:

Lamo lied to and manipulated Manning by promising him the legal protections of a journalist-source and priest-penitent relationship, and independently assured him that their discussions were "never to be published" and were not "for print." Knowing this, Wired hid from the public this part of their exchange, published the chat in violation of Lamo's clear not-for-publication pledges, allowed Lamo to be quoted repeatedly in the media over the next year as some sort of credible and trustworthy source driving reporting on the Manning case

. Slashdot has previously covered the controversy (here, and here.)"
Link to Original Source

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Controversy over Zappos Advertising with the TSA

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "A blog post from Amazon's Zappos unit talking about its advertising on TSA collection trays has recently caught the attention of TSA critics and its customers. Zappos writes, "Since the airports that have the sponsored security bins don't have to put the money/time/energy into those efforts anymore, TSA can spend the money hiring/training more agents." Do customers really make a connection between Zappos's advertising and reduced wait times for security screenings, or is this an example of hamfisted marketing to a privacy-conscious online customer base?"
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Idle Friends Purge

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I'm removing non-fan friends who haven't posted in two years since I'm at my limit and I use friends to game the scoring system to see more interesting posts.

Any of you who have been discontinued - send me a note if you start posting again and I'd be happy to re-friend you.

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iPod Shuffle Clone Shown at CeBit

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 9 years ago

An outfit out of Taiwan, Luxpro, has introduced a digital music player, the Super Shuffle, that's a no-tradedress-barred physical clone of the iPod Shuffle. Available in .5 and 1GB models, it lacks AAC but adds WMA, FM Radio, and Voice Recording. Playlist has the story.

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Atlantic Mega-Tusnami to Hit North America

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 9 years ago Scientists at the Benfield Hazard Research Center have determined that a Mega-tsunami will hit the coast of North America when the Cumbre Vieja Volcano and part of the Island of La Palma in the Canary Islands collapse into the sea. The wave hitting North America will be up to 50 meters (164 feet) high and surge up to 20km (12.4 miles) inland while Brazil will see 40 meter waves with up to 100 meter waves on the West Saharan shore (ILM Rendition). Insurance losses are estimated to be in the multi-trillions, yet the landslide has been completely unmonitored since 1997. The BBC has an FAQ on the Mega-tsunami.

[edit: rejected by Slashdot 2004-12-28 17:22:50]

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Massive Solar Flare Headed Straight For Earth

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 10 years ago

At 1110 UT this morning, the third largest solar flare on record erupted from the Sun, sending a coronal mass ejection directly towards Earth at 5 Million MPH (picture, animation), and starting a solar radiation storm. We may see bright auroral activity tonight. Passengers on high-altitude airplane flights may receive chest-x-ray-level dosages of radiation.

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You're In A Political Party's Database

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The Democratic and Republican parties have 158 and 165 Million voters in their databases, "DataMart" and "Voter Vault", respectively. They track how you vote, what issues you're concerned about, demographics about your home and family, and who you associate with. From it they mount door-to-door, telemarketing, spam, and junk mail campaigns offering customized versions of the political party to appeal to your passions, while avoiding issues that might offend you.

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W32.Blaster linked to Blackout

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about 11 years ago The first of the problems that eventually cascaded into the blackout began at 1 p.m on August 14th. "The inability of critical control data to be exchanged quickly across the grid could have hampered the operators' ability to prevent the cascading effect of the blackout," said Gary Seifert, of DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. "It didn't affect the [control] systems internally, but it most certainly affected the timeliness of the data they were receiving from other networks. A former Bush administration adviser who has consulted with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the power grid issue said the Blaster worm also hampered the ability of utilities in the New York region to restore power in a more timely manner because some of those companies were running Windows-based control systems with Port 135 open. The control systems ... are often based on Windows 2000 or XP operating systems and rely on commercial data links, including the Internet and wireless systems, for exchanging information.

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