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Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds

ebonum Jackpot! (146 comments)

There is only question now. Which federal agency will respond first with: "We can't guarantee your safety without a budget increase of N billion USD."

about a week ago

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

ebonum Contains DNA? WTF? (351 comments)

I can see it now. "WARNING: This lettuce contains lettuce DNA. Eat at your own risk. Wholefoods is not liable for side effect due to the consumption of lettuce DNA"

about a week ago

Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

ebonum Both wrong (409 comments)

Wow. Both sides seem clueless.

So this guy things: I saw some people walking around and they weren't dead. Chernobyl must be completely safe. How could 60 minutes think this place is dangerous? That is like a high schooler saying: All my friends smoke, and look at them. Fine. Or a reporter looking at coal miners in Virgina saying: people go in the mines. They come back out. I didn't see any negative effects.

How about: "We took a sample of 100 people who had lived in the Chernobyl area for 10-12 years and studied cancer rates and health problems against the general population." or "There are X kilograms of isotope Y (alpha/beta/gamma emitter) with a half life of Z years per square mile." This isn't reporting, this is talking out your ass. If Ron Adams wants to play reporter, he should try including a verifiable fact or two.

I saw some not dead folks walking around is not an argument.

about 2 months ago

At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

ebonum Capacity planning (242 comments)

"Because the campus is a highly secured island, few people leave for coffee, and the lines, both in the morning and mid-afternoon, can stretch down the hallway."

What a waste of time and resources!

For a group of people who likes to give the impression they are all super geniuses (and by extension deserve X 100 billion a year in funding), I would expect at least one person could have done some capacity planning and figured out how big the Starbucks need to be for that location. How about some accountability? Fire the person who planned this coffee shop. His/her mistakes cost the country the hourly rate of each person in line * the time they waste standing around.

about 4 months ago

World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

ebonum Cost (118 comments)

So I have 10 devices I want to hook up. The AC, the lights, refrigerator, washing machine, toaster, whatever. Does that mean I need 10 phone and data contracts with AT&T at 30 bucks (or more) each and then the payments recur every month? I can see why AT&T might like this technology.

Next question. I had AT&T once. Calls kept dropping because they sold more phone contracts than their cell towers could support. What happens when each person goes from one connection to 5 (or more)?

Off topic. Why am I not excited for 5G? It seems 4G and 5G designed so that you can hit your data cap on the unlimited plan for the month by running a download at max bandwidth for 30 minutes. This seem to be designed to bill people 100's extra every month for exceeding their plan rather than actually giving people higher download speeds.

about 4 months ago

Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

ebonum Bad press (221 comments)

From the summary: "risk having cell phone video"
Sounds like the decision making is largely driven by 1) Will we get caught doing X on video? and 2) What will the press say?

about 4 months ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

ebonum Re:containment (296 comments)

Simple question: 10-15 years from now, after the helium has escaped, will this thing still work? Today you can take a HD built 10-15 years ago, and there is a good chance it will still work (assuming you have the right cables, drivers, etc.).

about 5 months ago

Denver Latest City Hit By Viral Respiratory Infection That Targets Kids

ebonum Re:antibiotics (174 comments)

Yes. Broad spectrum stuff for bacteria that most likely already has resistance. If there is an infection and it does turn nasty, then they will worry picking their antibiotics more carefully. Or should I say correctly?

I'm a big believer in getting a culture to be positive of what needs to be killed and then picking an antibiotic that has some chance of working. I should add: IAMAD.

about 5 months ago

Denver Latest City Hit By Viral Respiratory Infection That Targets Kids

ebonum antibiotics (174 comments)

I have a feeling most docs will give out antibiotics for this anyway. It helps makes everyone feel like something is being done.

about 5 months ago

Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

ebonum Weight (215 comments)

"Wind is a particular hazard, because drones weigh so little compared with regular planes"

I'm not so sure about this one. A 747 in a 20 mph cross wind does 20 mph sideways. A drone in a 20 mph cross wind does 20 mph sideways.

When there is a gust (or any change in wind speed), there would be a difference. An object with a lot of mass will react more slowly to the same force. That said, once a 747 starts blowing sideways in the wind, making a correction is going to take more time and a larger force that it would for a light drone. In a big plane you do a lot more planning ahead for good reason. There are more "well, it depends on.." Even when mass is equal, a plane with a small tail (vertical stabilizer) close to the center of mass is going to react very differently than a plane with a large vertical stabilizer far from the center of mass. (Think lever arm/torque) In one you need a lot of skill to keep it from ground looping when landing in gusty cross winds.

about 5 months ago

Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

ebonum Will download (67 comments)

Google maps doesn't work offline. I know you can download and save maps. I downloaded sections two months ago. They where about 11 to 13 MB each. When I needed it, I pulled out my phone. GPS worked and it took me to my location on Google Map. But there was one problem. Only the major roads had names. All the small roads were missing names. To get that part of the map you need to connect to wi-fi or a cellular network - which wasn't an option. Caching a section of a map should mean just that - the map and all the important stuff, like road names, get cached. Perhaps at this point all the smart people have moved on an left Google leaving only the marketing and business people. Google's absolute insistence that you should not be allowed to do anything without being connected is infuriating. I assume Google can't stand the fact that there might be 10 minutes when they are not actively tracking one of their users.
To make things worse, when you have no signal and you need maps, you will find Google has deleted all your cached maps older than 30 days, so you are shit out of luck. Will someone inform Google that in most parts of the country it takes 3 years to build or change a road. Not 30 days. An old map is better than nothing. Actually, 99.99% of the time it is just fine.

I previously used Nokia Maps. I only use the map. No directions or other crap. As a simple map, it was an excellent product. I don't need or want anything else other than a map with correct, up to date roads and road names. I somehow passed the 3rd grade, so I have the intelligence to figure out directions on my own.

about 5 months ago

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

ebonum admission of guilt? (207 comments)

The NSA is supposed to only collect information on foreigners. Right? So how could their DB be of any use to domestic law enforcement? Or perhaps I'm a little naive.

about 5 months ago

If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

ebonum Re:Just don't try to write an OS in Java (511 comments)

I'm partly in agreement with you. If someone puts something on their resume, if they say: "I know C", then I consider C questions fair game. If they can't answer your very simple question about C ( It is a good C Language lead-off question. I will use it in the future. ), I might get the impression that the person was being deliberately deceptive when they wrote up their resume. The most likely explanations are: Either they did use C and they are an idiot OR they are pumping up their resume with bs.

That said, eliminating someone on one question is a bit harsh. People become nervous in interviews. Anyone can have a brain freeze for 20 seconds. I would want to see some form of pattern before turning someone down.

about 5 months ago

Heartbleed To Blame For Community Health Systems Breach

ebonum Access restrictions (89 comments)

How does getting onto the VPN equate to accessing the secret stuff? Isn't there another layer of security?

Whatever punishment these guys ( the sys admins ) get, it won't be enough. At some point it would be nice to see people who screw up suffer the consequences.

I admin a few machines (annoying, but required). Heartbleed got so much press, I thought everyone patched all their systems within days. I did.

about 5 months ago

FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

ebonum Key term: "Your Privacy" (139 comments)

This is not an issue. It is protecting their privacy that matters.

about 6 months ago

Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

ebonum Too far? (219 comments)

What about what advertisers do every day?
Our government (for us Americans) runs campaigns to alter opinions in other countries.
I'd like to everyone in the business of "caus[ing] changes in psychological status" get "require informed consent" first.
Beer companies anyone?

about 7 months ago

California Legalizes Bitcoin

ebonum "other than U.S. dollars" (162 comments)

"Section 107 of California's Corporations Code, which prohibited companies or individuals from issuing money other than U.S. dollars"

So issuing US dollars in California is fine? I thought issuing US dollars was called counterfeiting.

Time to see if the the big color laser printer at work is up to the task!

about 7 months ago

Behind the Great Firewall: What It's Really Like To Log On From China

ebonum Re:Much adu about nothing (90 comments)

Yes. The blocking changes all the time, and it changes by location. Sites that work at the office might not work at home. Go to the areas that are closer to Xinjiang (the western parts with more Muslims), and it becomes very difficult to get over the GFW. PPTP works nearly 100% of the time. OpenVPN has more issues. It might work for 30 minutes then cut off, then work fine for a few days, then go off for a week.

about 8 months ago

Behind the Great Firewall: What It's Really Like To Log On From China

ebonum Much adu about nothing (90 comments)

I live in China. Everyone I know hops the GFW with ease. It is a non-issue on laptops and cell phones.
These guys have a storefront in Shanghai:
You go to the store, you pay in Chinese currency and they give you a log in. It is fast and reliable.
Lots of people I know use Astrill. (astrill.com)
Of course anyone who is actually worried about security will set up their own server abroad and use putty or OpenVPN to access YouTube.

about 8 months ago

US May Prevent Chinese Hackers From Attending Def Con, Black Hat

ebonum better idea (193 comments)

Bar members of the Chinese military from attending. Even that is purely symbolic.
Someone should tell Obama that in American we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

Keep in mind. The US sets the standard. If we start doing things like this, don't whine when the China does the same thing. They could make the same case for any conference on any topic. If Americans come, they will steal XYZ.

about 8 months ago


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