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Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

clovis Be a contractor/sysadmin (250 comments)

Get a job as a contracter/sysadmin, and store encrypted copies of all your stuff on the servers in your client's offices around the country.
I would also suggest their desktop computers. The executives desktop computers always have extra space, but they get upgrades too often. I suggest low-level management's and receptionist's desktops. They never get anything new.

4 days ago

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

clovis If you though about it, you would answer yes (351 comments)

The actual survey question is:
  “Do you support or oppose the following government policies?”
  with several cases, one of which is:
"Mandatory labels on foods containing DNA"

The first thing you should notice is that the word "warning" does not appear. Kudos to the reporters and slashdot poster who either did not read the survey or did not understand what they read.

Almost all foods already have labels, and for most foods (presently) anything more processed than a raw banana must have a label.
So, the question is, should all foods (containing DNA) be required to have a label?
For example, "This is a banana" would meet the definition of the question.
or, "You're looking at a steak"

I can support that, especially for processed foods, and we already have that law, so, yeah, I support mandated labels.

especially for those weird roots that appear in the bin at the grocery store.
WTF is that I ask? I dunno, there's no label.

5 days ago

Quantum Computing Without Qubits

clovis Re:Flocks of starlings (81 comments)

Look in the sky, see the flock of starlings?
The dark clump of birds that you can see will dart around, sometimes here, sometimes there. It can fly west and yet clump east, time-travel! Must be negative time! Sometimes simultaneously appearing in two places. Faster than light travel! Sometimes no clump can be seen. Where'd they go? Poof, out of existence.

You want a quantum simulator? Starlings, go watch a flock of starlings and apply your quantum equations to their motion.

You may think I'm kidding, but the same problem exists. Just as you can't see the individual bird, only the flock, likewise you've built a bunch of equations for a flock of smaller particles. You can only detect the flock and not the particles.

Keeping with your analogy ... In order to exactly determine the location of each single starling, you need a shotgun(s). Then it no longer is part of the flock now that it has been observed.

As an aside, I am aware that you can shoot at a flock of starlings all day and not hit a one.

about a week ago

Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing

clovis It only works when it isn't (162 comments)

This thing only duplicates items that were originally made by a 3D printer that uses that same material.
That is to say, I don't want a teleported camshaft that is printed with a 3D printer that uses chocolate for the printing material.
Well actually I do want that, but I would not put it in an engine.

Nor do I see how something made of materials that aren't available as 3D printer matrix materials could be teleported.

about a week ago

Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

clovis Re:ICU doctor here.... (136 comments)

This really intrigues me because it never struck me that this could be a mechanism for antibiotic resistance. It is even more interesting to me knowing the first CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae)

clearly arose in India [source]

but the reasons weren't clear to me and I just naively assumed it was a random mutation. India, also according to to that same paper has quite a problem with antibiotic resistance which one wouldn't expect as there isn't so much of a problem with antibiotic overuse as there seems to be in the West. So, maybe not so random and maybe we have honed in on a legit reason for growing resistance.

The other problem in India and similar places is that the dosage wasn't what the label said. The doctor may have prescribed 500 mg of amoxicillin, and the patient bought capsules in a bottle labeled 500mg amoxicillin, but what was in those capsules was a fraction of the prescribed dosage.

Case in point is Ranbaxy who sold millions of doses of what they knew was non-performing anti-retroviral drugs.
And more like this:

The bad part is Ranbaxy only got caught because one of their executives was an American who ratted them out.
Ranbaxy only got into trouble because they tried to sell their crap in the USA, otherwise nothing would have happened to them.
There are numerous other drug companies with the same ethics, but they don't try to sell in the USA or Europe, so they'll never get caught.

Another thing I did not know is that the FDA almost never test drugs for efficacy.
What happens is the drug company does the tests and the FDA looks at the drug companies documentation and procedures and signs off on that. This is why cheaters don't get caught - they are grading their own papers, so to speak.

BTW, Ranbaxy was bought by Sun Pharma, so Who Knows where their drugs are going now.

about two weeks ago

Fields Medal Winner Manjul Bhargava On the Pythagorean Theorem Controversy

clovis Stigler's law at work (187 comments)

There's a saying that the credit for a discovery goes to the last person who finds it. This is a variation of Stigler's law:

about three weeks ago

NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

clovis Re:It's a first... (108 comments)

A few ounces of ash isn't going to be replaced by a useful science instrument. If they sent up people's entire remains it'd be a different story.

A whole corpse? That would be awesome, especially when some alien culture opens up the probe and realizes what it is.

Alien Corporal realizes what he's looking at: WTF! WTF! It's some dead guy!
Alien Sarge: A corpse? Is this some kind of joke? Why would they do that? Find the Captain and tell him.
Alien Captain: I bet it's a threat. They're saying this is what they'll do to us.
Alien Captain: We need to hit them first and hit them hard.
Alien Captain: Unlock the weapons cabinets, and make sure every man has his sword and shield.

about three weeks ago

FCC Favors Net Neutrality

clovis Re:Seriously? GOOD NEWS? (255 comments)

Most of what people complain about with "government"-run stuff is actually a feature of monopolies. A company's ultimate accountability to its customers is their ability to throw that company over entirely for someone else. But if you are going to have a monopoly anyway, not making it accountable to the people in any other meaningful way (eg: making it government run or regulating it) will only make a bad situation worse.

++, that is the crux of the matter and the answer

about three weeks ago

FCC Favors Net Neutrality

clovis Re:See spin! See spin go! (255 comments)

In the linked article is the statement:

“Most studies find,” Hood stated, “that lower levels of taxes and spending, less-intrusive regulation correlate with stronger economic performance.”

Sounds pretty, doesn't it? Who could argue against that? Think of the children!!! Mom and apple pie!!!!

What they DON'T tell you is what this weasel phrase "stronger economic performance" means: Does it mean "better service, lower prices and increased customer satisfaction" OR does it really mean "higher profits and f*ck the customer"?

Go on, take a wild guess...

Quoting Buckaroo Banzai:
No on one, yes on two

about three weeks ago

FCC Favors Net Neutrality

clovis Re:Seriously? GOOD NEWS? (255 comments)

Be careful what you ask for.

Most /.ers probably are not old enough to remember the days when all telecommunications were regulated under title II. Let's just say that costs were higher, innovation was essentially prohibited, and service was even worse than you can get from Comcast today.

"So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."

I'm old enough to remember. My families phone number was two letters and 5 digits, and I was a small child when the first direct-dial long distance call was made. I had relatives that were still on party lines.

You are correct in that phone service was expensive compared to today. Long distance calls back then cost far more per hour than almost anyone's hourly pay. However local land-line service was cheap and included in-home service for phones and wiring. Some people went for decades between outages. The primary cause was someone knocking down a pole and breaking the wires.

But today's lower costs are almost entirely due to technological advances and not to de-regularization.

When de-regularization happened, home phone rates went up as telco businesses sprang to to cherry-pick businesses to serve.
(home phone rates in the regulated days were subsidized by higher rates charged to businesses, much like electric rates are set)

However, the good thing about de-regularization was that those new telco businesses now competed on the basis of features, and business phone service competition drove innovation. After that, then home service rates went down (that is, down in inflation adjusted dollars)

But look at the things invented during the regulated phase by Bell Labs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... in the 50's, 60's 70's That is a list of eveyrthing. transisters, lasers, MOSFET, molecular beam epitaxy, Ritchie and Kernigan worked at Bell Labs.

As for "service was even worse than you can get from Comcast today", I do not think that is correct.
My only service requests (and my parents) had been establishing new service when moving, and it was always excellent.
My experience with Comcast (and my neighbors) was shockingly bad. Bad as in refusing to take service requests, bad as in not showing up at all for service requests that had been accepted.and worst of all bad as in having service failures at all.
I have never met anyone whose experience was the opposite of mine regarding telco vs Comcast service, or even modern AT&T vs old AT&T. Service was one thing they did right in the old days..

about three weeks ago

The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

clovis Re:Free Beating (117 comments)

You don't get it. If you gave him that beer from the community fund, that he himself was contributing to, he didn't get a free beer and might wonder why you were using the community chess to give him a beer, or if that was the wisest use of that money. If the state educational system is funding it, just because a school doesn't see the bill doesn't mean its free. Or, in your case, everything for the school is free because they really aren't paying for anything, they are just workers at the schools. My example is a lot shorter as well!

It drive me nuts when someone makes the argument that something is not free because somebody paid for it somewhere.
It's free to the person who got it and did not pay for it, otherwise the word "free" has no meaning.

Sure, Peachnet is funded ultimately by the State of Georgia taxes and lottery players, and all money ultimately comes from the labor of the proletariat or something like that. The thing is that various entities have their own budgets, whether it's my bank account, schools, or the fire department. And this is not in the budgets of the school systems that are receiving the service.

The fiber rollout to these schools is happening outside their budgets - it's not an item to them.
Nor can they choose to spend the money on something else that they might think is a better use because they never see any money.

The thing is that many, if not most of the schools that are getting the fiber have no money for such things because they have little tax base.
There are 159 counties in Ga, and of those about half have less than 25,000 population. 30 counties have less than 10,000 people. Their tax base is not enough to fund getting fiber, network infrastructure, and support run to anywhere especially for the few students they have. Their contribution to the tax base is a fraction of what they get back.

If the state did not provide the fiber at no cost to them, those schools would have no fiber.
It is irrelevant that there may have been a wiser use of the money because they never had the money.

If you asked me if it was free to the people of the State of Georgia, then no it isn't. The money came out of our pockets.
But it's free to the school systems.

about three weeks ago

The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

clovis Re:Free Beating (117 comments)

'If you can beat free, then I'm willing to listen.'

Well, someone should tell them its not free, its just that they don't get the bill. Its not clear from the article what the actual cost is.

It should be obvious to anyone that read the article that what he meant was free at the endpoint - free to the school that receives the bandwidth.

How can I explain it?
My next door neighbor was working in his garden, and I told him him could take a break and offered him a beer.
I handed him a beer over the fence. He did not give me any money.
He got a free beer.
I know that I had to earn the money to buy the beer,
He got a free beer because he didn't give me any money.
I know that the brewery had to purchase the materials and plant to brew the beer and buy bottles.
But he got a free beer because he didn't have to pay for any of that.
It was a free beer.
That beer was transported on public roads that had been paid for with taxes, and my neighbor pays taxes. but there was no cost to my neighbor for transporting that beer.
It was a still free beer to him.

He got a free beer.

If the word "free" has any meaning at all, then somebody gets something they did not have to give extra money for.
In this case, it's free bandwidth to schools.

If you want to argue that "the money could have been used to buy books instead", I'll tell you that the cost of that beer could have been used to give my neighbor a book. But nonetheless he still got a beer. And it was free.

about three weeks ago

The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

clovis Re:Free to who? (117 comments)

Surely it's not free to the taxpayers.

True, but the point is that it's free to the end point user, who would have nothing otherwise.
Instead of having each of the 6,000 plus schools and colleges run their own network department, each rent bandwidth, and each run a budget item for it, the University System of Georgia pays for it and maintains it. In other words, just like any large corporation would do. Schools in rural areas an't get high-speed bandwidth through the commercial carriers for anything affordable, and in some rural areas you can't get it at all. And, once the capital cost of laying the fiber and equipment is done, then it costs a fraction of what the monthly rent from ISPs would be.

about three weeks ago

Hackers Steal $5M In Bitcoin During Bitstamp Exchange Attack

clovis Re:Bitstamp hack..... (114 comments)

If it doesn't store value, how come people give me things for it? What the hell is your definition of value?

Yes, I'd like the pot roast please, here's $40. Well sir, wonderful, looks like you have some value there, but we don't take money, we only take value.

I see where you are coming from, but I think this is what they are saying.
When some people mean "store value", they are thinking that if one hours work gets me money that will buy me 7 gallons of gasoline, or 10 cans of Dinty Moore beef stew, and today I earn $20 for that hour, then that value (of my work) is stored in the money, and I can always get that much goods for that $20.
If a few years later, that $20 can only buy 4 gallons of gas or 5 cans of stew, then the value of one hours work was not stored, but rather lost by converting it into $20 when it was earned.
But the 7 gallons of gasoline will always be worth approximately 10 cans of Dinty Moore regardless of the dollar price. What people want is a "store of value" that will always get you the 10 cans of Dinty Moore for the hour of work you did some years ago. There have been currencies that have lost all their value - 1920's German marks, whatever they used in Mozambique for example. Some people believe that a certain weight of gold will always get you the same (within reason) amount of beef stew over the decades, and although that isn't true, but it is closer than most other things that pass for money.

about three weeks ago

The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

clovis What are manufacturers using now a days? (252 comments)

I haven't kept up, but TRON used to be the dominant embedded OS. Has it fallen by the wayside, and if so, what's replacing it?

about a month ago

Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

clovis Re:Actually, most of that mass would be oxygen. (363 comments)

You are mostly water, 70%. Most of water by weight is oxygen by far. (16 parts in 18). So your heavy people plan would mostly sequester oxygen, temporarily.


True for the whole body, but fat is only about 10% water. Adipose tissue will have a higher water content due to contained blood supply, and water content of the fat cells goes up if the person is in the process of losing weight during a diet. But generally speaking, fat is about 10% water in people.

about a month ago

Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

clovis And we could eat more (363 comments)

And we could store carbon on our bodies.
6 billion people gaining an easily attainable 100 pounds each would store 300 million tons. Most of that mass would be carbon.
Every bit helps, I'm sure.

On another note, the article shows people planting trees in a field next to a forest. You don't have to do anything except stop mowing the fields. The trees will fill it in on their own.
Oh, and kill all the elephants. They eat trees.

As for the trees decaying and returning the carbon to the atmosphere, all we have to do is regularly paint the dead trees to keep them from decaying. A layer of tar might work even better.

about a month ago

2015 Could Be the Year of the Hospital Hack

clovis Why does anyone want to hack medical records? (130 comments)

It's not for credit cards, blackmail, or targeted advertising or any of that small potato stuff.
It's for filing fake claims to insurance companies and medicare.
This is already a 100 million dollar/year business.

about a month ago

Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

clovis Re:"pioneer inventor of new technology" ??? (183 comments)

TFA calls Gates a pioneer. Well, the covered wagon part is right. Please name something of value that was invented by Gates himself. Give up? Ok, without looking it up.... name something of real scientific or technological value invented by Microsoft Research Labs. That lab allowed Gates to take enormous tax write-offs but never produced any scientific or tecnological break-throughs. But hey, it was all in good tax-dodging fun, right?

Or, you could look up the definition of the word "pioneer".
Here you go: "among the first or earliest to enter a new field of inquiry, Enterprise, or progress."
Bill Gates and Microsoft clearly meets that definition regarding the personal computer

about a month ago



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