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India Attempts To Derail ACTA

cenc Re:Yep. Yer boned. (162 comments)

Yea, I don't buy that political bs distinction. It is a completely none-derogatory and officially used term used throughout Indian / Native America / guys that got here first groups.

I know certain political groups would like to make "Indian" the "n" word, but it is not. Now, asserting that I am somehow less of a "native" than someone's else, even though my family has lived in the Americas for the last 350+ years is offensive. If that is the case, then strictly speaking there is no such thing as a "native" American.

But, not really too interested in getting in to that discussion at the moment.

more than 4 years ago

India Attempts To Derail ACTA

cenc Re:Yep. Yer boned. (162 comments)

Yea, you are going to want to spend some time digging through all the supreme court rulings in that last 40 years or so regards Indian treaties. Granted, the Indian treaties are a very different legal animal from say treatise over copyrights with other countries, but treatise do in fact carry more weight than the constitution in at least very important cases.

If you are not up for the time to do that here is the basic legal theory upheld by the supreme court on the subject (and I am sure there are better ways of putting it):

The territory that the U.S. occupies was found by recognition of a set of treaties that in many cases predate the territorial space of the United States. Thus, the existence and enforceability of those treaties makes everything else contained in the constitution possible. The most important of which is the territorial definition of the U.S., along with lots of nice things like mining rights, water rights, hunting rights, and so on.

For example, this is why Indians have casinos and the individual States in most cases can not really do a whole lot about it. Essentially, most of the United States is under some sort of lease to another government, and if you ignore those "rental" agreements the whole legal mess called the U.S. starts falling apart. Even when the U.S. breaks those treatises, they still have to pay up in court for the damages. One that comes to mind would be things like the Black Hills land claim at the moment. There are hundreds if not thousands of other rulings, and why the U.S. government tends to get its rear eventually handed to them in a court room over breaking those treatise sooner or later.

more than 4 years ago

New Estimate Suggests 5.5M Species On Earth, Not 30-100M

cenc Not getting there methods (256 comments)

Let me see if I understand their methods. If we take some sort of statistical sample with trees common to the deserts in Africa (let's say two Beatles named Ringo and Paul live in all of them), we can also determine the number of species on Earth? What happens if we pick a tree species where no Beatles or any species lives? Hell, what if we start with a desert with no trees or life at all? How about the poles? How many Beatles live in them apple trees?

The statistical likelihood of BS seems very high.

more than 4 years ago

Google Reportedly Ditching Windows

cenc Re:The thing that killed my similar setup (1003 comments)

On some level, that crapware makes the conversion to Linux all the more appealing because if a company would have to say spend 1 million dollars to convert the crapware, they can then afford to do it because they are not spending money on the OS and other software.

Long live the crapware!!!

more than 4 years ago

Novell Reportedly Taking Bids From Up To 20 Companies

cenc Re:Market (124 comments)

Most of the paying customers out there are told what to buy by the IT department, that now a days likly has more than a few closet FOSS people.

more than 4 years ago

Gulf Gusher Worst Case Scenario

cenc BP agreed with that estimate (799 comments)

BP in one of its early environmental impact statements filed with the U.S. government gave something like 600,000 barrels a day as a worse case before the well was drilled.

So, relax everyone. It is only able to dump 600,000 barrels of oil a day according to BP.

more than 4 years ago

Beaver Dam Visible From Space

cenc any on the ground photos? (286 comments)

I have seen beaver dams in the over 1/2 mile in length range in southern Canada / Northern MN ( the tops are often used as parts of hiking trails ). All I see are sat and airplane photos. Has anyone hiked out to take on the ground photos of the dam and measure it? Links please, if you got some?

more than 4 years ago

Rest In Peas — the Death of Speech Recognition

cenc Philosophers, "we told you so". (342 comments)

I have been flamed more than a few times around here for suggesting Computer Science has not got a clue what they are doing when it comes to AI. Philosophy has been at this problem and more for the better part of the last 400+ years (more like a 1,000 years) in a serious way. The stock b.s., I get from the science fiction fan boys is that somehow natural language is a problem that can just be brute forced as if you were trying to figure out the password you forgot to your email account. Good luck with that.

By the way, language "recognition" by a computer is likly the easy part of the problem for AI researchers to crack. It is still not going to yield any real AI, just better cars and toasters.

more than 4 years ago

The US Continues Its Reign As King of Spam

cenc Re:Hi (118 comments)

I recently went through my email stats to see what IP's where sending email that was being rejected the most. I found only about 10 ip's in countries I have never had a reason to deal with composed about 70-80% of the waisted rejected email (thousands of emails each). I then either banned the country or the ip address. Not so much a solution, as saving some resources.


more than 4 years ago

Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

cenc Don't worry about blackholes either (1015 comments)

I seen a lecture where Stephen Hawking told everyone not to worry about falling to black holes because you will come out the other side. Nice guy and all, but I am not so sure about how sound his advice is on certain things.

more than 4 years ago

Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

cenc Chile Volcano (673 comments)

The Chilean government and most airlines avoided flying around a volcano in Southern Chile a couple years ago. They did not however restrict small planes. In the course of about 4 months, 3 small planes crashed including a military flight. They were all prop planes with more than one engine. No one every officially linked the crashes to the volcano, but it was definitely outside the statistical norm for crashes in the area (like one every 2-3 years normally).

more than 4 years ago

Photos of Chinese Sweatshop Used By Microsoft

cenc Re:Is it really that different than programming? (539 comments)

I worked as a teacher in China a couple years ago and was only paid $350 US a month, plus housing, and still managed to save money. So, that is not exactly slave labor wages by Chinese economy standards at $0.50 x 15 hours a day = $7.5 a day. That is something like $180 US a month. The working hours suck by western standards, but that is fairly normal working hours in China.

Also I don't buy that photo. When I was teaching at the University, I would go in to a room and there would be like 50 students all sleeping between classes. It is not unusual for Chinese workers to catch a catnap on breaks, because they work long hours.

more than 4 years ago

China's Research Ambitions Hurt By Faked Results

cenc I Taught Research Writing at a Chinese University (338 comments)

I taught research writing at a Chinese Agricultural University for a year. I am not even sure where to start about the plagiarism.

Kids would bring in things so obviously stolen that the authors name was still in the text.

Chinese react to public shame and to threats well. I likly would not have been allowed to use most of the tactics in the States or Europe. I did finally get them to write real papers after almost a year (even if they were mostly bad), and reference their sources. I just told them, "this is how we steel others ideas in the West."

I also learned a thing or two about how Chinese view theft of ideas. For several thousand years, copying famous work was a sign of respect. After all, it is all "owned" by the Emperor or the States anyway. In a sense it is all public property, and copy rights means you have a right to copy.

Now, that is fine in the old days, but not in a modern China. At the University I was at, they were doing things like genetic engineering knew super strains of rice. There was no rigid testing going on. Students were all but being encouraged to take it home to their families to plant in the rural areas. Other foreign researchers told me how labs and experiments were contaminated in all sorts of different ways; yet, everyone was being pushed to publish. Publishing was the end, and not the means to science for many of them.

After what I seen, I am certain sooner or later we are all going to pay the price for China's great experiment with Science.

more than 4 years ago

Lessons In Hardware / OS Troubleshooting

cenc Re:What I love here is the part where he (236 comments)

At least it would tell you everything else is fine, and using proper process of elimination work your way back to 'dam must be the processor'. That is assuming you ignore the error messages related to the processor in Linux.

more than 4 years ago

Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs

cenc I found one factor they overlooked (561 comments)

They studied 20,000 people that joined the military. That would indicate they already could care less about their life or were already shown to be inclined to accept training or participate in activities that would make them disregard their own life. How about a control group among say something like university professors? At least compare that to 20,000 university students of the same age. There is a certain sweet spot for stupidity among those age groups (the superman factor).


more than 4 years ago

Science Attempts To Explain Heaven

cenc Let the Philosophers sort it out (692 comments)

Yea, sorry but this one falls outside the realm of science and religion. That is why we have Philosophy to referee these things.

more than 4 years ago

AMD's 12-Core Chip Cuts Software Licensing Costs

cenc Re:Cry me a MS licensing costs river! (217 comments)

Yea, I think you stumbled upon the reason MS is easier to learn. You can do less with it. Linux is a swiss army knife and then some.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Lost Search War By Ignoring the Long Tail

cenc Just Another failed attempt at search by MS (267 comments)

It is like everyone around here is too young to remember the last what 3-6 failures MS made at "new" search engine or too old and their memory does not work anymore.

There is no reason to waist time and effort on bing as webmaster, until bing (or whatever they want to relabel it) starts moving traffic I don't care about bing as a search engine.

more than 4 years ago

China's Great Firewall Infects Other Countries

cenc View from inside Chile (178 comments)

I live and work in Chile, and know the network problems well here. Here is my take on it.

I seen that had several of their DNS servers that where failing about three weeks ago (I just figured someone would figure it out and fix it, guess not ). Any .cl using as their primary dns server ( what most .cl domains use by default rather than having their own), was having failures based on which of the dns servers at they were using (I think two of them where failing).

Here is what I seen happening. I have a U.S. server, that hosts certain .cl web sites. They all use my own dns servers including backups dns servers spread around the world rather than Chile's dns server. I also have most ISP in China blocked at a firewall level for spam and security reasons (I have no use for talking to China in my biz). Other companies with .cl domains could not send mail to .cl domains on my server, because they where failing in the reverse lookup. That got me checking their DNS server, which happened to be directly.

Now there is only about three ISPs in Chile. Yea, there are many by different names, but they all contract or are owned by three companies with the same hardware. Basically there is VTR cable company, Telefonica, and Telmex. Almost all others that I am aware of are the same company under a diffrent name, or they buy their upstream services from them. They all seem to share lines internationally.

The unnamed service provider in this case is most likly as they are the host for ( a guess, based on other DNS problems I have seen over the years in Chile ).

DNS issues are very common in Chile with all the isps. About 2 months ago, telefonica mis-configured their dns servers and somewhere around 60% of all internet users, including mobile phone users (telefonica is known as movistar cell phone company) lost the ability to connect to much of the rest of the World. Telefonica is the upstream provider for many smaller ISP in Chile, and at times contracts through telmex also.

I have to run my own caching name servers for my offices in Chile, and never depend on the isp here for DNS servers because they are notorious for having caches that are more than 48 hours out of date, not to mention a lookup of domain can add as much as 5-10 seconds to a connection over just trying to get to the other side of the World to reach a foreign server. Especially for stuff that they do not have cached regularly. This has also personally led me to not trust the quality of what they are returning.

So, there is about 90% probability that the ISP in question is either telmex in Chile or Telefonica. The other is VTR cable, and as far as I know they had nothing to do with it because they don't normally do corporate type hosting. 98% of all internet is provided by those three sources according to a recent OECD report (not even sure what the other 2% is they are refering to in the report. Perhaps satellite).

So, the market inbreeding has turned Chile's internet in to a very unstable and fragil set of networks in the last few years, that is essentially unregulated. For instance, during the recent earthquake, even the web site for the national police in Chile got knocked offline for over a week along with most other goverment servers.

So I do not blaim this on China so much (beyond normal things), but on the poor quality of the network administrators and the even lower quality management at the ISP. Mostly I blame this on the former government, for not regulating the ISP and instead encouraging the monopolies that have developed. This was made evident to the country when all the cell phone networks in the country failed for days after the earthquake because they failed to do things like have battery backups for the cell phone towers. I expect some serious changes are on the way.

more than 4 years ago

Iron Alloy Could Create Earthquake-Proof Buildings

cenc Re:It will be expensive and unused (107 comments)

Chile is not Haiti. It is not even California. The building codes are law, and they are enforced. However, there is something to the natural selection thing, but not the way you mean.

Thousands of buildings went through the 8.8 earthquake with little more than a few cracked windows. It looks like total building collapse amounts to 1 building that litterally fell over on its side, and about 100 or so others that failed by design. The ones that failed on a wide scale where 200+ year old adobe houses (mostly one and two story structures). Those adobe structures did survive to some degree because they had never taken a full earthquake. The big ones had always been north or south of the 7th and 8th regions that got hit the hardest by this quake.

The death however was not really caused by the earthquake, but by the tsunami waves that came 3 hours apart. The navy screwed up by lifting the alert too soon, and people started returning to the beach.

My office building (15 floors), took an 8.0 about 200 miles from the epicenter. We lost a couple glass doors when the metal frame flexed, a few cracks, and one broken water pipe on a floor. It was built about 10 years ago.

No one even gets up and leaves the building anymore for anything under a 6.0 around here.

more than 4 years ago



What if Microsoft decided to sell Linux?

cenc cenc writes  |  more than 5 years ago

cenc (1310167) writes "In the debate about Linux vs. Microsoft, one option that I have never seen discussed is the possibility that Microsoft could simply absorb Linux in to the MS product line. The result being Microsoft essentially takes over the desktop market for Linux by branding a Microsoft Linux. An MS Linux that the FOSS community might very well loose control of in terms of user perception as the only legitimate Linux. This possibility could take two general directions. One, MS creates or buys a major Linux distro and really makes an honest attempt to brand, promote, and integrate Linux. This would be the best case scenario for all concerned I believe. Second direction is Microsoft brands a Linux distro, and sells it as an inferior discount product for low end PC market, but leaves the main Windows OS as the premium product. The final option, Microsoft takes control of the branding and promotion of Linux and uses it to drive it in to a black hole where consumers will never look at it again. How would the community counter such moves? Should we counter such moves?"

Open Source Manufacturing

cenc cenc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cenc writes " is running a story about Open Source Manufacturing and repairable products, and the drive to get companies to design products that can be reused and repaired from the start rather than thrown away when they break. Part of this drive is to provide plans for consumers to easily repair and make use of products."


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