Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'
Rumsfeld said that the Iraqi people can do bad things to each other, and I'm sure that he would allow Americans to do bad things to each other as well. I will bet you, however, that he's against TERROR and TERRORISM.
How One Small Company Blocked 15.1 Million Robocalls Last Year
I use Root Call Blocker on Android. It hacks the phone sub-system so that calls you do not want to receive do not even register on the phone system. RCB picks up the call and then hangs up. Your phone doesn't ring, and the caller get to voice mail, and no one is wiser. I have nothing to do with RCB other than a satisfied user.
SpaceX, US Air Force Settle Spy Sat Dispute
The FTC authorized the merger as long as some terms in a consent degree were followed by both parties. It's very possible that the FTC just said "yeah, whatever the Pentagon wants" and waved it through. But to be honest, I'm not sure if keeping the two companies separate would have been any more efficient. It's already a duopoly with a single, captive buyer, and there's no way that one provider is going to charge much less than the other guy. It's like the airlines. One company set its rates on Monday, and on Tuesday, everyone else sets the same rates.
It also sounds like Boeing and Lockheed Martin was suing their crap out of each other before joining the ULA. If you look at the KC-X program to provide an aeriel refueling plane to succeed the KC-135, lawsuits can keep a program from going forward for years. The Air Force/Pentagon/Boeing/Lockheed/FTC might have just looked at all this horseshit, and said, screw it.
IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts
The IRS has always promulgated regulations after Congress passes a statute. This is not unique in our growing administrative law state. Congress may tell the Patent Office to allow patents. Then the Patent Office, which is more specialized than Congress, will work out the details in the form of regulations. The same is true of the IRS.
Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint and T-Mobile
Well, you have to understand that Google provides many other services, and their customer support isn't necessarily that good for those services. If you bought a phone from Google Play, for instance, it was a pain to fix things. No humans. You had to send an email and hope for the best.
Nuclear Waste Accident Costs Los Alamos Contractor $57 Million
The problems with the system are obvious but I think it's hilarious that a contractor was finally held responsible for fucking up. I mean, they lost 90% of their contract price for this year because of this accident. Hopefully, this would make them act more properly now that their bottom line is at risk.
AirAsia QZ8501 Black Box Found
At some point in time, each and every aircraft will have satellite Internet. How hard would it be at that point to have the black box data streamed in near-real time to a command base? You can make the link one-way so even if security is compromised, there would be no risk to flight systems.
The Fire Phone Debacle and What It Means For Amazon's Future
Amazon has been successful because it has been diversifying into various revenue sources instead of relying on only online sales. Amazon makes money from: (1) Kindles and their content; (2) Amazon Web Services; (3) online advertising to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year; and (4) selling on Amazon.
Amazon's misfires on the Fire tablet and phone are not the mistakes of a company that is trying to preserve a monopoly. It is a company trying to expand their revenue base and not succeeding at first. I have an Amazon TV Stick. Now I look at Amazon Prime Videos all the time. At some point in time, my cheap ass will be buying or renting videos from them.
The Fire Phone Debacle and What It Means For Amazon's Future
This has to be more highly rated. Amazon has its fingers in many pies, but in terms of putting physical products in your hands, Amazon is really facing off with Walmart. We've all read the crazy articles about Walmart's distribution network where suppliers have a ten minute slot to show up and unload their trucks into Walmart's warehouses. Well, this pretty much applies to their online sales as well.
Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?
IBM will stay around for a long, long time because they spend a ridiculous amount on research and development. I know this is an imperfect metric, but IBM has has been granted the most US patents for twenty straight years. These patents are good for over a billion dollars in licensing rights each year, and give IBM blanket immunity from patent infringement lawsuits from any practicing entity. IBM created technology as varied as excimer lasers used for LASIK surgeries, microprocessors used in the Playstation 3, XBox 360, and the Wii, bar codes, and Watson.
IBM has moved from mainframes to data analysis. Heck, IBM has announced deals with Apple to push into the enterprise and with Twitter to mine data. IBM will be around for a long, long time. Even if it suffers huge setbacks and missteps, its patent portfolio will keep it in the running for a long, long, time.
There's this story about IBM, the patent troll. A bunch of IBM dudes show up at Sun Microsystems claiming infringement of seven patents. After the IBM presentation, the Sun guys get up and explain in detail how these patents are all bullshit, and not infringed. The IBM dudes say, well, we have 10,000 patents. We can go back to our office and come back with seven patents that you do infringe. Sun had to write a check.
Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?
Microsoft is definitely going to be around in 10-20 years, if only because of the captive audience that is their enterprise customers. The large corporations made huge investments in training, customized software, and back-end support for Microsoft Windows, and Office. Heck, there's no real alternative to Outlook for businesses, and Excel/Powerpoint are industry standards at this point. Moving to another operation system or office suite will require back end changes, and retraining their IT staff and employees, and Microsoft has moved quickly to fix all the fuckups with Windows 8, which was a stupid attempt to grab up the consumer market for commodity products.
Enterprises are okay with paying the Microsoft tax because they are more concerned about long-term support. You can always find someone who can provide technical support for Microsoft server products, but it's harder for Linux.
In sum, Microsoft just needs to be "good enough" for its enterprise customers to stay with their solutions. Microsoft has been playing the "follow the follower" strategy that game theorists suggest that market leaders should be doingâ"when you have a large lead, you shouldn't innovate. Rather, you should let people with smaller market shares bear the burden of innovation, and when they succeed, you follow them. That's what has been called "embrace and extend" but you don't embrace dead ends. That's why you see Microsoft getting into business cloud solutions (Office 365) to compete with Google Apps.
Also, Microsoft will only get stronger as Intel's mobile processors get more powerful. You already have tablets running Windows 8. Within five years, you will see smartphones running full versions of Windows.
Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts
I am pretty wary of the police state but even so, cops have to be able to lie in order to be successful in their primary mission of stopping crime and arresting criminals. Pretend that you are interrogating a murder suspect. You find the gun, and there are fingerprints on it, but they're too messed up to give you a solid match. But you have a suspect, and you tell him that his prints on the gun, and he should confess for a better sentence, which is also a lie because it's the DA and the court that sets his sentence. So he confesses.
Now, is this unfair? Perhaps. Perhaps you'll say that this leads to false confessions. But how is the police going to stop crime otherwise? The suspect will simply ask if they have his fingerprints, DNA, or any forensic evidence, then the police either has to answer truthfully or refuse to answer, which he can take as evidence that the evidence doesn't exist, then he sits back and relaxes.
Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting
Read the grand jury testimony. The witness who said that Mike Brown was kneeling when he was shot in the head execution style changed her testimony three times while on the stand. She initially had told the FBI that Mike Brown was shot four times in the back after he was on the sidewalk prone. She then changed her story after she read that he was only shot in the front, not the back. The witness was completely unbelievable.
The blood spatter evidence reveals that Mike Brown was headed towards Darren Wilson even after he was shot. The spatter does not reveal how fast he was moving, but it contradicts some witnesses who said that he dropped to the ground almost immediately.
What Mike Brown did immediately before getting shot is relevant to whether or not Darren Wilson was liable. If Mike Brown had not done anything violent at all, and was headed towards DW, then DW could not shoot. But MB had tried to get DW's gun. (There was a gunshot wound to MB's hand between the index finger and thumb, and his blood was found on the gun and inside of the car.) A reasonable person would fear that a person who had already went for the gun would be trying to get the gun again if he's walking towards you AFTER YOU DREW YOUR GUN.
What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?
Wasn't the entire probe and lander cold-soaked for ten years prior to the landing? Or is being removed from the sun so much colder than space? I'm seriously asking. I don't know the answer.
Intel Claims Chip Suppliers Will Flock To Its Mobile Tech
Microsoft is the dark horse in this race. Intel's trump card is that their products run on x86. Computing power is getting to the point where mobile devices are able to run Windows 8 quite well. I have a Dell Venue Pro 8 from last year that can run full-on Windows 8.1, and it's based on the old Atom. While the device has flaws, it is still goddamned amazing (and very useful!) to have Windows instead of Android in terms of application compatibility.
The new Intel Broadwell processors promise even better performance and lower power consumption. If Microsoft does not fuck up Windows 10, then this would push sales of Intel-based tablets. Why bother running Android or iOS when you can get desktop applications running on your tablet, even if you pay a slight premium? Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 sold $900 million in the last quarter. Competing devices such as Yoga 3 would only get more users onto the idea of a Wintel tablet.
Intel To Expand Core M Broadwell Line With Faster Dual-Core Processors
The problem with your logic is that die shrinks, if yield problems can be resolved, also provide cheaper costs per chip (thus boosting profits) and lower energy consumption. I have AMD chips that heat up the room when I use the computer for extended periods of time. A comparable Intel Core processor does not have this problem. The problem can become more pronounced with server farms and mobile devices.
Desktops will also be a smaller piece of the puzzle as everyone starts to buy more and more mobile devices. Thus, Intel is first focusing getting Broadwell into mobile devices such as tablets and convertibles. The desktop and server versions will follow later. I have a Dell Venue Pro 8, which runs Windows 8 on a tablet. It's not a perfect device, but there's something astounding and unholy about running a full on operating system on a freaking tablet. Once we start cramming Broadwells onto tablets, then we'll start to see AMD start getting more and more irrelevant.
Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?
You know, you're absolutely right. From a liability standpoint, I don't think that trucks will go fully automated without a man in the cockpit. But certainly this technology would make a lot of sense for long haul truckers. These guys have very well-plotted routes, so they can chose major thoroughfares that have been carefully mapped by Google. For most of the "routine driving" the trucks can drive themselves. The driver can take control in bad weather or other emergencies. I'm sure the computers can detect when they cannot see the lanes or have some other issue pop up and then they can tell the driver to take over. So the driver can relax a bit while the truck is taking care of things on easy driving, and the driver can be more alert when things are dodgier.
Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?
Bite the bullet and run CAT 6 Ethernet all over the place. You will get 1 GBs without any drops, and it's also future-proof. You may not max out your Internet anytime soon but having this in place will let you naturally upgrade your use as technology advances without requiring any changes.
If you have a NAS or a server, put it next to your fiber in jack along with a suitably powerful UPS. All your major network devices should run from that UPS so you'll be able to have Internet access or a while even when there's a power outage. Run wires from the jack, to your living room, office, and all the other places you will require Internet access. While you're at it, you probably should consider running two strands of wire all over the place. You can either run it in the walls if you feel like it, or use cable covers. Get the wire from Monoprice along with the necessary equipment to install them.
For Internet that goes up to 1GBs, you should get a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite. It supports wire-speed forwarding and costs only $100. However, the setup might be a pain in the ass. However, once it is set up, it will never go down. And it's really goddamned fast. You might also want to invest in a commercial-grade switch such as the Ubiquiti ToughRouter or a Netgear GS116. You don't want to rely on consumer grade stuff that will blow up (like my RT-N16, which suddenly died one day and left my small office without any Internet for an entire day). The price differential really isn't that big. I can transfer files between my NAS and my desktop at 50-60 MB/s without stalling out other people's transfers.
As far as access points, you might want to get one or two that are POE from Ubiquiti. You can get their POE switch for the access points so you can run only one wire and be done with it. If you're going to be in the house for a long time, and your usage will only increase as you have kids, etc., then you should spend the time to set up a very robust network early on.
NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi
You're absolutely right. The problem with the Shuttle had nothing to do with the wings. The Shuttle used solid rocket boosters that could not be throttled down in case of emergency, and relied on O-rings to seal the segments that comprise the casing. (Challenger.) The leading surfaces of the Shuttle were made from fragile reinforced carbon-carbon that would shatter when impacted. (Columbia.) As you noted, the Shuttle also sat next to the cryogenic fuel tank, which caused ice to hit the Shuttle. (Not only did this cause Columbia to burn up, it also caused problems on other missions.) There was also no realistic intact abort option for the Shuttle. If shit went bad, the astronauts had to shimmy down a pole, and then JUMP out of the Shuttle.
The Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser has a hybrid fuel system that could be turned off. It also sits on top of the stack to prevent ice being a problem. It also has an abort system to give the astronauts a chance to survive during ascent. The wings also generate more lift than the Shuttle's, which gives the spacecraft a better glide ratio. The only thing is the RCC, which apparently is tougher on the Dream Chaser than the Shuttle.
NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever
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.