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NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

darkmeridian Re:Bi-partisan resonse to Obama plan (146 comments)

You're forgetting that the Constellation program was based around a very flawed man-rated booster, the Ares I. For instance, an mission abort 30-60 seconds after launch would kill the entire crew because the exploding solid-fueled rocket fragments was ignite the parachutes that would allow the crew to land safely. The rocket also had oscillation issues, and also caused severe damage to the launchpad. It was also on a spiraling cost pattern when it was canceled; the predicted budget went from $28 billion in 2006 to $40 billion in 2009. And the anticipated cost per launch was north of a billion dollars.

about three weeks ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

darkmeridian Re:Face it ... (560 comments)

That's pretty edgy and cool but it's also completely wrong. Read the decision. Let's start with the simple notion that the Fifth Amendment protects you against self-incriminating testimony, but it is not an absolute bar against all kinds of self-incrimination. The court can still compel you to provide non-testimonial aid in their prosecution of you. For instance, the court can get a blood test to show that you were drunk while driving, or swab your cheek to test for DNA, get an example of your voice to play to witnesses, to have you participate in a line up, provide a sample of your handwriting, a sample of your hair, putting on a costume that the suspect was wearing, etc. If this were not the case you'd never be able to convict anyone of any crime.

The defendant in this case was read his Miranda rights. He said that the computers were encrypted, and that he could decrypt the files but would not do so. That doomed him. The court said that decrypting the hard drive was not testimonial in nature. If he had shut the fuck up and said nothing, then the court would probably would have denied the prosecutor's motion because decrypting the drive would be an admission that he knew and owned the contents of the drive. But this fuckhead had already bragged to cops that he could decrypt the data but wasn't going to do so. Thus, there was no self-incrimination.

about a month ago
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TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

darkmeridian Re:Translation (250 comments)

That's what the NSA wants you to think: that the rest of the world is not within its grasps. Note that CryptoAG was a Swiss company that was allegedly compromised by the NSA back in the 1950s. God knows what other foreign companies have been hacked by the NSA. Samsung (South Korean) and Huawei (Chinese) hardware have been reportedly compromised by the NSA. If hard drives made by the goddamned Communist Chinese are being shipped with NSA-compromised firmware, then how the hell is stuff coming from Taiwan (nominally a US ally) and Europe going to be any better?

about a month ago
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Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

darkmeridian Re:How will history judge the F-35? (417 comments)

The wild card with the F-35 is whether or not its avionics will be outstanding enough to make up for a relatively crappy jet. The self-defense detection packages are integrated into the body of the aircraft, and is more advanced than even its F-22 counterpart. The stealth and flight performance may be lacking, but earlier detection and evasion of enemy threats along with earlier lock-on/launch may prove a decisive encounter in air-to-air or air-to-ground fights. If the data-link works as promised, then shooting at a flight of F-35s might prove to be a stupid idea because the wingman can lock on without emitting any radiation using data provided by another aircraft.

So it depends. On the other hand, we'll probably be fighting countries without air forces or only rudimentary air defense systems. The star of the show in a denied area will probably be drones carrying jamming systems or even anti-radiation missiles. Sure, you can turn on your radar to try to detect stealth aircraft, but this undetectable stealth drone is floating around ready to pop you if you do so.

about a month and a half ago
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How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

darkmeridian Re:If people would fight their tickets... (286 comments)

The administrative law judges that hear parking tickets are hired by the Traffic Violations Bureau, aka, the people who wrote the tickets. You may be surprised to know that ALJs have strong incentives to keep their jobs, I mean, uphold tickets. It's not even to save time. It's to save their jobs.

about 2 months ago
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How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

darkmeridian Re:The Real Story Should Be... (286 comments)

To look even deeper at the facts, the "parking lanes" next to other hydrants are marked as not parkable. These two hydrants have parking lanes without those designations, so people just assume they can park there.

about 2 months ago
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Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

darkmeridian Re:Software methodology for automobiles (106 comments)

Ford also has running upgrades and new features for cars in the same production year. For the 2013 model year Ford Fusion Hybrid, for instance, they added a special air intake with noise-attenuating baffles to all Job 2 and latter vehicles. It apparently makes a pretty big difference to the perceived noise in the cabin when the gas engine runs. There are also special options such as specific paint colors, seat belt airbags, and leather colors that are only available in the latter runs of the same model years. The Ford ETIS system keeps track of all the specific features on each specific car based on the VIN. I think that Tesla is probably doing something similar.

about 2 months ago
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Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

darkmeridian Re:Cold Weather Package (106 comments)

I drive a Ford Fusion Hybrid. I think that in cold weather, most hybrids have to run the internal combustion engine to heat the coolant to operating temperatures. This is inefficient because the ICE could otherwise be turned off. I think that the Prius has a special insulated place for warm battery coolant to be stored so it will not need to be reheated as much. The Tesla feature appears to use battery power to heat the fluid so that ICE can be turned off sooner when starting in cold weather.

about 2 months ago
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Google Announces 'End-To-End' Encryption Extension For Chrome

darkmeridian Re:But can you actually trust it? (100 comments)

I'll go further and say that if the NSA has forced Google to compromise the extension, you shouldn't be using Google or Gmail at all. If the NSA has already coerced Google, obviously, then there's no reason to compromise the extension or PGP; the NSA will just get the mail straight from Google.

about 2 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

darkmeridian Re:Demanding "safe" vaccines (588 comments)

It's not even that she wants vaccines that are proven to be 100% safe with no side-effects. She wants vaccines that she thinks is 100% safe with no side-effects. There is already significant medical evidence that vaccines are worth the cost-benefit analysis but she just thinks that doctors and big pharma are horrible folk who just want to rip her off.

about 3 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

darkmeridian Re:McCarthy the Playmate? (588 comments)

The problem is that she's the face of the issue. She is not going on TV saying, "I'm Jenny the Playboy Playmate." She's saying, "I'm Jenny the mother who just knows that vaccines aren't what doctors say they are all cracked up to be." That makes her more pernicious than a crackpot who publishes a report saying that thimerosol causes autism. Basically, she's the Bill Nye the Science Guy of the anti-vaccination crowd.

about 3 months ago
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

darkmeridian Re:But they can't build anything (218 comments)

Google doesn't have to make software in order to make money. About half of its revenue comes from advertising. All Google has to do is to grow the number of consumers who use the Internet. As long as Gmail, Google Search, and Android keep people using Google to search, then Google can sell ads, and then Google can make money. AdSense and AdWords are revolutionary. It's so easy to buy and sell ads using the Google system. The bottom line is to force the advance of Internet capable systems.

That's why Google fostered Android. You can hate Android, but you can't deny that it increased the number of mobile Internet devices, and that most of those users rely upon Google services. Chrome made web-browsing more consistent, which meant that webmasters could make better pages, which meant more advertising. So Google doesn't care who makes the smart phones so long as smart phones are being made.

about 4 months ago
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Chromecast Now Open To Developers With the Google Cast SDK

darkmeridian Re:Why? (104 comments)

It sounds like you're missing the part where you have to plug your vaunted HDMI cable into something. Perhaps you have a HTPC or a Plex Server. Who knows? But the Chromecast costs $35 (and was on sale for $25) so you can stream without having to set up a HTPC.

about 6 months ago
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Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

darkmeridian Re:Don't think custom domains were his problem (448 comments)

The problem with customs domains is that it created another attack vector that no one really thinks about. The attacker hijacked his mx records and directed his email away. Up until now, I was sitting pretty thinking that I was safe because I used LastPass to create a long fucking Google Apps password and Google Authenticator for two-factor security. I never considered the notion that someone could hijack my mx records. I'm going over to namecheap to enable two-factor authentication.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

darkmeridian Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (822 comments)

Wake up. The rest of the world spies on our industries as well. I'm not even talking about China I'm talking about. Read the Wiki articles on the topic. The French are our allies but are also pretty big industrial spies. It's also old news that the NSA spies for American industry. When Boeing was bidding on a Saudi deal, the other side offered a bribe. The NSA picked up on it and disclosed it to the Saudis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

about 6 months ago
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Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

darkmeridian Re:Protesting against themselves? (692 comments)

These idiots probably designed those flyers on a Mac using Microsoft Office, and used Google to find all the facts and allegations in their flyers.

about 6 months ago
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JPMorgan Files Patent Application On 'Bitcoin Killer'

darkmeridian Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (292 comments)

That's not what first-to-file means. Even if Bitcoin is never patented, the Patent Office can still (and should) reject the JP Morgan application based on the Bitcoin prior art. First-to-file means that if JP Morgan files first, the Bitcoin people cannot obtain priority over JP Morgan, as JP Morgan filed first despite inventing second.

about 7 months ago
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Driver Arrested In Ohio For Secret Car Compartment Full of Nothing

darkmeridian Re:Not the only state with this law (670 comments)

Seriously, if I had a secret compartment in my car, I would keep a copy of the King James Bible, a copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a registered handgun in there.

about 7 months ago
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25,000-Drive Study Gives Insight On How Long Hard Drives Actually Last

darkmeridian Re:Um.. (277 comments)

Electronics tend to have a bathtub failure curve. Like us, electronics tend to die in their infancy or of old age. When I get hardware for work, I still break them in before "putting them into production," i.e., use them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_curve

about 8 months ago

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